A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In The Weeds? Not Likely.

The Yankees have been quiet and that is not something we are all used to. The fact is, the Yankees have just figured out what they were doing was not working.

Of course, Jeffrey Loria, the Marlins' owner, never will completely shut the door on potential Willis suitors. "Not if someone wants to really overwhelm us," is what he says, which, translated, means, "Who's to say if someone is willing to do something really stupid like trading three can't-miss prospects?" Not the Yankees or the Mets.

What's interesting from the Yankees' standpoint is that, for the first time in recent memory, they are actually in a position to put together that sort of package as a result of Brian Cashman's determined restocking of the once-barren farm system with blue-chip prospects such as pitchers Philip Hughes, Humberto Sanchez, Tyler Clippard, Jeff Karstens, Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Dellin Betances and Kevin Whelan and outfielders Jose Tabata and Brett Gardner.

The George Steinbrenner of yesteryear would be telling Cashman to call Loria and make precisely that sort of overwhelming offer for Willis. But as Cashman reiterated yesterday, the Yankees are doing business in a different way now.

The Yankees and the Mets have been on the right path this off-season. They have been on the prudent path and though both want to improve their ball clubs, they will not do it at the expense of taking on a bad contract much like they have both done in the past and many teams are doing this off season. Really strange to see this happen and typically sensibility was not always a trait of either of these clubs, but are keeping an eye on the long term.

In my opinion, the Mets are in a better position than the Yankees. I think the Yankees need one more starter more than the Mets. However, if the Yankees overpay for Pettite for one season, that would certainly seem like their best option at this point while they buy some time for Phil Hughes or Tyler Clippard. As for the Mets, Omar will get a starting pitcher. 1st choice is Zito. After that? We know Jennings is out there with some White Sox starters and I'm sure there are other options like a mid-range guy or just waiting until the trade deadline. From Rick yesterday in the comments:

It's mind-boggling how every inconceivable contract looks like a bargain after such a short period of time. Marvin Miller should be going into the Hall of Fame all by himself this year, when guys like Vincente Padilla and Gil Meche are getting $10 million a year. The fact is, Shea Stadium has a bigger effect on the quality of the Mets starting pitching than anyone toeing the rubber. In the last 10 years, there have only been four Met starters whose ERA was over 4.50 with more than 150 innings pitched, and only once did the team finish in the bottom half of the league ERA leaders. And that's not with too many impressive arms. And most of those years didn't feature a gold glove center fielder. Omar is a smart guy, the Mets will win 90 games with Glavine, Maine, Duque, Oliver and Pelfry/Humber/Bannister. When the out of contention clubs start dealing guys in July, then we should be shoring things up for the playoff run. Until then, let Seattle have Barry Zito.

That is certainly and interesting tidbit and if you ask me, Zito needs the Mets more the Mets need Zito. Barry might be more of a luxury item and Omar has been steadfast with his offer.

"I can't worry about that," Minaya said of the Texas rumors. "I just can't worry about what other teams are doing. I know what we like and what we feel value is and that's all we can do."

One person with knowledge of the talks said that Zito has little interest in playing for the Rangers and the Mets hold an allure for him with a chance to win a World Series and a city to market him.

Now, while the Mets are exploring their options like Mark Mulder, which could just be some posturing by Omar, Barry is sweating it out. If he doesn't end up with the Mets, he will certainly not be in a favorable baseball situation. Now that the Padres are most likely out, his options are waning and the Angels would be the best place for him to land if the Mets pulled out as well. The Mets want to get something done soon whether that has something to do with Zito being a Met is another thing. Omar is not exactly patient so it makes sense for Zito to make something happen sooner rather than later.

* * *

  • BMF says the inside work is that HoJo will be the third base coach. Mike likes that.

  • Ambiorix Burgos for Brian Bannister? Good deal. He is exactly the type of power arm that Rick Peterson loves to rehab and he is definitely an intriguing player. As for Brian Bannister, he is a nice guy, but he didn't have much trade value by himself. Sorry. He was a throw in that could be a league average starter at best who's ERA did not match his actual performance. Turning him into a 22 year old with a power arm is fine move. Anyone that is down on Burgos better understand the kid is young and still has some learning to do.

  • Drew and Lugo? The Red Sox lineup is going to be mighty scary if Manny doesn't go anywhere. Does anything think the Red Sox can even afford to have him around at this point? Some people might not like Drew, but he is a talented guy. As a lefty in that park, he might be putting up some big numbers. A career year in '07 would not surprise me one bit.

