Dec 26

Dec. 26.09: Pitching market not great ….

The real trend-setter for starting pitcher’s contracts isn’t John Lackey but Randy Wolf, he of the 101-85 career record in 11 years (basically 10-9 a season), who signed a three-year contract with Milwaukee for $29.75 million.

Ben Sheets, despite his injury history, wants $12 million per season and Joel Pineiro wants a four-year deal with a higher annual average than Wolf. Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban defector who has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues, has a $15.5 million offer on the table from the Red Sox.

Also, lurking are Pedro Martinez, Erik Bedard, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Brett Myers. There are three Hall of Famers there, but that’s in the future and past tenses. Present tense, well, they aren’t much better than whom the Mets have now.

For the Mets to add pitching, their choices are to overpay for mediocrity, or in the case of Sheets, take a health gamble. The Mets are gambling their current rotation will progress, and if it doesn’t, then at least they have the economics on their side (save Oliver Perez).

Not encouraging, is it?

Dec 26

Dec. 26.09: Movin’ On ….

I hope everybody had a happy and safe holiday. I enjoyed spending time with my family. I don’t get out here that often, so the time is special.

I wrote several days ago it was time for the Mets to take a “take it or leave it” approach with Jason Bay. With his agent, Joe Urban, talking to the Red Sox and stonewalling the Mets, it’s obvious where Bay’s heart lies.

BAY: End the fantasy.

BAY: End the fantasy.


The Mets are ignoring one of the cardinal rules in dating when it comes to Bay, which is some girls play hard to get until they become hard to take.

It has come to that with Bay. It’s time to cut the fantasy with him.

He doesn’t want to play for the Mets, but would be willing to for five years and not four. I’m not deluded into thinking Bay is any different from any other free agent. He’s following the money.

The Red Sox don’t want to go over the $170 million luxury tax marker, so Urbon will have to be creative in backloading the deal. I would have to think the Red Sox would rather have Bay in their batting order over Mike Cameron (making him a fourth outfielder).

But, what about your heroes? Who’s going to play left field for them? They should be thinking hard about this because it should have been obvious to them Bay was a longshot.
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Dec 21

Dec. 21.09: Mets miss out on Marquis ….

MARQUIS: Now a Nat.

MARQUIS: Now a Nat.

I spent most of the afternoon in the dentist’s chair. Drove home with the news Jason Marquis – somebody who wanted to play for the Mets – signed a two-year, $15-million deal with the Washington Nationals and bit my lip. Good thing the novocaine hadn’t worn off.

I never had the Mets getting any of the big pitchers, like John Lackey and Roy Halladay, but would settle for a middle-tier arm such as Joel Pineiro, Marquis and Jon Garland.

It’s not that they didn’t get Marquis that is so disturbing, but for how cheaply he went (maybe that does tell you something), but the Mets needed any and all pitching help.

My confidence level in the Mets bringing in an arm of substance is waning, especially considering the news that ESPN is reporting they are considering bringing back Pedro Martinez to a one-year deal at $8 million.

I keep going back in my mind Jeff Wilpon’s vow after the season and Omar Minaya’s pronouncement “we have a plan.”

Think it might be a good time to hear it.

Dec 15

Sorting things out ….

BAY: Still on Mets' radar, but they'd better hurry.

BAY: Still on Mets' radar, but they'd better hurry.

The Mets are dealing with the fall out from the bombshell dealings of yesterday.

I don’t know if stonewalling Jason Bay was a ruse by the Red Sox to get John Lackey. I didn’t think they were going to get him anyway, and it has nothing to do with them misreading the pitching market.

Even so, they should be more aggressive in their pursuit for him if he’s their target. Let’s face it, he has to be because they aren’t going to give Matt Holliday what the Cardinals are reportedly willing to do.

If the Mets think Bay will “fall back” to them like Johan Santana did, they could be mistaken. The first impression, and I had it yesterday, was Seattle wouldn’t go for him because they’ll need the money for Cliff Lee.

Perhaps that was premature.

Wouldn’t Seattle be a little more enticing to Lee if there was power in that line-up? Maybe, with Lee, the Mariners see an opening to win this year and will still pursue Bay. Truth is, the Mariners haven’t said Bay is no longer an option.

And, what about the Angels? With Lackey gone and Halladay no longer an option, they have to be looking to do something. Bay was on their radar before. He might still be on it unless the Angels are bent on those middle-tier arms the Mets have been talking about. Truth is, for what they saved in Lackey, they might be able to swing both Bay and a pitcher. And, Bay has to be a better option than Hideki Matsui.
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Nov 18

Marquis wants to be a Met ….

At 31, he has mileage left. He was an All-Star last season, so we know there is talent. He’s 94-83 during his ten-year career, which is the definition of a middle-tier pitcher the Mets reportedly will pursue this winter.

MARQUIS: Wants to be a Met.

MARQUIS: Wants to be a Met.

And, Jason Marquis, who grew up in Staten Island, told Bart Hubbuch of the Post he wants to play with the Mets.

“There’s definitely interest there,’’ Marquis said. “We’ll see what direction they want to go. … It would always be nice to come back home and represent your hometown.’’

Marquis went as far as to call it an “honor’’ to pitch for the Mets.

But will he?
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