Who isn't chasing a ... Carlos?

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

They won't be talking about Ryan, Seth, Marissa and the previous episode of The O.C. this weekend.

They'll be discussing the likes of Carlos, Troy, Carlos and Scott this weekend in Orange County.

General managers from the 30 major-league baseball teams, their top assistants who made the "travel team," agents and media will descend on the Anaheim Marriott Friday for the start of the annual winter meetings.

Some years it is a swap meet: Team A's bad baggage for Team B's. Lately, the meetings are a place where free agents come home to land -- Kevin Brown with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998, Alex Rodriguez with the Texas Rangers in 2000 -- like the swallows who flock to Capistrano, located south of Anaheim.

Carlos No. 1 is outfielder Carlos Beltran.

Scott, as previous viewers of this off-season soap opera already know, is super agent Scott Boras, who represents a bumper crop this winter. Beltran, catcher Jason Varitek, third baseman Adrian Beltre, outfielders J.D. Drew and Magglio Ordonez, plus right-handers Derek Lowe and Kevin Millwood are all his clients.

Troy is third baseman Troy Glaus. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox are interested in the former Angels third baseman.

And Carlos No. 2 is Carlos Delgado, who leaves the Blue Jays as the franchise's leader in homers and RBIs. He appears headed for the New York Yankees, the Seattle Mariners, the Baltimore Orioles or the Texas Rangers.

Boras is looking for a 10-year, $200-million US deal for Beltran, the Houston Astros outfielder, who was the most impressive player of an impressive post season: Hitting home runs, stealing bases and leaping over fences to steal homers from the opposition.

The Astros offered Beltran a five-year, $70-million deal, which is less than the five-year, $85 million deal the Astros signed Jeff Bagwell to in 2000.

The Yankees, the Anaheim Angels, the Chicago Cubs, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Mariners, New York Mets and the Baltimore Orioles are also interested in Beltran.

Since Beltran is the super-sized domino in this winter's free-agent game, unless those teams rule themselves out of the bidding, they won't be able to spend money on other free agents or take on more salary in trades.

Beltran, 27, hit .267 with 38 homers and 42 stolen bases while driving in 104 runs for the Kansas City Royals and Astros in 2004.

Houston will no doubt contend that the marketplace has changed since the Bagwell signing.

And Boras will contend how the industry had revenues of $3 million when Bagwell signed. Now, revenues are at $4.2 billion.

The debate continues, just two miles from Disney's Fantasyland.

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AMERICAN LEAGUE

BALTIMORE ORIOLES

NEEDS: Two free-agent starting pitchers, a first baseman and a clean-up hitter. Back-up catcher.

WANTS: Interested in Carl Pavano. Either Carlos Delgado or Richie Sexson.

AVAILABLE: LHP Matt Riley, closer Jorge Julio and 2B Jerry Hairston.

BOSTON RED SOX

NEEDS: Two starters, a catcher, a lefty reliever.

WANTS: Re-sign free-agents C Jason Varitek and RHP Pedro Martinez. SS Orlando Cabrera. Free-agent RHPs Carl Pavano or Brad Radke. Back-up INF Barry Larkin, Jose Valentin and Placido Polanco.

AVAILABLE: Either 1B Doug Mientkiewicz or Kevin Millar.

NEW YORK YANKEES

NEEDS: Centre fielder, starting pitching, a first baseman if Jason Giambi's contract is voided.

WANTS: Carlos Beltran, deal for LHP Randy Johnson or sign Pedro Martinez. Sign either Eric Milton or Al Leiter and free-agent Jon Lieber.

AVAILABLE: Kevin Brown -- they'll eat some of his $15.5 million deal -- and RHP Javier Vazquez.

TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS

NEEDS: Two starters, two proven run producers to hit in the middle of their lineup. Outfield help with CF Rocco Baldelli out until the all-star break.

WANTS: INFs Tony Batista, Joe Randa, Todd Walker, Mark Grudzielanek, Pokey Reese; OFs Danny Bautista, Jeromy Burnitz, Dave Dellucci. C Charles Johnson.

AVAILABLE: C Toby Hall, SS Julio Lugo, OF Jose Cruz, RP Danys Baez, INF Aubrey Huff.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS

NEEDS: Another starting pitcher, a reliever and two solid hitters to replace Delgado.

WANTS: Free-agent 3B Corey Koskie. RHPs Matt Clement and Jon Lieber. RP Billy Koch.

AVAILABLE: 3B Eric Hinske.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

NEEDS: Pitching and speed are needed. A catcher.

WANTS: Free agents Jaret Wright and Clement. C Henry Blanco.

AVAILABLE: 1B Paul Konerko.

CLEVELAND INDIANS

NEEDS: A free-agent starter.

WANTS: Clement or Lieber.

AVAILABLE: 2B Ron Belliard

DETROIT TIGERS

NEEDS: Starting pitcher, a third baseman.

WANTS: Pavano.

AVAILABLE: 3B-DH Eric Munson, CF Alex Sanchez.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

NEEDS: Young corner outfielder, low-price starter, a set-up reliever.

WANTS: Rangers' OF Kevin Mench and OF Austin Kearns of the Reds.

AVAILABLE: C Benito Santiago. RP Scott Sullivan, LHP Brian Anderson.

MINNESOTA TWINS

NEEDS: Pitching.

