Nothing too substantial expected to occur this week in Chicago, but David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution brings us a couple "rumors" (if you can even call them that):
First, apparently the Braves have had "casual discussions" about having extension talks with Javier Vazquez, which means...well, pretty much nothing, since O'Brien is quick to point out that these discussions have involved neither Vazquez nor his agent. But it does seem that Vazquez likes Atlanta and Atlanta likes Vazquez: what kind of contract terms would it take to keep Javy in Atlanta beyond 2010? Should the Braves pursue an extension this winter?
Second, DOB says he doesn't think the "Braves are very high on Nelson Cruz." It was O'Brien who first speculated that the Braves might be interested in Cruz, and I can probably explain the Braves' lack of interest using just two numbers: .931 and .778. The former is his OPS at home in 2009 (in the Rangers' hitter haven of a ballpark), and the latter is his OPS on the road. It's going to take a serious trade package to get Cruz, and while he does steal bases and play good defense, can the Braves really afford to trade for him and hope he can hit outside of Arlington?