he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: January 2006h

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Reaction: Piazza

Well, its been a few days since Piazza has signed with the Padres, and I've needed a few days to reflect on the move. It was just a matter of time before he signed with another team and now that the day has come it feels wierd. When Piazza comes to Shea from August 8-10(I plan on going to one of those games) he certainly will get a handful of curtain calls. As everybody knows, whether you watch baseball or not, Mike Piazza is arguably the best Mets hitter of all time and he will be forever remembered. The 9/11 home run is the main Piazza memory in my mind, but you must also remember the game tying home run off of John Smoltz in the 1999 NLCS, and when he broke the home run record at Shea Stadium in 2004 to go along with the numerous times he has hit game winning or game tying home runs or has gotten the big rbi. It's no secret he's one of the most dominant catchers of all time. I was at his last game of the season and even though he went hitless every fan couldn't care less. In his last at bat when he grounded out to shortstop nobody cared everyone gave him the ovation he deserved. And when he came back out to warm up the pitcher in the bottom of the seventh most fans figured he have one last at bat. It later was revealed that Piazza was tired and he couldn't finish the game. When Willie sent out DiFelice to catch Shea started to shake, Piazza started to cry, and the last game of the season became an instant classic. Now he's with the Padres and when he returns in the beginning of August the same thing will probably happen. Minaya didn't offer Piazza a contract for 2006, and his full time catching days are over, even in San Diego. They will wind up hitting Piazza cleanup, and they will aim to get about 70-80 games of him catching and 10-20 games of him at first base. That spells a lot of days off for Piazza. His contract consists of one guarenteed year, and if he proves that he's not finished then his mutual option for 2007 should be kicked in. However, the option is a large one ($8 million), and I don't see him going back to San Diego for a second season. One thing that concerns me about the deal is that San Diego is a potential playoff team, and that may mean that should both the Padres and the Mets make the playoffs then it will be very weird rooting for Piazza to strikeout or hit into a double play. And what would happen to Piazza's reputation if he winds up hitting a home run that knocks the Mets out of the playoffs? Nevertheless, the focus should not be on the playoffs it should be on pitchers and catchers reporting (15 more days). Speaking of pitchers and catchers, Paul LoDuca is the new Met who will be catching those pitchers, and I expect him to be treated warmly. The trade to get LoDuca has been very scrutinized, but all he needs to do is put up solid numbers, something that I expect from him. He will hit either number 2 or number 6 in the lineup and will be one of the few Mets who have the abillity to strike out under 100 times. He joins Reyes as the only Met who won't threaten 100 punch outs this year. The Mets are entering a new era, and this one belongs to David Wright, and the hefty career expectations that fans have for him.

Monday, January 30, 2006

True Fans....pass landmark

Last night I looked at my site meter for visits, and I was shocked when i found out the number. The visitation number has been steadily increasing over the last week, by about 5-10 a day. I was at about 60 or so a day, and yesterday when I checked the site meter I discovered that I had received 134 different hits on Sunday. For most sites 100+ visitors isn't too big of an accomplishment, but for a new site I consider this to be a great accomplishment in my young career. Anyway, I'd like to thank you for your support, and please keep on returning to the site, and reading my material.
Note: I'd also greatly appreciate it if some of you could spread the word about my blog, and also posting is greatly encouraged, and would make the site more enjoyable for everyone. Lastly, if you have any suggestions for my writing, for a piece of news that I may have missed, or for the site in general then drop me a line at brickmasterflex23@yahoo.com. Thanks again, and of course Lets Go Mets!