  • I do apologize for all the Zito talk lately, but it's pretty much been a topic that is consuming every conscious thought I have and there will be more this week. If you are sick of it, stop back next week.


    Anonymous jake said...

    red sox pitching is also going to be nasty.

    i'm with you re zito needing mets. hopefully this is true not fantasy.

    12:36 AM

    Anonymous dg's coagulate junk said...

    Hopefully, the Tadpoles don't wake up with remorse on the Burgos/Bannister biz as I think it's a great trade for both teams (and especially us!). Burgos was rushed to the majors but has significant, significant upside. He was rated the 6th best prospect in the Tadpoles org before the 2005 season after being the 30th the season before. He signed with the Poles at 16 and has grown four inches since then which supposedly explains some of his early mechanics issues. He dreams of being a closer but has the potential to even start if the Mets wanted to turn that way.

    What I like about Omar is he tends to trade for young players with upside as opposed to wasting our own prospects on short term replacements. Last season it was Nady, which was a great pickup (with admirable foresite towards his winter needs); this year we've already acquired Vargas, Ben Johnson, the kid Bostick or whatever his name was and now, I hope, Burgis. Not bad when you consider that the Mets minor league depth has been lacking. And what's even better is that all of these guys are further along in their career than those draft picks we tend to lose with regularity as Omar picks the cream of free agency.

    It's actually quite interesting though not quite clearly a trend how Omar seems to be indentifying prospects who have been rushed to the majors as his new reclamations projects. Players like Vargas & Burgis may well benefit from time in (cue cheesy game show mc...) " in the beatiful New Orleans delta." The Mets can afford to let these guys go back down the ladder whereas teams like the Tadpoles, who depend on low cost talent, cannot (hence the new nickname).

    Joel Sherman's article in the Post bears particular consideration today. I think it's a great analysis of the old Zito debate as well as the philosophy of how the Mets integrate their young arms.

    My Zito index is unchanged from yesterday.

    9:05 AM

    Anonymous benny bizzle said...

    I think the yankees' and Mets' behavior is a compliment to thier GM's.
    We all know omar is the man. And although not many like Cashman and don't think he's a very good one because of his budget, i like him alot. He gets things done. And alot of the bad deals are Steinbrenner's fault.

    Lugo to the Red Sox, i guess that means no free tickets to Met games...

    I can't wait for the Ambiorix&Ambiorix Show at Shea. With Burgos and Concepcion in the field.
    (Although it'll never happen cause the OF version of Ambiorix sucks balls)

    I heard Rickey might be the 1st base coach. Shifting Sandy ALomar to 3rd...
    I would love Rickey.

    And metsblog.com is saying the Mets and A's have talked possibly Rich Harden for Milledge, Heilman, and PROBABLY someone like Mike Carp.
    I <3 Milledge but I would do that deal. Although his injury history sucks and its kinda scary.

    9:39 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    One has to wonder where this money for Daisuke is going to come from. Even the Red Sox have to have limits, no? But Schilling, Papelbon, Lester, Beckett, and Daisuke is pretty sick. Then they have Wakefield and Clement. If nothing materializes, I'd still take a flyer on Clement if they'd eat a bit of that contract. He has a live arm and a sick slider. He may never be right again, but if all else fails...

    DG, great point on the kids aspect. Omar has turned guys heading into their prime who have yet to do anything into live arms. Guys that were rushed and Burgos is still young. You cannot argue with that and some of those moves (not all obviously) are going to pay big dividends.

    9:43 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I love Harden too, but as the owner of him in fantasy baseball the last two years, I can attest to the fact he is not the pinnacle of health.

    9:44 AM

    Anonymous jake said...

    harden would be swell. zito would be good. blanton would be fine. give us an A, any A, all preferable to the white sox pitchers.

    omar rocks.

    as some have said, standing more or less pat then pulling in an ace before the deadline could prove prudent. no matter what, we should get pedro back late summer which obviously will be huge.

    my only problem with the state of the mets is that they will almost be too good. i mean, they should have won the world series last season cause that would have been a thrilling triumph (remember how last spring all the talk was about the braves streak blah blah blah). now it will be either expected or if we don't win dissapointing. sure it's still cool to watch the dynasty come together, but we should have kickstarted the dominance in 06.

    10:01 AM

    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    Maybe the best thing that happened to the Mets was bringing up Milledge early and teams feeling that he maybe be more hype than substance, for a team that people says needs starting pitching trading a starter for relief help is really the way to go, Omar gets it and it seems other teams are following his blueprint, starters if your lucky go 6 innings, you need the dependable arm 60-70 games to throw out there, thats why relievers are getting 3 years 10 mill plus.

