Baseball Winter Meetings Wrap-Up: Disappointment for the New York Mets
BY MICHAEL GANCI
Well, the winter meetings are wrapping up tonight, and the Mets are officially no better then they were before the week started.
We saw plenty of rumors in the works, but it seemed like the Mets used this week to simply jockey for position with some trade talk and free agency. Although it was an eventful week, nothing notable developed for the Mets in Indianapolis.
The week started on Dec. 7 with rumors galore. Funny enough, he first thing that I read on Monday morning spoke about the Mets’ potential interest in Royals’ righty Gil Meche, and there was talk that a deal involving he and Luis Castillo could possibly be discussed. The Royals shut that rumor down pretty quickly.
Then, Tom Haines of Phillyblurb.com did one of the biggest no-nos in sports reporting. He reported a trade that never happened.
Haines reported that the Mets and Rays had agreed to a swap of Pat Burrell for Luis Castillo. Thankfully, the report ended up being wrong. I would rather hang onto Luis than deal him for garbage.
After that whole debacle, we found out that Elmer Dessens is likely to re-sign with the Mets. Call the press! The Mets might as well engrave their names on the championship banner next year if this happens. You get the sarcasm? I certainly hope so.
The next rumor that was flying around was the nauseating type again. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Mets apparently have interest in Adam Kennedy if they find a taker for Luis Castillo.
Is it me? But does that seem like an upgrade? I don’t think so.
Orlando Hudson should be the primary target if the Mets find a taker for Castillo, or they could keep Luis around after he did so well last season.
But this team never does anything that makes any sense.
Another crazy thing that was being discussed was a rumor from “The Lobby” that said the Mets were close to landing Tigers’ righty Edwin Jackson.
The next rumor was far from surprising. Foxsports.com reported that the Mets were going to step up their pursuit of Bengie Molina.
The Mets seem to be playing hardball with him due to lack of suitors. I think they will eventually sign him to a two-year deal. I just hope he is not the Mets’ big offensive acquisition of the winter.
According to ESPN.com’s Jason Stark, the Mets are one of seven teams that has some interest in free agent first baseman Nick Johnson.
I know he is a patient and solid hitter, but his history of injuries really bother me and steer me against signing him. I think the Mets would be better off with a healthy Murphy than an injured Johnson.
John Lackey’s representatives met with the Mets for a discussion. I think the Mets were ultimately just trying to get a feel for what kind of contract he is looking for. I just don’t see a match here.
The Mets are not going to exceed the contract that the Yankees handed out to A.J. Burnett last winter, so I see a team like the Mariners maybe vying for his services. Don’t discount a return to Los Angeles either.
Next, the Mets started exploring some B-Plan options for the outfield, and word had them looking at both Josh Willingham and Juan Rivera as potential options.
The Angels are reportedly interested in Jason Bay, so that could make Rivera expendable. He would be a nice option for the Mets. The Nationals have already made it quite clear that Willingham will not be going anywhere anytime soon.
Notice the trend here? All of these are rumors, unless you count the Elmer Dessens part. Anyway, let’s continue.
Next, possibly the most important news since the winter meetings started for the Mets. Joel Sherman reported that the Mets are confident that Jose Reyes will be ready for spring training. Anyone remember him? He’s a pretty vital part of this team’s success.
The Mets also checked in with free agent Kelvim Escobar, and they also talked with the Orioles about Kevin Millwood. Nothing much materialized out of either one of those things.
Next, we found out about another trade rumor that made me nauseous. The Mets and Brewers discussed swapping John Maine for Corey Hart. Isn’t Corey Hart just a duplicate of Jeff Francoeur, except not as good?
The Mets can ill afford to deal a guy who has promise to win more than 10 games for a guy who is coming off of his worst season as a pro. No thanks.
As the Brewers were on the verge of signing Randy Wolf, the Mets made a late push. Word says that they offered two years and the offer was pretty laughable, so Wolf continued on to sign with Milwaukee. I guess this is Omar’s way of showing he can be involved.
Then…it happened. The Mets made a move that we will all soon forget. They signed Mike Hessman to a minor-league contract. Excuse me while I do the happy dance.
The Mets then talked to the agents for Ben Sheets and Yorvit Torrealba. I would like a low-base high-incentive contract for Sheets. Torrealba can go take a hike. I guess he has a short memory after what happened the last time he negotiated with Omar.
The Mets have interest in Joel Pineiro and Jason Marquis. Where have we heard that before. Personally, I prefer Pineiro, but I would like either of these guys to be added to the mix.
A sad moment followed that. The Mets said goodbye to Andy Green. Although you never occupied prominent role on the team, I will always have a space reserved for you in my heart.
Last but not least, the Mets made a pretty substantial offer to Jason Bay, reportedly worth $65 million over four years. I think it is going to take another year and a little more money to get something done, and this would make for a huge acquisition.
Something like five years and $80 million might get a deal done. As much as I would love to see him on the Mets, I just can’t see Bay leaving Boston.
So let’s recap the recap, shall we? Here are the moves the Mets made.
Mets Sign Mike Hessman to a minor league contract.
Mets Release Andy Green
Playoffs, here we come.
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