Oakland A's Winter Meetings Rumors Update

<I>Updated as of 12/13/04 at 7:30 p.m. EST</I><br> The Winter Meetings have begun and the rumors are flying. Check back here to find all of the rumors related to the Oakland A's.

On Tim Hudson

Atlanta Braves

MLB.com reports that the A's and Braves are talking about a deal involving Tim Hudson and lefthanded pitching prospect Dan Meyer. The talks may involve a third team. The Braves have reportedly decided to pass on bringing back Kevin Millwood, so Hudson would fill a need in their rotation for a top of the rotation starter. (12/13)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves are back in the Hudson hunt. (12/13)

In all likelihood, the Atlanta Braves have effectively removed themselves from the Tim Hudson race by acquiring closer Danny Kolb from Milwaukee for prospect Jose Capellan. CBS Sportsline is reporting that the Braves have traded for Kolb to be their closer next year and that they will move John Smoltz from the closer role to the rotation. Smoltz will most likely fill the spot in the Braves rotation that they would have had Hudson fill. (12/11)

Los Angeles Dodgers

Newsday reports that three industry sources confirm that the Dodgers are closing in on a deal for Tim Hudson that would send Edwin Jackson and Antonio Perez to Oakland. (12/13)

AP News reports that the A's and Dodgers are not necessarily any closer to making a deal for Hudson. In fact, both GMs claim the reports of a deal being done were erroneous and over-blown. While DePodesta says that the rumors are not entirely unfounded, Beane implies that the Dodgers and A's might be discussing a deal entirely different then the one that has been reported. Beane also indicated that a trade might be close to happening, but he wouldn't confirm that Hudson or any of the Big Three was involved. (12/12 late evening)

As of 3:30 p.m., Peter Gammons is reporting on ESPN News that no deal has been finalized between the A's and Dodgers, although he thinks that it is likely to happen. Gammons implies that the A's would get Edwin Jackson, Antonio Perez and some additional prospects.

MLB.com is reporting that the trade the Contra Costa Times characterized as final is far from final, although it is believed that the Dodgers are still the front-runners for Hudson's services. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a deal involving the Dodgers could be part of a larger, three-team deal and that the A's are taking their time in working out the perfect deal. They also report that the A's are over-budget and need to bring their salary down below $60 million. It is unclear from the article if the "current" salaries include estimated figures for the arbitration-eligible players or not. (12/12)

The Contra Costa Times is reporting that the A's and Dodgers have come to an agreement to trade Tim Hudson for Edwin Jackson and Antonio Perez. The trade is expected to be announced Sunday. (12/12)

AP News is confirming what most have suspected: that Dodgers' GM Paul DePodesta and A's GM Billy Beane have been in constant contact about Tim Hudson. Many sources place the Dodgers as the front-runners to make a trade for Hudson and DePodesta didn't appear to deny the rumors in the article. (12/12)

Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News is reporting that the Dodgers and Cardinals remain the frontrunners for Hudson's services. Rosenthal reports that the A's would receive a package that includes Edwin Jackson and Antonio Perez from LA. He also reports that the A's would require Jason Marquis and Dan Haren from St. Louis. Rosenthal also states that the Braves have dropped out of the running altogether, but that the Orioles are still in the mix, although not frontrunners. (12/11)

St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals' interest on Tim Hudson might balance on Edgar Renteria's decision to either take the Cardinals' contract offer or the Red Sox's offer. The Post-Dispatch speculates that if Renteria stays with the Cardinals, St. Louis may up their efforts for Hudson because he would cost less then other available pitchers, such as Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. The article speculates that the Cardinals, Dodgers and Orioles are the only teams remaining in the running for Hudson's services. The article also stipulates that the Cardinals might go after Barry Zito or Mark Mulder if the price for Hudson is too high (although most Bay Area sources believe the price for any member of the Big Three would be equally high). The article also confirm's St. Louis' interest in Placido Polanco if Renteria leaves for Boston. (12/12)

Jayson Stark of ESPN News reported during his 4:00pm ESPN News interview that the Cardinals are resigned to losing SS Edgar Renteria to Boston and may have turned their sights back to acquiring Randy Johnson in a trade, rather than Tim Hudson. In addition, Tim Kurkijian reported in his last ESPN News interview that the Cardinals were in negotiations with former Red Sox SS Orlando Cabrera and former Phillies second baseman Placido Polanco, whom the A's had had some interest in signing to be their second baseman. (12/11)

MLB.com is reporting that the St. Louis Cardinals have faded to the back of the pack of teams interested in acquiring Hudson. Apparently, the Cardinals' plans for next season are on hold until they come to a resolution on SS Edgar Renteria. With Renteria's situation very much up in the air, MLB.com's sources are claiming that the chances of Hudson donning the Cardinal red next season are "very slim". The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is also reporting that the Cardinals are falling out of contention for Hudson's services. (12/11)

Baltimore Orioles

The Washington Post reports that the Baltimore Orioles are still in hot pursuit of a trade for Tim Hudson and have even received permission from owner Peter Angelos to trade for Hudson despite his impending free agency. The Post believes that the Orioles have prospects the A's are interest in; however, the Post reports that the Orioles are in stiff competition from as many as ten other clubs for Hudson's services. A deal involving one of those teams could be consummated, according to the Post, as early as Sunday. (12/12)

The Baltimore Sun (registration required) is reporting that the Orioles may be turning their focus to acquiring Barry Zito rather than Tim Hudson because Zito is not a free agent until after the 2006 season (although they are still interested in Hudson). The package being discussed reportedly includes Erik Bedard and pitching prospects John Maine and Hayden Penn. The A's are apparently not interested in reliever BJ Ryan, as he is a free agent at the end of the season. (12/12)