    10:33 AM

    Anonymous Scott said...

    Boy there is a veritable plethora of rumors milling around. I just read that Mulder's agent and Omar have talked about a contract where Mulder does not pitch next season then gets 3 1 year incentive contracts. Makes sense since Duque will probably be gone after next season.

    Sorta sorry we didn't get Lugo. I guess Omar was smart re-signing Stache.

    Anyone who doesn't want to read about Zito is DEAD TO ME! Nah, just kidding but you better get used to it because it is just starting. Come back in February.

    11:29 AM

    Anonymous Scott from Peekskill said...

    So the Pads are definitely out of the Zito running. 10mil for Maddux seems 2mil too much.

    The Red Sox are going to be stacked! Papi, Manny then Drew! Damn! And that Pitching staff! Holy crap. The Yankees are in for a rough season.

    11:34 AM

    Anonymous Scott from Peekskill said...

    Thank your Gods that Peterson is back! 3 years! Whew.

    11:40 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Jake, I'm pretty ambivalent over Joe Blanton and his 0.99 k/9. I have to say he is undwhelming.

    Steve, the reliever market is out of control and Omar is committed to finding gems out there. Rick has been able to transform a few relievers every year and I do not expect this year to be any different.

    Scott, that is a weird one. Is Mulder not expected to throw this season? I thought he was supposed to be back 'early' on. Also, why is Duque not coming back in '08? He's signed in '08. I wanted Lugo too, but whatever. He wanted to play shortstop and he is on a good team with cash. If he chose the Royals over the Red Sox that's one thing.

    I think the Pads are out of the Zito running with that contract...with Peavy, Stauffer, Young, Maddux, and Hensley, they have a nice staff.

    Good news on Ricky P. I apologize for all the bad things I've said about him.

    12:14 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    Red Sox/Mets world series sounds good.

    I'm mixed on Harden, especially if the team trades its one sure set up man and its first baseman of the future.
    Plus side, he's got tons of potential, but he's also been a recurrent injury machine. He's got Tommy John written all over him!

    Further, when you consider the source (not you Benny) and the fact that it is 100% speculation at this point, it's probably best to look at it as what it is, a lot of wind.

    12:24 PM

    Anonymous Scott said...

    news is that Mulder is not going to be ready for up to 9 months

    12:25 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Harden = Tommy John

    I agree. Scary stuff and giving up so much for him is the problem. He's not guarantee.

    If he brings Mulder in for successive one year deals, is Zito off the table? I cannot imagine we'll have Zito, Mulder, Pedro, and Glavine in '08 with El Duque still around.

    12:39 PM

    Anonymous Der Gee said...

    Clearly Omar is willing to think outside the box on this, MIke. If he can find his man while maintaining salary space he's going to do it instead.

    Just read the Nightengale piece that apparently spurred the speculation at Metchblorg. There's no mention of Heilman at all, but "Milledge and prospect." I don't get where the "like Mike Carp" comes from, however.

    12:45 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Schmidt, 3 years @ 16 mill per to the Dodgers.

    Open the cash books for Zito if you want him, boys.

    - Nokes

    1:35 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Re Schmidt: Yikes!

    1:36 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    oh, is blanton that bad. for some reason i thought he was decent.

    1:40 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    He's not that bad, but not the type of guy I'd trade Milledge for. He's a solid #3 with very mediocre 'stuff'. He has pinpoint control and looks like he has a few rolls of Charmin under his jersey.

    2:04 PM

    Anonymous Scott said...

    Looks more and more like Zito is going elsewhere. Wanting 6 years AND a huge contract is not in Omars plans by the looks of it.

    Makes a trade likely.

    3:25 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco said...

    Damn yo, just 1 and half more days of Winter Meetins stuff.
    Something needs to go down already!!!

    Schmidt to the Dodgers. All I'm gonna say is, I'd rather pay him 16 million for 3 years than 14 million for 4...

    3:54 PM

    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    Rick Harden is nasty but his health is in question, Blanton is to inconsistent to trade for, I hope Omar doesn't make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. We got 4 starters plus Pelfrey, Humber, Williams, & Zambrano plus the 2 kids from the Marlins, the bullpen is loaded too and who knows what will be available in June and July.

    5:41 PM

    Anonymous brian b said...



    6:05 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    Hey, we've got to appreciate the HoJo move. It will be nice to have him back at Shea.

    I agree Seattle Steve that the Mets may be undervaluing what they have in NY at the moment. Obviously they are not really counting on having Pedro in any significant shape or form during the season, and I think they have decided to try to err towards the conservative side in regards to the two studs, Pelfrey & Humber. One of those guys should be able to join the rotation in 07, however.

