For the month of July, the Mets are every bit as bad as they were good in June. Exactly 1 month ago, the Mets were hot and heavy for Cliff Lee. Now, personally, I thought the Mets should have made a move a month ago, when the situation was that the team could land a starter to cement a rotation that was obviously, an arm short. My thinking now is that the Mets may have waited too long…but trying to be realistic, the front office may have wanted to deal, but just found the price exorbitant in both prospects and dollars.
The report from Mike Puma in today’s NY Post about the Mets trying to deal Jeff Francouer, and Rob Johnson’s (HoJo’s Mojo) take on it got me thinking who else could be a trade candidate off the Mets MLB roster…
It came to me, that Rod Barajas, who the Mets and Jerry Manuel have continued to trot out there is possibly being showcased.
No other explanation is possible. Josh Thole, who has done an incredible job pinch hitting and handling RA Dickey, appears to have shown that his contact bat and ever improving catching skills may be part of the tonic this lineup needs to assist in resuscitating the anemic Met offense,.
Barajas, a breath of fresh air in the clubhouse, and a guy pitchers like to throw to, has value. Because of his low salary, his ability to hit the occasional bomb, and his ability to handle a pitching staff, a team in the race in need of catching may want to take a chance (Detroit, with the anemic hitting of starter Gerald Laird may want to have a look/see.)
I’m not saying this team is out of the race, nor am I advocating dealing useful veterans, but if Josh Thole continues his hitting, where does Rod fit?
It’s unrealistic to expect the Mets to carry 3 catchers over the course of the rest of this season.
It reads this way Met Nation, 12 pitchers, 1 catcher, 7 other regulars, 20 roster spots. This leaves just Alex Cora and Chris Carter and Jeff Francouer as the lone bats on the bench, besides the 2 catchers not playing, of which 1 must be held back in the event of an injury. It reduces the latitude the Manager has in making moves, double switches, pinch hitting etc. It’s fine if you have the DH in the AL, but in the NL where the pitcher hits, it doesn’t work. Too many times, strategic decisions can’t be made correctly without the proper roster depth.
I’ve seen the report from Mike Puma. If the Mets can get salary relief from dealing Francouer, so be it. I’m not a huge Frenchy fan, and can’t stand watching him hack at every pitch thrown to him. Specifically, if his being dealt is done to free up available dollars to bring in a reliever or starter or both, fine.
Rumors continue to abound about Met interest in Octavio Dotel on Foxsports and the Denver Post, and reported by Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette in his notes today. Dotel, would be an upgrade, and help a bullpen that needs some in the 8th inning for sure.
If Barajas could net a ‘B’ type prospect, he should be dealt. Thole becomes the starter, with Blanco backing him up. I believe the Mets to be unsure whether they believe in Thole, but sometimes, you need to just recognize that 6 years of Josh Thole is a much better prospect that Barajas for 2-3 more months.
If the Mets deal Francouer and Barajas while acquiring Dotel and adding a starter I’ll take my punchers’ chances in August and September…