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MLB Winter Meetings: Baltimore Orioles Show Interest in Kenshin Kawakami; Milwaukee Brewers May Dangle Carlos Gomez

The first day of the Winter Meetings had a bit more excitement surrounding the Braves than expected, but today has been slower. That does not mean all rumors have been at a snail's pace, however.

Kenshin Kawakami has had his name reappear today, if only briefly. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has reported that talks between the Pirates and Braves have cooled due to the Pirates signing Kevin Correia and Scott Olsen. Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Braves and Orioles have talked more than once about Kawakami. This has been confirmed by Biertempfel, so it looks like something could be brewing there. The Orioles originally had interest in Kawakami when he came from Japan in 2008.

David O'Brien tweets the Braves are telling teams Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson and Mike Minor are off-limits, but Brandon Beachy could be had in the right deal. This goes along with not only the fact that Beachy is out of a rotation spot, but also the lack of confidence many see in Beachy going forward. Whether that is the case in the organization is not known, but it would not be surprising.

O'Brien further tweets that the Brewers appear to be holding onto Lorenzo Cain, but they have made it known another center fielder, Carlos Gomez, is available. Gomez is another elite defensive outfielder who would be very valuable to the Braves as a fourth outfielder. Gomez is not much with the bat, but he has great range and first step ability, and a solid arm. As usual, the Brewers are wanting pitching in return. This could be worth watching going foward.

Several sources, including O'Brien, have stated that the Royals are interested in several former Braves for their outfield. The list includes Andruw Jones, Melky Cabrera, Matt Diaz and Jeff Francoeur. This goes along with several reports that Diaz is being heavily pursued by multiple teams, and he could sign as soon as Wednesday.

The buzz this morning came from the Nationals camp, where there were reports that Washington would throw a seven-year deal at Cliff Lee. It certainly created some news throughout the morning, as many questioned their ability to afford both Lee and Jayson Werth. But the report was shot down. Despite this, the Nationals are said to still be in contact with Lee, along with several other teams. The rumor is there is possibly one seven-year deal on the table, but it will not come from the Yankees.

Update: According to Connolly, the Orioles are out on Kawakami. This shows how quick a rumor can change. The Braves are said to be wanting outfield help in return. This shows that the Braves are attempting to make the most of their resources by getting rid of the Kawakami contract while acquiring the fourth outfielder needed, but it appears they have not been successful so far.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.