Tigers officials have made pitching their priority while canvassing ballparks this month. The Tigers were among the 10 or more clubs that scouted Wednesday night's game between the Blue Jays and Orioles, teams that already have made pitchers available on the market. Toronto right-hander A.J. Burnett started that game, but it's not believed the Tigers are actively pursuing him. Burnett is making $12 million this year, and the Tigers are reluctant to add to what was a $138-million payroll Opening Day. Baltimore closer George Sherrill would be intriguing to the Tigers if Freddy Dolsi is unavailable for any length of time, but the price tag on Sherrill, a left-hander, is expected to be high. (Detroit Free Press) Comment
The Dodgers are diving into the middle of a lot of trade talks, but skepticism remains steep about whether they'll actually pull anything off. "They're a mess,'' one NL executive says, flatly. Several baseball people say there was a deal for the Dodgers either "in place'' for CC Sabathia -- or close to it -- when they suddenly pulled the plug, apparently at the behest of over-involved owner Frank McCourt. Word is the Dodgers, who could still steal the sad-sack NL West (at 49-52, they trail first-place Arizona by one game), are handicapped by some infighting within the front office. Logan White, who drafted much of the young Dodgers talent, is said by some to have unusual say-so for a recently-promoted assistant GM. Meanwhile, McCourt is telling confidants that he is displeased by the team's attendance and revenues, calling into question whether he'd even OK player expenditures. (SI.com) Comment
The Yankees discussed the possibility of signing home run king Barry Bonds yesterday during a high-level meeting in Tampa. "Everything was talked about," a person with knowledge of the meeting said. "There was no decision made to get him or not get him." Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris, refused to comment on the possibility of his client, who turned 44 yesterday, joining the Yankees. Hank Steinbrenner got the meeting off to a rousing start by talking about Bonds on the way in. "I'll mention it. We'll cover everything," Steinbrenner said of Bonds. "No stone will be left unturned." Bonds wasn't the only name mentioned at the table, where Hank and Hal Steinbrenner were joined by senior VP Felix Lopez, president Randy Levine, GM Brian Cashman, head of pro scouting Billy Eppler, minor league head Mark Newman and scout Gene Michael. The Yankees discussed Mariners lefty Jarrod Washburn, their top priority, Reds righty Bronson Arroyo, Pirates lefty reliever Damaso Marte, Braves lefty reliever Will Ohman, Rockies lefty reliever Brian Fuentes and Pirates outfielder Xavier Nady. (New York Post) Comment
The Twins remain determined to upgrade at third base. They're still working on getting Adrian Beltre from Seattle and have spoken with the Rangers about Hank Blalock and the Indians about Casey Blake. With top Mets outfield prospect Fernando Martinez out with a leg injury, the Mets could ramp up their interest in Blake as well. (Newark Star-Ledger) Comment
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