New York Notes: Lee, Backman, Garland, Balfour

Let's check out the latest rumblings out of the Big Apple….

  • Like Bill Madden of the New York Daily News did yesterday, Joel Sherman of the New York Post examines the Yankees' backup plan if they're unable to land Cliff Lee.
  • When Sherman polled eight executives about Lee's destination, six predicted the left-hander would end up in a Yankees uniform – the Rangers got the other two votes. One AL exec's thoughts: "Lee is all about the money. His agent is all about the money. And the Yanks have the most money."
  • ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link) expects the Red Sox to get involved in the Lee sweepstakes, perhaps in an attempt to drive the price up for the Yankees.
  • Wally Backman told Peter Botte of the New York Daily News that his three-hour interview with Sandy Alderson for the Mets' managerial opening "went very well."
  • Dan Martin of the New York Post names Jon Garland and Grant Balfour as a couple possible free agent targets for the Mets.
  • A pair of Star-Ledger writers, Marc Carig and Andy McCullough, preview the offseason for the Yankees and Mets respectively.


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49 Comments on "New York Notes: Lee, Backman, Garland, Balfour"


Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

I’ve said Wally Backman all along. All along. There was an article I read yesterday where Dan Uggla, Jeremy Reed, and others all said, “Wally Backman was the best manager I ever player for.” I’ve always liked him and one of the reasons why I’ve been riding the Wally Backman train is because of his laid back success with the Cyclones and his former ties with the Mets and Mets fans.

Also, interesting story…I went to a ton of Mets games this season and I sat in the same seat every time (136/A) and this little fella who I know who also goes to all the games sits in (136/Well). His name is Paulie. Now everytime the Mets were losing in the late innings or Jerry Manuel made a stupid decision, Paulie would scream “Wally Backman *clap clap clap clap clap*” and so on…Coming from a 9 year old who attends Cyclone games regularly, that says a lot…

We want Wally!

And by the way, the Mets went through the same Jon Garland buisness last off-season but with a different GM. I think Garland and Balfour would definetly be exceptional fits for the Mets. Especially Garland.

Infield Fly
4 years 9 months ago

“We want Wally!”

Sure – if it’s between Wally and Voldemort….

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

“Sure – if it’s between Wally and Voldemort….”

Silly, Omar Minaya isn’t in the running for Mets GM.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

I meant manager.

therave1
4 years 9 months ago

Sandy Alderson better reconsider any thought of bringing in Terry Collins to manage the Mets. Fans, including me, do not want him and I won’t be going to many games as he’s a horrible manager. Give the fans someone we want for a change…and there’s really only two alternatives….Bobby Valentine or Wally Backman. I’d prefer Valentine, with Backman learning as his bench coach. That would be a heck of a combo.

LordD99
4 years 9 months ago

Alderson is regarded as one of the brightest men in baseball, and he’s intent on building a first-class baseball operation. If he thinks Collins is the right man, and that will make the Mets a better team, wouldn’t you care more about that than having an unproven MLB manager? I don’t get why any fan would care about who management picks as the team’s manager, and if Alderson picks Collins, that pretty much should tell you Collins is an excellent choice. Who buys tickets to a game to see the manager????? I just don’t get this whole line of thinking.

MB923
4 years 9 months ago

As I mentioned to a Red Sox fan in another post and I will mention it again, the Red Sox continually talk to players they ARE NOT interested in just to jack up the Yankees price. It happens all the time. Clemens in 2007, Sabathia in offseason after 2008, and now Lee

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

as if its impossible for the sox to dangle dice-k to another team and sign Lee.

the sox and yankees are used by agents to jack up their clients prices b/c both teams have the most money.

in this case, it actually would be intelligent for the sox to drive up the price as the yankees adding another 20 + million per year to their payroll would pretty much give them even less flexibility in the future as they will also tie up another 25-30 + million on Jeter/Mariano…o by the way, robinson cano becomes a free-agent at the tender age of 30 in 3 more years.

MB923
4 years 9 months ago

I just still can’t believe the Yankees are dumb enough to fall for it sometimes. Does he really think Theo and the Sawx are interested in Lee? Or is it just another reporter like Crasnick trying to scare them lol

4 years 9 months ago

But by then the Yankees will very likely have extremely cheap players at C,SS,one OF, and probably a starting pitcher.

Anyone who can start Excel can project a baseball teams financial commitments for years out. I am sure the Yankees have someone on it. And only the front office there knows what their true budget is now, and more importantly going forward. So if they are willing to spend the money it is not going to be a contract that can tie their hands in the future.

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

the yankees are set at 75 million for 2014 already. ( a-rod/tex/cc ).assume another 25 mil for cano and ur at 100 miladd another 20 + mil for lee and ur at 120 + for 5 players in 2014.thats w/o a closer, a SS, a Catcher, any outfielders, 4 starters, middle-relief, or bench.can a 275-300 million dollar payroll be in the horizon ?

