Stocking is Hung
I’m sure we all have our
blue and orange stockings
hanging by the fire — regardless of what holiday we’re celebrating. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it can’t hurt to hope that Santa will deliver a Johan Santana to Queens on December 25th.
One stocking stuffer Mets fans won’t be receiving is So Taguchi, who yesterday signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. No big deal, as I don’t think he was the righthanded hitting outfielder we were looking for. However, I’m not so happy about the idea of seeing Taguchi about twenty times a year — his 2006 NLCS heroics have yet to fade from memory.
While the chance of seeing Santana under the tree is remote at this point, there does appear to be some possibility of Freddy Garcia joining the Mets — particularly since the Rangers have finished kicking the tires on the veteran righthander and are moving on to other pursuits. I still don’t think it would be such a bad thing to sign Garcia — provided that it is an additional, and not sole, winter acquisition. He likely won’t be available until June or more likely July, just in time to add a fresh arm for the stretch run. All he costs is money, something the Mets have plenty of. And he’ll have an audition in AAA before taking anyone’s job. Who knows, by July the Mets may be desperate for a starting pitcher — and better to have one ready in the minors than to overpay in a deadline deal.
There’s also some buzz about the Mets “monitoring” Bartolo Colon in winter ball. So far, Colon has pitched in one game — in four innings he walked four, struck out three, and gave up two hits and two earned runs. Not exactly impressive, but it was his first time out. Meanwhile, Joselo Diaz — who the Mets brought back into the organization in mid-November (he was the guy traded for Victor Zambrano, along with throw-in Scott Kazmir) — has a 4-2 record with a 2.75 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) in the same Dominican Winter league. He’s struck out 50 and walked 19 in 56 innings of work. Though he’s being used as a starter, the 27-year-old flamethrower projects as a reliever. Who knows, he could be the surprise of spring training. However, before you get too excited, Jose Lima is also cleaning up in that league, posting a 2.84 ERA in 10 starts.
Chances are, Christmas Day will come and go without any news on the Mets front — and maybe that will be a blessing in disguise. If something breaks, I may or may not get it up here, though there most likely will be something to read on the 26th.
In any case, I wish you and yours a happy holiday.