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Tag:Edgar Renteria
Posted on: October 20, 2010 7:14 pm
 

Molina hits, Giants cheer

SAN FRANCISCO -- From the other coast, 3,000 miles away, the Giants are watching their former catcher help Texas bludgeon the Yankees. And they are loving it.

Nothing against the Yankees, understand.

But the Giants still love Bengie Molina.

"We're very, very excited for him," San Francisco starter Matt Cain said before the Giants and Phillies tangled in Game 4 here Wednesday. "We're loving watching him. It couldn't happen to a better person. He was great with us. I'm sure it's the same over there."

Cain and the other Giants hurlers pitched to Molina for nearly 3 1/2 years, from 2007 until Molina had to go when the Giants traded him to Texas on July 1 to make room for rookie Buster Posey.

Nothing personal, just the way baseball works.

Posey helped change the Giants season. And, as things turned out, Molina, 36, was the perfect addition for the Rangers.

Especially in New York Tuesday, when he crashed a three-run homer to help put away Game 4.

"Good for him," Giants shortstop Edgar Renteria said. "He's a good man. He deserves everything good.

"He helped a lot of guys in here."

One of them is Pablo "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval. Molina took Sandoval under his wing after Panda broke in with the Giants in 2008.

"He helped me with everything," Sandoval said. "Inside and outside of the field. How to deal with fans. People."

Molina entered Game 5 Wednesday hitting .417 against the Yankees in the ALCS with a .462 on-base percentage.

Likes: The Brewers could do worse than hiring Pat Listach as manager. He interviewed Wednesday. ... The pitching in this Giants-Phillies series has been a treat, just as expected. We've barely gotten over the Game 1 hype and here come Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay to hook back up for a Game 5 duel Thursday. ... Edgar Renteria may be at the end of his career, but he sure is going out strong. The guy is playing in this NLCS despite a completely torn biceps muscle in his left arm. Ouch. ... Credit Giants manager Bruce Bochy with maneuvering his lineup with the skill of an expert watch-man. ... Always a good thing when Clint Eastwood has a new movie out. Looking forward to seeing Hereafter.

Dislikes: First June Cleaver, now Mr. C. Tom Bosley, who will always be Happy Days' Howard Cunningham, passed away on Tuesday. Peace, Mr. C. I'll see ya on reruns. ... Look out, we're about to get Huey Lewis for the Game 5 national anthem here.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I keep a close watch on this heart of mine.
"I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
"I keep the ends out for the tie that binds.
"Because you're mine, I walk the line"

-- Johnny Cash, I Walk the Line

Posted on: October 19, 2010 2:02 pm
 

Giants order: Renteria leadoff, Uribe at third

SAN FRANCISCO -- Juan Uribe's MRI exam was "clean", according to Giants manager Bruce Bochy, with "nothing structurally wrong. It did show some inflammation, but he was fine once the swelling went down."

So consequently, this is how the Giants' Game 3 lineup shakes out Tuesday afternoon against the Phillies: Edgar Renteria is playing shortstop and leading off, Uribe is at third and hitting seventh and Aaron Rowand is playing center and hitting eighth.

Makes as much sense as anything the Giants could run out there, being that with Andres Torres on the bench, they don't exactly have the consummate leadoff hitter. Renteria's on-base numbers against Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels (.333 on-base percentage, .250 batting average at 6-for-24) qualifies him as much as just about anyone else.

Not exactly a powerhouse, but that's how the Giants and Bochy have won all season, by moving parts around and patching things together.

Meantime, lefty Aubrey Huff is dropped to sixth against the lefty Hamels, with Buster Posey hitting third, Pat Burrell fourth and Cody Ross fifth.

"We felt like we needed a leadoff hitter, and Edgar is our best option with Torres not in there," Bochy said.

Things still could shift if Uribe does not react well during batting practice today. In that case, the Giants would scratch him and play Pablo Sandoval at third.

Meantime, Bochy expects the struggling Torres (3-for-25 this postseason with 12 strikeouts) back in the lineup for Game 4 against the Phillies' Joe Blanton.

"I think stepping back will help him out," Bochy said of Torres. "And you say that about a lot of hitters who are struggling a little bit. And there's a lefty going today. And there were times when we gave him a day against left-handed pitching.

"But I think sitting back, watching the game, will give him a break. Especially mentally more than anything."

