Along with the Andy Pettitte signing and potential Kevin Brown-for-Jeff Weaver blockbuster, a number of other possible deals are brewing with the winter meetings set to open Friday in New Orleans.
The Braves are talking with the Cardinals about a trade for right fielder J.D. Drew. The deal could be expanded to include a third team because of the Cardinals' desire for front-line pitching. One possibility would be for the Braves to land Drew, the Cardinals to acquire Angels left-hander Jarrod Washburn or right-hander Ramon Ortiz and the Angels to receive right-hander Jason Marquis and a prospect. The Braves also could deal directly with the Cardinals, but they don't have a proven starting pitcher to trade. The Cardinals also are trying to move the versatile Eli Marrero.
In the wake of the Pettitte signing, the Astros could trade RHP Tim Redding or LHP Jeriome Robertson, either individually or as part of a package with infielder Geoff Blum. The Astros have discussed Blum with the Astros and could target Pirates right-hander Kip Wells. The Pirates, however, are more willing to trade right-hander Kris Benson, who is owed $6.25 million next season and coming off a shoulder injury. If the Astros traded a starter, they would be left with a rotation of Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, Wade Miller, Redding or Robertson and possibly Carlos Hernandez, who is throwing well in Venezuela.
The Blue Jays are awaiting a decision from free-agent right-hander Miguel Batista, who is drawing interest from the Mets and numerous other clubs. Batista would become the Jays' No. 2 starter behind Roy Halladay and in front of Ted Lilly, Pat Hentgen and Josh Towers. Their front three couldn't match Pedro Martinez-Curt Schilling-Derek Lowe or Mike Mussina-Kevin Brown-Javier Vazquez, but it would be a solid upgrade for a team that loses Kelvim Escobar and Cory Lidle.