Will Alderson acquire the players needed to "be prepared"....Scouts Honor?
Terry Collins and David Wright are promoting "being prepared" as to how the Mets will compete with the likes of the Philadelphia Phillies. Given the current payroll, the killer contracts of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo and holding prospects that are dear to the team, options are few right now.
There may be a few "diamonds in the rough" that may keep us in the running in the NL East. Here are 10 possible acquisitions that may fit the bill, help with the better preparation and are economically feasible for this year. In 2012 there will be more cash flow for better options.
Carlos Zambrano could be a pitcher looking for a new environment. He would stand up to the New York baseball environment and could flourish. He has a no-trade clause that would come into play. The Mets could offer up Reese Havens, hopefully recovered from his injury issues, and a few lower level prospects.
If we could throw in Luis Castillo, that would be a bonus and a relief. Zambrano also has a bat that doesn't hurt a lineup at all. Terry Collins would have to exert control and have Zambrano win a merit badge for preparation and demeanor.
Tom Gorzelanny may be the fall back option if there is no deal for Zambrano to be had. Could offer up a similar package in draft picks and lower level prospects for this lefty. He can eat up innings and fill a 2 or 3 spot in the rotation contingent upon the return of Santana.
Matt Garza may come at a high price with names like Jenrry Mejia, Wilmer Flores or Dillon Gee as the major part of a package with perhaps a few lower level names involved. Garza is a workhorse, going 15-10 for the Rays last year.
You cannot really argue any downside for Garza, other than the price and how he will earn perhaps more than the Mets are willing to pay in cash via arbitration or cost in the form of prospects.
Jacoby Ellsbury would make the New York Mets outfield speedy and fantastic, and he can play anywhere. Would the Red Sox prefer a given entity in Carlos Beltran who can bang balls off the green monster and play a better center than Cameron? Can a deal be worked out where there is a straight-up trade involving Beltran for Ellsbury and Papelbon in terms of unloading nasty contracts? There needs to be consideration given to Jose Reyes leading off followed by an Ellsbury. That could jump start the offense and deliver some runs.
Paul Maholm has had some decent numbers even though he was pitching for the Pirates. He was shopped around previously with the Pirates looking for a ready starter and other compensation. I would offer up Pedro Beato for Maholm or a similar arm. He can start and can come out of the bullpen.
A bit of a stretch here being in the same division, but not a bad idea to remove a viable backup plan if one of the big arms go down which is likely. It will take a Wilmer Flores for this to happen and Jimmy Rollins is becoming a bit of a question mark. Apparently Flores is destined to be moved from shortstop after some bulking up. Can the Mets afford Flores and Blanton's contract? Mets need arms and there can be an appeal to the Wilpon family for the right guy.
Jeff Keppinger is the odd man out in Houston between Cliff Barmes and Bill Hall. He is a solid, inexpensive player that was a Met. He hit .288 last year and is a very dependable fielder that can play infield positions. Keppinger could be had for a Ruben Tejada and another prospect. If we could send Luis Castillo instead of Tejada and throw in some prospect, we could probably pry him away. He certainly puts the ball in play. Terry Collins loves this type of player. Could result in a platoon with Danny Murphy who also could play 1B spelling Ike Davis.
Jason Kubel has apparently fell out of grace in Minnesota with their young established outfield (Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Delmon Young with Jason Repko a fourth). Kubel can be a viable fourth outfielder option for the Mets who has some pop and can play RF. Some questions about his defense and 2009 being a fluke. This is a Terry Collins player as well.
This will be expensive in prospects but cheap in the long hall given Fausto Carmono's contract that is locked up until 2013 with options. There would need to be a package of prospects including names that would hurt but Carmona regained his composure in 2010 that was lost in 2009. Wilmer Flores, Fernando Martinez, Dillon Gee and a lower-level top prospect as examples of a package, Carmona would be a great addition to the rotation and necessary until Santana returns.
And the Mets should consider some used bats for Oliver Perez.