Posted by JD on April 24, 2011
The Phillies placed Jose Contreras on the disabled list today, further straining a bullpen that’s already lost closer Brad Lidge. I bring this up because Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger retweeted this info with a comment suggesting that the Mets should call the Phillies and propose trading them Francisco Rodriguez. For some reason, I can’t find the original retweet in McCullough’s timeline (most likely operator error). I was able to find this retweet of a response that kind of sums up the negative response generated by McCullough’s comment.
I’m not bringing this exchange up to criticize McCullough. Far from it, actually. While I don’t relish the thought of helping the Phillies patch a weakness, I don’t think it matters as much as the long-term health of the club. K-Rod’s vesting option could seriously limit the Mets’ roster flexibility. While I could make an argument that $11.5 million is too much to pay a closer, I hope I don’t have to actually debate the merits of paying one $14 million (K-Rod will be owed $3.5 million regardless of whether the option kicks in). Moving that contract should be priority number one, ahead of resigning/dealing Jose Reyes* or finding a trade partner for Carlos Beltran.
*Come to think of it, I bet having that extra $14 million available for other uses might go a long way to resigning Reyes. Just another reason to move that contract.
If that means trading said closer to a division rival, even one who has won the division for three consecutive seasons, so be it. But if that’s a hold-up for you, consider this: the Phillies already have a 2012 payroll that exceeds $112 million. For eleven players, all of whom will be 31 or older. Throw Rodriguez into that mix and suddenly the Phillies owe $129 million to less than half their roster. And that doesn’t factor in an extension for Cole Hamels. In terms of sound roster management we should be thrilled if we give Rodriguez to the Phillies, never mind acquiring a useful prospect.
Yes, I’m ignoring the fact that the Mets would be improving the Phillies’ 2011 roster. I get that the emotional baggage of helping a division rival combined with watching Rodriguez torment his former team is an unpleasant thought for many fans. I understand why that would make this deal untenable for you. I won’t beat you over the head with my arguments but I’ll just add this: would you trade K-Rod for Jose Reyes and a prospect? That’s essentially how this deal could break down, and I’d sign up for that in a minute (even if the “prospect” translated into “replacement-level reliever”).
While we’re on the subject of dealing Rodriguez, I’d like to bring up this post by Mets Today’s Joe Janish. In a purely speculative nature, Janish wonders if the White Sox may be interested in trading for K-Rod. I agree with Joe: it is a “match made in heaven”. Kenny Williams has shown a willingness to ignore bad contracts before (see: Rios, Alex). Ozzie Guillen is all over the place, but his players generally like playing for him. Throw in the fact that both he and Rodriguez (and Omar Vizquel) are Venezuelan, and this might be an ideal landing spot for K-Rod. There’s no substance to this speculation, but I (and, I suspect, most all Mets fans) would be happy to see his option vest on the South Side.
Posted in Mets, Francisco Rodriguez | Tagged: Mets, Jose Reyes, Francisco Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Omar Vizquel, Jose Contreras, Brad Lidge, Cole Hamels, Kenny Williams, Ozzie Guillen | 16 Comments »
Posted by JD on April 24, 2011
Man, these posts sure are fun to write during four-game winning streaks. Lots of positives came out of today’s win, but I’m going with Jason Pridie’s first major league home run, a three-run homer that gave the Mets added cushion (which would eventually come in handy). I’m a bit of a sap when it comes to sentimental milestones and I was leaning toward choosing Pridie from the minute the ball cleared the wall. 27 years-old, he appeared in 973 minor league games (and 11 games for the Twins as a September call-up in 2008 & 09) before being called up on Friday. He collect his first major league hit yesterday and topped it today with his first homer*. Mike Mazzeo of ESPN NY caught up with Pridie after the game and did a really nice job describing his reaction.
Pridie’s not likely to be with the club much longer (I can’t see him beating out Willie Harris and Scott Hairston when Angel Pagan returns from the disabled list), so it’s nice to see him make the most of his time here. Hopefully he shows enough to land a job with another team (if he chooses not to return to the Bisons when he’s ultimately designated for assignment) but if not, he’s at least notched some important career milestones and made a few good memories for himself.
*If the useless old stat of “Game Winning RBI” was still official, Pridie would have earned one today.
