While not the Rays catcher I was talking about yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal note that the Rockies are interested in Greg Zaun, who actually is available should he decline Tampa Bay's arbitration offer. Besides the Rays desire to re-sign him and the Rockies interest, the post also notes that the Brewers have interest. MLBTradeRumors has been following Zaun and other FA's and notes that the catcher earlier expressed that he planned to make his decision by the end of this week.
Thus far we've seen the Rockies attached to rumors with Yorvit Torrealba, Brian Schneider and now Zaun for a 2010 contract, all three of which are a higher grade than what one would typically associate with a back-up for Chris Iannetta. As a fan of the team, I definitely applaud this direction, I want the highest quality possible for the 25 players that break camp with the team next April, but there's certainly going to be some trick to maintaining egos. Whether it's Iannetta's with the strong backups the team is seeking or Ian Stewart's with the pursuit of a right handed bench bat that can play third, Jim Tracy's going to have to make sure everybody understands and is comfortable with their roles on the team. He did a great job of this during the regular season in 2009, I hope that continues.
Troy Renck has picked up on the Jose Contreras to Japan vibes that have been playing out during the off season thus far, with his son heading there with a foreign exchange program.
Dodger fans at TBLA are up in arms over the team's decision not to offer arbitration to any eligible player on Tuesday, thereby forfeiting the opportunity to receive draft pick compensation in order to avoid the risk of these players accepting. Most suspect is the decision with Randy Wolf, and the apparent financial motivation behind it worries some about what other horrors might come at the non-tender deadline. I'm not getting my hopes up about these most dire predictions. I do see some clear financial constraints, but the team likely made the decision to not offer arbitration to Wolf, Orlando Hudson and others to ensure that it could offer arbitration to the younger players it wanted to keep, with James Loney and Russell Martin being the two closest to the fringe.
The real question remains what will become of the team's rotation, as if Wolf is too pricey, one wonders where their limit would be. Ned Colletti as a GM has shown a willingness to wait out the market, to bleed players and teams of every last bit of leverage before making a move, so I'm not expecting this to get answered any time soon, and could see the Dodgers trying to pull a page from the Rockies playbook by waiting until the roster crunch at the end of Spring Training to pick up their last starter(s). While financial difficulties in LA are a blessing, the bad news is that they're still a strong team in the meantime.
As another post in the above linked FoxSports hot stove blog reports, San Francisco is looking in a variety of directions for their offense, with Nick Johnson, Adrian Beltre and Dan Uggla all on their radar. Those three players would be mutually exclusive of each other, the Giants could only get one, but we know they're dabbling in the catching market and poking around for an outfielder as well.
Since their acquisition of Aaron Heilman, there's been little news from AZ. I really haven't even seen them linked to players despite reports of having some money to spend and needs to fill. I don't know what to make of this, other than to suggest that they are living up to their team's nickname and sitting back, waiting to strike. The Diamondbacks, like the Dodgers, did not offer arbitration to any eligible players with Doug Davis being the most glaring omission given the team's need for starting pitching.
The Padres continue to revamp an organization that once drafted Matt Bush with the first overall pick, sharking away Red Sox scouting director Jason McLeod as Jed Hoyer continues to stick it to his former employers.