by Matthew Taylor
Yankees back in on Teixeira sweepstakes; Boston Globe handicaps the finalists; Nats offering $160 million
Sure, you'd hate to see Mark Teixeira sign with the Yankees. And the Red Sox would be no better. But admit it, you'd be most upset if Teixeira became a National. Consider this line from Oriole Post: "If the Nationals for some reason acquire Teixeira, I shudder to think what will happen in Baltimore and amongst Oriole fans nationwide."
Up to this point there's be no real rivalry to speak of between the Orioles and Nationals. The Washington Post was pushing hard for one since before D.C. even got a team. Major League Baseball wants the same thing, which is why the teams face off in Interleague Play each year. But ultimately "The Battle of the Beltway" is as silly as it sounds. (What is it about sports marketers' fascination with mass transit, by the way? Subway Series ... Battle of the Beltway ....)
Ultimately, there's just no real steam to the O's - Nats "rivalry." Send Teixeira to D.C., though, and you might finally have the flame that ignites local passions. The Nats have a much easier climb to make in their division, but I can't imagine that will be enough to attract Teixeira. If he's staying local, he's coming to Baltimore.
Brewers-Yankees deal to include Cameron
"The Yankees have found their center fielder for 2009, as they are set to send Melky Cabrera to Milwaukee for veteran outfielder Mike Cameron on Thursday, according to two major league sources. The Yankees have been saying that Cabrera and Brett Gardner would compete for the center field job, but the acquisition of Cameron gives them a veteran presence at the position. (New York Daily News)"This move greatly disappoints me, if only because it deprives me of the opportunity to hear Rick Dempsey refer to Melky Cabrera as "Milky" during the MASN post-game show following Yankees - Orioles match-ups.
Mets acquire Putz
"One day after signing closer Francisco Rodriguez, the Mets have acquired J.J. Putz in a three-team, 12-player trade with the Indians and Mariners. The Mets ship right-hander Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez, lefty Jason Vargas and three minor leaguers to the Mariners for Putz, center fielder Jeremy Reed and reliever Sean Green in the first trade by new Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik."Does this mean the J.J. Putz bobblehead I got at a Mariners game last season will go up in value or down in value?
On the face of it the Mets seem to be doing the right thing by shoring up their bullpen, but O’s fans know all too well that assembling a high-priced bullpen is a tricky deal that doesn't always turn out as expected. In this case, it's not so easy to shift a closer to a set-up position and get the same results. It's like using George Sherrill in a non-save situation; he just doesn't pitch as well without the pressure.
The Mets should take a look at what happened with the Birds' $42 million bullpen during the 2007 season.