A Helluva Pitcher…

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The News

The Associated Press reported Saturday that Mets GM Omar Minaya met with RHP Pedro Martinez in the Dominican Republic over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Martinez was 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA in 2004 for the world champion Red Sox.  The Red Sox have reportedly offered Martinez a two-year, $25.5 million contract with a vesting option for 2007.  A baseball official told Adam Rubin of the Daily News that the Mets plan to make Martinez an offer within the next few days. 

The New York Post reports that the Mets have offered 1B Richie Sexson a contract for approximately $10 million per year – the length of the contract is unclear.

Jason Kendall was traded from Pittsburgh to Oakland for LHP Mark Redman and LHP Arthur Rhodes.  In all, the two teams will roughly spilt the $34 million due to Kendall over the next three-years.

The Notes

The Minneapolis Pioneer Press reported on Friday that Boston is looking to “dump” 1B Doug Mientkiewicz and the $4.5 million his due next season. 

Adam Rubin of the Daily News suggests that, according to one Mets official, the Mets’ payroll could reach as much as $105 million.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer believes that RHP Matt Clement tops the Indians’ free-agent wish list.  Multiple reports have indicated that the Mets were interested in Clement, as well, as a replacement for LHP Al Leiter. 

The Oakland Tribune once again mentions the Mets interest in Oakland A’s side-arm reliever Chad Bradford.  A few weeks ago, the Sporting News reported the A’s were interested in acquiring C-1B Jason Phillips in exchange for Bradford.

Ken Rosenthal of the Sporting News suggests that the Mariners may look to sign two of 1B Carlos Delgado, 1B Richie Sexson and 3B Troy Glaus, using Sexson in left-field if Delgado is at first.  Sexson started 91 games in left for the Indians in 1999 and 2000. 

The Mets hired Rick Downs to be the team’s batting coach. 

The Chicago Tribune reports that 1B Carlos Delgado appears headed to Baltimore or Seattle.

Baseball America released its list of the Top 20 Players in the Arizona Fall League.  No Mets made the list.

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The Quote

“I don’t know him really as a person.  Just speaking from a [baseball] standpoint, the guy is a helluva pitcher. How are you going to get around it?  It’s always funny to hear he’s losing this or losing that.  He’s a pitcher, not a thrower.  I don’t concern myself with miles per hour.  He can pitch.  He’s showed even when he does not have his best stuff, he can get people out.  I have the ultimate respect for him.” – Willie Randolph, talking about Pedro Martinez, as quoted by the New York Post.

The Buzz

Baseball owners and GM’s are rather annoyed with the Mets for giving RHP Kris Benson a three-year, $22.5 million contract, believing it has raised the value for other free agent pitchers.

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MetsBlog.com’s Take

On Pedro

A splash, Omar, is one thing – but, a mistake is always a mistake, now matter how much water leaves the pool.  

For the Mets to outbid Boston for Martinez, they would probably have to offer him at least a guaranteed three-year contract worth more than $13 million a season with an attainable fourth option year.

Yes, Martinez is still effective.  However, Leiter’s ERA has been far more impressive over the last few seasons, and though he is six-years younger, like Leiter, he can’t get out of the sixth inning on most occasions and is limited to 100 pitchers per game.  Yet, Leiter is asking for half of what Martinez will get - a figure the Mets were not willing to pay.

On The Big Three...

Does the trade for Jason Kendall, and the additional payroll, make it more likely that A’s GM Billy Beane will look to trade on of Mark Mulder, Barry Zito or Tim Hudson? 

“Since midsummer, there’s been speculation with a number of our higher-profile players, and it’s probably best to let people continue to speculate,” Beane told the Mercury News.  “To predict what we’re going to do over the winter is probably fruitless to attempt.”

That doesn’t sound like a denial.

Ken Rosenthal believes if a trade were to occur, it would most likely be Hudson or Zito, in exchange for “three affordable youngsters.”

Hopefully, Minaya tries to find out.

On Feedback

Towards the end of last week, MetsBlog posted a request for feedback.  Thank you to all of you who participated.  It was greatly appreciated.  Over the next few days, you will notice some changes to MetsBlog.  Please be patient with our adjustment.  