Rotoworld ranks the Mets top 10 prospects

Rotoworld's Matthew Pouliot has written his opinion on the Met's top 10 prospects.
This is the first list I have seen after the Benson trade. Here's his list, and whether or not agree with him or not:
1) Lastings Milledge- Milledge is obviously the Mets best prospect, and for those of you who haven't seen one of the million scouting reports on him rotoworld says
Offensively, he should keep hitting for average and continue to develop more power. He may swing and miss a bit too frequently to bat .300 annually in the majors, but .290 is a reasonable expectation and he’ll be good for 20 homers per year once he settles in. Since he also has 30-steal ability, he’s as good of a fantasy prospect as there is in the NL.
2) Mike Pelfrey- Despite not pitching in the majors yet Pelfrey is easily the Mets second best prospect.
3) Phillip Humber- Due to Humber's injury this season I see this ranking as a bit high. Many scouts question whether Humber will come back strong, some sites have gone as far as taking Humber out of the top 4. There is no question his potential is up there with the best of them, but right now I'd say his value is a bit low.
4) Carlos Gomez- I'd put Gomez in Humber's spot, but he is still very raw and was discovered this year. I have a feeling that he will emerge as a major prospect this season.
5) Brian Bannister- I agree with this. His ranking is probably where he will be in the starting rotation. He'll most likely be a fifth starter or maybe a fourth starter. Due to the Met's weak farm I'd agree with this slot.
6) Alay Soler- I agree with this, but I think that Soler will ultimatley be better than Bannister. As far as scouting reports go for Soler, I've heard a wide range of potential futures. I've seen people say that he is a third starter, a fourth starter, a fifth starter, a set-up man, and lastly, a closer. It's tough to say because he's never pitched in pro ball. I'm a bit hesitant to even call him a prospect because of his age (26), but since he hasn't pitched yet I'll let this one slide.
7) Anderson Hernandez- I'd say he's relativley close with this ranking. However, I think Hernandez will be a better hitter then Soler and Bannister will be pitchers.
8) John Maine- From what I've heard about Maine is that he was once considered a number three starer, but is now considered a back-end of the rotation pitcher. Rotoworld calls him a "decent" prospect. Maine is on the verge of not being a prospect anymore, and I think that this year he will be a bit worse than Juan Padilla of 2005.
9) Fernando Martinez- A lot of people don't know much about Martinez. Most fans know that he was signed for a large contract out of the Dominican Republic, and that's about the extent of information they know about him. I've heard a couple of varying reports on him. I've seen him labeled as the next Ted Williams, and then I've seen him as a rightfielder, and I've also seen him as "better than Miguel Cabrera." As far as his ranking goes, I can agree with this placement based on the fact that he won't play a game of pro ball until 2007.
10) Jeff Keppinger- To me I don't even see Keppinger as a prospect anymore. He's 25, and will turn 26 in April. He's already spent an extended amount of time in the majors, and could of been the Met's second baseman down the stretch last year if it wasn't for a broken leg restricting him. I'd have to put Evan MacLane in this slot. I don't know much about MacLane besides the fact that he has the "best changeup" in the Mets system and is left handed.
Overall: It's a solid list and if you wish to learn more about the Mets system it's a must read.
Note: The information that I have mentioned is from various different websites, and scouts.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Milledge to be left fielder in 2007? Piazza signs

According to Jon Heyman, from Newsday, Lastings Milledge isn't going anywhere.
Omar Minaya has interest in Jose Contreras, and the White Sox will listen, considering Brandon McCarthy is ready to step in. However, the Sox surely would insist on Lastings Milledge, and a Mets official insisted: "Milledge isn't going anywhere. He's going to be our leftfielder in 2007."
I guess this means that Milledge is untouchable, and they also don't see him coming up this year and starting. This is very interesting to me, because I am one of the people who wants to see Milledge remain a Met so Minaya can build a core around him, Reyes, Wright, and possibly Pelfrey and Humber. In other news, ex-Met, Mike Piazza, has finally been signed. The padres gave him a one year contract worth $2 million, with a mutual option for 2007, worth a whoping $8 million.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mets sign one, and DFA another

Today the Mets signed Jorge Julio, the recently acquired reliever from Baltimore, to a $2.52 million contract, avoiding arbitration. In other news, the Mets have designated for assignment backup outfielder, Tike Redman in order to make room for John Maine on the 40 man roster.

Redman getting DFA'd surpises me a bit. Going into Spring Training I figured he'd be the fourth or fifth outfielder (depending on what they did with Diaz/Nady). Now it appears that he is behind Endy Chavez on the depth chart, and he will have to pass through waivers to remain with the Mets.

News and notes

Since I didn't have one substantial piece of news to write about today I will just list the happenings from the day:
1) Pedro says a few things:
a) He's healthy.
b) He's still waiting for his custom-made shoe to come in.
c) His custom-made shoe will be worn for the rest of his career
d) His toe injury originated in 2004 and was re-aggravated in June of last year.
e) He thinks that A-Rod will be ostracized by the Domincian Republic for playing with U.S.A, fireworks anyone?
2) Mike Piazza is heavily favored to sign with the Padres.
3) The WBC announced the rules for the games.
4) Jose Reyes will reportedly play on the Dominican Republic team in the WBC, a position that Reyes has been begging manager Manny Acta for, for quite some time.
5) The Mets held a blood-drive today at Shea Stadium. effectivley ending the 2006 caravan.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Matsui to be traded? Contreras back to the Big Apple?

The New York Post today reported that the Mets still have two goals left on their mind. The first goal is to try and trade Kazuo Matsui. Matsui has been on the block for God knows how long but it seems like he can't draw any interest, and I'm sure that because of his contract the Mets are a bit restricted with some deals. The Mets would be willing to pay up to 5 million from his contract, Matsui is in his walk year. The other Mets news is interesting. Jose Contreras had a career year last year, pitching to a 3.61 era including a 2.91 era after the all-star break. Minaya is looking for a number two starter and he believes that Contreras is the answer.

