Odds & Ends: Garcia, Yankees, Red Sox, Konerko

Links for Tuesday evening, exactly one year after the Mets signed R.A. Dickey to one of the most successful minor league deals of the 2009-10 offseason. One year later, the Amazins are still looking for arms…

  • The Mets aren't engaging Freddy Garcia in serious discussions, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter links). We heard earlier today that the Mets are waiting for starters' asking prices to drop, but pitching is the team's priority.
  • Across town, Leonel Vinas signed a minor league deal with the Yankees, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. The 19-year-old right-hander played on a local team sponsored by Hank Steinbrenner called "Hank's Yanks." 
  • The Bronx Bombers also make their share of major deals and, as Ronald Blum of the AP notes (via the Miami Herald) the Yankees were hit with an $18MM luxury tax for their 2010 spending. The Red Sox were the only other team hit with a tax; they owe $1.5MM.
  • As Alex Speier of WEEI.com points out, "the cost of player acquisition for the [Red] Sox is more than meets the eye," because the team pays them salary and pays a luxury tax premium.
  • Boston signed Bobby Jenks, but Red Sox GM Theo Epstein says Jonathan Papelbon is still the team's closer, according to  Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com (on Twitter).
  • White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that the team was prepared to pursue other first basemen "aggressively" midway through their negotiations with Paul Konerko. However, the White Sox made one final push for their captain and brought him back on a three-year deal.
  • The Brewers have taken lots of criticism for their failure to put together better pitching in recent years, but Dave Cameron of FanGraphs likes what GM Doug Melvin is doing. Because the free agent market has been player-friendly, Cameron would also "abandon the free-agent market, keep [his] potential free agents, and trade prospects for guys headed towards free agency" were he a GM.

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