For more Mets news, check out SportSpyder.com

It's Not You, It's Me…

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The News

“I had a conversation with Al and his agent last night and we both decided to explore other options that are out there. We came to an agreement and we’ll revisit [negotiations] after the holidays,” Mets GM Omar Minaya told reporters last night.  “We agree that we got to a point that there were options that Al wanted to explore and that we wanted to explore so let’s look at those options and see where we are. It’s fair to say that we got to a point where we said the free agent season is in front of us. We’ve worked at this [with Leiter]. It started before I got here. Through the process we’ve talked to him about different contract proposals with the free agent market and the clubs that are available to him and all. We have options we want to review and Al has to review what’s in his best interest.” 

Jon Heyman of Newsday reported during his weekly appearance on the Michael Kay Radio Show on ESPN 1050, that the Mets may look to pursue RHP Matt Clement as a possible replacement for Leiter. Adam Rubin of the Daily News claims that Eric Milton and Brad Radke also appear to be on the “Mets’ radar.”

“It will probably take at least a four-year deal to sign Pavano”, his agent, Scott Shapiro, told the New York Times, yesterday. “We’ve been very clear. Carl is looking for a home.” Pavano will travel to Detroit, Baltimore and Seattle, leading up to the winter meetings from Dec. 10 to 13 in Anaheim, Calif. “It’s very possible a deal could be done during the winter meetings,” Shapiro said. Minaya told the Times that he would contacting Shapiro, in hopes of arranging a meeting to occur during the Winter Meetings in Anaheim December 10-13.

From the Boston Herald: “Move over, Red Sox and Yankees…The Mets have joined the table in the hunt for Pedro Martinez.” According to multiple baseball sources, the Herald claims the Mets have “significant interest” in signing Martinez. The Red Sox have reportedly offered Martinez a two-year, $22.5 million, while Martinez has been adamant about obtaining a four-year deal wherever he lands. Kevin Kernan of the New York Post believes the new position stems from the following: “The big thinking in Metland is that they might as well go after the big names, since they are big market.” 

The Notes

Kevin Czerwinski of MLB.com reports that, although the Mets have not contacted Richie Sexson or his agent, Casey Close, Sexson has made it known he is very interested in playing for the Mets. “Sure, I’m interested in the Mets,” Sexson told MLB.com. “They are committed to winning. Obviously, New York is a tough place and all, but they have great players now and are just a couple of players away. It’s definitely an option. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Willie Randolph. I’ve talked to [Jason] Giambi and a couple of other guys who have said he’s a great man. He’s seen a system that’s run the best possible way to run one [with the Yankees], so that’s a positive.” 

The Mets hired former Chicago White Sox manager Jerry Manuel as first base and outfield coach, Sandy Alomar Sr. as bench coach, Manny Acta as third base coach, Guy Conti as bullpen coach and Ray Ramirez as the team’s head trainer. Where is Mookie? During his interview with MetsBlog, Will Carroll, medical exeprt at Baseball Prospectus, raved about Ramirez’s skills, proclaiming his acquisition by the Mets as a “great hire.”

Rudy Jaramillo agreed to a new contract with the Texas Rangers.

Following a well-earned vacation, Adam Rubin of the Daily News returns with the following two tidbits, 1) Cuban defector Alay Soler was let go by his winter league team after compiling an 0-2 record and 5.28 ERA in five appearances, and 2) though first-round pick Philip Humber remains unsigned, an “ultimatum may be coming soon to move that process along.”

According to the Star-Telegram, the Mets offered C Mike Piazza to the Rangers for 2B Alfonso Soriano. The paper states that, according to Rangers officials, Alfonso Soriano won’t be traded, and that the Mets aren’t willing to trade SS Jose Reyes.

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The Tango

Minaya told the New York Times that he has not talked with the agent for 1B Carlos Delgado.

The Journal News reports that Minaya has been in touch with the agent for 1B Carlos Delgado.

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Metsblog.com’s Take On

Leiter

It’s obvious that the Mets will have a new name in their starting rotation, and it will likely be one of Pavano, Milton, Radke, Martinez, Clement and so on.  Who it’ll be specifically doesn’t matter today, nearly as much as Minaya’s shift in direction from the traditional mindset of the Mets.  

