If baseball worked like retail, we would have woken up Friday morning to see headlines about free agents signing with teams around the major leagues in the wee hours of the morning. It isn't though, and it will likely be a lot closer to Christmas than the start of that holiday's shopping season before we have any idea what the Mets and Yankees will have under their tree.
Both teams are surveying the market and weighing their options before wading into the fray. They appear to have very different motivations, however. The Yankees are waiting and, as always, reserving their right to make the last, best offer for any available free agent or trade acquisition that strikes their fancy. Matt Holliday, John Lackey or a deal for Roy Halladay could be in the offing, but all we know for sure is that whoever the Yankees pick up will never have the privilege of hearing their name announced in the soothing tones of Bob Sheppard's voice.
Over in Queens, they wait as well but it isn't to guarantee themselves a shot at any player. Opinions vary on just how much money Omar Minaya has to spend at the mall, but everyone agrees that he's not going to be able to make the kind of splash he made last season when he signed Francisco Rodriguez. While shoppers crowded stores to get the bargains available in the first hours after Thanksgiving, baseball's bargains aren't available until the entire stock has been picked over and ignored by other shoppers.
So now that we've established that the Yankees are Barneys and the Mets are TJ Maxx in this little scenario, the question is when can we expect to get some movement? The next couple of weeks should be full of rumors, many of which will have the Yankees involved in Player X and the Mets finding Player Y's salary demands out of reach.
It makes good fodder for conversation on chilly December nights, but it bears mentioning that the Yankees are theoretically interested in everyone and that Rodriguez was deemed too expensive for the Mets until the moment he signed with them.