Nov 20

On the Table: What is Heilman’s future with Mets?

HEILMAN: Where should he pitch?

HEILMAN: Where should he pitch?

We’ve had this conversation before about Aaron Heilman and we’re having it again because he brought it up. Heilman’s agent, Mark Rodgers, said the pitcher wants out of the bullpen, and if not, then out of New York.

“The object the entire time has never been to get out of New York,” Rodgers told The Daily News. “The object is to get out of the bullpen. The most success he’s ever had as a pitcher has been as a starting pitcher. He was drafted by the Mets as a starting pitcher.”

Currently, the Mets, who have contractual control, favor the status quo while they shop for a starter. Heilman made made 25 starts from 2003 to 2005, going 5-13 with a 5.93 ERA, but was moved to the pen in the spring of 2006 when Brian Bannister – since traded – won a spot in the rotation. Heilman was 3-8 with a 5.21 ERA and five blown saves.

The Mets are attributing much of Heilman’s bad year to a knee problem, which if healed by rest, would make trading him a hasty decision.

Well, what to do?

-Should they trade him and risk him healing and being productive elsewhere?

-Should they give him a chance to compete in spring training for the fifth starter role, with the understanding he’ll go back to the pen if he doesn’t earn the job?

-Should they tell him to shut up and pitch in the pen, knowing he’s gone once he becomes a free agent?

Nov 17

Chat Room Tonight …. 7 p.m.

I’ll be hosting a Mets Chat Room tonight at 7 p.m. Come armed with your questions and comments. Among the topics that could be on the table:

1. Fuentes or K-Rod or somebody else?

2. Will they really keep Castillo at second base?

3. Now that he’s signed, should they think about trading Carlos Delgado?

4. What should they do with Aaron Heilman and Pedro Martinez?

My thinking is Fuentes over K-Rod; it looks like Castillo could stay; ditto Delgado; they’ll probably bring back both. Let’s have yours.

Nov 12

Available free agent relievers ….

The following relievers will be available this winter in the free-agent market. Joe Beimel and Juan Cruz are intriguing, but are they worth throwing piles of money at? I’m not so sure.

Unquestionably, the Mets’ bullpen was horrible last season, but GM Omar Minaya’s analysis is wide ranging. Were the individuals simply bad and past their prime, or just had a bad season? To what degree were injuries a factor (Aaron Heilman)? How much did throwing out of their roles determine the results?

The Mets will add a body or two from this list, but I don’t see a major overhaul. If they don’t deal Heilman, and I’m starting to lean in the direction of them keeping him, the set-up relievers might not change that much.

I can see Heilman, Schoeneweis, Ayala, Feliciano and Smith coming back. I can also see Parnell or Kunz getting a shot. Then there’s the closer they’ll add, and the more I think of it, the more I can visualize it being Trevor Hoffman.

Here’s the list of available free-agent relievers:

Jeremy Affeldt CIN
Luis Ayala NYM
Joe Beimel LAD
Joe Borowski CLE
Juan Cruz ARZ

Brendan Donnelly BOS
Alan Embree * OAK
Scott Eyre CHC
Kyle Farnsworth DET
Casey Fossum DET

Brian Fuentes COL
Aaron Fultz CLE
Tom Gordon * PHI
LaTroy Hawkins HOU
Mark Hendrickson LAD

Trevor Hoffman SD
Bobby Howry CHC
Jason Isringhausen STL
Steve Kline SF
Brandon Lyon ARZ

Damaso Marte * NYY
Tom Martin COL
Julio Mateo PHI
Guillermo Mota MIL
Will Ohman CHC

Darren Oliver LAA
John Parrish SEA
Chris Reitsma SEA
Dennys Reyes MIN
Juan Rincon CLE

Francisco Rodriguez LAA
Brian Shouse MIL
Rafael Soriano ATL
Jorge Sosa NYM
Mike Stanton * CIN

Salomon Torres * MIL
Derrick Turnbow MIL
Oscar Villarreal ATL
David Weathers CIN
Dave Williams NYM

Matt Wise NYM
Kerry Wood CHC

Oct 20

On the Table: Mets free-agent list. Who stays or goes?

Perez: Is he worth the bucks?

Perez: Is he worth the bucks?

When you come down to it, it’s not a “must have’’ list of the Mets’ own free-agents. Sure, they’d like lefty Oliver Perez back, but nobody really expects it, and truth is they can live without him.

The follow is a list of the Mets’ free-agents to be and those players arbitration eligible.

FREE AGENTS

-LF Moises Alou: Say good-night, Moises.

-INF Marlon Anderson: Nice knowing you.

-RHP Luis Ayala: Could be brought back.

-OF Endy Chavez: Could be brought back, but never as a starter.

-2B Damion Easley: I like him, but Mets should go younger on the bench.

-RHP Orlando Hernandez: Time to write his autobiography.

-RHP Pedro Martinez: Doesn’t want to retire, but is only fifth starter caliber right now.

-2B Ramon Martinez: Made impact, but age won’t let Mets consider him for job.

-LHP Oliver Perez: Wants mega bucks. Doesn’t deserve them.

-LHP Ricardo Rincon: Won’t be missed.

-OF Fernando Tatis: Deserves to return.

-RHP Matt Wise: Good-bye.

ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE

The following are arbitration eligible: RF Ryan Church, LHP Pedro Feliciano, RHP Aaron Heilman, RHP Duaner Sanchez, RHP John Maine and OF Angel Pagan.

Oct 18

On the table: What about Peavy?

Peavy: Would cost more than a few legs to get that arm.

Peavy: Would cost more than a few legs to get that arm.

I know, I know. Jake Peavy is available. But, the Padres don’t have to trade him. That means he’ll cost a whole lot more. Daniel Murphy, as much as I like him, would probably be included.

Murphy, F-Mart and Jon Niese, and throw in Aaron Heilman, might get it done. That’s a lot, but I’d have to do that deal.