Nov 15

My new home ….

First things first, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Joe McDonald setting me up in the first place, which led me to Gotham Baseball.

I didn’t like leaving suddenly, but it was a circumstance beyond my control and I got blocked out before I was able to post a forwarding address. I learned from Gannett and have been collecting email addresses and many of you received a note telling you of this site. The site is still under construction, but we’ll make do for now.

That I would continue this blog, I hope, tells you of my commitment for covering the Mets for you. Please accept my apologies for the awkward departure, and my gratitude for your interest. I do the blog because you folks have been loyal to me.

Thank you, and let’s talk Mets.

Nov 13

Wright wins Silver Slugger ….

WRIGHT: Silver Slugger winner (Photo: Mets).

WRIGHT: Silver Slugger winner (Photo: Mets).

David Wright, one of the “core,” if you will, won his second straight Silver Slugger Award today. Despite setting career highs in homers (33), RBI (124) and runs scored (115), there are some who say the Mets should break up their core of Wright, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.

Said Wright, a three-time All-Star: “It’s a very prestigious award and I am proud to win it. This honor will help motivate me to even an even better season in 2009.”

Wright is the first Met with four 100-RBI seasons. He is also the third third baseman in history (Eddie Mathews and Eric Chavez are the others) with four straight seasons of at least 25 homers prior to his 26th birthday.

Nov 12

Available free agent relievers ….

The following relievers will be available this winter in the free-agent market. Joe Beimel and Juan Cruz are intriguing, but are they worth throwing piles of money at? I’m not so sure.

Unquestionably, the Mets’ bullpen was horrible last season, but GM Omar Minaya’s analysis is wide ranging. Were the individuals simply bad and past their prime, or just had a bad season? To what degree were injuries a factor (Aaron Heilman)? How much did throwing out of their roles determine the results?

The Mets will add a body or two from this list, but I don’t see a major overhaul. If they don’t deal Heilman, and I’m starting to lean in the direction of them keeping him, the set-up relievers might not change that much.

I can see Heilman, Schoeneweis, Ayala, Feliciano and Smith coming back. I can also see Parnell or Kunz getting a shot. Then there’s the closer they’ll add, and the more I think of it, the more I can visualize it being Trevor Hoffman.

Here’s the list of available free-agent relievers:

Jeremy Affeldt CIN
Luis Ayala NYM
Joe Beimel LAD
Joe Borowski CLE
Juan Cruz ARZ

Brendan Donnelly BOS
Alan Embree * OAK
Scott Eyre CHC
Kyle Farnsworth DET
Casey Fossum DET

Brian Fuentes COL
Aaron Fultz CLE
Tom Gordon * PHI
LaTroy Hawkins HOU
Mark Hendrickson LAD

Trevor Hoffman SD
Bobby Howry CHC
Jason Isringhausen STL
Steve Kline SF
Brandon Lyon ARZ

Damaso Marte * NYY
Tom Martin COL
Julio Mateo PHI
Guillermo Mota MIL
Will Ohman CHC

Darren Oliver LAA
John Parrish SEA
Chris Reitsma SEA
Dennys Reyes MIN
Juan Rincon CLE

Francisco Rodriguez LAA
Brian Shouse MIL
Rafael Soriano ATL
Jorge Sosa NYM
Mike Stanton * CIN

Salomon Torres * MIL
Derrick Turnbow MIL
Oscar Villarreal ATL
David Weathers CIN
Dave Williams NYM

Matt Wise NYM
Kerry Wood CHC

Nov 11

What about Trevor Hoffman?

HOFFMAN: He could fill a void.

HOFFMAN: He could fill a void.

In a previous thread, Dave wondered about Trevor Hoffman. Well, what about him?

The San Diego Padres are rebuilding and withdrew a contract offer to Hoffman. The Mets, however, playing in New York, aren’t in a rebuilding mode despite being old in several areas.

They call it retooling.

So, should they “retool” with Hoffman if they aren’t able to land a marquee closer in the free-agent market? Hoffman is 41, and signing him does nothing about breaking away from Omar Minaya’s reputation for signing older players.

The Padres pulled off the table a one-year, $4 million deal, with a $4 million option for 2010. That’s not a lot of money. Hoffman converted 30 of 34 save opportunities, including 16 straight during one stretch.

Assuming Hoffman is willing to come to New York, and there’s been nothing written indicating he doesn’t want to, he would presumably fill the closer void until Bobby Parnell and Eddie Kunz are ready. That’s a plus.

Said agent Rick Thurman: “He’s a free agent. So many teams consider him to be a San Diego Padre. Not a lot of teams took him very seriously as a free agent. We’ll find out very shortly. A lot of teams need a closer. He’s the cream of the closers, and we’ll see what teams have interest in him.”

Last year’s numbers indicates he can still get the job done, but his age will be a concern, because you have to wonder when will the breakdown start?

Signing him does nothing about getting the Mets younger, but it does buy time for Parnell and Kunz, and gives them a mentor. It also addresses a need at a reasonable cost and enables them to spend most of their money on starting pitching.

While the first impression would be his age, remember the priority is winning and he’s a plus toward that goal. I know there’s not a groundswell for bringing in a 41-year-old closer, but if he makes them better it’s something they should consider.

Nov 11

Responses from the Chat Room ….

Sorry again for not being able to host a Mets Chat Room last night. There’s a lot going on right now personally I must attend to. My plans are to host a Mets Chat Room Wednesday night and a Jets Chat Room Thursday night.

Again, your patience is very much appreciated.

OK …. to respond to some of your questions from last night.

Mike (1): Thanks for the well wishes. Everything will turn out alright, I am sure. Everybody is healthy, so that’s the most important thing. I heard about the Dye rumor, but can’t see it. Why make a trade when there are options in the FA market. Bottom line: Why give up players and money when you can only give up money.

Ray Sadecki (2): Trading Holliday is another sign the Rockies want to work the cheap side of the street. OK, which closer will they keep: Fuentes or Street?

benny (4): The 2009 A’s will be intriguing. I wouldn’t have made the deal unless I could sign Holliday, but perhaps Billy Beane’s thinking is he can unload salary and players he won’t bring back for a player he will dump in July for prospects. If not, do you really think the A’s will go long term for him? Probably not. Mets could be in the Holliday market in July or next winter.

Gravedigger (6): Agreed on the voting.

Harry (8): Agree with you. Why trade when you can sign somebody off the FA list. Dye should cost more than Burrell, for example.-JD