Mets Merized Online » Roy Oswalt Mon, 01 Feb 2016 23:26:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Is Roy Oswalt An Option For The Mets? Tue, 21 Feb 2012 18:30:54 +0000 With Roy Oswalt still on the market, seemingly holding out for either the Rangers or Cardinals to make a decision, will the right-hander be left with an ultimatum similar to the Manny Ramirez situation a few years ago and sign with a willing team or will he sit the year out in hopes of getting signed to a contender for the late-summer push. I feel as if with Oswalt’s options running down, his ability to be selective in this market is going to lead him to pitch for an unexpected team. Can that team be the Mets?

1. Yes

Oswalt wants to win, and is such a competitor that the thought of missing part or all of the year because he did not wind up on his preferred team seem foolish. While the Mets are apparently hamstrung financially, Sandy Alderson is adept at knowing the values and has thus far in his brief stint shown he will strike when the iron is hot. If the Mets could offer Oswalt a 1 yr/6-8 million contract with some incentives, then maybe the Texas native would debate coming to pitch against his former team, who decided against resigning him and instead splurged on closer Johnathan Papelbon. Oswalt could be a mentor to the younger pitchers, and would give the Mets a substantially better rotation. In terms of capitalizing on the investment, Oswalt could be easily flipped to a team in the playoff push looking for a starter. While it may not net the same caliber player as Zach Wheeler, a franchise looking for an established starter may be willing to part with something that could be a part of the Mets future

2. Maybe

Roy is still unsigned, and as spring-training approaches has been steadfast in his wishes to pitch for a select number of teams. With the Mets possibly being a year or two away from true contention, would Oswalt want to go into a situation that is in limbo just to be able to pitch? Oswalt could just utilize the 1 year deal angle to rebuild his value for what may amount to his last big contract in the majors. Edwin Jackson, many years his junior was forced to take a one-year deal, and in this market many players have used it as a launching-pad. Maybe a healthy year of Roy will get a team to give him a 3 year/36 million dollar deal to ride off into the sunset.

3. No

The Mets aren’t going to win this year, so Roy would essentially be rehashing the role he wanted out of on the Astros. Though the Mets are nowhere near as bad as the Astros, they are going through financial troubles, have an offense with more questions than answers and although may be willing to pay, will probably look to move the starter. Winning is the name of the game, and the Mets just don’t have it.

While all three of these ideas make logical sense, the biggest question remains the finances. If the Mets made the offer, meaning they’d be around the 100 million dollar mark, would Roy even accept it? Sandy knows not to throw good money at bad money, but one-year deals are the new rentals in the MLB and Chris Capuano, a much lesser pitcher with a much spottier injury history used his average year on the Mets to land a 2 year/10 million dollar deal. If Roy could turn in a year similar to last year, keep the ERA below 4 and pitch 27-28 games, then it wouldn’t seem out of line for a team in the offseason looking to pick up Mr. Oswalt.

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MMO Exclusive Interview: Mets Pitching Prospect Logan Verrett Fri, 10 Feb 2012 17:45:23 +0000

I got in touch with NY Mets 2011 3rd round draft choice Logan Verrett the other day. Verrett a 6’3″ right-hander, is in his final off-season preparations before heading out to spring training at Port St. Lucie in less than two weeks. Logan was nice enough to fill us in on his feelings on being drafted by the Mets, his record-setting college career, his pitching arsenal, and his expectations for his first professional season, which is now right around the corner. Take a look inside to see what else Logan had to say:

Petey:  First of all Logan, congratulations on a big year in 2011. Being the 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft by the Mets, and then signing your first professional contract in the 11th hour before the deadline, must have been quite a thrill! Thank you so much for sharing a little of your time. The readers at will really enjoy reading about you, and getting to know a little bit about one of our newest Met pitching prospects! When the Mets drafted you out of Baylor University last June, how did you first hear about it, and what was that feeling like? Did you have any idea that the Mets were interested in drafting you, or which round(s) of the draft you might be taken in?

Logan:  On the second day of the draft me, my parents, and my girlfriend were all gathered around the computer watching the draft online. It seemed like forever that we were sitting there when we finally heard my name called. It was an overwhelming feeling of relief and excitement at the same time. I knew the Mets were interested because I had met with the area scout a couple of times and they had called the night before they drafted me.

Petey:  Is there one person, a coach, a friend or family member, or even another player, who you learned the most from, or who inspired you to chase your dream of becoming a major league baseball player?

Logan:  There are so many people that I owe for pushing me to reach my dream that I don’t even know where to begin. My parents are a major reason that I am a professional baseball player today, they are the ones that dragged me around every weekend from tournament to tournament. My brother, Jared, also taught me a lot about the game. He is 3 years older than me so he pretty much paved the path and he helped me learn from his experiences.

Petey:  While pitching at Baylor, you set Big 12 Conference records for a single season in K/BB ratio (4.14), and BB/9 (2.3). In addition, you set the career conference record for K/BB ratio (3.83). What were some of the most important things you learned from your experience at college and pitching college ball?

