Some Good News and Some Bad News
The good news first. Omar Minaya sets his sights sky high and sees no reason why he cannot get any player and go for any deal.
The bad news. Omar is still has visions of Manny Ramirez as a Met. This is a loaded issue for me because there is not one person in their right mind that would not love to Manny on their team knocking RBIs in left and right.
Mets and Red Sox execs have agreed to discuss Manny Ramirez at the winter meetings in Dallas in early December, and Omar Minaya recently told one baseball person, "I'm going for it."
Of course the bad might outweigh the good. Right now, if the Mets can ink Billy Wagner and net one more middle reliever, I like the current team. Of course, I would love for them to explore AJ Burnett, but if nothing else happened, I think this team still has put themselves into the upper echelon of the NL. Getting Manny is complicated because the Mets traded Mike Cameron already and are left with not much help for the Red Sox by way of Major League talent. Of course the Mets can always throw in a starting pitcher or perhaps even Cliff Floyd, though I doubt the Red Sox would be that interested. However, the main cogs of any deal with Boston would likely be Aaron Heilman and Lastings Milledge.
They will not be the only two players mind you, just the two main pieces. With the Mets not being able to net a left reliever and Heilman's success against lefties in 2005 coupled with the fact that he figures to be the main set up man for whomever is closing is a bad thing. With relievers escalating salaries and the Cubs throwing the market out of whack for once and not a New York team, Heilman's worth has soared through the roof. It has also been no secret that the Red Sox like Lastings Milledge and would probably require him back in any deal now that Petit and Cameron have left the organization.
I am all for adding more offense, but at what cost? It is already something that I feel is adequate given their potential pitching staff and the Mets already have a possible murderer's row with Beltran, Delgado, Wright, and Floyd. Those four guys are going to provide a lot of pop for this Met team. Would Manny help? You would dumb to say no, but at what damage to the future of this club? Getting Manny would also necessitate moving payroll. That means the current makeup of this team is going to look very, very different. Maybe Floyd gets moved for prospects or players to get back Manny, maybe Kaz gets half his salary picked up to make some room, Cameron's salary is already off the books, maybe Minaya can move Benson, etc. However, one has to wonder what, if anything, will be left after the next flurry of moves in terms of youth.
When Minaya took over, he stated his vision to infuse homegrown players with free agents. However, the Mets and Minaya have seemed to enter a full win now mode despite the fact they could have a nice balance of win now mentality and keep their best position prospect in Lastings Milledge to form a core of Wright, Reyes, and Milledge for years to come. The Mets may have a lot of money coming to them, but to sustain yourself financially, you need to have young and productive talent. Having big ticket items will get you where the Yankees are today. No help on the farm coming soon and tons of bloated contracts that you cannot move. If Delgado is part of this deal, so be it. That would certainly lessen the blow. However, I do not think that is the direction Minaya is going in. I see this as being a blood bath for something that is not a necessity for this team. Again, if Minaya wants to further improve this offense, try a guy like Brian Giles who will not cost you that young talent. I may sound like a broken record, but this Met team seems to be on the right track. Why throw that off?
While negotiating with free-agent catchers Ramon Hernandez and Bengie Molina, the Mets also have held trade discussions with Tampa Bay about catcher Toby Hall. The Mets have offered a package headed by young second baseman Anderson Hernandez; the Devil Rays want pitcher Aaron Heilman.
Um, not happening. Has anyone been watching this off season with good middle relief?