Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mets Top 10 Prospect Rankings

JP Schwartz at TopProspectAlert.com has put together his annual top 10 ranking of the Mets minor league prospects. This year the list is full of familiar names as most of them have been tossed around during the Johan Santana trade rumors.

The top prospect is pitcher Deolis Guerra with Fernando Martinez and Carlos Gomez close behind him at #2 & #3. I was a little surprised to see Guerra as the top prospect as I thought Kevin Mulvey, who is ranked #4, would be higher than Guerra.

I also was a little surprised that Martinez was ranked higher than Gomez since Martinez is expected to be another year or two away from being ready for the big leagues, but this list is based on potential and Martinez's potential at this point is through the roof.

Mike Carp, who is ranked #9, will be a name I think Mets fans will hear about more and more in the coming season as potential trade bait or a player who may get some playing time during September call ups.

For the full run down of the top 10 prospects visit TopProspectAlert.com.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Best Graphic Ever of Roger Clemens

Mets Refugees has possibly the best graphic I've ever seen of Roger Clemens, and an excellent write up on Clemens steroid use while showing some pretty impressive stat comparisons that explain much more than I can in words.

Kudos, to Mets Refugees which is the best designed Mets blog I've come across and has the second best logo. Second to Mets Lifer of course.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ex-Mets Can't Even Cheat Right

The Mitchell Report is causing everyone to forget Santa Clause and start referring to winter weather as the "cream and the clear." Ironically, no current Mets were implicated in the report, but as I reviewed the list of players I was amazed at the former Mets who were named.

Players like Matt Franco, Todd Pratt, Mo Vaughn, David Segui, Todd Hundely, and Paul Lo Duca were all named. However, something stands out. All of these guys really weren't any good. Sure Hundley hit 41 homer runs that one year so maybe the steroids helped out that one year, but you mean to tell me he used them for one career year and then stopped?

Look at Franco & Todd Pratt. They used 'roids and couldn't even break into the starting lineup. David Segui had a decent year for the Mets in the mid '90's but nothing that would make you want to keep him as a regular.

Also, I refuse to believe that Mo Vaughn did steroids as a Met. Have they found steroids to have a reverse effect on some players? Vaughn did hit the most montsrous home run I've ever seen at Shea Stadium, but the guy was barely able to swing the bat as a Met.

At least Guillermo Mota, who surprisingly was not in the Mitchell Report, proved that steroids could help, but these guys didn't even help out the team while cheating. That's disappointing.

The one name on the report that bothers me the most is Lenny Dykstra. I remember loving this guy as a kid and in little league making sure my jersey got dirty every game just like Dykstra. The unfortunate part is that Dykstra, as well as some other players in the Mitchell report, have been away from the game for years now, but are now having their reputations ruined. It doesn't excuse their behavior, and the effect this will have on their records is yet to be determined but it's just an unfortunate situation for them.

However, Dykstra is a very succesful financial guy so I'm sure he's going to make it through this without losing too much sleep.

One thing every Met fan can smile a little bit at is the situation this puts Roger Clemens in. Now doesn't Clemens throwing that sawed off bat at Piazza in the 2000 series look like 'roid rage?

Paul Lo Duca Implicated In the Mitchell Report

On ESPN this afternoon former Met Paul Lo Duca has just been revealed as using steroids based on findings from the Mitchell Report released by Major League Baseball today.

Perhaps that's why a little love was lost between the Mets management and Lo Duca. Maybe someone found out something and decided they didn't want that tied to the ballclub.

I liked Paul Lo Duca and it's unfortunate that he's being implicated in this. Although it does make me feel a little better about our current catching situation.

More details to come.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Don't Cry for Me, Johnny Estrada

Goodbye Johnny Estrada. It's like we never knew you. Okay, it's exactly we never knew you.

Tomorrow is the deadline for the Mets to either sign or release Johnny Estrada. Estrada was traded to the Mets for fan favorite (by fan favorite I mean every NL baseball team but the Mets fan favorite) Guillermo Mota.

The Mets do not have to pay anything to Estrada if he is released so this is the best offseason trade so far by any team. This also allows the logjam at catcher to be somewhat alleviated as the Mets will now have Brien Schneider and Ramon Castro as their primary catchers.

Well Estrada, I wish you luck and hope you land somewhere. But if he ends up with the Nationals I'm going to start thinking there's a Washington conspiracy going on to steal every Mets player. Metsgate?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Milledge Trade Looks Worse Today

If you haven't heard there's news from the winter meeting that the Tigers and Mets are talking about a possible trade that would send Dontrelle Willis to the Mets.

What's the catch? Well, the catch is the Tigers have found themselves with a payroll overload and need to cut back so any deal involving Dontrelle would also include taking Pudge Rodriguez and his +$13MM salary. Now Pudge has a no trade clause, but would waive it if he was offered a contract extension from a playoff team (i.e. New York Mets).

