METS CHAT ROOM: First Hot Stove Edition.

Good evening all. Welcome back to Mets Chat Room. There’s a lot of potential topics on the table, beginning with the available closers and the bullpen. … Carlos Delgado is signed, but some want to deal him. … I posted earlier Luis Castillo would likely stay on at second base. … Or, whatever else is on your mind is fair game.

The new website is still under construction, so there will be a bug or two, beginning with signing in and being approved to comment, and a few other things. Please let me know if there’s anything you notice that’s not right.


171 thoughts on “METS CHAT ROOM: First Hot Stove Edition.

  1. Hello everyone – It looks like the mets will get K-Rod or Fuentes, but what about our middle relief? Is there a chance that we could sign Juan Cruz or trade for a nice reliever?

  2. J_K (1): I believe the Mets are more likely to add a reliever via FA instead of a trade. Cruz is somebody they’ll look at. … K-Rod’s agent said last week $75 million over five years, but that could go down.-JD

  3. I do like Crux, though. Always have.

    JD, what about this? Why is that Nick Swisher is a good pickup for the Yankees, but Mike Jacobs is overrated?

  4. I feel like the Mets should keep heilman. He doesn’t cost a lot, and we’ll get nothing back from him. Any possibility of sending him to the minors for a while?

    What about shipping Castillo out for Dontrelle Willis?

    There are rumors today that Houston might want to dump Carlos Lee’s salary – any chance the Mets might want him?

  5. Mark (4): I don’t think Jacobs is overrated. I’d take him now over Delgado because of age and salary in a second. … Swisher is good for the Yankees because it takes Teixeira off the board and let them throw around small fortunes to pitching.-JD

  6. j_k (5): Who wouldn’t trade Castillo for Willis? The issue is who would trade Willis for Castillo? … I heard the Lee rumors, but that’s a lot of money. The Mets will spend their big bucks on pitching.-JD

  7. I’m not adverse to keeping Heilman. I know he’s been off, but he’s had positive moments for the Mets. If his knee is sound, it could be like making another pickup.-JD

  8. Seriously, how far has keeping heilman in the bullpen got the mets? I know they won’t do it, but they could send him to A ball to figure out starting and move his way up the ladder…

  9. j_k (9): I see where you’re coming from. If they decide to put Heilman in the rotation, and so far there’s been no indication, they could stretch him out during spring training. … I believe he has one option remaining, but I would have to double check that.-JD

  10. Here’s Omar’s reaction to a question posed for an article in this morning’s paper.

    Q. “Will the precarious state of the economy have an impact on how teams pursue free agents?”

    A. “That’s the question I ask other GMs” Mets General Manager Omar Minaya said Sunday. “You have to be prepared before you spend. You have to ask yourself – What’s going on around us? The industry as a whole has to be a little bit on hold. Historically, sports has been immune from some factors in the economy. But this one is something like a perfect storm.”


  11. Are you saying that ticket prices will remain the same – i.e. what the Red Sox have done?

  12. What do you think about published reports that Carlos Lee and Valverde might be available from the Astros if they go into complete rebuilding mode? How much would it cost us in prospects. Both those guys would fill two major holes for us.

  13. JD(7): I absolutely would NOT trade Castillo for Willis. Willis right now looks like he might be more valuable as a 1B/PH than SP, and has a truly horrible contract.

    Castillo is basically an unknown quantity at this point—If healthy, he can return to being a good (no longer great) 2Bman, and is a bargain at $6 mil per; if NOT healthy, even after a Winter of rest/rehab, he’s done, and maybe he’d agree to a buyout so he can retire.

    Personally, I feel he deserves a chance to show in ST what he can do, and if there’s no room at Citi maybe someone will take his contract off our hands.

    But of all the “bad contract for bad contract” proposals I’ve heard, Willis is one of the worst. Not that I’m crazy about Guillen or Silva, but I’d take either of them before Willis.

  14. No, they aren’t coming down, but for the first time in ten years, they will not be raised for next year.

  15. chucky (14): The prospect cost won’t be cheap, and neither will be the remainder of Lee’s contract. … Would be nice to have, but not thinking it will happen.-JD

  16. JD (10) If they want to stretch him out and see if he can be a SP again, why not send him to one of the Caribbean Winter Leagues? Then we’d have some idea before ST.

