The Mets are looking good. There are some negative nellies out there that have not been completely enamored with what is going on, but things will work out. At this point in time, the Mets rotation is better than it was in the playoffs and it wasn't their starting pitching that lost them the series. Barry Zito is still out there and I am starting to side with Dayn Perry, the Mets will eventually get Barry Zito. That gives them three pitchers in their rotation who started opening day for their respective teams in 2006. John Maine should be a solid mid-rotation starter for the remainder of this career at worst and Mets have a plenty of young guys to hold down the fort until Pedro is ready and I fully expect it to be a case where the Mets have five pitchers performing well when Pedro returns.
Yes, the Phillies got better. Who cares? Is it fun if the Mets just roll over everyone for the next decade? Were the Mets flat because of the lead they had in September and just could not get their offense going when it was crunch time? I want to see good baseball throughout the year and I say bring on the improved Phillies. The Mets are still the best team in the National League, but the gap has been significantly closed by the Phillies, Cubs, and possibly the Dodgers. If the Astros can convince Clemens to come back, they will be there too. I'm more than comfortable with heading down the stretch with Glavine, Pedro, and Maine leading the charge as the top three. Even if Zito is not there, I feel good. Zito is going to be gravy and will give the Mets a formidable five. The Mets still have the best offense and though the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, and Houston still have good bullpens, the Mets is still the best if Heilman is around.
I do not get the negativity surrounding this off-season. Bring back Mota was good, Alou is one of the best signings of the off-season, Omar brought in an athletic outfielder without losing much, and two pitchers that are 23 or under that can simply bring it. Things are coming together in my eyes and the last piece is Barry Zito. If the Mets can convince him to come here, the will have retained all of their prospects. Lastings is no longer rookie eligible, but if he was, he would certainly be in the top 50. Basically the Mets are team coming off a season in which they were one game away from the World Series and have three top 50 talents that will be ready for the bigs in '07. They are on the verge of something tremendous and there should only be positivity in the air. Omar has handled this off-season swelliciously and is proving to be a brilliant strategist.
The New York Daily News reported Friday that Gary Carter, who managed the St. Lucie Mets to a Florida State League title last season, has decided to leave the organization, but that might be premature, a source close to Carter said.
"He's very undecided right now as to his coaching future with the Mets," the source said. "Gary wants to coach. He wants to manage. He wants to stay with the Mets."
He'll make a good big league manager one day, I just hope it is with the Mets.
With the money going around, it's not a horrible deal. Admittedly, it seemed the Mets had the upper hand, but are we really squabbling over a million dollars? Pro-rated, he gets $3,820,754.72 in 2008 and $1,179,245.28 in 2007. Again, a little over a million this season is not bad and $3.8 million in '08 probably could have been leveraged more, but he could have just accepted arbitration and screwed the Mets in '07. He could have not earned less than $2.6 million in arbitration for the Mets to have him for 112 games. $2.6 million for 112 games or $5 million for two years with the going rate of decent relief help? Really, it was more of a compromise than anything. Each guy had some sort of leverage, though it seemed the Mets had more. I do think it was a fair deal and another solid move by Omar, which is going to be my first born's name...girl or boy.
How did the Astros lose Andy Pettitte to the Yankees over a measly couple of million bucks?
Before Pettitte accepted the Yankees' offer, sources familiar with the negotiations told me he gave the Astros a chance to keep him for $2 million a year less than the Yankees will pay him. But Houston wouldn't increase its offer of $12 million a year.
They could have done a deal similar to the Mets and given him a $2 million buyout that would count towards next season's payroll and kept him. The Yankees made another great move this off season and the Mets and Yankees have been two of the shrewder teams this off season...so far. With Barry Zito still out there, shrewdness could be thrown out the window and it remains to be seen how much Barry is going to cost.