It's All About The Pitching
Tasty tidbits abound.
Bill New York, NY: What are chances of Zambrano being a Met come July?
SportsNation Jayson Stark: I don't see the Cubs selling, either. That's why I didn't put him on the Available Arms list in Rumblings. But if Zambrano hits the market this winter, I'd almost bet he'd be a Met. He's an Omar Minaya favorite, from what everybody tells me.
It's all about the pitching. The Mets outfield is set for quite a while as is the left side of their infield and first base should be covered as well. Only second base, catching, and the ever hot commodity of pitching are big needs for the Mets over the next six seasons. I think Omar has chosen to go the cheap route for second base and look for bargains that get the job done admirably. As for catching, I can see LoDuca coming back with a one year deal and an option while everyone figures that situation out (Pena is at least four years away...at least, probably five or even six). That truly leaves pitching as what Omar will covet and the last two drafts truly outline that and leaves boatloads of money to filter into pitching.
I've said it before, if I would condone five years $75 million for Zito, I would certainly be ok going higher on Zambrano, but with a ceiling. If the Yankees want to outbid the Mets no matter what, that is not something I would be interested in seeing the Mets do. With Kenny Williams new policy to not pay the crazy bucks that pitchers are getting these days and his desire to develop his own pitcher on the cheap, Mark Buehrle should be on the market after this season as well. Mark will arguably be the best pitcher dollar for dollar on the market next season, but we all know Omar's penchant to bring in power arms. Either way, the Mets should have a nice rotation option should the Yankees flex their almighty financial might. They would almost assuredly make a bigger run at either of those two than they did for Zito.
In the Year of the Comeback, only one team in baseball has more wins against opposing closers than Tampa Bay does (four) -- the A's (five).
The only criterion we used was games in which the opposing closer was the losing pitcher. (So blown saves and ties don't count.) Your leader board:
Devil Rays 4
Red Sox 3
White Sox 3
ESPN research whiz Mark Simon reports that El Duque Hernandez has ripped off five straight starts of six innings or more, allowing four hits or fewer. He needs one more to tie the team record, held by the very cool trio of Pedro Martinez, Nolan Ryan and Sid Fernandez. If you're wondering (and of course you're wondering), Tom Seaver's longest streak like that was three, and Dwight Gooden's longest was four.
The Duque has been so good for the Mets it is mind boggling. I expected him to be decent, but not this good.