 

Posted on: October 18, 2010 9:33 pm
 

Batting around Giants Game 3 lineup options

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants went home from Monday's off-day workout expecting lineup changes for Game 3 but not quite sure what they would be.

Infielder Juan Uribe underwent an MRI exam on his bruised wrist and manager Bruce Bochy indicated he would not know whether Uribe would be a go until Tuesday.

"Yes, it will impact our lineup," Bochy said as the Giants worked out Monday. "If he's good to go, he'll be out there. So it's just a matter now of waiting to see how he feels and the results from the MRI."

The best guess as to the Giants' Game 3 lineup goes something like this: Edgar Renteria likely will play shortstop, either Uribe or Pablo Sandoval will start at third base and Aaron Rowand probably will play center field.

Bochy wasn't definitive as he finished preparations for Game 3, but there were indications that the Giants had seen enough -- for now -- of Mike Fontenot's shaky third base defense and of leadoff man Andres Torres' continued struggles (3-for-25 this postseason with 12 strikeouts).

On whether Uribe would play short or third if he's able to go at all, Bochy said, "I can't answer that right now. I'll talk to the guys as far as the whole lineup. But getting back to Uribe, he will impact how we go. We have a couple of options. We know whether Pablo is at third or Edgar plays short, Uribe at third, or if Juan can't go, you've got Edgar and Pablo."

A bit later, Bochy made it crystal clear: "If Juan is not available, yes, Pablo will be out there."

As for Torres, Bochy left that hanging, too -- with hints left all over the place.

"I'm not prepared to tell you what we're going to do until I talk to the players," Bochy said. "I know Andres is battling it right now."

So assuming Renteria is at short, Uribe or Sandova (likely Sandoval) is at third and Rowand in center, that leaves one more big question: Who will supplant Torres atop the lineup?

Hot-hitting Cody Ross is one option. Rowand is another. So is Renteria.

Looking at the numbers against Phillies starter Cole Hamels, Ross or Renteria would appear to be the best options. For his career, Ross is batting .300 (9-for-30) against Hamels with a .323 on-base percentage, four home runs and six RBIs. Renteria is at .250 (6-for-24) with a .333 OBP. Rowand is only hitting .200 (3-for-15) with a .200 OBP.

"Ross has done it [batted leadoff]," Bochy said. "When Torres wasn't in there, Row's done it. Edgar has done it. So these are things that we're talking about now."

Likes: No surprise that Tony La Russa will be back with St. Louis in 2011. How would any manager in his right mind leave a team whose centerpieces include Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday. ... Supposed to be beautiful 70 degrees when Game 3 of the NLCS starts here at 1:07 p.m. local time Tuesday. ... Critics are giving solid reviews to the new Elton John/Leon Russell disc The Union. But I may have to buy it just for the goofy cover shot of two weirdos at the piano. ...

Dislikes: Sure am glad I wasn’t on the road when Junior Seau drove off the cliff in my home town. Glad my wife wasn't on the road, too.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I'm just a guitar in the pawn shop on the corner
"Hey come on by and listen to my song
"I've seen at least a million of those tiny smokey barrooms
"And I've helped to heal some heartaches
"And I've helped to sell some beer
"And the last one to help me
"Just couldn't wait to sell me
"For 20 dollars and left me hanging here
"But I dream about the spot light
"And the roaring of the people
"And I wonder if I'm ever gonna hear 'em sing along"

-- Jamey Johnson, The Guitar Song

Posted on: October 17, 2010 7:25 pm
 

Giants scratch Uribe for Game 2

PHILADELPHIA -- The Giants have scratched shortstop Juan Uribe from their Game 2 lineup because of a bruised left wrist sustained Saturday night.

Veteran Edgar Renteria will replace Uribe at shortstop in San Francisco's lineup and hit eighth. Outfielder Cody Ross, the Game 1 hero with two home runs, will move up to sixth (from eighth).

Uribe suffered the injury, to his left wrist, while sliding into second in the Giants' 4-3 Game 1 win. As he slid by the bag, Uribe reached out to grab it with his left hand, and that's when it happened. He was in the Giants' original lineup and was not scratched until a couple of hours before game-time.

Renteria played in only one regular season game down the stretch after Sept. 17 for the Giants. He played in two Division Series games against the Braves, batting only twice (he singled both times).

One thing to remember about this late switch: Renteria has hit Philadelphia starter Roy Oswalt fairly well during his career, batting .281 (9-for-32) with a .333 on-base percentage in 32 at-bats.

