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

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's About That Time

One of the best storylines of 2007 has been the emergence of John Maine and Oliver Perez. Maine is under the Mets control through 2011 so there is no rush with him, but in regards to Perez, the Mets only control him through 2008. If the Mets want to extend him before he hits free agency at somewhat of a discount, this off-season would be the time to reward him. There is a slight gamble with Oliver because there is still some uncertainty as to who the real Oliver Perez is. Is the 2002, 2004, and 2007 Oliver Perez the real one or is the 2003, 2005, and 2006 Oliver Perez the real one? They might well be willing to take a gamble and lay down some cash for Oliver simply because of the rising cost of pitchers, but the real issue is whether or not Oliver would sign an extension right now.

If Oliver is presented with guaranteed money, it might behoove him to skip is final arbitration year and snag the cash. He has had his ups and down before and signing a contract now ensures he will have more money than he can ever spend no matter what happens. Let us say four years for $36 million? Would that even be enough? With the slight risk involved, I would assume the Mets would not want to break to bank, but would have to come up with a figure that would make the risk palatable. The problem is that if Oliver feels differently and believes he truly turned a corner, he could land an enormous payday after the '08 season if he puts two great seasons together.

If Gil Meche can get $55 million, a 27-year old that has become a premier left-handed starter would fare pretty well to say the least. The biggest problem for the Mets is that Oliver is represented by Mike Fischlin, who is one Scott Boras' agents and was his first employee. We all know how much Boras loves free agency, but it is possible Oliver feels that the Mets are responsible for his turn around and may want to make the move to have security. I'm not banking on that much and if he does hit free agency, it could be one of the richest pitching markets in this history of baseball if most of guys set to become free agents actually hit the market. Oliver would join a group of impressive lefties that includes Randy Johnson, C.C. Sabathia, and Johan Santana and he would join righties Aaron Cook, Jon Garland, John Lackey, Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez, Jake Peavy, Brad Penny, Ben Sheets, and John Smoltz.

I do not think they will all hit free agency, but there should some substantial talent on the market with Lowe and Perez being the only two Boras clients. Omar clearly has his work cut out for him and I'm sure the Mets would prefer to get something done sooner rather than later.

* * *

  • Alou and Pedro are making their way back.

    Moises Alou (strained quad) is scheduled to play in a rehab game today in Florida, general manager Omar Minaya said. ... Pitcher Pedro Martinez (rotator cuff) will throw a bullpen session today in St. Lucie, after which his next move will be determined.

    Some guy called into WFAN this weekend and said he was against the Alou signing. First, who did not think he was going hurt? You kind of have to accept this stretch of Alou being down for his bat in the playoffs, provided they make it here. Second, Alou just rakes. As I stated on Toasty's site they other day, his consistency is just astounding.

    Alou will not carry the team, the guy just hits. For his career he has hit .331/.394/.587 in March/April, .293/.364/.452 in May, .291/.348/.497 in June, .302/.372/.535 in July, .293/.363/.520 in August, and .306/.376/.520 in September/October. That type of consistency is just insane and really helps us understand why this offense have been sluggish and inconsistent since he went down.

    The Mets offense has been spotty, but having a force in the middle of the lineup that is so consistent is going to go a long way to making this team a bit more stable offensively. Alou is going to be a huge part of this team and with the Gotay and Milledge now here, this team is going to have it's best lineup of the year in place for a second half run. But with Alou close to being back, it looks like Milledge has only has a few games left to solidify his spot with the team. I do not think he will get sent down to the minors again, but he is going to have to play his way into the lineup.

    I am not sure how much Willie likes Green, but he has had OPS of .746, .547, and .682 since his scorching April which is horrible for a corner outfielder. He has not been horrific this month, but he is not walking and does not really bring much to the table in speed and defense. I've already spoken about Green playing some first while praying for Franco to be cut and I think that sitting Delgado more often should be considered. You certainly do not gain anything by playing Green over Delgado, but if Willie feels the need to get him in, he can do so in right and at first with Milledge getting the lion's share of time.

    In more Alou news, he homered in his first rehab game and he says he is one or two weeks away from returning.

  • The Mets drew a franchise record 203,515 fans for the four-game series, breaking the mark set in 1988 against Pittsburgh. ... David Wright and Jose Reyes started their 394th game together Sunday, tying the team record for starts by a left-side tandem held by Howard Johnson and Kevin Elster.

    They may be struggling a bit, but fans are still showing up in droves to watch them play. The Mets are third in attendence with 2,064,972 fans showing up in 46 games so far this year. Also, they are second to only the Red Sox for average away attendence per game. They edge out the Yankees which is certainly surprising and most likely a result of people wanting to see Wright and Reyes. Overall, they are on pace to have 3,636,090 fans come through the turnstiles at Shea.

