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.
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.