The latest noise had the Mets in talks with the Dodgers to unload one bloated contract for another. Specifically, Luis Castillo (and the $18M we owe him) would go to LA for Andruw Jones (and the $22.1M they owe him).
Supposedly, the Mets had broached the subject at the winter meetings. Jones would not replace Beltran but could have possibly moved into right field.
Even though the trade may be stalled or DOA, it's interesting to see what lengths (or depths) t he Mets may go to to lose Luis. Andruw had a horrid injury-riddled 2008, appearing in only 75 games, and has already said he doesn't want to return to the Dodgers.
Silverman is now working on a new project and needs help from Met fans. Please see his note below. Loge13 readers have been very kind in sharing their personal archives in the past so if you can help Matt out, drop him a line.
And now, a word from Mr. Silverman:
Matthew Silverman, who co-wrote Mets by the Numbers with Jon
Springer, plus Meet the Mets annual, Mets Essential, 100
Things Mets Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die, and other Mets
things with long titles, is putting together a book on the 1969 Mets
through Maple Street Press. He need photos, memorabilia, and other tchotkies
from the 1969 season or its aftermath. Only two problems: it's a
volunteer effort (so there's no pay for anyone who actually possesses
these desired items) and it has to be photos that you have the rights
to use (reprinted photos and such from newspapers unfortunately won't
do). Newspaper covers are fine as are photos actually taken of Shea, or
a view from a certain vantage point, desecration of the field (three
riots to choose from!), the parade in NYC, etc. If you have something
that's used in the book, you'll be credited, which is entitled The
Miracle Has Landed http://www.potomacbooksinc.com/Books/BookDetail.aspx?productID=186448
Scans are great, as long as they're readable/viewable. Please send
inquiries or scans to Matt@metsilverman.com.
It's a 40th anniversary book, so we're looking for things between now
and the first of the year so it can be out by the time the season
starts. Thanks for your attention and let's see if we can bring a
Miracle back to Shea...er, Citi...er, the Mets.
Well it's been a rough year for Met fans...and pretty much everyone else too.
Shea Stadium turned out to be an unlikely metaphor for 2008. A beloved and perfectly fine ballpark was collapsed to make room for a smaller, more expensive yard with a badly timed name. Shea is now in pieces, much like our economy, and it's time to clean up the mess and move on. You wouldn't know it from the Yankees bursting payroll but things are still pretty bleak. Here's hoping we're sitting at the bottom of the hole now and can start climbing our way out in 2009.
Thanks for hanging in section Loge13 this year. Lets do it all over again next year. To lighten the mood, here is a bit of the greatest secular Christmas tune of all time. Excuse the bits of bad language; you know how we Irish get.
There a pile of great blogs in the BBF network, all run by fans and covering teams such as the Spankees, SF Giants, Red Sox, Angels and more. Oh yes, the vaunted MLBTradeRumors.com is also a partner in the network.
So we're doing a round-robbin roundtable, which I am kicking off. Brian fed me some questions, which I have dutifully answered below. I will then posit my questions to the next blogger, the celebrated El Lefty Malo, who covers the SF Giants. He'll answer on his blog and move the questioning forward. And a good time will be had by all. Or at least by us.
So lets begin:
1. I'm calling the Mets the big winners at the Winter Meetings. They locked down
the best free agent closer at below-market value in K-Rod, then pulled off a
trade another top-flight closer without giving up any key pieces (JJ Putz). Now
that the bullpen is taken care of, what's next this offseason for the
KINGMAN: I don't think Omar is done with the bullpen. Rumors are he'll get another reliever (possibly Jason Marquis, or even Chad Bradford). Meanwhile, Scott Schoenweis will be traded or dropped. No way Scott can set foot in the new stadium, unless he buys a ticket.
Then there is the starting pitching. The Mets would like to get Oliver Perez back. Scott Boras represents both Ollie and Derek Lowe. The word is the market for Ollie will be set after Lowe gets a deal. Given it's Boras, any deal will probably not happen until the new year. The Mets have said they are not in the market for Lowe and may instead be pursuing Randy Wolf, recently of the Astros.
Then there's the outfield. A healthy Ryan Church will help but left field is still a question mark. Manny does not seem to be at all on Omar's radar (amen). The Mets also need to replenish their bench now that Endy Chavez is gone and Damien Easley is apparently done. The latest rumor has Alex Cora coming to Queens.
The Mets would love to trade Luis Castillo. He is damaged goods with a big contract but Minaya has proven in the past that he will dump a guy he wants to dump, no matter what he gets in return.
2. If you could flip the script on the Johan Santana trade last
year and the Sabathia signing this year, would you do it? Meaning, the Yanks
traded for Johan and extended him last winter and the Mets got Sabathia this
winter as a free agent and held on to those prospects.
KINGMAN: Ah hypotheticals. Lets explore this. If the Mets had not signed Santana and the Spankees did, what would have happened? Odds are, Johan would have won over 20 games (given that he had Mo on the back end to preserve the many leads the Mets pen blew). Maybe the Yankees even win it all and Joe Girardi is lauded as manager of the year by the press and all those Yank fans now calling for his head.
Meanwhile, the Mets would have never contended in 2008. They would instead be spending big bucks this off-season on Lowe, CC and others. They would probably be trading all those prospects away anyway, and probably including Reyes or Beltran in some deal.
Why? Because they are opening a new stadium and are not going in there in "rebuilding" mode. I think the Mets were already thinking 2009 during the 2006 and 2007 off-seasons so not getting Johan probably wasn't an option. 3. Any chance the
Mets bring Oliver Perez back at this point? Do you want him back?
KINGMAN: Yes I do want him back. He is a kook and will probably never be more than a solid number 3 starter. But he has proven he can pitch in New York and most important, can pitch in big games. He owns the Phillies and the Braves. Given that prices are deflated so far this off-season, I think the Mets will be able to scrape together the cash to keep him.
Finally, here's a direct quote from Cole Hamels made on Thursday, "But, yeah,
that's kind of what we believed and I think we're always going to believe that
until they (The Mets) prove us wrong," Hamels said. "For the past two years
they've been choke artists." Thoughts?
KINGMAN: Just to clarify, the Mets did not choke in 2008. We lost our closer and rode out the rest of the season on fumes. That's much different than what happened in 2007, when we choked in glorious fashion.
2008 was the Phillies year, there's nothing more to say on the subject. It helps that they play in a matchbox of a stadium where every pop up is a home run. Now that we have Taxpayer Field (which everyone compares to Citizen's Bank Park), maybe we'll have some of the same slugging success.
Let the Phillies have their glory. No matter what smack they talk, the sad fact is they still have to live in Philadelphia, so they deserve our pity. And what kind of name is Cole anyway? I'm guessing his dad was a miner who couldn't spell.