If you want a quick rundown of last season, here it is... it sucked. Every minute of the last two weeks, except for one bright ray of hope named John Maine on Game 161, was pure cruel and unusual punishment for us Mets fans. I've come close to getting over it, considering the fact that the most notable off-season occurance not only for the Mets but all of baseball was the acquisition of ace Johan Santana- henceforth known as Our Mutual Venezuelan Expression of Genius-ness (seriously, that probably won't last long), but even the man hailed as the true Messiah by Jewish Mets fans can't completely dissolve that horri-awful taste in my (proverbial) mouth. It was a season to forget, and hopefully, O.M.V.E.G. can help us do just that.
There are a couple other notable off-season moves worthy of note. Tom Glavine is back where he belongs, and where he really wanted to be all along- Atlanta. So gone is one lefty. But the Mets did get Johan Santana, arguably the best pitcher of the 21st Century. So, yeah, I'll take that deal.
Gone: Guillermo Mota, Shawn Green, Lastings Milledge, Paul Lo Duca, Ruben Gotay, Jeff Conine, Aaron Sele, and Tom Glavine.
"Please Don't Screw Up" New Guys: Angel Pagan, Brady Clark, Ryan Church, Brian Schneider, Matt Wise, O.M.V.E.G.
Hooray! for Resigning These Guys:
- Luis Castillo
Sure, he wasn't always reliable, but he was a big help for the Mets most of the time with the club last year. Now that he is healthy, he should be really valuable right behind Reyes in the #2 hole. He's not as good defensively as he used to be, but he's still very solid.
Not always healthy, but the dude flat-out raked when he was. It was an easy decision to give him another year, even if he doesn't play 100 games this season.
Pretty good back-up catcher, though the Mets knew from the beginning that he could be relied on as the main guy. But he's got a lot of pop in his bat and he gets along well with the pitchers. If Schneider happens to go down for periods of time, Castro is a good choice to fill in for a little while. If he's healthy, that is (theme, anyone?).
As clutch as they come. It was really sad when he hurt his ankle in August last season, but he is a ridiculously valuable utility player who is a great pinch hitter.
Did I say that Easley was clutch? Marlon Anderson was even more so in limited time last year. It seemed like every big hit he got was erased by an inept bullpen at year's end, but he was so good last season. He can play infield or outfield, and he can play first base as well. With Carlos Delgado's career hanging on a string, that's nice to have.
Other Off-season Notes
-The Mets decided that they weren't old enough, so they dumped Ruben Gotay, who was incidentally picked up by the Braves and is guaranteed to kill the Mets with a walk-off grand slam at some point this season, and replaced him with the ancient utility player Fernando Tatis. I jest, but this is probably a good move for the Mets. Gotay was a below average defensive infielder at best, he had no ability to play in the outfield, and he really struggled hitting lefties. Tatis plays solid defense (on second thought, so does Jose Valentin), can play in the outfield, hits lefties reasonably well, and has more experience that Gotay. But Tatis is older, and is good for at least a stint on the D.L., if not banishment to New Orleans AAA ball club or waiver-land.
-Kevin Mulvey, Doelis Gurrera, Phil Humber, and Carlos Gomez are gone. This is sad, sure, but for O.M.V.E.G., I would have given any single player short of Wright, Reyes, or Beltran. Humber wasn't going anywhere, and Gomez was nice, but far too raw. Mulvey and Gurrera were good talents, but who knows how they'll turn out. The key is that the Mets kept Fernando Martinez, their top prospect who played pretty well this spring. Oh, and he's 18 years old. But you know about him, or you wouldn't be reading this blog.
That's it for now. Season preview coming tomorrow.