WOULD YOU TAKE LUIS CASTILLO?
"What the trustee is looking for here is a payment in cash. So whether they utilize the Mets, SNY, Sterling properties, or any other resource is of no moment to us. What we're looking for is a billion dollars, and unless we settle for less than that, which we're not inclined to do, where they get the money is of no moment to us."
–Irving Picard's associate and lead lawyer suing the Wilpons David Sheehan.
"No rational person would leave their family fortune…their children's inheritances and their grandchildren's…with someone engaged in a fraud."
–Karen Wagner, Fred Wilpon's lawyer.
"That is complete nonsense. We have good, sound businesses that were successful years before we invested with Madoff, including both real estate and the New York Mets. Those businesses never depended on returns from Madoff. We thought that Madoff was a friend for 25 years. That is why his betrayal was so painful. Each of the Sterling partners and their families invested with Madoff in good faith right up to the day his crime was exposed. We were as shocked as the rest of the world when the money in our accounts vanished along with the billions he swindled from thousands of other innocent people."
–From a statement by Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz.
"There was nothing about his brokerage operation that appeared anything other than normal."
–Wagner (Mike Lupica, New York Daily News)
"The unfortunate thing is, regardless of what we do, there will be a perception that has to be taken into account. All I can do is move forward based off my judgment about baseball wisdom of this decision or that decision."
–Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, on the effect of the lawsuit on baseball operations.
"I think all of us in baseball were aware there was an association with Bernie Madoff, but the real question is to what extent has that affected the Wilpons? I'm not sure they even know at this point how it will affect them. I wouldn't say it's irrelevant, but at the same time, it really hasn't impacted me, and I don't think it's going to impact me going forward if they bring in the investors they are seeking."
"I did not present myself as someone who will cut costs to achieve success. But I think you do achieve success by spending more wisely, and if you spend wisely you may not have to spend as much."
–Alderson (Joel Sherman, New York Post)
WHY DOES THIS FEEL LIKE GOOD-BYE, YOU GUYS?
"Obviously it's something that the organization probably doesn't want hanging over for the whole season and, 'What's going to happen to Albert?' But clearly you are talking about the best player in baseball, and probably the best hitter in the history of baseball, so I'm not sure how you go about taming that tiger."
–Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman, on the club's negotiations with Albert Pujols.
"Any time you have one of the best players in the game—he's probably the consensus best player in the game—signs, it's noteworthy. But I don't know how relevant it is. Every negotiation is different. Pujols, his track record is pretty unique. It's hard for anyone out there to compare himself directly to Albert Pujols. We'll see what happens. We're watching from afar. It's not really our concern."
–Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein.
"I'm very hopeful that both sides will be able to come to an agreement. I know it's a very difficult contract as far as his place in the game and what the Cardinals can do, but I hope to be his teammate for the rest of both of our careers. That would be real nice, but it's a tough deal."
–Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday (B.J. Rains, Fox Sports Midwest)
BRIAN SABEAN HAS HIS DOUBTS
"If you look at the numbers, my numbers are very similar in the postseason to what they would be over my career. I definitely have had a lot of good games in the postseason, and there is so much bigger of an impact on those games—and you get so much more attention and stuff like that. But like I've said before, I feel like I just get a good peace about those games. I get a real good calmness that comes over me when I get in big games."
–Former Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, on deciding to not play this season.
"If my stomach was just churning once Opening Day started, and I'm like, oh my gosh, I've made a huge mistake and I've felt like that the whole season. I can tell you right now that I'd be embarrassed because of what I've done."
–Pettitte, on whether he would come back midseason.
"How quickly he changed his body. He was a chunky kid, and he learned right away that being in top physical shape was going to be beneficial to his career. He picked things up very quickly, and at a young age he was very good. He's had a great career."
–Giants general manager Brian Sabean, on Pettitte's rise to excellence.
"When I got by myself and thought about it, I said, 'I'm going to play. The fans, the Yankees need me to play. My wife supports it, my kids support it. I'm going to go play.' When I dug deep down and did some soul-searching, I don't know how to explain it. It wasn't there."
–Pettitte (Ben Shpigel, The New York Times)
"Everybody knows I wanted to be here. But in talking to them, I wanted them to know that I didn't want to be alone, either. For a long time, Todd was solo, and that's hard to do when the team is losing and you're the only one making money. I will be the first to take blame if we don't win. But I wanted someone with me, if not a couple of guys."
–Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, on his discussions with management this offseason. (Troy E. Renck, Denver Post)
"It's pretty cool. I miss playing, but the aspect of being on the other side now as far as in the office and stuff, I love it. I get to come to the ballpark, which is what I love to do. I'm not a real good computer guy."
–Former big-leaguer Luis Gonzalez, special assistant to the CEO of the Diamondbacks, on his day-to-day job. (Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic)
"I had conversations with him about trying to get better as a hitter. Those conversations ended after the baseball season did. When it was the offseason for most of us, he was talking about picking off Jeff George and taking it to the house."
–Former Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, on Deion Sanders' election to the Football Hall of Fame. (Chris Haft, MLB.com)
"The weight figures reported last week in piratesreport.com were not accurate. Having said that, we have continued to stress to Pedro the critical importance of his conditioning. Pedro has gotten stronger through an extensive off-season conditioning program, but there is still work to be done with respect to body weight and composition."
–Pirates president Frank Coonelly, on third baseman Pedro Alvarez' offseason conditioning. (MLB.com)
"You just never know how things are going to go and happen. You make decisions and hope they work out. They don't always, but hopefully we can get back out there and compete for the things we won last season."
–Brian Sabean (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe)
Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.