Now that the winter meetings have concluded and everyone has left Nashville, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to write because the Yankees haven't done dick. This may not be the worst thing that could have happened, especially considering how much Omar Minaya was trying to pry out of B.Cashman for either Bartolo Colon or Javey Vasquez; still, when the biggest local news is the signing of Todd Zeile, how thrilled can a Yankee fan be?
I have nothing against Todd Zeile, he seems like an intelligent, well-spoken, and friendly guy. Joe Torre likes him, and he's one of Robin Ventura's best friends. If the Yanks want him to be the new Luis Sojo, I suppose it's a cosmetic upgrade. I personally prefer a super scrub to be fatter, and uglier (Ron Commer fit the bill nicely), but what can you do? If the Bombers expect much more out of Zeile, then they could be asking for trouble. Slow trouble.
As for Stanton inking a deal with the Mets, I have to admit it stuck in my craw a wee bit. A productive Yankee going to the Mets? Now I know how the other half feels. To be honest, I'd almost rather see Stanton on the Red Sox, cause then I could at least cry "Benedict Arnold" and root against him. What do I care about the Mets? All I know is a 3-year $9 million deal was not too much to ask. If the Yanks were somehow convinced he wasn't worth it, I'm glad the Mets were sensible enough to pony up the dough.
Makes you wonder how Boss George will react this summer when Chris Hammond's hits a rough patch. You suppose his "baseball people" will feel some heat then?
It's hard to cry for the Yanks though. I'm sure if the bullpen stinks it up enough, George will order reinforcements, regardless of the expense.
Speaking of the Sox, the sabermetric-minded men in the front office made their first significant moves, trading for second baseman Todd Walker, and first baseman/dh Jeremy Giambi. Both may weaken the Sox defensively, but not enough to override their offensive value. While it may be easy to say that the Sox obtained the wrong Giambi, I don't see how he won't help them. Can't you see Jeremy beating the Yankees in several games next season, adding some spice to the rivalry? He could be to the Sox what Scott Speizio was to the Angels last year, minus the leather.
I also like Alfonzo signing with the Giants. This may be childish, but on some level, I still respond to trades based on how cool I think a player will look in a given uniform. I've always felt that if El Duque didn't pitch for the Yanks, he'd look great in a San Francisco uniform (maybe it's the Maricial thing). If it took the Giants to keep Fonzie out of Boston, I'm happy for that and that alone. Still, he's got enough winter fat on him to handle the chill by the bay.
But with Fonzie gone, and Rey Rey Ordonez shipped off to Sweet Lou's fantasy camp in Tampa, the Mets are without a left side of the infield. It will be interesting to see how much damage Steve Phillips will be able to undo; there are rumors involving Jeromy Burnitz and Roger Cedeno, though it's tough to think that anyone would give the Mets Jack-Boil-Scratch for wack-ass Cedeno. Still, moving Rey was an inevitability, even if they Mets essentially had to pick up the tab. (It was Phillips who was deluded enough to pay a chicken shit player like Ordonez over $6 million per in the first place.)
The beauty part is the Mets couldn't initially find Ordonez to tell him about the trade. He was over at El Duque's crib, playing dominoes.
Meanwhile, the Braves continue to focus on pitching. On Tuesday, Atlanta traded lefty Damian Moss and a minor-leaguer to the Giants for their number 1 starter Russ Ortiz; later, they announced the signing of free agent right-hander Paul Byrd. Looks like more fun for Leo Mazzone, and the same old story for the rest of the division.