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

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Saturday Rumor Mill

"We have told the agent that, 'Look, we're trying to get this done, but it gets to the point where if it doesn't happen we're just not going to wait,'" Minaya said. "We will be proactive in filling that slot. We would like to do it with Kris, but if we don't do it with Kris, if somebody shows up there that's at a number that we feel fits, then we'll have to do what we have to do."

Do not let Benson and his agent bend you over Omar. I like how he is handling this and although the rumors about Soriano and Sosa are not going away (if not getting stronger) I still think Omar is just listening to every possible move out there. The Soriano deal looks so remote since he would rather retire than move to the outfield. Would Minaya be doing his job if he did not explore every avenue? If Minaya cannot land Beltran, Ordonez, Drew, or Guillen then he is probably exploring Sosa and Soriano as a last resort. If the Mets could not get ANYONE else and Sosa would waive his option for 2006 and the Cubs even out the money so the Mets do not take on any additional payroll, then this deal would not be horrible. I am by no means saying I want Sosa, but if plan A though plan Y fails, then plan Z is better than another year of a Garcia/Spencer type deal if the Mets do not have to carry the burden of Sosa's silly contract.

* * *

  • From NJ.com:

    Leiter is concerned the Mets are only making a token offer to keep him around for sentimental reasons, whereas other teams, including the Yankees, seem eager to sign him. ...

    Al, it was a token offer. Deal with it and go get fitted for you pinstripes. Make room for some youth and someone that does not throw 1 ball for every 1 strike thrown.

  • This is some strange information for you to chew on:

    Sexson doesn't re-sign with Arizona, the New York Mets are believed to possibly have the inside track on the power hitter, who is coming off major shoulder surgery. The Seattle Mariners, thought by many to be the favorite to land Sexson, are targeting Blue Jays free agent Carlos Delgado as their top choice among available first basemen. Sexson is said to be their second pick.

    That is the first time I heard that the Mets have the inside track on Richie.

  • ESPN tries to do the impossible....predict where the top 50 free agents will land. They slate only one of their top 50 coming to the Mets in Magglio Ordonez and there are some very interesting predictions there. Brade Radke to the Devil Rays? Matt Clement to the Tigers? The Mets need to step in and pursue one of those two if that is who they will be bidding against.

    Although, if signing a veteran starter means the Devil Rays need to move Aubrey Huff for some room on the payroll, I'm all for it.

  • Here is an interesting tidbit from Jason Stark's Rumblings & Grumblings.

    Don't be so sure the Yankees will be willing to give Beltran whatever he wants -- or that Boss Steinbrenner is so desperate to win now that he'll be throwing money around like confetti.

    One baseball man says the Yankees' payroll will be watched very carefully by MLB this winter -- because 1) Bud Selig's debt rules will, for the first time, be strictly enforced and 2) MLB continues to make noises that the Yankees are underestimating the true value of the YES network.

    So if the Yankees are going to have a payroll north of $200 million -- plus pay another $100 million in luxury-tax and revenue-sharing bills -- they need to prove to the commish that they have more than $300 million in revenue to pay for it all.

    But they're reporting to MLB that they make "only" $50 million a year from their own personal cable venture. The skeptics at MLB, on the other hand, have been quietly investigating to see if they're actually taking in a lot more.

    So if they run up $300 million in bills next year while they're only claiming, say, $250 million in revenues, then the debt-rule police will start blowing their whistles.

    Which could mean, believe it or not, that even the Yankees have their limits. Sheez, what's the world coming to?

    Stark's article also delves into the money that Beltran may be paid.

    We've been surveying agents and club officials from both leagues on this. And no one has predicted Beltran will wind up averaging more than the $14-15 million a year that Jim Thome and Vladimir Guerrero got as the marquee names on the market in the previous two winters.

    If that is the price tag, the Mets should surely be able to put together a comparable package to Beltran. The rest will be up to Carlos. It is increasingly looking like he'll have four or five offers basically identical in years and cash and it will be up to him to choose. Now that scenario does not leave the Mets in good standing with all the soap opera like antics that have been going on in Flushing the past few years. Can Omar sell the idea that the Mets are on the right track to prominent free agents?

