The Blue Jays and Giants left the winter meetings still talking about a deal that would send 23-year-old righthander

Tim Lincecum

to Toronto for all-star outfielder

Alex Rios

. The Jays have dangled Rios for pitching before. In fact, he was mentioned in a proposed trade for Phillies righthander

Brett Myers

last winter, but the deal never materialized. . . .

If the Phillies don't upgrade at third base before spring training, keep an eye on the White Sox'

Joe Crede

, who is expected to be tendered a contract this week. He missed most of 2007 with a back injury, but could be showcased in spring training as teams try to gauge his health. Trading Crede would open a spot for

Josh Fields

. . . .

The Phillies spoke to the Cardinals about acquiring starter

Anthony Reyes

last summer, and the Cardinals are once again willing to move the righthander. Reyes is apparently drawing much interest, but the Cardinals, mindful of the industry-wide demand for pitching, have set a high price that some clubs believe is unreasonable, especially for a pitcher who went 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA in 2007. . . .

The Orioles' willingness to deal second baseman

Brian Roberts

shows that

Andy MacPhail

, who joined the organization as team president last summer, indeed has full power over the O's baseball operations. Roberts has long been a favorite of owner

Peter Angelos

. In fact, Angelos shot down a deal involving Roberts last year. . . .

White Sox manager

Ozzie Guillen

won't guarantee

Gavin Floyd

a spot in his season-opening rotation, but he thinks the former Phillie is ready to seize one. "Gavin, I think, turned the corner," Guillen said at the winter meetings. "I think this kid has got great stuff and confidence. The expectation is going to be pretty high. Right now the job is not his, but I don't think anyone besides [




threw the ball better at the end of the season. Hopefully, we can grab that and have it." . . .


Terry Francona

was a young manager of the Phillies, he sometimes talked about how he feared his first big-league manager when he was breaking in as a player with the Montreal Expos. That manager was hard-edged

Dick Williams

, who was elected to the Hall of Fame last week. From afar, the 78-year-old Williams has become a fan of Francona, who has won two World Series as manager of the Red Sox. "With the club he has and the way he operates it, they are probably not through yet," Williams said. "And he does just a tremendous job. His personality is so much different than mine. I'd pop off. He seems to get along with everybody, and that's one of his greatest attributes."