Like rumors and innuendo? Here’s some fun stuff from ESPN’s Rumor Central:
ESPN.com and Scouts Inc.’s Keith Law reports that the Angels have no interest in acquiring Hillenbrand, who was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney reports the Giants, however, are interested in Hillenbrand. The Toronto Sun, meanwhile, reports several other teams are in the mix to get Hillenbrand. Included in the list are the Brewers, Twins, Phillies, Dodgers and Padres.
“We’re confident that we will be able to move him,” Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said in a report in the Sun. “We’ll play it all out and try to get the best deal we can.”
While the Mets are interested in acquiring Bobby Abreu, the New York Post reports outfield prospect Lastings Milledge will not be moved as part of any trade for the Phillies’ right fielder.
The paper reports that people close to Mets GM Omar Minaya say the only player Milledge would be traded for right now is Marlins left-hander Dontrelle Willis, but he isn’t currently available.
The Detroit News reports that the Tigers are no longer looking to acquire Abreu, and instead are keying in on making a trade for Alfonso Soriano.
Any teams interested in Abreu, meanwhile, must be prepared to pay a hefty price, reports ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. Not only is Abreu owed $15 million in 2007, but he also has a complete no-trade clause. So any new team would likely need to pay for 2007, pay his $16M salary for 2008 and give him a contract extension in order for Abreu to waive his no-trade clause.
ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports that the Phillies are also looking for an impact player and another player in exchange for Abreu.
The Orioles have discussed trading Lopez to the Phillies for one of their outfielders, either Bobby Abreu or Pat Burrell, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Sources told the Sun that the Phillies would be willing to take Lopez and a mid-level prospect if the O’s would pay a large portion of the contract for Burrell or Abreu. One official, though, called the deal “unlikely.”
Meanwhile, the Orioles are talking to other teams about Lopez, including Arizona, St. Louis, San Diego, Texas and the Yankees.
Buster Olney wrote that the future of the Phillies is contingent upon how Gillick’s decisions of the next 10 days. Olney wrote:
Does Gillick, along with other Phillies executives, believe Abreu is worth one-sixth of the team’s payroll?
Maybe they’ll determine that Abreu, with his gaudy on-base percentage and his speed, is worth the cash. Or maybe they’ll determine they’ll be better off making sure they dump his contract now and ensure they can spend money currently allocated for Abreu on other players.
Whatever happens, the next 10 days should be pretty interesting.