Follow the winter meetings in Indy

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The winter meetings are under way. Who's going where? Follow along as our team of Ken Rosenthal, Jon Paul Morosi and Tracy Ringolsby breaks the latest news from Indy. Note: all times ET.

Monday's latest news and notes

Valverde rejects arbitration offer — 11:56 p.m.

Free-agent right-hander Jose Valverde declined the Astros' offer of salary arbitration shortly before Monday's midnight deadline. The Braves' Rafael Soriano, Rockies' Rafael Betancourt and Twins' Carl Pavano accepted arbitration offers, remaining with their current teams. Valverde's agents, by rejecting arbitration, evidently believe that the closer can land a multiyear deal even though he is a Type A free agent who will cost the team that signs him a high draft pick. Soriano's agents faced an extremely difficult decision — accept the Braves' one-year, non-guaranteed offer and a lesser role in their bullpen, or gamble on landing an attractive multi-year trade despite his Type A status. The Braves expect that Soriano might request a trade rather than pitch in the middle innings in front of their new setup man, Takashi Saito, and closer, Billy Wagner. The Braves will be motivated to move Soriano rather than pay him in the $7 million range in arbitration. His appeal to other teams will increase due to his non-guaranteed deal — and the fact that a team will not need to forfeit a draft pick as compensation. Soriano, because he is a free agent, cannot be traded before June 15 without his permission. But he might grant that permission to go to a club that would use him in his familiar late-inning role. -- Ken Rosenthal

Pavano accepts arbitration from Twins — 11:49 p.m.

Free-agent right-hander Carl Pavano accepted salary arbitration from the Twins on Monday night, armed with some encouraging news. Brad Penny, another free-agent right-hander, is on the verge of signing a one-year contract with the Cardinals for $7.5 million. Pavano can use Penny as a comparable in the arbitration process. The two had similar seasons. Pavano went 14-12 with a 5.10 ERA for the Indians and Twins, pitching 199 1/3 innings. Penny went 11-9 with a 4.88 ERA for the Red Sox and Giants, pitching 173 1/3 innings. Pavano earned $4.35 million last season. -- Ken Rosenthal

Sources: Yanks have discussed big trade — 10:46 p.m.

This would be a blockbuster. The Yankees, Diamondbacks and Tigers have discussed a three-way trade that would send Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson to New York and right-hander Edwin Jackson to Arizona, major-league sources say. The talks are at an impasse, according to one source. The proposed deal is being pushed by the D-Backs, but was rejected by at least one of the two other teams, the source says. While trade talks are fluid and the names involved could change, sources say the following scenario is under discussion: • The Yankees would receive Granderson from the Tigers and one or two prospects from the Diamondbacks. • The Diamondbacks would get Jackson from the Tigers and right-hander Ian Kennedy from the Yankees. • The Tigers would get right-hander Max Scherzer from the Diamondbacks, and center fielder Austin Jackson and left-handed relievers Phil Coke and Michael Dunn from the Yankees. -- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi

M's pursuing yet another Angel — 9:44 p.m.

First Chone Figgins. Then John Lackey. Now Darren Oliver. The Mariners have shown interest in three of the rival Angels' top free agents. They have already reached an agreement with Figgins. And they have shown interest in Lackey and Oliver, sources say. The Mariners probably don't have enough money to sign Lackey, Oliver and a slugging left fielder. But they can bid up the price and potentially weaken the Angels in the process. "There's some gamesmanship going on," one major league source said. Time will tell what it means. -- Jon Paul Morosi

Rays shopping catcher Navarro — 9:23 p.m.

With the addition of catcher Kelly Shoppach, Tampa Bay is shopping incumbent catcher Dioner Navarro. Indications are if the Rays are unable to move Navarro prior to Friday's deadline for tendering contracts they will non-tender Navarro, making him a free agent. -- Tracy Ringolsby

UPDATED: Pirates strengthen their pursuit of SS Crosby — 9:21 p.m.

The Tigers' signing of Adam Everett is pointing the Pirates toward another free-agent shortstop — Bobby Crosby. The Pirates, not completely satisfied with Ronny Cedeno, are intensifying their pursuit of Crosby now that Everett is off the board, according to major-league sources. Crosby, 29, would compete with Cedeno for the starting job. He appeared in only 97 games with the A's last season, batting .223 with a .295 on-base percentage and .357 slugging percentage. The Rockies also have shown interest in him. -- Ken Rosenthal

Looper interested in pitching for Cubs — 8:19 p.m.

