Jan 20

Jan. 20.10: Should Mets pursue Sheets?

SHEETS: Worth the risk?

SHEETS: Worth the risk?

Ben Sheets might be the best pitcher out there, but he’s damaged goods. Sheets, who missed all of last season following elbow surgery, worked out before league scouts and was given a hearty “thumbs up.”

One scout told the MLB Network: “Good mechanics. Great shape. Is way ahead of where he’d be velocity wise at [the beginning of a] normal spring.”

The Mets, in need of rotation help, will compete with the Cubs, Rangers, Seattle and St. Louis, who are also said to be interested.

Initially, Sheets was after a one-year deal worth $12 million, but reportedly the market is at one year for $8 million and loaded with incentives.
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Jan 03

Jan. 3.10: Getting off the Pineiro bandwagon.

PINEIRO: Asking too much.

PINEIRO: Asking too much.

I started the Hot Stove Season believing the Mets should address pitching first and foremost. I feel the same way today.

One I touted was Joel Pineiro.

But, it was a surface infatuation. I looked at Pineiro’s 15 wins and thought they’d look good in the Mets’ rotation. They would.

But, after looking deeper, I’m off the Pineiro bandwagon. Those 15 wins marked the first time he won double-digit wins since going 16-11 in 2003 with Seattle. He’s 87-79 during his ten year career, which averages out to 9-8. He threw 214 innings last year, which was only the second time he threw at much as 200. Three times he’s thrown as many as 190.

There’s no way this should translate into Pineiro getting $10 million a year for four years. No way. But, would it surprise anybody if he did? Not me. When it comes to crazy contracts, somebody is always willing to pay. There’s always a GM waiting to take the plunge.

I’m hoping it isn’t Omar Minaya.

Dec 19

It’s called hardball for a reason ….

It’s called hardball for a reason, so why aren’t the Mets playing it with Jason Bay and Bengie Molina?

With Milton Bradley going to Seattle – the Mariners will regret that soon enough – there appears no other team interested in Bay. I keep hearing San Francisco and the Angels, but there’s nothing to substantiate him going to either team.

There’s no other team willing to give him a fifth year, so why should the Mets? Maybe, there could be an option, but nothing guaranteed. I liked Bay, but the longer this drags on the more I think “why bother …. something has to be wrong if nobody else is in this game.”

As for as Molina is concerned, he’s nuts to think at his age he’ll get three years.

I would have no problem with Omar Minaya telling each the offer on the table is now a “take it or leave it,” proposal.

Dec 17

Are Mets bidding against themselves for Bay?

The Mets are in serious negotiations with outfielder Jason Bay, and are presumably the team with the most interest.

Seattle, Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco also have interest, but it is considered minimal in comparison to the Mets’ package of $65-million over four years, which they reportedly are willing to increase with a fifth year.

Given this, it might be time for the Mets to play hardball with their best and final offer, telling Bay to take it or leave it. Then, they can go after some pitching.

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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