Thursday, January 31, 2008

Keith Law: Top 100 Prospects

Today Keith Law came out with his Top 100 Prospects in the entire MLB. Here's what he had to say about some Mets prospects and former Met prospects..

#10 Mets OF Fernando Martinez... It's been fashionable this offseason for some writers to bash the Mets' top prospects, mostly vis-à-vis the Johan Santana trade talks, but this criticism has been way overblown. Martinez's 2007 performance doesn't impress on a quick look, but consider these facts: He played the entire season at age 18 in AA; and he was hitting .309/.372/.409 as late as May 25 before the effects of a contusion on his left hand ruined what remained of his season. He was shut down on June 23 and missed the rest of the year. Martinez shows huge raw power in BP that will make its way into his game performances, and he has a solid approach with good pitch recognition for someone so young. He has good range in center and a plus arm if he outgrows center field and has to move to right. To put his development in more perspective, if he'd played a full year at AA and hit .290/.360/.410 or so, he would have been on pace to debut in the big leagues at 19 or 20 and be a big league regular before he turned 21. He's going to be a star, but everyone has to bear in mind how young he is to keep his performance in perspective.

#35 Twins OF Carlos Gomez... Gomez can fly and will be one of the fastest players in the majors once he is there for good. The rest of his game needs work, as his substantial tools don't translate into immediate major league success. He has a very quick bat but relies on his wrists and hands, hitting off his front foot too often and never getting his weight back to drive balls, so he makes contact but right now doesn't project to hit for power. In the field, he is more advanced, running down balls in all directions in center field and showing a 60-65 arm on the 20-80 scale. He missed most of the second half of the 2007 season due to a broken hamate bone in his hand, an injury that can linger into the following season, so his short-term projection isn't bright, but he has star potential if he is given time and instruction.

#80 Twins RHSP Deolis Guerra... Guerra is almost all projection, but there's a lot on which a scout can dream. His velocity is fringe-average, but he'll flash low 90s out of nowhere, and his curveball is inconsistent at best. He has a plus changeup with good fading action. But the appeal here is that he turns 19 in April and is very projectable, with the broad-shouldered frame we look for when forecasting velocity increases and durability. His probability is low, but there's a chance he'll be up in the top 20-30 in a year or two.

I already miss Guerra and Mulvey.. but then again WE HAVE SANTANA!

Santana Update

Since the last post about Santana, a few things have cleared up.

#1) We now know that the Twins were asking for Ching Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy for Johan Santana. The Yankees shot that down as soon as they heard it. Its mind-boggling to see that the Twins couldn't get more for Santana. All I can say is that Omar made an awesome trade.

#2) The Mets are offering a six-year, $129MM extension starting with the '09 season. Including his '07 salary that would amount to seven years and $142.25MM. Santana's people want to get the total up around $170MM. ( via MLBTR). Anything over $126 million, would be the largest deal for a pitcher in history. Heyman also mentions that “high-ranking baseball people believe the deal is all but certain to get done”.

#3) According to Jason Stark, when one baseball man who had spoken with Mets GM Omar Minaya was asked if the club could end up with both Santana and Lohse, the reply was: "Absolutely." Stark also notes that contract talks will spill over onto Friday, and possibly to the 5 p.m. deadline. Chances of failing to reach an agreement are "remote." For now it appears that the Mets want the sixth year as a vesting option and Santana's people want it guaranteed.

Matt Cerrone and I have the same opinion on the Santana contract situation...

"there is no way that the Mets went through all of the energy to make this trade, only to blow it…"

Perfectly said Matt.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thank You Minnesota!!!

I would like to take the time to say Thank You to former Twins GM Terry Ryan, current GM Bill Smith, and the fans of the Minnesota Twins.

On July 30, 2007 Castillo was traded by the Twins to the New York Mets for two minor league players, catcher Drew Butera, and outfielder Dustin Martin.

On August 1, 2007 Santana had this to say about the trade:

"We've been close," Santana said "And in all those times, we seem to be a couple players away from winning it all. So I respect all the decisions they make, but I won't say that they're right all the time.

"They protect their young players. They protect their organization, their roots, everything. But I guess I won't be a part of it. A lot of guys don't feel like they can be part of it, and they have to move on."

"I'm not surprised," Santana said, the newspaper reported. "That's exactly how they are. That's why we're never going to go beyond where we've gone."

"You always talk about future, future. ... But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won't be part of it," Santana said

"Why waste time when you're talking about something that's always going to be like that? It's never going to be beyond this point. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here, you know?"

Santana said, "I don't think (the decision makers) care. I've been here for eight years, and I've seen a lot of those kind of things, I've seen a lot of those guys come in and leave. They (The decision makers) don't care. They always talk about caring about it; I don't think they care. "

"Because if you're always talking about having young players -- that's the philosophy the team has, and I respect all that -- but it's been proven that it's not enough to go all the way to the World Series."

So by Terry Ryan trading away Luis Castillo, he also lost any chance of the Twins resigning Johan Santana. So Thank you Mr. Ryan!

Thank You Mr. Bill Smith for trading the best pitcher in major league baseball to the Mets. I understand your hand were somewhat handcuffed, but you took a gamble on the Yankees and Red Sox trading punches. It never happened. Then Santana and his agent tell you that you have 10 days to make a trade or we veto any trade and go to free agency. Bill, you then asked the three teams for their best offer. The Yankees and Red Sox told you "We're out" and the Mets offered just the four prospects.

You had only two choices: 1) make the trade with the Mets or 2) let Santana walk after the 2008 season. The rest as they say is history!

And lets not forget the Twin fans. I know most of you are pissed off, but thank you. At least he's out of the AL, and don't sleep on the Mets prospect.

Getting to Know Johan Santana.

The Contract:

The Mets have until 5:00 pm to works out a deal with Santana and his agent. The Mets want to sign Santana to a 5 year deal, while Santana is looking for a 6 or 7 years deal at $20 million per. Barry Zito signed a seven-year deal worth $126 million plus an option for an eighth season at $18 million with the Giants on December 29, 2006. Look for the Santana deal to top Zito's deal in the $126 to $135 million dollar range. Santana is due $13 million for 2008 plus a 5 year deal from the Mets at say a $130 million would give Santana a total of a 6 year deal worth $143 million, which is $23.8 million per year.

The Statistics:

  • 3 time All-star (2005-07)
  • 2 Cy Young (2004 and 2006) both unanimous selections
  • 1 Gold Glove (2007)
  • Won the Triple Crown for Pitchers as the leader in wins (19), strikeouts (245), and ERA (2.77) in 2006

Santana's career numbers VS. the NL East:

  • W-L = 6-2
  • ERA = 1.81
  • IP = 64.2
  • H = 46
  • K/BB = 68/16

Lowest ERA at Shea with at least 15 IP among active pitchers:

  1. Webb = 0.31
  2. Reitsma = 0.44
  3. Prior = 0.47
  4. Santana = 0.60
  5. Ryan Madson = 0.70

Since 2003 Santana ranks:

  • 1st in wins with 82
  • 1st in ERA with a 2.92
  • 1st in Strikeouts with 1152
  • 1st in Opp. BA. with .212

Santana has three strikeout pitches:
An 94 mph fastball
An 87-MPH slider
An 76-MPH changeup

The changeup is the most devastating, because it comes out of his hand looking just like his fastball. When it arrives 18 MPH slower than the heater, hitters swing and miss by embarrassing margins. Batters call his changeup a "yo-yo pitch" while Santana calls it his "butterfly pitch". Santana has also learned to throw his slider with different breaks at different speeds.

Injury History:

In Santana's 8 year career he has made only one trip to the DL for 10 weeks during the 2001 season with a slight tare in his elbow. In 2003 he had off season surgery to remove a bone chip in his shoulder.

Personal Data: No. 57
Name: Johan Alexander Santana-Araque
DOB: March 13, 1979 in Tovar, Merida State, Venezuela (29 by Opening Day)
B/T: L/L
Attended Jordan High School
Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Astros in 1995
In 1999 was selected by the Marlins in the rule 5 draft and then trade to the Twins for Jared Camp
Major League Debut:
April 3, 2000 with the Twins vs the Devil Rays
Favorite Players growing up: Rickey Henderson and Ken Griffey Jr. and fellow countrymen Dave Concepcion and Andres Galarraga.

