Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Hi-Waitus Is Over: Caught Lookin' Is Back With a Quick Round-Up

Fresh off a relaxing, and much needed vacation...Caught Lookin' Is Back. 

Here's my quick and dirty on what I missed over the past week or so:

-Reyes met with FBI investigators Friday about a doctor who treated him- Not exactly the first news I wanted to hear coming back, but it's nice to hear that apparently he'll be fine, and HGH free.

-Mets interested in Kiko Calero on a minor league contract - Great decision, don't guarantee him anything with the shape his arm "may or may not be in".

-Escobar probably will not be ready for opening day - No surprise here, but it seems like the Mets knew that.  I like the idea of Nieve in the 'pen as the replacement.  His stuff is good, and it would allow Niese to be the 5th starter.

-K-Rod has pink eye - someone needs to stop farting on his pillow.  Sorry, I was watching "Knocked Up" recently.

-Mets are considering Beimel, while Beimel is considering the Mets - Good Idea.  Another solid lefty specialist.  This may allow for Feliciano to be the primary set-up guy until Escobar returns, which is an idea I've been big on for some time now...

-Mets talking about moving Kunz to a starter in an effort to develop him more.  I like this idea, AS LONG AS, they then revert him back into a bullpen arm.  This makes sense in terms of teaching him control, etc, but it doesn't make sense to ACTUALLY try to make him a starter.  He's a reliever because of his lack of other pitches, making him try to develop more could really mess up his development.

The season is near...

And I'm feeling great about it.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Caught Lookin' Hiatus

This will be the last post I make until Saturday, as I won't be around to blog for the week.  Thanks to any regular readers for reading, and no worries, I'll be back in a few days.

Let's go Mets.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mets Sign Barajas...Whatever

According to a tweet from Ken Rosenthal, the Mets have signed Rod Barajas.  Rotoworld expands on the deal here, saying that it will be a one-year $1 million deal, with an easily attainable $1 million in incentives.

My reaction is well documented already, but here it is again...

If Thole really needs another season down in triple-A, then I'll like this deal because it will keep Omir Santos from being the starting catcher.  If Thole is hitting well and shows improvement handling a pitching staff, and Barajas has another bad average, I will be ticked. 

The bottom-line here is that it's probably the right move.  I just wish it was done on a minor league deal in case Thole is showing signs of being ready to take the starting job this season.  In the meantime, I am fine with this...

Mets Have Upgraded Offer to Barajas, Here We Go Again

It looks like the Mets are taking the next step towards deciding their starting catching position.  According to Tim Brown on twitter, and Ken Rosenthal on, the Mets have upgraded the offer to Rod Barajas from a minor league deal, to a major league deal.  This leaves Barajas with two options, taking a minor league deal with the Rangers where he'll have to compete with Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, or taking a major league deal with the Mets.  It looks like Barajas would take on the starting catching duties should he chose to sign with the Mets, which to me, seems likes his best option.

I was fine with adding Barajas as competition in case Thole couldn't cut it.  However, with a major league deal on the table, and the probability the Mets will not carry three catchers, especially if one of them is a young player who needs development, it looks like Thole doesn't seem to fit in the equation for the Mets this season.  I'm not excited about that.

I understand the argument that Barajas will help the staff, and I get that he might be able to help the development of some of these pitchers.  But, the bottom line is, that he does not hit.  Mets fans who focus on his ability to help the staff, will be the same people in the upcoming months who will kill him for being a hole in the line-up.  Barajas is still probably an overall upgrade over Santos, but I think all this is doing is taking the chance for Thole to earn the starting job away from him.  I will be one of the more agitated fans if a month into the season I'm hearing about how much improved Thole is behind the plate and hitting .320, while Barajas has become an automatic out in the line-up.

I hope I'm wrong.  I hope Barajas comes in and tears it up at the plate, while turning the Mets staff into what they could be.  But, in all honesty, I'm not banking on it...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why Reyes Hitting Third is a Bad Idea...

As I'm sure you already earlier today in a presser, Manuel has decided to piss me off by announcing he'd like to see Jose Reyes hit in third spot this season.  According to, it looks like Jose is being diplomatic about the whole thing and is saying he would fine with that.  Well, Jose, I don't need to be diplomatic about it, IT'S A BAD IDEA.

Here's why...

1) There is not a better lead-off option for the Mets than Reyes...

Jerry, you need to play to your strengths.  And Jose Reyes causes problems at the top of the order for opposing teams, especially when he gets on base. He is a player who just by being on base will give your number 2, 3 & 4 hitters more fastballs to hit.  Because, it's easier to throw out a runner off a fastball than any other pitch.  Because, this may sound stupid and obvious but is still worth repeating, they get to the plate quicker and are easier to catch (less break) which allows for a quicker release from the catcher.  Having that threat at the top of your line-up changes the game.

Jose Reyes, when he's played a full season, has never stolen less than 56 bases.  The other obvious candidates to replace him in the lead-off hole, Luis Castillo and Angel Pagan do not have the same success Jose does.  Luis Castillo has not stolen more than 30 bases since 2002 (48 SB, 7 seasons ago) and since then has not stolen more than 25 (which he did only once since 2002).  Angel Pagan on the other hand has never played a full season, or stolen more than 14 bases in a year, but that is mostly due to a lack of playing time.

2) There is a better number 3 hitter on the Mets than Reyes...

David Wright should be this team's number 3 hitter.  He drives in more runs, more consistently and will hit more homers.  David Wright has averaged 23 homers, 94 RBI and a .519 slugging percentage, and those numbers include his rookie year where he only had 14 homers and 40 RBI, and last year, 10 homers & 72 RBI.  Yes, I get that Wright had a bad year last year, but it was because of a lack of protection, not because he doesn't have the power/ability.  Even without giving him a pass for last season, Wright's 10 HR/72 RBI season is only slightly worse than Reyes career year (power wise) of 2006 where he hit 19 HR/81 RBI, while his career average is 13 HR/67 RBI, about 10 homers and 30 RBI less than Wright's average. 

Beyond the homers and RBI, Wright hits for a higher average and slugging more consistently.  His career average is .309 with a .518 slugging percentage, while Reyes checks in at a .286 average with a .435 slugging. 

Wright's numbers are flat out better, and why is that...some might say it's because Reyes is a lead-off hitter.  My response to that is, "exactly."

3) Hitting third changes your approach to an at bat...

If Manuel goes ahead and hits Reyes third, there's a good chance Reyes will see more breaking pitches.  Jose will not have the opportunity to take a big rip at the first fastball that comes his way, because there may not be a first fastball that comes his way.

Also, Reyes will probably be concerned with trying to pull the ball more for power.  That's a horrible thing for Manuel to put in Reyes' mind before spring training.  When a player tries to pull more and increase their power they have a tendency to strike out more, and pop-up more.  A number three hitter does not get paid to get singles and run the bases well, he gets paid to drive in runs.  Here are the other number three hitters in the NL East: Brian McCann/Chipper Jones, Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Zimmerman, Chase Utley. 

Who belongs more in this group, Wright or Reyes?

4) The Mets line-up is not deep enough to handle that move...

This is my biggest problem with the idea.  Although Reyes might be able to put up numbers for the three spot, even as an unorthodox number three hitter, what will the line-up look like?

Currently, it's safe to assume the line-up will shake out something like this opening day:

Reyes, Castillo/Pagan, Wright, Bay, Francouer, Murphy, Santos/Thole, Pagan/Castillo, pitcher.

Here's what it'll look like with Reyes at 3.

Castillo/Pagan, Pagan/Castillo, Reyes, Bay, Wright, Francouer, Murphy, Santos/Thole, pitcher.

Here's the problem with that, you're top two hitters are a guy the team doesn't even want and your back-up center fielder.  That could potentially mean that any pitcher facing the Mets could face three lead-off-type hitters in the same inning.  What does that accomplish?  The whole point of a line-up is to be balanced so that you can score in ANY inning of a game not just certain innings.  Since the Mets have Pagan playing CF (who I like but not as an everyday player), an undetermined catching situation and Castillo, you want to balance the power in the line-up.

Using Reyes lead-off puts one of your better hitters first, followed by either Castillo or Pagan who can bunt/hit & run, and then the heart of your order Wright and Bay.  There is no reason to put Reyes at three in order to make it seem like your line-up is better than it actually is.  Granted this line-up will be a lot better when Beltran returns, in the meantime it's not worth sacrificing the top of the order to add another name to the middle of the line-up.  Because the truth be told, Francouer averages 20 HR and 90 RBI throughout his career as well, that would scare me more than Reyes.

Overall, I think this is something Manuel is throwing out there in an attempt to look like he's shaking things up from last year.  But everyone was hurt last year, what is there to shake-up?  It's not like they all underperformed.  The only players who underperformed were Wright and Murphy, and that was because Wright's protection was Murphy, Tatis and Gary Sheffield.  You've got to be kidding me.  If I'm pitching against that line-up, I'm throwing the junk at Wright just because I don't want him to do the damage.

I think Manuel is in danger of over-managing here because he fears for his job.  Jerry, these guys are good ballplayers, let them play and your job will take care of itself...

I Think I Like Francouer Even More Now, Get Me a Jersey

My man-crush on Jeff Francouer dates back to his Atlanta days.  As much as I wanted to see him fail because he was on the Braves, there was something about his arm and swing that made me swoon.  Now that he's on the Mets, I can bring out my true feeling without guilt, he's awesome. 

