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

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Wildcards: The Bullpen

There are not many wildcards for the Mets this upcoming season, but here a few that could have a big impact on the Mets in '07 in terms of their bullpen.

  • Duaner Sanchez:
    Will he be healthy enough? If so, it frees up the Mets in case they want to trade Aaron Heilman in a package for an ace. Luckily for the Mets, he has been cleared to throw and they could find out soon how good (or bad) Duaner's arm is.

  • Victor Zambrano:
    I hate him as well, but I expect him to be back with the Mets in '07. The Mets will non-tender him and offer him a minor league contract with a stipulation that he will get $2.5 million or so if he makes the big league roster out of Spring Training. As frustrating as he has been, I think most of us are interested to see how good he can be if he is healthy. He won more games than he lost on a horrible Devil Ray team and had a .237 BAA in '03 in the AL East, a .230 BAA in '04 in the AL East, and a .222 BAA in '04 with the Mets after he was traded. While he might not figure into the rotation picture, he might be a fit for the bullpen.

  • Alay Soler:
    While he may have a big space where his heart and guts are supposed to be, the guy still has decent stuff. A sharp slider and a decent fastball will be all he would need out of the bullpen. Baseball America one tabbed him as a possible closer of the future for the Mets and he will have a year under his belt after sitting out of real baseball competition for a year after visa issues. It's shit or get off the pot time for him in '07 and hopefully he drops a big one.

  • Dave Williams:
    Omar thinks he could win fifteen games if given the opportunity, but I do not buy that. That does not mean he will not be useful because I think he can be. He's a lefty, but not a lefty specialist, and could provide a nice boon to this club as a long man out of the pen and the seventh guy in the bullpen.

  • Juan Padilla:
    Though I think his 2005 was a bit fluky, he is a groundball pitcher and did look like another Rick Peterson reliever resurrection project (RRRRP). He could be another solid arm and I expect the Mets to be in the position of having ten or so guys worthy of pitching in the bigs out of the pen with spots for only seven guys. Padilla could quite possibly be one of those ten or so pitchers and adds a nice dynamic to the pen being a different pitcher than the other guys slated to be in the bullpen. It is nice to have guys who just bring it out of the bullpen, but it is also nice to have different flavors of pitchers to keep teams on their toes and give them a few different looks.

  • Brian Bannister:
    The starting rotation is becoming increasingly tighter to crack. With Glavine, Maine, Perez, and The Duque expected to start the year in the rotation, Omar expected to pick up another arm, and plenty of other pitchers in the fold like Dave Williams, Jason Vargas, Mike Pelfrey, etc, Brain Bannister's future on the Mets as a starter has basically evaporated. The AAA rotation is also crowded with Phil Humber, Mike Pelfrey, possibly Kevin Mulvey, Jason Vargas if he misses making the big leagues, Alay Soler if he misses making the big leagues, Willie Collazo, Miguel Perez, etc...Bannister's value just might be in the bullpen. As a starter, his stuff is underwhelming. As a reliever, he can cut down on his eighty pitch repertoire and concentrate on his three best pitches and be a reliever in the mold of Dan Wheeler.

    I still think Phil Humber could be used in the same vain as Adam Wainwright and be extremely effective to say the least, but I do not think the Mets would go that route unless complete disaster struck. I also think Joe Smith might be a late season addition as a righty specialist down the stretch, but I'm concentrating on guys who could help the team right out of spring training. I'd throw Jon Adkins into the mix, but his peripherals are not very good and I have no idea what type of stuff he has outside of throwing fastballs, sliders, and change-ups. Overall, there are some viable in house options that could step up to help this team and add to a solid base of Billy Wagner, Duaner Sanchez, Aaron Heilman, Pedro Feliciano, and Guillermo Mota later in the season. I fully expect the Mets to have a bullpen with seven effective relievers like last year even without Aaron Heilman if he happened to get traded. While Bradford was a big loss, it certainly is not the end of the world. This bullpen will be tight.

