Slow, Steady, and Boring
I've preached prudence when it comes to this off-season. I am well aware of the Mets needs, but they certainly should not force things like making a silly trade of Gomez, Heilman, and Mulvey for Blanton. Yes, Gomez could flame out before he ever gets going and Mulvey could indeed end up as a fringe starter, but I would rather the Mets give them a legit shot on their club to find out as their upside is worth more than Joe Blanton. Gomez certainly did not put up gaudy numbers while in the big leagues, but he did open some eyes and made some believers by performing better than expected for a kid who had no business being in the league.
Does Blanton have value? Of course. He is cheap and under control for a while and is a durable arm. The going rate of that type of guy these days is quite high, but he is not going to make the team all that much better than some other alternatives that do not cost the rest of the Mets farm system. How many wins does Blanton add over someone like Livan Hernandez in terms of pitching? Two or three wins? Before you remind me that two or three wins would have gotten the Mets into the playoffs last year, I would just like to point out it took a colossal team effort to miss the playoffs last year in the form of a historic collapse and that two or three win difference shrinks a bit when you figure you will lose a win or two from whoever replaces Heilman and Livan can help win games with his bat.
So while the Mets proved they were a bit overrated, they are still not in the dire straits as everyone would like to believe. My first choice would be one or two years of Kyle Lohse, which might happen. We know what the market is looking like for him and though there has been interest, it has been tepid to say the least and we know Boras is not afraid to take a gamble. Of course it behooves him to get his client a ton of money now before Lohse proves any further that he is not worth a big payday, but these are strange times we live in when finding a guy that throws a ball across the plate while getting decent production is becoming increasingly rare.
The Mets should consider themselves ridiculously lucky. They picked up Maine and Perez off of the scrap heap and just try and imagine where they would be without those two? They might be better advised to do the same this season and try and get creative rather than make any drastic moves like overpaying for an average arm. If it is innings you are worried about, Livan will give you a lot of them. Would I be disappointed if the Mets were not able to land someone better? Sure, but the Mets are simply not in a position to liquidate their farm unless they get a certifiable ace back.
I give Omar credit this off-season. Not for the bad trade of Milledge, but for being smart about his targets. He did not get anything significant done, but it is not from a lack of trying. He has kicked around a lot of possible deals and could not find a fit. When some GMs in his position might have panicked and just laid out a ton of money to Silva or Lohse, he stood pat. Making a move for the sake of making a move when it can negatively impact the future is never a smart.
Met Players Added:
RP Matt Wise Signed
C Brian Schneider Trade
LF Ryan Church Trade
RP Brian Stokes Trade
Met Players Lost:
SP Tom Glavine
C Paul Lo Duca
RF Lastings Milledge
RP Guillermo Mota Trade
Let me apologize for that...I should have warned you about that run-down and hopefully the puke did not get onto your keyboard.
This off season might not pretty and highly disappointing, but I can definitively feel Omar's pain. If not Santana, Bedard, or Haren, then Omar is well advised to keep his calm. Even if the Mets miss out on everyone and head into the season as is, it is not a total loss and we can only hope Omar puts his money where his mouth is and starts trusting some of these prospects he was talking up so much this off-season. If Lohse can be inked to a reasonable contract, then picking him up with Freddy Garcia seems like the right direction. If not Lohse, then Livan and Garcia would be a safe play here.
Above everything, there is no need to sell low on prospects that could still have a pretty bright future and the Mets need to focus on building up this system so they can keep themselves out of this type of situation in the future. However, at this point you have grin and bear it and hope your team gives you what they are all capable of. If this team’s core can be there in 2008, I have faith and do not hit the panic button if Omar fails to make a splash.
Andre GA: Would you trade Reyes for Santana? And have Gomez's speed try to offset the speed lost with Reyes gone?
Jayson Stark: (1:07 PM ET ) I don't know if there's any player in the whole sport I would trade Jose Reyes for right now. I mean that. It's amazing how people in New York are ready to unload him after a couple of disappointing months. Step back for a minute and look at his progression line in his career. That arrow had done nothing but shoot straight upward until the end of last season. Just because he finally took a step backward doesn't mean he isn't going to be the player we all thought he'd be. My wife is a volleyball coach. I tell her all the time that progress in sports is never measured in a straight line. And I think that will be true about Jose Reyes. The Mets won't trade him, and they shouldn't trade him. For anyone.
It still amazes me how down some people are on Jose Reyes.
"Bend over and pray for a speedy recovery."
For them, the latest increase is a shocker. Many with partial plans also were hit with big hikes.
"When does it stop?" asked a member of a ticket consortium who asked to remain anonymous.
When people stop paying.
I just sent in my money for my Mets tickets that included a handsome fee hike for my Sunday package. I will not complain one bit if they drop some big time scratch for their top three picks and give the finger to the commish while they are at it. If they continue to be cheap under the guise that they are trying to be good for the sake of the game, I will get quite perturbed.
Labels: 2008 off-season