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

Friday, November 30, 2007

So Dirty....You'll Beg For A Shower

It is time we take a break from baseball to bring this to everyone's attention.

That guy is creepy enough for me to believe it is real.
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  • First off, let me apologize for that. Second, Keith Law sheds some light onto a situation that has been perplexing us Met fans for a bit.

    Brandon (RVC,NY): Should I be worried as a Met fan that the Mets won't have the ammunition to get top starter this offseason?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:03 PM ET ) Ridiculous. I've seen that mentioned in some NY papers, and it's absurd. Carlos Gomez is very highly-rated within the game. Fernando Martinez (who seems to be their one untouchable) is still one of the top 10-12 prospects in the game. Pelfrey hasn't even turned 24 yet, and he's still mid-90s with plus sink. I have no idea why it's fashionable to bash the Mets' young players, but they have plenty of assets to go get another starter. Whether they choose to part with them or not is the question.

  • I figured we were not crazy here. While I know the Mets cannot stack up against the Dodgers, Angels, and BoSox overall in terms of prospects or the Yankees pitching prospects, the Mets are not exactly barren. That being said, they are top heavy and might not be best advised to overpay and liquidate for an ace when there are other workable options that are arguably as optimal when considering the bigger picture. Of course if they can make a fair deal, make it happen.

  • I'm going to be lazy today and leave it to ube. From the comments last night:

    You know, a lot of little things went wrong last year (besides the epic collapse). Burgos blowing his arm was bigger than we all thought. Omar got him to be this year's Duaner (at the time of the trade, was Bannister for Burgos really any different than Seo for Sanchez?) With Burgos in the mix, and Mota being halfway effective, there is no room for Bell, Owens, or Lindstrom. They were all getting old, so Omar spun Owens and Lindstrom off for two younger, lefty starters, and traded Bell for OF depth in case he traded Milledge for an arm.

    So what happens? Burgos blows out his arm, Mota wasn't within nuclear distance of halfway decent, Duaner and Padilla both get re-injured, we have 6 major injuries in the OF (Alou, Green, Milledge, Johnson, Gomez, and FMart), we spend the whole year looking for one more bullpen arm, and WE STILL MISSED THE PLAYOFFS BY ONE GAME and the best record in the NL by two.

    Do we all remember where this franchise was before Omar? How am I reading things about this being a make-or-break season for him? Are you kidding me????? Hasn't he brought us, oh, I don't know, Beltran, Pedro, Maine, Perez, El Duque, Alou, Delgado, Duaner and Wagner??? Bitch all you want, but every single one of those players was WAY better than the guy in their role previously. So Omar took a couple minor gambles and they didn't work out last year. Seriously, though, who was the best player we gave up? Bannister? Really? Sure, he had a good year and he's serviceable. Would we feel comfortable counting on him to be anything better than a #4 starter next year?

    And it's not like we are a second division team right now. Today - with no moves - I'd still take us to win the NL East. We have 5 core players who we can expect to only keep getting better - Wright, Reyes, Maine, Perez, and Milledge. We are in good shape; maybe not to win the WS this year (although maybe), but certainly going forward.

    While I'd still love to see the Mets pick off Harden from the A's for his upside (and I think you can get him somewhat cheaply) and add Livan or Silva for innings, I've come around to accepting we will lose some prospects this year because everyone is running around like their hair is on fire.

    So here's what I say. The three young guys who I'd say are tradeable are:
    - Gomez: well thought of around the league, and since we need Milledge this year and FMart is a superstar, don't see room for him in the future.
    - Mulvey: coming off a great year that is likely as high as his value will get.
    - Heilman: again, coming off a great year likely as high as his value will get.
    - Nick Evans: see Heilman & Mulvey

    So put Gomez, Mulvey, Heilman and Evans on the table for Haren + something or Bedard + Ramon Hernandez (plus maybe take a bad contract like Baez off the O's hands). First team to bite make the deal. Sign Livan, move El Duque to the bullpen. Sign Dotel. Keep the rest of the prospects so they can get healthy / rebuild their value.