  • This is some music to my ears.

    The 2005 payroll may end up surpassing $100 million, but don't expect the Mets to be spending $120 to $130 million the way they were a few years back. The only free agent New York definitely won't be bringing back is former captain John Franco, so there will be no money saved on that front.

    Now since Wilpon lost $20 million in 2003, it stands to reason he tried to make some of that back in 2004. Now, all bets are off. May end up surpassing $100 million? That would give Minaya roughly $30-$35 million to work with to upgrade a team with a solid foundation. I am not suggesting that Omar exhaust his budget just to spend the money, but there are just too many attractive moves out there for the Mets.

    $7 million for Clement
    $10 million for Magglio
    $5 million for Olerud (probably a bit high)
    $7 million for Benson
    $6 million for the bench and bullpen

    Doable? Sure is. Especially if the Mets can move Floyd and not pick up the entire salary. That should leave the Mets a touch under $100 million and some extra wiggle room. The markets for Clement and Magglio do not appear too big with Clement drawing the most interest from the AL Central and Magglio drawing interest from the Orioles, who cannot offer him a mega contract like they did to Tejada. But just so I know, tell me why the Orioles are not spending every free cent on their rotation?

  • The Yankees are reportedly close to consummating a deal with Eric Milton for 3 years and $18 million dollars. That would be a start point for setting the market and it does not give Benson's contract demands much credence. He is getting a fair offer from Omar and the Mets.

  • The Indians are eyeing Clement as an addition to their rotation. However, the article did point out that Kyle Farnsworth is available as well and he has fallen out of favor with the Cubs.

  • The OC Register suggests that the Angels and Braves may swap enigmatic outfielders Jose Guillen and Andruw Jones.

  • Friday, November 12, 2004

    Just Say No to Catch Phrases

    The Mets catch phrase last year was meaningful games. This year it seems to be full autonomy. How about we forget these stupid phrases that should never have to be made up in the first place and make some intelligent moves to start winning. If you win, you do not need any catchy phrases to placate the masses. Making intelligent moves basically means avoiding the ones we have been reading in the papers lately. Soriano? Green? Sosa? Cabrera? We have to take everything we read with a grain of salt because if Minaya is seen taking a wiz with Brian Cashman rumors start flying out that the Mets are trading Jose Reyes and David Wright for Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams with Bernie playing centerfield. I know these writers have their sources but I do think that Omar has the best interest of the team in mind and will not do anything stupid like we've been reading. I have faith and I'm officially drinking the Omar Kool-Aid. I believe he has a plan and he knows what he wants to do and is going to do it. That does mean keeping the young core intact while upgrading the staff and putting punch in the lineup. I have a feeling it will be happening even if it is too a lesser extent than we hope for. So far you have to like the way Omar is handling Kris Benson and not paying him the $8 million dollars a year he is asking for. He will not get that from anyone else and should not get it from the Mets. He's classified as a Type C free agent and the Mets current offer is as fair and as good as he can get. In 2005 the Mets will be playing some more meaningful games than they did this year. For me, with two or three good moves the Mets can be a team that will be in the hunt in the NL Least next year. The Mets will definitely still be returning with a solid starting rotation next year even without Leiter and that is certainly a place to start. With the resources the Mets have and the money available to spend this off season it is not out of the realm of possibilities that the makes could make some noise.

    * * *

  • ESPN had five burning questions that they asked 15 baseball executives.

    1. If given a choice, which elite first baseman would you sign -- Richie Sexson or Carlos Delgado?
    Responses: Delgado 10, Sexson 4, one no-decision.

    I was a bit surprised on this one but there is still concern about his injury and they thought that Carlos Delgado being a more accomplished hitter was more important to Sexson's being younger and a better defender. I still like Sexson more and he comes with less baggage in my opinion.

    2. Where will Carlos Beltran sign -- and for how much
    Responses: Yankees 8, Angels 3, Cubs 2, Orioles 1, No Earthly Idea 1. Amount: Somewhere between $12-15 million a year.

    The only surprise here is the salary. After Beltran proved he was a solid Postseason Performer® the potential of him becoming a Real Yankee® skyrocketed.

