Oct 30

Welcome to the 2009 Hot Stove season ….

As the Phillies were rolling around on the infield last night much to the dismay of most Mets fans, take solace in that 2008 is officially over. The last out of the World Series officially brings with it the start of the 2009 season, although the Mets have been thinking for the past month about what went wrong and what to do about it.

It’s time to build GM Omar Minaya’s shopping list for the Hot Stove Season.

Here’s my list:

1. Starter #1: Fixing the bullpen begins first with fixing the rotation. They need to add a starter to begin shaving innings from the bullpen total. They will attempt to re-sign Oliver Perez and add a solid, but not spectacular starter such as Derek Lowe.

2. Closer: The Phillies proved a dominant closer is better than a closer-by-committee format. Brian Fuentes appears first on their list. The money is too steep for Francisco Rodriguez.

3. Starter #2: The Mets need fifth starter. They could go in the market, they could gamble with Jon Niese or they could bring back Pedro Martinez.

4. Adding bullpen depth: The Mets’ bullpen blew 29 saves, but Billy Wagner only coughed it up seven times. There were a lot of collapses in the seventh and eighth innings. Help is needed.

5. Bench (right-handed hitting outfielder): Fernando Tatis should be re-signed, I could go with the platoon of he and Daniel Murphy. Adding a proven bat would be beneficial, but not at the expense of adding pitching.

6. Re-signing Carlos Delgado: It’s doubtful Delgado will duplicate last season’s second half, but there shouldn’t be that big a dropoff. I don’t understand the eagerness of some to trade him. Afterall, for a team with holes, trading him adds another. Delgado does have a no-trade clause so it will cost something to get him to waive it.

Oct 29

What about Griffey?

Griffey: Would he fit in for a year?

Griffey: Would he fit in for a year?

This time, Ken Griffey would be a full-season rental. The White Sox will not re-sign Griffey, making him a free agent and available to the Mets.

Griffey falls into the category of an old player with an injury history, just the type GM Omar Minaya has been criticized of pursuing. Even so, he hit 18 homers with 71 RBI in 490 at-bats, so there’s still life in his bat.

Griffey has never been enamored with New York, but that was the Yankees. Griffey would only cost the Mets money, and a lot less than they’d pay for Manny Ramirez or Adam Dunn. The best thing is they won’t have to dip into their farm system.

So, if they want a rental bat for a year, Griffey could be a viable alternative. He doesn’t make the Mets younger, but improves their bench and outfield for a minimal cost.

Oct 23

Commentary: Just name the coaches.

Manuel: All smiles when he was hired. What's he thinking now?

Manuel: All smiles when he was hired. What's he thinking now?

There are appearances to the delay. Does Jerry Manuel know who he wants on his staff? Is there a conflict between him and Omar Minaya.

The Mets acted decisively in giving extensions to Manuel and Minaya, but are dragging their feet in naming their coaching staff, leaving it up to us to speculate. Many reports had Howard Johnson on the outs. MLB.com, yesterday, had him staying.

Manuel has to know who he wants on his staff, and the odds are those decisions have already been made. Just not announced. Well, why not? There’s not really a good reason. The appearance is indecisiveness, and that’s not what you s

Oct 22

What if?

Kazmir: What if the Mets won that trade?

Kazmir: What if the Mets won that trade?

It goes without saying the Scott Kazmir trade was disastrous for the Mets. But, imagine for a moment, the trade worked and Rick Peterson was able to fix the very damaged Victor Zambrano.

Let’s say the Mets turned it around in 2004 and made a run at the playoffs. They were four games under .500 at the time of the trade and finished the season 20 games under. That brought the end of Jim Duquette as general manager and ushered in Omar Minaya.

Would Minaya have come if the Mets finished that season as a competitive team? With Minaya came Pedro Martinez, then Carlos Beltran, then Carlos Delgado. It’s interesting to wonder what might have happened had Zambrano panned out.

We all know what happened with Kazmir.

Oct 09

Gooood morning: Responses to the overnight.

Browsing the overnight posts.

Browsing the overnight posts.

Good morning all. Logged on this morning and saw a lot of responses from out West. A lot of good reading with my cereal. Let’s get to it:

-KEVIN: The lead domino is getting rid of Castillo. If that happens, Murphy can play second. The AFL was to get him ready. If they can’t deal Castillo, then I presume Murphy goes back in left. Omar Minaya did say they’d pick up Delgado’s option. I don’t think they’ll trade him, but don’t forget, the Mets did not have a viable back-up to Delgado. That could be Murphy this year.

-SCOTT: The rules: The FA filing period begins the day after the World Series and lasts for 15 days. This is the window in which FA can negotiate only with their teams. … On the 16th day, FA can negotiate with other teams. … Teams can talk trade at any time.

-PAUL: I’m not for trading Murphy, but I will give you this: His value is high right now.

-HARRY: Agreed. Make pitching their first, second and third priorities. … Murphy played real well in left considering it was new for him.-JD