Let's kick off the day with a shameless plug or two:

I did a segment on XM Radio's Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner - who happened to be on vacation. Chuck Wilson filled in for Steiner and gave the blog a nice plug. He caught me by surprise with that one. He's very, very good - and I'd say that even if he hated the blog.


I dropped the "Cubs negotiating with Portugal" line and got a big laugh. I don't mind dusting off my material for a new audience.

I'm also supposed to phone into The Anita Marks Show on ESPN Radio 1300 (and MASN) around 6:20 p.m.

OK, enough about me.

Well, one more thing: I'm told that I absolutely, positively, have to change my blog photo. The results are in, and it's unanimous.

I'm not the most photogenic person on the planet, so I can't promise that the new one will be a significant improvement. But I've taken the not-so-subtle hints of friends, co-workers and blog readers everywhere, and I've decided that I need a different mug shot in 2007.

It sounds like there are some teams just waiting for the Orioles to non-tender Rodrigo Lopez. Once they find out it won't happen, perhaps the trade talks will heat up.

Lopez made $3.75 million this past season after requesting $4.5 million in arbitration. What's he worth this winter?

The word on the street is Aubrey Huff still is looking for a big payday, something in the $9 million-per-year range. Good luck. The Orioles aren't going there.

Where would you play Huff, keeping in mind that defense isn't his strong suit? And could he co-exist with Jay Gibbons, or are they too similar?

You only need one left-handed DH and part-time first baseman.

Agent Scott Boras still has a few clients on the market, though we can cross Eric Gagne off the list. The Rangers are giving him $6 million for 2007, which could be a steal or a ridiculous waste of money.

Boras also represents Barry Zito, Jeff Weaver and Scott Schoeneweis.

And David Newhan.

And Rodrigo Lopez.