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, Johan Santana and Ryan Braun

The news of the day, of course, was Andy Pettitte's return to the Yankees. I won't even pretend that I saw this one coming. Simply shocking.

Here's my column about it.

--You know it's a busy day in the Yankees' world when Derek Jeter gets shut down for a few days and it's a sidebar.

--In Port St. Lucie, Johan Santana threw his third Grapefruit League start, and the Mets sound...

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Johan Santana, David Wright, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes and the Giants

Just the facts this morning. Well, perhaps a few opinions, too:

--In Port St. Lucie, Johan Santana looked good on the mound, and at this stage, you have to evaluate Santana as much as how he looked out there as the results, which were OK. His body language was encouraging. He didn't look like someone holding back, out of fear that something would go wrong.

His words, however, are still...

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The Rays, Hal Steinbrenner, Johan Santana and Jason Varitek

Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek wipes a

(Credit: AP)

I spent yesterday at Rays camp, and not surprisingly, I wrote that the Rays remain an impressive operation and a major threat to the Yankees and Red Sox.

One consequence of the Rays' current way of life, that they can't afford a major free agent in his prime, is that you'll never accuse their roster of being too old. They always have a surplus of youth. It undoubtedly helps them slog through...

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Offseason winners and losers: National League

On the heels of yesterday's American League review, let's slide over to the National League:

WINNERS

1. Cincinnati. The Reds went for it, trading for Mat Latos and signing Ryan Madson to a great contract. The price for Latos might be too high, but it's a good risk.

2. St. Louis. I never thought it would be possible for the Cardinals to lose Albert Pujols and land in this column,...

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Mariano Rivera's successors, Johan Santana and the Theo Epstein compensation

New York Yankees' Mariano Rivera fields a grounder

(Credit: AP )

First of all, we'll do a live chat Thursday at 3:00 from sunny Florida. If you want an e-mail reminder, you can sign up here.

It's my first day at Yankees camp, and it's as calm as I anticipated. I spoke with David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, and Brian Cashman about Mariano Rivera's non-announcement announcement from yesterday, and my Newsday teammate Erik Boland spoke with Joe Girardi.

Robertson...

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The Yankees' bullpen, Daniel Herrera and the September slumber

At the Yankees' victory over Toronto, I wrote about the Yankees' bullpen, which was counted on to be excellent and has lived up to those expectations, albeit with some different names than originally anticipated.

--Joe Girardi stayed mum about his plans for the team's starting rotation, regarding whether A.J. Burnett or Phil Hughes gets thrown overboard. Girardi did say, however, that the...

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A big Yankees win, another Mets loss, a Phillies-Giants brawl and deer antler spray

First of all, here are your new playoff brackets:

AL: Yankees (1) vs. Detroit (3), Texas (2) vs. Boston (4)

NL: Philadelphia (1) vs. San Francisco (3), Milwaukee (2) vs. Atlanta (4).

Thoughts: Yeah, the Yankees have the top seed at the moment, which begs this question for Yankees fans: Would you rather have homefield advantage in the Division Series and face the Tigers, who have...

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