Notebook: The I-95 Rumor Drive

…information in this notebook comes from a collection of conversations with a very friendly assistant general manager, fellow bloggers, beat writers, team sources, agents and media departments, all associated with both american and national league teams…

…enjoy…

The Orioles are being quite coy with regards to SS Miguel Tejada, which is understandable considering he wants out of Baltimore.  Though several reports suggest Tejada has tempered his demands, most people seem to disagree, with one assistant general manager referring to the remarks as, “good ol’ PR’ing.”…

…i don’t know exactly what ‘good ol’ pr’ing,’ is, but it was too funny of a quote not to print…

…anyway

As of now, the only teams making any significant headway in trade talks for the All-Star shortstop are the Red Sox, Phillies and Houston…

A deal with the Cubs, essentially swapping Tejada and RHP Mark Prior, was discussed, but not close to occurring, as Baltimore held firm in its demands for specific upper-level prospects, namely OF Felix Pie, among others.  Also, the O’s would rather acquire RHP Carlos Zambrano, not Prior, which the Cubs spurned…

Talks between Baltimore and the Cubs have reached a standstill, with the Orioles turning their attention to Boston, and others…

Several people high-up in organizations not involved in these talks seem to feel that unless Boston and Baltimore can work out a deal that sends money to the Orioles with Sox OF Manny Ramirez, a three-way trade will have to occur, since Baltimore refuses to pay full-price for Ramirez…

The Mets, Red Sox and Devil Rays have talked on-and-off several times over the last six months regarding a variety of three-way deals that would send Ramirez to the Mets, and a confusing combination of players to Boston and Tampa.  One inside source explained, “with so many players involved, making so much money, teams tend to get scared and shut down talks because they think they’re getting shafted,” which could explain why nothing has ever materialized…

A verity of very dizzy, baseball insiders claim to have heard about deals sending Mets OF Cliff Floyd to Baltimore or to Boston, Ramirez to the Mets or to Baltimore, Rays 1B Aubrey Huff to the Mets or Boston or Baltimore or the Cubs, Mets RHP Aaron Heilman to the Rays or to Boston and Mets OF prospect Lastings Milledge to Boston or Tampa Bay if Rays OF Joey Gathright ends up in Boston…

At this point, today’s report from Gotham Baseball even sounds logical, which is a rumored four-way deal sending Floyd, Mets RHP Kris Benson, Huff and SS Julio Lugo to the O’s, Tejada to the Sox and Ramirez to the Mets, while Tampa gets a boat load of youngsters…

…man, i hope i don’t get traded, too…

“Some one is either full of crap and doing a lot of work to sell newspapers, or its legit…either way it’s all pretty good theater from where I’m sitting,” a rival executive to Baltimore and Boston told me while laughing from afar…

The general consensus is that Baltimore’s game plan is to put several Tejada-irons in the fire, weigh out its options and make a move sooner than later – and the Sox will not move on Ramirez until they know where the O’s stand…

At the end of the day, it sounds like the most logical and most likely deal to occur is the one rumored about in today’s Boston Globe, sending Ramirez, RHP Matt Clement and cash to the Orioles for Tejada.  “As soon as they work out the money, and come to grips that they’re both in the same division, that’s what will happen,” another baseball insider/observationalist said.  Nearly everyone I talked with seems to agree, which will most likely infuriate Mets GM Omar Minaya and the gang in Tampa Bay…

News: Ortiz Signs with Nationals

According to the Associated Press, the Nationals and free-agent RHP Ramon Ortiz agreed to a one-year deal…

Ortiz was 9-11 with a 5.36 ERA in 30 starts for the Reds last season…

…ortiz, who has repeatedly told the media he is a starter, not a reliever, will join the nationals starting rotation, whereas most teams were likely interested in him being a reliever, like the mets…so good for him…

News: Mets 2B Hernandez Wins ROY

At MetsDaily.com, John Strubel writes that Mets 2B-SS Anderson Hernandez has been named 2005 Rookie of the Year in the Dominican Winter League…

…why are they dishing out rookie of the year when the season is still being played…

Through 40 games for Licey, Hernandez is batting .307…

…several of you e-mailed this information to me over the last few days…i did not post it, however, because i could not find an actual news link supporting the information…also, i don’t speak spanish, making the process that much harder…

…i’m not sure where strubel’s info comes from, as well…but for now, it will have to do…

…tenga un d

Buzz: How to Trade for Catalanotto

In yesterday’s Toronto Star, Geoff Baker reported that the recent trades for 3B Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay have the Jays looking to move either 1B-3B Shea Hillenbrand, 3B Corey Koskie, 3B-1B Eric Hinske and 2B-OF Frank Catalanotto

…also, yesterday, i entertained whether the mets could benefit from acquiring catalonotto to play second and fill-in occasionally at a corner-outfield spot

In today’s Toronto Sun, Bob Elliot writes that the Jays will first look to move Hinske and Koskie, before discussing Catalanotto and Hillenbrand…

which will not be easy…

…so, i talked with baker about the jay’s interest in catalanotto…

According to Baker, the Jays are in need of a young, major-league ready catcher, or a young, powerful outfielder.  Also, he adds, “The priority will be to move one of Hinske and Koskie, and I think Catalanotto will be used as an incentive to get a team to take one.”…

…meaning, if you want catalanotto, make room on your roster for hinske or koskie, as well…

…which is something that would not interest the mets, seeing as a) they have no need for a dh-third base type, and b) hinske and koskie are each owed roughly $10 million over the next two seasons…

Morning: Two Players Return to Former Teams

According to the Associated Press, the Yankees and free-agent 2B Miguel Cairo have agreed to a one-year, $900,000 deal…

…so cairo is playing musical new york chairs…i like it…

Also, the D’Backs and free-agent OF Eric Byrnes agreed to a one-year deal worth roughly $2 million, writes the Arizona Republic

…the buzz from shea is that the mets and byrnes talked briefly, but a contract was not discussed…

Morning: The Manny-for-Tejada Machine

At ESPN.com, Peter Gammons writes that the Orioles “are seriously weighing” a swap of Red Sox OF Manny Ramirez and RHP Matt Clement for SS Miguel Tejada

The Boston Globe reports that while the O’s are interested in such a trade, they would like the Sox to pay part of Ramirez’s tab…

The AP, however, citing an O’s official, reported last night that Baltimore could soon end all trade talks for Tejada…

…tough business, man…

Meanwhile, the Sox continue to talk with the Mariners about a trade sending M’s OF Jeremy Reed to Boston.  According to the Seattle Times, the Mariners are asking for RHP Jon Papelbon or LHP Jon Lester, which Boston is unwilling to do…

the sox are going to hold up the market for a while it seems…these two players are such huge names, that any team with a chance at landing on of them, such as the mets, are going to be slowed by playing the waiting game…