2B Jose Valentin, written off by everyone except Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya last April, has parlayed a remarkable 2006 campaign into a one year deal with the Mets worth between $3 and $4 million.

The Mets broke ground on their new megamall/ballpark today, with noted shovelers of shit, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Jeff Wilpon lending a hand.

New York’s defense of the NL East crown will begin April 1 in St. Louis, with 4 games at Busch II. I realize all of Braden Looper’s close friends in the Mets organization are happy to see him get a World Series ring, but this kind of scheduling is really going too far.

The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebic
declares “selling a major league player on wanting to be a Baltimore Oriole has rarely been this difficult.”

Orioles executives dispute the theory that standout players don’t want to sign with the organization, pointing to the acquisition of Miguel Tejada , a former league Most Valuable Player, and Ramon Hernandez , one of the league’s most productive catchers.

“I don’t see anybody turning a deaf ear to us,” executive vice president Mike Flanagan said.

It is important to point out that the Orioles significantly outbid others for Tejada, and that their main competitors (the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners) were not playoff teams at the time. And in Hernandez’s case last offseason, some of the teams originally interested in signing a catcher filled their needs through a trade, leaving the Orioles with less competition.

Along with predicting the Brewers will make a strong push for free agent OF Dave Roberts, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal forecasts multiple suitors wiling to make a deal with Nomar Garciaparra, claiming the former Red Sox icon “could fit at first base for the Yankees, Orioles and Indians, and the Padres are interested in signing him to play second.”