WANTS: Re-sign Koskie and Brad Radke. LHP Terry Mulholland.

AVAILABLE: If Koskie signs, they will trade Jacque Jones.

ANAHEIM ANGELS

NEEDS: A centre fielder, a starter, a shortstop, a DH. SS David Eckstein might play second while Adam Kennedy recovers from knee surgery.

WANTS: Beltran. Pavano, Tim Hudson.

AVAILABLE: Darin Erstad, since signing Cuban defector Kendry Morales.

OAKLAND ATHLETICS

NEEDS: Second baseman, right-handed hitting outfielder with power.

WANTS: Atlanta's 2B Marcus Giles or Polanco.

AVAILABLE: Hudson for a "great" player with less than four years service.

SEATTLE MARINERS

NEEDS: Power, starting pitching and relief pitching.

WANTS: Free agents 1B Delgado, LF Richie Sexson, either 3B Troy Glaus or Koskie. Wright. Pavano. Lieber. Clement.

AVAILABLE: OF Randy Winn. 2B Bret Boone.

TEXAS RANGERS

NEEDS: Starting pitcher. A DH-type and a bat for the outfield.

WANTS: DH Todd Walker. Jermaine Dye, Richard Hidalgo, Danny Bautista for right field, Delgado or Tino Martinez at first.

AVAILABLE: 2B Alfonso Soriano, 1B Adrian Gonzalez.

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NATIONAL LEAGUE

ATLANTA BRAVES

NEEDS: Improve starting pitching.

WANTS: RHP Kevin Brown. Re-sign RHP Russ Ortiz.

AVAILABLE: 2B Marcus Giles.

FLORIDA MARLINS

NEEDS: Replacements for Armando Benitez and ace Pavano. A setup man. Re-sign C Paul Lo Duca.

WANTS: Offers made to Leiter and OF Dellucci.

AVAILABLE: RF Juan Encarnacion.

NEW YORK METS

NEEDS: Upgrades in right, first and pitching.

WANTS: Deal for Sammy Sosa, sign Pedro Martinez, Sexson or Carlos Delgado.

AVAILABLE: C Mike Piazza, 1B Cliff Floyd, RHP Steve Trachsel, LHP Tom Glavine.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

NEEDS: Starting pitching.

WANTS: Derek Lowe, Pavano, Brad Radke, Al Leiter and David Wells.

AVAILABLE: RHP Vicente Padilla, CF Marlon Byrd, 1B Ryan Howard.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

NEEDS: Veteran starter, middle relief.

WANTS: RHP Ortiz, LHP Odalis Perez and Wright, SS Larkin.

AVAILABLE: C Brian Schneider.

CHICAGO CUBS

NEEDS: A closer, unless they give Ryan Dempster the job.

WANTS: Carlos Beltran. Re-signing LF Moises Alou.

AVAILABLE: Sammy Sosa. Minor-league arms.

CINCINNATI REDS

NEEDS: Experienced starter. Two or three middle relievers.

WANTS: Ortiz. RPs Dan Miceli, Brian Boehringer, Mike DeJean or Terry Adams.

AVAILABLE: OF Ken Griffey, 2B D'Angelo Jimenez.

HOUSTON ASTROS

NEEDS: An outfielder and pitching help.

WANTS: If Beltran departs, either sign Steve Finley or Jose Cruz. Re-sign Roger Clemens. Interested in Ben Weber, Woody Williams.

AVAILABLE: Prospects.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

NEEDS: Right-handed-hitting run producer for either right or 3B. A starter.

WANTS: Corey Koskie, Jermaine Dye and Richard Hidalgo.

AVAILABLE: CF Scott Podsednik or RP Danny Kolb.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

NEEDS: Power hitter to play first or right.

WANTS: C Charles Johnson, RHP Esteban Loaiza, Billy Koch.

AVAILABLE: RPs Arthur Rhodes, Brian Meadows.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

NEEDS: A No. 1 starter.

WANTS: Troy Hudson or Russ Ortiz. Re-sign SS Edgar Renteria, C Mike Matheny and 2B Tony Womack.

AVAILABLE: RP Steve Kline.

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

NEEDS: Starting pitching, a power hitter and defence up the middle.

WANTS: LHP Shawn Estes, RHP Ortiz, 3B Troy Glaus, LF Reggie Sanders, INFs Royce Clayton, Craig Counsell, OF Steve Finley.

AVAILABLE: LHP Randy Johnson.

COLORADO ROCKIES

NEEDS: Veteran outfielder.

WANTS: OF Jeromy Burnitz or Dave Dellucci. RHP Kevin Brown.

AVAILABLE: C Charles Johnson, RP Shawn Chacon.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

NEEDS: Starting pitching and a catcher.

WANTS: Re-sign 3B Adrian Beltre and RHP Jose Lima. Lowe and Matt Clement, C Matheny.

AVAILABLE: OF Finley, LHP Perez, either C David Ross or Brent Mayne.

SAN DIEGO PADRES

NEEDS: A centre fielder, more starting pitching.

WANTS: Re-sign LHP David Wells.

AVAILABLE: OF Ryan Klesko.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

NEEDS: Centre or right fielder, a run producer.

WANTS: OFs Finley and Jermaine Dye, RHPs Williams, Loaiza.

AVAILABLE: RHP Dustin Hermanson, C A.J. Pierzynski, 3B Edgardo Alfonzo.


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