Big Free Agents Float Demands
It's the second day of the annual GM meetings, and some of the contract demands of the biggest free agents are starting to become clearer already. That, and there's a stronger sign than ever that Rockies slugging outfielder Matt Holliday will be on the way to a new destination next spring, too: he's selling his Denver house.
Now to the biggest names. According to ESPN's Buster Olney, first baseman and slugging switch-hitter Mark Teixeira is expected to command $20 million a year, perhaps over as long as 5-6 years. Olney has the Yankees in on him at that price. That's the same contract they gave Jason Giambi, so it's not like they haven't been there before. Meanwhile, the pinstripes can't expect to get Teixeira without a fight. Olney thinks the Red Sox are very legitimate players for Teixeira -- he foresees a scenario in which, if they signed him, the Sox would move Kevin Youkilis to left field in order to keep both Mike Lowell and Youkilis' bats in the lineup -- and the Angels have also said that keeping Teixeira is absolutely their top priority, ahead of re-signing closer Francisco Rodriguez, at least according to the L.A. Times. Of course, that also seems to make the Orioles a pretty big long shot. It's not that the O's can't dish out $120MM over six years, but can anyone actually see them doing it?
According to CBS Sports' Scott Miller, Padres GM Kevin Towers is referencing the deal that brought Teixeira to Anaheim last summer -- as well as the Diamondbacks' trade for Dan Haren -- as swaps he'd like to model a potential deal for Jake Peavy on. This comes simultaneously with word from Peavy's agent that he hasn't, in fact, approved a potential trade to the Yankees, Angels or Red Sox. That seems to indicate he really is serious about staying in the NL, which should make the Cubs (Felix Pie, Bugs Bunny curveball specialist Rich Hill and Ronny Cedeno) and the Dodgers (James McDonald and maybe Chad Billingsley?) prime candidates, along with the Braves.
The Tacoma News-Tribune is first on the scene with potential numbers for Manny Ramirez. Agent Scott Boras is allegedly looking for around $27 million a year ... for four to five years at least. Seems likely the Dodgers would match those terms for a season or two, but not for the length Boras is shooting for, which could make the Manny situation a protracted offseason battle. Still, as Larry LaRue points out, when the Brewers pick up a $10 million option on a guy like Mike Cameron, how can one not think that Manny will get that money?
On the pitching front, the Mets, somewhat surprisingly, don't seem to be in early or heavy on closer Francisco Rodriguez. Instead, they seem to be focusing on Rockies back-ender Brian Fuentes, though Newsday's Ken Davidoff says that doesn't mean K-Rod won't end up in Queens eventually. If neither one of those two work out, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal likes the chances of Kerry Wood or Joe Beimel finishing games for the Metropolitans.
Looking for a surprising name that's drawing tons of attention? Get ready for to hear a lot of chatter about Padres shortstop Khalil Greene. The San Diego Union-Tribune's Tom Krasovic has the Orioles, Reds and Tigers poking around on Greene, who is a player who actually makes a ton of sense for the Orioles. The most surprising suitor? That has to be Boston, whose young shortstop Jed Lowrie seemed to come into his own after replacing injured Julio Lugo in the playoffs. In the LaRue piece from the Tacoma News-Tribune, he said the Red Sox were offering center fielder Coco Crisp for Greene. That would give Boston two surplus shortstops, both with potential for significiant interest (Lowrie because of his youth, Julio Lugo -- recent subpar offense seasons aside -- for his athleticism and speed).
November 4, 2008; 12:54 PM ET
Categories: Angels , Braves , Brewers , Cubs , Diamondbacks , Dodgers , Mets , Orioles , Padres , Phillies , Red Sox , Rockies , Tigers , Yankees
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