As we get closer to going into full gear for Spring Training, every Met fan has to wonder what will become of our quest for 2010. I am under the belief that we will be competitive despite how things look outwardly with on the field personnel and the much bandied about organizational stuff. Multiple media reports speculate that the Mets are done spending, as if to imply that the well is essentially dry. Being the optimist I am, I wonder what other moves can be made that will help to improve us in a positive way on what could be a defining season for the organization and fan base as a whole. There aren’t a lot of options left out there but let’s look at few names.
1B- Russell Branyan, C- Rod Barajas, 2B- Felipe Lopez, RP- Kiko Calero, SP- Braden Looper, SP- John Smoltz, SP-Jarrod Washburn, OF- Jermaine Dye, SP- Paul Byrd, RP- Chad Bradford, 1B- Hank Blalock, RP- Joe Beimel, SP- Pedro Martinez, RP- Scott Eyre, SP- Kip Wells, OF- Johnny Damon, OF- Rocco Baldelli, and C- Paul Bako are just a few of the names that are still out there unsigned.
Most of them have something that makes them interesting to the Mets, but there’s a difference between window shopping and going inside with a credit card in hand. Some even have blatant “buyer beware” tags on them for recent extensive health, durability, or poor defensive issues. Some are just not considered to be very good. Depends on who you ask. Still, a few of these players could probably fill gaping needs in the rotation, the bullpen, and on the bench.
Who do you like? Who has the best chances of helping our team take a few steps forward?
If I had a choice, I would grab Russell Branyan over Hank Blalock. I think Blalock is too one-dimensional right now, while Branyan would give the Mets some added pop in their lineup along with a .867 OPS.
I like Smoltz if as a fifth starter if absolutely needed, but more so for bullpen depth. He brings intangibles that the younger pitchers can glean from as well.
Chad Bradford was always a favorite and I don’t think we should have ever let him go in the first place, but that’s just me. I also like Joe Beimel for depth (decent ERA and strikeout numbers) with Scott Eyre not too far behind.
Get Rod Barajas so he can bring that “fight” to the team and challenge those younger pitchers with the “yips”. He’s got a history of managing these types of situations unlike Omir Santos who is currently the favorite to play full time right now. Felipe Lopez works since O-Dog is history for yet another year. A case can also be made for Washburn. I’m just not the one to make it. This is what it has come down to. Who knows until the season officially starts, what a minor change here and there can do to help our team in the long term. So…….Buy or don’t buy?