There are two problems in my mind with Contreras. First, he is in his walk year and if the Mets wish to extend his contract then it will certainly be a large figure. He is already making 8.5 million a season and the number would increase but at least a few mill for an extension. Secondly, the Mets would have to part with one of their best young players. The Post suggests that Milledge's name was discussed, Joel Sherman also suggests that a package of prospects to go along with Cliff Floyd could get the deal done. I really like Floyd, his attitude, his presence, his versatillity, and his friendship with David Wright which are all of relative importance to the club. I'd rather not give up Floyd, especially for someone who has only had one good season, it was more like a good half a season, including the playoffs. As for Matsui, this doesn't surprise me the only problem is that I don't think that Matsui has any value and if he's traded it's basically useless, because he won't bring much back. Then again even Vance Wilson brought back Anderson Hernandez.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wright off of USA team?

According to multiple sources the Mets third baseman, David Wright, most likely won't be competing in March in the WBC. A-Rod recently joined the US team and the manager, Bucky Martinez, has told David Wright that his services may not be needed. Wright is now third on the depth chart, behind Chipper Jones and A-Rod.

This discourages me a bit since Wright was one of the few Mets players who I wanted to compete in the games. At the same time it's good that he may not be risking injury playing in the competitive games. Maybe he'll be able to help some of the young prospects with their game (Milledge?).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Three minor signings for the Mets

The Mets today signed three players to minor league contracts. Reliever Jose Santiago was re-signed, and catcher Bobby Estralella and reliever Jeremi Gonzalez were also signed. Jose Santiago was solid in the four games he appeared in this year, but I'd be shocked if he appeared in as many games next season. He seems to be running out of gas, he had a 4.26 era with the Tides (AAA) last season. Gonzalez may have an impact on the season, on the other hand. He should be a decent reserve in the minors in case of injury. Should any reliever go down during the season he appears to be the first candidate to get the call. He could also provide some extra insurance should a starter go down, as he's a former starter and his best year was in 2003 with the Devil Rays. In 2003 he had a 3.91 era in 156.1 innings pitched, he should get into a decent amount of games this year. Lastly, Bobby Estralella seems to be the backup of the backup catcher. Should Castro or Lo Duca get hurt this year then Estralella should be promoted to take over the backup catcher role. The 31 year old missed most of last season due to Tommy John surgery. He has never been a full time starter, however in 2000, with the Giants, he played in 106 games and had a nice .357 OBP, a percentage that was .83 points higher then his batting average.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Opinion: What should the Mets do?

There has been some debate going around about who the Mets should go for. Choice A is trading for Zito and having to give up Heilman/Milledge --who appears unlikely to be moved--with the possible risk of not being able to sign him to an extension. First of all, I don't think that Minaya would do a deal where he is giving up a good deal of talent and risk not being able to re-sign the player he gets in return. With that said Zito would be a very good arm to add to the Mets rotation. He is a Cy Young calibur player who never misses a start. On the other hand, the Mets will have to give up a lot of talent to acquire him, when they may just become patient and let him walk from the A's and try to sign him in the offseason. The problem with that is I don't think that Zito is on the A's past the trade deadline, some team will be in need of a frontline starter (Yankees? Red Sox?) and wil inquire about Zito's services. The team who then acquires him would most likely sign him to an extension, which would never give the Mets the opportunity to sign him. Also, Zito had admitted that it takes him nearly half a season to develop his curveball, therefore it may be a good idea to try and acquire him at the deadline.

Choice B is signing Jeff Weaver to a one year contract. This is something that some fans do to confuse me. These fans don't want to give up the players to get a one year Barry Zito rental (which I said earlier will not happen, it will be more then one year) but they want a one year Jeff Weaver rental. Weaver would cost the Mets their draft pick, which is somewhere between the 18th and 20th picks. These fans seem to forget the fact that Aaron Heilman was drafted 18th, and he will probably be a solid player in the majors. Don't forget, the Red Sox got closer Craig Hansen with the 26th overall pick, so people who are good can still be selected with the 18th pick. Now, you would rather give up a first round draft pick for one year of Weaver instead of giving up a bit more then the draft pick's value for a better pitcher for more years? I think you can cross his name off of the list for best choice.

That leaves choice C, which is trading for David Wells. Not really sure what the Red Sox would want for him considering his age and obesity. It shouldn't be too expensive, a solid prospect/player should do the job. No names come to my mind right away, but he is certainly acquriable. He is lefty, a veteran, a winner, and would benifit from moving from the AL East to the NL East. He would be a nice player, but certainly not the answer that the rotation needs. If you want to take the route of giving up a solid player/prospect for Wells, and then take the risk of Zito walking into free agency, and then signing with the Mets then Wells is your man. However, if you would rather take the safer route than I would go with trading for Zito and try and sign him to an extension as soon as possible. Of course the best choice isn't always what happens.

That's my opinion, do you agree? If not then why not?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Weaver, Zito, or Wells to be added to rotation?