The Washington Post (registration required) is reporting that the Orioles may be turning their attentions to acquiring Tim Hudson to address their needs in the starting rotation. The Post reports that free agent Carl Pavano's price tag has likely risen above what the Orioles are willing to pay. Baltimore may now be more willing to risk trading top-level young players like Erik Bedard without having Hudson signed to an extension then they were before learning of Pavano's price tag. The Post also lists other potential Hudson suitors as the LA Dodgers (offering a package that would include Edwin Jackson), the Braves (offering Marcus Giles), the Cardinals (offering Dan Haren and Rick Ankiel) and the Reds (offering Adam Dunn). (12/11)

Boston Red Sox

MLB.com reported that the Red Sox's Kevin Youkilis' name has come up in trade discussions with the A's involving Tim Hudson, although nothing appears close to happening. (12/12)

The Boston Herald is reporting that the Red Sox have been diligently trying to work a trade for Tim Hudson in order to infuse youth into their geriatric starting rotation. The article speculates that the Red Sox would try to trade for Hudson and sign Edgar Reneteria and then forgo signing Pedro Martinez. However, the article goes on to say that the Red Sox don't appear to be in the running for Hudson and that the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to be the current frontrunner's for the righthander's services. (12/12)

New York Yankees

The New York Times reports that the Yankees have spoken to the A's about Tim Hudson but team officials consider the Dodgers the front-runners. (12/13 issue)

The New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that Yankees GM Brian Cashman was exploring ways to make a trade for Hudson. He was reportedly trying to engineer a deal that would also involve the LA Dodgers. However, Yankee officials weren't optimistic that the deal would happen. The Yankees are also apparently working on a possible deal that would send Javier Vazquez and cash to the Florida Marlins for AJ Burnett. (12/12)

Philadelphia Phillies

The New York Post is reporting that the Phillies rejected a trade proposal that would have sent Tim Hudson to the Phillies for top young players Chase Utley (2B) and Ryan Madson (RP/SP). The article also indicates that the Atlanta Braves rejected an offer of Hudson for Marcus Giles, stating that they are done trading for players one year away from free agency. (12/11)

Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that the Reds are out of the running for Tim Hudson because of the pitcher's 2005 salary and his future contracts. The Reds are skittish about giving up either Adam Dunn or Austin Kearns for Hudson because Hudson is a free agent after 2005 and the Reds could lose him. The article does not indicate whether Barry Zito or Mark Mulder -- who are signed through 2006 -- would interest the Reds, nor does it say that the Reds would be unwilling to get involved in a three-team deal that would net them another young pitcher who is cheaper and further away from free agency. (12/11)

Chicago White Sox

Phil Rogers of The Chicago Tribune is reporting that White Sox General Manager Ken Williams is considering offering the Oakland A's a package that includes outfielder Carlos Lee for Hudson. What Rogers doesn't address is Lee's $6.5 million contract for 2005 and whether the White Sox would add cash into the deal. (12/11)

Generally Speaking

MLB.com reports that no major trades are imminent, but that the A's may moved made progress on some other trade fronts. The report indicates that Beane met with the Florida Marlins on Sunday, perhaps about Hudson. The article also indicates that Beane was amused with the rumors involving the Dodgers and Hudson and that there is some speculation in the meetings that Beane and DePodesta may have created the rumor as a ruse. (12/13)

MLB.com reports that A's Manager Ken Macha expects to still have a Big Three in the starting rotation, even if one of the members is not named Mulder, Hudson or Zito. That is because Macha believes that Rich Harden is ready to assume the role as a member of the Tres Aces. Macha also said that he is looking forward to the added line-up flexibility he will have with the addition of catcher Jason Kendall. In addition, Macha intends to emphasize "small ball" skills in spring training to give the A's offense more flexibility next season. (12/13)

CBS Sportsline is reporting that pitcher Jared Wright has failed his physical with the New York Yankees because of a shoulder problem. It isn't clear whether the physical problem will void Wright's tentative agreement with the Yankees, but this could put a wrinkle in the Yankees' attempt to re-build their rotation. Sportsline also reports that the Yankees are about to finalize a deal for Carl Pavano. It remains to be seen whether they will finish their deal with Eric Milton or not. OC's Take: The Yankees have nothing to offer the A's, but if they try to make a noisy move on a starting pitcher, Billy Beane could involve the Yankees in a creative three or four-team deal for a lot of talent. (12/11)

AP News is reporting that the Pittsburg Pirates have traded former A's reliever Arthur Rhodes to Cleveland for outfielder Matt Lawton. OC's take:Good for the Pirates for getting something else in the Jason Kendall trade. A Lawton-Redman package is not a bad haul at all. In addition, this raises the question of whether Craig Wilson might become available from Pittsburgh. He'd fit nicely in Oakland at first and in left field. Also, since Milton Bradley was originially rumored to be the outfielder heading to Pittsburgh for Rhodes, does that mean it is possible that DePodesta has another destination in mind for his talented but troubled outfielder? Perhaps Oakland in a larger package for Hudson? (12/11)

Along those same lines, MLB.com is reporting that the Dodgers have claimed former A's Rule V draft pick Frank Brooks off of waivers from Pittsburgh, as DePodesta looks to improve his bullpen depth. (12/11)

San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that A's GM Billy Beane is focusing on trades right now and is not interested in the free agent market, including the services of Juan Gonzalez. That may change, however, once Beane is done dealing. (12/11)

The Oakland A's official website is reporting that Tim Hudson spent Friday anxiously awaiting news about his fate for next season. Mychael Urban reports that Beane received a number of calls (many not related to Hudson) and was listening to all proposals, even those for other Big Three members and position players. While no deal is imminent, Urban reports that Beane is fairly confident that the A's will get something done at the Winter Meetings or soon after. (12/11)

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