Is the second of five children.
Wife Yasmile, who he has known since he was 9 years old, and they have two daughters, Jasmily & Jasmine.
In 2006 he started a foundation to provide assistance to hospitals and bought new gloves and bats for children in surrounding areas.
Also in 2006 purchased a firetruck for Tovar's fire department.
Over the last two year Santana has hosted a party called El Cy Youngazo (the Great Cy Young) which includes a toy drive, musical groups, and beer from Santana's sponsor, Regional.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias has provided guards for the Santana family to help provent people from kidnipping his family and holding them for ransom.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stupid Braves fans...

I was reading the Johan Santana to the Mets article on USA Today, and this is what one of the comments said at the bottom of the page...

"This move will give the Mets one the Mets are thinking that the Pedro of old is coming back....good luck with that....and how old is El Duque? 50? and he throws a wicked 85 mile an hour fastball....and I also like the post that he has got to play in New York....and lots of players have been unable to play in New the Mets have got to sign him...Santana is great pitcher that had a down year...he was 15-13 and was hittable after the my opinion is big deal. The Mets have finally, finally got a decent pitcher.... I still say the Phillies and Braves will compete for the division and the mets will have to contend with trying out of the cellar behind Florida and Washington.....Go Braves!"

Shows how smart he is. But take a look at this new rotation for the 2008 season...

  1. Johan Santana
  2. Pedro Martinez
  3. John Maine
  4. Oliver Perez
  5. Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez
John Maine as our #3 SP?! and Oliver Perez #4? I hope someone comes out and says it...


Santana? What did we give up for him?

Finally, it has happened. The Mets have acquired 2-time Cy Young Winner Johan Santana for Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber, and Deolis Guerra. The deal will not be finalized until the Mets and Santana's agent agree to a contract extension and all the players must pass physicals. The Mets have a 72 hour window to sign the best pitcher in baseball. I am so excited for spring training now. Before this trade, Billy Wagner thought that we were a 3rd place team. Now, we're already the favorite to go to the World Series.. and we still have Mike Pelfrey AND Fernando Martinez. Omar had to do this trade and by doing this, we have no need to sign Livan Hernandez or Kyle Lohse.

Back to the prospects... The Mets gave up 4 of their top ten prospects.. #'s 2,3,4, and #7 according to Baseball Americas post in November. Heres a little information on the prospects that were traded...

Kevin Mulvey: has the potential to be a #3-#4 starter on a good staff. Average stuff, great command. Was the first choice in the 06 draft for the Mets. Very close to being a MLB player.

Philip Humber: #3 pick in the 2004 draft, under went Tommy John Surgery in his first pro season. Came back last year and looked ok in AAA. Will need another year in the minors but should be ready in 2009. Humber once had the potential to be a #1 starter in the Majors, but he is projected to be a #3 starter at best, maybe even less.

Carlos Gomez: is what scouts like to call a five-tool player, a combination of offensive ability that includes power and speed as well as an above-average defensive game and a strong arm. He has worked to cut down a strikeout rate that was high during the early part of a minor league career that began in 2004 after the Mets signed him out of the Dominican Republic. He made his major league debut last May and hit .232. (USA Today)

Deolis Guerra: a young super-prospect with #1 starter potential. Has a dominant change-up, and a fastball that keeps gaining velocity as he grows. Had an adequate season last year, but showed dominance at times. He was also one of the youngest players in his league last year. Could be a future #1 and Cy Young Candidate.

You may be thinking... "Why would you trade so much young talent?!" Well, we have three very good draft picks during the first and supplemental-first rounds of next June's draft.

  • The18th overall pick from the Braves as compensation from the signing of Tom Glavine.
  • The 22nd overall pick due to the performance of last years team.
  • The 33rd overall pick in compensation from the signing of Tom Glavine.
Thats not all, The Mets signed 15 players internationally in the summer of 2007, more than any other organization, and has tried to use that market to find impact talent. Our lower levels of the minor leagues are stocked with talent, and our very good draft picks will help us get some better talent flowing through.

In the past few years, the Mets have had to surrender their 1st round picks because of free-agent signings and haven't tried to compensate by exceeding MLB's bonus guidelines with other picks. Minaya said that could change in the near future.

"We've adhered to the commissioner's slot recommendations," Minaya said. "We've been good citizens. But not all the teams have done that, and the competitive balance is not fair. We have to take that position under review as an organization." (Baseball America)

Don't worry, we now have an easy ride to the playoffs and hopefully more in 2008!

Santana takes the 7 train to Queens!

The biggest and best named pitcher may have just landed in Queens. The Mets are within 72 hours from resigning and completing a trade for Johan Santana!

The Cost: Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

The Discount: No Fernando Martinez. No Mike Pelfrey. No Ryan Church. No Aaron Heilman.

The Profit: One of the best damn pitchers in the game today.

Did Omar just redeemed his comatose offseason?

Finally after months of speculation, the Twins have agreed to trade Johan Santana to the Mets for a package of young players. The Mets now must sign Santana to a long-term deal in the next 72 hours. Since Santana has already rejected a 4 year, $80 million extension offered by Minnesota, he’s rumored to be looking for a six- or seven-year deal from New York, in the range of $20 million per. I say give it to him, if any starting pitcher has earned it, it's Santana.

The Mets managed to hang on to their most prized prospect, outfielder Fernando Martinez. Rotoworld take... Gomez and Guerra are big-time talents, but Gomez lacks plate discipline and might not fit in the top half of the lineup and an awful lot could go wrong before Guerra even sniffs the majors. Mulvey and Humber are third starters at best and probably more like fourths. It’s a whole lot better than losing Santana for draft picks next winter.

Some fans reaction:

Mets fan: AAHHHH!!

Red Sox fan: Phew, at least he's not a Yankee!

Yankee fans: Poop

Twins fans: mother*&%^

Rest of NL East: that sucks...

USA Today's Bob Nightengale broke the story...USA Today

Monday, January 28, 2008

Blog Renovation

I have recently noticed that some people don't feel that the quality of this blog is not as good as it could be. Therefore, us here at Mets 4 Life will be taking suggestions on how to improve this blog. If you have any suggestions on how to make this blog better for you and all the other readers, please contact me at my email., in the Cbox on the right side of this blog, or in the comments section. Thanks a lot!

Links for the Day

Sorry guys, I am very busy with work and I just got home a 1/2 hour ago. I dont want to make excuses so here are some links and notes from a pretty busy day...

Metsblog did some nice stuff today...

  • Mets sign Australian High-Schooler
  • More prospect info from Matt Cerrone #1 and #2

Other news..

  • The Phillies have improved. With the signing of 3B Pedro Feliz, they have reliable players at every position. His power numbers should also go up due to the hitting friendly Citizens Bank Park. Last year he hit .253 with 20 HR's and 72 RBI.
  • Carlos Gomez is not allowed to play in the Carribean World Series. Why is this? It could be a trade is in the final stages or the Mets are being cautious.. Keep an eye on this situation.
Sorry again for the lack of posting. DJ and I will try to do our best to keep this blog updated.

Also, any suggestions for the renovation of this blog will be accepted at my

What's the big holdup in the Seattle/Baltimore trade?

ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that the big holdup in the Seattle/Baltimore trade is none other than O’s owner Peter G. Angelos.


If this is true, Orioles fans should report immediately to the Warehouse with sticks and torches.

Andy MacPhail accepted the Orioles’ top baseball job last summer with the assurance that Angelos - famous for his habit of vetoing trades - would butt out. Angelos’s name wasn’t mentioned when MacPhail dealt Miguel Tejada last month. But then, it’s possible Angelos was ready to dump Miggy, his attitude and his steroid cloud. But it is rumored that Angelos veto a trade to the Cubs.

The Bedard deal is ready to go - the M’s are even saying it’s already happened. But Stark writes that his sources tell him Angelos still needs to bless every deal and that the owner won’t be able to give it a good look until tomorrow.

The only - and I mean the only - hope that Orioles fans have allowed themselves in recent years was the hope that Angelos had finally seen the error of his ways. We hoped that Angelos could look at the long list of ex-Baltimore baseball people — Larry Luccino, Frank Wren, Pat Gillick … hell, even Theo Epstein was an intern here — and ask himself if, y’know, maybe he might be the problem.