Logan:  One of the most important things that I learned in college which attributed to the records I set was simply that it’s not all about velocity. You have to be able to pitch not just throw. Anybody can square up 96 mph if you leave it down the middle of the plate, but if you can turn that into 92 mph on the corners and at the hitters knees then you are going to be very successful.

Petey:  What was your biggest moment on the field in college?

Logan:  I think that one of the biggest moments I had in college was my sophomore year when I pitched a complete game against Texas A&M, it was a big game not only because we beat one of our biggest rivals but because I set the record for most strikeouts at Baylor Ballpark that game.

Petey:  We have heard that you possess simple, repeatable mechanics and good command of three quality pitches. But for those of us that have never seen you pitch, could you tell us a little more about your arsenal? What pitches you throw, at what speeds, and how you set up hitters? Are you working on any new pitches moving forward?

Logan:  As a pitcher I like to keep things as simple as possible, I don’t want to “trick” a hitter. I think when you start thinking that you have to “trick” a hitter then that is when you can get in trouble. I set guys up with my fastball and keep them off balance with either my curveball, slider, or changeup. My fastball and slider are pitches that I have tremendous confidence in and I think they are very hard to hit. To complete my arsenal I have a pretty good curveball and an average changeup. I have been really working hard this offseason on developing my changeup to become a much better pitch for me.

Petey:  That will certainly serve you well when you pitch in the Florida State League, and the Eastern League. What kind of things did you do to stay in shape over the winter? Can you describe your workout regimen? Did the Mets give you anything specific to work on?

Logan:  This offseason I have been working hard to get stronger and improve as a pitcher. I have a strength coach in Houston that I meet with once a week to go through a workout and to get my workouts for the week. We have put a focus on leg strength as well as flexibility and hip mobility.

Petey:  You have been referred to as “durable” on the mound. Do you have a preference to starting or relieving, or is it something where you don’t care as long as the opportunity to pitch is there?

Logan:  I prefer starting, that is what my role has been ever since high school and it’s a role that I really have embraced, and love looking forward to going at least six or seven innings for my team.

Petey:  Tell us what is the biggest obstacle for you in getting to the major leagues? Is there one thing in particular, that you need to work on and improve to be able able to succeed at the highest level?

Logan:  I think in order for me to reach my ultimate goal of pitching in the major leagues I have to be consistent week in and week out. I’m confident that I have the tools and the right people surrounding me to get me there, it is just going to take consistent outings every time I take the mound.

Petey:  What are your goals for next season? Is there a particular club you hope to make out of spring training? Have the Mets made any indication of what they are planning for you next season, or are those things to be decided in spring training?

Logan:  My expectations for this upcoming season are to lead whatever club I am with to a championship. I am truly blessed to have this opportunity and I am going to bring a winning attitude to the park every day with me no matter what club I am with.

Petey:  What was your favorite baseball team growing up? Your favorite player? Is there a major leaguer, either past or present, who you would say is similar in pitching style to you?

Logan:  Growing up so close to Houston naturally I was a bit of an Astros fan, nothing over the top though. It is so hard to be an Astros fan anyways. I always enjoyed watching Roy Oswalt pitch, and also watching Craig Biggio when he was playing second base for Oswalt.

Petey:  Biggio was an awesome player. I think every Mets fan who saw him play wished that he was on our team. I mean he was as hard-nosed and competitive a player as there ever was. And a NL All-Star at catcher, centerfield, and second base? Who does that? That’s just crazy. The guy has to make the HOF. Anyway, to finish up Logan, just a little personal info, not pertaining to baseball. What is your favorite movie? Favorite musician or band? Favorite food?

Logan:  My favorite types of movies are comedies first, and then I enjoy movies that make you think like Inception and Shutter Island, stuff like that. I love listening to Texas Country, which I know most people probably aren’t familiar with unless they are from Texas. But most Texas Country has a little Southern Rock feel to it, and some of my favorite artists are Randy Rogers Band, Robert Earl Keen, and Ryan Bingham. My favorite food is a little weird, but BBQ crabs are definitely my favorite food, it’s a lot of work to eat them but it is well worth it.

Petey:  Thanks again Logan, it was a lot of fun doing this interview with you. Have a great spring training, and 2012 season! All of us at MMO and Mets fans everywhere are looking forward to seeing you on the “bump” real soon.

Although the big league starting pitching will remain relatively untouched, and will have to do it’s improving from within this year, the true influx of talent into the organization will be seen in the starting rotations at Savannah and St. Lucie. Some recently drafted pitchers that will make their organizational debuts as starters this season are, in addition to Verrett, Cory Mazzoni, Tyler Pill, Jack Leathersich, Alex Panteliodis and Michael Fulmer. It should be an exciting year to follow these young pitching prospects, as there is plenty of talent here. Another strong pitching draft for the team in 2012, combined with a little luck and development from these guys, and this organizations farm system may start to move up the rankings soon, based on the strength of it’s pitching.

