Astros looking to trim payroll

December, 8, 2008
• The Astros are interested in trading Jose Valverde to trim payroll. But in this closer-heavy market, they understand that they may not be able to get the best value for him until next summer.

They're also considering dealing shortstop Miguel Tejada and/or third baseman Ty Wigginton to save money.

• The Braves are anxious to get the A.J. Burnett deal resolved. In addition to adding a starter, they're also in the market for a left fielder. They've identified free agent Raul Ibanez as the best fit because he hits for power and plays solid defense. Pat Burrell and Bobby Abreu, who are also free agents, don't interest the Braves as much because their defense is suspect.

• The Red Sox are completely serious about free agent Mark Teixeira. If they can sign the 28-year-old first baseman, the Red Sox would need Mike Lowell, who had hip surgery in October, to prove himself in spring training; then they would trade him.




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