It happened in the NFL post-lockout, and the same thing is happening as the NBA lockout is coming to an end. Several months worth of speculation and moves are being condensed into a few short weeks and the scale and scope of these rumors are enormous. Teams are now allowed to talk with agents, according to Howard Beck of the New York Times, but no deals could be agreed to until the new collective bargaining agreement is officially ratified. Let’s see what’s going on…
11:15 p.m. Eastern
-Washington will not amnesty Rashard Lewis, says Marcus Spears.
10:15 p.m. Eastern
-The Knicks have interest in Shannon Brown, Kwame Brown and Jared Jeffries, according to Howard Beck. New York would prefer to trade for Chris Paul.
9:40 p.m. Eastern
-Tyson Chandler is expecting a huge payday, says Sam Amick.
-The Knicks are interested in Jeff Foster and Grant Hill, says Alex Kennedy.
8:15 p.m. Eastern
-Golden State isn’t interested in David West, says Sam Amick. New Orleans, Indiana and Washington do have interest.
7:55 p.m. Eastern
-Boston has interest in Shane Battier, Kwame Brown, Marquis Daniels, Aaron Gray and Roger Mason.
7:30 p.m. Eastern
-Memphis shot down the Rudy Gay for Monta Ellis trade.
-The Knicks reached out to Jeff Foster, Grant Hill, Caron Butler, Kurt Thomas, Jared Jeffries and Shawne Williams, says Frank Isola.
7:23 p.m. Eastern
-Sacramento wants to bring back Samuel Dalembert and Marcus Thornton.
6:30 p.m. Eastern
-New Orleans has listened to trade offers from several teams regarding Chris Paul, including the Celtics and Clippers. Los Angeles has also spoken with free agents Tayshaun Prince and Caron Butler.
-Washington has reached out to Nick Young, Josh Howard and Maurice Evans.
-Sacramento won’t be using the amnesty any time soon, says Sam Amick.
5:55 p.m. Eastern
-The Monta Ellis-Rudy Gay rumor came from the Golden State side, says Ric Bucher.
5:40 p.m. Eastern
-Ric Bucher says that the Warriors could deal Monta Ellis to Memphis for Rudy Gay.
4:55 p.m. Eastern
-Portland, New Orleans, Indiana and Boston have shown interest in Carl Landry.
4:35 p.m. Eastern
-The Nets and Kings are not interested in David West, says Sam Amick.
-Oklahoma City is working on a buyout of Nate Robinson’s contract.
3:40 p.m. Eastern
-New Jersey will try to sign either Nene or Tyson Chandler and then try to use one of them as trade bait, says Chris Broussard.
3 p.m. Eastern
-Orlando will not rule out trading Dwight Howard and are interested in retaining Jason Richardson and Earl Clark.
-Indiana, Golden State, New Orleans and Washington have interest in David West, says Sam Amick.
-Houston has reached out to Chuck Hayes and Nene, says Marc Berman.
-The Knicks reached out to Shawne Williams and are currently in “assets-hunting mode”, says Alan Hahn. The team has also reached out to Caron Butler.
1:45 p.m. Eastern
-The Clippers are going to go all out for Dwight Howard, Chris Broussard said on ESPN Radio.
-The Lakers could use its amnesty clause on Ron Artest, but Luke Walton would make more sense, says Alex Kennedy.
-Nene and Tyson Chandler top the list of Nets targets.
-Milwaukee won’t use its amnesty clause this year, says Alex Kennedy.
1:35 p.m. Eastern
-The Knicks are the favorites for Chris Paul, Chris Broussard says on ESPN Radio, but he would consider an extension with the Clippers, Lakers, Hawks and perhaps the Thunder.
1:10 p.m. Eastern
-New Jersey will consider an extension for Deron Williams and Brook Lopez.
-Indiana could make a strong offer for David West.
-The Nets, Clippers, Bulls, Heat, Spurs and Knicks are interested in Caron Butler, says Ken Berger.
-The Lakers and Heat have interest in Grant Hill.
11:55 a.m. Eastern
-Indiana will be among the most active teams in trading and free agency, says Alex Kennedy.
