Braves, Cubs close in on deal

The Braves and Cubs wasted little time getting things started on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, as the two teams are closing in on a trade on Tuesday morning that would send left-handed reliever Will Ohman and shortstop Omar Infante to Atlanta, with the Cubs getting right-hander Jose Ascanio.

The deal would enable the Braves to fill two needs (lefty reliever and backup shortstop), whereas the Cubs would lessen the logjam at shortstop and shed an arbitration eligible player in Infante. Ohman is signed through 2008, for $1.6 million.

the center of attention

All eyes have been on the Johan Santana negotiations. The Twins met with both the Red Sox and Yankees on Monday night, as well as at least five teams interested in the left-hander’s services. But Minnesota has also been getting calls regarding All-Star closer Joe Nathan.

According to multiple sources, the Twins are having conversations with a number of teams regarding Nathan, a free agent after the 2008 season, but nothing was imminent on that front.

"It’s more or less exchanging information of what it might take [to pry Nathan away from Minnesota]," a source said.

The price for the 33-year-old Nathan, a two-time All-Star who has saved 35 or more games each of the last four years, will be expensive. Milwaukee, seeking a replacement for Francisco Cordero, is a possible fit. Houston is also interested in Nathan, who was born in Houston but lives in Knoxville.

At this point it is unlikely that either team would be willing to come up with a suitable package for Nathan.

"You don’t want to create holes at other spots," one team official said.

The Astros have second baseman Chris Burke and outfielder Luke Scott available, but they would rather not part with pitching prospects Troy Patton, Paul Estrada and Felipe Paulino. The Twins are also looking for a third baseman, and the Astros, with Ty Wigginton and Geoff Blum at that position, aren’t a match.

"I don’t think I’ll be traded before the season starts," Nathan said on Monday. "I know there is going to be talk, but I think on Day 1, I will be pitching in Minnesota, trying to help the ’08 Twins win as many as they can. From there, well, it’s out of my hands."

Guillen to KC?

According to and, the Royals have reached an agreement with outfielder Jose Guillen on a three-year, $36 million deal.

Royals GM Dayton Moore was not available for comment.

Yankees, Nationals trade prospects

Washington has acquired right-hander Tyler Clippard from the Yankees for right-handed reliever Jonathan Albaladejo, according to a baseball source. The trade was first reported by The Washington Post.

Clippard, 22, made his Major League debut in 2007 and went 3-1 with a 6.33 ERA in six starts. Albaladejo also made his Major League debut this past season, giving up three runs in 14 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.

Quick hits

• The Indians inquired about Toronto outfielder Alex Rios.

• The Padres are interested in Blue Jays right-hander Josh Towers.

• The Rockies are eyeing free-agent second baseman Marcus Giles.

• The Rockies also have discussed re-signing left-hander Mark Redman or pursuing righty free agents Steve Trachsel and Brett Tomko.

• San Francisco has reportedly shown interest in Toronto third baseman Troy Glaus.

• The Rangers are getting plenty of inquires regarding pitcher Eric Hurley.

• The Nationals are shopping outfielder Austin Kearns and infielder Felipe Lopez for starting pitching. The Nationals have an interest in Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey and Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey.

• Washington also has an interest in right-hander Livan Hernandez and is willing to give him a two-year deal, according to a source.


Im a red sox fan and the yankees and boston are making a mistake trying to get Santana.these are good young players to be traded..

Hey Cubs fans, I gotta say that even though Brian Roberts is a good 2nd baseman, if the Cubs trade Hill or Marshall or both, my goodness, look ahead to a long dismal season. To me it would take 10 Brian Roberts to equal that trade. Just a fair warning: Don’t do it, Hill is to me in the top 5 in the National League, and Marshall is quite capable. If you want to trade a pitcher, trade Marquis, the cubs would probably get a left handed bat for him. Please DON’T trade Hill or Marshall.

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