Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

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

Johan Santana, Zack Wheeler, Phil Hughes and Chris Carpenter

Johan Santana's fourth Grapefruit League start went well, and at this point, it's certainly fair to suspend your suspension of disbelief (does that make sense?), at least a little, and wonder whether Santana can actually be a productive member of this Mets starting rotation.

Santana himself has seemed the most skeptical person of all. That isn't a bad thing; he won't let the Mets push him...

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Andy Pettitte, Don Mattingly, Jon Niese and the big Madoff case

Gosh, from the way we're covering Andy Pettitte's return, you'd think it was a big deal or something.

--Mariano Rivera helped convince Pettitte to come back, Mark Herrmann writes. Herrmann also writes about Pettitte's impact on the starting rotation, and I think Joe Girardi's quote nails it: Just pitch well and don't worry about it.

It just doesn't make sense to sweat a great deal, for...

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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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What's next? Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and the Yankees

PRINCE FIELDER First base, Milwaukee Brewers 2011: .299,

(Credit: MCT)

The winter meetings is supposed to serve as the Hot Stove League's climax. We work our way up to that week, we have a flood of transactions during the meetings and then we ramp down for the holidays, building up toward spring training when the new year arrives.

This year? It was pretty close to that, when you consider that Albert Pujols (Angels), Jose Reyes (Miami) and C.J. Wilson (Angels)...

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The Yankees and the C.J. Wilson dance

I covered my first general managers' meeting in 2000, skipped 2001 and have been at every gathering since 2002. When I arrived Monday and saw player agent Bob Garber, I smiled.   Garber, who runs one of the smaller shops, usually doesn't come to this set of meetings, which is generally more about laying groundwork than completing deals. This year, though? It was a slam dunk that he'd show up....

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Jose Reyes, Jason Marquis, C.J. Wilson, John Danks and the CBA

Busy day here in Milwaukee. And when I write "Busy day," what I really mean is, "It was incredibly slow until 4:45, when MLB gathered all of the present GMs* and put them in a room to talk to us."

*Because I know you were curious, there are three GMs who aren't here: Oakland's Billy Beane, Texas' Jon Daniels and San Francisco's Brian Sabean. Their respective deputies David...

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The Yankees' search for a pitcher, the Red Sox's search for a pitcher, Hunter Pence and the Marlins

Joel Sherman offered his usual strong take today on the Yankees and their search for starting pitching, and I agree with him: No matter how badly the Yankees appear to need help, I can't see them overpaying for Ubaldo Jimenez or Hiroki Kuroda.

I'll contribute one addendum: This is not how July was supposed to proceed for the Yankees. When they whiffed on Cliff Lee and saw Andy Pettitte retire...

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