Rumblings from Nashville
Andy Pettitte’s decision to put off retirement for another year and rejoin the New York Yankees in 2008 didn’t end New York’s pursuit of Johan Santana, but the Yankees are apparently adamant about getting an answer from Minnesota no later than Monday regarding the club’s trade offer for the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
The Yankees and Twins have been talking about a trade that would send the left-handed Santana to New York for a package that is believed to include pitcher Phil Hughes, outfielder Melky Cabrera and a mid-level Minor League prospect that Minnesota would select from a group.
Meanwhile, Boston is also in on Santana and are believed to have made offers involving either outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury or left-hander Jon Lester in various combinations. Boston has tried to interest the Twins in outfielder Coco Crisp to no avail.
Plenty of smoke, but no Cabrera fire yet
Miguel Cabrera continues to be a hot topic at the Winter Meetings but nothing was imminent Monday morning as Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest wasn’t due to arrive at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center until Monday afternoon.
The Marlins are expected to resume talks with both the Angels and Dodgers regarding Cabrera.
Tony Gwynn Jr. to San Diego?
The Brewers are pondering whether to move third baseman Ryan Braun to left field, and that prospect has other teams waiting to try to work out a trade with Milwaukee for one of the club’s outfielders if Braun indeed does make the move.
The Padres would be a natural fit for Tony Gwynn Jr., and if the Brewers make Bill Hall available, he would draw considerable interest.
Washington wants Miller
The Nationals have free-agent catcher Damian Miller in their sights. In 58 games, Miller, 38, hit .237 with four home runs and 24 RBIs for the Brewers in 2007. The Nationals are looking for catching help after dealing Brian Schneider to the Mets. The team is also interested in Gerald Laird of Texas should the Rangers decide to deal him.
Miller said he has interest in playing with the Nationals.
"It depends on the situation — what’s good for me and my family," Miller said. "They have a new stadium next year. That will certainly help. They have an up-and-coming team and they have a bunch of good guys. Let’s see what happens."
Burke on the block
Now that Kazuo Matsui is an Astro, Houston is exploring trade possibilities for second baseman Chris Burke. Burke, for one, won’t be surprised if he is dealt during the weeks ahead.
"For me, the overwhelming feeling is disappointment," Burke said. "I’d always hoped to be the everyday second baseman for the Astros. I always believed that would happen one day. The fact that it’s not going to is disappointing. But I believe things happen for a reason, and hopefully there’s a better opportunity for me out there somewhere else."
Astros general manager Ed Wade said he would attempt to trade Burke, who ideally would fetch pitching if packaged in a deal with outfielder Luke Scott. It’s likely Wade will pursue a deal along those lines during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., this week. How much value those two players can have remains to be seen.
"Obviously, I don’t know exactly what Ed’s thinking, but he made it clear to my agent [Barry Meister] that they’re going to try to trade me," Burke said. "There’s hope that someone will give me a chance to play second base."
Colorado is interested in Burke, and the Astros are seeking a closer and a lefty reliever, and the Rockies have both in veteran Brian Fuentes.
Oakland and the Chicago White Sox are among the teams that have expressed interest in Burke in the past.
Dodgers eye Andruw Jones
The Dodgers are among the teams considering free-agent center fielder Andruw Jones, a 10-time Gold Glove and five-time All-Star. Jones is believed to be seeking a contract in excess of the five-year, $90 million deal Torii Hunter signed with the Angels. The Dodgers apparently are not interested in a contract guaranteed longer than two years, but that would allow Jones the opportunity to revisit free agency with greater leverage after a more productive season.
Jones’ acquisition would create a surplus of outfielders and probably force the relocation of Juan Pierre’s vulnerable throwing arm to left field.