Acquiring Sosa is an old school Mets move.  Accepting Leiter’s aging skills and acquiring a younger, stronger free agent to take his place is new school.  And I welcome the breath of fresh air.  Let’s hope it sticks.

Piazza

So far we’ve heard rumors out of Texas, Anaheim and Los Angeles that the Mets are trying to move Piazza.  As the saying goes: where there’s smoke there’s fire.  In the case of Texas and Anaheim, both teams have admitted their need for a designated hitter.  However, both teams were unwilling to take on Piazza unless the Mets take on a significant portion of his salary.  

In speaking with Ken Rosenthal of the Sporting News last night, it sounds as though Anaheim is the best fit to obtain Piazza, but that they have so many other pressing needs, and would prefer to keep their financial liabilities limited until the Carlos Beltran and Randy Johnson markets shape up, that any deal sending Piazza to the Angels will have to remain on the back burner for quite some time.  

Soriano

Two different Texas newspapers have reported the Mets offering Piazza or OF Cliff Floyd, not to mention all the Reyes rumors from last season, for 2B Alfonso Soriano, who has openly stated his refusal to play the outfield.  

Again, where there’s smoke there’s fire.

Why are the Mets so high on Soriano.  

Ugh!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Soriano is the most overrated player in baseball.

Keep him away from Shea as he’s a train wreck of Steve Phillips-proportion waiting to happen.

“I’ll play in New York,”

We’ve heard that Pavano, Radke, Sexson and Delgado, as well as countless others through the years, say they’d love to play for the Mets.  Yet, nothing ever comes of it.  Most of that blame can be placed on a set of confused owners.  However, a substantial part can be attributed to the strategy of a sports agent, luring as many big market teams into the bidding of his client as possible.

For this reason, I put little stock into these comments made by players to reporters about their desires to be in New York. 

I’ll believe it when I see it.

On Thanksgiving

Metsblog will not be posting daily updates through the holiday weekend.  

However, should a major signing or trade occur by the Mets, rest assured we will post it and provide commentary, as well.

Have a great holiday, and be thankful for whatever makes you happy.

The Confidence Rating

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being most confident and 1 being no confidence, how confident are you in the Mets ability to make the playoffs within three years time?

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For more Mets news, check out SportSpyder.com

Has Not Fulfilled His Potential…

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The Notes and News

The Korea Times reports that Jae Seo has asked the Mets to trade him. “I told my agent that I want to play for a team that really needs me and where I can start regularly,” Seo told the Times.  Seo went 5-10 with a 4.90 ERA in 21 starts last season for the Mets. “I told him that I had some troubles with (Peterson),” Seo said.

When asked whether or not the Angels are still interested in acquiring C Mike Piazza, Mark Saxson, Angels beat reporter from the O.C. Register, told Metsblog’s Matthew Cerrone, “I just think it’s unlikely at this point that the Angels are interested in Piazza, A) for financial reasons, B) because I think they’re intent on getting a center fielder and/or a short stop right now.  I think it could happen eventually, but I don’t think it’s a front burner thing right now.”  To listen, or read, the entire interview, check out MetsBlog Radio.

The New York Post reports that, according to sources, Yankees coach Rick Down has turned down a managerial assignment in the Yankee minor leagues – therefore, when his contract runs out, the Mets will sign him to be their new batting coach. 

The Star-Ledger reports that Mets GM Omar Minaya and LHP Al Leiter will meet today.

Minaya told the New York Times that Carlos Delgado’s representatives have contacted him, but no dialogue has occured because the Mets’ talent evaluators are concerned about Delgado’s defense.  Minaya tells the Times that many options for first base exist in the trade market.

He Said, She Said

The Daily News: “Mookie Wilson interviewed for the first-base coaching job last week, but he isn’t expected to be brought back.”

The Star-Ledger: “Minaya said he hopes to announce the coaching staff today, which will include the return of Mookie Wilson.”

The Quote

“I couldn’t be more excited about staying here. I knew New York was the place for me.  I look forward to helping the Mets get back into the playoffs.” – Kris Benson, following the News of his return to the Mets, as quoted by the New York Post

“Our policy is nobody’s untouchable.” – GM Omar Minaya, as quoted by the New York Post.