-The Nets don’t have interest in David West yet, but Ric Bucher expects New Jersey to make a good offer.
11:30 a.m. Eastern
-Teams will likely shy from offering Jonas Jerebko a contract because of Detroit’s willingness to match, says Adrian Wojnarowski.
-Cleveland will try to re-sign Anthony Parker.
10:55 a.m. Eastern
-Though nothing will likely come of it, Cleveland will get nine days back with their $14.5 million trade exception which was taken away because of the lockout.
10:25 a.m. Eastern
-Chris Paul is not willing to sign long term in Boston, says Chris Broussard.
-The league will start with five games on Christmas day. Also, teams cannot use an amnesty on a player they acquire via trade, says Zach Lowe.
-Utah is shopping Paul Millsap, says Alex Kennedy. He also says Earl Clark would like to remain in Orlando.
-The Knicks and Wizards are at the top of Roger Mason‘s list.
-Kyle Singler will remain with Real Madrid all season and not return to the Pistons this year.
8:57 a.m. Eastern
-The Knicks will offer one-year deals to free agents to protect 2012 cap space, says Marc Berman. Shawne Williams, Jared Jeffries, Roger Mason, Shelden Williams and Anthony Carter. They’re also looking for a defensive minded center.
8:40 a.m. Eastern
-New Jersey is preparing an offer of Brook Lopez and two future first-round picks for Orlando’s Dwight Howard, according to Marc Stein and Chad Ford. Howard is a free agent after the season, and the Nets are willing to take on Hedo Turkoglu’s contract, which would work after they amnestied Travis Outlaw. Most people don’t expect the Magic to be entertaining trade offers this early. Another team who will try to deal for Howard is the Lakers, who could offer some combination of Paul Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom and the Clippers could end up being a player in this. There will be restrictions on extend-and-trade deals that would limit how many years a potentially traded player like Howard would get, however, likely limited to one extra year through 2013-2014. *The Nets will also talk with Tyson Chandler and Nene today. *Zach Lowe says the proposed Howard trade mentioned above would leave New Jersey over the projected salary cap, but it would be fixable.
-Indiana has emerged as a team which could land Rajon Rondo in a three-team deal which would potentially get Chris Paul to Boston, says Adrian Wojnarowski. New Orleans is reluctant to trade Paul, whose intentions could be to go to New York in free agency after the season. Oklahoma City has been reluctant to trade Russell Westbrook for Paul, and Westbrook will likely get a maximum contract extension.
-Denver, Golden State, New Jersey, Houston, Indiana, the Clippers, Miami, Dallas and Portland will have interest in Nene, says Marc Spears. Tyson Chandler, David West and Marc Gasol (restricted) are the top players on the open market.
-Sacramento is still in play with Samuel Dalembert and the Kings want to bring back Marcus Thornton, says Sam Amick. Other teams in on Dalembert include Denver, Houston, Golden State, Toronto, New Orleans and Philadelphia (if they amnesty Andres Nocioni).
-Wilson Chandler and Kenyon Martin will play out the season in China, and J.R. Smith and Aaron Brooks will probably end up doing the same. They could return to the NBA in March.
12:20 a.m. Eastern
-Boston is interested in Hornets PG Chris Paul, and have even considered trading Rajon Rondo for him, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard. Rondo has been assured, according to several writers including Sam Amick, that he will not be traded. Paul would have to agree to an extension with the Celtics for a potential deal to be completed. Broussard also mentioned that the Celts offered Rondo and Jeff Green to Oklahoma City for Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins after the playoffs, just a few months after Green and Perkins switched teams.
- The Clippers could also be on Chris Paul’s trade list, according to Ric Bucher, and Los Angeles may be able to give a better offer to New Orleans.
-Teams will be able to call agents at 9 a.m. and the Nets will be busy, according to Al Iannazzone, beginning with Nene.
-Teams with players who have no opt-out clauses in their contracts, such as Denver’s Wilson Chandler, need clearance from their respective teams to return to the NBA, says Ric Bucher.
-There is mutual interest between the Knicks and Shawne Williams on re-signing, according to Alan Hahn, though other teams could offer him more.
