"Who gives a [expletive], they just got Johan Santana."
That is pretty much the answer to any problem that you could think of in regards to this deal. The Mets gave up two MLB ready starters in Mulvey and Humber and are left with only Mike Pelfrey as a viable option on the horizon. Outside of that, we are looking at Bobby Parnell, who is more of a reliever in my eyes.
Next year, we know that not one, not two, but three starters will be hitting the free agent market with Maine following after that. Of course Maine has a ways to go, but it bears noting that when his contract expires, the Mets might not have any meaningful prospects ready to step in. Now that Johan is out of the way, some forward thinking should be employed.
Oliver Perez is an enigma to some people. Since 2004, he has put up an ERA+ of 145, 72, 67, and 120 and a k/bb of 2.95, 1.39, 1.50, and 2.20. I could certainly understand why he is considered such, but to me, he is slightly misunderstood. He was not in a great place and the Pirates organization does not exactly have a great track record for grooming young pitchers.
Oliver just seemed like the classic case of guy needing a change of scenery. However, it would be hard to ignore his up and down career. Normally I would say that anyone represented by Boras would not extend with one year left before free agency, but we have a precedent here with a similar case. Carlos Pena was another insanely talented enigma that was represented by Boras and he extended recently.
Perez will have his arbitration meeting later this month and Omar should push for five year deal. $7 million in 2008 and then spread $48 to 52 million over the next four seasons. That is risky because Oliver Perez would not surprise anyone if he threw up a stinker this year, but I think those days are behind him. However, the fact that people consider him volatile might be the best opportunity for the Mets to sign him for a bit more than Carlos Silva signed. Regardless, even if he puts up a 4.20 ERA, he would be worth it and get something close to that on the market which does give the Mets some acceptable downside in regards to his performance.
That move would allow the Mets to pencil in Johan, Ollie, Pelfrey, and Maine through the 2011 season. To me, that sounds just perfect. Waiting until after the 2008 season with Oliver will prove to a risky move because he should be an extremely coveted free agent. Ben Sheets, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and John Smoltz might all be out there, but maybe only one or two of them reach. With another solid season from Perez, you have to believe he might be #1 on many team's list with Sheets and Burnett coming with bigger price tags than Ollie and huge health questions, CC pricing out of most team's comfort zone, and Smoltz's age and his likeliness to stay with the Braves.
The Orioles will get a really impressive haul if this goes through and they have put themselves on the right path. If MacPhail was around earlier and was allowed to do what he wanted, they could be on their way to being a rebuilt team rather than just starting their rebuilding process.
It would be interesting if both Cy Young Award winners from either league were acquired via trade this year. Has that ever happened? Doubtful, but there is certainly a pretty good chance that happens.
"I remember the day I got traded, remember Johan. He went to me in the locker room. We talked for 20 minutes. I explained everything. He told me everything, told me he wanted to play with the Mets the day I got traded," said Castillo, who re-signed with the Mets for four years, $25 million. "A week later, I told (Mets GM Omar) Minaya he's a good pitcher, and he likes the Mets. I know he makes a lot of money, but he's great, the best left-handed pitcher, and he'd like to play here with the Mets. I know he makes a lot of money, but I think that's the guy we need."
Johan would have gone to anyone that would have paid him cash, but I do think he genuinely wanted to be in Queens for a multitude of reasons.
The Mets hope his 32-year-old knees hold up. In his 49 starts batting second, they averaged 5.51 runs, compared to 4.73 in other games.
Castillo does not add a ton of defensive or offensive value, but he is does not negatively impact the team. He plays decent defense and gets on base 37% of the time. With the depth the Mets have in the lineup, that is just fine.
"The team to beat in my eyes is the team that won last year," Wright said. "Philadelphia took care of us last year. They took care of business in the division. Going into this year, we have to take control again of the NL East."
Of course no one believes for one second he does not think the Mets are the team to beat as Philly needed an improbable comeback just as the Rockies are not playoff favorites as they needed an improbable run, but Wright is not looking to start a ridiculous prediction war.
With six months of a long season ahead, not much is more annoying than ridiculous claims of who is better. Maybe the Phillies need that type of motivation so that is all well and fine. As for the Mets, it really seems they need some other catalyst. Maybe Wright steps into that role this season. Maybe not. However, I think Pedro and Johan for the entire season will provide that spark that their skipper failed to ignite via himself or through someone else.
As for Bonds, someone needs to suck it up. The guy has 30 homer potential and gets on base almost 50% of the time. The Padres look like the third best team in the division and could use his bat. Sure, that gives them three left-handed (and old) bats in the outfield, but all three are fragile and will need plenty of days off and Giles and Bonds are not horrible against lefties.
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