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.
The Mets aren’t about to do any heavy lifting with their wallets today. Even if they wanted to, they wouldn’t be able to talk with the agent for closer Francisco Rodriguez. Paul Kinzer said he won’t start any heavy discussions until the winter meetings open in Las Vegas, Dec. 8.
“I’ll probably see the Mets at the winter meetings,” Kinzer said. “I don’t have anything else planned.”
The Mets have said they won’t overpay for a closer and the original speculated asking price for Rodriguez, $75-million over five years, is expected to drop. It will be interesting how high the Mets are willing to go.
There have been two significant FA signings, and both should be of interest to the Mets.
All-Star Ryan Dempster stayed with the Cubs for a $52 million, four-year contract, which could have a bearing on Oliver Perez’s deal. And lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt signed a an $8 million, two-year deal with the San Francisco Giants. For those thinking about the bullpen bridge to a closer, that should be an indicator.
Paul Kinzer, the agent for free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal, shot down a story in a Spanish newspaper that his client had an offer from the Mets. Furcal is currently talking with Oakland and San Francisco.
Preserve Shea memories
You can still see her, Shea Stadium, when you drive to LaGuardia. Pretty soon, she’ll only be in photographs and memories.
What is now Shea Stadium will become a parking lot, which is how these things work, but I wish there would be a way to prevent an old Volvo from leaking oil on the site where the ball got by Buckner, or where Cleon Jones caught the final out of the 1969 World Series, or where Tommie Agee made those catches, or the mound where Tom Seaver excelled for so many years.
Go ahead, make it a parking lot, but on those spots and others, block off the area and preserve it with a plaque, or small statue, or something that reminds future generations something special happened here.
I called Mets the other day and asked them their plans, and was told they don’t know what they plan, yet. I just hope they don’t get so caught up in the new place that they fail to preserve some special memories.
Infielder Rafael Furcal told the Spanish newspaper El Caribe the Oakland Athletics offered him a $48-million, four-year contract, and that the Mets also made a proposal.
Furcal did not specify the Mets’ offer and the team has not confirmed.
Said Furcal: “The offer from the Athletics and the New York Mets looks tempting. … There are several factors that we have to evaluate.’’
I don’t know the reliability of El Caribe, but those numbers see way too high, especially with the Mets’ needs. I certainly can’t see paying Furcal that kind of money with Luis Castillo still around.