(Chris Soto: Sounds like Zack Wheeler's rehab is progressing as scheduled. Tommy John Surgery is always a crap shoot. You never know just how well a guy is going to bounceback. For every strong Matt Harvey/Jose Fernandez return we see, there is just as many Bobby Parnell's and Josh Johnson's in the league. A healthy Zack Wheeler is better than Bartolo Colon and is WELL beyond what 90% of MLB teams have as their respective #5 SP option.)
Bill Baer | NBC Sports- The defending National League champion Mets are searching for bullpen help, but seem content to wait for free agent demands to diminish. GM Sandy Alderson would prefer to avoid multi-year contracts for relievers. “Does it really improve the team to give a reliever a one-, or two-year contract if we don’t believe he is better than what we have?” Two targets left in free agency include Antonio Bastardo and Tyler Clippard. Bastardo, 30, posted a 2.98 ERA with a 64/26 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings for the Pirates this past season. Clippard, who came over to the Mets from the Athletics ahead of the trade deadline, compiled an aggregate 2.92 ERA with a 64/31 K/BB ratio over 71 innings.
(Chris Soto: I am ok with not spending a multi year deal on a RP. History will show that, outside the premier closers of the game, multi-year deals for mid inning relievers almost NEVER work out well for teams. There is always a significant degree of volatility with relievers year over year. Heck....25% of the league's closers, let alone middle inning guys, on 4/1 end up losing their jobs over the course of the season.)
HOT STOVE REPORT (courtesy of mlbtraderumor.com)
- Sixteen-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro Armenteros held a showcase for scouts on January 8th. Approximately 150-200 scouts were in attendance to see the kid known only as "Lazarito." While the Cuban phenom has been compared to a young Willie Mays and Bo Jackson, the early word from the showcase that that he seemed "too muscular & stiff" and "unable to play CF."
- The San Franscisco Giants have signed CF Denard Span to a 3 yr/$31M contract pending he is able to pass his physical.
- The St. Louis Cardinals are close to a deal with Korean RP Seung-Hwan Oh "The Final Boss."The deal comes on the heels of a report that Oh was going to be suspended for 72 games if he had returned to the Korean Baseball Organization for allegedly gambling at a foreign casino, which is against South Korea’s laws.