CHICAGO -- Beyond the "Big Three" free agents (
The two-time defending National League champion Phillies are said to be intent on pursuing Figgins hard as a potential replacement for
One AL executive said the Phillies like the idea of putting Figgins at the top of their lineup with
Mets general manager
Should the Phillies sign Figgins -- who shocked folks by leading the AL with 101 walks this past season and is a much better on-base guy now than not only the free-swinging Feliz but longtime leadoff man Rollins, too -- the best lineup in the National League would become that much better.
The Rangers are the one team obviously pursuing
The cash-strapped Rangers, whose debt-ridden owner
If the Cubs are to recover that much money, they shouldn't expect to get it from the Rangers, whose owner is in such financial straits that they need approval on all their moves from baseball's central office. "Before Rangers executives can go out to lunch, they have to check with (
The Rays appear to be one other obvious club willing to take Bradley, but they may be the one team even more cash-strapped than the Rangers and would want the Cubs to take back DH
People who have spoken to Minaya suggest he is extremely interested in Holliday, who some Mets people see as the perfect middle-of-the-order and clubhouse presence they need to try to turn things around.
Minaya has never shied away from the high-priced star player. Mets people clearly prefer Holliday to Bay and the Mets seem like a logical landing spot for Holliday (others include the Giants, Cubs, Braves, Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners and incumbent Cardinals) since they were the only team not to hit 100 home runs in '09 and have a gaping hole in left field. Yet, there are mixed signals about how aggressive they'll be in pursuing Holliday.
While Minaya appears to be a major fan of Holliday, there are issues, such as:
1) There's a question as to whether the Mets have the appetite for another $100 million deal.
2) There's a school of thought within their organization they might be better off spreading the money around to fill all their needs (the others include starting pitcher, catcher and perhaps second base -- if they can unload
3) There's also some question as to whether it's all Minaya's call at this point. If he ever had "full autonomy," that's gone now, following the team's dreadful season.
While he was in his 45-minute meeting with Boras, Minaya also discussed a few other Boras clients who are free agents, including
Boras met with the press to explain 1) how great Holliday is; and 2) how much money baseball teams have.
On the second point, Boras pointed out that MLB's revenues are up from $1 billion in 1990 to about $6.5 billion, or in Boras' words, "(nearly) 600 percent."
On the first point, Boras declined to get into a debate over who's better between Holliday and Bay, refusing again to get into a war of words with Bay's agent,
One highlight in Boras' annual lobby press conference came when he was asked about his own comparison of Holliday to
Another highlight came when a St. Louis writer asked about the pursuit of big stars by mid-market franchises, and Boras said that he doesn't believe in the term "mid-market" to describe baseball franchises. "Baseball franchises are like aircraft carries ... there's no such thing as a medium-sized aircraft carrier."
Boras then went on to recite all of the ways the Cardinals are big money makers, including the 3.3 million fans they drew.
Mozeliak confirmed Boras' contention that the Cardinals had yet to make an offer -- which came in response to a blog item in the
Teixeira's contract aside, one big issue for the Cardinals (and maybe many teams) is expected to be the $136 million deal
• New Blue Jays GM
• The Mets are interested in
• Braves GM
• The Dodgers don't seem likely to pursue top free-agent pitcher Lackey, who seeks at least a five-year deal. L.A. has made it almost policy to keep contracts to three years lately and is more likely instead to look for innings-eaters in the hopes that talented young starters
• Boras hinted that the asking price for
• Cubs GM
• The Cubs will, however, be in the market for a center fielder once they trade Bradley.
• There's validity to FoxSports.com's report that Tigers pitcher
• It remains uncertain whether
• Katz, who was also
• My top choices on the new veterans Hall of Fame ballot are 1)