Just thought I'd wrap things up after letting the latest collapse linger in me for the past 24 hours or so.
-For all of you who are calling for the Mets not to re-sign Pedro Martinez you are 100% correct. But for all of you who don't want to resign Carlos Delgado, your crazy. The Mets have no one in the farm system who can replace Delgado and to be quite honest, the free agent market outside of Teixeira is terrible. And while Pedro Martinez gave the Mets a look of credibility three years ago, he has become a liability in 2008 and should not be back.
-To semi-quote John McCain, "the fundamentals of our rotation are strong." The Mets bring Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and John Maine back for 2009, which is a tremendous nucleus to have. The Mets need to bring in more than two quality starters because the odds of all five staying healthy is zero. Maine is coming off an injury, Pelfrey pitched more innings this year than ever before, and Santana cannot be Superman forever...right?
-The case of Oliver Perez is going to be the most difficult decision for the Mets to make. As I have explained before, Perez can look like an ace one day and a stiff the next. He's unpredictable and unreliable. On the other hand, a 27 year old hard throwing lefty is very difficult to find. So do you pay him $50 million over 5 years? To me, the answer is no. I like Perez alot, but 5 years is excessive. That will probably take the Mets out of the running for his services, but I think in the end, they will be better off without his unpredictability.
-One name to look for on the free agent marker: Derek Lowe. If you can get Lowe to sign a 3 year contract, I would do it in a heartbeat. He's an innings eater who has pitched well in big games before. Even better, he has become more consistent since joining the Dodgers 4 years ago.
-If the Mets want to go after K-Rod, they will have my blessing. This bullpen needs a stopper with Wagner down and K-Rod is a phenomenal option as long as the price and years aren't that ridiculous (probably will be). Besides K-Rod, I would like to see the Mets take a page out of the Kenny Williams playbook and go after guys who could have diminished value: Manny Corpas? Rafael Betancourt? Bobby Howry? Justin Speier? All worth a shot in my eyes. Relief pitchers go through more peaks and valleys than any other position so you never know when a turnaround is right around the corner.
-With that said, Scott Schoeneweis and Luis Castillo have to go. It was obvious that Manuel had no confidence in Schoeneweis down the stretch and he performed poorly when given the shot. He's been a bust so far. Anyone want a slap hitting second baseman who looks like he's in massive amounts of pain doing any athletic activities? No one. Great signing there Omar. Furthermore, I'm torn on Aaron Heilman. I still think he can be effective, but not as a reliever. Let's give him the shot to make a difference in the starting rotation. It can't hurt, can it?
-I love Orlando Hudson. He's a gold glove second baseman who can hit for average and get on base. He'd be a phenomenal fit for the Mets. It's too bad we have Castillo right now...let's hope we can move him.
-Do not trade Ryan Church. Or Jose Reyes. Or David Wright. Or Carlos Beltran. Anyone who suggests any of these is a fool.
-Mr Minaya, please get younger. This year was a step in the right direction, but I beg you cut ties with aging veterans. Youth is the new fad in baseball and you need to follow the trend. Let's give Daniel Murphy a chance to start and let's see what Jonathan Niese, Eddie Kunz, Nick Evans, Bobby Parnell, and Fernando Martinez can do in Spring Training. Open competition, baby!
-Mark my words, 2009 will be decided by three factors: clutch hitting, starting pitching depth, and finding capable (amazing!) guys in the bullpen. With potentially $25 million coming off the books, it looks like another fun filled off season for my Mets. Ya Gotta Believe, right?
East Notes: Bourn, Hellickson, Prado, Locke
7 hours ago