Nov 29

Initial Look At Hot Stove Season

There’s been some interesting moves this offseason, but so far Toronto and Boston have made the most noise.

I’m thinking the Mets signing Michael Cuddyer, Oakland picking up Ike Davis, Cleveland getting Shaun Marcum and Arizona signing Nick Evans won’t exactly register on the baseball Richter Scale.

SANDOVAL: Big signing by Sox. (AP)

SANDOVAL: Big signing by Sox. (AP)

However, earlier this week, Boston signed free agents Hanley Ramirez – who will move to the outfield – and third baseman Pablo Sandoval. And, today the Blue Jays acquired All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson from Oakland in what is a typical move for them – trading a star to avoid paying him the big bucks.

Donaldson elevates the Blue Jays in the AL East, as Sandoval does for the Red Sox. With the Boston and San Francisco offers comparable, just why would Sandoval leave?

What hasn’t been mentioned – and Sandoval didn’t say in his Fenway press conference – was the Giants’ plans for All-Star catcher Buster Posey. Unquestionably their best player, the Giants figure to preserve Posey by moving him from behind the plate.

But, where?

He really can’t play left field, and Brandon Belt isn’t moving off first. That leaves third base, and in a couple of years Sandoval may not have a position. So, it’s a no-brainer for Sandoval to look elsewhere, and resting as a DH and peppering line drives off that wall, he could become a .300 hitter, something he hasn’t been since 2011.

Ramirez, at 31, could be considered a gamble. For one thing, he has a recent injury history and for not exactly busting it while with the Marlins. Ramirez, once an All-Star shortstop, didn’t take to third base after the Marlins signed Jose Reyes and will play left field in Boston in the shadow of the Green Monster, which is not an easy thing to do.

The Red Sox, who were burned by the Carl Crawford signing and acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez, were rescued when they dumped them on the Dodgers. They responded by winning the World Series in 2013, but are back to their free-spending ways.

We will see if they are as successful this time. However, they don’t have Cuddyer.

Jan 03

Jan. 3.10: Getting off the Pineiro bandwagon.

PINEIRO: Asking too much.

PINEIRO: Asking too much.

I started the Hot Stove Season believing the Mets should address pitching first and foremost. I feel the same way today.

One I touted was Joel Pineiro.

But, it was a surface infatuation. I looked at Pineiro’s 15 wins and thought they’d look good in the Mets’ rotation. They would.

But, after looking deeper, I’m off the Pineiro bandwagon. Those 15 wins marked the first time he won double-digit wins since going 16-11 in 2003 with Seattle. He’s 87-79 during his ten year career, which averages out to 9-8. He threw 214 innings last year, which was only the second time he threw at much as 200. Three times he’s thrown as many as 190.

There’s no way this should translate into Pineiro getting $10 million a year for four years. No way. But, would it surprise anybody if he did? Not me. When it comes to crazy contracts, somebody is always willing to pay. There’s always a GM waiting to take the plunge.

I’m hoping it isn’t Omar Minaya.

Dec 16

How high would you go for Jason Bay?

The Mets are on the table for $65 million over four years for a good, but not great outfielder, Jason Bay.

That won’t be enough. The first proposal rarely is. Initially, I said it could take $90 million to get the deal done. Maybe I went too, high, but I don’t think by much anymore. If the Mets go for a fifth year, it will be north of $80 million.

BAY: How high should the Mets go?

BAY: How high should the Mets go?


It concerns me the Red Sox are adamant in not giving him more and have basically told him to hit the road. I’m also wary of reports out of Boston of making him a DH by the end of the contract. Do the Mets really need to be paying over $15 million a year for a couple of seasons to a broken down outfielder.

Meanwhile, those middle-tier pitchers are still on the shelf. And, they don’t really excite me that much, either. Do you overpay for Bay, or attempt to get two pitchers for the price? Or to you spread the money out and get a pitcher, a reliever and a lesser outfielder such as Ryan Garko. Maybe try to coax another year out of Jermaine Dye or again, think about Rick Ankiel?

We knew going into the Hot Stove Season the pickings were slim. Well the best are off the board and Matt Holliday is too rich for the Mets’ blood.

It’s time for tough decisions. This is where Omar Minaya earns his money.

ON DECK: Jose Reyes.

Oct 02

Please join me

The Mets’ season mercifully ends this weekend. I’ll be around to live blog as I’ve been all season and I hope you’ll join me and add your comments.

I’ll do the postseason as I did last year. Next week will also include season wraps and looking ahead to the Hot Stove Season.

I hope you’ll join me and spread the word.

Thanks.

JD

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.