Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.
Angel Pagan, Luis Castillo, Joe Torre, Jim Leyland and Jim Edmonds
Another beautiful and busy day:
--Angel Pagan said he's happy to yield centerfield to the veteran Carlos Beltran, and word here is that Beltran is in very good shape - better health than at any point last year. He even has started running without wearing a brace on his right knee.
--There's a strange, cultural disparity between Yankees camp and Mets camp, and it's dictated largely by the different layouts of the spring-training complexes. At Yankees camp, you see only pitchers and catchers at George M. Steinbrenner Field this first week. If other players report early, they work out at the minor-league complex, a five-minute drive away.
So there's very little interaction between the two sides, and while Joe Girardi surely is aware of who is and isn't in town, he's not seeing workouts with his own eyes. It has a different impacct.
On the Mets' side, however, everyone is immediately together, as the minor-league locker room is within walking distance of Digital Domain Park. Today, for instance, Terry Collins could see Pagan, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Ike Davis and others hitting and working. I think that reality heightened Collins' annoyance that Luis Castillo isn't here yet, as you can see by David Lennon's tweets.
At Yankees camp, it wouldn't seem like as big a deal. In any case, I don't see how Castillo makes the team.
--Anthony Rieber tracked down Joe Torre, who said he's finalizing a deal to become baseball's executive vice president of baseball operations. I'm curious to see the mechanics of Torre's deal, as he appears determined to live in Los Angeles and all of the executive vice presidents always have worked at Major League Baseball's Manhattan headquarters.
--Jim Leyland addressed Miguel Cabrera's situation, and he disappointingly went into defiance mode, insisting that the Tigers wouldn't get distracted. Who cares about the Tigers getting distracted? Right now, the concern should be getting Cabrera right, personally.
--Jim Edmonds announced his retirement. Hall of Famer? I think he can present a pretty good case. From 1995 through 2005, with the notable exception of 1999, he might have been the best centerfielder in baseball. He'll be a good test for positional value, as I think people don't naturally think of him as Cooperstown-bound.