Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.
Sunday reading: Dallas Green, Adrian Beltre, Roberto Alomar and Joe Torre
First of all, deepest condolences to Dallas Green. I read yesterday about the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the horrible Arizona shooting, and it turns out that girl is Green's granddaughter.
There are no words. Just prayers for Green and his family, and of course everyone else victimized.
--For my Sunday Insider, I wrote about Adrian Beltre, and why the Rangers could fit him in their lineup and the Yankees couldn't.
Of course, the Yankees' greatest need hardly is a new third baseman. It wasn't for the Rangers, either, though. Yet with someone of Beltre's caliber available, Texas decided to sign him.
And so this continues to be a fascinating Yankees winter. They're hardly in terrible shape, not with that lineup and the reality that Tampa Bay has taken a significant step backwards. But if Andy Pettitte actually retires, and they start the season with a thin starting rotation, their weak defensive left side of the infield could stand out all the more.
The Insider also features notes about Roberto Alomar, the Blue Jays' bullpen, and the Mets' search for a lefty reliever.
--The Daily News reported yesterday that Joe Torre was speaking with Bud Selig about working as Major League Baseball's executive vice president of operations. I poked around yesterday, and Torre and Selig indeed have held some conversations. Torre is out of work now, of course, and the two men have known each other for roughly 50 years.
But I can't see Torre taking this actual job. Nor can other people in the loop. This is a real job, a 9-to-5, show up at MLB headquarters every day sort of job. At 70 years old, given his accomplishments and his bank account, is Torre really going to do this? He doesn't even want to move back to New York. He wants to stay in Los Angeles.
"What," someone joked with me yesterday, "you can't see Joe taking the Metro North in from Westchester five days a week?"
Torre's most likely future is waiting for the bottom to fall out of Frank McCourt's Dodgers ownership - a very real possibility - and then trying to get in on a new ownership group. And I still say don't rule him out altogether of finding a managing job somewhere, if a good opportunity arises.
--Just because I found it on MLBTradeRumors.com, here's the updated 2011 amateur draft order, courtesy of River Ave Blues. There are five more free agents who were offered arbitration and therefore can impact the order, although one of those, Type A pitcher Carl Pavano, appears likely to re-sign with the Twins (in which case nothing would occur).
The others are Type A free agents Grant Balfour and Rafael Soriano, both of whom would send the Rays two more draft picks apiece, and Type B free agents Felipe Lopez and Chad Qualls, whom would get Boston and Tampa Bay one sandwich-round pick each.
So if Balfour, Qualls and Soriano all find new homes, Pavano returns to the Twins and Lopez signs with a club other than Boston, that would give the Rays 12 of the first 90 picks - 13.3 percent. That is crazy - and this in a draft that is regarded as rich. Tampa Bay will have the ability to re-stock its system for years to come.
And again, it's to the Rays' credit that they procured so many players who are bringing back something. Guys whom they could offer arbitration knowing, "If they take it, that's fine," because they were still good players on good value.
Meanwhile, it's go time for the Mets. They have pick 13, and pick 42 will probably drop to 44 if the above scenario (Pavano to the Twins, Balfour and Soriano elsewhere) occurs. They need to select well and, if necessary, spend well.
--Have a great day. I'm back on vacation starting tomorrow. As Matt Damon said in "Ocean's Thirteen," I'll see ya when I see ya.