UTLEY: Says he'll be ready for Opening Day.
If the Mets were counting on Chase Utley’s hip injury to keep them close to the Phillies out of the gate, they’ve got another thing coming as the All-Star second baseman says he’ll be ready by Opening Day, contradicting initial reports his rehab from surgery would keep him out through May.
Utley has been working out with the Phillies training staff five days a week, and said he’ll be swinging a bat soon.
“In two to three weeks – that would be nice,” Utley said. “If everything goes as planned, that’s what we want to do. And right now, we’re on schedule. … It’s about listening to my body. Right now, we are listening and it’s responding well. If that continues to happen, then I don’t see why I won’t be ready for Opening Day.”
Alex Cora is finally official, being announced to a one-year, $2 million deal by the Mets. The veteran infielder, 33, can play any where in the infield save catcher.
Cora will give manager Jerry Manuel a quality rest for David Wright and Jose Reyes. I know what most of you are thinking: He’ll most likely spend a lot of time at second base.
Cora hit .270 last year at Boston, so he’s not automatic out.
Said GM Omar Minaya: “You win championships with a 25-man roster.”
GARCIA: Worth the gamble.
GM Omar Minaya said a team can’t have enough pitching, that he’s always interested in stockpiling bodies for spring training.
Freddy Garcia, 34, who has pitched in just 14 games the last two seasons because of an injured shoulder, qualifies more as a body than he does certified pitching. He’s logged only 73 combined innings with Detroit and Philly the last two years, but was worth the risk to be signed to a minor league deal last night that could balloon to $7.5 million with incentives (starts and/or innings).
Garcia won 17 games for the 2006 White Sox, and the Mets had some interest after that season.At this point, Garcia is another body, but a good signing if he’s healthy for that cost. It also sends a message to Oliver Perez they aren’t waiting.
Ken Griffey, like a lot of people, is looking for work. He’s not ready to retire, and hitting 18 homers last season with 71 RBI in 490 at-bats. Not great, but good enough in a part time role.
While the Mets aren’t in it for Manny Ramirez, and I don’t believe they’ll be able to make a trade with the Yankees to reaquire Xavier Nady. They apparently, and this is too bad, aren’t interested in Adam Dunn.
Why not give Griffey a year? The guy still has his moments, and for one year, he’d be a good fit in left field.
MAINE: Meet in the middle.
Last spring, after negotiations failed to produce a deal, the Mets renewed John Maine as is their right. They are $800,000 apart this year.
Maine wants $3 million after going 10-8 last year in 25 starts, his year cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery. The Mets are at $2.2 million.
Here’s a thought: Why not meet in the middle?
I can see both sides on this one. Mets: Maine won five less games and is coming off an injury. Maine: Regarded as a rotation key with big expectations.