Gotham Baseball, the site that originally reported the 4 way trade rumor with Manny coming to the Mets, has come out with yet another rumor. This time they are reporting that there most likely will be a deal to prelude the Benson deal. There are a few options according to Mark Healey. One option is that the Mets may wind up signing free agent, and Scott Boras client, Jeff Weaver. Weaver has reportedly demanded a 3-4 year contract worth around 9-10 million a year. However, there have also been reports that have said that he may be willing to accept a one year deal and then retest the market for another year, this means that whoever signs him will not have to pay him for an extended period of time. Option 2 could be trading for Zito, which is a lot easier said then done. Omar Minaya appears unwilling to part with top prospect, Lastings Milledge, therefore if any deal is put together it would have to include other players that Billy Beane likes. Mathew Cerrone yesterday said
A’s GM Billy Beane repeatedly asked the Orioles for RHP John Maine during his talks with Baltimore regarding Tim Hudson last off-season. Maine’s name was mentioned again in talks involving Mark Mulder, as well.
This means that Omar could be looking to deal Maine along with some sort of Aaron Heilman and Victor Diaz package. On the other hand, last year Maine was projected to be a good fourth starter, possible third starter, and was 6th on the Orioles top 10 prospect list. On the updated version that was recently released maine was not on the top 10. This may mean that Beane's affinity for Maine may not be there anymore. Lastly, Mark Healey says that David Wells may become an option
If for some reason the Zito quest goes unfulfilled and David Wells is still property of the Red Sox in the next few weeks, sources have told us Minaya will work to bring the veteran and familiar lefty to Shea.
Wells has asked out of Boston and has been involved in many trade rumors this offseason. Wells is an intriguing option. He's a free agent after next season, is a lefty, and has outstanding control. Wells had a 4.45 era last year with Boston. However, those numbers may be a bit deceiving. The AL East is rittled with hitters parks which would hurt his era, and would also put a dent into his innings pitched. In addition, Wells had a 3.93 era after the all-star break which shows that he stills has something left in the tank. He also wouldn't have to verse turf in the NL, a place where he had a 6.23 era in 6 games. He could be a solid guy for the end of our rotation, however he would not be the impact pitcher that the rotation needs. My gut feeling is that at least one of those three pitchers will be with us by the end of Spring Training.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Benson to O's a done deal

The Mets have reportedly traded Kris Benson to the Orioles in exchange for Jorge Julio and John Maine. Jon Heyman, of the New York Post, suggests that the deal was made in an attempt to move Heilman into the rotation. I hope this is not so, and the A's like Maine. Maine was listed as the the Orioles 6th best prospect entering the season at Baseball America. Baseball America says that Maine's succeeds, "More with command than pure stuff. He added a slider to give him four legitimate pitches, along with his fastball, curveball and changeup. He throws 90-91 mph with natural deception, and adds and subtracts from his fastball nicely. He's not afraid to work inside." However, they also say the following about his weaknesses: "None of Maine's pitches is overwhelming, which explains why he struggles when he moves up to a new level. He has a long-arm delivery and must work to stay on top of the ball. He also needs to refine his command and throw quality strikes after learning that advanced hitters lay off balls out of the zone." Sounds like every other minor leaguer out there who hasn't pitched against the big leagues. Baseball America says that Maine tops out as a 3 starter but on a good enough club he'd be their fourth or fifth pitcher.

Rumors, signings, trades, OH MY!

The latest rumor, as some of you have heard, is that Kris Benson could be traded to the Orioles for Jorge Julio and a prospect. It is unclear who the prospect will be but it's possible that Adam Loewen could be the prospect being discussed. The Mets have coveted the prospect ever since the trade talks first appeared. The deal could be a precursor Barry Zito deal. The deal would be the prospect we get for Benson, Victor Diaz, and Aaron Heilman for Zito. The Mets would then sign the switch-hitting Jeff DaVanon to platoon with Nady. After the smoke clears, and all of the rumors happen as reported then the final result would be as follows:
Mets get: Barry Zito, Jorge Julio, and Jeff DaVanon
A's get: Benson prospect, Victor Diaz, and Aaron Heilman
Orioles get: Kris Benson

Now, this is purely a rumor, and the names that have been mentioned may not be the actual ones involved in the talks. The other option to this move is not even trading for Zito --who would recquire a 24-48 hour window to sign an extension--and simply putting Heilman in the rotation with Julio taking Heilman's spot in the rotation.

Should the Mets do the Zito scenario then I like this trade. Zito would elevate the Mets expectations, at least for me, to a whole new level. DaVanon would replace Diaz, who is overrated in my opinion, and Julio is still young so maybe he could control his stuff with the Mets and get better. On the other hand, should the Mets not trade for Zito then I have to be against this deal, at least with the names available to me I have to. Julio, despite his potential, isn't the greatest of relievers, and without a Zito in the rotation I don't know if I could live with him in the bullpen. One downgrade should lead to one equal upgrade. In this deal I don't see that happening. Heilman has good potential but nearly every expert says that Heilman is better suited for the bullpen, meaning that the bullpen is downgraded and the rotation is a wash at best. Keep in mind that the prospect the Mets get is still undecided so stay tuned.

