Mets should deal cash for bullpen help

WFAN’s Evan Roberts is right when he says on air that the Mets should look for a cash-for-player type trade to bring in an over-paid veteran arm for the bullpen.

Roberts suggested Francisco Rodriguez, who will earn $8 million this year. He will be a free agent at the end of this season, during which the Brewers are six games under .500. He also suggested Huston Street, who is having a terrific season for the Padres, who are 26-47 and in dead last. Street will earn $7.5 million this season. He has a $9 million option for next season, but a team buyout for $500,000.

This past off season, multiple reports indicated the Mets had interest in Street, despite his one-time feud Bob Geren, who is Terry Collins’s bench coach. The Padres eventually acquired Street from the Rockies last December.

Ordinarily, I am totally against making trades for relievers… especially in June… mostly because relief pitchers are incredibly inconsistent and rarely worth this level money.

Last night on Twitter, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney said the Mets will probably wait until the All-Star break before digging in to the trade market for bullpen help.

The Mets say they have money to spend on this year’s roster, and I’m sure they’d prefer to wait and see… However, their bullpen is a total mess and their internal options are underwhelming. Trading cash for a player like Street or K-Rod or someone else, who may or may not help, will at least a) add an experienced body to the roster, and b) show fans and their players that Ownership and management believe in the potential of this year’s team.

Question: Should the Mets sign RA Dickey to an extension?

I made this post last week, but I’m getting this question again today so it seems like it’s worth re-posting today

Yes, the Mets need to sign RA Dickey to a contract extension as soon as possible… more so than David Wright, frankly. However, like Wright, my guess is it waits until the off-season, when they can pick up his option then build it in to a new deal.

The reality is, at this point, Dickey could get a four- or five-year deal on the open market. The guy might be 37 years old, but in knuckleball years that’s like just turning 30. The way he’s throwing, and with how little stress he puts on his arm, and considering his work ethic, plus being as dominant as he is, it looks like he could pitch well in to his 40s (much like Tim Wakefield, Charlie Hough, Phil Niekro and others like them).

Sure, he could roll the dice, pitch through next year and raise his price… maybe. But, for a pitcher like he is, and such a unique pitcher at that, assuming he likes it here and wants to stay, it would make far more sense for him to lock in what he can now (at a fair price) and proceed with a level of security he probably never dreamed about just a few years ago.

Lastly, he must have tremendous value to the Mets as a face, as a marketing tool and someone fans truly love to connect with. He’s great on Twitter. He’s passionate about his interests. He’s smart. And he represents them in a way most teams would dream about. Basically, he comes across as a regular guy, who happens to play baseball, while most in his league are coddled baseball players who rarely come across as normal people. I don’t know what that’s worth, but it has to be worth something…

Demons, Pivot and Believing

We were all on the same page last night… and it was great.

Payroll arguments, legal debates, conspiracy theories, nitpicky reporting, it all took a backseat as every fan, every reporter and every skeptic let go of thinking about tomorrow and simply enjoyed the moment… together. That hasn’t happened around here in quite some time.

“This felt like more than a no-hitter. It felt more like an exorcism,” Randy Media said perfectly on his blog today. “Johan and company were exorcising the demons of a rough few years.”

He’s right. That is what it felt like.

To cap it off, in the clubhouse, immediately after the game, Santana told his teammates, “Believe it,” which he later repeated in a post to Mets fans on Twitter, adding:

I love this statement, “Believe it,” because it’s not just about tomorrow. It’s not “Ya Gotta Believe,” a phrase I will always cherish, but which has taken a hit the last few years. Instead, Santana’s statement is about believing what just happened. It’s not aspirational, it’s simply definitive… and that’s refreshing.

The question is: Is last night’s no-hitter just a special moment in team history, just one amazing game? Or, is it a turning point that adds confidence to an already-confident team, with young players, who want to shock baseball, and believe they can in a flawed division?

Sandy Alderson is thinking long term, he’s thinking big picture. I try to do the same. But, when I see the standings, when I see how excited the players were last night, how awesome it was, I get hopeful and jacked up about this season and all its possibilities. Yes, I know it’s an uphill battle. It’s not likely to end well. And there are all sorts of reasons, some of which I mentioned the other day, to be skeptical of this year’s end game. However, I had also been conditioned to believe a no-hitter could never happen to the Mets… and that finally happened. The point is, thanks to last night’s game, I have a new sense of belief in what’s happening here, and the possibilities seem endless. And, based on last night’s enthusiasm, I’m not alone… Believe it!!