10:35 p.m. Eastern
-Houston will interview Rockies assistant Bill Geivett for its GM job, says Ken Rosenthal.
10:25 p.m. Eastern
-Texas has interest in Prince Fielder, but not more now that Mitch Moreland is injured. The Brewers, Cubs, Nationals and Mariners are also interested.
-Yu Darvish will likely be posted, says JP Morosi.
9:45 p.m. Eastern
-The Mets are not interested in Andrew Bailey or Orlando Hudson, says Joel Sherman.
-Baltimore is another team impressed by Yoenis Cespedes, says Jon Heyman.
8:15 p.m. Eastern
-Boston and Minnesota has interest in Josh Willingham, says Susan Slusser. Boston and Miami are among the teams interested in Andrew Bailey and there is a lot of interest in Gio Gonzalez.
7:35 p.m. Eastern
-Colorado could still try to trade for Wandy Rodriguez or Matt Garza, says Jon Paul Morosi.
7:20 p.m. Eastern
-Now that Ramon Hernandez is a Rockie, Colorado has officially traded Chris Iannetta to the Angels for pitcher Tyler Chatwood. Anaheim wanted some pop at the catcher position and used their pitching depth to acquire Iannetta, the 28-year-old who hit 14 homers and had a .370 OBP, but only had a .238 average. The 21-year-old lefty starter went 6-11 with a 4.75 ERA, but shows a lot of promise.
-There is currently no truth to the rumor that Jose Reyes will be in Miami tomorrow.
7:15 p.m. Eastern
-Ramon Hernandez will sign with Colorado for two years and $6.5 million. He hit .281 with 12 homers in 91 games last season. This should set up a Chris Iannetta trade to Anaheim.
6:55 p.m. Eastern
-Colorado is close to signing C Ramon Hernandez to a two-year deal and trading C Chris Iannetta to the Angels for a package including SP Tyler Chatwood, says Troy Renck. Colorado could get another piece as well.
-Will Jose Reyes be in Miami on Thursday?
-Kansas City DFA’d Jeff Bianchi to make room for Jonathan Broxton.
6:35 p.m. Eastern
-Texas, Cincinnati, Toronto, Seattle and Boston are among the teams interested in trading for Andrew Bailey, says Buster Olney.
-Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine turned down a chance to interview for the Houston GM job, says T.R. Sullivan. Also, 1B Mitch Moreland will be out 8-12 weeks after wrist surgery.
5:58 p.m. Eastern
-Texas is among the teams trying to trade for A’s closer Andrew Bailey, says Ken Rosenthal. The Rangers are reluctant to deal Koji Uehara in a separate instance.
5:25 p.m. Eastern
-Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski will personally view a Yoenis Cespedes workout in the Dominican Republic.
4:58 p.m. Eastern
-Los Angeles is interested in Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano, but may not have enough money for Kuroda, says Jayson Stark.
-Joe Saunders could return to Arizona on a two-year deal, says Buster Olney.
4:28 p.m. Eastern
-Jim Bowden: Bobby Valentine will be introduced as Red Sox manager on Thursday, San Francisco is talking with Carlos Beltran and are open to dealing for a SS.
4 p.m. Eastern
-Detroit is interested in Coco Crisp, says Danny Knobler, though he would prefer to stay on the west coast.
3:40 p.m. Eastern
-Ramon Santiago will get $4 million over two years from Detroit, says Jon Paul Morosi.
3:35 p.m. Eastern
-Oakland will try to use its pitching staff to trade for outfield help, says Jim Bowden.
3:05 p.m. Eastern
-Infielder Ramon Santiago, who had numerous big hits for the Tigers in the ALDS, has re-signed with Detroit for two years, according to Danny Knobler. He batted .260 in 101 regular season games in 2011.
-Chong-Tae Hyong is still deciding between the Orioles and Korea, says Dan Connolly.
-Pat Burrell will probably not play in 2012, says Jon Heyman.
1 p.m. Eastern
-The Cubs signed David DeJesus to a two-year deal for $10 million with a 2014 club option, as first reported by Ken Rosenthal. The team is trying to trade Alfonso Soriano.
