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Volume 24 No. 156
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MLB Franchise Notes: K-Rod Trade Not A White Flag For Mets

Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that the Tuesday night trade of P Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers “is not an indication the team is throwing up a white flag for the season.” USA TODAY’s Stephen Borelli notes in trading Rodriguez, the “financially troubled Mets are free of a burdensome contract option and have more money to use on an important free agent this offseason.” Rodriguez’ contract includes a $17.5M “vesting option for 2012” if he finishes 55 games this season, and he “is on pace to do so, having already finished 34.” Borelli notes N.Y. media outlets “are speculating what the Mets’ ridding of the K-Rod clause means for signing free-agent-to-be Jose Reyes this offseason” (USA TODAY, 7/15). Braves TV analyst Ron Gant said of the Mets, "They may not be waving the white flag, but they sure have that flag out. ... They’re going to have to let Carlos Beltran walk. They just don’t have the money to be able to sign all these guys" ("MLB Tonight," MLB Network, 7/14).

LOOKING FOR MOOR: In San Diego, Tim Sullivan notes although Padres Vice Chair & CEO Jeff Moorad has “repeatedly said his ownership group would reinvest every dollar beyond expenses in improving the club and Petco Park, his installment purchase of the franchise, his 27th-ranked payroll, and Forbes magazine’s calculation that the Padres led baseball last year in operating profit has created doubt about the depths of his pockets and his priorities.” Sullivan: “In fairness, the Forbes’ figures do not include debt service on Petco Park that Moorad has pegged at $17 million a year, while estimates of the Padres’ revenue-sharing proceeds are unofficial and unconfirmed.” Still, “in the context of the club’s post-Petco cost-cutting, any deals that trim payroll will be widely seen as suspicious,” even if “they happen to be the right moves to make" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/15).

ON THE SHOULDERS OF A BLUE JAY: In Toronto, Cathal Kelly notes a “great deal of effort goes into marketing” the Blue Jays to the “22,000 or so who show up on an average evening.” In the “absence of a steady winner,” that effort is “clearly not working.” Kelly: “So why not frame the bulk of your budget around your prime sales asset,” Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista. Kelly writes, “There is no Bautista Bleachers or Bautista Bomb-Zone or whatever other cheeseball alliteration you prefer. … You start rebuilding live baseball in Toronto on Bautista’s shoulders, because he’s the only factor mitigating in your favour right now” (TORONTO STAR, 7/15).

BRIAN'S SONG: Yankees GM Brian Cashman's contract expires after this season, and his future was debated on ESPN's "PTI" Thursday. Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan said the interesting aspect is "why he would want to leave after 14 years as the GM." Ryan: "George Steinbrenner is dead and he was basically his surrogate father … and without the protection of George Steinbrenner, I frankly think he would like to go.” Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Batard called Cashman "one of the highest-profile free agents this winter." But he added, "I do wonder how much of a skill Brian Cashman has of being able to see things that other smart people in other front offices do” ("PTI," ESPN, 7/14).