Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas everyone

To everyone who has read my blog, merry Christmas. Hope you have a good and safe day. Sorry for the lack of posts lately but nothing has been happening related to the Mets. As soon as stuff picks up again, you can expect to see the post rate go back to one or more per day. But, I just got home from school and with the hassle of Christmas shopping and trying to see all of my buddies from home, I haven't had much time for the blog.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mets sign reliever

The Mets have signed RP Matt Wise to a one-year, $1.2 million deal. If he fails to make the team out of spring training, he will still be paid $750,000.

Wise is a righty who went 3-2 with a 4.19 ERA last year for the Brewers. He had a spectacular first half, posting an ERA under 2.90, but imploded in the second half after hitting a batter in the head and losing confidence in his ability to throw strikes. In both 2005 and 2006, Wise had an ERA under 4. He should definitely provide some depth to the bullpen and will probably be one of Willie's 7th inning guys.

I like this signing a lot because it provides us with another quality arm out of the bullpen and is a low-risk high-reward type signing. I would call it a Wise signing (ha! I made an awful pun).

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Trying to keep up with everything

So, since the Mitchell Report bombshell was dropped on major league baseball, several major things happened.

Apparently Andy Pettitte wasn't actually taking steroids to gain a competitive advantage and was using them to come back from an injury. Whatever helps you sleep at night, Andy. Both you and your man-wife Clemens cheated, and that's the way it is. It tarnishes your legacy and it's irreversible. I hope you're happy with your rings, cheaters.

Dan Haren got traded to the Diamondbacks for half of their farm system, which I don't think was a very good trade on the part of the Diamondbacks. Haren has only had one good season, which wasn't even that good. He regressed in the second half of the season, posting a 4.15 ERA after the All-Star break. He might be great for the D-backs and all of this will be a non-issue, but the D-backs had to trade Brett Anderson to get Haren, which is a hefty price. Anderson is a young lefty (he'll turn 20 in early 2008) with good stuff and great control. His fastball has good sink on it, and he projects as a #2 type of pitcher...possibly in the Andy Pettitte mold (except without the juice).

The D-backs then turned around and traded 2007 NL saves leader Jose Valverde to Houston for Chad Qualls, Chris Burke, and a prospect. I don't see the point in this trade either, other than the "buy low, sell high" mentality. Well, at least the D-backs are making moves, unlike our Mets.

WFAN reported that there was no truth to the rumor that the Mets were close to getting Santana. Apparently, Jose Reyes has had to be part of the package from the get-go, they say. When Omar and Bill Smith (Twins GM) couldn't work something out, Omar told him, "We're not trading Reyes in any deal for Santana, call me back when you come up with a different proposal." Omar hopes the price on Santana will come down by January. I don't believe too much of this report, because the Mets definitely have the pieces to get this done without including Reyes. I also believe that since Mike and the Mad Dog were the ones that broke this story, there was significant anti-Mets bias in it. So, we'll see.

The Mets are also supposedly talking to Mark Prior about signing a short-term contract (one or two years) and he figures to sign a deal worth anywhere between 5 and 10 million per year. If the Mets can't land Santana or Bedard, Prior would be a great "fallback" option as far as I'm concerned.

Cliff Floyd signed with the Rays for 1 year, 3 million.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

List of players in the Mitchell Report

Here is the complete list of the players listed in the Mitchell Report. The ones of interest are highlighted in bold, and the current and former Mets of interest are in bold and italicized.

Chad Allen, Rick Ankiel, David Bell, Mike Bell, Marvin Benard, Gary Bennett, Jr., Larry Bigbie, Barry Bonds, Kevin Brown, Paul Byrd, Jose Canseco, Mark Carreon, Jason Christiansen, Howie Clark, Roger Clemens, Jack Cust, Brendan Donnelly, Chris Donnels, Lenny Dykstra, Bobby Estalella, Matt Franco, Ryan Franklin, Eric Gagne, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Jay Gibbons, Troy Glaus, Jason Grimsley, Jose Guillen, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Matt Herges, Phil Hiatt, Glenallen Hill, Darren Holmes, Todd Hundley, David Justice, Chuck Knoblauch, Tim Laker, Mike Lansing, Paul Lo Duca, Exavier "Nook" Logan, Josias Manzanillo, Gary Matthews, Jr., Mark McGwire, Cody McKay, Kent Mercker, Bart Miadich, Hal Morris, Daniel Naulty, Denny Neagle, Rafael Palmeiro, Jim Parque, Andy Pettitte, Adam Piatt, Todd Pratt, Adam Riggs, Brian Roberts, John Rocker, F.P. Santangelo, Benito Santiago, Scott Schoeneweis, David Segui, Gary Sheffield, Miguel Tejada, Ismael Valdez, Mo Vaughn, Randy Velarde, Ron Villone, Fernando Vina, Rondell White, Jeff Williams, Matt Williams, Todd Williams, Steve Woodard, Kevin Young, Gregg Zaun

