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Here are a few items of note coming out of the Big Apple as the Mets face the Pirates in Pittsburgh:
- The Mets were just one game under .500 entering Saturday night's game, and the team has played surprisingly well with an unheralded cast largely assembled by former GM Omar Minaya, writes Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
- Jesus Montero, the Yankees' touted catching prospect, was out of the lineup for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight but not because he was called up to the big leagues, according to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger (Twitter links).
- In the wake of Phil Hughes' DL stint and Joba Chamberlain's season-ending injury, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes that the Yanks should handle top arms Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances differently.
- Within the same piece, Madden writes that the Mets appear to be taking a long-term approach to restocking the organization under new GM Sandy Alderson, as evidenced by their selection of prep outfielder Brandon Nimmo with the No. 13 pick in the Draft.
Though it may seem like the Yankees’ rotation is a strength, it has been solid rather than spectacular to this point in the season. The Yankees aren’t assuming Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia can continue pitching this well, so, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, they will be looking for ways to bolster their starting pitching depth this summer.
“Overall, the pitching is going to be the defining thing for us,” GM Brian Cashman told Sherman. “The pitching has excelled, but it is not wise or prudent to sit back and try not to reinforce and improve on it.”
The Yankees have not been in contact with left-hander Andy Pettitte, according to Sherman and Cashman says they aren’t discussing the possibility of calling up prospects Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances. Cashman “badly wants” a left-handed reliever, since the Yankees don’t have left-handed depth in the minors and it could be a while before Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte return.
Don’t expect the Yankees to pursue a “significant” hitter, though. They lead the American League in runs scored and are content with every spot in the lineup except designated hitter. They don’t mind relying on internal options to fill the DH role, Sherman reports.
The Angels considered the possibility of trading for Carlos Beltran before they acquired Vernon Wells from the Blue Jays, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Here are the details on the Angels' interest in Beltran and other notes from New York City:
- Sherman hears that the Mets and Angels discussed Beltran, but the Angels preferred Wells despite the $86MM remaining on his contract. The Angels had more confidence in Wells' health and defense.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman tells Sherman that he doesn't want to have to rely on pitching prospects Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances in the majors this season. “They shouldn’t be caught up in our major league problems,” Cashman said. But as Sherman points out, the Yankees have summoned prospects like Phil Hughes to the majors earlier than expected; once the season starts, it's tough to predict what will happen.
- In conversations with Yankees people, Sherman never got the impression that they liked Freddy Garcia that much. The team agreed to a minor league deal with Garcia Monday.
- There's "a pretty good likelihood" that Andy Pettitte returns and the Yankees trade for a starter during Spring Training, Sherman writes.
The Diamondbacks' asking price for Dan Haren still exceeds what most teams are willing to offer, as the Yankees and Tigers have balked at deals centered around Joba Chamberlain and Jacob Turner respectively. However, despite being on Haren's no-trade list, the Tigers are still in play since the right-hander is expected to strongly consider playing anywhere he has a chance to win. Those were the highlights of yesterday's Haren rumors, so let's move on to today's. Any new updates will show up at the top of the page throughout the day….
- SI's Jon Heyman tweets that in addition to Chamberlain, the Yankees are hesitant to part with pitchers Hector Noesi and Dellin Betances in a potential Haren trade.
- John Harper of the New York Daily News writes that the Yankees are under no pressure to trade for Haren and that any deal they make will be on their own terms. ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider required) agrees with Harper's assessment, noting that the Yanks would take on Haren's salary and give up "B-plus prospects" in a trade, but that they won't move their best prospects.
- If the Yankees were to acquire Haren, it would compromise their chances of signing Cliff Lee this winter, says Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman also hears that the D'Backs would like to get their payroll down to about $60MM for 2011, further motivating them to move Haren now.
UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 12:02am: Not only will Johan veto any midseason deal, he’ll veto any deal to a team other than the Yankees or Red Sox.
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 8:30pm: Hank weighs in, reiterating the deadline. He says the third player actually isn’t the sticking point. Thanks Hank!
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 7:30pm: The Yanks’ deadline on their offer, which no one is taking seriously, is for end of day Monday. Brian Cashman has given Bill Smith a list of possibilities for the third player in the deal.
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 6:15pm: Ken Rosenthal says Santana told the Twins he won’t waive his no-trade clause during the season. It’s now or never. The packages the Yankees and Red Sox are offering are definitely better than two draft picks, especially since there’s no guarantee one of them will be a first-round pick. I’d be surprised if he’s not moved this week.
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 1:30pm: Buster Olney is reporting that the Sox will include Ellsbury in their offer, but pull Lester out of it. Basically the Twins can have one or the other. Olney doesn’t say whether Buchholz/Ellsbury is possible, but I imagine it’s not. The Twins are expected to choose an offer from Boston or New York soon.
FROM 12-2-07 at 8:45am:
When we left off last night, the Twins and Yankees were still haggling over the third player in a Johan Santana trade. The Twins wanted Alan Horne or Austin Jackson, according to Jon Heyman. Now comes word from Tyler Kepner that those two are considered untouchable in the deal by the Yanks. Dellin Betances, Ian Kennedy, and Jose Tabata round out the five that they will not include as the third player.
It’s said that the Yankees will turn to Dan Haren if they don’t reach an agreement with the Twins today or tomorrow. The Twins still like Jacoby Ellsbury more than Phil Hughes, so they’re trying to get the Red Sox to replace Coco Crisp with him in their offer.