Posted on: October 9, 2010 2:23 am
 

Glaus sets up Ankiel, Braves and baseball win

One small step for the Atlanta Braves, one giant leap for major league baseball.

Oh, and a belated Merry Christmas to the Braves as well.

Yessir. When the Braves agreed to terms with Troy Glaus last Christmas Eve, they did not exactly envision him playing third base with the season on the line in the 10th inning of the NL divisional playoffs.

Fact is, they did not envision Glaus playing third. Period, end of sentence.

So what was he doing, all brittle and lumbering, starting the Braves' most crucial 5-4-3 double play in years as they seized another game with their last licks and evened their series with the Giants at one game apiece with a 5-4, 11-inning, Rick Ankiel Special on Friday night?

Excellent question.

Short answer is, quite simply, it's the beauty of the game. Sometimes the best-laid plans are forcibly scrapped at the most inopportune times, and the game reverts back to the schoolyard. You play here, you play there, and we'll see what happens.

Long answer? Desperate for offense and with a hole to plug at first base, Braves general manager Frank Wren gambled that Glaus could learn a new position and add the bat Atlanta needed. It was a sizable gamble, too, in that the shoulder surgery Glaus underwent in January, 2009, allowed him to play in only 14 games for St. Louis that summer.

It worked fine for a time, especially in May, when Glaus collected 28 RBI in 27 games. But his production diminished as the summer wore on and then, on Aug. 12, came a season-changer: Chipper Jones was lost for the rest of the year to a knee injury.

So what happens? Wren acquires first baseman Derrek Lee from the Cubs ... and Glaus is such a team guy, such a Bobby Cox devotee, that he's all for bringing Lee aboard and volunteers to play third base while he's at it.

Not that the Braves took him up on it. Are you kidding? He's 33, he's 6-6 and 250 pounds, and Glaus had reached the part of his career where, if he did play third, the odds were far greater that he would hurt himself (and the team) than much good would happen.

Until Friday night became just late and crazy enough that the Braves were left without many options. And Glaus entered the game as an, ahem, defensive replacement in the 10th.

It figured that the first batter in the 10th, Edgar Renteria, immediately dropped a bunt in Glaus' direction. Do you know how many total chances Glaus has had at third in the past two seasons? Nine, that's how many. And just one this year, in the one appearance (two total innings) he had made there.

Renteria reached base, of course. And so did two other Giants.

And there in the bottom of the 10th, with one out and the largest crowd ever to gather at AT&T Park roaring, what should Buster Posey do but roll a 'tweener grounder -- it wasn't hit hard, but it wasn't a soft grounder, either -- in Glaus' direction.

And the big guy came up with it, wheeled and threw to second to start the 5-4-3, and the relay to first barely beat Posey. Said later throwing home for the force out was never an option.

One false move in the play, and Renteria scores and the Giants win.

Instead, Glaus was perfect, in both the plan and the execution.

And next inning, Ankiel blasts a fastball into the water. And somehow, Kyle Farnsworth keeps the Giants off the board in the bottom of the 11th.

Not only did it complete a rousing comeback for a down-and-out team that had seen Cox ejected nine innings earlier, it also breathed life back into a postseason in dire need of mouth-to-mouth.

Six outs from a fourth series going 2-0 when bearded Giants closer Brian Wilson was summoned by manager Bruce Bochy, baseball was edging close to four sweeps, a first round ending by Sunday evening, the next round not slated to begin until next Friday.

So what were we all supposed to do if the game went dark Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday?

Convene a national convention to bitch about the umpires?

But enough about a downer of a first round, something that has become an all-too-familiar event and might warrant baseball reviewing the playoff format.

Right now, all the Braves care about is that, somehow, they live.

And bleak as it may look with Jones and Martin Prado (oblique) done for the year -- and, quite possibly, closer Billy Wagner (oblique) to follow after he hurt himself in the 10th inning Friday -- Tim Hudson getting the ball for Game 3 in Atlanta on Sunday looks pretty darned good.

After they scored zero runs in their first 14 innings against the Giants, the Braves finished Friday with five in the last six innings.

They get a couple more Sunday, Hudson steps up and the Turner Field magic kicks in (the Braves' 56 home victories led the majors), who knows? The Giants -- and baseball -- might have a fight on their hands yet.

