Braves make offer to Tazawa

November, 5, 2008
Notes from Day 2 at the GM meetings in Dana Point, Calif.:

• Atlanta has made a formal offer to Junichi Tazawa but wouldn't confirm what the terms of the offer were. Tazawa's contract with his industrial league team requires him to participate in a tournament in mid-November, so he technically isn't free to sign with an MLB team until after that tournament is completed.

• Despite media reports to the contrary, Jeff Francoeur's name has not come up in trade talks.

• The Indians are looking for a pitcher or pitchers who can help them pitch toward the end of the game, with closer experience a plus but not a requirement. They also would like to add one infielder who can have some impact, be it offensively, defensively or both. They're open to moving Asdrubal Cabrera to third base, or Jhonny Peralta to third base and Cabrera to shortstop, if they find their external options are better in the middle infield than at third base. They also would like to acquire a starter to sit in their rotation between Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona among their host of internal 4/5 starter candidates, but that may not be realistic.

• Ricky Romero's strong finish in Triple-A might set him up to help the Blue Jays in the rotation or in the bullpen in 2008. Also, keep an eye on diminutive reliever Tim Collins -- listed (generously, perhaps) at 5-foot-7 -- a left-hander with a very sharp curveball and good changeup who missed a ton of bats at low-A Lansing this year.

• Detroit's payroll woes might have been exaggerated; GM Dave Dombrowski indicated that the Tigers don't need to cut payroll and actually have some money to work with but that they don't expect to be as aggressive on top free agents as they have been in recent years. The confusion might come from the difference between the way their payroll is reported, based on the average annual values of long-term contracts, and the cash basis they use to calculate their payroll internally. Also, 2008 first-rounder Ryan Perry threw extremely well in Instructional League and is a dark horse candidate to make their bullpen in the spring. The Tigers' player development staff closed his delivery off, and he showed improved command in Florida.

Los Angeles Angels right-hander Nick Adenhart will have an opportunity to pitch for them in 2009, but the "ball is in his court," according to GM Tony Reagins. The team still believes in his stuff, but he needs to "take ownership in his career" and show more consistency to earn a spot in the rotation.


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