I know people are down on his OBP, and the fact that he swings at everything, but I like that aggressiveness.  He plays the game like you did as a kid, hard. And he doesn't get cheated at the plate.  And the more I hear him talking to media the more he grows on me.   After his comments, which are found here in an article by Brian Costa of the Newark Star-Ledger, I think Francouer can be a leader on this team as well, but in a different way than Reyes, Wright or Santana.

As much as I've like the confidence Santana, Reyes and Wright have publicly displayed over the last few days, somehow what Francouer is quoted as saying in the article is better.  "That's the one way you can shut everybody up is by going out and winning ballgames...The last two years, the Mets have been predicted to win and they never have, so maybe this is the year we'll slide under (the radar) and win."  I like it.  He knows what the Mets have to do to get people off their back, win.  Because he knows that winning is the best medicine, and it's great that he just came out and said it.  Francouer, who doesn't seem to be the mouthy type, is showing that his leadership will be shown on the field, and that if people want to under-estimate the Mets then they should go for it, because they'll have no problem flying under the radar.

Also in the article Francouer makes a pretty funny comment regarding the lowering of the center-field wall, "That was the funniest thing...I'd bet you maybe one more ball gets out," and another good quote about superstition and his thumb injury.  You can't help but like the guy, he sounds like he's having fun playing ball, and that he's looking forward to winning with the Mets.

I think Francouer is going to be a good point of assessment for the Mets season this year.  If the fans are off his back, then that means one of two things: Either the Mets are playing well and Francouer is producing, or there are bigger problems with the team.  I think most Mets fans were happy with the way he played last year, and I think this year will be no different.  I like what I've seen from him so far, and if he can really benefit from this change of scenery the way I think he will, then you might be seeing a few more Francouer jerseys at Shea this year.  And to be honest, I think I'll be leading the charge...

Mets Are Aware Escobar's Not 100%

According to Mike Puma in his Mets Blog for the New York Post, here, Puma clarifies the Escobar injury rumor.  After a report two days ago that Escobar was sore expanded yesterday to include he couldn't pick up a ball, Johan Santana came out and said he threw with Escobar over the past few days.  This was met with criticism, especially by myself, because that really didn't mean anything.  Just because Escobar threw over this past week doesn't mean he's not hurting today.  Regardless, it seems as though the Escobar injury rumors are slightly overblown and that he is just generally sore, and "not 100%". 

In the post, Puma makes an interesting statement when he says that, "Kelvim Escobar's shoulder isn't 100 percent, but this doesn't come as news to the Mets."  It's nice to know that the Mets don't have unrealistic expectations for a guy coming off surgery, but at the same time that they are still willing to say he's in the mix for the eighth inning job is a bit confusing.  I think this is an example of the media blowing the idea of him as a front-runner in that competition a little bit out of hand.  And it seems like that's why fans are so concerned with Escobar's potential soreness, because they have been told he could be the set-up man.

In the post, Omar is quoted as saying, "The plan all along has been we're not going to rush Escobar."  In general it seems like the Mets have a good grasp of what to expect from Escobar this spring, and are doing what they can to put him, and the team, in the best situation to succeed.   

Thursday, February 18, 2010

LoHud Mets Blog Posts Mets Spring Training TV Schedule

Time to get excited...

The LoHud Metsblog has posted the Spring Training television schedule for the Mets, here.

Not all games will be aired on either radio or TV, however, the ones that will be shown will be on SNY and PIX11 in the New York market.  There will also be a few games that will air on ESPN.  Certain games will also be available on the radio in conjunction with TV, on WFAN.  There will also be certain games that will be available only on WFAN. 

The first game to be aired is the opener on March 2nd at 1:10 pm against Atlanta.

Buster Olney's Best Case Scenarios Around MLB

In an article for Insider, here, Buster Olney looks at that best case scenarios for all 30 major league teams.  It's worth a look, if for no other reason than for Mets fans to realize that ALL TEAMS have question marks heading into Spring Training even the Phillies (Hamels, Lidge) and the Yankees (old age, Joba).

Most importantly, in his Mets section, Olney points to the return of starters like Reyes, Wright, Beltran, K-Rod to good health/productivity as best case scenario for the Mets in 2010.  Along with a surprising year from whoever wins the catching job, and Luis Castillo playing like it's 2009, again.  Finally, Olney states, "above all else, Oliver Perez goes back to being the lefty with dominant stuff."

Couldn't agree more, that IS the best case scenario for 2010.  Although probably would have also mentioned Maine, Pelfrey and the bullpen too.  That sentence just made me question my newly found optimism...ugh...

Escobar May Be More Hurt Than Originally Thought, And Why Minor League Deals Are The Answer

UPDATE: Adam Rubin is tweeting this.  I'm not ready to throw a party just yet.  Just because he was able to throw all week, doesn't mean he can do anything TODAY.  I'm going to hold out on this one.

So, there's an update on Kelvim Escobar today, relayed by from a tweet by Craig Calcaterra of Harball Talk, and here it is, "Just heard that Kelvim Escobar may be in worse shape than reported yesterday. Can't pick up a ball; could be seriously injured."

That's a problem, more so than the general soreness I was expecting to be hearing about today.  I guess that's going to lead the Mets to have to take another arm up from Spring Training that maybe they were not expecting to have to bring up.  Like I posted yesterday, here, this should not be cause for alarm just because Omar wanted him to be the eighth inning man.  As I mentioned yesterday, it would have been nice if Escobar outperformed everyone in Spring Training to earn the eighth inning job, but I think a more realistic expectation was that he'd compete for that.  So, I guess the Mets will leave it up to Feliciano, Green, Parnell and Igarashi to pick up that eighth inning role. 

The one thing I would be against is rushing out to sign Kiko Calero, or anyone else, to a major league deal.  With Calero, there's a more specific reason as to why a major league deal is a bad idea.  Here's why, the Marlins (the team he last pitched for) have concerns themselves about his health.  Not good. But if it's a minor league deal sign Calero and let's hope he does work out. In fact, I think rushing to sign anyone to a major league deal out of the bullpen at this point isn't worth it.

I say Omar should go all "Omar" on the remaining relief market and get as many of the following as you can on minor league deals: B.J. Ryan, Mike MacDougal, Joe Beimel, Russ Springer, David Weather.  Because the bottomline is, middle relievers are a crapshoot and the best shot at finding one for 2010, is checking them all out on the field. 

In this article Jayson Stark makes an interesting point about relief pitchers in general, they're inconsistent.  In this article, which is a fantastic read, Stark talks about the top 25 middle relievers (as ranked by ERA) and notes that of the 25, "Five pitchers on that list were rookies. But of the other 20 …Two had gotten released. … Three had either been designated for assignment or flat-out dumped by their previous team. … One was claimed on waivers. … One had been non-tendered. … Two had either failed a physical or had major surgery. … Two were signed as non-roster free agents."  What does this mean?  16 of the top 25 middle relievers were not expected to be as good as they were, and guess who's in that group, Kiko Calero, who the Marlins brought in as a non-roster invitee.  So, it's tough to get good middle relievers, because in general they are an inconsistent group...

Stark says, "...middle relievers are like the weather. They might look great today. They might look great tomorrow. But that never, ever means they'll still be looking great the next day."  I usually disagree with Stark, but this time he's spot on.  You can blame poor production on change of scenery (Sean Green) or being over-worked (Parnell) but the fact of the matter is these guys are relief pitchers out of necessity...

Stark goes on to quote a GM who says, "The first thing you've got to they're relievers for a reason. The reason they become relievers in the first place is because they have some flaws. They don't have a third pitch. They can't repeat their delivery. They've got an unorthodox arm angle. So we made them relievers -- because if we had a choice, we'd make them starters. Just the fact that we made them relievers means you're looking at an imperfect crop to begin with."  Exactly the point.  Middle relievers have a hard time duplicating success because they're inconsistent, which is why guys like Mariano Rivera, Lee Smith, John Franco are so rare.

So, if Escobar ends up being seriously hurt, which I hope isn't the case, Omar should rely on what he always does, bringing in quantity to try to unearth a gem.  This time (as opposed to bench/platoon position players), I think it's a good plan, especially because of the inconsistent nature of middle relievers in general...

Burkhardt Tweets: Ollie and Nieve Look Good

As tweeted by Kevin Burkhardt of SNY, Ollie Perez and Fernando Nieve both threw a bullpen today and looked good.  According to Burkhardt, "Ollie throwing darts this morning. Not sure what that means come April, but today - he looks good."  Wow, even Burkhardt must have burnt by Ollie a few too many times to bring too much optimism to the table.  Like everyone has said millions of times with Perez, it's not his talent that's the problem.  The guy has nasty stuff when he's there mentally, his problem comes when he starts talking to himself and trying to strike too many guys out.  For Perez to be effective he needs to pound the zone, and then build off that and make hitters chase that nasty slider of his out of the zone. 

As for Nieve, Burkhardt says, "Nieve's bullpen session impressed me. Good fastball location, sharp breaking ball. Told me he has felt good all winter."  Nieve was quoted in an article for the NY Post, here, saying, "I don't want to get too comfortable, because sometimes you get comfortable and work less than you used to be...I have to be the same, work hard and gain my spot."  Personally, I'm all for competition and everyone realizing there is a competition, but it sounds like Nieve is trying to humble himself.  I don't think Nieve realizes that Niese is going to push him, even if Nieve doesn't push himself.  The kid is good, and can could/should beat him out for the fifth starter gig, all things being equal, which unfortunately because of team options, etc., isn't true...

Reyes and Wright Convince Me: Why Not the Mets?

