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

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Verlander Signs

Justin Verlander has inked with the Detroit Tigers and received a $3.15 million dollar signing bonus in a major league contract that is worth a guaranteed $4.5 million and a $5.6 million dollar maximum.

"We (in the family) sat down as a group and discussed all the situations and I decided I wanted to become a Detroit Tiger,'' Verlander said. Smith said the Tigers' declaration they were no longer interested in Verlander was not a negotiating ploy.

The strange thing about it is that after negotiations broke down, Justin's father Richard stepped in and the family contacted the Tigers on the own and it is unclear whether Verlander's agent Mike Milchin played any role in the last round of negotiations. It was only eight days after the team had decided that they did not plan to sign him. Now that the standard has been set and Verlander has inked and Jeff Neimann was offered a major league contract, I think it is a forgone conclusion that Phil Humber will walk away with a major league contract as well if the Mets want to sign him at all.

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  • For anyone holding out hope that Wally Backman was one of the 1 or 2 remaining candidates that Omar Minaya was going to ask permission to interview, it does not look good. The Mets have asked the Dodgers to interview Jim Riggleman and were turned down by Bud Black, who is the Anaheim pitching coach for an interview. Here is a quote from the article that is just baffling:

    Meanwhile, one source close to the Mets reiterated that Randolph is not only the leading candidate for the job, but the Yankee bench coach is by far and away the frontrunner.

    Again why? If he really is, just give me some concrete reasoning. Jon Heyman has some.

    Randolph has obvious advantages, such as his New York upbringing and sensibilities, his classy image and, most notably, his six World Series rings.

    That does not exactly put him at the top of my list.

  • Also from John Heyman's above article:

    The Mets have told Mike Piazza they intend to use him primarily as a catcher and have every intention to have him retire as a Met someday.

    Mets people have talked about trying to sign Richie Sexson or Troy Glaus for first base but have concerns because both missed most of 2004 with injuries. Sexson isn't likely to return to Arizona, and his hometown Mariners will pursue him. Glaus is still thought to prefer third base.

    Magglio Ordoñez remains an option. But he missed the last four months with a knee injury.

    What the Mets really need most is a doctor to make medical judgments.

    I'd love for the Mets to go after Sexson. I'd even forgot about adding another pitcher if they can bring in Ordonez and Sexson.

  • Roger Cedeno is happy with his life after the Mets.

    "It gets bad," Cedeño said in March. "Real bad. You get no support. It's hard for me because 90 percent of the reason I play is for the fans. You don't want your own fans to boo you."

  • Who wants a crazy rumor? According to the Daily Southtown, The Big Unit is atop White Sox GM Kenny Williams wish list.

    Sources have indicated that Williams made at least four calls to the Diamondbacks during the course of last season, offering different scenarios in an attempt to acquire Johnson. Even better news was that Johnson actually had the Sox on his original list of teams he would consider joining.

    Now that is nuts.

  • The Daily News speculates that Kevin Brown may want to finish his career back in Georgia. The Braves and Leo Mazzone would take him in exchange for a bag of balls and $10 million dollars thrown into the Braves pocket.

  • Floridatoday.com has some suggestions on fixing the Mets.

    1. Move phenom Jose Reyes from second base to shortstop.

    Um, that's done already.

    2. Work out the finances and bring Sammy Sosa to Shea Stadium.

    Are you crazy?

    3. Find someone to take aging lefties Tom Glavine and Al Leiter.

    Leiter will be a free agent since his option is not getting picked up. So half is done already.

    4. Sign Carlos Delgado.

    If it was for the right price and no more than 2 years, maybe. He'll be asking for too much for a 32/33 year old first baseman. A cheaper stopgap would be a better choice.

    5. Bring back Bobby Valentine.

    The Mets need to start over with a new manager and not try and regain the success in 1999 and 2000 by bringing Valentine back.

  • Steve Wilstein from ESPN did a piece on Curt Schilling yesterday. There was one thing that caught my attention about this particular article.

    Schilling, who led the majors with 21 victories this year at the age of 37, was well on his way to the Hall of Fame before he pitched on his bum ankle.

    I have all the respect for Schilling as a player and I think he has had some great years, but the Hall of Fame? I just do not think he is in that class for his entire career. Any thoughts?

  • Boston took game 1 of the World Series in what turned into a slugfest by outscoring the Red Birds 11 - 9. Neither starting pitcher made it into the fifth inning and with these two offensive heavyweights, it is not really a surprise that twenty runs were scored. Schilling takes the mound vs. Morris tonight to try and jump out to a commanding 2-0 lead. I think Schilling takes this game and the Cardinals head back home in a hole and the BoSox will win in five.


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