-Philadelphia wants to re-sign Jimmy Rollins to a three-year deal, says Jon Heyman.
-Los Angeles has signed Adam Kennedy for one year at $800,000 says Tim Brown.
-Colorado is looking for multiple players, including a big leaguer, for Chris Iannetta, says Troy Renck. If they sign Ramon Hernandez, they’d be interested in Tyler Chatwood of the Angels. They’re also working on a deal for Martin Prado, with the Braves wanting Seth Smith and another player. The team is looking for a AA or AAA pitcher in exchange for Ian Stewart.
-The Mets are interested in Brad Lidge and Jon Rauch, says Mike Puma.
-Information on the competitive balance lottery.
11:50 a.m. Eastern
-While the Phillies are not interested in Jose Reyes, they signed eight players to minor league deals, including Scott Elarton and Brian Sanchez.
11:25 a.m. Eastern
-Yoenis Cespdes is expected to become a free agent soon, says Ken Rosenthal.
10:15 a.m. Eastern
-Though the Cubs have serious interest in Albert Pujols, the Cardinals believe that they’ll gain clarity in the Pujols talks within a couple of weeks, says Derrick Goold. In January, St. Louis offered Pujols nine years and $198 million. Rafael Furcal, Octavio Dotel and J.C. Romero are among the players the Cards have interest in. If they lose Pujols, Jimmy Rollins could be in play.
-With a lot of money invested in their bullpen, Ken Rosenthal says the Giants are trying to trade either Ramon Ramirez or Jeremy Affeldt.
9 a.m. Eastern
-With Bobby Valentine going to the Red Sox, Joel Sherman wonders whether it was the right decision.
-Jon Heyman: Yu Darvish will likely be posted within two weeks. *Adam Kennedy is progressing on a deal with the Dodgers.
-Washington is scouting Yoenis Cespedes in the Dominican Republic, says Bill Ladson.
-Detroit is interested in Anaheim’s Maicer Izturis, but not as much as Martin Prado, says Fox Sports. The Angels are also talking to the Rockies about Chris Iannetta.
-Speaking of Colorado, the Mariners have interest in Seth Smith, says JP Morosi. It’s unknown what talks went on, if any.
-Talks between the Giants and Carlos Beltran are fluid and they may not be able to sign Cody Ross.
-Toronto, among other teams, has interest in Kansas City’s Greg Holland, but Bob Dutton says the Royals would have to be overwhelmed.
With November football behind us, it’s officially the stretch run of the NFL season. Now is the time when the contenders break away from the pretenders, and we find out who’ll still be playing in January. Here’s what will happen:
AFC EAST WINNER: New England- With a two-game lead on the second place Jets as well as the head-to-head tiebreaker, the Pats have this division locked up. They also have the luxury of a cakewalk schedule the rest of the way. The end result will be the top seed in the AFC.
AFC NORTH WINNER: Baltimore- The Ravens finally figured out how to beat the Steelers this year, after years of playing second-fiddle to their arch rivals. With similar schedules down the stretch, it’s hard to see Pittsburgh gaining a game on the Ravens, but it’s certainly possible.This is a Baltimore team that lost to both Seattle and Jacksonville. Still, that tiebreaker will be the difference.
AFC SOUTH WINNER: Tennessee- Houston has found a way all year to win without their best players. Mario Williams went down, and they still have the number one defense. Andre Johnson and Arian Foster both missed time, and the offense barely missed a beat. However, losing Matt Schaub will be too much to overcome. Their lead sits at a seemingly comfortable two games over the Titans. But relying on T.J. Yates is a shaky proposition. These two teams will be tied in first place going into week 17, setting up a win-and-in matchup in Houston. Houston will have the edge in that one, but in a high-pressure, lose and go home scenario, I’m not sure I can trust T.J. Yates to do enough not to lose.
AFC WEST WINNER: Denver- Oakland currently leads by a game, but how can you bet against Tim Tebow? The Raiders close out with games at Miami and Green Bay, home to Detroit, at Kansas City and a home game with San Diego. The first three games are all tough. And those two division games to close it out are not as easy as you’d think. The Chiefs and Chargers will both be hungry to play spoiler, and it wouldn’t shock me if the Raiders lose both of them. Meanwhile, the Broncos finish at Minnesota, home to Chicago and New England, at Buffalo and home to Kansas City. Of those five teams, three of those teams will be without their starting QB. The Tebow train will roll on, with Denver taking four of five to close out a remarkable season, and leave Oakland out in the cold, as usual.
