We’re about three and a half weeks before pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie. And we still have one big hole in the pitching rotation. Derek Lowe is gone, and gone to a division rival in Atlanta. There have been several quotes in the media that Omar Minaya isn’t going to move forward to fill voids in the Mets roster until the pitching situation is settled.
The bullpen needs have been addressed, and in a big way. Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz are fantastic additions to the team. That’s great… But holding up the rest of the roster for a starting pitcher doesn’t make sense anymore.
There has been speculation that the Bernard Madoff- Ponzi scheme has affected the Mets ability to sign free agents this year. By now, we’ve all heard that Mets owner Fred Wilpon was victimized by Madoff to the tune of as much as nine figures. There are other writers that claim that the Madoff scheme has nothing to do with the Mets losing Derek Lowe. The truth is probably somewhere in between.
The point here is that Oliver Perez, Randy Wolf, Ben Sheets, and Jon Garland are still out there and won’t require a significant financial commitment for the Mets. I could understand waiting to see if the Mets could sign Derek Lowe, he would require a major financial commitment and would affect the Mets’ ability to sign other free agents.
We still need to look at adding an outfielder. I like Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy. I should say that I liked seeing them last season in small doses. It’s questionable, in my mind, how things will turn out with them playing every day in left field. Minaya should really take a look at an outfielder with experience playing every day like Garret Anderson, Jay Payton, Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, and Bobby Abreu.
The other problem that needs to be dealt with is the fact that the Mets have two backup catchers in Brian Schneider and Ramon Castro. I like them both as backups but neither is suited to play every day for various reasons. Schneider is an automatic out and Castro is an injury waiting to a happen. Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for an every day catcher on the free agent market now. Names like Pudge, Varitek, and other 30-something players dominate the remaining free agents. So a trade might be the only way to get a starting catcher to Queens.
These important issues with the Mets roster shouldn’t be left on hold waiting for a back of the rotation pitcher to sign a free agent contract. It doesn’t make any sense to me to leave other business left unattended while Minaya dances with Scott Boras and Oliver Perez. Minaya needs to be able to multi-task and we’re not seeing that right now.