From :

The White Sox are “extremely close” to trading for Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano, a source close to the situation told ESPN The Magazine’s Tim Kurkjian. The Nationals have great interest in pitcher Brandon McCarthy (above).

The White Sox, said the source, also are close to acquiring pitcher Mike MacDougal from the Royals in exchange for minor league pitcher Tyler Lumsden.

Your other hot Monday rumors :

* – Sean Casey to Oakland?

* – An error-prone third baseman to the Cubs?

* – Cats are “the new dogs.”

* – The Phillies, supposedly holding out for Philip Hughes, rejected a Yankee trade proposal for Bobby Abreu.

After shutting the door (and, uh, protecting a 4 year lead in the 9th) on the Mets Sunday afternoon, Astros closer Brad Lidge receives a vote of confidence from the Houston Chronicle’s Richard Justice.

Here’s my take on Brad Lidge: I wouldn’t trade the guy on a dare. No way. As the Astros look toward 2007, he’d be one of the building blocks if I were general manager.

If he’s the key to bringing in a bopper for the middle of the lineup, then obviously I might change my mind. And by the way, for all the suggestions about what to do and not to do, the truth is simple: the Astros need more power.

Not more speed. You can count on one hand the number of championship teams built with speed as a significant component. Not a new manager or new coaches. It’s simplistic to suggest firing coaches is a solution. These coaches aren’t incompetent.

Wait, you’re saying, didn’t the general manager just fire the hitting coach? Yes, he did. I’m hoping Drayton McLane forced that move on him. I can’t believe he thought firing Gary Gaetti was a step in the right direction. There’s no way he believes firing the hirring coach would shake up the clubhouse. Dumb, dumb, dumb.