Rowand could be odd man out

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The Manny Ramirez Great Trade Adventure will attract the most attention of any speculated deal this offseason, because he's Manny and they're the Red Sox. But it's also fraught with obstacles. Anytime there's a chance of Larry Lucchino and Gene Orza's being locked in a room and forced to agree on details, you have the potential for disaster.

If the lobby buzz at the Hyatt Grand Champions resort means anything, it's that trade talk will be abundant this winter. The conventional wisdom -- that teams will explore other options before spending money on a substandard free-agent crop -- appears to be right on the mark.

"It's going to be a slow-developing winter,'' said an executive at the GM meetings, "and there are going to be a lot of trades. It could be a fun offseason.''