Free agent starter Braden Looper, who lives in the Chicago area during the offseason, said during a Monday telephone interview that he'd be interested in pitching for the Cubs in 2010. "That would be appealing," he said. "You've got to see what your options are. I don't know if they're looking for a starting pitcher, since they have a new owner. But I'm living in Chicago, and I've got three kids in school here, so that would be nice. "I'm going to look around and see what my options are." The Brewers declined their $6.5 million mutual option on Looper last month. He received a $1 million buyout and became a free agent, after going 14-7 with a 5.22 ERA in 34 starts this year. After spending most of his career in the bullpen, he has started for the past three seasons. Looper, 35, said there's "not a lot going on right now" as far as his discussions with clubs. Looper has spent his entire big-league career in the National League and acknowledged that the NL is a "comfort zone" for him. "I'm pretty open to anything," Looper said. "Even when the Brewers declined my option, they said they were interested in bringing me back. So, I'm sitting back and seeing what happens." The right-hander's uncle, Benny Looper, is a high-ranking executive with the Phillies. They are one of the many teams that could add a starting pitcher this offseason. "You never know," Looper said, when asked about the possibility of pitching for his uncle's team. "He's such a character guy that he would let somebody else make that sort of decision. He wouldn't let his heart get in the way of his head." -- Jon Paul Morosi

Sources: BoSox add more cheap pitching — 8:08 p.m.

The Red Sox continued stockpiling inexpensive pitching Monday, signing left-hander Fabio Castro to a major-league contact, according to major-league sources. Castro, 27, has not pitched in the majors since 2007. He spent last season in the Blue Jays' organization, going 9-6 with a 4.01 ERA in 29 starts at Class AA and AAA. Earlier Monday, the Red Sox signed Scott Atchison, a right-handed reliever, to a one-year, $400,000 contract with club options for 2011 and 2012, according to the pitcher's agent, Rich Thompson. Atchison, 33, spent the past two seasons with the Hanshin Giants. He turned down a more lucrative offer from Hanshin to return to the majors. -- Ken Rosenthal

Braves' Soriano likely to decide at the buzzer — 7:43 p.m.

Free-agent right-hander Rafael Soriano will wait "until the last minute" before deciding whether to accept salary arbitration from the Braves, according to a major-league source. Soriano must decide by midnight Monday whether to return to the Braves on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract - and, club officials say, a lesser role in their bullpen. The pitcher would prefer a multi-year contract, but his status as a Type A free agent could restrict his market. Clubs might be reluctant to give up a high draft pick to sign him. -- Ken Rosenthal

Remember me? Michael Tucker bidding for comeback — 7:40 p.m.

Every year, former major leaguers attend the winter meetings, seeking to revive their careers. This year's attendees include Nick Bierbrodt, a left-hander who last pitched in the majors in 2004, and Michael Tucker, an outfielder who has not been in the majors since '06. Bierbrodt, 31, had a checkered 38-game major-league career. He suffered a series of injuries, experienced "Steve Blass" wildness in the spring of 2002 with the Rays, then was shot in June of that year while in a taxi waiting to pick up an order at a drive-through restaurant. Tucker, 38, spent last season playing in the independent Atlantic League for the South Maryland Blue Crabs. -- Ken Rosenthal

UPDATED: Pavano accepting arbitration looks like done deal — 7:35 p.m.

Free-agent right-hander Carl Pavano is "99 percent certain" to accept salary arbitration from the Twins, according to a major-league source. Pavano and other free agents offered arbitration must decide by Monday midnight whether to accept a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. The agents for such players are spending the day surveying the market, trying to determine whether they can land a multi-year deal. Pavano, 33, went a combined 14-12 with a 5.10 ERA in 199 1/3 innings for the Indians and Twins last season. -- Ken Rosenthal

Penny nearing deal with Cardinals — 7:31 p.m.

Free-agent right-hander Brad Penny is close to signing a one-year, $7.5 million contract with the Cardinals, according to a major-league source. The deal, which is contingent on Penny passing a physical Tuesday, includes performance bonuses that give Penny the chance to earn a maximum of $9 million. -- Ken Rosenthal

UPDATED: Rays ask Blue Jays about Halladay — 6:01 p.m.

What if the Blue Jays trade Roy Halladay within the American League East — but not to Boston or New York?
Huh? Of all the Halladay trade scenarios, here's one you may not have expected: The Rays have asked Toronto officials about Halladay, according to one major league source. The source suggested the Rays might be willing to offer star pitching prospect Wade Davis and outfielder B.J. Upton. (In that possibility, Toronto could flip Upton to a third team.) But one executive with knowledge of the Rays' plans said there is no way that general manager Andrew Friedman would offer both players in a deal for one year of Halladay. This isn't the first time that the Rays have shown interest in the Toronto ace. They made a strong push in July, according to multiple sources. Halladay would need to waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to happen, and it's not clear if he would be willing to do so. But he resides in the Tampa Bay area, so spending one season with the Rays could appeal to him. Halladay is due to become a free agent after the coming season. Tampa Bay, which has a limited budget, would probably have difficulty signing him to a long-term deal. Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos told Toronto-area reporters today that he has discussed three- and four-team trades with other clubs. Anthopoulos told the reporters that he has met with three teams today — and has three more meetings scheduled. -- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi

Old friend Corpas could give Rox what they need — 5:59 p.m.

