Dec 02

Mets Chat Room: Winter Meetings on deck.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

There have been years the Mets did most of their heavy lifting before the Winter Meetings. This isn’t one of them. We’ve been hearing since the end of the season that they’re going back-and-forth on Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes.

One closer won’t do it.

The starter we’ve been hearing the most about is Derek Lowe, but he will cost more than what they expected.

They will keep Carlos Delgado, so let’s forget about that. Left-field, for now, is a platoon of Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis. I suppose you don’t want to hear this, but second base is going to be Luis Castillo. I know, I know ….

Nov 20

Murphy update ….

MURPHY: Has strained hammy.

MURPHY: Has strained hammy.

Daniel Murphy’s MRI today revealed a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring. Murphy initially felt discomfort in his leg during batting practice Nov. 11. The Mets say he would skip winter league ball in Puerto Rico and will be ready for spring training.

it is expected Murphy will compete for the left field job this spring, perhaps enter a platoon with Fernando Tatis.

Nov 17

What’s going to happen with Castillo?

I know you guys don’t want to hear this, but it’s looking more like Luis Castillo will be at second base for the Mets next season.

STOP! Give me a minute to duck while you throw your laptop.

I believe he’ll return for the following reasons: 1) the Mets don’t want to eat his $18 million contract by cutting him, or most of it in a trade; and 2) they believe his value to them is in the hope he’ll bounce back, especially since they don’t think they have a viable second baseman to step in.

Daniel Murphy was a good idea, but for now they like him in left, probably in a platoon with Fernando Tatis, because that answers one question immediately. Or so they hope.

Castillo played well for them in spurts in 2007 and they are banking on him returning to that form.

I’m not saying it’s etched in stone, and I know they’d love to trade him, but the other teams see what’s happened to Castillo, too, and recognize a bad contract when they see one.

Oct 31

Mets bring back Delgado, Tatis; Perez files.

Delgado: Mets pick up option; he's not going anywhere. (Photo: Mets)

Delgado: Mets pick up option; he's not going anywhere. (Photo: Mets)

The Mets picked up the $12 million option on first baseman Carlos Delgado, signed outfielder Fernando Tatis for $1.7 million, and learned Oliver Perez filed for free-agency where he stands to make much more.

By acting quickly, the Mets are addressing their offensive obligations before concentrating on pitching.

Bringing back Delgado should stifle most of the trade rumors and signing Tatis should lessen the need to go after an outfielder this winter (toward that end, Pat Burrell rejected a two-year, $22-million package from the Phillies).

Delgado, who made $16 million last year, turned around his season, and that of the Mets, with a hot second half, and over the final 85 games hit 27 homers with 80 RBI to merit MVP consideration. Tatis, who hit .297 with 11 homers and 47
RBI, is expected to share left field with Daniel Murphy.

Meanwhile, on the first day of the FA filing period, Perez, Damion Easley and reliever Matt Wise all filed.

Oct 30

Welcome to the 2009 Hot Stove season ….

As the Phillies were rolling around on the infield last night much to the dismay of most Mets fans, take solace in that 2008 is officially over. The last out of the World Series officially brings with it the start of the 2009 season, although the Mets have been thinking for the past month about what went wrong and what to do about it.

It’s time to build GM Omar Minaya’s shopping list for the Hot Stove Season.

Here’s my list:

1. Starter #1: Fixing the bullpen begins first with fixing the rotation. They need to add a starter to begin shaving innings from the bullpen total. They will attempt to re-sign Oliver Perez and add a solid, but not spectacular starter such as Derek Lowe.

2. Closer: The Phillies proved a dominant closer is better than a closer-by-committee format. Brian Fuentes appears first on their list. The money is too steep for Francisco Rodriguez.

3. Starter #2: The Mets need fifth starter. They could go in the market, they could gamble with Jon Niese or they could bring back Pedro Martinez.

4. Adding bullpen depth: The Mets’ bullpen blew 29 saves, but Billy Wagner only coughed it up seven times. There were a lot of collapses in the seventh and eighth innings. Help is needed.

5. Bench (right-handed hitting outfielder): Fernando Tatis should be re-signed, I could go with the platoon of he and Daniel Murphy. Adding a proven bat would be beneficial, but not at the expense of adding pitching.

6. Re-signing Carlos Delgado: It’s doubtful Delgado will duplicate last season’s second half, but there shouldn’t be that big a dropoff. I don’t understand the eagerness of some to trade him. Afterall, for a team with holes, trading him adds another. Delgado does have a no-trade clause so it will cost something to get him to waive it.