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

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Buster Olney says...

If the Red Sox are, in fact, the highest bidders for the pitcher, they could steer Matsuzaka away from the Yankees and simultaneously feed into their own player development system.

The Red Sox could offer Matsuzaka and agent Scott Boras a take-it-or-leave or leave it deal of perhaps five years, $45 million, or close to the annual value of what they are paying their own young hard thrower, Josh Beckett.

If Boras and Matsuzaka balk at this and threaten to go back to Japan, the Red Sox could contact other teams and conduct a trade auction and deal the rights to negotiate with him.

Some baseball executives privately speculated on this kind of scenario Friday:

Say the Mets bid something in the range of $28 million for Matsuzaka, in their pursuit of a power pitcher. The Red Sox could ask the Mets for reliever Aaron Heilman and a prospect -- maybe Lastings Milledge, maybe a pitcher like Mike Pelfrey or Philip Humber, maybe a lesser player -- in return for Matsuzaka. And the Red Sox could also ask the Mets to forward something close to the posting fee they bid.

The Mets might say no; they might say yes. They need a power pitcher. For Heilman, a prospect and at least a large portion of Boston's posting fee, they could have Matsuzaka.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, could pay the difference in the posting fee and get someone like Heilman and more prospects in return. In the end, they would effectively be purchasing talent from other organizations, and at the same time, keep Matsuka away from the Yankees, at a time when he would be a perfect puzzle piece for the rival Bronx Bombers.

I'm torn on this one. It is certainly a very shrewd move if this was their plan. We know they want to put Papelbon in the rotation and we know they view Heilman as a closer. Would they essentially pay $10 million to have Aaron? Yes, if it means keeping Daisuke out of the Yankees hands as well, it is absolutely worth it considering how cheap their new closer would be. I would hope the Mets would not give up Milledge and Heilman. That is just dumb. However, if the cost was Heilman and a lesser prospect, it would have to be considered. Assuming of course that Heilman only gets dealt if they actually sign Daisuke which would obviously be a caveat to any proposed deal.

Voice of Reason?

Peter Abraham says relax.

I have no clue where Matsuzaka ends up. But I find it hard to believe the Red Sox would bid $45 million. A few points:

1. Boston would not spend money on Johnny Damon. They have a system of determining the value of a player and not spending above that. Investing $90 million in Matsuzaka would be a total abandonment of their values. Frankly, if Boston wants to spend that much, good for them.

2. Buster Olney wrote this in his blog today: "One bit of speculation heard yesterday -- and it was nothing more than speculation -- was that maybe Boston had made an enormous bid, in the range of $45 million."

3. Screamin' A. Smith went on ESPN Radio and tried to make that into a scoop. No confirmation, no sources, no word from Japan. Screamin' A. Smith? Please.

4. Buster's story on ESPN.com says the Red Sox "may have" posted the top bid. Sure, they may have. Anybody "may have."

5. Let's say the Red Sox did bid that much. Why is Seibu taking so long to accept? Japanese reporters believe that the winning bid was far lower than expected and Seibu is deciding whether it is worth letting Matsuzaka go.

The man makes sense, but one of the commenters on MLBTRADERUMORS.com had said the Lions will announce the winner on the 14th. That is when there is a party to celebrate Japan's WBC win. Abraham makes sense for sure and who really knows if the Boston reports are true, but if a team was going to spend $30 million on the bid and a another $50 million on the contract, is another $10 million such a stretch to ensure he does not go to the Yankees?

One note to add is if the Red Sox did this to simply block the Yankees, they better think they can win this next year (I do not think they can). If not, they just delayed the inevitable and took whatever chance Daisuke might of had to go to another team and threw it out the window. In an open market, I think he ends up a Yankee. With the posting process, other teams had a shot.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Not much has come out on Daisuke, but there have been some not-so reliable reports out of Texas that the Rangers made a $30 million bid and might have won. In reality, teams like Texas and Arizona have a hard time getting top tier pitchers to play for their teams. Partly because of their parks and partly because of their organizations, but they are mostly reliant on developing their own talent or overpaying for guys like Russ Ortiz, Chan Ho Park, and Kevin Millwood. It makes sense for them to go balls deep into this type of bidding for a certifiable ace.

If the Mets fail to nab Daisuke, they will get someone else. I have faith in Omar. However, if the Mets do fail to get Daisuke, let us all hope the Yankees do not get him. I cannot bear the thought of the Yankees just throwing more money out there to simply buy more top tier talent and see Cashmen get lauded as a genius once again. Genius is what Omar did with bargain players this past season. Genius is not laying out the most cash for for a baseball player.

* * *

  • As the Glavine Turns....

    ""I pretty much told (Mets CEO Jeff Wilpon) that I won't hang him up on this, that I'll probably let him know before the winter meetings (Dec. 4-7)," Glavine told the Web site.

    "I'm a little surprised that I have so little sense of what I'm going to do. I'm listing all the positives for (the Mets and Braves) in columns and trying to assess what I have as educatedly as I can."

    I'm sure Tom and his agent know the Braves interest in him more than a bunch of assholes like us, but has anyone even heard the slightest bit of interest on the Braves part in bringing Glavine back? Tom filed for free agency, but the Mets still have until November 20th to pick up their option and could negotiate with him until then. This was expected, but he is annoying me more and more every day. With his $12 million, I would rather nab Zito at this point. Tom's $12 million will be put to better use there and Zito's hefty salary might be a burden for 2008 while Pedro is still around, but after that? Not so much. I want Tom back, but part of me thinks the Mets just might be better off if he walks. Of course there is no guarantee they could get Zito and bring in another solid starter via trade or free agency, but it seems like a gamble worth taking.

