Morning Juice: Will Santa bring Mr. Met a closer for Christmas?

David Brown
December 9, 2008

This and every weekday a.m. during Major League Baseball's winter meetings, let's rise and shine together with the latest news and rumors of news coming from the Las Vegas desert. Today's Roll Call starts at the North Pole, where a jolly old man in a red suit (and some agents) are working on giving Francisco Rodriguez a Queens address.

(Almost) Deal of the Day: Mets close to signing K-Rod

The Mets tied for the NL lead in blown saves in 2008, so who better to help fix the problem than Francisco Rodriguez, who just set a major-league record with 62 saves (and as many gyrating celebrations)? K-Rod (he prefers to go by "Nene Fran" or "Baby Fran") is said by several sources, including Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown, to be close to agreement on a three-year, $37-million deal to play in Citi Bailout Field.

Just let Rodriguez take a breath because the deal isn't as long or as rich as the 26-year-old probably thought he was getting coming into the off-season — you know, the recession, and the supposed glut of closers on the market — and he'll soon, probably, sign on the line which is dotted.

There's also the matter of Rodriguez being not quite what he was when he burst onto the scene in '02, or even '04, when he had 123 strikeouts and 33 walks in 84 innings. K-Rod finished '08 with 77Ks and 34 BBs in 68 innings. Not cause for a quick alarm, but for concern over the life of the deal.

* * *

Jake Peavy, you still here? Chris De Luca in the Chicago Sun-Times pinkie swears that the Peavy deal is 'very close' and he (Peavy, not De Luca) will be a Cub real soon. Some reports have Mark DeRosa going to the Phillies to help facilitate a four-team trade, which also appears to include Felix Pie going to the Orioles for Garrett Olson. Cubs general manager The delays might have something to do with Tribune Co. filing for Chapter 11, but Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella kept insisting they don't.

* * *

Darn those Sawx: Yahoo! Sports' own Gordon Edes might have checked with the entire league, and the feeling is that the Boston Red Sox will come away with Mark Teixeira. Edes also says the Tampa Bay Rays brass and Milton Bradley dined and it might be the start of a beautiful friendship.

* * *

He's a 'sidler': FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal, also attached at the hip to every GM in Vegas, says that the St. Louis Cardinals are talking with the Atlanta Braves about Rick Ankiel.

* * *

Casey at the Ravine: Y! Sports' Tim Brown returned a couple of punts against Michigan State for touchdowns, then he later reported that Casey Blake is almost a Los Angeles Dodger for three more years.

* * *

He said it: "There's a lot of clubs pursuing bullpen help, and there's a lot of guys out there." — Tigers president Dave Dombrowski, on the closer glut.

Keep an eye out for 'Duk's dispatches from Sin City as the Stew keeps you informed on the fates of Peavy, CC and perhaps even Siegfried and Roy.