    3. Which superstar is more likely to be dealt in the off season -- Randy Johnson or Sammy Sosa?
    Responses: Johnson 11, Sosa 3. (One executive thinks both will go.)

    I think RJ will be gone, just not to the Yankees. As for Sosa, write him into the Cubs 2005 lineup because the stars have to align for him to move.

    Don't hold your breath Yankee fans. You actually have to GIVE something to get a future hall of famer back like Johnson. Cano + other prospects will not get it done and I'm not sure Vazquez would either when stacked up with what other teams can offer. They are going to have a big hole at first base and Paul Konerko's 41 homeruns would sure look nice there with young Jon Garland to put in the rotation.

    4. Will Roger Clemens retire or come back for one more go-around in 2005?
    Responses: 12 say Clemens will pitch in 2005, 2 say he'll retire. (The other official polled said Clemens will pitch if Houston signs Carlos Beltran and makes other moves to upgrade the club, but will retire if the Astros aren't in a position to contend.)

    I'll agree with the other GM. If Houston has a shot, it would be tough for Roger to walk away when they were so close. If they lose Beltran, Roger will most likely pack it in like Michael Jordan should have when he was at the top of his game.

    5. If you were Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz, would you move John Smoltz to the starting rotation or keep him at closer?
    Responses: 10 say keep him in the bullpen, 5 say start him.

    I'd say keep him in the pen too. As the article also mentioned he gets $100,000 FOR EVERY START HE MAKES!!! That costs the Braves $15,000,000 for the entire year for a starter IF he is healthy and his arm holds up. If it does not hold up, it ends up costing them $12,000,000 for a guy who is not starting or closing. Too big a risk for a team that has to watch it's pennies.

  • As if anyone needed any more reasons to sign Matt Clement, he only gave up 23 homeruns in 2004, which equated to one every 29.4 at bats. Away he gave up only seven homeruns in 253 at-bats, which is good for a homerun every 36.1 at-bats. When he pitched at Wrigley, which had a park factor of 1.329 when it comes to homeruns and ranks 2nd in all parks for homeruns behind U.S. Cellular, he only gave up 16 home runs in 424 at bats. That is good for a homerun every 26.5 at bats. Shea Stadium has a 0.804 park factor in terms of homeruns. Going by the park factor and his 2004 home numbers Matt Clement gave up the equivalent of roughly 10 homeruns at Shea. Matt has a legitimate chance of giving up less than 20 homeruns as a pitcher at Shea. Glavine gave up only 20, Leiter gave up 16, and Trachsel gave up 25.

  • Let's get ready to ruuuuuuummmmmmmmmbbbbbbllllleee!!!!!

    "Our payroll has always been flexible," Wilpon said. "You have to have a budget, but we've always been flexible."

    After the Mets sweeping the Yankees at Shea last season, it renewed my faith that anything can happen. Could the Mets possibly pull off the coup of the off season? According to the NYPost, Omar Minaya sat down with Scott Boras to reportedly discuss his interest in Carlos Beltran and Magglio Ordonez. However, I have a huge problem with Boras representing both of them. Boras is going to try and get the best deal for both of them and try and get the most money he can for each player. IF the Mets get Beltran, then Magglio has one less big money team involved with his negotiations. I can see Boras steering Beltran towards the Yankees no matter what the Mets do just to keep the market open and the bidding higher on his other star free agent outfielder so they both get paid.

  • The Big Unit wants out of the desert. First trading Schilling for a bag a peanuts, then trading Sexson for four regulars just to see him walk via free agency and miss just about the entire season, then the Wally Backman debacle, the team is about $200 million in the hole in deferred payments, and now Johnson is demanding out. I think we found a team more poorly run than the Mets. World Series win in 2001 be damned, this team is a mess.

  • The Red Sox are giving a look at Troy Glaus. With Mueller having a stellar glove and able to play 2b or 3b it give the Red Sox the flexibility to find the right pieces this off season. If the Red Sox can get Cabrera back and bring in Glaus while moving Mueller to 2nd that is not too bad. It also gives them the personnel to be able to move Billy Beane's wet dream in Kevin Youlkis to fill some other needs or maybe stock their barren farm system.
  • Thursday, November 11, 2004

    Depreciable Life

    Depreciable Life: An estimation of the useful, valuable life of certain assets.

