Joel Pineiro, Ben Sheets, John Smoltz, Johnny Damon, Luis Castillo, and Miguel Cabrera
--My understanding is the Mets' offer to Joel Pineiro was very similar to the two-year, $16-million deal Pineiro signed with the Angels. It's natural to assume that the stability of the Angels' franchise and instability of the Mets played a factor, but I don't know that for certain.
--Ben Sheets appears to be the Mets' top target left, as we've discussed here, and Buster Olney tweeted today that the Mets and A's could be best positioned, financially, to give Sheets the deal he wants. I agree with that assessment.
--The Mets definitely would like to sign John Smoltz, although if they sign Smoltz AND Sheets or Jon Garland, wouldn't the Mets have too many veteran starters? I suppose they can cross that bridge when they get there, even possibly trade John Maine to Milwaukee.
Interestingly, I heard today that the Yankees went hard after Smoltz hard before they acquired Javier Vazquez. There is no longer any dialogue there.
Would Smoltz come to the Mets? Remember this: Last October, Andy Pettitte leapt over Smoltz to take over the all-time lead in career postseason victories. (Yes, yes, of course this is a cheesy record, what with the three rounds of postseason play compared to one back in the day).
If you think leaping back over Pettitte doesn't interest Smoltz, then you know very little about the ultra-competitive Smoltz. He's going to want to be in a situation where he can make playofff starts. I wonder if Smoltz views the Mets as a potential playoff team.
--The Yankees have about $2 million to spend on one more outfielder. If Johnny Damon is willing to come back for $2 million, then the job is his. But the Yankees don't anticipate that occurring. Rather, they're looking at righty-hitting outfielders like Xavier Nady and Rocco Baldelli.
I also still think there's a chance that Brett Gardner winds up as the Yankees' centerfielder, and Curtis Granderson as the leftfielder. I might write about that more over the weekend. Please don't tell the competition.
--Good piece here by our pal James K. on Luis Castillo's defense.
--Miguel Cabrera says he has undergone treatment for alcoholism. I'd love to see what kind of season he's capable of putting up if he sticks to a cleaner lifestyle.
--Oy vey, Fergie Jenkins.
UPDATE, 11:52 p.m.: Interesing piece by Rob Bradford, at WEEI.com, about Jason Bay's health, in the eyes of the Red Sox. Be afraid, Mets fans. Be very afraid.