Archive: November 17th, 2007

DON’T Get Used to Yorvit

Darn, I was just starting to get used to the idea of Yorvit behind the plate (not) …

Unbelievably, the Yorvit Torrealba deal is dead.

This is most strange and remarkable, since the signing was officially posted on Mets.com and MLB.com on Thursday. Of course, those announcements, stories and links have now mysteriously vanished from both websites — as if it never happened. Suddenly I feel like I’m inside a George Orwell novel.

No one is talking, but apparently it had nothing to do with the physical. Maybe Yorvit was browsing the various Mets blogs and saw he was receiving a less than lukewarm welcome. Or perhaps Omar Minaya was reading the blogs and suddenly realized the impending catastrophe of signing a career backup to a three-year, fifteen million dollar deal.

Or maybe Yorvit’s name will be appearing on George Mitchell’s list of steroid suspects when it’s published next month.

Strike that last sentence from your memory, folks — I stated “maybe” as in “I have no idea and just coming up with some kind of explanations”. I am not suggesting that Torrealba ever did anything that could have been illegal nor against MLB rules. And not trying to start any rumors, nor trying to create scandalous lies. If that sentence is held against me, I’ll make it “vanish” just like MLB.com makes transactions vanish from their website.

Seriously though, everyone is mum on the situation, and we’ll hopefully get some kind of statement by Monday. This is all we have, officially, from Jay Horwitz:

“The Mets did not reach an agreement with Yorvit Torrealba, and there are no current negotiations.”

The problem now, of course, is that the Mets also seemingly burned their bridges with Paul LoDuca. Not saying that LoDuca is the answer for 2008, but it doesn’t help that the free agent options are dwindling. No more Jorge Posada, looks like no Torrealba, and likely no LoDuca. That leaves Michael Barrett and Jason Kendall. Ugh.

So perhaps the Ramon Hernandez rumors will be heating up again. Or maybe Mike Sweeney was serious about putting the gear back on.

Anyhow, it’s back to the drawing board, with the trade route seemingly the only place the Mets can find a legit catcher — which doesn’t help their bargaining position with trade partners.

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Favorite Free Agents

While the votes continue to pile up in the Rate the Free Agents booth, I thought I’d take some time now to list my personal favorite free agent targets, by position.

Catcher

Oh, crap, that one’s already filled. That was quick.

Second Base

1. Luis Castillo
2. Luis Castillo
3. Luis Castillo
4. Mark Loretta
5. David Eckstein
6. Tadahito Iguchi
7. Kaz … just kidding!
8. Anyone other than Miguel Cairo

It’s imperative that the Mets re-sign Castillo, but four years may be tough to swallow for a 32-year-old with bad knees.

Starting Pitcher

1. Carlos Silva
2. Livan Hernandez
3. Jason Jennings
4. Jon Lieber
5. Bartolo Colon
6. Matt Clement
7. Kyle Lohse
8. Freddy Garcia
9. Wade Miller

We’ve been through this — the Mets need innings-eaters, and Silva and Livan fit the bill. I like Jennings on a two-year deal. Lieber, Colon, and Garcia were once workhorses, so they have the intestinal fortitude (Colon simply has the largest stomach), and I’d offer one-year flyers to them as well. Clement has wicked, wicked stuff and could be worth a gamble. Lohse is the premier enigma — looks unhittable one day, awful the next; maybe he’s the next Kelvim Escobar. Wade Miller probably has nothing left by I always like him, so call it an emotional choice.

Relief Pitcher

1. Mariano Rivera
2. Francisco Cordero
3. Octavio Dotel
4. Troy Percival
5. Scott Linebrink
6. David Riske
7. Luis Vizcaino
8. Byung-Hyun Kim
9. Jeremy Affeldt
10. Jorge Julio
11. Mike Myers
12. Kerry Wood
13. Chad Harville
14. Scott Strickland
15. Franklyn German
16. Tanyon Sturtze
17. Cliff Politte
18. Jesse Foppert
19. Ricardo Rincon
20. Eddie Guardado
21. Joe Kennedy
22. Chris Reitsma

Give Mo’ fo’ betta years. Lyle-Gossage didn’t work 30 years ago because there was no such thing as “setup men” back then. It’ll work now — Billy and Mariano will figure it out and make history.

It should be pointed out that the Cisco kid will be 33 years old at the beginning of next season. You’d rather give him four years than Mo?

Just about everyone after Vizcaino on this list would be a minor-league deal, except of course Wood who would be a calculated gamble. Some may think Linebrink should be higher but I wouldn’t want to give him the three-year deal he’ll seek, and think that Percival and Dotel may settle for two years.

Infield – Outfield / Bench

1. Mike Sweeney
2. Shawn Green
3. Jose Valentin
4. Todd Walker
5. Mark Bellhorn
6. Travis Lee
7. Ryan Klesko

Obviously there isn’t much room on the Mets’ bench, and unless someone (Milledge?) gets traded there won’t be any outfielders signed. Sweeney would be a nice bat to have on the bench if he can stay healthy. Green and Valentin are emotional choices — unfortunately neither fits on the team any more. I’m still stuck on Walker being an ideal, professional hitter to come off the bench in a Jeff Conine role, but Willie is stuck on Damion Easley. Bellhorn intrigues me for his versatility, power, patience, and facial hair. Lee has no fit but I’ve always liked him as a hard-nosed all-around ballplayer. Klesko also has no fit and is older but boy can he rake.

Who are your favorites?

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