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Will Barry Bonds leave the Bay to join the Red Sox?

1. Manny Ramirez, Lf Red Sox
The Red Sox are focusing on getting a closer in return for Manny Ramirez, The Boston Globe reports. In talks with the Dodgers, the Red Sox were asking for 22-year-old Jonathan Broxton. In talks with the Angels, they wanted closer Francisco Rodriguez or setup man Scot Shields. J.J. Putz and Rafael Soriano were discussed with the Mariners. A rumored three-way deal involving the Nationals Chad Cordero and the Giants was talked about, the newspaper reports. Teams interested: Mariners, Phillies, Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Angels, Rangers

2. Barry Zito, P Oakland Athletics
Rangers owner Tom Hicks is driving up the price for Barry Zito, The New York Daily News reports. After meeting with Zito and Boras last week in Texas, Hicks gushed about the left-hander’s intelligence, mental approach and how he matured into a leader of the A’s rotation the last couple of years. “I think he’d be a great fit for the Rangers,” Hicks told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The Mets also are interested in the 28-year-old starter, but they won’t outbid competitors for his services. Zito’s reported asking price of $90 million over six years.
The Dodgers, Orioles, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Giants and Padres are other potential suitors for Zito.

3. Vernon Wells CF, Toronto Blue Jays
There is no shortage of interest in Vernon Wells, the Toronto Star reports. “We have some tire kickers,” Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi told the newspaper. “We have to see how serious teams are”. Wells is likely to command at least 20 million per when he eligible for free agency following the 07 season.Potential suitors for the center fielder include the White Sox, Dodgers, Phillies and Angels.

4. Barry Bonds OF, Giants
There is a strong chance Barry Bonds will return to the Giants, but the two sides are currently far apart in negotiations. Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris is playing hardball and asked the Giants for an $18 million, one-year contract plus a vesting option that could bring a similar salary in 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Clearly, the Giants don’t want to pay that much. Nevertheless, GM Brian Sabean insists they have genuine interest in the left fielder and that proposals and counter proposals have been exchanged. “Does it make baseball sense?” asked Sabean. “Yes.” The Twins and Red Sox are two sleeper teams that may jump at the chance to sign Bonds. Speculation is that if the Red Sox trade Manny, they will make a run at Bonds. How intriguing would that be.

5. Adam Laroche 1b, Atlanta Braves
Angels GM Bill Stoneman is believed to have met Monday night with Atlanta GM John Schuerholz to discuss a trade for Adam LaRoche, The Los Angeles Times reports. The 27-year-old first baseman hit .285 with 32 home runs and 90 runs batted in last season. According to the newspaper, the Angels believe they can swing a deal for him without giving up pitching.

6. Mike Piazza, Padres
The A’s have offered Mike Piazza a two-year deal to replace Frank Thomas as their designated hitter and are waiting to hear back from him, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. “Coming here, he’ll have a chance to get at-bats every day as a DH and play on a team that we think will compete again for the AL West,” A’s assistant GM Dave Forst told the newspapers. He said Piazza would be the DH almost exclusively and be third on the catching chart behind Jason Kendall and Adam Melhuse. Piazza also is weighing another offer from Texas.

7. Ted Lilly, P Blue Jays
The Cubs have offered left-hander Ted Lilly a four-year deal worth an estimated $40 million, the Chicago Tribune reports. Lilly, 30, who went 15-13 with a 4.31 ERA with the Blue Jays last season and is 59-58 lifetime with a 4.60 ERA, would give GM Jim Hendry a No. 2 pitcher to follow Carlos Zambrano in the rotation. Teams interested include the Blue Jays, Yankees and Giants that are still going hard after Lilly.

8. Gil Meche, P Mariners
The Royals are among the leading bidders for Gil Meche, the Kansas City Star reports. The free-agent right-hander is weighing offers from several clubs. The Cubs and Blue Jays are believed to be the Royals’ chief competition for the 28-year-old, who went 11-8 with a 4.48 ERA last season in 32 starts for the Mariners. The Cubs are the favorite to land Meche, in part because of his connection to new manager Lou Piniella from their time in Seattle.

9. Andy Pettitte, P Astros
Andy Pettitte is trying to decide between retiring and pitching again next year, The New York Daily News reports. His former teammate, Jorge Posada, believes Pettitte is headed back to the mound and has encouraged the left-hander to return to the Yankees. “He’ll pitch,” Posada told the newspaper. “He’s got plenty to go. He’s only 34, he’s got a lot of baseball left. If he wants to come back to New York, I’m pretty sure Yankee GM Brian Cashman would look at it and everybody would be happy. He came through with a lot of great games for us.”

10. Jon Leiber, P Phillies
The Phillies have made it known they are willing to trade Leiber The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The White Sox and the Pirates have been in discussions with the Phillies regarding Leiber.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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