So how does this make the Milledge trade any worse? Well we now have an overload at catcher so for this deal to happen we'd either a) have to cut one of our existing catchers under contract b) find a way to package one of them in a deal for Willis/Rodriguez. The problem with option B is we just signed Castro to a contract and just traded for Schneider and are stuck with his contract. This is not about Ryan Church. Church will bat .270 for us and knock in 60 RBIs. This is about getting a middle of the road catcher early in the offseason before knowing what's really out there.

Of course hindsight is 20/20, but it just compounds the bad feeling I'm getting from the Mets this offseason. I have a horrible feeling that come April 1 we will not have acquired a top notch starting pitcher. Livan Hernandez will be in the rotation. And our bullpen will be very similar to last year.

I'd love for the Mets to make this deal with the Tigers. The Marlins were packaging Willis and Cabrera because they wanted to dump payroll. The Tigers don't really need Willis and now find themselves wanting to dump payroll as well. This is a perfect scenario for the Mets. The Mets could try and send Castro, Heilman, and Mulvey to the Tigers for Willis & Pudge. The Tigers don't need any more bats or big time contracts.

Will this happen? Who knows. But if it doesn't happen in the coming week, it will be less likely that it ever will.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Get Ready for Some Baseball Leftovers

It's almost two weeks after Thanksgiving and the Mets are about ready to get some leftovers. The hype surrounding the Mets ability to get a top notch pitcher has quickly faded into oblivion. We started November with dreams of Johann Santana and Dan Haren. We soon switched to visions of Erik Bedard or Dontrelle Willis.

Now we've been woken up from our slumber with the cold breeze of reality. The Mets are going to be stuck with leftovers.

Now nothing is over until its over, but let's be frank, the Mets are getting phased out of every major discussion surrounding a top notch pitcher. The good part about that is the teams we're dealing with are probably wanting one of our core players like Jose Reyes or David Wright, and the Mets are unwilling to part with them. That I can agree with.

The bad part is the Mets are going to try and overcome our shortcomings last year with mediocre arms like Livan Hernandez, Bartolo Colon, or even Freddy Garcia. I hope the Mets don't fool themselves into thinking that's going to suffice.

My hope is that Omar Minaya will plant some seeds for some possible trading deadline moves. Now that we've traded away Lastings Milledge I was thinking we could have just traded him last year along with another player or two and had Barry Zito on our staff. But hindsight is always 20/20.

If we're not getting a top notch starting pitcher, we better have our sights set on some serious bullpen help.

New Mets Blog

I just came across a fellow Mets Lifer, via Facebook actually, and wanted to let you know about the UltiMets blog.

He's got some great posts and is keeping a close eye on the winter meetings so be sure to pay him a visit at www.ultimets.blogspot.com.

Keep up the good work.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What Do the A's Want for Dan Haren?

According to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark, the Oakland Athletics have made it clear what they want from the Mets if they want to get Dan Haren.

According to Stark, Billy Beane has said that it will take Carlos Gomez and top minor league prospect, Fernando Martinez, to secure Dan Haren in a trade.

I found it a little surprising that Beane wouldn't require a pitcher in return since it appears he's wholesaling his entire starting rotation. If the Mets made this deal they'd in essence would give up their entire outfield of youth (Milledge, Gomez, Martinez).

Long term what this means is that they'll need to make a deal next year to replace Moises Alou, and if Ryan Church has a bad season and bats .230 we might need to replace him as well. I'm hopeful about Church, but I'm cautious to give up both Martinez and Gomez. I'd much rather package in a pitcher or two instead of one of them.

If the A's offer is legit it's not an unreasonable one, and you have to ask yourself is it easier to replace young outfielders or a young starting pitcher?

Still there's much left to be decided and we just have to sit and wait for the cards to be dealt.

The Mets and Baseball's Winter Meetings

It's finally here. The most wonderful time of the year. GMs are scrambling and media's waiting to hear of a deal! It's the annual baseball winter meetings.

This year the Opryland hotel in Nashville, TN is host to baseball's winter swap meet. This is the place where deals get done. Nobody wants their team needs looming over them during the holidays so every GM will be looking to have a deal done by this Friday.

So what are the Mets looking to get? Pitching, pitching, pitching. As we all know a top notch starting pitcher is the number one need of our beloved Mets, but it looks like Johann Santana is out of the picture as he's now saying it's either the Yankees or the Red Sox.

The interesting news is the Erik Bedard of the Orioles appears to want to get out of Baltimore ASAP, and we know that Billy Beane loves to chat up the Mets. Even Miguel Cabrera is a name that is being tossed around as someone the Mets are interested in, although I'm not too crazy about that. Unless it's for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider, then Omar is a genius.

In a perfect world I'd like the Mets to get Erik Bedard and Chad Bradford from the Orioles. If they were able to pull that off, I'd be satisfied with the team as is. It would fill needs in both the rotation and the bullpen. If Bradford is not open for dealing, that Octavio Dotel would be my second option.

Of course this all speculation until something gets done, but let's hope Omar is a busy man this week.