Now that is looks like the rotation is set unless something drastic and highly unlikely happens like Trachsel being trade, Leiter not be resigned after all, Zambrano getting surgery and being out for 2005, Benson walking away to free agency, or Glavine being traded.
I know this is already painfully obvious to people, but I feel the need to painfully point it out again since the Mets are just not making a sound decision here with the rotation.
ERA 3.38 / 9-3 / 112.2 innings / 102 hits / 42 bb / 61 k's / .245 BAA
ERA 4.80 / 3-7 / 90 innings / 101 hits / 41 bb / 56 k's / .283 BAA
Ummm, not a good trend.
ERA 2.40 / 5-3 / 86.1 innings / 57 hits / 46 bb / 51 k's / .186 BAA
ERA 4.02 / 5-5 / 87.1 innings / 81 hits / 51 bb / 66 k's / .249 BAA
ERA 2.66 / 7-7 / 128.2 innings / 107 hits / 33 bb / 66 k's / .222 BAA
ERA 5.06 / 4-7 / 83.2 innings / 97 hits / 37 bb / 43 k's / .294 BAA
Kris Benson actually got better after the all star break despite getting a tired arm and lowered his ERA by 0.23, lowered his BAA against by .034 points, raised his k/9, and lowered is bb/9. I think everyone agrees that Zambrano has a ton of upside and the few Mets games he pitched as a Met really showed some promise, but he gets in incomomplete for the 2nd half. How Minaya can come back with the same rotation in 2005 is beyond me. Changes needed to be made.
The Mets are not a championship caliber team in 2005, and in 2006 Trachsel and Leiter will most assuredly not be around when the team could conceivably make a run at the Wild Card or the division if Omar plays his cards right. The resources are there, now we just need a little bit of intelligence. If 2005 is really going to be a stepping stone year, and the Mets choose not to chase a high priced free agent, then let Heilman get a sink or swim chance in the five spot of the rotation. Glavine will be 39 for the 2005 season, Leiter will be 39 for the 2005 season, and Trachsel will be 34. The Mets had an ideal situation and ability to get younger in the rotation but are seemingly choosing to bring back Al Leiter so he can transition into being an announcer in 2006 instead of getting younger via free agency or taking a look at some guys within. Something has to give and the Mets need to figure out how to get younger. This move also may necessitate the Mets carrying seven relievers again and weakening their bench by taking one of their head count away again. This decision affects the entire team. Look, if Al is being required to be a fifth starter, I'll put him up against any other fifth on any other team and he'll win, but the rotation could get better and the team could be better. $4 million dollar bargain or not, the Mets could afford to bring in one of the better pitchers this off season and despite the follies over the past years, they are New York team and a lot of selling points.
1) They are big market team with the ability to add payroll.
2) Despite Dolan's petty attempt at a law suit, the Mets will have their own network and greater revenue in 2006.
3) Jose Reyes, David Wright, Kaz Matsui, Mike Cameron, Kris Benson, Tom Glavine, and Victor Zambrano will all be here for at least two more years, with some good prospects still on the horizon and flexibility to add some top free agents.
4) A chance to work with Rick Peterson. Whether you believe he is actually good or not, he has a reputation around the league. He intrigues pitchers and is part of the reason Kris Benson wanted to be a Met in the first place.
5) An intelligent plan (hopefully anyway). Omar should be able to lay out a path to success with a good nucleus in place above and how the addition of few more pieces this year can help steer the Mets in the right direction and back towards being a respectable franchise for a number of years.
Unless the Mets are thinking of trading for one of the big three in Oak-town, this is the year to make a move. You have to try and get younger and get someone that can help you 3 or 4 years down the line. Maybe they are just thinking they can bridge Leiter and Trachsel to Soler, Petit, or Humber, but I doubt it. I see the Mets squandering this opportunity to strengthen their rotation for the next few years.
"That's what I'm willing to do," he said. "I'm willing to take that risk, moving to right field, having a chance to win and see what it's like to win in New York and see if we can get this thing turned around."
There is no doubt that Cammy is great team player and one of the rare free agent signings that have worked for the Mets in recent years, but the chances of him having to move are remote.
As for Sexson, the chances of him coming here are more realisitc.
"Richie's not intimidated by going to any city and the Mets definitely are a team he'd be a good fit for," Close said. "He's 100% physically, and he's looking to build on his accomplishments. When he's been healthy, you could pencil him in for 40 (homers) and 120 (RBI). I'm sure a lot of teams could find a place for that kind of production in the middle of their lineup."
I'm not worried about Richie being able to hit them out at Shea. If anyone can do 40 in the spacious Queens park it's him. He is like Hidalgo in the respect that when he hits them, he HITS them. They are no-doubters. But unlike Hidalgo he exhibits some more stability in his offensive output.
Also, why are the Mets bringing back Collins? Maybe they are looking at him for the bench coach spot. Maybe a Randolph, Jaramillo, Collins, and Peterson staff is what they have in mind and let Willie pick his 1st and 3b coach.
An agent who does not represent Boston free agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera got the impression from talking to a Met official that Minaya would like to reunite with his former Expo player. Obviously for the Mets to pursue Cabrera, they would have to move Jose Reyes or Kaz Matsui . . . Minaya said RHP Victor Zambrano will not need elbow surgery.
What? Please do not move Reyes to open up room for Cabrera. I'm not even too interested in moving Kaz for Cabrera. Not only does he get older, but more expensive. Use the extra money elsewhere please!!! No Sammy and no Orlando. Unless Kaz is getting traded for some young stud pitching, no move makes sense.
NEW YORK METS
Best Pro Debut: RHP Gaby Hernandez (3) was named the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League's top pitching prospect and won the ERA title, going 4-3, 1.03 with a 64-12 K-BB ratio in 53 innings. SS Sean Henry (20) made the GCL all-star team after hitting .282-4-30 with 10 steals. RHP Michael Devaney (23) used a three-pitch mix to go 5-0, 1.95 at short-season Brooklyn.
Best Athlete: OF Brahiam Maldonado (10)
Best Pure Hitter: 1B Mike Carp (9)
Best Raw Power: OF Caleb Stewart (22)
Best Defensive Player: C Aaron Hathaway (4)
Best Fastball: The Mets still expect to sign RHP Philip Humber (1), the third overall pick, but it might not happen until spring training. He hit 97 mph while at Rice, a tick ahead of RHP Matt Durkin (2). Hernandez has the best command of his fastball, and he already touches 94 mph with sinking, riding action at age 18.
Best Breaking Ball: New York ranked Humber's 12-to-6 curveball as the best breaking pitch in the entire draft. Among the players already under contract, RHP Scott Hyde (7) has a hard slider.
Closest To The Majors: Once he signs, Humber may not need much more than a year before he's ready to help the Mets.
The One Who Got Away: RHP Brad Meyers (14)
Assessment: After trading their two most advanced pitching prospects in ill-advised midseason deals, the Mets at least can take solace in adding Humber, Durkin and Hernandez. The pitchers in this crop are much more impressive than the position players.
Speaking of Sosa, if you want to throw up, read this article.
"Baltimore, we are most significantly interested in," said agent David Sloane, who represents Delgado. "It's a great place to hit. Hitting in that batting order is very interesting to us."
The Mets need to stay far away from this guy.