Posted on: November 25, 2008 6:52 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2008 6:55 pm
 

Free agency: Calm before the storm?

If you're wondering why there continues to be a whole lot of talk and little action on baseball's Hot Stove front this week, circle Dec. 1 on your calendar.

That's the deadline for clubs offering salary arbitration to any of their own free agents.

Most importantly, of course is this: If arbitration is offered, the signing team must compensate the player's old team with a draft pick. Now that might not be of concern to clubs chasing the biggest free-agent prizes this winter -- Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez, CC Sabathia, et. al. -- it definitely comes into play with the next-tier guys.

Consequently, many clubs are in wait mode until after Monday. Maybe San Francisco is interested in shortstop Edgar Renteria if Rafael Furcal signs elsewhere, but the Giants surely would wait until after Monday to see whether Detroit offers him arbitration (which the Tigers aren't expected to do).

And maybe Cleveland will make an offer to a free-agent closer -- Trevor Hoffman? Kerry Wood? -- but from where the Indians sit right now, in a market saturated with closers, it makes a whole lot more sense for them to wait and see who might be available that wouldn't cost them a draft pick.

While Dec. 1 is the date by which clubs must offer their free agents salary arbitration or cut bait with them for good, the players have until Dec. 7 to decide whether or not to accept.

Which is why a couple of executives with whom I've spoken this week said they think the winter meetings -- which begin Dec. 8 in Las Vegas -- will be where the action is this year.

***

The economy continues to be on the minds of front-office executives and may wind up affecting this winter's player market more than we thought.

"It's pretty treacherous for us," says Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro, whose needs include a closer and an infielder (second or third base or shortstop). "The economic situation is a real factor here. We're seeing it in season-ticket renewals. Some of our city issues pre-date the international and national economic issues, and those are amplifying our city issues.

"It's a challenge. We're trying to get our arms around it and see how it affects our revenues."

In Toronto, meanwhile, the Blue Jays already are resigned to not filling every item on their winter wish list (starting pitching, big bat in the middle of the lineup).

"The Canadian dollar isn't as strong, and we're taking a hit with the United States' dollar with the exchange rate," Blue Jays GM J.P. RIcciardi says. "The world in general is being affected by this, and to stick our head in the sand and say it's not affecting us is crazy.

"We're talking about people's discretionary spending, and they might not spend it."

Things have changed in Toronto, even from season's end to now.

"What we thought at the end of the season and what we think now is different," Ricciardi said.

***

Random other items:

-- The Los Angeles Angels' sudden turn toward CC Sabathia, explained here by colleague Danny Knobler, should really rattle the Yankees' cage. Even with Milwaukee offering five years and $100 million, until the Angels decided to get so aggressive, most executives with whom I've spoken figured the ace would sign with the Yankees.

"I've heard talk of this guy wanting to do this and do that, but you know what? They all follow the money," one National League executive said. "It's just the facts of life."

"I don't think the Yankees will allow him to go anywhere else," one AL GM said, referring to the enormous contract the Yankees reportedly have offered. "Wherever he goes, it's going to have to be to someone who has a giant payroll and can absorb it if he gets hurt."

The Yankees qualify in that department. So, too, do the Angels.

-- Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi says the Blue Jays don't have an offer out to pitcher A.J. Burnett right now and have not spoken with agent Derek Braunauer about the length of a potential deal.

-- One National League executive on pitcher Jeremy Affeldt's two-year, $8-million deal with San Francisco: "I think Affeldt might be the smartest free agent out there. He had a deal on the table and said, 'Screw it, I'm taking it.'"

-- Clubs looking for infield help are not seeing any quick fixes in a free-agent market that includes Rafael Furcal (the most sought-after, by far), Orlando Hudson, Ray Durham, Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera, Casey Blake and Joe Crede. Hudson and Crede are coming off of injuries, Blake and Durham are into their upper-30s and Renteria is coming off of a miserable season in Detroit during which scouts were alarmed at both his lack of defensive range and his lack of arm. "Extremely thin market," one GM says. "A lot of it is flawed."

-- Minnesota, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland continue to be the most aggressive suitors for Casey Blake, though his agent, Jim McDowell, did say Tuesday that there is a small group of four or five other clubs that have "stayed close." "I don't expect anything to happen this week," McDowell said. "We've had good discussions with several teams." Blake's versatility -- he can play the outfield and first base in addition to third, and the Dodgers even used him at second base in a playoff game this fall -- may wind up being his strongest selling point.