  • I missed Milledge's bomb the other day and if you did as well, you can catch it here. It's the first link at the top of the article.

  • The Mets have a bit of a test ahead of them this week.

    "It's important because we're playing some good teams. There's a good chance one of those two will be in the playoffs if not both," outfielder Shawn Green said. "Second, we need to win games because we have a small lead, unlike last year. And third, we need to go out and beat some good teams. It's getting to a crucial time of the year."

    They are due to face David Wells, Jake Peavy, Greg Maddux, Derek Lowe, Brett Tomko, Brad Penny, and Mark Hendrickson and it is a rough stretch to say the least.

  • Pelfrey was sent down and Williams was let go.

    "I'm a lot more comfortable starting games than coming out of the pen," said Pelfrey.

    Scary thought. I wonder how he would have pitched out of the bullpen?

  • Wallace Matthews writing a positive article about something Mets-related? Bizarre... But it does seem Lastings has matured a bit and has kept his sense of humor intact despite the seemingly constant barrage of negative publicity.

    This is the new, mature Lastings Milledge, the one who swears he won't be high-fiving the fans in the box seats any day soon - "Not unless I win the World Series with a walk-off home run," he said. "I asked around and I already got prior approval for that" - the one who insists he "doesn't have to be the guy right now" but would never rule out being the guy in the (very) near future, the one who is playing as if his name were really Last Chance Milledge, which it may well be.

    "This year, I just do my work and go home," he said. "That's the main difference between last year and this year. Last year, maybe I wanted attention a little bit."

    And Willie even chimed in with a positive quote.

    "It's good to have him up here," manager Willie Randolph said. "He missed an opportunity earlier, but now he has an opportunity again to get back in the mix. We have a lot of season left to play. Hopefully, he'll be a big part of it."

  • Hal McCoy lays up some softballs for Joe Smith and uncovers his love for ice cream. Riveting stuff.

  • Dunn hit a bomb on Sunday that left me grimacing at the park.

    Oliver Perez's teammates had some fun with him yesterday after he gave up a giant home run to the Reds' Adam Dunn. The shot went an estimated 460 feet, knocking out lights on the out-of-town scoreboard in right field.

    "Wow, that was a long ball," Carlos Beltran said. "If I'm a pitcher, I want to give up a home run like that."

  • The Phillies are baseball's biggest losers. Congrats guys...

  • Mulvey rolls on...

    Mulvey allowed three hits with a career-high 11 strikeouts and Caleb Stewart drove in the only run as the B-Mets defeated the Connecticut Defenders at Dodd Stadium.

    Mulvey, a right-hander, didn't allow a baserunner to reach third base until the eighth inning when Jake Wald's advanced runners to second and third.

    With that I propose is that he gets rewarded with a promotion to AAA. With the Mets not getting anyone to stand up and step in when needed in regards to the rotation outside of Jorge Sosa, the closer the better for Mulvey and the Mets. His 3.13 ERA is impressive and he just might be the Mets most ready pitcher at this point in the system. I'm not saying he would dominate, but he seems to be the most likely to hold his own and give the Mets a decent chance to win should the need arise.

  • The Mets bullpen has turned things around nicely and have a 3.52 ERA which is good for fourth in the National League. They also have the fourth lowest BAA and are tenth in overall innings which is a reflection of the solid production the rotation has given the Mets this season. After a 4.72 June, they have put up a nice July with a 1.26 WHIP and a 3.35 ERA. They have certainly seemed to stabilize and showed some encouraging signs. Sele and Schoeneweis even pitched in to turn in nice months and the Mets really needed them to step up.

  • Quote of the year? Perhaps.

    Added Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi on Friday: 'My mother always taught me that if the only thing you have to say is `[expletive] David Samson,' you shouldn't say anything at all. So I'm not going to say anything at all."

  • Buster echoed popular sentiment today that the Mets are just waiting to jump on Carlos Zambrano. I do not see how the Cubs can possibly let him go, but I am salivating at the thought of a Pedro, Ollie, Maine, Zambrano, and The Duque/Pelfrey/Humber/Mulvey rotation. Sick, sick, sick, sick rotation with three, possibly four guys 27 and under.

  • Also from Buster, a crazy piece of information.

    There continues to be a lot of under-the-radar chatter in baseball about La Russa and St. Louis GM Walt Jocketty moving on to Cincinnati together after this season.


    I was thinking about the Reds and after seeing them in person and I must step back a bit from when I said they were hopeless. With Votto, Hamilton, Encarnacion, Bruce, Phillips, Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, and their solid '07 draft, they are not exactly hopeless. Their park is too small and not very conducive to winning, but there are pieces to work with. That being said, they still need to trade Dunn and Griffey and just take what they can get and start to rebuild a bit.

