Taking stock of the Jennings suitors:

Update [2006-12-3 10:17:36 by Russ in NY]: Troy Renck mentions the Cardinals as being interested in Jennings's services.

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From the New York Post:

an MLB team executive said yesterday that Colorado's Jason Jennings is available in the right deal. The exec, though, said four teams have shown strong interest in Jennings and the Mets aren't in that mix.

Four teams, not including the Mets, I think I can probably guess three of them off the top of my head based on leaked reports, but I'm not sure who the fourth would be:

  1. Minnesota
  2. Chicago
  3. Houston
Potential teams for that fourth slot who've been mentioned in connection with Jennings would include Texas and the Yankees, but other teams in the market for starters like the Mariners and Blue Jays could also be in the mix. Anyway, as far as the first three, here's where they stand:

Minnesota:

Last Offer: Jesse Crain for sure and probably another relief arm.
Why the Rockies Balked/What the Rockies Want: Crain is neither a starter nor center-fielder and thus just a bonus piece, not the centerpiece. The team wants Crain plus Garza.
Minnesota? ROFL! Ha, Garza plus Crain?!
Odds of a Deal/Compromise: Slim, but getting better with recent moves by other teams. Eaton to Philly and Wolf to LA in particular seem to have put a hurt on the Twins plans and the Lilly/Cubs rumor makes things even more difficult. there are stil a few arms out there, but they're going fast.

Chicago:

Last Offer: Jacque Jones.
WtRB/WtRW: Jacque Jones in center? Uhm, not quite cutting it Cubbies. We want Rich Hill, maybe Felix Pie.
Cubs? ...listen, nice talking to you, we've got to catch the "El." No, no, we'll call you.
Odds of a Deal/Compromise: Okay. I think Jones plus Marshall or Marmol might be an acceptable fallback for the Rockies if their hopes for a top return don't materialize.

Houston:

Last Offer: Willy Taveras and something unsavory perhaps.
WtRB/WtRW: Willy T doesn't have the power of Chris Burke, and we wanted Brad Lidge as well.
Houston? ...
Odds of a Deal/Compromise: I think the 'Stros still have to be considered strong contenders here. They've got a couple quality young arms that the Rockies or any team would love in Troy Patton and Jason Hirsh and they've got a couple of players capable of playing center who could be expendable in Tavares and Burke. With or without Lidge, I think Houston matches up as well as Minnesota in their combination of desperate need of quality 2007 ready starters and in what they have to offer to get those starters. I just hope St. Louis makes a big signing or two to push their buttons even further.

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Alright, I'm not going to speculate on the other teams yet, but it was an interesting note from Tracy Ringolsby this morning on how the Rockies have soured on Lastings Milledge as much as the Mets have, apparently:

There have been reports out of New York about interest from the Mets, who would try to package Aaron Heilman or Brian Bannister with outfielder Lastings Milledge, who has fallen out of favor with Mets officials and wouldn't seem attractive to the Rockies because of his defensive deficiencies.

Is this just a ruse to push the Mets in giving up more? I think it's a good possibility. Remember, for a team worried about "defensive deficiencies" the Rockies are certainly sending mixed signals in who they are targetting on the Free Agent front, with defensive liabilities Dave Roberts and Darin Erstad figuring prominently in the rumor mill this offseason. Still, either of the Houston pair would be much better defensively than Milledge, and if we could get them to throw in one of their top starter prospects it would be a much better packange than Lastings plus Heilman or Bannister. Anyway, we'll keep a close eye on this as the story unfolds next week.

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