Metsblog.com’s Take On

Seo

Both Vern Rhule and Peterson insisted Seo learn a two-seam fastball that cut in on righties, but he was reluctant to make the adjustment.  Be it a straight refusal or a communication breakdown, it’s obvious the Mets should accommodate Seo’s request. 

It’s a shame, because he is a nice kid and full of talent.  However, if he wants elsewhere and doesn’t fit into the team’s plans, I just as soon see him traded.

Good luck, kid.

Laundry

Lee Jenkins, of the New York Times, makes a case for acquiring Sosa today.  He also writes the following: “Whatever Piazza, Garciaparra and Sosa accomplished for years no longer seems to matter to many fans, who demand production in the present and are more likely to invest loyalty in a team than in a player.”

Uh, yea, Lee…We’re Mets fans, above and beyond everything else.  Jerry Seinfeld was right when he said sports’ fans ultimately are just rooting for laundry.  And I believe that’s a good thing.

I respect players. 

But, I love my team. 

There’s a bid difference. 

This day and age, with free agency acting as the piano in an exhausting, Hot Stove game of musical chairs, I think the fan’s dedication is honorable. 

I’m proud of this, not ashamed.

Benson

“When we traded for Kris, our evaluators here really felt Kris was a pitcher who has not fulfilled his potential,” GM Omar Minaya told the Star-Ledger.

Hmmm….Brad Radke, who is just two years older than Benson, has five 12 win seasons, nearly three times more wins for his career, and five more seasons under his belt, and also wants to come to the Mets, will earn roughly $7 to $8 million per year having fulfilled his potential.

That being said, how come Benson, who hasn’t fulfilled his potential, is getting paid the same money that Radke will get?

The Confidence Rating

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being most confident and 1 being no confidence, how confident are you in the Mets ability to make the playoffs next season?

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For more Mets news, check out SportSpyder.com

MetsBlog Radio: Mark Saxson, of the OC Register, talks Mets-Angels

There have been a lot of rumors floating around of late surrounding the Mets and the Angels, most notably a deal that would send Mike Piazza to Anaheim for either Jarrod Washburn or Darrin Erstad.  Metsblog’s Matthew Cerrone talks with Marx Saxson, Angels beat reporter from the O.C. Register, to help sort it all out, this evening, at Metsblog.com…

 

To listen to the interview, click play on the link below.

 

Note: If you refresh the page, or post a comment during the broadcast, the interview will stop.

 

In the event you are unable to listen along, here is a short re-cap of the exchange…

 

Matthew Cerrone, editor and creator of Metsblog.com

 

The New York Post, the Miami Herald, the Sporting News, the New York Daily News, they’ve all reported that the Angels are interested in acquiring Mike Piazza from the Mets, I guess to be the team’s DH. 

 

Ken Rosenthal of the Sporting News went as far as to claim the Angels could end up sending the Mets any combination of players ranging from Jarrod Washburn to Darrin Erstad. 

 

What’s your take of this situation, and do you see these two teams as having any sort of fit?

 

Mark Saxson, Angels beat reporter for the O.C. Register

 

I think they might.  I’m not sure that one is what the fit will end up being.  For one thing, I think since those reports came out the Angels did trade Jose Guillen, who I happen to know Omar Minaya was interested in, and I think he might have been part of the deals that were talked about.

 

I just think it’s unlikely at this point that the Angels are interested in Piazza, A) for financial reasons, B) because I think they’re intent on getting a center fielder and/or a short stop right now. 

 

I think it could happen eventually, but I don’t think it’s a front burner thing right now.

 

Matthew Cerrone

 

Do you know if the Mets made an offer for Guillen, and if so, what was it?

 

Mark Saxson

 

I was told that the Mets were involved…I think they probably just didn’t offer the same package that the Expos did.  Most teams probably though they had the Angels right where they wanted them, sort of desperate to trade a guy, so they probably didn’t offer much, and my guess is that’s where the Mets fall in.

 

Matthew Cerrone

 

Will the next centerfielder for the Angels be OF Carlos Beltran?

 

Mark Saxson

 

I think they have about $20 million to play with next year, which, coincidentally, is the number for Beltran that’s been thrown out there.  Its possible.  They’ll be in on it, for sure.

