Rocco rumors, again
Gift-seekers may not be the only ones looking to do some last-minute holiday shopping. Rumors are starting to fly again about interest in Rays centerfielder Rocco Baldelli, with the Braves and Rockies mentioned most prominently.
Baldelli has been a popular subject of conversation throughout the offseason, but it only makes sense that the huge deal Vernon Wells just got from the Blue Jays ($126-million over seven years) has made Baldelli an even hotter commodity. For the same reason, he is also probably that much tougher for the Rays to trade, too.
He would be especially appealing to the Braves, who - in their new world of limited finances - know they are going to lose free-agent-to-be CF Andruw Jones and may be more determined to trade him first.
As much as some Braves backers refuse to admit it, they likely would have to part with lefthander Chuck James to make a deal, as well as another piece or two from a group that could include reliever Joey Devine, pitcher Kyle Davies, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, first baseman Adam LaRoche.
The Rockies reportedly would offer SS Clint Barmes and a couple of pitchers, one of whom - the theory goes - they would trade just acquired OF Willy Taveras to get. Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd, however, said Monday there are no talks ongoing with the Rays.
Tomorrow, though, could be different.