FYI – both phil and joba are free-agents in 2014

4 years 9 months ago

Everything you said is correct. Like I said though, anyone with Excel can figure that out. I am sure the Yankees already know this and are prepared to adjust payroll accordingly.

I mean just this year alone they had close to $120M committed to 5 players so that is really no big deal.

bonestock94
4 years 9 months ago

You’re assuming nothing will come out of the Yankees farm.

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

hmmm…yankees & expensive free-agents are almost 1 in the same. and the level of patience the NY media & fans have is very small. I dont see them going through a rebuilding phase when they are selling 1,500 dollar seats.

bonestock94
4 years 9 months ago

There’s no rebuilding necessary, they have some serious prospects at all levels and continue to draft well both domestically and in the international market. Montero, Sanchez, Romine, Betances, Banuelos, Adams, Brackman, Heathcott, Laird, etc. It’s not the 80’s anymore.

That’s not to say the aging of Jeter, Arod, Rivera, and Pettitte don’t loom large, but there is young talent on the roster and a very good farm.

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

so let me get this straight…at catcher u have montero …sanchez and then
romine who did not exactly shine at the paint….at SP u have
betances/brackman/banuelos…heatchcott did not exactly distinguish himself
either…laird plays 1B…adams plays 2B…

if anything those prospects may help land them a hanley/tulo type
player…but in either case, u can count on upwards of 15-20 mil for any
marquee top 3 shortstop.

and in terms of OF prospects, the yankees are kinda thin here as well…but
things can change in 3 years…

bonestock94
4 years 9 months ago

Heathcott is not a pitcher, he’s a CF. They say he’s like Gardner but with more pop and a better arm, but scouts say a lot of stuff and he’s still a ways away. Laird is a 3b with power but screams trade bait apparently. Got more pitching lower too.

Obviously a lot can happen between now and then, and most prospects never reach stardom, but hey I’m 10x more confident in the farm than I’ve ever been. Lots of promise and/or trade bait. I think a lot of people are gonna be shocked when the writers start ranking the farm systems come springtime.

The OF doesn’t scare me, it’s young. The left infield and the potential for like 3+ DH’s in the coming years does though.

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

right, i realize heatchott is a CF, his numbers were not exactly
ground-breaking this year. Laird is a 1B/3B and would have no position in
the yankee infield.

bonestock94
4 years 9 months ago

Yea, but scouts talk about his tools though…300 ABs I’m not ready to write him off or hype him. Laird is trade fodder.

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

right…its a tricky situation if u trade Laird b/c A-Rod basically has the same hip condition that Delgado had. its degenerative and only going to get worse as time goes on.
if montero/sanchez/romine pan out, then u have a catcher that can replace posada.

like u said, the left side of the infield maybe a problem.

the biggest thing to replace maybe the closer as there is no one in MLB history as consistent as Mariano. ( which is why i didnt understand including vizcaino in the vasquez trade )

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

right, i realize heatchott is a CF, his numbers were not exactly
ground-breaking this year. Laird is a 1B/3B and would have no position in
the yankee infield.

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

so let me get this straight…at catcher u have montero …sanchez and then
romine who did not exactly shine at the paint….at SP u have
betances/brackman/banuelos…heatchcott did not exactly distinguish himself
either…laird plays 1B…adams plays 2B…

if anything those prospects may help land them a hanley/tulo type
player…but in either case, u can count on upwards of 15-20 mil for any
marquee top 3 shortstop.

and in terms of OF prospects, the yankees are kinda thin here as well…but
things can change in 3 years…

Zack23
4 years 9 months ago

Teixeira too right? :)

MB923
4 years 9 months ago

I didn’t mention him for a reason :)

Zack23
4 years 9 months ago

I know, that’s just always the explanation I hear- “oh we didn’t want him anyways, it was just an act.”
But do you really think the Red Sox meeting with CC at the winter meetings really jacked up the price? Once the Yankees made their initial bid there was nothing from the Sox camp, it was all speculation about west coast teams.

I just don’t believe organizations really make their decisions based off of newspaper reports.

MB923
4 years 9 months ago

Either that, or it’s just the stupid media bringing up false rumors, considering half the times GM’s, managers, teams say “Such talks never happened” lol

Off topic, I’m not receiving emails when someone responds to me, are you?

MB923
4 years 9 months ago

Nevermind, it’s working now. Funny how I got an email in a reponse (it was the one you put Teixiera too right) 1 hour later, maybe it has to do with DST

LordD99
4 years 9 months ago

It works both ways. The Yankees have been doing that forever, which is why they’re linked to numerous free agents. They will be talking to Werth and Crawford to ensure they get top dollars from other teams, especially any team they’re competing against in the AL East, such as the Sox.

Zack23
4 years 9 months ago

“Lee is all about the money. His agent is all about the money. And the Yanks have the most money.”

Of course. People say he won’t sign with NY because he’s a “southern guy” who likes the quality of life in Texas and the atmosphere. But now that people believe he’ll sign with NY he’s just another money-hungry Yankee player who is self-absorbed.