    * * *

  • Marty Noble is not going to vote for Mark McGwire according to John Struble and it looks like Mark McGwire will not be making it into the Hall this year.

    Noble, a longtime beat writer for the New York Mets and member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA), emphatically said, “No. I will not vote for him for two reasons. One, I’m not sure yet about McGwire. I’d like to see more, I’d like to hear more.

    “Two, if you look at his career and remove those three years (1997-1999) where he just went wild, those are the three years he supposedly used, otherwise he is a borderline Hall of Famer.”

    During the three-year stretch from 1997-1999, McGwire played in 464 games, batting .283 (445-1570) and piling up 193 home runs and 417 RBI.

    Morality has arrived in the voting consciousness. A player’s character is now parsed on the same scale as statistics. The consideration was always there, but it was never placed under a microscope, like it is now. The times demand it and voters will be asked to react to it.

    Noble’s choice to omit McGwire from his 2007 ballot will be the prevailing choice, according to a recent poll conducted by the Associated Press. Roughly 150 of the 575 BWAA were asked the question, “Will you vote for Mark McGwire?” The results are as follows:

      • 74 will not vote for McGwire.
      • 23 will vote for him.
      • 16 are undecided.
      • 5 refused to say.
      • 2 will abstain from voting.
  • Here is some crazy food for thought. What if the Rangers offered Mark Texiera for Chien-Ming Wang and his 3.00+ G/F ratio? The Yankees cherish their 'ace' and two years ago trading Mark would have been unthinkable, but it would be and interesting deal.

  • Just let this sink in...

    Daniels was fleeced - by Towers, who extracted Gonzalez, 28-year-old righty Chris Young (11-5, 3.46 this past season) and useful No. 4 outfielder Terrmel Sledge for righty Adam Eaton; and by the Milwaukee Brewers' Doug Melvin, who sent him Carlos Lee in July for outfielders Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix and closer Francisco Cordero. In both cases, the players Daniels got were in their walk years and did just that.

    Daniels has some learning to do. His two big deals last year were horrendous.

  • Murry Chass has a really good article on the Winter Meetings with a plethora of information.

  • The Mets like Zito but won't break the bank. I just love the new non-desperate Mets. Really an amazing thing to see and a really good way to run a baseball team.

  • Bill Price is not to enthralled with Tom Glavine's antics, but none of us are. That being said, I'll repeat it again. It's good to have him back.

  • Did Mike Fitzpatrick just wake up from a coma?

  • The Rutgers loss was horrible. Such a huge game for the future of their team. It's still bright, but that win to get into a BCS game would have been huge financially and for recruiting purposes. That loss stings.

  • Melvin needs outfielders? Maybe he should reconsider trading Sheets and he can get Pelfrey and Milledge for Mr. Sheets.
  • 22 Comments:

    Anonymous DG said...

    KEEP VICTOR ZAMBRANO AWAY FROM MY BASEBALL TEAM!!! PLEASE!!!! The idea of him pitching for us again scares the hell out of me. Even if it was batting practice!

    Maguire was a good player, but his numbers are not HOF in any shape of the word. The whole cult of white boy thing was just pathetic. And so was his (non) testimony before congress. But bottom line is that he just doesn't have the numbers.

    Did you see the bit about how Mike Hampton apparently offered to restructure his deal with the Braves so that they could sign Mr. False Teeth, and the Braves did nothing? I, and many, many more people would have liked if he had resigned earlier, but I think it is baldly petty to get on this guy for having major reservations about what to do. This was about family, not money. Price can sit in his cozzy seat in front of his computer and write whatever he wants, but I think he was way off.

    Mets can trade Heilman at the trading deadline if necessary, but I wouldn't want to enter the season without him. Mets ought to throw some better money at him in appreciation of his accepting a role he doesn't savor but they cannot trade him given the pen's uncertainties.

    Bannister may not be here after the meetings. He's a great kid, but it is quite crowded. That said, he has a decent chance in earning a spot in the rotation if the Mets do not sign Zito and decide not to trade for another reliever. Trading for a likely one and done starter (like Vasquez for example) doesn't excite me. You're better off holding your cards.