Back in 1996, when the Birds had a good-but-not-great team, GM Gillick attempted to trade David Wells and Bobby Bonilla for prospects. Angelos vetoed the deals and the Orioles won the wild card. Since then, Angelos has appeared convinced that he’s the Smartest Baseball Man in America.

Well, he ain’t. For 10 straight seasons, the O’s have stunk.

But fans were given to believe that, after all these years, Angelos now finally understands that he needs to leave the baseball stuff to the right guys. If it turns out that Angelos vetoes the Bedard deal, those same fans will have every reason to think the situation is hopeless. And hopeless fans aren’t good.

Hey, maybe Stark’s wrong. Maybe this has nothing to do with Angelos. Maybe MacPhail’s just being poker-faced.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Is Santana Bad Business?

I've posted this story once already, but I thought I should
recycle it. It's been slow in regard to Mets news.

There are two reasons why trading for Johan Santana is a terrible baseball move and an equally terrible business move.

The first is that Santana has only one year remaining on his contract. Why in the world would a baseball team give up many many years of cost controlled future talent for someone that they could simply wait one more season and then sign as a free agent?

The only possible reason for doing so would be if a team believed it wouldn't be able to compete with Boston and the New Yorks in the free agent market. In order to trade for Santana, his suitor would have to sign him for around 7 years and $150 million or Santana would void the trade. If a team can afford to trade for Santana, they can afford to bid for him in the free agent market.

The reality for all of his suitors, teams are left with weighing the idea of trading bunches of future and current talent for one extra year of a very good pitcher in decline. (I'll get to that in a minute.)

The second reason is that Johan Santana is 29 years old and in decline. Santana is a fantastic pitcher, and it’s possible that last season was an aberration, but considering the amount of money needed to sign him and the amount of players necessary to complete a trade, it would be a huge and potentially very costly gamble to bet on Santana. The smartest move is to assume a wait and see approach, and so far, all of Santana’s suitors have taken that approach.

He's not in decline you say! What makes the Santana issue confusing to some is that even in his worst season as a starting pitcher, Santana was very good. However, only an extremely foolish General Manager would overlook the direction Santana’s career took last season. Santana lost more games then he ever has in his career, but more importantly he posted his highest era, walked more batters per 9 innings, posted his lowest strike out to walk ratio, and allowed opposing batters to hit for their highest batting average, highest OBP, and higherest SLP against him since he become a full time starter in 2004. He also allowed only 3 less hits than his career high despite pitching 14 less innings and he allowed significantly more home runs.

Despite all of this, Santana is still very good. The numbers, however, act as a huge red flag in the eyes of general managers. Trading prospects for proven talent is often a good idea but the amount of young talent that must be sent away and the amount of money needed to sign Santana makes the proposition of a trade happening a truly unlikely one. Despite the urging of fans.

Former Met Prospect: Gaby Hernandez

Over at Baseball Prospectus, They recently wrote an article about the Marlins top prospects. I found it interesting to see Gaby Hernandez listed as a 3-star prospect. I've heard that he was a really good prospect so I expected a 3 or 4 star rating. Heres what they had to say about Hernandez...

5. Gaby Hernandez, RHP
DOB: 5/21/86
Height/Weight: 6-3/215
Drafted: 3rd round, 2004, Belen Jesuit HS (FL)
2007 Stats: 4.22
ERA at Double-A (153.2-144-56-113)

Year In Review: The former Mets prospect continued his one-level-at-a-time progression with a solid but unspectacular showing at Double-A.

The Good: Hernandez has average velocity, but he can dial it up to 95 at times, and his fastball has excellent life. His power curve ball is his best offering and a true out pitch at times. He's big, athletic, and durable, with no history of arm problems and easy mechanics.

The Bad: Hernandez's inconsistency is both baffling and incredibly frustrating, as he can look big league-ready in one start, and then got rocked in the next. He needs to improve his change up to make him more effective against left-handers, and he tends to make bad innings worse by getting into funks where he overthrows and loses command.

Fun Fact: Hernandez's ERA jumped from 3.54 to 4.22 in his final two starts of the year, as he gave up 16 runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Perfect World Projection: A rotation workhorse.

Timetable: Hernandez will get the difficult assignment of pitching in the high-octane environment of Triple-A Albuquerque in 2008, but should make his big-league debut at some point during the season.

For those of you who don't know, Gaby Hernandez was traded for C Paul Lo Duca in November of 2005. It will be interesting to see how he develops and if he can take the challenge of the next level of the minor leagues... AAA baseball.

Here is the link to the original report of the trade from MSNBC.

Chipper Jones prediction

Over at Talking Chop, a Braves blog, they have this to say about Chipper Jones..

"I think Chipper is entering a post-outfield mid-30's renaissance in his career. He tasted what a batting title could be like last year and he'll be out to win it this year."......

"He's gotta be healthy this year - he's long overdue. While it's hard to avoid all types of injury -- and we hope Chipper won't find some new way to injure himself -- he's likely figured out by now how to condition himself properly so the "pulls" and "strains" that plagued him the last few years are less frequent. We know that a healthy Chipper is a key ingredient to an appearance for the Braves in the post season. He knows the lineup and the rotation we're going to have next year are going to be the best the Braves have had in a long time, and he's going to do everything he can to stay in there. Expect big things from Chipper Jones in 2008."

Their prediction for Larry is...

.342/.437/.608 with 34 HR, 118 RBI, 89 BB, 82 SO in 152 games played

Do you think that Chipper will have that good of a season?

I think he will have a good season but not as good as Talking Chop thinks.. I say:

.318/.418/.572 with 27 HR, 93 RBI, 63 BB, 59 SO in 131 games played.

Any predictions?

Mets 4 Life: Do you like it?

Simple question for you..

Thanks for voting!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Busy Busy

Hey Everyone! Sorry for not posting so much, I've been overwhelmed with work, and I just bought a new car. Have you ever came home from work, and just passed out on the couch as soon as you go through the door? Well, that is what has been happening to be during the past few days. I'll try to post a little more something later, but no promises.. Sorry Again!

Mets close to acquiring a SP

The Mets are close to a deal with free-agent SP Livan Hernandez. This is according to Tracy Rigolsby in the Rocky Mountain News. The signing would unite the Livan with his brother Orlando in New York. Last year he was 11–11 with a 4.93 ERA in 33 starts for the Diamondbacks, during which opponents hit .308 against him.

Personally, I hate this deal... that is if it really happens. As I stated before, I want Mike Pelfrey to come into his own as a MLB starter, and he can't do that if he is in the minors. What is with Willie and Omar? Why can't they ever give the young kids a starting role with the team?

To me, This means 1 of 2 things...

#1.) The Mets and the Twins could not come to terms with the talks about adding Fernando Martinez to any kind of deal with Johan Santana.

#2.) Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya like declining players that can provide a lot of innings pitched and a high ERA.

The first option seems the most likely to me. Maybe we can re-visit trade talks in July, just around the trade deadline. Or we could just wait until he is a free-agent, if the Twins let him get that far.

IF this is true, and the deal happens, your 2008 Mets Rotation will look something like this...

  1. Pedro Martinez
  2. John Maine
  3. Oliver Perez
  4. Orlando Hernandez
  5. Livan Hernandez

Or like this, depending on if Orlando Hernandez is sent to the bullpen...

  1. Pedro Martinez
  2. John Maine
  3. Oliver Perez
  4. Livan Hernandez
  5. Mike Pelfrey
Livan isn't a bad option as your 5th starter, but I just want to see the younger players get a shot...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Endy Chavez signs 2-year extention is reporting that Endy Chavez has signed a new contract that will pay the reserve OF $1.8 million this year and $2.05 million next. Last season in 71 games Chavez batted .287 with 20 runs, seven doubles, two triples, a home run and 17 RBIs in 150 at-bats. Endy is one of the top reserve outfielders in the game. It is very fortunate that we got this deal done. Endy had this to say about staying with the Mets...

"I'm excited about coming back," Chavez said. "I missed so much time last year and I can't wait to be a part of things this season and help this team get back to the postseason."

Omar Minaya had this to say...

"Endy helps us offensively and defensively in a variety of ways," Minaya said in a statement Tuesday. "He plays all three outfield positions well, has good speed and has proved to be a clutch hitter for us."

