The Mets are reportedly considering Trevor Hoffman for the closer spot next year. I've supported him to some extent this offseason as a cheaper alternative to Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes, and still feel that the Mets could do a whole lot worse. If we assume that the Padres won't offer Hoffman arbitration (they won't), he'll cost maybe $5 million on a one-year deal. I'd say he's not nearly the pitcher Rodriguez, Fuentes, or even Kerry Wood are, but he's also a lot better than some of the crap the Mets used at closer last year. My guess is that this leak is just canard floated by the Mets to keep the other free agent closers in line (via BBTF).
Mets Tailgate takes a quick look at Aaron Heilman's work as a pitcher in college and in the pros. Though, he does make an assertion that Heilman has never changed his arm angle, and we know of at least two times when he did just that.
News, Signings, Etc.
Chad Billingsley "fell on ice" outside his home, fracturing his leg in the process. He is expected to be in a cast for two weeks but should be ready to pitch in time for spring training.
Garret Anderson has switched his player representation from himself to Scott Boras. Anderson has posted sub-100 OPS+ marks in three of the past four seasons. As a corner outfielder. At this point in his career he looks like a fourth outfielder with the bat, and probably considerably worse than that with the glove.
Baseball-Reference.com provides a list of all of the minor league free agent pitchers, sorted by strikeouts-per-nine. There's likely to be at least a handful of players there who could out-perform Luis Ayala next season.
Is 2008 the year of the buyer? Are baseball owners, like the rest of American consumers, weary of spending too much this holiday season?