The Winter Meetings are slower than normal, but it does not stop them from talking to the press. This morning, I had the privilege of talking with several GM's including Brian Cashman, Jim Hendry, Ed Wade, Ned Colletti, and several others from the night before. I also had time to chat with reporters like Ken Rosenthal, Buster Olney, Jayson Stark, and more. I picked up some good information, but let's start with the Yankees.
Many have been talking about Joba Chamberlain and whether or not he will be in the rotation or back in the bullpen, where he had most of his success. Cashman told me that "he is probably just starting his throwing program...I'm sure he is doing fine. He has always prepared as a starter, even during the last two months of the season."
First base seems to be up in the air right now with the Yankees, so it brings up the possibility whether or not they will give Juan Miranda a shot:
"He finished at Trenton. [He was] fantastic, he did really well. He is certainly pushing himself up the ladder in our organization, and the industry."
Finally, many were wondering whether or not pitcher Edwar Ramirez would get a shot at cracking the bullpen, and Cashman told me that "he will definitely compete, no question about it. He was asked about quite often in trade discussions..by the end of the day, he is going to have a lot of opportunities."
The Yankees could be entering a new faze where younger players begin to take over. However, they are still going after Ron Mahay, and are looking into the possibility of LaTroy Hawkins and Octavio Dotel.
Here are some other rumors flying around as the GMs close up:
- Alexei Ramirez is drawing serious interest from two teams, according to his agent Jaime Torres.
- Aaron Boone has signed with the Nationals.
- There is no truth to the rumor that the Cubs will send Rich Hill and Eric Patterson to the Orioles for Brian Roberts, according to a Cubs executive with knowledge of the situation.
- According to Peter Gammons, the Rays are looking into signing Michael Barrett.
- There is "no truth" to the rumor that Miguel Tejada is heading to the Astros for Adam Everett, Chris Burke, and a pitcher. Just like there is no truth to the rumor that a three-way deal involving Santana, Haren, and Jose Reyes was going to happen, which was reported by the same site.
- According to one AL GM, the Giants are engaging in talks with both the Yankees and Blue Jays about a trade for an outfielder. Hideki Matsui and Alex Rios are the outfielders they are probably talking about, but J.P. Ricciardi has left the meetings so I do not expect anything to happen today.
More from Astros GM Ed Wade and Ned Colletti in a little bit.