Mets, Yanks share least-improved label

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- After surveying MLB executives, ESPN's Jayson Stark comes to this conclusion: The Mets and Yankees are the second-least improved teams in their respective leagues.

The NL ranking of least improved has the Miami Marlins at No. 1, followed by the Mets and Colorado Rockies. In the AL, the ranking goes: Houston Astros, Yankees, Baltimore Orioles.

The Mets did find themselves in some positive categories as well:

LaTroy Hawkins ranked as the best signing in MLB to a minor league contract. Writes Stark:

He won't be David Robertson. He may not even be Burke Badenhop. But you can never go wrong having Hawkins hanging out in your clubhouse or your bullpen. If he actually makes this team, he'll join Octavio Dotel, Miguel Batista and Bruce Chen as the only active pitchers who have worked for at least 10 different teams.

And Shaun Marcum ranked third among best one-year contracts in MLB, behind A.J. Pierzynski with the Texas Rangers and Mike Napoli with the Boston Red Sox.

Of course, Mets fans may find amusing that Stark's execs picked old friend Oliver Perez as the third-best signing in the majors in the sub-$2 million category.

Read Stark's full article here.