Only big names unaffected by economic climate
• Ken Williams is one of the winter's most significant wheelers and dealers. He is marketing Javier Vazquez, Bobby Jenks, Jermaine Dye and others as he tries to overhaul the White Sox. The Mets are afraid of the red flag on Jenks, whose strikeout rate has dropped precipitously from 50 in 39 1/3 innings in 2005 to 38 in 61 2/3 innings this past season. And although GM Omar Minaya checked in on Sabathia, it does not mean the Mets will get into a bidding war with the Yankees for the 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner.• Scouts in Arizona for the Arizona Fall League and the White Sox's minor league people are convinced that Gordon Beckham, the eighth pick in the MLB draft this past June, will be Chicago's everyday second baseman by June. • The Rangers are setting a high bar for any of their catchers in a trade. The Tigers found the asking price on Gerald Laird too high, and Boston wouldn't part with either Clay Buchholz or two out of the Justin Masterson/Nick Hagadone/Michael Bowden trio for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Nolan Ryan is intrigued by Kerry Wood, but to afford Wood, the Rangers would have to deal Hank Blalock. • The Marlins have found an interested market for Jeremy Hermida, including the Cubs, Rays and others. • While the Tigers are out looking for a shortstop, Jim Leyland doesn't dismiss the idea of putting Brandon Inge back at the position at which he was a college All-American. Inge is athletic enough, and unlike at catcher, where he spent his time this past season, would play at a position he played while growing up.