Thursday, November 16, 2006

Naples News

Phanatic Note: The Phanatic will run a daily rumor mill from the top newspapers and web sites nationwide through the busy "coming and going" times of the year.

The Phanatic Staff

Major League Baseball's general managers have convened this week in Naples for the GM Meetings. These meetings normally include a lot of preliminary ground work before the flurry of moves during the Winter Meetings in early December.

Cubs Cash Cow?'s Ken Rosenthal talked on scene about Cubs' GM Jim Hendry's willingness to open up the wallet this offseason. Potential targets included prize free-agent slugger Alfonso Soriano and starting pitcher Gil Meche. The club has already re-signed third baseman Aramis Ramirez and inked infielder Mark DeRosa earlier in the week....Give it to us Kenny!

"The team's ideal blueprint, according to new manager Lou Piniella, includes the addition of two more hitters and two starting pitchers. The Cubs might not accomplish all that, but they've already added free-agent infielder Mark DeRosa and re-signed third baseman Aramis Ramirez and right-hander Kerry Wood for a combined $89.5 million. If they signed free agent Alfonso Soriano, their No. 1 target, to play center, they likely would add a lesser outfield bat to alternate with Jacque Jones and Matt Murton."

Barry by the Bay?

Rosenthal, for a little man he is everywhere, scooped out the possibility of Barry Bonds heading to NL West-rival San Diego. A source told the FOX Sports baseball slave that the Padres are one team hot on Barry's tail.

"Specifically, think about Bonds hitting the 22 home runs he needs to break Hank Aaron's all-time record in a Padres' uniform. The Padres, one of the Giants' NL West rivals, have expressed interest in Bonds, according to a major-league source."

Phils Haven't Put Numbers on the Table

Conflicting reports from and various national and local newspapers came to one resonating conclusion.

The Phillies have yet to make an offer to Soriano, and did not meet with him yesterday as previously reported. However, GM Pat Gillick told Philadelphia Daily News writer Paul Hagen that the two sides -- minus Soriano -- will meet at an offsite location today.

"After 3 days of dancing around the issue, he finally confirmed last night that the Phillies have not made an offer to Soriano, who batted .277 with 46 homers, 95 RBI and 41 stolen bases for the Washington Nationals last season and, on paper, would be a perfect hitter to protect Howard in the order."

Big Hurt headed North of the Border?

The answer is "yes" according to the Toronto Star's Allan Reyes. Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi was unavailable last night for comment -- probably at a steak dinner to celebrate the signing -- but several sources have said that the Big Hurt will be a Blue Jay.

"While Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi was not immediately availiable for confirmation last night from the GM meetings in Naples, Fla., information from assorted news agencies and websites are indicating it's a done deal. While all reports indicated a two-year package, one suggested a figure of $20 million (all figures U.S.) with an option for 2009."

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