Sixty million over four years got it done for Derek Lowe with the Braves. The Mets were a year and $24 million short. Oliver Perez, who should feel unwanted right about now, wants four years and the Mets are at three.
Ben Sheets is still out there, injured arm and all. So are Pedro Martinez and Randy Wolf. Whatever the signing, it has been a disappointing winter for the Mets regarding their starting pitching.
The Mets entered the offseason wanting to address their bullpen, but that includes getting starters capable of eating innings. It is not unfair to attach questions to four of the five starters after Johan Santana.
Mike Pelfrey: Will he continue to progress or hit a wall, which often happens in a pitcher’s development.
John Maine: Coming off surgery.
Tim Redding: A .500 pitcher last year with a lifetime losing record. OK, for a fifth starter, but the expectations could rise.
Fifth starter: To be determined. Jon Niese will compete. Bringing back Martinez might have to be the plan.
If GM Omar Minaya isn’t confident, then there’s no reason for you to be.
Minaya placed the odds at “50-50” the Mets will add a bigger-named pitcher than Tim Redding, saying, “you’re never too confident.”
With reports of the Braves having a $60 million package on the table for Derek Lowe, and Oliver Perez wanting four years while the Mets prefer three, they could be forced to fall back on Randy Wolf and Pedro Martinez.
I like Redding as a fifth starter, but if all this pans out, he could end up fourth which leaves the Mets vulnerable in the back end of the rotation.
All that work fixing the bullpen could be wasted if twice a week the Mets aren’t going deep into the game with their starter.
Scott Boras was in town the other day. Had a tour of Citi Field. Spoke with the Mets about Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez. Manny Ramirez, it appears, was not one of the topics. Meanwhile, reports out of Boston and Atlanta have the Braves making a push for Lowe.
The mystery team?
Perhaps. Of course, I would have given the no-trade to Jake Peavy if I were the Braves. The Mets were never in the talks with San Diego about Peavy.
If the Mets to get Lowe, I think they’ll have to give up more money per year than give the extra years. That’s the way to go. Besides, they can also make up extra years by adding options.
-Rain forecast for Philly tomorrow. Game 3 might be postponed. I have no problem with that because there’s Ohio State v. Penn State. Go Bucks. If everything is pushed back, Phillies say Cole Hamels will pitch Monday regardless. No word on what the Rays will do.
-It’s ironic as we brace for a rainout Commissioner Bud Selig is talking about shortening the World Series by two or three days by eliminating the off days. MLB added off-days when it opted to start the Series on Wednesday instead of the weekend. Eliminating off days won’t seem like such a good idea if there’s a coast-to-coast Series.
-Jake Peavy is available from the Padres. Early speculation has the Braves a contender, but GM Frank Wren said the club isn’t going to part with its best prospects.
Retiring Phillies general manager Pat Gillick told Bill Madden of The New York Daily News at the World Series his team’s hatred for the Mets, coupled with the disdain other teams in the NL East had for the Mets, acted as inspiration. Teams just didn’t like the celebrations and their swagger, perhaps sense of entitlement, they’ve had since 2006.
Said Gillick: “If you want to know the best thing we had going for us this year, it was the fact that all the other teams in our division hated the Mets’ guts. It started with Atlanta and all the hostility they had with the Mets through the years. Then Fredi Gonzalez left Bobby Cox to manage the Marlins and he didn’t forget everything that went on between the Braves and Mets. Look what Florida did for us the past two years (beating the Mets two out of the three in each of the last series of the season to prevent them from making the postseason). Washington doesn’t like them very much either, and all those teams seemed to really get up for the Mets.”
Both Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado took the celebrations outside the dugout, but each said they weren’t hurting anybody. In the end, they may have just been hurting themselves.
Hey, it’s not a shot at Reyes, but when an executive of your bitterest rival says the perception of your team is poor, you’d better listen. If the Mets are listening, they should realize Gillick is doing them a favor.