Reliever Justin Speier, who had a stellar 2006 campaign with the Blue Jays (55 K’s in 51 IP, 2.98 ERA, opposing B.A. of .238) will be amongst Mike Scioscia’s set up options for K-Rod in Anaheim next season, having signed a four year deal yesterday.

Short of a Mark Woehlers comeback attempt, I’m not sure there’s any greater commentary on the paucity of top flight closers than the Reds signing 39 year old Mike Stanton to a two year pact, with an eye towards the lefty taking on the role vacated by the injured Eddie Guardado.

The New York Daily News’ Bill Madden
is fairly certain the Mets will be breaking the bank for Barry Zito.

As one rival baseball executive explained to me: “Believe it, the Mets are going to be in on Zito, big. They’re trying to play it coy, but in the end, don’t be surprised if they give him the $15 million per year (Zito’s agent Scott) Boras is looking for – especially if they lose Glavine. In that case, they’ll have no choice but to pay what it takes to get him. They can justify it by saying it’s a couple of million dollars more a year than they would have paid Glavine, for a much younger version.”

Another factor in the Mets’ willingness to overpay for Zito is their losing out in the Daisuke Matsuzaka sweepstakes. In addition to preparing to pay Glavine $12 million per for the next two years, they were looking at Matsuzaka being a $14 million-$15 million per year investment (posting fee included) for the next 4-5 years. Suddenly, all of that budgeted money has been freed up for investing in Zito, whom at least Peterson, his former mentor in Oakland, regards as a legitimate No. 1 starter.

The history savvy 6-4-2 notes that today marks the 85th birthday of the late Roy Campanella.