Tag: red sox

Beltran to Boston?

The buzz from the Boston Herald is that the Red Sox might consider calling the Mets about Carlos Beltran this winter, in the event that Jason Bay is not re-signed.

(Hat tip to Ed at MetsFever)

Note I stated “buzz” — not “rumor”, nor “report”. It’s pure speculation by the Herald’s columnist Michael Silverman. Still, I am curious as to what you the Mets fan thinks of such an idea.

Would you consider trading Carlos Beltran to the Red Sox? If so, what would you need to get in return? If not, why not?

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Difference Between Mets and Champions

After 162 Mets games, I forgot how much fun it was to watch good, hard-played, exciting baseball games. Right there, one of the key differences between the Mets of 2007-2009 and championship teams.

Not yet a week into the postseason, and we’ve already seen “championship baseball” at its best. How many times in the past three years have we seen similar passion and tenacity from the Flushing Futiles, as we’ve witnessed from the Twins and Dodgers? Even in losing, the Tigers put out a tremendous effort in what may go down as one of the most exciting one-game playoffs of all-time. Sure, you can say these teams are playing at a notch above because it’s the postseason — but are they “dialing it up” from their usual 9 to 10 or are they usually at 10 and breaking the knob to find 11?

Some other differences noted while watching these championship clubs:

Pitching

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John Lackey is the pitcher the Mets keep waiting for John Maine to be — not in terms of style, but in performance / results. In other words, the 7-8 inning pitcher, with occasional spurts of greatness, but otherwise a very solid #2 starter.

The difference between Lackey and Maine: Lackey has very simple, efficient, squared-up mechanics that keep him on a straight line from the rubber toward home plate, which are the foundation to strong command of all pitches. As a result Lackey can hit spots all over the strike zone with all of his pitches. In contrast, Maine’s mechanics cause him to constantly be fighting himself and his “natural”, narrow location of up and in the righthander / up and away from the lefty.

Lackey leads an Angel rotation that has Scott Kazmir and 16-win Joe Saunders rounding out the back end. Compare those two at the end to anyone after Johan Santana on the Mets’ starting staff.

The bullpens of nearly all the postseason teams are equally impressive. Consider that the Red Sox have at least four men in the ‘pen not named Papelbon who would be closing for at least a dozen MLB teams. The Yankees have so much pitching depth that they don’t really need Joba Chamberlain. The Phillies may have an issue with Brad Lidge as a closer but their depth is such that it’s hard to find postseason innings for Pedro Martinez, Joe Blanton, and Brett Myers.

Lineups and Hitting

The Red Sox had JD Drew batting eighth and Alex Gonzalez ninth. The Yankees had Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher in the same spots. The Cardinals had Mark DeRosa 7th and Colby Rasmus 8th. Think about that. Any of those hitters would be batting cleanup for the Mets. That’s the difference between the Mets and a playoff team’s lineup.

Free Agent Signings

Bobby Abreu had some kind of year, huh? A .390 OBP, .293 AVG, 103 RBI, 30 SBs. This is the same guy who was practically begging the Mets for a contract. But the Mets were “set” in the outfield — they had Dan Murphy, Ryan Church, and Fernando Tatis. It was ironic that the Angels had a much deeper surplus of OFs than the Mets (Gary Mathews Jr., Reggie Willits, and Juan Rivera were all presumably fighting for one corner spot), yet they signed Abreu anyway — his bargain price of $5M was too good to pass up (rumor at the time was the Mets could’ve had him for $4M).

Managerial Boldness

Joe Torre has benched All-Star, Gold-Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson in favor of Ronny Belliard — mainly because Belliard is hot and Hudson is not. Can you see a Mets manager pulling a similar move in the playoffs? For example, if Jose Reyes were hitting .200 going into a playoff series, do you think Jerry Manuel would dare sit him in favor of a shortstop who was on a hot streak?

Conclusion

Watching these games a Mets fan, it’s hard not to think about your team and compare / contrast it to the teams still playing. There’s another big difference I’ll detail in a future post.

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Chris Carter DFA’d

According to MLBTradeRumors (hat tip to NY Baseball Digest), the Red Sox have DFA’d Chris Carter — presumably the other “player to be named later” in the Billy Wagner trade.

I’m not sure what exactly this means, mainly because I don’t own (nor can I find online) an official guide to MLB rules regarding waivers, the “end” of the season, “designated for assignment”, and players to be named later.

What I do know is that once a player is “designated for assignment”, his team has ten days to trade, release, or waive him. I *think* Carter would have to clear waivers before being traded to the Mets — otherwise this move would’ve been made weeks ago. I’m also not sure how the “ten days” figures in, considering that the regular season ends before then. I *think* that the ten days can include the postseason — and run right through the World Series and perhaps a few days after the last game of the WS.

