The Rumor Mill–June 7, 2005

The Rumor Mill

Now that the Braves finally did the smart thing and designated Raul Mondesi for assignment, they’re one step closer to putting together an outfield that befits a playoff contender. In spite of the requisite denials, Atlanta GM John Schuerholz is intrigued by the possibility of dealing for Jacque Jones and might even be willing to consider a swap involving shortstop Rafael Furcal. In the meantime, as Jim Fregosi continues to scout the Twins for the Braves, Atlanta will employ rookies Ryan Langerhans and Kelly Johnson in the outfield corners, while contemplating the possibility of releasing another veteran outfielder—Brian Jordan

The Marlins continue to be the frontrunners to land the waived Danny Graves, but they’ve become somewhat put off by the former Cincinnati closer’s demands for a 2006 option on his contract. If the Marlins sign Graves, they’ll use him as a set-up reliever to Todd Jones and step up efforts to trade Guillermo Mota. Mota is still their most talented reliever, but he and manager Jack McKeon exchanged heated words last weekend after the right-hander looked lost in an eighth-inning appearance. If the Marlins decide to deal Mota, the Red Sox would become one of the top candidates to pursue his services as part of an effort to improve the American League’s worst bullpen… Graves would prefer to sign with Florida, but he has plenty of other suitors in both leagues. The Diamondbacks, Cubs, Mets, and Rangers have all expressed interest in “The Baby-Faced Assassin.”… Marlins coach Bill Robinson could become the next batting instructor to lose his job. There have already been three batting coaches fired this spring (Mike Barnett in Toronto, Jeff Pentland in KC, and Hall of Famer Eddie Murray in Cleveland), outnumbering the one manager who has stepped down (the Royals’ Tony Pena, who resigned)…

Forget all this talk about the Yankees pursuing a trade for Roger Clemens; right now, they’re far more concerned with finding outfield and bullpen help. Desperate for an outfielder with speed and coverage abilities (sounds like they’re looking for a defensive back), the Yankees have talked to the Devil Rays about Joey Gathright, but are unwilling to give up left-hander Sean Henn. Thanks to a hot streak of pitching at Triple-A, Henn has emerged as the Yankees’ top left-handed prospect and could be a candidate to replace either Buddy Groom or Mike Stanton, both of whom have failed to solve the Yankees’ never-ending search for a competent southpaw reliever. A trade involving Andy Phillips, another minor leaguer, and Gaithright could take place, however… Gathright has no power, but may be the fastest man to play the game since the days of Willie Wilson, who used to regularly turn doubles into triples on the tartan turf at Royals Stadium. If developed properly, Gathright could become a Mickey Rivers type of player (but with a higher on-base percentage) for whichever team lands him.

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