Major League Baseball’s winter meetings have begun and already some miniature moves have been made. It is obvious that both the Yankees and Mets are looking to attract star players to come to the Big Apple. The Mets, coming off yet another down year, have brought in a new General Manager in Sandy Alderson, and his first job was to hire a manager and has done so in Terry Collins. Now that is taking care of, one of the holes the Mets will try to address is their starting pitching and bullpen. There isn’t really a strong group of pitching arm available in the free agent market, however, there are some pitchers that may have the capability to help ace pitcher Johan Santana. The Mets have shown interest in pitchers such as Brandon Webb (Diamondbacks), Jeff Francis (Rockies), and they have also taking a look a big Padres righty Chris Young. For their bullpen it is uncertain that their closer Francisco Rodriguez will return to the Mets in 2011, another headache the Mets must take care of as well. As for the Mets offense, it will not be surprising if they attempt to move out-fielder Carlos Beltran. Beltran has been injury-prone the past 2 years and has been a disappointment to the Mets and will look to seek value in trading for him.
As for the “Bronx Bombing” New York Yankees, they were successful in bringing back closer Mariano Rivera (2/years,$30 million) and have finally come to an agreement with the Captain Derek Jeter on a 3/year $51 million dollar contract which includes an option for a fourth year. According to reports, it seems to have come down to a two-team race for the services of Cliff Lee. There havn’t been any offers yet handed to representatives of Cliff Lee but many sources indicate that Lee is seeking whoever is willing to give him a 6th or 7th year in a contract worth roughly about $140 million. The Rangers will attempt to sign Lee, but it is uncertain if they are willing to sign the crafty lefty to a 6th year. Who ever is the most aggressive in signing Lee will be winners in signing him possibly till his 38th birthday (Lee is 32). The team that fails to sign Cliff Lee may look into signing Royals pitcher Zack Greinke. Last week, sources reported that the 27-year-old right-hander will be willing to waive his “no-trade clause” if a winning team attempts to move in on him. Greinke has said to have like the Yankees as a potential suitor. Greinke won the Cy-Young Award in 2009 and will be the “wild card” should the Yankees fall short on Cliff Lee. Offensively, if the Yankees lose out on Lee, that would not stop them from getting a big free agent player this year. They will then turn to the “speedster” Carl Crawford. Crawford will draw significant interest in what team is in need for a bat in their lineup. The Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Mets, and Tigers are among the teams interested in Crawford. The Yankees are also trying to address their issue on who will be behind the plate as catcher this year for them. The Yankees are working on a trade to acquire Russell Martin from the Los Angeles Dodgers, in fact, the Yanks have taken such an interest in Martin, both the Yankees and Dodgers exchanged medical records during the week. The Yankees will send catcher, Francisco Cervelli in return. However, Martin has dealt with hip issues. Veteran catcher Jorge Posada will be the Yankees designated hitter in 2011.
So as the winter meetings heat up it will be very exciting to see how the Cliff Lee talks fold up and what uniform he will be wearing come his first press conference. Both teams have to be prepared for plan B should they lose out on Lee. The Yankees seem to always “get their man’ when it comes down to money. It Just may lead to what team Lee feels he can strongly win with. Conversations should heat up within the next 48 hours, and hopefully C.C. Sabathia gets help with a new pitcher in pinstripes.
Sports Notes : (High School Basketball): Coming off a hard-fought 65-59 victory Boys and High School battle Robeson Business Tech Thursday December 9th. (Football) After an humiliating 45-3 beat-down from the Patriots, the Jets look to wake up their offense and defense against the Miami Dolphins (game Sunday Dec 12 at 4:14PM, Ch.2, CBS.) After an impressive victory over division rival Redskins, Eli Manning and the Giants travel to Minnesota to play the banged-up Brett Favre and the Vikings.