The Mets finally bagged Jason Bay for 4-years/$65 million with a vesting option that could take it to 5-years/$80 million. That’s a fair deal in my mind. Surprisingly, the Mets didn’t bid against themselves to overpay for Bay. I would guess that the impetus for Bay signing now is that Mark DeRosa signed with the Giants already. So there was one less suitor for Bay.
If you’ve been reading this site for a while now, you know that Bay or Matt Holliday in left field was my priority for the team. So… “mission accomplished” to quote George Bush. Now it’s time that the Mets move on to resolving the starting catcher and a middle/back of rotation starting pitcher. If they could trade Luis Castillo away for a bag of balls I’d be thrilled too.
As far as I’m concerned, Halladay shouldn’t even be on the Mets radar until they resolve some of the problems with their position players. As Heyman says, it’s unlikely that the Mets want two starting pitchers making #1 starter money. It’s not the right allocation of resources unless Halladay falls into their lap.
For the last two months, since Carlos Delgado went on the disabled list, I felt that Mark DeRosa was the best fit from a trade perspective for the Mets. That possibility was gone yesterday with the announcement that the Indians traded DeRosa to the Cardinals for Chris Perez and a player to be named later. Perez is a 23 year-old reliever with a very good fastball. That’s a better package than the Mets could have offered the Indians.
DeRosa can play any infield position and the outfield corners. He’s a right-handed hitter with power that would’ve been perfect for the Mets current needs. I don’t like Aubrey Huff or Adam Dunn for the Mets this season. Dunn has too much money coming over the next year and a half. And I never liked his “walk-strikeout-home run” game.
The more limiting possibilities are Matt Holliday and Maglio Ordonez. Holliday doesn’t have the versatility to play first base until Delgado gets back from the DL. And Ordonez is having a terrible season and has a huge contract with the possibility of vesting options guaranteeing future years based on plate appearances.
My guess is that the Mets try to acquire someone like a Ty Wigginton type of player. I don’t think they’ll make a splash by acquiring a big name. There’s too much risk this season with the Mets players that are currently injured. If Delgado, J.J. Putz, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Oliver Perez, and John Maine can’t come back to the team healthy and make significant contributions, the season is over for the Mets anyway. Making a major investment in a trade for a big name would be completely useless. Holliday couldn’t carry this current Mets team to the playoffs… And that’s the bottom line.
Omar Minaya should wait for as long as possible to pull the trigger on any trades until right before the non-waiver deadline on July 31. That’ll give him time to evaluate the health situation of so many key players on this team. No matter what happens with the currently injured players, I don’t expect the Mets to become sellers at the deadline. But I think they would stand pat and ride out the season if they aren’t going to get some of their premier players back this season.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports today on the Mets possible trade targets. He focuses his attention on first base. But I’m not so sure that the Mets wouldn’t look at someone like Victor Martinez of the Indians or Matt Holliday of the A’s. The problem with getting a first baseman is that if Carlos Delgado is able to come back from the disabled list this season, there’s no place for him to play.
I still don’t think that the Mets will do anything until mid to late July anyway. At this point in the season they’ll be held up by teams for too much value in return. I think the economy will keep teams from taking on payroll like they have in the past. So as we get closer to the deadline, teams that want to unload players won’t find the number of suitors that they have in seasons past.
The potential trade targets that Olney mentions for the Mets are:
The Mets are going to have to look at someone that can move away from first base if Delgado gets back. Huff and DeRosa along with Martinez would be the players that I think are the most likely. The Orioles will get a nice look at Fernando Martinez this week. Hopefully, he has a good series to generate some interest for a trade for Huff.
The Mets completed a trade with the Indians to address their shortstop issues. No. They didn’t get Mark DeRosa. They got Wilson Valdez for cash. Valdez is a 31 year old utility player that’s known as a slick fielder that can’t hit. He’s a .211 lifetime hitter that last played in the majors in 2007 with the Dodgers. He’s only played portions of 3 major league seasons. The word is that he’ll be added to the 25 man roster immediately.
Martinez will be in right field tonight. Don’t miss the fact that he’s playing against the Nationals, Marlins, and Pirates. Those are three teams that would desperately like to acquire top propsects that are major league ready. I’m not saying that he’ll be traded but the Mets might want to leave them with a nice taste of what Martinez can do.
Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse has confirmation from a team official that the Mets and Cleveland Indians are in talks about sending Mark DeRosa to the Mets. Of course, nothing is official yet and trade talks happen all the time that don’t ever pan out.
The Indians are astonishingly bad this season. The only team in the majors with a worse record is the Washington Nationals. The Indians could dump the rest of DeRosa’s $5.5 million contract at this point. He’s not going to help them anyway. They’re beyond help this season.
DeRosa, born in Passaic, NJ, just turned 34 years-old in February. He easily had the biggest offensive season of his career in 2008 with the Chicago Cubs batting .285/ .376/ .481. He’s a very versitle fielder and played 32 games at shortstop in 2007.
With Jose Reyes facing a good possibility of going on the disabled list and a major question mark at first base, this would be a solid move for the Mets. I have to assume that the Indians would want either Bobbly Parnell or Jonathan Niese plus some lower level prospects. I’d hate to give one of those guys up but that’s the nature of the game.