For more of my player interviews, and some other cool stuff, click here.


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The Untouchables Fri, 06 Aug 2010 12:10:16 +0000 Almost as predictable as the Mets falling short in the wins column these days is the projected fall-out that occurs after each loss.  Every beat writer or sports news outlet is trying to find the scapegoat.  I find that laughable, since I believe Jerry Manuel, Howard Johnson or Omar Minaya are symptoms of a larger problem. I can’t believe that letting any of those guys go will help in the short or long term, except maybe in the appeasement of fans department.

Likewise, some fans are lamenting trades that never happened or were close to happening at the deadline.  We talk mostly about the “core” and the parts of the team who are “untouchable.”  It was rumored that in the Houston Astros’ quest to find a suitor for pitcher Roy Oswalt, the Mets would have had to relinquish Jon Niese, one lovely surprise this season.  In other rumored trades, Josh Thole or Ike Davis were the “major league ready” talent at the very least.  According to the writers and sources “close to the Mets,” the major league ready talent were classified as “untouchable.”

Let’s think about that word for a minute.  Untouchable. One Webster Dictionary definition of “untouchable” means “not to be handled.”  In the baseball world, and in Mets terms, there are players who will not be moved around despite anything that happens to that player or the team while the player is there.

To a spectator, the core has been construed as Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Johan Santana, with supportive “home grown” players Davis, Thole and Niese (Mike Pelfrey to a lesser extent, since who knows what happened to him recently).  Let’s take a look at two members of this core: Jose Reyes and David Wright.  These two young guys are under contract for a few more years, and are incredibly cheap by most standards (especially by Mets standards, who have demonstrated the ability to overpay for unsubstantiated talent).  Wright made his debut in 2004, Reyes in 2003.  By most accounts, these two were the cornerstones, the future franchises, the Mets’ position player versions of our own franchise pitcher, Tom Seaver.

In the years they’ve been here, the team has been plagued with management-turnover and instability issues (Art Howe, Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel have all been skippers of the team in those years), leadership issues (Carlos Delgado was considered the leader with his bat, yet would disappear after abysmal performances, setting up comments by teammates who noticed as well) and veteran presence (Cliff Floyd and Moises Alou, who were both prone to injury, and “Captain Red Ass” Paul LoDuca).

However, in the years since the Boy Wonders signed their extensions, the Mets went on an improbable run in 2006, making it to Game 7 in the NLCS, monumentally collapsing in 2007, falling apart at the end of 2008, no comment on 2009, to now: playing .500 ball 2/3 of the way into the season, which does not leave a huge margin of error down the stretch.  If you noticed, heartbreak is a more common theme than actual triumph in those years.

The only true “constant” they’ve had is that Omar Minaya has been the General Manager most of their years with the Mets and Jeff Wilpon has been around all those years.  It was Minaya himself who signed the “Dynamic Duo,” as they were heralded, to extensions in 2006, guaranteeing they would be Mets for several more years.

The Mets are projected to be a .500 team going down the stretch, and were so predicted by computers in the preseason.  The Mets also boast the fifth highest payroll in Major League Baseball at $132.7 million, and the third highest in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies.  Clearly, payroll isn’t everything, since the Cubs are having their own nightmare of a season, and the Phillies are being bit by the same injury bug that plagued the Mets in 2009 (but they are still executing).

The Mets have been underachieving and accepting of it since, oh I would say June 2007.   It’s one thing to make moves and act like a big market team, which is clear they try to project on the ownership and management side.  However, getting the least out of the players and parts you have is another story.

I believe it’s a bit shortsighted of management to at least not consider offers for under contract players who are the supposed cornerstones of the franchise.  If ownership is truly committed to win and not by pure profit, then studying moves would be necessary to initiate a WINNING CULTURE.  Fans are getting restless, and I have to believe the players are as well.  They come to New York for fame, money and championships.  The current Mets may not exactly be the “Worst Team Money Can Buy,” but it’s certainly the most mediocre and blase team one can buy.

For $130-plus million, it can achieve a lot more.  Come October 3, 2010, this team may need to be reevaluated for those purposes.  If the players are the problem, and they are not executing, it’s time to get rid of them.  I want to state for the record: I am not advocating trades of Reyes or Wright.  Beltran has a no-trade clause; I’d also like to point out that Roy Oswalt did as well and waived it.  Moving right along, Johan Santana is a great “problem” to have.  For the record that I was not exactly “supportive” of trading away Niese or Thole or Davis for half-year rentals or even under-contract injuries-waiting-to-happen at the deadline.  However, if the Mets truly end up as a .500 team this season, why would there be so many untouchable pieces?  I am not saying a vanity move of trading Jeff Francoeur, who would not net a lot in return.  Cutting Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo outright would speak volumes; again, don’t see it happening.