    Ok, follow me on this one.

    Tom Glavine LHP NYM Signed Dec 2002 - 3 years/$35M
    2003: $11.0M
    2004: $10.5M
    2005: $10.5M
    2006: Mutual option $6.5M or $3.0M buyout

    Tom Glavine signed a guaranteed three year contract for $35 million with a 2006 option. Now, Tom may not be back, but if he does, he'll be affordable. At 40 years old he is most certainly not worth much more than that considering the chances are he will regress rather then get better. Tom is a type of pitcher that I'd bet on being more effective longer than a power pitcher since it is harder to lose your feel for pitching than lose your fastball or bite on your curve. But his 2006 salary of $6.5 million dollars got me thinking.

    1) With an option like that, he actually becomes more valuable trade bait this year for a team that wants him for 2006 for the price of #3 starter.

    2) If the option does get picked up or is kicked in, he will not tie up payroll with a bloated contract when he is likely to contribute the least out of his time as a Met and leaves his team with more options available to better the team.

    Now take this contract:

    Mike Piazza C NYM Signed Nov 1998 - 7 years/$91M
    1999: $6.0M (+$7.5M signing bonus, $4.0M paid initially)
    2000: $11.0M
    2001: $12.5M
    2002: $9.5M (+remaining $3.5M of signing bonus Dec 15 2002)
    2003: $14.5M
    2004: $15.0M
    2005: $15.0M

    Unless you are the Yankees you really cannot go on the idea that you playing for today without regard for you financial future. However, 99% of every large contract goes up exponentially throughout the life of the contract. If you take a look at Piazza and look at that him as an $91 million dollar investment/asset he would certainly be of less value in 2005 then he is in 1999. Sure enough, his best years rank like this:

    2000: .324/.398/.614 38 homers 113 RBIs
    1999: .303/.361/.575 40 homers 124 RBIs
    2001: .300/.384/.573 36 homers 94 RBIs
    2002: .280/.359/.544 33 homers 98 RBIs
    2003: .286/.377/.483 11 homers 34 RBIs
    2004: .266/.362/.444 20 homers 54 RBIs

    Now 2000 and 1999 are reversible and so are 2003 and 2004, but you get the idea. Teams always sign their huge contracts with more money in the back so they have more flexibility in the present. I do not have a problem with that if you signing Vlad at 28 through 33, but I have a problem with that when it is someone 30 through 35 during the contract or basically anytime the contract runs through a player being in their upper 30's. When you look at the value of what your product (baseball player in this case) will give you in each year, I think it should be priced accordingly. Right now Piazza looks like a virtually immovable contract that is getting grossly overpaid as does/did Sammy Sosa, Shawn Green, Jeff Bagwell, Mo Vaugh, Pedro Martinez, etc.

    I understand the basic philosophy to the idea, which is buy now pay later. I understand the concept but I think for the long term viability and success of a team it has to be looked at to get what you pay for at the present time. Now, I'd love to see teams change the way the currently do business when it comes to these mega contracts. How would Piazza's contract look if it was more like this:

    1999: $15.0M
    2000: $15.0M
    2001: $15.0M
    2002: $14.5M
    2003: $14.0M
    2004: $10.5M
    2005: $7.5M

    You are paying for it in the beginning and all those figures include the signing bonus baked into it. The fist four years result in an extra $12.5 M in salary for Piazza which is a bit more than $3 M per year during those four years. However, if he is giving you monster numbers, it is easier to palate that and you will be looking to add less firepower to the lineup with a healthy and productive Piazza. In the final three years the Mets are saving $12.5 M over three years with the last year a very acceptable $7.5 million. At that price Piazza does not look like the load that he is now and does not make your head spin when you look at all the zeroes.

