(* Trade Rumor Offerings To Chew On For Fun, Even Yuks)
Not to be confused with veteran reliever Todd Coffey, the TROT COFFEY is a mailing list-only Newberg Report update on various trade and free agent rumblings unearthed, if not hatched, by the media or player agents:
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• According to a local report, Nolan Ryan expects Mitch Moreland to be the Rangers' starting first baseman in 2012, as "[m]aking a seven-or-eight year deal for [Prince] Fielder or [Albert] Pujols is not something our organization is prepared to do."
• Jayson Stark (ESPN) polled a dozen executives with clubs not expected to get involved in the chase for Fielder or Pujols, with a plurality of three giving Texas the nod as far as Fielder is concerned (Seattle, Baltimore, Washington, Miami, and the Cubs also got votes), and 11 of 12 predicting that Pujols stays in St. Louis. The dissenting vote made Pujols a Cub. Stark believes that the Rangers and Marlins will join the Cubs in "gearing up to make a run at" Pujols.
• According to Joe Strauss (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) and Jon Heyman (Sports Illustrated), the Cardinals have not moved off of the offer they'd made to Pujols before the 2011 season, a proposal that was believed to be for nine years and about $210 million. Heyman adds that they "don't plan to greatly increase" that offer.
• Jim Bowden (ESPN/XM) predicts Pujols ends up with a nine-year, $243 million deal ($27 million per year), probably with the Cardinals or Cubs. Bowden sees Fielder getting eight years and $192 million ($24 million AAV) from the Cubs, Mariners, or Rangers; C.J. Wilson getting five years and $75 million ($15 million AAV) from the Yankees, Angels, or Rangers; Heath Bell getting three years and $30 million from the Rangers, Red Sox, or Blue Jays; Joe Nathan getting one year and $7.5 million from the Twins or Orioles; and Mike Gonzalez getting two years and $7 million from the Rangers or Brewers.
• Heyman reports that the five-year, $82.5 million "Lackey/Burnett" deal that he suggested the Yankees weren't prepared to offer Wilson was a package that Wilson's agent was seeking last winter from Texas.
• According to Mike DiGiovanna (Los Angeles Times), Angels GM Jerry Dipoto has contacted Wilson's agent but notes that it's "very early in the courting period."
• Every national writer weighing in on such things has Texas interested in reacquiring White Sox lefthander John Danks via trade.
• According to a local report, the Rangers' interest in Cuban outfielder Yoennis Cespedes and righthander Armando Rivera is "to be determined."
• Bowden tweets that Boston and Texas are "talking with" free agent closer Ryan Madson, and Heyman adds Washington as another interested suitor.
• Evan Grant (Dallas Morning News) ranks the top 10 free agent "fits" for Texas as follows: Mark Buehrle, Yu Darvish (who may or may not be posted this winter), Wilson, Fielder, Madson, Roy Oswalt, Octavio Dotel, Mark DeRosa, Brad Lidge, and Kerry Wood. As for trades, he pinpoints Danks, James Shields, Carlos Marmol, Andrew Bailey, and Gio Gonzalez, in that order.
• According to Troy E. Renck (Denver Post): "I don't see Michael Young [trade] scenario being revisited for all asking. No motivation for Rangers to move him. Rox looking to fill multiple needs." Young has the right to veto any trade.
• Dustin Nippert has signed a two-year extension with the Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization. The righthander went 15-6, 2.55 in 2011 and was second in the league in strikeouts, fanning 150 in 187 innings.
• Orel Hershiser tells Ramona Shelburne (ESPN Los Angeles) "I'm as serious as my heart beats" about his and Steve Garvey's efforts to get MLB approval for their ownership group to make a bid to buy the Dodgers.
• Oakland named John Wasdin pitching coach at Low A Burlington.
• Josh Hamilton had surgery to repair a sports hernia in Philadelphia on Friday morning. He's expected to be fully recovered in time for spring training.