Tag: john lackey

Red Sox Hire Bobby Valentine

In case you haven’t heard, former Mets utilityman Bobby Valentine has been chosen by the Boston Red Sox to be their manager in 2012.

Valentine also managed the Mets at one point — if memory serves correctly, he was in the dugout the last time the Mets went to the World Series.

Personally, I’m thrilled to see Bobby V. back in MLB as a skipper, and believe he’s a good fit for Boston right now. His love for the spotlight will take pressure off the Red Sox players, and his hands-on, disciplinarian approach is the right contrast to follow the laid-back Terry Francona. The question is how long before Bobby rubs the Boston media the wrong way — a few months? a year? He’ll surely butt heads with a few of the current Bosox players; I’m betting on John Lackey to be the first to lock horns with Bobby V. But jeez louise, if Valentine could lead a team like the 2000 Mets to 94 wins and a World Series, what will he do with REAL talent? If nothing else, it will be interesting to watch.

What say you? Will you be following Bobby Valentine’s exploits in Boston? Rooting for, or against? Do you wish he was back in Flushing? Why or why not?

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Will the Mets Land a Big Fish?

At MetsFansForever, Will Sommer asks several bloggers which “big” free agent will be signed by the Mets

Andrew Vazzano unearths a slice of good news from the winter meetings – that David Wright and Daniel Murphy were working out with Howard Johnson, and Jeff Francoeur may be with HoJo later in the winter.

Ted Berg wrote an uncharacteristically long post poo-poohing the concept of a #2 starter and arguing that the Mets should pass on John Lackey.

Bob Klapisch says the Mets are pretenders

We’re only a day and a half into the winter meetings, but Brooklyn Met Fan is already tired of the rumors.

Kerel Cooper responds to yesterday’s question, “Would You Want Pat Burrell?” :

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Should They Pay Or Just Say No?

This time last year rumors of the Mets’ losses due to Bernie Madoff were cited as a possible reason why the team didn’t make a run for any big-time free agents other than K-Rod. After all, they had more issues other than finding a closer, but watched players such as Manny Ramirez, C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Orlando Hudson, Bobby Abreu, Raul Ibanez, and Derek Lowe sign with other clubs.

This year, Jeff Wilpon promised that the Mets would be aggressive players in the free-agent market, and that Omar Minaya had no specific budget constraints.

Wilpon has plenty of time to make good on that promise, but the early signs suggest that there is indeed a budget, and the top-tier free agent targets likely will go untouched by the Mets.

Bill Madden of the Daily News says the Mets have only $20M to spend this winter, so they’ll focus on “second-tier” free agents. Adam Rubin reports that the Mets are looking at Jose Guillen as a bargain basement alternative to Matt Holliday or Jason Bay (wow, that’s some drop off!). Recent rumblings are that the Mets will look past the high-priced John Lackey and toward less expensive (and less reliable) options such as Joel Pineiro and Randy Wolf. Further, there suddenly is talk that they are considering bringing back Carlos Delgado on an inexpensive, incentive-laden deal.

This could be posturing by the Mets, in order to keep their leverage in negotiations. After all, it wouldn’t make much sense if they publicly announced “hey, the wallet is open, and we’re spending freely this winter!”. Except, that’s basically what Jeff Wilpon said in October.

In the end, I might agree (gasp!) with Wallace Matthews, who believes the “Wilpons should be honest and look toward 2011“. The Mets have several holes to fill this winter, and have almost no trading chips they can afford to let go. That said, the free agent market is the quickest and easiest way to rebuild the roster, and the Mets have the added bonus of having their #1 draft pick protected (if they sign a “Type A” free agent). But Matthews is right on when he says:

The problem is, this year he will be spending thoroughbred money on a crop of dogs.

This year’s free agent class has two top players (Matt Holliday and Jason Bay), one top pitcher (John Lackey), and then everyone else is a few rungs below. Further, it can be argued that Lackey isn’t an “ace”, and is a question mark due to health concerns.

Holliday and Bay would probably get top dollar in any free agent year, though not Teixeira-type money. Lackey likely would not get top dollar if he were a free agent last year; my guess is he’d get something along the lines of a Derek Lowe deal (which is still pretty decent). But the rest of the class is sketchy, and they’ll all benefit from the trickle-down effect of these three “top dogs”.

What do you think? Should the Mets continue their habit of overpaying for talent — even if it’s the only way to build a contender — or is it time to tighten the budget, at the cost of possibly being also-rans in 2010?

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Jason Marquis Wants To Be a Met (?)

According to Tracy Ringolsby, Jason Marquis has told his Colorado Rockies teammates that his goal is to sign with the New York Mets this winter. (Hat tip to Ed at MetsFever)

Intriguing report by Ringolsby, and if true, it is no doubt a goal based on economics.

Though Marquis is from Staten Island, we’re told he grew up a Yankees fan, so becoming a Met is not his childhood dream. There’s a possibility that Ringolsby is as confused as Jeff Francoeur. Just as likely, Marquis is smart enough to see that the Mets are in dire need of a solid innings-eater, will likely cheap lose out on the bidding for John Lackey, and in turn look to overpay for a pitcher on the rung below Lackey. Perhaps, someone who is coming off a career year, and therefore appears to be worth the overpayment.

Someone like Jason Marquis.

After all, the Mets overpaid to sign Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, Scott Schoeneweis, and Francisco Rodriguez when those men were on the open market. They overpaid for Alex Cora, Tim Redding, Fernando Tatis, Pedro Martinez, Billy Wagner, and Carlos Beltran. Even when they did and then didn’t sign Yorvit Torrealba, it was for a higher rate than anyone else would give him. In fact, looking at their history since Omar Minaya took over as GM, they’ve overpaid for just about every free agent they signed — no matter what their talent level.

Knowing that, if I were a free agent, I’d also have the goal of getting signed by the Mets — it’s a near guarantee that I’d get more money and/or years than anyone else would offer.

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