WILD CARDS: 1) Pittsburgh- The second place team in the AFC NORTH is a lock to take the first wild card slot.
2) Cincinnati- This is where things get interesting. In a sprint to the finish, the Bengals get the final playoff spot by virtue of a huge win over Houston at home in week 14. This also sets up an interesting situation in which Cincy would play the Ravens at home in week 17, and then fly to Baltimore and play them again exactly one week later in the playoffs.
NFC EAST: Dallas- The most exciting division race will fittingly come down to the last week of the season. Dallas will be a game up on the Giants going into their week 17 tilt at Metlife Stadium. And the Giants, having beaten Dallas three weeks earlier to keep their season afloat, will fall at home, as Dallas’s superior running game and defense easily take care of New York in the bitter December cold.
NFC NORTH: Green Bay- The only question is whether they go 16-0. [They won't]
NFC SOUTH: New Orleans- Atlanta will take a five-game winning streak into the Superdome, with a chance to steal the division from the Saints. But Brees and company take care of business at home, just like they always do, leaving Atlanta to settle for a wild card slot instead.
NFC WEST: San Francisco- It’s weird to realize that the Packers will be 12-0, yet still won’t be the first team to clinch their division. That distinction will belong to Jim Harbaugh’s upstart Niners, who’ll solidify the NFC’s second seed by taking care of business down the stretch.
WILD CARDS: 1) Atlanta- With the Falcons, Bears and Lions all tied at 7-4, one will have to be left in the cold and watch the playoffs from home. It won’t be the Falcons, who have the easiest remaining schedule of the three, and who appear to be emitting more positive vibrations than the Bears and Lions combined.
2) Chicago- Amazingly, Caleb Hanie will keep the Bears afloat just enough to back their way into the playoffs. Since they already beat Detroit back in week 10, Chicago need only keep pace with Detroit the rest of the way to take the last wild card spot. The Lions have three brutal road games left, New Orleans, Oakland, Green Bay, as well as home games vs. the Vikings and Chargers. The Bears will take care of Kansas City and Seattle in Chicago, meaning they won’t even need to win any of their three remaining road games to edge out Detroit.
4:25 p.m. Eastern
-The Yankees have no visit planned with C.J. Wilson, says Jon Heyman. The Yankees, Angels, Nationals, Red Sox, Rangers and Marlins are showing interest in Mark Buehrle, says JP Morosi.
4:05 p.m. Eastern
-Seattle would try to trade Justin Smoak if they sign Prince Fielder, says Jon Paul Morosi.
3:45 p.m. Eastern
-There is no truth to the rumor that Albert Pujols and his representatives visited Toronto today, says Bob Nightengale, but it probably means he’s unhappy with the current Cardinals offer.
-Miami has interest in free agent Carlos Guillen, says Jon Paul Morosi. He also says the Rockies are looking for a veteran starter.
-Los Angeles is talking with IF Adam Kennedy.
-Jensen Lewis signed with Arizona, rather than Texas, says Jayson Stark. His bad…
-Minor league roundup: Houston signed C Carlos Corporan to a minor league deal, Philadelphia released Scott Mathieson so he could play in Japan and the White Sox inked Donnie Veal.
1:40 p.m. Eastern
-The price on Jonathan Broxton was too high for the Mets, given his injury and reliability issues, says Andy Martino.
1:35 p.m. Eastern
-The Cubs, Angels, Tigers and Pirates are among the teams interested in trading for Rockies IF Ian Stewart, says Troy Renck. All four of those teams need an infielder with power, especially with the Cubs losing Aramis Ramirez, who Detroit and Anaheim have shown interest in. Pittsburgh already brought on Clint Barmes, who played with manager Clint Hurdle in Denver, and the Pirates have also reportedly shown interest in Aaron Cook.
