After my work stress combined with the Carlos Delgado fiasco to induce a whine fest in yesterday's post, I figure why not just whine about it some more. The fact that the Mets lost Bladergroen is not the big deal for me. It does however compound the problem of thinning farm system. As Adam pointed out in the comments section, the Mets #4 prospects over the years had some dubious names in the past. There was 04- M Peterson, 03- D Wright, 02- P Strange, 01- T Perez, 00- B. Cole, 99- Seo, 98- Goetz, 97- G Roberts, 96- J Acevedo, 95- E Alfonzo, 94- E Alfonzo, 93- A Shirley, 92- Huskey, 91- DJ Dozier, 90- T Hundley, 89- T Bross, 88- W Whitehurst, 87- Elster, 86- D West, 85- R Meyers, 84- J Gibbons, and 83- Gooden since Baseball America started keeping track of organizational top ten prospects. While in the long run it probably will not even be a blip on the radar, here is the grander problem. The Mets acquired two players this year that will cost them their 2nd and 3rd round picks, which I am not upset about when you factor in the players they got. They lost Kazmir, Jose Diaz, Matt Peterson, and Justin Huber last season. Add that all up and my point is that the Mets now have three legit prospects right now and the rest are anything but legit. They may have high ceilings or shown flashes of future success, but right now it's all about them reaching their high ceilings that they are not close too.
The Mets thought they were in the playoff hunt last year and pulled the trigger sending two valuable commodities to keep a player away from the Braves in Kris Benson. To me, they completely ignored the fact that Benson could have been available in the off season or a few guys like Matt Clement or Odalis Perez who could have filled in his rotation spot this season (Besides, if the Braves got Benson last season and resigned him, they most likely do not make a highly unforeseen move for Tim Hudson). My conclusion? Not needed. Then there was the Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano logic. The Mets and Rick Peterson were the only people to consider Victor Zambrano one of the premier power pitchers in the American League. They loved him so much they decided to give away Scott Kazmir by using the circular logic that they felt Phil Humber could be better anyway (why not keep both them?). Vincent Namoli is looking to cut payroll anyway he can. Even before Zambrano's injury one has to assume he could have come at a smaller price than Kazmir at the time or a smaller price in the off season. Let's say not doing the Benson deal and using Peterson instead while looking to fill in the spot in the rotation Benson is in the off season. Then compound it with the loss of Blade and the loss of two more draft picks, the Mets have completely transformed themselves into a team who will be looking towards the free agent market to fill holes. I do realize it is easy to say this stuff after knowing what I want know about the outcomes of each transaction, but Kazmir could have netted Aubrey Huff according to Joel Sherman. The Mets could have still gotten Zambrano for less and filled in the other spot in rotation out of Odalis Perez, Matt Clement, or Kris Benson if he was made available. This Blade deal was the icing on the cake for me and like Amit said in the comments a few days back, Omar is now in win now mode and will further use the farm system this upcoming deadline. Of course if the Mets win the WS this season, who cares? But what if (when they) do not? If they are looking to upgrade the team at the deadline, do not think Aarom Baldiris will get it done. Think more along the lines of Yusmeiro Petit.
A good farm system is a deep farm system. The Mets are very, very thin right now so the number of guys over the next five year that will contribute to the majors on some level will be countable on one hand. After the Mets had seemingly been on the right road with a strong farm system, it has pretty much all been put years behind with recent activity. If you are going to churn out good prospects, there has to be depth. Right now, they only have depth in the area of pitching, which happens to be the most important which is working in their favor. Elsewhere it is scary. The Mets historic evaluation of free agent talent tells me that going after free agents to plug holes every year is bad idea. The system is in need a few good draft years and it looks like that will have to wait until 2006. This is the reason I was all about the Mets buying their talent this off season to preserve depth when they could.
With all that good stuff out of the way, let me also state I do not think Doug Mienmcewingicz is necessarily the worst thing for the Mets. I also trust Omar enough to think he explored the other options. I'm sure that if Lee was healthy, the trigger for Dougie Fresh would not have been pulled so quickly. On top of that, I'm sure Omar would not let the info out that Lee is injured because it only hurts his new buddy Scott Boras in his future negotiations for his client Travis Lee hence the reason we have not heard a peep on that. I'm finally coming to grips with that idea and it seems they chose the guy who presents the smallest injury concern as other options like Olerud and N. Johnson were. As of now, it is in Omar I trust. This has been the best Met off season in their history and nothing can change that at this point.
Now what next? I know Minaya said he is going stand pat, but I'm not sure everyone believes that.
I have one suggestion that I would explore if I were Omar. Now it is a recycled idea from before with a different spin.
With the prospect of Cameron being a lot healthier and a bigger contributor to the club in 2005 than Cliffy, see if you can deal Glass. Now, I know nobody is supposed to want him, but the fact is, he still is only getting paid $6.5 million in 2005 and 2006. The Cubbies would take him in a deal for Sosa, but what about a deal without Sosa? The Cubbies have Todd Hollandsworth or Jason Dubois set to start in left field at this point. They have righties sitting at every single position in their lineup with the exception of Hollandsworth if he starts in left. I suggest dangling Cliffy in front of the Cubbies, offer to take Kyle Farnsworth (it cannot be understated the benefit of having a b-brawler like him on the team in case Paul Wilson steps out of line again) and throw them about $4 million to help fray the high risk of Floyd. For $9 million over two years they get a guy who can still hit 30 homers if he is healthy enough and that is not too bad in my opinion. Sure his health is a huge question, but the risk is not that high and they save cash on Fransworth as well. He made $1.4 million last year and will command more money this year. Overall, they it may only cost the Cubs two million for Floyd over their current payroll. Besides, when Sosa leaves next season, they can use Floyd's production as the next crop of outfielders centers around Carlos Lee and not much else. It makes sense to me that Cliff Floyd could help the Cubs for the next two years.
What next? That deal would be a tandem deal in conjunction with Omar courting Magglio Ordonez and having him workout and be examined by their shiny new medical staff. Plug Magglio in left against his will because he'll obviously want to play right. However, if it was the Tigers RF vs. the Mets LF, he may just choose to call his home Flushing, NY. The Mets plug a hole in their bullpen and the plug in another top of the order hitter to protect Carlos Beltran. If Magglio's workouts are less than convincing, then scratch this plan and start over from the beginning.
I am also a fan of trading Cammie for Jorge Julio and Jay Gibbons to make room for Magglio (again, if he's healthy). Gibbons also gives another lefty bat off the bench to play COF and 1b as well.
The good thing about those two above moves is that they can wait as long as Magglio holds out. There is no rush as the Mets can stay the course with what they have or make a last minute move.
The deal would also include a $16 million option for 2009 that would become guaranteed based on how Delgado does in MVP voting and whether he earns any postseason MVP awards. If the option doesn't become guaranteed, Florida would have the right to exercise a $12 million option. If the option is declined, Delgado would get a $4 million buyout.
Hmm...I hope the Marlins finish second place to the Mets, lose in the first round of the playoffs and Carlos Delgado gets MVP so the Fish can be have to pay him $16 million on 2009.