It's About That Time
One of the best storylines of 2007 has been the emergence of John Maine and Oliver Perez. Maine is under the Mets control through 2011 so there is no rush with him, but in regards to Perez, the Mets only control him through 2008. If the Mets want to extend him before he hits free agency at somewhat of a discount, this off-season would be the time to reward him. There is a slight gamble with Oliver because there is still some uncertainty as to who the real Oliver Perez is. Is the 2002, 2004, and 2007 Oliver Perez the real one or is the 2003, 2005, and 2006 Oliver Perez the real one? They might well be willing to take a gamble and lay down some cash for Oliver simply because of the rising cost of pitchers, but the real issue is whether or not Oliver would sign an extension right now.
If Oliver is presented with guaranteed money, it might behoove him to skip is final arbitration year and snag the cash. He has had his ups and down before and signing a contract now ensures he will have more money than he can ever spend no matter what happens. Let us say four years for $36 million? Would that even be enough? With the slight risk involved, I would assume the Mets would not want to break to bank, but would have to come up with a figure that would make the risk palatable. The problem is that if Oliver feels differently and believes he truly turned a corner, he could land an enormous payday after the '08 season if he puts two great seasons together.
If Gil Meche can get $55 million, a 27-year old that has become a premier left-handed starter would fare pretty well to say the least. The biggest problem for the Mets is that Oliver is represented by Mike Fischlin, who is one Scott Boras' agents and was his first employee. We all know how much Boras loves free agency, but it is possible Oliver feels that the Mets are responsible for his turn around and may want to make the move to have security. I'm not banking on that much and if he does hit free agency, it could be one of the richest pitching markets in this history of baseball if most of guys set to become free agents actually hit the market. Oliver would join a group of impressive lefties that includes Randy Johnson, C.C. Sabathia, and Johan Santana and he would join righties Aaron Cook, Jon Garland, John Lackey, Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez, Jake Peavy, Brad Penny, Ben Sheets, and John Smoltz.
I do not think they will all hit free agency, but there should some substantial talent on the market with Lowe and Perez being the only two Boras clients. Omar clearly has his work cut out for him and I'm sure the Mets would prefer to get something done sooner rather than later.
Moises Alou (strained quad) is scheduled to play in a rehab game today in Florida, general manager Omar Minaya said. ... Pitcher Pedro Martinez (rotator cuff) will throw a bullpen session today in St. Lucie, after which his next move will be determined.
Some guy called into WFAN this weekend and said he was against the Alou signing. First, who did not think he was going hurt? You kind of have to accept this stretch of Alou being down for his bat in the playoffs, provided they make it here. Second, Alou just rakes. As I stated on Toasty's site they other day, his consistency is just astounding.
Alou will not carry the team, the guy just hits. For his career he has hit .331/.394/.587 in March/April, .293/.364/.452 in May, .291/.348/.497 in June, .302/.372/.535 in July, .293/.363/.520 in August, and .306/.376/.520 in September/October. That type of consistency is just insane and really helps us understand why this offense have been sluggish and inconsistent since he went down.
The Mets offense has been spotty, but having a force in the middle of the lineup that is so consistent is going to go a long way to making this team a bit more stable offensively. Alou is going to be a huge part of this team and with the Gotay and Milledge now here, this team is going to have it's best lineup of the year in place for a second half run. But with Alou close to being back, it looks like Milledge has only has a few games left to solidify his spot with the team. I do not think he will get sent down to the minors again, but he is going to have to play his way into the lineup.
I am not sure how much Willie likes Green, but he has had OPS of .746, .547, and .682 since his scorching April which is horrible for a corner outfielder. He has not been horrific this month, but he is not walking and does not really bring much to the table in speed and defense. I've already spoken about Green playing some first while praying for Franco to be cut and I think that sitting Delgado more often should be considered. You certainly do not gain anything by playing Green over Delgado, but if Willie feels the need to get him in, he can do so in right and at first with Milledge getting the lion's share of time.
In more Alou news, he homered in his first rehab game and he says he is one or two weeks away from returning.
They may be struggling a bit, but fans are still showing up in droves to watch them play. The Mets are third in attendence with 2,064,972 fans showing up in 46 games so far this year. Also, they are second to only the Red Sox for average away attendence per game. They edge out the Yankees which is certainly surprising and most likely a result of people wanting to see Wright and Reyes. Overall, they are on pace to have 3,636,090 fans come through the turnstiles at Shea.
"It's important because we're playing some good teams. There's a good chance one of those two will be in the playoffs if not both," outfielder Shawn Green said. "Second, we need to win games because we have a small lead, unlike last year. And third, we need to go out and beat some good teams. It's getting to a crucial time of the year."
They are due to face David Wells, Jake Peavy, Greg Maddux, Derek Lowe, Brett Tomko, Brad Penny, and Mark Hendrickson and it is a rough stretch to say the least.
"I'm a lot more comfortable starting games than coming out of the pen," said Pelfrey.
Scary thought. I wonder how he would have pitched out of the bullpen?
This is the new, mature Lastings Milledge, the one who swears he won't be high-fiving the fans in the box seats any day soon - "Not unless I win the World Series with a walk-off home run," he said. "I asked around and I already got prior approval for that" - the one who insists he "doesn't have to be the guy right now" but would never rule out being the guy in the (very) near future, the one who is playing as if his name were really Last Chance Milledge, which it may well be.
