A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble Mother Fucking Gobble

I wake up on such a glorious day of gluttonies only to read this article.

This was blockbuster news because previously, during the same time period in which the Yankees had lost to the midges, passed their ownership torch from George to Boy George, fired one guy named Joe, hired another and entered into negotiations with three big-ticket free agents, the only activity in Mets camp was the removal of a bunion from El Duque's foot. At least they think it was a bunion. The guy's so old, it might have been a vestigial toe.

Um, except those big ticket free agents were already on the team so that does not exactly count. I love the people who say the Yankees had the best off-season so far by simply retaining the same players who they had last year. If you have a team that did not make it out of the first round of the playoffs, did nothing to improve themselves, and might lose Andy Pettite, why all the praise?

Is Estrada A-Rodesque? I think we can all answer that question. Obviously he is not, but with a huge catching vacancy and a dearth of talent, Omar's move was solid. It gives him leverage to negotiate for the catcher he really wants and can simply non-tender him later, but has a very good insurance plan to platoon with Castro. Throw on top of that the fact Willie no longer can irrationally use Mota as his go to guy anymore as he was jettisoned off and this team is in a much better place than before trade, which is the sign of a good move, no?

Outside of possibly still targeting another catcher, the offense is set and stands to be much better than last year with a full year of Milledge (if he is even still around come opening day) and hopefully 120 games of Alou. Then you look to the bullpen and if The Duque is tossed out there like he should be, the Mets are shaping up to have a pretty good bullpen and they still should be able to bring in one of the many capable arms out there on the free agent market.

Then they received another first round pick for Glavine, which is pretty damn important, and are still eyeing one starting pitcher. The one thing here is that I do not want Omar to get an ace at all costs and no, I do not think Blanton is an ace. There have been many rumors of what it will take to get Haren or Santana over here, but every deal is just too hard to judge.

I like Beane as a trading partner as he seems to be fair most of the time so I am confident Beane will not try and act like other GMs. Too many simply fail to improve their team because instead of making a fair deal, they simply go for the rip off and nothing else even if it means failing to the do the right thing for their team. However, that is why Orioles will always be the Orioles and remain as the dregs of the AL East while everyone else gets better.

Omar should only improve the rotation if the price is right. He should not be in the mindset that he needs to get an ace at all costs. Of course, an ace would be nice, but you truly need to balance out the future and I would be fine with picking up Carlos Silva or Hiroki Kuroda. I think their rotation would be deep enough, if unspectacular, and should be able to do a fine job. The Mets have a solid top three and could have a solid end of the rotation. Give me a solid five and future rather than an ace and a solid four and a barren system.

If the Mets did happen to dish out Milledge for a starter, I would be fine adding Fukudome into the mix. The idea is the Mets have plenty of options at this point and the off-season is not about doing as many things as you can early, but making good moves. I expect Omar will do the right thing and I am not nervous at this point. There are plenty of names still out there on the free agent market and plenty of names out there than can be acquired through a trade. I fully expect the Mets to be better than they were in 2007 and I hope no one is getting antsy yet. Things are looking just fine in Met-land and the Mets have money and they have options.

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  • Wow. Who saw this coming? Hunter on the Angels is a pretty good move by them, but they still needed to add more offense. It should be noted though, his average annual pay is more than Beltran's, which is nuts. Beltran's contract looks great when you look at what has gone on the last two off-seasons. Also, if they can add Miguel Tejada at this point, they would have to be prohibitive favorites to win the entire thing.

  • Four years and $19 million for Linebrink? Insane.
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    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Goodbye Glavine

    I know there are a lot of people out there wondering how Glavine will be replaced. In regards to the '08 Glavine, I do not think it will be all that hard. Keith Law says it best and this is the main reason why I am not sorry he is gone.

    Glavine's stuff is just about gone. His fastball is only 80-84 mph and looks softer than that, almost like BP fastballs. His curveball is a big slow roller around 75-77 mph, and his changeup -- once a plus pitch -- is fringe-average, mostly 74-75 mph, but the way his arm slows as he throws it is a tip-off to observant hitters. His command is good, but needs to be almost perfect, and his game plan is to avoid contact at all costs. If he's not getting a generous strike zone, he's in trouble because his stuff is so hittable, and he doesn't have a pitch with which he can fool hitters.