    But If it’s a question of converting a RP to SP, why not try Stokes? He was very effective in that role at New Orleans, in a real hitters’ league.

  17. (18) Even if it costs Murphy,Evans, Martinez and Kunz I’d do it. The ones I’d like to keep are Parnell and Niese.

  18. Where are we going to get some starting pitching? Trades? Free Agency? Both?

    Not only do we have two holes to fill, but Pelfrey could be an injury risk after his huge uptick in innings.

  19. Heilman could still be successful……..somewhere else……I think he’s experienced just too much failure here. He needs a change of scenery and we could get a useful piece for him.

  20. bill (15): It looks like you’ll get your wish and see Castillo at second next year. … You’re right about the bad contract, but Willis is young enough to take the risk on.-JD

  21. JD (23)Seeing him at 2B next year isn’t necessarily my wish; waiting until we see him in ST before eating the contract or trading for someone else’s bad contract is.

  22. John – I see that David Wright came in 7th in the NL MVP voting. Do you think that was truly indicative of his season?

  23. Hopefully the 2009 Castillo will wind up being the 2008 Delgado because I don’t think we’re moving him. But I think the guy still has some potential.

  24. So much to catch up on ….

    Mark (#3): I have lost any confidence in Heilman and would prefer not to see him with the Mets in 2009. Your article was OK, but I do not buy his knee injury story for a second … my vote: ship him out …

    Castillo/Wills Debate: Didn’t Wills sign an extension at big bucks right after the trade to Detroit? He’s such a mess that unless he only had a year remaining on a contract, I would not touch him. Bill (#15) hit it on the head for me — he’d be a better risk trying to make him a Rick Ankiel then having him pitch.

    Personally, I would love to see both Castillo and Heilman off this team in 2009 … I find it very difficult to root for either of them.

  25. chucky (29): That’s a good thought. In everybody’s eagerness, including mine, to dump Castillo, what is forgotten is he played on two bad knees.-JD

  26. John (30) OK, do you think he will ever fulfill the potential we thought he had to lead?

  27. JD (32) You know, John, it’s great having you here, and I am looking forward to this all off-season.

    As for Luis, people also foget how well he played in the second half of 2007 as well. Thjough I am in favor of eating the contract, the Mets will have to bring him back. I totally agree.

  28. 32…….it’s funny if you listen to Beltran fans make excuses for him. They say he’s playing on one leg and will talk about how long it takes quads to heal and how he’s a gutty player for trying to play through it. But they’ll crucify Castillo. I’m not saying Castillo is as good as Beltran….of course not….but I do think sometimes people look at players through their personal biases.

  29. chucky (37): I’ve been as bad as anybody on Castillo. I’ve given the benefit of doubt to Beltran and Heilman, but not Castillo. That’s one against me.-JD

  30. John, I do not buy the notion that Castillo played on two bad knees … in 2007, he had a bad knee and waited until the off-season to have it reparied, when they apparently “cleaned out” both knees … after a slow start in spring training, he was pronounced fit to go … same for Beltran by the way if I recall correctly.

    If he wasn’t healthy, he should not have played. He did absolutely nothing to help this team when he played …

    Ditto for Heilman … I do not buy that he was injured. That came out in late August and was badically used as an excuse for his ineffectiveness, yet he continued to pitch after that proclamation.

    I do not buy it … call me a conspiracy theorist, but I believe the Mets made injury excuses at try to appease the angry fan base …

  31. JD—Toby Hyde (in the article I sent you earlier today) made a very good case for signing Kerry Wood over K-Rod and Fuentes, or trading for Jenks.

    I hadn’t really considered him, but Hyde made me think. What’s your take?

  32. John – Two other Mets I need to catch up on – What is happening with Jose Reyes, and the wonderful Pedro Martinez?

  33. Kerry Wood strikes me as the kind of guy that no team should ever sign to more that a 1-year guranteed contract with an additional 1-year team option …. I know that no one will do that, but with his injury history, he is as big a risk as there is.

  34. roksolid(41): I agree that if not healthy he shouldn’t have played, but it is obvious he was limping from ST on, and it was the knees bothering him (not hammy, like CB).

    As far back as April, I posted at another Board that he was not ready and should’ve started the season in EXST, as Sanchez did. winter off, the Mets should be closely monitoring his rehab and progress, if any.

