Around the NL East: Everyone Be Shoring Up Bullpens and Benches

You know it's that time of the year when Marlon Byrd is the most notable name of the week. But mostly due to his involvement with PEDs. - Darren McCollester

With Spring Training literally behind the corner, not much news other than teams fortifying.

Just about now, most all the teams' supplies are already in, or are on their way down to Florida. Some reports show that players for various teams have already checked in and begun working out. Who's to say that we the fans aren't the only ones itching to get back to baseball?

Welcome back to the basement.


I don't know why but this headline amuses me - NY Times
Sure, it's accurate that "M-E-T" is in the word "methodical," but I hear the word "meth" more than I would phonetically even pronounce "met" in methodical. And with the crystal meth jokes, in relation to the state of the Mets, well, there's a whole slew of lame jokes that could come from that.

Mets sign OF Marlon Byrd to minor league deal - AA
You know it's rough when Marlon Byrd is one of the more notable names acquired throughout the entire offseason. Even after his name popped up in the most recent PED scandal, the Mets simply just need warm bodies on the field, and have apparently turned their attention from the bullpen to the outfield.

Also sign AAAA guys Corey Patterson and Mike Wilson - AA
And just like the bullpen, the Sandy Alderson's plan appears to be stockpile a massive quantity of mediocre talent and pray that some of them overperform.

Somewhere on the Mets is a failure to communicate - MetsBlog
Frank Francisco's take:

I will be the closer

Terry Collins' take:

He is the closer.

Sandy Alderson's take: Amassing as many relief pitchers as he can.

Including possibly Brandon Lyon - NY Daily News
Including Brandon Lyon - MetsBlog
One year, base salary of something between 750-900K, but with a boatload of incentives that could push it all the way up to $2.4M. It's funny because the article lists the potential bullpen the Mets would have, and as the names get younger, the level of talent exponentially increases, but it's pretty certain that it won't reflect appropriately on a depth chart due to the dated belief that talent is proportionate to experience.

And young guns such as Jeurys Familia - AA
And on that same scope, getting even younger, there's way more talent in the Mets' farm than what will likely be presented during the 2013 season.

John Buck thinks Johan Santana has been tipping pitches - MetsBlog
That's kind of hard coming from Buck, considering he has only hit .200/.273/.300 with seven strikeouts versus Santana in 22 plate appearances. Maybe he was just, you know, injured?

David Wright trying to pitch the Mets to Michael Bourn - NY Post
After signing his $138M extension, David Wright feels the obligation to be somewhat of an ambassador for the Mets when it comes to courting potential free agents. Despite the fact that Bouras just wants money, and the Mets are reluctant to sign him unless it's for long-term and/or don't have to give up their draft pick. Ike Davis on the other hand, just wants Bourn for the RIBz chances he'd likely provide.

Oddly but not surprising, Bud Selig would have nothing to do with it - MetsBlog
Bud Selig, actually do his job? What no don't be silly! Why do work when an independent arbitrator can do it instead! The fact that this is even news kind of gives a little hope for the Mets, but somehow I bet it still doesn't work.

Ruben Tejada now has 38 pieces of flair and has been working on his smile - NY Post
Not wanting to anger Terry Collins again for doing "just" the bare minimum and showing up on time, Ruben Tejada is ready to report for mandatory early check-in to Port St. Lucie this year.

Mets explore the idea of opening a casino next to Citi Field - NY Post
I enjoy casino gambling, so this idea is appealing to me. But knowing the luck of the Mets, it would be one of those situations where on its opening night, like Jennifer Lopez's mom would end up winning another $100M jackpot on the Wheel of Fortune slots or something that really digs a hole into their finances from the very onset.

So it's a good thing that zoning plans can't accommodate a casino -
Aw, shucks.


Will Nationals starting pitchers actually get to pitch in 2013? - Nats Insider
It was no secret that the Nationals micro-managed their starting pitchers' work. Anyone who was a long-term asset were pretty much good for six innings, while they rode Edwin Jackson as hard as they could. With Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermannn and Ross Detwiler all a year older and wiser, will the Nationals actually let them pitch deeper into games? Are the Nats going to ride Dan Haren like they rode Jackson?

If their relievers act like the Braves relief corp, then it won't really be needed - MASN
But the bigger if in this equation is if Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen can accept their demoted roles as pedestrian set-up men, to free agent acquisition, Rafael Soriano.

