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Around the Horn: Winter Meetings, Day One

Hope everyone enjoyed all of Dave's work today, both here, at Nationals Journal and in the paper. Still, even a man running on $3.79 coffee can only do so much, which is where Around the Horn can swoop in and try and keep you abreast of some of the other big plots that might be starting to emerge out in the Nevada desert. Without further ado, let's get the early Tuesday morning party rolling ...

-- Amidst all the rumors and speculation, one thing did happen: The Dodgers apparently signed Mark Loretta late Monday night/early Tuesday morning (via mlb.com's Ken Gurnick). The former Padres, Red Sox and Astros second baseman reportedly has agreed to a one-year, $1.4 million deal, a move which may make L.A. a little more willing to watch Casey Blake walk away, though by all accounts they're close to keeping him, too (FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, among others)

-- Oh, one more: The Tigers signed Adam Everett to fill their hole at short. Rosenthal says he's agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal.

-- Dave was on to something when he mentioned the shrinking Jake Peavy market, as we've been tracking here at BI all offseason. Now Chris DeLuca of the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that a three-team Peavy deal is very, very close. Sounds more and more like the Phillies, and not the Orioles, will be that third team, though. Thoughts on potentially missing on Felix Pie again, O's fans? It's not over yet ... Rosenthal is saying that the Cubs are still scrambling to sell whichever third team they can get involved.

-- Despite a significant amount of posturing to the contrary throughout the offseason, at least up until last week, the Mets look more and more like the eventual destination of Francisco Rodriguez. The New York Post's Joel Sherman says a deal is already close, and a number of outlets reported about either a two-year, $25 million deal with a third-year option (of various types of options) or a straight three-year deal on Monday.

-- The Dodgers are finally going to meet with Manny Ramirez, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, though there's no word whether player-rights advocate extraordinaire/money-grubbing, baseball ruining spawn of the devil (depending on how you view him; it's one or the other) Scott Boras will even deign to discuss L.A.'s prior offers and arbitration offer (which Ramirez eventually declined). When they do meet, GM Ned Colletti might not even sit in on the talks. Colletti talked to reporters about his unending frustration in a one-way street of communication about Ramirez (ESPN's Jerry Crasnick); now owner Frank McCourt will supposedly handle the Ramirez negotiations himself, at least so says CBS Sports' Danny Knobler.

-- The Yankees met with CC Sabathia for a second-straight day today, both allegedly at the behest of Sabathia himself, but the Yankees may not be waiting around for him to make up his mind before they add some starting pitching. New York Daily News writer Mark Feinsand is reporting that, after meeting with the former Brewers hurler today, the Yankees are planning to offer Ben Sheets a deal within 72 hours. Feinsand ballparks the forthcoming proposal as a two-year, $30 million pact, but who really knows. There hasn't been much of a developing offer around Sheets, so it's hard to see what might come his way. Since Sheets is a Type A free agent, the Yankees would have to forfeit an early pick to the Brewers to get him.

-- Want an interesting head scratcher? According to the Boston Globe's Tony Massarotti, the Red Sox are interested in Andy Pettitte. Massarotti admits that right now Boston's probably just kicking the tires, but even discussing Pettitte is a pretty bold move for the Sox.

-- Speaking of the Red Sox, one of the most interesting evolving scenarios is with free agent catcher and reigning Boston captain Jason Varitek, who theoretically lost a significant amount of leverage when the Tigers acquired Gerald Laird. That hasn't kept Boras from telling the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman that a number of teams are in on Varitek, but I can't figure out who. The Marlins? Hard to see how a team whose big move might be making a quiet run on former Marlins catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez could also muster a big deal for Varitek. The Astros? They say they aren't interested. The Dodgers? Colletti says it doesn't make sense. Could that leave the Yankees and Red Sox? New York doesn't need Varitek, but they could make a run on him if they felt it could cripple Boston. Or maybe the other team in New York, the Mets? They might need one if, like Dave wrote, they deal their current starter, former National Brian Schneider, to Boston to take Varitek's place. It's all a dizzying game of chess and musical chairs, and clearly no one has any idea how it'll pan out.

OK, that's a night for me. Enjoy the buzz tomorrow, and keep your eyes peeled for more from Dave ... if he can afford another cup of coffee to wake up.

By Cameron Smith  |  December 9, 2008; 2:50 AM ET
 
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Next: Loose Ends, Day 1

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