The stove warms up

Okay, it’d probably be technically incorrect to call this “hot stove” chatter since we’re just one game into the World Series. But it is apparent that, even though the season hasn’t officially ended, many teams’ offseason machinations are already well underway. So just for the sport of it, here are some notable whispers, rumors, and links from around the web this afternoon . . .

  • CNNSI’s Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers might be willing to meet free-agent-to-be Manny Ramirez’s salary demands — perhaps even paying him the top annual salary in the game — but appear reluctant to give the slugger the long-term commitment he is seeking:

    One person who’s spoken to Dodgers people suggested that the team is considering proposing a contract that may come close to matching Alex Rodriguez’s record $27.5-million average annual salary but on a much shorter term, perhaps only two years. That person hinted he could see the Dodgers even exceeding A-Rod’s salary, as long as the length of the deal was to their liking.

    Two years? Can’t wait to hear what Scott Boras has to say about that.

  • The New York Post’s George King says the Yankees are considering pursuing Mike Cameron if the Brewers decline to pick up the 35-year-old center fielder’s option. Cameron still has an outstanding glove and decent power (23 homers in ’08), but he whiffed 142 times last season and doesn’t hit for a high average. Wonder if this means they’ve officially given up on Melky Cabrera as an everyday option.
  • Dustin Pedroia ranks sixth on Bill James’s list of the top 25 young players in baseball. The Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez — Pedroia’s double play partner for a time in the Red Sox farm system — ranks second, behind the Brewers’ Prince Fielder. I might take Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria over all of them.
  • Unfortunately, his column his Insider-only, so I can’t link to it, but ESPN.com’s Keith Law makes a very convincing argument that the apparent asking price for Padres ace Jake Peavy is way too high. Check it out if you’re a subscriber. It convinced me that the Red Sox should stay out of the bidding. For what it’s worth, Braves GM Frank Wren, whose team was expected to be one of Peavy’s main suitors, says he’s hanging on to his top prospects.
  • NESN analyst and former Oakland A’s skipper Ken Macha is one of three candidates for the Brewers’ managerial opening, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Here’s hoping Macha’s personality comes through better in an interview than it does on television.
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