In an article for the New York Post, Kevin Kernan puts a little more optimism in the minds of the Mets fan.  Yesterday, David Wright's comments about believing the Mets could make the world series were re-iterated by Reyes, according to Kernan.  Kernan makes a great point about Reyes and Wright in his article saying, "There's nothing wrong in believing in your team, especially when no one else believes in it. And no one believes in the Mets right now. It has to start somewhere." 

According to Kernan, "A healthy Reyes said he believes he can make a difference and is shooting to have a big season. He said he is looking to bat over .300, have at least "200 hits" and hopes to steal 50 bases."  I can't disagree with Jose, because these are about where his numbers should be in a healthy year.  Like, I've written before it's not unfair to expect those numbers from Reyes, because he is an elite player.

Kernan also goes on to talk about the Reyes contract situation upcoming at the end of the season.  Making note that the team has an $11 million option for him, and that Jose has said before and continues to say, he wants to finish his career with the Mets.  If he stays healthy and productive, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he'll finish his career not just as a Met, but as a Mets great.

Articles like this give me optimism, and optimism always looms large in the Spring.  Admittedly, I didn't believe the optimism last year.  But hearing these things from Wright and Reyes are fantastic.   This is a different year, a new start and a healthier team, isn't it?  So, why not the Mets?  Maybe this is the season Perez, Maine and Pelfrey all put it together.  Maybe Thole or Santos prove to be adequate major leaguers.  Maybe K-Rod is dominant.  Maybe Igarashi turns out to be a stud. Maybe Castillo gets traded (haha, sorry needed to toss that in there).  Maybe the Mets can put together enough of a run and get hot at the right time, and be like the Rockies or Rays and shock everyone.  It can happen, and I'm starting to believe that the Mets have enough fire-power to make it happen.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kelvim Escobar is Sore, Still Breathing

Alright, Mets fans...take a deep breath. 

According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, as relayed by Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog, Kelvim Escobar is experiencing some discomfort in the surgically repaired shoulder.  And all accross the board Mets fans are freaking out.  Don't believe me? Check out any Mets fan site and you'll see posts about it.

Here's my message:  Don't Freak....yet.  I know with last year's disaster it's tough for Mets fans, myself included, to stay grounded about certain things.  This, however, is a situation where you need to be calm for a few reasons.

First off, he just had surgery and hasn't pitched (for the most-part) in two years, so if he's been working out to pitch, he's probably sore.  I can't guarantee that this is specifically what's going on with Escobar, BUT, it's within reason that a guy who hasn't used shoulder muscles to pitch in basically two years might get sore when he finally starts to use them again.

And secondly, wasn't Escobar supposed to be a high risk signing?  Are people freaking because Omar wanted him to compete for the eighth inning role?  If, for some reason Escobar is hurt again, and can't throw, we still have Parnell, Igarashi, Feliciano and others who could potentially serve as the set-up man.  To be honest, I think I may have been more concerned in the state of the bullpen if a guy coming off surgery was the best option for the eighth inning.

The bottom line here is that this guy can help us, and he's not out just yet.  He's just a little sore, and that's to be expected.  I'm going to reserve my freaking out until I know he's out, and that money could have been used elsewhere...

PECOTA Craps On Mets, Projects 79-83 Season Insider has put out it's NL East season preview as projected by PECOTA.  For those who do not know what PECOTA is, the article defines PECOTA as, "Baseball Prospectus' proprietary system that projects player and team performance based on comparison with thousands of player seasons."  According to PECOTA, the Phillies are projected to win the division, followed by the Braves, Marlins, Mets and Nationals, in that order.  The Mets are projected to finish with a record of 79-83...awesome (sarcasm).

Goldstein rains on the Bay Parade as well, in this preview.  Goldstein states, "PECOTA sees a player who is not aging so gracefully, with a .258/.360/.475 line."  Although Goldstein leaves out the specific power prediction for Bay, it's still not good. 

Not all news in the article is bad, however.  In this preview Goldstein does put some positive spin on the 2010 season for the Mets, namely calling 2010 a rebound year for David Wright for whom, "PECOTA projects a strong rebound: a batting line of .303/.401/.516 with 26 home runs."  These numbers are greatly aided by the presence of Reyes and Bay to help Wright carry the offense.

 I would have to agree that Goldstein's general assessment of the Mets is correct: star power, got better in left field but didn't upgrade the rotation.  Somehow, I am confident the Mets will be a better team than 79-83, but that is a fan talking.  I'm hoping the things PECOTA cannot predict will come into play.  Specifically, other major injuries/disspointments within the division, or the potential that Oliver Perez doesn't stink this year.  Because let's be honest, no one can predict Oliver Perez.

But that's why they play the games, right?

Is Trading for Lowell Still a Good Idea?

Awhile ago I was a big proponent of the Mets dealing Castillo for Mike Lowell, and today according to WEEI in Boston, Lowell apparently still thinks he'll be dealt.  This report was forwarded by Matthew Cerrone of, here.

My immediate knee jerk reaction is that now it's too late. 

Although, I think Lowell would have made for a great platoon partner for Murphy at 1B and could have provided some pop off the bench when he wasn't starting, it's too late.  The Mets have already committed a major league deal to Tatis, and brought in Mike Jacobs to compete for the position as well.  Beyond that, bringing in Lowell would kill any competition for the final bench spot and that won't fly with Omar.   Mainly because Omar likes to look like a genius by finding a marginal player who'll play better than they should, so he can hang his hat on their success (ie. Jose Valentin).  

Beyond the firstbase logjam a trade of Lowell/Castillo would create, there's another problem.  The Mets would have no other options at 2B.  The Mets don't have enough depth at 2B and there aren't many free agents left. I don't want to see Cora starting at 2B, or Tatis there to start the season.  Yes, I know Felipe Lopez is available.  And yes, I think Lopez could be a fit, BUT I have a feeling he'll be signed by the start of camp SOMEWHERE.  And anyone potentially dealing for Lowell would probably want to see that he's healthy before they do anything.  Combine those two, and chances are that Lopez would be off the market before the Mets could potentially pull the trigger on a deal for Lowell. 

That being said...

If Lopez is available by the time the Mets would be comfortable dealing for Lowell, I would do it.  I know that would make any bench competition useless.  But that is the only situation in which I could see that happening.  Still, I wouldn't hold my breath...

Fantastic Baseball Movie: Sugar

So, this is slightly off from the normal baseball talk, but last night I watched an outstanding film about baseball and the American dream, called Sugar

It's a fantastic movie about a young man from the Dominican Republic who gets plucked from a baseball camp and sent to the minors.  The movie focuses on the growth of the main character both as a baseball player and a person.  It does a great job of looking at how these young players are filled with hope and ideas of glory, while also showing the reality of how difficult it is to "make it". 

Without giving too much more away, I think that anyone who likes baseball should give this movie a spin.  It gives real insight into the pressure of making it, and gives a great perspective on baseball players as people, which unfortunately is something fans and media tend to forget...

With The Mets Moving on Barajas (Again), Would Thole Get The PT He Needs In Buffalo?

It looks like the Mets are still trying to add Rod Barajas, the only question is exactly how hard they are pushing to do it.  According to Ken Rosenthal of, the Mets "are making "a hard push" for free-agent catcher Rod Barajas and negotiating with him on a one-year deal, according to major-league sources."  This is interesting because according to Jon Heyman on twitter, the Mets have offered Barajas a low salary, minor-league deal.

Personally, I'm having a hard time reconciling these two reports.  I guess the main thing to take from these is that the Mets are still interested in adding Barajas and seem to be in negotiations.  However, I find it hard to believe that you can characterize a low money-minor league deal as a "hard push."  I know this will excite some Mets fans who didn't like the idea of the unproven Thole behind the plate, or another year of Santos, but I'm slightly bummed about it.  At this point, I wanted to see Thole win the job, and I think the presence of Barajas might block that, even if Thole plays well.

While I'm sure Barajas is a fine defensive catcher, and will definitely be an upgrade over Santos, (should they sign him) I'm a little confused again.   I was just getting warm on the idea of letting Thole learn to catch with Blanco and a major league staff.  Beyond that, this is going to cause a serious problem at Triple-A.  Now you have Riggans, Coste, Santos and Thole all vying for playing time in Buffalo.  To me that's not going to be beneficial to the growth of Thole as a catcher.  If he's not in the majors, the guy needs to be playing everyday in the minors, PERIOD.  There should be no debate about this.  The fact that there will be three other catchers competing for playing time in TRIPLE-A, is not good.

Although, I know most people will be excited about the defensive "prowess" of Barajas, who was second in the AL in throwing at baserunners, I'm slightly concerned about putting a guy with an OBP of .258 last year into the line-up.  I know it's late to harp on this, but if the Mets wanted an upgrade they should have gotten Molina.  While I think Barajas would be fine, his defense better blow me out of the water because his presence in the line-up would give the Mets close to two automatic outs (pitcher spot), and that's something you cannot have in a major league line-up...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Thing I Forgot: Perez Used to Be Filthy

It's easy to forget this, but remember when Oliver Perez was filthy?

It's tough to remember this because he's been so inconsistent and hasn't been dominant in the past few years.  But guess what, Oliver Perez CAN be filthy.  Yeah, I know, the guy's a headcase.  But, he's a headcase who can strike out over 170 batters a season, and has the capability to be a number two pitcher, like he was in 2007.

It has been written about before that Oliver Perez can hold the key to the Mets season.  I don't know that it's on him, as much as it is on the staff in general.  Even if Perez doesn't turn in a fantastic season, the Mets can still have a good rotation if Maine, Pelfrey and the fifth starter improve.  Perez's line doesn't need to return to a 2.98 ERA with 239 K's (like it was in 2004 for the Pirates-YES, this is the same Oliver Perez) or the 3.56 ERA and 174 strikeout performance he had in 2007 for the Mets, any improvement on his part would improve the team's likelihood of competing this season.  So, Ollie, don't try to bite off more than you can chew, take it bit-by-bit and slowly improve, and the rest will come. 

