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 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)

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.