Posted on: November 25, 2008 6:52 pm
 

Free agency: Calm before the storm?

If you're wondering why there continues to be a whole lot of talk and little action on baseball's Hot Stove front this week, circle Dec. 1 on your calendar.

That's the deadline for clubs offering salary arbitration to any of their own free agents.

Most importantly, of course is this: If arbitration is offered, the signing team must compensate the player's old team with a draft pick. Now that might not be of concern to clubs chasing the biggest free-agent prizes this winter -- Mark Teixeira, Manny Ramirez, CC Sabathia, et. al. -- it definitely comes into play with the next-tier guys.

Consequently, many clubs are in wait mode until after Monday. Maybe San Francisco is interested in shortstop Edgar Renteria if Rafael Furcal signs elsewhere, but the Giants surely would wait until after Monday to see whether Detroit offers him arbitration (which the Tigers aren't expected to do).

And maybe Cleveland will make an offer to a free-agent closer -- Trevor Hoffman? Kerry Wood? -- but from where the Indians sit right now, in a market saturated with closers, it makes a whole lot more sense for them to wait and see who might be available that wouldn't cost them a draft pick.

While Dec. 1 is the date by which clubs must offer their free agents salary arbitration or cut bait with them for good, the players have until Dec. 7 to decide whether or not to accept.

Which is why a couple of executives with whom I've spoken this week said they think the winter meetings -- which begin Dec. 8 in Las Vegas -- will be where the action is this year.

***

The economy continues to be on the minds of front-office executives and may wind up affecting this winter's player market more than we thought.

"It's pretty treacherous for us," says Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro, whose needs include a closer and an infielder (second or third base or shortstop). "The economic situation is a real factor here. We're seeing it in season-ticket renewals. Some of our city issues pre-date the international and national economic issues, and those are amplifying our city issues.

"It's a challenge. We're trying to get our arms around it and see how it affects our revenues."

In Toronto, meanwhile, the Blue Jays already are resigned to not filling every item on their winter wish list (starting pitching, big bat in the middle of the lineup).

"The Canadian dollar isn't as strong, and we're taking a hit with the United States' dollar with the exchange rate," Blue Jays GM J.P. RIcciardi says. "The world in general is being affected by this, and to stick our head in the sand and say it's not affecting us is crazy.

"We're talking about people's discretionary spending, and they might not spend it."

Things have changed in Toronto, even from season's end to now.

"What we thought at the end of the season and what we think now is different," Ricciardi said.

***

Random other items:

-- The Los Angeles Angels' sudden turn toward CC Sabathia, explained here by colleague Danny Knobler, should really rattle the Yankees' cage. Even with Milwaukee offering five years and $100 million, until the Angels decided to get so aggressive, most executives with whom I've spoken figured the ace would sign with the Yankees.

"I've heard talk of this guy wanting to do this and do that, but you know what? They all follow the money," one National League executive said. "It's just the facts of life."

"I don't think the Yankees will allow him to go anywhere else," one AL GM said, referring to the enormous contract the Yankees reportedly have offered. "Wherever he goes, it's going to have to be to someone who has a giant payroll and can absorb it if he gets hurt."

The Yankees qualify in that department. So, too, do the Angels.

-- Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi says the Blue Jays don't have an offer out to pitcher A.J. Burnett right now and have not spoken with agent Derek Braunauer about the length of a potential deal.

-- One National League executive on pitcher Jeremy Affeldt's two-year, $8-million deal with San Francisco: "I think Affeldt might be the smartest free agent out there. He had a deal on the table and said, 'Screw it, I'm taking it.'"

-- Clubs looking for infield help are not seeing any quick fixes in a free-agent market that includes Rafael Furcal (the most sought-after, by far), Orlando Hudson, Ray Durham, Edgar Renteria, Orlando Cabrera, Casey Blake and Joe Crede. Hudson and Crede are coming off of injuries, Blake and Durham are into their upper-30s and Renteria is coming off of a miserable season in Detroit during which scouts were alarmed at both his lack of defensive range and his lack of arm. "Extremely thin market," one GM says. "A lot of it is flawed."

-- Minnesota, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland continue to be the most aggressive suitors for Casey Blake, though his agent, Jim McDowell, did say Tuesday that there is a small group of four or five other clubs that have "stayed close." "I don't expect anything to happen this week," McDowell said. "We've had good discussions with several teams." Blake's versatility -- he can play the outfield and first base in addition to third, and the Dodgers even used him at second base in a playoff game this fall -- may wind up being his strongest selling point.