  • Mark Bradley pens an article about unicorns and leprechauns.

    There’s a good chance the Braves will trade for a starting pitcher before the month is out. (Indeed, Schuerholz had a list of possible deals written on an index card, which he declined to make available to the media.) There’s no chance such a trade will be made in haste. These are the staid Braves, not the kneejerk Mets.

    It would have been nice if he wrote about something...you know...that has to do with reality. The Mets did some shuffling, but I would hardly call them knee jerk. Franco had to go and Ricky is more useful on the staff than Down was in many people's estimation. The Braves however are not desperate? Yup...they are only thinking about signing Julio Franco and trading for Jose Contreras.

    The Mets just brought Rickey Henderson into their clubhouse and ushered Franco out. The Braves would welcome the latter back in some capacity and would never in a million years employ Rickey Henderson. That’s why the Braves became the Braves, and it’s why the Mets, for all their talent and money, are starting to look like their silly old selves.

    Exactly what starting pitcher are they going to get? I welcome a trade. There is literally no one out there. Also, I would take the Mets team now and in the future 10 out of 10 times and maybe the Braves should have thought about bringing in Rickey with three starters posting a .300 OBP. And that big boom you heard was Brian McCann coming back to earth and all those people saying he was as good as Joe Mauer might have been a little off to say the least. Bring it on Bravos...

    Ridiculously un-researched statement of the day in the comments of the above stupid article...

    He’s (Julio Franco) always been a great hitter. He takes outside pitches the other way and everything.

    Yeah...that's it. He takes outside pitches the other way on purpose.

    Second most ridiculously un-researched statement of the day...

    Mets have shown sign of last three weeks that their pitching is horrible and will never get better. And don’t tell me that Pedro is coming back and will be healthy. He is questionable to be good? In my opinion he is not good and solid pitcher that he used to be. The only thing that mets have better right now is good fielding, which shouldn’t matter much when the braves hitting and pitching is good.

    Mets team ERA: 3.83
    Mets bullpen ERA: 3.56
    Mets rotation ERA: 4.02

    Atlanta team ERA: 4.19
    Atlanta bullpen ERA: 3.78
    Atlanta rotation ERA: 4.43

    Looks like a clean sweep for the Mets. So maybe I need to be a little more clear on this one, if the Mets pitching is horrible, what is the Braves pitching?

    Just a plainly ridiculous statement...
    The Mets are the biggest idiots in baseball. I hate them and they should be contracted.

    Yes, contract what could be the most fun team to watch in baseball. Did I mention that they are third in attendance and second in road attendance? Atlanta is fifteenth in road attendence because you know...they are so popular.

    Not much going on down there in the minds of baseball fans in Atlanta, but at least the Altanta beat writer for MLB.com has some ability to think rationally.

    Other than trying to decide whether to respond with a "yes" or a "no", this was a rather simple question to answer. How bad can your bench or first-base production be when you're actually contemplating signing a soon-to-be 49-year-old man, who has hit .228 (26-for-114) and collected a grand total of four extra-base hits in his past 75 Major League games dating back to the beginning of August?

  • From Adam Rubin via Baseball America:

    The Mets are converting shortstop Corey Ragsdale, their second-round pick in 2001, to pitching. Ragsdale had a .192 average this season with Binghamton and a .206 career average in seven pro seasons.

  • It turns out that Paris votes for the president....every single year.

  • Marty Noble gets bombarded with dumb questions.

  • Phil Humber had a big day and picked up his tenth win and lowered his ERA to 4.24. He went 7.2 innings and gave up four hits, one run, and two walks while striking out four.

  • Sean Henry, Jon Neise, and Nick Evans all had nice days for St. Lucie.

  • Brahiam Maldonado continues to just kill the ball in what has been a breakout season for him.

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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You know what Mike, I was JUST about to mention Brahiam Maldonado's production at Single A this season. He's doing GREAT. He's a 21 year old, not bad I would say. He's MUCH better this season at a higher level, so his improvement is something I'm very happy about.
    Staying on the topic of prospects, Devaney had a nice day today. Hopefully he'll be one of those 2nd tier prospect guys that we always talk about that are pretty valuable for trades. Him and Nick Evans, who I like.

    The whole thing about signing Oliver Perez early is risky. It's a tough decision, let Omar deal with that one...

    As i write this I'm VERY dissapointed in the Mets offense.

    I can see the Mets bullpen is improving but I honestly have no idea what to make of Mota and even Schowneiaess. Mota I just don't know about his fastball, one day it looks like the one I feel in love with but most of the time it looks like crap. And then there Scotty Showblow, he has some quick innings on the road but he's a fucking disaster at home. WHATS THE DEAL!?!?

