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It's Tomko Time

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With Paul Byrd off the board, and Matt Morris not likely to come to Texas, we have this delightful news from Kathleen O'Brien this morning:

Next on their list is Byung-Hyun Kim and Brett Tomko.

Yes, Byung-Hyun Kim and Brett Tomko. Certainly brings to mind the photo in the ad on the left there, doesn't it? Brett Tomko is definitely the pitching equivalent of coal in your stocking.

O'Brien also says that there are reports of mutual interest between the Rangers and Padres in a Gerald Laird for Akinori Otsuka deal. Bleah.

In a separate item, O'Brien attempts to dampen expectations going into the winter meetings:

Most of the intrigue surrounds the trade market. Ramirez has requested a trade from Boston and could be on the move. A's left-hander Barry Zito, Rangers second baseman Alfonso Soriano, Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre and Diamondbacks right-hander Javier Vazquez all have their names attached to trade rumors.

But barring a blockbuster trade, these meetings could be dull by historical standards.

How the meetings could be considered dull when Brett Tomko is out there fielding bids is beyond me. And it is in marked contrast to Buck Showalter's take on this year's winter meetings:

"You know how there's talk every year about the winter meetings and then people come away disappointed because not much happened?" said Buck Showalter, the Texas Rangers' manager. "I think this is going to be the year to make all of those people happy."