    Today's Zito confidence meter: I don't think we're going to get him. I think Boras thinks he can push the Mets into paying more, and I think the line is in the sand for all to see. In a gutcheck moment, I think the Mets let him go elsewhere. Barry Zito = Ranger's opening day pitcher. Maybe I'll think differently tomorrow.

    Maybe we should try to make a trade with the Rangers!!!

    1:17 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    DG, your are not intrigued at all by Victor Zambrano? Not even a little bit? A teeny bit?

    I agree on McGwire. He is a one dimensional player that shouldn't be in the Hall regardless of the roid issue. He's just not HOF good.

    That Hampton story was interesting. The Braves just didn't want Tommy boy. It's good to have him back. He's been solid after that little blood clot thing and he's a solid citizen.

    I don't think the pen is that uncertain. Things will come together and they can see what Dirty has sooner rather than later. I'm not saying he SHOULD be dealt. I'd rather have Zito and Heilman, but you know what I'm saying.

    The Vazquez trade thing scares me. They are asking for so much and it wreaks of desperation to give up much at all for him. I prefer Freddy Garcia as well.

    The Zito thing is interesting. The Mets seem poised for a take it or leave it offer and Boras is not the type of guy to go along with that. It will be interesting to see how things play out. I really...really....really want Barry on this team. Zito...Pedro...Maine...Perez...Humber in '08 makes me giddy.

    If he goes to the Rangers, that will be such a shame. If he wants to truly reach the Hall, he cannot go there under any circumstances. Gut check moment is right.

    1:29 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Maybe we should try to make a trade with the Rangers!!!

    For Tex?

    1:29 PM

     
    Anonymous brian b said...

    "I'd throw Jon Adkins into the mix"

    didn't we trade him away recently?

    2:20 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    We just got him.

    2:49 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I like to see what a healthy Zambrano can do. I mean what's the risk? He is not making a lot anyway.

    We started Lima last season for god's sake, yet we still won the division with ease.

    Zambrano still has nasty stuff. There is a small chance that he could get everything together.

    If you weigh the risk and reward, it's rational to at least invite him to the ST or maybe send him to the minors.

    3:10 PM

     
    Blogger Anthony said...

    Don't want to see Zambrano...ick.

    The Braves didn't want Glavine. Who cares. He's retiring a Met now and will win 300 as a Met. He will go to war with us and do his best. That's all I ask. All good with Tommy G now.

    Mike, I'm an OSU Buckeye guy. That's real college football. Go Bucks in the natl championship! They are a far cry for my Mets as a fan, but I'll take what joy I can get after the pennant loss.

    F MgWire. No chance he's even getting a sniff of the hall.

    The bullpen will be nasty this year. Guaranteed. Minaya is all about the pen and thinks it's the most important. He won't let that go south.

    We really need to find a way to get Zito. Our rotation would be badass with him. Let's just get it done and quit messing around. Either that or get someone of the caliber of say Peavy. Pass on Vasquez and that level. Let's go for the real deal. We need to dominate in 07 and Zito/Glavine/Maine/Duque/with Pedro thrown in later will do just that.

    4:10 PM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Mike, not one bit.

    4:19 PM

     
    Anonymous benny bizzle said...

    I have faith in Dirty Sanchez being healthy enough to be even better in 2007 than in 2006.

    I'm not gonna lie, I really want tosee what Monday Zambrano can do if he's 100% real deal healthy...

    To me Dave Williams=Darren Oliver... thats it, that simple.

    Padilla will be back but he'll be second half player...

    I say no to Mark McGwire as a hall of famer. In my opninion the hall of fame should just be reserved for guys that are no doubt about it guys that you should NEVER EEEEEEVER have to make a case for. They should be shoe-in dominant decisions.
    Cal Ripkin? no doubt.
    Tony Gwynn? DUH!
    Rogers Clemens? Hell fuckin' yeah
    You need to make a case for a player? He doesn't belong in there... its that simple in my opinion.