  • Best football game ever?

    Maybe. I graduated from Rutgers in 2000. Admittedly, I didn't care much about their collegiate athletics program like a lot of friends my friends did, but this year I'm pumped. The Rutgers defense is just scary and watching Judge Jeremy Ito go for broke at the end of last night's game was just sick. Rutgers should be ranked 8th or 9th after last night's win (just let that sink in) and I never thought I would see the day that I would be in a bar with people going crazy for Rutgers like they were watching game seven of the World Series.

  • Bill Conlin does not want to see the Phillies to peruse Alfonso Soriano.

    I HAVE COME to praise Alfonso Soriano, not to bury him. He is a special player with special skills. He is also a flawed player with special flaws.

    In his first season in leftfield - he had to be dragged there kicking and screaming - Soriano was ranked No. 3 among all major league leftfielders in the plus-minus rankings of stats guru Bill James. And James ranked him a credible No. 6 overall in his Fielding Bible awards for 2006.

    But despite Soriano's speed and stolen-base totals, he is not a particularly good baserunner. According to a formula devised by James to rank a runner's success ratio going first to third on a single, scoring from second on a single, scoring from first on a double and extra bases taken (moving up in a variety of situations), Soriano is barely middle of the baserunning pack.

  • Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Irrefutable Facts About Endy Chavez? Believe It.

    From BMC's comments at Metsgeek.com:

    Endy Chavez is so fast that when he goes after a fly ball, he has time to tie his shoes, shave, and call his mother while he waits for the ball to come down.

    Endy Chavez dropped a ball once. Once.

    70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water. The rest is covered by Endy Chavez.

    Endy Chavez learned how to fly from Superman so he could dive for line drives.

    The Snow Cone is being renamed to the Endy Chavez.

    Endy Chavez doesn’t climb over walls to catch the ball, he leaps over them in a single bound.

    Update: BMC posted more...

    Endy Chavez can play all three outfield positions. At the same time.

    Endy Chavez has to use a foam bat.

    Endy Chavez is so fast, he can steal first base.

    One time I saw Endy Chavez hop over the centerfield fence, hotwire a car, and drive 3 blocks to rob a home run from Andruw Jones.

    Endy Chavez can hit a five run homer.

    Endy Chavez was released by the Phillies 'cause he makes a better cheese steak than Pat.

    I saw Endy Chavez hit an inside the park home run. Running backwards.

    Endy Chavez taught Pedro his changeup.

    Endy Chavez doesn't cry.

    Endy Chavez can pitch with both hands.

    Albert Pujols keeps an Endy Chavez Topps rookie card in his locker for good luck.

    The new stadium for the Mets in 2009 will be called Endy Chavez Field.

    When the Expos moved to Washington, Endy Chavez carried the team on his back. The entire team. And the bat boy.

    Between innings, Endy Chavez dresses up as Mr. Met to entertain the fans.

    Endy Chavez is Willie's favorite player!

    Roger Clemens has a clause in his contract that he never has to face Endy Chavez.

    Classic. Endy Chavez has become a cult hero. Who would have guessed it?

    While we are on the topic of irrefutable facts....

  • Chuck Norris stabbed his grandmother in the neck for forgetting his favorite pie at Christmas. Upon learning that she had actually brought it and was playing a joke on him, he conjured her back to life by roundhouse kicking Jesus.

  • Chuck Norris wipes standing up.

  • Chuck Norris was born Charles Edwin Norris III. Despite being mere minutes old, he grabbed his birth certificate and roundhouse-kicked it up his father's ass because, as he said, "I will never get any pussy with the name Charles. From now on, call me Chuck... because it rhymes with fuck."

  • When you say "no one's perfect", Chuck Norris takes this as a personal insult.

  • Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants are known today as Giraffes.

  • Chuck Norris did not "lose" his virginity, he stalked it and then destroyed it with extreme prejudice.

  • Chuck Norris grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage.

  • Chuck Norris has the greatest Poker-Face of all time. He won the 1983 World Series of Poker, despite holding only a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoloy card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game UNO.

  • There’s an order to the universe: space, time, Chuck Norris.... Just kidding, Chuck Norris is first.

  • Along with his black belt, Chuck Norris often chooses to wear brown shoes. No one has DARED call him on it. Ever.

    * * *

  • Who's laughing now Cardinals?

    Jose Reyes belted a "sayonara" home run -- the Japanese term for a walkoff -- in the 10th inning today as the MLB All-Stars swept the five-game series with a 5-3 win in Fukuoka.

    Chants of "Jo-se, Jo-se," could even be heard in the Yahoo! Dome, thanks to Navy personnel from the U.S.S. Fitzgerald and U.S.S. Kitty Hawk.

    "I actually thought we were in Shea Stadium," quipped Ryan Howard, the series MVP.

    Ok, so maybe you are still laughing, but more of a chuckle. You mocked a guy that will be able to run for President of the United States when he is done. He doesn't even need to say anything on the podium. He can just smile and win and this kid is well on his way to becoming a mega star. Funny how things can change so quickly. Just when it looked like David Wright would be the face of this franchise for the next decade or so, Jose Reyes forces the issues for there be two with the possibility of Reyes surpassing Wright in terms of value to the franchise.