    But right now, his value is as close as possible to “rokbottom” (sorry, I couldn’t resist that). It really can’t get any lower if he shows up at St Lucie in bad shape.

  35. chucky (47): Contrary to what his agent says, it is a concern that it’s down and he’s relying on his change-up. The more off the fastball he loses, the less effective his change-up. … I’m concerned about his delivery, which is violent and could lead to an injury. Those are two risk factors. Not good for somebody wanting five years.-JD

  36. Annie(11): I think overall it won’t affect the sport, I think the big market teams like Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Cubs, and so on will not feel a thing. The ones that will feel it and feel it HARD are the lower market teams and those mid level markets that are wanna be larger market.
    I mean Arizona is in big trouble. They laid off about 30 employees. They couldn’t afford to bring back Randy Johnson at a SIGNIFICANT discount and from what I’ve read Mark Loretta was deemed “too expensive” he made about $3 million last season.

    Then you have teams like the Astros, White Sox, Tigers, Padres (although they’re a seperate story), Rockies, and Cardinals, either dumping, ready to dump, or just doing a preemptive preperation for the 2009 season.

    It’s certainly interesting because then you have teams like the A’s, and Royals, who seem ready to spend or at the very least increase payroll. I guess they’ve been saving for so long they’re going to try and exploit that.

  37. John (#43) I understand and I believe that you saw Castillo with the ice wraps — then why wasn’t he disabled? Why was he playing? Am I wrong when I say he did absolutely nothing to help the team win when he played?

    When he was ultimately placed on the DL, it wasn;t because of his knees? Wasn’t it his hip or pulled muscle or something?

  38. Benny (51) When I read Omar saying it’s like a ‘Perfect Storm’ – it makes me stop and think about his mind set these days. Philosophical? Maybe.

    I did read about Randy Johnson and Mark Loretta as well and still agents are pushing contracts that are beyond all sense of reality.

  39. with some of the big contracts out there……players may be under a self imposed pressure to play through injuries even if they know they’re hurt. Castillo had just signed a 4 year contract which Omar took alot of heat for…….perhaps Castillo thought he had to justify it.

  40. Speaking of the economy …. Citigroup said it will cut about 53,000 more jobs in coming quarters as the banking giant struggles to deal with massive losses from deteriorating debt.

    So for a cool 20 year contract at $20M per year, I could grab the naming rights to “ROKSOLID FIELD”?

  41. Kerry Wood sure is an interesting option but… following him throughout the year he had alot of nagging injuries. If I remember correctly a finger injury/blister.
    It would just suck to depend on him and then… gone. Whether its for a long time or for 2 weeks, he wouldn’t be there.

  42. Chucky (#55) all Castillo did was solidfy the popular opinion that the $25M 4-year deal for Castillo was a mistake.

    I don’t understand the thinking that someone who is not fit to play and help his team woud do so …. nothing good can come from it … and unfortunately, nothing good did.

  43. I wouldn’t sign Wood as a primary closer. But he were willing to agree to be a set up man…who may move into closer if the closer doesn’t work out or gets hurt. It would all depend on Wood’s ego whether I signed him or not.

  44. Problem is, with his hisory, Wood would get hurt first and then the closer would get hurt.

  45. Castillo is in a no win situation.
    He plays hurt he’s hurting the team.
    He doesn’t play… he’s a pansy.
    At the very least acknowledge the fact he tried to play hurt. Castillo strikes me as a guy who plays VERY hard and it probably hurt him that he couldn’t play to his ability. I’m sure he hated the fact he sucked so bad.
    Watching him play for all these years, Castillo is a trooper.

    If he was playing hurt while batting .333 with his near .400 OBP, I’m sure we’d be admiring his heart. It’s just that… he sucked.

  46. 59……agreed….total mistake…..I’m no big Omar fan and this was one of his worst mess ups……but what I was saying was that Castillo may have felt obligated to try to “earn ” his money rather than just sit out all season.

  47. Benny, sorry, but I am not buying it. Under no circumstances is it accepable to me to play if you are not able to help your team.

    Castillo may or may not be a trooper … but he sucked for the Mets and he did not hit .333 or have a .400 OBP …. actually, if he were healthy he might have.

  48. 63…….what many people forget is after the horrific collapse of 2007 when many Mets just picked up their stuff and headed for the clubhouse, Castillo remained behind and was crying on the bench. You could tell he cared at a time when I had my doubts about some of the other Mets. I don’t think it’s a question of heart……it’s more of a question of knees.

