Latest notes from the GM meetings
Print Email Blog This Subscribe
Ken Rosenthal / FOXSports.com
Posted: 10 hours ago
NAPLES, Fla. - Notes from the general managers' meetings:
How hot is free-agent right-hander Gil Meche? His agent, Casey Close, says that more than half of the teams in the majors have expressed interest in the pitcher, with about one-third of them indicating that Meche is their top priority.
Gil Meche's services are apparently in demand by a number of clubs. (Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images)
Meche, 55-44 lifetime with a 4.65 ERA, is similar to what A.J. Burnett was last off-season, a 28-year-old with upside. Many executives believe that Meche, who has spent his entire career with the Mariners, would be best in a low-pressure market, but the Yankees and Red Sox like him, as do two other AL East teams, the Orioles and Blue Jays.
The Cubs are another possibility; Meche played for new manager Lou Piniella with the Mariners.
The Brewers and Orioles have discussed a trade that would send outfielder Kevin Mench to Baltimore for right-hander Rodrigo Lopez; the Orioles also have expressed interest in another Brewers outfielder, Geoff Jenkins, but their bigger priority is believed to be free-agent left fielder Carlos Lee.
For the Brewers, the idea behind acquiring Lopez or a similar pitcher would be to stockpile rotation options so they could entertain trade offers for one of their better veterans, most likely left-hander Doug Davis.
Over the past three seasons, the Diamondbacks' Livan Hernandez is the only pitcher to make more starts than Davis — and the difference is that Hernandez has started 104 games and Davis 103.
Believe it or not, teams are contacting the Yankees about trading for right-hander Carl Pavano; the Rockies are one club that might have interest if the Yankees paid a portion of the $21 million that Pavano is owed over the next two seasons.
The Yankees, naturally, say they won't give Pavano away; their public position is that they want him to get healthy and be productive. Still, it's difficult to imagine the Yankees rejecting even a mediocre offer for a pitcher who has been a severe disappointment.
One rotation possibility that the Yankees might consider, with or without Pavano: Right-hander Scott Proctor, who was one of the team's best relievers last season.
One agent says he expects the Blue Jays to be very active, explaining, "I think they feel the division is ready to be taken." The Jays' rotation could be among the league's best if they retain free-agent left-hander Ted Lilly or replace him with a comparable starter.
For the moment, the Jays are saying they will need to be overwhelmed to trade center fielder Vernon Wells, who is a free agent after next season; the team's chances of signing Wells to a contract extension might be best if they win with him in 2007.
The Dodgers were interested in signing third baseman Aramis Ramirez as a free agent even though some club officials believe that Class AAA third baseman Andy LaRoche might be their prospect who is closest to the majors.
LaRoche likely would have moved to the outfield or perhaps been traded if the Dodgers had signed Ramirez, who chose to remain with the Cubs.
Instead, LaRoche could be next year's Russell Martin, forcing his way into the Dodgers' plans. He is a more disciplined hitter than outfielder Matt Kemp and better at going to the opposite field.
Yes, the Devil Rays bid for the negotiating rights to Japanese third baseman Akinori Iwamura, but they wouldn't necessarily play him at third.
The Rays like that they could plug Iwamura into a number of positions: Second base, outfield, even first as a last-ditch measure.
Speaking of the Rays, a rival scout who saw shortstop Ben Zobrist in the Arizona Fall League says that the former Astros' prospect is as good a player as the Twins' Jason Bartlett — and the scout offers the same opinion about Giants second baseman Kevin Frandsen.
Finally, the Angels have not inquired about Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, but after getting shut out on Aramis Ramirez, they would be wise to revisit the possibility of acquiring Tejada to play third.
The Orioles would perk up if the Angels offered the same package that they did last summer — right-hander Ervin Santana and shortstop Erick Aybar. Signing left-hander Barry Zito as a free agent would create an opportunity for the Angels to trade Santana or another of their young starters.
Ken Rosenthal is FOXSports.com's senior baseball writer.