It's likely Nats closer Chad Cordero will continue to be targeted by clubs who enter spring training without a closer, namely Boston. But one Nationals official said Wednesday he didn't expect Cordero to be traded, adding that the club hasn't wavered on its asking price -- young, high-end starting pitching. -- Washington Post

Ex-Met Cliff Floyd says manager Willie Randolph wanted to bunt in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 last year, but bench coach Jerry Manual talked him out of it. -- Newsday

For much of Manny Ramirez' time with the Sox, it widely has been assumed that he will become a free agent following the 2008 season; now, that just might not be true. The events of the offseason mean that Ramirez' average annual salary of $20 million is now in line with the rest of baseball, which means that Ramirez might stay in Boston even longer than he wants. -- Boston Herald

According to one source, Manny Ramírez's agent, Greg Genske, has told the Red Sox that Ramírez will not be in Atlantic City for an advertised classic car auction. Car dealer Tony Avenso, however, insisted that Ramírez told him he plans to come, depending on his mother's health. -- Boston Globe

Two possible destinations for Jermaine Dye if he doesn't stay with the White Sox are the Rangers (he's friendly with new manager Ron Washington) and the Angels, who have struck out in bids to land right-handed power hitters Paul Konerko, Aramis Ramirez and Manny Ramirez over the last two winters. -- Chicago Tribune

The Rangers have made more progress on a potential long-term deal with Michael Young and agent Dan Lozano than they have with Mark Teixeira and agent Scott Boras. -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

It doesn't exactly qualify as a spare tire but Johnny Damon's midsection is larger than it was last spring. At 217 pounds, the 6-foot-2 Damon admits to being about "five pounds'' heavier than he wants to be and foresees no problem getting to 212 by the start of the season. -- New York Post

How bad do George Steinbrenner's handlers want to keep him away from the media? They designed a plan yesterday that ensured reporters couldn't get to The Boss after he exited Max's Café at Legends Field. Prior to spring training, the Yankees held meetings to design plans to keep Steinbrenner away from the swarm of reporters who followed him in the halls last year. -- New York Post

Speculation turned to reality Wednesday when the Angels began working shortstop Brandon Wood, the organization's best position-playing and power prospect, at third base, a move that could hasten the 22-year-old's arrival in the big leagues and eventually provide a jolt to the Angels lineup. -- Los Angeles Times

Manager Lou Piniella stopped just short of saying it Wednesday, but he outlined a plan that left Felix Pie off the Opening Day roster. the Cubs' latest center fielder of the future is all but assured of opening the season in the minors. -- Chicago Tribune

Scott Podsednik's supporters within the White Sox organization say he can bounce back from an off year. But they would like to see him alter his mental approach. They say he needs to forget unsuccessful at-bats rather than dwell on them and let them affect his fielding. -- Chicago Tribune

It was jarring not so much that Jose Castillo, the Pirates' second baseman, was taking grounders yesterday at third base. But, rather, that he was doing the drill on a field surrounded by minor-leaguers, this while major-league infielders Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez and Adam LaRoche did the same drill at the same time on an adjacent field. Was a message being sent? -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Marlins righthander Josh Johnson threw Wednesday as he tries to get ready for the season. Johnson had irritation in his right biceps/triceps area three weeks ago and was shut down. He reported to spring training Saturday, saying his arm felt fine, but the Marlins remain cautious. -- Miami Herald

Marlins backup catcher Matt Treanor spent the past six weeks of the offseason at Cris Carter's Fast Program in Coral Springs. Carter, a former NFL receiver, has helped several athletes improve their speed. Former Marlins center fielder Juan Pierre spent time there, as well as pitcher Dontrelle Willis. -- Miami Herald

Devils Rays manager Joe Maddon wrote individual letters to each player on the 40-man roster at the end of the season. He challenged some veterans to emerge as leaders. He encouraged young players to keep working hard. Maddon wants to make this year's camp more cerebral than last season's get-to-know-you spring. -- St. Petersburg Times

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