Nightengale notes: Bradley, Swisher, Halladay

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today posted a bunch of interesting notes via Twitter today, including:
* Tampa Bay has become “the clear-cut favorite” to acquire Milton Bradley from the Cubs.
Last offseason the Rays pursued Bradley as a free agent before he signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Cubs and now they can get him for pennies on the dollar. There have been rumors of a Bradley-for-Pat Burrell swap, as Burrell was a huge disappointing in his first season with the Rays and is owed $9 million in 2010.
* Nick Swisher is “ever so quietly” being shopped by the Yankees.
Swisher was credited with helping to energize the Yankees’ clubhouse and more importantly he made a big on-field impact by hitting .249/.371/.498 with 29 homers and 35 doubles, but going 6-for-47 (.128) in the playoffs overshadowed his strong regular season. Could he be an option for the Cardinals if Matt Holliday signs elsewhere?
* Los Angeles is “focusing on” Roy Halladay because the Dodgers “badly need an ace,” but would have to give up Chad Billingsley “and others” to get a deal done.
Billingsley is 24 years old with a 47-30 record and 3.55 ERA in 634 career innings, so dealing him straight-up for one season of Halladay sounds iffy to me. Dealing him “and others” would likely be a mistake given that Halladay can become a free agent next offseason while Billingsley is under team control through 2012.
* Detroit, Seattle, and a “mystery team” have talked about a deal involving Edwin Jackson and Brandon Morrow.
Various rumors last week had the Tigers shopping Jackson because of payroll constraints and the Mariners have soured on Morrow, but obviously this is tough to weigh in on too much without knowing the third party.

Report: Tim Lincecum is not ready for retirement

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  Tim Lincecum #55 of the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 29, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).

Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.

While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.

Report: Jeff Manship signs with NC Dinos

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Jeff Manship #53 of the Cleveland Indians throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.

Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.

The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.