Trading a Superstar Isn't Easiest Thing

Next item: Before we hear one more Carl Crawford trade rumor this winter, everyone needs to understand something -- the Rays want more back for Crawford than the Marlins want for Cabrera. Which means they don't really want to trade him. And they definitely wouldn't do it for these two guys.

Final item: More and more, we believe Rolen will get traded. But it won't be for two question-mark prospects like this. And it probably won't be to the Dodgers, who seem wary of Rolen's health. So nice try. Wrong deal.

Comedy Central Dept.

If you folks are ever going to make it in the GM business, you'll have to learn how to relieve the tension by proposing trade ideas designed strictly to provide comic relief. Clearly, these three readers get that concept already:

1. Marlins-Twins (from Nick in Duluth, Minn.): Miguel Cabrera for Johan Santana.

2. Yankees-Royals (from Billy in Olathe, Kan.): "The Yankees should trade A-Rod to the Royals for Emil Brown!!!!"

3. Marlins-Yankees (from Jamarcus in Miami): "I think the Marlins should trade Miguel Cabrera to the Yankees for $100 million dollars, giving them the money they finally need for a ballpark."

Now this is the kind of inventive GM-type thinking we need more of. Cabrera for Santana? "I'd make that one this afternoon if I were them," laughed one front-office man.

A-Rod for Emil Brown? Pure genius.

And the best of them all -- Cabrera for a stadium? "I don't think a player has ever been traded for a ballpark before," said one NL executive. "But there's a first for everything."

Ready to Rumble

We keep hearing people speculate that for the Mets to get Johan Santana, they'll have to trade Jose Reyes. Well, if that's true, Santana is heading for some other destination, because teams that have inquired about Reyes' availability this winter, even in a monstrous deal, report that the Mets refuse to trade him, talk about him or even think about talking about him. So anyone who predicts he'll eventually be a Twin (or anything else) is "dreaming  big-time," says an executive of one team. Ditto David Wright, by the way.

Clubs talking to the Red Sox about Coco Crisp report that the Sox have put all those discussions on hold until the Santana trade talks have played themselves out. So those clubs are now making alternative plans.

The Rangers, for instance, are believed to have kicked the tires on a group that includes Rocco Baldelli, Jim Edmonds and Juan Pierre. But the Braves, who had also been interested, are now so charged up about center-field prospect Jordan Schafer's chances of making it to the big leagues by midyear, they may try to get by for a couple of months with a lesser name -- a Dave Roberts type or recently acquired ex-Astros prospect Josh Anderson.

Speaking of the center-field market, it's amazing how little you hear Andruw Jones' name these days. But two front-office men we spoke with said they've figured out the perfect dark-horse destination for him -- the Royals.

"Think about it," said one of them. "The GM [former Braves executive Dayton Moore] has ties to him. They have money to spend. They want to make a splash. And they desperately need a center fielder. The fit there is better than you'd think."

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