 

Matthew Cerrone

 

Just our of curiosity, why weren’t the Angels as overly concerned about Vladimir Guererro’s back?  I mean, obviously it was a huge issue not to sign him to a long-term deal, according to the Mets, so why were the Angels willing to take that risk?

 

Mark Saxson

 

I think because they could.  I don’t think they expected him to be around when they signed him.  And I think that’s absolutely the reason.  Can you call a $70 million deal a bargain?  Probably not. 

 

Matthew Cerrone

 

Well, of course you can.  Relatively speaking to what a player with his stats cost and what he brings back it’s a helluva an investment, I think.

 

Mark Saxson

 

Right.  And ya know, he did have a couple of minor health issues during the year, but we just talked to him and he said the back was never an issue.   He never once thought about coming out of a game because of his back. 

 

Matthew Cerrone

 

Interesting.  Actually, it’s not interesting because I don’t think that’s much of a surprise. 

 

Mark Saxson

 

Ya know what, though, yet if it happens and his back goes out in two years, though, and the Angels are still left holding the bag with $35 million on the deal then the Mets are going to say, ‘we were right, because we didn’t want to give him five years.’ It is a big risk.

 

Matthew Cerrone

 

Hindsight is always 20/20.

 

I appreciate your help, Mark, and thanks for coming on. 

 

Mark Saxson

 

Anytime, Matthew, take care.

 

Matthew Cerrone

 

Thanks, man.

In Case You Missed It: Kevin Czerwinski of MLB.com on MLB Radio

MLB.com’s Mets beat reporter, Kevin Czerwinski, appeared on MLB Radio’s Hot Stove Special this afternoon.  He talked a lot, and we provide a re-cap of the interview…

 

Czerwinski had the following to say about:

 

the Mets minor league system, following last year’s Trade Deadline raiding for RHP Kris Benson and RHP Victor Zambrano

 

“There’s a lot of talk about picking up people from Oakland, or picking up Mientkiewicz from Boston, and you can’t do that if you don’t have people to offer.  Right now the Mets don’t have any talent that’s Major League ready to offer.  The pitcher they do have left, Yusmeiro Petit, is down in AA, he won’t get above AAA, if he even gets that far, this year, and they still haven’t signed their first round pick.  So, they have a lot of work to do.”

 

the Mets’ budget and Minaya being at the helm

 

“The Mets are going to have an increased budget this year, that goes without saying – it’ll probably come in around $100 million, which is about $15 to $20 million more than it was last year.  But, we’re kidding ourselves if we think they’re going to go out and dump serious money on OF Carlos Beltran, or any one of these guys.  I would love to see that happen, and the Mets will certainly talk with Scott Boras and make Beltran an offer,  but I would not be holding my breath waiting for him to wind up in New York – if he does wind up in New York its going to be with the Yankees.”

 

whether not OF Magglio Ordonez would be a good fit for the Mets

 

“If healthy, that’s the big thing.  Mo Vaughn really hurt them, in that they’re all spooked with what happened to him and they don’t want to make that mistake again.  Now let’s face it, Scott Boras is going to want the King’s random for all his guys, regardless of whether or not they’re hurt.  They Mets are going to upgrade – however, your idea of an upgrade, and their idea of an upgrade are two different things.  The Mets just aren’t going to spend that kind of money, that’s not their M.O., I don’t care who the GM is, or what edict the ownership has given him, it’s just not their M.O.”

 

whether Al Leiter will be back with the Mets

 

“Let’s hope not.  And that’s nothing personal, its from a baseball stand point.  The guy averaged 108 pitches an outing this year, and he averages just over 5 innings an outing.  He kills your bullpen, he’s not very effective, his ERA over his last nine starts was pushing 6.00, he’s been on the DL each of the least two years and he’s 39-years-old.  If you have a chance to go out and get Matt Morris, or Carl Pavano or Brad Radke, or anyone else, and spend some money and get a guy you can lock up for a couple of years, why would you bother bringing back Al Leiter.”

 

on a potential deal with Oakland for one of the Big Three

 

“Not right now it’s not.  I could see the Mets offering a package of Yusmeiro Petit and Lastings Milledge, or something like that to get one of these guys.”

