By Sweeny Murti
I barely unpacked my bags before the Nationals lifted the lid on these Winter Meetings, and boy did they get things going with a bang. Jayson Werth stays in the NL East, going to the Nationals for 7 years, $126 million dollars.
Werth is a Scott Boras client, and usually those guys take longer to sign, but the Nationals put the money on the table just days after losing Adam Dunn to the White Sox. Here’s my conversation with Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman shortly after Werth’s signing on Sunday…
Mets GM Sandy Alderson arrived Sunday and has scheduled meetings with several agents and teams already. Alderson brought out some A-material when reacting to the Werth signing before giving his thoughts on why the Mets aren’t playing in that ballpark right now and what Werth adds to another divisional rival….
“I don’t think you should expect us to come back with the high profile trophy,” Alderson said, re-stating what he had indicated last week. Alderson did shed some light on why he wants to be cautious about the free agents he’s looking at, especially on the day before the Winter Meetings even officially begin…
While the Mets will look to improve and put a better team on the field in 2011, it’s also quite clear that they have an eye toward the next couple years after that. Alderson doesn’t want to get tied down with too many long-term deals here, and explains why…
It will be interesting to see what kinds of trade proposals are thrown the Mets way here. The Mets will be perceived by other organizations as vulnerable because they have new management that doesn’t know their own players very well and they will be baited into trying to deal some prospects that other teams secretly covet. But the flip side of that is the Mets aren’t perceived to have a lot of young talent anyway, so it may not be that big a deal.
*After playing one of Santa’s elves sliding down the side of a building in Stamford Sunday, Brian Cashman will make his way down to Florida Sunday night where the Cliff Lee talks should be heating up. Check back here for any updates on the daily briefings with Cashman and Alderson.
*Jon Heyman and I are on scene with plenty of live reports with Joe & Evan and Mike Francesa. Also, I’ll be hosting with Kim Jones Wednesday night from 6:30-9:00pm, so lots of Hot Stove talk coming up on the FAN.