Carlos Silva Off the Market

It’s all but official — the former Twins pitcher Carlos Silva has accepted a contract offer from the Seattle Mariners.

The deal is four years, $44M. The Mets surely could have afforded that deal, but apparently never made an offer. My guess is that either there’s something they don’t like about Silva — because in this market, that seems like a pretty fair contract — or Omar Minaya is dead-set on adding an ace before Opening Day.

In a way, I can sort of understand the Mets not wanting to get locked into a four-year deal for a guy who projects as a middle- to back-end starter. However, after the Lastings Milledge trade, they made it crystal clear that the team is building for 2008. Silva undoubtedly would be a key piece to the ’08 puzzle.

Let’s hope Omar has something really special brewing … and by special, I don’t mean Livan Hernandez nor Bartolo Colon.

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. FrankStallone December 20, 2007 at 3:37 pm
    Not that this Mulvey, Gomez, Heilman for Blanton rumor is legit or anything…but it makes me angry anyway. If Heilman can be replaced in the pen, then he might as well be moved to the rotation (and Mulvey would certainly be part of the backup plan).

    With each passing hour, as Heilman’s value is overlooked, a tumor slowly grows in my heart.

  2. joe December 20, 2007 at 5:48 pm
    Have to agree 100%. It makes absolutely no sense to trade Heilman PLUS two prospects for a guy who in all likelihood would not outperform Heilman as a starter.

    It would be much easier to simply put Heilman into the rotation and watch him develop into someone at least as good as Blanton.

  3. Walnutz15 December 20, 2007 at 7:02 pm


    December 20, 2007 — The Mets’ primary competition for free-agent pitcher Kyle Lohse has dropped out of the bidding.

    According to Phillies assistant GM Ruben Amaro, Philadelphia’s refusal to go beyond three years for the right-hander ended their pursuit of Lohse, who finished last season in Philly.

    It’s believed the Mets have made an offer to the 29-year-old for four years, but it’s not known if it is for the $10 million Per he is seeking.

    “We talked to [agent Scott] Boras a few times and from all indications it looked like it would take four years,” Amaro said. “We let him know that we wouldn’t go higher than three. He indicated he could get four, and we bowed out gracefully”

    Mets GM Omar Minaya wasn’t available for comment about the Mets’ offer.

    With Carlos Silva talking to the Mariners and Livan Hernandez still unsigned, Lohse might be the best free-agent option available to Minaya, who likely will be interested if the A’s put Joe Blanton on the market.

    Lohse was paid $4.2 million last year, when he worked for the Reds and Phillies and went a combined 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA. He was 3-0 with a 4.72 ERA in 13 games (11 starts) for the Phillies after being acquired at the deadline.

    Lohse’s career record is 63-74 to go with a 4.82 ERA in 218 games (195 starts).

  4. joe December 20, 2007 at 7:22 pm
    Let’s hope there is no such offer for this mediocre soul. He was REALLY interesting two years ago when the Twins were giving up on him. Today, he is nothing but an overpriced disappointment (see: Jeff Weaver).

    By the way, what does King mean by that one sentence:

    “With Carlos Silva talking to the Mariners … Joe Blanton on the market.”

    I think the editor missed something in that paragraph, because with Livan available, LIVAN would be the best option available, not Lohse, and the part about Blanton is a bit confusing. Is Minaya interested in Lohse if Blanton is put on the market? Or in Blanton if Blanton is put on the market?

    Ah, who cares … let’s just hope Seattle swoops in and gives Lohse his four years — they’re still looking to acquire a second starter, after all.

  5. RockStar78 December 20, 2007 at 8:11 pm
    Lohse is garbage. I would put him in the same category as Victor Zambrano, Kaz Ishii, Geremi Gonzalez, Steve Trachsel and Brian Lawrence as pitchers I least like to watch.
  6. murph December 20, 2007 at 10:08 pm
    $10 million for mediocre pitchers?
    Yet when they raise ticket prices to pay for this crap,
    there is no outrage on this blog? What’s up with that?
    Baseball ownership treats its fans like the addicted fools that we are. After the crap the Mets pulled in September, they have the
    balls to claim that the ticket price increases are because
    the payroll is going up. Ha!
  7. joe December 20, 2007 at 10:22 pm
    That’s right, Murph, and we’re supposed to keep a warm smile through it all!

    Seriously though you have a great point. First we get the lame apology and promise that everyone is working their hardest. Then we see Milledge get shipped away because “the future is now”. Through all this we watch nearly every other potential postseason team make significant acquisitions — geez, even the Royals have bettered themselves. And so far all the Mets can say is that we won’t have to watch Guillermo Mota implode anymore.

    Not to downplay the Church/Schneider trade, but it’s hardly enough to get me to re-up my season ticket plan. Livan Hernandez or Joe Blanton won’t do it either.

