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Rumor Mill at this hour: 8 p.m.

12.08.09 at 8:18 pm ET
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Baggarly also tweets that the Giants aren’t serious about Dan Uggla because of his salary and fielding problems.

Despite the Yankees giving up many of their chips in the Curtis Granderson deal, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com that none of the teams involved in Roy Halladay have told him they’re out.

Despite reports to the contrary, Mike Scioscia said in a radio interview Tuesday night that Jason Bay signing with the Angels is “longshot.”

Brian Sabean says that the Bengie Molina ship “has sailed,” writes Andrew Baggarly. The Gians GM also noted that the team won’t go after Johnny Damon and, given how much money catchers will go for because of the Ivan Rodriguez debacle, may have to rush top prospect Buster Posey.

Read More: Bengie Molina, Buster Posey, Dan Uggla, jason bay

Rumor Mill at this hour: 7 p.m.

12.08.09 at 7:11 pm ET
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The Braves may not end having to pay Rafael Soriano after all, as Mark Bowman reports the pitcher has given the team clearance to trade him.

The Rangers made a serious run at Josh Johnson, as they offered both Justin Smoak and Neftali Feliz to the Marlins for the 25-year-old ace, according to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.

Ken Rosenthal writes that John Smoltz could still return to the Cardinals. Even with Brad Penny in the fold, Smoltz could still take the spot many assume will be occupied by Jaime Garcia.

The Rockies want to keep Yorvit Torrealba and have offered him a two-year deal, according to the Denver Post. Miguel Olivo and Josh Bard remain as potential contingency signings.

Read More: josh bard, josh johnson, Justin Smoak, Miguel Olivo

Theo speaks at Day 2 at the Winter Meetings

12.08.09 at 6:47 pm ET
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INDIANAPOLIS — Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein met with the media in his suite at the Indianapolis Marriott at the winter meetings. Here is what he said:

Yesterday was probably more productive than today. Today has been more a day of follow-up on ideas from yesterday. We haven’t made a heckuva lot of progress, but we’re still working on it. We’ve got some things lined up for tonight.

(Didn’t meet with Jason Bay’s agent Joe Urbon) We’re continuing to talk

(Timing issue in Bay talks) Timing is important for any club, for any agent. It’s part of the strategy. The longer you wait on anybody, I’m not talking specifically about Bay, but the longer you wait on any one thing the more opportunities go by the board and sometimes you can wait too long, and sometimes you can act too quickly. You have to balance all those interest. But it’s not a particularly acute issue yet in respect to our left field situation.

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Red Sox, Urbon, and Boras update

12.08.09 at 6:46 pm ET
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INDIANAPOLIS — Red Sox GM Theo Epstein has yet to meet with agent Scott Boras during the Winter Meetings. Boras represents outfielder Matt Holliday as well as reliever Mike Gonzalez, both of whom have been of some interest to the Sox. Epstein also didn’t meet with Jason Bay’s agent, Joe Urbon, Tuesday, although they did talk Monday night.

Red Sox claim the ‘other’ Ramon Ramirez

12.08.09 at 6:13 pm ET
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The Red Sox are lining themselves up to have two pitchers by the name of Ramon Ramirez on their roster.

The Sox claimed Ramon A. Ramirez off release waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays and will be notified if they are awarded the claim Wednesday. Ramirez had been claimed off outright waivers by the Rays after being with the Cincinnati Reds.

The 27-year-old, who like his Red Sox relieving namesake, Ramon Santo Ramirez, throws from the right side, has pitched in 16 games, 11 coming with the Reds in the 2009 season. He started four games for the Reds, finishing last season with a 1-1 records and 2.97 ERA.

Also like the Ramirez currently on the Sox’ roster, Ramon Santo Ramirez is somewhat short in stature for a pitcher, standing at 5-foot-11 and also boasts a changeup as one of his better pitches.

Rumor Mill at this hour: 6 p.m.

12.08.09 at 6:08 pm ET
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The Padres haven’t limited their Kevin Kouzmanoff talks to being just with the Giants, as the Twins reportedly offered pitcher Glenn Perkins for the third baseman. Bob Nightengale says the Twins want more in return for Kouzmanoff.

Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports the Nationals have signed Jerry Owens to a minor league deal that includes a spring training invitation.

Carrie Muskat says neither the Mariners nor the Angels are the surprise American League team that is close to dealing for Milton Bradley. There had been previous reports that the Mariners were involved in discussions of a deal that would send Carlos Silva to Chicago.

Read More: Jerry Owens, Milton Bradley, Rumor Mill,

Figgins, not Bay, a Mariner

12.08.09 at 5:13 pm ET
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Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik just announced the signing of free agent Chone Figgins, who he said will receive a four-year deal with a team option for the fifth.

One interesting note is that Zduriencik said that “exactly where he plays has yet to be determined”. It is believed Figgins will hit second for the Mariners.

As for part of the media get-together with Zduriencik that Red Sox fans really care about — whether or not Seattle will go hard after Jason Bay — the Mariners’ GM would only vaguely allude to his team’s continued quest for pop in the lineup.

“Certainly we love to have players with power,” Zduriencik said. “You love to have them all over your ballpark. But this is a unique ballplayer … We signed this player because we know who he is is.”

Zduriencik also added regarding having to potentially make up for the power of third baseman Adrian Beltre, “We love would to have it, there’s no question about it,” the GM said regarding the quest for power in the Mariners’ lineup. “We’ve had some discussions about acquiring power. Where that takes you, we’ll see. There’s a lot of ways to win ballgames. You can win them with power, you can win them with defense, and you can win them with speed. Certainly if we can add the combination of all them that would be fantastic. Sometimes the things you really want to do, the opportunity doesn’t present itself. You take the best options and run with it.”