Scout uses ambiguous quote to evaluate Bryce Harper - The Bog
Now when someone claims that Bryce Harper is trying to be the Michael Jordan of baseball, what exactly are they referring to? Are they referring to Michael Jordan the basketball player, who was pretty much the greatest basketball player of all time, or Michael Jordan the baseball player, who could barely hit .200 for the AA-Birmingham Barons and more or less sucked?

Minor signings - Nats Insider
Recently signed to minor league deals is catcher Chris Snyder and reliever Jeremy Accardo. Snyder likely has a way better shot of landing a spot on the Nats, albeit a temporary one, if Wilson Ramos isn't fully recovered by Opening Day. Accardo on the other hand, not so much, due to the relative security of the Nationals' bullpen.

Speaking of Wilson Ramos - MASN
He's almost been green lit for action, which I'm guessing is baseball activities.

Nationals sign their 2013 John Lannan - Nationals Journal
Anyone else cringe at the thought of Micah Owings joining the Nationals? In typical Braves-killer fashion, Owings has been pretty pedestrian as a pitcher against everyone except the Braves, but then as a batter he's a career .502 slugger, and there aren't many who can forget his ridiculous two-homer game against the Braves.


Keith Law does not like the Phillies' farm system - Phillies Nation
Among the 30 MLB teams, Keith Law ranks the Phillies 26th. But he does concede that they have a lot of intriguing talent in the low-levels, but certainly nothing really that great in the higher levels.

But this is kind of proof that trading prospects isn't always the end of the world - Beerleaguer
When Phillippe Aumont might be considered the best player among the eleven guys that circulated around the several trades of Cliff Lee, it goes to show that not all trades are considered franchise killers, nor the crapshoot nature of evaluating the potential, progress and development of prospects.

Almost 20% of the 2012 Phillies payroll went to guys on the DL - High Cheese
I'm not saying Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins were the only guys to have had injury time in 2012, but losing almost $33M to injured players is the equivalent of having played all year without both of those guys.

But even that would seem a blip on the radar if/when the Phillies get their new TV deal - TGP
The rich will undoubtedly become richer after 2015, when the Phillies deal with Comcast expires, and the likelihood of the Phillies or rather Philadelphia sports getting their own network. If deals like the Dodgers, Rangers and Astros are any indication, the Phillies are going to be headed to the bank.

Goofy Ryan Howard Subway gifs - Crashburn Alley
This is still my favorite one though, made better by the snarky commentary:

Cole Hamels has adopted an Ethiopian baby - Crossing Broad
I'm not going to lie, the picture included in the story is nothing short of epic, in almost an ironic way. I mean, I'm not knocking what they did, but they look like they belong in a Brooks Brothers catalog or something. But as for the kid, talk about literally striking gold, especially that Hamels is pretty much Oprah-rich now.


Marlins sign RP Jon Rauch to one-year deal - Palm Beach Post
Jon Rauch, who will almost never not have his height mentioned whenever his name comes up (6'11") jumps from the Mets to the Marlins, making it his third NL East team he's played for. Doesn't it seem like it's always just three? Has there ever been a guy who has played for all the NL East teams? Livan Hernandez hit up four, except Philly, and then there are a couple of guys off the top of my head who have been on three teams: Willie Harris, Brian Schneider, Pete Orr...

Marlins and Scott Boras trying to create something from nothing, revolving around Jose Valverde - Fish Bytes
It's funny because its like both teams say they're the other is trying to create something from nothing, but it's obvious that both parties want the idea planted in the heads of the other like a disease like in Inception with it culminating with the Marlins somehow overpaying for Jose Valverde.

Marlins claim RP Sam Dyson off of waivers - Sun Sentinel
Yes, it's that slow of a week in Marlins news when an unproven 24-year old gets an entire article about him. For the record, his major league stats are funny because it's such a SSS of 0.2 IP, but his MLB ERA is 40.50, and he has a 54.0 H/9, 27.0 BB/9, and a respectable 13.5 K/9 rates. And then when you say "what about his minor league numbers???" you realize that they're not really that much better either. But he's 24, so there's room to grow.

Marlins hire a new PR firm to try and move canyons - Fish Stripes
The city hates the team's owner, and many resent the team and its big expensive ballpark as collateral damage. The owner has screwed not only the team's small fanbase, but also the entire city of Miami. Every survey taken in Miami tends to favor people preferring blathering speeches of the 1972 Miami Dolphins team, or closing their eyes and imagining that Dexter actually takes place in Miami over watching the Marlins. If this PR firm can turn the Marlins' image around, I may as well pack up my stuff in Atlanta, and move to Miami to beg for a job with this firm, because they can clearly turn water into wine.

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