I have to wonder what ownership is thinking these days.  Reporters need their “headlines,” and who better to talk to than Mr. Money Bags himself, Fred Wilpon.  Wilpon suggested that Minaya was safe for 2011 and that he believed Jeff Wilpon to be doing an “excellent” job.  Seriously, was Fred going to say something scandalous by suggesting Minaya could be on his way out or that he thought his son was doing a terrible job of managing the baseball operations?  However, it does bring me pause in the elder Wilpon’s thinking that if he believes things are going swimmingly, we can all expect more of the same in 2011.

MMO’s own Tie Dyed wrote a passionate piece on David Wright recently, projecting that if he walked, it could be devastating to the franchise like Tom Seaver’s trade was.  I see the comparison, but it would be a different environment since it would be contractual and not via trade.  Minaya is terrible at evaluating, dollars-wise, major league talent, what’s to say he would get anything of value for these guys anyway?  Perhaps it was luck that the Mets parted with such little in the Johan Santana trade (however, that was more Minaya overvaluing his own prospects…I digress).

All of this is hypothetical.  The Mets could possibly turn it on and go 44-14 in this next stretch and surprise us all.  Jeff Wilpon could say that Omar Minaya is being reassigned within the organization at the end of 2010, and that Howard Megdal is taking over the General Manager operations.  Come Opening Day 2011, we could all be high-fiving each other during the ring ceremony (yes, I still have a bit of Kool-Aid left).

If the path of .500 is enough to warrant that any player, no matter how good, is “untouchable,” then this team is in more trouble than the standings can ever point out.

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Roy Oswalt Approves Trade, He Will Be A Phillie Thu, 29 Jul 2010 18:45:36 +0000 Done Deal!

Jayson Stark of is reporting that Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt has agreed to a deal that will send him to the Philadelphia Phillies for J.A. Happ and two minor leaguers, Jonathon Villar and Anthony Gose. In other words, the Phillies keep their top two hitting and top two pitching prospects.

That would be the equivalent of trading Bobby Parnell or Jon Niese, plus Lucas Duda and Scott Moviel. Basically, Oswalt straight up for Niese or Parnell. <shakeshead>

Give it up for the Phillies GM, who once again swoops in and lands the biggest fish in the sea for his team and fanbase.

The Phillies mean business and they will stop at nothing to deliver another winner to the city of Philadelphia.

With their offense finally clicking and posting huge numbers again, Oswalt should just about seal the deal for the defending National League Champs, and barring inury or a Mets-like choke, they will once again be printing post season tickets for their fans come September.

The Astros will pay $11 million of the approximately $23 million Oswalt has guaranteed through 2011, and most likely the Phillies will exercise the 2012 option as part of the agreement.

That will give the Phillies a 1-2 punch of Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt through the next three seasons; two of the premier pitchers in baseball.

Cole Hamels goes from number two pitcher, to probably the best number three pitcher in the league if not the game.

If great pitching really does beat great hitting, and if pitching is 90% of the game, then the Phillies have just gotten a ton better.

Let’s ask Johan who the best pitcher in the NL East is again, because a lot has changed since last March.

Original Post 9:19 AM

According to KRIV in Houston, the Philadelphia Phillies have made a deal with the Houston Astros for Roy Oswalt.

The deal is now pending Oswalt’s approval as he would need to waive his no-trade clause.

Ken Rosenthal of says Oswalt could require the Phillies to guarantee his club option for 2012 in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause. He does not want to go to Philadelphia, according to one source with knowledge of his thinking. But Oswalt told reporters earlier this week, “location doesn’t matter.”

Jon Heyman of via Twitter writes that the Astros and Phillies were discussing J.A. Happ, RHP Vance Worley, and two younger pitchers.

Obviously, if Oswalt approves the trade, this will bolster the Phillies for a strong finish and another post season run.

As for the Mets, they were never in it. They never spoke to the Astros about Oswalt and never had any intention of taking on his salary. In fact, several reports now say that they are not in the mix for Ted Lilly or Brett Myers.

More to come…

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Doo… Dah… Dippity… Mon, 26 Jul 2010 17:50:07 +0000 Every now and then, my corny side rears it’s ugly head and you end up getting a silly post like this. But this is supposed to be fun, right?

With the trade deadline only five days away, things are getting kind of dicey. Lee and Haren are already gone, but there’s still some solid choices out there for the Mets who could use a starter or a shut down reliever.

The choice is yours, the choice is yours… 

Roy Oswalt (6-12, 3.42 ERA 1.109 WHIP)

You Can Go With This…


6.15 ERA

Or You Can Go With That!


Ted Lilly (3-8, 3.88 ERA, 1.121 WHIP)

You Can Go With This…


1.975 WHIP

Or You Can Go With That!


Joakim Soria (2.25 ERA, 1.124 WHIP, 27 Saves)

Or You Can Go With This…


7.9 BB/9

Or You Can Go With That!


Fausto Carmona (10-7, 3.51 ERA, 1.283 WHIP) 

Or You Can Go With This…


3 Wins Since Signing $36MM Deal

Or You Can Go With That!


