Dec 21

Dec. 21.09: Mets miss out on Marquis ….

MARQUIS: Now a Nat.

MARQUIS: Now a Nat.

I spent most of the afternoon in the dentist’s chair. Drove home with the news Jason Marquis – somebody who wanted to play for the Mets – signed a two-year, $15-million deal with the Washington Nationals and bit my lip. Good thing the novocaine hadn’t worn off.

I never had the Mets getting any of the big pitchers, like John Lackey and Roy Halladay, but would settle for a middle-tier arm such as Joel Pineiro, Marquis and Jon Garland.

It’s not that they didn’t get Marquis that is so disturbing, but for how cheaply he went (maybe that does tell you something), but the Mets needed any and all pitching help.

My confidence level in the Mets bringing in an arm of substance is waning, especially considering the news that ESPN is reporting they are considering bringing back Pedro Martinez to a one-year deal at $8 million.

I keep going back in my mind Jeff Wilpon’s vow after the season and Omar Minaya’s pronouncement “we have a plan.”

Think it might be a good time to hear it.

Dec 21

Dec. 21.09: Should Mets dip into Torreabla waters again?

TORREALBA: Is peace possible?

TORREALBA: Is peace possible?

The last time the Mets looked at Yorvit Torrealba, they backed out of a three-year, $14.4-million deal following a physical a couple of years ago. The Mets had health concerns and pulled out of the signing. When the Mets played the Rockies the following year, Torrealba had no arm strength.

Torrealba, who has since filed a grievance against the Mets, is on the market again. Both sides say they are open to the other.

Bengie Molina, however, is their first choice, but he’s seeking three years.

Torrealba, 31, hit .291 with two homers and 31 RBI in 64 games for the Rockies last season.

If Torrealba’s arm is sound, and the parties can let by-gones be by-gones, it is something to dip into again. Especially since his age is more appealing than Molina’s.

Dec 21

Dec. 21.09: Playing the waiting game ….

We are in the staring phase of the negotiations with Jason Bay and Bengie Molina. The Mets don’t want to go to five years with Bay or three with Molina; the players believe there aren’t many options other than them.

Who blinks first?

If it doesn’t get done this week, don’t expect anything to happen until after the holidays. The Christmas-New Years weeks is traditionally quiet.

The Mets have proven in the past a willingness to wait it out and it might serve them well this time, also. Maybe so, but things have changed over the past few winters. For one, the Mets can no longer reasonably call themselves contenders after last year’s finish. There’s more a sense of desperation.
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Dec 20

Dec. 20.09: Not knocking on Damon’s door ….

There was a time when I would have jumped at Johnny Damon coming to the Mets. But, that was several years ago. Damon, coming off a fabulous postseason, has renewed interest in some. Mostly, his agent, who is salivating with thoughts of another payday.

But, even Scott Boras wasn’t able to fake the Yankees this time.

Damon is a good player, but he’s an aging one with an inevitable breakdown in his immediate future. There’s no DH to hide him. If they won’t to go one year, OK, I’ll do it, but that’s not happening.

Damon wants three, and as good as he was hitting at Yankee Stadium, I don’t see that production in Citi Field. I’m passing on Damon.

Dec 20

Dec. 20.09: On This Date ….

It happened today ....

It happened today ....

In Mets history, in 1996, the Mets acquired first baseman John Olerud from Toronto for pitcher Robert Person. The Blue Jays were forced to make the deal because they needed a spot for Joe Carter.

I saw Olerud play a lot when I covered the Orioles and Yankees. He was one of the more soft-spoken players I’ve dealt with, but he sure did have a sweet swing. And, with him at first, the Mets had one of the finest fielding infields in the game.

Any memories of Olerud?