Continuing to avoid the reality of yesterday afternoon, and following up to The Deal That Wasn’t, I was looking through some of the players the Mets were reportedly “after” during this past Hot Stove Season. Among some of the better deals not made:
Remember when the Yankees shook in their boots thinking the Mets would steal Posada away? Initially, the Yanks “dragged their feet” in their negotiations with the elder backstop, and as a negotiation ploy, Posada said the Mets were high on his list. There were legitimate sources suggesting that the Mets would offer Posada a four- or five-year deal to pry him out of the Bronx. Now that Posada has injured his shoulder, and some wonder if he’ll ever catch again, I’m glad the whole thing was a ruse.
There was a lot of buzz that Otsuka was bound for Flushing. Instead, he had season-ending elbow surgery.
Supposedly, the Orioles wanted a bigger package for Bedard than the Twins wanted for Johan Santana. Bedard is a fine pitcher, but has made only three starts this year due to a hip injury. Granted, it’s still early in the season, but if the Mets gave up all those players only to have Bedard spend the first month of the season on the DL, would we be freaking out right now? More importantly, who would you rather have — Bedard or Santana?
Early in the offseason, the Mets were desperate for bullpen help, and the former Yankee setup man was one of their targets. However, he priced himself out of the negotiations, demanding a three-year deal. He eventually received two years and $7.5M from the Rockies. He’s made two appearances, has a 27.00 ERA, and is on the DL with a shoulder strain.
The Gagne rumors came more during the July 31 deadline last season than during the offseason, but in any case there was a lot of buzz about him possibly coming to the Mets. The cost would have been several top prospects, and Omar Minaya refused to part with them. Thank goodness.
There was a lot of buzz surrounding the young pitchers of the Giants over the winter, with most teams asking for Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, and the Giants countering with Noah Lowry. There was at least one rumor that the Mets were considering Lowry, supposedly in return for Lastings Milledge (though I was hoping they’d go for Jonathan Sanchez). This spring, Lowry required surgery to repair his left forearm, and has been shut down for “the next three or four weeks”. Today, I’d rather have a starting catcher and starting rightfielder than a pitcher on the DL.
The Wilpons personally escorted Eckstein around the Tri-state area and treated him to lunch, then pulled away a three-year contract offer when they found out he wasn’t Jewish. Actually, that’s not true — someone in the hierarchy thought it a better plan to give four years to Luis Castillo and his bad knees. This is another case of too early to tell, but Eckstein is off to a slow start — .248 average — and I’m not convinced he would have been any better than Castillo in the two-hole. Despite his “grit”, Eck doesn’t get on base very often and is not too speedy on the bases, despite being a leadoff hitter most of his career.
Might be too early to tell on this one, but Yorvit’s .240 average thus far suggests he’s on the way to continuing his mediocre career. Certainly not worth the three-year, $14M commitment. However, his thumb is 100% healthy.
It seemed like every week there wasn’t a Lastings Milledge – to – Oakland rumor, there was one sending the outfielder (and two pitching prospects) to DC for Cordero. Omar Minaya has always been a huge fan of the reliever — he drafted him, after all — but imagine if any of those rumored deals became reality? The last one I remember was Milledge or Carlos Gomez plus Philip Humber plus Kevin Mulvey — the bulk of the package that eventually went to Minnesota for Johan. Today, Cordero is unable to throw 80 MPH, and for all we know, his career as a closer is over.