If you had one move.....
Benny pointed this John Delcos post out the other day and I had said that I wanted to discuss it here.
OK, you’re the Mets’ general manager for the day. You can make only ONE move. What is it?
Go into this exercise realizing the chances of making a trade for Johan Santana are just about zero.
That is, I wanted to discuss it until I thought about it for a few seconds. With all the options Omar has with a few of his free agents, contracts expiring, and miscellaneous holes to fill, it is impossible and kind of pointless. It really is not even thought provoking because what is the point? One move makes this team much worse than they were in 2007 by the simple fact they would have some A-ball caliber players on their team in at least one spot with plenty of AA to AAA players mixed in.
I guess one thing that could be taken away is basically what the Mets need most. In all honesty, if I played John Delco's game, then the Mets need a catcher. They can put Gomez and Milledge in the outfield to plug it up, Gotay at second, Humber, Pelfrey, Bostick, Vargas, Smith, Kunz, etc. into the open holes on the staff, but they have no catcher. So thinking logically, that is my choice but it really does nothing to fuel any intelligent conversation. So, the real question is, what is the biggest area of concern?
For me, it is the bullpen as I have stated before. I would actually love for Omar to sit The Duque down and see if he would be OK being a contributer in the bullpen. Why would he do that? I truly do not think he would, but the last two seasons in a row he was unable to contribute down the stretch when he was most needed. Frankly, that is a large risk for the Mets to take at this point and might actually be able to make it through an entire season. If he takes that assignment, the Mets would have Wagner, Heilman, Mota, Schoeneweis, Feliciano, and Hernandez in the bullpen with the possibility of them having a seventh arm out there.
One thing that jumps out at me is the fact that Mota needs to be removed. Once Mota is removed, Smith can be included into the mix because he needs to be with an option there for the Mets to strengthen their bullpen with a seventh arm should they decide they do not need a deep bench, which is a likely scenario. If the Mets do go in that direction, I would love to see Humber or Pelfrey get that last spot. Of course to start the year, whomever it is should start at AAA since you do not even need a fifth starter to begin the season, but hopefully they would be next in line. Wagner, Heilman, Schoe, Feliciano, Hernandez, Smith, and Humber/Pelfrey is a bullpen I would be more than happy to do battle with. They have a guy who is death on lefties, a few guys that are death on righties, and a few that are effective against both sides.
If that shook out, the Mets would need to find one starter. Already, Pedro, Oliver, Maine, and Humber/Pelfrey (whomever is not in the bullpen) are in and I am alright with that. If you are not going to use Hernandez in the rotation, which I would prefer not to since his rubber arm would be tremendous out of the bullpen, then who? One option is Hiroki Kuroda. While the Mets have not had that much luck with Japanese players of late, I think it warrants a look. I certainly hope the Mets are not going to be shy going down this avenue in the future and I think he could be a very affordable option when compared to the Carlos Silva's of the world. Also, you are asking him to hold down the back end of the rotation rather than carrying the rotation.
Why not go for a trade? For one, no trade seems worth it for what it would cost the Mets. Second, there are plenty of teams that can give up more. Gomez and Mulvey for Blanton seems like a popular one, but does that really do that much and probably would not even be accepted? Is it worth it to trade the farm for a Bedard or Santana? At some point it will be too much and I think any possible deal will include the Mets giving up too much. While playing it safe does not sound like the intelligent way to operate after the Mets collapse exposed some large holes, the Mets do have to worry about 2009 and beyond. The above also gives rotation depth as Hernandez can start and do it very effectively if needed and there still is another buffer in Humber/Pelfrey.
Even though it is not exactly and exciting staff, I think the depth is there and it has the chance to be effective and give the Mets a chance make it to the World Series. Outside of pitching, the Mets need to fill in second base and catcher and re-up Alou. Really, there are some interesting moves out there that might be able to bring in Ramon Hernandez and/or Orlando Hudson, but giving up too much does not excite me when the Mets can capably fill those positions in without giving anything up. If Hernandez is simply a salary dump, it is a no brainer for me. However, Hudson would not be and I would prefer to take my chances with Castillo and Gotay than give all that much up when they can just make a run for him after 2008. With the lackluster options out there, the Mets should concentrate on holding onto their draft picks and save their youth while not sacrificing much in terms in effectiveness in the process.
"I love Rudy like a brother, but it would be totally unfair to bring him in after I interviewed him as manager," Minaya said. "It wouldn't be fair to HoJo, who did an outstanding job as hitting coach. If you look at the numbers, everything in the second half of the year we were up in."
I was reading the Mets mailbag and there was some hub-bub about Glavine. Yes, the Mets would be losing 200+ innings by not bringing him back, but I think it is time to part ways with him and I do not have to think about it too much. It is a risk heading into the season that way, but there are not plentiful options out there and Tom is just too dependent on the umps these days for me to reasonably count on him in a big spot. He does not have the ability to rise to the occasion anymore if he is not assisted by getting balls called strikes.
Outside of him, who out there could provide innings? Bartolo Colon? No thanks. Curt Schilling? No thanks. This off-season is a tough test. There is not even someone to throw boatloads of cash at and is primarily represent by mediocrity. When in that situation, sometimes you need to gamble. I would rather not gamble on a Marquis-like contract to a Marquis-like contract and beating the dead Tom Glavine horse is not what the Mets need. You simply cannot make something out of nothing and this off-season proves why it is vital to have a productive farm system and Omar needs to find out if he has just that.
Labels: 2008 game-plan