baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Some thoughts while waiting for someone else to cook a turkey

I'm not very optimistic about 2010 for the New York Mets, or 2011 for that matter. And as for 2012, well maybe we should hope the Mayans were right.

Amazingly, the Mets are still looking for a 2nd starting pitcher, something they neglected to do last off-season. And since the Mets usually try to fix last year's problem this year, they will probably miss out on anticipating what 2010's weaknesses will be.

If they sign Randy Wolf this year, for 2nd starter money, it will be almost as stupid as signing Oliver Perez for what they signed him for last year. The only reason Randy Wolf is a good idea is that he gets paid like a 4th starter and pitched better than that. He's not that good, and overpaying is exactly the kind of thing Omar Minaya does.

They need to sign John Lackey, or trade for someone really good. Josh Johnson is the guy I want. I'd trade any four prospects for him without a second thought. Roy Halladay would work, too, but he's considerably older than Johnson, so I'd give Toronto a weaker package, maybe three top prospects.

Getting one more top pitcher isn't enough, though. The Mets should be looking to add depth with low-risk, high-reward guys like Mark Mulder, Ben Sheets, and/or John Smoltz, on short-term, incentive-laden contracts. I'd also look to sign Jason Marquis or Joel Pineiro to compete with Pelfrey, Maine, and Perez at the back of the rotation.

In my mind, there are no untouchables on the Mets right now. Not one guy I wouldn't trade in the right deal. It's all about what you can get for the guy. Metsblog asked readers if they would be willing to trade Fernando Martinez, and it's the wrong question. What would you be willing to trade him for? That's the thing to ask.

I'd trade Martinez in a second if he were valued as a top prospect by the other team. Otherwise, I'd keep him and let him try to rebuild his value by having a healthy, successful season. I'd trade Jose Reyes if he were valued as a young all-star, not if what they can get in return is less than they would have gotten in the recent past. Selling low is bad strategy, period.

Angel Pagan is a good test case. If another team sees him as an every day outfielder, the Mets would be foolish not to trade him. I seriously doubt that he will ever be any more than he is, a 4th outfielder who is a big tease. He looks like he should be much better than he actually is, and the Mets should be trying to sucker someone into giving up a useful piece in exchange. Let someone else take this gamble.

Position player moves I would want to see are trading for someone like Mike Lowell to be the backup at 1b and 3b. He's a winner, and his contract only has one year remaining, freeing up the position for Ike Davis. I still believe in Daniel Murphy as the primary first baseman, even though I expect the Mets to trade him before long.

Like most people, I would love to exchange Luis Castillo (and some cash) for anything useful, and upgrade at 2b. Brandon Phillips would be my top choice, followed by Orlando Hudson, but only on a two-year max contract. A catcher with some power would be nice, although I am intrigued by a Josh Thole/Omir Santos combo. I really like both of them, and by 2011, it will probably be Thole starting and Santos backing him up.

There is no reason that the Mets can't sign Jason Bay or Matt Holliday, even if they sign John Lackey, or trade for an ace. The only chance the Mets have to win with this ownership/"leadership" group is to spend more money than their competitors. They are not going to be outsmarting anyone anytime soon. The guys they need are available; few teams seem willing to open their pocketbooks right now; so make the moves.

This idea of waiting to see how the market develops is for losers. Winners target the guys they think will help them win, and they go all out. See the 2009 Yankees.

To sum up, I'm not confident that the Mets will make the right moves, but I'll try to keep an open mind. The Mets could be just two players away from winning the World Series; those players are Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson in their primes.

Caroms Off the Wall

I've been a fan of the Strat-O-Matic Game Company for many years, almost back to their beginnings and my own. They recently completed a set of cards for the best players from the Negro Leagues, and I have to say that these cards are a wonder to behold. Do yourself a favor, and buy this set along with the game, for any young (or old) baseball fan on your holiday shopping list. And buy one for yourself. You won't be disappointed.

© Judy Kamilhor 2009


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