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December 3, 2012

The Week in Quotes

November 26-December 2

by Hudson Belinsky, Jonah Birenbaum, Andrew Koo and Matthew Rocco

METS SIGN DAVID WRIGHT THROUGH 2020
“I just think it's a great statement for everybody to have this guy wrapped up. I knew David wanted to stay. I knew that certainly the organization wanted to keep him and I thought there would be a common ground.”
—Mets manager Terry Collins, on the news that third baseman David Wright agreed to an eight-year contract reportedly worth $138 million. (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“Certainly, that's going to be a discussion that I'm going to want to have with David. He's the face of this organization and he may not say a lot, but he leads so much by example, so much by the way he leads and carries himself. Certainly, I think I've got to have that discussion with him.”
—Collins, on whether Wright will be named the team's captain.

“He’s a guy that leads by example—kind of like Chipper did with Atlanta. I know he wants to be what Chipper was in Atlanta. He wants to be—he is—the face of the franchise. And he wants to be a part of it throughout his whole career. You have to respect a guy like that.”
—Mets starting pitcher Jon Niese on Wright. (Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com)

“I have said from Day 1 that I want to play my entire career with the New York Mets. I remain hopeful that goal can be achieved. However, I am disappointed by the reports that I have read today which are inaccurate.”
—Wright, after initial news reports of the Mets’ contract offer last week. (Zach Links, MLB Trade Rumors)

BRAVES LURE B.J. UPTON TO ATLANTA
“These guys got me. There is no other way to put it. They had me when I came here. I left here and I felt really good about it.”
—New Braves outfielder B.J. Upton, who signed a five-year, $75.25 million deal. (Mark Bowman, MLB.com)

“This was our key addition. We really wanted to get a center fielder that could defend like we're accustomed to having. Then the additional dynamic of having 28 home runs from the center-field position we think really improves our ballclub.”
—Braves general manager Frank Wren

“[Signing Upton] continues what we've been trying to accomplish, which is to get younger and more athletic and able to play the game the way it's being played today. He brings a great defensive dimension and also power to the center-field position.”
—Wren

INDULGENT DIET CRUCIAL TO JETER’S REHAB, PICTURE SUGGESTS
“The one thing you don’t have to worry about is Derek Jeter. I can’t tell you if he’s heavy, but even if he was, I’m not worried in that capacity in any way. You’re not gonna find anyone more committed to being the best he can be than Derek Jeter.”
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who tried to dispel concern that his team’s shortstop had let himself go after this picture was featured in Friday’s New York Post.  (Dan Martin, New York Post)

“He had a checkup a couple of weeks ago in North Carolina and everything is going really well.  The bottom line is, the most important thing Derek can do right now is rest. When you’re dealing with high-end competitors, you’re trying to make sure they stay off that foot. And we lived through that this year with Andy Pettitte.”
—Cashman, who stressed that rest is paramount for Jeter, who sustained an ankle injury in Game One of the 2012 ALCS.

“He’ll be a restricted player early in camp, but all indications are very strong for a full and healthy recovery. He just has to wait it out. You can’t speed up the healing process, so right now the doctor’s orders are ‘rest.’”
—Cashman.

“It was probably a wrinkle in the shirt.”
—Cashman, obviously unfazed by Jeter’s newfound corpulence.

BUEHRLE GROWLS OVER ONTARIO PIT BULL BAN
“I think it’s a discriminatory law. Just because of the way a dog looks, I don’t think that dog should be banned from someplace.”
Recently acquired Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle, whose pit bull, Slater, will not be welcome in Ontario, in accordance with provincial legislation. (John Lott, National Post)

“I was kind of joking around with my wife, saying that they probably shouldn’t let me in the country [if] they don’t let my dog in, because my dog is so loving and so awesome.”
—Buehrle, who has advocated for a repeal of the ban, is no stranger to these kinds of laws. While playing for the Marlins, the southpaw was forced to live in Broward County, as pit bulls were also canina non grata in Miami.

“If the family has to stay home [in Florida] because of the dog and I go to Toronto by myself, then that’s going to be tough on her.”
—Buehrle, noting that the law could make things chaotic for his wife should his family opt to stay in Florida because of the dogs.

