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Sportswriter Follies

I swear, sometimes I think that sportswriters write stuff just because they have space to fill in the paper.

Case in point, Mike Kiley's article in today's Sun-Times.

It's a rehash of just about every rumor, nasty or otherwise, we've heard all winter:

  • Todd Walker's going to be traded. Or not.
  • Corey Patterson's going to be traded. Or not.
  • Neifi Perez will start at 2B. Oh, really? Says who? Walker's still on the roster. So is Jerry Hairston, as Kiley points out.
The rest of the article is the same old tired Tejada stuff we've been hearing for almost a month now. I imagine Tejada himself is tired of hearing about this, as are likely most Orioles fans. Prediction: Tejada will be traded this week, but not to the Cubs. I think Jim Hendry is tired of dealing with Mike Flanagan, especially since it's entirely possible that Hendry and Flanagan could come to a perfectly reasonable deal, only to have it all scotched by Peter Angelos.

If this is the case, look for Hendry to speed-dial Billy Beane and try to make a deal for Barry Zito -- and sign him to an extension. In fact, even if this doesn't happen, look for a contract extension to be signed by Derrek Lee before Opening Day, just as Aramis Ramirez did last year. Yes, Hendry might have to get creative with option years for Lee, just as he did for Ramirez.

A couple of other notes: despite several reports last week, including this one on the Orioles website, Jeromy Burnitz has apparently NOT signed with Baltimore, and in fact, may instead sign a two-year deal with the Pirates, for somewhere in the vicinity of $12 million.

Which would still make it the worst free-agent signing of this offseason.

Finally, there is some good news for Cub fans today -- and coming from, of all places, our division-rival city, Houston. Strikeout machine Preston Wilson is apparently going to sign with the Astros today. That article also has Houston expressing some interest in Burnitz.