Feb 05

Idle thoughts while waiting for kickoff.

Watching the Super Bowl with the mute button, which might be the best way, and planning my week ahead and what I might write about the Mets.

Spring training is two weeks ago, and in seems it was only yesterday that it was only two months away. Time does creep up on you.

There are several things running through my mind pertaining to the Mets:

The Mets will get an influx of money from SNY and with another minor investor. Possibly up to $100 million. On the surface, the Mets have the money to make some significant moves, certainly more than what they did this winter. Even so, the money is earmarked for their expenses, including a potential hit in their court case pertaining to the Ponzi scandal. In short, the money is to go to the mortgage and not a new flat screen TV.

Only twice in seven years has Andres Torres played in over 100 games.  And, since he’s never been on the disabled list, it has to be talent related. The Mets have him penciled in as their center fielder, with Scott Hairston as the back-up. For a team with a spacious outfield and supposedly wants to build on pitching and defense, this is a dangerous sign. I still believe Rick Ankiel could benefit the Mets as a lefty bat and defensive presence.

Brad Penny was a .500 pitcher last season – 11-11 – and recently signed with Japan. I can’t believe there wasn’t any interest here. Surely, he could’ve helped the Mets’ rotation.

I don’t think the Mets will retire Gary Carter’s number, but I hope they honor him in some capacity this season – when he can still appreciate it.

The Mets once made annual winter caravans to drum up interest heading into spring training, with the players and coaches going from town to town. Lots of teams have FanFests in their cities, where the public can meet players and get in the baseball mood. Would be nice to see that again.

 

Jan 27

Mets have option at outfield help.

There was some talk the Mets were monitoring the outfield market, but Juan Pierre is now off the market and they will find the asking prices for Johnny Damon, Kosuke Fukudome and Raul Ibanez to rich for their blood.

ANKIEL: Help at a reasonable price.

Vlad Guerrero is strictly a DH type, J.D. Drew is heading toward retirement and Magglio Ordonez is an injury question. All three would want more than the Mets are willing to pay, regardless.

Rick Ankiel is still available.

Ankiel, who made $1.5 million last year for Washington is within the Mets’ budget. Ankiel hit 25 homers for the 2008 Cardinals, but hasn’t come close to those numbers since, although he hit nine last season.

Ankiel isn’t a player to build around, but he does offer something of value to the Mets in three capacities: 1) as a left-handed bat, 2) an exceptional defensive replacement, and 3) as a back-up center fielder to Andres Torres.

Yeah, I can hear the groans already about Ankiel, but the truth is he can contribute in several areas at a reasonable price, and for the Mets that’s about the best they can hope for these days.

 

Jan 17

Jan. 17.10: Force feeding F-Mart.

I don’t know what the Mets are going to do in center field, but I am hoping one of the options isn’t to force feed Fernando Martinez at the position.

MARTINEZ: Likely to be force-fed CF with Beltran out.

MARTINEZ: Likely to be force-fed CF with Beltran out.


Martinez, needs a healthy, uninterrupted season at Triple-A to get a better feel for his progress. We’ve heard a lot about his potential, but he’s been sidetracked by injuries. While with the Mets, he’s shown flashes but nothing warranting a full season in the majors.

But, I don’t think that will happen. He’ll probably be up here.

As much as I wanted them to go after Rick Ankiel – and I know of the opposition of that on this blog – it’s a long shot at best.

They’re likely to get a role player to share time with Angel Pagan, and, of course, Martinez.

Jan 15

Jan. 15.10: The bottom line.

Let’s forget about who is right or wrong in the Carlos Beltran fiasco. The bottom line is the Mets are without their best player, who has a degenerative condition, and with no guarantee of how he’ll perform if and when he returns.

All prognosis have to be met with skepticism.

The Mets aren’t equipped to replace Beltran, and as it has been pointed out, this adds the need to consider Carlos Delgado to offset the loss of power.

But, who plays center field?

If the Mets had no confidence with Angel Pagan in left field, they certainly don’t have confidence in him in center.

There’s not a lot out there left on the free agent market, but as I wrote several weeks ago, Rick Ankiel is available. He strikes out a ton, but he does hit for power and is very good defensively. If I’m Ankiel’s agent, I’m calling the Mets.

Dec 16

How high would you go for Jason Bay?

The Mets are on the table for $65 million over four years for a good, but not great outfielder, Jason Bay.

That won’t be enough. The first proposal rarely is. Initially, I said it could take $90 million to get the deal done. Maybe I went too, high, but I don’t think by much anymore. If the Mets go for a fifth year, it will be north of $80 million.

BAY: How high should the Mets go?

BAY: How high should the Mets go?


It concerns me the Red Sox are adamant in not giving him more and have basically told him to hit the road. I’m also wary of reports out of Boston of making him a DH by the end of the contract. Do the Mets really need to be paying over $15 million a year for a couple of seasons to a broken down outfielder.

Meanwhile, those middle-tier pitchers are still on the shelf. And, they don’t really excite me that much, either. Do you overpay for Bay, or attempt to get two pitchers for the price? Or to you spread the money out and get a pitcher, a reliever and a lesser outfielder such as Ryan Garko. Maybe try to coax another year out of Jermaine Dye or again, think about Rick Ankiel?

We knew going into the Hot Stove Season the pickings were slim. Well the best are off the board and Matt Holliday is too rich for the Mets’ blood.

It’s time for tough decisions. This is where Omar Minaya earns his money.

ON DECK: Jose Reyes.