This is the million dollar question. Let me first say, I would not complain if Manny becomes a Met, but at what price are we talking? Instead of Manny being the first choice for the Mets, he should be the contingency plan. The Mets have two vital needs heading into the off season and one of them was a big bat. The other was the bullpen issue and that will get addressed. There are plenty of options out there and I am not sweating that at all. However, the big bat may prove to be more elusive. Outside of Brian Giles and Paul Konerko, there are no guys out there that resemble run producers on the free agent market. If the Mets are not pursuing one of those guys, which may not be the best idea
, then they are not getting a bat without a trade.
We know who the usual suspects are in Soriano, Huff, Manny, possibly Dunn, Overbay, etc. Make no mistake. The Mets could stand to add some offense. However, if they solidify their pen and Willie makes some more sound decisions, this team will be a contender. However, if the Mets bolster their pen and add a guy who can hit, they are the favorites in the NL East and able to play with any team in the National League. Manny is going to cost $19 million in 2006, $18 million in 2007, and $20 million in 2008 and has two options that will not picked up in 2009 and 2010. While the Mets may be able to afford a luxury like Manny Ramirez financially, it does lessen the talent in the farm system and probably the bullpen. On top of that, it puts two guys who do not have the greatest mobility on the corners. While I think Floyd can play right and not look like a fool, he does not have nearly the arm to play there. Despite his great play last year, putting those two on the corners without an option to DH one of them sometimes could prove to be detrimental.
Getting Manny may require the Mets to move Cliffy and make another move, but that does not really seem to be in the Mets game plan since they would be losing a potent left handed bat that you just do not come across often. The Mets need offense and one more consistent bat that can anchor the middle of the lineup. If the Mets do not add Manny, the Mets could conceivably upgrade their closer, get Burnett, pick up two relievers, pick up a catcher, possibly upgrade second base, and bolster their bench. With Manny, I doubt all that can happen though many people think the Mets could just do it all and blow about over $130 million this season. I'm going to work through the numbers at some point, but in terms of the short and long term success of this franchise, the Mets should look at cheaper options than Manny before going all out for him. It should also be noted he would be going from a place very good to right handers to one of the toughest places for right handers to hit. Using the Bill James Handbook to figure out what the equivalent of his 22 homers and .307 average at home would equate to, he would have 15 homers and a .286 avg. I don't think this is anything to put too much stock in, but it is just a reference point. If Manny is a Met, 35 homers is about what I would expect at the top of the spectrum and I think the Mets should explore a better fit at first. It's a long off season and if the Red Sox sign Damon and Omar was too focussed on Manny, the Mets could come up losers here.* * * Thanks to Ken S. for sending me this pic.
Bobby V. never tasted so good. What other manager can get you drunk?
From ESPN.com Rumor Central:
Nov 15 - Mets GM Omar Minaya may be willing to offer Billy Wagner as much as $36 million over three years, the New York Daily News reports. Like he did for Pedro Martinez last winter, Minaya may even add a fourth year to land the 34-year-old closer.
Wagner is scheduled to visit the Mets early next week.
It's on 'till the break of dawn...If Omar wants him, he shall have him.
Also from ESPN.com Insider, Jerry Crasnick polled some GMs about some hot topics to gauge what direction they think some things will drop.
1. Where will Manny Ramirez be playing on Opening Day?
Responses: Boston Red Sox 10, New York Mets 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1.
It's either the Mets or Boston and if the Red Sox sign Damon, it looks like he'll be staying put unless the Red Sox want round two of Cliff Floyd.
2. Which team will sign Paul Konerko, and how much will it take?
Responses: Chicago White Sox 10, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 1.
I just know it won't be the Mets.
3. Will Roger Clemens return to pitch in 2006?
Responses: 11 say Clemens will pitch again next season, 4 say no.
I'd agree here. He is just padding his record stats and was too good to walk away. Not many walk away at the top, but Roger has a chance to retire for the 100th time and walk away on top of his game. Would I quit now? Shit now, but I'm not him.