Power's back and I'm here

Once again I am forced to apologize to my readers. For those of you who don't know Westchester (where I live) was stricken by a power outage that lasted two days, meaning that I couldn't use my computer. Now that I am back I will try to make up all I missed in extra posts. Once again, I apologize for the inconvenience.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mets sign Japanese pitcher?

The Mets have reportedly signed Japanese RHP, Yusaku Iriki. Iriki was released by his Japanese team last year, and he failed to be signed by any major league club in November via the posting system. The deal he signed is worth a bit less then 1 million and it includes incentives that equal up to $500,000. He can start or pitch in relief, however it is debatable whether he will be succesful in either role.

Iriki to me screams Dae Sung Koo. He has a 35-35 career record to go along with his 3.75 ERA. In 2005 he went 6-7 with a 3.35 ERA in only 28 games. The Mets haven't had the best luck signing free agent Japanese players, but eventually one will work out, unfortunately, I don't think he is the one who will break the mold. However, there's always hope.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Zambrano set to make $3 million in 2006

Victor Zambrano, one of two players left on the Mets roster who has yet to sign a contract without going into arbitration, has narrowed the list down from one to two. Chris Woodward is now the only player left without a contract. Victor Zambrano signed a one year contract worth $3,000,000.

I think this is a bit expensive for Zambrano, considering that it's a raise of nearly a million dollars compared to his salary last year. This is especially expensive should the Mets acquire another starter, forcing Zambrano into the bullpen. Hopefully Zambrano can continuely get better and improve his command. Last year his command was interesting, he didn't walk an atrocious amount of batters per game, but he did get to a lot of 3 ball counts, raising his pitch count.

Monday, January 16, 2006

WBC rosters are announced

The World Baseball Classic rosters were announced today. From the Mets Paul Lo Duca, Billy Wagner, and David Wright will all play for the United States. Pedro and Duner Sanchez will play for the Dominican Republic, although it appears that Pedro is trying to show that his toe injury is worse then it is in an attempt to get out of the event. Carlos Beltran, Ramon Castro, Pedro Feliciano, Juan Padilla, Jose Valentin, and Carlos Delgado will all play for Puerto Rico. Lastly, Victor Zambrano will play for Venezuela. The United States depth chart (top 2 at each position) and rotation looks something like this:
C- Jason Varitek, Joe Mauer
1b- Derrek Lee, Mark Teixera (toss up here, you could also put Lance Berkman in)
2b- Chase Utley, Michael Young
SS- Derrek Jeter, Jimmy Rollins
3b- David Wright, Chipper Jones (I'm hoping this is the order, but Chipper may take the spot, and it was also hard keeping Morgan Ensberg off of the list)
LF- Barry Bonds, Lance Berkman
CF- Vernon Wells, Johnny Damon
RF- Carl Crawford, Johnny Damon (leftovers)

1) Roger Clemens
2) Dontrelle Willis
3) Roy Halladay
4) Jake Peavy
5) Andy Pettite

Closers: Billy Wagner, Brad Lidge, Chad Cordero, Joe Nathan, and Huston Street

That's a team that I could go to battle with. I would like to apologize to my readers who check my site daily. I made a promise saying that I would post everyday, news or not, and yesterday I did not post, I apologize to those of you looking for Mets news, and I hope you keep reading my site despite my lie.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Danny Baez not coming to the Mets

Danny Baez was traded to the Dodgers this afternoon along with Lance Carter in exchange for RHP Edwin Jackson and LHP Chuck Tiffany.

Very good news for the Mets. I didn't want Baez, at least for what the D-Rays were asking. I think that this it for the bullpen rumors, Tavarez and Baez are now gone and I am happy. The bullpen is solid as is, despite the fact that we still need a lefty specialist. I have a feeling that the problem will be solved in the season either through a trade or with a suprise in-house option. Oh, and by the way the D-Rays are putting together quite a team for the future. They already have a surplus in the outfield and their rotation is looking good. When you think about their team of the future you can't help but get chills

Friday, January 13, 2006

Diaz impressing with play during winter league

With not much Mets news today I turn to the winter leagues. Victor Diaz is hitting .417 in the winter leagues. He has 30 hits in 72 at bats and he is starting to change the opinion of some fans (including me) that Xavier Nady will be in rightfield come opening day. Other players doing well in the winter include Alay Soler, Victor Zambrano, Anderson Hernandez, among others. In other news, the Mets signed a 17 year old Australian. Yet another prospect to add to Omar's resume. The 6'4" pitcher reportedly has good movement and throws 89 MPH, which is good for a 17 year old.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mike Pelfrey, better then Randy Johnson?

