Report from the GM meetings

November, 4, 2008
Notes from the GM meetings in Dana Point, Calif.:

• The Cardinals are looking to upgrade their offense and see the middle infield as the most likely place to do so. Ideally, they would add one solid bat there and complement that player with a good defensive player at the other middle spot. They're also looking to add one or two lefties in the pen.

• The Rangers are exploring the free-agent pitching market but don't expect to spend a ton of money. They're expected to pick up Hank Blalock's option soon.

• The Rockies would like to add some relief help through free agency or trade, especially a reliever with some late-game or closing experience. They're also in the market for a left-hander. Their top pitching prospect, Jhoulys Chacin, could make his debut in a relief role in 2009 even though he projects as a starter long-term.

• The Orioles likely will be players for free agents who are already "motivated to come to Baltimore," meaning players with Maryland ties -- Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett. Neither player would block any of the Orioles' many prospects. They would entertain serious offers for catcher Ramon Hernandez, knowing that über-prospect Matt Wieters could easily start the year in the majors and that several contenders are looking for short-term catching solutions. It's not out of the question that they would fast-track their top 2008 draft pick, left-handed starter Brian Matusz, by starting him at AA Bowie, although it's just as likely that he'll begin in the Carolina League, as Wieters and right-hander Jake Arrieta did.

• The Rays need to address their right field and DH holes; if they find a strong solution in one spot, they're open to using another platoon to fill the other spot. They don't have much money available to sign free agents because they have seven players up for healthy raises in arbitration and have several players about to receive increases through long-term contracts (including James Shields, Scott Kazmir and Evan Longoria). They have some pitching depth to deal.

• The Royals would like to sign Zack Greinke to a long-term deal, but if he doesn't agree to it, they would make him available.

• The Javy Vazquez-to-the-Mets rumor appears to have originated in the Chicago camp, and the White Sox are keen to move him.

• A.J. Burnett expects to get multiple five-year offers after he formally opts out of his deal (his agents have already told Toronto that they intend to do so). They'll continue to talk to the Blue Jays before he becomes a free agent next week.

• When asked if Russell Martin were available, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said "no."


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