A flurry of big-ticket activity in the last few days could spark a very interesting next few weeks after the hands and fortunes of several teams changed dramatically in a few-day span.
A lot happened in a very short period of time (most of it on Monday). But there's still plenty more to come. Here's a rundown of the big stories yet to play out through the big teams ...
With no quick deal for
By looking into Holliday now and expanding their middle-of-the-order targets to two, they would enhance their chances to sign the power hitter they crave, and perhaps even put a little pressure on Bay, with whom they've signaled a willingness to go to a fifth year at slightly lower dollars per year (the offers are believed to be about $65 million for four or $75 million for five).
They are simultaneously engaged in talks for catcher Bengie Molina, as well. But while they badly need Molina, it's harder to identify teams in this derby that could outbid the Mets, though the cash-infused, aggressive Mariners can't be ruled out of anything. Right now they are at an impasse with Molina, who seeks three years for about $20 million.
The Mets never loved the idea of importing
The day they landed international star
The Cardinals reportedly offered either an eight-year deal (via the
Perhaps no team could use a big hitting star more, but even though the organization is doing well financially, they don't appear to be aiming as high as they could. Baseball executives keep wondering whether they'll jump in on one of the big stars, but for now it appears they are more seriously looking at
Boston pounced on Lackey for a five-year deal for about $85 million immediately after hearing that Halladay was going elsewhere (to Philadelphia, as it turns out in a deal that's expected to be announced Wednesday), and then took defensively excellent outfielder
They've already signed
They are shopping Lowe and if they can find a taker they may be willing to pay a few million a year on the $45-million on the four-year contract he signed before last season. If they can shed most of his salary, they may be able to aim higher in their quest for a corner outfielder if they don't get Juan Rivera back for him. Byrd and Dye seem like possibilities now.
The three-way trade that is sending Halladay and prospects to Philadelphia, Lee to Seattle, and prospects to the Blue Jays seems to benefit all three teams, but a team that wasn't involved directly in the biggest trade of the offseason is a winner, too.
Drabek was their biggest target a year ago, and by getting
They love Taylor's athleticism and had enough first-base options. While one other team said they saw Taylor as a "fourth outfielder,'' Oakland, which has a keen eye, sees him as a five-tool player.
• The Astros are telling teams
• The Yankees' talks with Johnny Damon appears to be going slow. He doesn't believe he should have to take a pay cut from the $13 million he made last year after having a terrific season. The Braves, Mariners, Giants and Nationals are seen as possibilities in the even the sides can't work it out.
• The Yankees like
• Of Igarashi, the Japanese reliever who's about to go to the Mets, one Japanese scout said, "I've seen him great but he wasn't great last year.''
• Rangers owner