Patrick Andriola of metsdaily.com interviewed Mike Pelfrey's college coach and discussed the type of player Pelfrey is. This is a great read, and a must for people who want to know more about Pelfrey. Of note from the interview, Kemnitz says that Pelfrey is a hard worker who plays when he is hurt. His best pitch is a fastball which isn't much news to anybody, and Kemnitz says that if the 6'7" right hander can continue to develop then he should be an ace. The most impressive thing to me is the fact that Mike Pelfrey is the best pitcher he has ever coached, above Randy Johnson, above Ben Mcdonald, above Darren Dreifort, and above about 25 other players that have made the majors.
Wow, thats quite a statement to make. Randy Johnson is easily a Hall of Famer and is one of the top 5 lefties of all time. Also, the fact Pelfrey has a good attitude and wants to get better is just another plus towards signing this guy. We really lucked out geting him at the ninth slot, at least going into the season that's my view on it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Mets give tryout to injury prone catcher

JR House was once a top prospect in the Pirates system, however he has evolved into an incredibly injury prone player. In seven seasons the 25 year old fell victim to rib and abdominal injuries, a knee sprain, had mono and reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. His minor league numbers have been relativley impressive. In 2000 he hit .348 with 23 home runs and 90 rbi. House is also trying out for the Brewers and already has tried out for the Astros. It is unclear whether or not he can bounce back from his once valuable prospect status, but given the Mets lack of depth at catcher throughout the organization it's worth a try.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ramon Castro signed to one year deal

Ramon Castro was
  • signed
  • today by the Mets to a $800,000 deal with incentives based on the amount of games he plays.

    My favorite moment of the 2005 season was provided by Castro. On August 30th when Castro hit the three run home run to put the Mets .5 game behind the Philles in the wild card race. That moment was one of the biggest home runs of the last 5 years. He also followed up the next game with a solo home run. Castro was one of the best back-up catchers in the majors last year and, along with Piazza, they provided a great catching tandem. The only two players the Mets have left that are arbitration eligible is Chris Woodward and Victor Zambrano. Also, Mike Pelfrey's deal was
  • officially
  • announced and Bryan Hoch notes that Pelfrey will report to Post St. Lucie for the final day of the Mets' mini camp.

    Monday, January 09, 2006

    Pelfrey signs

    Mike Pelfrey has reportedly signed a four year major league contract with the Mets, however the exact numbers of Pelfrey's contract are still uncertain. Pelfrey was the Mets first round draft pick this year and should quickly be considered the Mets' best pitching prospect and with enough succes in the minors could become the Mets' best prospect.

    WBC to be canceled?

    The World Baseball Classic may be cancelled reports John Donovan of Yahoo Sports. Donovan says that it is "likely" that no games will be played, at least this year. Cuba has apparently been banned to participate in the games which could force the IBAF (International Baseball Federation) to cancel the WBC enitrely.

    I was personally very exctied to see games like the U.S. versus the Dominican Republic, however I'd be even more excited seeing players like Pedro Martinez (who seems to be less likely to play everyday), Billy Wagner, among others living through a full season. I think that baseball has to re-think this whole idea of playing the WBC in Spring Training and either play it during the winter around December, instead of winter leagues, or play it about a week or so after the World Series.

    Zito still a possibillity?

    At Metsblog.com Matt Cerrone says the following "…the buzz from oakland is that the a’s will only talk with the mets about LHP Barry Zito when the mets start offering OF Latings Milledge…in exchange, the a’s would be willing to part with OF Nick Swisher, who oakland has soured on…" I like this a lot although I do not know if a trade is actually being discussed that involves Zito, Swisher for Milledge, and I'd assume something else would be added by the Mets. However, before any deal with Oakland takes place Kris Benson must be moved in order to clear up some salary.

    For those of you who don't know much about Swisher here is the basic low down that I got from BaseballAmerica.com. He has 25-30 power potential and should be able to drive in 100 rbis "annually." He has a good eye (during one stretch in 2004 he had 43 walks in 28 games), however he at times chases outside pitches too often. In addition, Swisher can become too patient which can lead to extensive strikeouts looking. Swisher has a great work ethic and comes from a very good baseball pedigree. Swisher was the A's top prospect entering 2005, he hit 23 home runs in 2005. I am against trading Milledge for Zito straight up, however if Swisher becomes part of the deal, with the Mets also adding certain pieces then I would have to reconsider.

    Sunday, January 08, 2006

    David Wright at home, what is he really like?

    Kevin Kernan of the New York Post followed David Wright around for a day, and as a result he writes a great column. The column discusses everything from David Wright's brothers, to Wright's friends, to Wright's high school days. For any David Wright or Mets fan in general this is a must read.

    Saturday, January 07, 2006

    Pedro healthier then first expected?

    Could Pedro's injury be less serious then we first expected. Bob Klapisch of the Bergern Record says "But is he really (as hurt as we thought)? People close to Martinez are whispering that the injury, while not entirely cured, is nothing severe. Yet, by treating it as such, Pedro and the Mets will have the perfect "out" from the World Baseball Classic in March. Friends say Pedro isn't crazy about pitching in the tournament, but has no way of taking himself off the roster without incurring the wrath of the entire Dominican Republic."