Zach Grienke (6-9, 3.59 ERA, 1.134 WHIP)

But This Is Kinda Phat!!!


Doo… Dah… Dippity!


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Heyman’s 22 Best Available Pitchers Sun, 18 Jul 2010 18:17:01 +0000’s Jon Heyman, ranks the 22 best available pitchers at the trade deadline now that Cliff Lee is off the board.

1. Dan Haren, Diamondbacks, starting pitcher. One GM said he heard the asking price for Haren, who is reasonably salaried (he’s due $12.75M next season) for a bona fide young ace and signed through 2012, is two starters plus bullpen help. Good luck identifying the team that can meet that price. Another GM said he concluded Haren isn’t really available at all, but yet another GM insisted, “All their guys except (Justin) Upton and maybe (Ian) Kennedy are available.” With Arizona wanting to revamp, there surely is some price for Haren — though it’s understandably high.

2. Joakim Soria, Royals, relief pitcher. It’s a long shot that he’ll go anywhere; the Royals are usually reluctant to trade off big pieces because they sometimes think they’re still in contention even though no one else does. But if he becomes available — and that’s a big “if” — it’ll be a feeding frenzy. Could help just about any team, starting with both New York teams, but not nearly ending there. A trade of Soria would “surprise,” one competing GM said. “They do a very good job of believing they’re in it every year,” he added.

3. Roy Oswalt, Astros, SP. This, says one GM, is a “problematic” trade. It appears no team, not even the Yankees or Red Sox, wants to spend the $25 million left on Oswalt’s deal through next season. Plus, some GMs say they are under the impression Oswalt wants his $16 million option for 2012 picked up, which could be a deal killer for many, if not most, teams. And while the Astros have signaled they might be willing to contribute toward that amount, they’d want big-time prospects back to do so. Then there’s the matter of Oswalt’s no-trade clause. “I hear he only wants to go to a couple teams,” one GM said. Oswalt demanded a trade but isn’t making it easy.

4. Ricky Nolasco, Marlins, SP. Marlins executive Larry Beinfest said they will consider just about anything, and while Josh Johnson and Hanley Ramirez are assumed to be staying, they have other very good players who could help plenty of teams. The 27-year-old Nolasco, who is 9-6 with a 4.55 ERA, should have very good value.

5. Ted Lilly, Cubs, SP. A few GMs said they believe the Mets make the most sense. And they probably do, since Lilly has been a winner in the National League and seemed to enjoy his time in New York, where he pitched for the Yankees from 2000-02. His numbers and velocity aren’t at their peak, but teams believe he’s a bulldog and can help. And with $6 million remaining on his contract before he becomes a free agent at year’s end, the Cubs might actually get a decent piece back for him. The Cubs aren’t sellers yet, and some competing execs think that order would likely have to come from ownership. “Certainly, this is (Lou) Piniella‘s last year, and he can’t be anxious to be a seller,” one GM said. Even if they are, they’re stuck with Alfonso Soriano ($136 million, eight-year deal runs through 2014), Carlos Zambrano ($91.5 million, five-year deal runs through 2012) and Kosuke Fukudome ($6 million to go this year and $13.5 million next year; “good luck moving that one,” one competitor said.)

6. Fausto Carmona, Indians, SP. All-Star pitcher has had a nice turnaround, from 5-12 with a 6.32 ERA last year to 8-7 with a 3.64 ERA this year. “They like their rotation,” said one GM who envisions Cleveland holding on to Carmona. Another noted that the club has three option years for 2012, ’13 and ’14 on Carmona, sand said, “They have to figure they’ll be a factor within four years.” Probably will stay.

7. Jake Westbrook, Indians, SP. Solid starter, who missed most of 2008 and all of 2009 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. In the words of one competing GM Westbrook “could be a year away from full strength.”

8. Octavio Dotel, Pirates, RP. He’s thrived in Pittsburgh’s pen this year, and with Evan Meek there, he looks like an obvious trade chip. His original team, the Mets, could be a fit, as could several others.

9. Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays, SP. Another one in the speculative category, but opposing GMs are wondering. Though one said, “I don’t think they’d move their young starters. That’s what’s gotten them where they are.”

10. Edwin Jackson, Diamondbacks, SP. The no-hit man isn’t really an ace but he has a high salary (he’s owed $8.35M next year) that will limit his value. But he’s obviously pitching better lately.

Check out Heyman’s full article for the rest of the list.

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Let’s Do This Thing Wed, 14 Jul 2010 20:07:09 +0000 The All-Star game is behind us, and I’d like to thank Brian McCann for the game-winning hit that will give the Mets home field advantage in the World Series. You think that’s far-fetched?  Well, it’s not.  The Mets are just 4 games back of Atlanta and have a lot to be optimistic about.  Carlos Beltran returns tomorrow in San Fran, and a lot has gone right for the Mets without him. That’s not to say this team doesn’t have flaws, because it does, and they reared their ugly head against Cincy and Atlanta last week.  But the Mets are a true contender.

