Re: What's next for the Mets?

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 21:52:34 -0500, "Met-in-PR" <orb@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

>Apparently the Mets have turned their focus to the bullpen
> - Setup reliever
> - Catcher (via trade not Free Agents)
> - Matsui will be given an opportunity (they can't do anything else)
> - Possible trade for Javier Vazquez
>Hopefully he is right about the Mets not pursuing other players as prominent
>as Delgado or Wagner. Let's hope the Manny or Soriano talks end and the Mets
>keep Milledge with them. From
> 11/29/2005 7:56 PM ET
> What's next for Mets?
> Focus to turn to setup man, catcher to team with Castro
> By Marty Noble /
>NEW YORK -- Their primary offseason objectives accomplished in the last six
>days, the Mets will now turn to the lower-profile entries on their
>November-December agenda. The high-profile personnel they have imported has
>significantly improved their outlook for 2006 and beyond. And now, it seems,
>they will try to collect smaller pieces that fit neatly in their blueprint.
>According to several people familiar with the Mets' thinking, the club
>likely is finished pursuing players as prominent as Carlos Delgado and Billy
>Wagner, both acquired in the last week, and might even move away from the
>two, relatively high-profile free agents catchers as it tries to create a
>killer bullpen.
>One person said Monday that the Mets may pursue a number of free agents,
>including Tom Gordon, the Yankees' setup man the past two seasons, to serve
>as a setup man for Wagner but not Bengie Molina nor Ramon Hernandez to be
>the primary successor to Mike Piazza.
>Instead, the person said, Piazza's primary understudy, Ramon Castro, would
>do the bulk of the catching and another catcher would be acquired to serve
>as Castro's backup.
>At that same time, it appears the Mets are leaning toward affording second
>baseman Kaz Matsui one more opportunity to be the player he was in Japan --
>if they can't find a deal that exports him -- and that their interest has
>increased in Javier Vazquez, the former Expos and Yankees pitcher who has
>demanded the Diamondbacks trade him.
>With Delgado on the roster and Wagner there the Mets no longer are
>restricted by uncertainty as they prepare for the Winter Meetings next week
>in Dallas. There they can pursue deals for the "other" catcher, a
>left-handed reliever, Gordon or a comparable reliever and continue their
>efforts to move Matsui, whose three-year, $20.5 million contract expires at
>the end of the 2006 season.
>"If he's here, he plays. [An $8] million player plays," a member of the Mets
>hierarchy said Monday. "We like guys in the last years of their contracts.
>It's motivation. And we don't think he wants to go back to Japan, not having
>played well here."
>If Matsui doesn't perform at the level the Mets see as adequate, he could be
>displaced by either Anderson Hernandez, a quick defender with an unproven
>bat, or Jeff Keppinger, a Jay Bell-type player with limited range and a more
>potent hitter than Hernandez, or a combination of the two.
>Matsui does have one other element in his favor. His range, limited to his
>right, is better to his left, a plus with Delgado now at first base. General
>manager Omar Minaya acknowledged range is a greater consideration now
>because Delgado is not particularly mobile. Manager Willie Randolph did as
>well. "We're not going to go out looking for someone," he said, "just
>because of range. ... You can't have the total package all the time."
>But Delgado, who began his career as a catcher, said he intends to work on
>his defense at first base and be more of the defender he was with the Blue
>Jays. His defense with the Marlins last season was, by his estimation,
>lacking. "I didn't play well. I was bad," he said Monday. "There were times
>I didn't play good ball. I'm going to be better than last year. I'm going to
>hold my own."
>Marty Noble is a reporter for This story was not subject to the
>approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

I'm inclined to worry about the catching situation.
Ramon Castro had an OK hitting season (remember it was just a .244 BA)
and has never hit well before in the majors and he'll be 30. I expect
his barely adequate offense to worsen in 2006. He'd be OK as a #2
catcher IMO but should not be #1.

I'd like to see Ramon Hernandez signed to be #1.

If I were Omar I'd get off the Manny infatuation, sign Ramon
Hernandez, hope to get a decent RFer out of V.Diaz or Nady perhaps
mixing in Mark Sweeney that he's been talking to.

I think one more solid RP is all that would be needed. If we resign
Roberto Hernandez. I liked what I saw of Padilla. Keep Heilman.

Too bad we're destined to be stuck with Kaz until his next injury.

Larry Smith

"In this country anyone can grow up to be President.
That's the risk you take."
Adlai Stevenson