Rumors roundup: Crain, Pena and Soriano
With the expectation that there will be progress this week on some of baseball's bigger deals - such as Cliff Lee, Derek Jeter - and deadlines approaching on free agent arbitration and non-tenders, there are rumors again starting to circulate.
One, from the MLB Network's Peter Gammons, has the Rays among nine teams interested in free agent reliever Jesse Crain, who had been with the Twins. Crain, 29, is a workhorse, having pitched in 71 games last season, going 1-1, 3.04 with one save. According to Gammons, also interested are the Rockies, Dodgers, D-backs, Mariners, Orioles, Cubs, Nats and Blue Jays.
Among the Rays-related, one has 1B Carlos Pena - as mentioned in the Times a few weeks ago - drawing the interest of the Chicago Cubs, as reported today by Foxsports.com's Jon Morosi. The Cubs, who don't have an internal candidate, have also expressed interest in Lance Berkman. There is also talk in Chicago of interest in OF/1B Brad Hawpe, as a reserve. Since Hawpe was offered - and is expected to decline - arbitration, the Rays would get a compensation pick if he signs elsewhere.
Another is that that the Rangers could emerge as a bidder for free-agent Rafael Soriano, under the scenario where they don't sign Cliff Lee and move closer Neftali Feliz to the rotation, which they are talking about internally according to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo.
There is also an mlb.com report that the Dodgers are now targeting veteran INF Juan Uribe. That's Rays related because if Uribe were to leave the Giants for the Dodgers, that likely would increase the Giants interest in trading for SS Jason Bartlett. The Cardinals, Orioles and Padres are also considered to be among the teams that have interest.