Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

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

Comment Winter Olympics: Alex Rodriguez, Donald Trump, Carlos Beltran and knowledge

April 2004: Tim Berry caricatures Donald Trump for

A bit of a hectic week in the real world - filling in as the Mets beat writer and then taking care of some stuff upon my return to New York - meant that the blog didn't receive its standard attention. I already have apologized to the judges for the paucity of dialogue here.

But rules are rules, and we've got medals to distribute:

--The bronze goes to Sandy, who reacted to Donald...

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Annual visceral, small-sample-sized observations from spring training

Philadelphia Phillies' Jonathan Papelbon throws during practice at

(Credit: AP)

Upon returning home from my first visit to spring training, I always enjoy checking in with some mental snapshots, mindful that what I took away could prove to be hugely significant or, far more likely, wholly irrelevant. Here is last year's entry. I forgot that I had Johnny Damon on the record acknowledging how important reaching 3,000 career hits was.

Some spring trainings, I'll spend almost...

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Yu Darvish, Carlos Beltran, Gio Gonzalez and John Danks

Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish of Nippon-Ham Fighters shouts

(Credit: Getty Images)

Hope that everyone had a good week and good holiday. First, let's catch up. Then we'll discuss what's on tap for this week.

Four big transactions:

1. The Rangers won the rights to Yu Darvish. It's a mild surprise, only because Texas worked so hard in recent weeks to lower expectations on this front not only in the media, but in the baseball world, as well. Just mild, however, because...

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Brian Cashman, Frank McCourt, Carlos Beltran and the Gold Gloves

Nope, no vacation yet. With the Yankees announcing Brian Cashman's extension, I wrote in my column that the Yankees have become the model of AL East stability.

Cashman stressed in his telephone news conference that "Pitching, pitching, pitching" would be his focus this winter. Given their lack of enthusiasm over C.J. Wilson, their wariness of Yu Darvish and their strong farm system,...

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A look into my 2011 free-agent predictions

I usually like to release my free-agent rankings and predictions - which I believe pre-date the blog - on the first day of open free agency. This year, that day will be Thursday. I think the feature is a nice way to kick off the unrestricted period, and I like using the days between the end of the World Series and open free agency to do more reporting on this.

So why are we running them today?...

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Friday Five: LCS people

Apologies for the delay this morning. Had a very early flight back home.

The League Championship Series began in 1969, making it a comfortable contemporary for many of us. It's far less intimidating than the ancient, domineering World Series.

Let's put it in "Simpsons" terms: The LCS is Ray the roofer, whereas the Fall Classic is Mr. Burns.

In recent years, we've been...

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Jorge Posada, Freddy Garcia, Jose Reyes, Daniel Murphy and Carlos Beltran

A very busy baseball Sunday in New York somehow leads to a Spadafore-style blog entry Monday morning in Boston (before I hop on my train back home). Go figure.

News: The Yankees lose a long, exciting game at Fenway, dropping a game behind the Red Sox in the AL East, yet equally significant news occurs before the game, as Joe Girardi tells Jorge Posada that he won't be the starting DH...

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Carlos Beltran, Hiroki Kuroda, Ubaldo Jimenez, Kosuke Fukudome and Hideki Irabu

Greetings from the always lovely Citizens Bank Park. Let's roll through everything:

--The Carlos Beltran trade is official - of course it is. That's why I'm in Philly - and Sandy Alderson, in his telephone news conference - made it clear that Beltran's strong preference was to stay in the National League. Basically, Alderson indicated, the only way Beltran was considering an American League...

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Carlos Beltran to the Giants, Ubaldo Jimenez, the big Edwin Jackson-Colby Rasmus deal and bad umpiring

I barely paid attention to the Yankees' loss to Seattle, as the Carlos Beltran trade - which will be announced tomorrow - kept me occupied.

First of all, I goofed on Twitter. The key piece the Mets will receive is not outfielder Gary Brown, but rather pitcher Zach Wheeler. It'll be a straight-up, 1-for-1 deal, with the Mets sending $4 million of the roughly $6 million Beltran is owed (hat...

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Should the Mets shift directions?

The Mets defeated Cincinnati, a playoff hopeful, for the second straight night, while the Braves needed 19 innings to defeat Pittsburgh and lost Brian McCann to the disabled list in the process.

And all around the Twitterverse, you could see the question asked:

Should the Mets - now seven games behind Atlanta in the race for the NL wild-card, with three other teams between them...

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