 

Troy Glaus playing 1B for the Mets

 

“I spoke with Troy Glaus’ agent the other weekend, and he said he’d be more than happy to play first base if there were no other options at first base, and that’d he love to play for the Mets.”

 

is C Mike Piazza a Met in 2005

 

“I would say: No.  Only because they’re trying to move him, and last week Fred Wilpon came out and I’m not going to let personal feelings get in the way – and in the same breath he said, ‘I want Al Leiter back.’  As much as Piazza’s production has gone down, he’s not a bad guy in the clubhouse – he’s not a great guy in the clubhouse, he’s clearly not a clubhouse presence – ya know, he shows up, looks at his mail, goes to the trainer’s room and sits there until he has to come out and get dressed, doesn’t talk to anybody really, doesn’t pay attention to anybody.  If you’re going to keep Piazza around as a catcher for a year, you can do worse than a guy that’s going to hit .280, hit 20 homers and knock in 60 runs.  And the pitchers do like throwing to him, he does call a decent game.  The only problem is they don’t have enough catchers.  They’re not going to give Vance Wilson the job, they’re trying to unload Jason Phillips, Mike Jacobs – the other catcher in the system – is coming off surgery and isn’t that good anyway, and they traded Justin Huber.  So unless they go out and dump a boat load of money on Jason Varitek, they really don’t have any where else to turn.”

 

Metsblog.com’s Take

 

I love Czerwinski’s bluntness.  It cracks me up.

 

The thing is, in addition to being funny, he is also rarely wrong in his opinions. 

 

A reader on this site once said Czerwinski should be the GM of the Mets.  I would agree with that.

 

Of note, however, was the claim that the team’s payroll could reach $100 million.  Considering it currently stands at roughly $75 million, with Benson and without Leiter, it is hard to imagine them spending $25 million and not landing a Pavano or Beltran.  And yet, it could happen.

 

It’s going to be a tumultuous off-season. 

Four Locked Up, The Other Undecided

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The News

The Mets and RHP Kris Benson agreed to a three-year, $22.5 million contract.  According to Newsday, the deal also includes a $2.5 million signing bonus and a $7.5 million club option for 2008 with a $500,000 buyout.

The Mets announced on Friday evening the additions of OF Ambiorix Concepion, OF Angel Pagan and RHP Matt Lindstrom to their 40-Man Roster. The Mets 40-man roster is now at 37. Missing from the roster, and thus available in the Rule V draft is LHP Royce Ring, Alay Soler and Blake McGinley. 

He said: Baseball sources have told the Daily News that LHP Al Leiter is “still very much undecided” about his future and is not close to signing with the Mets. 

She said: the New York Post reports that the Mets are “getting closer” to re-signing Leiter.

Multiple reports over the last few days indicate that the Mets have offered Leiter a Leiter a one-year deal worth more than $4 million with bonuses that could add another $3 million to the package. 

The Star-Ledger and Miami Herald claim that, in addition to the Phillies and the Yankees, the Marlins have interest in Leiter – with the Star-Ledger going as far to say the Fish offered Leiter a deal. Also, the Daily News reports that Leiter met with Yankees GM Brian Cashman at a midtown restaurant Friday.

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The Notes

If Leiter departs, the Daily News quotes Carl Pavano’s agent, Scott Shapiro, as saying his client “absolutely” would be interested in talking to the Mets.  The paper further notes, however, that Mets GM Omar Minaya has had no contact with Shapiro.

The Nationals’ acquisition of OF Jose Guillen from the Angels now gives the team four outfielders, and, in turn, could make 1B Nick Johnson expendable.  According to the New York Daily News, the Mets could be interested in trading for the former Yankee. 

Ken Rosenthal of the Sporting News writes the following: “The Devil Rays are willing to trade any of their five highest-priced players–IF Aubrey Huff, C Toby Hall, IF Julio Lugo, RF Jose Cruz and closer RHP Danys Baez–but not for cost-cutting reasons. “If we could get the right young player or two and free up money to get another player, then we’re getting two or three for one,” G.M. Chuck LaMar says. Huff is the least likely to depart.”