  • And now we play the waiting game......ah waiting game sucks lets play Hungry Hungry Hippo's.

    Did the Mets win? Did the Yankees win? Did the Diamondbacks shock everyone and put up the winning bid? Don't fuck with Omar. That is all I have to say on this topic today.

  • Willis talks warming up?

    At that time, general manager Omar Minaya was turned off by what the Marlins sought in return for the mercurial left-hander. Now that another trading season is upon us, there is speculation that the D-Train-to-7-Train talks may be warming up again.

    Tom, you are a good guy, but just who is 'speculating' this?

  • Ha-ha!

  • Strap a set on and make a decision.

    "I don't see anything happening in the near future," agent Gregg Clifton said by phone from his Scottsdale, Ariz., office. "Tom continues to consider his options and continues to discuss the situation with his family.

    "Similar to when he made the decision to join the Mets, Tom is a very thoughtful and thorough person. He's just taking his time."

    Note to Tom: Atlanta does not want you. Chuck James + Tim Hudson + Horacio Ramirez + paying boatloads of money for Mike Hampton + John Smoltz + Kylie Davies = No use for Tom Glavine.

    Exactly why would Atlanta want you back? They didn't have a flawed streak of consecutive division titles because they like to do people $8 to $10 million favors when they wanted to be close to their families. I say Omar gives him the finger and shows him the door if if he hears nothing next week. This is getting ridiculous. Omar HAS to know how to plan his off-season and it is almost open season on free agents. The fact he even has to mull over being on a winning team that might win it all in 2007 or a team that has NO shot at winning is telling me a lot. Family..blah...blah...You make $12 million a year and will be on the road half the time regardless where you play. Man up for one year.

  • What everyone wants in life. Affirmation from Tony LaRussa.

    "He's not just smart, but he's aggressive," La Russa said of Minaya yesterday at a luncheon for the launch of First Equity Benefits of America, a life insurance company. "They're doing things right."

    Now Omar can die happy.

  • Will this rivalry ever end?

    The Nationals' manager's job could come down to two New York coaches - Met third-base coach Manny Acta or Yankee first base coach Tony Pena.

    Let's go Acta! Make some room for HoJo up here.

  • Hmm...

    Mulder underwent arthroscopic surgery in September on his left shoulder - which the Mets are well informed about since their team physician, Dr. David Altchek, performed the surgery. Mulder suffered a partial tear of the rotator cuff and is expected to resume throwing the first week of January and return to the mound between March 1-15, with the possibility of being ready for opening day.

    While they are not allowed to speak dollars until the free agency period begins Sunday, Mulder is very interested in reuniting with Peterson, who helped him to a second-place finish in the 2001 AL Cy Young Award voting. Mulder, who was 97-50 in his first six seasons before struggling to a 6-7 mark last year, likely will need just a one-year guarantee while he proves himself again.

    I forgot about the Mets surgeon performing Mulder's surgery.

  • I think the creator of all that Sheffield is on this Earth every day.

    “I’ve done more for the Yankees than he will ever do,” Sheffield said of Abreu. “When you lose your spot on a team, it should be because the other guy is better than you, but that’s not the case here. Why was I not given a chance to compete for the right-field job?”

    Tell us what you really think?

    “I will tell you that not everything is rosy in Yankeeland. It’s all a facade — it ain’t real.”

    We knew that anyway. And most people think the Yankee facade is that ugly thing in right field...

    I'll tell you what. Whoever gets him will get one pissed of player that is going to produce.

  • On Tuesday, Mesa put up a twenty-one spot to beat Grand Canyon 21-4. Fernando Martinez went 2 for 4 with three runs scored, two doubles, an RBI, and a walk. Kevin Mulvey went four innings and gave up four hits, one earned run, and two walks while striking out one. In the AFL, that is as good as a shutout.

    Yesterday, Mesa beat Grand Canyon 4-0. Fernando Martinez brought his average up over .250 with a 1 for 3 day with double. He also is inching towards bringing his SLG% over .400 after his barrage of doubles in the past two games.
  • Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Aaron Heilman: Overblown or Valuable?

    Well..well...well. The trade bait du jour of late has been our very own Aaron Heilman. When you have the deepest bullpen in the league, you can dangle big pieces to fill other more pressing needs. MLBTradeRumors.com may not be the most reputable source being that they actually get some of their information from blogs purely speculating on things, but they certainly provides a lot of fodder for discussion. In this case, it is Aaron Heilman.

    Renewing an interest they've had for a while now, a source tells me the Mets hope to acquire Edwin Jackson from the Devil Rays for bullpen help. They feel that they can fix some mechanical flaws in the 23 year-old righty.

    Not sure if the Mets would hope to acquire Jackson as part of a trade of Aaron Heilman. As you may have read in the papers, Tampa Bay has interest in Heilman as a starter.

    Two things. First, Edwin Jackson is a fine idea. I like the guy as he has an electric arm and I have no idea what the Devil Rays would be looking for, but he would be nice if he was a tossed into a deal or did not cost the Mets much. He might be young, but he has little value right now. It is kind of hard to see the Devil Rays just getting rid of him to get rid of him since he holds more value being kept being he still has some upside.

