Outfielder Still Needed

The New York Mets will obtain an outfielder – first baseman before the season starts, and he most likely will be a righthanded hitter. That much is certain. Who that player will be, however, is still a mystery.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: I love Angel Pagan, and believe he deserves to make the team out of ST. But he’s not the player the Mets need to fill in for Alou, spell Church, and/or backup Carlos Delgado. The Mets need a “stick”, a guy who “rakes”; in short, a professional hitter.

MetsBlog reported Jayson Stark’s comments on the situation (I’m too cheap to subscribe to ESPN):

… while the Mets prefer Thames or Xavier Nady, “They continue to kick the tires on a group that includes Reed Johnson, Ryan Freel and Juan Rivera.”

From the above statement, we can be sure that the Mets will NOT acquire Marcus Thames, X Nady, Reed Johnson, Ryan Freel, nor Juan Rivera. Because we know that when Omar makes a deal, it comes seemingly out of nowhere.

In an attempt to crawl inside Omar Minaya’s head, here are my best guesses as to who’s coming to the Mets:

– Kevin Millar
– Casey Blake
– Jason Lane
– Nomar Garciaparra

That last one surprise you? Well, No-mah is none too happy with Mr. Torre, and though by joining the Mets he would be walking into a similar situation of not playing regularly, I believe he’d get enough playing time to garner 400 ABs — better than what he’ll do in LA. Of course, that depends on whether he can stay healthy — a factor that makes him a perfect fit with the hospital ward we call the New York Mets clubhouse.

And even though they are lefthanded hitters, I wouldn’t be surprised to see either Aubrey Huff or Scott Hatteberg come Shea-way. Nick Johnson would be nice, but the Mets won’t part with the necessary youngsters — the same reason we won’t see Nady return.

Any other “under the radar” suggestions?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude March 20, 2008 at 8:21 am
    I’ve heard Todd Linden’s name get mentioned. He’s currently hitting .577 in Oakland’s camp, and it doesn’t seem like the A’s have much room for him once the regular season begins. Considering Billy Beane is the man in charge over there, I wouldn’t be shocked if he asked for Aaron Heilman and F-Mart in return, but he may be an option worth monitoring. He’s a switch-hitter and plays all OF positions, although has no 1B experience.

    I’d also keep and eye on:
    Jay Payton
    Randy Winn
    Rich Aurilia (St John’s product)
    Jason Repko
    and yes, Sammy Sosa *gulp*

  2. joe March 20, 2008 at 8:31 am
    I ALMOST typed “Sammy Sosa” into the post … then slapped myself.

    If it weren’t so late in ST, it might not be such a bad idea to take a look at him. Problem, though, is Sosa was looking for a guaranteed ML deal, and no way were the Mets going to offer one.

    Linden is not a terrible option, but is he any better than Pagan? Same with Repko … I don’t see the Mets bringing in either and putting him ahead of Pagan, after Angel has done so well in ST. They’d have to bring in an established vet like Payton, Winn, Aurilia, etc.

  3. Micalpalyn March 20, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I think this dialog while poignant at the Start of Spring training is wearing thin. what spring has taught us is that Omar has astutely picked up Angel Pagan (again) who a couple of years ago got left out in a numbers game (where is competition was the since departed Milledge and one Endy Chavez), and another ex-met Brady clark. Either of these can able fill a gap.

    None of these sentiments are new. In fact Willie ball is best served by NOT looking to some Pedro Cerrano type in RF to hit the long ball. But I WILL introduce (prematurely) a point I am beginning to see as obvious.

    Preface: In Omar’s reign we have seen the progression of Wright, Reyes, Millz, Gomez et al. In some lights it appeared they were being rushed. In the last 2 yrs Millz and Gomez were ‘rushed’. But I think Omar had calculated that they would at least tread water and I think they exceeded expectations in some ways.

    So why not F-Mart: His spring has been excellent. Frankly-all things being equal he has beaten out his peers Endy and Church. If not for Pagan and Clark might he still be with the big club and not at Minor league camp.

    Having made my main point, there is my second point: In the ‘rumor’ that had Crisp being swapped for Pagan, the central argument is that the Rsox needed a 4th OF content with that role. Essentially Omar has 3-4 such players in Clark, Endy and Church. Why not spin one Church or Endy (and other excess)? I think a combo of ‘Linden’ (insert experienced OF here) and F-Mart could be fine in RF. Possible then we have parts to get a Casey Blake.

    Referencing back to the top of the post; the hole is a back up 1st baseman. In many ways I see a situation much like the 2005 Rsox where a ‘defensive’ 1st baseman becomes key to the Mets season. As such I am looking at a John Olerud or Doug Mink clone.