That being said.. Welcome back Endy!

Mets 1B Prospects: Evans and Carp

Over at Project Prospect, they do a great job of evaluating and ranking the top prospects in the game as well as the top prospects on each team. Today, they did a post on the Top 10 1B prospects in the MLB. There were no Mets minor league players in the top 10 but they did include Mike Carp and Nick Evans in the "Honorable Mention" section. Heres what they had to say...

Mike Carp (NYM, 6/30/86, ETA: 2010) wasn’t ready for Double-A last year. And as a guy who doesn’t move well, he’s going to have trouble emerging unless he finds a way to hit the ball hard more frequently. But he was a 21-year-old in Double-A.

Nick Evans (NYM, 1/30/86, ETA: 2010) was a below-average hitter in Low-A (2006) and an average hitter on the road last year in High-A. But he pounded the ball at home and he draws a good amount of walks.

I think more highly of Nick Evans than Mike Carp but I'm not a scout. If you have not seen Project Prospects Top 5 Mets prospects, check it out.. Click Here.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dotel Signs with Chi Sox

According to Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports, The White Sox have signed RP Octavio Dotel to a 2-year $11 million dollar deal. Last season with the Royals and Braves, he went 2-1 with a 4.11 ERA and 11 saves in 33 appearances. Dotel is the second major addition to the Whtie Sox bullpen this off-season. The Sox earlier signed right-hander Scott Linebrink for $19 million over four years. Thats $30 million for over-the-hill-relievers. I still think Dotel has a little left in the tank, if he can stay healthy, but Linebrink won't do as good as he did when he was in the National League Central.

In other news, the Cardinals and 25 year-old catcher Yadlier Molina agreed to a contract extension worth approximately $21.5 million over the next 4 seasons. Molina is said to be one of the best defensive catchers in the majors, and Tony La Russa praises his work ethic. Last year, Molina hit .275 with six homers and 40 RBIs in 111 games. Yadlier is the youngest of the Molina catching family, with Jose on the Yankees and Bengie with the Giants.

Mets vs. The Rest: 3B Edition

Many of you may not know that I have started a "Mets vs. The Rest" series of articles. This series of articles will be an in depth analysis of the National League East division. I will score each team kind of like the MVP voting system..

5 points for first place
4 points for second place
3 points for third place
2 points for fourth place
1 point for last place

Today, we will do 3B... Remember that the 2007 season statistics are listed.. not the projected 2008 statistics.

Starting Third Baseman...

Mets: David Wright .325 AVG 30 HR 107 RBI
Braves: Larry Jones .337 AVG 29 HR 102 RBI
Phillies: Greg Dobbs .272 AVG 10 HR 55 RBI
Nationals: Ryan Zimmerman .266 AVG 24 HR 91 RBI
Marlins: Jorge Cantu .252 AVG 1 HR 13 RBI

I dont know what these rankings would look like if Miguel Cabrera was not traded to Detroit... but he was so I don't have to worry about that. We all know that David Wright is the class of the league, no doubt about it and Fantasy Owners would LOVE to have Wright on their team. David puts up numbers year in and year out thats why he is number one on this list. Not to mention that he won a Gold Glove last year. Larry (Chipper) Jones is a HOF player. If not for his injury risk, he could still be a perennial MVP candidate. Ryan Zimmerman had a little bit of a "sophomore slump" in 2007, but don't think that he'll be an average MLB player, because he will be as good, if not better than our very own David Wright. Greg Dobbs of the Phillies is a very solid bench player, but I'm not too sure how he can perform everyday. From what I can gather, he will be in a platoon with Wes Helms. This is because Dobbs hits significantly better against right handed pitchers and vice versa with Helms. Jorge Cantu can be a solid player, but he needs to prove it, and he will get plenty of chances, but he's just not to flattering right now. The order goes like this... Wright, Jones, Zimmerman, Dobbs, Cantu.

Reserve Third Baseman...

Mets: Ruben Gotay .295 AVG 4 HR 24 RBI
Braves: Omar Infante .271 AVG 2 HR 17 RBI
Phillies: Wes Helms .246 AVG 5 HR 49 RBI
Nationals: Aaron Boone .286 AVG 5 HR 28 RBI
Marlins: Jose Castillo .244 AVG o HR 24 RBI

From first glance it looked like there was very solid depth at the reserve 3B position. I was right, there is... but most of these players hit better against either left handed pitchers or right handed pitchers, so they would have to be platoon players if they ever got the chance to play regularly. Last season, Aaron Boone had somewhat of a comeback year. His AVG shot up, and he walked at a more frequent pace. Look for him to provide the Nationals a spark off of the bench. Ruben Gotay is a versitle player who can play 2B, 3B, SS, and a little 1B. This makes him very valuable to the Mets. The thing is, he just cant hit from the right side of the plate. The same goes for Omar Infante, hes very versitle, and he can hit. Its a tie between him and Gotay. Wes Helms had a good season in 2006, but 2007 was just not his year. He stunk. He will be platooning with Greg Dobbs for the Starting spot, but look for him to have continue success against left handed pitchers. Jose Castillo wanted out of Pittsburgh, and he got it. Hes not in a much better place though, because he wound up in Miami. He will battle for the starting spot with Jorge Cantu. Just as Cantu, Castillo has a lot to prove. The order goes like this... Boone, Gotay, Infante, Helms, Castillo.

The Final Tally is...

Mets: 9
Nationals: 8
Braves: 8
Phillies: 4
Marlins: 2

The Marlins and Phillies are really in need of a 3B. They have super-prospect, Matt Dominguez, but he won't be up for a few more years. The Nationals and Mets are both set at the 3B position for years to come... and you have to wonder how good these guys are gonna become. Larry is getting old, but he can still rake.... Man I really need to watch some baseball...

Two Mets prospects named to "31st Team"

Over at Baseball America, they recently did a report on the prospects that just missed making their teams prospect lists. Well, Dylan Owen and Ezequiel Carrera of the Mets were both named to the list. Heres what they had to say...

Ezequiel Carrera:

June 11, 1987. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 175. Signed: Venezuela, 2005. Signed by:

Eddy Toledo.

Carrera has moved slower than most of the Mets' Latin prospects that the organization hopes to develop into big league regulars, but he started to make believers in 2007. He batted .341 in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and emerged as the best center fielder at the lower levels of the New York system. Carrera profiles as a fourth outfielder because of his lack of power but he could have the small-ball skills to become a regular. He has a short, contact-oriented swing with no real load to speak of, so he's unlikely to ever hit for much pop. But he's willing to draw walks, has improved as a bunter and is a plus runner, though he's not a burner. He looks like a traditional No. 2 hitter. Defensively, he's accomplished in center field, with above-average range and an accurate if below-average arm. Carrera is likely to jump on the fast track and start 2008 in high Class A.

Dylan Owen

Born: July 12, 1986. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 185. Drafted: Francis Marion (S.C.), 2007 (20th round). Signed by: Marlin McPhail.

Owen dominated hitters during his college career at Francis Marion (S.C.), earning NCAA Division II 2007 pitcher-of-the-year honors after going 10-1, 1.04 and setting the Peach Belt Conference career strikeout record with 334 in three seasons. His success carried over into his pro debut, as he took advantage of short-season Brooklyn's pitcher-friendly Keyspan Park like few pitchers have. Signed for $50,000 in the 20th round, Owen claimed two-thirds of the New York-Penn League's pitching triple crown, leading in wins (nine) and ERA (1.49). He has a shorter and wider body than scouts would like but also solid-average stuff and an advanced feel pitching. He spots his 86-90 mph fastball to all four quadrants of the strike zone, and while he has below-average velocity, he can get to 91-92 when needed, even late in games. He has above-average fastball command, and he can vary his breaking balls depending on the situation, using shorter sliders for groundballs and bigger curves for strikeouts. Owen doesn't have much projection or a true plus pitch, so he's unlikely to become an elite prospect. But he's likely to get pushed aggressively to see if he can get advanced hitters out, and he could jump to high Class A in 2008.

As many have stated before, the Mets farm system is gushing with talent in the lower levels, but it has yet to show up in the upper parts of the minor league system. The amateur draft in June will help this farm system immensely. Look for the Mets to have some really good A++ prospects coming up through the system over the course of the next few years.

