Dec 08

Manuel touches all the bases ….

Jerry Manuel met with the New York and national media this afternoon and touched on the following issues, saying:

* The injury reports have been good and said Jose Reyes is expected to be ready for spring training.

* He anticipates David Wright having a more normal power season in 2010.

* The team can live with Daniel Murphy’s power production at first base if power comes from other sources, naming Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jeff Francoeur and whomever plays left field. Even so, he said the team remains open to bringing back Carlos Delgado.

* Bobby Parnell will come to spring training as a reliever.

* He hasn’t given up on Oliver Perez. “We have to be optimistic at this time,” he said.

Dec 08

Minaya: Warns of trading depth ….

Omar Minaya insists the Mets have the chips to make a trade – but barely.

SANTANA: No blockbusters like him on the horizon.

SANTANA: No blockbusters like him on the horizon.


Citing the amount of players given up in the Carlos Delgado and Johan Santana deals, Minaya said: “You have to be careful that you don’t continue to go into the farm system … You don’t always want to trade your prospects to fill your major league needs.”

Minaya insists the Mets aren’t opposed to making a deal, but will be cautious. There probably won’t be deals like Santana where they deal four or five prospects for one major league commodity.

Translated, if the Mets are to make a splash, it would likely be in the FA market. But, considering their desire to keep their spending down, it would be a middle-tier splash as they will not spend to get John Lackey, Jason Bay or Matt Holliday.

Minaya said it isn’t just the Mets, but other teams, because of the need to build payroll flexibility by building from within, teams overall prefer to hold their cards.

“People value their prospects more,” Minaya said. “As time goes by in the game, I’ve noticed more value of a player that has zero to three that can perform than in past years. You value those guys that can perform.”

The key, remember, is guys who can perform.

Dec 01

Delgado decision today …. what should they do?

DELGADO: Won't likely offer arbitration.

DELGADO: Won't likely offer arbitration.

Today is the deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration to their own free agents. Doing so enables them to receive draft pick compensation if the players signs with another team. OK, that’s the good news.

The bad news is the player might accept, and in the case of Carlos Delgado, he might accept and the Mets could be on the hook for up to $12 million, which is what he made last year. If I’m Delgado, I accept in a heartbeat because right now, with his injury history and age they won’t be lining up for him.

Another player is Fernando Tatis, who had some good moments with the Mets, but not enough to where he is a “must sign.”

If the Mets don’t offer arbitration and they become free agents, the team can try to re-sign them for a lower cost. Good luck in that. If Delgado proves he’s healthy playing in the Puerto Rican winter league, he’ll get a decent contract.

Should the Mets offer arbitration and risk taking back an aged player with an injury history or should they move on?

ON DECK: Mets bring back Alex Cora later this morning.

Dec 01

On this Date ….

Looking Back ....

Looking Back ....

…. In 1998, the Mets dealt catcher Todd Hundley and minor league pitcher Arnold Gooch to the Dodgers for catcher Charles Johnson and Roger Cedeno. The Mets then swap Johnson to the Orioles for reliever Armando Benitez.

Benitez had a checkered career with the Mets, saving 158 games in parts of five seasons. Of course, what most remember about him was the games he didn’t save, particularly against the Braves. Benitez’s history was to unravel if something went wrong. A bloop or bad call could turn into a blown save, and it would start a string of three or four bad outings.

The Mets eventually traded him to the Yankees. Benitez would sign with the Giants and his last game was in 2008.

I covered Benitez with the Orioles and Yankees. I’ll always remember him spitting the bit in the 1997 ALCS, playing a significant part in at least three of the Orioles’ losses. The one moment that crystalizes in my memory is, when after giving up a homer, he plunked Tino Martinez in the back. Then he stood off the mound and gestured the Yankees to come get him.

They did.

ON DECK: What to do about Carlos Delgado later this morning.

Nov 19

Changes in attitude ….

There were some interesting comments late last night on the Manager of the Year post. I was asked whether I saw young guys seemingly not care after a loss.

I sure did. Saw it during the games, too. And, yes, Tom Glavine and Billy Wagner spoke out about it. I wrote it several times. Some guys, Lastings Milledge for one, and Jose Reyes was another, who came across as not caring at times.

GLAVINE: Quote misunderstood.

GLAVINE: Quote misunderstood.


Although Carlos Beltran is quiet, I never got that impression from him. Carlos Delgado? Well, let’s just say he never wore a loss on his face.

As far as Glavine being a fraud? I don’t buy it. Never have and never will. Yes, he got shelled, and yes he answered a question by saying “this is not devastating.” Glavine’s problem was he was too literal in his use of the word. The rest of the quote, and I’m paraphrasing, “is losing a child or a loved one is devastating not losing a baseball game.”

In that context he’s right. Believe me, he was embarrassed and angry at his performance. He just wasn’t devastated.