Big day for baseball

With today's release of the notorious Mitchell report, the reputation of baseball is in serious jeopardy. When big-time stars from the 90s and early 2000s are named (and they damned sure will be), it's going to be a real stain on major league baseball.

Who will be named? Well, I can certainly say that Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Scott Schoeneweis, and Troy Glaus will be on it. I don't think any of those names are even debatable because they've already been outed as juicers, more or less. The list figures to consist of a lot of Mets players because the Mets clubhouse attendant from the mid-90s, Kirk Radomski, contributed a lot of information to the report. So, it will not be surprising to see names like Todd Hundley or Edgardo Alfonzo on the list (sorry Fonzie). Look for big home run guys like Brady Anderson, Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla, Phil Nevin, Tony Batista, Juan Gonzalez, Jay Buhner, Jose Canseco, Luis Gonzalez, Greg Vaughn, and Matt Williams to be on the list as well. It is tough to project which pitchers will be on the list, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see Roger Clemens on the list. The difference in his size from the late 80s to the late 90s certainly raises red flags.

The Mets are still talking to the Twins about Johan Santana, and they made an offer of Carlos Gomez, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Mulvey, and Philip Humber to the Twins, which was rejected. The Twins said they wanted one more pitcher to get the deal done, and Aaron Heilman is probably the guy they want. Although I'm uncomfortable with trading our entire stock of young pitchers for Santana, I keep having to remind myself that it is Johan Santana and NOT Victor Zambrano or Kris Benson.

Yesterday was the non-tender deadline, and the Mets non-tendered Johnny Estrada (no surprise there), Ben Johnson, and Juan Padilla (which I am not happy with, but hopefully he makes the team eventually). Big names that got non-tendered are Mark Prior, Kiko Calero, Dallas McPherson, and Akinori Otsuka.

I've got a final that I have to do some studying for, so have a good one everyone. I'll try and recap the release of the Mitchell report tomorrow after it comes out.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Weekend update

So the weekend has passed us by, and as many of us are gearing up for finals and heading home for the holidays, the Mets are trying to put something together to give us all a pretty awesome Christmas present. The Mets and the Twins are still in talks to bring Johan Santana to the Mets, but the Mets are balking at giving up too much "major-league ready talent" like an Oliver Perez or a John Maine. If they don't give up one of those two, it's pretty much a certainty that Fernando Martinez or Carlos Gomez are going to have to be included in the deal. The Twins are supposedly pretty high on Gomez but it will still take more than Gomez to get a deal done, that's for sure. Santana is probably going to cost either one of Gomez and Martinez, two of the big three pitching prospects (Pelfrey, Mulvey, Humber), and then one last piece, which could be any of a number of things.

All right, time to head out for dinner. I will elaborate more either later tonight or tomorrow evening, and I'll bring everyone up to speed on other signings and trades of note from the past few days. Good luck with finals and have a safe trip home.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mets in "holding pattern" in trade market

Omar Minaya was interviewed today on his way out of Nashville, and said that the Mets are keeping their fingers on the pulse of many different trades, and that if something were to happen, it usually happens fast. So stay tuned.

I apologize for not getting a post up quicker. I've been having problems with my laptop (it felt like taking a 6 hour break last night when I was trying to write a presentation, and I couldn't get it to start up). So, that irritated me, and I had to get this presentation written for class as soon as the computer booted up.

One of my friends is creating a better looking banner for this site. I'll put it up sometime tomorrow night hopefully...I've seen some of the stuff he's done before so it should look pretty good. If not, I'll try and find someone else.

