Dec 01

Closer or bridge?

Since most of the Mets’ 29 blown saves came before getting to the closer, I have to wonder which is more important, getting two viable arms for the set-up roles or a closer.

I don’t think Francisco Rodriguez, for the asking price that’s been noted, is worth it. The Mets aren’t salivating for K-Rod or Brian Fuentes,for that matter, the way they did Billy Wagner, yet both could end up getting as much as Wagner if the reported prices are true.

I believe a closer is important, but I think the bridge is more important. Why? Because three innings are more significant than three. I would feel better about the Mets’ bullpen if they were settled in the seventh and eighth innings, but had a question in the ninth, instead of a closer in the ninth but a paper mache bridge.

Nov 24

K-Rod price dropping.

K-Rod’s asking price of $75 million over five is heading south. With the traditional big spenders having their closers, the Mets could have a clear shot at him.

But, how much is he worth? And, just because he’s on sale doesn’t make him a bargain when you consider all the other variables.

Doesn’t it tell you something that his team, the Angels, isn’t making a lot of noise about keeping him? and, there’s the drop off his fastball and a violent delivery that could make him vulnerable to injury.

All these things scream, “buyer beware,” not to mention the Mets initially had Brian Fuentes first on their closer wish list.

If your gut instinct was no, then shouldn’t that prevail? Especially, since the price won’t drop to the point where he’s a no-brainer.

Nov 22

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.

Nov 16

So grateful ….

I logged on this morning with my fingers crossed … hoping for a comment because I didn’t like how things unraveled and wasn’t sure if you’d get the message.

Thanks guys.

The free-agent market is underway, and we know the Yankees are being piggy again. Or are they? They want to win and they are going for it. That’s something you have to admire. But, in looking at the Yankees’ riches, what truly separates them from the pack is not only the ability to throw out a figure like $140 million to CC Sabathia as a starting spot, but to take a hit.

They can overcome a bad move by throwing more money at the situation, something other teams – including your Mets – can’t do, or aren’t willing to take the risk.

That’s why I don’t see them making the big K-Rod splash, which, to listen to his agent, begins at $75 million over five years. The Mets are thinking three, which would be more acceptable to their thinking.

Here’s what’s going through Omar Minaya’s mind right now:

1. With $11 million tied up in Billy Wagner, who won’t throw a pitch for them this year, the Mets can’t see investing $26 million for the closer role.

2. Rodriguez has already lost three mph. off his fastball and has become reliant on his change. On the surface that doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but if he loses anymore it closes the gap on his change and makes it less effective.

3. His delivery is violent with a lot of torque. Scouts fear an injury. It’s bound to happen within the life of the contract. However, three years might be a different story.

4. In examining the 29 blown saves, seven came in the ninth inning, which averages out to a reasonable one a month. Brian Fuentes would come cheaper and would likely come close to that conversion rate. The bullpen’s collapse primarily came in the seventh and eighth innings. For the price of K-Rod, the Mets could get a closer and another reliever.

Nov 13

Free-agent All-Star Team

If I didn’t do it, you knew somebody would. I’m sure many of you were doing the exercise in your mind. Of the available free-agents, this would make a pretty good team.

1B: Mark Teixeira LAA
2B: Orlando Hudson ARZ
SS: Rafael Furcal LAD
3B: Casey Blake LAD
C: Ivan Rodriguez NYY
OF: Manny Ramirez LAD
OF: Adam Dunn ARZ
OF: Jim Edmonds CHC
OF: Pat Burrell PHI

Starters/
A.J. Burnett TOR
C.C. Sabathia MIL
Derek Lowe LAD
Ryan Dempster CHC
Oliver Perez NYM

Bullpen/
Joe Beimel LAD
Brian Fuentes COL (set-up)
Juan Cruz ARZ
Francisco Rodriguez LAA (closer)