Perez has for long been acknowledged as a guy with great "stuff."  I don't think there is any debate there.  And at the age of 28, he is NOT a candidate for just "not having it anymore."  He's young and he has the skills/live arm to succeed, so do it.  His problem lies in his mental make-up, and if he can re-gain the confidence that he had in 2004 or 2007, the Mets might have found themselves a number 2 starter...

Time To Catch On: Why I Want Thole To Win The Starting Catcher Job

In an article written by Brian Costa of the Newark Star-Ledger the Mets starting catching competition is given an interesting angle that I never ACTUALLY realized was a possibility.  Costa quotes Omar Minaya as saying, "Right now, we don't see Blanco as a full-time guy...We see him as a part-time guy. So it's going to be between Santos and Thole."

I realize that this might not be such a huge shock to everyone else, but I wasn't expecting Omar to put it that blunt.  I was expecting an "it's an open competition comment" or something else along those lines.  This quote from Omar takes it one step further basically saying everyone else is for depth, and these two guys have the chance to win this job.  I LOVE IT. 

It seems as though everyone feels Thole can hit at the major league level judging from his .321 average and .356 OBP he put up after his September call-up last year, and I agree.  I watched the guy hit last year and thought he looked great.  Granted he will not have much power, but if he can hit .300 for the entire season, I don't mind the lack of power, mainly because the other option is Santos who would only provide a marginal power increase and a much lower batting average and OBP.  In fact, I like this kid Thole so much with the bat, that should he make the team and win the starting job, I would go as far as to say he should hit number two in the line-up.  The kid looks to have great bat control, as he only struck out in 8.4% of his at bats.  Although this is from a small sample size, his rate is actually less than Albert Pujols (K'd 9% of the time) and Luis Castillo (10%).  In no way am I saying this kid will be one of the toughest hitters to strike out in the league, but what I am saying is that he clearly has good bat control and could probably be counted on to bunt and hit and run on a regular basis.  Combine the bat control with high average, and you've got a pretty decent number two hitter.  And beyond that, should he hit before Wright/Beltran/Bay he'd be likely to see more fastballs and that would give him a better chance to succeed as a rookie at the plate, and might allow him to concentrate more on his defense which would be the larger concern.

Obviously, the knock on Thole is that he's not "there yet" defensively, but if the Mets already have Henry Blanco on the bench for his defense then Blanco should be used.  I'm not saying start Blanco, but I am saying that he's valuable both as a player and a teaching tool.  I'd rather Thole split time with Blanco and learn to catch from him on the major league level, with the pitchers he'll have to catch in 2011, than have Thole go to Buffalo and catch minor-leaguers while learning from Chris Coste.

So, if Ike Davis is getting consideration at first, than I'm happy to see Thole get the same consideration behind the plate.  And I hope he can come through, because I think (and don't think I'd be alone in this) most Mets fans would be more excited by the prospect of Thole behind the plate than Santos.  So now it's on Thole to get it done.  Earn your keep kid, I'd like to see you behind the plate in April...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Endy Signs With Texas

As relayed by, here, Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting via twitter that Endy Chavez has signed a minor leage deal with the Texas Rangers. 

Chavez would have been a nice addition to the bench competition for the Mets, but my guess is seeing all the other bodies out there in the Mets outfield, he had a better shot to make a team elsewhere.  I don't blame Chavez for making this move, and don't even blame the Mets for not signing him (assuming they tried). 

Chavez is responsible for possibly one of the greatest catches of all-time.  He is a part of Mets folklore, and unfortunately the outcome of that game has seemed to keep him out of MLB folklore.  Endy will always be a player I root for, and I hope that should it make sense again in the future, I would like to see the Mets and Endy re-unite.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Interesting Read: Ike Davis Could Run the Table at First

In an article for Seven Train to Shea Blog, Matt Pignataro, wonders if Ike Davis will "run the table in Spring Training to grab the starting job at 1B.  In his post, Pignataro cites Davis' father and Minaya as saying that Davis could make some noise and get the job, as well as citing Adam Rubin who thinks that we should, "give him a little more time".  In this same article Pignataro talks about Davis' improving fly ball rate and increading strike out rate, saying, "Davis's fly ball rate has improved from 34.1% in 2008, to a solid 42.8% in 2009. But however his strikeout rate (SO/AB) has increased from 20% in 2008 at Brooklyn, to 23.4% in 2009 at St. Lucie, to 29% at Binghamton."

Although, I think Davis is going to be a real solid player, I'm not sure he's really getting a fair shot to win the position this spring.  I'm sure the Mets will say he's got a chance to win the job, but in all honesty, he's fighting with two players who were starting 1B last season, Murphy and Jacobs, and a favorite of Minaya's and Manuel's in Fernando Tatis.  We might see him at some point this season prior to roster expansion, but I wouldn't be surprised if we're waiting until September for his arrival.

Regardless he seems poised to be the Mets firstbaseman of the future, and that is something I'm personally looking forward to...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Reyes: Fantasy and Reality

Let me preface this post by saying I love fantasy sports, especially baseball, BUT I think in analyzing a players talents and abilities stats aren't always the greatest indicators. I'm still convinced the most effective way of establishing the value of a player is by the "eye test."

That being said, in an article for insider, Eric Karabell discusses players that are worth watching this Spring Training, both for the purpose of establishing their value in fantasy, and reality.   In this article Karabell focuses on Jim Edmonds, Jake Fox and Jose Reyes, and says of Reyes, "the fact is Jose Reyes might be this team's most indispensable player. If he plays in only 36 games again, the Mets will be sunk..."  Karabell is mainly focused on the fantasy angle overall, and talks about how Reyes has been going around the third round in most fantasy drafts, which is down from where he was a year ago.  But Karabell seems to find himself making interesting statements that qualify both in fantasy relevance, and otherwise.  He talks about the Mets catching situation as being an interesting one to monitor from a fantasy perspective.  The most interesting statement Karabell makes about the Mets might be the following, "Basically, if there was only one team you had to watch this spring, it might be the Mets."

I couldn't agree with Karabell more.  I think Reyes is the most important cog on this team, as you can see in my rah-rah post from the other day.  Jose Reyes is the heart and soul of this team, and they CANNOT go down like they did last year with this guy healthy, he just won't let it happen.  Reyes is too fiery and has too much talent, passion and pride to let his team go down like that again.  Unfortunately for the Mets and their fans, he leads by example, and last season he couldn't lead from the bench.

As for the Mets being the team to watch in Spring Training for fantasy purposes, I completely agree.  Fantasy owners want to see how Reyes looks, the catcher battle, 1B battle and CF play.  But to Mets fans, Spring Training will be most important for re-vitalization a fan base that couldn't feel any lower right now.  And a healthy Jose Reyes will be a huge step in the right direction... 

Battles This Spring, Beltran Plans To Be There

According to Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, spring training is going to be a time for battles, hopefully not between management itself, but rather for playing time.  Kernan quotes Omar as saying, "I'm excited...There's going to be a lot of competition in camp. That's something we've been trying to do."  In the article Kernan points to catcher and first base as two major battles, with catcher becoming a battle between five players with yesterday's inexplicable signing of yet another back-up catcher, Shawn Riggans.  First base will be a battle between Murphy, Tatis, Jacobs and Ike Davis who Kernan quoted Omar as saying: "Ike Davis is going to push people."  Then he continues, "Davis' father, Ron, the ex-Yankee reliever, said his son is ready for the majors 'right now.'"

Beyond those battles Mets fans can expect a battle for the bench, as well as the rotation's fifth spot and relief roles.  And while I think competition is a great idea, I'm a little concerned that Omar sometimes does too much of this.  By that I mean, he has a tendency to hang his hat on the minor league free agent signings that work out, ie Tatis and Jose Valentin.  Normally, I would have no problem with this except it almost seems like Omar just signs anyone who has talent that could never really get it together, in an attempt to find a "diamond in the rough."  Sure, I know there is no real risk in doing this, but my problem comes in when Omar takes credit for finding these guys, meanwhile he's just brought in so many people to compete in his tenure that at least one or two are destined to work out.  Once again, I don't have a problem with him doing this, my problem comes when people give him credit for Valentin and Tatis, when there were enough Bobby Kielty's, Casey Fossum's and Rob Mackowiack's to fill out triple-A, which probably explains why Buffalo isn't usually a good team.  My beef is with him getting credit for a few out of a much larger number working out.  You know, something about a blinc squirrel and a nut...

In a different article for the New York Post, Mark Hale, writes about how Carlos Beltran is expected in camp with the Mets, not to play just yet, but just to be part of the team.  Hale quotes assistant Gm John Ricco as saying, "He doesn't have to report [then], but I think he was planning on coming in right around when the other position players did...He was not just going to stay at home and rehab with the physical therapist there."

I love this.  This is the stuff that gets undervalued.  Just by Beltran being there he's pushing Matthews Jr. and Pagan by showing them he's going to be back and ready, and in general gives the team confidence that they have the talent to compete, and will be getting even better shortly.

I think it's about time I said this...Despite this team's short-comings, I think this is going to be a fun year in the Citi...Field....


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Damon Gets 2-Year Offer From Tigers

According to Ken Rosenthal of, the Tigers have offered Johnny Damon a 2-year $14 million deal.  According to Rosenthal, this offer was authorized by Tigers owner Mike Ilitch.

