Busy day, even with Brian Cashman leaving the premises to continue his search for a new pitching coach. So here we go:
--Bob Melvin has completed his second interview with the Mets brass of Jeff Wilpon, Sandy Alderson, John Ricco, Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciard. It lasted about two hours.
Asked what he saw as 'Job one" with these Mets, Melvin responded, "I think the mindset. Get back to the confident mindset that this team needs to have to win that division. It’s not a talent problem. They've certainly been beat down a little from injuries and losing some games, and that can wear on you a little bit."
Next up is Chip Hale, and I'll try to check in later tonight with comments from both him and Alderson.
--The Yankees view Carl Crawford as a "Plan B," a source confirmed, and one amusing side note to that is if the Yankees somehow whiff on getting Cliff Lee, one of their main recruiters in that pursuit - CC Sabathia - would join the Crawford hunt. Sabathia and Crawford are very good friends.
This would entail, basically, Lee signing with the Rangers rather than the Yankees, and then the Yankees trading one of their current outfielders for a starting pitcher to take what would've been Lee's spot. And then signing Crawford.
I don't see it, in any case. I think Lee will be a Yankee, and at that point, the Yankees wouldn't be looking to get Crawford or Jayson Werth.
--With Cashman gone early, Yankees president Randy Levine met briefly with the New York media and said this about Derek Jeter: “He’s a baseball player. It’s a player negotiation. Everything he is and who he is gets factored in. This isn’t a licensing deal or a commercial rights deal. He’s a baseball player. With that said, you can’t take away who he is. He brings a lot to the organization, and we bring a lot to him.”
--The chance of Arizona trading Justin Upton has increased, because the Diamondbacks like the offers they're getting. Arizona, under new GM Kevin Towers, wants to shake up its clubhouse culture a little bit. The situation has evolved to where there is a group of young players with multi-year deals who might be feeling a sense of entitlement they shouldn't have. Of that group. Upton has the most value.
The Red Sox have been reported as the most interested suitor, yet many teams would like Upton.
--The Tigers' three-year, $16.5-million commitment to Joaquin Benoit is crazy. Middle reliever worship at its worst.
--If the Rangers whiff on Lee, they're not a slam-dunk to trade for Kansas City's Zack Greinke. Remember, Texas made it this far by being creative and thinking outside of the box.