Based on what baseball sources are telling reporters and what reporters are telling us, San Francisco and Seattle have shown some interest in Hank Blalock, but the Giants probably wouldn’t entertain moving Matt Cain or Jonathan Sanchez to Texas unless Chris Davis were involved; the Rangers have asked Florida about lefthander Scott Olsen but don’t appear to be willing to give Jarrod Saltalamacchia up for him, at least not straight up; Texas might also have interest in Marlins reliever Kevin Gregg but that could depend on who the Rangers’ pitching coach hire is; Tampa Bay would probably want David Murphy if the Rangers were interested in Edwin Jackson or Andy Sonnanstine; and Cincinnati needs a catcher and might be willing to discuss Homer Bailey.

Lots of appetizers, each needing a dash of salt.  The GM Meetings start on Monday, and that’s when we might see some things come into sharper focus.

Still no word on what pitching coach candidate Mike Maddux wants to do.  He’s a free agent as of today, and Milwaukee doesn’t want him to leave.

According to the Elias rankings, which came out yesterday, Josh Hamilton was the number four outfielder in the American League, but remember that the formula is based on two seasons of statistics rather than one, which also helps explain why Ian Kinsler was only the number four second baseman in the American League.  Michael Young, on the other hand, was ranked not only as the top shortstop in the league but number one overall in the big leagues.

Type B’s included not only free agent Milton Bradley and the soon-to-be-contracted Blalock, but Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Frankie Francisco, C.J. Wilson, and Marlon Byrd as well.

The Dodgers have named Damon Berryhill manager of their short-season A Pioneer League affiliate in Ogden, Utah.  Berryhill managed the Rangers’ Bakersfield squad in 2008 after three seasons as the organization’s roving catching coordinator.  The Dodgers also named Carlos Subero manager at High A Inland Empire and Aaron Sele minor league pitching instructor, and promoted Mike Brumley from Ogden manager to organizational field coordinator.  

Houston promoted scouting director Bobby Heck to assistant general manager/scouting.  

Boston claimed righthander Virgil Vasquez off waivers from Detroit.

Asked in a chat session yesterday to identify the franchise who has had the best combination of draft and international signings over the last two years, Baseball America editor in chief John Manuel responded: “Texas stands out here, by quite a bit.”

If you were to make a list of every free agent going into the next season, ranking them from most likely acquisition to least, I’d say Brad Johnson would be the very last name on the Cowboys’ list, and Ken Griffey Jr. would be on the bottom for the Rangers.

Reminder on the current 2009 Bound Edition specials:

1. If you pay for the book by November 15, the price of the 2009 Bound Edition is reduced from $25 to $23.

2. A gift set of all ten Bound Editions is $125, which is a $35 discount.

3. If you buy at least two 2009 books, I’ll throw in a free copy of a previous year’s edition, your choice.

More details on the book (including a PayPal shortcut) here

Have a great weekend.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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