My Bet: Omar Not Done Dealing
Only hours after a NYC press conference to put a Mets jersey on Francisco Rodriguez, another press conference on the opposite coast announced the acquisition of J.J. Putz. However, it could be only the beginning — Omar Minaya may have a few more moves up his sleeve.
Otherwise, why the rush to get this announced? Yes, it was only 9:30 p.m. in Las Vegas when Minaya took the podium, but he could have waited until the morning to make it official. My guess is that five minutes after the press conference, Omar was bellying up to the bar to grab the ear of another GM or an agent to do more wheeling and dealing.
A day ago (though it feels like a week ago), I stated this about the signing of K-Rod:
The Mets’ original offer was for two years / $24M, but Omar Minaya upped the offer in an attempt to get the deal done as soon as possible. The aggressiveness tells me that Minaya is on the brink of making a few more moves while at the meetings — methinks the Hot Stove is about to heat up.
If Minaya is still stoking the coals in the Hot Stove, what’s next?
There have been whispers about Brian Schneider or Ramon Castro going to Boston, though I’m not seeing that happening. What I do see, however, is the Mets making another trade to pick up yet more pitching — specifically, a starter.
Though the eighth and ninth innings are now settled for the Mets, they’re still at least two, possibly three starters short for the front end of ballgames. With the news that the Yankees have signed C.C. Sabathia and are intent on signing nearly every other top starting pitcher available, the possibility of the Mets filling their rotation with free agents becomes less and less.
In other words, it’s high time to hustle a deal to get a decent starter — before they’re all gone.
The Mets still have one big chip left — Ryan Church. He’s young, cheap, talented, and replaceable through a free agent acquisition. A smaller market team that doesn’t want to spend big bucks on a veteran such as Raul Ibanez or Ken Griffey would welcome Church, and possibly give up a #4 starter for him … maybe a solid #3 if the Mets are willing to deal one of their young hurlers. The Mets can then turn around and sign one of those expensive veterans to take Church’s place in right field. It makes sense, particularly since we keep hearing that the Mets are chatting with the agent for Ibanez.
And then there are the Pirates, who supposedly covet a few of the Mets’ minor leaguers. With the Rule 5 draft only hours away, maybe the Mets will want to deal an unprotected player such as Shawn Bowman as part of a deal for someone like, say, Ian Snell or Tom Gorzelanny — two pitchers coming off terrible seasons, but who have bright talent and significant upside — before the draft takes place.
Crazier things have happened … perhaps we’ll see Omar Minaya starring in yet another press conference within the next 24 hours.