What We're Hearing...

As the Winter Meetings wind down in Las Vegas, there are still plenty of issues yet to be resolved. We've got a look at just what we're hearing out of Sin City.

The Phillies deal with Pittsburgh to send Jason Jaramillo to the Pirates for Ronny Paulino is interesting. On the surface, it looks like a minor deal, swapping two catchers for each other. No big deal. Dig deeper.

The Phillies already have a starting catcher in Carlos Ruiz that they're happy with and they already have a veteran backup catcher in Chris Coste. So, why another catcher?

Earlier in the day, the Florida Marlins were trying to get Paulino from the Pirates and were offering shortstop Robert Andino in exchange. The deal never worked out and the Pirates went with the deal with the Phillies instead. Something could be brewing with Florida.

Also earlier in the day, the name of Chris Coste came up in connection with a deal to the Cubs for outfielder/infielder Mark DeRosa. Something could be in the works there.

And to complicate the situation further, the Padres - who are shopping Jake Peavy - like Jason Jaramillo.

This means that the deal for Peavy, who still hasn't said yes or no to coming to Philadelphia, could be taking on an interesting shape. The Phillies could potentially deal Coste (most likely along with Kyle Kendrick) to the Cubs for DeRosa. Then, maybe Pittsburgh becomes the third-team-in on the Peavy deal, sending Jaramillo into the package to make things work.

Then again, the Phillies might just keep Paulino and Coste and use Coste as more than just a backup catcher. We'll see.

Latest name on the horizon is Chan Ho Park. The 35 year old right-hander posted a 3.40 ERA with the Dodgers last season, pitching primarily in a relief role. Park is a free agent and the Phillies are interested and would give him a shot at winning a spot in the rotation if they were to sign him.

Some reports say that the Phillies have offered Derek Lowe a contract and some say they haven't. We've heard that they did offer him a four-year deal, but now that agent Scott Boras has the Mets, Yankees and Red Sox all hanging on the line, the bidding will go up and likely go up quickly. The odds of getting Lower are not very good as things stand right now.

The Phillies did wind up asking about Andy Pettite and whether he would want to come to the Phillies on a one-year deal. Nothing is certain at all with Pettite, who still hasn't even decided if he wants to pitch in 2009. The Phillies contacted Randy Wolf and Braden Looper to gauge their interest in coming to Philadelphia. Raul Ibanez is still on the Phillies radar, with the Mets and Cubs also interested, but nobody's grabbed the front-runner spot in that race, although Ibanez prefers Philadelphia.

Tampa Bay could be the landing spot for a couple of ex-Phillies. Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu have both been contacted by the Rays, who are looking for outfield help. Tampa Bay would be an interesting place for Abreu to land, since they originally took him in the expansion draft and then traded him to Philadelphia for shortstop Kevin Stocker. Signing with them would be some what of a homecoming. Former Phillies GM Ed Wade is also interested in bringing Abreu to Houston.

The annual Rule 5 Draft will be held today. The Phillies have the 26th pick and there may not be any players that truly interest them left when they finally hit the draft board. It's possible that when they pick, they will have already lost outfielder Jeremy Slayden, who is considered a pretty good risk to take for clubs looking to add a bat through the Rule 5 Draft. We'll keep you on top of the Rule 5 Draft through our Winter Meetings Blog, which will kick off today at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, unless there is something breaking earlier.



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