Mets’ Winter Meetings shopping list.

MINAYA: Will he hit one out of the park this week?

MINAYA: Will he hit one out of the park this week?

Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings officially start today, but Mets GM was out last night meeting with Francisco Rodriguez’s agent. Over the next four days, Minaya is likely to have a face-to-face with Rodriguez, and other closers Brian Fuentes and Trevor Hoffman.

“I expect to leave with players,’’ Minaya said last night. “I think there’s a chance that hopefully we can get something done here.’’
Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of the Mets’ needs and options:

BULLPEN

The situation: The Mets blew 29 save opportunities last season, seven of them in the ninth inning. A closer is desperately needed, but so is the bridge to that closer. Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, Scott Schoeneweis, Joe Smith and Brian Stokes are under contract for next year, so it’s not likely there will be an overhaul.

Options:
They’ve targeted Rodriguez as their first choice, but would be willing to go elsewhere if the price is right. There’s a lot to like about Rodriguez, but there are concerns with his diminished velocity and violent delivery that could make him vulnerable to injury. Fuentes would be less expensive, and Hoffman would command fewer years. Hoffman could be had for a year plus an option, and by that time the Mets might know more about Bobby Parnell and Ed Kunz. The Mets like Kerry Wood, but his injury history makes him a risk. The Mets also like Colorado’s Huston Street, but are waiting for the price to drop.

STARTING PITCHING
The situation: The Mets are three deep with Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine, but the latter is coming off surgery. That leaves two holes if they don’t bring back Oliver Perez. Jon Niese will compete for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Options: The Mets aren’t players for CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett, and had targeted Scott Boras client Derek Lowe. However, his asking price is a reported $18 million, and they’ll have to compete with Boston and the Yankees. The Mets might end up overpaying for Perez, go with Niese in the fifth spot, and there’s always the chance of bringing back Pedro Martinez for a year. Brad Penny and innings-eater Livan Hernandez are also in the market.

OUTFIELD
The situation: The Mets envision a platoon of Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis in left field. Their needs for pitching and the asking price would seem to preclude them from Manny Ramirez, whom they sought several years ago.

Options: Raul Ibanez, Bobby Abreu and Pat Burrell are out there, but the Mets don’t seem enamored with them. And, the Mets figure to hold consistent to spend on pitching before adding a bat to the line-up, that although inconsistent, still was second in the National League in scoring.

INFIELD
The situation: David Wright and Jose Reyes aren’t going anywhere, and neither will Carlos Delgado, who has a no-trade clause. Dealing Delgado merely creates another hole. The Mets would love to rid themselves of Luis Castillo’s contract.

Options: The same reason the Mets want to deal Castillo is why they won’t. An aging, injury-prone and non-productive player aren’t on many teams’ wish lists, so the Mets will retain the status quo.

CATCHER
The situation: The Mets would like to upgrade if they could from Brian Schneider, but it’s not regarded as a necessity.

Options: With other priorities, they won’t likely do anything here.

16 thoughts on “Mets’ Winter Meetings shopping list.

  1. Nice synopsis. They should sign K-Rod. There’s a risk to everything in life, but if you want to win shouldn’t you aspire for the best? I agree with the outfield especially Abreu. His defensive skills were going away when he was with Philly. He needs to be a DH. So does Burrell. Catcher? Just don’t give Varitek or Ivan multi year deals….

  2. Good look, overall JD.

    Two things:

    1) people are worrying too much about John Maine’s surgery. Yes, it was a surgery…but it was to shave a bone-spur down on the back of his shoulder. Nothing structural. Not saying you don’t make contingency plans, because that is what a good GM should do, but he’s not coming off anything major.

    2)Carlos Delgado does not have a no-trade clause.

  3. JD – nice assessment….I agree with MrMet0805, Delgado does not have a “no-trade” and Maine’s surgery is not structural. I think the Mets will resign OP and possibly Garland.

  4. I am one who has expressed concern over Maine is past threads – but not because of the surhery … my concern is his lack of efficiency … so many times we have seen him get to the 5th inning at 95-100 pitches which puts that much mre strain on the bullpen.