    By no means am I suggesting doing this with 3 year Cameron-like deals, but only blockbusters that break the bank. Anytime players sign these colossal contracts the player is undoubtedly going to experience a downturn in numbers and value and has the team dying for them to get off the payroll. Sometimes a team will pay the players way out of town and absorb most of the contract and jettison them off to another team but for the most part the team finishes out the contract because they cannot move it. I'm sure I am not the first person to think this is a good idea and teams obviously have their reasons for making out contracts the way they do, but it will surely make having guys like Piazza on the team in the twilight of the career a bit easier.

    I do not think it has to be buy now pay later with these superstars and I think the contracts should be structured to pay out the most money when you are receiving the most value back for your money. If the Mets had done that they would have an extra $7.5 million this year to play with and only had to absorb a bit more money in the first three years. In reality, when Mike is producing you are looking to add far less in terms of players than when he is not producing. If he was putting up 2000 numbers, the Mets may not be looking for a huge bat like Beltran. However, that is not the case and the Mets need a huge bat to supplant his loss of Piazza's production when is tying up the most money. The Cubs are rumored to be players for Beltran, but the Chicago media has surmised that they cannot make a move for him unless they move Sosa. Big stars with big contracts mean big problems at the end of their useful life. I think it makes sense for a team to try and reduce the hit at end of their career when they are least productive and they will be looking outside for some help by trying to absorb as much on the front end.

    * * *

    Talk about an unflattering picture. It looks like pudgy gained about 20 pounds eating sushi and drinking Sapporo in Japan.

  • The Devil Rays may be looking to add a veteran starter. Hey maybe the Mets can return Victor Zambrano since he is damaged goods and exchange him for Aubrey Huff. Really though, if the D-Rays are unable to attract someone via free agency then maybe a deal surrounding Steve Trachsel + cash and obviously something else for Huff is not out of the realm of possibilities. They fleeced us so they way I look at it, we owe them a fleecing.

  • Despite his declining production and plummeting public image, Sammy Sosa still has fans in Flushing.

    Why won't this go away? WHY? The last time I said why won't this go away it was about the Zambrano for Kazmir rumors. Trading Piazza for Sosa is a huge mistake. Sosa plays in a hitters park and had declining numbers. He's older than Piazza and more a clubhouse nuisance. He is smiling Sammy no more and his attitude has changed for the worse. He corked his bat and very well could be 38 instead of 36. On top of that, he takes up an outfield spot that could be better used on someone younger and better. I shudder to think of the numbers that Sosa would put up at Shea in the declining part of his career. Piazza's contract is off the books after this year, why would you invite another huge contract and an aging star? Let us not forget Dusty thought so highly of him he was batting sixth in their lineup!!! Sixth!!! The Mets do not need a guy making close to $20 M batting in the bottom of the order. Luckily the Mets will not be able to make this happen. They would need to move Piazza's salary and have someone assume just about the entire contract. They would also need to move Floyd and have the Cubs absorb his entire contract and throw cash back at the Mets for Sosa. I cannot see that happening and thankfully for us Met fans the Mets are going to have a try really really hard to screw up and get Sosa.

  • Oh let's see what other rumor is out there that is dumb. How about Reyes for Soriano? Let's see, Reyes is seven years younger and is under Met control for four more years and Soriano is only under control for another two years. One is making peanuts while one is due to make almost $9 M in arbitration this winter. I could go on but my blood pressure would go through the roof. Just look at Soriano's road #'s last year and picture a .250 hitter with 22 homers at Shea in a good year.

    I like Omar's nobody one is off limits approach, but let us have some common sense and limit it to aging veterans. Moving Reyes for Soriano to make room for 31 year old Cabrera is about as sensible as trading Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano while Zambrano is injured. I do realize all this is talk and speculation by the media, but to even hear it is silly.

  • "Without question he could pitch in the major leagues," said MLB manager Bruce Bochy. "He has four major league pitches, he has a good idea of what he's doing on the mound. It's hard to compare him to anybody because of his unique delivery."

    Daisuke Matsuzaka was supposed to pitch game two of the series between the Japanese All-Stars and the MLB team, but he was put off until game six. Matsuzaka gave up one run on five hits while striking out six while going the distance for the win and may still come to the states this year. However, I would assume he would have to make that decision soon before teams commit money to free agents if the Seibu Lions want to start a bidding war. Why would they sell his rights to a MLB team? Japanese teams are in serious financial straits and five million dollars for negotiating rights is nothing to sneeze at for teams on the verge of bankruptcy.

