Blog Entry

The Mets must add a top starter.

Posted on: July 8, 2010 5:30 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2010 11:15 am

To me anything else spells doom for 2010. Yeah, you can point to 2011. Then again this team pointed to 2007, then 2008, then 2009... How did that work out? I don't want 2010 thrown aside for the empty promise of next year.

I actually hear some Mets fans stating we can't give up our future.  Didn't the Phillies take that chance on Lee last year? All he did was pitched lights out and they rode him to the World Series. Then they decided they'd rather have Halliday and went after him. That's an organization with guts and brains IMHO. They went for it and wound up in the series and with an even better pitcher.

I keep hearing how the Mets can't mortgage the future. What mortgaging? If they trade Mejia, they're replacing potential with a known commodity who is quality. IMHO, they'd re-sign Lee(which I feel strongly they will) if they gave up 3-4 of their "top" prospects. If they trade Thole, they can't replace him? Flores? Tejada? Havens? Parnell? Martinez? The only "prospect" they can't afford to deal is Davis. He's their starting 1B man and the future. The Mets have Reyes @ SS and Wright @ 3B. Those positions are set. LF is set as well. 2B is up for grabs, but Havens and Tejada are just 2 guys they have ready. Even if no one is ready, they can get a guy for a year or 2 who is better than Cora or Castillo. Martinez is replaceable by Nieuwenhuis. That leaves RF and the Mets have Pagan and Duda as well. All of those guys won't go in a  Lee deal. Even Mejia is repaced by Cohoon to some degree.

It's not whether the Mets are willing to sacrifice prospects, it's whether the Mariners(or Astros or D-Backs) are buying into the hype of the Mets organization and fans. They may see these prospects as inferior to those in Minny, Texas, Cincy or LA. If that's the case, then it's out of their hands. However, if they're willing to take a package of prospects and Davis isn't included, then they have to make the deal.

Let's say the Mets don't have enough for Lee. Then they must go after Oswalt. I laugh when I see posters and fans dismissing this guy. Today he just 1-hit the Pirates and game-in-game out he pitches quality starts. He goes deep, starts 33 games a year and is a winner and true ace. He led the Astros to the WS in 2005. Roy would probably cost less, but if it's Flores, Martinez, Thole, Familia or some combo of that and a Tejada, do it. Mejia I would hold off, unless it was virtually straight up. Oswalt is also signed for 2011 at a relatively cheap price for an ace.

Finally, there is Danny Haren. Unlike the previous 2, he hasn't proven he can get a team to the WS and maybe more of a traditional #2. He'd cost less, but is still a quality front-of-the-rotation guy. He would allow Pelfrey to slide to #3, Niese #4 and Dickey @ #5. That's a pretty nice rotation and 4 of the 5 would be shoo-ins for 2011. That means if Dickey fades, you only need to replace him. #5 starters can be replaced fairly cheaply. Again, what do you give up? Certainly the same guys would be mentioned(Flores, Thole, Mejia etc).

To get quality, you have to give up what you and others perceive as quality. I've read quotes attributed to GM's that Omar too often offers garbage and wants quality back. That's not getting you anyone and only will make them ignore you more when it's crunch time. This time he can't say he has enough like he laughably said in the off-season. He passed on Piniero and Garland who both have 8 or more wins and are pitching well. He decided to go with dreck like Maine and Perez rather than dealing or cutting them. Now he has a chance to show he was right in being patient. If he pulls off getting one of these 3, then his "strategy" was correct. However,  if he settles for Carmona, Westbrook or Lilly, then he failed, IMHO. He gave up prospects for 2nd tier pitchers, when he could have gotten them for mere money and at FMV to boot. Omar would have failed twice in one season to replace what everyone knew had to be replaced. If he gets Lee, Oswalt or Haren he did his job. Anything less and IMHO he didn't.... again.

This trade deadline will show once again what this GM is made of. Does he have the acumen to pull off an in-season blockbluster? Does he have not only the talent, but the stones? Is he just the ultimate spinner, enabler and mediocre GM many of us see him as, or is he more? His actions(or inaction) at the deadline will define him. It could also define who is running this club in 2011.

Staying pat means giving up. Taking a risk is harder and carries uncertainty. It also takes guts and could lead to real success. Competing and falling short, isn't success. IMHO, with this payroll and the last 3 failed years, nothing short of the post-season is. Nothing. No excuses, make a deal and a good one. If you can't, step aside for someone who will and can.

Category: MLB
Tags: Mets
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