The Tampa Bay Rays, a team that at least one prominent baseball writer believes has no long-term future in Florida, nevertheless found the money and will to sign their best player to a contract extension that will pay him an average annual salary of $16.7 million until he’s 36.
The New York Mets, who play in the largest media market in the United States, have yet to announce a similar contract extension for their best player. Without being privy to the negotiating process, who can really say whether the fault lies with David Wright and his representation, the finances of the Wilpon family or Sandy Alderson‘s willingness to spend money on baseball players?
(I think $63 limited view nosebleed seats for Opening Day just might be an indicator, though.)
Alderson is continuing to fill the Las Vegas 51s’ roster (or the Mets’ bench), though. On Monday, the Mets announced that they had purchased the contract of former Atlanta Braves prospect Brandon Hicks from the Oakland Athletics.
Hicks, 27, hit .172 with three home runs in 22 games for the A’s last season, appearing primarily as a shortstop…. Spending most of last season at Triple-A Sacramento, he batted .244 with 18 home runs in 328 at-bats there.
Ronny Cedeno, your services may no longer be required…
The Mets also re-signed one of their own free agents, although the move makes little sense to me. Thirty-nine year-old lefty specialist Tim Byrdak has agreed to a minor league deal with New York. He had surgery to repair a torn interior capsule in his left shoulder in September, and is likely to miss at least the first half of the 2013 season.
This is the same injury that Johan Santana and Chris Young were trying to come back from this season, with mixed results. I’m not aware of any relief pitchers who have returned from similar injuries, and I question whether Byrdak’s shoulder will be able to hold up to the strain of throwing nearly every day.