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DLD 11/30/06--Mulder in the Sky with Diamondbacks?

Here's your update on all the hot stove events, brought to you by the Beatles (Paul McCartney can use the money right now)!

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Mark Mulder and his agents toured Chase Field yesterday, and it looks like a contract proposal from the D-Backs may be forthcoming:

"(The meeting) was really just, 'Hey, this is what we're about. This is what we're doing moving forward. We want you to be a part of it,' " Bross said. "I would definitely say that Mark would like to see a (contract) proposal."

Mulder has some ties to the club. He and new bench coach Kirk Gibson, both Michigan State products, know each other well, and A.J. Hinch, the team's director of player development, played with Mulder in Oakland.

And then there's the fact that Mulder lives in Scottsdale.

In case you were wondering about what A.J. Hinch was doing...

Back on the East coast, Curt Schilling, self-appointed authority on everything, has told the Boston media that Manny in fact wants to be traded, making it seem likely that he would waive his no-trade rights to facilitate a deal:

Wednesday night at an event in Warwick, Rhode Island, Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling confirmed the rumors - he said Manny wants out of Boston.

"I think Manny is less than comfortable playing in Boston for whatever reason, that's his right. I think it's gotten to the point now where there's some thought that even though Manny might stay, he might not be here if he does. And I think the belief is that trading Manny and bringing somebody in would be more valuable than having a Manny here that didn't play. I don't know that to be a fact. That is pure speculation on my part" Schilling said.

Pure speculation on your part, Curt?  Maybe you should call up a radio show and tell us more about this.  

In hot stove news that more directly affects Oakland, there are updates available on some players that have been discussed as possibilities for the A's next year.  There is good news on Mike Piazza--contrary to previous reports, it looks like we won't be competing with the Phillies for his services.  On the other hand, we may face some competition for Cliff Floyd, as the Orioles, despite the fact that they aren't one, seem determined to act like a low-payroll team:

Cliff Floyd is coming off offseason surgery and turns 34 next week. Trot Nixon is dogged by health and home run concerns. Jay Payton had three fewer home runs than Orioles designated hitter Jay Gibbons last season in 214 more at-bats. Aubrey Huff and Jose Guillen face questions about their character, and Luis Gonzalez is 39 and hit just 15 homers last season, his lowest total since 1997.

Orioles executives expressed some interest with all their agents, knowing that each player carries a significant risk. At this point, it appears Gonzalez and Floyd are at the top of the wish list, even though each would give the Orioles an all left-handed-hitting starting outfield, something Duquette said the club is not especially concerned about.

Finally, Ryan Klesko, another possibility that's been floated on this site, is also drawing interest from the Orioles, as well as another team.  I could tell you the other team, but it really isn't that hard to figure out.  Like everyone else they're targeting, he's 35 years old.

In the only piece of A's-related news, the team has addressed its critical need for a bench coach, hiring noted coacher of benches Bob Schaefer.  This will be Schaefer's sixth tour of duty as bench coach, making him the Billy Martin of bench coaching.  I look forward to his tearful resignation when he drunkenly opines to the media that, "Mark Kotsay and Lew Wolff were made for each other.  One's a born liar, and the other's convicted."

There's been a little discussion of why Schaefer was hired for this position, instead of successful RiverCats manager Tony DeFrancesco, so I guess I'll add my take on this.  I think that our AAA manager actually serves a more valuable role to the organization than our bench coach does, so if he's good at working with young players, the big club is actually served better by continuing that relationship.  It also avoids putting Geren in the uncomfortable position of having a legitimate candidate for his replacement sitting at his side.  I think it's safe to say that there's no way Bob Schaefer will ever manage the A's.

That's all I've got for now.  When the A's actually do something with the ROSTER this off-season that merits discussion, someone please wake me up.  Like Bob Geren, I just switched to Sanka, so have a heart, people.

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