"This year, I just do my work and go home," he said. "That's the main difference between last year and this year. Last year, maybe I wanted attention a little bit."
And Willie even chimed in with a positive quote.
"It's good to have him up here," manager Willie Randolph said. "He missed an opportunity earlier, but now he has an opportunity again to get back in the mix. We have a lot of season left to play. Hopefully, he'll be a big part of it."
Oliver Perez's teammates had some fun with him yesterday after he gave up a giant home run to the Reds' Adam Dunn. The shot went an estimated 460 feet, knocking out lights on the out-of-town scoreboard in right field.
"Wow, that was a long ball," Carlos Beltran said. "If I'm a pitcher, I want to give up a home run like that."
Mulvey allowed three hits with a career-high 11 strikeouts and Caleb Stewart drove in the only run as the B-Mets defeated the Connecticut Defenders at Dodd Stadium.
Mulvey, a right-hander, didn't allow a baserunner to reach third base until the eighth inning when Jake Wald's advanced runners to second and third.
With that I propose is that he gets rewarded with a promotion to AAA. With the Mets not getting anyone to stand up and step in when needed in regards to the rotation outside of Jorge Sosa, the closer the better for Mulvey and the Mets. His 3.13 ERA is impressive and he just might be the Mets most ready pitcher at this point in the system. I'm not saying he would dominate, but he seems to be the most likely to hold his own and give the Mets a decent chance to win should the need arise.
Added Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi on Friday: 'My mother always taught me that if the only thing you have to say is `[expletive] David Samson,' you shouldn't say anything at all. So I'm not going to say anything at all."
There continues to be a lot of under-the-radar chatter in baseball about La Russa and St. Louis GM Walt Jocketty moving on to Cincinnati together after this season.
I was thinking about the Reds and after seeing them in person and I must step back a bit from when I said they were hopeless. With Votto, Hamilton, Encarnacion, Bruce, Phillips, Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, and their solid '07 draft, they are not exactly hopeless. Their park is too small and not very conducive to winning, but there are pieces to work with. That being said, they still need to trade Dunn and Griffey and just take what they can get and start to rebuild a bit.
There’s a good chance the Braves will trade for a starting pitcher before the month is out. (Indeed, Schuerholz had a list of possible deals written on an index card, which he declined to make available to the media.) There’s no chance such a trade will be made in haste. These are the staid Braves, not the kneejerk Mets.
It would have been nice if he wrote about something...you know...that has to do with reality. The Mets did some shuffling, but I would hardly call them knee jerk. Franco had to go and Ricky is more useful on the staff than Down was in many people's estimation. The Braves however are not desperate? Yup...they are only thinking about signing Julio Franco and trading for Jose Contreras.
The Mets just brought Rickey Henderson into their clubhouse and ushered Franco out. The Braves would welcome the latter back in some capacity and would never in a million years employ Rickey Henderson. That’s why the Braves became the Braves, and it’s why the Mets, for all their talent and money, are starting to look like their silly old selves.
Exactly what starting pitcher are they going to get? I welcome a trade. There is literally no one out there. Also, I would take the Mets team now and in the future 10 out of 10 times and maybe the Braves should have thought about bringing in Rickey with three starters posting a .300 OBP. And that big boom you heard was Brian McCann coming back to earth and all those people saying he was as good as Joe Mauer might have been a little off to say the least. Bring it on Bravos...
Ridiculously un-researched statement of the day in the comments of the above stupid article...
He’s (Julio Franco) always been a great hitter. He takes outside pitches the other way and everything.
Yeah...that's it. He takes outside pitches the other way on purpose.
Second most ridiculously un-researched statement of the day...
Mets have shown sign of last three weeks that their pitching is horrible and will never get better. And don’t tell me that Pedro is coming back and will be healthy. He is questionable to be good? In my opinion he is not good and solid pitcher that he used to be. The only thing that mets have better right now is good fielding, which shouldn’t matter much when the braves hitting and pitching is good.
Mets team ERA: 3.83
Mets bullpen ERA: 3.56
Mets rotation ERA: 4.02
Atlanta team ERA: 4.19
Atlanta bullpen ERA: 3.78
Atlanta rotation ERA: 4.43
Looks like a clean sweep for the Mets. So maybe I need to be a little more clear on this one, if the Mets pitching is horrible, what is the Braves pitching?
Just a plainly ridiculous statement...
The Mets are the biggest idiots in baseball. I hate them and they should be contracted.
Yes, contract what could be the most fun team to watch in baseball. Did I mention that they are third in attendance and second in road attendance? Atlanta is fifteenth in road attendence because you know...they are so popular.
Not much going on down there in the minds of baseball fans in Atlanta, but at least the Altanta beat writer for MLB.com has some ability to think rationally.
Other than trying to decide whether to respond with a "yes" or a "no", this was a rather simple question to answer. How bad can your bench or first-base production be when you're actually contemplating signing a soon-to-be 49-year-old man, who has hit .228 (26-for-114) and collected a grand total of four extra-base hits in his past 75 Major League games dating back to the beginning of August?
The Mets are converting shortstop Corey Ragsdale, their second-round pick in 2001, to pitching. Ragsdale had a .192 average this season with Binghamton and a .206 career average in seven pro seasons.