  49. and chucky, on the other side of the coin, I actually like Omar. I can see his perspective and idea when he makes a move, whether its a trade, or signing. I can see the vision.
    That Castillo signing however was just brutal. I can defend the Heath Bell, Lindstrom, trades, Pedro and El Duque signings. But that Castillo deal? NO excuses… none.
    I was very disapointed in that deal.

  50. chucky (68): If Castillo stays, and it looks as if he will, then I hope the fans give him a benefit of doubt. A good spring training will help.-JD

  51. Benny (63) Excellentpoints about Castillo. When most fans decide to hate on you it doesn’t matter what you do. They will blast you. Rocksolid thinks its all Castillo’s fault, but wht Rocksolid doesn’t the Front office have to take some responsibility for not disabling a guy. Don’t something called doctors tell them the health of a player. Your line about being 100% is crap anyway. Nobody plays 100% all the time. If you liek a guy you say how tough he is for playing at less than 100%. If you don’t like a guy its the reason to beat on him.
    The Mets should have let him heal in April but they were too chicken too make a decision. Bad front office.

  52. rocksolid (67) not buying what? i don’t get it?

    He is in a no win situation. It reminds me of a GREAT Terrell Owens quote when he was in the Super Bowl. He called out the media and fans calling him selfish for playing hurt during the super bowl while Brett Favre would have/has been called a warrior for the same act.

    I’m not saying its right or wrong, just pointing out the “perceptions”.

  53. 72……it will interesting….he’s our new Kaz Matsui. Matsui couldn’t recover…let’s see if Castillo can.

  54. roksolid(59): Wrong to say “nothing good can come” from someone playing hurt. Look back at the heroics of Kirk Gibson, Paul O’Neill, and even Willis Reed.

    Some players are inspirational because of what they can do even in pain; others hurt their team and themselves.

    No “one size fit all” deal.

  55. So let’s go on the premis that Castillo is back … let’s also assume Schneider is back too.

    Is anyone else concerned that witha 7-8-9 of Schneider-Castillo-Pitcher, we are looking at a lot of 3-ups & 3-downs in 2009?

    And don’t the top 6 in the lineup need to make up for a lot of 7-8-9 sins?

  56. lol, I think the actual moral of the story is he shouldn’t have been signed to begin with.

    Despite how hard he played in the end of 2007. You could see the pain in his body as he hobbled from 1st to 2nd.

  57. I really hope Castillo doesn’t come back.
    Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoenweiss, Luis Castillo. Three men I do not want to see on the team by Opening Day 2009.
    At this point I don’t even care what the return is.
    Even Jose Guillen (yikes!)… I think…

  58. chucky(75): You’re right on. If Castillo does no more than Kaz has after the Mets gave up on him, I’ll be satisfied.

  59. Bill (#76):

    What I said was “nothing good can come from it … and unfortunately, nothing good did” … with regard to 2008, what exactly did Castillo do to warrant comparisons to the heroics of Kirk Gibson, Paul O’Neill, and even Willis Reed.

    When Castillo hits his game winning grand slam on two gimpy knees or comes out to inspire the Mets in a game 7 of a championship series, the MAYBE we can commend him for playing hurt.

    Until then, he is a weak link in my opinion.

  60. roksolid(77): IF Castillo is back, and healthy, he’s more valuable as #2, where his patience at the plate and ability to make contact get the most value.

    In that case, you might have Church, Murphy or Tatis at #7, followed by the C. I don’t follow other teams’ #7-8, but I think that’d be near the middle of the pack.

  61. 77……if you look at the “World Champion” Philadelphia Phillies lineup……you’d find most of the time Feliz hitting 7th at .249 and Ruiz hitting 8th at .219 and then the pitcher. Not exactly murder’s row. In most NL teams 7,8 and 9 isn’t very formidable.

  62. OT – Why don’t any baseball players appear on Dancing with the Stars while several football players such as Emmett Smith and Jerry Smith do?

  63. For all the reasons people want to dump Castillo are reasons why he’ll be hard to trade. Who wants to take on those problems. I really think Castillo will get a chance to redeem himself this year.-JD

  64. roksolid(82): BIIIIIG difference between “nothing CAN” and “nothing DID”.

