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Sunday's rumor roundup

Looking at the various Rangers rumors that are bouncing around...

The most intriguing report is from Phil Rogers, who has this item:

- A.J. Burnett. With his history of injury and 49-50 career record, he has a chance to be this year's Dreifort. But he has a Kerry Wood-like upside, which is why he is considered the best starting pitcher on the market.

The St. Louis Cardinals reportedly are closing in on a deal that would add him to a strong rotation to replace free agent Matt Morris. Toronto and Baltimore appear likely to make the biggest offers for him. Don't count out a sneak attack from the Cubs, who then would send the surgically repaired Wood, Todd Walker, prospects and maybe some cash to Texas for Alfonso Soriano and Kevin Mench.

While I'm not a big Kerry Wood fan, I really like that from the Rangers' perspective. And anything that results in A.J. Burnett going elsewhere is fine with me.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, however, the Cubs say they haven't made any "serious overtures" regarding Mench.

Mench has seemingly replaced Alfonso Soriano as the number one subject of trade rumors, with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporting that the Cardinals (who would supposedly be willing to part with Jason Marquis in the right deal) and the Minnesota Twins expressing interest in Mench. Slam! columnist Steve Simmons, out of Canada, says that the Blue Jays want to get Kevin Mench for Miguel Batista. And Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune regurgitates the rumor of Mench and Soriano to the Cubs for Jerome Williams, Todd Walker, and Corey Patterson.

The Alleghany Times says that the Pirates are interested in both Mench and Blalock, although they say that Blalock appears to be non-attainable since the Rangers want Oliver Perez in any Blalock deal. It would seem like Mark Redman for Mench might be a possibility, although the Rangers -- who have seemingly been linked with every available starting pitcher this offseason -- haven't been linked to Redman, as best as I can recall.

The Palm Beach Post reports that the Marlins plan on dealing Juan Pierre by the end of the winter meetings, and lists the Rangers, along with the Yankees, Mariners, and Cubs, as being a team with interest in Pierre.

The Boston Herald says that the Rangers are still interested in Manny Ramirez, but they want the BoSox to pick up a significant amount of the money still due to Manny, which seems unlikely to happen.

And Bob Klapisch in the Bergen Record has the Rangers as one his five "busiest teams in the lobby" at the winter meetings, with the Rangers in the running for Matt Morris, Juan Pierre and Octavio Dotel. Klapisch says that the Rangers are still trying to move Soriano, but that their asking price was too rich for the Mets.