    Daniels is giving young guys a bad name... whompers you dumbass!

    And now for everyone's enjoyment. Eddie Perez re-enacting the Braves facing the Mets in 2006 and beyond with Eddie Perez playing the part of the Braves and Tim Hudson playing the role of the Mets.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrST75FovU8

    5:22 PM

     
    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    3 guys i'd offer minor league deals too are Dotel, Arthur Rhodes and Dave Riske.

    7:17 PM

     
    Blogger Anthony said...

    Benny B, well put on the hall. Totally agree.

    Dave Williams should be very good this year in that type of roll.

    8:29 PM

     
    Anonymous Scott said...

    As much as you all seem to be down on the Big Mac, it was him and Sosa blasting homers that got me into baseball. The strike in 94 nearly killed the game then these guys went off.

    So as far as I'm concerned he does belong in the hall.

    12:04 AM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    That's one problem i have with the whole steroids thing.
    Nobody ever questioned it in 1998 with the steroids. All everyone did was smile and enjoy it.
    It was a very happy and positive time. And now people are just very negative on the entire sport of baseball.
    Its bullshit.

    With that said though, one season of fun udner the sun doesn't make a hall of famer.

    2:23 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I'm not saying Big Mac and Sosa didn't have exciting times as ball players, but they are just not in the same class of Mays, McCovey, Seaver, Boggs, etc.

    6:48 AM

     
    Anonymous Scott said...

    not in the same class of Mays, McCovey, Seaver, Boggs- No they might not be in the same class but there is plenty of room in the hall for others. Mcgwire is in the top ten for home runs and his HR/AB is impressively hight oo.

    12:35 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    There enlies my problem. I do not think that simply being a one dimensional player who hits bombs and bombs only should get in. He didn't transcend the game while he played, he hit with a lot of power and not much else.

    The cheating issues is one thing. People cheat and always have. It's hard to hold that against him when the vote comes up, but I just do not see him as a Hall type player. If he was a prolific hitter all around, that's one thing. But he wasn't.

    12:42 PM

     
    Anonymous Screamin DG said...

    Today's Zito confidence meter (12/4): I loved the article about Zito & his Dad in the NYTimes, but I am afraid that contrary to what Daddy told him, this is ultimately about money. As such, I think that we are facing the worst situation regarding Zito with the Rangers being our top competition. I'm even less confident than yesterday. Zito still equals the Rangers opening day pitcher!

    2:50 PM

     
    Anonymous joe said...

    If we sign Zito do we loose both sandwich picks?

    4:58 PM

     
    Anonymous exiled near philly said...

    Mt. Met...

    1. Minor editorial comment... I think you meant "Therein lies..." not "There enlies..." (no such word as "enlies")

    2. Met personnel comment... no, no, and no again to VZ in the pen. Too wild to come in with any men on base. If he has any sort of future in MLB, on the Mets or elsewhere, it's in the rotation. That said, I would be stunned to see him on the roster come next season.

    3. Keep up the extensive work... you're feeding my desperate need for baseball during these long, cold months. Thanks!

    5:06 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I wonder if the Cardinals revising the Carpenter deal to $65m over 5 years, will impact the overall deal size for Zito. I mean if you compare the Oswalt and Carpenter stats to Zito over 3, then 5 years, I'm not sure I can rationalize paying anything over $75m/5yrs to sign him.

    7:38 PM

     
    Anonymous Scott from Peekskill said...

    Vincente Texas Ranger...has a ring to it.

    Meche to Toronto.

    Maddux to Padres.

    All the teams except us have signed pitching or are getting close to signing expensive pitching. Does that mean they still wont or cant sign Zito? No, but paying $10 mil for Padilla has got to cap what the Rangers can spend.

    11:51 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Scott...they have less than $40 mill committed. The Rangers have to deal with their arb guys, but they have oodles of cash to spend this off-season.

    1:02 AM

     

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