    I’m not comparing him to those guys, just saying that just because nothing did this time doesn’t mean that it “can’t”.

  65. rocksolid (82) You don’t buy Castillo being hurt you don’t buy Heilman being. Do you just have a basic mistrust of people in general or just Met players who suck? Just being sarcastic man….
    By the way I don;t want any of the 3 Benny mentioned back either, but to blast a guy for playing hurt is unfair as well.

  66. 82….Castillo doesn’t have the power to hit the game winning grand slam. Do you ever see the opposing team’s outfield defense against him…..particularly when he’s hitting left handed… looks like a little league defense. He could stand to spend a little time in the gym this winter.

  67. Bill (#84): Got it, but hat is part of my continued distaste for Castillo on the 2009 team …. either Murphy or Church are better #2 hitters in my opinion …. heck, Manuel even conceeded to Beltran as #2 in the final Shea series … Castillo hit .245 in 87 games in 2008 …. I’ll give you that he is a lifetime .300 hitter, but do you really think we’ll ever see that again?

    I really wish there was someone who could show how many runs the Mets scoreed when Castillo was in the lineup as the #2 hitter vs. the times he was not …

  68. Well roksolid, It’s not about WHAT he did in terms of production. It’s the fact he did it in the same conditions.
    One thing they all have in common is that they were hurt. Who knows what would have happened given the right circumstance.

    You want to be technical? Castillo had a VERY nice .355 OBP in 2008. For an injured guy? That’s not too shabby.
    That’s better than Delgado, Ryan Church, every player on the Phillies roster except for Utley and Burrell.
    Of course you can’t compare the production because of the power but that’s because of the fact they’re very different TYPE of baseball players. But at the end of the day Castillo was standing on first base more than those guys… You can not deny that.

  69. John (83) Yeah but then he’d be gone in 2010 guaranteed! haha. With Castillo we have to worry about 2011 as well. Yuck I’m disgusted typing that.

  70. bill (84): If Castillo is here, hitting second in the order does take advantage of his abilities at the plate. Second was a vast wasteland for the Mets last year.-JD

  71. Harry (#89): I am not blasting the player … actually, I ddnlt think I was blasting anyone … if anything, I take exception to the fact that so many are making excuses for Castillo’s horrendous play.

    Read it anyway you want … and to be clear, I believe Castillo was hurt and should not have played because it hurts the team …. I do not buy the Heilman “injury” because that was revealed after a particularly bad strecth late in August, yet, after a brief break, he continued to pitch — and SUCK — for the rest of the year.

  72. Benny (#93): So I take it you were thrilled with him in 2008 and can’t wait to see him back in 2009.

    That’s fair and your opinion … I respect your opinion ….

  73. I’m not sure if we’re making excuses. I personally don’t want him on the team anymore.
    HOWEVER, I think we should be fair in analysing him as well.

  74. I kinda like Castillo, actually. We should keep him and heilman. Honestly – this team with a better bullpen, a new starter + Niese, and maybe a big bat (Dunn?), but maybe not a big bat, would be pretty darn good. I feel like, despite last year’s situation ending as it did, this team is under good leadership and has a lot of good pieces.

  75. Question for all the Castillo bashers: When Church played hurt everyone blamed Minaya. When Castillo playes hurt you all blame Castillo. Why is that?

  76. 96……that kinda sounds like the excuse they used for Shoenweiss last year. Remember when the season was almost over they revealed he had a missing tendon or something like that which they let him pitch through?

  77. Annie:

    OT – Why don’t any baseball players appear on Dancing with the Stars while several football players such as Emmett Smith and Jerry Smith do?

    Answer: Maybe that’s where Castillo and Heilman hurt their knees.

  78. rocksolid (97) I’m going to quote myself from earlier…

    Benny Blanco from da Bronx November 17, 2008 8:11 pm

    I really hope Castillo doesn’t come back.
    Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoenweiss, Luis Castillo. Three men I do not want to see on the team by Opening Day 2009.
    At this point I don’t even care what the return is.
    Even Jose Guillen (yikes!)… I think…

  79. Why is it that we all blame Castillo for his contract, too? I would take $25 M over four years to play second base for the Mets. Now, I haven’t played baseball for 15 years, and I was never good, and I’m out of shape, but I’d still take the money.