Not too much has changed with the Mets in the past day. The Rule V draft was today, and the Mets selected a 24-year-old right-hander named Steven Register, who was drafted by the Rockies in the third round in 2004. Here's a report on Register:

"He's a strike-thrower; he has good command. He's got an average fastball with above-average life that sinks and bores. He can be up to 93 (mph), but he doesn't get a good hip turn or get balanced over the rubber and in turn, he's never quite consistent with his release point and sometimes loses the life on his fastball."

If you check out his stats through the link provided, he sounds like a potential reliever--but that's about it.

The Mets are looking for a new play-by-play guy for their radio broadcasts, and are looking at Tampa Bay broadcaster Andy Freed.

I haven't heard Freed do games before, but I wasn't a big fan of Tom McCarthy, so he can't be any worse than McCarthy.

Jon Heyman says the Mets seem oddly confident in their pursuit of Johan Santana and he can't figure out a reason why. Maybe, Jon boy, it's because the Mets available prospects don't completely suck like many say they do. Who knows?

The Mets tried to trade Aaron Heilman to the Rockies for lefty reliever Brian Fuentes, but talks disintegrated when the Rockies asked for Scott Schoeneweis as well.

I know the rest of the members of "Mets Nation" (the phrase "(Sports team) Nation" should be banned from the English language because it has been ruined by Red Sox fans and "Red Sox Nation"...do you guys own that phrase? Hell no. Don't act like you do) are really sick of these non-stop rumors. I wish I could provide something more substantial, but at this stage of the game it's out of my control.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mets in talks for Santana, Willis

How things change in 24 hours.

As recently as yesterday, the Mets were in serious talks for the services of Erik Bedard. If they were to acquire an ace, Bedard was the best bet. Now, with the Yankees out of the running for Johan Santana and the Red Sox having only a lukewarm interest in trading for the Twins ace, the Mets have re-entered the race for Santana.

Let me say that again for emphasis.

The Mets are back in the race for Santana.

SI's Jon Heyman reported on WFAN that the Mets are in relatively serious talks with the Twins, and are putting together a package for to acquire Santana. Oliver Perez and Carlos Gomez are rumored to be a part of the package, and Philip Humber is probably in there as well. As much as I absolutely love Oliver Perez and his upside, flipping him to the Twins for a year (he's a free agent after the 2008 season) for Johan Santana would make me do backflips, particularly if we can sign Santana to a long-term deal. I am excited just thinking about it.

Dontrelle Willis is also worthy of mentioning here. Apparently, the Tigers are uncomfortable with keeping a payroll in the mid-$120 millon and are looking to cut some salary. According to WFAN's Sweeney Murti, the Tigers approached the Mets earlier in the day about trading for both Willis and Ivan Rodriguez. Willis is due about $6 million next year, and Rodriguez is under contract for $13 million. That package would not cost nearly as much as Johan Santana, but would still improve the Mets rotation greatly.

I can't provide links to either of those stories because they were on the radio, so you'll just have to trust me. There's a link to a Minnesota Star-Tribune blog about the Santana deal, and I think that's the best I can do.

Paul LoDuca and the Blue Jays are close to agreeing on a 1 year, $2.5 million contract (bottom of the page).

The Mets are interested in Florida utilityman Alfredo Amezaga, who I really like. He's a good defensive outfielder with impressive speed.

A possible Toronto/San Francisco trade involving Alex Rios and Tim Lincecum is on hold, at least temporarily.

The three-way trade rumor between the Mets, Twins, and A's involving Jose Reyes, Dan Haren, and Johan Santana was a complete hoax.

More to come later...

Update: End of Day 2 of winter meetings

I promised that I would update everyone on the goings on of the winter meetings, so before I head to bed, that's what I'm going to do.

I posted a detailed analysis of the clear-cut "deal of the day" and possibly "deal of the meetings" which sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis packing and bound for the Motor City. Other than that, the day was largely filled with rumors (some substantial, and some not). I will recap all of the less-than-headline-worthy deals before I discuss the rumors.

The biggest signing of the day was the Royals signing troubled outfielder Jose Guillen to a ridiculous contract (3 years and 36 million dollars? Are they insane?). Guillen has one season with more than 30 HR, one season with more than 100 RBI, and one season where he hit over .300. I realize that the Royals are trying to get back into contention, but it does not make much sense to sign someone like Guillen for that much money. Throw that contract at Fukudome or someone who hasn't proven himself to be a total headcase.

The Braves made a minor trade, sending Jose Ascanio to the Cubs for pitcher Will Ohman and infielder Omar Infante. Yawn.