1:30 p.m. Eastern
-The Mets and Cardinals are in the running for Octavio Dotel, says Anthony DiComo. The Reds and Tigers were previously reported as being interested.
1:10 p.m. Eastern
-San Francisco extended the contracts of manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Sabean through 2013, says Jeff Fletcher.
1:05 p.m. Eastern
-Texas signed former Cleveland reliever Jensen Lewis to a minor league deal, says Jayson Stark. He’d get $675,000 if he makes the big league roster. The 27-year-old went 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 2010 after being injured last season.
-Philadelphia signed Pat Misch to a minor league deal and re-signed Kevin Frandsen, says Stark. Misch, 30, had a 10.29 ERA in six innings for the Mets in 2011.
12:50 p.m. Eastern
-The Cubs have reached out to the agent of Albert Pujols, says Jerry Crasnick.
-Aaron Crow will get a chance to start for the Royals with Jonathan Broxton setting up Joakim Soria, says Jim Bowden.
12:45 p.m. Eastern
-Baltimore has interest in lefty reliever Renyel Pinto, says Roch Kubatko.
12:30 p.m. Eastern
-Seattle will pursue Prince Fielder, says Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik.
-Houston received permission to interview Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine.
11:25 a.m. Eastern
-With the price of starting pitching high, the Royals are looking to sign an excellent bullpen, says Bob Dutton. Joakim Soria and Jonathan Broxton is certainly a good start,
-Heath Bell’s arbitration decision greatly impacts the Padres‘ plans, says Corey Brock. San Diego would have to go after a closer if he declines. The Pads could also try to deal either Jason Bartlett or Orlando Hudson. Colorado has had some internal discussions about Hudson and San Diego likes closer Huston Street.
-Speaking of Colorado, they’re looking for pitching in a deal for C Chris Iannetta, says Troy Renck. A trade would be made only if they sign C Ramon Hernandez. The Angels also asked about Iannetta and Colorado likes Trevor Chatwood.
10:30 a.m. Eastern
-Jonathan Broxton will get $4 million to set up for the Royals, says Jon Heyman. The Mets, Rangers and Rays were most interested in him besides KC, says Jerry Crasnick. The Mets had several discussions with Broxton, says Andy Martino, and are still talking with several relievers.
-The Cubs could be going after Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder to drive up the price for division rivals, says Buster Olney.
9:55 a.m. Eastern
-There’s no word on how much money Jonathan Broxton will get with the Royals, but Jon Heyman says he has been seeking $4-6 million.
9:30 a.m. Eastern
-Jonathan Broxton signed a one-year deal with the Royals, according to Ken Rosenthal. That gives options for Joakim Soria to possibly start or even get traded, or keep him at closer, Rosenthal says.
-There is a lot of trade interest in Braves Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado, with the Yankees, Marlins and Rangers among the many teams interested in Jurrjens.
9:15 a.m. Eastern
-Boston could decide between Bobby Valentine and Gene Lamont today as their new manager, says Jim Bowden.
-The Cubs will pursue both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, says Ken Rosenthal. Chicago will join the Cardinals and Marlins on the Pujols chase and the Brewers, Nationals and Mariners on Fielder. Washington could get in on the Pujols pursuit and Texas could get in on both players. The Nationals also have interest in Mark DeRosa, according to Bill Lasdon.
-Ken Rosenthal: Tony Pena and Bo Porter could be two Astros managerial candidates if they let go of Brad Mills. *Cincinnati is willing to move Yonder Alonso, but Joey Votto’s status is causing friendly debate among Reds management. GM’s view Alonso as a one-dimensional player not suited to be the main piece in a trade for someone like James Shields or Gio Gonzalez. *Teams could be calling the Cubs on Alfonso Soriano, but Chicago would need to pay a large portion of the $54 million left on his contract. *The Rangers are getting calls on Koji Uehara, but they’re reluctant to move him. *Minnesota and Boston could have interest in Josh Willingham if they lose Michael Cuddyer and David Ortiz respectively. Oakland will try to bring back Coco Crisp, not Willingham.
-The posting process for Hiroyuki Nakajima has begun and will end at 5 p.m. eastern on Friday, says Patrick Newman.