    However I’m willing to give Omar another month — he’s pulled off outstanding deals in January before.

  8. isuzudude December 21, 2007 at 6:51 am
    I understand the outrage, but Kyle Lohse is still a free agent as of 6:36 AM ET on 12/21/07. So although rumors are running rampant (hmm, what else is new?) Omar has yet to spend $10M+ per year on a mediocre pitcher. I’ll be first to jump on the anti-Omar bandwagon when it happens, but let’s wait to jump down the GM’s throat when one of these absurd rumors actually pans out to be true.

    Take a look around the division. The Braves have lost Renteria, Andruw, and Mahay and signed Glavine. Big whoop. The Marlins traded away two of their best players for nothing in return that will help them before the year 2010. The Nationals are a joke. Even the Phillies haven’t done all that much. They gave a huge, questionable contract to JC Romero, lost out on the bidding for Schilling and Lowell, signed the strikeout prone Geoff Jenkins to platoon in RF at $13M over 2 years, lost Rowand to the Giants, and added a closer in Lidge that hasn’t looked like a dominating pitcher in 2 years. I agree the Mets haven’t done much to get our hopes up either, but has any other team in the NL East really seperated themselves significantly from the pack yet?

    I’m in agreement with the herd – I’m not thrilled with the direction this offseason is going. But you can’t hold a gun to the Twins’ or Orioles’ heads and demand they give up their ace for a package of prospects they don’t want. And if a trade doesn’t present itself, and their are no attractive free agents on the market, then what other option is left than to stand pat and rely on the players we already have? Is this team really that much worse than the one that won 97 games in 2006?

  9. joe December 21, 2007 at 9:09 am
    The Braves have made a number of small moves and picked up some very good-looking young pitchers. Losing Andruw Jones is not a big deal to them — they had a pretty scary offense with him hitting .210 last year.

    The Phillies’ acquisition of Lidge is pretty significant — if the Mets had picked up Lidge would your opinion of him be the same?

    And watch what you say about the Nats. They have very quietly assembled a pretty decent team. Maybe not a first-place team, but they won’t be the pushovers they were last year.

    The point, I think, is that the Mets have communicated one thing to the ticket holders and executed something else. I might be less critical if not for the apology letter, the promise that the front office is working so hard to “fix” the team, the 20% increase in ticket prices, and the incessant emails and letters I get to re-up my measley Tuesday-Friday ticket plan.

    It’s not good business to promise a better product, raise the price, and then not deliver. In fact I think it’s called “bait and switch”.

    Let’s just say their timing is awful, and perhaps they need to re-think their marketing campaign.

  10. isuzudude December 21, 2007 at 9:29 am
    Re: Lidge. My tune would be different if the Mets had acquired him for the same type of package that enabled Philly to obtain him, but that’s only because he’d serve as Wagner’s set-up man instead of as our closer. And though I think he’s not a top-10 closer anymore, I’d easily qualify him as a top-5 set-up man if he were used in that capacity.

    The bottom line with the Mets is that if you, as a diehard fan, are upset about them raising ticket prices and not investing that money back into the team, then the only way to convey that message to management is to stop following the team and stop going to the games. Criticizing the team for being frugal but continuing to fork over wads of cash in exchange for tickets, souvenirs, apparel, and whatnot is hypocritical and contradictory. But somehow I doubt a large number of us will be watching the US Open over the pennant race if the Mets are hanging around the playoff picture with a slightly above-average record. Perhaps the increase in prices is a pre-emptive move to prepare for a busy 2008-09 winter in which Santana, Sabathia, Sheets, Burnett, Pedro, Chris Young and Smoltz could all be free agents. Whatever the case may be, I’d still rather the Mets not do anything in preparation for 2008 than spend truckloads of money on crappy talent and try to sell us on the idea that they’re improved just because they did something.

  11. joe December 21, 2007 at 9:47 am
    Isuzudude, I think you’re missing my point completely. The point is, as of today, I’m NOT going to re-up my season ticket plan, and I am NOT going to fork over a considerable stash of money to watch the Mets at Shea — because they have given me no reason to believe they’re going to the postseason in 2008.

    The Mets were a sub-.500 team from June on, and the changes made so far don’t look to me to significantly improve the squad.

    The increase in ticket prices is a strong-arm tactic; the Mets keep hinting that it will be very difficult to get Citi Field tickets if you aren’t already on some kind of ticket plan with old Shea.

    I don’t think anyone will disagree with you on spending dough on “crappy talent”. But there’s been plenty of less-than-crappy talent acquired by other teams while the Mets sit idly by, hoping against hope that somehow their pitching staff is going to “ripen”.

    Do the Mets have a starter who is going to throw 200 innings in ’08? Do they have an ample supply of bullpen arms to make up for the lack of starters’ innings?