The Tigers and Rockies also made a little trade today too. The Rockies acquired Jose Capellan from the Tigers for pitcher Denny Bautista. Bigger yawn.

Time for the rumor mill...

The Red Sox and Twins deal for Johan Santana is moving slower than I thought it was going to, and that's probably so the Twins can see if they can squeeze anymore out of the Red Sox or have a team like the Dodgers or Angels jump in and throw the farm at them. I'm thinking it should be done by late tomorrow but definitely by the end of the week if it's going to happen at all.

The Mets made another offer to the Orioles for Bedard, but it was the same offer as the first time (Gomez, Heilman, Humber). I guess the Mets were hoping the O's would have second thoughts on the deal. Now apparently the Mets are talking about subbing Pelfrey into the deal instead of Humber. That might get the deal done, and seems fair on both sides of the coin. Anything more than that and the Mets would be overpaying for Bedard, especially with how high some scouts are on Gomez.

In more recent news (within the last six hours of posting this or so) the Mets are reportedly inquiring about the availability of A.J. Burnett of the Blue Jays. He would be much less costly than Bedard but would be a big-time injury risk. We'll see how that boils down. The Mets are also talking to Livan Hernandez, who will probably be their fall-back plan if the Bedard deal falls through.

Around the league: The Scott Rolen to the Brewers rumors are cooling off...Shawn Green might retire if he can't find a good fit this winter, but might end up with the Rays (I still want to call them the Devil Rays, much better name)...Kris Benson is drawing interest from teams...Brandon Inge is pretty much a lock to get dealt...Toronto is looking to trade Alex Rios for pitching and are in talks with the Giants for Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum (I wish the Mets had some pitching to give up, I would love Alex Rios)...Baltimore is unlikely to trade Bedard within the division, so the Mets might not have to worry about competing with the Blue Jays for his services...one of my friends (thanks Barri) heard the Yankees were not only out of the Santana sweepstakes but out of the Danny Haren sweepstakes too, after hearing what Billy Beane wanted (both Hughes and Kennedy)--I've got no source for that rumor other than my friend, but I would believe it with how obnoxious Billy Beane is in trade discussions...

See you tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cabrera and Willis traded to Tigers

First reported on ESPN's Winter Meetings blog, the Tigers and Marlins have completed a blockbuster trade.

6:20 p.m., from Peter Gammons
• The Tigers have won the Miguel Cabrera sweepstakes. Detroit will get Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis from Florida for six players -- Cameron Maybin, Andrew Miller, catcher Mike Rabelo and three minor league prospects.

I like this trade for both teams. The Tigers, who quite clearly had the talent to compete in the AL even before the trade, are now probably the third best team in the league behind the Red Sox and the Yankees, with the Angels and Indians right behind the Tigers. The Tigers acquired probably the best young hitter to hit the market in several years who generates big numbers from a prime position at third base. Cabrera's fielding is nothing short of embarrassing, but it doesn't make that much of a difference when he makes up for it so easily with his bat. It also improves the starting staff quite a bit. Willis should slide into the number two spot into that rotation, behind Verlander.

For the Marlins, it gives them two young studs to build around in Maybin and Miller and a catcher for the future in Rabelo. Maybin projects as a good hitter with great speed, and was touted as the best outfielder in the 2005 draft. Miller (who I've always been a really big fan of) might have been the biggest piece of this deal. A hard throwing lefty with a good mental makeup, Miller is going to be a fixture in the Marlins rotation for a long time (at least until they actually have to pay him). His fastball sits in the mid-90s, but he dials it up into the high 90s with ease. His slider is an out pitch as well. Rabelo had a little bit of time with the Tigers this year in the majors but hasn't gotten much of a shot yet. I assume he will be the backup catcher for the Marlins behind Miguel Olivo, and will probably take over by 2009.

This is going to have a resounding impact on the market for all three big-name pitchers available, and will probably drive their prices through the roof. The Twins and the Red Sox are still very close on a deal that would bring Johan Santana to Boston, and that could happen at any minute.

The Mets are apparently having trouble finding a trading partner to acquire a pitcher, which is bad news for us.

There were several other inconsequential deals that happened today as well. I'll do a giant wrap-up at the end of the day and recap everything else. If you're really dying to know what happened, the ESPN blog is a good spot to check for rumors.

