[7:35pm] Mark Bowman says that the Braves spoke with “at least six clubs” today about Rafael Soriano, and that they don’t consider the Rays the frontrunners.

[6:20pm] Marc Topkin reports that Rafael Soriano has yet to approve a trade to the Rays. And then there is this from Topkin’s Twitter: “Friedman, Braves GM Wren get off elevator together, walk toward press conf room …. then turn down hall to go to Scout of Year dinner.” So the Braves and Rays are definitely talking. They might be talking about whether to get the steak or salmon (always go steak), but they are talking.

[5:30pm] David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke with Braves GM Frank Wren who said “several teams” are talking to the Braves about Rafael Soriano and there have been “no discussions on money.”

[5:11pm] Tracy Ringolsby of Fox Sports says (scroll down to 4:07) the Rays are “looking like fruntrunner” for closer Rafael Soriano. This could be because the Astros (the other team in pursuit of Soriano) are close to a deal for Matt Lindstrom (a player the Rays were said to have “mild” interest in). Meanwhile, Jayson Stark says (via Twitter) that a deal for Soriano could be finalized tonight but that the Rays are “balking” at the money and “player(s).”

[4:09pm] And we finally have a team that has “expressed some interest” in Dioner Navarro. It is the Rangers…On a side note, you can also be sure the Rays are trying to trade Gabe Gross, another non-tender candidate, but we don’t expect there to be much demand for a corner outfielder.

[3:01pm] Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter) that the Rays are one of two teams trying to trade for relief pitcher Rafael Soriano. Soriano was a free agent that accepted arbitration from the Braves. His status as a Type A free agent may have made it unlikely that he would get as much in free agency as he would in arbitration. He made $6.1 million last season, and would almost certainly make $7-7.5 million in arbitration. So this would be a pricey acquisition for the Rays. This move also adds irony to Stuart Sternberg’s recent quote: “”The bank is full…There is no $7 million closer showing up.”

[11:51am] Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that there is no mystery team involved in the Milton Bradley trade talks and that the Rays remain the “most likely trade partner.” But at the same time Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says the Cubs are close to a deal that involves two other teams and neither is the Rays…Our heads are spinning.

[10:55am] Just a quick reminder that tomorrow is the Rule 5 draft. The Rays do have an open spot on the 40-man roster if they want to make a selection. The Rays’ Aneury Rodriguez could be one of the top pitchers available in the draft.

[10:52am] Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune thinks the Rays are still in contention for Milton Bradley with one source telling him that Bradley would go to a team rumored to be in the mix on “Day One.” Marc Topkin weighs in this morning on Bradley noting that the Cubs and Rays have tried involving other teams and even explored deferring some of Bradley’s contract.

[10:51am] The Mets have reportedly offered Benjie Molina a two-year deal. This is important as they are one team that is looking for catching help and could have been a fit for Dioner Navarro. So far we are yet to hear of any team expressing interest in Navarro despite a report that the Rays are trying to trade the catcher. Navi could be non-tendered if he is not traded by Saturday.

Yesterday we learned that the Rays talked to the White Sox about a Carl Crawford-for-Carlos Quentin swap and they asked the White Sox about Bobby Jenks, but didn’t like the price. Both deals appear to have been DOA. We also heard that the Cubs were close to trading Milton Bradley, but not to the Rays. And of course the big news was former Rays pitcher Edwin Jackson being traded during the winter meetings for the second year in a row. This time to the Diamondbacks with the Yankees getting Curtis Granderson.

hangoverNow let’s look at what came through late last night and this morning so far. We will update this post throughout the day with the latest buzz, so check back early and often. And if you really want the fresh scoops, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

  • Gordon Wittenmyer says the Cubs are ready to pull the trigger on a Milton Bradley deal and that it does not involve the Rangers or Rays. Jordan Bastian says it is not the Jays. And Wittenmyer earlier reported that it is not the Mariners.
  • The Rays are one of several teams taking a look at LaTroy Hawkins, however the Astros are “intent on bringing [Hawkins] back.”
  • Andrew Friedman referred to the free agent market for relief pitchers as “strong to quite strong.” We are not sure what the difference is between a “strong” market and a “quite strong” market, but we are pretty sure it has nothing to do with the availability of Troy Percival and Jason Isringhausen.
  • The Royals are in hot pursuit of catchers with names likes Jason Kendall, Jose Molina and Rod Barajas. Which leaves us wondering why they are not interested in Dioner Navarro.
  • And the Red Sox have claimed Ramon Ramirez off waivers from the Rays, but there is still time for other teams to submit claims.
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13 Comments

  1. Charles says:

    Hawkins would be a nice fit here, except I think he's going to be able to get more money elsewhere.

    The Granderson trade made me sad - he's been one of my favorite players for awhile, and now I have to root against him as part of MegaEvil, Inc.

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  2. Joel says:

    Apparently Theo Epstein was jealous of our Gabe monopoly last year, so he's decided to outdo us by grabbing all relievers named Ramon Ramirez. Bastard.

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  3. Rayhawk says:

    Latroy Hawkins has been lit up the last few years, hes another Percival.

    He has been traded almost every yr...too old good god why the retirees, I thought we got away from that with the renaming of the team.

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    • MJ says:

      Agreed, he's bounced around and his numbers just aren't that good. There must be better options at RP out there, this prob isn't going anywhere. I've heard plenty of O's fans who don't want this guy back at all.

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  4. Charles says:

    Since the Yanks cut him and he went to the Astros late in 2008, he's been their most reliable reliever, giving up 16 earned runs in 84+ innings and 89 appearances. That is not what I call lit up. His stint with the Yankees was definitely not a success, but prior to that, he pitched to a 2.48 home ERA in Colorado, which is nothing to sneeze at.

    The other way in which he's nothing like Troy Percival is that he is in great shape - a shape that's something other than "round".

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  5. KillaTapes says:

    Why are they leaving Anuery up for grabs? Didn't he show a lot of promise towards the end of the season?

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    • Good question. I don't know. He was a lotter better in the second half. But when deadline came for Rule5 eligibles, the Rays only had 3 spots available. Two went to Hellickson and Jennings. The last went to Alex Torres (from Kazmir trade). So instead of DFAing somebody like Ramon Ramirez (who was DFAd last week) they decided to leave Aneury unprotected. Even though there is an open spot now, it is too late to add somebody to keep out of Rule 5 draft.

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  6. Brixology says:

    I would like for someone to ask Friedman to characterize last year's reliever market.

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  7. MJ says:

    I have been hoping to hear Rafael Soriano's name come up w/ the Rays this whole off season. How would they make that work though? What pieces do the Braves need that we would be willing to give up?

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  8. Brixology says:

    Correia? Bonser?

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  9. Matt says:

    Well the braves need an outfield piece. Why haven't they considered Upton? I think he might fit nicely in Atlanta and we could take Soriano and maybe cash

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