Posted in Mets, Angel Pagan, Something Nice | Tagged: Mets, Angel Pagan, Jason Pridie, Willie Harris, Scott Hairston, Something Nice | 2 Comments »
Posted by JD on April 23, 2011
That was an interesting game to watch. Dillon Gee had a strong showing, Jason Bay knocked in three runs and was named Player of the game, Daniel Murphy had some adventures in the field but knocked in the go-ahead and insurance runs, and Bay and Ike Davis hit back to back titanic home runs (I think Ike’s may have dented the Pepsi Porch steps). There were lots of moving pieces in the Mets’ third consecutive win.
For today’s “Something Nice”, I’m going with Jose Reyes’ performance. He walked to lead off the first inning and, upon advancing to third, walked a quarter of the way toward home taunting Diamondbacks pitcher Barry Enright (he and David Wright would go on to score when Jason Bay singled). It was classic Reyes gamesmanship and even though it didn’t work, it was great to see him agitating the opposition again. He would finish 2-4 with two runs scored and, to top it off, he successfully generated a balk in the eighth inning. He didn’t steal a single base, but it was a classic Jose Reyes game. I’m just happy I was there to watch it in person.
Posted in Mets, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Ike Davis, Jason Bay, Something Nice | Tagged: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Daniel Murphy, Jason Bay, Ike Davis, Dillon Gee, Barry Enright | Leave a Comment »
Posted by JD on April 23, 2011
Man, it’s so tempting to just say “the Mets win!” If the whole point of these posts is to spread positive feelings, I’d guess we really shouldn’t have to get much further than that. And I while I may just drop these posts in the future when the Mets win, there was something about tonight’s win that deserves extra recognition: Mike Pelfrey’s first quality start.
Pelfrey has struggled mightily this season. He started four games (all losses for the Mets) and never recorded more than 16 outs in any of them. He was forced to assume the “Number One Starter/Staff Ace” title with Johan Santana sidelined and, if that wasn’t enough, the media (and plenty of fans) added injury to insult by focusing on the coincidental (and, of course, unfortunate) passing of Harvey Dorfman (a psychologist that Pelfrey frequently consulted), strongly implying that Pelfrey’s mental health was in question. It was a tough stretch for Big Pelf, maybe the toughest he’s faced in his tenure with the Mets.
That’s why tonight’s win was so sweet: Pelfrey fought his way through seven innings, allowing only five hits, two hits, and one run. And, as hard as this may be to believe, I definitely saw him hit 94 and 95 on the Citi Field radar gun in the top of the second. It was a solid showing, and I was happy for Pelfrey that it happened in front of the Citi Field faithful.
Posted in Mets, Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Something Nice | Tagged: Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Johan Santana, Something Nice, Harvey Dorfman | Leave a Comment »
Posted by JD on April 22, 2011
Where to start? Jason Bay returned from the disabled list and had a nice game, going one for four with two runs scored (one of which was courtesy of a dropped fly ball by Hunter Pence). Terry Collins single-handedly willed the Mets to win by switching up their uniforms and getting tossed in the first inning. Ike Davis picked up two more RBI, one on a home run to center (not exactly the easiest thing to do at Citi Field). Chris Capuano had a quality start, and Taylor Buchholz closed the door in relief. Good candidates all, and certainly worthy of honorable mentions, but not quite it.
Mike Nickeas opened the scoring in the bottom of the third with his first career major league home run, a solo shot to left field. I wish I was there to see it: despite his shortcomings, I can’t help but root for him. Not much of a hitter (he has a .680 OPS in 1,803 career minor league plate appearances), Nickeas is only on the roster until Ronny Paulino returns from injury. I’m glad he got to have a moment that he’ll remember (and likely treasure) for the rest of his life. It’s not every day that you see something like that happen, but as great a moment as it was, there was something more important for Mets fans.
Today’s “Something Nice” goes to David Wright, who snapped a career high 20 at-bat hitless streak with a solo home run. Wright would go on to get another hit and a walk and finished the day 2-for-3 with two runs scored. The Mets’ best player had his best game in a week or so and got himself a completely meaningless stat to boot: his fourth-inning home run was the “game winning RBI”. Only time will tell if Wright is about to go on a hot streak, but for one night it was awesome to see him display the talents that have made him the Mets best position player of all time*.
*Well, not yet. Not technically: Darryl Strawberry still holds that distinction. But Wright is blurring the line and it’s only a matter of time before he takes that title.
Posted in David Wright, Ike Davis, Jason Bay, Terry Collins | Tagged: David Wright, Darryl Strawberry, Jason Bay, Ike Davis, Terry Collins, Ronny Paulino, Chris Capuano, Taylor Buchholz, Mike Nickeas, Something Nice, Hunter Pence | Leave a Comment »