Glavine, Johan, etc.
Some interesting buzz affecting the Mets … let’s go over them one by one.
Peter Abraham at the Journal News speculates the cost of Johan Santana. The way he sees it, for the Yankees to pry Johan from the Twins it would cost them a minimum of Melky Cabrera and either Philip Hughes or Ian Kennedy — and adds that “the Mets can’t match that”. His reasoning regarding the Yankees-Twins matchup makes sense, in that Cabrera would take over in centerfield for the expected departure of Torii Hunter (who could land in the Bronx as well), and that both Kennedy and Hughes look ready to step into a ML rotation. I have to, um, sort of disagree with the assessment that “the Mets can’t match that”.
Obviously the Mets can’t match Phil Hughes — neither Mike Pelfrey nor Philip Humber look to be as polished as the Yankees’ young righthander. But I don’t see how Kennedy is suddenly a brighter prospect than either of the Mets’ top pitching prospects — not to mention Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. Sure, Kennedy pitched three brilliant games … but that was it. Three games are not nearly enough to form an opinion. From my point of view, Kennedy has great talent and a promising future, but not yet on a Hughes level. I want more proof, and I bet the Twins would also. Now, if the Yankees were willing to trade Joba Chamberlain, I can buy into Abraham’s argument.
That said, I believe the Mets could — but might not want to — put together a package of Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey, plus two or three prospects that would likely have to include Humber, Guerra, Mulvey, and/or other top prospects at lower levels. The issue, however, is do the Mets want to sabotage their farm system for the next three years for Johan Santana? Probably not.
Jeff Gordon at the St. Louis Dispatch wrote that Tom Glavine “has shown some interest in finishing his career here (St. Louis) … “. Huh. Really? No … really? I wouldn’t put much stock in that, and would be interested to know if and when Glavine said such a thing, or if this is another one of those “friend and/or source close to Tom Glavine” deals. If Tom wants to pitch another year, he can have $13M to do so with the Mets, or he can return to his home in Atlanta. No other team in baseball can offer the money he can get from the Mets, and no other team plays in Atlanta. Word regarding any other clubs is mere conjecture or posturing by Glavine to enhance his negotiating leverage.
A more credible opinion comes from David O’Brien at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
And by then moving to the presidentâ€™s role a week later, Schuerholz allows Wren to get to work and have an entire offseason to make the moves he wants to make, including one that I think is close to a sure thing: Tom Glavine.
I feel almost certain that the Braves are going to sign him now. I canâ€™t see them possibly dropping the ball on this again. If they had no interest in Glavine this winter, they could have said so all along, not been coy about it or offered the â€œno commentsâ€ they have for the past couple of months.
That means they certainly do have interest, at least thatâ€™s how I see it. And I just canâ€™t see them failing to sign Glavine for the second consecutive winter, them being outbid for his services for the third time as a free agent. Just canâ€™t see that.
And I also donâ€™t believe Glavine is going to rake them for every last time he can. Not at this point. He wants to be here, doesnâ€™t want his career to end like it did with those last three starts, and certainly doesnâ€™t want to go pitch somewhere else and leave his wife and kids back in Atlanta another season.
Itâ€™s going to happen. If it doesnâ€™t, it means one side or the other just failed miserably in the art of compromise. And I canâ€™t see the Braves doing that in Wrenâ€™s first offseason.
Now, if he comes out and says theyâ€™re just not interested in Glavine, thatâ€™s one thing. Iâ€™d be surprised, but at least itâ€™d be a reason. If they say theyâ€™re just not willing to pay Glavine what he wants to be paid, to me thatâ€™s unacceptable. Both sides must compromise, and I think they will.
That’s the way I see it going down — Glavine gets all mushy about returning to Atlanta and negotiates a deal he can be happy with to return there and finish out his career. And the Braves would be silly not to placate him. After all, they could use a #3 starter who can almost guarantee them 30 starts and 190+ innings — especially if they can get him on the cheap. Which, they probably can — after all, Tom has already walked away from $13M, so it’s not like he needs the money. He’ll be welcomed with open arms in Atlanta, he’ll be back with his “Smoltzie” and his “Coxie” and his “Chipper” and the rest of the gang. Who knows, maybe they’ll convince “Madduxie” to ride out the sunset too.
Word on the street … or at least, from the Daily News … is that the Yankees will offer Jorge Posada something in the neighborhood of 3 years / $40M.
That sounds about right for the 36-year-old catcher, and the Mets would be nuts to offer him a 4-year deal. If they were in the AL, and could consider using him at DH two years from now, that’s a different story. But in the NL, he’d have to catch and maybe play some first base — and you have to expect significant regression from Posada over the next two+ years.
However, the Mets could offer, say, $50M over three years. Not a great idea, again, because Posada is due to regress. Further, I doubt the Yankees would allow themselves to be outbid — especially not to the Mets.