I’m going to take a wild stab and guess that Carter will now be subjected to irrevocable waivers — meaning if he’s claimed, the Bosox can’t pull him back. But since they’re irrevocable, I don’t believe the claiming team has to give up anything in return — so the “trade” part of the DFA doesn’t apply.

Further, if no teams claim Carter before the Mets get their chance, does that mean the deal is complete when/if the Mets do claim him?

If you can find an official link explaining what can happen here, or if you are a licensed MLB agent, please comment below.

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Mets Get PTBNL from Red Sox

eddie-loraAnyone else out there not paying attention to Mets news over this past weekend?

In case you missed it:

On Saturday, the Red Sox sent to the Mets one of the two players to be named later in the Billy Wagner deal:

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Yankees Block Carter – So What?

Yesterday I thought we’d reached a low point when the DFA of a career minor leaguer caused excitement in the Mets blogosphere. Today, I’m seeing we fans sink even lower in this steep abyss of failure and mediocrity we’re calling the 2009 season — because now, we’re mad at the Yankees for preventing the Mets from auditioning another career minor leaguer.

Don’t get me wrong — I was excited as the next guy at the possibility of seeing some new (and healthy) blood come into Flushing, and wow us with his homerun hitting skills. But now, various sources are reporting that Chris Carter will be staying in Boston, because the Yankees claimed him on waivers as a handcuffing strategy (it forced the Red Sox to pull Carter back and keep him on their 40-man roster). Disappointing, yes, the news will hardly ruin my September.

First of all, the Yankees could care less about who the Mets want to audition in meaningless September games, and that consideration likely never entered their minds. The Yankees, after all, are focused on “meaningful games in September” (as Fred Wilpon so aptly describes them). And I can’t blame them — why should the Yankees do the Mets any favors, particularly in the heat of a pennant race? Did the Mets do the Yankees a favor by giving Billy Wagner to the Red Sox? And in return for peanuts, no less? Along with the potentiality of the Bosox getting two extra picks in next year’s June draft? Hmm … LHP who throws mid-90s and has closing experience … draft picks … in return for two non-prospects … yeah, we should be ticked at Brian Cashman for screwing up the Mets’ September, since Omar Minaya was so kind in helping out the Yankees!

Second, the blame is misplaced if it’s on the big bad Yankees. You want to blame someone for screwing up Chris Carter’s audition? How about blaming the Red Sox, who should have pushed Carter through waivers a month ago. It’s standard routine to send all your players through waivers after the trading deadline — no doubt the Bosox passed through people like Mike Lowell, Rocco Baldelli, Takashi Saito, etc. — so why not Carter?

Third, consider the silver lining. The fact that Carter won’t be in New York means there will be opportunities for others. For example, maybe without Carter around, the Mets will consider claiming Matt Murton to try out in left field. Perhaps not having Carter’s means Josh Thole will get some reps at first base. Or it could mean someone like Lucas Duda or Ike Davis gets a surprise promotion. At the very least, it should mean more at-bats for Angel Pagan and Cory Sullivan, and more first base experience for Dan Murphy. Seeing those three players for another 25-30 games will be helpful in determining where (or whether) they fit into the plans for 2010.

But hey, if you want to project your anger toward the Bronx, that’s your prerogative — and if it helps you cope with this sorry excuse for an organization, then go ahead and let it all out. Personally, I’d rather be “mad” at the Yankees for something more worthwhile.

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Mets May Acquire Dan Murphy Clone

chris-carter

If the Mets had access to stem cell technology, they’d likely have a team of scientists working feverishly in the lab on a Daniel Murphy clone. After all, the businesslike young man has been a fan favorite, is home-grown, and — most importantly — has remained healthy all season.

But of course, there is no stem cell lab at Citi Field, and the Mets’ Latin American scouting syndicate does not extend into Brazil, so cloning is not an option. However, they may have accomplished the next-best thing.

Several reports suggest that one of the two “players to be named later” in the Billy Wagner deal is a lefthanded-hitting outfielder / first baseman named

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Billy Wagner Agrees to Trade?

TheRopolitans has three sources confirming that Billy Wagner has agreed to a trade to the Boston Red Sox.

So far no official word from the Mets, though it could be coming soon.

No word on who the PTBNL will be, either. But since the Red Sox are taking on all of the rest of Wagner’s contract, and presumably agreeing to the lefthander’s demands regarding his option and arbitration, I get the feeling that the players will not be top-10 prospects.

