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Monday, December 9
Updated: December 10, 2:56 PM ET
 
Braves, among others, showing interest in Stanton

By Jayson Stark
ESPN.com

With free agency and trade talk now in full swing, here's the latest rumblings from around the majors:

  • There's a ton of interest in Mike Stanton now that the Yankees haven't offered him arbitration. The Braves are very interested. Others believed to have interest are the Mets, Astros, Diamondbacks and Dodgers.

  • One team apparently backing off Stanton is the Phillies, because of Dan Plesac's surprising decision Friday not to retire and sign a one-year, $2-million contract with Philadelphia. The Phillies are plowing all their efforts into finding a veteran starter, after being turned down by Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer. Chuck Finley -- who knows Larry Bowa from their Anaheim days and played with Jim Thome -- appears to be their No. 1 free-agent target now.

  • The A's and Red Sox are believed to top the list of teams interested in Edgardo Alfonzo. He plans to consider his options for a few days.

  • The group of teams now pursuing Jon Lieber, who turned down a one-year deal with an option to return to the Cubs, is thought to include the Yankees, Mets, Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Rangers and White Sox. Lieber, who is coming off Tommy John surgery and won't be back until at least midseason, wants a two-year contract that would obviously pay him a low base this year with a chance to make good money in the second season if he's healthy.

  • Here are the details of Jamie Moyer's fascinating contract with Seattle: $1.5 million signing bonus, $6 million in 2003, $6.5 million in 2004, $1.5 million guarantee for the third year in 2005.

    But the third season will be worth $3 million if Moyer makes 30 or more starts next year. (The guarantee goes up $100,000 per start for every start between 16 and 30.) And the third season will be worth $7.5 million if he pitches 200 innings or more in the second year of the deal. (It rises $225,000 for every five innings he pitches from 110 through 195. Then it rises another $450,000 once he hits 200 innings.)

    It's believed the Phillies actually offered him a higher guarantee for two years ($16 million) than his three-year guarantee from Seattle ($15.5 million). But he didn't want to move his family across country.

  • Two major-league sources say the Cubs' interest in Pudge Rodriguez is diminishing, and the Orioles are now thought to be the leading candidate to sign him.

  • Teams that have been in contact with the Expos over the last week say they're being told they want front-line prospects and young players who aren't arbitration-eligible in return for any of their big names.




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