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Dunn would be smart alternative for Dodgers


Dunn would be smart alternative for Dodgers
Here's a thought for the Dodgers:

Adam Dunn, two years, $25 million.

MLB Hot Stove

Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano and Astros left fielder Carlos Lee fall into the same category. Both possess full no-trade clauses (as does Wells) and their respective clubs do not seem inclined to move them.

Mets look stuck with Castillo

Pat Burrell's new $8 million average salary only reinforces how difficult it will be for the Mets to move second baseman Luis Castillo, who is owed an average of $6.25 million in the final three years of his deal.

The Dodgers' restructuring of outfielder Andruw Jones' contract eliminates perhaps the best chance for the Mets to trade bad contract for bad contract, an idea that was a longshot from the start.

In theory, the Mets could assume enough of Castillo's salary to make him, say, a $2 million a year player. However, they're already paying two closers (Francisco Rodriguez and Billy Wagner) and two managers (Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel).

Paying two second basemen — say, with the signing of free agent Orlando Hudson — would be a stretch. The Mets' next investment will be a starting pitcher, most likely Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez. They then look will for a utility infielder, someone who could replace Castillo for extended stretches, if necessary.

Alex Cora is not the only such player under consideration. The Mets pursued David Eckstein before signing Castillo, and Eckstein played 24 games at second base for the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks last season. Craig Counsell is another possibility.

Around the horn

The Diamondbacks made an offer to free-agent right-hander Jon Garland but no longer are pursuing him, according to a major-league source. The team also bid for Brad Penny but isn't necessarily in the market for a starter; Brandon Webb, Dan Haren, Doug Davis and Max Scherzer will be in the rotation, with Yusmeiro Petit, Billy Buckner, Juan Gutierrez and Travis Blackley all possibilities ...

The Orioles can't catch a break. The free-agent market is flooded with left-handed hitters, but the team's preference is a right-handed bat. A trade of second baseman Brian Roberts, meanwhile, is a growing possibility. The Orioles face gaping holes in their middle infield with Roberts signed only through next season and shortstop Cesar Izturis through 2010 ...

Free-agent right-hander Kris Benson could intrigue teams looking for a low-priced starter late in free agency. Benson, who has not pitched in the majors since 2006 and spent last season in the Phillies' system recovering from rotator-cuff surgery, threw 210 feet on flat ground this week "like it was 60 feet," according to his agent, Gregg Clifton. While Clifton acknowledges, "it's all hype until you see it," he says that Benson is stronger and more flexible than he has been at any point in his career.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 7, 2009

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