  • Game on! Kendry Morales and the Indians have seemingly been unable to find common ground due to his contract demands. His demands are a bit rich for a guy who really is still a questions mark outside of some solid workouts, but worth the chance for a Mets.

    The Indians have slowed their pursuit of Cuban defector Kendry Morales. Agent David Valdez wants a major-league contract similar to the four-year, $9.5 million deal Texas gave Mark Teixeira in 2001.

    "We couldn't find any common ground," said John Mirabelli, director of scouting. "We could revisit this, but right now we have to refocus on the Pacific Rim." Some Japanese players have already declared free agency. Others should become available at the end of November through Japan's posting system.

  • Here is how much weight you have to put in all these rumors.

    According to a National League source, the Mets have only "limited interest'' in Cabrera, although new general manager Omar Minaya is familiar with him from their days in Montreal. The Mets are interested in acquiring one of Oakland's Big Three starters - Barry Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson - but not at the price of infield prospect Jose Reyes.

    So Reyes is NOT available for a young stud pitcher, but he is available for Soriano when the free agent market can produce a better right field option. I guess you have to pick and choose what to believe.

  • Clement going, going ...

    The Cubs have had exclusive negotiating rights with pitcher Matt Clement since the right-hander filed for free agency, but that period will come to an end Friday, and it seems Clement's stay in Chicago will as well.

    "They've had two weeks, and we haven't heard from them," said Clement's agent, Barry Axelrod. "There's actually more (outside) interest than I thought there would be. We've heard from eight to 10 teams ... and three or four sound serious."

    He costs you no draft picks and has an upside. Sign him, sign him now! Move Trachsel for a prospect or two if you need to open a spot and some cash to do it. Hey, I hear Texas is looking for some veteran pitching that is cost effective.

  • Wednesday, November 10, 2004

    Chicks Dig the Long Ball

    In 2004, the Mets hit 185 homeruns, which was good for 8th in the league. However, that was the 3rd highest total in the history of the Mets and the apple has not been worked that hard in while. Not bad for a team that blew and completely folded in the second half. Their 185 homeruns were up 61 homeruns from 2003 when the knocked only 124 homeruns, which was good for 2nd to last in the NL and good for one of the most painfully boring Met seasons to watch. The most homers a Met team has ever hit in one year in franchise history was 198 in 2000 (6th in the NL) and the second highest total was 192 back in 1987 (3rd in the NL). The only other time the Mets topped 180 homeruns was in 1999 when they hit 181 homeruns and finished 9th in the NL.

    Not only were the 2004 Mets 3rd in team history in homeruns but they were 2nd in team history in doubles with 289. With all of that, they were only 12th in runs scored in team history. One would think more runs would have come out of having one of the best XBH seasons as a team in Met history. It was feast or famine for them. They were completely ineffective with runners in scoring position. Every game, they seemingly had one big scoring chance and if they did not convert, the game was basically over. The Mets were 2nd to last in terms of batting average and they were 3rd to last in on base percentage with .317 when compared to the rest of the majors in 2004. I could not find the stats with runners in scoring position, but I know they were close to last in that too if not dead last. When you do not get many scoring chances and you are horrible at converting those rare chances into runs, then you have issues. Despite being 15th in the majors in homeruns, they were 26th in runs scored.

    The Mets were seemingly one hit away from countless games this past season. I'm going to state the obvious and say that the Mets need to add one big bat and one capable one this off season. They need to get a player to plug into the #3 slot to drive runners home and get one base. By trading for Zambrano and Benson the Mets made a statement that they were going to be competitive in 2005 and they can be. However, if they go through this off season again without getting someone that can drive in runs, then it is just another failure this off season. A stop gap guy like Jermaine Dye with John Olerud at first will not cut it. If Met fans are subject to another anemic offense for another year, they will not have much steam heading into 2006 to debut their new channel. They need to try and make a splash and generate some excitement. In 2004 the team was still eighth in the majors in ERA and was just incredibly unlucky when it came to keeping key players on the field and healthy. As Omar likes to say, at then end of the day either Beltran, Drew, Ordonez, or Sexson needs to be in a Met uniform next year. Walking away empty handed is a huge mistake. If affordability is a concern then they must at least land Sexson and work out a deal for Guillen for left and that may provide the most bang for the least amount of buck.

