Let’s use this post for minor updates on previous rumors we have heard from the winter meetings and other minor tidbits. Unless something new or substantial comes along, we will continue to update this post the rest of the day.
[Update: 1:46pm] Andrew Friedman says the Rays have not made any formal offers to any free agents but have discussed parameters.
[Update: 1:21pm] Jayson Stark is reporting that the Angels have begun negotiating with Raul Ibanez as he is their backup plan should Mark Teixeira sign elsewhere…Just spit-ballin’ here, but we have to think that Ibanez is low on the Rays’ wish list.
[Update: 12:16pm] About 13 picks have gone by in the Rule 5 draft and nobody has taken Eddie Morlan. Is it possible nobody think Morlan can be hidden in a major league bullpen?
[Update: 12:00pm] Buster Olney chimes in on the Rays quest for a power hitter, noting that the situation is very good for the Rays with 8 top-level free agents and only 6 teams that appear to be in the market for a corner outfielder/DH type. He also notes that the free agents may find the Rays a very attractive one-year option. The Rays speedy lineup and solid bats could mean a solid season for one of the free agents as they gear up for another free agent run after the ’09 season when the market may be more favorable…Another benefit to the Rays signing one of these free agents to a one-year deal on the cheap is the secondary benefit of the two draft picks the Rays would receive when the player leaves next season.
[Update: 11:33am] MLB Trade Rumors has a few links regarding Rocco Baldelli. The Red Sox may be backing off of Baldelli and the Reds may be interested. Rocco’s agent initiated talks with the Reds, which seems strange as Rocco would seem to prefer an AL team where he can DH. But later, Joe McDonald reported on a situation at the roulette table in which Dusty Baker and Co. were betting “on No. 5 for Rocco Baldelli.” Seriously.
[Update: 11:28am] Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is saying the White Sox are the leading contender to land the services of Bobby Abreu, noting that the Rays “won’t offer the kind of money he’s looking for.”
[From The Hangover] Two writers are reporting that Milton Bradley has become the Cubs top target to play right field with Raul Ibanez possibly as a fall-back plan. The Rays will likely wait out the negotiations and hope that Bradley and the Cubs fail to reach a deal. If that happens, the Rays may be next in line for Bradley despite the acquisition of Matt Joyce. With the Rays, Bradley can spend a considerable amount of time at DH…Right now it looks as if the Rays top two targets, Bradley and Jason Giambi are both likely heading elsewhere. Would the Rays prefer Ibanez or Bobby Abreu at $8-10 million (and a first round draft pick in the case of Ibanez) over Ken Griffey at $3-4 million?