    Does a rotation of Pedro, Bedard, Maine, Perez, Livan not give us the best rotation in the NL? Is a pen of Wagner, Dotel, El Duque, Feliciano, Smith and junk not one of the better pens? Wouldn't we still have Pelfrey, Humber, FMart, Guerra, Parnell, Niese, and Carp as upper-level prospect depth? Is it just me, or is the sky not falling here???

    I have said the key word for this off-season should be prudent. The Mets should not feel forced to do anything rash, but if they can make a good move, make it happen. The Mets do not have as big of a need as people think and it cannot be forgotten how much the injury bug has plagued them. In '06, Pedro and The Duque went down for the playoffs and they still made it all the way to game seven. Then Pedro was out for all of '07 for the most part, The Duque went down again during the stretch run, and Alou missed too much time.

    This season, the Mets need to not rely on The Duque as a starter this season and need to replace him in the rotation. Pedro, Bedard/Haren, Maine, Perez, and Livan/Silva does give us best rotation in the NL and even Pedro, Maine, Perez, Livan/Silva, and Pelfrey/Humber works for me. The Mets should also stash Freddy Garcia in their back pocked for the second half of '07 which gives you either Pelfrey or Humber, Garcia laster in the season, The Duque can shift in from the bullpen, and Mulvey later in the season as a guys who you can insert into the rotation and that for me is plenty of depth. If you do manage to pull off a deal for a Haren or Bedard, I would prefer rolling with Pelfrey or Humber in the fifth slot rather than getting Livan or Silva, but it is hard to argue picking one of them up.

    Basically, the Mets have options and are not in as bad of a place as people think. I think the Mets are in a good position to put together a team capable of doing very good things. A full year of Milledge and a healthy Chavez to spell Alou and serve as a capable replacement should he go down will go a long way for this team and I think this team has depth where it needs it.

  • ESPN says the Red Sox and Twins are talking Santana.

    The Red Sox and Twins are discussing the framework of a Johan Santana deal that would have Boston sending four players to Minnesota in return for the two-time Cy Young Award winner, including center fielder Coco Crisp, pitcher Jon Lester and minor-league shortstop Jed Lowrie, the trio that would anchor the deal.

    Red Sox pitcher Michael Bowden has been discussed as a possible fourth player, sources say, but the identity of the fourth player is in flux.

    Wow. If that is the deal on the table, the Red Sox should be pulling the trigger.

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  • Thursday, November 29, 2007


    I guess the Twins got what they wanted. They were interested in Young, B.J. Upton, and Gomez and they got Delmon Young for Matt Garza. The Rays also netted a shortstop to hold down the fort and give Reid Brignac some extra time while the Twins added some much needed outfield depth in their system with Jason Pridie.

    The Rays are also looking to add Troy Percival to the bullpen and all of sudden they have a rather formidable front two. They also have Andy Andy Sonnanstine, James Shields, and Edwin Jackson, who had a nice second half in '07, to compliment them and all of sudden have a deep rotation with plenty of solid arms still in the system with Niemann probably targeted to be a bullpen arm down the line.

    You have to like this deal from both sides of the coin though you can say the Twins came out hair ahead because Young's considerable upside. The Twins get their right handed power bat and the Devil Rays got a front end starter. It would not shock me at all to see Jason Kubel break out this year to give the Twins a solid offensive team to go with a sterling pitching staff if Santana stays around.

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  • Back to Santana and how this deal will come into play with any possible Santana deal. First, it kind of changes the type of players they might want back. We know they have a first baseman, catcher, right fielder, left fielder that I hope they do not give up on, and a second baseman. Also, they have another guy they got from Tampa that they could possibly plug into centerfield from day one, but is a place that is not a burning need, but a mild need. That leaves third base, short, center, and the mound as possible places to upgrade.