    I still think they could go with what they have and improve as necessary during the season. They'll take hits for not having solidified their rotation, but the only thing the media can really criticize in what they have is a lack of star quality.

    6:12 PM

    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    I hear that the braves got R.Soriano from the mariners the dude can pitch, Bavasi has to be the worst GM when it comes to trades, since Buzzy left LA his family has done a terrible job in regards to his legacy. I know I'm dating myself, hey I can still remember '55.

    10:46 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    You guys hear about the Phils deal for Freddie Garcia? The patrons over at Cerrone's are having puppies because of it.

    RELAX (don't do it!). Omar has never made a deal just to make a deal and he's not going to start now.

    We either trade our prospects (Pelf, Humber, Stings) for some proven scrubs or just sit. I think I'd rather just sit for now, thanks.

    I do think this steps up the urgency for Zito though.

    10:55 PM

    Anonymous John in RI said...

    I hate to say I told you so, but here goes....Yankees GM Brian Cashman and agent Scott Boras had a four-hour meeting this evening, according to Pete Abraham at his blog for the Journal

    I hope (wish) I am wrong on what this means, but I have been saying all along that the Yankees were playing it cool and quiet, and would jump up and snatch Zito from us. If Cashman throws 6 years at him it gets done. I would not be surprised if 5/$80 got it done, either.

    This, with presumably the White Sox pitchers off the market (probably a good thing) is probably not a good thing. I have faith in Omar, but I am getting a little nervous that we will start the year with what we got as far as starters go.

    11:22 PM

    Anonymous Scott said...

    Yeah, looks like trading partners are getting low too. No way Omar trades with the White Sox now. Holding out so long may not have been the smartest move for Omar.

    The only other obvious trade partner is Colorado for Jason Jennings. Don't know that I like that idea.

    Mulder is probably just trying to get a better deal than a performance based 3 x 1 year deal.

    11:47 PM

    Anonymous joe said...

    How does everyone feel about last year's starting rotation compared with this year's? Was it Pedro, Glavine, Trachsel, Zambrano, Bannister?

    10:11 AM

    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    Joe, I like next year's rotation better than last, with the exception of the immense meteor crater at the top of it.

    After watching the Rockies for 2 summers, I'd go after Jennings in a flash. The Rockies don't want to pay him now that he can get big money. He can hit, too.

    Amen to the following:

    Schmidt to the Dodgers. All I'm gonna say is, I'd rather pay him 16 million for 3 years than 14 million for 4...

    Soriano to the Braves - Soriano got hit in the head by a line drive last year, and Ramirez is always hurt, so that trade is damaged goods for damaged goods. Caveat emptor. Bavasi seems to be a knucklehead on this one. My buddy writes the Nice Guys finish third blog on the M's, and he must be scratching his head on this one.

    11:45 AM

    Anonymous Farva said...

    By my searching out for the latest CRAP SPAM INFORMATION about Crappy Spam I have found your site.

    Goddamn I hate spam!!!!

    Yeah this years rotation should be stronger from 2-5 but we have no Pedro therefore we have no Ace.


    12:34 PM

    Anonymous scott hates spam said...

    Update on Mulder. I must have misread his prognosis. He will begin throwing in 9-12 weeks not 9-12 months. Looks like Texas has serious interest in him.

    I hate spam too Farva.

    12:40 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I hear that the braves got R.Soriano

    So Sid said it was for Horacio? Whatever...Bad deal for the Mariners.

    Coop...Freddy to the Phillies is bad. I think he's a good pitcher. Their rotation is shaping up to be pretty decent.

    RELAX (don't do it!). Omar has never made a deal just to make a deal and he's not going to start now.

    Preach on sister. We all know he's going to do what's best.

    John, the White Sox guys off the market is a bad thing and they got rid of Garland too! So MLBTRADERUMORS.com says anyway.

    Joe, this year's is better. The Mets could use another front end guy, but they do not necessarily need one. Take the same four from last playoffs - Traxx + The Duque = not bad. I'm not even counting on Pedro, he should be gravy. I think he'll be back too, so I think we look good if all else fails.

    Update on Mulder. I must have misread his prognosis. He will begin throwing in 9-12 weeks not 9-12 months.

    If no Zito..then Mulder looks like a good plan.

    1:10 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great. Flores is gone. Nice job, Omar. You asshole.


    2:10 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...


    2:13 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Duh. The Nationals took him in the Rule 5.

