ESPN’s Buster Olney (and about a zillion other people today) note that the Jason Bay-to-the-Mets stuff is dragging on. Rather than come up with new and exciting Mets jokes, Buster gets constructive and makes eight suggestions for adding depth and improving the team without blowing a big chunk of money on Jason Bay. His ideas:
1. Sign Orlando Hudson;
2. Sign a cheap, defense-first outfielder like Randy Winn;
3. Sign Mark DeRosa
4. Get a reliever or two in the Bob Howry or Chan Ho Park mold;
5. Rotation filler like Jarrod Washburn;
6. Make an offer for Fernando Rodney;
7. Get a starter like Brett Meyers, Jon Garland or Vicente Padilla;
8. Make an offer to Joel Piniero.
Not sure if that’s really eight ideas given that two of them deal with getting a reliever and three of them deal with getting some back-of-the-rotation help, but at least someone’s thinking about how to make the Mets better. God knows Omar Minaya isn’t.
So whaddya all think? Kneejerk reaction: I like depth moves better than big splashes for a team like the Mets. I mean, if you’re going to blame every damn thing that happened in 2009 on injuries, why not improve the depth?
As for the specifics, I’m not sure how many of the pitchers Olney is serious about the Mets pursuing or if, alternatively, he’s just listing potential options, but New York could use someone who could pitch beyond Santana. I think DeRosa has become everyone’s go-to reference for depth and utility, but I think people are underselling the fact that he’s getting older, can’t play the middle of the infield much anymore and is asking for far more money than the spare-part DeRosa we all came to love a few years ago.
But those are merely my shallow nitpicks. Your thoughts?
Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:
The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.
The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.
I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.
In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.
The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.
The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.
Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.