    Second, the writer mentions Aaron Heilman as a possible chip to try and pry Edwin Jackson and obviously something else from the Devil Rays. While I really do not care much about the above 'rumor', reading through the inane bable that ensued after the tidbit peaked my interest. What could Aaron Heilman actually fetch on the market? We all know there is interest. The Red Sox reportedly view him as a closer and would like to acquire him, the Cubs are interested in turning him into a starter, and the White Sox would love to rip Omar off with Heilman and Milledge coming back to them and having Heilman set up Bobby Jenks.

    There were a few gems in the comments like this one that didn't even think Heilman should be enough to net Edwin Jackson.

    Honestly I think Jackson has more value then Heilman does guys. He is younger he was a top flight pitching prospect and still could be something very good.

    There were a lot of other comments that were that antithesis of insightful and highlighted some people's complete and utter bias towards the New York Mets, but it did get me thinking. I am pretty set on Heilman being used for trade bait if there is a big market out there for him. I agree that he is ultimately replaceable in terms of what the Mets need him for. Can he net the Mets a Dustin Pedoria or an Alberto Callaspo? Can he be packaged up with Milledge and possibly other parts for an ace? Can he maybe bring some pop to the Mets lineup?

    We know that Duaner Sanchez cost the Mets Jae Seo after having two back to back comparable seasons with Aaron Heilman's last two years. We also know that Dany Baez, who was an accomplished closer coming off possibly his best year, was dealt for Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany. Tiffany profiles as a back end starter and Jackson went from the 3rd highest rated prospect by BA for the Dodgers in '05 to completely blowing up his prospect status with his inability to notch an ERA lower than 5.55 in AAA in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Mike MacDougal only fetched Tyler Lumsden and Daniel Cortes from the White Sox this past year.

    Are we overvaluing Aaron as Mets fans? Judging by the above to instances, you might say yes. However, there were instances when a guy like Danny Kolb could net a guy Jose Cappellan after posting horrific peripherals and while looking to be headed in the wrong direction. I understand Kolb was a closer and Heilman was not, but I think many believe Heilman could close. When it comes to relievers, it is much like antiques and other collectables. A baseball bat with David Wright's signature might be worthless to someone while being worth $100 to someone who actually places some value on the bat. I do think Heilman is a slightly different case when you factor in his versatility.

  • He is cheap. Really cheap. He's has not even hit his arbitration years and is under a team's control for four more years. Middle relievers, especially set up men, have become increasingly important these days with starters going less and less innings. Heilman is a very good set up man and these days good set up men can fetch three to four million per year to teams that are desperate enough.
  • The guy could probably close in this league and be better than more than half of the closers out there today with ease. He has two above average pitches with his change up possibly being a one of the tops in the league.
  • Some teams view him as a starter. I could envision him being a John Maine-type starter and if a team views him as a valuable mid-rotation starter, they may want save themselves the trouble of paying $24 million for a so-so starter for three years when they can have Heilman for a fraction of that cost for four years.

    This year, not many names stand out in the set-up department. There are a few that stand out and there is a precipitous decline after that. As far as mid-rotation starters, two possibly priced themselves out of the range that most teams probably wanted to pay for their services and it is pretty thin after them with Vicente Padilla leading the mid-rotation charge. Heilman has value right now. Maybe even peak value at this point with some teams looking at him to start or close. If he was strictly a middle reliever because he wasn't good enough to close or good enough to start, that would be one that. That is far from reality.

    Heilman can net something of use and the Mets are in the driver's seat. They are hardly interested in moving him just to move him for some marginal prospects. When you are in that type of position, you do not do desperate things. There will be plenty of teams willing to overpay for a guy like Heilman because there is still some considerable upside and a lot of value there. There is a reason his name has come up a lot and Mets are in a win win situation in regards to keeping or trading Aaron. Not a bad place to be in.

    * * *

  • More on Heilman...

    The Mets may be more open to moving Aaron Heilman into the starting rotation than previously reported, but are trying to determine the market for secondary setup men. They continue to be very averse to dealing him at all, despite all of the recent rumors that describe him as a “chip”.

    If the Mets fail to sign a big time starter or trade for one, I'm all for this scenario. However, one has to wonder if they are just trying to boost his value? They are certainly deep enough in the bullpen to experiment with Heilman to the rotation and it certainly doesn't hurt for him to know he is pitching for his starting life with Pedro's return looming and one or two of the young guys getting edged into the bullpen or back to AAA (not that Heilman would ever get sent down, but you know what I mean).

  • Doc's out! You know what? You have to give the guy some credit for taking it like a man. He could have done the easy thing and went to rehab, but he knew he would fall back into the same routine and get back all hopped up on goofballs again. Hopefully, this decision go through incarceration will enable him to stay out of trouble.

  • The bidding ends today. Swellicious.

  • Some tidbits on Kei Igawa.

    The negotiating rights to Igawa, a 27-year-old Hanshin Tigers star, are expected to be made available to the highest-bidding major-league team via the posting system, just like Daisuke Matsuzaka. The Mets had scout Isao O'Jimi monitoring Igawa's performance, but the southpaw - who is most often linked to the Braves in reports - had a rough outing control-wise. Igawa allowed two runs on five hits and six walks in six innings. The Japanese staff walked 10 batters in all.

    "He's got a good changeup, man - nasty," Reyes said. "And he can throw the ball. He throws 92, 93 mph."

    And the fact he's lefthanded is a big positive.

