Two Ramons for the Price of One?

Loyal MetsToday reader suggested yesterday:

“I wonder if some of this ‘buzz’ is being leaked by the mets. It certainly wouldn’t hurt torrealba, so he’d stay quiet, and it may help lower a different teams asking price in a salary dump type move. If the orioles thought they might lose the only team that could afford to take ramon off of their hands, do you think they may just offer to give him for filler?”

That sounded plausible to me … and then this morning in The Baltimore Sun Jeff Zriebec stated

“In other trade news, the New York Mets expressed interest in Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez. However, the Orioles’ asking price – a high-end prospect – was more than what the Mets were willing to give up, according to an industry source. The Mets reportedly are close to signing free-agent catcher Yorvit Torrealba.”


Is it possible all the “buzz” around Yorvit Torrealba is a form of posturing to get the Hernandez deal done? Could it be well-calculated manipulation of the hot stove by Omar Minaya to get the Orioles to drop their demands?

Anything’s possible in the hot stove league.

Though I don’t doubt that the Mets have spoken with Torrealba, and may have discussed terms, I now wonder if the 3-year / $15M numbers thrown out there were complete bunk. As Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog opined late last night:

“if it is three years guaranteed, i hope he would have signed it, no matter who offered it…therefore, to me, this all suggests that, since he is still unsigned, maybe, the Mets are offering him two years with an option, as incentive, which is just thinking-cap speculation on my part, by the way …”

Now THAT is logic — something the pundits have escaped lately. Seriously now, if a career backup who just hit .255 in a hitter’s park is offered three guaranteed years at $15M, he damn well better be breaking into Staples to steal a pen if he has to in order to get his name on the dotted line. Of course, Torrealba could have a much higher opinion of himself, or he could be waiting it out to see if there are any other fools making a more lucrative offer.

But back to logic again, for a moment. Ramon Castro — someone who compares very closely to Torrealba — is reportedly about to sign a 2-year contract for $4M. And the plan is that Castro and Torrealba will somehow platoon. Suggesting that Castro could see equal time with someone who will make more money in one year than he will make in two. No. Not seeing it.

What I’d like to see, rather, is the Orioles GM shaking in his boots over the possibility that the Mets — one of the few teams with genuine interest in Ramon Hernandez — are about to drop out of trade negotiations. (OK, now that’s illogical, but I can dream.) in response, perhaps the O’s stop demanding for, say, Philip Humber, and instead ask for Caleb Stewart (all speculation here, fill in your own prospects here — like Mad Libs). Or maybe — just maybe — the Orioles expand the deal to include Erik Bedard or Miguel Tejada, so long as the Mets send back Lastings Milledge and Mike Pelfrey. Or something like that. A good old fashioned blockbuster!

Again, all conjecture, and not likely. But the idea of the tight-lipped ship keeps coming into my mind in regard to all this “buzz” about Yorvit Torrealba. Over the last two winters, the Mets rarely made a move that someone reported beforehand — Omar Minaya usually does a great job of keeping things quiet and holding his poker face. Yet now there is unprecedented “buzz” and leaks regarding a backup catcher. It could all be a smoke screen.

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. isuzudude November 15, 2007 at 10:41 am
    This is the most plausible idea I’ve heard all winter…and it’s one a blogger on this website came up with (props to skibolton), not some “expert” with his own blog and connections within the sport. I simply refuse to believe Omar is dumb enough to sign Torrealba as the starter, much less to a 3 year, $15-mil deal. It’s already assumed Omar is bright enough not to give up anything good in return for Hernandez, as he’s balking at the chance to acquire the catcher for a “high-end prospect,” as reported by numerous beat writers.

    Still, shame on Lennon and Davidoff for accepting these rumors as truth. Can’t they look at things outside the box and realize there are at least a half-dozen better options for the Mets than Torrealba, and that $15-mil seems entirely unreasonable? But like you said, Joe, it’s all about readership and not accuracy, so writers will continue to report on speculation and hearsay as if it were fact and sacrifice credibility. I guess it’s up to us to determine what’s real and what’s make-believe.

  2. joe November 15, 2007 at 11:11 am
    Well put. I have a feeling we’ll have a pretty long list on the Buzz Baloney page.