Twins lower demands for Santana

The Twins have decided not to demand Ian Kennedy as the "respectable third prospect" in their deal with the Yankees, instead choosing to ask for both pitcher Alan Horne and outfielder Austin Jackson. The Yankees don't appear to be biting, and talks have come to a standstill at this point. This leaves the Red Sox as the clear favorites to land Santana, and apparently the Red Sox and the Twins are close to a deal, presumably centered around lefty pitcher Jon Lester.

The Yankees did manage to get a trade done today, trading Tyler Clippard to the Nationals for Jonathan Albaladejo.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Latest Winter Meetings rumors...

This is all from the Baseball Tonight special on ESPN2 about the winter meetings.

(11:06PM) Pettitte returning to the Yankees will have a big effect on the Johan Santana deal, and might drop the asking price. The Yankees and the Twins are at an impasse on the Santana deal right now. The offer of Hughes, Cabrera and a "respectable third prospect" still stands, but the Twins are holding out for Ian Kennedy. Steve Phillips says if he was the Yankees GM, he would not let Kennedy get in the way of making that deal. Buster Olney disagrees with him and says he would keep the younger pitching and save the money. Olney says that just because the "deadline" for the deal to get done might pass does NOT mean the deal is dead, considering what happened with the Alex Rodriguez negotiations.

I'm with Steve Phillips on this (wow, who said that?). I don't think you can let Ian Kennedy stand in the way of getting a shot at Johan Santana. He is, after all, Johan Santana. I don't think Melky Cabrera is going to amount to anything consequential in MLB, and although Hughes has a high ceiling, it's not guaranteed that he's going to be even half the pitcher that the Yankees know Santana is. The Yankees have got to make this trade happen.

(11:15PM) Alex Rodriguez is in the process of taking his physical to finalize his contract. His contract could be official sometime within the next week or so.

"If the Yankees get Santana and sign him to an extension, their offseason acquisitions could approach half a billion dollars," notes Buster Olney.

(11:17PM) Dan Uggla comes on the show for an interview. This is largely unrelated to the winter meetings, so I'm not going to write any more about it.

(11:25PM) The analysts start talking about the market for centerfielders. Tim Kurkjian thinks that Andruw Jones will be the next centerfielder to sign, and he says the Dodgers have the inside track to sign him. The Dodgers have a two year, $32 million offer on the table. Aaron Rowand is looking for a five year contract, but teams are balking at it, says Steve Phillips. Kurkjian agrees.

(11:29PM) Video footage of Kosuke Fukudome is shown. Wow, he has a long swing. The Padres are rumored to be interested.

(11:33PM) Erik Bedard talk starts. Dave Trembley (Orioles manager) comes on the show and talks about the Orioles. He seems like a friendly fellow but he isn't talking about the meetings. Since he isn't saying anything noteworthy, I start watching the Patriots game to watch them suck out another cheap win. Well, that's Patriots football for you.

(11:41PM) Apparently Carlos Silva has a four year offer on the table, but Karl Ravech doesn't know from who. Livan Hernandez appears to be a good fit for the Mets, says Steve Phillips. Tim Kurkjian says there's a question as to whether or not the Mets have the pieces to get Erik Bedard. Thanks Tim, tell us something we haven't heard a thousand times. The Cubs are open to trading Mark Prior.

(11:48PM) The Santana rumor talk starts up again. Nothing has changed. I'm getting bored with the same rumors over and over.

(11:54PM) Steve Finley comes on the show and talks about how some team should take a chance on him.

(11:58PM) Barry Bonds probably won't get signed, say both Phillips and Kurkjian. The Johan deal didn't happen before midnight, which means the Yankees are "out of it" and other teams might get involved.

And that's the show. Nothing groundbreaking (although I think someone will sign Bonds eventually) but still relatively interesting. I have to start scouring for more news.

Here's two interesting stories that have slipped under the radar:

The Mets might end up trading Estrada to the Nationals (bottom of the page in the link).

Omar has been trying to get a contract extension but has been shot down for the time being, reports Ken Rosenthal.

More rumors tomorrow...

Rumors from the Winter Meetings

I'm not going to post links to all of these because many of them are just hearsay. With that said...

I've heard that the Mets are close to acquiring Erik Bedard, but if they want him they may have to pick up Miguel Tejada's salary. I would assume that they would swing Tejada to some other team (maybe the Dodgers or the Angels) shortly after acquiring him.

