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02/12/06 2:08 PM ET

Top free agents

Here is a look at the latest news surrounding those players remaining on the free agent market.

RHP Roger Clemens, Astros
Feb. 11 -- Houston, the Rangers, Boston and the New York Yankees trail lead horse "retirement" as Roger Clemens' options after March's World Baseball Classic, according to his agent. The Astros can't discuss contract offers with The Rocket until after May 1 after declining him arbitration. The Houston Chronicle reported that "Astros owner Drayton McLane isn't going to let the Texas Rangers flirt with the future Hall of Famer without at least offering him some Houston love."

LF B.J. Surhoff, Orioles
Feb. 11 -- Still looking for a backup outfidler, the Phillies are interested in free agent B.J. Surhoff, and have made inroads as to his interest. Surhoff, a 41-year-old outfielder, still can play the game and has said he wants to return and play his 20th and final season.

RF Sammy Sosa, Orioles
Feb. 11 -- Nationals GM Jim Bowden was scheduled to meet with outfielder Sammy Sosa and his agent, Tom Reich, on Saturday about the slugger's decision on a Minor League contract offered by the Nationals. Both parties have agreed that if Sosa decides to join Washington, it will be for a non-guaranteed contract.

RHP Jeff Weaver, Dodgers
Feb. 4 -- According to reports, the Angels have expressed serious interest in Weaver, but any deal could be predicated on the idea that the former Dodgers and Yankees right-hander might have to accept a shorter-term contract. Cincinnati, Washington and Cleveland have also expressed interest in Weaver, though his price tag is a sticky point.

1B/DH Erubiel Durazo, Athletics
Feb. 4 -- After two years of injuries hurt Durazo's value, the 1B/DH is still searching for a team as the World Baseball Classic approaches. The Mexico native may have interest from the Orioles as a DH. Back in November, the Toronto Sun reported that Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi had initial talks with Durazo's agent.

RHP Jose Lima, Royals
Jan. 13 -- An Associated Press report out of the Dominican Republic quoted Lima as saying he is in contract talks with the Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks, but Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he is satisfied with his pitching. Lima has also commented that he had been offered contracts to pitch in Japan.

RF Richard Hidalgo, Rangers
Jan. 12 -- Orioles VP Jim Duquette confirmed to the Baltimore Sun that the team has spoken with Hidalgo's representatives in their search for a veteran Major Leaguer, although he added that nothing has advanced with Hidalgo recently. The Orioles traded with the Cubs for outfielder Corey Patterson last week.

RHP Pedro Astacio, Padres
Jan. 9 -- After the San Diego Union Tribune reported that, in the wake of the club's signing of Shawn Estes, the Padres will not continue their pursuit of Astacio, the hurler wasn't re-signed by Sunday's arbitration deadline and the Padres thus lose negotiating rights with Astacio until May 1.

1B Rafael Palmeiro, Orioles
Dec. 28 -- Palmeiro is considering returning for his 20th Major League season. "I guess I'd have to consider that," he told The New York Times. "If I decide not to come back, I hope people look at my whole career and not base their decision on an innocent mistake I made. I hope they don't base their decision on what happened to me in a three-, four- or five-week period. Look at my career and base their opinion on that."

RF Juan Gonzalez, Indians
Nov. 4 -- Unproductive as an offseason pickup last season, the power-hitting Gonzalez doesn't seem inclined to retire. The Indians have not ruled out bringing him back with another contract filled with incentives. But they know the risks: Gonzalez, 36, has a history of injury. That fact alone should scare off teams that might have an interest in a big bat like his. The Indians, however, might roll the dice on him once again.

RHP Kevin Brown, Yankees
Nov. 2 -- Is this the end of the line for Brown? With his seven-year, $105 million contract finally over, the righty will likely have to take a Minor League deal if he wants to play in 2006. Brown has had major health issues in the past two years, making a total of 35 starts for the Yankees. He will be 41 by Opening Day, which he may be watching from his couch in Georgia.

OF Terrence Long, Royals
Nov. 2 -- After being a spare part for the Padres, Long had a solid season for the Royals. His high salary ($4.8 million) led to his clearing waivers and opting for the free agent market. Long didn't draw many walks (30) but became a better contact hitter and had a .321 on-base percentage. He also led the Royals' regulars in clutch hitting -- .311 with runners in scoring position. But he had just six homers, his lowest total as an everyday player. Long played very well defensively in left.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.