Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, November 06, 2004
 
So, uh, maybe the Senator is a litle full of himself after all...
In their negotiations, the Mets want to apply the $2 million buyout to a new deal, and give Leiter $4 million more and call it $6 million for one year. But Hendricks said he considers the $2 million to be part of the guaranteed money from his last contract, and not something to be applied to a new deal
As for whether the Mets are taking Al's loyalty to the Mets for granted, our man Hendricks said...
"Taking anyone for granted is not a very good idea," he said, "whether it's your wife, your friend, your significant other or an employee. That's why we give flowers to our mothers on Mother's Day. No one wants to feel like he's being taken for granted."
I don't why I put that up. I have nothing witty to say... I just found that amusing.

Anyway, Al leaving would be my dream. I fear the ultimate collapse from him this year and I want to see Aaron Heilman get another shot. If that doesn't work out, Jae Seo is tooling around and depending on how fast Petit progresses, we could see him by mid-season. I'm just convinced Heilman needs a legitimate shot and he'll be at least decent. Plus, paying anymore than the combined 6 million for Al isn't a smart investment for a team that will not win next year (I'm convinced they won't). By turning it down and handing the job to Heilman, they have more money to spend on someone like Sexson (or Delgado if that's your choice).

In other news, the Mets might be in the Jose Guillen sweepstakes.
GM Omar Minaya expects the Mets to be able to be players for the major free agents (Carlos Beltran?).

Said Minaya, "At least we're going to try to be players with who I would consider the major free agents. I don't plan on saying no to anybody." Also, don't be surprised if the Mets make a run at Anaheim right fielder and trade bait Jose Guillen.
My emphasis added, obviously.

I'm too lazy to find it, but let me just say that I would have never predicted Guillen to go .294/.352/.497 last year. There is a considerable ability to hit for average there, a now at least decent walk rate and he finally put together the isolated power. Is he for real? Apparently he found it and he is only 28 (29 in May) and on a one year contract. He also has a great arm and great range in the OF.

What would he hit in Shea? Maybe .280/.335/.470 plus great defensive value. That's a .805 OPS (5th on the team last year among hitters, not counting Vic Diaz). His one year left is pretty cheap (3.5 million next year, 4 million option in '06, 300K buyout), so imagine this lineup...

Reyes, SS
Matsui, 2B
Beltran, RF
Wright, 3B
Piazza, C
Guillen, LF
Cameron, CF
Olerud/Tino, 1B

That's a nice lineup, ain't it (Plus, look at the defense!)? And just think, if the Mets let Leiter go, use the money that would be spent on him on Guillen and dump Floyd's contract, maybe you could even fit Sexson somewhere in there? That would be real nice (Maybe Beltran second, Wright third, Sexson fourth, Piazza fifth, Guillen sixth and Matsui seventh? Eek, tough lineup to make (I don't see Piazza dropping below fifth), but a good problem to have).

But why would the Angels be dumping on a talented offensive and defensive player who is pretty cheap? Ah, yes, the suspension.

I'll admit it... I'm real leery. And I'm not a big personality guy. He was third on his team in OPS (we'll count Glaus), yet the Angels were willing to suspend him the last week of the season, even though they weren't in the playoffs yet, and for the playoffs, if they got there. Also, none of his teammates rallied around him... granted, you wouldn't want to disagree with your team publicly, but they seemed to fall in line as if they totally agreed.

Me and Matt have discussed this on a few different occasions (as we discuss many Met happenings... hey, wait, that might make good blog... sorry, random mind thoughts... back to Guillen) and he likes to compare it to the Milton Bradley situation last offseason. I tend to disagree.

The Indians, for whatever reason, were dumping on Bradley, for character issues, but they had never suspended him during a playoff stretch run. To me, you have to do something serious to do that. Now, Bradley had a couple of blowups this year, but they seemed to be handled quickly and easily, so he still would have been a wise choice, especially since he was only entering his age 26 season.

Am I totally against Guillen? No... he's a fine player, he's cheap and he leaves room to spend on Beltran and other players. But I would find out everything I can from the Angels about the situation that occurred there. I know this may sound like I'm thinking like a Wilpon, but the last thing the Mets need is another character blowup.

Thursday, November 04, 2004
 
Open Thread: Willie Randolph.

What do you think? Also...

1. HoJo for hitting coach?
2. How would you fill some of the other open positions?
3. How bad would Don Zimmer be as bench coach?

Personally...

I think Willie isn't the best guy out there, but of the candidates, he's probably the best choice.

