More Non-moves

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:

Jorge Posada
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.

Akinori Otsuka
There was a lot of buzz that Otsuka was bound for Flushing. Instead, he had season-ending elbow surgery.

Erick Bedard
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?

Luis Vizcaino

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.

Eric Gagne
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.

Noah Lowry
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.

David Eckstein
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.

Yorvit Torrealba
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.

Chad Cordero
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.

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. sincekindergarten May 1, 2008 at 4:11 pm
    Sometimes, the moves that you don’t make are the best ones.

    One move that I think will be made, that affects the NL East, is this: The Braves will make a trade to land Joe Blanton at the deadline. So, when the Brewers make the trip to Turner Field on August 1st, Joe Blanton will be the #2 or #3 behind Tim Hudson (definitely) and Tom Glavine (probably). (They will have to let at least two of their good, young A-ball pitchers go to Oakland, but it will be enough.)

    You heard it here first.

  2. isuzudude May 1, 2008 at 5:12 pm
    Good re-hash of this past offseason’s rumblings. The Posada non-move looms largest, in my book. Not only because most of the Big Apple loudmouths in the media thought Omar was insane not to blow Jorge away with a monster contract, but also because what has transpired with Posada over the past month. Of course, I doubt Mr Francesa and Mr Russo will ever admit their errors.

    There are a few names you left out of the conversation that at least of few here on this blog were mulling over whether the Mets should pursue them this past winter. Let me indulge…

    1. Jason Jennings. Though I was 100% deadset against brining him aboard, I do recall someone referring to Jennings as either a #2 or #3 caliber starting pitcher who the Mets should have deposited into their #5 spot. A $4-million contract with the Rangers, an 0-5 record, an 8.56 ERA, and now a stint on the DL later, obviously we see he would have been a bad choice.

    2. Bartolo Colon. I guess it’s fair to say the jury is still out on Colon, but the latest news is not promising. He’s pitched once in AAA before suffering a strained oblique and hasn’t pitched competitively since. The Red Sox may not need his services, but the Mets would have, and his injury would have been just another blow to the Mets’ rotation.

    3. Kevin Mench. This was a guy I was personally way hot for with the aspirations of playing him in LF while Alou recovered, and then platooning him with Church in RF once Alou returned. Well, the Mets found a hot hitting Angel Pagan and learned Church was no liability vs. LHP, so Mench’s acquisition (or that of Reed Johnson, Marcus Thames, Juan Rivera, Mike Murton, or Jay Payton) would have been unnecessary. As an FYI, Mench is hitting .262 with 2 HR in 84 ABs for Texas’ AAA team. So put a strike on the board for the I-dude as he dropped the ball on this call.

    4. David Riske. Another guy I was pretty hard up for before he signed a 3 year, $13-million dollar deal with Milwaukee. I’m sorry, but a mediocre setup man is not worth that kinda money. Luckily, Matt Wise became available, and Duaner Sanchez has refound his old magic, so the blow has been softened. Riske’s 6.39 ERA thru April makes me even happier Omar decided to pass.

    5. Shawn Chacon. Another guy a few here wanted thrown in to the #5 mix. After Omar passed, the Astros swooped him up, and despite a solid 3.32 ERA over 6 starts, Chacon has no wins to show for his troubles. At least initially it looks like it would have been wise to pursue Chacon, but I think Omar did just fine settling on Figueroa.

    Other names include Octavio Dotel (0-0, 5.19 ERA w/White Sox), Jon Lieber (2-1, 2.30 ERA w/Cubs), Craig Wilson (.233, 2 HR w/AAA Pittsburgh), and Kyle Lohse (3-0, 2.36 ERA w/Cardinals). Dotel was too injury prone, Lieber was promised a starting job by the Cubs and not the Mets (but didn’t get it anyway), Wilson was washed up and hurt, and Lohse wanted too much money. But although those 4 come with their own set of reasons why the Mets didn’t go after them, certainly a few of them would have made for very nice additions in retrospect.

  3. sincekindergarten May 2, 2008 at 7:08 am
    Going back to one of the guys you mentioned in the main post, Joe, Erik Bedard is starting for the Mariners tonight in the Bronx. He was 3-0 against the Yankees and Red Sox last year.

    ID, I wouldn’t have minded having Kyle Lohse in Shea, but I wasn’t terribly vocal about it . . . Let’s face it, we all knew that El Deadguy wasn’t going to give us a full season–he may not give us a full start, at this pace. I wasn’t counting on Pedro going down like a rock in his first start, though.

    I still see us pulling this thing out. And, no–I’m not on any psychotropic drugs.

  4. sincekindergarten May 2, 2008 at 10:48 am
    Oh–it would appear that Derrick Turnbow has been DFA’d by the Brew Crew. Not sure if he’d be worth a flyer, or not. Don’t know enough about him to decide. I do know that there’s Braves’ fans, as well as Phillthie fans, on MLB Trade Rumors who want to look at him . . .
  5. Micalpalyn May 2, 2008 at 11:43 am
    Nice: In the off season Omar had areas to address;

    a. catcher: BIG (freakin) hole: we had Alomar, Castro, the gambler, I’m suprised Hietpas did not get a call-
    Solution: Omar knee jerked on Castro and almost on Yorvit; in the end Schneider was available AND Omar did not lose a draft pick. I think Yorvit would have been fine but I am happy with Schneider. Casanova was true brilliance in having a good arm as a 3rd catcher as insurance for Castro.

    b. Top Starter- with Pedro down and El-duque shop worn we need a top flight starter. Omar got THE BEST ARM anywhere. BTW: one thing you pointed out as that Santana has been dinger prone- but hardly hittable. Most of these dingers are solos.

    c. Yes he needed a 5th starter: Lohse was the most attractive as was Livian. But he stuck with Pelfrey who was held out of the Santana trade. Pel needs the oppurtunity as he is an important piece of the future. THEN he adds Figgy as insurance plus Vargas.

    c. OF We needed a right fielder: He got Church as a throw in in the Schneider trade. THEN he gets Pagan as Endy-2.

    d. bullpen: Mota out: Wise, Figgy in. Sho is now a LOOGY. He resisted the bait of Mariano, Gagne, Riske and others.

    e. The ONLY things he could have done better possibly are not signed Ramon, but then he needed leverage/insurance of SOMEONE who could catch if things did not pan out. He could have kept Gotay, but that would mean no Marlon or no Easley (Willie guys). Frankly that last game highlights why I’d want a if I wanted to bench Reyes/rest Reyes I’d have someone. PS: Isuzu- I dont think Mench is/was a bad idea.