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Most every team is a player at winter meetings
Question of the Day
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. (AP) - The Washington Nationals figure it was worth asking: Hey, Cliff Lee, want to play in the nation’s capital?
Most every team is a player this week, it seems.
The Arizona Diamondbacks stayed 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.
Also, pitcher Dustin Moseley wound up in San Diego and outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Carlos Pena could make a decision Wednesday and the Chicago Cubs hoped to be in the mix while Hideki Matsui attracted interest from Oakland. 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.’”
For the Angels, that guy could be free agent Carl Crawford.
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 handed 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.
No need to wonder where Derek Jeter will play. Yankees GM Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi made the hour-long drive to the team’s spring training complex in Tampa for the formal announcement of Jeter’s three-year, $51 million deal.
By William C. Triplett II
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