On November 11, Peter Gammons of ESPN reported that Tampa Bay is “trying to clear salary” and shopping 1B-OF Aubrey Huff and C Toby Hall. However, the following day, in an interview with Metsblog.com, Carter Gaddis, the Devil Rays’ beat reporter for the Tampa Tribune, debunked Gammons’ claims.

According to the Star-Ledger, the Mets offered the Angels C Mike Piazza or OF Cliff Floyd in exchange for Guillen. The Angels were more interested in acquiring more younger, cheaper players for Guillen, who is due to earn $3.5 million next year, and, instead, traded him to Washington.

The Arizona Fall League has concluded, with Mets C Joe Hietpas, OF Wayne Lydon and SP Brian Bannister turning in solid performances…

Player Pos AB H 2B HR RBI SB BB SO AVG OBP
Joe Hietpas C 48 15 3 0 3 0 2 8 0.310 0.380
Wayne Lydon OF 116 33 1 1 12 14 6 19 0.284 0.320
Brett Harper 1B 51 13 3 1 4 0 4 16 0.255 0.309
Player Pos W L IP SO BB ERA
Brian Bannister SP 2 0 14 17 4 3.77
Royce Ring RP 2 2 15 10 5 5.28
Matt Lindstron RP 2 1 15 9 10 4.11
Kevin Deaton SP 0 1 18 5 11 10.31


Metsblog.com’s Take

On Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson missed more than half of last season from a back injury at the start of the season and a broken cheekbone at the end, so his numbers, .251-7-33, were a tad misleading.  The year before, however, he hit .284 – .304 in the two-hole – with 14 homers with a .422 on-base percentage in 324 at-bats for the Yankees.  Additionally he is 26 years old, bats left-handed, is very good defensively, made just $1.25 million last season and has proven he can play in New York.

To say Johnson is patient would be an understatement – he drew 70 walks, versus 57 strike outs, in 324 at-bats in 2003, while hitting equally against lefties and righties.  Additionally, he will put the balls to all fields, with most coming as line drives in the gap.  His ability to get on base, take pitches, draw walks and spray the field make him an ideal number two hitter behind SS Jose Reyes.

He is not a “sexy” player, formed in the mold of a John Olerud.  However, he would be an ideal player to join Reyes, 3B David Wright and 2B Kaz Matsui, to comprise a young, inexpensive and exciting in-field, locked in place for a number of years.  

The two questions, however, are: 

1. What would the Mets have to give up for Johnson?

2. Having missed substantial time due to injury, at such a young age, early on in his career, is Johnson worth banking on?

On The 40-man Roster

A player that is not on the 40-man roster is automatically eligible for the Rule V Draft.  If drafted by another team, he must appear on his new club’s 25-man roster the entire year.  If he is dropped at anytime, he can be re-claimed by the team he was initially drafted from. 

In other words, best of luck Royce. 

On Leiter

Not for nothing, but if the option is Pavano or Leiter, which I’m sure is oversimplifying it, I’d be quite comfortable going into next season with Glavine, Trachsel, Pavano, Benson and Zambrano, with the latter locked in place for the next three seasons. 

On YesOrNoToSosa.com

Our posting of the Sammy Sosa poll, comments and webpage were a tremendous success.  So far, 866 people have voted, with 70 percent against the acquisition.  The poll will remain open until tonight.

Tuesday morning we will be emailing the results and comments to editors and writers at all major New York newspapers, and to the Mets public relations and media relations department, including Jay Horwitz, the team’s public relations director.

Therefore, if you haven’t done so already, please forward YesOrNoToSosa.com to anyone you believe has an opinion on the matter.  The more votes we have, the more impact we will all have.

Note: If you would like to write a Fan Editorial for Metsblog, click here: I Want to Write!

The Confidence Rating

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being most confident and 1 being no confidence, how confident are you in the Mets upper management?

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For more Mets news, check out SportSpyder.com

OF Guillen Traded to the Expos, not the Mets…

According to the Associated Press, the Angels have agreed to trade OF Jose Guillen to the Washington-bound Expos for OF Juan Rivera and a prospect.

When asked where Guillen could eventually be traded to, Jayson Stark of ESPN said, “I keep hearing the most likely destinations for Guillen are Washington or the Mets.”

Guillen hit .294 with 27 homers and a career-high 104 RBI in 2004.  He is owed $3.5 million next season.