Cornering the Canadian Outfield Market Applesauce: Mets Sign Outfielder Loewen to Minors Deal, Braun Picks Up NL MVP, CBA Details Officially Announced

Meet the Mets

On Tuesday, it was announced that the Mets agreed to a minor league deal with former pitcher turned outfielder Adam Loewen. The 27 year old has come a long way since being drafted #4 overall by the Orioles out of high school. The lefty is a pretty incredible story in the Rick Ankiel mold as he was a big pitching prospect in Baltimore who struggled in the majors before giving up pitching after fracturing his elbow a second time in as many years. This is a nice depth move and if he tears the cover off the ball in Buffalo, perhaps he could become a nice sidekick to fellow Canadian outfielder Jason Bay, as well as a great addition to This Week in Mets Quotes' "Canadian Smack Talk" segment.

At Mets.com, Anthony DiComo digs into his Mets mailbag to answer some questions about the team's closer situation, among other pressing issues. Meanwhile, Jon Heyman continues to insist via the Twitter machine that the Mets are interested in Huston Street, despite Street's issues with bench coach Bob Geren.

Howard Megdal took a look at potential free agent option Jack Wilson and came to the conclusion that most people with a brain would come to: A hearty NO THANKS. From the non-tender scrapheap, Chris Volstad could be an option to fill the hole in the rotation left by Chris Capuano. He's still only 25 years old so perhaps there's some upside there but all in all, he seems very Pelfrey-esque in many ways. Still, he'd be a pretty decent value as he's only in his first year of arbitration eligibility and saw his peripheral numbers improve a bit from 2010.

Do you want to meet Jerry Seinfeld's dog Jose Seinfeld, named after Jose Reyes? Of course you do. Welcome to Puppy Avenue, Jose!

 

Around the Majors

The biggest news around the majors on Tuesday was the official announcement of Major League Baseball's new Labor Agreement, which will keep baseball on the field for at least another five years without labor troubles. While the deal is great from that standpoint, there were a lot of changes made to the draft, international free agency and free agent compensation process that were met with some derision. Personally, I'm not a fan of the caps and penalties added to both the amateur draft and international free agency period but I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this all plays out over the next few years. For this offseason, the draft pick compensation was reduced for 11 players and there are certainly some interesting names there for the Mets. If you have the free time and want to read the entire CBA, go right ahead by clicking on this link.

Ryan Braun was voted the winner of the NL MVP, beating out Matt Kemp, Prince Fielder and Justin Upton among others. If you want a reason to smack your face with your hand, Jose Reyes came in eleventh place in voting, finishing directly behind Ryan Howard, he of the 1.6 fWAR. Apparently poor defense, tons of strikeouts, awful baserunning and an inability to hit left handed pitching is more valuable than Jose's .337/.384/.493 line. But alas, Howard is just a professional winner while Reyes is a dancing loser. Gag.

Take a look at this article about MLB agent Dan Lozano, who represents a number of high profile players, the biggest being Albert Pujols. I know, right. A sleazy agent? Who woulda thunk it? Well, as sleazy as I'd imagine most agents are, this guy truly sounds like the king. Just a little warning to all of the families reading Amazin' Avenue: there are some photos in this article that are not family friendly.

Over at Fangraphs, Brandon Warne took a look at some of the interesting minor league free agents currently on the market.

The Marlins dealt catcher John Baker to the Padres in exchange for lefty starter Wade LeBlanc. An interesting fact about Mr. LeBlanc: in an almost identical number of innings during his big league career, LeBlanc has a 2.97 ERA while pitching in Petco Park and a 6.16 ERA away from the friendly confines of San Diego. Yikes. This should end well.

It's time to freak out, Yankees fans because Mariano Rivera is going under the knife! Okay, maybe not. Rivera has been having trouble speaking and might need surgery on his vocal cords.

More details are starting to come out about the murder of big leaguer Greg Halman and the whole story seems to be strange. Apparently, Greg and his brother Jason had an altercation regarding some loud music. I'm just going to assume that there has to be more to the story here.

Finally, the house of White Sox GM Kenny Williams was burglarized over the weekend. I'd just like to point out that this isn't the first time that Mr. Williams has been robbed in the past year, as Adam Dunn did quite an excellent job swindling Williams and the White Sox out of $12 million in his historically bad -2.9 fWAR 2011 season.

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