The Rumor Mill Is Churning
The Red Sox like Milledge and Heilman.
Mark Healey of Gotham Baseball has a new but familiar trade rumor for us: it appears that the Red Sox would like to acquire Aaron Heilman to be their closer next year. In addition, Theo Epstein and Co. may have their eye on Lastings Milledge. It could be the makings of a Manny Ramirez trade, if the Mets want to pay Ramirez's $39MM salary over the next two seasons.
I think we all know the Mets do not want Manny Ramirez. The only way I could even see this as a remote possibility would be if Red Sox eat half of the money owed to Manny. The Mets would not pick up every dime. Aside from that huge issue of Manny taking up Omar's entire off-season budget, he is not the type of character guy that Omar targets. When talking about 24 + 1 players, Manny could be accused of that. Sure, he is an affable guy, but there is an endless list of things that can be attributed to Manny being Manny.
Manny does not need the Mets and Mets do not need Manny. Good for the Red Sox. They like two very young and very bright players. I'm sure there are 28 other teams that like them too.
On the pitching front, we have seen predictions that say the Mets will get Zito...
Prediction: Seattle strikes again to sign Matsuzaka, a move that will convince Suzuki not to go looking for greener pastures when his deal expires after next season. The Mets outbid the Dodgers for Zito and Schmidt winds up with the Cubs. At least two other Japanese starters accompany Matsuzaka to the United States, including Hiroki Kuroda, an unrestricted free agent.
...and some that predict he stays out West.
Prediction: Signs with the Dodgers for 6-years, $85 or with the Padres for 5-years, $70M
Me? Depends. Depends on whether the Mets actually bring back Glavine and/or lost out on Daisuke. The bottom line is the Mets need to get stronger in the rotation. If Glavine walks (and no one knows much about that situation) and Daisuke is off the table, the best pitcher left is Barry Zito. Sure, the Mets and Yankees say that they have no interest, but that is hard to believe. Omar might try and go the low risk/high reward avenue, but if Glavine leaves and frees up more money, the Mets would have no choice but to go after Zito. Would singing Zito if Glavine leaves wreak of desperation? Possibly, but the Mets need to take steps forward, not backwards.
Speaking of Glavine, MLB4U.com has him heading back to the Mets.
Prediction: Sides split the difference and agree to 1-year, $10.25M deal for 2007
Glavine wants a story book ending and really, it is grinding on me more and more by the day. The Mets have been vocal about wanting him back. The Mets are light years ahead of the Braves in terms of talent. The Mets are a team on the verge of making big things happen. The Braves? Not so much. I appreciate all that Glavine has done for the Mets as an organization in helping bring some professionalism and some players to New York, but enough. He is playing both sides of the fence here and has to decide if being a winner is more important than making one more run with the good 'ole boys. This ain't no fucking high school reunion. It is professional baseball.
Update: Scott said in the comments section last night that the rumor is Glavine is getting a 2 year extension @ $10 million a year. If this is true, I really do not have a big problem with this. You ideally only wanted him for one year, but I do think he is an important part of this team in '07.
I think that Jose Valenin is a great guy. His moustache is second to none. The likelihood of him doing that again? Not very good. There is plenty of talk of the Mets needing to bring him back with a right handed bat to play second base in a platoon with him, but I would just as soon as get someone more valuable. Valentin was horrific off the bench and I do not envision him repeating 2006 so I would rather the Mets look elsewhere.
Rich Aurilia isn't sure he'll exercise his part of a $2 million mutual option with the Reds and may opt for free agency, The New York Post reports. Cincinnati will still be a player for him, but the Staten Island native could be of interest to both New York teams.
"Rich wants to play for a contender and wants to, if possible, play just one position," his agent, Barry Axelrod, told the newspaper. "Both New York teams qualify for what he is looking for."
The Mets need a second baseman, and GM Omar Minaya signed Aurilia to his first pro contract. The Yankees need a first baseman to make Jason Giambi a full-time DH.
Aurilla is certainly a good fit for the Mets and they need a guy that could play 2B and 3B because Wright needs a few days off every once in a while. Rich can take a walk and hit lefties to the tune of .347/.406/.680 in '06. From 2003 to 2005, he hit .294 /362/.505 against lefties. I would not mind seeing Anderson Hernandez make the team in the last rost spot and see some time at second while Aurilla is resting or while Aurilla is resting Wright. Overall, Rich would stand to get plenty of playing time and would certainly fit right in with LoDuca as a player returing back to his home to play. He made only $1,300,000 in 2006 and figures to get a raise, but he will still be a relative bargain.
Heilman still wants to start.
Aaron Heilman's stance remains the same: He wants to be a starting pitcher, either for the Mets or another team in 2007, according to a person familiar with the right-handed reliever's thinking.
Heilman has reiterated his desire to start to management already, the person said.
If Mota comes back, I fully expect him to be traded.
Adam Kennedy is interested in the Mets, but the Mets should not be interested in Adam Kennedy.
This past year Kennedy hit .273 with four homers, 55 RBIs, 16 steals and a .334 on-base percentage for the Angels. Kennedy, who turns 31 in January, has fared well in the playoffs (he was the ALCS MVP in 2002 and has hit .308 in 25 career postseason games) and although he committed nine errors this year (tied for seventh among AL second basemen), he had the fewest among regular AL second basemen in 2005 (five).
He is a lefty who was under the Mendoza line against lefties in 2006 and does not hit lefties all that well overall. If the Mets were looking to platoon someone, they could just bring back Valentin. At any rate, Rich Aurillia is a far superior choice over Adam Kennedy.
Overall, the Mets are leading the bigs with players that filed for free agency. They really need to bring back Bradford and Mota with The Duque looking like a possible vital piece for 2007 if he would accept a one year deal. However, I'm sure there will be some team willing to dish up two years which the Mets should stay away from.
"A lot of players are somewhat nervous or apprehensive about becoming free agents because of all the uncertainty," Borris told the Associated Press last weekend. "Barry has nerves of steel. That's also evident in the way he plays baseball."
Of course he has to interject that last part in his little quote. He is always jockeying for mo' money.
Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado had surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left elbow yesterday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. The team called the surgery a success and said Delgado's rehab schedule put him on course to be ready for spring training workouts.
"All indications are that he's doing great," one official said.
Delgado's elbow had hindered him at times this season, his first with the Mets. Delgado often was seen wearing a large ice pack on it around the clubhouse. But the elbow was an issue before he ever got to Queens.
I have no idea if his wrist and elbow played a part in his .268 batting average, but I'm willing to bet they did. I expect a more dangerous Delgado in '07.
According to the source, Soriano is seeking a deal similar to the seven-year, $119 million deal given to center fielder Carlos Beltran by the New York Mets before the 2005 season. It's unlikely the Orioles will be in the running for Soriano if he doesn't back off those demands. Teams can start bidding on free agents on Nov. 12.
Um, no. Not happening bub. Beltran was three years younger than you were when he signed his contract. Yours would expire when you are 38 and Beltran is one of the more adept fielders in the league. It can't hurt to ask though, right?
The Phillies are prepared to go hard after Soriano with a $15 million per year offer.
A team source says the Phils are prepared to dish out at least $75 million over five seasons for Soriano, who hit .277 with a career-high 46 homers, 95 RBIs and 41 steals last season for the Washington Nationals, most out of the leadoff position.
Yikes. That is some lineup they would be putting together in Philly.