On Friday, veteran sports writer Marty Noble wrote a great column which was featured on mets.com. Noble reveals some of the buzz surrounding the Mets front office, including some potential strategies and even some of the specific players that they may be targeting this offseason.
The Mets have not said publicly which players most interest them, but people within the organization who are familiar with the club’s thinking have mentioned Holliday, Bay, Lackey, Marquis, Wolf, Cameron, Hudson, Glaus and two catchers who are eligible to file — Bengie Molina and Rod Barajas.
Most of those players have already been bandied about the Mets blogosphere including here at MMO, but this is the first time that I’ve read something other than a bloggers speculation on first baseman Troy Glaus and Mike Cameron.
I believe that signing either of those players would accomplish very little and would tell me that the Omar Minaya has learned little from the mistakes of the last three years. Both of them have to be considered major injury risks at this point in their careers. Additionally, if Glaus is even in the mix at first base, I’d much rather have Carlos Delgado back with an incentive laden deal.
The following is a list of a few more detailed moves that a team source has revealed to Noble.
The Mets’ needs are so many that they cannot establish one course of action. Signing one or two of the primary free agents would make a difference. But if that can’t be accomplished, what then? Some possibilities the Mets have discussed follow:
• Pursue Cameron to play left field, thereby improving the outfield defense and adding some power. That would reduce Angel Pagan to a reserve role, which is what the club prefers. Chances are the Mets would want Cameron for one season, affording more time for Fernando Martinez to develop.
• Include Luis Castillo in a trade package and hope to fill a need with what they receive in return and then sign Hudson to play second base. The Mets believe that Castillo’s renaissance season and, in particular, his on-base average, .387, have made him attractive to other clubs. Hudson, who lost his second-base job with the Dodgers, is not likely to be pursued by too many clubs.
• Sign Glaus, a right-handed power hitter, to a conditional contract and have him available to share first base with Murphy and provide power off the bench. That would all but eliminate Delgado from the Mets’ thoughts. But for now, the club is considering offering Delgado a conditional contract.
• Sign Wolf and package a starter on the Mets’ roster — not Johan Santana, of course — to acquire a No. 2 starter or a slugging outfielder.
It gets a little bit more interesting here, especially where he writes about trading a current Mets starter to acquire a number 2 starter. Does this imply a potential trade of Mike Pelfrey? Obviously, John Maine and Jon Niese have to first prove that they are healthy before having any significant trade value, and Oliver Perez may be the only pitcher in the game whose addition would actually be a subtraction or have a negative impact on a team. The only viable Mets starter who has any value, although it isn’t much, is Mike Pelfrey, whose promise and potential outweighs his actual performance in the majors last season.
With regard to trading Luis Castillo, I’m not so sure that ditching him and replacing him with Orlando Hudson is such a great idea. Don’t get me wrong, I love the O-Dog, but Castillo had a better average and on-base percentage, and if you’re making the move to add more power, Hudson only hit nine homers last season and just two in the second half. I’m not as down on Castillo as I was a year ago.
It’s so hard to try and figure out a solid game plan for this team right now. They have too many areas of concern, questions about cash flow still exist, and it seems that they would need to make at least a half dozen impact moves to put them back on track. I don’t see an easy way out of this mess, and what worries me most is that the architect of this mess is the one being counted on to fix it. I thought that one of our goals was to get younger, but if we’re looking at players such as Hudson, Glaus and Cameron to fill vital roles on the team, I’m not sure that Omar Minaya got that memo.
Anyway, what are some of your thoughts regarding this glimpse into the Mets thinking as we dive into the hot stove season?