The Mets have made their decision by selecting Terry Collins to be the teams twentieth manager.
Can't say that I'm surprised by this announcement, but also can't say that I'm pleased. I think the reason why Mets fans are a little disappointed by this hire is because Collins came out of no where to get the job, has no affiliation to the Mets, other than being the minor league field coordinator last season, and it seemed like Wally Backman's time had finally come to take the reigns at Citi Field. Who knows, Collins hasn't managed in the majors since 1999 so his approach may be totally different. But it's easy to see why Mets fans will have a difficult time getting excited for the upcoming year. Backman or even Chip Hale would have given the team a spark and a much needed "kick in the rear end" that several people think they need. Give him two or three years to see what direction the team heads in and then you can make proper judgments.
The Atlanta Braves upgraded at second by acquiring Dan Uggla, and it turns out he will have a serious home field advantage.
Uggla will be one of the best pickups of this off-season. I still don't understand why the Marlins received just Omar Infante and Mike Dunn but what else would you expect from the Florida front office. I think the Braves are right up there with the Philadelphia Phillies to be the favorites of the NL East and it will be another fun race going down to the wire.
The Marlins made some more noise by signing free agent catcher John Buck to a 3-year, $18 million contract.
Buck had a solid year with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010 where he hit 20 home runs with 66 RBI and earned his first career All-Star appearance. I wouldn't necessarily call this a great move but it definitely is not a bad one. Don't expect him to make up for Uggla's lost power, but he will keep the catching position stable for the next few years.
The Philadelphia Phillies will bring back 39-year old Jose Contreras for two more years.
I like this decision by the Phillies. I have always been a fan of Contreras because at his age he is still reliable and can throw hard. He also has incredible stuff that keeps hitters off balance, an extremely valuable asset coming from the bullpen. Hopefully he can be that steady rock and avoid any possible injuries.
The Scottsdale Scorpions defeated the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League Championship by a score of 3-2.
Bryce Harper and Sammy Solis are champions! Well, not really but hopefully this is a phrase Nationals fans will get used to hearing. The Scottsdale Scorpions had a roster filled with future Nationals, making this AFL victory that much sweeter. The AFL is always referred to as "finishing school" for the top prospects involved so it's hard not to take notice of Washington's bright future. Now its just a matter of surrounding them with veteran talent when the time comes.