    I checked and in the last couple of years, he has averaged juts about 18 pitches oer inning … with the popular 100 pitch count limits you often see, he is good for about 6 innings a start with a rare venture into the 7th or 8th innings ….

    The Mets need guys who can get them thru 7 or even 8 allowing them to minimizr their use of the pen …. unfortunately, Maine does not allow them to do this.

    My point …. with Santana and Pelfrey, we saw that the Mets do have a couple of guys that could do this …. Maine, Perez and Pedro could not ….

    Hopefully, Maine can become more effienect and the replacements for Pedro and Ollie can give the Mets more length ….

  5. Here we are, December 8th. Nothing has changed since the end of the WS. Same old rumors about the same old players. This Week should see some action. Omar is right to wait for the closers market to come down. He is the only one of the big teams looking for a closer, so he has all the cards. I see him coming away with Krod with a 3 yr deal. I wouldnt mind seeing that Street for Heilman/ feliciano rumor come true. Need to make room in the pen and Street is good insurance in case we lose the closer. I guess they will have to keep Schow for one last year, but he was good against lefties last year and they need a lefty specialist.

  6. The starters market is more interesting. I dont want CC, Burnett, Sheets or Lowe. Let the Other big fish take on these Ridiculous contracts. I will take the 2 picks for Ollie. We can Sign someone else to win 10 games for us at half price. I still say Randy Wolf would be a great fit for the 4th spot. For the 5th spot, I offer Pedro a one year incentive deal. If he turns it down, there are others in the organization who can fight for the spot. Does anybody remember Jason Vargas? Mets got him from Fla a couple of years ago. He has had arm troubles, but was very strong in the Arizona league. He, Parnell, Niese and Stokes could battle for the 5th spot, along with the inevitable reclamation projects Omar will bring in.

  7. Hi Chiti,

    Just been waiting for something to happen. Remember I brought up Wolfs name long ago? Anyway, How do you like the K-rod- Wolf Scenario? Street for the eight inning? That leaves some room for a hitter too.

  8. I like to Mets to sign K-Rod, Garland, and Wolf. Trade for Street and trade Slappy Castillo. This would be a successful off-season.

  9. Hey Sadecki: They should sign K-Rod. but if the money per year is down they should offer more years, someday the market will go up agian. Street, I’ve only seen him a couple times but I think anyone’s an improvement over the minor league pen we had. He could be the Lidge of ’098.
    The Wolf man…. My problem with him is I see him in his Philly uni with all the Wolf man fans in the old Vet, other than that he is a good bottom of the rotation guy with lots of junk to mess hitters up.
    Hitter, he can sign an outfielder. Don’t trade prospects for a guy who isn’t going to be much better or worse than a FA like Dunn or Burrell. Since our LFers last year couldn’t field, we won’t notice the difference and Murphy can be a super sub for a year like Mitchell was for Davey in ’86……

  10. Chiti, The Thing I remember about Wolf, besides the wolfpack, Was him always being tough on the Mets.The OF im thinking about has dreadlocks. I am dreaming of a middle order of Beltran, Manny, Wright, Degado. Man, thats sick. Offer Manny 3 yrs for 75 Mil. Add a fourth yr option if you must. These additions will add about $10 mil to last years team salary, with Wags and Gado coming off next year.

  11. John,

    Nice synopsis. I pretty much agree with what is said here. I don’t think OP will come back. He is not that great although I think he is more valuable in October than during the season.

    There probably can be cheaper arms had to fill 4/5. I would not trust Niese for 5 although Vargas is a possibility there.

    Do the Mets want to spend that kind of money on Manny? Do they want the drama? Somehow I don’t think so. It probably will mess with the karma of the team.

  12. mets talking with red sox about sending them schneider… then who do we look to to be our Catcher?

    we all know castro isnt giving you 130+ games

  13. Rosenthal has Dbax shopping Snyder, Orioles shopping Hernandez. Pudge anybody? I wonder if theres anything to those rumors a few weeks ago about Dodgers being unhappy with Russel Martin. Mets always like catchers who can bop.