Welcome back to Indian Wells, the only place on the globe where you can begin your day by seeing Peter Gammons (the commissioner) and Omar Minaya (the GM of the Mets) side by side on treadmills in the health club at 6:30 a.m.
Now, I can’t say this with any certainty, but I don’t believe Peter has been empowered yet by Larry Lucchino to broker a deal with Omar for Manny Ramirez, though I think for continuity’s sake LL should interview Peter for the GM job and let him oversee the young up-and-comers in the baseball ops department that have been affectionately dubbed the Gammons Youth.
Lucchino spoke yesterday to Murray Chass of the New York Times prior to his arrival here to interview GM candidates, which include Jim Bowden, GM of the Nats; Chris Antonetti, Mark Shapiro’s assistant with the Indians, and Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays, an assistant to J.P. Ricciardi, who confirmed last night that the Sox asked for permission to speak with him.
Murray evidently thought that John Henry’s public angst and non-denials about Chris Snow’s Globe story reporting that Manny had asked to be traded was not sufficient evidence, because his story this morning said that Lucchino was the first Sox official to confirm that Manny had indeed asked to be traded. Well, OK then.
What remains to be seen is whether LL will sit in this afternoon when Team Boras makes its presentation to the Sox Gang of Four regarding Johnny Damon (the meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET), and whether the Sox intend to make an offer at this time. You let it go this far, I suspect they’ll wait to see what the market is for Damon, then act accordingly. Remember, their initial offers to Jason Varitek (3 years, $8m a year) and what they finally signed him for (4 years, $10m a year were light years apart). LL may be content to let his baseball ops guys handle this meeting and report back to him.
Bud Selig is also due here today to talk to the GMs about the World Baseball Classic; I thought the Nats sale might be ready to be announced at the owners meeting next week in Milwaukee but I’ve been told that won’t be on the agenda. I think stadium issues are holding it up, but believe me, when it is announced, Theo Epstein will almost certainly be back in the news, as the leading candidate to be Nats GM.
You’ve probably heard some of the other scuttle by now…the Yanks shopping Jorge Posada… Brian Cashman meets today with Arn Tellem to talk about Hideki Matsui. Yanks have until Nov 15 to get a deal done or Matsui can become a free agent, under the terms of his contract, but that deadline can be extended… D-Rays sign Rocco Baldelli to a 6-year, $33m deal… Someone floating a Sean Burroughs/Dave Roberts for David Wells trade rumor (I think Wells gets traded, and quite likely to SD, but not for that combo).
I’ll check in later.