Dec 14

Big pitching deals ….

John Lackey to the Red Sox. Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. Cliff Lee to Seattle. They are all coming down.

Lackey to the Red Sox in an $82.5-million, five-year deal pending a physical. The Red Sox have been tied to a lot of things, but this one seems to have come out of the blue. That’s a lot of money and it probably precludes them signing Matt Holliday.

The Mets were never in it for Lackey, but this deal could help them land Jason Bay. The Red Sox say they aren’t giving Bay a fifth year. Unless they are bluffing, there doesn’t seem to a chance they’ll go back to Bay. But, the Mets would have to up their offer to a fifth year.

The Mets were also never in it for Halladay, either, because they didn’t have the minor league talent to get it down.
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Dec 04

Mets’ minors aren’t making it ….

Baseball America has ranked the Mets’ minor league system 20th in the majors, ahead of only Washington in the NL East. The Phillies are fourth, Braves seventh and Marlins ninth. The Nationals are at 26.

The Phillies are deep, meaning they have the chips to spend on a major league arm, such as Roy Halladay, if they chose. If Toronto goes outside the division, I’m still saying the Phillies will get him.

Baseball America did rank the prospects Ike Davis and Jenrry Mejia among the top ten prospects in the Arizona Fall League.

Despite horrid numbers, the scouts love Mejia’s arm strength. Still, he’s at least two years away. The Mets see Davis in 2011 and that’s conceivable. Scouts are saying he has 30 homer potential, but they don’t like his propensity for striking out, saying it will drag down the rest of his game.

Dec 02

Halladay: Is this good or bad for baseball?

There’s no question Roy Halladay holds all the cards in this situation. It’s not often that it’s that way, where the player holds the hammer, but Halladay does. The question I have stems from a comment in yesterday’s posts.

Is it bad for baseball for Halladay to go to the Yankees? If your answer is bad, should the commissioner veto the deal?

Bowie Kuhn did so a long time ago, vetoing deals that sent the likes of Vida Blue to the Yankees and Joe Rudi to the Red Sox. He did it under the “best interests in baseball provision” given the commissioner, something that routinely has been ignored since.

Dec 02

On this Date …..

Looking Back ....

Looking Back ....

…. In 1991, in one of their better decisions, the Mets signed Bobby Bonilla to a five-year, $29 million contract. At the time, Bonilla, a local athlete, was coming off a productive run with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bonilla became a lightning rod in the clubhouse, some thought a clubhouse cancer. Threatening reporters didn’t help his image. I was in Baltimore when he brought his reputation to the Orioles, and sure enough, he didn’t report. He and Davey Johnson had an especially combative relationship caused by the DH rule.

Bonilla, who couldn’t field, didn’t like the DH and rebelled at being used in that slot. I didn’t have a chummy relationship with Bonilla, who was adverse to answering most questions, even simple ones, like, “how are you?”

One time, that question was answered with the, “why don’t you ask the “!@#$%%^” manager?”

ON DECK: A simple question about Roy Halladay.

Nov 17

AL Cy Young today ….

This much we know, a Cleveland Indian won’t be the AL Cy Young Award winner for a third straight season.

CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee won it the last two years, but this season the overwhelming favorite appears to be Kansas City’s Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.16, 242 K).

The other contenders are Seattle’s Felix Hernandez (19-5, 2.49, 217 K), Toronto’s Roy Halladay (17-10, 2.79, 208 K), the Yankees’ Sabathia (19-8, 3.37, 197 K) and Detroit’s Justin Verlander (19-9, 3.45, 269 K).