    The Yankees have been rumored to have to give up Melky and one of Hughes/Joba/Kennedy while the Red Sox need to give up Ellsbury and Buccholz/Lester. Am I the only one is missing something? Maybe if Joba was in for sure, then a two player deal would be doable in my eyes, but Kennedy and Cabrera as a possible deal for Santana? That deal would have been done in a nanosecond if it was on the table, but I just cannot see that as being enough. The Yankees by far have the worst deal on the table if Joba is not included.

    If the Twins cannot greatly improve in center with a Milledge or Ellsbury or get a high ceiling guy like Gomez, I am not seeing the point in a guy like Melky to place hold since Pridie could probably come close to his mediocre production. Basically, the Yankees deal looks even worse for the Twins than it did before unless they sweeten the pot with Joba or Hughes and Kennedy with another young high ceiling A baller stuck in.

    The Mets might need to part with Reyes according to John Harper's source and Adam Rubin echoed that. Santana is arguably the best pitcher in the universe, but Reyes is a vital part to this team's future. I'm sorry, but the Mets simply cannot do that. If they need to give Milledge, Maine, Heilman, and something else, so be it. But Wright and Reyes should be off limits and not even part of the discussion. If this is truly being considered, the Mets really need to reevaluate their plan. Yes, they need an ace, but they cannot significantly weaken the team by dishing off Reyes who is probably the top catalyst in the league. There are a lot of good arms available after '08 and they simply need to get a Tom Glavine level replacement, which should not be hard to do. Let us not forget he posted an ERA+ below 100 so it would not be as hard as everyone thinks to replace his output.

    The Mariners conjured up package of Adam Jones, Brandon Morrow, and Jeff Clement is not such a good fit anymore and they would probably be gunning for something else and suddenly the Dodgers and Angels are the only two teams with a real good fit, though they have been lukewarm in regards to any deal. This thing is spiraling out of control, but the Twins should focus on the best group of players over the best fit anyway. However, it is increasingly obvious that they will get a nice haul of players, but I just hope the Mets do not go too far off the deep end in an act of desperation. Dan Graziano has a different take and says the Mets are not truly in the mix for Santana because or their lack of top tier arms and their stance on not giving any pitcher over five years.

  • If you are looking for a good laugh....you have found it.

    Lennon admits they probably don't have the chips to get Johan Santana, which makes me wonder how they'd have enough to get Blanton or Haren.

    Omar Minaya and Billy Beane discussed these guys a year ago, and couldn't come to an agreement. Now Beane's price has risen - Lastings Milledge and Aaron Heilman won't cut it (not sure if it would've last year anyway). I'm not sure if adding any Mets pitching prospect to that pair would be enough to get Blanton, who would have a lesser price tag than Haren. Add Carlos Gomez to the package and you might have something.

    Might have something? First, that is not a bad haul at all for Haren and is defendable in both directions. I'm sure Beane would want a young pitcher back as well, but not a horrible deal for either side. However, for Blanton? Milledge straight up for Blanton would be a waste if you ask me. Just get Carlos Silva who had rather similar ERA+ over the last four years with the exception of a down '06. Yes he costs money, but that trade is just ridiculous. Or at worst, get Livan as a one year stopgap to eat some innings as I kind of view him and Blanton in the same fashion or just look towards Japan and take a risk.

    Blanton is not a game changer and let us not overvalue innings. Yes, they are important for obvious reasons, but not at the expense of your system and the exact bullpen you are trying to save. This notion that Blanton is some proven and reliable starter needs to stop. His fastball is underwhelming to say the least, he cannot miss bats, and is portly. Not that I have an issue with portly people, but he is young enough for it to be somewhat of a concern. I would not mind him on this team, but there does not seem to be a great fit in regards to a trade between the two teams since the Mets are lacking after Gomez and Milledge.

  • The Mets acquired something to throw at the wall to see if it sticks.

