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Rocks manager Tracy collapses with mild arrhythmia
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. (AP) - Well, well, look who’s entered the Cliff Lee sweepstakes _ those cash-slingin’ Washington Nationals.
OK, general manager Mike Rizzo admits they probably won’t get him. But the fact the Nationals are even talking to Lee’s agent signals a shift at these winter meetings. As in, this session isn’t just for the Yankees, Red Sox and baseball’s other big spenders.
The Arizona Diamondbacks kept busy Tuesday, giving free agent reliever J.J. Putz a $10 million, two-year deal. Colorado filled a need by getting 2010 All-Star infielder Ty Wigginton and Pittsburgh added pitcher Kevin Correia, both with $8 million, two-year contracts.
Former AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke was said to be available for any team willing to meet Kansas City’s steep price.
“It’s kind of like the offseason becomes fantasy baseball for players, too,” Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “You always look at who is out there and who might be in your lineup. I think we all did it when we played the game. You’d say, ‘Man, if we had this guy or this guy, we could be better.’”
Rockies manager Jim Tracy gave the meetings a jolt when he collapsed around 1 a.m. Tuesday near a bank of elevators. Carried out of the hotel on a stretcher, he was hospitalized because of mild arrhythmia.
The 2009 NL Manager of the Year was released and headed back to his Florida home with his family.
Two days after the Nationals gave free agent Jayson Werth a $126 million, seven-year contract, they nosed around Lee. Rizzo said he’d talked to the ace lefty’s agent, but told Washington-area reporters, “I still think we’re a real long shot to acquire the player.”
At least they’re trying. The Orioles, Pirates and Diamondbacks, all last-place teams like the Nationals, also have made moves inside this Disney resort.
“I think there are a couple of things going on this year,” New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson said. “One is there are some agents and some players who are still smarting from the fact that they passed on deals early and waited until January in previous years and got stung in the process.
“At the same time, there is some flow that results from the big contracts getting signed,” he said.
New Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke, meanwhile, looking forward to writing slugger Prince Fielder’s name on his first lineup card. There has been speculation the Brewers might try to trade their star first baseman, who can be a free agent at this time next year.
“I think somebody as a high-quality player that he is, I don’t think those guys move as often as you think they will,” Roenicke said. Or hoped, perhaps.
By John R. Bolton
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