Jan 18

Jan. 18.10: Spring training questions.

Questions, questions ....

Questions, questions ....

With a month before the start of spring training, let’s take a look at the ten top issues surrounding the Mets when the arrive at Port St. Lucie:

1) Who are the fifth starter candidates?
A: Jon Niese is from the organization. It could also be Oliver Perez or John Maine if the Mets should add another arm. Joel Pineiro and Jon Garland are still out there, but they are also linked to other teams. There’s no guarantee the Mets will bring in somebody else.

2) Where is Johan Santana?
A: Santana is coming off surgery. The Mets are saying he’ll be ready, but they said the same thing about John Maine last spring.

3) What is Jose Reyes status?
A: Reyes says he feels good, but he hasn’t tested that hamstring in game-type conditions. And, how much speed has he lost?

4) Did David Wright find his home run stroke over the winter?
A: Maybe it was Citi Field, maybe not. But, Wright did not hit with power last season. That has to change if the Mets are to do anything.

5) Carlos Beltran is how many weeks away?
A: Originally, they said 12 weeks. He won’t be ready by spring training to do baseball activities, but maybe they’ll have a better timetable by then.

6) What’s the catching situation look like?
A: The Mets have plenty of reserve catchers, but not a No. 1. They hope it will be Bengie Molina. They really don’t want to rush Josh Thole to the majors.

7) Who is the real Mike Pelfrey?
A: Pelfrey appeared on the verge of breaking out in 2008, but regressed last season. It’s about time he gets to the next level.

8) Where does the coin land?
A: Will Coinflip Perez show consistency beyond being inconsistent? He’s also coming off surgery. The reports are he’s working hard, but he’s worked hard before with no results.

9) What are the bullpen roles?
A: They could change if they sign John Smoltz. I’d rather have him in a set-up role than Kelvim Escobar. That way I could also drop Bobby Parnell down to a lower pressure slot.

10) What kind of camp will Jerry Manuel run?
A: Lax or clamp down? There were injuries last season, but the team also played fundamentally poor baseball and that’s his responsibility.

Jan 05

Jan. 5.10: You asked for it, you got it.

Both Harry and Ray in a recent thread expressed interest in reading about Omar Minaya’s best deals. There have been more than a few. Some of his bad ones were actually good in the beginning, such as Oliver Perez and Guillermo Mota.

There were also decisions on Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Paul Lo Duca, Alex Cora and signing David Wright and Jose Reyes to long term extensions. The John Maine trade was good. Nobody could have thought he would be injured. Getting Xavier Nady was a good deal.

We must remember, that in all fairness, the Mets came within an inning of the World Series in 2006. Minaya put that team together.

Julio Franco, Moises Alou, Orlando Hernandez all had moments, but the negative reviews came with the subsequent contract extensions.

So, let’s have some fun with this today and talk about Omar Minaya’s Greatest Hits.

Dec 30

Dec. 30.09: I must admit.

I never thought the Mets would have or could have gotten Jason Bay. I also never thought they should have at the expense of pitching, which is still the team’s top priority. I had Bay returning to the Red Sox and didn’t think the Mets would go as high as potentially $80 million for him. I was surprised they targeted offense first considering the holes in their rotation.

Bay will make them better, and his production will at times overcome the defects of Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez. The three-run homer, as Earl Weaver used to say, is baseball’s great eraser.

There are reports the Mets are also close to getting Bengie Molina for two years. I’m against signing a 35-year-old catcher to a two-year deal, but he might be the ticket in turning Perez around. Perhaps there will be a chemistry between the two.

Dec 29

Dec. 30.09: FLASH: METS TO SIGN BAY.

The Mets reached an agreement with outfielder Jason Bay and pending a physical will make the announcement next week. The news has been confirmed by other news outlets.

BAY: Mets to get their man.

BAY: Mets to get their man.


The deal is $66 million over four years with a vesting option for a fifth year that would bring the total value of the package to $80 million.

It had been widely speculated Bay did not want to play for the Mets and used them to drive up the price with Boston. The Red Sox, after signing John Lackey, seemingly pulled out of the Bay negotiating, but two days before Christmas reappeared as pursuers.

The sticking point was Bay wanting a fifth year, but the Mets held steadfast to their position of four years. The Red Sox cut off negotiations based on this stance. There were multiple reports coming out of Boston the Red Sox were concerned to the point where they believed the 31-year-old Bay would eventually have to be switched to DH by the end of his contract.
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Dec 27

Dec. 27.09: Here’s quantifying what the Mets are thinking ….

The Mets were 70-92 last season, 11 games off the pace to finish .500 and 22 behind the wild-card Colorado Rockies. For the record, they were 23 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East.

METS: Wishing and hoping.

METS: Wishing and hoping.


They have done precious little this offseason to make anybody believe they will cut substantially into those deficits. At least, little in comparison to the front office comments spouted by Jeff Wilpon and Omar Minaya in the immediate days following the end of the disastrous 2009 season.

Because they know it won’t go over well in selling tickets and creating goodwill, the Mets can’t articulate that their plan is to bring back their pieces intact and hope for the best.

With each passing day that becomes clearer and clearer. Let’s try to put numbers to their thinking.

With the healthy comebacks of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, and return to power for David Wright, the Mets picture 85 victories, going under the assumption each player individually accounts for five more wins over the course of the season. That’s roughly three more victories per month.

That’s doable. It gets them over .500, but still out of the wild card picture.
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