Free Agent Options

Over at Mets Fever, Ed Ryan did a little research and found out who was still out there on the FA market. Well, there isn't much...

Innings Eater

Kyle Lohse
Livan Hernandez

Injury Risk

Freddy Garcia
Kris Benson
Rodrigo Lopez
Bartolo Colon


Steve Traschel
Tony Armas Jr,
Josh Fogg


Jeff Weaver
Eric Milton
Odalis Perez
Russ Ortiz
Jaret Wright
David Wells

Longmen or Spot Starters
Shawn Chacon
Ramon Ortiz
Byung-Hyun Kim
Mike Maroth
Tomo Ohka
Casey Fossum

The only names that intrigue me are Shawn Chacon, Jaret Wright and Freddy Garcia. They have all had success in the past. Lets take a look at each of them.

Shawn Chacon:

Chacón was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 3rd Round of the 1996 Draft. Chacón made his MLB debut in 2001 as a member of the Colorado Rockies. He developed into a capable starter and was Colorado's 2003 All-Star representative, finishing 11-8 with a 4.60 ERA. Chacon was traded to the Yankees in July 2005, and finished the season with a stat line like this... 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA. Pretty good, considering many Yankee fans hated the trade. During the July 31st 2006 mid-season non-waiver trade deadline, he was dealt for the less expensive Craig Wilson. Chacon was used as a starter by the Pirates, making 9 starts and going 2-3 with a 5.48 ERA. During this past season, Chacon was mainly used as a reliever by the Pirates, but also made 4 starts. He went 5-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 64 games for the Pirates in 2007. Chacon has a 88-92 mph sinker, a big curveball, a slider, and a changeup.

Jaret Wright:

The son of former major league pitcher Clyde Wright, Jaret attended Katella High School.As a prospect with the Cleveland Indians, Wright threw a two-seam fastball that topped out at 98MPH, along with a hard curveball and a changeup. Currently, after battling shoulder injuries, his fastball tops out in the low 90s. Wright had one good season with the Indians, but never fulfilled his potential while with the team. In 2002, he became a free-agent and signed with the Padres. He did not fare well in San Diego, going 1-5 with an 8.73 ERA in 39 games, all in relief. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in August. He was unscored upon in all but one his 11 appearances with the Braves, going 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA, and was told that he was going to be made a starting pitcher again for the next season. That next season, Wright became the Braves best pitcher, going 15-8 with a 3.28 ERA in 32 starts that season while amassing 159 K's in 186.1 IP. He then signed with the Yankees for 3 years and $21 million. He has battled injuries throughout his contract and is now a free-agent once again. Maybe he could turn it aroud again, but some people feel that he may retire.

Freddy Garcia

In 1993, Freddy Garcia was found by a Houston scout and was signed as a undrafted free-agent. Garcia was acquired by Seattle in 1998, along with Carlos Guillen and John Halama--in the trade that sent Randy Johnson to the Astros. During the 1999 season with Seattle, Garcia went 17-8 with 170 K's and a 4.07 ERA in 33 starts. After going 9-5 in his second season, he went on to win 18, 16, 12, 13, and 14 games over the course of the next five seasons. He ended up with the White Sox, and won a Championship with them. In December of 2006, Garcia was traded to the Phillies for two very good prospects, but never lived up to the hype of Phillie fans, due to injuries. He is now a free-agent and could possibly return to his form of the early 2000's. If he was to become what he once was, he would be a HUGE asset for the Mets. Garcia throws a fastball that can get into the 90s and a hard slider. He also throws a two-seam-fastball, a curve ball, a changeup and occasionally uses a splitter.

Here is the stats of the last 3 years for each player...

Freddy Garcia:
05- 14-8/3.87 ERA/33 GS/228.0 IP/ 60:146 BB:K ratio
06- 17-9/4.53 ERA/33 GS/216.1 IP/ 48:135 BB:K ratio
07- 1-5/ 5.90 ERA/11 GS/ 58.0 IP/ 19:50 BB:K ratio

Jaret Wright-
05- 5-5/ 6.08 ERA/ 13 GS/ 63.2 IP/ 32:34 BB:K ratio
06- 11-7/ 4.49 ERA/ 27 GS/140.1 IP/ 57:84 BB:K ratio
07- 0-3/ 6.97 ERA/ 3 GS/ 10.1 IP/ 9:7 BB:K ratio

Shawn Chacon-
05- 8-10/ 3.44 ERA/ 24 GS/ 151.2 IP/ 66:79 BB:K ratio
06- 7-6/ 6.36 ERA/ 20 GS/109.0 IP/ 63:62 BB:K ratio
07- 5-4/ 3.94 ERA/ 4 GS/ 96.0 IP/ 48:79 BB:K ratio

Freddy Garcia has been a pretty consistent work horse at the top of a rotation, but he won't be ready until June or July. Chacon looks like a pretty good option out of the bullpen. Jaret Wright looks like a long shot wherever he goes. There are a lot of risky moves that can be made, but they could end up paying off in the end. If you could sign one of these players on the list above, who would it be?

What's Missing: Washington Nationals Edition

Washington Nationals - Trade away Dmitri Young and/or Nick Johnson, Find trade partners for Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch, Pray for John Patterson’s health.

The Nats were one of my favorite off season stories to watch, since they finally appear to have a sense of direction. They acquired Lastings Milledge and Elijah Dukes in trades that could both potentially end up as steals for the Nationals. With Austin Keans and Wily Mo Pena, they actually will have a decent, young outfield in 2008. I fully expect Ryan Zimmerman to have a bounce-back year, if not a brake out year. A few more young prospects and the Nats may actually be in business. They must know that they have no shot in the immediate future, and I love that they've begun to create something that could bear fruit in a few years.

With that in mind, I'm surprised that no one is yet to offer something that convinced Jim Bowden to trade away both Chad Cordero and Jon Rauch. Those two are prime candidates to used as bait to acquire some B-level young pitching. I also do wonder what the team intends on doing once Nick Johnson returns. Neither he nor Dmitri Young are really capable of playing elsewhere, so I assume at least one of them will have to go.

I also think that one issue that is getting overlooked is the health status of John Patterson, who was clearly not right the past two seasons. But back in 2005, he looked to be “top-of-the-rotation” material, sporting a 3.13 ERA along with a 8.7 K/9 IP over 198 1/3 innings. It’s most likely asking far too much to think he can immediate return to those numbers following surgery on his pitching arm back in September, but a glimpse of that former self should give hope to the future of Nationals pitching.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

What's Missing: Philadelphia Phillies Edition

Philadelphia Phillies - RH Bat, Starter not named Adam Eaton. Relief Pitching

And I'm back in reality. The 2007 NL East Champs (it pains me to say that) should have no problems scoring runs in the coming season. They led the National League in runs scored (2nd in MLB) and the lineup remains largely intact. While there is no such thing as a sure thing, the big three of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and (ahem) MVP Jimmy Rollins come close. And Pat Burrell will continue to be denied his just praise by the Phillies fan base. The only real change in the lineup comes in the form of Geoff Jenkins, who will most likely get the bulk of the time in RF, while Shane Victorino moves to Center to replace the departed Aaron Rowand. I was a bit surprised by the Jenkins deal, as I thought that the Phils were already loaded with hitters capable of hitting from the left side. Howard, Utley, Greg Dobbs, Rollins, Victorino, and now Jenkins are all either lefty or switch hitters, leaving only Carlos Ruiz and Pat Burrell hitting from the right side during most games. Jayson Werth should see some time in lieu of Jenkins against lefty pitching, but I do wonder if they should get an additional rightly capable of swinging the bat.

I do have to admire the Phillies for obtaining Brad Lidge from Houston on the cheap. This has of course allowed the team to move Brett Myers back into the rotation, and he and Cole Hamels should be a formidable duo atop the rotation. However, much like Atlanta, the rest of the rotation needs work. There are mixed feelings on Kyle Kendrick. So far in his brief MLB career, he hasn't induced nearly enough ground balls (1.55 GB/FB ratio) to make up for the fact that he strikes out far too few (3.8 K/9 IP. 3.8!!!) . His peripheral stats project him as someone who should have an ERA in the mid-to-high-fours. I do expect Jamie Moyer to be slightly better than he was in 2007, but this does assume that his magic anti-aging powder was not discontinued. Plus, Moyer had an ERA over 5 last year, so “slightly better” in this context doesn't have much weight. But compared to Adam Eaton, I'll take Kendrick and Moyer any day. Here’s a general rule of thumb: bringing an extreme fly ball pitcher into an extreme home run hitters’ park is generally a bad idea. Just think Philly fans, only two more years and $16.135 million to go! At this point, Chad Durbin would most likely be the safer option.