  80. That contract is ALLLL Omar… I was very dissapointed in Omar when I found that out.

  81. Harry (#100): I take exception to that comment … Everyone would mean me, and I did not bash Minaya or Church.

    Frankly, I am not even trying to bash Castillo — Ithink he is washed up and hurting this team …. I cannot remember one single game that he helped win in 2008 and would prefer to never see him in a Met uniform again …

    As John as stated, he’ll probbaly be back and I’ll live with it …. but why cannot I have an opinion of this?

  82. Rock(107) You didn’t answer my question. Wht was an injured Church playing blamed universally on Minaya but a Castillo playing injured blamed on Castillo?

    JD (108) answered for you. Double standard.

  83. Why would I answer a question that did not apply to me. Go back an re-read my answer to your rhetorical question … to make it easier, here is what I wrote:

    I take exception to that comment … Everyone would mean me, and I did not bash Minaya or Church.

    Do I need to type slower?

  84. Roksolidmets (102) Great response, but not so – there has never been a baseball player who dared to show his musical/dancing skills.

    Both Emmett Smith and Jerry Rice won big bucks by placing 1st and 2nd. Tonight Warren Sapp is in the semi finals. I know very little about football, but I do know music and these guys are good. It’s a mystery.

  85. Whoa… umm. I don’t know. I’m trying to be as objective as possible when it comes to Pedro. The problem will be that they won’t position Pedro as the “5th” starter. Depending on who they sign, he’ll be the 2nd or 3rd starter.

    I dont think he was as bad as the numbers showed. BUT I know me personally, I hate, HATE, when teams sign injury freaks. I can’t stand it. It’s a pet peeve. So I think when it comes to Pedro I’d have to pass. Although I don’t think he was as bad the numbers show for 2008.

  86. 110………no…..he’s done….just a personal opinion too much of an injury risk. Before the shoulder it was the toe…..and the toe was due to his mechanics…..along with his advancing age I wouldn’t take the risk.

  87. John (#110): I have been torn on the Pedro thing … basically, as an organization and as fans, we stood by and waited for him to rehab … I was encourage by his short but positive return at the end of 2007 …. equally disappointed by his 2008 ….

    When it comes down to it, who are the Mets going to have as their #4 and #5 starters?

    I don’t think Lowe will come here if the rumors about Boston wanting him back are true … we don’t even have a legit #4 yet so it may be necessary to consider Pedro as a #5 …. a role I think he would embrace knowing that wherever he goes, it will be in a similar place on the staff.

    I would take the chance at a very low incentive laden contract.

  88. Guys to look at:

    Brad Penny, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Gacia, the two japanese guys Uehara and Kawakami, and Randy Wolf.

    I’m not saying these guys should be signed. But based on potential contract in terms of money and years, as well as health to an extent, I’d look at them to replace Pedro’s roster spot.
    They could come cheaper.

    I guess I look at this way, put them in a box, shuffle them, pick one, you have your winner!

  89. rock (111) Funny guy,, i didn’t address to you but you seem to think I did.. Since you don’t call yourself a Castillo basher why do you think my question was to you? By the way how come your criticism of Castillo chaged from a guy who you didn’t believe was hurt but was actually not trying, (you didn’t “buy” the injured knees) to a guy who shouldn’t play hurt, to a guy who is washed up. So which Casstillo story is really your problem with him. Maybe there’s time for another one tonight?

  90. Fair point Annie… I mean I don’t know what to say. I love Pedro. He is a fabulous human being but I just don’t know. Besides the psychological injury, he does tend to have alot of little naggy injuries.
    You have to like… baby sit him.

  91. JD- good luck with the new site and job.
    Any word on the Heilman injury? How sever and WHAT was it? Did he have surgery and/or how is he rehabbing?

    keep it up./

  92. 119……funny you should mention that…..I’ve always loved Penny and it might be an opportunity to buy low.

  93. i’d hate to lock up and $$ in Pedro at this point.. seems like it is just a matter of time til he fails. Will he take One year at a cheap price?

  94. Haha, I have to share this, I thought it was interesting. Just now, I was researching Bartolo Colon to see if he’s “worth” it.
    And umm, I noticed Justin Masterson is Jamaican. VERY COOL! I had NO idea!

  95. I think the loyalty to Pedro is mostly because of his personality. He is truly a wonderful man. But physically I don’t see him pitching well this season for the whole season no matter who he’s with.

