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Sunday night linkaliciousness

Some linkalicousness from this weekend...

T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers are interested in 22 year old Japanese righty Junichi Tazawa and former Nationals closer Chad Cordero.  Tazawa has gotten an offer from the Braves already, and presumably would be a guy who would be viewed as a near-major-league ready starting pitcher prospect.  Cordero would be a reclamation project, and Sullivan invokes Eric Gagne and Eddie Guardado in discussing Cordero.

Over at the MVN collection of blogs, there is a post on "Being the G.M.:  Boston Red Sox," which suggests a Bowden and Crisp for Saltalamacchia deal.  Landing Crisp made more sense last offseason...and while Josh Hamilton will probably have to move out of centerfield before too long, adding Crisp now would just seem to further complicate an outfield situation where you've got Hamilton as a given, and then Nelson Cruz, Marlon Byrd, David Murphy, and Brandon Boggs vying for playing time, with John Mayberry Jr. and Julio Borbon waiting in the wings. 

Even if you say, well, we'll trade Byrd and Mayberry will never pan out, that's still a lot of guys for two spots (3, if you include the 4th outfielder job).  Crisp would probably make more sense if the Rangers were planning on turning him around and including him in a deal for a starting pitcher.

Speaking of centerfielders, David Pinto has his PMRs for centerfielders in 2008 up.  B.J. Upton, Carlos Gomez, and Carlos Beltran all were excellent, in terms of PMR, and Byrd grades out surprisingly well.  Hamilton is near the bottom, and Pinto mentions that that is one that he wants to look at closer, as he notes that those who watch Hamilton think he's better than that defensively.

The Yankees supposedly want Mike Cameron from the Brewers, and are reportedly offering a package of Melky Cabrera and Ian Kennedy, which is a little ironic, because, if I recall correctly, the Yanks weren't willing to part with a Cabrera/Kennedy package to get Johan Santana last offseason.

Justin Smoak in the AFL so far:

15 for 37, 5 walks, 6 Ks, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, .405/.488/.649. 

And remember, this is a guy who missed just about all summer while negotiating his contract, and this is a league populated with players who all have more pro experience than Smoak.

Buster Olney on the Ranger pitching and defense:

But the Rangers' defense, in general, is very poor, and as Mike Maddux, Nolan Ryan and others in the organization look to evaluate ways to improve the team's pitching, this is the easiest way to do so. Scouts are unanimous in this view: Texas gives away outs every day with its collective defensive range.

John Perrotto looks at the big free agents out there, and has this to say about Milton Bradley:

Milton Bradley (7.8): Despite having a fine 2008 season spent primarily as a designated hitter, he won't be returning to the Rangers after they declined to give him a multi-year offer. The Mets will make a play if they can't sign Ibanez, and the Phillies, Rays, and Blue Jays all have varying degrees of interest. The right fit for Bradley, prone to occasional outbursts of temper, will be the Blue Jays and the cool hand of veteran manager Cito Gaston.

It doesn't matter who Bradley signs with or whether they are in the top or bottom of the league in record...since Bradley is a Type B free agent, under the new rules, the Rangers will get a sandwich pick no matter who signs him (assuming they offer arbitration).

Perrotto also says that the Rangers have significant interest in Casey Blake, and says the Nationals are hot and heavy for Mark Teixeira, and could offer Teixeira a 10 year, $200 million deal.  Given the dynamics of the situation, wouldn't it be interesting if the Nats (who are also something of a fit because of Teixeira's
roots in the Baltimore area) ended up topping the 10 year, $252 million offer the Rangers made ARod back in the day?