The World Champion Phillies, of course, would rather not rush things. Especially their All-Star second baseman Chase Utley, who may miss the beginning of the 2009 season after undergoing hip surgery.
Here's some Hot Stove News from Jayson Stark:
The Mets aren't looking to sign a replacement closer for Billy Wagner to a contract that is longer than 3 years. That could quickly eliminate K-Rod. The Mets may look to Brian Fuentes.Aaron Heilman wants to move into the starting rotation or be traded. That according to the Daily News. Heilman makes this complaint every year. After how poorly he's pitched out of the pen the last 2 seasons, the Mets should probably take him up on it.
Shooting down rumors to the contrary, Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said his club will not be pursuing Manny Ramirez.
The Angels, despite their low key approach on the matter, are the favorites to land Jake Peavy. They also have an excellent shot at re-signing Mark Teixeira, but will not be pressured by agent Scott Boras' time table. John Lackey is confident that he will sign a 1-year extension prior to the start of the season.
As far as the Yankees are concerned:
Once the Yankees get their free-agent menu sorted out, they'll look to make a deal to upgrade in center field. But one player they probably won't be reeling in is Brewers center fielder Mike Cameron. The Brewers are contemplating trading Cameron for pitching if they can't re-sign Sabathia. But as GM Doug Melvin's quotes this past weekend about how the Yankees "overbid" on CC would indicate, the Brewers aren't big fans of the Yankees these days. So clubs that have spoken with the Brewers are suggesting the Bronx is about the last place they'd like to deal Cameron, if they deal him at all.
And this news from a scout about Phil Hughes' performance in the AZ Fall League:
Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes (1-0, 3.60 ERA, 28 K's, 25 IP): "Saw him two games, and he cruised. He dominated, and he should. His curveball was very sharp. All those people who think he's lost his luster -- no way. Hell, he'd be our No. 2 starter right now."
The Giants are expected to make a big push for CC Sabathia, despite the huge money they have already wasted on Barry Zito.