A cursory glance at the New York Times’ website late Tuesday night reveals something approaching actual news from the Mets camp, with Japanese reliever Ryota Igarashi expected to sign a two-year pact to replace J.J. Putz as K-Rod’s setup man. The real highlight/death knell for next season, however, comes at the very end of David Waldstein’s coverage of the team’s annnual Xmas bash, an event that featured more words of delusion reassurance from GM Omar Minaya (“I feel comfortable. We have a plan and I like our plan.”)

To wit, Waldstein points out that by serving as Santa Claus yesterday, Mets OF Jeff Francoeur has all but assured himself of serious injury and/or career-lows next season.

In 2004, Mike Cameron played Santa, then had a serious outfield collision with Carlos Beltran the following August that put him on the disabled list for the remainder of the season. In 2005, Kris Benson (above, left) was Santa and was then traded to the Orioles a month after the party. It is believed his wife Anna™s provocative attire at the party contributed to the trade. In 2007, John Maine was Santa and had an injury-plagued season, and last year it was Mike Pelfrey, who struggled in 2009.