Baseball whispers: How about Matsuzaka for Zambrano?

One potential trading partner for the Cubs if they decide to shop Carlos Zambrano are the Red Sox, possibly for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is owed only $10 million for each of the next two seasons. … There's a lot of debate in Boston about whether catcher Jason Varitek (above) should return. Manager Terry Francona said you have to take emotion out of the equation, which sounds like the end of an era. … Shaun Marcum and other Blue Jays pitchers claimed the atmosphere was "more relaxed" in the Jays' clubhouse without Roy Halladay this year. Most felt the kids just didn't want to work as hard as Halladay, who was usually the first in and often the last out. …Tony La Russa is thinking two more years if he returns to the Cardinals with a one-year contract. He's 126 victories away from moving past John McGraw into second place all-time in managers' victories. Connie Mack is nearly 1,000 ahead of McGraw. … Put the Orioles on the list of teams weighing a run at Paul Konerko. The White Sox seem prepared to be outbid for him but that seemed the case in 2005 until Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf realized how much he would miss him. … Speaking of the '05 Astros, Phil Garner is hoping he gets an interview for the Pirates' job. … The Angels are set to take a run at signing Carl Crawford, but if they don't get him, manager Mike Scioscia says having Kendry Morales healthy will be "like signing as big a free agent as there is."

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