Quickly, once more:
Here's my column off Derek Jeter's news conference yesterday. My sense is that the Yankees couldn't have been happier with how this whole process went: They got Jeter to take a pay cut, and the world enjoyed a better glimpse into the captain's complexities.
I was speaking with a friend of Brian Cashman last night, upon returning to Orlando, and he laughed as we discussed Jeter essentially calling out the Yankees GM.
"I bet that bothered Brian for one, maybe two seconds," the friend said. "If Mariano (Rivera, of course) had said something like that, now that would've bothered Brian."
--Joe Torre addressed the Jeter situation a little bit, as Major League Baseball invited Torre, Bobby Cox, Cito Gaston and Lou Piniella to take part in a news conference (with Bud Selig) to salute the four retiring managers. It was really nice, although Cox couldn't attend because of a family illness and was represented by Braves president John Schuerholz.
In any case, of those four, I think Torre, even though he's the oldest at 70, would be most willing to manage again. I would bet against such an opportunity arising, but never say never.
--When it comes to Cliff Lee, I'll just co-sign this Joel Sherman column: I'm skeptical that there are seven-year offers out there, but if there are, and the Yankees actually stay at six years as they insist they will, then I don't think Lee will be a Yankee next year.
But I think Lee will be a Yankee next year.
Lee has a reputation as a smart pitcher and a good teammate, and someone who loooooves money.
--The Mets signed Ronny Paulino and D.J. Carrasco yesterday, and, well, yeah. Pretty much what we thought would happen. Intriguing low-cost signings.
Paulino seems to be a good complement to Josh Thole, as Paulino has a career .390 OBP and .491 SLG against lefties. Interestingly, one industry source told me last night that Omar Minaya had a "man crush" on Paulino for many years, wanting to bring him to the Mets, but that Minaya's scouts kept talking Minaya out of it. The scouts' concerns? Paulino's reputed work ethic.
Of course, "Moneyball" features the famous scene of a scout deriding Jeremy Brown, and the A's- including assistant GM Paul DePodesta _ ignoring such concerns and drafting Brown, who didn't succeed. Now, of course, DePodesta is Sandy Alderson's lieutenant with the Mets.
As for Carrasco, the strikeouts intrigue you and the walks concern you. Looking at Carrasco's FanGraphs page, it seems he enjoyed some good luck in 2010.
--Meanwhile, David Lennon adds in his story that there's more interest in Carlos Beltran than anticipated. If the Mets can actually receive something of value for Beltran from a team that would also pay a respectable amount (half?) of Beltran's $18.5 million salary for 2011, the Mets should pull the trigger.
Yes, they might regret it if Beltran enjoys a bounceback year, but there's too much risk that Beltran won't be able to stay healthy. And he clearly wants to leave the Mets, and the ownership wouldn't mind seeing him leave, either.
--The Cubs signed Carlos Pena. I like the one-year risk that Pena can improve his numbers in the National League while offering stellar defense.
--I'll check in later.