Posted on: November 3, 2008 11:46 pm
 

Notes from the GM meetings

DANA POINT, Calif. -- In the immediate aftermath of his team being eliminated from the National League Championship Series last month, slugger and impending free agent Manny Ramirez quipped, "Gas is up, and so am I."

With the price of gasoline now dropping, though ... well, the Dodgers couldn't be so lucky. Could they?

"That's a very good point," Dodgers general manger Ned Colletti said here Monday. "We'll have to check the gas market before I go to speak with him.

"I know how the fans feel. I know how we feel. I know what he did for 10 weeks. He did as good as anybody could do in the regular season and postseason."

As of late Monday afternoon, Colletti hadn't spoken formally with Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, about a deal that would keep the slugger in a Dodgers' uniform. The GM meetings here were just firing up, though Boras did walk through the lobby and, ostensibly, toward some meetings of his own later in the day.

Colletti listed the Dodgers' priorities as addressing the left side of the infield (where third baseman Casey Blake and shortstop Rafael Furcal are free agents), the bullpen and adding a starting pitcher.

The Dodgers are expected to be a player in the CC Sabathia negotiations and are discussing the possibility of acquiring San Diego's Jake Peavy in trade.

Asked if he could foresee a financial scenario in which both Ramirez and Sabathia would wind up as Dodgers in 2009, Colletti said, "I think that would be difficult."

Impossible?

"I think it would be difficult."

The Dodgers' recent history with players such as Furcal and Andruw Jones is to offer shorter-term deals -- two, three years -- and a bit more money. Ramirez will be seeking top dollar and certainly should have some suitors. That way, both the club and the player have a chance to re-evaluate the situation.

That said, Colletti said the club wouldn't necessarily be scared off by the common thinking that Ramirez busted his butt for them last summer because he was auditioning for a new contract, and that once he obtains that contract he'll start giving half-effort at times again.

"I think the time he spent with Joe (Torre, manager), with the baseball front office and with his teammates wasn't too long," Colletti said. "Does that continue ... you can ask that questions of anybody and everybody. You're going to have to trust with that kind of commitment, what he's going to continue to do for the organization."

-- Yes, Colletti agreed, Andruw Jones needs to report to spring training in better shape. "That would be a start," the GM said.

But he is clinging to the hope that Jones has something left.

"We have two of the better people who understand hitting, Don Mattingly and Jeff Pentland," Colletti said. "Both ... believe he's still a capable hitter. He's got some fundamental things in his swing that he was having a hard time getting out. He's 31 years old. We don't doubt that there's still a lot of ability."

-- Mets GM Omar Minaya doesn't sound like a man ready to sweep Manny Ramirez off of his feet. "Pitching is our priority," Minaya said. To that end, though, he declined comment on Francisco Rodriguez, who set a new record with 62 saves for the Angels this season. "I don't want to tip my hand," he said.

-- The Mets are expected to go hard after Rodriguez, and they, like St. Louis and several other clubs, are expected to talk with left-hander Brian Fuentes.

-- Rick Thurman, the agent for Fuentes, expects to talk with Cleveland and Detroit as well, though he said Monday at midday that he had "nothing lined up." As for New York? "I think New York would be a great place," Thurman said. "(Fuentes) thrives under pressure."

-- St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak lists his priorities as middle infield and left-handed relievers. Edgar Renteria, recently cut loose by Detroit, could return to the Cardinals. As for the lefty relievers, Fuentes and Joe Beimel are possibilities.

-- Atlanta and Seattle each had scouts speak Sunday with the field manager of right-hander Junichi Tazawa, pitching for Enous in Japan's Industrial League. Tazawa is expected to sign with a major-league team and, because he's in the Industrial League, is not required to go through the posting process that others, such as Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka, have.

-- Among the first priorities for new Seattle GM Jack Zdurencik is the little ol' matter of finding a manager. Expect him to interview former Milwaukee skipper Ned Yost; former Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon and Chicago White Sox bench coach Joey Cora. He could look to new San Diego bench coach Ted Simmons -- the two established a good working relationship in Milwaukee. Padres GM Kevin Towers said Monday that he would grant Simmons permission to interview for a managerial job if asked.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com