Around the NL East: Marlins Act Like They Wouldn't Trade Giancarlo, Mets Seeking Starters

Stephen Dunn

With the coming of a new calendar year, the stories of the NL East can presumably only go up...right?

Welcome back to the basement.

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Marlins say they'll listen to offers for Giancarlo as if they wouldn't bite on a really good one - Palm Beach Post
It's redundant that assistant GM Dan Jennings says they wouldn't at least listen to any offers for Giancarlo Stanton. No GM would be dumb to completely shutout offers outright, because you never know when a desperate team might make an appealing package. All this really says to me is that between the writing, the Marlins would really like for someone to come out of the woodwork and blow the Marlins away with an offer of young, cheap, talented prospects to take the big-league-money-making Giancarlo off their hands.

What are the least promising words in player evaluation? - Fish Stripes
Veteran presence! Nothing says "over the hill" or "best days behind them" like when the most superlative adjective to a player's resume tops out with experience and veteran presence. Placido Polanco might give a young guy some pointers on pitchers he's faced before, and Juan Pierre might be able to give some advice on how to read caroms off an outfield wall, but it's still ultimately up to these players to actually apply this knowledge into their own skill sets.

Marlins not interested in most recent Cuban defector - Sun Sentinel
It's kind of amusing to me sometimes, that just because they're in Miami, like 250 miles from Cuba, it's assumed the Marlins will be all-in on every defector. If I were a Cuban defector, I'd be just like Yoenis Cespedes, and head as far as possible from Cuba, even if it meant Oakland or Seattle.

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Mets refinance $450M in loans so they can presumably operate - MetsBlog
Maybe I get this old-thinking mindset from like my parents, but I've never refinanced anything in my life. To me, it seems like an initial failure to continue paying for what you originally intended, and in so many cases, sure, you're reducing the monthly rate, but stretching out the term back to a longer length. No bueno. But as is often the case with the financially-hindered Mets franchise, moves like this are seemingly necessary so that the Mets can simply, operate, on a daily basis.

Dillon Gee finally feeling healthy after removal of blood clot - NY Daily News
In a little bit of good news for the Mets, especially in light of the departure of R.A. Dickey, at least one starting pitching spot could feasibly be solved with the renewed health of Dillon Gee, who has reportedly been feeling better after a scary blood clot was removed from his throwing shoulder.

2013 will probably be Johan Santana's last year with the Mets - MetsBlog
The Mets will have to eat $5.5M in a buyout in 2014, but ultimately the team is probably hoping he pitches well enough to be traded, leaving someone else responsible for that cost. An idea I'd been tumbling around in my head lately is that I'd believe the with the Rays and David Price seemingly incapable of any sort of long-term pact based on the Rays going with a one-year deal again is that Price is essentially on track to price himself out of St. Pete's, with the Mets seeming like an ideal place where he could end up, where he could sign an extension or with a few controllable years left, obviously for the cost of top-tier prospects such as maybe plucking Zack Wheeler and/or Travis d'Arnaud, ironically making him a chip in three Cy Young pitcher trades.

Mets sign an outfielder - AA
Andrew Brown isn't really much to call home about, but for a team that essentially had no actual outfielders really in place for 2013, his arrival is seen with optimism and a positive nature. The team still wants Scott Hairston back, but if they can't secure him, Andrew Brown has a little bit of pop in his bat, albeit terrible average and OBP.

Mets sign LHP Aaron Laffey to minor league deal - NY Post
Another signing of a career AAAA caliber player, but if anything at all, he's a warm body with an arm that could fill a rotation spot, or ironically end up back in AAA-Las Vegas despite it no longer being a Jays affiliate but now a Mets one, with Travis d'Arnaud.

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Mike Gonzalez off the board, Nats growing concerned over lefty relief - Nats Insider
Our old closer, Mike Gonzalez was thought to have a good chance at remaining in Washington, but as often has been the case, he's taking the money, as Milwaukee opened their wallets and offered him $2.25M for a one-year deal. With Gonzo joining Sean Burnett and Tom Gorzelanny on the trains leaving Washington, it leaves the Nats with nothing but Zack Duke and Bill Bray as their only lefties in the bullpen.

Nationals taking a peek at Javier Vazquez - Nationals Journal
Despite the fact that Javier Vazquez declared retirement with full intention of being able to spend time with his family, apparently one year was too much family for Javy, as he's already pitching in winter ball and hoping that someone might take a flyer on him. And the Nationals are one of those teams, considering their strength of their starting five, they have just about no quality backup plans if anyone gets hurt or impromptu double-headers.

You know it's a slow news time when pitchers hitting is a story - MASN
Stephen Strasburg won the arbitrary pitcher's Silver Slugger Award last year. Jordan Zimmermann has hit a home run, and so has Dan Haren. I suppose this is the kind of world-beating production that is going to push the Nationals to an even 100-wins in 2013, huh?

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You know which teams fans are also thinking about Michael Bourn on a one-year deal? - Beerleaguer
Acquiring Bourn for a year would mean the Phillies could slide Ben Revere to a corner spot, and only have to platoon one other corner instead of both. Defensively, it would cover two-thirds of the outfield to elite proportions, but the Phillies would still like to have some power out of the outfield, but they definitely wouldn't not be interested in Bourn.

With Andy Reid excommunicated from Philadelphia, locals might turn their ire to Charlie Manuel - Beerleaguer
Despite the fact that Charlie Manuel did for Philadelphia what pretty much no other sports franchise in Philadelphia has done, which is win a championship within the last 30 years, who cares! What have you done for me lately?? So going into the final year of his current contract, and the fact that Manuel hasn't won any championships in the last four seasons, he's clearly worth putting on the chopping block.

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