There isn’t much by way of Phillies news today, but there’s plenty of fodder coming from all corners of the baseball world.
Remember a few seasons ago when everyone considered New York’s talent pool a barren wasteland because of all of their wheeling and dealing? Not anymore. The Yankees are among a select few that can pull off a deal for ace left-hander Johan Santana, pictured right in mural form. The Twins are expected to ask about young pitchers Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy (after missing the boat on Carlos Monasterios, Matt Smith and others.)
Meanwhile, the Angels may be offering a multi-player package to the Marlins for third baseman Miguel Cabrera. The Los Angeles Times says the deal could include second baseman Howie Kendrick, catcher Jeff Mathis, pitchers Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders or Nick Adenhart, outfielder Reggie Willits and perhaps top infield prospect Brandon Wood, but the latest report says talks have hit a snag over the combination of players the Marlins would receive. That sounds like a lot of top prospects, but Florida has every right to refuse this offer. I’m uncertain any combination seen here would constitute a fair trade for the baby-faced slugger.
In other news, the Jimmy Rollins MVP caravan continues with the shortstop delivering a sequel to his “We are the team to beat” blockbuster. “We'll win probably 100 games . . . 100 games will get us to the playoffs,” J-Roll announced last night. Like many sequels, the original was better.
Japan stuff: Some experts are calling Kosuke Fukudome the best Japanese hitter since Ichiro, and the list of teams with reported interest keeps growing, all except the Hanshin Tigers, who dropped out of the race yesterday (the Tigers have already begun negotiating with Minnesota outfielder Lew Ford.). Fukudome, a member of the champion Chunichi Dragons, has hit over .340 twice in his career. He’s reportedly seeking somewhere in the neighborhood of three-years, $30 million, possibly higher. The Cubs are mentioned most in connection with the Japanese star. ... Former Phillies right-hander and Bucknell product Eric Junge is trying out with the Yokohama BayStars. ... Finally, it sounds like the Mariners have taken a commanding lead in the Hiroki Kuroda sweepstakes.
Leftovers: The LA Times reports that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti suggests they do not have interest in any free agent. Deep down, don't you just know he's speaking for all GMs, including our own? ...Atlanta's Mike Hampton suffered another setback, pulling his left hamstring while rehabbing in the Mexican League (The Braves have an entire squad of players down there.) The 35-year-old has missed the past two seasons recovering from elbow surgeries. ... Finally, congratulations to our own Pat Burrell on his induction into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame. Burrell (1996-98) is the only UM baseball player to win the Golden Spikes Award as the country's top amateur. He finished with the best batting average in school history, hitting .442 over three seasons, and is first in slugging percentage at .886. In a separate ceremony, the ladies of the Miami chapter of Gamma Phi Beta inducted Burrell into the UM Beefcake Hall of Fame.
BREAKING NEWS: Tom McCarthy, who spent the last two seasons as a play-by-play
announcer for the New York Mets on WFAN radio, is returning to the Phillies broadcasting team, the club announced in a news release. McCarthy, a New Jersey native, will do three innings of television play-by-play, and from the language of the release, the entire broadcast crew, including newcomers Jimmy Jackson and Sarge Matthews, will be retained. (Earlier, I had incorrectly posted that he would be on radio, not television). There are certainly many cooks in the Phillies broadcast kitchen.