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 ….
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.
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.
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.