Rosenthal's sources seem to believe that Damon will take this deal, leaving the Braves to work with Cabrera, McClouth and Diaz (most likely) in the outfield until Jason Heyward is ready.  I think this is probably a better move for Atlanta in the long-run because of the potential of Jason Heyward, and the bad range/arm that Damon exhibits.  As a Mets fan, you have to be happy about this because it will keep the Braves from immediately upgrading their offense, BUT, it could open up an avenue for Heyward, who could be a real thorn for years to come...

Things I've Forgotten This Offseason

Like most Mets fans, I've spent a HUGE portion of August through February calling last year a disappointment, being down on the organization and calling for the Mets to sign any-and-everybody they could in an effort to make this team viable again.  Let's face it, last year may well have been the toughest season in recent memory for Mets fans to endure.  It was a season of huge expectations, huge potential and even bigger injuries and disappointments.  And being caught up in all that, there are things I seem to have forgotten about this off-season: Jose Reyes and Johan Santana.

It's hard to deny that last season's injuries were devastating to the teams chances at success, but in my opinion nothing was more detrimental than losing Jose Reyes.  Reyes is without a doubt one of the most dynamic (if not the most dynamic) player I have ever seen in a Mets jersey.  His incredible combination of speed and power makes him a player that the Mets' opponents and fans can't take their mind off.  But I haven't seen that combination since May...

Prior to last season, when Jose only played in 39 games, he never stole less than 56 bases in a full season, hit double-digit homers in 3 of his 4 full major league seasons, and never scored less than 99 runs in a season.  Last season Jose stole 11 bases, hit 2 homers, and scored 18 runs.  It's an easy thing to forget how good, and dynamic a player Reyes is when he hasn't been on the field.

I've also seem to have forgotten how good Johan Santana is because of the team he had playing behind him last season, and the offense trying to support him.  This is one of (if not) the best pitchers in the game, who has the ability to shut down his opponents seemingly at will.  In two seasons with the Mets he put up ERA's of 2.53 and 3.13, while striking out 206 and 146 batter respectively and has been a leader on this team. 

Yet somehow I've forgotten about him, too...

Even if you're a pessismistic Mets fan, you cannot deny the excitement you got watching Reyes punch a ball into the gap and motor for three, or the feeling of confidence you had that Santana could get out of that bases-loaded jam.  We all had those feelings, and we all seem to have forgotten about them because we're ticked off about Omir Santos or Luis Castillo.  The Mets can win with players like Castillo and Santos (or in some cases seemingly in spite of them) because we have some supreme talent in Reyes, Santana, Wright, Bay and others.

These players are game-changers, high echelon talents that can put a team on their back and take them to the playoffs.  We, as Mets fans, don't seem to remember that because last year was so dreadful.  So, maybe we as Mets fans need to focus on what we do have (Reyes, Wright, Bay, Santana, K-Rod) as opposed to what we are missing (catching, a better second baseman, a number two starter) and remember that despite the disspointment the ends of the 2007 and 2008 seasons were, we thought we were only a bullpen away...

It's been a long time since we've been confident as a fan base, and although most can view this as drinking the "kool-aid", I'm excited for the team to get back on the field and for fans to remember that in Reyes, Santana and Wright we have some serious talent that should (and will) keep us in contention this season. 

This is my rah-rah speech for the season, and to be honest I actually am starting to believe in what we have, because sometimes I guess that cheesy expression is correct, "it's hard to see the forest through the trees"...

NY Times Says Mets Near Deal With Takahashi

After all that, it looks like the Mets will be signing the soon-to-be 35 year old, Hisanori Takahashi on a minor league deal. David Waldstein of the New York Times is reporting, here, that the Mets are nearing a deal with the lefty. According to Waldstein the deal is "believed to be worth about $1 million if Takahashi makes the major league team, with a chance to make roughly an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses."  Waldstein then goes on to say that this might indicate the Mets being out on John Smoltz, as he is reportedly looking for at least $3 million.

Although Takahashi has had what Waldstein is calling an "inconsistent career in Japan", he still seems to me to be a good signing for the bullpen.  However, Waldstein seems to think the Mets have a different idea for Takashi, "he will be given a chance to compete for the Mets’ fifth starter’s job, and could also be used out of the bullpen. Unless the Mets sign or trade for another pitcher, Takahashi will compete with Fernando Nieve and Jon Niese for the final spot in the rotation, although with his experience there is a chance he could move to a higher position in the rotation before long."  I don't see this guy being able to compete for long with Niese and Nieve, considering Niese has a chance to be the golden boy and Nieve pitched pretty decent last season.  I think Waldstein is probably giving a little too much thought to Takahashi in the rotation, as he'll probably end up competing for a spot as a second lefty out of the 'pen.  If he makes it into the rotation I'll be concerned, as the scouting report on him includes an underwhelming fastball and isn't know to be a huge innings eater.

In general I like the move, the more competition on minor league deals, the better chance they have of one of these guys working out.  That has, and seems to always be, Omar's plan.  Omar likes the reputation of "unearthing gems" like he did with Tatis a few years back.  The only thing about that plan I don't like is that it seems that Omar takes his focus off of the "big fish" who is probably a sure-fire bet, in an attempt to prove his savvy and sign the cheap alternative with the potential to be useful.  I hope Takahashi works out, but I'm concerned about him being brought in when a guy like Joe Beimel is still out there on the market...


Takahashi is apparently not a bullpen option, reports Kevin Burkhardt on twitter.  Apparently, he's either going to be a Tom Glavine type, or will pitch in Buffalo, according to Burkhardt.  I guess that'll have to do then...

Mets and Dodgers Finalists on Hisanori Takahashi

According to Ken Davidoff on twitter, Nippon Sports is reporting that Takahashi will sign a minor league deal with either the Mets or the Dodgers.

I guess that means either the Mets beefed up their offer since it was reported they and the Orioles were rejected, or the original report was wrong.  Regardless it'd be nice to bring another lefty into the mix for spring training, who could potentially help take the load off of Feliciano a bit during the regular season.  Apparently this guy has a screwball, which is tough for lefties to hit coming from the left-side.  I can't say that won't be useful against the left-handed heavy power of the Phillies line-up.  This could potentially be a very important move should the Mets be able to pull it off...


Some information relayed by, here, about Roch Kubatko of, here, discussing Takahashi.  In the article Kubatko references this scouting report that says the screwball is Takahashi's best pitch, but last year lefties hit .300 against him.  That doesn't sound too promising for a lefty specialist, maybe they've just seen his screwball too

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Today's NL East Rumors: Damon, Wang, Delgado and Endy

According to's Mark Bowman, here, a major league source has confirmed that the Atlanta Braves have made a one-year offer to Johnny Damon.  The source apparently was also able to say that the deal included some deferred money, which makes sense considering the Braves are only rumored to have about $3 million available and Damon is a Boras client.  Should Damon end up signing with Atlanta they have definitely upgraded their left field spot in the order from last year (Garrett Anderson/Matt Diaz).  However, the one thing this would do is potentially delay the major league arrival of Jason Heyward, who is going to be a STUD.  As a Mets fan, I'd rather the Braves sign Damon and have crummy outfield defense, than have unlimited potential at the plate and a better arm in Heyward out there.  Here's an article about how good this kid could be, and how good he could make the Braves.  Scary stuff...

In the meantime it seems as though the Braves aren't alone in looking in on Damon.  According to Jon Paul Morosi on twitter, "the Tigers are devoted to the pursuit of Damon, first and foremost."  This is an interesting situation, as it could really change what the Braves line-up and defense looks like this season.

We started today with the idea that Wang had signed with the Nationals, then we were told he didn't and two teams were in on it.  Then Heyman came out and pointed to the Dodgers as the other team in on Wang.  But now, Heyman on twitter, is saying the Dodgers are no longer in on Wang, concluding that if it was a two team race, Wang's probably heading to the Nats.  Awesome (sarcasm).

As relayed through rotoworld, ESPNDeportes is reporting that Carlos Delgado will retire if he doesn't get a "substantive" major league deal.  No offense to Carlos, but I think he needs to retire, or go to the AL.  Every report out of Puerto Rico said he was limping,  and was not very mobile in some earlier fall league games.  Like I've said before a hip injury is a tough injury to recover from, and in the past has been known to kill old people and dogs...

Finally, Jon Paul Morosi on, is saying that Endy Chavez is healing quicker than expected, and has interest from the Mets, Mariners, Blue Jays, Astros and Royals. Morosi also goes on to say, "At this point, Chavez and his agents must decide on one of two courses of action: Chavez could sign with a club soon and rehabilitate with the team’s medical staff throughout spring training, or continue his workouts individually and stage a showcase in late March." 

Alright, I love the idea of bringing in Endy, it's better than Willy Taveras because Endy can hit better than .240 and has similar speed and range.  As far as Morosi's idea of Endy signing with a team and rehabbing with their medical staff, my response is this: NO!  Especially if he's going to sign with the Mets. Endy should keep his body at a safe distance from the people who did such a terrible job with Beltran, Reyes, Maine and Perez, last year.  On a serious note, Endy Chavez would be a great addition, and would give nice depth to the Mets especially if Beltran takes longer than expected to return...

Giants Sign Wellemeyer

As forwarded by rotoworld, Mychael Urban of on twitter, is reporting the Giants have signed Todd Wellemeyer to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training as a non-roster invitee.

Good for Wellemeyer.  It's nice to see players get a chance to succeed.  Unfortunately for him, it'll likely be as a reliever, not a starter.  Regardless, it's not a bad risk for San Fran, but it is one I am VERY HAPPY the Mets did not take.  I just don't see this guy as a quality major league arm. But as far as depth goes, it could be worse...

