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Flawed Farm Applesauce - Mets have poorly ranked system, Viola to Brooklyn, Hu introduced

So weird.
So weird.

Meet the Mets

We all knew that the Met farm system was a weak spot for this organization; years of underpaying prospects have apparently come back to bite them with a poorly ranked crop. There are several silver linings beyond this being just one man's list. For example, Patrick Flood points out that some key pieces of the farm system don't qualify for the evaluation because they have recently been promoted. Ted Berg thinks that the Mets may have stuck to the slotting system in order to land an All-Star game. Moneyball Mets thinks the ranking is unfair and names 10 underrated prospects in the system.

Johan Santana has been cleared by medical people to begin throwing, but he hasn't yet

More organizational hirings to pass along: Frank Viola has been named the Brooklyn pitching coach.

Omar Minaya remains under contract with the Mets, but hasn't spoken to Sandy in awhile. Alderson says that he has a job ready for Minaya as soon as he wants it.

In one of the more bizarre scenes that I can remember, the Mets held a press conference to announce the signing of Chin-Iung Hu. Ted Berg clarifies it a little for me by speculating that this is to generate some Asian press buzz.

Good luck to John Maine as he begins auditioning for a role on another team.

Jason Bay isn't yet ITBSOHL, but he's ready to go.

Purple Row, a Rockies blog, offers a pretty pessimistic review of new Met reliever Taylor Buchholz.

And, finally, Howard Megdal does some great work refuting Murray Chass's bacne/Piazza garbage.

Around MLB

Jayson Stark posts about the Albert Pujols/Cardinals negotiations, speculating that Pujols will re-sign with St. Louis.

The Padres unveiled their new camouflage uniforms which are so good that they might actually keep people from seeing the Padres.

Craig Calcaterra gives a good lawyer story when responding to Mike Maroth's retirement.

Rocco Baldelli has retired. The 29 year old outfielder makes us all ask what might have been?

The Yankees have solved their pitching problem, signing Bartolo Colon... The Yankees could have been well served by the Met pitching acquisition strategy this offseason.

Speaking of former Cy Young award winners, Brandon Webb is selling used cars with his brother in Kentucky.

Tyler Kepner talked to Gil Meche about his recent surprise retirement and learned that Meche didn't want to take $12 million that he didn't feel he earned.