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The Nose Knows Applesauce: Niese Trade Unlikely, Endy Signing Impossible

Quiet day on the news front, but let's lead off with some TRAID rumors. Or non-rumors as it were. Potential deals have swirled around Mets lefthander Jon Niese since the close of the winter meetings, but it now seems unlikely that the team will deal him. That's too bad, I really had my heart set on Seth Smith Travis D'Arnaud.

One way the 2012 Mets could have bought my undying loyalty would have been with Endy Chavez. Well, that plan is out the window now as Endy signed a one year deal with the Orioles. So I guess it is Josh Satin or bust. Sandy, Make a note of it.

With the Darvish bidding process complete (reportedly he's headed to the Blue Jays), teams looking for pitching, like the Rangers or Yankees, will have to turn to the trade market to find their next starter. The Cubs' Matt Garza is definitely available for the right price, and I am sure there will be plenty of King Felix rumors to keep the hot stove warm during the long winter. One of those team's interested in Garza is apparently the Friars, who just traded away a comparable, cheaper pitcher in Latos. BTBS thinks that's just odd.

The Diamondbacks have apparently added Jason Kubel to their team on a two year deal. Guess they really think the NL will have a DH when the Astros move to the AL in 2013. Or else they think Kubel can be an effective outfielder. But come on, that's just folly.

Hey, remember crazy ol' Carlos Zambrano? Well, he's pitching pretty well in the Venezuelan Winter League. Of course, this is the same league where Dylan Owen is posting a 4:1 K:BB ratio, so make of that what you will. On the plus side, he has not gotten into a brawl with his catcher or threatened to retire.

The New York Times published the most New York Times baseball piece ever, taking a look at what would have happened if there was no reserve clause for the first 100 years of baseball history. Included are such insightful nuggets as Lou Gehrig would have never taken the money and run, and Roberto Clemente would have signed with the Marlins (a team that didn't exist until 20+ years after his death).

Craig Calcaterra eviscerates ESPN "Legal Expert" Lester Munson over at Hardball Talk. A fun read for any lovers of schadenfruede. Or haters of the Worldwide Leader.

Also over at HBT, Drew Silva reports that the Cardinals are keeping up the hard press for one Carlos Beltran. But now who will get caught looking by Adam Wainwright curveballs in big moments?

John Sickels takes a closer look at the prospects involved in the Mat Latos trade. I still can't for the life of me understand why everyone is so high on Yonder Alonso. There is nothing in his minor league record to suggest he will be more than an average first baseman. He has a couple 60s on his bat/power. But he's a first baseman, and I just don't see an elite bat there.

Finally, and perhaps I have buried the lede here, Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein has a review of the sequel to the Yoenis Cespedes scouting video. Here's a preview of the awesomeness to come in the link.

"You know what the best part of watching Cespedes run 60 yards in 6.41 seconds is? Watching him get ready to do it for 53 seconds."