Orioles interested in Delgado
Marlins first baseman Carlos Delgado could replace Rafael Palmeiro in Baltimore if Orioles officials — currently divided over the idea — agree to give up a top pitching prospect, a baseball source said Thursday. The Marlins and Orioles have not yet discussed a trade, but Baltimore's front office has talked about it since at least the general managers' meetings in California last week. "Baltimore is seriously debating whether to get Delgado, but they are split over whether to pursue it,'' said the source, who was briefed on Baltimore's strategies
Phillies Wany Billy Back!
A contingent of Phillies executives, led by General Manager Pat Gillick, visited Wagner at his Virginia home Wednesday morning, and Wagner later told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he was "very optimistic." "I got a really good vibe from him," Wagner said of Gillick. "Me and my agent were talking afterward, and we were really upbeat about the meeting. I think he's got a game plan." Gillick did not make an offer, but the Phillies' interest in re-signing Wagner is clear. He is one of the best closers in the game. Wagner's agent, Bean Stringfellow, said he had "noticed a different sense about things with the Phillies" and that he had left the meeting "with the sense that progress was being made even though I can't put my finger on why." The competition for Wagner is shaping up as a two-team race
Nationals Meet With Burnett
Washington Nationals officials met with right-hander A.J. Burnett , the prize of the free agent pitching crop, on Wednesday night in Miami, the first step in what is expected to be a lengthy process of courting the former Florida Marlin. "It went well," General Manager Jim Bowden said yesterday. "We had a nice discussion. We certainly were impressed with A.J., the type of husband and father and person he is. We really got the feel of him wanting to win a world championship. We feel fortunate that we're one of the teams left on his list."
Jojima tells New York, Sayonara
It looks as if the Mets have one fewer candidate for their vacant catcher's job. Free agent Kenji Jojima abruptly canceled his visit to New York yesterday and returned home to Japan for what was described as "personal reasons." Mets officials, surprised by the sudden change of plans, came away with the impression that Jojima is either going to sign with the Mariners or the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, his former team in Japan. As many as six major-league clubs were interested in Jojima, but the only place he visited was Seattle, and it appears he will not resume his U.S. tour before making a decision.
Colletti to talk to Fregosi, Collins and Piniella
Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti, moving quickly in his search for a manager, is scheduled to interview Jim Fregosi on Saturday and Terry Collins on Sunday, both in the Tampa, Fla., area, and was expected to speak to Lou Piniella as well. The Atlanta Braves on Thursday granted Colletti permission to contact Fregosi. Colletti asked Collins, the Dodgers' director of minor league operations, to meet with him.
said Thursday he had not yet spoken to Colletti, and Piniella expressed minimal interest in becoming the next Dodger manager. "It would be a longshot," Piniella said "I'm flattered," .. "but I just got out of my thing in Tampa Bay." .."We'll see what happens," .."Truthfully, the West Coast thing, what happened a few years ago in Seattle, I just needed to get close to home. That obstruction is not there." .. "I haven't pressed anything, I'll be quite honest with you. I've talked to a couple teams, but I basically haven't pressed anything…. I was going to take it easy for a while. I wouldn't be in a hurry to do anything." .. "Ned's a good baseball man," .. "You've got yourself a good, solid baseball man there."
Dodgers aggressively pursuing Giles
Between general managers, the Dodgers have aggressively pursued free-agent outfielder Brian Giles, according to Giles' agent. Joe Bick said he'd had "numerous conversations" with Ng and Smith but would not characterize the Dodgers' chances of signing the 34-year-old native of El Cajon, Calif. "The one thing that has remained consistent in that period is their interest in Brian," Bick said. He also said that although Giles has enjoyed playing near home, in San Diego, "to the best of my knowledge, it's not going to be the deciding factor. We haven't ruled out a number of the other markets."
Nationals intested in Encarnacion
Bowden, who is working out of the team's spring training facility in Viera, Fla., is keeping in touch with the agent for free agent outfielder Juan Encarnacion , who played for the Marlins last year. The Nationals have not yet offered Encarnacion a contract. Encarnacion, who will turn 30 before next season, hit .287 with 16 homers and 76 RBI for Florida in 20
David Wells Coming Home, Again?
There are rumors swirling that the Sox and San Diego Padres are in serious negotiations regarding Sox left-hander David Wells. The Sox are interested in right-handed reliever Akinori Otsuka and outfielder Dave Roberts, while the Padres are intent on keeping Otsuka, especially with Trevor Hoffman likely gone. The Padres do not intend to flip center fielder Mike Cameron, who they just acquired in a trade with the Mets. The Padres have wanted to acquire Cameron for some time and reportedly were relieved they didn’t have to give up Otsuka to get him