  • One and done. Tom, we hardly knew ye'. I vote to bring back Fran Healy.
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    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Santana, Santana, and more Santana

    So everyone wants to get Santana and give up nothing for him? Fantastic! But hardly realistic. When it comes to trades scenarios, nothing good comes from listening to fans call into radio shows and say what they think. However, people just have to understand that you have to give up something good to get something good back.

    Doug (NY): Am I naive to think that over the next 6 years, I'd rather have Hughes (for approx $6M) than Santana (for approx $150M)

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: It depends on which team you're running. If you're running the Yankees and you want to make a *profit* you want Hughes. But if you're running the Yankees and you want to win (while still making a profit, but a smaller one) you want Santana. It's important to remember that Hughes, for all his talent, probably won't win 100 games in the majors, simply because so many bad things can happen to a young pitcher.

    I think Neyer hits the nail on the head here. It is worth it if you are the New York Yankees simply for the fact they will drop $20 million per year on a player and not blink.

    Adam (NYC): It's hard to believe that Santana will win another 100 games though...wouldn't Hughes have a better chance of reaching that mark than a 29 year old pitcher past his prime? If the Yanks sign Santana to a 10 year extension, they'd be paying Santana $20 million a year at age 39...at the same time Hughes would be entering the prime of his career. Can you say Kevin Brown? Not a very wise business move to say the least.

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Adam, here's a chance for some research. Go back and make a list of 20 pitching prospects with Hughes' credentials. Then make a list of 20 pitchers with Santana's credentials. I'll bet you the Santana comps won more games afterward than the Hughes comps did.

    Doug (NY): A little research; according to BA, the top pitching prospects since 1990: S.Avery, T.Van Poppell, B.Taylor, Bere, J.Baldwin, B.Pulsipher, P.Wilson, K.Wood, R.White, R.Ankiel, R.Anderson, J.Beckett, M.Prior, J.Foppert, E.Jackson, F.Hernandez, Liriano. It's too early to tell on some of them (King Felix for example), but other than Beckett, not really a list of HOFers

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Exactly. Thank you for doing what I couldn't do. Granted, Hughes has done more than Van Poppel or Taylor or some of those other guys had done at his age. But the point still holds, I think.

    I know the Yankees have been saying they are reluctant to part with Hughes or Joba, but it is just posturing. They would be happy to part with Hughes for Santana and they would especially be happy if Pettite does not come back. Only problem is, the Yankees probably do not have the juice to get the deal done if they fail to include Joba or Cano, which they probably will not. Hughes and Cabrera? As popular as that might be as a deal for Yankee fans, it is 190% improbable. What about throwing in Austin Jackson? Maybe if he put up those numbers at AAA instead of A ball. What about throwing in Kennedy? Depends how good you think he can be, but the Twins still fail to get a bat and Cabrera is not even close to being the productive bat that they need.

    “If we make a trade for anybody, it’s going to be fair for both sides,” Steinbrenner said. “We’re not looking to rob anybody. We’re also not going to give up all of our future for one player, even if it is a pitcher.”

    Basically, I cannot see the Yankees landing Santana without giving away all four of those guys. As for the Mets, they would literally have to hand them over their top four prospects and Lastings Milledge. A Pelfrey and Milledge deal is just a tick below Hughes and Cabrera because Milledge is head and shoulders going to be a more productive player on the offensive side of things than Melky, but he Mets have little else afterwards. Maybe if the Mets give up Gomez or F-Mart and toss in Guerra for good measure they might get their attention, but Mets successfully put their system into the bottom five of the bigs in the process, which is a bad thing for a team that does not have unlimited resources.

    "Someone asked me what I thought of our team," Wagner said in an interview with MLB.com. "I said, 'What team?' We've lost 13 games [Glavine's victory total], and now we are going have to give up something to get those games back. I'm afraid we're just going to create other holes if we give up a [Lastings] Milledge, a [Mike] Pelfrey or a Heilman."

