Who’s on third for Marlins?
The Marlins, after dealing third baseman Miguel Cabrera to Detroit, are looking for a new third baseman and have contacted the Phillies regarding Wes Helms, who played for Florida in 2006, hitting .329 with 10 homers. The Marlins are also considering free agent Jorge Cantu, who spent last season with Cincinnati.
Helms is due to earn $2.15 million next season, and if the Phils move him, they would need to find another third baseman. Detroit’s Brandon Inge is a potential target, but he is owed $19.1 million over the next three seasons, and it is uncertain if the Tigers would agree to cover a portion of that commitment.
Meanwhile, free agents Mike Lamb and Pedro Feliz are still unsigned, and trade targets include Joe Crede of the Chicago White Sox and Scott Rolen of St. Louis.
Rowand up next
One by one the top free-agent center fielders have been plucked from the market. First Torii Hunter, now Andruw Jones. The bulk of the attention now turns to Aaron Rowand, but his chances of returning to Philadelphia do not look any better than they did before the Winter Meetings.
Phillies general manager Pat Gillick called Rowand’s chances of returning to Philadelphia a "long shot" after a 30-minute meeting with the player’s agent, Craig Landis.
"We’re definitely at an impasse," he said. "I don’t predict the future, but I’d say that if they don’t change their position, it’s rather a long shot. That’s a fair assessment on [Gillick’s] part."
Padres, Bradley nearing deal
The Padres and free agent Milton Bradley are close to finalizing a one-year deal to bring the outfielder back to San Diego for another season.
Kuroda list at three
Highly sought after right-hander Hiroki Kuroda has scheduled visits to three U.S. cities — Seattle, Los Angeles and Phoenix.
The 32-year-old Kuroda is believed to have received a four-year offer from the Mariners.
Nationals land Boone, re-sign Pena, Langerhans
The Nationals have signed free-agent third baseman Aaron Boone to a one-year, $1 million contract plus incentives.
Washington also signed outfielder Wily Mo Pena to a one-year extension plus an option for 2009. Ryan Langerhans signed a one-year, $500,000 contract if he makes the Major League team. Otherwise, he will receive $300,000.