-Houston will try to lure Andrew Friedman from the Rays, but Jon Heyman says it’s a longshot.
-The Yankees have varying levels of interest in C.J. Wilson, Yu Darvish, Mark Buehrle and Edwin Jackson and the team will consider bringing back Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez for its bench, says Bryan Hoch. Atlanta has interest in Eduardo Nunez and Francisco Cervelli could be on the trading block if he’s displaced by Austin Romine. Andrew Marchand says the Yankees have a chance to get Buehrle, Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes.
-Bob Elliot: Toronto has interest in Heath Bell and other teams pursuing closers include the Red Sox, Twins, Reds, Mets, Marlins and Padres. The Jays have also contacted the agents for Francisco Cordero and Matt Capps and have explored trades for Huston Street and Andrew Bailey. Toronto is not interested in Yu Darvish and the Yankees have interest in Kyle Drabek, while Philadelphia likes C Travis D’Arnaud. Kansas City also has interest in Colby Rasmus.
-The White Sox are trying to move Matt Thornton, who has two years and $12 million left on his contract, according to Buster Olney.
-The Cardinals, Reds and Tigers are among the teams interested in Octavio Dotel, says Fox Sports.
-While Matt Capps hasn’t heard from the Mets since the GM meetings, this could be the quietest NY baseball offseason ever, says Andrew Marchand.
-Boston has gotten interest in OF Josh Reddick. Also, the Twins could be in on Yoenis Cespedes.
9:55 p.m. Eastern
-Colorado is interested in C Ramon Hernandez, and could be willing to trade Chris Iannetta, says Troy Renck. They also have interest in relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Jonathan Broxton in case the Rockies trade closer Huston Street. The Red Sox, Blue Jays and Angels could have interest in Iannetta. Colorado also has possible interest in trading for starting pitchers like Jeremy Guthrie of Baltimore and Mike Pelfrey of the Mets, among others.
-Renck also adds that the Rockies are exploring trades for Ian Stewart with the Cubs among interested teams.
9 p.m. Eastern
-Houston has received permission to interview Rays President Andrew Friedman for its GM opening, says the Houston Chronicle. Friedman is expected to stay in St. Pete.
8:20 p.m. Eastern
-Houston has asked permission from the Rays to interview Andrew Friedman for its GM opening, says Rays Index.
-The Mets, unhappy with Ronny Paulino, are looking for a backup catcher to start 40 percent of the games, says Andy Martino. Ramon Hernandez, Kelly Shoppach, Jason Varitek and Ivan Rodriguez are free agents.
8 p.m. Eastern- Evening Update Roundup
-Boston will decide between Bobby Valentine and Gene Lamont on Tuesday, says Joel Sherman.
-St. Louis will not change its over for Albert Pujols, but is still the favorite to sign him, says Jon Heyman.
-The Mariners, Nationals, Rangers and Cubs are the contenders for Prince Fielder, says Jason Churchill. Churchill also says that the Cubs, who are offering Carlos Marmol and Matt Garza in trades, aren’t realistic Fielder suitors. *Washington has serious interest in Fielder, says Ken Rosenthal, who view Yoenis Cespedes as its Plan B. Boston and Miami also have interest in Cespedes.
-C.J. Wilson took his tour of the new Marlins ballpark today.
-Jon Paul Morosi: Atlanta is still open to trading Jair Jurrjens in the right deal. *Milwaukee is still talking about re-signing Takashi Saito.
-The Angels are among four or five teams interested in Aramis Ramirez. Detroit could be another of those teams. Other possibilities for the Angels include C.J. Wilson, Matt Capps, Heath Bell, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel and Scott Linebrink on the free agent side and Ryan Hanigan (Reds), Chris Ianetta (Rockies) and Jeremy Guthrie (Orioles) via trade.
-Jonathan Broxton will sign with a team before the Winter Meetings, says Jerry Crasnick. The Rays, Marlins, Red Sox, Twins and Reds are among the interested teams.
-The Yankees could have interest in trading for Matt Garza, says Joel Sherman, but they are not talking about a trade for any starting pitcher right now.