    Minaya's had an AWFUL week. It's only going to get worse, i'm afraid.


    2:17 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    My Zito confidence index is actually up a tick today though it had admittedly been quite low the last few days. I base this slight glow of optimism on two things: firstly, Adam Rubin's article today in the Daily News was quite encouraging and had more real info - instead of the whole media feeding frenzy using every name of every pitcher the A's have ever had in their rotation (did anyone say Vida Blue?) - and secondly, the Freddy Garcia trade which was very very good for us indeed. Say what? Follow me to the next graph...

    Okay, the Garcia trade is good because it got us out of these ridiculous talks for one year rentals with the ChiSox AND because the Phillies, which we ought to emphasize is a name we use for girls, JUST GAVE OMAR THE SENSE OF REAL NEED TO GO OUT AND ACQUIRE BARRY ZITO!!! This is a win win situation for us fans, and we ought to thank the Girlies when they come to Shea next year (by kicking their asses of course!).

    So, good news all around. If the Zito index has been at 1 out of 10, I'd say it's come up to either 3 or even 4. (Of course, Mike, if you posted one of those interactive voting thingamajigs that they have over at Metchblorg, we might have a more universal view.)

    Shame about Jesus Flores getting taken in the Rule 5 draft this morning. In most years he'd have absolutely no chance lasting the year in the majors, but given that the Regionals are going to be fielding a minor league team this upcoming season, he just might make it through the year. The Mets took a risk and have lost, though I'm sure that Omar will reel him back in if he does not make the team.

    That gang rape of the D.C. Regionals farm system this morning by the other General Managers was pretty funny. They lost seven players in the AAA phase of the draft as well as one in the major league phase. I guess this means that Gerald Williams gets a contract to play at AAA next season!

    2:23 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Sorry man..I'm all reclusive and shit during the day.

    That really sucks. That is really weird that they couldn't protect him. Who else is on the 40 man that is useless?

    2:24 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...


    Yeah. HIM.


    2:25 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    And PS: if it ain't Danny Haren don't even bother!

    2:26 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    DG...good to see you are in high spirts. I'm willing to LET Omar go 6/96 now. I might have lost it, but whatever.

    Flores will be OK in the bigs...He'll suck and lose a year of developement, but they'll find a way to make it work. Big jump for him though...really big jump.

    2:27 PM

    Anonymous Danger G said...

    Yeah, I'd allow the same parameters if Omar calls me for my opinion. I'd maybe even offer a team option for year seven if that's what gets it done. By then the league salary cap is likely to be $200 million anyway, at least based on this season's escalating salaries.

    How pathetically sad is it to hear Adam Wogan use Drew Butera in this sentence:

    "We still feel like we have some young catching prospects, between Drew Butera, Francisco Pena and Sean McCraw."

    Believe it or not, I forgot about Pena, and McCraw's my candidate for minor league breakout next season, however.

    2:49 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Butera sucks. The fact he's even mentioned as a catching prospect tells me this Wogan character is an imbecile.


    2:53 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I forgot about Pena too...good stuff.

    Butera doesn't even have the stuff of a backup.

    Get Zito...now. Sucks how Boras drags stuff on hoping more teams jump into it. Sadly enough, it usually works.

    2:59 PM

    Anonymous Danger G said...

    Nah, Wogan's good, Emad; he's just bad at spin!

    3:08 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    'Nah, Wogan's good, Emad; he's just bad at spin!'


    'I forgot about Pena too...good stuff.'
    C'mon! Pena is five years away. To expose Flores is just unforgivable.


    3:25 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Fucking mets drafted Butera instead of Angel Salome. Yes I'm still holding that grudge from the 2005 draft.

    Flores'll be back. I have no fear.Single A to Majors leagues? c'mon man, its loooong ass season, he'll be back.

    3:50 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I'm not saying Pena makes up for Flores, I'm just saying I forgot abou thim.

    As for Flores not being ready for the huge jump, he's not. But when you team sucks, you can keep him at backup and let him see as little time as possible and waste a year of development. I don't think it's particularly a smart move since you stunt his growth a bit, but whatever. They can waste a 25 man roster spot on him because they are going to be in last place. There is a reason Bowden has run this team into the ground....

    4:20 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    There is a reason supposedly. Oddly the team seemed better off before MLB sold them. I'm sure that will change, but their first moves are not exaclty the best way to ingratiate yourself to your fans.

    The Regionals can certainly afford to hide Flores on the MLB roster. They are going to be a very bad team. A very bad team!

    Mets got caught on this one mostly because they were being cheap. As Benny said, it's a long season.

    5:40 PM

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