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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Jan 28

Heilman traded to Cubs

Aaron Heilman’s stay in Seattle was shorter than some of his appearances on the mound this summer. Heilman was traded to the Cubs today for infielder Ronny Cedeno and pitcher Garrett Olson.

Immediate speculation is this deal would enable the Cubs to free up some of their young pitching to re-start trade talks with San Diego for Jake Peavy.

Dec 17

Rodriguez eyes big year ….

RODRIGUEZ: Expects big numbers this summer.

RODRIGUEZ: Expects big numbers this summer.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel stood at the podium and in a classic photo opportunity helped his closer, Francisco Rodriguez, put on his new jersey.

“Seventy-five,’’ Manuel said as he looked at the number. “That’s the number of saves he’s going to have.’’

Rodriguez, introduced this afternoon at the Citi Bank Building in Long Island City, understands the math.

“I’m aware of what is expected,’’ said Rodriguez, who expects the same after his record 62 saves last season for the Angels earned him a three-year, $37 million contract with the Mets.

“Every year I come to spring training with the goal to have better numbers than I had the year before.’’

Why the Mets?

Besides money, Rodriguez said his decision “was easy … they are one team that is hungry to win.’’

General manager Omar Minaya said the acquisitions of Rodriguez, and J.J. Putz from Seattle, who’ll be introduced tomorrow at Citi Field, have solved the Mets’ bullpen problem, which was defined by 29 blown saves last season.

“One thing we lacked last year was being able to close out a game, but we went out and got the best closer in the game,’’ Minaya said of Rodriguez.

Dec 11

Mets make huge deal to shore up bullpen ….

PUTZ: Perfect bridge to Rodriguez.

PUTZ: Perfect bridge to Rodriguez.

We’ve talked about it all along, that the closer means little if he’s on the other end of a rickety bridge. The Mets have solidified their bullpen with the addition of Francisco Rodriguez and JJ Putz. The Putz deal will be announced this afternoon.

Here’s how the 12-player, three-way deal with Seattle and Cleveland shakes out:

Coming to the Mets:

From Seattle – J.J. Putz, Sean Green.
From Cleveland – OF Jeremy Reed

Coming to Seattle -
From Mets – Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Maikel Cleto, Ezequiel Carrera
Jason Vargas, Mike Carp
From Cleveland – Franklin Gutierrez

Coming to Cleveland -
From Mets – Joe Smith
From Seattle – Luis Valbuena

Oct 25

Talkin’ Baseball: Game 3 in Philly

Talkin' Baseball: Game 3 chatter.

Talkin' Baseball: Game 3 chatter.

Good evening. A lot going on today kept me away from the blog. We have a few items to touch on before we get to Garza vs. Moyer.

-Willie Randolph turned down the Washington Nationals to be a coach. He must have a good feeling about either the Milwaukee or Seattle jobs. He’ll land somewhere.

-The Phillies are feeling a bit miffed because their complete rosters weren’t introduced. They weren’t because MLB and the network, that would be FOX, couldn’t have the time to squeeze that in. Actually, that’s part of the World Series TV experience I enjoy.