Although you could fault the Mets and Omar Minaya on several fronts this offseason, one of the biggest glaring holes in the acquisitions was at starting pitcher. You could say that they should have gotten another first baseman or catcher. Personally, I think they’re fine at catcher. But I have been consistent in calling for a change at first base. Mostly, I hear from fans that the starting rotation is still a mess. Even Darryl Strawberry doesn’t like what the Mets have done, or haven’t done, this offseason.
Now that we’re only two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Port St. Lucie, you have to consider the Mets picking up a leftover starting pitcher. The obvious choices are Jerrod Washburn, Chien-Ming Wang, and Erik Bedard. At this point in the offseason there are pretty slim pickin’s.
You could always throw in Pedro Martinez, but I doubt that the Mets would go back to him. I wouldn’t either. He was better than I thought he would be with the Phillies last year at 5-1 3.63 in 9 games. But that’s a really small sample. If you consider the fact that he effectively robbed the Mets of two and a half years of his contract, I can’t see the Mets going there again.
Bedard had surgery for a torn labrum and won’t be ready to start the season. Wang also has several months to go before he’ll be ready for the season too. But both pitchers have proven to be effective when healthy and neither is too old to make a comeback. The Mets should take a flyer on Bedard or Wang with an incentive laden deal. Washburn is looking old at 35, even for a soft-tossing lefty. With such limited options, the Mets need to take a gamble on Bedard or Wang.
The biggest news this week is that the Mets finally announced the election of Doc Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Frank Cashen, and Davey Johnson into the team Hall of Fame. They’ll go in on August 1 and that’s a date to mark on your calendar to be at Citi Field. It still burns me up that the team seemed to forget about the Hall of Fame, not electing anyone since 2002. You can see the entire list here. How is Johnny Franco not in the Hall?
On the same note, Remembering Shea has a good list of the nine greatest Mets, the next nine to go into the Hall, and the next nine to have their numbers retired. It’s a great post. Take a few minutes to read it. The lists are great but I’m not as high on Jerry Koosman. I’d move him down a few spots, but other than that the lists are spot on.
The Mets are holding a voluntary mini-camp in Port St. Lucie starting on Monday. It’ll be really interesting to see who shows up to that. There should be an announcement within the next day or so about which players will be there. If Oliver Perez doesn’t show up, I’ll be livid. Nobody needs the extra work more than he does.
The list of players not offered contracts for 2010 became clear today after last night’s deadline. The list is highlighted by Chien-Ming Wang, Garrett Atkins, and Jack Cust. Also closers Mike MacDougal and Matt Capps were let go. Ryan Garko was let go by the Giants as well after not fulfilling his potential in both Cleveland and San Francisco.
I wrote about the list of players that the Mets non-tendered today as well. There weren’t any major surprises there. But I do think that the Mets will be talking to some of the players that the other MLB teams cut loose.
Wang has a huge upside. He won 19 games in both 2006 and 2007 but has been beset by injuries for the last two seasons. So has John Maine and the Mets are holding onto him. And he has nowhere near the potential that Wang has.
Cust is a low-average, power-hitting RF/DH. I’m not sure where he would fit in with the Mets considering he’s an adventure in the outfield. But we all know that the Mets are in desperate need of some power. He could be a Matt Stairs-type of player for the Mets.
New York Mets (21-19) at New York Yankees (20-23) 8:05pm
Oliver Perez (3-3) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (6-1)
TV: ESPN Radio: WFAN
What to watch: The Mets can get a two game sweep tonight at Yankee Stadium. But they have to go through Wang to do it, who’s the Yankees ace pitcher. You never know which Perez will show up for the Mets. We’ll just have to see how he looks tonight.