Thursday, January 22, 2004

Quick updates 

This article from the PI indicates that the M's will have Pat Gillick and chief Latin American scout Bob Engle on hand to watch Maels Rodriguez today. Gillick's involvement certainly shows a high degree of interest on the M's part. Rodriguez agent has backed off comments that his client expects the 4yr/$32M contract that Jose Contreras received last year to be a starting point, but Rodriguez is likely to be pricy. Twins and A's won't be there because they assume he will be too expensive.

According to the PI, the M's have had NO contact with Scott Boras about Pudge Rodriguez. However, I learned something I did not know...
Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi and Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, are old pals and talk frequently.
I don't know if I want my GM to be "pals" with Scott Boras, unless it gets me a very un-Boras-like discount.

Times man Larry Stone indicates the M's won't even think about Pudge until Kaz' situation is resolved. He does add that while the M's are unlikely to match the Tigers 4yr deal, it's possible that Rodriguez might accept a shorter deal for similar money to play for a contending team that features fellow Puerto Rican Edgar Martinez, who is idolized by his countrymen.

Jim Street at MLB gives us an update on Rafael Soriano and indicates that the M's plan on using him out of the bullpen this year, but give no quotes to that effect. I certainly think that barring trade or injury to the Fab 5 that he will start in the pen.

Japan's All-times saves leader, Shingo Takatsu, whom I wrote about last week, will sign a one-year, $1 million with option deal with the Chicago White Sox if he passes a physical. A source said that the White Sox were the only team to offer "Mr. Zero" the closer role, leaving Billy Koch once again out in the cold.

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