Between yesterday's hijacked K-Rod signing headline (specifically by the Yankees and Sabathia) and today's massive J.J. Putz trade (which probably pissed off a few Fantasy keeper league players), the Mets are easily in much better shape then they were 365 days ago. You could make the argument that Billy Wagner to Francisco Rodriguez is a wash (when comparing last year's Wagner to this year's K-Rod, it seems reasonable, though K-Rod has the edge), but the addition of Putz and possibly the subtraction of Aaron Heilman clearly makes the Mets bullpen so (soooo) much better than last year.
Of course the one thing signing Rodriguez and trading for Putz doesn't do is A) Bring them a World Championship (at least not yet) and B) take the Phillies Championship away. It also shifts the pressure right back on the Mets...again. After the who "team to beat" issue two years ago and then the Johan Santana scenario this year, the Mets created a storm of pressure on themselves to win it (and probably win it all). This year, its just more of the same. That being said, the preservation of three wins over last year (all things holding equal) will certainly give the Mets a much better post season shot. You can point question marks at the end of the rotation: Can Pelfrey continue his success and what will we see out of Brandon Knight and Jonathan Niese? Or you can look at parts of the lineup: What can you expect from the right side of the infield? What can the corner outfielders produce?
The final question mark? What do you get from J.J. Putz. Obviously he has to pass a physical; so its fairly safe to assume he's healthy. But is he okay with being a setup man? Putz has essentially two years left on his deal (this year and a club option for next). So depending on how this plays out, they may be his only two years in Queens.
Oh well, just for shits and giggles.
- First off, as the offseason plays out I cannot stress enough how cool this site is. Its called Cot's Baseball Contracts and is a fascinating and elaborate depiction of every team's payroll and each player's contracts to as much detail as the writer can provide. He doesn't claim to be dead on accurate, but pretty damn close. Its well worth a look around and an excellent resource in my opinion.
- And the Mets struck back by claiming the headlines over the Yankees acquisition of Mike Cameron in exchange for Melky Cabrera. This trade isn't finalized but appears immenent.
- Rumor has it the Orioles and Nationals have both offered Mark Teixeira massive contracts estimated at over 20 million per season. The O's are rumored to offer $150 million + and the Nats $160 million plus. It certainly upts the ante on the deal, as teams like the Red Sox, Angels and Yankees may have to pay more simply because of their location (though both New York and Boston have a slight edge). Again, I believe if the Sox offer enough (perhaps even 170 or 180), they'll get their man, though they might be in a worse position given their current first and third base starters.
- It appears as though the Clinton Portis - Jim Zorn dispute was over before it started. Zorn cleared with the media yesteday afternoon. In watching PTI last night, Michael Wilbon brought up an excellent point (and agreed that Portis had a valid point): With players always wanting coaches to be up front and "man up" about these issues, why to Portis go to the media first? Valid point or not, this is no way to go about it.
- Via PFT, Looks like the Arena League is still on. For now.
- All quiet on the western front as the Dallas Stars have been mum on the Avery Situation. Given the Tom Hicks meeting with his major front office players, I have a feeling this is the end of Avery and the Stars, though they may try to trade him. Still, I'm curious why Hicks doesn't let his management handle this, since the baseball offseason is in full swing and he, y'know, might be needed to write checks elsewhere.
- Eric Byrnes for Julio Lugo? Really? Am I the only one who's thinking the Sox would be totally hosing the D-Bags for this one?
- I'll start for the Lions...on second thought, maybe not...
- Looks like its back to the Tavaris Jackson era in Minnesota.
- Meow, T.O. fights back by verbally sparing "She"-Shawn and Emmitt Smith
- And finally, Florio over at PFT does some fascinating work. I'm curious how Chad Johnson will be back...y'know, all things considered (its addressed in the article). Anyone else weirded out because this guy demanded a trade only 6 months ago?