Nationals Reportedly Close to Signing, Also Reportedly Have Good Rotation

The Washington Nationals look to have just improved their rotation, again.  According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe on twitter, Chien Ming Wang has decided to sign with the Nationals.  This is a good signing for the Nationals as Wang should be available starting May and has a really nice upside.

This gives the Nationals a good rotation should Wang return to the 19 game winner he was a few years ago.  Their rotation now looks something like this (when Wang is healthy): John Lannan, Scott Olsen, Chien Ming Wang, Jason Marquis and Craig Stammen (not to mention Shairon Martis, Jordan Zimmermann, J.D. Martin and Stephen Strasburg waiting in the wings).  Not only is there is a ton of young talent in that group, but there is also some serious veteran leadership, and potential budding stars.  That is scary...

The worst part of this, besides the Mets missing out on a serious candidate to fill their number 2 starter role, is that a competitor got better.  Now, in any three game series against the Nationals the Mets are gauranteed to face either Lannan, Wang or Marquis.  That is no easy task.  I'm not saying the Nats are better than the Mets right now (even with this addition), but I am saying they certainly will NOT be a pushover this season...


According to Ben Goessling on twitter, the Nats do NOT yet have an agreement as Wang is still 7-10 days away from deciding.  Well, they still have a good rotation for now, with the potential of getting even better should Wang decides he wants to play there.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mets Have No Money for Barajas, Close in On Signing Mike Jacobs

In a post to mlb offseason buzz attributed both to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, apparently the Mets and Rangers seem to be the two most interested in Rod Barajas.  Interesting. 

But even more interesting is that the Mets "are out of money, major-league sources say".  Ok, wow, this is a problem.  I guess that could be why the Mets are so far behind on Wang, and were asking the Diamondbacks to pay for all of Snyder should they deal for him.  This is probably also why they haven't made a deal with the Reds, dealt Castillo, or made any real free agent acquisition, because they can't.

But what is puzzling to me then, is how they were able to sign Bay, 2 catchers,  add Matthews Jr., Escobar and Igarashi.  Did something happen in the last few weeks that has caused them to completely shut down their spending, to the point where they are digging around for minor league signings.  Speaking of which...

According to Jerry Crasnick on his twitter account, the Mets are close to bringing Mike Jacobs back into the fold on a minor league deal.  Well good for Jacobs, I liked him when he was here and wouldn't mind his powerful bat making the bench.  Although, that would leave the Mets with a lot of 1B only players on their roster.  So that could be a problem...

Rosenthal: Dodgers Lagging on Wang, Mets Further Behind

According to Ken Rosenthal on, in an update to the offseason buzz that you can read here, Chien Ming Wang is hoping to make a decision on where he'll sign in 7 to 10 days.  Also according to Rosenthal, "Various teams are at different points in the process with Wang. The Dodgers are lagging, the source said, and the Mets are further behind."

Let me just say this: COME ON!  The Mets have some time to get cracking still on Wang, but this is not a good sign.  How are they not in on him?  Or if they are, Why does this report make it seem like they aren't interested?  This is the Mets' last shot at a potential top-of-the-rotation, impact free agent pitcher signing(Washburn is good, but not a number 2).  They cannot afford to miss out on Wang because of indecisiveness, or lack of a quorum amongst the ownership as to whether or not to get him.  He provides the most upside of available pitchers, and has been good in NY before.  There's nothing wrong with signing him to a one year deal, show him the money.  If it's a multi-year concern, then play it careful, but still I think he'll prove worth it.

By the way, if he ends up on the Cardinals (who have been link to him this offseason) and returns to form, that rotation becomes UNREAL.  Please Omar, don't let that happen...

Metsblog a Great Keith/Murphy Workout Video has a great video up on the site right now of Keith working on defense at 1B with Murphy, Chris Carter and Nick Evans.

This is type of stuff that the general public almost never sees.  SNY and Metsblog have done a great job in posting a little insight into what players have to do to get themselves better.  As someone who still plays the game (at a "semi-professional" level), it's nice to see some of the nuansces of the game being shared.  In the video, Keith specifically talks to the guys about: getting runners at second on a groundball to first (regarding baserunner speed etc), checking runners at third on grounders to 1B and the proper angle in which to bounce off the bag after holding a runner on. 

There is some really good stuff, on this 4 minute video, and while I'm sure anyone who reads this blog already reads Metsblog, if you missed it or something it's definitely worth looking for.

How the A's Move Today Got Me Annoyed at the Mets

The report that Willy Taveras was released outright by the A's really ticked me off as a Mets fan...


1) With the outright release of Willy Taveras the A's are taking a $4 million hit on their payroll this season.  Meanwhile the Mets are "saddled" with Castillo at $6 million, and cannot release him. 

How is it the Mets are incapable of dropping Castillo and paying $6 million/year for the next two seasons, but the A's are completely capable of dropping Taveras and absorbing his $4 million tag this season?  I understand the A's are paying little in overall salary fo dropping Taveras won't kill them, but think about this.  Percentage wise, Taveras' $4 million is a larger piece of the A's salary this season than Castillo's $6 million is to the Mets (I realize that Castillo has another year on his contract, but contracts are bought out based on payroll for the year not the full contract at once).  While I realize there are other factors that make their way into this discussion, that's a tough pill for me to swallow, especially when there were upgrades available for them, like Hudson.

2) Willy Taveras could be had for $400,000 right now had the Mets not traded Stokes for Matthews Jr.  Now there is no way the Mets could have expected this to happen, but it got me annoyed that they could have potentially gotten a better defensive player for their outfield depth.  And when comparing the two, according to the UZR stat and the good old "eye test" (I'm not wild about Sabremetrics) Taveras would play a superior defense to Matthews, all while costing less in money and in years.  Granted, Taveras hits like my grandmother .240 with a .275 OBP, Matthews isn't much better at .250, with almost 100 less AB's than Taveras.

I'm NOT advocating picking up Taveras, but I do think there WOULD be have been some value to adding him now at the major league minimum, as a 5th outfielder, had the Mets not acquired Matthews Jr.

I might be overreacting here, but the bottomline is I am annoyed at this offseason in general.  And wish the Mets did more to improve the team than they have so far...

Sherman says Omar Can Salvage Offseason

In an article for the New York Post, Joel Sherman explains how in a few simple moves Omar can salvage the offseason. Sherman points to Rod Barajas, Felipe Lopez, Russell Branyan, Kiko Calero and Jarrod Washburn as cheap additions the Mets can make, especially considering the unspent money they had reserved for Bengie Molina.

I completely agree, AT THIS POINT IN THE OFFSEASON, with Sherman thinking the Mets should still add Lopez, Washburn and Barajas.  I am really not comfortable with the idea of Santos behind the plate for the team, and think although Barajas would NOT be a huge upgrade over Santos, he would still be an upgrade.  And it seems to be conventional wisdom that the guy can be had on a pretty cheap one year contract.

Washburn I believe would definitely be a better option than starting the season with Nieve as the fifth starter, but doesn't he want to be in Seattle or Minnesota.  From what it sounds like Washburn is considering retiring, which to me means he's not getting a deal even close to what he wants.  Another guy, I feel, the Mets can swoop in and grab at a decent price, as long as he's willing to let go of his geographic request.

Felipe Lopez, while I believe would be a substantial upgrade at 2B offensively and a decent upgrade defensively, would truly tick me off if the Mets added him.  Why?  Because Orlando Hudson is an all-around better player than Lopez, so if the Mets were willing all along to spend to bring in another 2B, why wouldn't they just make it Hudson.  It's not like Lopez is a viable back-up shortstop option, because of the ridiculous number of errors he's made there (20 in 2008, 28 in 2007 and hasn't been back).  And not that errors mean everything because I know Lopez has better range than Castillo, BUT he did make 6 more errors than Castillo did last season in 7 more games. Also, there are the small problems of Alex Cora, and Luis Castillo's contract, which still need to be an option right?

Calero and Branyan I feel are useless adds.  With the signing of Fernando Tatis and Murphy on the roster, the Mets should no longer be in the market for a player who can ONLY play first base.  I get that he has power, and is a lefty, but he also had a terrible second-half last season and doesn't add the right kind of depth to that team.   As for Calero, while I like the guy, Sherman himself gives other options which may come cheaper (minor leage deals) and seem like better fits for the Mets, specifically Mike MacDougal.  Also, Sherman seems to ignore a bigger bullpen need for the Mets, a lefty to take some of the load off of Feliciano.  I'd like to see bullpen depth added there, instead of adding another righty.

So while I think Sherman has some good ideas, these are the same issues we've been looking at all offseason which makes me wonder that if the team is going to take "cheap options" wouldn't they just have made the better "baseball moves" and gotten the better players from the outset.  If this is what they "need" to do to improve the team, I say go for it.  But at this point in the offseason I think it's fair to assume this team is in more financial trouble than they are leading on, or else they might have landed the better players earlier in the offseason...

Update: Pelfrey and Murphy Work Out

Here are some updates on the work out front:

According to the New York Post, Mike Pelfrey will show up to Spring Training 25 pounds lighter than he was last year.  It's nice to know he's working hard, and doesn't want to repeat last season's performance.  My guess is that it can only help him endurance-wise as well as making him quicker off the mound to cover first.

Also on the workout front, it seems as though Daniel Murphy has been working with his fielding at 1B with Keith Hernandez, according to David Lennon on twitter.  I love this on two fronts.  The first, anything that helps Murphy in the field is a good thing, the Mets need him to be solid over there at 1B to be able to change this potential platoon with Tatis into a Murphy only job.