    I’m not looking for Johan Santana — in fact I’d rather the Mets hold onto their youth and look at Johan as a free agent next winter. But I’d like to see some more progress when it comes to adding bodies to the pitching staff. No not Kyle Lohse at 4 years but how about Dotel for one? How about Colon? How about Lieber? How about ANYONE not named Brian Stokes? This team needs arms, lots of them, and all I see added to the roster are guys who would have a hard time pushing Jon Adkins out of camp.

  12. isuzudude December 21, 2007 at 10:11 am
    Joe, you never made the point in any prior post that you personally weren’t re-upping your ticket packages. But good for you if you don’t. That’s how you stick it to these teams who raise prices only to line their pockets in gold. However, MY point is that you will be in the minority who won’t continue to pay big bucks for tickets because you’re unhappy with the team’s direction and spending decisions. Many of those who will sit here and spew hatred that Omar and company are raising tickets despite not investing back into the team will be the same people who go to 50 games in 2008 even if the Mets perform terribly. I do, however, find in interesting that you would regain motivation to purchase ticket plans for 2008 as long as they bring in the 300 pound Colon and the broken down Dotel. Do we truly believe they are the two players who will put the Mets over the top in 2008?

    “But there’s been plenty of less-than-crappy talent acquired by other teams while the Mets sit idly by, hoping against hope that somehow their pitching staff is going to “ripen”.” Have then Mets not be connected to pretty much every marquee player who switched teams this offseason? Rather than sitting idly by, I think the truth is the Mets just don’t have what it takes, or aren’t willing to give up what it takes, to get these talents. Dan Haren. Dontrelle Willis. Miguel Tejada. Carlos Silva. Aaron Rowand. Torii Hunter. Hiroki Kuroda. David Riske. Jorge Posada. So I don’t think it’s right to blame management for not trying to improve when their opportunities have been squashed because other teams came along with more enticing packages to offer.

  13. joe December 21, 2007 at 10:50 am
    I don’t think the signing of Dotel and Colon would be the dealbreaker for me — though I might be close to being on the fence.

    Being connected to a marquee player doesn’t walk the dog — getting a player does. I can understand not being able to do a trade, and I’m happy they didn’t do some of these trades. But there isn’t much excuse for not signing free agents, especially when the Mets’ strongest asset is cash. How did Riske get away, for example? How does Rowand sign elsewhere without a sniff? Not that I’d condone Rowand coming this way, but geez are we really supposed to be overjoyed with Ryan Church in the OF?

    I just looked at the Mets’ offseason transactions again, and yes I’m losing patience. Omar is supposed to be the “big splash” guy, he’s promised a “big time pitcher”, and so far the “biggest” move is getting rid of Mota.

    Perhaps my worry is that he’s too focused on bringing in a big name rather than getting the little pieces the Mets need, and the little pieces are finding their way elsewhere as the Mets continue to do nothing. I don’t think Mets fans were expecting to see Johan Santana join the team this winter — I think we would have been satisfied with simply plugging some of the most obvious holes (innings eater, bullpen arms, RH hitter for bench, etc.). But Brian Stokes and Stephen Register? Please … Omar has to have something up his sleeve that can top those acquisitions.

  14. whatdatmean December 21, 2007 at 12:27 pm
    Considering options like trades or signing livan/lohse seem bleek or just bad ideas…..

    My “gut tells me” [god I hate willie]…
    The Mets SHOULD acquire COLON & Dotel or Otsuka, & trying HEILMAN for SP may be the ANSWER they have been overlooking.

    BEST CASE: Colon comes back close to what he was before injury. He was an ACE + Innings eater before injury.
    Heilman does well, showing why he belongs/wants to be a SP. IMO, given the chance, Heilman will likely be a 12+ W’s with a high 3 era type SP that can get thru the 6th regularly. Isnt that what we have been needing?
    In the BP, Duq may get to stay healthy due to less work-more often…which will keep him loose-which IS a problem with him.
    WORST CASE:they stink…colon goes to AAA or gets bought out-and we only lose money. heilman-back to the BP, keeping Duq + Pelf/Humb as #4 & 5
    Which brings us back to where we are, with nothing lost but some money.
    *I dont see dotel/otsuka vs heilman in the BP as THAT much of a difference vs lohse/livan/pelfrey vs heilman in the rotation. Heilman is good, but not that good that someone cant step in. Low 3 era’s arent uncommon in the BP[otsuka had a 2.4 before injury]. Also, 180+IP[sp] vs 80 IP[rp] is probably more of an impact-especially when we can avoid RELYING a “rookie” or injury prone SP. I would actually like to see Heilman more often…that no smiling thing is pretty intimidating!

    I just dont see how we lose in that scenario. I just wish they would see/say that is an option.