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Rafael Soriano: Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors reports that reliever Rafael Soriano has accepted arbitration from the Braves, taking himself off of the free agent market. Soriano had been mentioned in connection with the Yankees, but it was thought to be a different acquisition because he is a Type-A free agent and the team would have to surrender a draft pick to sign him. Before the decision had been made Braves GM Frank Wren said he expected them to request a trade if they accepted arbitration. That said, Joel Sherman at the Post says the Yankees have no interest in trading for Soriano. Via Chad Jennings and Tim Dierkes.

Jason Marquis: Chad Jennings mentioned that Brian Cashman flew to the Winter Meetings with agents Seth and Sam Levinson and discussed their client, free agent starting pitcher Jason Marquis. Pitching for Colorado, he was 15-13 with a 4.04 ERA. But, it's unclear if the Yankees have any interest in him.

Backup Catcher: Cashman told Jennings that the team was not in any rush to find a backup catcher. "Cervelli can do that job, he said. "Right now, I'm not focused on backup catcher. We have Posada. We have Cervelli. That doesn't mean I won’t look at it."

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Posted by: Patrick
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ESPN's Nick Pietruszkiewicz passes on a report from Buster Olney indicating that during the discussions about a three way trade between the Diamondbacks, Tigers and Yankees, the idea of both center fielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Edwin Jackson ending up in New York was suggested. Olney notes that this doesn't mean that there was actually any traction behind the idea and when talks ended on Monday, two of the teams involved were not pleased with what was currently being offered.

Even so, Olney says that one of the three teams engaged in the discussions "continues to push the recast deal" that would allow the Yankees to obtain both Granderson and Jackson.
Posted by: Patrick
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Last night, a source told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Tigers were talking about a three way trade that would have broken down as follows:

Yankees receive: center fielder Curtis Granderson from the Tigers and one or two prospects from the Diamondbacks.

Diamondbacks receive: pitcher Edwin Jackson from the Tigers and pitcher Ian Kennedy from the Yankees.

Tigers receive: pitcher Max Scherzer from the Diamondbacks and center fielder Austin Jackson and pitchers Phil Coke and Michael Dunn from the Yankees.

So, in all, the Yankees would have traded Kennedy, Jackson, Coke and Dunn for Granderson and one or two prospects from the Diamondbacks. But, the FOX Sports duo also reported that the deal was at a deadlock and that the Diamondbacks were really championing the deal which was rejected by by at least one of the teams, according to their source.

In a later report, they quoted a source as saying that the chances of the deal taking place were "not good" and that the main issue was that the Yankees didn't feel like they were getting a fair deal. They had even more sources telling them that the Diamondbacks were not willing to kick in any prospects after all.

Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman calls the deal "very unlikely" while Buster Olney of ESPN says the deal progressed to the point where only one team liked it. He also compared the Tigers offering of Granderson to how the Blue Jays offered Roy Hallday in July: "The team is asking for the moon and stars, and if they get [what] they ask for, great."

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
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Chad Jennings reports that the Yankees either have already or will offer all coaches on the 2009 staff a return in 2010. Currently, the only member of the coaching staff under contract is hitting coach Kevin Long, who is signed through 2010.

Pitching coach Dave Eiland, third base coach Rob Thomson, bench coach Tony Pena, first base coach Mick Kelleher and bullpen coach Mike Harkey are the free agents.
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Joel Sherman at the Post says that the Cubs are after Mike Cameron, who the Yankees might also be interested in. He notes that the Cubs have an interest in Melky Cabrera, should he become available. Sherman also spoke to a team interested in Tigers center fielder Curtis Granderson who thinks that the Yankees really want Granderson.

But then you have Mark Feinsand of the Daily News who has a source telling him that the Yankees talked to the Tigers, but the asking price was too much - supposedly, it was Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson. That's not happening.

Via Ben Kabak.
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Marc Carig of the Ledger reports that Brian Cashman is set to meet with the agent of utility man Mark DeRosa. He is said to want a 3 year, $9 million dollar contract. Mike Axisa at River Ave. Blues writes that the team should not fall into the trap of overestimating DeRosa.

Via Tim Dierkes.
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Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that reliever Brian Bruney has been traded, not to the Braves, but to the Nationals in exchange for their Rule 5 draft pick. They pick first in the draft.
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The Baseball Hall of Fame has results from the recent Veterans Committee vote that saw Whitey Herzog and Doug Harvey elected to the hall.

They don't give specific numbers for everyone and that includes Billy Martin, who they say received 2 or less votes from the 16 person panel, which included players Robin Roberts and Tom Seaver; current and former executives John Harrington, Jerry Bell, Bill DeWitt, Bill Giles, David Glass, Andy MacPhail and John Schuerholz; and media members Rick Hummel, Hal McCoy and Phil Pepe.

Via Rob Neyer.
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ESPN.com reports that, according to a source, Andy Pettitte has decided to return for his sixteenth season and, as expected, his preference is the Yankees.

According to Joel Sherman at the Post, the team has already made an offer to him, in the area of $10 million dollars, that was rejected. But, Sherman quotes an NL official who has spoken to a party involved in the negotiation and that official feels it's only a matter of time before the two sides come to terms. Doing so, Sherman suggests, would allow the team to not be a player in the John Lackey sweepstakes. They could, instead, take a one year shot at a health risk, high upside pitcher, like Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer or Rich Harden.

Negotiations will pick up at the winter meetings in Indianapolis, which just began, says Sherman. Both he and Jon Heyman suggest the Yankees will kick them off by offering him a little more than $10 million.

Via Chad Jennings and Steve Adams.
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Brian Bruney and the Braves: George A. King III at the Post reports that, according to a team that asked the Yankees about Brian Bruney heard that the pitcher was "going to the Braves." But, it's just a rumor at this point.

John Lackey Contract Guidance: Tim Brown of Yahoo! says that John Lackey is expecting more than A.J. Burnett received, which was five years and $82.5 million. However, King again at the Post suggests that the market will push Lackey to a Burnett type deal. Via Mike Axisa.

Wang Likely to be Non-Tendered: Ken Davidoff suggests that Chien-Ming Wang is almost certainly going to be non-tendered, which will make him available to other teams. The Yankees, Davidoff says, do not expect the sinkerballer to contribute to any meaningful way this season. Via Ben Kabak.
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