Yankees GM Brian Cashman is contemplating a lengthy shopping list of outfielders that also includes Alfonso Soriano, Todd Hollandsworth and David Dellucci. But Cashman's ears have been bent by Bombers third base coach Larry Bowa, who managed Abreu in Philadelphia.
According to the New York Daily News
, Bowa is recommending the 32-year-old Abreu as someone who would "thrive in a situation where he doesn't have to be the top gun."
Abreu's eight-figure contract -- in Manny Ramirez territory, although his numbers are not -- would be a serious problem for some teams that could assemble a more enticing trade package than anything at the Yankees' disposal. For example, the Philadelphia Inquirer
reports the Red Sox would make a deal only if it included Trot Nixon (earning $6.5 million in the final year of a three-year contract) going the other way.
Being able to afford Abreu could make the Yankees a more viable trade partner for Gillick.
According to the New York Post
, the Mets' interest thus far has been limited to notifying Gillick that "if Abreu, closer Tom Gordon or starter Jon Lieber are made available before the July 31 non-waiver deadline," they'd want to talk.
Mets GM Omar Minaya's priority, however, appears to be a veteran starting pitcher with postseason experience to steady the rotation for a likely playoff run. While he has contacted the Nationals about possibly uniting Livan Hernandez with step-brother Orlando, Minaya may find the White Sox a more irresistible option.
The New York Daily News
reports both Javier Vazquez (whom Minaya had in Montreal) and Freddy Garcia could be had in return for frontline bullpen help. According to the newspaper, the Mets would have to offer a package topped by Darren Oliver, Aaron Heilman or Duaner Sanchez for either of the right-handed starters.
As for Soriano -- another $10 million man likely to leave Washington -- the Nationals apparently let the recent Futures Game set his price.
According to various media reports, the Nats' price to the Yankees would include right-hander Philip Hughes and outfielder Jose Tabata. The Tigers, who also are interested, would have to part with either outfielder Cameron Maybin or pitcher Humberto Sanchez. All four appeared in the blue-chip game in Pittsburgh prior to the 77th All-Star Game.
Other gusts ...
For bullpen help, also looking at the Pirates' Roberto Hernandez, who at 41 has a 2.56 ERA in 40 appearances. (Chicago Tribune
Jeffrey Loria's effort to take left-hander Dontrelle Willis off the market sounded suspiciously like confirmation that he could be had, since the owner conceded all bets might be off next year: "Willis isn't going anywhere this year. Next year is another matter. We have tremendous depth at that position, and we may have to eventually think about using some of that to pick up the slack elsewhere." (Palm Beach Post
The Bucs' optimistic asking price may hinder their commitment to deal Craig Wilson -- they would want a pitching prospect and a Major League-ready position player in return. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
GM Jim Hendry's out-box appears to be full with reliever Scott Williamson, second baseman Todd Walker, utilityman Phil Nevin and left-hander Glendon Rusch. (Chicago Sun Times
Their talks with the Orioles concerning right-handed setup man LaTroy Hawkins are at an advanced stage. The Birds are asking for Ryan Shealy, a first-base prospect with power, but the Rockies prefer to do the deal with outfielder-third baseman Jeff Baker. (Baltimore Sun
The Cards' search for a left fielder may lead to Baltimore and Jeff Conine. St. Louis GM Walt Jocketty is determined to get a reinforcement after the club's left fielders combined to hit six home runs in the season's first half. (Denver Rocky Mountain News