Rumor Mill at this hour: 5 p.m.

12.08.09 at 5:10 pm ET
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Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets that a deal for Milton Bradley between a “surprise AL team” and the Cubs “could happen tonight.” Joel Sherman says the Rangers aren’t the team.

Washington’s interest in Vicente Padilla is “all tire-kicking now,” according to Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post.

Joel Sherman has tweeted that the Yankees and Mets are among the teams meeting with representatives for Ben Sheets.

Kevin Gregg, Mike Gonzalez, and Mark Mulder are among those being considered by the Brewers, according to MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. McCalvy writes that the team was discussing Gregg and Gonzalez internally and had a meeting set up with Mulder’s representatives. Ken Rosenthal adds that the Royals have already met with Mulder.

Tony LaRusa said he and the Cardinals have “talked about” Miguel Tejada at third base, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Read More: Kevin Greg, Mark Mulder, mike gonzalez, Milton Bradley

Rumor Mill at this hour: 4 p.m.

12.08.09 at 4:33 pm ET
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Four teams are after Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, according to the San Fransisco Chronicle. The report also states that the Giants aren’t close to trading for Kevin Kouzmanoff, citing manager Bruce Bochy.

A Kevin Millwood trade remains a possibility for the Rangers, who are seeking young pitching, writes MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. According to Sullivan, the Orioles “were the hottest but that seems to have cooled off.”

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News is reporting that the White Sox have “emerged as a serious contender” for free agent outfielder Hideki Matsui.

The Angels are also in on Matsui, according to the L.A. Times.

Read More: Hideki Matsui, Rumor Mill,

Boras on Holliday, Beltre, Damon

12.08.09 at 3:40 pm ET
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Agent Scott Boras, who once again represents a number of the key players on the free-agent market, spoke on Sirius XM Radio’s Home Plate Channel about a few of his key clients, including a pair in whom the Red Sox have some interest: left fielder Matt Holliday and third baseman Adrian Beltre. Here are some excerpts (courtesy of Sirius XM):

On Matt Holliday:

Host, Steve Davis: ‘€œMatt Holliday is at the top of a lot of teams’€™ wish lists. Take us into the world of Scott Boras, how you present [Holliday] and the process of going back and forth with teams for people that don’€™t quite know exactly how it works.’€

Scott Boras: ‘€œI think that, first of all, whenever you enter into a negotiation you want to have a basis that is without opinion. And I think that if you can begin that negotiation with that and you can come in and talk about, you know, you can look at comparisons of players and, obviously, players that are signed most recently and the players that are in the category of a comparison for a Matt Holliday. Of course, you have a Mark Teixeira. Where a Matt Holliday may have over the last three years, you may look at these players and their performance when Teixeira signed last year, and you can draw comparisons of Matt has a higher OPS or he has a higher on-base percentage. He has 40 more runs scored over a three year period. He has a much higher average, by 30 points, over the three years. The only advantage that Teixeira would have would be that he had 11 home runs more than Matt did over a three year period. And so when you go to look at those comparisons you first of all talk about the class, and we have a class of an elite player. And that is defined by metrics in the game that are really looked at without opinion. And you go from there and say, ‘€˜What teams then are in pursuit of a player with this dynamic?’€™ And you talk about the leadership, you talk about who the player is off the field because of the level of investment. And usually ownership is involved at these levels. Any baseball person would want Matt Holliday on their team and then you are dealing with owners who are talking about the financial commitment required.’€

On Johnny Damon:

Host, Jim Bowden: ‘€œHow are the negotiations going with the Yankees and does it look like he’€™s going to return there?’€

Scott Boras: ‘€œWe’€™ve discussed that with [Brian] Cash[man] and we’€™ve begun the process so we’€™ll just have to see how it goes as we go forward. And obviously there are a number of teams that have tremendous pitching staffs but have really weak bottom offense who are going to need players like Matt Holliday and Johnny Damon to be effective. And so, again, the market for premium players and the need for them, I think, is pretty well-established.’€

On Pudge Rodriguez:

Host, Jim Bowden: ‘€œEarly this morning or late last night you completed a deal for Pudge Rodriguez, two years, six million guaranteed, thirty-eight years old, .280 on-base percentage. Why does Pudge decide to go to Washington instead of a contending team?’€

Scott Boras: ‘€œI think for any player that, you know, where you have a role and you have an element where you’€™re going to be able to have significant contribution, where you’€™re going to play a good bit. And certainly in Washington Pudge has an opportunity to, particularly this year, to play at a number that’€™s well above that of a back-up catcher. So he’€™s going to be a significant contributor. I think he, you know, he’€™s won a World Championship in his career and he took on a situation like this in Detroit a few years ago where a club was building and it worked out rather well for him. So, you know, certainly Washington, on their landscape, has a great city and a chance to advance rather quickly if the ownership chooses to do so. And where Pudge was at in his career and getting a chance to stay in a place for a couple years, it worked out well.’€

On Adrian Beltre and the decision to decline the Mariner’€™s offer of arbitration:

Scott Boras: ‘€œYou have Beltre who’€™s averaging 25 to 30 home runs in Seattle. He is the best defensive third baseman in Major League Baseball. He’€™s 30 years old and third baseman, as you know, play at high levels at older ages. So there’€™s a lot of interest in Adrian Beltre. He has a lot of choices. And, certainly, Seattle is one of those teams that continues to show interest in him. And so he’€™s a young man that few teams have and we’€™re certainly going to evaluate the marketplace for him.’€

Read More: Adrian Beltre, Johnny Damon, matt holliday,
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