45° Good Afternoon
45° Good Afternoon

The Yankees and Mets and multi-tasking

Brian Cashman began his week in New York, delivering the news to Jorge Posada on Monday that Posada would catch less than ever in 2011, and that he would largely be the team's starter at designated hitter.

On Tuesday, Cashman was in Tampa, meeting with Derek Jeter and Jeter's agent Casey Close to talk about the team captain's inevitable new contract.

Then he flew from Tampa to Arkansas _ did he connect through Atlanta or Memphis? The world needs to know! _ to meet with Cliff Lee and Lee's agent Darek Braunecker yesterday.

Now that's a week. And we'll try to find out what he has lined up today and tomorrow, let alone the weekend.

It's a minor point, but one worth noting: The Mets never would've accomplished so much in recent years. Their process was remarkably flawed.

Following the 2008 season, the Mets attacked their check list like this: "First, we'll address our bullpen. Then our starting rotation. And we'll see if we have any money left over for our lineup."

They addressed the bullpen, acquiring Francisco Rodriguez, J.J. Putz and Sean Green. They addressed the rotation, re-signing Oliver Perez. The only major lineup move came after the team left spring training, when it signed Gary Sheffield.

None of those transactions worked out as well as the Mets envisioned, and you can validly point out the evaluation flaws there that led to those decisions.

But those analytical meltdowns were compounded by the poor process. What baseball team deals with one concern at a time? Not any well-run teams, for sure.

That's going to change now. Already, you see that Sandy Alderson is interviewing managerial candidates, and securing front-office lieutenants, and dealing with some of the Mets' bigger headaches on the player personnel side; he's going to meet with Carlos Beltran and Luis Castillo in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, respectively, this weekend.

We'll have a chance to better scrutinize Alderson's thinking once he hires a manager and makes some player moves. In the meantime, however, Mets fans should feel better about the club's methodology. It needed to improve, desperately.

--Check Don Wakamatsu and Clint Hurdle off Alderson's list of interviews. Hurdle seems to be in line to get back into managing, with either the Mets or Pirates. I think either of these would be an acceptable choice for the Mets.

--It seems like Rodriguez and the Queens district attorney will find common ground in Rodriguez's criminal case. To reiterate a point, it seems like the K-Rod situation should be one of the Mets' lesser concerns. If the worst-case scenario is that the Mets pay Rodriguez $17.5 million in 2012 - meaning he would vest that option with 55 games finished in 2011 - to be one of the game's better closers, well...the Mets have bigger problems.

--Jeff Francoeur is a free agent, and I'd be surprised if he ever got close to the $5 million salary he made from the Mets this season. But he should get a job for 2011. Dayton Moore, the Royals' GM, is known to be a Frenchy fan from their days together in Atlanta, and the Rangers actually liked having Francoeur around and could explore a deal. Texas released Francoeur because tendering him a contract would have tethered them to that $5 million deal as a reference point.

--Good trade by the A's to get David DeJesus from Kansas City. I remember conversing with an A's executive at last year's winter meetings, and he told me, "We'll win about 84 games (in 2010), and then really be ready in '11." Well, they won 81 games last year, a pretty good projection, and they certainly have some young talent that could get even better, with another offensive upgrade likely - perhaps at the DH spot, as Ken Rosenthal reports. 

--Rest in peace, Dave Niehaus. I didn't know the Mariners broadcasting legend _ I interviewed him on the phone once, back in 2001 - but his reputation was stellar. Another announcing icon gone.

--The great Paul Lukas of Uni Watch reviews the Nationals' new uniforms. I am but a philistine in this area, yet it doesn't prevent me from voicing my opinion: Eh. Sort of dull.  You know what isn't dull, though? Twitter, where I found this post.

--Roy Halladay wrote an interesting piece for The Onion (OK, I don't think he actually wrote it, but it's pretty funny).

--Have a great day, and thank you to all of our veterans.


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