    Why the hell would La Russa and Jocketty go to Cincinnati, together? what's the appeal there? I don't get it.

    No comment on the braves writer guy. It'll be too easy. You know what, for as much crap as we give the beat writers here in NY, the guys everywhere else are just straight up ridiculous! They're like... 10 year old children.
    Remember Richard Justice? Another ass clown, who brings a bad name to beat writers.

    Marty Noble may get bombaraded with stupid questions but he's also a condesending prick. The guy is a dickhead who I personally think cherry picks really stupid and easy questions so he can look smart. Fuck Marty Noble, he's an asshole.

    12:09 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This Maldonado's plate discipline is... pretty fucking unimpressive. He'd likely get exposed by more advanced pitching. But whatever. I don't know anything. I am product of American education system.

    If Ollie wants a big contract, I let him walk. He's good now, but giving him a 7y-120MM contract or something similar would be insane. Call it a hunch, but he doesn't strike me as a pitcher who will age gracefully.

    I'd give him 3y-27MM and not a penny more.

    This Mets offense makes me want to engage in an involuntary personal protein spill... and i'm not talking about the sexy kind.

    The Braves writer is a joke. You lowered all of our IQ's by even acknowledging the inbred douchebag.

    Noble is tired. I stopped reading his work a LONG time ago. Sad, really. I sort of remember him being insightful.


    2:40 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mike, I was wondering if you were going to mention Dunn's shot. Have you ever seen a harder shot in person? (Aside from Denver)...

    I think that La Russa and Jocketty would like to build their own empire, and La Russa's act is starting to wear thin on some of the Cardinals veterans.

    I'm impressed with Lastings at the dish, he needs to lay off of the slider in the dirt, much like a young Nomah. He really needs work in the field, although there has been a big improvement. There was a play where the throw should clearly have been to home plate over the weekend, and he inexplicably threw to third. There was another ugly throw last night. I think he'll work at it, and become much better, but he doesn't have an arm like Gomez or Chavez, that's for sure.

    9:00 AM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Benny, precisesly…he’s improving as he moves up to better leagues and not by a little. His ’06 put him on the map a bit but you have to like what he and Sean Henry are doing. Maldonado was also from a Puerto Rican baseball academy so I’m not sure what they means. Should he take a bit more time or less time? I’m not sure. Evans is solid as well.

    The OP thing is risky, but if he does this again in ’08 and three really good years to show for his big league service time, it is going to be costly to keep him.

    Justice is well respected, which I do not get. In their defense, there is much less to write about not being in New York. But still…they really suck.

    RE: Noble..I don’t like him either, but those questions should never have been written. It was almost like a joke.

    Emad…baby steps. I like that he is showing pop and hitting for power. Let him work on the other stuff next. He still has three levels to go!

    3/27? That’s fair. You buy out the last arb year and two more. He still walks when he’s 29, has enough money for ever, and can ink a huge deal at that point. Which is basically my deal, but one less. But would he go for it? Even if he regresses, he’s still worth the $9mm per in baseball terms.

    Sidd, after the shot, I felt like I needed to take a shower. I didn’t see the contact, but I saw Milledge tracking it back, but not moving all that much and then I aw it destroy the scoreboard. It was Vaughn-esque. He hit some silly ones.

    RE: Milledge….the throws can be fixed. Not overly concerned with that, but he’s been taking some good hacks. Not much discipline, but one thing at a time. Gomez and Chavez have better arms, but Milledge has a cannon. He’s been a bit off target. My only concern is that he is not going to get a chance to develop with Moises comes back and gets benched or sent back down to AAA.

    9:34 AM

    Blogger metsnyc said...

    Interesting point about Perez's agent. Olly always had the talent but Peterson brought it out consistently. Hopefully that carries some weight.

    11:55 AM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Hopefully that carries some weight.

    You would think so, but if Ollie was worried about doing what is best for him vs. what is the most lucrative for him, he would not have Boras.

    Just look no further than Jeff Weaver's last offense. He can obviously feed him family for the rest of his life and would have gotten some good cash anyway, but he wanted to leave a situation in the NL that was working a bit better than anything else he's done and jetted in the AL for more money even though EVERYONE knew it would be ugly.

    We've just seen it too many times.

    12:37 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "He is questionable to be good? In my opinion he is not good and solid pitcher that he used to be."

    Me fail english? That's unpossible!

    1:17 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...


    2:56 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    thats not a quote of you mike, its our friend mark bradley.

    nothin but love for the metropolitans from over here.

    4:23 PM

    Blogger michael o. said...

    Oh kyle...I'm blushing.

    But really, it could have easily been mine. EASILY! I think we all know that and I hope you didn't really think I was mad if you actually were making fun of me.

    5:22 PM


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