The Diamondbacks are interested in trading for either Joe Blanton or Dan Haren, but those talks are still in the preliminary stages. They definitely have the pieces to acquire one of them, but without Carlos Quentin to deal, it might be tougher.

There's a rumor that Scott Rolen might get traded to the Brewers for Chris Capuano, but there are concerns about both Rolen's contract and his health.

The Mets will be playing the White Sox in the second annual "Civil Rights" game on March 29. So there's that...

The Red Sox are interested in Brian Fuentes, says ESPN's Amy Nelson.

Elijah Dukes did end up getting traded to the Nationals for a player to be named later.

More to come later...

Carlos Quentin traded to White Sox

In the first deal of the winter meetings, outfielder Carlos Quentin has been traded from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for first base prospect Chris Carter. The deal, which was announced on XM Radio, should become finalized later in the day.

According to the St. Petersburg Times and MetsBlog.com, the Nationals and Rays are working on a deal to send hot-headed outfielder Elijah Dukes to the Nationals. The teams have scheduled a 5 PM press conference, presumably to announce the details of this deal. I haven't been able to figure out who the Nationals are sending to the Rays, but I will keep digging.

In Mets news, Billy Beane has apparently told the Mets that they don't have the prospects to land either Dan Haren or Joe Blanton, reports Peter Gammons. This is probably just a ploy for the Mets to up their offer though, I would assume.

More to come later...

Yankees extend "final offer" to Twins

Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that the Yankees have told the Twins that their offer of Philip Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and a "respectable" third prospect is their final offer for Johan Santana. The Yankees have also given the Twins until Monday night to accept this offer, at which point they will pull it off the table.

"I'm not going to be played against the Red Sox. That's not something I'll do. That's not something the Yankees should ever do, and that's I think what they're trying to do now," Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner said Sunday. "So if they want the best offer that has been offered to them, then they need to make up their minds."

The Red Sox offer, believed to be some combination of Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Coco Crisp, and other prospects, would likely be the best offer on the table if the Yankees were to pull out of the negotiations. However, considering how they handled the Alex Rodriguez negotiations, we can never count the Yankees out of the running.

In Mets-related news, Erik Bedard has supposedly told Baltimore officials that he will not be resigning with the Orioles. This new development exponentially increases the likelihood of him getting traded and will also probably drive his price down, if only slightly. Look for the Dodgers and the Mets to be the front-runners in this trade. ESPN 1050 said that the Mets and the Orioles had the framework for a deal put together last week, only to have it fall through--that report may have been based on the Gomez, Heilman, and Humber offer that I talked about a few posts ago.

Apparently, one of the complaints the Orioles had with the Mets offer was that it didn't offer enough major league-ready talent. Humber hasn't fully bounced back from his Tommy John surgery, and Gomez is still very young and raw, so I can understand where the Orioles are coming from. I can't help but wonder if the Mets started putting together a deal centered around Mike Pelfrey/Kevin Mulvey, Ryan Church, and Aaron Heilman, would the Orioles like that better? The Mets would probably have to add another piece to the deal, but a deal built like that could be more favorable to the Orioles in the short run. The Mets could then swoop in and pick up someone like Jose Guillen (who they have been talking to) or Kosuke Fukudome to play right field for them until Fernando Martinez is ready to take over in a few years. Andruw Jones would also be an interesting option to explore, but would probably command way too much money.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Nady on the Market

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pirates are ready and willing to trade 1B/OF Xavier Nady. If they get any offers at the winter meetings this week, they will more than likely non-tender him before the arbitration deadline on December 12. Nady hit .274 with 20 HR and 74 RBIs last year for the Pirates, and was one of the few bright spots in the lineup. The Pirates and the Indians are in talks for a Nady-Kelly Shoppach swap, but nothing is imminent at this point.

From the Mets perspective, especially with how lefty-heavy their lineup is right now, trying to acquire Nady might not be a bad idea. The newly-acquired Ryan Church could easily be packaged in any deal for a top-notch starter, which would leave the Mets with an open spot in the outfield for Nady.