    I like it. I am sure most Mets fans do not want Pedro pitching in the World Baseball Classic, save the people rooting for the Dominican Republic, and this is the "perfect" way to stop him from competing. The Mets ace should be in spring training with the majority of the rotation and the coaching staff and the innings he would throw in the WBC game should be saved for October and September when the Mets need him. Hopefully the Mets plan works and Pedro can stay at spring training.

    Friday, January 06, 2006

    Mets pass on Tavarez

    The Mets seem to have filled out the majority of their 25 man roster. A couple more minor league deals should still take place along with a possible Matsui trade, however it seems like there will be no more blockbusters that could happen this offseason. Also, to those of you looking at who the Mets could sign for the bullpen you can cross another name off of your list. Julian Tavarez is reportedly not coming to the Mets, and this makes me very happy because tavarez seems to want a 3-4 year contract with a good amount of money attached. Thankfully Omar didn't overreact and give it to him right away and now we may have a better option in Sanchez. Sanchez is not only younger, cheaper, but is less of a headcase then Tavarez.

    Also, a couple of things to note for around the league. Firstly, there are some rumors saying that Bobby Abreu and some mix of pitching could go to the Orioles for Miguel Tejada who would then move to third base since shortstop is blocked by Jimmy Rollins, and second base by Chase Utley. It is unclear which pitching would be sent the Orioles way, however, the Phillies lack depth in pitching and any talent they give up could wind up hurting them. Next, the first overall pick of the 2005 draft, Justin Upton, was signed by the DBacks today to add to the already stacked Arizona farm. This could only be good news for the Mets now that the standard has been set by the number one pick. I expect the Mets first round pick,
  • Mike Pelfrey
  • , to sign within the next few days. Pelfrey has been shut down ever since he was drafted because of a fear that he may overuse his arm. Hopefully this move will work for Pelfrey instead of backfiring on the Mets like
  • Phillip Humber did.
  • Thursday, January 05, 2006

    Make up your mind already!

    Manny Ramirez has changed his mind again. Is anyone else as sick of this guy changing his mind as much as I am? Lets list how many times hes changed his mind this offseason:
    1) Manny says that he wants to be traded away from Boston
    2) Manny says that he does not want to go to the Mets
    3) Manny says that he will not report to Spring Training if he is not traded
    4) Manny says that he wants to be traded to the West Coast only
    5) Manny says that he will accept a trade to the Mets
    6) Manny says that if he is traded to the Orioles then he wants his 2009 and 2010 options --each worth 20 million a season--both picked up, making it harder for the Red Sox to trade him
    7) Manny says that he wants to stay in Boston.

    I'm sure I forgot a few, but the point is that he changes his mind a lot. Now that Manny is out of the picture you can finally stop putting him into your projected lineups.
    Maybe we'll see this face playing at the Mets new stadium after all:

    There's always hope.

    Minaya looking into free agent pitchers

    Could Jeff Weaver be coming to the Mets? When Omar Minaya was asked on the state on Victor Zambrano he responded "Today, he's in the bullpen," however, Minaya also said that he was "talking to some potential free agents."
  • Rotoworld
  • is assuming that "he meant some current free agents with the potential to become Mets' starters."

    If this is the case then the only free agent pitcher left who interests me is ex-Yankee, Jeff Weaver. Weaver reportedly is searching for a five year deal and the Dodgers will not work with him until his demands drop. It is unclear whether or not Minaya was referencing Weaver but that is my guess. Weaver, right now, would probably be the Mets third starter, behind Tom Glavine and in front of Kris Benson. With Boras as his agent his contract will be a hefty one but I highly doubt that he will get over ten million a year my guess would be something around nine million a year for about three years. However, it seems like the Mets will want to dump some salary before making any more moves that add a significant amount of payroll.

    In other news
  • The Journal News
  • is reporting that the Mets and first round pick, Mike Pelfrey, are finally discussing a deal to sign him.

    Good God!! It's finally happening!

    Wednesday, January 04, 2006

    Mo Vaughn opens up car wash

    Former Mets overweight first basemen, Mo Vaughn, has opened an "express" car wash. Vaughn who has been at the rath of many "fat" jokes by Mets fans is still being made fun of by PTI's Tony Kornheiser. Kornsheiser said "I want to see Mo wipe down the cars!" Don't we all Tony, don't we all.

    Throw me a freakin' Boone here! Mets add Boone and subtract Seo.

    Today the Mets signed former all-star and gold glove second baseman Brett Boone to a minor league contract.