    "I favor lefthanders anywhere in the world," said Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine, who attended yesterday's game. "The first time I saw him four years ago he was a lot better than he is now, but he's still good."

    Bobby is very honest and was straightforward on Kei, which is why I respect his thoughts on Daisuke so much. The guy knows what he is talking about.

  • The Mets are interested in Mota and I think he will be a bargain for the Mets.

  • Lilly's agent is waiting for the Mets to call, but Lilly is pretty low on the priority list in terms of pitching.

    Ted Lilly's agent, Larry O'Brien, said neither the Yankees nor Mets are among the "dozen or so" teams that have contacted him, but the lefthanded starter would be interested in hearing from them. Lilly, a Yankee from 2000-02, is looking for a four-year deal with a limited no-trade clause and wants to pitch for a playoff contender, O'Brien said.

  • Murray Chass speculates on what the Mets might do to bolster their pitching staff.

  • Joel Sherman hands out his New York awards and Jose Reyes is the MVP of New York. Not Jeter, but Reyes. Meaningless? Sure. Tasty? Absolutely.

  • The West Coast teams are heavily looking into Barry Zito and despite people's concerns about him being a true ace, he will cash in this off-season.

  • The Yankees top ten prospect list is out and Dellin Batances, who fell all the way to the 8th round of this year's draft due to concerns about actually being able to sign him, was ranked third.

    Betances' stuff is as good as anyone's in the system. His fastball sits at 93-94 mph and touched 98 in the club's fall minicamp. He uses a low-80s power curveball as an out pitch. His changeup has made significant strides in his short pro career and grades as a future plus pitch with sinking, diving action. He's athletic and intelligent, and adapted quickly to the mechanical adjustments New York asked him to make.

    Ouch! I know me and Benny were behind reeling him in, but it wasn't to happen. Instead the Mets are stuck with Holdzkom and a few other duds picked between the start of the draft and the eighth round.

    Overall, the Mets system appears to be better than the Yankees system though not by much.
  • Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    Budget '07 Part II

    So far this off-season, it seems the Mets need to fill seven positions. 2B, IF, IF/OF, SP, RP, RP, and RP. Of course if Lastings gets moved they would have to fill left field, but in moving Lastings, they would fill a rotation spot most likely leaving the Mets with seven holes still to be filled. I think we universally agree that Chad Bradford will be back. He has been making $1.4 million the past two seasons and the most I can see him getting this season is $2 million. However, if the Mets lay down a two year deal which I do not have a big problem doing, they might be able to sneak him for $1.5 million per year. Being that he is a type A free agent who will get offered arbitration by the Mets, it is hard to see someone giving up first rounder for him and laying out $3.6 to $4 million for million on top of that. Although, the Cubs are still in existence and they love plunking down insane amounts of money for set-up men, I think he is coming back.

    For better or for worse, I also see Chris Woodward coming back for his versatility. He will get paid roughly $0.85 million. The Mets also need to find a middle infielder to come off the bench and I do think they will ultimately bring Jose Valentin back despite his deal with the Devil having seemingly run out. He can provide some pop off the bench and played solid defense for the Mets. If they do not bring him back, figure on a similar player getting roughly $1 million to come off the bench.

    That ultimately leaves four spots that are real wildcards here for the Mets. Second base, ace, and two bullpen spots. In my perfect world, here is how I would like to see things shake out:

    2B Rich Aurilia - $4.00
    IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
    IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
    SP Daisuke - $12.00
    RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
    RP Justin Speier - $3.50
    RP Dave Williams (or other lefty long man) - $1.40
    Total Payroll $106.23

    If you get a big pitcher like Daisuke, I'm comfortable with letting one of the kids fill in for Pedro until he is ready. I have no problem with a top three of Daisuke, Glavine, and Maine with Perez/Williams/Humber/Pelfrey/etc. getting a shot at the last two spots. As for Aurilia, check his home/road splits in 2006. He was a solid player and I would even give him a two year contract if it was affordable with an eye to place him on the bench in '08 if someone else steps up to play second. For now? No one is really close and Rich provides some nice pop to help alleviate the lack of a big bat at the corner outfield positions. I really want Speier. I think he certainly makes Heilman expendable and the Mets could backfill Heilman's spot in house with a cheap option. Dave Williams takes Darren Oliver's place and can spot start when needed.

    2B T. Graffinino - $2.00
    IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
    IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
    LF Alfonso Soriano - $15.00
    RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
    RP Dave Riske - $3.00
    RP Dave Williams (or other lefty long man) - $1.40
    SP Acquired via Trade - $8.00
    Total Payroll $113.06

    Here Lastings, Heilman, and whomever was traded for a starting pitcher making $8 million per year. I overshot here because I have no idea who it could be, but in this framework, the payroll will come down a few million if the player is getting paid less and it is likely whomever Omar would trade for would be making less. It is possible that Omar can field a team with Soriano and a young ace that would cost about $111 million.

    2B Mark Loretta - $3.00
    IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
    IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
    SP Vicente Padilla - $8.00
    RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
    RP Phil Humber - $0.84
    RP Dave Williams - $1.40
    SP The Duque - $4.00
    Total Payroll $102.57

    In this case, Omar shits the bed. Well, not so much shitting the bed as not overpaying because he was desperate. Zito priced himself out of what they though he was worth, the relief market went nuts and Riske and Speier got paid $12 million per year by the Cubs to pick up some garbage innings in losses, and Omar decided to hold onto Heilman and Lastings because everyone was playing hardball with him via trades. Padilla was the only guy priced appropriately and The Duque was brought back. Highly unlikely? Not really.