-Despite previous reports to the contrary, Pittsburgh is not taking offers on Andrew McCutchen, says Dejan Kovacevic. They are also among six teams with preliminary interest in SP Aaron Cook. The Pirates released OF Xavier Paul, who cleared waivers and will likely go to AAA.
12:45 p.m. Eastern
-Jon Paul Morosi: St. Louis and Florida seem like the top suitors for Albert Pujols, while the Cubs, Nationals, Rangers and Mariners have interest in Prince Fielder. *The Yankees and Red Sox are both interested in C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle. *Many starters are available via trade, including John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Matt Garza, Randy Wells, Gio Gonzalez, Randy Wells and Jeremy Guthrie. The Orioles and Angels have been discussing a Guthrie trade in recent days. *There are also a slew of Japanese and Cuban prospects who could head to the majors this spring.
-There is serious interest in David Ortiz from teams other than the Red Sox, possibly Toronto, Texas and Tampa Bay. He wants a three year deal.
12:15 p.m. Eastern
-Jonathan Broxton wants to play close to his Georgia home, so the Rays or Marlins could make sense, according to Joel Sherman.
12:10 p.m. Eastern
-The Cubs and White Sox are getting calls about relievers Carlos Marmol and Sergio Santos, says Phil Rogers.
-Houston will select a new general manager before dealing with manager Brad Mills, says Jon Heyman.
10:15 a.m. Eastern
-Ed Wade was told before Thanksgiving that he was going to be let go by the Astros.
-Philadelphia tried to coax Billy Wagner out of retirement before they signed Jonathan Papelbon, says Mark Hale.
-Toronto is open to dealing David Cooper, a 1B who won the AAA Pacific Coast League batting crown, says Jon Heyman.
9:45 a.m. Eastern
-Jose Molina signed a one-year deal, with a club option, worth $1.8 million with Tampa Bay, says Ken Rosenthal. The 36-year-old defensive minded backstop hit a robust .281/.342/.415 (all career highs for seasons with at least 100 plate appearances) with three homers and 15 RBI’s in 191 plate appearances (55 games) with Toronto. A really good signing for the Rays.
9:15 a.m. Eastern
-Don’t expect the Yankees to go after C.J. Wilson, says Andrew Marchand. Yu Darvish is possible, but Mark Buehrle is better for the NL and Edwin Jackson won’t be happening. Neither will Roy Oswalt or Hiroki Kuroda. Yoenis Cespedes is possible.
-The Mets have interest in IF Jack Wilson, says Mike Puma. The team has yet to make an offer.
9:10 a.m. Eastern
-Jeff Passan: St. Louis is the heavy favorites to land Albert Pujols because his number of landing spots is thin. Washington and Texas could also fit. *Seattle and the Cubs could be possibilities for Prince Fielder, but probably not Milwaukee. *C.J. Wilson could be in the Marlins’ price range, but his value goes up if Yu Darvish doesn’t come to America this offseason. *Mark Buehrle’s deal could set the pitching market value. The White Sox and Cardinals don’t have the money, but a lot of teams like the Yankees, Nationals, Cubs, Angels and Blue Jays have interest. *Jimmy Rollins would have a ton of interest as well if he signed for three years instead of the five he wants, Passan says. *Florida, Milwaukee and a Pujols-less Cardinals team have interest in Jose Reyes, among other teams. *Boston will probably hire Bobby Valentine.
-On the Astros situation: GM Ed Wade and team president Tal Smith have been fired, with assistant GM Dave Gottfried being used as the interim general manager, says Alyson Footer. Gottfried is not a candidate for the job, but the logical favorite is Rangers assistant Thad Levine, says Jon Heyman. Rays president Andrew Friedman will likely not be a candidate. Other possibilities include former Astros GM Gerry Hunsicker, Rangers exec A.J. Preller, or Florida assistant Dan Jennings. The future of manager Brad Mills is also in doubt.
-After trading Jon Jaso to Seattle on Sunday, the Rays signed C Jose Molina, according to Jon Heyman.
-Detroit has also inquired on Mark Buehrle. Kelly Johnson, Octavio Dotel and Yoenis Cespedes will also be targets.