Browsing Archive December, 2008

New Green Home Jerseys for Mets

In an effort to better tie in the New York Giants’ side of their history, the Mets will be wearing green home jerseys as “alternates” in lieu of the traditional blacks.

From what I gather, the green matches the color of the Citi Field seats, which as you may know are a tribute to the green seating in the old Polo Grounds.

The green dye used to produce this particular hue is 100% organic, made from a mixture of soy and lentils. According to a person familiar with the team’s thinking, the use of this dye is part of a new “green” initiative by the Mets to be more earth friendly. In fact the jerseys are consumable, and, strangely enough, those sold at retail will have detachable green wafers made from the same material so you can “sample” the flavor — though I’d suggest you smear a little mustard on them before taking a bite.

These photos were sent to me by a MetsToday reader:

green_jersey.jpg

I checked with two different Modells stores in the Hudson County area, and both said that these jerseys would be in stock shortly after the new year. One sales rep confirmed the report:

“Yeah dude, that’s the new Mets jersey. Pretty dope, bro”

Naturally, I’ll be adding these jerseys to the MetsToday store as soon as they become available.

In the meantime, have a safe and happy New Year!

***** UPDATE *******

Turns out this green dye — the one supposedly produced from a mixture of soy and lentils — is in fact made from people! That’s right … soy-lent green is people! As such the Wilpons have decided to go back to the old black jerseys as an alternate.

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Mets Make Lowe Offer

According to the several sources, including the New York Times, the Mets have offered Derek Lowe a three-year, $36M contract.

If the Mets can get Lowe that cheap, I’ll be amazed. I find it hard to believe that no other team in MLB can afford a 3/36 deal for Lowe. If I were Brian Cashman, for example, I’d be on a flight to get to Lowe’s house ASAP to make a better offer. Think about it: the Brewers signed Jeff Suppan to a 4/42 deal back in the winter of 2006 — and Suppan was, back then, in a similar place as Lowe, though not quite as accomplished. I realize the economy has changed in the past two years, but #2/#3 starters who can crank out 200 innings a year and have impressive postseason numbers remain a rare commodity. If the Brewers, for example, allow the Mets to sign Lowe to such a paltry deal, then Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio should be tarred and feathered for his remarkably inane, “woe is me” comments of last week. Three years and $36M is a bargain for a talent like Lowe — a bargain that ANY small market team can easily swallow, from St. Louis through Kansas City to Milwaukee.

Of course, my fingers are crossed that Lowe is crazy enough to accept such a low-ball offer — though that seems like hoping against hope with Scott Boras advising him.

On another note, it is my opinion that if the Mets do in fact sign Lowe to such an affordable contract, they should then have plenty of extra dough to throw at Oliver Perez as well — and spend it on the bipolar lefthander. Enough of this “one or the other” nonsense — sign them both! Last I checked, the Mets have only two healthy MLB starters returning, and will need all the rotation help they can get.

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Mets After Andruw Jones?

Back on October 21st, we threw out the idea of the Mets trading Luis Castillo to the Dodgers for Andruw Jones. Exactly ten days later, Joel Sherman dreamed up the same deal (hmm …. is it possible he reads MetsToday?). On Monday afternoon, Buster Olney reported that the Mets were indeed talking to the Dodgers about Andruw Jones — however, those talks did NOT necessarily include Luis Castillo. Naturally, there is already at least one source poo-poohing Olney’s scoop. Seems everyone wants to be either the first to report a rumor, or the first to squash it.

So let’s pull back for a moment, and look at this rationally. First, the Dodgers have absolutely no interest in Castillo. A month ago, when the left side of their infield was empty due to free agency, they might have, but in the last few weeks they signed both Casey Blake and Mark Loretta (as well as Rafael Furcal). Blake almost certainly will start at 3B, pushing youngster Blake DeWitt to 2B. Loretta is the ideal backup for all infield positions and insurance if DeWitt suffers a sophomore jinx. In other words, Castillo doesn’t fit. So if Jones comes to the Mets, it’s a near guarantee that Castillo will not be wearing Dodger blue.

