Over at ESPN, John Shea contributes to their Hot Stove Heaters series by giving the Mets the nod for the best lineup around. Shea, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, is especially enamored with the Moises Alou signing:
The Mets hit .254 against lefties, second-worst in National League last season. Alou's mark against lefties in 2006: .349.
In San Francisco, Alou was the second-biggest threat behind Barry Bonds. In New York, he'll simply be one of many threats. With Beltran, Delgado and David Wright at the heart of the order, Alou will be a supplementary piece along with Shawn Green, Paul Lo Duca and Jose Valentin. Jose Reyes, as the get-it-going guy at the top of the batting order, swiped 64 bases and scored 122 runs last year.
The Alou signing had to rank among the winter's smartest, as it came at a minimal cost to the Mets, gives them that sorely needed lefty masher, and provides some protection for David Wright, who struggled in the second half last year.
Shea puts the Cubs next (they'll have to raise that OBA -- .319 last season -- by quite a bit to improve that much), followed by the Yankees, Indians, Twins, and Rangers.