    2B Alberto Callaspo - $0.33
    IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
    IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
    SP Barry Zito - $15.00
    RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
    RP Justin Speier - $3.50
    RP Dave Williams (or other lefty long man) - $1.40
    LF Moises Alou - $5.00
    Total Payroll $110.56

    Omar was just kidding. Zito was the guy they wanted all along but did not want to drive up his price. Unfortunately, it was sky high anyway. However, Omar pulled off a shrewd move in bringing in Alberto Callaspo from the Diamondbacks to get a cheap position player in there at second and to fill in an organizational need. He also brought in Moises Alou because the Mets needed more pop and he was not keen on letting Lastings and Alberto both start so Lastings will get sent to AAA to refine his game. If he starts lighting the world on fire like Wright did, Green's days will be numbered.

    2B A. Hernandez - $0.33
    IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
    IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
    SP Barry Zito - $15.00
    RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
    RP Warm Body - $1.00
    RP Dave Williams - $1.40
    LF Alfonso Soriano - $15.00
    SP The Duque - $4.00
    Total Payroll $122.06

    Omar went for broke. He kept Heilman and Milledge and went out and got the big dogs like a few people want. The Mets payroll hits about $140 million when benefits are added and the rest of the forty man roster is added in falling short of the $148 million luxury tax threshold. Milledge will be sent to AAA until he forces his way up the bigs since he didn't exactly destory AAA last year. Norfolk goes undefeated with Gomez, Milledge, Humber, Pelfrey, Bannister, Smith, and Mulvey leading the charge. The World explodes.

    2B Mark Loretta - $3.00
    IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
    IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
    SP Aquired via Trade - $6.00
    RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
    RP Warm Body - $1.00
    RP Dave Williams - $1.40
    SP The Duque - $4.00
    LF Moises Alou - $5.00
    Total Payroll $105.73

    Omar kind of plays it safe. He gets the ace he needs via trade and loses Heilman and Milledge in the process and he brings in some vets for a one year run and to keep the seat warm until something else presents itself. He chose not to overpay for bullpen help and went with a guy like Ryan Franklin who they felt could be solid out of the bullpen for them with a little work.

    There are endless possibilities, but I just wanted to give a few scenarios so everyone can gauge the type of payroll the Mets could be looking at. In any season without The Duque, you can add in $4 million if you think Omar will add him into the mix instead of wanting to go with Brian Bannister, Phil Humber, Mike Pelfrey, or Dave Williams for part of the season. For me, it really depends upon whether or not Omar can reel in that ace. If he can bring a front line starter in, I am more than comfortable with making a rotation out of what the Mets have. If the Mets run with Acquired Ace, Tom Glavine, and John Maine as their top three, I am comfortable with the Mets finding two guys in house to hold down the fort until Pedro comes back and I am certainly comfortable with the Mets being able to find one guy out that bunch who will hold down the fifth spot more than admirably when Pedro does come back. I consider The Duque a luxury item but not a necessity.

    * * *

  • Bobby Valentine is enjoying his time in Japan and taking a bit of the credit for David Wright and Jose Reyes.

    "They were my picks to click," Valentine said. "[Tom Robson] was the special assignment guy. Robby's assignment was to go out and see if David Wright can hit. Robby came back and was like, 'Don't let them draft anyone else'. Jose, he came one Spring Training for a while. I remember throwing him batting practice to him as a switch-hitter, we were making him a switch-hitter. He didn't think he could hit left-handed, and you can go ask him, I said, 'You can hit left-handed.'"

    Whatever dude, you were a good guy but I'm glad you are still not managing the Mets. He also fielded some Daisuke questions and it is safe to say he is a member of the fan club.

    "He's a good pitcher, he'll do fine," said Valentine. "If he stays healthy, he'll do just fine. He's a world-class pitcher."

    Can Matsuzaka, who is being chased by both the Yankees and Mets, handle New York if that's where he winds up?

    "Well, I don't know," Valentine said. "He's been the biggest star of his team in his league since he's been 15-years-old. The thing he might not be able to handle is not being the biggest star. But I don't think expectation is going to be a problem. He's a legendary [figure]. He's the [Hideki] Matsui of the pitching world. He's the pitcher prodigy basically."

    He was very vocal about Ichiro when he came here much in the same manner.

    While on the topic of the biggest mystery of this off-season, here are some of Scott Boras' thoughts on the topic.

    "You're talking about a guy who can change the face of the franchise," Boras said. "We've never had an international pitcher in this position this good. And to acquire him, there's no compensation. You don't have developmental costs. You don't have to wait eight years to see if he'll become a No. 1 pitcher.

    "What you're getting is a ready-made No. 1 pitcher that half of the franchises in baseball don't have."

  • Delgado? The man.

    "I'm very pleased to say, we did talk to Carlos' agent, David Sloane, and Carlos has notified us that he is very happy to be here. He enjoys being with the New York Mets and everything about this organization. He will not exercise the right to demand a trade," Minaya said on a conference call. "He wants to be a Met for the rest of his career. Hopefully he'll not only win a World Series here, but he can get to 500 home runs. I think there's a very good chance that he has a chance to be Hall of Famer. My wish is that he will be with us for the rest of his career."

