Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.

The long-term commitments

Apologies for the delay this morning. I had to go see the dentist.

With virtually all of the big names off the board this winter, let's conduct our every-18-months-or-so audit of how clubs stand regarding their long-term commitments. The only remaining name that figures to receive a contract into 2015 is Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler (yes, the Yankees like him a lot).

In the past - this...

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Contest: "Donnie Baseball"

Mike Shalin, a veteran reporter who has spent most of his career in Boston, wrote "Donnie Baseball" with the cooperation of Don Mattingly, the book's subject. Mattingly was aware of the project and sat down with Shailin for a few interviews in 2010; the book came out last year.

I'm sure Mattingly has to be pleased with the book, since it's an overwhelmingly positive portrayal of...

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Yoenis Cespedes and A.J. Burnett

Two thoughts this morning:

1. The A's signed Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year, $36-million contract, and when the news broke, I flashed back to comments that Scott Boras made about a year ago, to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, concerning the Oakland franchise:

“When teams recruit against the Oakland A’s, they say, ‘Why do you want to play in an empty park?’ It’s not about...

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Contest: "Switch"

I'm giving away a copy of "Switch," the 1991 film directed by the legendary Blake Edwards, because it featured a "Pop Quiz" question. In one scene, the protagonist, played by Ellen Barkin, goes to an old-school men's barbershop to get her hair cut - because she's a man reincarnated as a woman, of course - and you can hear Hall of Fame Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy in the background.

Any...

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A.J. Burnett, Roy Oswalt and the DH pool

Starting pitcher A.J. Burnett of the New York

(Credit: Getty Images)

Greetings. I hope everyone has been well.

Thanks to the Giants (and congratulations, particularly to Mario Manningham) for occupying so much of the yakosphere (trademark Neil Best), largely taking baseball off the hook.

This is usually the point where I play catch up, but really, we didn't miss much. Very good job by Washington signing Edwin Jackson for just one year; that Nationals...

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Prince Fielder's deal with the Tigers

So much for Scott Boras having a bad winter.

Sometimes when you wait, nothing happens. But sometimes when you wait, something happens. And thanks to Victor Martinez's season-ending injury, Prince Fielder has himself an immense deal with the Tigers.

Thoughts:

1. Of course, it's irrational, in the way that any nine-year deal is irrational, especially for a poor-fielding first baseman....

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Jorge Posada's retirement

Duty called yesterday in the form of Jorge Posada's retirement news conference, and as it turned out, I got a bonus of sorts when Prince Fielder ended his free agency in brilliant fashion.

Let's tackle Posada first:

1. The Yankees really went to town for his news conference. My goodness. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Hal and Jennifer Steinbrenner, a video featuring fans. It was something...

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Ryan Braun, Gary Carter, Kevin Long, Alex Rodriguez, Rick Peterson and Bobby Valentine

RYAN BRAUN, right fielder The 2011 NL MVP

(Credit: Getty Images)

Thanks to all who attended last night's BBWAA New York chapter dinner in midtown Manhattan. It's always good to see Jim there.

It was a rather eventful evening, to steal the word my Newsday colleague Laura Albanese used. Ryan Braun spoke publicly for the first time since news broke of his failed test for illegal PEDs. As Albanese wrote, Braun - while never specifically addressing the allegations...

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Comment Winter Olympics: SOPA, the big Yankees trade and the Mets trial

First of all, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. Very much appreciated.

OK, now it's time for our weekly (or so) medal ceremony. The judges have been working diligently to select their three winners.

Here are those winners:

--The bronze goes to Islander505, who responded to my analogy comparing Rangers officials to "Seinfeld's" Elaine Benes, when...

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Contest: "Moneyball"

I'm terrible when it comes to suspension of disbelief. I watched "Cheaper by the Dozen" years ago, and I fumed at my TV screen, shouting: "If Steve Martin's character is a big-time football coach, making enough money to buy a huge house for his 12 kids, then by golly, he can afford to hire three or four babysitters!"

So I anticipated that I would hate the film version of...

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