With Opening Day less than a week away, it’s time to dive into the baseball mailbag with a little bit of Carmelo Anthony sprinkled in. The topics today range from Mark Prior, Carlos Beltran, and Jose Reyes. I can hardly wait until next Thursday at 1:05 PM, so in the infamous words of one of the smartest men I know ‘Here we go, Let’s go’.

Christian Asks:

Should Yankee fans expect the Red Sox to make a move for Jose Reyes sometime this season? The prospect of Ellsbury, Reyes and Crawford batting 9-1-2 is scary.

This is definitely a possibility. Personally, I think free-agent-to-be Jose Reyes is going to have a monster season. After two straight disappointing seasons and with a lot of coin on the line, I can see Reyes turn in a 60+ stolen base, .355 OBP, 190+ hit season. I also don’t think the Mets will be very good this season. Losing Johan Santana’s 2.98 ERA and 199 innings for at least half of a season is a killer to the rotation and I don’t think Met fans can expect a sub 3.00 ERA from R.A. Dickey again. With that being said, I don’t expect the Mets to be close in the division or Wild Card race by mid-season. Do the Mets offer Reyes a contract during the season and send him packing once he says no? I think this will happen.

However, I don’t think the Red Sox will be the landing spot for Reyes. Their top prospect, shortstop Jose Iglesias, is a season away. The Red Sox still have Marco Scutaro and Jed Lowrie at shortstop and I don’t think Theo Epstein wants to part with any more top prospects after dealing Casey Kelly and others for Adrian Gonzalez. Reyes will likely a command a $100+ million contract and the Red Sox gave $142 million to Carl Crawford AND still need to lock up Adrian Gonzalez. Adding Reyes would be a scary thought for any Yankee fan, but I just don’t see it happening. The Giants would be a more realistic landing spot for Reyes.

Ben Asks:

Mark Prior is pitching extremely well during Spring Training. Do you think we’ll see him with the Yankees this season?

Ben’s right. Prior has been pitching extremely well. In seven spring appearances, Prior has thrown 6.2 innings, giving three hits, one earned run, and striking out ten hitters. Prior’s story is well-documented. In 2003, Prior went 18-6, striking out 246 in 211 innings while posting a 2.43 ERA. However, after the Cubs lost the 2003 NLCS to the Florida Marlins, Prior wasn’t the same. He has dealt with a plethora of arm injuries and has lost a lot of velocity on his fastball. Prior, now 30, is no longer the right-handed whiz kid who can throw 95 MPH+, but the Yankees do not need him to be that special arm. He is strictly a Spring Training invite who is vying for a role in the bullpen. Prior can be optioned to Triple A to start the season, so it’s not a Major League roster or cut scenario like it is with other veterans. I honestly think we’ll see Prior at some point during the season. Injuries happen all the time and Prior has looked great this Spring. Baseball fans love comeback stories and this one the potential to be special.

Colby Asks:

Thoughts on the Carlos Beltran ‘Plan’?

Colby is referencing to Terry Collins’ ‘Plan’ to get Beltran ready for Opening Day. Beltran developed a mild case of knee tendinitis during Spring Training and has only had three Spring Training ‘Major League’ at-bats this year. Recently, Beltran has been DHing against minor league opponents. Beltran is slotted to be the Mets Opening Day right fielder, but if the knee does not positively respond to the field, he’ll likely start the season on the disabled list.

Personally, I wouldn’t push a player who has a history of knee injuries. If Beltran gets injured early on, his trade value is zapped out.  I’d rather play it safe and realize that the season can’t be completely lost in April.

Dan Asks:

The Knicks are currently, 35-36, one game below .500. Carmelo Anthony recently said that it’ll take a season for things to come together for the Knicks. Should this be a reason for concern?

There have been some internal rumblings about Mike D’Antoni’s job security. Apparently Donnie Walsh and Allan Houston are not happy with D’Antoni this season. Some even say that firing D’Antoni now will ‘save the season’. I disagree with that, but that’s a whole different topic.

I don’t think the Knicks will make it out of the first round. Currently, they are slotted to face the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs which would be a bad match-up for the defenseless-Knicks.

Carmelo making comments suggesting that this season is a lost cause really bothers me. People in Denver constantly were complaining about his lack of desire and no one seemed to listen to it. After all of MSG’s ‘I’m Coming Home’ commercials stopped, Knick fans watched their team post a sub-500 record with Anthony on the team. And all Carmelo can say is, ‘We’ll be better next season?’ That might be alright to say in Denver, but that’s just not acceptable in New York.