Dec 26

Dec. 26.09: Pitching market not great ….

The real trend-setter for starting pitcher’s contracts isn’t John Lackey but Randy Wolf, he of the 101-85 career record in 11 years (basically 10-9 a season), who signed a three-year contract with Milwaukee for $29.75 million.

Ben Sheets, despite his injury history, wants $12 million per season and Joel Pineiro wants a four-year deal with a higher annual average than Wolf. Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban defector who has never thrown a pitch in the major leagues, has a $15.5 million offer on the table from the Red Sox.

Also, lurking are Pedro Martinez, Erik Bedard, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Brett Myers. There are three Hall of Famers there, but that’s in the future and past tenses. Present tense, well, they aren’t much better than whom the Mets have now.

For the Mets to add pitching, their choices are to overpay for mediocrity, or in the case of Sheets, take a health gamble. The Mets are gambling their current rotation will progress, and if it doesn’t, then at least they have the economics on their side (save Oliver Perez).

Not encouraging, is it?

Dec 26

Dec. 26.09: Movin’ On ….

I hope everybody had a happy and safe holiday. I enjoyed spending time with my family. I don’t get out here that often, so the time is special.

I wrote several days ago it was time for the Mets to take a “take it or leave it” approach with Jason Bay. With his agent, Joe Urban, talking to the Red Sox and stonewalling the Mets, it’s obvious where Bay’s heart lies.

BAY: End the fantasy.

BAY: End the fantasy.


The Mets are ignoring one of the cardinal rules in dating when it comes to Bay, which is some girls play hard to get until they become hard to take.

It has come to that with Bay. It’s time to cut the fantasy with him.

He doesn’t want to play for the Mets, but would be willing to for five years and not four. I’m not deluded into thinking Bay is any different from any other free agent. He’s following the money.

The Red Sox don’t want to go over the $170 million luxury tax marker, so Urbon will have to be creative in backloading the deal. I would have to think the Red Sox would rather have Bay in their batting order over Mike Cameron (making him a fourth outfielder).

But, what about your heroes? Who’s going to play left field for them? They should be thinking hard about this because it should have been obvious to them Bay was a longshot.
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Dec 24

Dec. 24.09: On the Night Before Christmas ….

…. And all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, and that includes the Internet. In Ohio visiting my father for┬áthe holidays, and I won’t have reliable Internet until I get home Monday. I will try to post something on a daily basis and as often as possible. I did want to explain the lull between threads.

I did hear the Red Sox might not be done with Jason Bay. Playing it close to vest like they did with John Lackey. Maybe they heard the rumblings about the Yankees sniffing around and got antsy. Maybe it was fallout from the Javier Vazquez trade. Whatever, if true, and the Red Sox want him, there’s precious little the Mets can do about it.

It is quite possible the delay by the Mets might cost them Bay. But, I wouldn’t jump all over them for that. Bay is not worth the five years, whether or not the Red Sox are in it or not.

But, what remains clear is that the Mets remain stagnant, and on the night before Christmas, the Mets aren’t doing much stirring.

Dec 15

Sorting things out ….

BAY: Still on Mets' radar, but they'd better hurry.

BAY: Still on Mets' radar, but they'd better hurry.

The Mets are dealing with the fall out from the bombshell dealings of yesterday.

I don’t know if stonewalling Jason Bay was a ruse by the Red Sox to get John Lackey. I didn’t think they were going to get him anyway, and it has nothing to do with them misreading the pitching market.

Even so, they should be more aggressive in their pursuit for him if he’s their target. Let’s face it, he has to be because they aren’t going to give Matt Holliday what the Cardinals are reportedly willing to do.

If the Mets think Bay will “fall back” to them like Johan Santana did, they could be mistaken. The first impression, and I had it yesterday, was Seattle wouldn’t go for him because they’ll need the money for Cliff Lee.

Perhaps that was premature.

Wouldn’t Seattle be a little more enticing to Lee if there was power in that line-up? Maybe, with Lee, the Mariners see an opening to win this year and will still pursue Bay. Truth is, the Mariners haven’t said Bay is no longer an option.

And, what about the Angels? With Lackey gone and Halladay no longer an option, they have to be looking to do something. Bay was on their radar before. He might still be on it unless the Angels are bent on those middle-tier arms the Mets have been talking about. Truth is, for what they saved in Lackey, they might be able to swing both Bay and a pitcher. And, Bay has to be a better option than Hideki Matsui.
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Dec 14

Big pitching deals ….

John Lackey to the Red Sox. Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. Cliff Lee to Seattle. They are all coming down.

Lackey to the Red Sox in an $82.5-million, five-year deal pending a physical. The Red Sox have been tied to a lot of things, but this one seems to have come out of the blue. That’s a lot of money and it probably precludes them signing Matt Holliday.

The Mets were never in it for Lackey, but this deal could help them land Jason Bay. The Red Sox say they aren’t giving Bay a fifth year. Unless they are bluffing, there doesn’t seem to a chance they’ll go back to Bay. But, the Mets would have to up their offer to a fifth year.

The Mets were also never in it for Halladay, either, because they didn’t have the minor league talent to get it down.
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