The Winter Meetings Have Been Pretty Un-Amazin’ So Far

An article by posted on December 5, 2007

Frustrating…

For a team that played .500 baseball since June of last year… for a team that blew a historic seven game lead in a matter of two weeks… for a team who was manhandled by the Florida Marlins and Washington Nationals… I would have expected a far more aggressive pursuit of a top starter, a top reliever, and a power laden left handed bat. Instead we are  treated to an assortment of canned talk and well thought out sound bytes. Frustrating…

If you haven’t read this mornings papers, you better have a seat…

In an offseason when the Mets are learning the hard way that no one finds their top prospects all that attractive, this was the most piercing insult. When they asked the Marlins about Dontrelle Willis at the winter meetings earlier this week, they were told not to bother because he wasn’t available.

That would be the same Dontrelle Willis the Marlins were set to trade along with Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers Tuesday.

The difference is the Tigers had the kind of prized prospects that are at the root of every big trade or potential trade this winter. In lefthander Andrew Miller, the No. 6 pick in the 2006 draft, and outfielder Cameron Maybin, the 10th pick in the 2005 draft, the Tigers had two of the most highly regarded young players in baseball.

Personally, I still say the Mets would have a better chance of winning a championship over the next few years with David Eckstein as their shortstop and Santana as their ace than they do at the moment with Reyes as the leadoff hitter on a team that desperately needs a No.1 starter.   – John Harper, Daily News

Just talked to an American League scout who watched Philip Humber extensively last season and was not impressed. In fact, when his team suggested making a deal for Humber, as part of a package for one of their regular starters, this scout helped shoot it down. While Humber’s curve ball is definitely a plus, he’s not viewed as a top quality prospect by other clubs, and that’s hurting the Mets’ efforts to include him in a deal for an elite starter like the Orioles’ Erik Bedard or the A’s Dan Haren.

The Orioles already had turned down the Mets’ offer of Humber, Carlos Gomez and Aaron Heilman for Bedard. It’s believed the Mets’ chances would improve by swapping Mike Pelfrey for Humber, but even then, it may not be enough. - David Lennon, Newsday

The Mets are all about hush-hush these days at the Winter Meetings. "Keep it quiet" is their battle cry, though they are apt to whisper it. They say little publicly and, according to one general manager, not all that much behind closed doors, perhaps because they don’t want to remind other clubs how shallow their player reserve is.

"The Mets probably didn’t have enough to compete for any of the big names out there before they traded Milledge," a National League GM said late Tuesday. "Now it’s almost like they’re grasping at straws. They’re just too thin. Give Omar credit for trying, but it doesn’t look like they can be taken seriously."

Moreover, people familiar with the Mets’ maneuvering here said the club was unaware Willis had been made available. He might have been a pretty good get for the Mets, though not on the same level of Bedard, Santana or Haren.

This is where the lack of significant progress made by Pelfrey and Humber last season undermines the Mets a second time. The club had anticipated 12, maybe 14 victories combined from the two. Instead, the three victories Pelfrey produced in September stood alone. Pelfrey lost eight games. Humber had no decisions. – Marty Noble, Mets.com

While everyone thought the Mets were hunkered down for three hours in a hotel suite with the Orioles, it turned out it wasn’t the Mets in there, but the Dodgers. Reports are that the Mets spent the entire day in their own suite calling agents for Shawn Chacon, Livan Hernandez and Octavio Dotel.

Further reports have revealed that the Mets have not had any contact with Oakland or Baltimore, and that all of the earlier rumors and reports were simply not true.

There’s still plenty of time to improve this team, but let’s face it… I think we all expected a greater sense of urgency than what we’ve seen so far. It’s pretty sad that other GM’s are saying that when they pass Omar in the corridors, his head is down with a sheepish look, unlike years past when he walked with a swagger, a smile, and a gleam in his eye. Rather than being open and the most highly visible GM at the Meetings like he was the last two years, this year he locks himself in his suite, orders room service, and works the phones with his 12 person entourage.

They could have done that from New York…

So there you have it… Our Winter Meetings – Day 2 Recap. Let’s see what Day 3 brings…

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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