Oct 14

Commentary: Trading Murphy.

Murphy: Maybe his greatest value is as trade bait.

Murphy: Maybe his greatest value is as trade bait.

There’s a lot to like about Daniel Murphy.

He plays the game hard and smart; he’s the grit the team has been accused of lacking. A third baseman by trade who will not get the opportunity because of David Wright, he was moved to left field, and now in the Arizona Fall League is playing second and first.

Versatile defensively, and patient offensively, Murphy is on the inside track of being a star. All this, and he’s not making any money.

Yes, there’s a lot to like about Murphy, and no doubt, other teams have noticed. He could very well be the Mets most tradeable commodity on the major league level. That’s why the Mets should think about dealing him now when his value is high.

Let’s face it, the Mets aren’t going to deal Wright or Jose Reyes, and Carlos Beltran’s contract makes him difficult to deal. As far as Carlos Delgado, his age, contract, and the question if his second half was a fluke makes him hard to trade.

Who else on the major league level can be used to acquire the pitching that’s needed. Trust me, I like Murphy. I think he can be a star. But, the Mets’ have pressing needs that maybe he, in the right package, can can solve.

Given that, dealing him might be the way to go.

Oct 07

Fair or not, HoJo on hot seat.

Eyes on HoJo

Eyes on HoJo

Nothing new on the coaching front. Jerry Manuel thinks early next week his staff should be finalized.

On the hot seat is Howard Johnson, who said at the end of the season he believed the club had the right pieces.

Maybe they do, but something is missing, and it’s not all Johnson’s fault.

These are major leaguers and they shouldn’t have to “buy into’’ anything. They should know how to work a count and advance a runner.

It’s an organizational thing, and on the major league level, that’s the manager. We see guys swinging at garbage all the time, and in the case of Jose Reyes, where’s the encouragement to take the walk?

All I hear was they don’t want to take away his aggressiveness. Well, if Reyes walked 100 times and bunted for hits more, he’d be devastating offensively.

There’s more.

Carlos Beltran should steal more. … It wouldn’t kill Carlos Delgado to go to left against the shift. … Perhaps the batting order is flawed. Maybe Reyes shouldn’t be leading off. … David Wright was way too impatient this year.

There are a lot of ways to improve the offense having nothing to do with firing Johnson, but, that’s not how the game is played.

Oct 02

Minaya: “Something is missing.”

Minaya: Has a lot of work to do.

Minaya: Has a lot of work to do.

One of the first things Omar Minaya said this morning on a conference call to announce his contract extension through 2012 (with club options for 2013 and 2014), was to admit something is wrong with the make-up of his team.

“There is something there, something missing, that the club needs to get over,” Minaya said.

Minaya singled out the bullpen as the area of main concern, but did not name and possible FA replacements.

“One of the top areas we need to address is the bullpen and the closer,” Minaya said. “There’s only a few guys in the game what we say can, ‘lock-out an inning,’ so we’ll have to look in the market place, or look internally, because for a championship team that is very important.”

To fill that void, and the projected starting pitching void without Pedro Martinez and Oliver Perez, Minaya said he would listen to trade offers for anyone, and that includes core players David Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.

Minaya called the trio, “winning players,” but added, “we owe it to ourselves to look at all areas. I’m going to be open-mined all winter.”

Minaya, however, isn’t shopping these three, and I got the impression this was GM clichespeak, in that all GM’s say they will listen to any proposals that could improve the team.

Minaya also said:

-Discussions are on-going on a contract extension for manager Jerry Manuel. It’s believed the Mets have a two-year deal on the table but Manuel is thinking three.

-The team is interested in bringing back Carlos Delgado, and has told his agent this.

-He’s interested in having Oliver Perez return and said he made progress.

-Said the team is waiting to complete its investigation and let the legal process take its course before making a decision on troubled reliever Ambiorix Burgos.

Sep 30

Do you want Delgado back?

Delgado: Wants to return. Few other options.

Delgado: Wants to return. Few other options.

In early June there was no way Carlos Delgado would return to the Mets. The team would undoubtedly give him a $4 million buyout as opposed to picking up his $12 million option.

Then he had a week in one afternoon at Yankee Stadium and never looked back. While the Mets floundered in September, Delgado sizzled, hitting .340 with eight homers and 22 RBI. He finished the season batting .271 with 38 homers and 115 RBI.

Those numbers warrant a return for 2009.

“I’d like to be back. I like this group of guys,” Delgado said. “I think they’re a great team. There’s a lot of talent here. In my stage, you don’t want to be bouncing around any more than you absolutely have to. The decision is in their hands.”

Since the Mets would pay Delgado $4 million regardless because of the buyout, it’s really only an $8 million investment they would be making. That’s not much in the grand scheme of things. The Mets have five days after the World Series to make a decision.

Delgado said he’d like to play several more years, but considering his off-year in 2007 and how long it took for him to get started this season, the Mets would be wise to make him earn the extension and not do anything until the end of 2009.

Should the Mets go the buyout route, there aren’t many appealing options in the free-agent market. Here’s what’s available:

Rich Aurilia (37)
Hank Blalock (28) – $6.2MM club option for ’09 with a $0.25MM buyout
Sean Casey (34)
Tony Clark (37)
Carlos Delgado (37) – $12MM club option for ’09 with a $4MM buyout
Nomar Garciaparra (35)
Jason Giambi (38) – $22MM club option for ’09 with a $5MM buyout
Wes Helms (33) – $3.75MM club option for ’09 with a $0.75MM buyout
Eric Hinske (31)
Doug Mientkiewicz (35)
Kevin Millar (37)
Richie Sexson (34)
Mark Teixeira (29)
Daryle Ward (34)

Should the Mets bring him back or not?

Sep 28

Mets Chat Room: Saying Goodbye to Shea Edition.

Have been walking around the stands and listening to people. Mixed feelings. Shea has never been state-of-the-art, even from the beginning. But, it has been home to many of you. A place to escape a bad day, a play to dream, a place to shed tears, and most of all, a place to dream.

It’s always sad to say goodbye to a ballpark, because it is the site of so many memories. But, where blacktop will cover what is now the outfield. But, you can’t build over memories, just as you can’t build over dreams.

We say good bye to Shea Stadium today, but not really because there is still the dream of playoff baseball, and with it maybe more memories.

Now, wouldn’t that be something?

For you trivia buffs, here are the lineups, the answer to a future question.

Florida Marlins

CF Cameron Maybin
C John Baker
3B Jorge Cantu
1B Mike Jacobs
LF Josh Willingham
2B Dan Uggla
RF Cody Ross
SS Alfedo Amezaga
LH Scott Olsen

METS

SS Jose Reyes
CF Carlos Beltran
1B Carlos Delgado
3B David Wright
LF Nick Evans
2B Ramon Martinez
RF Ryan Church
C Ramon Castro
LH Oliver Perez