Dunn Off the Market
The question of whether Adam Dunn would be a free-agent this winter has been answered: no. The Cincinnati Reds picked up the options on Dunn, catcher Javier Valentin, and first baseman Scott Hatteberg.
However, the Reds declined the option on lefthanded pitcher Eddie Guardado. I’d have to think the Mets would at least mull over the possibility of going after “Everyday Eddie”.
Erstad, Myers Available
Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox, as expected, declined options on outfielder Darin Erstad and LHP Mike Myers. Scary that they would cut loose Myers on Halloween, don’t you think?
A few years back — before the Carlos Delgado and Beltran days — Erstad was rumored to be coming to the Mets to play either centerfield or first base. I’ve always like him — he’s one of those overachieving, hard-nosed guys — but he’s on the downside of his career, has spent all of it in the AL, and makes Moises Alou seem dependable. All that said, I wouldn’t mind him on the Mets’ bench next year — though I’d rather see Shawn Green return. I doubt either are a possibility.
Myers, however, should definitely be a target. As mentioned a few weeks ago, I like the idea of a submariner — my theory is that they can pitch every day without a loss in effectiveness. It helps that Myers hasn’t been in the NL for five years, so he has the added element of mystery — at least for a while. If the Mets can get him for a cheap one-year deal, or a minor-league contract, I say do it.
More Free Agents
In addition, the following players have become free agents, either by refusing minor league assignment or by declined options: Kris Benson, Mike Lieberthal, Geoff Jenkins, LaTroy Hawkins, Shawn Camp, Ramon Martinez, and Jorge Velandia.
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the Mets have no interest in reviving the Anna Benson chronicles. However, I imagine the Yankees could be in the mix. Anna does love NYC.
Lieberthal could be a decent backup catcher, though I’d rather have Ramon Castro back. Jenkins could be a lefthanded bat to come off the bench and platoon with Lastings Milledge in right field. However, he strikes out too much and is notoriously streaky. Hawkins is worth thinking about for the bullpen, though his best days are behind him. Camp has never had best days, and likely won’t have best days, but may be worth a minor league flyer. Martinez and Velandia are backup infielders who have no value to the Mets.
Mantei To Return
In another development, former lights-out closer Matt Mantei says he’s healthy and wants to make a comeback. However, he’s hell-bent on pitching for his hometown Detroit Tigers so the Mets can forget about him now. If he is indeed healthy, he could find a job in Tigers’ pen, considering that they just lost flamethrower Joel Zumaya to injury.
Has Anyone Noticed?
Oh, by the way, has anyone noticed that the Pittsburgh Pirates’ manager job has been open for about a month? Take your time, guys, you have all winter to think about it.