Lots of things have to bounce right, but it feels good knowing the Mets have a great shot at the postseason and a more-than-we-thought-before shot at actually reaching the Fall Classic.  Hence my opening line, which is only partially in jest.

It sure would be nice if we added a Roy Oswalt, who would look great as a true #2 starter behind Johan, but this team will probably win 85 to 90 games either way.

Are you optimistic?  Are you pessimistic?  Honestly, since we weren’t picked to win, and since no one expected the Mets to finish about fourth place, all the pressure was off.  And combined with great chemistry, unbelievable pitching and the resurgence of David Wright, it’s made this team a contender again.  So let’s do this thing.  Let’s get into the second half on a roll and make a statement that the Mets are for real, and might just be for real into October.

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Looking Just a Few Days Ahead Wed, 07 Jul 2010 20:55:11 +0000 The Mets are going to be playing for first place this weekend.  Not against the Phillies, but against a resurgent Braves team that is making it feel like the early part of the decade when these two teams were battling for NL East dominance.  And if Jonathan Niese and the Mets can take the rubber game against the Reds tonight, it won’t matter what the Braves do in Philly–the Mets will be 1 or 2 games back of Atlanta heading into the teams’ showdown this weekend at Citi Field.

It sure has been a while since the Mets were playing for the division lead this late in the season.  And this time it feels different, not only because we’re battling the Braves for supremacy, but because this team was not expected by most people to contend.  I was one of those folks, and even suggested they might be a last place team.  And I have no problem admitting I was wrong and being quite happy about being wrong.  This is a team that has played above its collective head, or at least played up to its potential.  And even when we lose a couple games, we win a few more.  There is just something special about the roster as it’s constructed right now.

There are questions, yes.  Will Mike Pelfrey get it back together after his Monday night implosion?  Will K-Rod also stop imploding?  How will Carlos Beltran be able to contribute after major surgery?  And was Johan’s gem last night the shape of things to come or not? And of course, will Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt be wearing Mets’ blue any time soon?

I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I sure do like that we’re asking them in mid-July.  Let’s go beat the Reds tonight, and then let’s sweep the Braves and really make a statement heading into the all-star break.

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Attention Mets Fans: Wait Till Next Year, Please Mon, 28 Jun 2010 14:31:30 +0000 Rarely, if ever, has a team gone from 92 losses in a season to over 90 victories and a World Championship the following year.  That is, however, what all Mets fans are fantasizing about for 2010.  And with the way the Mets have played in June, expectations have risen, and demands on the team and management to play better and improve the roster have grown.

What’s happening is a good thing.  Fans are excited again as the Mets play inspired ball on the field   Team chemistry, sorely lacking in the past, has blasted off into the stratosphere.  That is a far cry from last year’s disastrous season and the disappointments of the underachieving teams of 2007 and 2008.  Citi Field will likely not turn into a morgue this summer.  Instead it will be alive and abuzz with excitement.  Tickets are in demand.  I know because my season’s tickets are selling for full face value instead of 10 cents on the dollar as they were last year.

So what’s my angle in this post.  The title infers some type of dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs.  I’ll tell you that my excitement is tempered by the thought and fear that the Mets front office will blow their wad this year in hopes that the Mets will make the playoffs this year.  And that these moves might inhibit the building of a great team for many years to come.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  You don’t make major moves in hopes that they will make you good enough to make the playoffs.  You don’t mortgage the future for the goal of simply making the playoffs.  The time to make the big splash of a trade is when that move will catapult the team to the top of the heap of teams making the playoffs.  In other words, you make a deal to make the team the favorite to make it all the way to the World Series.

I am actually confident that Omar is thinking the same way.  Remember, he has traded nary a prospect during the last year.  Omar is in a rebuilding mode and will hopefully not make the mistake of trading his top prospects for a short lived run in 2010.

That all said, the Mets can and should make moves to strengthen their pitching.  But in my opinion it should not be a Cliff Lee rental at a high cost of prospects.  Neither should it be a trade with a window for signing Lee to a four or five year extension.  Haven’t we learned the lesson that long term deals for pitchers, even in their prime, but in their early thirties are too risky?  Cliff Lee will be 32 years old this August.  Thus a four or five year extension for $20 million a year would make him a highly paid Met through age 37. I say no to Cliff Lee as a rental or for the long term.

Mets fans have to hope that Johan Santana regains his form in the second half of the season.  Otherwise, despite a major move, this team will not go deep into the playoffs.  Also, let’s see Jason Bay start hitting, and Carlos Beltran return at full strength.  That would be equivalent to two trade deadline moves that will improve the team significantly.

Yes, let’s get a starting pitcher.  Roy Oswalt would be a great addition at a lesser cost;  and maybe as good as Lee.  He’d be a Met for 2011 too.  If not Oswalt, Kevin Millwood would be a solid rental at almost no cost except a few million dollars.  He can’t beat the Yankees and Red Sox.  But my bet is that he can beat the National League teams with a bulls eye on the NL East’s contingents.