Expect frequent postings throughout this week with all of the buzz at the winter meetings in Nashville. Buster Olney has already laid out what he thinks might happen at the meetings. While Olney's opinion should always be taken with a grain of salt, he provides some interesting ideas at least. (Note: Reading Olney's article might require you to have an ESPN Insider account.)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Report: Mets scrambling for pitcher

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that of all of the teams looking for a front-line pitcher, the Mets are the ones working hardest to get one. They made an offer to the A's for Dan Haren, says Rosenthal, but the A's found it to be an offer more suitable for Joe Blanton. The players offered to the A's were not disclosed.

As far as I'm concerned, giving up more than two quality pieces for someone of Blanton's quality is a stretch. He'd be a nice addition to the rotation but is not the ace the Mets need to get, by any means. What's worse is that he would probably cost Gomez, Heilman, and then someone like Kevin Mulvey, which is too high of a price-tag.

In other baseball news, Randy Wolf and the Padres have agreed to a one year contract. Wolf, who hasn't pitched since July 3, went 9-6 with a 4.73 ERA last year with the Dodgers. The base salary for the deal is supposedly worth about $4 million, but the incentives could make the deal worth up to $9 million. The deal will be official after Wolf passes a physical.

Ownership involved in Milledge deal?

A friend of mine over at MetsRefugees.com just posted an interesting tidbit about the Milledge trade. He said that he called one of his friends in the Mets organization who has been very reliable in the past, and was told that the Wilpons forced Omar to take whatever he could get for Milledge. Apparently, since the infamous "high-fiving" incident, the Wilpons have been after Omar to get rid of Milledge. After several run-ins with the players, coupled with the fact that Milledge had recently recorded a rap album much to the dismay of ownership, the Wilpons had enough and forced Omar to make the deal.

I've never been a staunch Milledge supporter, particularly after learning how he wasn't getting along with the other players. However, I don't think trading Milledge for twenty cents on the dollar was a good idea. Fred and Jeff Wilpon need to truly grant Omar Minaya "full autonomy" of this team because it's apparent they have the baseball sense of a half-eaten grapefruit.

My friend's source also said that Omar has been "feverishly" working the phones to try and come up with a pitcher. Considering how active Omar stays in the trade market, I have to believe this is true. If the Mets were to go into the season today, their rotation would look like this:

El Duque

Iffy, at best.

It's time for the first session of "Ben as Mets GM". If I'm Omar, I would be calling Mike Flanagan (GM of the Orioles) every hour, on the hour, and asking about Erik Bedard. I would not be calling Billy Beane at any point because he has proven himself to be unreasonable to deal with (think Jim Bowden, except with good players to trade with). And, the Mets can't match any offer the Yankees throw at the Twins for Johan Santana if it includes both Robinson Cano and Phillip Hughes (which, ultimately, I believe it will), so that effectively knocks the Mets out of the running for Santana. That leaves Bedard.

Bedard has a devastating fastball-curveball combination that leaves hitters baffled. His ERA has dropped every year (3.16 last year) since he's been in the league, and his strikeout to walk ratio was an astonishing 3.87 : 1 last year. His fastball sits in the low 90s and occasionally touches 94 or 95. The most important aspect of his fastball, though, is how quickly it gets on the hitters. Combine that with an above-average curveball/slurve, and we've got ourselves a probable ace.

The Mets did submit an offer to the Orioles for Bedard recently (apparently within the last 72 hours) but it was rejected. The offer was believed to be Carlos Gomez, Aaron Heilman, and Philip Humber. I think it's going to cost more than that to land Bedard, but not much more. Substitute Mike Pelfrey in for Humber and it might work, but it will probably need some tinkering at that point (maybe including the prototypical throw-in player, first baseman Mike Carp, or a so-so young pitcher, like Carlos Muniz). As some reporters have said, Humber is probably worth more to the Mets right now than he would be worth in a trade, so trying to unload him right now would be strikingly reminiscent of the Milledge trade (other than the fact that Humber is not a rapper...at least I think he's not).

So, for the sake of the argument, we'll say that the offer ends up being Gomez, Pelfrey, Heilman, and Muniz and the Orioles take it. That leaves us with a rotation of:

El Duque (until he gets injured in May, at which point Humber would be here)

I think that's a much, much better rotation, and every pitcher in it would give us a chance to win. Of course, that seriously jeopardizes an already shaky bullpen with the loss of Heilman. But that's a whole different issue, which I will try and cover next time in "Ben as Mets GM".

Happy holidays everyone, and let's hope Omar gives us Erik Bedard for Christmas.


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