While I still have faith that Brad Lidge can be a fine closer, I do wonder about this team’s bullpen. Tom Gordon (can we stop calling him Flash now?) is no longer reliable, and they have no viable lefty option after J.C. Romero. Will someone step up?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bud Selig's 3-year Extension!

Some quotes from Bud Selig:

"For a guy who took (the job as Acting Commissioner of MLB) in Sept. 9, 1992, and I told my wife it was two-to-four months — 14 years later … I think that will be enough. There’s no question, because there are other things I really would like to do.” Selig, April 24, 2003

“My contract is going to be over (in 2009). I’m going to be 75 years of age. I want to teach — I’ve already had some great offers — and want to write a book,” Selig Dec. 29, 2006

And yet, here I am, typing this post to talk about today’s announcement that the owners of the 30 MLB teams have given Bud Selig an additional 3-year extension beyond 2009.

Did I expect it? Based on Selig’s comment back in December of 2006, and the fact that he sat across from the U.S. Congress just a few days ago answering questions about who was responsible for the illegal use of PEDs in baseball, I suppose I was a bit surprised. But in retrospect, none of us really should be.

I don’t think it’s being overtly cynical or shocking for me to say that there is a big difference between what the fans of baseball want and what the owners of the teams we root for want. Generally speaking, the fans want to be able to cheer for a winning team that’s likable without sacrificing their kids’ college savings. The owners, generally speaking want to maximize the financial success of their teams, and fielding a winning team is a component of this quest for profitability.

And they want the guy who had let them reach this point of financial success to stay in office until the day he dies. Or until the enterprise becomes unprofitable. And that guy is Bud Selig.

For all the talk we do about how PEDs are ruining the game of baseball, we the fans are spending more and more of our money each year to follow our favorite teams. We’re sending mixed signals. The owners of the teams aren’t reading our op-ed pieces in the local papers lambasting the tarnished state of the national pastime. They look at quarterly revenue reports and projections to determine how well the team is doing. If these reports look healthy they’re happy. And honestly, I don’t blame them.

Let’s face it, you and I may not be, but baseball owners are businessmen. Aside from the Steinbrenner Brothers, pretty much every owner made their own money to purchase the team in the first place. They don’t think like we do and we can’t expect them to. There are far too many of us fans to make sure that each and everyone is happy. But a good place to see if enough of us are happy are in the revenue and attendance figures - and both achieved record highs ($6.1 billion and 79.5 million attendees, respectively) in 2007.

So what reason did they have to not offer Selig an extension? Because he presided over the steroid era and did nothing even though it appears he knew about the problem long before he acknowledged it? Well, so did the owners. Because the price of tickets have grown astronomically over the last ten years? To the owners, that’s a good thing. As long as Major League Baseball remains a lucrative business, they’re going to want Bud Selig in office.

Lets review the Pros and Cons of the Selig Administration.


  • Realignment of teams into three divisions per league, and the introduction of playoff wild card teams (1994)
  • Interleague play
  • Helped avoid any further lockouts or strikes since the one in 1994. Which is now the longest period of baseball peace since the inception of the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Revenue totals more than quadruple during his time in office from $1.2 billion in 1992 to $5.2 billion in 2006.
  • Abolition of the National and American League offices and presidencies, and inclusion of all umpiring crews into a common pool for AL and NL games, instead of having separate pools per league
  • Stricter MLB performance-enhancing drug testing policy (2005)
  • World Baseball Classic
  • And the newly formed Israel Baseball League

I would love to see 6 divisions of 5 teams each. I think this would help with scheduling and avoid an unbalanced and unfair interleague matchups.


  • Selig hasn't really addressed the need for a salary cap in baseball
  • Home field advantage in the World Series granted to the winner of the All Star Game in the same season (2003)
  • Steroids. Steroids. and well.......more steroids.

What's Missing: New York Mets Edition

New York Mets - A Quick Start, Ace Pitcher, Let Youth Develop

First let me start off by saying that again "Let the youth develop". Well, there wasn't much that the New York Mets needed to do. After all, this is the virtually same team that cruised into the postseason, and into the NLCS in 2006. In 2007 they maintained a seven game lead heading into mid-September over the Philadelphia Phillies, and went on to choke and make history in a negative way. Yes the Mets failed to hang onto their huge lead over the last three weeks of the 2007 season. For the third year in a row the 2008 Mets will be almost a carbon copy from the last two years.

I think it’s highly important that the Mets get off to a strong start. If they falter early on, the NY media will be absolutely relentless. Of course, the only way they can really silence doubters would be if they could build a lead going into September and maintain it this time around. But a good April will spare the team from having to read about “the collapse” to the point where they have to swear off reading anything for all of eternity.

Additionally, sometime before Opening Day, the Mets, Yankees, Red Sox and Twins need to piss or get off the can when it comes to Johan Santana. Despite Pedro Martinez’s successful return towards the end of last season, the Mets still lack someone they can call their ace. Oliver Perez took a couple steps forward in 2007 but he’s still a box of chocolates. John Maine also showed improvement, but he must continue to limit walks and home runs. Neither of them can yet be considered as more than mid-rotation arms with some room to grow. Pedro should no longer be considered an “ace pitcher” since we have no idea if he can sustain himself over 100+ innings, let alone 200. IF the Mets end up with Santana, this will allow the team to potentially put Orlando Hernandez in the bullpen, which in my mind would be ideal as it allows the Mets to not rely on Jorge Sosa to do much of anything.

Lastly, this isn't necessarily something they need in 2008, but for the sake of 2009 and beyond, I'd like to see the Mets have a better organizational philosophy when it comes to managing their younger players. As a franchise, the Mets have historically rushed their prospects to the big leagues and 2007 was no exception. Carlos Gomez has the talent to be sure, but had no business playing on a team that needed to win every game possible to make the playoffs. Both Mike Pelfrey and Phil Humber were not considered “Major League ready” when they made their respective debuts either.

Of course, this is a total moot point if Johan Santana becomes a Met. Last I heard, the Twins were actually asking the Mets to include the entire minor league system! Lets Go Mets.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Atlanta trades Aybar to Tampa

According to the Braves official web site, they have traded Willy Aybar and Chase Fontaine to the Rays for relief pitcher Jeff Ridgway. When Willy Aybar was acquired with Danys Baez from the Dodgers in July of 2006, Aybar was viewed as a versatile infielder with great potential. He injured his right hand during his first game in Atlanta and never lived up to expectations. Things got much worse last year, when he missed most of the season while battling substance abuse. I guess you can say that the Braves are trying to 'bolster" their bullpen, but they gave up a pretty good prospect in Chase Fontaine for a AAA reliever. Last year, Fontaine, the Braves' second-round selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, hit .288 with three homers in 95 games with Class A Rome. This earned the 22-year-old infielder a late-season promotion to High A Myrtle Beach, where he hit .205 in just 22 games.

This seems as just a minor deal but you never know... For more insight on the Braves farm system, click here.

Around the League

In the past week or so, I have not been posting regularly so I have most likely missed a lot of signings and information that has happened during that time span. This post is here to make it up and take a look at what has happened recently...

  • The Atlanta Braves traded 3B Willy Aybar and IF Chase Fontaine to the Tampa Bay Rays for LHP Jeff Ridgway... from what I can gather, Fontaine was a pretty good prospect, more on this deal later..
  • The Texas Rangers signed SP Jason Jennings for 1 year, worth a reported $4 million, plus incentives.
  • The Florida Marlins signed SP Mark Hendrickson for 1 year, worth a reported $1.5 million.
  • The Detroit Tigers signed SP Nate Robertson to a 3-year contract extension worth $21.25 million; the deal buys out his first year of free agency.
  • The Chicago Cubs signed SP Jon Lieber to a 1-year contract worth $3.5 million in guarantees; the deal does include performance bonuses for games started and innings pitched.
  • The Oakland Athletics traded OF Mark Kotsay to the Atlanta Braves for pitchers Joey Devine and Jamie Richmond.
  • The Oakland Athletics signed OF Emil Brown to a 1-year contract; financial terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.
  • The Texas Rangers signed RP Eddie Guardado for 1 year, worth a reported $2 million base salary and another $4M in performance bonuses.

