A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Counter Offer

The Mets have given Kris Benson and his agent a counter offer in an attempt to ensure him and his wife will be around Shea Stadium for a while.

In other Mets news, the Mets have made a counter-offer to pitcher Kris Benson, a three-year deal with a vested option for a fourth season for a deal that would pay the right-hander in excess of $20 million.

I guess the real question is what does 'in excess' mean. If it is in excess of $20 million, but less than $21 million, it's a good offer. It is anything over $7,000,000 per year, then it is a bad deal. Benson is certainly due a raise to his $6.1 million dollar 2004 salary, but is still a sub-.500 career pitcher with a career ERA of 4.28. He was streaky after he came over from the Pirates and suffered from dead arm late in the year. The most positive thing to take away from the season is that he finished with over 200 innings. I think the Mets should retain him, but for a fair price. No other major league team would offer Benson $8 million per year and neither should the Mets. That being said, if the offer is between $6.5 and $7 million, then the Mets did a good job considering Benson knows he has the Mets bent over a barrel.

* * *

  • Anyone want some Phil Humber news? Me too, but there is none. So I'll offer some related news. Apparently the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have offered Jeff Neimann a major league contract. Neimann and his agent have responded with a counter offer and that is where the negotiations stand. It is 100% clear that Neimann will get a major league contract at this point if he does sign. The remaining question is for how much will he be inked for. Justin Verlander, Phil Humber, and Jeff Neimann are all waiting to see what each other does, and once one signs, they will all be seeking similar deals. These three are definitely in collusion.

    Phil Humber has asked for a major league contract with the Mets to the tune of $6 million dollars and a signing bonus of $3.5 million dollars. To me, a horrible presedence will be set if any of these three get major league contracts. I still maintain that they are reserved for guys like Mark Prior. When you look at a guy and offer a major league contract, they should look like once in lifetime talents, not once ever one or two year talents. Verlander, Neimann, and Humber are very solid talents and top prospects, but are asking for too much. If Tampa caves and signs him to a major league contract, the Tigers and Mets are basically left with no leg to stand on unless they want to squander their picks and pass on them. During a chat at Baseball America Allan Simpson had been asked if Humber or Neimann could end up with a major league contract. He had responded, "It's possible, but I doubt it. I think the only two players who might end up with major league contracts are Jered Weaver and Stpehen Drew". If these three guys get major league contracts, then it would stand to reason that one to four college pitchers will be looking for similar deals every year. That is the leverage everyone is going to use. Weaver is certainly going to get one and if Neimann gets one, Humber and Verlander will most likely get one. On top of that, Stephen Drew would get one if he does sign, although that does not look likely. That is five major league contracts in the first round this year. They have every opportunity to get the most they can out of a once in a lifetime opportunity, but it is the owners that eventually cave and set the standard for the following seasons. Unfortunately, due to the system, they are presented with little choice when the alternative is lose your high pick and do not make your team better.

    FoxSports.com has an update on all of the major league teams' first draft picks. Obviously nothing new on Humber, but they did say this:

    When he's pitching, Humber sports a low-90s fastball and a curve that could one day become a devastating out pitch.

    Ah music to my ears, but I think we already knew that since Humber has confidently referred to his curveball as the best in the country.

    Also, BA has some nice coverage on the unsigned draft picks and Kendry Morales. They said that Kendry's agent is hoping he'll be signed by the end of the month. In terms of the unsigned draft picks, BA said that one team has threatened to pull their money off the table in negoations with their #1 draft pick and spend it elsewhere. I'll bet that it is the D-Backs. Their negotiations with Stephen Drew have looked pretty painful thus far and they need cash like a crack whore needs another hit. They are in debt to the tune of $170+ million in deferred cash and have to find a way to strengthen their rotation and bring back Richie Sexson and Danny Bautista. Good luck boys.

  • Omar Minaya has announced some housekeeping.

    Mets General Manager Omar Minaya made the following announcement regarding the team's 2005 coaching staff:
    Bench Coach Bobby Floyd and Bullpen Coach Nelson Silverio will be re-assigned within the organization; Don Baylor will not return as the club's Hitting Coach, but is still under consideration for the team's vacant Manager's position; and Third Base/Infield Coach Matt Galante and First Base/Outfield Coach Gary Pettis will not be returning next season.

    In addition, Mets Head Trainer Scott Lawrenson will not be coming back for the 2005 season.

    Rick Peterson will remain with the team as the Pitching Coach in 2005.


    Also according to the Daily News:

    The Mets' relationship with team doctor Andrew Rokito and NYU and the Hospital for Joint Diseases also will be scrutinized. The team signed a three-year deal before the 2002 season that paid them roughly $4 million. At the time, the Mets left behind popular doctor David Altchek and the Hospital for Special Surgery for the more lucrative bid.

    I think this was all well known already. Changes had to be made with 'Mr. Windmill' Matt Galante and the team’s doctors and physicians.

  • The Mets intend to reach out to Bobby Valentine to gauge his interest in returning. I'd rather start fresh with someone that was not just recently fired from the team. While this might be the most favorite choice of all the fans and most media, it just does not seem right to me. It will cause unneeded friction between grumpy veterans and the coach and could be a divisive clubhouse move. Wrong or right, that is what may happen. I think they can find a great fit outside of Valentine and should pursue other choices.

    Now the A-Rod has endorsed Rudy Jarmillo, is he tainted? I just wish people in the Yankee organization would stop making comments on the Mets managerial search. First Torre on Randolph, now this.

  • More Yankee trash being forwarded around via email...funny thing is, the #1 name very reflective of their own team. A horrible attempt at humor all around. However, I'm sure some brainless zombie Yankee fans got a chuckle out of it. Oh their day will come alright, I'm just not sure when.

    Knowing the Yankees have the YES network, Here are the top ten names of the
    new Mets Network

    10. HAHAHA Network - The Humanly Abysmal Network (said three times, fast)
    9. The FOOL Network - Frankly Out Of their League Network
    8. The MAYBE network - Mets Are Yesterdays Bums Everyday Network.
    7. The BAD Network - The Bad And Defeated Network.
    6. The WHY Network - Worst, Humiliated but not the Yankees Network
    5. The WINNER Network - The Wilpon Is Never, Never, Ever Right Network
    4. The MAGGA Network - The Mets Aren't Gunna Go Anywhere Network
    3. The FLU Network - The Flushing Loser & Underachievers Network
    2. The WUNY Network - The Wait Until Next Year Network

    ...and the Number ONE name for the new NY Mets Cable Network is
    1. The WOTMEB Network - The Worst Obnoxious Team Money Ever Bought


  • Words cannot express my disappointment in the Red Sox losing the first two games with their big guns on the mound. Yesterday I went into defcom 5, now I am just straight panicking. The Red Sox chances at this point look horrible. But I'll try and keep the faith and my finger off the button.


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