Clarity Is Key
It’s clear that everyone is not panicking. It’s good to see Coop will be able to move on from this. It’s obvious that the Giants, though not a bad team, are not appreciably better than last year if better at all. You cannot blame them for chasing Zito when it seems like such a natural fit in that ballpark with a quick move across the bay. However, the Mets needed him. He was what the Mets needed to sure up the rotation while enabling them to keep all of their studs. That being said, it is far from a disaster. These new Mets are not ones that operate with knee jerk actions and stand their ground. They put a price tag on Zito and stuck to it. You could have seen the Mets going up to the $96 million range, but still would have been $36 million or so off the Rangers bid. I’m not going to criticize the contract. Barry Zito should have in now way gotten the biggest contract of any pitcher of all time, but that is beside the point. What really irks me is that the Giants have seemingly operated without a clue the past few years. They always seem to be on the fringe of contention, but they have been giving away their first round picks on mediocre free agents like it is their job and have signed 90% of the over 40 free agents over the past few years.
When they should have taken their team down to rebuild last season and traded their usable parts away at the deadline, they stood pat and got nothing in return. Yes, they have a solid rotation, but they also have seven years of being fringy contenders if they are lucky. How this is a good long term buy and sound business deal is beyond me. It’s seems that Brian Sabean has been at Barry Bonds’ mercy over the years to operate with no long term strategy and play for today. The Giants just inked one of the better pitches in the league, but have a really bad farm system behind him. They have virtually no offensive prospects and every starting position player could possibly be over 30. Not only are they over 30, which isn’t necessarily the problem, but they aren’t very good. How they are going to supplant these old guys once they are put to pasture is beyond me. The Giants have Merkin Valdez and Tim Lincecum who are two premium arms, but Valdez has lost just about all of his luster and is not exactly young anymore.
One thing is clear, the Mets are still OK. Their rotation is better than the one they took to the playoffs and could be vastly improved….or it could be vastly worse. There are a lot of wildcards with the young arms of the Mets and how they shake out has everything to do with how they proceed with their rotation issues. Will Maine continue to be a solid big league pitcher and can he go deeper into games? Will Oliver Perez take a step forward and get his ERA around 4.50 and be more consistent? Will The Duque hold up? Will David Williams…Phil Humber…Mike Pelfrey step up? Will it be someone else? Outside of a taking a run at Mark Mulder, I am not seeing a benefit in the Mets making any move. Barry Zito’s signing along with all these other crazy ones to the pitchers this off-season just raised the value of every usable starting pitcher and the Mets could in no way get a fair deal. They should just stand still and see what the have towards the break at which point they can judge Pedro’s progress and see how all of the kiddies are coming along. If Pedro is healthy, they can easily have a formidable playoff rotation with a surplus of starters. They can also make a deal for a starting pitcher if it is clear the kids are not working out. The good thing is that I do not expect the Mets to panic and trade a young stud unless they get a young stud back. A few years ago I might have been nervous at this point, but I have the utmost confidence in regards to this team being run the right way these days. The Giants lack of a clear plan and them sweeping in to steal Zito out from under everyone else is certainly not the best thing that could have happened to these Mets, but is far from the worst thing. Come the All-Star break, we might be wondering why we even needed Barry Zito in the first place.