Out of the eight deals, I think the Mets should have gone after Eddie Guaradado and Jason Jennings. They are both coming off injury riddled years, but each deal could turn out to be huge bargains for the Texas Rangers...

What's Missing: Florida Marlins Edition.

Florida Marlins - The Ability to Stop the Arbitration Clock, pitching, pitching, third baseman, pitching, and to either get a new stadium or relocate.

We knew going into the off season that the Florida Marlins had to do something. Two of their most recognizable players, Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, were approaching arbitration and were going to get mighty expensive. But they surprised everyone by trading both of these guys away in the same deal.

But the clock now starts again for the Marlins and herein lies a potential problem. Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Jeremy Hermida, Mike Jacobs, Scott Olson, Cody Ross, and Josh Willingham have all completed their second year of MLB-service. Players can become arbitration eligible after three.


Another interesting subplot to the current Marlins team is how far their pitching has fallen over the past year. Dontrelle Willis was supposed to be a superstar. Never happened - at least not in Florida. Josh Johnson was supposed to be his trusty sidekick. He’s out the entire year most likely, following Tommy John surgery. Scott Olsen was supposed to be the great accompaniment to Willis and Johnson who would also get into fights with Miguel Cabrera. Instead, Olsen was the guy with a 5.81 ERA who would also get into fights with Sergio Mitre. And Anibal Sanchez was Mr. Perfect Game. He spent most of the year in the minors. It really wasn't that long ago that the young Marlins staff looked like the future of MLB.

Another thing they need to get sorted is their third base situation. Alfredo Amezega, Jose Castillo, and Jorge Cantu look to battle it out for the starting gig in spring training.

It’s not all bleak, however. The Marlins did get two top shelf prospects from Detroit in that Cabrera-Willis deal. Both Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller will get the chance to prove themselves at some point in 2008.

Okay now on to the stadium issue. Since the Florida Marlins inception in April 1993, the team has played at Dolphin Stadium. The team has now been trying for nearly a decade to have a new ballpark constructed. Several plans have been developed, and negotiations with the City of Miami continued to fell through. In 2005 the Marlins started to explore the possibility of relocating. Their lease at Dolphin Stadium ends after the 2010 season.

The latest news has the Marlins and the city of Miami on the verge a new proposal, which Miami-Dade County Commission voted in favor for one of two deal. Finalization of these proposals will be decided this month. If thing don't fall through yet again the team will be renamed the Miami Marlins and open in April 2011.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What's Missing: Atlanta Braves Edition

Atlanta Braves - Healthy Mike Hampton, Healthy Mike Gonzalez, RH hitter off the bench, Hope that Andrew Jones’ defensive value was highly overstated.

With their recent acquisition of Mark Kotsay to patrol centerfield, the Atlanta starting lineup appears to be set. We can quibble with the top of the order a bit, as we're not quite sure how Yunel Escobar will perform in his first full year, but aside from that, it’s a more than solid crew. Chipper Jones had a very underrated 2007 campaign, Mark Teixeira gets his first fulls season in the National League, and Matt Diaz turned some heads as well, especially against lefties. Despite the absence of Andrew Jones - let’s face it, Jones wasn't that much of an offensive asset in 2007 anyhow - the Braves offense looks strong enough to duplicate their success from last year, when they scored 810 runs (3rd in NL). They could use another right-handed bat off the bench (no, Omar Infante doesn't count), however, as Scott Thorman, Brandon Jones, and Josh Anderson all bat from the left side.

However, Mark Kotsay himself will never be able to replace Andrew Jones, especially with the glove. And it’s the all-important preventing of runs that may pose to be a problem for the Atlanta Braves in 2008. Their top-two starters, John Smoltz and Tim Hudson have the ability to match up with pretty much anyone aside from the Arizona duo. After them, however, it’s completely a crap shoot. By the end of 2007, Tom Glavine had nothing to rely on aside from his famous change up, and even that was losing effectiveness since his fastball had dipped to the low 80s. I'm also not sold on Chuck James yet either, as his rather successful year was largely due to the defense behind him. The ultimate wild card, however, is the status of Mike Hampton. The far-too-often-injured lefty had yet another set back in his continued recovery from elbow surgery after straining a hamstring on a rehab assignment down in Mexico in November. The Braves did, however, have the foresight to gain some solid pitching depth, as Jair Jurrjens remains a viable option.

The Atlanta bullpen has some questions as well. I think Rafael Soriano will do just fine in the closer role, but who will bridge the gap? Can Peter Moylan duplicate his surprisingly effective (1.80 ERA over 90 IP) 2007 campaign? How effective will Mike Gonzalez be following Tommy John surgery and how soon can he return?

Moving forward, I'm interested in seeing how much of an impact Andrew Jones had on the Atlanta pitching staff. It’s been over a decade since the Braves had this to worry about, and although Kotsay has been a capable defender in the past, his recent back surgery and age (32) could affect the pitching quite a bit. Smoltz, Glavine, and James are all fly ball pitchers, and are the most likely to miss a top flight center fielder they could rely on.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Summing Up the Offers on Santana.

Here are the offers the Twins reportedly have on the table:


Red Sox:
Package: Pitcher Jon Lester, outfielder Coco Crisp, minor league infielder Jed Lowrie, minor league pitcher Justin Masterson
Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, Masterson, Lowrie, possible fourth prospect

What Twins want from the Red Sox:
Add Pitcher Clay Buccholz; or Lester with Ellsbury
Package: Pitcher Phil Hughes, outfielder Melky Cabrera, pitcher Jeff Marquez

What Twins want from the Yankees:
Add Pitcher Ian Kennedy

Package: Minor league outfielder Carlos Gomez, and minor league pitchers Kevin Mulvey, Phil Humber and Deolis Guerra.

What Twins want from the Mets:
Add Minor league outfielder Fernando Martinez

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sosa interested in Mets

I know it seems like the Mets have alot of outfielders and they don't need anymore, but according to Eli over at MLB Rumors had this to say in his latest post...

Shea Hello Sammy?: One agent who asked to remain anonymous believes that Sammy Sosa would take a minor league deal from the Mets if it was offered. I haven't heard if the Mets were interested, but I am sure they would dish out a contract to Sosa if he was willing to take a pay cut.

Sosa can still hit home runs and drive in runs, there is no doubt about that... but I just can't see where the Mets can find a place for him unless he is willing to take a pay cut, and play in the minors for a while until there is a need at the MLB level... and according to Eli, only Sosa has expressed interest in the Mets. So far the Mets have not shown interest in Sosa, but our ears and eyes should be listing and looking for more details soon.

.....I wonder why Eli's sources are ALWAYS anonymous....

Johnny Podres Dies at 75

Former major league baseball star Johnny Podres died Sunday at Glens Falls Hospital (N.Y.). He was 75, and had been ill for several years.

Podres a Dodgers legend best known for helping lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to their only World Series championship in 1955. He spent 15 years as a player in the major leagues, and spent decades after that working as a pitching coach for a number of teams. As the pitching coach with the Twins , Podres is credited for teaching former Met Frank Viola his circle change, a pitch that helped Viola turn his career around. He also won another World Series ring with Philadelphia in '93.

Podres spent time with the Dodgers, Tigers and Padres before retiring in 1969 at age 36. He had a career record of 148-116 and an ERA of 3.68. In 1957, the Dodgers last year in Brooklyn, Podres led the National League with a 2.66 ERA and six shutouts. Podres was given the first ever World Series MVP Award by Sport Magazine. It was a red two-seater Corvette. Later he was honored as the Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustraed magazine.

Podres won World Series titles with the Dodgers in 1955, 1959 and 1963. The lefty's most famous performance was a complete-game shutout in Game 7 against the hated Yankees in the '55 Series to end their reign of terror over Brooklyn, giving the borough its only World Series title.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sickels has more..

Earlier today, I wrote a post about John Sickels and the coverage that he has done for the Mets prospects over the past few years. Now he is reviewing last years Top 50 hitting Prospects of MLB and Top 50 Pitching Prospects of MLB.. here is what he has to say about the Mets that were on the list...


