Morning: Two Players Return to Former Teams

According to the Associated Press, the Yankees and free-agent 2B Miguel Cairo have agreed to a one-year, $900,000 deal…

…so cairo is playing musical new york chairs…i like it…

Also, the D’Backs and free-agent OF Eric Byrnes agreed to a one-year deal worth roughly $2 million, writes the Arizona Republic

…the buzz from shea is that the mets and byrnes talked briefly, but a contract was not discussed…

Morning: The Manny-for-Tejada Machine

At ESPN.com, Peter Gammons writes that the Orioles “are seriously weighing” a swap of Red Sox OF Manny Ramirez and RHP Matt Clement for SS Miguel Tejada

The Boston Globe reports that while the O’s are interested in such a trade, they would like the Sox to pay part of Ramirez’s tab…

The AP, however, citing an O’s official, reported last night that Baltimore could soon end all trade talks for Tejada…

…tough business, man…

Meanwhile, the Sox continue to talk with the Mariners about a trade sending M’s OF Jeremy Reed to Boston.  According to the Seattle Times, the Mariners are asking for RHP Jon Papelbon or LHP Jon Lester, which Boston is unwilling to do…

the sox are going to hold up the market for a while it seems…these two players are such huge names, that any team with a chance at landing on of them, such as the mets, are going to be slowed by playing the waiting game…

News: Byrnes Signs With D-Backs

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic is reporting that free agent OF Eric Byrnes and the Diamondbacks have agreed to a 1-year, $2.2 million deal…

…is byrnes starts, that means that either rookie OF Carlos Quentin or rookie OF/1B Conor Jackson won’t, which could indicate that one might be part of another deal…

News: Mets Sign Bradford

…as matt reported earlier today, it is now official…

RHP Chad Bradford has signed a one-year contract with the New York Mets, according to a team press release.

“New York is a great situation for me,” the article quoted Bradford. “I worked with Rick Peterson in Oakland and I know what he can do. With all the off-season additions, I’m sure the Mets will be contending for a playoff spot and I want to do all I can to help.”

…bradford has that reputation for dominating righty-batters, and with the hypothetical “funk” from heilman mixed with the “funk” of bradford, this could be a formidable duo…also, if you’re wondering how they’ll handle lefty batters, heilman held them close to a .200 clip last year, although he walked far more lefty batters as well…go figure…

…still waiting for that reliable southpaw out of the bullpen, but who isn’t…

Update: The AP is reporting the one-year deal is for $1.4 million

News: White Sox Sign Garland to 3-Yr Extension

According to the Associated Press, the White Sox and RHP Jon Garland have agreed to a three-year, $29 million contract extension…

…garland was arbitration eligible this season, and would’ve been a free-agent next off-season…so, i guess he will not be traded…at least for now…

Stats: Winter Ball Update from Mayers

John P. Mayers has sent in a new update with stats tracking Mets players taking part in the various Winter Leagues through December 27…

John writes…

Endy Chavez went 4–for-5 with a double to raise his average to .357, while Victor Diaz went 2–for-5 with two doubles and an RBI…

Tike Redman went 2–for-5 with a home run, his first of the season.  Tike’s average is now .352…

Jose Valentin continued his hot streak with three hits in four at-bats with a walk and a double…

Henry Owens struck out the side to bring is K/9 to 13.7.  His ERA is now at 2.91.”…

…thanks, john…

To check in on John’s stats, go here, or use the link in the left-hand sidebar of this site…

…enjoy…

Buzz: Catalonotto On the Block

In the Toronto Star, Geoff Baker writes that the recent trades for 3B Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay have the Jays looking to move either 1B-3B Shea Hillenbrand, 3B Corey Koskie, 3B-1B Eric Hinske and 2B-OF Frank Catalanotto

…hmm…catalanotto…

…he played second base for the first few years of his career, among other positions…since the jays promoted SS Orlando Hudson, catalanotto has played only in the outfield…he’ll earn $2.7 million this season, at which point he’ll become a free-agent…

…defensively, catalonotto is far from a gold glove winner…but, he’ll get the job done, and will not hurt his team…though he may hurt himself, as he tends to come up with odd injuries at inopportune times…

…offensively, with a short swing he’ll hit around .300, put the ball in play, he’ll hit-n-run on cue, put the ball to any spot on the field, and he is also pretty quick, and a smart base runner…

…at 31–years-old, he’s an all-around good baseball player, with great bat-control, quick feet, who grew up in new york and can play multiple positions: first, second and corner-outfield…though he was a yankees fan growing up, we won’t hold that against him…

…most importantly, he is said to be a good guy, fun to watch play, and he is very smart…in fact, 1B Carlos Delgado once told the toronto star that catalanotto was one of the things he would miss most about the blue jays, because he learned a lot about hitting from him on a daily basis…the rangers would constantly talk about how their lineup was not the same without him, when frank was batting leadoff for them year’s ago…

…Update…12:25 PM…

…in going through my e-mail, which is over-flowing, i noticed the following from marc passer, who wrote on december 27…

“Why not try to pry (Catalonotto) from Toronto and stick him at second…he played there and played there well with Texas and he is a proven above average bat.  This is the type of hard-nosed player that we could stick in the two or eight hole.”…

…given how j.p. is acting in toronto these days, something tells me it would be very hard to “pry” anything from his grip…he’s been far too savvy…

…the question is: what would toronto be looking to get as fair value for catalonotto…i’m thinking relief pitching, or just prospects, if the mets took on the full money…

Read: MetsGeek's "Better Late Than Never"

At MetsGeek.com, Jeremy Heit explains why LHP Tom Glavine can finally be considered one of the Mets top pitchers, thus finally making him a Met, as well…

…given all the elements of this team, i am very eager to see a) how carlos beltran deals with year two, and b) if glavine continues how he pitched in the second half of last season…

…it’s odd, they add wagner, delgado, etc, yet, last season, had beltran been beltran, and glavine been glavine all year long, the mets may have made the playoffs anyway…