Big Apple losing appeal to Free Agents.
- From: "Met-in-PR" <orb@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 09:41:09 -0500
Well, considering that Beltran, Pedro, Pavano, Wright among others signed
last I find it hard to believe. Still I would be a better place to play (in
my opinion) if the media didn't treat the 162 game season like the 16 game
season from the NFL. Too much scrutiny everyday in such a long season. So
how can they get FA, overpaid.....like the Mets will need to do to get
>From the NY Daily News:
Sick of the city
Big Apple losing appeal for marquee free-agents
By now it's become rather obvious the Yankees and Mets are operating
in divergent manners this offseason. Divergent, but at the same time
While Omar Minaya presses boldly ahead, reeling in Carlos Delgado from
the Marlins and putting Bud Selig's salary police on red alert with his
aggressive pursuit of Billy Wagner that appears certain to result in an
offer that exceeds Mariano Rivera's parameters, the Yankees watch helplessly
from the sidelines as their holes in center field and the bullpen loom ever
What has become most evident in all this - aside from the fact the
Mets figure to be beneficiaries of the unusual glut of catchers in an
otherwise talent-thin free agent market - is that New York seems to have
less and less appeal to players. It's been five years since the Yankees won
their last World Series and the further they get from that, the more it's
starting to look like the 1980s when the better free agents eschewed their
advances, and they had to overpay the mediocre ones such as Dave Collins,
Andy Hawkins and Dave LaPoint.
Even though they never would have approached the five-year deal it
took for the Blue Jays to sign B.J. Ryan, the Yankees were told by the lefty
reliever not to bother waving closer money at him to be a set-up man for
Rivera. At the same time, Brian Giles, by his indifference to their reported
three-year $30 million-$33 million "understanding" of an offer, appears to
be merely keeping them on his docket while he attempts to get the offer he's
looking for from another West Coast club, believed to be the Dodgers now
that San Diego has cut off negotiations with him.
Meanwhile, is there any doubt that with Wagner it's not about anything
else but the money? Six days after talking about the "great" meeting he had
with GM Pat Gillick and the Phillies, Wagner, the West Virginia country boy,
met with the Mets, heard their pitch and declared it a "one-team race."
The Mets may well get Wagner, but to do so they will have to break new
salary ground for closers - and possibly even go a fourth year. From the
outset, the Phillies have expressed reservations at going to three years for
the 34-year-old Wagner, but are now resigned to doing it, with Rivera's $10
million per still their absolute salary limit.
As for catcher, the Mets are fortunate to be one of the few teams
looking for a first-string catcher with Benjie Molina, Ramon Hernandez and
Brad Ausmus all on the market and Miami's Paul Lo Duca on the trading block.
It's a need they'll have no trouble filling, New York notwithstanding, and
probably at their price.
If only there were an equal number of center fielders on the market
for the Yankees, who are really paying the piper for more than a decade of
busted drafts. Not since Derek Jeter in 1992 (when Bill Livesey still headed
up the player-development department), have the Yankees produced an impact
player out of the draft - Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang were
international free agents - and there are no center fielders (or closers or
catchers, for that matter) coming from the system any time soon. As much as
they are adamant about not sacrificing Cano or Wang, the Yankees are at
least as firm in their resolve to avoid doing something stupid - like
playing into Scott (Avenging Agent) Boras' hands and getting into a bidding
war with the Red Sox and Tigers for fading Johnny Damon. The problem is,
they can't fill their center field and bullpen needs from within, they don't
have the necessary chips to trade for them and there's nothing much in the
free agent market. (About the best set-up reliever left in the market is
Kyle Farnsworth, a certified eccentric who would never have found a place in
Joe Torre's clubhouse five years ago.)
So with the Yankee dollar no longer able to compensate for the farm
system's shortcomings and with Rivera turning 36 today, Brian Cashman has no
choice but to become show some of the resourcefulness of a small-market GM.
We don't know where Cashman's going to find a center fielder or the two
quality set-up relievers he needs, but it would appear his best sources may
be the waiver wire, the nontenders after Dec. 20 or even the Rule Five
The GM-less Red Sox certainly deserve kudos for aggressively getting
involved in the Florida fire sale and landing Josh Beckett. For the past two
years, Boston has done a great job of hyping shortstop prospect Hanley
Ramirez, the key player in the deal from the Marlins' standpoint. The Red
Sox had serious concerns about Ramirez's immaturity, lack of plate
discipline and fielding. The other prospect the Marlins got in the deal,
righthander Anibal Sanchez, may well turn out to be the most significant
But it is a bit premature to declare the Red Sox the team to beat now
that they've got Beckett at the top of their rotation, even if Mike Lowell,
who solidifies their infield defense, has a comeback with the bat. For one
thing, the Red Sox doctors were apparently very reluctant to give the green
light on Beckett's suspect shoulder (which caused him to shut it down the
last two weeks of the season) and that's why the deal got expanded to
include reliever Guillermo Mota, whose arm is even more suspect.
The Red Sox still don't have a closer, and Manny Ramirez, who,
according to David Ortiz, will absolutely not return to Boston, is a dilemma
for the Red Sox, especially since nobody seems to want Manny and his 145
RBI. Between the $57 million remaining on his contract and all his other
baggage, he may be untradeable.
Fishing for another city
It's another travesty unfolding in Florida where, once again, the
Marlins are trading all their best players from a world championship team.
But this time, Marlin fans can't blame the owner, Jeffrey Loria, who spent
(and lost) millions to keep the Marlins competitive even though the city of
Miami could not come to an agreement with him on a new stadium deal. Now Bud
Selig has given Loria the okay to explore other options - Las Vegas,
Portland - to move the team. When you consider the Marlins drew 800,000 fans
below the league average after winning the world championship in 2003, you
could make the case that South Florida doesn't deserve a team. One question
begs asking, however: What was Joe Girardi thinking when he essentially blew
off the Devil Rays to grab the Marlins managing job?
It's A Madd, Madd World.
n The best book for the holiday season written by a baseball writer
isn't about baseball. Bruce Jenkins, longtime A's beat writer for the San
Francisco Chronicle and now a general columnist, has written a wonderful
memoir about his father, Gordon, the late songwriter, composer and arranger
for pop music legends Frank Sinatra, Nat Cole, Judy Garland, Peggy Lee and
Louis Armstrong, among others. It's called "Goodbye - In Search of Gordon
Jenkins" (North Atlantic Books/Frog Ltd.) and it's a moving tale about a
son's relentless and tireless effort to find out who his famous father
really was. The stuff about the senior Jenkins' relationship with Sinatra is
especially compelling and Bruce was actually able to get one of the last
interviews granted by the Chairman.
n Don't know quite what to make of this, but somebody actually paid
$2,174 for a urinal from Busch Stadium in a Lelands Auction last week.
Wonder where they plan to display it in their house?
Say It Ain't So
"These are major steps to get that market correction in order." --
Marlins GM Larry Beinfest in explaining the trades of Josh Beckett, Mike
Lowell and Guillermo Mota to the Red Sox and Carlos Delgado to the Mets that
represent a savings of $73 million through 2008 for the club.
Originally published on November 26, 2005
Let's Go Mets!!!
Now we will understand what he has meant to this club: The Mets without
Piazza are like a pastrami sandwich without the pastrami.....Mark Herrman
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