Ken Davidoff's baseball insider

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

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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The Red Sox and reading a clubhouse

Spent yesterday in Fort Myers with the Red Sox. Wrote two stories, one on Bobby Valentine and the other on Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.

Lester expressed considerably more remorse than did Beckett for what went down in the team's clubhouse last season - vis-a-vis the historic collapse - and that's going to generate plenty of discussion in the Boston yakosphere (trademark Neil Best).


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Jonathan Papelbon, Sandy Alderson, the Yankees' starting rotation and Gary Carter

Greetings from warm Florida. Wore shorts to work yesterday for the first time in many years down here.

I spent my first day in Clearwater with Jonathan Papelbon, and as he spoke in relaxed fashion, it hit me that Papelbon might have done better than any other free agent this winter. Not in pure dollars, of course, but when you combine all the factors, I think you can make that case. I tried...

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The Yankees' internal and external DH calculations

In 2008, Montero was invited to spring training

(Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan)

Brian Cashman has been the Yankees' general manager for nearly 14 full years now, the last six as the bona fide head of baseball operations following eight years of Steinbrenner-esque chaos. At this point, we all have a pretty good feel for how he operates when there's a void to fill.

In dramatically filling one void late last week, adding Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda to the Yankees' starting...

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Overrated and over-hated 2011

Goodness, is it Thanksgiving Eve already? Where does the time go?

We're on year five of this list, and I think it's more relevant than ever. We're so comfortable viewing topics through a black-and-white, great-or-awful prism, and that leads to people, places and things being either overrated or over-hated, rather than being regarded with more nuance.

Which do we overrate, and which do...

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Hal Steinbrenner, Yu Darvish, Alex Rodriguez, Sandy Alderson and Frank Francisco

It has been here at the GMs' meetings, which today mophed into the GMs/owners' meetings. The agenda of the actual meetings is more loaded than previous years, according to multiple people, which has led to less work on the baseball operations front.

Fred Wilpon arrived at 11:15 this morning, shook hands of the media members he knew and then said, "You know I have nothing...

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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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The best general managers, 2011

9. JON DANIELS When Rangers fans cheer the

(Credit: AP )

We always kick off this list, as per tradition, by revealing who was on my flight to the general managers' and owners' meetings - and seeing if there's any cosmic determinations to be made from that regarding the current Hot Stove League.

This year's answer is my former Newsday teammate Jon Heyman, Jon's MLB Network teammate Matt Yalloff and MLB public relations gurus Michael Teevan and...

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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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And so we wrap up another season

Congratulations to the Cardinals, your 2011 World Series champions.

I've enjoyed the privilege of covering 15 World Series now, 1996 and then 1998 through 2011. I'd have to say that the two Cardinals' championships, 2006 and this year, rank as the most stunning "September-to-October stories." 

There have been bigger individual upsets, in other words - the Marlins over...

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Which team will win the 2nd AL Wild Card?

Yankees Tigers/Royals Indians Mariners

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