    * * *

  • Want some depressing info? Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire (twice), and Sammy Sosa (3 times) all single handedly hit more homeruns than the 1981 Mets (57 homeruns and 7th out of 12 teams in homers) and the 1980 Mets (61 homeruns and 12th of 12 teams in homers) in one season. Actually in 1980, Mike Schmidt was only 13 homeruns behind the Mets as team when he belted 48 over the fences.

    The only Mets to have led the league in homeruns were Dave Kingman in 1982 with 37, Darryl Strawberry in 1988 with 39, and Howard Johnson in 1991 with 38.

  • According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, teams may be reluctant to offer JD Drew more than the $10,000,000 per year that Scott Boras is likely to request. I guess the real question is if you can snag JD Drew for $9,000,000 per year for five years, do you make that deal? This is the first time in his career that he played in over 140 games. He's got perinial .300, 30 homers, and 100 RBI capability. If he can be a bargain is he worth the chance for the bad luck Mets?

  • Octavio Dotel does not figure into returning to the A's at this point. With Arthur Rhodes being able to move back into a 7th or 8th inning role and Ricardo Rincon returning for another year combined with the injection of Huston Street and Jairo Garcia to the bullpen, they have the making of something pretty good. They would have four capable relievers, two of which are lefties. Everyday that goes by seems to increase the possibilities of Dotel being shown the door in Oakland due to the salary he may command. The A's may be better suited to hold on to Dotel until the mid-season trading deadline to try and maximize his value but if Beane may need the extra $2 M+ to fill the rest of his team up he may have no choice but get rid of him this winter regardless if the deal is the best he could get.

  • Scott Boras, the agent for Adrian Beltre, says his client had "the best season ever by a third baseman." Boras and his staff took Beltre's numbers (48 HRs, 121 RBIs, 104 runs scored, .334 average) and looked for players at any position who had a season like that at age 25. They found five: Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth.
    -- Orange County Register

    Adrian Beltre has not exactly been the model of consistency over the years. He had his second best year at the age of 20 and followed that up with three disappointing years before his monster year in 2004. He was completely frustrating to the Dodgers, so much so they almost traded him this spring. Does anyone remember how close he was to becoming a Yankee? Tremendous numbers or not, anyone that pays Boras' ransom for this player has to be a bit scared. The numbers he put up in that pitcher's park are astounding, but it is hard to ignore the few years before.

  • In the don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out category, the Mets released relievers Grant Roberts and Jose Parra.

  • The Yankees are interested in Al Leiter's services.

    The Yankees know that Leiter can handle New York, given the lefthander's success with the Mets the past seven years. Leiter, who will become a full free agent once the Mets decline his $10-million option (the deadline is Monday), could strike back at the Mets by joining his original team, the Yankees.

    Strike back by joining the Yankees Al, be my guest.

  • The trade deadline may move from July 31st to August 15th.

    If the trading deadline last season had been on Aug. 15, the Mets would probably still have Scott Kazmir in their organization. They would probably be boasting one of the top minor league systems in baseball. And their executives would not have spent the past three months defending their ability to evaluate players.

