…. In 1998, the Mets dealt catcher Todd Hundley and minor league pitcher Arnold Gooch to the Dodgers for catcher Charles Johnson and Roger Cedeno. The Mets then swap Johnson to the Orioles for reliever Armando Benitez.
Benitez had a checkered career with the Mets, saving 158 games in parts of five seasons. Of course, what most remember about him was the games he didn’t save, particularly against the Braves. Benitez’s history was to unravel if something went wrong. A bloop or bad call could turn into a blown save, and it would start a string of three or four bad outings.
The Mets eventually traded him to the Yankees. Benitez would sign with the Giants and his last game was in 2008.
I covered Benitez with the Orioles and Yankees. I’ll always remember him spitting the bit in the 1997 ALCS, playing a significant part in at least three of the Orioles’ losses. The one moment that crystalizes in my memory is, when after giving up a homer, he plunked Tino Martinez in the back. Then he stood off the mound and gestured the Yankees to come get him.
ON DECK: What to do about Carlos Delgado later this morning.
Roy Halladay said he would waive his no-trade clause to pitch for the Yankees. He’d probably to the same to pitch for the Red Sox. Either way, that’s not encouraging news to the Mets if they were banking on the Blue Jays being reluctant to deal within the division.
The Blue Jays, it seems, are willing to deal with the Yankees and Red Sox. Throw in the Phillies, Dodgers and Angels, and there are five teams better than the Mets with the resources to make a trade. I was never banking on Halladay to begin with, but this should end that kind of talk.
If the Mets are going to add a pitcher, it will be a middle-tier arm, and FA is the way to go so they don’t have to give up prospects.
Halladay isn’t coming here, and neither is Lackey. The Mets will be lucky to get a guy like Jason Marquis.
* Reportedly, the Mets hired Dave Jauss as bench coach. Jauss has a history with Jerry Manuel, who as a field coordinator for Montreal in the late 1980s, hired him as a minor league manager. Jauss has also been a bench coach for Boston, Los Angeles and New York.
I got to know Jauss when I covered the Yankees. I’d pick his brain whenever I could when the Yankees played the Red Sox. He’s a very smart and personable guy, who I believe will someday get a chance to manager on the major league level.
* I liked the story in the Daily News about Carlos Beltran visiting a VA hospital in Manhattan. A lot of times we hear of the bad guys in sports, but there are far more good guys, and Beltran is one of them. I’ve found most players are willing to, and enjoy, making such appearances like Beltran.
* GM Omar Minaya is not giving up the ghost of Carlos Delgado. He’ll scout him in the Puerto Rican winter league to see how healthy he is and how his hip as recovered. I’m still of the belief not bringing back Delgado is the way to go if the team is in a rebuilding mode.
* Sandy Alomar Jr., left the organization to be bench coach at Cleveland. It is a step up, but it was also an obviously inevitable move. Once dad got the ax, the son was looking out the door.
* Tim Teufel was promoted to manage Double-A Binghamton.
With recent reports the Yankees and Angels, thought to be two of the more financially resourceful teams interested in Holliday supposedly turning their attention inwards, the market remains in flux.
HOLLIDAY: What is the market?
The Yankees would like to retain their own free-agents, which would include left fielder Johnny Damon. The Angels, meanwhile, said their interest is re-signing John Lackey and Chone Figgins. Prior to today’s report in the Los Angeles Times, the Angels appeared lukewarm in wanting to bring back Lackey. Continue reading →
Roy Halladay in the Mets’ rotation sounds appetizing. With the Blue Jays willing to deal, there are only a handful of teams that fit economically, with the Mets among them, presumably able to come up with a $20-million per season contract.
HALLADAY: Would cost a fortune.
So are the Yankees and Red Sox, who figure to be greater factors in trade talks this winter than at last July’s trade deadline because the Blue Jays appear more inclined to be willing to trade him within the AL East. If trading within the division is feasible, the main unanswered questions are whether the Blue Jays want to trade. If Toronto believes it is able to compete for at least a wild card, then the decision could be to hold him for this year knowing he’ll walk next winter.
As the Blue Jays prepare for 2010, dealing Halladay now would send the white flag message to its already shrinking fan base. The fallback would be to wait until the trade deadline and assess things then. That way, if they are struggling, they would get more than compensatory draft choices. Continue reading →