Source: MLB adds "sexual orientation" wording to CBA

Major League Baseball, which saw Jackie Robinson break the color barrier in 1947, today will announce incremental progress in another civil rights issue.  The new Collective Bargaining Agreement adds “sexual orientation” to its section on discrimination, a person with direct knowledge of the agreement told the Daily News.

Article XV, Section A of the MLB’s expiring Basic Agreement, in effect from 2006-2011, states: “The provisions of this Agreement shall be applied to all Players covered by this Agreement without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”

In the new agreement, which will be made public this afternoon, the words “sexual orientation” will be added to the equivalent section.

This decision follows that National Football League, which did the same in their CBA this year.  Baseball officials familiar with the process describe the mention of “sexual orientation” as not necessarily related to the NFL, and as a provision readily agreed upon by both union and league negotiators.

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NY Mets add seven players to 40-man roster

The New York Mets today announced in a press release that the team added lefthanded pitcher Robert Carson, righthanded pitcher Jeurys Familia, infielder Wilmer Flores, infielder Reese Havens, outfielder Juan Lagares, outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and outfielder Cesar Puello to the 40-man roster.   The club’s 40-man roster stands at 38. 
- Carson, 22, spent last season with Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League, going 4-11 with a 5.05 ERA (72 earned runs/128.1 innings) in 25 games, 24 starts. The 6-4, 230-pound lefty won the Sterling Award for Savannah (A) of the South Atlantic League in 2009. 
- Familia, 22, won the Sterling Award for Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League this season after finishing 4-4 with a 3.49 ERA (34 earned runs/87.2 innings) in 17 starts for the BMets. The 6-3, 186-pound righthander, who won the 2009 Sterling Organizational Pitcher of the Year award and was an Eastern League All-Star this season, also went 1-1 with a 1.49 ERA (six earned runs/36.1 innings) in six starts for St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League.
- Flores, 20, hit .269 (139-516) with nine home runs and 81 RBI in 133 games for St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League.   The 6-3, 175-pound infielder finished fifth in the FSL in RBI. 
- Havens, 25, spent the majority of last season with Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League, hitting .289 (61-211) with six home runs and 26 RBI in 58 games. The 6-1, 195-pound infielder was a Florida State League All-Star in 2009. 
- Lagares, 22, split the season between Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League and St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League, hitting a combined .349 (164-470) with nine home runs and 71 RBI.   The 6-2, 190-pound outfielder was an All-Star in 2010 for Savannah. 

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Wrapping up the GM meetings from Milwaukee

Fred Wilpon had nearly completed his brisk and silent glide through the lobby of the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee late Thursday morning. As the Mets' owner pushed open glass doors leading to the sidewalk, trailed by a pack of reporters, he fielded one inquiry: Is it important for his team to re-sign Jose Reyes?

Wilpon laughed, said, "What kind of question is that?" and left the Pfister.

So ended this year's GM and owners meetings, a week defined for the Mets by Miami's offer to Reyes, and the beginning of their own search for relievers. On Tuesday, Fox Sports reported that the Marlins began negotiations with a six year, $90 million proposal to New York's homegrown shortstop.
According to Mets insiders, that news did not alter their reluctance to offer six years to a player they consider fragile. Otherwise, because agent Peter Greenberg was out of the country this week, the winter's chief storyline did not move forward.
Alderson began chatting with the agents for relievers (Frank Francisco and Matt Capps among them), the second most important process of his offseason. After checking out of the Pfister Thursday, the GM said he was not close to signing anyone, and remained in the preliminary phases of all talks.  

Alderson, who plans to travel to the Dominican Republic this weekend with assistant GM John Ricco to check in with the team's complex there, expected that talks would accelerate before the winter meetings, which begin Dec. 5 in Dallas.

With so many agents, executives and reporters swarming the Pfister bar and lobby this week, it was difficult to conduct negotiations privately. Alderson is eager to return to his quiet office, and communicate by telephone.

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Mets bringing back Banner Day in 2012

The Mets announced some plans for their 50th anniversary season in a press conference at Citi Field today and one item stuck out – the return of Banner Day, a former Met institution. “It’s a throwback promotions event,” said Dave Howard, the Mets’ executive vice president of business operations. “There has been a groundswell of support for it.”
Banner Day began in 1963 and was a fascinating way for fans to express their love – and, well, other emotions – for the Mets and what was going on in the Met universe. Depending on how the team is doing this season, there should be some interesting, uh, concepts, brought up by fans who need nothing more than a bed sheet and some paint to make their feelings known.
The players mostly loved it, too. A few years ago, I spoke to Ron Swoboda about Banner Day and he had this to say: “It always impressed me because we felt like we understood our fans. Banner Day was the most incredible example of give and take between the fans and players. You’re telling your fans, ‘Here’s your chance to tell us what you think of us, what’s moving you, what makes you laugh, how you relate to the team.’ They’d come out and march banners and some were so brilliant and funny. It was an entirely different place and time. I looked forward to it.
“There were thousands of those things; everybody did it. It was really wild. It was one of those phenomena that Shea could contain. Not many places could.”
It’s unclear if the promotion will have life after this season, though Howard seems to think so. “We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “I think it’ll be popular. We may get a mandate from our fans.”
Howard added, “We are confident that Met fans will be appropriate” with their banners.