The Rockies could get a bullpen lift from within. Manuel Corpas, who underwent surgery last season, has been rehabbing in the Dominican Republic, and is scheduled to pitch for Escogido in the Dominican winter league on Tuesday. Corpas was the Rockies closer in the second half of 2007 when they rallied to claim the NL wild-card. Corpas underwent minor right elbow surgery in late July, and is expected to be healthy for the start of spring training.

UPDATED: Tigers close to dealing starter Jackson — 4:41 p.m.

The Tigers are close to trading right-hander Edwin Jackson, according to major-league sources. The identity of the team is not known, but both the Diamondbacks and Mariners are known to have interest. The discussions have been more serious with Arizona than Seattle, according to one source. The Angels, meanwhile, are still pursuing both Jackson and Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson. The Brewers, Mets and Dodgers are not on Jackson, sources said. -- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi

Brewers making bid for lefty Wolf — 4:15 p.m.

The Brewers, in need of starting pitching, are making a strong push for free-agent left-hander Randy Wolf, according to major-league sources. "They've shown they're very interested," according to one source with knowledge of the discussions. Wolf, 33, went 11-7 with a 3.23 ERA for the Dodgers last season, pitching a career-high 214 1/3 innings. The Dodgers did not offer him salary arbitration, so any team that signs him will not forfeit a draft pick as compensation. The Brewers, who are looking for multiple starting pitchers to go with right-hander Yovani Gallardo, might be reluctant to give Wolf anything beyond a two-year deal. General manager Doug Melvin has indicated that he would not make the same mistake he did when he signed free-agent right-hander Jeff Suppan to a four-year, $42 million contract after the 2006 season. -- Ken Rosenthal

Mets looking at Molina for more catching help — 3:23 p.m.

The Mets have already signed free agent catcher Chris Coste, and they may not be done yet. New York is stepping up its pursuit of free-agent Bengie Molina, who reportedly is seeking a multi-year deal that would average around $7 million annually. The Giants and Seattle have expressed interest, but both teams are reluctant to guarantee more than one year. -- Tracy Ringolsby

Rockies release Murton to pursue career in Japan — 3:21 p.m.

Outfielder Matt Murton was released by the Rockies in a move designed to allow Murton to sign with a Japanese team. Murton figured in the Rockies' plans as a backup right-handed-hitting outfielder in case they dealt Ryan Spilborghs. When the opportunity arose in Japan, however, the Rockies agreed to allow Murton to go because of the salary he can command in that country. Murton was sold to the Hanshin Tigers. The Rockies are reconsidering keeping Spilborghs, who is a first-time arbitration eligible player, but also have made inquiries on Milwaukee outfielder Corey Hart as an option of they do trade Spilborghs. "After talking to Spilly I feel he is going to be a better player (in 2010),'' said O'Dowd. "That would have put Matt in a difficult situation with us.'' -- Tracy Ringolsby

If Cards get Penny, Smoltz could be a goner — 3:15 p.m.

If the Cardinals sign free-agent right-hander Brad Penny, John Smoltz's brief tenure in St. Louis almost certainly will be over. The Cardinals, Giants and a third team remain in talks for Penny, major-league sources say. The Cardinals, however, appear to be the front-runner. Penny would become the Cardinals' fourth starter behind right-handers Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Kyle Lohse. Lefty Jaime Garcia could become the fifth starter, with righty Mitchell Boggs likely moving to the bullpen. The Cardinals are among Smoltz's top choices as a free agent, if not his top choice. -- Ken Rosenthal

Nats acquire reliever Bruney from Yankees — 2:19 p.m.

The Washington Nationals have acquired reliever Brian Bruney from the New York Yankees for a player to be named. Bruney went 5-0 with a 3.92 ERA in 44 appearances with the World Series champion Yankees this year. The 27-year-old right-hander is 16-10 with 13 saves and a 4.27 ERA in 230 career games over six seasons with the Yankees and Diamondbacks. Bruney had a career-best 12 saves in 2005 with Arizona. -- Associated Press

Mets, D-backs showing most interest in 2B Kennedy — 2:17 p.m.

