Day 2: Winter meetings should start heating up with Rafael Furcal, Jake Peavy and K-Rod on the list
LAS VEGAS -- Baseball's annual winter meetings got off to a slow start with the biggest official announcement on Day 1 being the trade that sent catcher Gerald Laird (career average, .255) from Texas to Detroit for a pair of right-hander pitchers (combined experience above single-A, 34 2/3 innings).
But things could heat up today. The Dodgers are expected to confirm the poorly kept secret that they have agreed to terms with infielder Mark Loretta on a one-year contract believed to be worth $1.4 million. The Dodgers tried without success to trade for Loretta last spring.
Also, record-setting closer Francisco Rodriguez is moving closer to a three-year deal with the New York Mets, severing his ties with the Angels.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, have finally begun talks with the agent for free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, and the San Diego Padres set a deadline for trade talks regarding pitcher Jake Peavy, saying that if they leave Las Vegas with Peavy on their roster, they'll start the season that way too.
The vast lobby at the Bellagio hotel and casino, site of the meetings, was buzzing into the early morning today with rumors of other deals being discussed behind closed doors. Super agent Scott Boras wasn't there, though, suggesting he was deep in talks regarding his major free-agent clients, Dodgers Manny Ramirez and Derek Lowe and Angels first baseman Mark Teixeira.
-- Kevin Baxter