Some stuff around the net this morning...
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's baseball writer has a Q&A piece today, in which he responds to a reader's question about why the Pirates don't go get Hank Blalock:
From what I have picked up, it would have taken Oliver Perez. The Rangers have asked about Perez repeatedly since the end of the season, but they have been rejected each time.
That said, Texas management has taken significant steps to assure Blalock he no longer is being shopped, and there is cause to believe the expression is genuine. The Rangers saw what they felt was an extraordinary opportunity to land Beckett and, once they lost out to Boston, went into damage control to make sure a fine, young player in their system was not going to spend the winter chewing his nails.
Would you have done Perez for Blalock? I say no thanks. Setting aside Perez's still-colossal potential in the debate, Blalock had a terrific season at age 25 but hardly established himself as a future star. He hit 25 home runs, but 20 of those were at Arlington. He hit .297 at home, but just .231 on the road. That does not give much of a picture as to how he will perform on a long-term scale. It tells me he was comfortable hitting in one hitter-friendly environment.
That makes sense, and pretty much dovetails with my thoughts on the subject.
In other miscellaneous trade talk stuff, the Boston Herald says that the BoSox interest in Soriano is "not very serious" right now, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says that the Twins have "looked into" trying to acquire Hank Blalock, and the Toronto Star says the Blue Jays have targeted Kevin Mench.