One year ago today, the Mets signed Kiko Calero, who was coming off of a season in which he posted a 1.95 ERA with 10.4 K/9 for the Marlins. Calero never pitched for the Mets and the team released him in May. Here are today's New York notes...
- Jason Isringhausen will retire if he doesn't make the Mets' roster this spring, the veteran reliever tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Carl Crawford didn't think the Yankees had much interest in him this winter, and Brian Cashman confirmed as much to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Crawford "didn't mesh with what we had here and my need for starting pitching" and while Cashman is a Crawford fan, "I've got someone I'm excited about in Brett Gardner, who's $142MM less." (both Twitter links)
- With Chris Capuano and Chris Young in line to win rotation spots, it all but confirms that the Mets will release Oliver Perez, says ESPNNewYork.com's Adam Rubin.
- Jesus Montero appears to have an excellent chance of winning the Yankees' backup catcher job, since Francisco Cervelli will miss at least four weeks with a broken foot. Yankees GM Brian Cashman says he has no interest in delaying Montero's arbitration clock by holding him back for the first few months of the season (Twitter link).
- Before the injury, Chad Jennings of the Journal News reports that the Yankees seem legitimately impressed by Montero's improvement behind the plate. It appeared early on that the Yankees would send Montero to the minors to play every day, but as ESPN.com's Buster Olney explains, Montero has become a better, more dedicated catcher and remains a force at the plate.
- Francisco Rodriguez told Newsday's David Lennon that he wants to do "double" this year in order to regain the confidence of Mets fans after a trying 2010 season. Rodriguez repeated that he isn't worried about the 2012 option that vests at $17.5MM if he finishes 55 games this season.
- Johnny Damon told Peter Botte of the New York Daily News that he was never close to returning to the Yankees, since he isn't ready to be a part-time player and the Yankees have a DH and three outfielders. In a few years, however, Damon says he'll be ready for a part-time role.
MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post