  96. Wow, a lot of Castillo bashing out there tonight. I can live with his weak bat because he mostly makes “productive” outs, but his fielding was absolutely autrocious last season….it’s like he forgot how to play second.

    I am for trading him, if possible. But I am not for signing another high priced FA. Enough with the Baergas, the Alomars, and the Castillos. Apparently, Flushing is the place where good second baseman go to die!

  97. Annie (118): Pedro had some flashback moments last season, but was never healthy for a long stretch. … The Mets aren’t deep in pitching and having one more wouldn’t hurt.-JD

  98. Harry (#120), if you didn’t address the question to me then why did you specifically call me out for not answering it?

    As for Castillo, I think he was hurt, played hurt when he should not have which hurt the team, is pretty much washed up and a guy I want off the team.

    While I respect your opinion and right to express them, I find your approach here to differing opinions — especially mine — extremely offensive and condescnding.

  99. so what do you give Pedro???? 6 mil for the year? Which is what we paid Duque to sit in PCL all year.

  100. Schilling got 8 mil from the Sox to pester them on his blog all year.. Doesnt seem like a real good use of Funds for a team on a budget

    (PSL not PCL in 131)

  101. I think a key point some people may be forgetting, unbelievably, is this team choking in ’07 and then gagging in ’08 with basically the same cast of characters.

    It would be suicide to trade any of the big-name players, save for Delgado if the deal was right, but all of this talk about keeping Castillo and Heilman, etc.

    Don’t you (everyone) think that there need to be SOME changes after what has happened? How many times is this group going to be allowed to fail?

  102. Yes. Some changes should be in order. I roll my eyes when the names Wright, Reyes, and Beltran are mentioned as change.
    But… Heilman, Schoenweiss, and Castillo are the Three Amigos who must LEAVE!

  103. I like R Wolf in the #5 slot with Niese in the minors for when someone gets hurt. Pedro has run out of gas, IMO.

  104. metsman8669 (133): You make a good point about collapsing with the same group. The argument for keeping them together for the most part isn’t for sentimental value, but because of factors like age, injuries and salary (Castillo fits all three) that makes them difficult to deal.-JD

  105. Metsman (133) Ever play a competitive sport and have a losing streak? That’s what happened. “Allowed to fail” isn’t.

  106. I agree on Castillo, Heilman, and Schoe going, but I think Schoe is the only one that will go. Castillo’s contract is too big and Heilman would be selling low.

  107. As far as Pedro is concerned, I’m definitely in favor of INVITING him back—with a low guarantee and high incentives. If he wins a job in ST now that he’s healthy and stressed over his father, that’s great. If he can’t do it, my feeling is that his pride won’t let him continue as a “hanger-on”, and he’ll retire (hopefully to be a Mets’ representative in the DR).

  108. Any word on the Heilman injury? How sever and WHAT was it? Did he have surgery and/or how is he rehabbing?

    keep it up./

  109. John (#140) …. actually, everytime Francesa (who dreamed up the whole “break up the core crap” takes a step there is a significant ground movement if not a full-fledged ground swell …. but I digress.

  110. roksolidmets (141) – I have OP or Lowe or Dempster penciled in at #4. And Omar better sign one of them.

  111. BiggieSmalls (#142) … great question Biggie …. I would be interested in understanding the answers to your questions too. I would only add — When exactly did it happen? “it” being the alleged injury that adversely affected his 2008 performance of course.

  112. Annie…I don’t get what you’re saying. Yes, I’ve played competitive sports…through junior college, in fact.

    What happened in ’07 and ’08 is not coincidence. As much as people wanted to label the Mets as chokers after what happened in ’07, when you looked back on it later in the winter, you could have said, “it’s baseball…that happens.”

    However, in my eyes, they lost that excuse when they gagged (not choked) again this year. Yes, the bullpen was the prime culprit, but you cannot discount two pretty much rock-solid playoff appearances just vanishing.

    It’s not coincidence and it’s not “just a losing streak” when the final 34 games of the last two Sept. have produced a 12-22 mark.

  113. Oh let’s digress about Francesa – he’s such an easy target now that he’s all alone in that studio.

  114. Annie (#148): He’d be an easy target from earth if he were standing all alone on the moon.

  115. We’re talking about (Francesa) a guy who said “who?” when someone mentioned David Wright to him back in 2003.

    The guy knows almost nothing about baseball, least of all the Mets.