  • Tuesday, November 09, 2004

    Boycott Bad Radio

    Will Mike and the Mad Dog apologize for grilling Omar Minaya on Willie Randolph's salary? We now know he is one of the highest paid first year managers ever with his deal that will pay out $550,000 this year, $625,000 next year, and $700,000 the following year. They even engaged Willie on the matter and said “not that it is any of our business….” and proceeded to tell him he was underpaid despite the fact he is getting extremely well compensated for a guy in his situation in the real world. Their extreme lack of preparation and knowledge is astounding. They make vague assumptions on things that have no clue on and run with half baked ideas to be confrontational. Every time Omar is on, they make it a point to try and grill him as much as possible without any attempt at a fair interview. When Minaya was first hired, they were 'calling him out' because he did not actually scout Reyes and find him himself. Minaya is respected for his skills in recognizing talent, but Mike and the Mad Dog are apparently unaware that being the Assistant GM does not mean that you travel to the Dominican to actually scout 16 year old players. GMs and Assistant GMs have area scouts to do all the leg work and Omar paid his dues to get where he is. Mike and the Mad Dog have total disregard for facts and common sense and it is a miracle to me that they are who they are in this town. I'm guessing they pull down a sizeable paycheck for their senseless Met hating banter in the rare cases they even give them some time in their own town. They inserted their foot and their mouth and paid Art Howe with a tropical vacation when the Mets won the Cubs series, and they should eat their words with this one too. Although they are paid to present their ideas, however ridiculous they are, they are still part of the media. I think they are somewhat responsible for being fair and factual which is something they seemingly lack more often than not when it comes to the Mets. When you are blatantly wrong, it would be nice to admit you are wrong.

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  • Sandy Alomar Sr. on the possibility of coming to the Mets as a bench coach:

    "I'm looking forward, if this works out, to be helpful to Willie and the Mets," Alomar said. "They're a great organization and New York is New York. It would be great to work with Willie."

    The thought of seeing Alomar sewn on the back a Mets jersey is a thought that could make most people cringe. However, I think this Alomar may work out a bit better than the last one.

  • The Red Sox and the Yankees are most likely going to be caught up in a bidding war for Carl Pavano.

    Shapiro said Pavano already has begun looking over scouting reports and statistical breakdowns of potential suitors to see where he might expect to get the most run support and how the team's ballpark affects pitchers, among other details.

    Pavano will not have the nice and tidy ERA he had in Miami in either of those two parks. With the addition of a bat or two, the Mets would be happy for him to move to flushing and he can keep that ERA down and get some wins.

  • The Cubs are unlikely to bring back Matt Clement in 2005.

    The team is likely to have a new look next year. It didn't pick up the options on Moises Alou and Mark Grudzielanek, and the future of starting pitcher Matt Clement also appears in doubt with the Cubs.

    "It's tough to replace any of those guys," Wood said. "That's kind of the way the game of baseball goes. You pretty much know what you are getting with Clement. I'm not sure who would replace him."

    Wood gives him a vote of confidence and that's good enough for me. Besides, with teams like Kansas City, Cleveland, Texas, Florida, Philly, Toronto, etc. interested in him, the Mets should be able to land him without any major bidding wars. Beside, with the Phillies being rumored to have interest in Clement the Mets should acquire him just to block him from landing in their opponents hands. If the Mets were so hell bent on preventing Benson from landing in Atlanta when they were falling out of the divisional race that they had to give up three guys to get him, then by that logic it should be a no-brainer to get Clement and give up nothing to prevent their division rival from getting him.

  • This is some of the best news that I've heard in while. Sosa will most likely be a Cub in 2005 and if he is Cub, that means he will not be a Met and that makes me happy. Sometimes the Mets cannot get out of their own way and by them not having this as a real, viable option, then they cannot make any mistakes. Phil Rogers is far more optimistic about the Mets trading for Sosa pegging the odds at 6-1 than most people.

  • Sexson a Mariner? According to the Boston Herald, the deal is all done.

    One whisper heard here was that free agent first baseman Richie Sexson has all but signed a deal with the Seattle Mariners [stats, schedule], but that the formalities will be postponed until much later in the hot stove season. Last year, the Mariners signed Raul Ibanez too early and had to give Kansas City a draft pick when the Royals offered him arbitration.

  • As long as the White Sox are still interested in Randy Johnson, I just do not think the Yankees have a chance in getting the Big Unit. With the White Sox dangling either Carlos Lee or Paul Konerko and Jon Garland, there is nothing the Yankees can really counter with. The D-Backs need offense more than pitching and the Yankees best chip is Javier Vazquez, and he does not look so great right now. Posada to the D-Backs is not happening because it makes no sense for the D-Backs on any level.

  • Ken Rosenthal uses his imagination a bit in some off-season deals.

  • Brian Cashman on the Yankee payroll:

    "It's more likely to go up a little bit than going down."

    Did someone really need to ask that question?