Beyond that, I like the idea of Keith getting experience working with players, and learning how to coach and mentor on a big league level.  I would love nothing more than to hear that Keith loved teaching so much he decides to become a manager.  Watching Mets games you can tell the guy has a vast knowledge, and most importantly a respect for the game.  He was a hard-nosed player who would undoubtly become a tough manager as well.  I've been hoping for this for years, and maybe working with Murphy will trigger an itch for Keith...

Centerfield Fence Gets the Axe: Still Hard to Hit Homers at Citifield

According to the Daily News, it looks like some fans have gotten their wish: The Mets are lowering the centerfield fence a CitiField.  Specifically, the move will be to lower the 16 foot-high wall in front of the home run apple to 8 feet.  Essentially making it a straight 8 feet high wall straight accross centerfield.

Alright, while I'm totally on board with this move, I sincerely doubt there this is going to make more than a 5 homer difference all year.  Realistically how many times was that extra 8 foot rectangle in front of the apple hit?  Off the top of my head, I can think of two balls all year that I remember hitting that box.  I guess this is the Mets giving in to pressure to have more homers, without bringing in the fences.

With guys like Luis Castillo and Omir Santos still in the starting line-up for the Mets, the bigger issue here is finding guys in the line-up who can make this move relevant.  Castillo couldn't hit a ball there if he tried, and Santos would be hard pressed to do the same.  Wright's problem is that he drives the right-center field gap, which is really deep, and Bay is a pull-hitter.  So, I really don't see how much this will ACTUALLY increase the number of homers hit there next season.  In fact, I think this will have MUCH less of an affect on the overall team home runs numbers than Reyes returning to the line up will.  More Reyes on base = more fastballs from pitchers not wanting him to run on them = more of a chance to drive the ball.

The Mets line-up was the problem last year, because as Rubin remarks in the article, "visiting teams actually hit two more homers at Citi Field last season than they did at Shea Stadium in '08."  But that also could have been because of weak pitching...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Klapisch Says It'll Be Valentine's Day Soon...

In an article for, Bob Klapisch talks about Bobby Valentine's potential return to managing in the big leagues, and who it could be with.  Klapisch spends most of his time in the article talking about the potential of Valentine coming back to manage the Mets.  Klapisch seems fairly certain that there is a very large flame under Manuel's hot seat, and says, "it wouldn't take a full-blown dark age to oust Manuel; one long losing streak in late May would be enough."  Klapisch then continues by wondering, "Question is, would ownership have the guts to re-hire Valentine?" 

Also in the article, Klapisch re-iterates the success of Valentine in Japan, and goes on to explain how he seemed to have outgrown his organization in Japan.  Also, Klapisch brings up a couple other potential suitors for Valentine who may pop up.  This list includes: Toronto, Baltimore, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati.  

Although, like most people, I don't think this team is playing poorly because of Manuel, I still am not sold that he's the type of guy who can win with this team.  AND, I think the Mets could really benefit from bringing in, what Klapisch calls, an "alpha-male", like Valentine.  BUT, As much as I would like to see Valentine come in here and take over this team, I would be dissapointed to see him this season, mainly because that would signify a bad season for the Mets.

So, while I would love for Valentine to come back, I would prefer a good season with Manuel and miss out on Valentine, over another bad/mediocre start with Manuel and then putting it on Bobby V to turn the season around...

Sherman and Beltran, F-Mart wins MVP

In his blog for the NY Post, here, Joel Sherman makes some pretty interesting remarks involving Carlos Beltran's feelings towards the Mets.  Sherman says, "Beltran is furious with the Mets and how they have publicly handled his surgery. He wonders if he should have been playing last year (in other words, was he properly diagnosed?)." 

Sherman continues later on to say that, "The Mets probably should not expect Beltran to prioritize the team this time around. He turns 33 in April. His contract walk year is 2011. So I expect that Beltran will take care of No. 1 and make sure he does not do anything to hurt himself for a 2011 salary-drive season." 

I mean, this would make sense that Beltran might be annoyed and it stands to reason that he'd like another big contract at the end of this one, BUT, I would have liked a quote or something as support for this statement.  I'm not saying that Sherman is making this stuff up, BUT, there has always been a weird situation between the Mets/Yankees and the Post/Daily News.  So I think it's worth it to take Sherman's comments with a grain of salt.

On a much lighter note, Fernando Martinez hit .348 with 2 homers and 4 RBI in the Caribbean Series Tournament, and was named MVP

Good news for Martinez who was apparently struggling prior to this break out in the tournament.  It'll give him some nice confidence going into spring training, and maybe it will raise his play to a level where it'll be hard for the Mets to start the season without him as their centerfielder...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Takahashi Says No to Mets and O's

So, the Japanese free agent Hisanori Takahashi has reportedly rejected deals from both the Mets and Orioles, as reported here on re-directs the report from this site.

According to the report the Mets and Orioles both offered minor league deals, which I would say was the reasoning, except that the Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants and Padres all have minor league offers out as well.

It would have been nice to bring in a screwball pitching lefty out of the bullpen.  But once again, it's an unknow commodity, so I can't really be upset about this one.  He might not turn out to be much...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Olney Quotes Scouts on Santos, Proves What Most People Thought

In his blog on, Buster Olney talks about the Mets catching situation and decided to e-mail some scouts to see what they thought about the Mets starting the season with Santos as their catcher.  The results were not pretty...

All of the scouts, for the most-part, rate Omir as an average to below average catcher, with the ability to hit .250.  The nicest thing any of the scouts say about Omir is that he is a hard-worker, potentially an intangible type guy, which is good to hear, if not for the rest of the article being about how below-average he is all-around.

Here are some telling quotes from the three different scouts:

Scout #1 - "Santos is decent emergency protection at AAA for a good club and a backup catcher for a club that isn't going to contend."

Scout #2 - "Omir is a capable backup ML backup. Offensively he should manage .250-.255 with below-average selectivity at plate and about seven to nine homers (if he received 500 at-bats). He has average arm strength and average receiving ability."

Scout #3 - "If he's the Mets' everyday catcher, with their payroll and in that market, there is a problem. However, I don't think he will be the everyday guy. Either he will be beaten out by Josh Thole or they will beat out the Mariners or possibly the Astros for Rod Barajas."

Okay, so let me see if I got this right.  Omir is a quad-A player?  He's a back-up for a team that wants to contend?  Yikes.

Those are not glowing reports, but the part I find most interesting is the idea that Mets might let Thole compete for the starting job.  Maybe that's why the Mets haven't signed anyone to catch, maybe they've got Thole in mind for this year, not next year...

Either way, I think the Mets catching situation is an interesting one, and will be worth watching until they bring someone in that can be a starting catcher in NY.  Because right now, I would have to agree with these scouts that Olney quotes, I don't think Omir will cut it...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Not To Be Mean, But...Todd Wellemeyer, COME ON!

Michael Baron of says, here, that the Mets are interested in Todd Wellemeyer.  This information is forwarded from a report from Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, which he got from an interview Wellemeyer had with a radio station in St. Louis.

Alright, here's the deal.  I thought we were trying to UPGRADE the rotation, not bring in another potential 5th starter.  If the Mets want another fifth starter go sign Nelson Figueroa, at least we know what he's about.  Wellemeyer's numbers are not good (career 4.74 ERA), and two of his best years were with Dave Duncan in St. Louis.  If people were concerned about Piniero being a product of Duncan, how about this guy?  The only difference is last year, even Duncan couldn't help him.

At this point the Mets need to be looking at either a Smoltz, Washburn or Wang.  That SHOULD BE IT.  At least they could provide a potential upgrade over a Perez/Maine/Nieve.  Todd Wellemeyer isn't better than any of those other guys I just named.  In fact, I just left Pelfrey off that list because I thought it'd be insulting to him to even be considered in the same sentence as Wellemeyer.  Beyond that, if not for Perez' mental issues and Main's injuries they would have been off the list too.

In short, he stinks.  I don't want him.  Sign Figueroa if you want another potential 5th starter.  The fact this guy is being considered is dumb... 

Halley's Comet, Not Quite, But Close...

Halley's Comet is only visible from Earth every 75 or so years.  Extremely rare.  But Michael Baron over at may have caught something even more rare, here

It's Moises Alou using a toilet...

I just thought the guy went in his hands...

N-O-Dog, Kennedy for the Mets, Is It Still Worth Dealing Castillo?

I realize this is still wishful thinking (and some might ask why I'm obsessed with moving Castillo), but after the signings of O-Dog and Adam Kennedy yesterday, I was wondering if the Mets COULD move Castillo, if it is even worth it at this point.  And after thinking about this question for a good period of time, I came to the conclusion that IF the Mets CAN they SHOULD move Castillo.  Now here's why...

If the Mets are willing to enter the season with Castillo as their second baseman they are basically admitting they are unable to move him, not that they necessarily have confidence in him as their 2B.  That is not the type of mind-set a player ready to succeed has going into a season, "I am here because no one else wanted me."  And as I have said before Castillo brought losing with him.  Not that I can blame everything that's happened to the Mets since his arrival on him, it is fairly coincidental that since he's been here there have been two monumental collapses and a throw-away season. 

So the question now is, because of a limited free agent market, is it worth trading him if the options out there to fill the hole seem less than awesome.  I'm going to say yes, but only under certain circumstances, and here are the options and issues the Mets have to deal with in order to make this happen.


First, the big problem, finding someone who would take Castillo. 