    Omar? The Man times two.

    Delgado's agent, David Sloane, asked the Mets to pick up the $12 million option, but Minaya refused.

    "I'm hopeful that, at some point in time, we will exercise that option. Right now is not the right time," Minaya said in a conference call with reporters. "That [2009] would be the year we go to a new stadium. He has bought a house in the area. He's involved in the community. We're hoping that he can play beyond the option with the New York Mets."

    I would have caved (which is why I'm not a GM). Not that it would have been the worst thing, but I would have broken and ponied up the guaranteed money. Delgado was happy here so I could not have really envisioned him leaving anyway.

  • Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.....

    The Mets are waiting on a decision from left-hander Tom Glavine, who could opt out of his contract. "It's pretty much in Tommy's court right now," said Minaya, who has been talking with agent Gregg Clifton. Glavine has said he will play for either the Mets or Braves next season.

    Shit or get off the pot man. The Mets have enough to worry about and need you to make a decision so Omar knows where he needs to focus his efforts. Newsday seems to think a one year deal for $12 million is on the horizon and that would seem about right.

    As for Glavine, he and the Mets should hammer out a one-year deal for about $12 million by Friday, the day that Glavine must act upon a $7.5-million player option (he'll decline it). The Mets want and need Glavine, who turns 41 in March, to front their rotation. They also will consider free agents Jeff Suppan and Randy Wolf; lefthander Barry Zito appears a less likely option at this point.

  • Also from the above link:

    Randolph, who won the NL East title in his second season with the Mets, is expected to get another three-year contract, at a significant raise from his current three-year, $1.875-million package.

    Congrats Willie. You will get a raise because the GM is brilliant. Not the other way around.

  • It seems the Mets were in on Ichiro.

    An executive of one of the teams considering submitting a bid said he had no idea how to decide what to bid. When Ichiro Suzuki was posted six years ago, the Seattle Mariners won the rights to him with a bid of $13,125,000. The $125,000 was added in case any other team bid $13 million.

    But the Dodgers and the Mets, believed to be the runners-up, fell well short of the Mariners’ bid; the Dodgers bid $8.5 million, the Mets $8 million.


  • Mesa beat Scottsdale 10-6. Fernando Martinez went 1 for 4 with a run scored and a strikeout and owns a line of .236/.282/.347. It might not look great, but he has been a rousing success so far this winter.
  • Monday, November 06, 2006

    Budget '07

    When looking at what the Mets should/could do this off-season, it is imperative to understand the Mets are on a budget. They are not the Yankees or the Red Sox and are prepared to take their payroll over the $120 million threshold to fill their every need. Under Omar Minaya's reign, the Mets have shown they will spend big, but they have also shown they are going to be frugal when they need to and look for undervalued players, players they project to improve, and other bargains. This off-season will be no different. What do the Mets have to work with? Let's see.

    I'm going to cheat a bit and use mlbtraderumors.com's 2007 Mets Outlook as a basis for the salaries.

    C Paul LoDuca - $6.50
    C Ramon Castro - $0.80
    1B Carlos Delgado - $14.50
    SS Jose Reyes - $2.50
    3B David Wright - $1.00
    IF Julio Franco - $1.10
    LF Lastings Milledge - $0.42
    CF Carlos Beltran - $12.00
    RF Shawn Green - $4.95
    OF Endy Chavez - $0.50
    SP Pedro Martinez - $14.00
    SP Tom Glavine - $12.00
    SP Oliver Perez - $1.90
    SP John Maine - $0.33
    RP Billy Wagner - $10.50
    RP Duaner Sanchez - $0.40
    RP Aaron Heilman - $0.36
    RP Pedro Feliciano - $0.33
    Total Current Payroll = $83.98

    I've penciled Glavine in there because I truly believe he is coming back. I also figured they would settle on about $12 million per year somewhat splitting the difference between the team and player option. For Green, the Mets and Diamondbacks split the $13.25 remaining on his contract from the point of the trade with the Mets picking up $6.95 and the Diamondbacks picking up $6.3 million. I've estimated the money the Mets will actually be paying him in 2007 at $4.95 million. What we also need to keep in mind is that the Marlins are picking up $2 million per year of Delgado's salary which leaves the Mets at about $81.98 million.

    We've established that the Mets will owe about $81.98 million to the players they already have in-house. We have also heard from Omar himself that the payroll will be about the same as it was in 2006. If the Mets payroll is about $105 million, the Mets would have roughly $23 million to spend with Omar probably able to stretch it up to $110 for about $28 million to spend if he needed Wilpon to reach deep down for the 'right guy'. Before anyone gets all mad and starts calling Wilpon cheap, he just finished paying Nelson Doubleday $137.9 for sole ownership of the Mets and assumed additional debt worth approximately $57.6 million (added on top of his portion of debt which was the same) while gearing up to privately fund a stadium.

    Tomorrow we can go over a few scenario's in which that money can be allocated that will include the non-optimal ones, but ones that fans are pushing for nonetheless.

    * * *

  • The Mets are interested in Mark Loretta which was to be expected.

    According to Garber, playing for a contender is Loretta's top priority. The 35-year-old Loretta hit .285 with five homers, 59 RBIs and a .345 on-base percentage this past season with the Red Sox. He is a career .299 hitter, with his best year coming in 2004 with the Padres when he hit .335 with 16 homers. Defensively, Loretta only committed four errors this past year, tying for second-best among AL second basemen.

