Around the NL East: Jason Bay cut, Nationals rack up more awards

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Mets playing financial chess, Nationals raking in awards, Tino joins the Fish, Phillies rebranding the farm

Welcome back to the basement.

2012nym_medium

Mets cut Jason Bay, seek salvation even if it costs them - NY Times
I actually like this move, even if it means the Mets have to eat $21M in remining salary, buy out and remnants of a signing bonus. There comes times when the roster spots are inherently more valuable than the salaries that occupy them, and much like in the cases of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, the Mets are once again wise to unload underwhelming players, and try to get some production out of the position instead of being staunch. I'm willing to bet that Jason Bay gets picked up on minor league deal with the Red Sox with hopes he can rekindle his success in Boston.

Don't let Jason Bay become the next Bobby Bonilla - MetsBlog
There are times when I look at my credit card statements and wonder if I should try to be more liquid in the long-term, or suffer for a pay period and simply just pay it off. Nine times out of ten, I just pay it off, because I know I'll recover faster that way, instead of having bills to pay in the long term:

The Mets are still obligated to pay him the remaining $21 million he is owed, regardless of if he signs a new contract with a new team, though multiple reports indicate a portion of that money will be deferred over several years.

Look at Bobby Bonilla. Look at Andruw Jones. One guy doesn't even play, and one guy has fallen off a cliff. But both still require literal rakes to wrangle in the piles of cash they're still making on deferred money.

R.A. Dickey named NL Cy Young finalist - MetsBlog
I'm not sure if I like this format of narrowing the awards down before officially announcing them, but whatever. R.A. Dickey joins the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez and the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw as the top-three scoring pitchers in the NL Cy Young race. We'll find out on Wednesday where the chips fall.

Mets even possibly considering trading R.A. Dickey - NY Post
He may win the Cy Young Award, but the fact is that Dickey is still not signed long term, and is only getting paid $5M for 2013. He has a very good deal of trade value at the moment, and the Mets are listening to offers, because when rebuilding, nobody is truly safe.

Or he could sign a team-friendly deal - NY Daily News
I'm not sure where all this speculation is coming from, but there are reports claiming that R.A. Dickey would be willing to sign with the Mets for less years and money than what Oliver Perez was signed for. I don't really know why that would be the case when Dickey essentially holds all of the leverage and could get probably better money than Oliver Perez.

Scott Boras likens the Mets' strategy to shopping in the freezer foods section - NY Post
Hey, it could be worse. I've been watching Extreme Cheapskates lately, and at least Boras isn't saying Sandy Alderson is dumpster-diving. Heaven knows there's already enough of it going on in New York.

A little bit of LOLMets: Lucas Duda breaks wrist, has surgery, doesn't tell anyone - AA
I know he's still "just" a one-three player, but last time I checked the MLB minimum is still almost half a million dollars. You'd think he would hire someone to move his heavier furniture, but instead he breaks his own wrist on it. Although he claims that he'll be fine by Spring Training, there's a guy named Jordan Schafer who might disagree with that timeline.

So maybe it's a good idea the Mets don't unload Ike Davis - MetsBlog
Especially if it does turn out that Lucas Duda, the guy who probably would have supplanted Davis, ends up having a bum wrist after all.

Laundry list of veterans becoming free agents, probably leaving Mets - NY Post
Among them would be fairly substantial contributors to 2012, including Scott Hairston, Ronny Cedeno and Jon Rauch.

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Three Nationals take home Silver Slugger Awards - Nats Enquirer
Adam LaRoche's best season ever continues, taking home the NL's first base Silver Slugger Award for his 33 HR and 100 RBI, Ian Desmond takes the shortstop SS for leading all qualifying shortstops with 25 HR and a .292 batting average and .511 slugging percentage. And because it's customary to have one at pitcher, Stephen Strasburg ironically takes his first-ever MLB award for his batting, where he finished the season with a .277 batting average and a .760 OPS.

More Nationals up for various awards - Nats Insider
Davey Johnson is a finalist for the NL Manager of the Year award for taking a Nationals squad and turning them into the best record in baseball. Bryce Harper is a finalist for the NL Rookie of the Year, where he set all sorts of records for a teenager at age 19. And Gio Gonzalez was named a top-3 finisher in the NL Cy Young race, to be determined next week.

Edwin Jackson wouldn't turn down returning to the Nationals - MASN
Despite the fact that Edwin Jackson didn't receive a qualifying offer, which is this year's vernacular for being offered arbitration, he didn't take it personally and would consider the Nationals if they were to make him a free agent offer during the winter. But since the Nats didn't make an offer, his appeal rises since he would no longer cost any team a draft pick if he signed.

Mike Gonzalez wishes to remain with the Nationals - Nationals Journal
The old adage that a lefty can pitch forever comes into effect here, as the former Brave, Mike Gonzalez is hoping that he could stay with the Nationals, who will no doubt keep their ears open, with the potential that they could lose LHRP Sean Burnett to free agency.

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Marlins hire Tino Martinez to become hitting coach - Fish Stripes
Although I figured he was juicing during his time with the Yankees, there's no doubt that Tino was a monster with the bat during those late-90s years. But he has always had pretty good plate discipline his whole career, and if he could get even just a little bit of that to rub off onto Giancarlo, he will easily become an elite player this year.

Kevin Kouzmanoff signs minor league deal with Marlins - Marlin Maniac
Y'know, if I were paying attention and even knew Kooz was available, I'd have been all about the Braves signing him to a minor league deal. Sure, he's had some bad years with the bat recently, but he's always been a fairly reliable glove guy and hit way too many GIDPs, but he has some good pop. I think this is a potentially decent move for the Fish.

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Scott Boras is all business in spite of history - Phillies Zone
There's speculation that Scott Boras wouldn't bother with the Phillies when it came to this year's free agents, like the highly-coveted Michael Bourn, because of the way the Phillies handled the Ryan Madson situation from a year ago. Boras might be shrewd, but he's not stupid as to turn down potential money. Of course there's no problem.

AA-Reading Phillies decide to change and rebrand - Phillies Nation
Unlike the Braves who are tired of gaudy identities like the Pelicans and Hillcats and wish for all their teams to become Braves, the Phillies are oddly in the other direction. Despite the fact that the Phillies name alone should be sufficient at drawing in Reading, the Phillies wish to go the other direction and turn the AA squad that they own, btw, into their own identity.

Potentially the new name? - TGP
It takes some very passionate people about baseball team names to be scrubbing through internet registries to try to get a leg up on what the new name for the AA-Phillies is going to be, but for what it's worth, there were some bites. Maybe it's not that different or drastic of a change after all.

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