    I just saw too many games where he just had nothing and if he was not getting an inch off the plate, he was done. You could tell if Glavine was going to have a 'good' day or a 'bad' day from how the umpire was calling the first pitches. Full count on the first few batters? Glavine was going to get shelled because he was not getting a generous zone. I do not think Glavine was doing anything different for the most part on this 'good' days and 'bad' days, but he needed assistance on the 'good' ones.

    Yes, he gave us innings. Yes, he did some good things for this team. However, he is an aging Hall of Famer that is way past his prime and his usefulness. Give me a first round pick in '08 and someone else who can get remotely close to his 200 innings instead. It was time the Mets and Glavine part ways and those of you who think the Mets will miss him more than they think will not be saying that as he owns a 4.75 to 5.00 ERA mid-way through the year and labors through yet another season.

    For Atlanta, the move has a second ramification beyond the money spent on the contract. Glavine was a Type A free agent, and by signing him before the arbitration deadline, Atlanta ceded its first-round draft pick to the Mets. New York now has the 18th pick, and the 20th pick if it doesn't sign a Type A free agent of its own, while Atlanta won't pick until the second round if it chooses not to offer arbitration to Andruw Jones. It's strange to see an organization that built a long run of success on scouting and player development give up a draft pick for a one-year player who might be a good fifth starter if everything breaks right, and it won't help the Braves restock their farm system after a cupboard-emptying July, when they dealt prospects to Texas for Mark Teixeira.

    In regards to the Braves staff, they have two legit frontline starters. Glavine fits much better in the framework of their team being he will be a #3, #4, or #5 for them. With the Mets, Willie would have contiually treated him like their ace and probably would have been starting game one or two of any potential playoff run to maximize his usage in the playoffs. The Braves bolstered their rotation at the cost of a first round draft pick, but the Mets are clearly better off in my eyes. No more Glavine to shake his head at the Mets celebrating and no more hoping the umps are on our side when he starts. I for one, am happy.

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  • Pitching pitching and more pitching...

    Replacing the 200-1/3 innings that Glavine gave the Mets in 2007 will be the tougher of the two because the best free-agent starters - Carlos Silva, Kyle Lohse and Livan Hernandez - really don't belong at the top of a rotation. It will take a trade and though the Mets' farm system is shallow, Minaya believes there is enough to get someone who fits the description. He said he even is willing to combine major league players with prospects to get such a pitcher.

    He added that he would rather go with Mets prospects than the available free agent arms. "I think Mike Pelfrey has very good potential to (match) what's out there and better," he said.

    If the price is right, Silva and Lohse are not bad choices. They make the Mets younger and give them the precious innings that were vacated by Glavine. Also, the Mets are not necessarily looking for ace. They can do it with a solid rotation, good offense, and good bullpen as in 2006. They also have three pretty good pitchers at the front end in Pedro, Maine, and Perez. Ace material these days? No, but #2 to #3 types which is just fine in a consistent rotation.

    And no, Blanton is not the right guy. Unless they are pitching for a power armed difference maker, why waste the prospects? Is he really that much better than what is out there?

  • The Angels pulled off a great trade to give them an excellent rotation and seems to be a precursor for another deal. Wood starting the year at short with Tejada at third seems about right to me.

  • Even Plan Z might be off the table this week in regards to the catching vacancy. Consider the Mets officially bent over. Though no GM would be advised to not make a deal because they could not rip the Mets off, but that is how many teams have dealt with the Mets over the years. Let's see if Omar can miraculously pull something off here without getting ripped off.
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    Monday, November 19, 2007

    Back To Square #1

    Just when you think things are a done deal, they fall back apart. Now, the Mets are back out looking for a catcher after their deal with Yorvit fell through. I for one, am a bit disappointed. Not because I think Torrealba was the lynchpin to the season, but because now they have to go back out there and find another catcher in a market that is just not good for catchers.