In my opinion, Ike Davis, Jenrry Mejia, Jon Niese and Reese Havens are the top prospects which are now untouchable.  I want to see these players develop into stars for the Mets.  Adding them to the core of Wright and Reyes is the team I want to be rooting for during the next five years.

Have patience until 2011.  That’s what I’m aiming for.  So Mets fans, we can hope for the playoffs this year.  It’s not a fantasy anymore.  But as far as winning it all; wait till next year!

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Cliff Lee…The Final Word…Really. Sat, 26 Jun 2010 23:16:59 +0000 A few weeks ago, before the blogosphere erupted with stories about the Mets trading for either Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt, I wrote an article here on MMO, The New Mets Ace In The Hole.

Since then there have been more Cliff Lee/Roy Oswalt stories than Charlie Sheen has DUI’s. I think Michael Branda (Jessup) said it best in his article, Ranking The Potentially Available Pitchers:

“I decided last night that I am officially tired of Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.”

With that said I’m going to make one final push for Lee. But of course you are Mr. Spector; why let the better angel of your nature just let it be? My apologies to Abe Lincoln but, Abe wasn’t a Met fan.

Johan Santana, for whatever reason, is not the same Santana the Mets traded for. Be it age, or injury or just pure luck, Johan hasn’t been as sharp as he was in Minnesota. That said, I’d still do the trade for him in a heartbeat.

He’s a warrior and his skill level is still head and shoulders above a majority of Major League pitchers. Remember the Mets are the team that at one time boasted Al Leiter as it’s number one. Don’t get me wrong I loved Al Leiter.  Johan, even with his few shaky starts this year, and still recovering as he has said from off-season elbow surgery, is more than worthy of being considered a number one.

However, I like to have insurance. Cliff Lee, could be to the Mets what Aflac is to us regular folk. Lee as we all know comes with his own set of baggage, but I prefer to think of it as the Louis Vuitton variety.

None of us are completely sold on Lee here, as I said regarding Jessup. Our very own Taryn Cooper wrote an article recently over at My Summer Family, Weighing in on Cliff Lee.  I totally get the skepticism surrounding Lee, especially if Seattle’s demands become unworkable.

Even the best sports writers with all the access they have or think they have, really don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. When the Mets made the move to acquire Santana, the Yankees if you recall, were the team that all the writers felt he was going to.

It was a done deal. Fini. The Mike Piazza deal took everyone by shock since nobody had a clue the Mets would land Piazza after the Marlins acquired him from the Dodgers.

We don’t know if Omar Minaya can work a deal for Lee that mimics the Johan deal; leaving a 72 hour window to negotiate an extension. Lee’s agent has stated that he wants to test the free agent market. That’s all well and good until the dollar signs are flowing.

Will it be wise to lock Lee into a 5 year deal at around 16 million per, it’s more than debatable. If you really think the Mets are better off doing nothing, relying on the likes of an R.A. Dickey or Takahashi to solidify the rotation, I’m sorry but I can’t agree with that.  Nor can I argue for going after one of the slew of second and third tier pitchers either.   Pretending to get help isn’t the same as being serious about wanting to win the whole enchilada.

Sure Takahashi and Dickey have been inspirational and fun to watch but at the same time, the league hasn’t really seen them enough to create a detailed scouting report on them. The more they go out there the more their weaknesses will be revealed.

The arguments against Lee some say outweigh the reasons the Mets should get him. I’m the last one in favor of depleting the minors for Lee. However I’m not convinced yet that he would bolt New York after the season. I’m also not resigned to think that Omar has to unload the minors for him either.

It’s in Seattle’s best interest at this point, not to hold on to him and just get a draft pick or two. Lets face it, if Lee stays in Seattle and signs with a top tier team next year, Seattle will get their first round picks, further down in the draft. I’m sure they would like more bang for our buck.

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The 2010 New York Mets…fellas Mon, 21 Jun 2010 04:21:45 +0000 All season long so many of us have dissected in every which way possible, every move the New York Mets have made. Granted some of us have used hacksaws and some of us have used the precision of a neurosurgeon, to make our points. I’ve occasionally waded in both pools, admittedly.

The way the Mets have played this year have at times been quite frustrating, however, as fellow MMO writer Ed Leyro pointed out the Mets since starting the season at 4-8 have a record of 35 and 22.. That’s pretty damn good no matter how you dissect it.

The road has been this teams’ nemesis, sporting a record of 15-20. However this past week, these GoodFellas seem to be re-writing this season’s script having won 7 of their last 9 on the road.

The culmination of which ended Sunday in Yankee stadium as the Mets finished the 2010 Subway Series with a split, having won 2 out of 3 at Citifield and losing 2 out of 3 at Yankee Stadium.