The Mets and Diamondbacks are the teams showing the most interest in free agent Adam Kennedy, major-league sources say, viewing him as a potential starter at second base. The Mets, if they traded Luis Castillo, could sign Kennedy as a less expensive option than Orlando Hudson. The Diamondbacks, who traded Felipe Lopez to the Brewers last July, also are looking for help at second. Three other teams also are showing interest in Kennedy, but for more of a super-utility role, one source said. Kennedy, who turns 34 on Jan. 10, batted .289-.348-.410 with 11 home runs and 63 RBIs for the A's last season. He also stole 20 bases in 26 attempts. -- Ken Rosenthal

Padres, Correia nearing decision time — 1:53 p.m.

Right-hander Kevin Correia accepted a below-market contract to play for his hometown Padres last season, signing a one-year, $750,000 contract. He is less inclined to make the same move again. The Padres want to sign Correia at a discount, according to a major-league source. If no agreement is reached by Saturday, the team likely will decline to offer him a contract. Correia, who went 12-11 with a 3.91 ERA in 33 starts last season, would be one of the more attractive "non-tender" free agents. He benefited from pitching at Petco Park, but his ERA at home was only a half-run per game lower than it was on the road. For teams in need of rotation help — the Dodgers, Mets and Brewers come to mind — he would be a good fit. -- Ken Rosenthal

Angels open talks with Bay — 1:15 p.m.

Boston officials are becoming concerned about their ability to re-sign outfielder Jason Bay.
The Angels, looking to fill voids with the expected departure of Chone Figgins to Seattle, have opened talks with Bay. The Red Sox are concerned because the Angels have shown a willingness to make major moves on the free agent market. In addition to losing Figgins, the Angels also could see John Lackey sign elsewhere as a free agent, possibly with Seattle. Bay and Matt Holliday are the prime offensive free agents this offseason. The Angels already announced they would not get involved in talks with Holliday, who is represented by agent Scott Boras. -- Tracy Ringolsby

Tigers, Bucs among those pursuing SS Everett — 12:37 p.m.

The Tigers and Pirates are among the three teams with the most serious interest in shortstop Adam Everett, according to a major league source. Everett is seeking a one-year deal worth around $3 million. -- Jon Paul Morosi

Catching shortage helping Olivo — 12:36 p.m.

There is a shortage of catching. And it is driving the market for the catchers on the open market. Miguel Olivo has found strong interest from San Francisco, Seattle and Colorado. The Giants and Mariners have driven the price up. They are both seeking every day catchers. Colorado, meanwhile, looks at Chris Iannetta as its No. 1 catcher, but wants a strong backup in case a need arises. The Rockies declined a $4 million option on Yorvit Torrealba, but are having renewed discussions on signing him. Olivo became a free agent when Kansas City opted to pay the $100,000 buyout on his $3.3 million option for 2010 even though he led the Royals with 23 home runs while appearing in 114 games last year. Kansas City is among the teams looking for a catcher, even though in addition to buying out Olivo's contract the Royals plan to non-tender catcher John Buck. The deadline for tendering contracts to players is on Saturday. -- Tracy Ringolsby

BoSox sign former Hanshin righty reliever Atchison — 12:16 p.m.

The Red Sox have signed Scott Atchison, a right-handed reliever, to a one-year contract with club options for 2011 and 2012, according to the pitcher's agent, Rich Thompson. During his two seasons with Hanshin, Atchison was a workhorse, pitching 194 2/3 innings. He appeared in 117 games, striking out 81, walking 20 and posting a 2.77 ERA. Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi

Phils can't afford Lyon? — 11:33 a.m.

While the Phillies like free-agent reliever Brandon Lyon, they are unwilling to pay the necessary price for him, according to a major-league source. The Phillies plan to spend between $4 million and $6 million on their bullpen. Lyon would command all or nearly all of that money, leaving the team with little payroll flexibility. Rather than pursue Lyon aggressively, the Phillies are working trades for other relievers and considering lesser free agents. They will not necessarily complete their business at the winter meetings. -- Ken Rosenthal

Interest in Pirates' Duke, Maholm — 9:35 a.m.

Pirates starters Zach Duke and Paul Maholm are available, but one person familiar with the team's plans said Neal Huntington will need to be "overwhelmed" in order to trade one of them. Another source said "a few" clubs have checked on Duke and Maholm recently. Both are very affordable, which enhances their appeal: Maholm has $11 million left on his contract through 2011, and Duke will probably earn between $3 million and $4 million next year through salary arbitration. -- Jon Paul Morosi

Sources: M's negotiating with Branyan — 8:15 a.m.

The Mariners are still engaged in negotiations with free-agent first baseman Russell Branyan, multiple major league sources said Monday morning. One person with knowledge of the talks described them as being in the "preliminary stage." The Mariners are among four teams to show interest in Branyan, according to one source. Branyan is coming off a career year in Seattle, where he batted .251 with 31 home runs and 76 RBIs. The Mariners have considered replacing Branyan internally with Jose Lopez, who would shift from second base. Lopez is a better defender at first than second but would prefer to stay where he is. -- Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal

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