1. Yes.
2. In house.
3. Horrendous.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004
 
Yesterday's big news was Mike Cameron's willingness to move to RF. Today, for who knows what reason, Richie Sexson has interest in the Mets.

Of the bigger 1B FAs out there, Sexson is my front runner (I've talked about my leeriness on Delgado before), though I'm not particulary enamored with him, mostly out of what I think his price will be.

With that said, and Mike Cameron's hint yesterday, what does everyone think about this? Sign Beltran and Olerud. Play Diaz(/Valent) in LF. Get a nice bullpen arm. Sign Benson. That's it.

Let me be honest. Even if the Mets were to get another bat, I don't think they'll win this year, between having problems with the rotation and injuries and some bullpen issues (otherwise known as Mike Stanton) plus youth getting used to the big leagues and older players declining. I think they can max out at 85-87 and with my team above get to 80, maybe 82.

So, with that said, why not get Beltran, save some money for next year when you could have a few rotation spots available? Give Petit one (if he progresses as we think) and sign one top tier and one good mid tier to fill the other spots (this hopes Trax, Leiter and Glavine are all gone). Piazza falls off, so that opens money to run at someone for 1B, like, I don't know, Paul Konerko, plus money to go after a nice hitting catcher. So, hypothetically, you could have Benson, Zambrano, 2 FAs and Petit in the rotation with a lineup of FA C/Konerko/Matsui/Reyes/Wright/Cameron/Beltran/Diaz.

I like that team. Unfortunately, that requires patience for this year, which I don't think the Mets will have.

Now, does that 1B necessarily have to be Olerud? Nah... some other mid tier guys like Tino or J.T. Snow, if they took one year deals, would fit, but there is a certain sentimentally attached to good 'ol Johnny.

So, what do you think? Would you be more up for the .500 team in 2005 with a plan ahead or would you rather see a full out crash for it in 2005?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004
 
OFF mentions it in the comments below and here is the link.
The two-time Gold Glove winner told MLB.com on Tuesday that he would be more than happy to move to right field to accommodate Beltran should general manager Omar Minaya decide to pursue the biggest free agent on the market.
And Cammy's quotes...
"To be able to play center field is my dream and I worked very hard every day at it. But if it helps the New York Mets in 2005 to get Carlos Beltran, there's no question about it, I will move. If it makes the team better, go ahead and try to get Beltran. I'm all for it. I'm all for getting Carlos Beltran here. If he can make things better, we have to find out if he's interested in coming here. They came down for that meeting and I put it all out on the table, laid it out there."

..."I would welcome Carlos Beltran here," he said. "He would probably take the heat off some people. I know more than anyone I can play center field. And a couple of guys playing with me got a little better. But if we can make the team better with Carlos in center field, then I'll be the best darn right fielder there is."
As OFF said in the comments, I, too, love Cammy.

Now that Cammy won't be hurt by it, let's go Omar! Carlos Beltran or Bust!

Extra topic to discuss: This Cameron quote...
In addition to Beltran, Cameron also acknowledged the club's need for a first baseman, throwing out the name of former Seattle teammate John Olerud.

"I'm all for them getting Beltran, but hopefully we can big John Olerud back over here, too," Cameron said. "You want to start recruiting and throwing names out there, get big 'Rude. John Olerud would make everyone in the infield a whole lot better.
So, where is John Olerud on the list of candidates people?

 
If you are looking for entertainment on this Election Day, read Joel Sherman ramble. Of course, Shwan Green and Pedro are big no-nos.

It seems as though Tom Glavine's new nickname will be Nibbles, which has beat out Grimace.

So, with round 1 over, I say we move on to someone we like a little more...

David Wright.

Wunderkind was thrown around last year... what else you got?

Monday, November 01, 2004
 
I thought we want hitters who walk...

Al Leiter is coming back
. Great...
Leiter, 39, has a $10 million option for '05 with a $2 million buyout. The new deal figures to guarantee roughly $4 million plus the buyout money, though incentives could be included to increase the potential take.
So, essentially 6 million on Al Leiter. Much has been written on the topic (let's go with here and here), so there's not much to re-hash, but here's what we know in a quick review...

-Al Leiter can't go deep into games anymore.
-Al Leiter walks a lot of people.
-Al Leiter doesn't strikeout that many people.
-Al Leiter is a huge injury risk.
-On the injury point, Al Leiter has a torn labrum in his left arm.

Al is so darn close to collapsing and that ERA last year was with smoke and mirrors (and the team catching the ball for him in the first half). For a team that has a shot, he's a nice high risk/high reward type guy, but for the Mets, he's a waste of 4 extra million dollars that could go to Carlos Beltran while they give Aaron Heilman a shot and prepare for 2006, but alas, the Mets have dreams of competing this year.

