Lackey a Nationals topic
A baseball source told MLB.com's Bill Ladson that the Nationals are interested in free-agent right-hander John Lackey, the highest-rated starter on the open market. The Nationals will likely be bidding against the Angels, Red Sox, Yankees and Mets for "an ace who can tutor pitchers such as John Lannan, Ross Detwiler and Stephen Strasburg," according to Ladson. "Washington has been looking for this type of pitcher since after the Trade Deadine."
No Bay in St. Louis?
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the general assumption that the Cardinals would go after Jason Bay if they are unable to bring back Matt Holliday might not be a good one. The paper quotes GM John Mozeliak as saying, "We'll see how the market develops. Is [Bay] a possibility? Sure. But right now it's fair to say he's not one of our top priorities."
The Post-Dispatch adds that the Cardinals could also try to swing trades for Nationals sluggers Adam Dunn or Josh Willingham, and that retaining John Smoltz doesn't seem to be the team's first option, pitching-wise.
Glaus not in Cards' plans
In other Cards news, MLB.com's Matthew Leach blogged that Mozeliak "pretty much ruled out the possibility of Troy Glaus returning to play third base for the Cardinals in 2010."
Astros won't pursue Smoltz
MLB.com's Brian McTaggart wrote that the Astros are not players in the Smoltz sweepstakes, according to sources.
Marquis wants to go home
Free-agent righty Jason Marquis, who won 15 games for the Rockies last year but didn't make a postseason start, told the New York Post that he'd like to come home (he's a native of Staten Island, N.Y.) and pitch for the Mets, calling a potential Marquis-Mets marriage a "perfect fit." However, as the Post pointed out, the Mets are believed to be more interested in Lackey and Joel Pineiro.
FOXSports.com caught up with free-agent lefty Jarrod Washburn via e-mail, and the pitcher told the Web site that surgery on his knee went well and that he's ready to figure out where he'll pitch next season. Though Washburn wrote that he believed he and one of his former teams, the Mariners, had "mutual interest," he also said he'd be open to playing near his home in Webster, Wis., for the Twins (the closest team to where he lives) or the Brewers.
"The Twins and Brewers are both on the radar for me," Washburn said. "The thought of playing close to home has always appealed to me, and I think both of those teams would be good fits for me. I don't know yet if either of those teams have mutual interest, but we will see."
DeRosa interest heating up
The Los Angeles Times has upped the number of teams interested in super-utility player Mark DeRosa, from eight to 12, adding the Twins, Mets, Cardinals and Braves to the mix. But according to FOXSports.com, which cited a Major League source, the Phillies are the favorite to land him because of his affinity for the area (he went to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia) and his affordability.
Red Sox scouting relievers
Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that the Red Sox have taken one of the logical first steps toward shoring up their bullpen, asking the Braves for the medical records of relievers Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez.
MLB.com's Mychael Urban got hold of Oakland GM Billy Beane, who said that the club's offseason maneuvers will most likely be trades, not free-agent signings.
"We're going to look at young players to fill spots, first and foremost," Beane told Urban. "If those players we'd like to acquire aren't obtainable, we'll consider bringing in guys who can hold the positions down. We're going to stay disciplined and try to do everything we can to fill those spots with young players. So the next step is to continue to bring guys like [Rookie of the Year] Andrew [Bailey] up here. That's our responsibility, and I know the deal. To sign a couple of free agents and have three or four press conferences during the winter doesn't get it done. We're going to be disciplined."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel made a bold statement about left-hander Mark Mulder, tweeting that "it would be a huge upset if [Mulder] doesn't try his comeback attempt in the Brewers' spring camp."
More on Milwaukee
Brewers GM Doug Melvin told MLB.com's Adam McCalvy that he expects all nine of Milwaukee's free agents -- outfielders Mike Cameron, Frank Catalanotto and Corey Patterson; infielders Craig Counsell and Felipe Lopez; catcher Jason Kendall; and pitchers Braden Looper, Claudio Vargas and David Weathers -- to test the open market come Friday.
"I don't think they want to sign, personally," Melvin said. "They want to wait until Friday and hope someone picks up the phone and makes them an offer they never thought they would get."
Melvin also said that pickup George Kottaras will add organizational depth at catcher.
Carroll on Marlins' radar
MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez chatted with Jonathan Maurer, the agent for free-agent infielder Jamey Carroll, and tweeted that the Marlins are one of the teams interested in the veteran, although Maurer said Florida has not been as aggressive as other clubs and that 10 teams have shown interest.
Doug Miller is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.