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Rumors, Coast to Coast
2003-12-03 08:38
by Jon Weisman

Some consensus, some discrepancies ...

From the Newark Star-Ledger:

The Yankees have had discussions with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as first reported yesterday by Newsday, about a trade that would bring right-hander Kevin Brown to the Bronx. Officials with both teams said yesterday the talks have not yet progressed very far ...

Dodgers officials said yesterday there was "no chance" they would agree to a Brown-for-Weaver swap, but they left open the possibility that the Yankees' offer could be improved and the talks rekindled.

From Newsday:

The Dodgers have interest in dealing Brown because of the $15 million he'll make each of the next two seasons. Receiving Jeff Weaver in return wouldn't get it done, Dodgers sources said yesterday. Los Angeles would like Nick Johnson ...

From the Los Angeles Times:

Pitcher Kevin Brown's desire to play for an East Coast team has further complicated an already difficult off-season for Dodger General Manager Dan Evans, who might trade the All-Star right-hander to the New York Yankees, team sources said Tuesday.

Agent Scott Boras recently informed Evans that Brown wants to play for a team closer to his off-season home in Macon, Ga., the sources said, saying Brown would waive his no-trade clause to join the American League champions. ...

The Yankees, apparently aware of Brown's stance regarding his future, have offered beleaguered 27-year-old right-hander Jeff Weaver. But the Dodgers won't trade Brown for Weaver straight up, two team executives said.

From the New York Post:

If the Dodgers were to trade Brown, according to sources, it would be for a hitter, not a hittee. In fact, industry sources on both the left and right coast shot down such a trade ...

From the New York Times, which seems to have concluded that this is old news:

The Yankees toyed briefly last month with another significant pitching acquisition, speaking to the Los Angeles Dodgers about acquiring 38-year-old Kevin Brown, who makes $15 million a year and is an elite pitcher when he stays healthy. The same baseball official said the discussions about Brown were part of a hypothetical four-way trade that "never got off the ground."

A second baseball official said the Dodgers had no interest in the trade, which Newsday reported yesterday as a potential straight-up exchange involving Brown and pitcher Jeff Weaver, who has struggled mightily as a Yankee. That official said that Dodger conversations about trading pitching had centered on adding offense, not cutting payroll, which would be the main benefit of trading Brown for Weaver.

As evidence that the Dodgers could add salary, the official noted that the team spoke to the Florida Marlins about first baseman Derrek Lee before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs last week, and to the Milwaukee Brewers about the slugger Richie Sexson before he was dealt to Arizona on Monday. The Dodgers backed out of both deals, the official said, when the asking price, in terms of players, became too high.

From the Los Angeles Daily News:

Although the New York Yankees have interest in starting pitcher Kevin Brown, the right-hander apparently will be staying in L.A. ...

However, sources said Tuesday the Yankees' offer was rejected. The Dodgers have received several offers for Brown and Hideo Nomo but apparently will only trade pitching in exchange for an offensive upgrade.

The Dodgers and Yankees talked last month about potential trades involving Nick Johnson or Alfonso Soriano, but those talks centered around Odalis Perez, not Brown.

And then, there are the Carlos Beltran and Rafael Palmeiro rumors. The Daily News continues:

Rafael Palmeiro might be the Dodgers' best free-agent option, and Randall Simon will be expendable since the Cubs acquired Lee.

Several teams, including the Dodgers, have expressed interest in Kansas City outfielder Carlos Beltran, but it seems increasingly likely the Royals won't deal him. They turned down several offers for Beltran at last season's trade deadline and, beyond that, the Dodgers are reluctant to trade for players who will be free agents after 2004.

From the Kansas City Star (annoying registration process required):

The Los Angeles Dodgers, after failing to land either Derrek Lee or Richie Sexson, are again showing interest in acquiring Carlos Beltran in an effort to boost their punchless lineup.

The problem for Dodgers general manager Dan Evans is nothing has changed since last summer when he pushed harder than anyone else in efforts to pry Beltran away from the Royals.

Simply put: The Royals don't see a match.

The Royals want more than lower-level prospects in return for Beltran, a superb defensive center fielder who led the club last season in virtually every offensive category.

My take Tuesday on the theoretical Brown trade is here. I find today that Bill Plaschke of the Times and I are in agreement, which hasn't happened much in the past year. So from the Dodger standpoint, I have to assume that the trade is a no-brainer. Whether it will happen, of course, is another story. But I don't mind that Evans is trying to negotiate with authority rather than desperation, trying to get more.

Time permitting, I'll take a closer look at Beltran and Palmeiro.

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