Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are getting aggressive on Jason Bay, upping their offer to five years, while also inquiring about Matt Holliday.
This is interesting in terms of leverage. On the one hand, it’s strange to see the Mets go an extra year on Bay a day after the Red Sox cut the cord on him and after the Yankees were reported to have no interest at all. When your biggest competitors drop out of the bidding, you tend not to up your offer. The fact that the Mets did so smells like desperation to do something. Heyman suggests that there’s another mystery bidder lurking — maybe the Angels — but it hasn’t been reported anywhere, and in an age where the briefest of musings by a GM about a player is reported, it suggests that there’s no one else really on the scene yet.
At the same time, Heyman says that Omar is talking to Holliday. From the Mets perspective, it makes sense for them in that it signals to Bay that he’s not the only game in town. From Holliday’s perspective, it makes sense in that it’s a great way to use the Mets to pressure the Cardinals or someone else to prime the pot a bit more. I know, such a thing is unthinkable given that Scott Boras is Matt Holliday’s client — and that noted Boras mouthpiece Jon Heyman is reporting it — but maybe he can overcome his shyness and play Omar off of someone in the service of his client. And for what it’s worth, Buster Olney says that the Mets are merely “monitoring” the Holliday talks with St. Louis, but are “not actively involved.” If you make me choose, I’m choosing Buster here.
Whatever is really going on, all of this comes against a backdrop of people saying that the Mets need to do something big and the Mets saying that they’re going to do something big.
So stay tuned: Omar is about to pay too much for someone.
The Angels have hired Bud Black as a special assistant to the general manager.
Black is returning to the Angels, actually, as he spent seven seasons as the Angels pitching coach under Mike Scioscia prior to leaving to take over the Padres in 2007. He held that job until this past June and takes this one after a weird, brief and ultimately aborted flirtation with the Washington Nationals.
You’ll recall that Jerry Dipoto was forced out of Anaheim after losing a power struggle with Scioscia. Now, with one of Scioscia’s former lieutenants on the staff of new general manager Billy Eppler, there should be no doubt about how really has the power when it comes to the Angels.
Baseball was not invented by some American in upstate New York. Rather, it evolved from a number of different bat-and-ball games like cricket, rounders, bat and trap, and stool ball. These games, first played in England, meshed together over time in important ways to form what we now know of as baseball. It’s a fascinating history, featured in a great documentary which searches for baseball’s primordial common ancestor.
Which is to say that, while this seems odd given baseball’s almost total lack of popularity in the U.K., it’s not entirely inappropriate. It’s really just an overdue homecoming:
The operators of the Olympic Stadium were on Saturday night in advanced negotiations to stage the first ever Major League Baseball game in Europe.
Telegraph Sport has learnt that serious talks have taken place over bringing a series of MLB matches to the London 2012 centrepiece, potentially as early as 2017.
MLB officials have long been exploring hosting regular-season games in Europe, declaring an interest in the Olympic Stadium as long ago as March 2012.
“Matches.” OMG the British are so cute.
All we Yanks ask is that our British cousins play evening games so we can watch them at a decent hour. Thanks.
(h/t CBS Eye on Baseball)
Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes pleaded not guilty yesterday to abusing his wife in Hawaii on October 31.
Reyes was arrested at the time and was released after posting $1,000 bail. He was not in Hawaii for the arraignment and his not guilty plea was entered on his behalf by his attorney.
Which means that he’s probably in his usual offseason home on Long Island. Which, I am told, is a short drive from Major League Baseball headquarters. Which makes one wonder if Reyes has yet to be interviewed by Rob Manfred in anticipation of the punishment he will no doubt receive under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. A policy which specifically says that the Commissioner need not wait for the justice system to play out before assessing his own discipline.
So, Rob. How you doin’ man?
Ben Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated on Sunday that there might be a connection between the Giants and veteran free agent right-hander John Lackey, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that San Francisco is indeed in pursuit.
Rosenthal says the Giants, “like most clubs seeking pitching, [are] examining [a] wide range of options” in this starter-heavy free agent market. Lackey would make a ton of sense for any contender on something like a two-year deal. His free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t be much of a deterrent.
The 37-year-old right-hander registered a career-best 2.77 ERA across 218 innings (33 starts) this past season for the National League Central-champion Cardinals and he was St. Louis’ most reliable starter during the playoffs.
It’s well known that he wants to remain in the National League.