  116. Back to JD’s Pedro question.

    The sentimental in me would like him back. So would the optimist, particularly if someone else was added into the rotation so he’s a back-end guy.

    However, I think it’s time to move on. That is part of what I was talking about above. They need to, as Wright said, have a “face-lift”

  117. General question — free for anyone to answer: So, was Heilman’s knee hurt in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS when he gave up the HR to Molina or was he healthy when he blew/lost that game?

  118. JD (154) – Thats an overuse injury IIRC. So rest only mitigates it and it is usually recurring. But not really a surgery to perform. Just stretching and regular exercise to mitigate?


  119. John (#149): so the Mets own the rights to Stokes in 2009 but not Ayala, right?

    So Stokes will be back unless he is traded or released, right.

  120. metsman8669 (156) I think David Wright would love to have Pedro back and so would most of the team. Just my opinion.

  121. roksolidmets (157) – if its tendinitis it is a chronic thing. From overuse, like Willie running him out there every day. It doesnt just happen but gets worse over time.

  122. By my count, we have Heilman, Stokes, Feliciano, Smith, Schoeneweis, and Sanchez under contract or arbitration eligible for 2009. Barring any trades or releases, that leaves the closer slot and 1 other, correct?

  123. I think that’s about it for me tonight folks. Thanks for an enjoyable evening. We’ll do this again. … If any latecomers have a question or comment, post it and I’ll get it in the morning. … Going to watch some of the Browns game before calling it a night.-JD

  124. (161)Annie…you could be right, but I also look at the flip side. How many times does the team have to be “let down” by Pedro?

    Continuing to count on him, whether he’s the ace or the no. 5 guy, can affect the team’s mind-set. Even being gone virtually all of ’07 due to injury, 2008 was the first year in his tenure with NY that I felt he really had no “family-like” feel with the team.

  125. JD(159): Just to clarify on Stokes, he hasn’t got enough ML service time to reach FA, so he’s Mets’ property unless they non-tender him, which seems highly unlikely.

    metsman(133): Of course changes are in order, just as they would be if the Mets were World Champs. The question is whether it was a “team collapse” in ’08 as it was in ’07, and my answer to that is no.

    With something like 28 BS’s, losing our Closer for 2 months was the key, along with losing our #2 SP for the final month and our best RH-hitting OFer (Tatis) for about that much time. Without that combo of injuries, we’d have been at least 5 games better, giving us the Division.

    roksolid: Whether you consider Castillo an asset or not; whether you want him on the team at all in ’09 or not; just answer one question please—

    What is gained by releasing him before ST?

  126. bill (167): Responding to what is gained by releasing Castillo… well you gain a roster spot!
    I’m kinda half joking saying this. If he can’t be traded might as well keep him.

  127. Bill…we’ve had this discussion in other instances. My thinking is that getting rid of some of these players will not only help us, the fans, but might very well help the remaining players.

    And I’m not just talking about performance-wise either. These guys aren’t robots, as much as we’d like to think they are. If you think Beltran or Wright or Reyes didn’t slump their shoulders, or even think of it, when Heilman came into games last year…

    Also, where you and I have a big disagreement is the reasoning behind their collapses. Yes, the bullpen in ’08 was the main culprit, but it’s not that black/white.

    This team has not come into games with a an attitude of crushing teams since ’06. Rather, they’ve gotten an air about them that they can sleepwalk and turn it on when they want to.

    Everyone sees things differently that watches the games, but in my mind, this team needs to find that spark again. They certainly had it much more under Manuel, but they are still pushed around too much for my liking.

  128. Omar needs to turn over the pen. Either trade them or cut them. I would rather trade as at least you get something back.

    Again, we need a bench and I hope Church can be the player he was early in the year.

    I would not rely on Tatis for anything but a bench role.

    If we pay half of Castillo’s salary can we get back a low level prospect? If so either Murphy or the other 2 2B guys from last year is fine with me. Something better would be nice, but we need pitching. That is priority #1.

  129. I’m still scared of K-Rod. In addition to his diminished velocity already at the age of 26, the stat that he ranked very low in 1-2-3 innings adds further fuel to the fire. I think his signing can easily turn out to be one big bust.