Loose Threads

A lot of things floating on in my mind these days.

-Congratulations to Mike Mussina for retiring on his terms. Part of me wishes he’d stay for 300 wins. But another part – a greater part – admires him for doing it his way. It doesn’t happen often. Will he get my Hall of Fame vote? Yes.

-I see where Hank Steinbrenner gave an ultimatum for the Yankees to sign CC Sabathia. I’d like to see Fred Wilpon do the same with a closer.

-The Mets seem torn between Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes. That should tell you of the concerns for K-Rod. And, concerns at this time are valid. I’d stay away, go with Fuentes and use the rest of the money that would have gone to K-Rod go for depth in the pen.

-Luis Castillo is staying to play second base. That seems apparent now. Their thinking is to hope for a comeback. It beats paying somebody to take him away.

-There doesn’t seem like a groundswell of support to keep either Oliver Perez or Pedro Martinez.

16 thoughts on “Loose Threads

  1. An ultimatum to sign one guy? That’s bull.. Demand 200 million at least CC.
    If the K-Rod concerns are legit fine, but if not, you get the best or leave us alone after the next fruitless season.
    If the best plan for 2B is prayer, then this organization is worse than I sus[ected. There is a real need for something Minaya cannot comprehend; a farm system with guys who can help the major league team at more than 1B.
    The groundswell will or will not come based on whom Minaya overpays to replace them. Minaya must truly believe the grass is always greener on the other side. No wonder is a mediocre GM.
    Not on your post write up but that Citi deal with the Mets is disgusting. 400 mil to have your name on a building. Their board should all be immediately fired without thier phony bonus. When they are in Congress I hope it is brought up like the Big 3 private jet rides to beg for a bailout.

  2. Regardless of whom they sign as Closer, the Mets should talk to the Astros, who reportedly are putting Wiggy and Valverde on the market.

    Wiggy’s versatility and good RH bat would make a great fit here, and Val has closer success. That’d make him a perfect setup guy as well as backup should the #1 guy falter.

  3. JD, I agree with all of your thoughts save Castillo. While the Mets are focusing on pitching (as they should), I think they also want a right-handed bat in LF. Because there is not a right-handed bat available, I think the Mets are thinking they can dump Castillo and sign O Hudson as that right-handed bat. Then a Murphy/Tatis platoon in LF is much more palatable.

  4. There are no right handed bats avaialble. Pat Burrell with his WS ring is a FA. I’m sure there are more. But hwy get one? Thats’ not their failure. If they want Hudson they should go after him. If they can’t move until they move Castillo then they have small market mind set, and they will continue to be second rate franchise forever, with occasional blips like the other small market teams have deluding themselves and their fans that they can win regularly.

  5. Harry
    Pat Burrell is exactly the type of player you are always saying the Mets should not sign. An aging slugger on the downside of his career. Even the Phillies only wanted him for 2 years.
    As far as Hudson goes paying 10 million/yr for 5 yrs for a 2nd baseman who is overrated defensively and who played in a hitters park and will not put up the same numbers in NY seems not to be the best way to fix this team. Is it possible the Mets really do not want Hudson and are just blowing smoke.

  6. (5)Scott-I heard the news that Hudson is seeking that contract. If he gets it, I certainly hope it’s not from the Mets. Not for 5 years.

    But I disagree with you that he’s overrated. His offense might certainly take a dip, but I still think he’d be a significantly better no. 2 hitter than Castillo and still plays overall good defense.

    And he’s apparently a fantastic clubhouse presence. If he sticks to his guns, however, on a four or even five year deal, at his age…no.

  7. (4) Harry, the flip-side to the “If they want Hudson they should go after him. If they can’t move until they move Castillo then they have small market mind set” argument is that if they sign Hudson first, then every team knows they have to trade Castillo and the Mets would get even less in return than if they were to trade Castillo prior to signing Hudson.

    I don’t want them to sign Hudson either way. If the Mets are going to acquire a 2B I’d prefer one year of Mark Grudzielanek followed by a pursuit of free agents Placido Polanco or Brian Roberts next year.