Strange deal for the Red Sox, considering these caveats:

– Wagner can only pitch once every 3 days
– Wagner insisted that his option for next year NOT be picked up, so he can become a free agent
Wagner also insisted that he not be offered arbitration, so the team who signs him won’t relinquish a draft pick
– The Red Sox are taking on all of the rest of Wagner’s 2009 salary (roughly $2.7M + $1M buyout)

A healthy Wagner who can set up for Jonathan Papelbon 3-4 times a week could be a difference-maker. But a recovering Wagner who can only pitch one or possibly twice a week at most is not likely to have an impact on the stretch run.

Trading Wags means the Mets get his $2.7M off the books plus the $1M buyout that they would have had to pay if they chose not to pick up his $8M option. However, it also means the Mets will need to think long and hard about picking up J.J. Putz’s $8.6M option — if they don’t, then who is the setup man in 2010?

We won’t know how to evaulate this trade until the players coming from Boston are identified; I imagine we won’t hear about them until after the season.

** UPDATE **

Via Twitter, Bart Hubbach of the NY Post suggests that the Mets will receive two AA players, and that the Bosox WILL offer Wags arbitration (and thus get the draft picks when he signs elsewhere). Per Hubbach:

The Mets are getting two AA-level prospects. The Red Sox agreed to decline Wagner’s option but are retaining draft-pick compensation.

The top prospect on the Red Sox AA team (the Portland Sea Dogs) is 22-year-old 1B Lars Anderson, but I doubt they’d give him up for a one-month rental.

** ANOTHER UPDATE **

David Lefort of Boston.com has this to say about the players going to the Mets:

It is not expected that any more than one of the two players the Sox are giving up will come from the 40-man roster, and neither is considered an upper-tier prospect.

Translation: the Mets are likely to receive filler material. I’m betting on RHP Bryce Cox and catcher Juan Apodaca. Time will tell.

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Mets Game 43: Loss to Red Sox

Red Sox 12 Mets 5

A sweep would’ve been nice, but beating the Red Sox in Boston two out of three is nothing to sneeze at — particularly the way the Mets took their two.

As it was, a sweep looked like a real possibility in the early innings, as Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball was flat and Tim Redding was doing a decent if inefficient job of setting down the Bosox sluggers. Through the first four innings, the Mets enjoyed a 4-3 lead and looked like they would be tacking on more, as Wakefield had walked four and wasn’t fooling anyone with his knuckler. Then, in the fifth frame, the floater started fluttering, Redding faltered, and before you could blink the Bosox blasted nine runs in three innings to salvage one win from the series.

Redding left the game in the fifth with two outs and a 5-4 lead, but one pitch from reliever Sean Green turned him from potential victor to loser, as non-brother Nick Green ripped a two-run single. Nick Green was caught in a rundown between first and second to end the inning, but not before the go-ahead run scored. From there, the Mets’ bullpen was battered for six runs and the Omir Santosless lineup never had a chance to make up that kind of deficit against the likes of Manny Delcarmen and Takashi Saito.

Notes

Danny Murphy played another sharp game at first base, but was 1-for-4. His average has now dipped below .250, to .248. Perhaps as he gets more comfortable (i.e., can think less) at the position, he can get his “hitting mind” back on track. And, facing a knuckleballer is rarely a way to work out of a slump.

Fernando Tatis played the last inning of the game at shortstop and successfully handled one ground ball. Since Jose Reyes is expected to start in the opener against the Nationals, the experiment of Tatis at SS may be an indication that Ramon Martinez’s days are numbered. After a week of watching him, I can’t believe the Mets think Martinez is a better option for the Alex Cora role than picking up Alex Cintron, or making a deal for a minor leaguer such as Chris Woodward or Angel Berroa. Easier said than done, of course, but you don’t necessarily have to give up a prospect for a veteran like that — sometimes you can outright purchase a player (as the Mets did with Trot Nixon a few years back) or pull the old “player to be named later” out of your hat.

Curious, would Andy Green have been given this much of an opportunity in the Reyes / bench role? Meaning, would he still be on the 25-man roster after going 2-for-23 with four errors in five games? I realize he’s not really a shortstop and he’s hitting under .200 in AAA, but he was super in spring training — doesn’t that count for something? I know Martinez has hundreds of games of experience at the position, but gee whiz, you promote a 36-year-old like him after appearing in only 9 minor league games? Why not hunt down Jose Valentin if you’re that desperate? I’ll take him after nine fungoes in his backyard.

Next Mets Game

Mets come home to play the Nationals for a three-game set beginning on Memorial Day at 7:10 PM. John Maine faces John Lannan.

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