But that doesn’t mean Jones to the Mets is dead — the Dodgers are still desperate to shed his contract, and are operating as if he was not on the roster. Otherwise, why would they be kicking the tires on Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, and, of course, Manny Ramirez? Clearly they’ve given up on the idea that Jones can succeed in LA, and — come hell or high water — he’ll be gone before spring training. There aren’t too many other teams in MLB who have the money to take a gamble on the $15M left on Jones’ contract … heck, few teams can handle taking on HALF of it. The Mets have the resources to do it, though, and might be willing to do so if it costs them next to nothing in return — and if the Dodgers are willing to throw in a young pitcher such as 24-year-old LOOGY Greg Miller.

But then what about Castillo? Is there some way that he can be jettisoned while Jones jets his way into Flushing? Perhaps, but only if a third team is involved. Is this getting too complicated? Too unbelievable? Maybe, but it’s happened before. One need only look to the immovable contract of Mike Hampton back in the winter of 2002. If you remember, the Rockies were on the hook for around $70M over 6 years at the time, and Hampton was coming off a miserable 7-15 season with a 6.15 ERA. However, they managed to move his hefty contract — eating a nice portion of it — by involving both the Marlins and the Braves, as well as seven players. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Can Omar Minaya pull off a similar heist? Time will tell, but one thing’s for certain — Orlando Hudson is waiting very patiently, quietly, and idly, hoping something breaks with one of the two New York teams. He won’t wait forever, but it’s kinda strange that not a peep has come from his camp this winter. Methinks that Minaya has made a contingency offer to the O-dog, perhaps with an expiration date.

Personally, I like the idea of rolling the dice on Jones. When he’s right, he’s a rare talent, with the ability to put a team on his shoulders and carry it. If he wants to play in MLB beyond 2009, he will have to put up decent numbers, so one would think he’ll be motivated to, at minimum, arrive to spring training in shape, ready to rock and roll. My inside source confirmed that Jones’ major issue at the plate had to do with his leg injuries — it’s hard to hit when you don’t have solid legs beneath you — and that his condition was exasperated by being overweight and out of shape. The same source also told me that, in-season, Jones worked his fanny off — there was only one player who put more time in after hours, and that was Manny Ramirez. I’m betting that no matter where Jones winds up, he’ll have a better year than most corner outfielders.

Whether that year will occur in Queens is anybody’s guess. In the meantime, keep your hands away from the hot stove — the fire is still stoked and going strong.

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Red Sox Pick Up Penny

The Boston Red Sox have signed Brad Penny to a one-year, $5M contract, which can reach $8M through incentives.

Nice pickup by the Bosox, and a good fit for the somewhat troubled righthander. Penny has the potential to be a dominating starter with ace-like stuff, but his injury-riddled and underperforming 2008, lackluster work ethic, and abrasive personality make him a question mark. Since Boston needs him only to fill out the back end of the rotation, and have Justin Masterson as a backup, it’s an ideal low-risk, high-reward gamble for them. From Penny’s perspective, he has an opportunity to rejuvenate his career, and position himself for a ridiculous contract next winter — all he has to do is win 14-20 games in the beastly AL East.

I don’t believe the Mets were ever rumored to be interested in Penny, which is slightly disappointing. Those who only saw Penny against the Mets probably came away unimpressed, as Penny struggled mightily against the orange and blue, particularly at Shea. However, when healthy, he’s the righthanded version of Oliver Perez — some days he looks unhittable, other days he can’t get out of the fourth inning. On a one-year, $5M deal, I would have hoped the Mets at least kicked the tires on him — even though I hate him almost as much as Scott Olsen. At the end of the day, though, he doesn’t seem to have the type of personality that can handle New York. That said, it will be interesting to see how he fares in Boston, whose media and fan base can be just as, if not more, demanding than NYC.

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Yanks Steal Cash, Nats Snatch Gustavos

The Yankees have taken Cash directly from the Red Sox — Kevin Cash, that is. Fitting? Ironic? You make the call. In any case, yes, it’s true, the Yanks have signed backup catcher Kevin Cash.

Speaking of swiping backup backstops, the Washington Nationals signed Gustavo Molina — formerly of the New York Mets. Wait till they find out — as the Mets did — that Gustavo is NOT one of the “Molina catching brothers”, despite being named Molina, and despite being a catcher.

Further intriguing, the Nats also signed pitcher Gustavo Chacin. They now lead all of MLB in Gustavos. Meantime, the Mets no longer lead the league in Reyeses … Argenis has been released and Al is expected to sign elsewhere.

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