For those of you who entered MLBTR's annual free agenct prediction contest, be sure to check out the leaderboard to see where you stand with 39 of the top 50 free agents now under contract. At present, four readers are tied with an eye-pleasing .333 batting average, with eleven others right on their heels with 12 correct picks.
Here are some notes to round out the evening:
- Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that the team is unlikely to sign shortstop Stephen Drew, reports Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Though this is not the first time he has given such an indication, Alderson said he had only had "sporadic" talks with Drew's agent, Scott Boras. Of course, neither did he close the door on Drew. "We haven't ruled it out, but I think doing anything is unlikely," said Alderson. "… I know there's been a lot of speculation about Drew and the Mets, but at this point, that's what it remains — speculation."
- Alderson likewise said that New York was not enamored with the possibility of giving out a big league deal for a free agent reliever. New York has recently been linked with closer Fernando Rodney and reportedly made a legitimate run at Grant Balfour before he signed with the Rays. "Acquiring someone with some experience would give us some comfort going into Spring Training, but we don't want to preclude some of our younger pitchers from getting a solid opportunity either," Alderson explained. "So if there's somebody there that we like, we'll pursue them. Otherwise, one of the ways we've approached starting pitching, for example, is to bring in a couple of guys on minor league contracts and have them compete with some of our own internal candidates. We may do the same thing with the bullpen."
- As expected, Nolan Ryan has met with Astros owner Jim Crane, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart reports. Today's sit-down reportedly included Ryan's son Reid, who is Houston's president of business operations. Details have yet to emerge as to what was discussed and where things stand, but it would appear that the former Rangers CEO could be headed toward some kind of role with the Astros.
- None of the players on the Cardinals' 40-man roster is out of options, says MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch, leaving the club with ample flexibility in constructing its active roster. In fact, only three players — Pete Kozma, Sam Freeman, and Shane Robinson — are down to their last option. (Of course, players with at least five years of service time can refuse an optional assignment.) That should leave the Cards with the means to stash and shuttle players as necessary over the course of the coming season without exposing them to waivers.