For a while the Indians were in on Hudson, and seemed to be the runner-up for his services.  Clearly, they are unhappy with their current second baseman, Luis Valbuena, or at the least feel he needs some more seasoning before they can turn over the full-time 2B job to him.  I think the Mets could potentially have a match for Castillo with the Indians, who have seemingly lost faith in Fausto Carmona.  I wrote about this idea in an earlier blog you can read about here, but recently with all this talk of the Indians looking to upgrade 2B, I'm starting to think it's not that crazy of an idea.  The salaries work out almost exactly, and it gives the Indians a serviceable player at 2B while the Mets can take a shot with Carmona (26 years old) in their rotation.  Personally, I would do it if I were either team...

The Replacements

Say, the Mets can move Castillo, the next issue is finding a new 2B.  I have two potential solutions here, but neither are great. The way I see it they could go either defense or offense...

The first one is to "sure-up" defense up the middle and use Anderson Hernandez there until the trade deadline rolls around.  Why not go for the defensive second-baseman who has some speed?  I understand that Hernandez has no power and hasn't hit too well on the Major League level, but I could live with his nice glove and speed, .250 average and .300 OBP if it means getting rid of Castillo, and potentially upgrading the staff with Carmona.

The second option is for the Mets to open up the purse and give Felipe Lopez some money to play 2B.  Lopez would definitely give the Mets a little pop at 2B, as he hit .310 with a .383 OBP last year while hitting 9 homers and driving in over 50 runs.  The things that worry me about Lopez are his propensity to be traded.  This guy has been on 5 teams since 2006, and if that isn't a red-flag I don't know what is.  The other is that I've seen him field many times, and contrary to what the stats might say, he is not a very good fielder, as his range leaves something to be desired.  But his bat, might be worth adding, and then making good use of the money they paid Cora by using him as a late-inning defensive substitute.

Overall, at this point with O-Dog off the market, I'm going to assume any fire the Mets had to deal Castillo is pretty much done, and we're looking at him at least until the trade deadline.  Then who knows what might happen...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hudson Looking Like He'll Be A Twin

According to Nationals beat writer William Ladson on twitter, it looks like the Nationals and Orlando Hudson were too far apart in terms of money, and he looks like he'll end up in Minnesota.

Good for the O-dog, and the Twins.  O-Dog is definitely an upgrade over Nick Punto offensively, and probably about a wash defensively.  I wish this weren't true because I was still holding out hope the Mets could deal Castillo, but now with this development, my belief they'll be able to move Castillo is basically gone.  With Hudson off the market, I doubt the Mets would move Castillo to bring in Adam Kennedy to play second.  So at this point, the black cloud hovering over Luis Castillo most likely be around the Mets come opening day...


Buster Olney just tweeted that O-Dog has a choice between Minnesota and Cleveland...just an FYI.  But it's still not NY.

Mets May Still Be Open To Adding Starters, Whoopedeedoo!

According to a tweet from Jon Paul Morosi of, the Mets may still be willing to add starting pitching, should "the price be right."  I'm going to have to echo the sentiments of Matt Cerrone from Metsblog, when I say, I'm glad they're willing to do that, but what's left on the market?

With Bedard resigning with the Mariners, that leaves the free agent starter pool the Mets could potentially pull from down to: Smoltz, Pedro, Looper, Wang, Noah Lowry, Todd Wellemeyer and Jarrod Washburn.  To me, I see only real fits here seem to be Wang, Washburn and Smoltz.  Despite the report from a few days ago that the Dodgers feel Wang is still a few months away from pitching off a mound (article), I still feel he is the best fit because of his potential upside, familiarity with NY, and the way his pitching style would fit in CitiField.  At this point I would also go along with Washburn, but he apparently isn't interest in the East Coast. 

As far as the others, I really could only see a use for Smoltz as a swing guy, who can start and relieve.  Pedro is probably only going to pitch late in the season again, which apparently has come up as an option for Smoltz as well.  Noah Lowry's been hurt for a while and even when he was healthy wasn't exactly a stud either.  And that leaves Looper and Wellemeyer, who I can just flat out say, aren't an upgrade over what the Mets currently have.

So, while I'm happy the Mets have decided they can make a move at the "right price", isn't it a little late for that realization considering what's left on the market...

Is Rod Barajas a Better Option than Molina Was?

According to Matt Cerrone of, it seems as though the Mets are still interested in signing Rod Barajas.  In his post Cerrone throws out the idea of the Mets getting him on a one-year $3million deal, and also says the Mets have been in touch with Barajas all offseason but talks haven't really been "substantive" until now.

Here's my beef with this one, the people who want Barajas and were pissed about Molina being discussed.  Here's why...

1) Rod Barajas is a horrendous OBP guy.  Last season he got on at a staggering clip of .258.  That's .007 less than Bengie Molina's batting average.  Now, I'm not big on OBP, but where are those people who were killing Molina for his .298 OBP, now?  Barajas has a career OBP of .284, and that includes 2007 where his OBP was .352.  Molina on the otherhand has a career OBP of .308, not great but better than Barajas'.

2) Rod Barajas is bigger than Molina.  Ok, now I'm not sure on how up to date these numbers are but BOTH (here and here), and (here and here) list Barajas as heavier than Molina (granted he is taller). has Molina listed as 25 pounds lighter, while Baseballreference has him listed as 19 pounds lighter, so let's say neither has the weight exact, but the general difference is at least 10-15 pounds.  I know that doesn't necessary mean slower but I'm sure Barajas is no speed demon.  So, the argument that Molina would have clogged the bases, probably should still apply to Barajas, right?

3) Barajas (34) is one year younger than Molina (35), that's it.  So, if the Mets DO end up signing Barajas it sure-as-hell better be a one year deal, because then the two year deal for an old catcher argument should be brought up again.

4) Molina has just as much power at the plate as Barajas, if not more.  Molina's career slugging is .418, while Barajas' is .408.  Beyond that, Molina has hit 14 homers or more in 7 of his 12 major league seasons, and hit double digit homers in 8 of 12.  Barajas, however, has only hit 14 homers or more in 3 of his 11 major league seasons, and his career high was 21 in 2005 (Molina's career high was 20 last season).

Overall, if you're comparing Barajas and Molina, offensively, it definitely falls in favor of Molina.  Defensively, I'll plead ignorance and go with the idea that Barajas is a superior defensive catcher to Molina, but regardless, the guy will still be slotted in the line-up.  I guess, what I'm trying to say here, is that I don't understand how fans can be so supportive of a potential Barajas signing, and were so down on a Molina signing, when offensively speaking, Molina seemed like a better choice.


I'm ok with Barajas, because at the end of the day, I think he'll be better than Santos.  Barajas is probably a defensive upgrade over Santos, and definitely is capable of hitting for more power than Omir.  Also, I consider Barajas a major league player, where Santos still strikes me as a Quad-A type guy.  But if the Mets sign Barajas for more than a one-year deal, I think there would be a reason for legitimate anger among the fanbase, because Molina for two would PROBABLY have been a better idea, based on the above arguments.  If Barajas comes on a one-year, I guess I'm ok with that...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Heyman States the Obvious, Mets Offseason Losers

In a not-so-shocking turn of events Jon Heyman names the Mets, Cubs and Dodgers as the top three teams who had the worst offseason this past winter, in this article on  Although I do agree with Heyman in his main point, that the Mets had needs and did not address them, see Luis Castillo, catching and the starting rotation, some of his logic bothers me.

In his article, Heyman goes as far to say the following about the Mets, "They could have had Joel Piniero for $18 million over two years and surely Bengie Molina for $10 million over two (Molina was the bigger loss in my estimation, since he's a catcher with power and a rep for handling a young staff), but they played hardball with each and are left lacking at both key positions."

While I am ticked the Mets didn't upgrade the staff at all, I disagree that Piniero was the best route to go to do this.  Personally, I preferred Sheets, and not to pick this apart too much, but the Mets would have had to have beaten 2 years/$18 million to get Piniero.  Although I do agree with Heyman in that had I known we weren't planning on going after Sheets, than yes, I would have rather have had Piniero than nothing.  

As for Heyman assessment that Molina was "a bigger loss", I think my agreement in that statement can only be in the most literal sense (he's fat).  I agree that not signing Molina was a mistake, especially considering that the money they saved not signing Molina went ABSOLUTELY nowhere, because, I think the bigger loss was the Mets NOT upgrading the staff at all.  Either way, I did not like the idea of Bengie for two years, because as far as Molina getting two years is concerned, I would have been okay with the idea if I knew that next year would have been spent tutoring Thole, but Molina's looking to start and I think the conversation ends there.  

Heyman also talks about the Mets re-signing of Cora and Tatis, taking a chance on Kelvim Escobar and not trading Castillo.  As far as I am concerned, Heyman is about 50% right.  I like the risk in Escobar as he has been dominant before, and isn't a huge financial burden to the team.  Also, I like Alex Cora, who tends to be a hot button topic for Mets fans.  The guy cannot play everyday, but the Mets (on a normal season) are not expecting him to.  He can play and is a solid back-up, so let's say YES, he was overpaid, but I'm not completely pissed about that.  I'm more ticked at the ridiculous Tatis resigning, mostly because of the idea that he's a platoon-player (absurd!), and not trading Castillo. 

So, overall, I think Heyman is right.  The Mets did not have a good offseason, and the Carlos Beltran situation (which Heyman also points out), to me, is a large reason for it.  Yes, they signed Bay reasonably, and re-stocked an already pretty good bullpen, but the holes in the roster that REALLY needed help didn't get it.  And the Carlos Beltran situation created another large hole that no one can fill, especially not Matthews Jr. and Pagan...