Mark Loretta (A)
David Riske (A)
Julio Lugo (A)
Barry Zito (A)
David Dellucci (A)
Ronnie Belliard (A)
Mark Mulder (B)
Moises Alou (A)
Mark DeRosa (B)
Ted Lilly (B)
Justin Speier (A)
Alfonso Soriano (A)
Wow. It will be tough for the Mets to make it through the off-season without getting their first and probably their 2nd round pick taken from them. It is a good thing baseball reworked the entire compensation rules in regards to flagging players Type A and Type B free agents. Too many mediocre guys are Type A players and middle relievers should almost never be type A free agents in my opinion. I mean, Roberto Hernandez (who I thought was on contract for '07 also, but I guess is not) is a Type A free agent.
Chad Bradford (A)
Cliff Floyd (A)
Tom Glavine (A)
Orlando Hernandez (B)
Roberto Hernandez (A)
Guillermo Mota (B)
Darren Oliver (B)
Jose Valentin (B)
On the bright side, it is entirely possible that the Mets will be getting a pick or two back from their crop of free agents.
Pelfrey, who scrapped his inconsistent curveball and replaced it with a hard slider Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson introduced to him during his brief stay in the big leagues this year, had trouble commanding the newest pitch in his arsenal. But his fastball was quality, cutting and running down and in to righthanded hitters.
"You don't need a (radar) gun on this guy. It was like watching a high school kid throw 96 (mph) to high school hitters," a scout from one NL club said. "All the other guys in the game were throwing 93, 94, 95, but it wasn't nearly as devastating because of the swings guys were getting against him. The fastball is plus-plus in terms of velocity and movement down in the zone. The secondary stuff still has a ways to go, but his arm speed on the changeup was good and he showed flashes of getting closer to really burying his breaking ball. It's much better than the curveball, and I think it's better suited for his mix with that pure power stuff."
Nice. We know his fastball is top notch and if he can put his secondary stuff together, which it sounds like he is on his way to doing just that, the Mets will be very happy.
As for Fernando?
Mets outfielder Fernando Martinez is getting rave reviews for his overall approach at the plate that includes plus power to all fields, especially to the opposite field. Martinez, who turned 18 on the AFL's Opening Day, is hitting just .196 in 51 at-bats for Mesa. But that doesn't mean scouts aren't gushing over the young outfielder.
"His approach is so advanced for his age and the ball just jumps off his bat," a scout from an AL club said. "The only negative you see is he's a little late in his jumps and reads in center field. He's not as explosive as you'd think he would be."
Always good to hear.
10/31: Mesa lost to Peoria 6-3. Fernando went 1 for 3 with a run scored and a walk with no strikeouts.
11/1: Mesa lost to Peoria 6-3 again. Fernando went 1 for 3 with a run scored, a double, and a walk with no strikeouts. Kevin Mulvey got roughed up in three innings of work and gave up four hits, three walks, and four earned runs.
11/2: Mesa lost to Peoria 8-1. Fernando went 1 for 3 with no strikeouts.
11/3: Mesa beat Grand Canyon 7-4. Fernando Martinez went 1 for 4 with a run scored, a double, and a strikeout.
Complete Winter League updates.
The Dogers are not planning on pursuing Daisuke.
"The posting money is a detriment to me," Colletti said. "You're going to have to invest a lot of money before you even talk about a contract."
That bodes well for the Mets, but even more interesting...
RotoWire reports that the serious suitors for Daisuke Matsuzaka appear to be just the Yankees, Mets, Cubs, Red Sox, and Rangers. This comes after reports of many teams pulling out of the bidding - the Orioles, Dodgers, Angels, and Giants.
Smart money appears to be on New York, or maybe that's just where all the hype comes from. Hard to tell. Mike Plugh finds an interesting note in a Japanese newspaper: the Yankees may bid less than $20MM. As Plugh says, that's a surefire way to make the pitcher a Met.
I think the Cubs and Rangers might pursue Kei Igawa as Plan B, but who's to say that half the league doesn't get in on the southpaw.
Might this thing a one team race? Holy crapola. If the rumblings are true, could Daisuke just fall into the Mets laps? Would five years, $60 million get it done after that?
So yesterday there was that article that hinted at the possibility of tampering. Rumor has it, there was tampering already.
At least three teams have attempted under-the-table negotiations to obtain Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka, a Japanese newspaper reported. Major League Baseball said yesterday that nothing has been brought to its attention.
Anyone think the greaseball Yankees were involved in that?
"I take pride in trying to be a complete player," Beltran said in a statement released by the team.
In a shocker, Greg Maddux won his 16th Gold Glove. At this point I really think it is more of a running joke.
Speaking of jokes, Derek Jeter won his third Gold Glove in a row despite being fourth in fielding %, ninth (dead last for qualifying AL short stops) in range factor, seventh in zone rating, sixth in assists, and dead last in double plays. Look, he is not as bad as we all make him out to be in the field, but Gold Glover? Reyes is light years better than him and did not win and Michael Young got hosed big time on the Golden Glove in the AL.
Thus far, his recovery has gone well.
"It's getting better, and progress is above all what is hoped for," Martinez told The Associated Press yesterday.
"To go back I have to recover. I have to be healthy. But if God doesn't want that, then I would have to think about giving it all up."
The three-time Cy Young Award winner is working on flexibility but said he "won't put his hand on a ball" until at least March.
There is no reason why he will not be back, but it has to be assumed he will not be back and Omar needs to bring in an ace to lead this staff.
Joel Sherman doesn't buy into as many of us are not buying into it.
He loves to try to make himself the underdog - look at how small I am, look at the poverty I came from, look at the offensive/steroid era I pitched in. Yet, he has a chip on his shoulder larger than any tear. The moment he is cast as an underdog, this great contrarian will doggedly claw to prove his superiority.
So short of him being completely unable to pitch, Martinez's retirement spiels should be largely ignored.
Carlos Delgado is in for wild winter. Since he was a veteran traded in the midst of a long-term contract, he has the right to demand a trade from the Mets. As well, he's already undergone a pair of elbow surgeries since the end of the season. It's not certain whether he'll be 100% for the start of spring training, and it's also not certain where he'll be playing.
The big man ain't going no where. He likes it here.
One MLB team official said yesterday there was an indication the Mets were targeting free-agent lefty Barry Zito more than Matsuzaka or free-agent righty Jason Schmidt. But the person with knowledge of the Mets' plans said the team had differing views on whether Zito was a No. 2 or No. 3 starter, but he was not seen as an ace. The source said that while Zito had not been ruled out, the Mets were not going to break the bank for him and that pursuing him would be based on whether the Mets re-sign Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez and how their relief corps gets set up.
"I'd like to think I put myself in a situation where they'd have to think long and hard to say, 'No, we don't want this guy,'" Maine said. "I've still got to work hard this off-season. I'm not taking anything for granted. My goal now is just to make the team out of spring training in any capacity - whether it's reliever or starter. They're going to need another top-tier guy. But hopefully I can fill out the back end of the rotation. That's fine.
"Who knows? Maybe I can do the long relief. Whatever they need."
With all the players these days thinking they are entitled to everything without doing anything, Johnny boy is refreshing.