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Friday Grumblings

Rowand Taking Over In Center For Dodgers?: Free agent outfielder Aaron Rowand is drawing a lot of interest from teams around the league, and his new contract is expected to be big. Although he is asking for fifteen million, one MLB executive tells me he expects the deal to top 90 million dollars. There are several teams interested in Rowand that could take on that kind of contract. The Dodgers, White Sox, Rangers, Cubs, and Astros have all made contact with Rowand, but it appears the Dodgers have the inside track because of Rowand's connections to Southern California.

Tigers Interested In Hernandez: The Tigers are expressing interest in Livan Hernandez. According to MLB Rumors Correspondent Tim Wallace, Livan prefers to play in New York with his half-brother Orlando, but is willing to listen to offers. Look for the Cardinals to inquire about Hernandez before his price goes up.

Brewers Eye Kendall?: The Brewers are interested in Kendall. Not a surprise here. Kendall is known for working with young pitchers well and his experience in the NL Central would make a change much easier.

Yankees Sign Molina, Braves Trade Villarreal: The Yankees signed Jose Molina to back up Posada to a two year contract, worth four million dollars. Not much to say here except it gives Joe Girardi a solid backup behind Posada. Also, the Braves traded Oscar Villarreal to the Astros for Josh Anderson. Anderson, 25, batted .358 with 0 HR and 11 RBI. He is very fast, and gives the Braves another option in center.

Royals Close to Deal with Yasuhiko Yabuta: According to MLB Rumors Correspondent Steve Wilson, the Royals are nearing a deal with Japanese pitcher Yasuhiko Yabuta. He was 4-6 last season with a 2.73 ERA and four saves in 58 games. This probably won't be the last pitcher the Royals sign from Japan. Trey Hillman has first hand knowledge of these guys and will be able to coach them better than some coaches.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal has confirmed the report and said it is a two year deal with an option for a third.

Marlins After Barrett, Lo Duca to Rockies?: The Marlins have turned their attention to signing Michael Barrett. If you look at my article back in September, it says that the Marlins might look at him if they have some cash open. However, the Marlins could sign Barrett to a deal similar to Torrealba, and work his annually salary into their budget. A catcher will not come cheap now that the Mets over payed for Torrealba, so they will need to open their wallet. The Rockies have begun talks with Paul Lo Duca, but talks have not gotten far.