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Minaya soon to leave Mets for new gig

MILWAUKEE -- Omar Minaya will choose a new job by the winter meetings, according to friends of the former Mets general manager.

When teams arrive in Dallas Dec. 5, Minaya will be a part of someone’s contingent, and it will not be the Mets. Although he and Sandy Alderson initially discussed a role in the new front office, it was quickly clear that there was no fit.  Minaya spent the season with his family, informally advising other general managers, and appearing in television and Internet shows.

Now, friends say he is sifting through about six offers, and is close to a decision.  Minaya is seeking a prominent front office role, and is ready to tap his many relationships throughout the game.

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Mets face a clear decision

MILWAUKEE -- Tuesday began with news of an offer extended to Jose Reyes.  It ended with the Mets facing a decision: Alter their view of the shortstop’s value, or play against him for the next six years.

After Fox Sports reported that Miami’s opening bid was for six years and $90 million, multiple Mets insiders described the team’s reaction to the news as two-fold: 1) they believed the the process was still in its early phases, and 2) six years still did not sound particularly appealing.

Ever since mid-summer, people familiar with the team’s plans have asserted that the Mets are unwilling to offer Reyes six or seven years.  On Monday, there seemed a subtle softening of that tone -- no one would rule out a six-year deal -- but there was still much talk of concern related to Reyes’ hamstring injuries.

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Don't expect big news on Reyes this week

Hi there.  I have six things to tell you.

1. The Internet appears to be down throughout the city of Milwaukee.  Seriously. Only those with aircards are able to update you on the GM meetings this morning. That's kind of weird.

2.  Here's our story today about Jose Reyes. Although friends are guessing he will ultimately sign with Miami, Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg, is not at the GM meetings -- and that is only one reason why the shortstop is unlikely to choose a team soon.  With the Brewers and other teams possibly interested, Reyes has yet to know his true market value.

3.  Having said that, Fox reported this morning that the Marlins offered Reyes a six year, $90 million contract.  That reconfirms Miami as a serious suitor.

4.  From the Mets' standpoint, is reminds us that Reyes is unlikely to return to the only team he has known.  Every time I check in with team insiders (beginning in June), I'm told they do not want to offer Reyes a six or seven-year deal.

5.  So the situation can be summarized like this: If the Mets do not change their stance, they will lose Reyes.  And by the way, they seem at peace with that.

6. Ok, bye.

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What do Broxton, Lidge and Nathan want?

We know what the Mets are seeking on the free agent market this winter: an affordable closer.  We also know that Brad Lidge, Jonathan Broxton and Joe Nathan are available former All-Star closers.

So what do those pitchers want?

According to Broxton’s agent, BB Abbott, the former Dodger is amenable to an incentive-laden one year-contract, perhaps with a vesting option for 2013.  He wants to re-establish himself as an elite reliever, but does not need to become a closer immediately.

“He’s not only looking for a closing job, or the chance to compete for a closing job,” said Abbot, who has not heard from the Mets.  “He does want to close in the future.”

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David Wright Rumor Survival Refresher

Mama said there would be days like these.  This is why we created the David Wright Rumor Survival Guide on Wednesday.

With reports Sunday leading to Internet chatter about the Mets’ willingness to listen to trade offers on Wright, it is a good time for a refresher.  The key concepts to remember about Wright are timing and value -- that is, the Mets suspect that their third baseman’s value will be higher next summer, but would move him sooner if a trading partner disproved their sense of timing and presented a tasty offer this winter. As reported Wednesday, the Mets do not view that as likely to happen.

A National League executive who has spoken with Sandy Alderson recently told the Daily News last week that the Mets’ general manager would have to be “bowled over” to deal Wright before next season, and a Mets person predicted that Wright’s situation would remain “status quo” until then.

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Minaya to interview for Angels GM job

Former Mets general mananger Omar MInaya will interview for the Los Angeles Angels' GM job, a major league source confirmed. 

The Los Angeles Times was first to report Minaya's interview.

Minaya, who ran the Mets from 2005-2010, is still under contract in New York, but was not an active member of Sandy Alderson's front office last season.  He was relieved of his GM duties the day after the 2010 season ended.

Minaya, who became the first Hispanic GM in major league history when he held that post for the Montreal Expos, has deep relationships in the game, and also has a standing offer to work for Arizona GM Kevin Towers.  There is a strong chance that he will work for another team in some capacity next season.

According to various reports, the Angels have or will interview Rick Hahn, Kim Ng, Jerry DiPoto, and Yankees deputies Billy Eppler and Damon Oppenheimer to fill the vacancy left by Tony Reagins' resignation.

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