A few updates from the winter meetings in Las Vegas:
1. The Phillies continue to talk about a potential trade with the Padres and Cubs, although a deal is not imminent. As Jim Salisbury wrote in today's Inquirer, the Phillies likely would send a couple prospects (lefthander J.A. Happ could be one of them) to the Cubs to get Mark DeRosa. DeRosa would provide insurance at second base, if Chase Utley isn't ready to open the season. He also would be a righthanded bat in left field, which would mean Pat Burrell's career with the Phillies would be over. The Cubs would send those prospects to the Padres to help land Jake Peavy. For those wondering why the Phillies just don't send those prospects directly to the Padres to get Peavy ... Peavy doesn't want to play here. He has a very short list of teams where he would accept a trade. I have been told the Phillies are not on that list.
2. A rumored trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, one of which would send Ryan Ludwick to the Phillies for Ryan Madson, apparently is just a rumor. First, the Cardinals don't look at Madson as a closer. "I'm not saying that concept isn't something we thought about or tried. But it's just doesn't seem like it's a part that fits," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, asked about turning another team's set-up man into the Cardinals' closer. Second, the Cardinals would prefer to trade from their surplus of lefthanded-hitting outfielders: Rick Ankiel, Skip Schumaker, Chris Duncan and top prospect Colby Rasmus. If it came down to trading Happ for DeRosa or Madson for Ankiel, Schumaker, Duncan or Rasmus, the Phillies take DeRosa.
4. Will the Phillies make any moves before the meetings end Thursday? They could sign Charlie Manuel to a contract extension, but things could drag on.