    Laird? Texas knows there are not other attractive options and will not just give him away. They have no incentive to. If it would cost a low level hard thrower, then possibly. However, those guys are nice to have for any team and giving one up for Laird would probably not be a great thing. Shoppach? He will cost more than Laird. The Indians presumably love having him as they can give Victor Martinez some time at first or DH and not lose much at catcher. He is a luxury item for them.

    Overall, Torrealba was the best fit. Was he getting overpaid? Shit yeah, but the Mets were giving up a few more dollars than they should have to retain draft picks, which Michael Barrett will cost, and to get someone that is on the right side of 30 that could have capably shared a job with Ramon Castro. I do not know why the deal was broken off, but injuries and a possible inclusion on Mitchell's soon to be infamous list have been bandied about. Either way, the Mets are back to needing a catcher. Orangeandbluebood said it best though:

    If the Torrealba deal is dead a new catcher is needed. I hope the Mets wait and let the market develop. If the Padres do not offer Barret I say go after him. Since Castro is in the fold I think Barret is a good upside risk. If Barret is offered arbitration and would cost the Mets #22 pick and the Braves have signed Glavine Barret may still be an option since the Braves would give the Mets the #18 pick by signing Tom, Not So Terrific Glavine. I wouldn't complain if the Mets went for a solid defensive catcher with average offensive skills. Consider Mike Leiberthal or someone like him. A solid defensive catcher who would be cheap for a short term contract and up until last year was a .275 hitter with .315 OBP skills and more power than LoDuca. Better defense than LoDuca, better power and similar average and OBP skills and he could likely be had for a one year $2M deal. No matter what, the available catchers are all #8 hitters so why not get low cost, low years, and good defense. My preference would be Castro and Barret but I think the #18 and 22 pick in the draft may be worth Castro and Leiberthal.

    At least the Mets have locked up second base, but four years for Castillo seems excessive for a slap hitter extraordinaire. Obviously less than $6 million per year is not going to break the bank, but I hope this is not backloaded. Maybe $7 million for the first two years, $6 million for the third year, and $5 million for the last season. I guess there was more competition for Castillo than we all expected and Eckstein wanting a $36 million dollar contract added up to overpaying for Castillo. But with Gotay in the fold, I am not all that concerned since he probably is a better choice right now anyway so second base will be capably filled at all times.

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  • Five years and $93 million dollars? Hopefully Santana takes that deal and if he does not, I think they might work things out either way. Maybe they should tack on some vesting options or some nice mutual options to sweeten the deal.

    Also, if they ink Santana, trading Garza or Slowey not only becomes more likely, but almost a certainty in my eyes.

  • The Braves just gave the Mets their 18th pick of the 2008 draft. Thanks Tom! Now if the Mets squander their pick other first rounder on Michael Barrett, that will be upsetting. The upside would be that they still have a first round pick, but the Mets really need to try to bolster their system this year.

    Also within the piece:

    David Wells is one name that is expected to be pitched to the Mets. The 44-year-old free-agent left-hander finished last season with the Dodgers.

    Wells is considering retirement, but the Mets are among the teams for which he would consider pitching.

    Um, let me think about this one. No thanks. The Duque, Pedro, and Wells?

  • How ironic is this?

    Says Willie, "I felt all year long we didn't have that killer instinct consistently that we should've had. We had at it times when our backs were against the wall, and we did show some fight (the Mets went 8-2 after the first four-game sweep by the Phillies), but you have to be careful when you put your back against the wall, because you can't always get off that wall. In the end, that's (exactly) what happened."

    It is ironic because that is the persona Willie projects. Don't get too high. Don't get too low. Keep it even keeled. Even keeled Willie drove this team and their lack of urgency reflected his leadership style. Even when we could all smell collapse, he did not exhibit any urgency and is now shocked at the way his team played? I've been saying all off-season that the Mets needed someone at the helm to create a spark if no one there was going to do it. It is time to get someone with fire in there, which Willie clearly does not have.
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