FamiliaTerritory
4 years 9 months ago

Grant Balfour would be a nice pickup for the Mets for their bullpen as well as getting his teammate, Randy Choate….as long as he’s strictly used as a LOOGY.

icedrake523
4 years 9 months ago

Backman is so lucky he was on the 86 Mets. Otherwise he’d still be managing an independent team.

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

the 86 mets are lucky backman was on the team. without his .320 + batting average, good defense and hustle, its very well likely they are not champs that year.

BaseballFanatic0707
4 years 9 months ago

Call me optimistic, but I don’ think the Red Sox can afford to get into the Lee bidding even if the only goal is to bid up the price.

They’ve got quite a number of other concerns.

ATL_Mindset
4 years 9 months ago

Mr. Adams, did you actually read the Joel Sherman post? He doesn’t really look into what the Yankees back-up plan would be if they fail to sign Lee. He’s more focused on the consequences of not signing Lee.

4 years 9 months ago

SAND-MAN – THE FLUSHING FAITHFUL WANTS THE METS TO BE PLAYING WALLY-BALL IN 2011!

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
4 years 9 months ago

I think John Garland and Grant Balfour would be a good fit for the NY Mets. They should both come without breaking the bank too.

elclashcombo
4 years 9 months ago

Someone tell me the advantage of “getting involved in talks” to drive up the price of a free agent….especially the Yankees. Payroll is essentially not an issue with the big market spenders so what is to be gained by having a rival “drive up the price”? This being especially applicable to the Yankee/Red Sox dynamic.

If you are talking about a player that is on the trade market (not the free agent market), then that is different because the benefit in price driving is depleting talent assets from your rival – the Johan Santana trade talks is a good example of that.

LordD99
4 years 9 months ago

There’s a reason why Lee has been the most-traded ace ever over the past two seasons. Teams know they have zero chance of signing him before free agency. He is going to the money. Period. Nothing wrong with that, but there is no home-town discount coming. The Rangers can win be coming with about 8% of any Yankee offer, since there is no state income tax, where in NY it’s 7.7% for high-income earners. If they don’t, Lee will be a Yankee.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 9 months ago

I mentioned this in another post. All deals are done with the net totals w/ tax deductions so the Lee will know what the difference is between offers and so will the Yanks. Yanks can compensate for any difference. Also, players are taxed @ the equation of 81 games at your home state’s rate and 81 games taxed at the rate of the state you earned the money in so the difference is as great as most make it out to be.

alphakira
4 years 9 months ago

One AL exec’s thoughts: “Lee is all about the money.”Isn’t this the first time Lee is a free agent…? How would any “exec” know this in the first place? Do players regularly walk around yelling at executives “hey guy! I LOOOOOOVEEEE MONEY! I hate everything else!”? I find it hard to believe that he wouldn’t care about the millions of other factors involved in uprooting your entire life and family and moving them elsewhere. “My kids’ schooling? NAH, MONEY! The drive to win that brought me to the major leagues in the first place? NAH, MONEY!”I only know one player off hand that we can all agree on is all about the money…but he’s proven both in baseball and in his personal life that he’s a cheating scumbag with low morals, so why would we expect otherwise?

Sure it’s fun to speculate, but really, everyone “knew” what LeCon James was going to do, right? No one knows but Lee, and I’m sure he’s even unsure.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 9 months ago

I keep hearing arguements like yours and maybe it’ll play out like that but hasn’t every FA athlete since FA began faced w/ the same question of uprooting their family? I mean, the guy played in Cleveland, Seattle and Philadelphia all his career and somehow they managed right?

alphakira
4 years 9 months ago

I don’t see the argument here. So you’re saying no one has ever decided they wanted to live there and that location was worth staying for? You do know it wasn’t Lee’s choice to change locations, right (he was traded).

4 years 9 months ago

I hope Chip Hale gets some serious consideration as well.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

I was thinking Jeff Francis, who is somewhat like Jeremy Bonderman, who as you said, is exactly what the Mets need.

Zack23
4 years 9 months ago

What team are you a fan of?

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

i would crack up if the phils get him.
I would crack up harder if the mets get him. ( then again i think u’ll see sarah palin in a special video with naughty by nature’s treach before that happens )

elclashcombo
4 years 9 months ago

I would crack up if Lee dismissed an enticing Yankee offer simply because his wife was upset at a game. Please!

Just_MLB
4 years 9 months ago

hmmm i think if all things are equal, the yanks might not make the cut.
plus the fact that texas has no state taxes…a much cheaper cost of living…much closer to arkansas….with a team that has a decent young core…in a much less competitive division…the yankees would have to blow away the competition

YanksFanSince78
4 years 9 months ago

I don’t understand this idea that he’s a bad guy if he goes somewhere where he feels he can win, be comfortable and make the most money. It’ called emplpyement. He has been treated like a commodity moreso than any other star player in the last 3 years being trated from the Indians, to the Phillies, to the Mariners and to Texas. Why shouldn’t he look out for himself? It’s not like he spent anymore time there than he did in Philadelphia or Seattle.