Why is Casey Blake NOT on the Radar?

According to various sources, the Minnesota Twins are ready to make an offer to Casey Blake, a free-agent infielder / outfielder whom Joe Torre credited on many occasions as being nearly as important to the Dodgers’ entrance into the postseason as Manny Ramirez.

The question is, where are the Mets on Blake and why does it appear they have no interest whatsoever?

Supposedly, the Mets are looking to change / improve their clubhouse, and looking to add more “gamers”. There aren’t too many available, and Blake is one of the few to be had. He is a winner and supposedly a great clubhouse guy with leadership qualities. Further, Blake is a righthanded-hitting slugger who hits well in the clutch (.310 with RISP) and can play a variety of positions — 1B, 3B, and OF. Doesn’t Blake fit the description of exactly what what the Mets needl?

Apparently not, since there hasn’t been an inkling of buzz from Flushing.

Now, I don’t think Blake is worth the 3-year deal he’s seeking, but two years is not out of the question. This is a guy who has hit in the neighborhood of .280 / 20 HR / 80 RBI for the last five years, and can play both corner outfield spots and first base. With Fernando Martinez on the horizon, the Mets aren’t looking for a long-term, full-time outfielder. Blake is an ideal player to keep LF warm for F-Mart, and/or platoon with Ryan Church, Dan Murphy, and Carlos Delgado, while also giving David Wright a breather now and then. In other words, another Fernando Tatis, but with a more reliable track record. As much as I love Tatis, I’m not counting on a repeat performance of 2008. Remove July and Tatis’ 2008 season is fairly unremarkable — and about in line with what Damion Easley produced. I like the idea of Tatis taking Easley’s job as supersub / utilityman, and don’t think he’s going to provide the kind of power and run production needed from left field. Blake, on the other hand, has proven he can be a solid and productive #6 / #7, either as a part-time player or as a regular.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude November 24, 2008 at 11:38 am
    I think in typical Mets fashion, the team is failing to look outside the box when trying to make improvements this winter. We’ve heard numerous times already that the team is focused on upgrading the pitching, needing to at least fill 2 vacancies in the rotation and get a closer in the bullpen. Everything else, including upgrading at 2B, finding a LF, and adding bench help is secondary (or tertiary if you count the starting rotation and bullpen as separate entities). And you can almost count on the Mets believing that the offensive output the team produced in 2008 (2nd in the NL in runs scored, 4th in team batting average) will be mimicked in 2009 – which counts Carlos Delgado having another MVP-caliber season, Ryan Church hitting close to .300 all season, and getting similar productivity from over-achievers like Tatis and Murphy. It’s also counting a resurgence from Luis Castillo, which is nowhere near a lock to take place. Taking the “eggs all in one basket” approach is going to leave the Mets on the sidelines when it comes to acquiring offensive players, whether thru free agency or trade, who could provide quite a lift, like Casey Blake, Orlando Hudson, Nick Swisher, etc. And like clockwork, if the Mets sign Krod and trade for Huston Street and manage to get a few quality starting pitchers this offseason, expect the pitching to make a significant improvement in 2009, but the offense to regress into mediocrity and prevent the Mets from making the postseason for the 3rd staright season. All because upper management is too short-sighted to see that all aspects of a team need re-evaluating and improving, not just individual components.
  2. Micalpalyn November 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    So why not deal Church sign Blake then rotate the corner OF spots between Blake, Tatis, Murph and even Pagan?