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Next on the Mets plate

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Next on the Mets plate

Postby Ballwreckers » Tue Nov 29, 2005 5:43 pm

Here is an articale I picked up on MLB.com. Looks as though they might stick with Castro and Matsui. I can see maybe Castro, but Matsui? Ick!

NEW YORK -- Their primary offseason objectives accomplished in the last six days, the Mets will now turn to the lower-profile entries on their November-December agenda. The high-profile personnel they have imported has significantly improved their outlook for 2006 and beyond. And now, it seems, they will try to collect smaller pieces that fit neatly in their blueprint.
According to several people familiar with the Mets' thinking, the club likely is finished pursuing players as prominent as Carlos Delgado and Billy Wagner, both acquired in the last week, and might even move away from the two, relatively high-profile free agents catchers as it tries to create a killer bullpen.

One person said Monday that the Mets may pursue Tom Gordon, the Yankees' setup man the past two seasons, to serve as a setup man for Wagner but not Bengie Molina nor Ramon Hernandez to be the primary successor to Mike Piazza.

Instead, the person said, Piazza's primary understudy, Ramon Castro, would do the bulk of the catching and another catcher would be acquired to serve as Castro's backup.

At that same time, it appears the Mets are leaning toward affording second baseman Kaz Matsui one more opportunity to be the player he was in Japan -- if they can't find a deal that exports him -- and that their interest has increased in Javier Vazquez, the former Expos and Yankees pitcher who has demanded the Diamondbacks trade him.

With Delgado on the roster and Wagner almost there -- he needs to pass a physical before his $43 million contract takes effect; the club has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday to announce the signing -- the Mets no longer are restricted by uncertainty as they prepare for the Winter Meetings next week in Dallas. There they can pursue deals for the "other" catcher, a left-handed reliever, Gordon or a comparable reliever and continue their efforts to move Matsui.

"If he's here, he plays. A $7 million player plays," a member of the Mets hierarchy said Monday, mistakenly identifying the third salary in Matsui's three-year, $20.5 million contract, as he is to earn $8 million in 2006. "We like guys in the last years of their contracts. It's motivation. And we don't think he wants to go back to Japan, not having played well here."

If Matsui doesn't perform at the level the Mets see as adequate, he could be displaced by either Anderson Hernandez, a quick defender with an unproven bat, or Jeff Keppinger, a Jay Bell-type player with limited range and a more potent hitter than Hernandez, or a combination of the two.

Matsui does have one other element in his favor. His range, limited to his right, is better to his left, a plus with Delgado now at first base. General manager Omar Minaya acknowledged range is a greater consideration now because Delgado is not particularly mobile. Manager Willie Randolph did as well. "We're not going to go out looking for someone," he said, "just because of range. ... You can't have the total package all the time."

But Delgado, who began his career as a catcher, said he intends to work on his defense at first base and be more of the defender he was with the Blue Jays. His defense with the Marlins last season was, by his estimation, lacking. "I didn't play well. I was bad," he said Monday. "There were times I didn't play good ball. I'm going to be better than last year. I'm going to hold my own."
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Postby blankman » Tue Nov 29, 2005 5:55 pm

They think they can sign Gordon to set up? They must be dreaming.
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Postby rlee » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:00 pm

I still think that Minaya is fixated on Manny and will do whatever he can to get him. Rotoworld was reporting that the Mets might be willing to give up a package of Cliff Floyd, Aaron Heilman, and Lastings Milledge :-* if the Sox will eat some money (didn't say how much). We'll see what happens next week.
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Postby superotto80 » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:00 pm

I wonder where the writer of that article got that info....from what i keep hearing is the mets are not done. Manny is a strong possibilty as well as luis castillo. these are the rumors in NY. I highly doubt the mets are done
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:02 pm

I think Manny or Soriano will be a New York Met next season. The Mets supposedly offered Floyd, Milledge and Heilman if the Sox agreed to eat some of Manny's contract.
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Postby The Kavorka » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:18 pm

Ramon Hernandez will be their next signing.

All this talk of trading for a C such as Toby Hall is just an "attempt" to keep the FA price down for C's.

Just a hunch.
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Postby cordscords » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:19 pm

I guess they removed both offers that were on the table for Molina and Hernandez.
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Postby stumpak » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:49 pm

Could be that this is just smoke to get leverage with Texas by making it seem like they are not desperate for Soriano. I would be shocked if Matsui is anything more than Plan Z, i.e. the ultimate fall-back plan, for 2B for next season.
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Postby Amazinz » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:18 pm

Matsui isn't that far-fetched since the Mets have both Hernandez and Keppinger waiting in the wings. It's probably not likely that they bring in a high-priced or long term solution for 2B. The rumors continue to pop up but Omar has come out an said the the team was not interested in Soriano. Of course he could just be lying.

The Toby Hall thing is definitely smoke and mirrors. I'm pretty sure the Mets will sign Hernandez they are just playing games here.

As far as Gordon I could take it or leave it. It's not that unrealistic. The Yanks are in contract hell and in no position to get into a bidding war with the Mets. As far as which team is more attractive to play for, I don't think the line is all that clear anymore.
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:27 pm

Amazinz wrote:As far as Gordon I could take it or leave it. It's not that unrealistic. The Yanks are in contract hell and in no position to get into a bidding war with the Mets. As far as which team is more attractive to play for, I don't think the line is all that clear anymore.


No position to get into a bidding war? You're joking right? The Yankees cleared ALOT of money this offseason and have yet to spend it. It is true that they are trying to be conservative and cut payroll, but to say that they are in no position to spend is completely faulty. How exactly are they in contract hell? The Yankees could lock up Gordon right now, but that probably isn't the smartest thing to do.

If Gordon is going to set-up anywhere next year, it'll be with the Yankees. I believe he's going to close in Philly, however.
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