Meet the Mets/Around the Majors
In case you actually took the Jon Niese-Seth Smith trade "rumor" from Friday evening for real, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN was pretty quick to quash it on Saturday morning, saying in a series of tweets that the Mets have "zero interest" in dealing Niese for the 29-year old outfielder. This shouldn't be surprising to anyone, right?
Further, Krasnick's heard that the Mets would need to be "knocked out" in order to consider moving Niese, who they highly regard. All of this basically jives with what we heard from Sandy Alderson last week at the Mets holiday party and what we've assumed all along: that the team is trying to assess the pitching market and exploit its best assets in order to capitalize on a sweetheart of a deal for the Mets, should one present itself.
There was a major trade involving the Reds and Padres on Saturday. Cincinnati acquired San Diego's ace Mat Latos in exchange for three highly touted prospects and a lottery ticket big leaguer. The Padres received 1B/OF Yonder Alonso, C Yasmani Grandal, RHP Brad Boxberger and SP Edinson Volquez. Latos is a great pitcher and just 24 years old, but it's still an incredibly impressive haul for the Padres and really, a solid deal for each team. Also of note: now that Latos is off the board, this should only help increase the trade value of guys like Gio Gonzalez and Niese. Supply and demand, right?
Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies have agreed to a 3 year contract worth $33 million, with an easily attainable option for a fourth year at $11 million. Here's hoping this deal goes very well for the Phillies (sarcasm font).
The winning bid for Japanese righty Yu Darvish has yet to be officially revealed but rumor has it that the winner of the Darvish sweepstakes put in a record bid that exceeded the $51.1 million the Red Sox paid to negotiate with Daisuke Matsuzaka back in 2006. In other posting news, the Brewers have reportedly won the right to negotiate with 29 year old outfielder Norichika Aoki. The Yakult Swallows, Aoki's former team in the Japanese Central League, announced that they accepted the Brewers' $2.5 million bid.
Their free spending ways this offseason are mainly a by-product of a gift wrapped stadium courtesy of Miami-Dade County combined with many years of frugality, so is it time to Occupy The Marlins? Hey, wait a second...NO POLITICS! On the field, while the status of Hanley Ramirez is still a bit up in the air at the moment, Jose Reyes says that he is eager to play alongside his good friend. It seems kind of odd to me that the two haven't spoken since Reyes signed in Miami, though.
Finally in some great news, Giants fan Bryan Stow, who was brutally attacked on Opening Day 2011 at Dodger Stadium, spoke on camera for the first time since the beating. There's only a short clip of Stow in the linked article, as the entire interview will air on Monday night during the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams but this is truly an inspirational story. Best wishes go out to the Bryan and the Stow family in his recovery.