ANGELS REV UP BEFORE NASHVILLE
“To be able to plug in a 26-year-old who remains with the club for the next three years, it's a good move for us. Obviously, it gives us some guidance as we head into the Winter Meetings. We still have some spots to fill on our roster, but this allows us the ability to go in with a little better understanding on where we're operating from today.”
—Angels GM Jerry DiPoto, on newly-acquired starter Tommy Hanson. He sent reliever Jordan Walden to the Braves in return. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

“Tommy's velocity was down a little bit, but he wasn't hurt. I think he started transitioning to a different kind of pitcher. He was trying to pitch with a little less velocity and use his off-speed stuff more.”
—Braves GM Frank Wren, on Hanson. (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)

“Our scouting reports on him represent what we've always known about Tommy, which is that he features two above-average breaking balls and, as a general rule, misses bats.”
—DiPoto

“We wanted to make sure there was an opportunity for our young pitchers to break through in the spring, and the way we were set up there really wasn’t a spot. So we were focused on trying to use some of our excess starting pitching to find a power bullpen arm. I’m not saying it doesn’t give us some more payroll flexibility, but that wasn’t the primary motivator.”
—Wren (David O’Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

“I have all the confidence I'll be ready for the season in full force. As long as my arm is 100 percent and I can throw like I'm capable of, I expect to have that ninth-inning role.”
—New Angels reliever Ryan Madson, who signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the team. (Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times)

“That's something I don't think you can take for grantedsomeone who's willing to go out there and fight for something that they've wanted to do their entire lives. There's a romantic edge to that, but there's also something that creates an edge that you just can't go out and replace.”
—DiPoto, on bringing Madson to his hometown Los Angeles. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

“If you know anything about me, you know that I'm a pleaser. I want to please, in any fashion I can. For me, it's the baseball field. And I wasn't able to do that for the Reds. They gave me such a great opportunity, just like the Angels have this year, and it just didn't work out. I was emotional.”
—Madson. The contract contains incentives that can earn him up to $7 million total.

“He plays all three outfield positions, swings from the left side; he's an athletic, versatile outfielder, who I feel adds depth to our 40-man roster.”
—DiPoto, on waiver claim Scott Cousins. (Alden Gonzalez, MLB.com)

TWITTER

—Hmm... the thought of Adam LaRoche being harassed into a new contract, by Davey Johnson of all people. (Ken Rosenthal, @Ken_Rosenthal, FOX)

—Gasp! (John Shea, @JohnSheaHey, San Francisco Chronicle)

—Wouldn’t you prefer deals that make your team better and the other team worse? (Alden Gonzalez, @Alden_Gonzalez, MLB.com)

THE REST
“I'm hoping. I know that certainly [general manager] Sandy [Alderson] has an idea and a plan… and I know R.A. has said many times that he wants to stay a Met. I think signing David shows that we're trying to do the right things to be successful, and I think that will mean a lot to R.A.”
—Mets manager Terry Collins, on the pace of contract negotiations with R.A. Dickey. (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com)

“We think we’ve got guys in the system that fulfill this role but they’re years away, they’re in the pipeline. And we’re looking for big things for them down the road. But as far as an established guy, at his age, he’s a 28-year-old guy, just reaching the prime of his career with his skill set, I really think his game is going to translate to the National League really well. … His skill set is something that we were looking for, we’ve been looking for for a couple years. We’re talking about a true defensive ball hawk, center field type of guy with great range. Sabermetrically and with the scout’s eye, he’s a front line defensive center field. He’s the consummate leadoff-type of hitter. He appeals greatly to us for his skill set as an offensive player.”
—Nationals general manager on outfielder Denard Span, whom he acquired from the Twins in exchange for right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer. (Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post)

“Last year when I got traded, it was to a great team. I had a lot of fun there. There were a lot of young guys that can really do something in the future. And the Reds were really aggressive with me in the offseason. I loved it there when I was there. It helped out that I had some experience there when I was with them.”
—Free-agent reliever Jonathan Broxton, who was re-signed by the Reds to a three-year, $21 million contract. (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)

“From my perspective, the Winter Meetings is more about being around a lot of your scouts, a lot of your staff, and sort of an organizational bonding.”
—Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer on the Winter Meetings. (Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune)

Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jonah's other articles. You can contact Jonah by clicking here
Andrew Koo is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Andrew's other articles. You can contact Andrew by clicking here

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