The Mets Still Have Some Question Marks.....
....but so do the New York Yankees. I'm getting a bit sick of many people in the media writing about the Mets and constantly giving the back handed compliments. They say, "the Mets made some good moves, but they still have a lot of question marks." Yeah? Well so does everyone else and that includes the Yankees and their bloated payroll. They have some large ones for a team that is spending $200 million on their baseball team.
Gary Sheffield's bursitis is painful. It is so painful Gary has tossed around the idea of retiring early because it is unbearable at times. His wife prays for his shoulder in church and he is truly a big concern for the Yankees. The player who finished #2 in the MVP voting is a big part of that lineup and is a big stick to try and replace should he go down or become ineffective.
Jason Giambi's knee is going to be a huge problem. He is mainly going to be relegated to the DH role at this point since Bernie Williams looks like he is going to play centerfield. I do believe Giambi can still be a productive player, although not the .340, 40+ homer, and 130+ RBI guy. Will he be able to stay healthy for the entire season though?
There are many doubts as to whether Bernie Williams can do an adequate enough job in centerfield. Gary is an average fielder in right and Hideki is a good fielder, but not a quick one. There will be balls a plenty falling into the gaps in the outfield and at 36 years old, he does not look like he is going to gain some spring in his step. I would also say his offensive decline is cause for some concern as well. Will the Yankees be looking to acquire Juan Pierre at the deadline if the Marlins are out of it?
Randy Johnson's knee is another big concern as well as his fracas with the Channel 2 camera man. Will he have problems with the relentless NY Media? He's already shown a complete lack of restraint and it is only fair that this is brought up since there was an entire article fixated on Carlos Beltran's thin skin. As for his knee, that is the biggest concern. He has to inject fluid into his knee before every start and is 41 years old. There are no doubts about the effectiveness of his shoulder, but he certainly needs to knee if he plans to hurl a baseball towards home plate.
All that money and no bench? Rubin Sierra is a good insurance policy for right field and Jason Giambi at DH, but outside of that, it gets really bad. Tino Martinez would have been coming off the bench if they picked up Beltran but will be in the starting lineup at this point. Honestly, for all the money they spent, could they not have spent a few million on their bench? They have a lot of aging players and will not have one starter under 30 years old and six over 33 years old. They have five starting position players over 34 years old. They have four starting position players over 35 years old. It would certainly behoove them to have a solid bench, but they do not and the Mets signed an very solid replacement in Miguel Cairo that they could have easily signed to strengthen their team.
Tony Womack is coming off a career high in average, OBP, and SLG at 34 years old. He's not costing much so there is not big risk there, but there is no one to spell him should Steinbrenner not be excited with the production he is giving.
Can Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright survive in the toughest division in baseball? I've brought up this point before, but they have only had three combined seasons with a 4.21 or below ERA out of fifteen years of major league service. Both are moving out of one of the weakest divisions in baseball where there are a lot of pitching friendly parks.
I can see Pavano turning to Wright around mid July and saying; "Jaret, we're not in Kansas anymore".
Javier Vazquez was head and shoulders better and more successful than either of these two pitchers were and had a tough time adjusting. To assume that these guys will be picking up right where they left off last season will be a huge mistake. Do not be surprised to see one of these guys being jettisoned like Javier Vazquez after they are deemed to be unfit for pinstripes.
Kevin Brown in another question mark. What are the Yankees going to get out of him? He had a rude awakening coming into the AL East like the above two players and the real questions pertain to his back problems. Will he be able to stay healthy the entire season? The Yankees had one hell of time finding guys to make starts for their injured starters last season and do not have a luxury in El Duque and got rid of Brad Halsey. I hope Yankees fans like Tanyon Sturtze because they may be seeing a lot him and expect them to be looking for an arm at the trade deadline.
Since I was already posting some Yankee bashing today, Scott's post from the comments section seemed to fit all to perfectly so it makes sense to add them into the mix.
Lets talk today about "overpaying". Overpaying is spending money on a guy who weighs 40 less than he did at the end of the previous season, plays a hand full of games, gets implicated in pumping chemicals into himself and cant play decent ball. Overpaying is having two shortstops and having the better of the two play third base. Overpaying is having a 42 year old getting a 2 year contract extension between lube jobs on his knee. Overpaying is a $65m rotation that WILL NOT be healthy for the entire season. Overpaying is having ZERO prospects in your farm system. Overpaying is having your RF train with suspected steroid abusers and come to training camp looking like your $17m 1b did the previous year. Overpaying is a bullpen with one reliable arm and one sort-of-pretty-ok arm.
Scott 01.10.05 - 8:10 pm #
For now a limited Bernie Williams is the Yankee center fielder and Bubba Crosby the backup, which means my first prediction of the 2005 season is the Yanks will be looking for a center fielder at the July trading deadline, not only a starter to replace Brown.
The Mets, set in center field now until 2011, would not have Beltran if the Yanks had been interested, the Astros had given him a no-trade clause or they had not offered the most money, just as they did with Martinez. But it is no sin to offer the most money. The Yanks do it all the time.
Will he be angry today? Marcus, the public relations firm owner, doubts it. He said Steinbrenner is too good at the PR game in New York to get upstaged any more -- and that there was enough room on the back pages for both teams.
"What the Mets have to do is sign (Carlos) Delgado -- and they have to do it just as the Yankees are starting (the Johnson press conference)," Marcus said. "All the beepers will be going off. It would only cost $60 million, but it would be worth it."
If the Mets can lure the free agent first baseman to Shea, their payroll will bloat to nearly $140 million, putting them second in the big leagues only to, you guessed it, the Yankees.
I'm not sure how this is, but here is where it stands right now according to my calculations:
Carlos Beltran ........$17.00
Floyd, Cliff ..............$6.50
Matsui, Kazuo ........$7.00
Reyes, Jose .............$0.50
David Wright ..........$0.40
Piazza, Mike ...........$15.00
Eric Valent .............$0.35
Andres Galaraga ...$1.00
total = $101.95
The only two spots open are one bench/bullpen spot and first base. I've even included Koo Dae-Sung's incentives. I cannot see how they would be sniffing $140 million. I know there is medical and benefits that get added into the deal and minor leagues get added in too, but their major league payroll is completely manageable. I'd love to know if anyone can tell me what I'm missing here.
He's not even a Yankee yet and cannot handle one camera man. The man is in for a rude awakening. Great stuff.
The Rangers are expecting Delgado to sign with the New York Mets for $12-$14 million per year. The Rangers have already shown a reluctance to go higher than $10 million per season.
Three out of the Mets top four prospects are pitchers and very solid pitchers at that. The fact that they signed Humber early enough so he can report to spring training is awesome. No more lost time and the Mets now have the guy with the self proclaimed best curveball in the country. Despite losing Kazmir and Peterson, the Mets still have a very strong crop of pitching talents. Young pitching is good. Very, very good. Minaya signs Zambrano, Cairo, Koo Dae-Sung, Beltran, and Humber in the span of a few days. They guy deserves a hand. I'm not sure he's slept at all lately.