  8. Scott (5): You are right about Burrell and I apologize but I was answering the guy who said there were no righties. I should have checked more. I should have said someone like Baldelli who’d be a good platoon guy with Murphy or Churxh and is young and can’t play every day.
    Gravedigger (7): The flip side is that if you have a big market mind set, you don’t worry about what Castillo might bring later. Big market teams go after the guys they want. Castillo ain’t getting you much today, so if you want Hudson what is the difference if you get junk today or doublew junk tomorrow for Castillo. Hudson will be 31, you won’t get a FA much younger, he doesn’t hit many HRs so Arizona should be irrelevant to his stats.

  9. (8) Harry. I hear you about “not caring what you get later” but I respectfully disagree.

    As far as replacing Castillo in general, as I said above I don’t want Hudson. Two consecutive years of “freak” injuries doesn’t an injury history make, but it gives me caution. The Mets seem to breed injuries, I’d rather bring in someone with a healthier recent past.

    Brian Roberts is the same 31 years old that Hudson is, and doesn’t come off two consecutive injury years. Plus he walks more, and that’s what I want from what I believe will be the #2 hitter.

    I can’t speak about either player’s range in the field, but in 308 games over the last 2 seasons Roberts has made 15 errors, in 242 games Hudson committed 19.

    I’ll happily “suffer” one season of Grudzielanek, or for that matter one more season of Castillo, and try to get Roberts via FA next year as I see him to be a much better option going forward than Hudson.

  10. If you don’t want Hudson, I have no problem. I’m only saying that if the Mets want him, then using Castillo as an excuse is crap. If the Red Sox wanted a guy would they say they can’t make a move becuase they have to get rid of their version of Castillo first.

  11. (10) Harry, I think even the Red Sox have some semblance of fiscal responsibility, so I’ll just substitute “Yankees” for “Red Sox” in your entry and then I have to agree with you. In my subjective opinion though, 28 other teams would play it just like Omar is playing the Castillo situation. If you come up with an actual, not hypothetical, example outside of the Bronx I will be swayed by your argument.

  12. (11) I agree with you Grave. The fan in me wants the Mets to just eat his contract at any cost…but it’s not feasible to do that. Not $18mm.

  13. Last winter the Angels had a full share of outfielders, with Anderson, Mathews and Guerrero. They ridded none yet had no problem spending a fortune on Torii hunter. Mets never would have done it.
    Last year the Red Sox gave Cf job to Ellsbury while keeping the higher paid and very overrated coco Crisp on the team all year. They didn’t say Coco makes more dough so we better play him.
    Two without thinking….
    Big market Angels, big market RedSox, amall market mindest Mets.

  14. (13) Harry. Those two, also the only two I can think of, had circumstances allowing them to occur: the DH; and injury prone, older OF who needed reasonable insurance (Drew/Boston, Anderson/LAA). The Angels payroll was 19 million less than the Mets, plus they had “playoff money” from the previous season. The Red Sox payroll was 5 million less than the Mets and they also had 2007 playoff money to spend.

    Here is what I believe to be the real issue. The Mets are a business. Omar is not only in charge of a roster of players, he’s in charge of fitting that roster into a budget.

    The 2008 Mets budget was a hair under 138 million according to “Cots.” They are quoted as saying they want to stay close to that figure for ’09.

    Lets pretend the Mets sign KRod to what he’s asking (5/$75) and OHud to what he’s asking (5/$50). What you’re asking the Mets to do is commit 2 roster spots (one wasted with Castillo rotting on the bench) at a cost of 16 million to 2B, and 1 roster spot (because Wags is on the DL) to the closer at 25 million. That’s 41 million for 3 roster spots as part of a total payroll of 138 million, which by the way is not a “small market” total.

    Add Johan’s 20 mil, Beltran’s 18.5 mil, Delgado’s 12 mil, Wright’s 7.5 mil, and Reyes’ 5.75 mil to that 41 for KRod, Wagner, Hudson and Castillo and you’re leaving yourself with 33.25 million to fill the remaining 16 spots on the roster, including the 2 starting pitchers the Mets need.

    What you’re asking the Mets to do is to commit financial suicide to please you.

  15. …plus the $3.5 million Crisp was replaced with the in-house, $460 thousand Ellsbury, and the Angels simply replaced the gimpy Anderson on their roster 1 year before he became a free agent, not 3 years before as you’re suggesting be done with Castillo.