8) Mike Pelfrey, RHP, New York Mets
5.57 ERA with 45/39 K/BB in 73 innings. Command and his breaking ball remain issues. Needs a change of scenery.

16) Phil Humber, RHP, New York Mets
Went 11-9, 4.27 with a 120/44 K/BB in 139 innings for Triple-A New Orleans. Developing into an inning-eater, not an ace.


17) Fernando Martinez, OF, New York Mets
Hit .271/.336/.377 in 60 games in Double-A. Plagued with injuries and was extremely young for the level. Still a great prospect but exact shape of his future is unclear.

41) Carlos Gomez, OF, New York Mets
Hit .232/.288/.304 with 12 steals in 58 games for the Mets, rushed to the majors to cover injuries. Was over matched, but still very young.

Sickels may be right about Pelfrey, but something deep down inside me says that Pelfrey will turn out to be that workhorse at the top of the rotation that we all thought he would be. I have given up on Humber and I will be grateful to get anything at all from him at this point. I think Fernando will be an excellent player in the majors, and Carlos Gomez is just a phenomenal athlete and will be one of the most exciting players in the game when he is up for good. Where have I heard that saying before?

By the way, John Sickels prints and sells his book at He provides detailed information in his books. If you buy, you wont be disappointed.

AAA Team On the Move Again?

The New York Mets are showing interest in relocating their top minor league team to Syracuse, N.Y.. Senator Charles Schumer and Mets owner Fred Wilpon have spoken about a potential move of the baseball team's Triple-A affiliate from New Orleans to Syracuse for the 2009 season.

"They think that having teams in New York is to their benefit, and it would grow regional interest in the team and the fan base," Schumer, D-N.Y., said. The Mets have their a Double-A team in Binghamton N.Y..

The Syracuse Chiefs, a Toronto Blue Jays affiliate are thinking of ending their 30-year agreement which expires at the end of the 2008 season. The Yankees left Syracuse in 1977. In their 30-year partnership with Toronto, the Chiefs have had 22 losing seasons and only five playoff appearances, without winning a International League championship.

The Chiefs are making a series of improvements at Alliance Bank Stadium. The removal of the artificial turf field and the installation of grass, which the Mets prefer for their players. Other improvements may include moving the bullpens from behind the outfield fence to a new location on the field, building an earthen berm behind the outfield fence where fans can watch the game, and a children's park in the existing picnic area behind the right-field fence.

No deal between the Mets and Syracuse can be signed until after the upcoming season, during a two-week window in September. That is also when the Mets' agreement with the New Orleans Zephyrs expires. The Mets have been part of the revitalization of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, donating new playground equipment and working with youth programs.

Before moving to New Orleans last year, the Mets had their Triple-A team in Norfolk, Va., for 39 years, and owned the franchise until about 15 years ago.

Lets trade for Albert Pujols

The headline is exactly what I meant to say.. Lets trade for Albert Pujols. Why, you ask. Well, he is only the best player in the league and the Cardinals are going nowhere. Last year, Albert's statistics dropped significantly from his 2006 season, but he is still one of the most feared players in the game.

2006- .331 AVG 49 HR 137 RBI
2007- .327 AVG 32 HR 103 RBI

That decrease in production is most likely due to the fact that he had absolutely no protection in the middle of that Cardinals line-up. Imagine what he would do in a lineup with Reyes, Wright, and Beltran. The question is, just how much will it take to acquire such a player as Pujols? Well, we might have to dismantle our entire farm system, send them a MLB starter, and maybe even a few MLB relivers. This is what I think a fair trade would look like..


1B Albert Pujols
SP Anthony Reyes


OF Fernando Martinez
OF Carlos Gomez
SP Deolis Guerra
SP Oliver Perez
SP Kevin Mulvey
MR Joe Smith
One other minor league player of their choice.

I think that would be a fair deal.. maybe we can get a lower level prospect out of them. We could also then trade 1B Carlos Delgado for a starter or a prospect or two...

Some of you may be saying to yourself that we don't have the money to pay so much money to so many superstar players.. well, Pedro, El-Duque, Delgado, and Perez will all be free-agents next year, and if we did not trade Oliver Perez, I think he and Pedro would be the only bets to come back. Also, Pujols is reasonably paid 16 million per season for the next 4 seasons.

If I wasn't living in fairyland and this deal could be made.. our lineup would look like this..

Pitchers Spot

Thats satisfying, but our rotation would be full of question marks...

Humber or Mulvey

That is a very young rotation. If this trade were to happen, Omar and Co. would need to try to sign a veteran, ala Bartolo Colon or Jason Jennings to round out this rotation and give it some kind of stability.

Thanks for Voting and remember that this is just an idea of mine. I doubt that this would ever even be talked about between Omar Minaya and the Cardinals GM. This is just me being bored and waiting for spring training to start. Please discuss your opinions in the comments section of this post.

Sickels Interesting Mets Stuff...

If you don't know who John Sickels is, your probably not a big prospect guru... Sickels is probably the most respected prospect evaluator on the web. That being said, back in 2005, Sickels wrote a little article about David Wright, and projected his career numbers.. Sickels has Wright leaving the Mets at the end of the 2010 season to go to the Orioles. This will probably not ever happen, but its fun to see what a professional thinks Davids career will look like.

Also, John has done multiple projections and articles about former Mets prospects and current Mets players.. heres the links

Mike Pelfrey vs. Phillip Hughes.. May 18,2006.
The Future of Jose Reyes.. Feb 28, 2006.
Prospect Retro: Aaron Heilman.. October 11, 2005.
Delmon Young vs. Lastings Milledge.. November 11, 2005.
Alan Horne vs. Kevin Mulvey.. September 23, 2007.
Fernando Martinez vs. Jose Tabata.. Feburary 7, 2007.
For more information on all MLB prospects, go to

Lots of interesting stuff.. Enjoy!

Steroids reaching into the Music Industry.

R&B music star Mary J. Blige, along with rap artists 50 Cent, Timbaland and Wyclef Jean, and award-winning author and producer Tyler Perry, have emerged in an Albany, N.Y. based investigation of steroids trafficking that has already rocked the professional sports world.

Information has surfaced recently showing those stars are among tens of thousands of people who may have used or received prescribed shipments of steroids and injectable human growth hormone in recent years.

The use of steroids and human growth hormone reaching into the entertainment industry illustrates how wide, and popular steroids use in the United States has become. It's not unique to Athletes, where performance-enhancing drug use has marred many sports. For many celebrities, the lure of hormonal drugs is their supposed, unproven anti-aging effects.

Medical experts are warning that steroids and human growth hormone are being illegally prescribed nationwide at an alarming rate under the misconception they will aid healing, enhance looks, strength and speed, or slow aging.

The Albany, NY investigation became a nationwide spectacle last February.

Along the way it has exposed allegations of steroid use by Major League Baseball players, pro wrestlers, NFL figures, police officers, prison guards, top-ranked body builders, people with ties to high school and college wrestling programs, and now, celebrities.
Other names that have come up in the investigation are Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, Chris Benoit.

Mary J. Blige, 37
Between August 2005 and January 2007 Blige allegedly received multiple shipments from an Orlando pharmacy of Jentropin, a human growth hormone, and Oxandrolone, an anabolic steroid, in orders sent to her at the Beverly Hills Hotel, MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and Clay Gym in New York City.

Curtis James Jackson III, 50 Cent, 32
Jackson is alleged to have received shipments of steroids at his mansion in Farmington, Conn. in July 2006 an order was mailed to his residence under the name "Michael Jordan" and also at a residence on Oakmont Drive in Los Angeles. Steroids in his name also were mailed to the office of a Long Island chiropractor.

Timothy Z. Mosley, Timbaland, 35
Mosley allegedly received shipments of human growth hormone and anabolic steroids between October 2005 and September 2006 at his Miami residence and at the office of a Long Island chiropractor.

Wyclef Jean, 35
Prescriptions in Jean's name for human growth hormone and Oxandrolone, an anabolic steroid, were shipped to the office of a Long Island chiropractor in August 2005.

Tyler Perry, 38
Prescriptions for anabolic steroids and growth hormone were shipped in Perry's name to his business and studio headquarters on Krog Street in Atlanta in 2005 and 2006.