There's Lots of Interest in Rocco Baldelli

When word came out last week that Rocco Baldelli's mysterious fatigue-causing ailment was much less serious than previous thought, it seemed like a good bet that interest in the free agent would ramp up. It certainly seems like that's the case, as there seem to be at least six teams interested in his services -- the Rays, Reds, Pirates, Indians, Yankees, and Red Sox.

It seems like the most serious interest is coming from the National League Central, where both the Reds and Pirates seem to be very interested in the outfielder, with stories in both the Cincinnati Enquirer and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette mentioning the interest of the local teams. It would seem that if Baldelli is after a starting job, perhaps to prove that he can be healthy and perform over a full year, he'd likely get a better chance at that by signing a short-term deal with one of those two teams. Contenders like the Rays, Red Sox, or Yankees are likely more interested in using him as a role player due to all of the questions still surrounding his ability to play a full year.

Then again, Baldelli hit fairly well in his short stint with Tampa in 2008 and was one of the more promising young players in baseball before his slew of injuries started to take their toll. If he is indeed healthy and can round himself into shape after playing less than a full season's worth of games since 2004, whoever signs him is likely going to get themselves a nice deal on a starting center fielder.

There's Lots of Interest in Rocco Baldelli originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Tue, 23 Dec 2008 13:49:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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