• The GM Alumni Club (Gerry Hunsicker, Wayne Krivsky, Jim Duquette, Paul DePodesta): Hunsicker seems unlikely to give up a tremendous gig in Tampa Bay. Krivsky deserves another chance after dramatically upgrading the Reds' talent pool.
• No longer interim (Pete Mackanin, Joel Skinner): Mackanin got trampled in Cincinnati because the Reds couldn't resist sprinting after a bigger name (Dusty Baker), but he actually did a terrific job: He took over a team that was 20 games under .500 and went 29-19 in his first 48 games until the Reds' regularly scheduled rash of injuries hit. He managed 13 years in the minor leagues and deserves another go-round.
• Phretting in Philly: With the help of a number of clubs that have spoken with the Phillies, we've assembled this shopping list of starting pitchers it appears they've at least kicked tires on: Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Bronson Arroyo and (surprisingly) Jarrod Washburn. Bedard just hit the market, so you can add his name any minute now.
• Seeing Red: Despite all the talk about the Reds' trading Junior Griffey and/or Adam Dunn, the player who might attract the most interest is actually Ryan Freel, a guy who's "on everybody's radar," said one executive.
We've heard Freel's name connected, in some form, with every contender in the NL East (Phillies, Braves, Mets, Marlins), just for starters.
• Junior Griffey Rumor of the Week: It's officially OK to ignore last week's Rumblings item that suggested our man Junior was no longer interested in a triumphant return to Seattle. In recent days, he's been telling players on other clubs he now wants to finish his career in Seattle. Meanwhile, we're hearing more and more people in baseball say that because his bat looks soooooo sloooooow, that final chapter needs to come sooner, not later.
"I keep thinking he's going to get traded to Seattle for next to nothing, spend the last two months there and then retire," said an official of one team. "If I were him, I'd just retire at the end of the year -- retire as a Red or a Mariner, tip your cap and say goodbye. Does he really want to bounce around and end his career by getting released by Tampa Bay in July? Is that really how he wants to go out? Based on the way he's playing, that's a scenario you could actually see happening."