Jan 17

Jan. 17.10: Force feeding F-Mart.

I don’t know what the Mets are going to do in center field, but I am hoping one of the options isn’t to force feed Fernando Martinez at the position.

MARTINEZ: Likely to be force-fed CF with Beltran out.

MARTINEZ: Likely to be force-fed CF with Beltran out.


Martinez, needs a healthy, uninterrupted season at Triple-A to get a better feel for his progress. We’ve heard a lot about his potential, but he’s been sidetracked by injuries. While with the Mets, he’s shown flashes but nothing warranting a full season in the majors.

But, I don’t think that will happen. He’ll probably be up here.

As much as I wanted them to go after Rick Ankiel – and I know of the opposition of that on this blog – it’s a long shot at best.

They’re likely to get a role player to share time with Angel Pagan, and, of course, Martinez.

Jan 08

Jan. 8.10: Looking at the Mets’ prospects.

John Sickels, author of the 2010 Baseball Prospect Book, is high on Fernando Martinez and Jenrry Mejia, but lukewarm with John Niese.

Most scouts believe Mejia has the stuff to be a starter, but needs time in the minor leagues – maybe two more years – to refine his secondary pitches. The worst thing the Mets could do is to push the envelope with him, but that’s the fear, that they will rush him as they did Mike Pelfrey.

Sickels also believes Martinez is being regarded too harshly considering his age, but is concerned about his durability. The acquisition of Jason Bay makes it clear the Mets don’t believe Martinez is ready this year. Perhaps by the end of the year he may have put himself in position to help.

As far as Niese goes, if his hamstring is sound he could help the Mets this season, but Sickels doesn’t see much of a ceiling for him, calling him a “classic number three guy.’’

If you’re highest minor league level pitching prospect is a No. 3, that’s not encouraging.

Nov 01

Is there a real option in left?

The two most intriguing left-field names are Jason Bay and Matt Holliday, and I’m not high of the Mets getting either. Less desirous names are Vernon Wells and Milton Bradley. Both would be a mistake.

Amid reports Boston is offering Bay $60 million over four years, one would think he’ll stay with the Red Sox. Holliday would want more, and with Albert Pujols saying he wants to remain with the Cardinals, that is contingent on being surrounded with support. That Holliday is gone from St. Louis could be a premature assumption.

F-MART: Is it time for him?

F-MART: Is it time for him?


Wells is a bad idea considering his numbers are in decline and he has five years remaining on his contract for $98.5 million. If the Mets are willing to spend that much, I’d go for Holliday, but that’s too rich for my blood.

Bradley’s contract calls for two years and $21.5 million, which would be reasonable if he weren’t such a head case and clubhouse cancer. There’s a

Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell, and the Angels’ Gary Matthews Jr. remain options. I’m on board for exploring Crawford, but I’m also beginning to wonder if giving the position to Fernando Martinez would be reasonable.

BRADLEY: Just say no.

BRADLEY: Just say no.


Reportedly, he’s not ready, but why not push the envelope with him? Say give him until the All-Star break and see where he is? Could that really hurt him?

Yes, the Mets have been accused of rushing players, and Mike Pelfrey and Lastings Milledge are two examples. But, if the Mets don’t seriously upgrade their rotation they aren’t going anywhere anyway.

So, maybe it is time for them to see what they have in Martinez?

Oct 31

Crawford could be available ….

In this lusting over Matt Holliday, who could still stay in St. Louis as Albert Pujols desires, let’s not forget Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford, whose speed skills would come into play in every aspect of the game.

CRAWFORD: Good glove in left; solid bat.

CRAWFORD: Good glove in left; solid bat.


Crawford has a $10 million option for 2010 with a $1.25 million buyout. That’s reasonable, so the assumption must be made they way to get him would be in a trade. The Rays, like everybody else, want young talent. Would you be surprised to see them ask for Fernando Martinez? I wouldn’t, as everybody asks for him.

That’s a tough call, but Crawford’s production (four 50-steal seasons and six years with 180 hits) is what the Mets would hope for from Martinez.

I like Crawford for his speed, defense and ability to be a table setter on offense. There’s no question he plugs the left field hole, and he, Reyes, and Carlos Beltran bunched at the top of the order will create many RBI opportunities for Beltran, David Wright and Jeff Francoeur.

No, he doesn’t have the power potential of Holliday, but he helps the Mets in other areas. He’s not going to be a one-year pick-up, either. So, if the Mets could obtain Crawford without giving up Martinez, then having him would give the team the flexibility to deal him for pitching or power.

Oct 29

Keeping up with the Mets ….

Catching up with the Mets:

* Minor league outfielder Fernando Martinez, who had season-ending surgery on his right knee in July, is expected to begin playing for Leones del Escogido in the Dominican Winter League in November.

F-MART: Not ready, yet.

F-MART: Not ready, yet.


Martinez played in 29 games for the Mets this summer and hit .176 with only seven extra base hits. Clearly, that’s not a big enough sampling to say he won’t make it, but it is fair to say he’s not ready.

Martinez showed glimpses of his talent, but it was apparent his on-field judgment in terms of base-running and defensive fundamentals need improving. To say he’ll be a star if just given the at-bats is premature.

* The Mets would like a veteran presence behind the plate to replace Brian Schneider and complement Omir Santos. Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas are on GM Omar Minaya’s short list. But, wouldn’t it be just like the Mets to made another run at Yorvit Torrealba?

* VP of scouting, Sandy Johnson, who considered retirement, will be back for another year.

* The Mets are still interested in adding former major league general managers Kevin Towers (San Diego) and J.P. Ricciardi (Toronto) to their staff.

* Reportedly, Chip Hale, former Arizona third base coach at Arizona, will be offered that position by the Mets to replace Razor Shines. It’s not a done deal Shines will be named bench coach as there are reports the team is considering former Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin for that role.