- Consensus on Manny Ramirez right now: Boston wants too much. At his current price, there's no way Manny gets moved, because neither Seattle nor Los Angeles feels like gutting their farm system and the Giants just don't have the pieces to a complete a deal on their own. This is when we get to find out what Epstein's intentions really are; he can say whatever he wants to the press, but if he's truly set on unloading Ramirez then he'll have to make some sacrifices in the coming days. Not that there have been (m)any indications that he's desperate to unload a superstar, mind you. The odds of a trade going down appear low.
- More from the same article - Bavasi's getting asked about both Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, but from the sounds of things none of the offers send that much in return. I'm still fond of the idea of unloading Sexson for Hayden Penn and then becoming 100% committed to the Ramirez pursuit, but at this point that seems unlikely. Bavasi's at least going to ask around, though, which is more than you could say for a lot of GM's.
- Finally, looks like I jumped the gun on John Thomson. He's still closely tied to the Mariners, and with little demand from other teams he's unlikely to stray unless we tell him to, but for now the front office is concentrating elsewhere. Chances are still very, very good that we end the week with Thomson on board, but nothing's quite set in stone. My bad.
- Jon Lester may be in remission. If true, this is great, awesome, fantastic news, although I don't think I'll be able to grasp its full significance until Bill Simmons tells me how cancer puts baseball in perspective.
- Congratulations to Peter Gammons, who deserves every bit of the praise he gets. If it weren't for him, the winter meetings and the trade deadline wouldn't be nearly as popular and exciting for fans to follow as they currently are.
- The Giants have $20.75m tied up in Mike Matheny and Bengie Molina over the next three years. The Royals have turned their attention to Ryan Franklin after realizing that they can't afford Gil Meche. The Orioles spent $Google on their bullpen and have prepared a substantial offer for Luis Gonzalez. The Reds bid against themselves for Alex Gonzalez and Mike Stanton. Alfonso Soriano, Gary Matthews Jr., Carlos Lee, and Juan Pierre got themselves a collective third of a billion dollars from unwitting front offices. Just remember - even if the Mariners come up short of landing their big targets, they're trying, and it could always be worse. Lots, lots worse. Bill Bavasi may be a lot of things, but he isn't dull.