LAS VEGAS - The Phillies traded onetime hot centerfield prospect Greg Golson to the Rangers for John Mayberry Jr. last month. They traded Adrian Cardenas and Josh Outman to the Athletics to get righthander Joe Blanton in July.
Now the name that is most prominently attached to almost any trade rumor involving the Phillies at the winter meetings is infielder Jason Donald, who played for Team USA during the Beijing Olympics and was recently named to the Arizona Fall League's All-Prospect team.
The question, of course, is how many of their up-and-coming young players the Phils are willing to deal as they prepare to defend their first world championship since 1980.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. sidestepped the question.
"He's a high-level prospect and any time you have one of those players, there's always going to be interest in him," he said. "Frankly, he's just as interesting to us as he would be to other clubs."
Requiem for a Hall of Famer
So it's official. The last pitch 355-game winner Greg Maddux threw in his career was for the Dodgers against Phillies lefthander Cole Hamels in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. Hamels grounded out.
Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner, formally announced his retirement yesterday at the Bellagio. "I still think I can play the game, but not as well as I would like to," the 42-year-old righthander said. "I pretty much knew last spring training that  was going to be my last year, but I don't think they believed me."
In attendance for the announcement was Maddux' older brother, Mike, the Texas Rangers' pitching coach and former fifth-round draft choice of the Phillies.
"I still remember my rookie-league manager Roly D'Armas telling me when I signed, 'You're pretty good.' And I said, 'You should see my younger brother,' " Mike recalled.
Hitting a single
Two separate veterans committees combined to elect one old-timer to the Hall of Fame yesterday, with all three candidates with Philadelphia ties (Dick Allen, Mickey Vernon, Sherry Magee) missing out.
Former Yankees and Indians second baseman Joe Gordon received 10 of 12 votes from the panel comprised of Hall of Fame members, executive and media members appointed to cast ballots for players whose careers began before 1943.
Vernon finished fourth with five votes and Magee received three votes.
All 64 living Hall of Famers took part in voting for players whose careers started after 1942. Ron Santo (60.9 percent) came the closest to receiving the needed 75 percent, followed by Jim Kaat (59.4 percent) and Tony Oliva (51.6 percent). Allen received the lowest percentage of the 10 players considered (10.9 percent).
The Detroit Tigers, coming off a surprising last-place finish, came out swinging on the first day of the winter meetings. First they acquired catcher Gerald Laird from the Texas Rangers to replace Ivan Rodriguez, who was traded to the Yankees during the season. To get Laird, they gave up righthanded pitching prospects Carlos Melo and Guillermo Moscoso.
"This is something that was at the top of our list, to get a catcher. It fills one of our biggest needs," said general manager Dave Dombrowski. Added manager Jim Leyland: "We had a glaring need and we feel like we acquired a bona fide major league catcher."
Detroit also has reached agreement with free agent Adam Everett, contingent on the shortstop passing a physical.
There are indications that the Red Sox met with free-agent lefthander CC Sabathia yesterday . . . The Chicago Cubs released a statement yesterday after the parent Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy. According to the release, the baseball team is not part of the corporate restructuring and the sale of the club remains on course. "It's business as usual at Wrigley Field as the Cubs continue to prepare for the 2009 season," it concluded. "We remain singularly focused on our singular goal of securing a world championship for our fans and the city of Chicago." *