    Former is the key word, Boone who was accused by Jose Canseco for using steroids is now a shell of his former self. The brother of Cleveland Indians third baseman Aaron "Bleepin" Boone has been on a steady decline ever since 2003, when he hit 35 home runs and drove in 117 runs. Boone was designated for assignment this year before getting traded to the Twins where he was ultimatley benched followed by a release. He hit merely seven home runs this year and averaged a strikeout per five at bats.

    I doubt that Boone will have a great impact on the team, I see him walking a similar path that Andres Galarraga stumbled upon last year, and he will ultimatley retire as a Met.

    In other news, the Mets traded RHP Jae Seo and LHP Tim Hamulack to the Dodgers for RHP Duaner Sanchez and RHP Steve Schmoll. Schmoll and Hamulack are relative washes talentwise, as both are unproven. Sanchez, on the other hand, could be placed in the 8th inning set up role should Aaron Heilman be traded or placed in the rotation. Sanchez in his second full year in the majors had a 3.73 era while pitching out of the bullpen. According to Metsblog.com Sanchez has some talent: "as for his skills, his fastball is consistently in the mid-90–mph range with a lot of movement, and he uses a nasty change-up and splitter to get batters out, though righties take it for a ball more times than not…his curve-ball is weak…he has a wild delivery, with an almost-over the type arm slot…at 26–years-old, he’s still learning how to pitch, and his control comes and goes…most nights he is on target, but he can get rattled and come un-hinged…" Sanchez now joins Juan Padilla in an elite group of pitchers who wear goggles on the Mets.

    I like this move as I was not to confident entering the season that Seo could repeat his performance from 2005. Seo likely won't get much better and is a question whether or not he can continue his performance of 2005, meanwhile Sanchez is young, makes little money, and is under contract until 2009

    Tuesday, January 03, 2006

    Manny to Orioles complete?

  • Orioles Hangout.com
  • is reporting that a Manny/Clement for Tejada deal has been agreed to in principle. It is unclear if any money has exchanged hands but
  • MLB Trade Rumors
  • says that if all three players put up identical season next year then the Red Sox will have three less wins.

    Mets winter league update

    The Mets have 26 players playing winter ball this year and a couple of players are turning some heads with the numbers they are putting up. Victor Diaz is hitting 377 in 61 at bats, however he has only walked once, and he has struck out 11 times while only bashing one home run. Anderson Hernandez won the rookie of the year award and has a .303 batting average along with a .389 OBP. One the downside the Mets second best hitting prospect, Carlos Gomez, does not have a hit yet in 9 at bats. On the pitching side of things Victor Zambrano has a 3.07 era in 14.2 innings pitched. He also has struck out 15 batters which is good for a 9.2 SO/9 ratio. Alay Soler is also continuing to impress with a 2.61 era in 31 innings pitched, pitching both in the rotation and out of the bullpen. Also of note is Aaron Heilman and Heath Bell both with era's under 3 (2.36 and 2.77 respectivley). One of the Mets spring training invitees, Jose Parra, has not given up a run in 8.1 innings pitched. Lastly, of the Mets prospects Henry Owens has put up very impressive numbers. He has struck out 36 batters in 23.2 innings and leads all Mets pitchers with a 13.7 SO/9 ratio.
  • Metsblog
  • reports that Owens may have a chance to make the team's bullpen out of spring training, although he probably will start at AAA.

    Monday, January 02, 2006

    MLB.com's article on questions for 2006

    MLB.com's writer Mark Newman
  • lists
  • the top 20 questions coming into the 2006 season. At number 14 Newman says "Will the Mets walk the walk? Once again, they talked the talk in a second consecutive blockbuster offseason. This time their additions included first baseman Carlos Delgado and closer Billy Wagner, and they traded Mike Cameron to San Diego for Xavier Nady. Lo Duca replaces Mike Piazza behind the plate. The middle infield is still a question mark. Many thought Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran would bring a postseason, and many will just wait and see how this season unfolds. Maybe the bigger question is whether this is now the best team in New York." That is the question that every Mets fan and beat writer is asking, can the Mets walk the walk. I think they can, they aren't ready for a championship but there aren't as many pieces left as there used to be. The main thing this article did for me was get me even more excited for the season, i dont know if i can wait another month and a half for pitchers and catchers to report. If you can't bare waiting for the season to start i wouldn't read this, if you have the self control to read the article then it is a solid read.

    Is Heilman worth Baez straight up?

  • MLB Trade Rumors
  • discusses how Dany Baez has been overrated by the trade market because of the amount of games he saved in 2005. Trade rumors says that Baez is just as good as National's reliever Luis Ayala and a bit better the Pete Walker, but because he throws low 90's he is touted higher then those set-up men. He goes on to say that when factoring luck and stadium effect, Baez should have had a 3.74 era last year which is much worse then Heilman, plus Heilman is younger and struck out nearly twice as many batters. In conclusion, I agree with mlbtraderumors.com Heilman should not be traded for Baez, and I also agree with trade rumors that any other young pitcher such as Jae Seo shouldn't be traded for the 28 year old closer.

    This is a test

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