It may be hard to believe, but there are still some 100 free agents out there available for plucking, despite the turn of the calendar…

  • Coco Crisp’s agent says the outfielder has made up his mind where he’d like to play next year, and now just has to inform the “winning” team. The Cubs have been rumored to be pursuing Crisp, and that article there suggests the Cubs are the “potential front-runner.” I have a hard time seeing Crisp sign somewhere that already has three nominal starting outfielders, as the Cubs do right now (Soriano, Byrd, DeJesus). It’s easy for the Cubs to tell him, “oh, yeah, Coco, there will be a trade before Spring, and we’ll open up a spot for you.” But, if you were Crisp’s agent, wouldn’t you advise him to strongly consider other options if the money was the same? Many teams have been involved with Crisp, so he’s got a number of options. Jim Bowden says Crisp is probably headed back to the A’s, for what it’s worth.
  • Signing Crisp before opening an outfield spot for him now would also put the Cubs in an awkward bargaining position in their efforts to trade Marlon Byrd and/or Alfonso Soriano (the latter of which is already an exceedingly difficult piece to deal). Then again, might the need to move a player first be a plausible reason for Crisp “deciding,” but then “delaying” the reveal of his new team?
  • Carlos Marmol, who is currently pitching in his native Dominican Republic, was recently asked about his name popping up in trade rumors. Marmol didn’t go into much, saying only that it’s his job to pitch, and the Cubs have to do what they have to do. “This is a business,” Marmol said.
  • Jon Heyman says the Yankees would like to add a solid starting pitcher before the Winter is over, and may end up choosing between signing Edwin Jackson and trading for Matt Garza. But sources say the Yankees don’t want to spend big this Winter, and don’t want to sign a pitcher for more than a year or two – both of which pose a problem when it comes to Jackson, who is reportedly seeking a five-year, $60 million deal.
  • An MLB.com article surveys the still-existent free agent landscape. Matt Garza is worked in at the end, which should tell you just how attractive he is to teams that are presently otherwise faced with the choice of Edwin Jackson for big bucks, Hiroki Kuroda for a big-money, short-term deal, or an appreciably worse pitcher like Joe Saunders or Paul Maholm.


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