    Again, for what it would take the Mets to get him, I just do not think it is worth it. Who gets him? I'm not sure, but the Yankees seem like the best landing spot given their ability to spend. However, given their tight assed approach, it seems like Santana just might hang around Minnesota unless the Dodgers really step up their pursuit or Boston says the are serious about including Ellsbury in a deal with Lestor or Buchholz because the Twins are simply not just going to take the best offer on the table no matter what anyone says.

    It has to make sense for them since they have a shot, though a small one, at making a run for things next year based on pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Besides, they can always deal another young pitcher for a young bat like Carlos Quentin to bolster the offense. The Twins have been rather profficient at drafting some pretty solid players and might be better off taking their chances at a playoff run in '07 and taking two picks. Unless things change and better deals do not start shaping up, it is hard to see the Twins trading him at this point in time.

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  • Wagner had a lot more to say outside of the above quote.

    He also says he is not all that happy about how Willie runs his bullpen.

    Wagner said: "In Willie Randolph's bullpen, it's different. He wants guys to be able to go 2 2/3 innings or one-third of an inning or in between. That's how he wants it. But guys just want to know, so they can prepare themselves and be comfortable."

    Wagner said he and Randolph discussed relief roles several times during the season and that, more recently, general manager Omar Minaya and COO Jeff Wilpon subsequently have asked him about roles.

    "I understand what Willie wants -- for a lot of guys to be able to pitch whenever they're needed for as long as he needs them. I'm not sure you can have that. Guys are used to having roles. They'll take the ball because that's what the job is and that's what the manager wants. But the idea is to get them into situations where they can be successful. I mean, you wouldn't ask Carlos Delgado to bunt."

    Overall, I like the fact Wagner has his opinions, but he needs to give Omar some time to shape this team a bit more. There is more to be done and it is hard to pass judgment right now.

  • Anytime a writer offers up advice for Omar, I get scared. However, this was pretty on point.

  • Michael Salfino does a great job rounding up some info on the Mets top outfield prospects and young pitching prospects.

    I still think Humber needs a pass until we see him throw more innings. He was towards the top of all major categories in AAA as we have all mentioned many times and that was coming of elbow surgery. Mulvey however, seems like a John Maine clone with more refined pitches at the same point in their respective careers. I am fully on the Mulvey bandwagon and the Mets better choose carefully and identify their own prospects probability of hitting their ceilings and keep them while dishing off the others if they dabble into the practice of trading human beings.

  • Larry LaRue has an interesting article about Santana coming to the Mariners with a package of Adam Jones, Jeff Clement, and Brandon Morrow going back. Now we could debate all day about how questionable it would be for a team in the Mariners position to make that deal when they are seemingly a .500 team and giving up two big bats that are part of their future, but that would be a deal I could get behind. Two first class bats for a team that needs hitting badly and Morrow gives them back a nice solid arm that needs some work. Could one of the most profitable teams in baseball shock the world and get a deal done?

  • Ned Colleti wising up? The Dodgers are my pick to win the west next season if they let all the kids play.

  • The Red Sox and the Rockies are two teams full of good people.

    Considering 37 players pitched or played full- or part-time in 2007, that means a sizable contingent of backstage help, from coaches, trainers, clubhouse staff and Fenway Park [map] employees received partial or full shares. Fourteen partial shares were awarded, while 11 cash awards were voted in.

    The team the Sox swept in the World Series, the Colorado Rockies, voted 44 full shares of $233,505. Mandy Coolbaugh, the widow of Rockies minor league coach Mike Coolbaugh, gets a full share. Mike Coolbaugh was killed when struck by a foul ball during a game in July.

  • I like Dotel and Chacon as possible bullpen options simply because they will not command some insane contracts and will very likely put up the same numbers as Linebrink will for his monstrous contract. Again, not a splashy move, but I do not think the Mets truly need to make a splashy move. Slow and steady is the way to go.
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