No Blockbuster for the Mets
It’s still early, but it looks like the Mets will not be making a blockbuster deal for big-name pitcher at the winter meetings this week. But that’s not my opinion, it’s coming from the horse’s mouth — Omar Minaya himself mentioned in a press conference that he didn’t see a major deal going down before the end of the week.
According to various sources, Minaya offered Aaron Heilman, Carlos Gomez, and Philip Humber to the Orioles for Eric Bedard. I, for one, am glad the O’s were dumb enough to balk at the deal. There was some buzz that Peter Angelos didn’t like the way the Kris Benson deal turned out, and if that’s true, I wish him good luck in trying to unload the lefty who publicly wants out of Baltimore. Oh, he can do it, I’m sure, but for a better package than that? Doubtful.
At this point, Gomez, Humber, and Heilman are among my favorite Mets, so I’m glad the deal didn’t go down. I also think that losing Heilman would be more impactful than gaining a starting pitcher who may not be better than Oliver Perez next year. I was more interested in Bedard two years ago, when he was a 26-year-old on the cusp and likely would have come cheap. Now, he might be an overvalued, 29-year-old Mike Hampton waiting to happen. Seriously, I wonder if Bedard has already had his best years — and don’t see him as an ace on a championship team.
Here’s my litmus test for all potential starting pitcher targets: would I start him over Pedro Martinez in Game 1 of the playoffs? (This is different than the Opening Day assignment, BTW … Pedro is probably the Opening Day starter short of Sandy Koufax or Tom Seaver coming out of retirement.) No? Then he’s not the #1. And in my book, Bedard doesn’t start. Johan does, as does Danny Haren and Jake Peavy. And maybe a healthy Rich Harden or Mark Prior, for that matter.
But it doesn’t matter, because Bedard won’t be coming to Shea. And it appears that Johan Santana will not be, either — he looks to be booking a ticket to Beantown. Plus, we found out Danny Haren was likely never an option, with or without Lastings Milledge as bait. Oh, and Jake Peavy is off the market, too, after signing a 3-year extension with the Padres. Heck, even Dontrelle Willis is gone, with the D-Train dealt to Detroit.
Let’s see … no Bedard, no Santana, no Haren, no Willis. In fact, there is at least one pundit who claims that the bottom of the barrel — Carlos Silva and Livan Hernandez — are not even options at this point in time.
Um, OK. Now I’m getting a little nervous. On the one hand, I’m glad that Gomez, Heilman, and Humber are still in the organization. On the other, who is going to start those 32 games and pitch those 200 innings that Tom Glavine left behind? I was thinking of Bartolo Colon as a fallback option for the fifth starter spot, not a guy to start pursuing in desperation to fill out the middle of the rotation. No, there hasn’t been any word at all on Colon coming to the Mets — which is what worries me considering Omar’s tight-lipped ship. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, two – thousand – and one (sing along, folks!). For those who forgot — that was when a guy about the size of Santa, only bigger, squeezed his way down the chimney at Shea Stadium. And on some days, Bartolo Colon looks wider than Mo Vaughn — or, at least, closer to the ground.
Yes, I advocated bringing Colon in, but that was IN ADDITION TO signing someone like Silva or Livan or acquiring a Bedard type. Now it looks like Colon, Jon Lieber, Freddy Garcia, or Hiroki Kuroda could be a major signing rather than an afterthought for an ST invite. Or worse, the Mets may have surrender top prospects such as Gomez and Humber for a borderline AAA pitcher such as Cliff Lee. YIKES!
If it’s true the Mets aren’t hot on Livan nor Silva, I wonder if Jason Jennings is suddenly coveted by Minaya and his troops? Again, the biggest giveaway is the fact we’ve heard ZILCH on Jennings — and if the Milledge trade is any indication, the loudest Mets rumors are the least likely to come to fruition. Instead, the acquisitions will appear from thin air. Thoughts?