    Meanwhile, Jose Valentin's agent, Dave Elston, said yesterday that he spoke to Mets special assistant Tony Bernazard on Friday and that the parties would speak further.

    Elston said he was "cautiously optimistic" about Valentin re-signing with the Mets. He admitted, though, that "half a dozen teams" have inquired about the free agent second baseman.

    Loretta made $3.25 million in '06 and would probably be slated to make about the same in 2007. His slg% was .361 in the AL East which has it's share of offensive parks and .347 in 2005 with San Deigo. He did manage to slug .441 and .495 in 2003 and 2004, but I think he was aided a bit in those years being he never topped seven homers until he knocked 13 and 16 in back to back years. He hits righties and lefties equally and does not figure to be a platoon partner with Jose Valentin, but Valenin is intriguing in that he can play the outfield as well as all of the infield positions. The Mets might try and bring Valentin back as a utility player, but we all know he did not light the world on fire off the bench in '07.

  • Pedro ain't going to graze in no pastures.

    "Every indication that I got is his shoulder is feeling great, that he's got good range of motion and just that his rehab is going well," Cuza said yesterday. "We're on schedule, maybe ahead of schedule."

  • In Japan:

    Jose Reyes went 1-for-5 with a run scored and David Wright was 0-for-1 as the MLB team took a 2-0 lead in the five-game series.

  • Mark Mulder? The Mets are still interested.

    Mulder is "about three weeks ahead of schedule" on his rehab program, Clifton said, and Mulder should begin a throwing program around New Year's and be ready to throw off a mound March 1. "He's pretty optimistic, because he's feeling good and the doctors and physical therapists are happy," Clifton said. "He had some fraying and a small tear, not a complete tear. It's not a Pedro (Martinez) situation."

    I still think he is more of a last resort than anything. Omar checks into every single warm body out there so to see the Mets associated with a free agent is not really shocking.

  • Manny Acta will not be coaching the Rangers in '07. Instead, 300 year old Ron Washington will.

  • Gary couldn't scare the Yankees into not picking up his option and it will be interesting to see what he fetches in return. When healthy, the guy flat out produces. He produces alright but with a lot of distractions along the way. If the Yankees hold onto their chip, they could capitalize off some desperation, but it is hard to see them getting someone to significantly overpay for him.

  • Thanks to Scott for pointing this out.

    For those of you who are confused about this project it was made entirely as an artistic pursuit and not for any commercial gain. At its core, the piece is satirical in nature and although elements of truth exist the project aims to excite, provoke, and entertain for the purposes of education. It is the creators’ belief that through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy that a certain truth can be gained. In this case the filmmakers have chosen Keith Hernandez as a subject in order to make a social commentary. The filmmakers have a great respect for Keith Hernandez as a baseball player, announcer, and personality. It is their hope that if you have enjoyed this site and the film that you will donate to the Alzheimer’s Association a charity supported by Keith Hernandez.

  • The Yankees were reported to have interest in Jeff Suppan now that he is Playoff Proven ™. I would love for this to happen because he would be a complete disaster over there.
  • Sunday, November 05, 2006

    Fantasy Sunday

    I for one love speculating about trade proposals. It's fun to live in a fantasy land sometimes and I mentioned Jake Peavy as a potential trading chip for the Padres the other day and Joel Sherman seems to think the same thing.

    Would you do it?

    Aaron Heilman, Lastings Milledge and Henry Owens to the Padres; Jake Peavy to the Mets

    The big question, though, is about Peavy. He had an iffy season (11-14, 4.09 ERA) in a pitcher's park and has some history of shoulder problems. But there is plenty to like. He is the kind of power arm Minaya has been pursuing (second most strikeouts over the past two years behind only Johan Santana). Despite the arm frets, he has made 62 starts the last two seasons. He has won in double digits four consecutive years, yet at 25, is still a year younger than Chien-Ming Wang. And with three years at $18.75 million left on his pact, he is reasonably priced. It seems a risk worth taking for the Mets because front-of-the-rotation starters are just that hard to find. They have inquired about the White Sox's Freddy Garcia, but the request of Milledge and Phil Humber or Mike Pelfrey is too much for a pitcher a year from free agency. And they are conflicted whether to spend substantially on Zito.

    If the cost is Milledge, Heilman, and a lesser prospect, then fantastic. I would do it. The best part? The Mets retain Phil Humber and Mike Pelfrey. Pedro, Glavine, Peavy, and The Duque/Maine/Perez starting in the second half of 2007? Start saving for your World Series tickets now.

    While there are a lot of people that would be hesitant to make this move, I am sure the Mets can get a one year solution for left while Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez can continue to be fast tracked to get up to snuff. I still love Milledge's potential, but for a Cy Young caliber pitcher? I'm drooling. I know people have soured on Peavy a bit after a down '07, but for me, he is still one of the best in the league.

    He had a rough first half with a 4.46 ERA, but did recover in the second half to post a 3.68 ERA. His away ERA is a bit of a concern, but you have to love his peripherals still with his 9+ k/9 and solid control. Give him some work with Professor Rick and the Mets could have the most dominant staff in the league if Pedro can return and pitch like we he used to be able to. If Pedro doesn't come back? The Mets have their bonafide ace that can bring it at 97 mph.