4. If money were no object, which premium closer would you rather sign -- Billy Wagner or B.J. Ryan?
Responses: 12 for Wagner, 2 for Ryan, and one no-decision.
No doubt that Wagner is the best closer out there and that is why Omar wants him. Ryan is younger, but he is no Billy Wagner.
5. Will Rafael Palmeiro return to play in 2006?
Responses: 12 of those surveyed say Palmeiro is finished, while three think he'll play one more season.
Does anyone care?
6. Of the following "oldies but goodies" -- Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa or Frank Thomas -- which player is most likely to have a productive, bounce-back season next year?
Responses: Thomas 8, Piazza 5, Bagwell 1, one no-decision.
I'd love to see Mike put up a .275/.280 average with 25 homers.
Wagner is going to tour the Metro area.
The agent for free-agent closer Billy Wagner said yesterday that he has told Mets general manager Omar Minaya that "no amount of money'' can persuade his client to join the Mets if Wagner and his family don't feel comfortable in the New York metropolitan area.
When ever any says it's not about the money, we all know it's about the money...and the guaranteed years. Omar will show him the City, take him to Bergen County, maybe out to Westchester, and kiss his ass for a few days, but in the end, it's about the $$$$$. Let's be real and Billy has stated that to the Phillies. If you want me, you need to give me this.
Omar is not going to sleep until sometime in January.
"We're following up on trade talks from the meetings," Minaya said. "We've had some discussions and a name could come up that makes it work."
Baez could still come here to set up for the Mets in what could become the best pen in the NL if that were to happen. In a trade, the three top pieces of bait that he has been peddling are Mike Cameron, Kris Benson, and Steve Traschel, but would trade Jae Seo or Aaron Heilman should the right deal present itself.
The Padres like Mike Cameron, The Metropolitans like Josh Barfield and Javy Vazquez wants to be a Met.
A few days ago, Peter Gammons had an interesting tidbit in his column that referred to some Bill James predictions from his Bill James Handbook.
There are many fascinating sections that make "The Bill James Handbook" the prize of our winter hibernation. One of them is projected career totals. Prior to the 1990s (apply your own title), there were 15 players in baseball history with 500 homers.
James projects the following numbers, if these players remain relatively healthy:
Mike Piazza 500
Albert Pujols 830
Manny Ramirez 696
Alex Rodriguez 816
Gary Sheffield 594
Alfonso Soriano 506
Sammy Sosa 694
Mark Teixeira 641
Frank Thomas 512
Jim Thome 554
Rafael Palmeiro 617
Andruw Jones 677
Chipper Jones 610
Ken Griffey 686
Adam Dunn 662
Jim Edmonds 512
Carlos Delgado 565
Barry Bonds 900
Jeff Bagwell 516
Vlad Guerrero 649
Pujols' projected 3,800 hits would place him fourth and his 1.037 OPS sixth all-time. Ramirez is projected to 3,036 hits and a .981 OPS. Others projected to get 3,000 hits: Edgar Renteria, Guerrero, Bonds, Derek Jeter, A-Rod, Pudge Rodriguez, Craig Biggio and Miguel Tejada.
• Incidentally, for 2006, James projects: Ryan Howard to hit 44 homers; Marlins rookie Jeremy Hermida to hit 27 homers with a .946 OPS; Nats 3B Ryan Zimmerman .315; BJ Upton .270 with 13 homers; Delmon Young .284 with 16 HR; Rickie Weeks .267 with 26 HR; Rockies 1B Ryan Shealy .301 with 13 HR; Cubs CF Felix Pie to hit 21 HR and an .874 OPS; Mets 2B Anderson Hernandez .295 with a .336 OBP; Chris Ddenorfia .308; Cubs INF Ronnie Cedeno .310 with an .800 OPS; Murton .318 with an .859 OPS; and Orioles rookie Nick Markakis .315 with a .910 OPS.
Cubs fans, take note of Murton, Pie and Cedeno.
Piazza 'ain't hitting no' 500 homers, but I did find Anderson Hernandez's numbers interesting. If the Mets pick up a big bat, I wouldn't mind seeing him get a chance though he looked overmatched in September