Did you think I was talking about the Mets? Funny! Actually I was imagining what it would be like to just take the whole Cardinals team and trade them for the whole Mets team. Imagine that… Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday, that pitching staff, a possible future Hall of Fame manager, Mark McGuire! At least the Yankees wouldn’t kick us around during inter-league play and we could stand toe-to-toe with the Phillies.
But alas, we are stuck with our poor Mets who are now in St. Louis where they’ll spend three games against a team, I think, that would win the National League East.
They will win it because of a pitching staff I am just drooling all over. Omar Minaya, take note. This is a pitching staff. Watch the Mets pitching, including Johan Santana, get rocked by Pujols and Company. Watch the weak hitting Mets made to look silly by the Cardinals superb pitching staff. Watch a team come to play. A team that doesn’t believe in comebacks because they are up right from the start. Continue reading →
The Mets finally bagged Jason Bay for 4-years/$65 million with a vesting option that could take it to 5-years/$80 million. That’s a fair deal in my mind. Surprisingly, the Mets didn’t bid against themselves to overpay for Bay. I would guess that the impetus for Bay signing now is that Mark DeRosa signed with the Giants already. So there was one less suitor for Bay.
If you’ve been reading this site for a while now, you know that Bay or Matt Holliday in left field was my priority for the team. So… “mission accomplished” to quote George Bush. Now it’s time that the Mets move on to resolving the starting catcher and a middle/back of rotation starting pitcher. If they could trade Luis Castillo away for a bag of balls I’d be thrilled too.
I’ve included some ESPN video with Jerry Crasnick after the break for you on the slight possibility that Jason Bay winds up back in Boston. Although I seriously doubt that’ll happen, mostly because the Sox already got Jeremy Hermida and signed Mike Cameron. The Red Sox are just under the luxury tax for 2010 and they’d be paying a 22.5% premium if they went over. I can’t figure out how Bay makes sense for them unless they unload Hermida and Cameron.
Crasnick goes on to say that the Giants and Angels are still in the mix for Bay but I think the Mets are his best option financially. Speaking of financially, the video includes some info about Matt Holliday and the Cardinals. How can they open the vault for Holliday when Albert Pujols is a free agent next year? They can’t. Don’t be surprised if Holliday/Scott Boras come back to talk to the Mets before all of this is said and done.
We haven’t seen much from the New York Mets yet this offseason but it’s still early. None of the big free agents that the Mets should be interested in have come off the board yet anyway. It’s been in the news since yesterday that Chone Figgins signed a 4-year/$36M deal with the Mariners. As far as I’m concerned, that’s fine with me. I like Figgins but don’t see where he would fit in with the Mets roster. Maybe left field. But that’s a stretch for a guy with a long term contract at $9M/year.
After the 2008 season ended, the Mets went looking for pitching. More specifically, they were looking for bullpen help coming off 29 blown saves. Mets GM Omar Minaya made no secret about the fact that he was looking at pitching, pitching, and more pitching. He came away with a solidly revamped bullpen led by Francisco Rodriguez, J.J. Putz, and Sean Green.
Unfortunately, we ended up with Daniel Murphy manning left field and no depth among the position players. Minaya let the rest of the team go for the sake of solidifying the bullpen and re-signing Oliver Perez. It showed when the Mets suffered an abnormally long injury list and there were no replacements waiting in the wings, minor leagues or otherwise.
Although there are some serious question marks on the pitching staff, this offseason needs to be all about generating some offense. The 2009 Mets finished 25th in the majors with 671 runs. Teams like Kansas City and Washington scored more runs than the Mets. They were dead last in the big’s with only 95 team home runs. Sure, the new stadium played a part in that. But there’s no excuse for the team with the highest payroll in the National League to finish in dead last in all of MLB.
For the last two months, since Carlos Delgado went on the disabled list, I felt that Mark DeRosa was the best fit from a trade perspective for the Mets. That possibility was gone yesterday with the announcement that the Indians traded DeRosa to the Cardinals for Chris Perez and a player to be named later. Perez is a 23 year-old reliever with a very good fastball. That’s a better package than the Mets could have offered the Indians.
DeRosa can play any infield position and the outfield corners. He’s a right-handed hitter with power that would’ve been perfect for the Mets current needs. I don’t like Aubrey Huff or Adam Dunn for the Mets this season. Dunn has too much money coming over the next year and a half. And I never liked his “walk-strikeout-home run” game.
The more limiting possibilities are Matt Holliday and Maglio Ordonez. Holliday doesn’t have the versatility to play first base until Delgado gets back from the DL. And Ordonez is having a terrible season and has a huge contract with the possibility of vesting options guaranteeing future years based on plate appearances.
My guess is that the Mets try to acquire someone like a Ty Wigginton type of player. I don’t think they’ll make a splash by acquiring a big name. There’s too much risk this season with the Mets players that are currently injured. If Delgado, J.J. Putz, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Oliver Perez, and John Maine can’t come back to the team healthy and make significant contributions, the season is over for the Mets anyway. Making a major investment in a trade for a big name would be completely useless. Holliday couldn’t carry this current Mets team to the playoffs… And that’s the bottom line.
Omar Minaya should wait for as long as possible to pull the trigger on any trades until right before the non-waiver deadline on July 31. That’ll give him time to evaluate the health situation of so many key players on this team. No matter what happens with the currently injured players, I don’t expect the Mets to become sellers at the deadline. But I think they would stand pat and ride out the season if they aren’t going to get some of their premier players back this season.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports today on the Mets possible trade targets. He focuses his attention on first base. But I’m not so sure that the Mets wouldn’t look at someone like Victor Martinez of the Indians or Matt Holliday of the A’s. The problem with getting a first baseman is that if Carlos Delgado is able to come back from the disabled list this season, there’s no place for him to play.
I still don’t think that the Mets will do anything until mid to late July anyway. At this point in the season they’ll be held up by teams for too much value in return. I think the economy will keep teams from taking on payroll like they have in the past. So as we get closer to the deadline, teams that want to unload players won’t find the number of suitors that they have in seasons past.
The potential trade targets that Olney mentions for the Mets are:
The Mets are going to have to look at someone that can move away from first base if Delgado gets back. Huff and DeRosa along with Martinez would be the players that I think are the most likely. The Orioles will get a nice look at Fernando Martinez this week. Hopefully, he has a good series to generate some interest for a trade for Huff.
I’ve written before here that I love what Fernando Tatis and Endy Chavez have brought to the table this season. But with Moises Alou finished for the year (and his Mets career) and Ryan Church a major question mark going forward, the Mets need to get into the trade market for an outfielder. It doesn’t necessarily have to get done by the non-waiver deadline on July 31st. The Mets could see what they’ll be getting out of Church and make a waiver deal in August.
In the meantime, Omar Minaya should be talking to the Texas Rangers about Nelson Cruz of the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks. The Mets don’t need the big splash trade like a Jason Bay, Manny Ramirez, or Matt Holliday. They don’t need to take on Raul Ibanez’ massive salary either.
Cruz is tearing it up at Oklahoma City. He just turned 28 years old this month. He’s a right-handed hitter. And apparently, he isn’t going to break into the Rangers major league roster right now.
Cruz has played 93 games for the RedHawks this season hitting .347/ .443/ .729 with 36 homers and 91 RBI’s and 22 SB’s. He’s ready for the big leagues.