SI's Jon Heyman dishes the latest on the hot stove…
- Heyman provides reasons why he sees the Yankees as the favorite to sign Cliff Lee: their revenue, rotation question marks, and lack of a backup plan chief among them. He also talked to Lee's agent Darek Braunecker about the story about Lee's wife being harassed by Yankees fans at a game. Braunecker said, "That story was blown out of proportion. It's not like she's hypersensitive. She's been with him in Philadelphia and all over, been with him from the get-go. It really was that one time, just a couple clowns…probably intoxicated. I don't know if that will have any bearing on (the decision)."
- Heyman predicts destinations for 15 of the top free agents; nothing crazy.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer draws praise for being upfront about not being able to sign Adrian Gonzalez.
- New Mets GM Sandy Alderson will be paid close to $3MM, while Paul DePodesta will get close to $1MM. With J.P. Ricciardi, Wayne Krivsky, and Omar Minaya also on the ledger, Heyman figures this is baseball's most expensive front office.
- Heyman feels that the Mets "would likely avoid" allowing Francisco Rodriguez to finish 55 games in 2011, which would trigger his $17.5MM option for '12. He also notes that the Mets "will wait to see Jose Reyes play a large chunk of this coming season before getting serious about a long-term deal." That approach might work, but from Reyes' point of view if he's having a great year and is months away from free agency he might as well go to the open market.
- It's a little early for "best shape of his life" reports, but that's the word on free agent righty Brad Penny. The 32-year-old was limited to nine starts this year due to a lat muscle injury.