Yes, Aaron Heilman. I know, he hasn't proved much the last two years at the majors, but with Rick Peterson, his solid minor league track record and his obvious talent, the Mets need to give him a real shot. A consistent one. One that states that they will hand him the job for 2-3 months and its his to lose. Also, his game scores from last year...

27, 46, 71, 54, 39

One bad game, one okay game, a couple of decent games and a very good one. I've been convinced for a long time Aaron Heilman deserves his shot, but it won't ever come with this organization... at least it appears that way.

But, see, I expected that, so I'm not really mad more than just disgusted that it actually happened. On the other hand, a simple rumor in the Post today has me really mad.
The Mets have expressed some early interest in free agent shortstop Chris Woodward, who hit .235 with one homer and 24 RBIs for Toronto this year and could be valuable in a reserve role.
Yep, this Chris Woodward. Some nice trends in OPS, IsoP, BB/PA and AVG going on there!

But this isn't about Chris Woodward. It's about the Mets being seemingly unwilling to hand the backup SS job to Danny Garcia. I'm convinced Keppinger makes the roster next year, so they will probably carry a backup SS (Don't ask me how Joe McEwing fits into all of this... maybe its a sign he's gone? Or that the Mets will carry 6 backup position players or are they willing to play Matsui back at SS if something were to happen to "you know who"...). So, why not just go in house to Danny Garcia. He has played SS in Norfolk so he can't be that bad (or any worse than Chris Woodward) and while he strikes out a ton, he walked a lot last year. Will he do that again? Eh, probably not as much, though I expect a tiny bit better average and around the same isolated power.

But, more than the numbers, he showed the ability to play solid defense and more importantly, was a fiery individual off the bench, something the Mets could definitely use. He riled other people up and actually got hit by 9 pitches in 174 PA, so he's not afraid to take one for the team when he pisses other people off.

The point is that Danny Garcia, who would get the minimum, proved last year he deserves a shot at being on the major league bench. The Mets should reward that, not send him back to AAA and sign a guy coming off a year with a .630 OPS in 232 PAs.

Which hits to a bigger issue in general with the Mets and guys like James Baldwin, Scott Erickson, Joe McEwing, Gerald Williams and all the other names over the years we love to moan about. The Mets have to start rewarding the players in their minors who work hard instead of ignoring them.

Sunday, October 31, 2004
 
Nothing much in Mets land today, so let's answer the burning question of the weekend...

Tom Glavine: Nibbles or Grimace?

I personally like Grimace, but this is a democracy, so you can all have a vote.

 
The Internet Baseball Writers Association (IBWA), which I am a member of, released its 2004 post-season awards (the first set ever). The results can be found here.

And for whatever its worth to all of you, my personal ballot is below, with no comments (actually, one).

NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1. Barry Bonds
2. Albert Pujols
3. Jim Edmonds
4. Scott Rolen
5. Adrian Beltre
6. J.D. Drew
7. Todd Helton
8. Randy Johnson
9. Lance Berkman
10. Aramis Ramirez

AMERICAN LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

1. Johan Santana
2. Manny Ramirez
3. Vladimir Guerrero
4. Gary Sheffield
5. Travis Hafner
6. Ichiro Suzuki
7. David Ortiz
8. Carlos Guillen
9. Melvin Mora
10. Curt Schilling

NATIONAL LEAGUE PITCHER OF THE YEAR

1. Randy Johnson
2. Jake Peavy
3. Ben Sheets

AMERICAN LEAGUE PITCHER OF THE YEAR

1. Johan Santana
2. Curt Schilling
3. Mark Mulder

NATIONAL LEAGUE DEBUT OF THE YEAR

1. Jason Bay
2. David Wright
3. Khalil Greene

AMERICAN LEAGUE DEBUT OF THE YEAR

1. Bobby Crosby
2. Zack Greinke
3. Lew Ford (this vote didn't count because ESPN lies and says he's a rookie, but he is not due to ABs in 2003... I probably would have voted Morneau in this spot)

NATIONAL LEAGUE MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Bobby Cox
2. Bruce Bochy
3. Tony LaRussa

AMERICAN LEAGUE MANAGER OF THE YEAR

1. Buck Showalter
2. Joe Torre
3. Eric Wedge

NATIONAL LEAGUE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

1. John Scheurholz
2. Walt Jocketty
3. Paul DePodesta

AMERICAN LEAGUE EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR

1. Mark Shapiro
2. Terry Ryan
3. Chuck Lamar


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