Matthew Cerrone: I can't wait to get down to PSL

Matthew Cerrone: I will be getting to Port St. Lucie on Feb. 27 (for the team’s first official workout) and staying through March 9. Michael Baron will be representing MetsBlog from Feb. 24 to 27. Vinny Cartiglia will be with me in late February, and Ted Berg will be in town through mid March. It’s my favorite time of year. My plan is to basically do what I did last year, which is to hustle from field to field, taking pictures, talking to people, and quickly posting and relaying to you the general look and feel of life on field in St. Lucie. … I can’t wait to get down there.

It ain't easy being green, or blue and orange!

I’m truly happy for my Giants fan friends, who got to see their favorite football team win a Super Bowl last night. I mean that, I’m glad they’re happy.

That said, as a Jets fan and a Mets fan, I’m getting real tired of watching the Giants and Yankees celebrate, while I have to duck and cover.

My sports-watching career started in 1985 with the Mets and Jets. In that time, the Mets have won once (when I was 10 years old), while the Jets have won nothing. And, though the Mets have been in the playoffs five times and the Jets have been there 10 times, the Giants have won three Super Bowls (out of 13 playoff appearances) and the Yankees have won the Word Series five times (out of 16 playoff appearances).

That’s 26 playoff appearances to 15, and 8 rings to 1.

I have no point. I’m just complaining, and this seemed worth pointing out.

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eMail Q&A: Will the Mets hold a minicamp this winter?

Michael in Hoboken sent in an e-mail, asking:

[jbox color="white"]“Will the Mets do a mini-camp this winter, like they’ve done in the past? I think for a team this weak, it will be important for them to get in as much pre-season work as possible.[/jbox]

In the past, the Mets held organized, voluntary, three-day mini-camps in mid- to late-January for players to workout and get ready for spring training. They’re never considered official, teams rarely know who is attending until players show up, and they’re hardly mandatory. The Mets were one of the few teams to hold them, and I don’t think they are doing anything official this year.

That said, from what I can gather, Terry Collins will be in camp in Port St. Lucie starting soon (when he and the organizations scouting department, front office and coaching staff will huddle up to preview the season). As such, he’s  told his players they are more than welcome to report as early as they’d like, starting from the day he turns the key to up through when they’re required to be there by the team’s official reporting dates in mid- to late-February.

1986 Mets T-Shirt from eBay

I just won this t-shirt in an auction on eBay:

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It’s kind of goofy looking, since this isn’t the real logo and it’s tight and on more of an angle. But, since I have an obnoxious obsession with the 80s, specifically the 1986 Mets and the racing stripe uniform so I had to get it.

I hope Shannon from Mets Police approves.

eMail Q&A, pres. by Citi: Is this rebuilding?

Ryan G from Long Island: Why does Sandy refuse to say, ‘Rebuilding’? Everyone knows he’s in a Rebuilding Phase, yet he won’t say so.

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Matthew Cerrone: In these cases, I’m a believer in action not words. So, I’m far less concerned with what he calls what he’s doing and more interested in what he’s actually doing. However, from a public relations stand point, I bet the team could gain more fans than they’re turning away by simply calling it what it is…

I suspect they feel otherwise, and that by saying, ‘Rebuilding,’ they think they’ll be perceived as giving up, which will mean no one buys tickets and the ballpark will be empty. However, it seems to me that large-scale ticket sales are always based on what is happening on field. In other words, if the Mets are playing well and it looks like a fun time, regardless of how the team characterizes it in words, people will go watch; and if the team is losing, they won’t. But, by making fans more aware of what is happening, I bet the team’s core fans would embrace the process. From what I can tell talking to season-ticket holders, they’re almost insulted that they’re being asked to pay a lot of money to watch a mystery unfold. Instead, I think with a price break and total honesty about where things are headed, those same season ticket holders would likely stick around feeling included (especially if they knew there would be something extra in it for them when the good times return).

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