The Journal News’ Peter Abraham pours cold water on any hope of the Mets seducing Mike Mussina. The Stanford product is reportedly signing a two year deal with the Yankees in the $22-24 million ‘hood.
JapanBall.com reports South Korean OF/IF Seung Yeop-Lee has signed a 4 year extension with the Yomiuri Giants. Lee has 99 HR’s in his last two seasons in pro ball, not counting the 5 he hit during last Spring’s WBC. Supposedly, his contract with the Giants includes an out clause if the team wins the Japan Series at any point during the life of the deal.
The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo tackles what seems to be an annual puzzle ; will the Red Sox attempt to deal Manny Ramirez, and if so, who wants him?
One baseball executive said RamÃrez probably isn’t atop anyone’s wish list, but he could be a fallback for a team that can’t land a top free agent such as Alfonso Soriano, Aramis RamÃrez, or Carlos Lee.
“Don’t get me wrong,” said a National League general manager. “Everybody wants his bat. But now he’s getting up there in age, he’s breaking down, the money, the attitude. In the NL, he’s an adventure defensively.”
The next few weeks will determine whether the secondary market will develop.
Is it in Philadelphia, where the Phillies would prefer to go all out for Soriano, a multidimensional player with nowhere near RamÃrez’s hitting ability but who fits nicely into a National League lineup? The Phillies would rather utilize Soriano’s speed and stick him in the leadoff or No. 2 spot ahead of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Of course, RamÃrez would provide the kind of protection for Howard that he does now for Ortiz.
Is it the Angels, who are expected to be the most aggressive team in free agency? They’ll go after Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Gary Mathews Jr., and even Barry Zito. If they land Zito but can’t add a big hitter, they have the pieces — Ervin Santana, John Lackey, Scot Shields, or Chone Figgins — to trade for Manny. Then again, the Angels appear to be a team that would rather opt for Alex Rodriguez or Vernon Wells.
Is it the Mets? They will let Cliff Floyd go into free agency and might have room for RamÃrez in left field. They can deal pitcher Aaron Heilman, who has expressed a desire to be a starter and might fit nicely in Boston’s rotation, though with Pedro MartÃnez missing for at least half a season, Heilman will be tougher to part with.