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Thursday Morning: Who do you think we're going to talk about, Ron Villone?

More Jennings rumors and news:

We haven't really discussed the Minnesota option, but they appear initially to be one of the most serious contenders if we were to deal. Young pitchers Boof Bonser, Matt Garza, Scott Baker and Glen Perkins are all mentioned as possibilities by this Minnesota writer, while Troy Renck adds Jesse Crain's name to the mix. The starter/reliever combo package is exactly the same type that Texas seems to be considering, and so far those two teams seem to have the most interest given media reports. Dontrelle Willis is off the table for now, meaning the market is only going to escalate heading into the Winter Meetings. Obviously we want to hold off until then.

This Tracy Ringolsby article gets a little more clear in terms of the money involved, and seems somewhat at odds with the earlier word given by Renck as to what the 2007 payroll's going to be, but the fact Tracy's $65 million figure includes benefits might make the two disparaging numbers closer than they appear. At any rate, it also seems to be a little more forthcoming about the contract offer the Rockies gave Jennings, with $21.5 million ($16M + $5.5M if I'm reading that correctly) guaranteed over two years with a club option for a third, with no particulars as to what he'd make each year or how much of that guaranteed money is the club buyout for letting him walk after 2008.

Both Ringolsby and Renck bring up Darin Erstad once again, meaning the Rockies are definitely centered and focused on rolling the dice there. Tracy suggests he might be "the Frank Thomas of this offseason." Then again, he could be Darin Erstad. At any rate there's also the note of Trenidad Hubbard's return to the organization as a roving baserunning coach, which is exciting given the speed and raw baserunning skills of some of the players we have down on the farm.

Oh, and Renck did mention one time Rockie Ron Villone and Chad Harville as two names the team is looking at for possible bullpen roles.