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December 4, 2007 at 3:44 PM

Huge X-Mas gifts in Nashville

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No, not for the Mariners. Nor the Los Angeles Angels. But the Detroit Tigers have apparently gone out and landed Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Dontrelle Willis for a package of up to six players, including outfielder Cameron Maybin and pitcher Andrew Miller. Details are still being worked out.
This development could have reprecussions on the trade front, but not, apparently, where Johan Santana is concerned. Despite wild rumors all afternoon, my Los Angeles sources tell me there was absolutely nothing to talk that the Angels were prepared to swoop in with a package for Santana at the last moment. Sure, the rumor makes some sense now that Angels’ trade target Cabrera is going to Detroit.
The Angels have all those prospects they were dangling on the Cabrera front that could be shipped off to the Twins for Santana. But it’s not happening, folks. Don’t forget, the Angels still want to upgrade their offense and will try to get in on O’s shortstop Miguel Tejada. To do that, they will need some prospects to use as trade bait, not to mention big bucks to pay Tejada. How are they supposed to pay $90 million to Torri Hunter, $150 million to Santana and then more to Tejada? They wouldn’t be able to afford the cost of flying to their games. Despite the attractiveness of having three Cy young candidates in Santana, John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar going back-to-back-to-back, it’s a no-go.
Word out here is, this derby is Boston’s to lose. Talk in the hall is that the deal will be done within 24 hours.
As for the Mariners, lots of talk, no real action yet. Not a surprise. They’ve been linked to dozens of rumors. Any living, breathing arm is being looked at.
The Erik Bedard front is getting grim, with word the Dodgers have offered Matt Kemp and Jonathan Broxton to the Orioles. Broxton would be the new Baltimore closer and Kemp (who put up big numbers his rookie season) is looked upon as more of a sure thing from Baltimore’s perspective than uproven Seattle commodity Adam Jones.
The M’s also talked to Bob Garber, the agent for second baseman Mark Loretta. But don’t expect Loretta to sign with Seattle. He’s being pursued by the Rockies and — when push comes to shove — utility infielders would usually rather play in the NL, where they get used more often. My contacts in Colorado tell me Loretta is enthused about heading there for that very reason.
Tim Lincecum and Ray Durham/Rich Aurilia for Richie Sexson? Two words: not happening.
Yeah, the deal sounds pretty lopsided in Seattle’s favor. My hunch is the M’s would have to throw in another, younger bat as well. Ben Broussard is a year away from free agency and that won’t get it done.
And what are the M’s supposed to do with Durham or Aurilia? Neither can hit or play defense all that well any more.
If the idea is to push Jose Lopez with Durham, how are you going to do it with a guy who can’t play defense or hit? Yeah, Durham helps you get rid of Sexson, but…a big of a wasted roster space in my humble opinion. I know the team wants to move him, but this smacks as a little too desperate. I wouldn’t get excited about it.
As for the Giants, I’d think Lincecum is too high a price to pay in that swap. Can’t see it happening. Not even if Wlad Balentien is tossed in. Start talking Adam Jones, or Jeff Clement and that could be different. But you know, we’ve all been down that road before and this is where talks go off the rails.
By the way, I think I found the “source” for all of those Sexson-Durham rumors lurking amongst the plantlife in one of the atriums here. Have a look below.
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One thing is certain: Lopez’s image (no that’s not him in the photo) is taking a beating at these meetings. Folks far and wide are asking me what he did to get the M’s so down on him. In a nutshell, it’s his attitude. They don’t like it. As we wrote at season’s end, Lopez has a lot to prove this coming spring (if he makes it to camp). That said, it seems premature to be giving up on him entirely. But a push from a utility veteran wouldn’t hurt. Loretta makes a lot of sense. Durham does not.
What else am I hearing? That Japanese outfielder Kosume Fukodome is almost certainly going to sign with the Chicago Cubs, so forget about a Raul Ibanez deal to Chicago. Was never a realistic scenario once Fukodome got on the radar.
On the other Japanese front, with pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, the M’s are in-tough with at least a half-dozen other clubs. Word out here is the M’s could have him with a four-year offer. We’ll see if that happens. As far as I know, it hasn’t yet.

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