After Alex Rodriguez opted to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic this spring, and with Chipper Jones expected to be the DH, third base opened up for David Wright. Team USA will have an all-New York left side of the infield with the Yankees’ Derek Jeter at shortstop.
Wright will likely be the only Met playing for Team USA, but the Mets could also send Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado (Puerto Rico), Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez (Venezuela), and Jose Reyes (Dominican Republic).
I found it interesting that Phillies Ryan Howard, Brad Lidge and Cole Hamels said they preferred getting their work in during spring training and preparing for the season to play for the team that pays them. Yankees’ CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett said the same thing.
Yes, I am well aware a player can get hurt anywhere, but I’m especially wary about pitchers throwing in game conditions that early in the spring. But, that’s just me. Does anybody have a problem with players leaving teams during spring training to prepare for the WBC and exposing themselves to injury.
While the Oliver Perez talks remain in limbo, the team is considering other options, which include Tim Redding, a right-hander, who went 10-11 with a 4.38 ERA last season with the Washington Nationals.
Redding will be 30 when spring training opens. His most important stat is 182 innings. He had a 120-65 strikeouts-to-walks ratio last year.
His record wasn’t great, but it’s sure to improve with the Mets’ offense.
GM Omar Minaya wouldn’t confirm Redding by name, but did say the Mets would look at “anybody that could help us.’’
Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine told The Associated Press the Chaba Lotte Marines will not offer a contract extension after the 2009 season, the final year of his four-year contract.
“They just wanted to go in a different direction,” said Valentine. “They wanted to change things and I certainly understand that.”
After winning the Japan Series championship in 2005, but the team finished in fourth place this past season and did not make the playoffs.
OK … we all know Valentine won’t sit still. So, where do you think he’ll end up? I can see him with the Yankees if Joe Girardi doesn’t get them back into the playoffs following their winter of free spending.
Scott Greene, a friend to the blog, e-mailed me this link if you want to check out the Mets’ prospects. The prosect list is compiled by John Sickels on Minor League Ball.
Sickels rates 3B/SS Wilmer Flores first, followed by OF Fernando Martinez. Rounding out the Top Ten are LHP Jon Niese, RHP Brad Holt, SS Reese Havens, 3B Jefry Marte, RHP Jenrry Mejia, RHP Robert Parnell, RHP Eddie Kunz and 1B Nick Evans.