Scott Boras was right, Carlos Beltran will start the season with the Mets. The Red Sox signing Carl Crawford put an official end to that wishful thinking. So, with the exception of second base, two slots in the rotation and the bullpen, the Mets are set for 2011.
Sandy Alderson said he wouldn’t make a splash and he has been true to his word. Alderson said last night it would be highly unlikely the Mets would leave Orlando today with a starting pitcher. There’s still interest in Chris Young, but he’s thinking $5 million a year while the Mets are thinking less than half that. They are talking with Freddy Garcia.
The Mets have added a mediocre arm to the bullpen and a mediocre back-up catcher. The Mets are hoping three key players – Beltran, Jose Reyes and Jason Bay – are healthy and two starters will fall out of the sky.
All along, we’ve been looking forward to 2012, and this week just underscores that sentiment. Alderson did say the Mets would be competitive this season, but that’s vague. Everything has to break right for the Mets to be competitive and how often do things always break right?
It is good to see Carlos Beltran finish the season hot. He’s had a strong September, but not strong enough to where teams will be lining up to take him off the Mets’ hands. It is way too late for that to happen.
What this month is about is giving Beltran, and perhaps the Mets, peace of mind heading into the offseason and looking ahead to 2011. Beltran’s relationship with the Mets is not good, but the team is virtually powerless in an attempt to deal him. Unless the Mets agree to pay a large portion of his $18.5 million salary, he’s a virtual lock to stay in New York for the final year of his contract.
Injuries have sapped Beltran’s production for much of the last two season, so do you really think there’s a team out there willing to pony up the prospects and dollars based on one good month? Hardly.
There was a time when I would have jumped at Johnny Damon coming to the Mets. But, that was several years ago. Damon, coming off a fabulous postseason, has renewed interest in some. Mostly, his agent, who is salivating with thoughts of another payday.
But, even Scott Boras wasn’t able to fake the Yankees this time.
Damon is a good player, but he’s an aging one with an inevitable breakdown in his immediate future. There’s no DH to hide him. If they won’t to go one year, OK, I’ll do it, but that’s not happening.
Damon wants three, and as good as he was hitting at Yankee Stadium, I don’t see that production in Citi Field. I’m passing on Damon.
The Mets believe they’ll get a handle on the Jason Bay landscape toward the end of the week. One thing is clear, the Mets’ initial offer of $65 million over four years won’t be enough to get it done.
If their offer is the Mets “real” evaluation of Bay, then they’ll have to overpay to get the 31-year-old outfielder. A guaranteed fifth year could get it done, as Bay’s agent has said there’s a fifth year offer from an unnamed team on the table.
The Mets prefer Matt Holliday, but he’s a Scott Boras client and it will be closer to $100 million to get him. The Red Sox are also considering Holliday. Boston’s offer is a four-year, $60-million package. The Red Sox say they won’t go higher, but that seems like posturing to me.
The Mets haven’t heard from Bay on their offer. GM Omar Minaya said he’s also going to look at his non-tendered options, which include Cincinnati’s Jonny Gomes and Oakland’s Jack Cust, who hit 20 and 25 homers, respectively last year.
Another power option – and a cheaper alternative to bringing back Carlos Delgado at first – is San Francisco’s Ryan Garko.