Nov 10

Minaya faces rough road ahead ….

Mets general manager Omar Minaya faces a daunting task in rebuilding the Mets, and let’s face it, tweaking will not get it done.

MINAYA: Looks perplexed.

MINAYA: Looks perplexed.


“Some years are better than others. I think we have to find a way to slug more,” said Minaya in defining the market and one of his team’s needs.

Signing a guy like Matt Holliday or John Lackey won’t get it done. Signing both won’t get it done, either.

For the Mets to become the team they have promised they will be, there’s tweaking in some areas, hoping in a few more, and throwing money at several others in what has been described as a less-than-stellar free-agent market.
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Nov 09

Why not Ankiel?

I was scanning over the list of free-agent outfielders in trying to find alternatives to the pricey Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, left fielders I’m confident won’t see Citi Field this summer in the home whites. With so many other things on their list, I don’t see them paying in the estimated range of $70 million for Bay and $96 million for Holliday, numbers which have already been reported.

ANKIEL: Let's not forget about him.

ANKIEL: Let's not forget about him.


My eyes stopped at Rick Ankiel. This guy, although injured last season after slamming into a wall, can play. He can hit, hit for power and play defense. And, he might have the best outfield arm in the majors.

Best of all, he’s not going to break the bank.

A great center fielder, sure but what about Beltran? Perhaps, with Beltran’s aching knees, this might be the time to switch him to left. Or, Ankiel can play left until it is time. Or, maybe move him to right and Jeff Francoeur to left.

Ankiel represents a different alternative to the Mets. He’s productive, although not big ticket. He’s also not a broken down, expensive veteran hanging on like Gary Sheffield. The guy can play and the Mets have too few of those types of players.

Nov 05

In case you were wondering ….

The market for Matt Holliday will be expensive. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported the Cardinals are discussing a six-year, $96-million contract. If that’s the club’s starting point, you know it will only end up higher, especially with Scott Boras being his agent.

Holliday’s deal will end up north of $100 million, which I think is too rich for the Mets’ blood. That’s a lot of money, which could improve other areas of the team. As important as adding Holliday would be, the Mets could upgrade their pitching and add a lesser bat, which in the big picture would improve their situation.

Nov 01

Is there a real option in left?

The two most intriguing left-field names are Jason Bay and Matt Holliday, and I’m not high of the Mets getting either. Less desirous names are Vernon Wells and Milton Bradley. Both would be a mistake.

Amid reports Boston is offering Bay $60 million over four years, one would think he’ll stay with the Red Sox. Holliday would want more, and with Albert Pujols saying he wants to remain with the Cardinals, that is contingent on being surrounded with support. That Holliday is gone from St. Louis could be a premature assumption.

F-MART: Is it time for him?

F-MART: Is it time for him?


Wells is a bad idea considering his numbers are in decline and he has five years remaining on his contract for $98.5 million. If the Mets are willing to spend that much, I’d go for Holliday, but that’s too rich for my blood.

Bradley’s contract calls for two years and $21.5 million, which would be reasonable if he weren’t such a head case and clubhouse cancer. There’s a

Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford and Pat Burrell, and the Angels’ Gary Matthews Jr. remain options. I’m on board for exploring Crawford, but I’m also beginning to wonder if giving the position to Fernando Martinez would be reasonable.

BRADLEY: Just say no.

BRADLEY: Just say no.


Reportedly, he’s not ready, but why not push the envelope with him? Say give him until the All-Star break and see where he is? Could that really hurt him?

Yes, the Mets have been accused of rushing players, and Mike Pelfrey and Lastings Milledge are two examples. But, if the Mets don’t seriously upgrade their rotation they aren’t going anywhere anyway.

So, maybe it is time for them to see what they have in Martinez?

Oct 31

Crawford could be available ….

In this lusting over Matt Holliday, who could still stay in St. Louis as Albert Pujols desires, let’s not forget Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford, whose speed skills would come into play in every aspect of the game.

CRAWFORD: Good glove in left; solid bat.

CRAWFORD: Good glove in left; solid bat.


Crawford has a $10 million option for 2010 with a $1.25 million buyout. That’s reasonable, so the assumption must be made they way to get him would be in a trade. The Rays, like everybody else, want young talent. Would you be surprised to see them ask for Fernando Martinez? I wouldn’t, as everybody asks for him.

That’s a tough call, but Crawford’s production (four 50-steal seasons and six years with 180 hits) is what the Mets would hope for from Martinez.

I like Crawford for his speed, defense and ability to be a table setter on offense. There’s no question he plugs the left field hole, and he, Reyes, and Carlos Beltran bunched at the top of the order will create many RBI opportunities for Beltran, David Wright and Jeff Francoeur.

No, he doesn’t have the power potential of Holliday, but he helps the Mets in other areas. He’s not going to be a one-year pick-up, either. So, if the Mets could obtain Crawford without giving up Martinez, then having him would give the team the flexibility to deal him for pitching or power.