If fortune really does favor the bold, then the next few weeks will probably determine the course the Mets take for the remainder of the season. Rumors and hopes of trading for a starter continue to meander around. Whether it be Lee, Oswalt or a cavalcade of lesser talents, a move does seem to be quite inevitable if not necessary.

Yet one thing remains constant with this team and thankfully so; they are gamers. Be it a result of the past few debacle seasons where the Mets self-destructed their way into the bowels of sports history or an organizational wide feeling that this is it –do or die– or expect wholesale changes.

The Mets, even in their losses, never fail to give 100 percent. Regardless our collective opinions of Jerry Manuel, he does deserve credit for demanding and eliciting this effort.

Take into account there are only 2 teams that seem to have had the Mets number so far this year. All in all, in spite of their issues, in spite of all of our griping, most of which is valid, the Marlins have won 6 out of 10 games against the Mets and the Nationals have won 5 out of 8. Those two teams have done the most damage to the Mets in 2010. Unfortunately both are divisional rivals, neither of which Ryan Howard or Roy Halladay play for.

There are 3 prominent axioms in baseball that have stood the test of time. Two of those being that pitching and defense wins championships. June has been a complete swoon for the Mets pitching staff having posted a 13-4 record and an ERA around 3. Defensively the Mets have committed 36 errors which ranks them 4th in the NL, with only 9 accounted so far in June.

The third axiom; to contend you have to play at least .500 on the road. Few teams have made the playoffs with losing road records. The latest being the 2008 White Sox when they compiled a 35-46 road record. The 2006 St Louis Cardinals bucked the trend. They finished that season with a road record of 34-47, and a World Series Championship.

Only two other teams in the last 15 years have won the World Series with a losing road record, both of which are the Florida Marlins of 1997 and 2003. It’s not impossible to win it all with a losing road record, but trepiditiously difficult.

As we’ve all come to witness, the 2010 Mets are unpredictable. When you think you have them pigeon holed as a certain “type” of team, anchoring the bottom of the National League East, they flick the switch and shift into that extra special gear. Win or lose, these Mets are warriors.

Considering what we’ve all felt the past 3 years it’s hard to find fault with the character of this group. We can’t demand perfection or be deterred by a single loss. Be proud of this team for its hustle and professionalism. Who knows what the next few months have in store.

 ”You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like, you’d say to somebody: You’re gonna like this guy; he’s all right. He’s a goodfella. He’s one of us. You understand? We were goodfellas, wiseguys…er..ummm….New York Mets.”

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Mets Should Act On Oswalt Mon, 14 Jun 2010 20:30:13 +0000 Just because Roy Oswalt told a friend he would accept a trade to the Mets doesn’t mean he’s in Manhattan on the off-day looking at apartments.

Depending on what “friend” you talk to, Oswalt would also accept trades to Philadelphia, St. Louis, the Yankees and Washington Nationals. However, if it means getting out of Houston, a chance at the playoffs and perhaps an extension, the list of places suddenly favorable to Oswalt could grow.

The Mets have been getting sterling pitching from rotation fill-ins RA Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi– together they are 9-2, but Takahashi is only 2-1 as a starter – but that’s not to say all their pitching concerns have been answered.

We don’t know how long this run will last as neither Dickey nor Takahashi are proven over the long haul. We don’t know that about Jon Niese, either, and John Maine continues to throw 88.

If the Mets are to get Oswalt, they should strike now while it is early. The closer to the deadline, the more the Astros will be asking.

After standing pat over the winter in the pitching market, general manager Omar Minaya has a chance to add an ace that would make his rotation arguably the best in the National League withJohan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and Oswalt.

However, there comes a price tag, not only in terms of prospects, but in dollars.  Oswalt is owed $31 million for the remainder of this year and $16 million next season, and a $16 million club option for 2012 (also includes a $2 million buyout).

That’s pricey, but he would make the Mets formidable for the next three years.

Oswalt also makes more sense than Cliff Lee in that his cost is definable, while Lee wants to test the market. Trading for Lee over Oswalt would be foolish, as it would be dealing for a hired gun because he’s gone after the year.

Oswalt would represent less a risk than Lee. He is somebody the Mets should roll the dice with — now.

Check out New York Mets Report for more Mets coverage.

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Mets And The Pitching Market Thu, 10 Jun 2010 15:45:34 +0000 Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog reported that the Mets are scouting the Baltimore Orioles and had scouts in attendance during Kevin Millwood’s (0-7 4.64 ERA) start against the Yankees. It’s possible that they may also have some interest in Jeremy Guthrie (3-6 3.71 ERA) among other O’s starting pitchers.

As has been widely reported already, the Mets have no interest in top of the rotation starters like Roy Oswalt or Cliff Lee.

Apparently the Yankees do, and Ken Rosenthal believes that Cliff Lee could soon be in Yankees pinstripes and join a rotation that includes C.C. Sabathia, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte. That would be pretty lethal if it actually goes down.

Another rumor also has Roy Oswalt going to either the Washington Nationals or the Philadelphia Phillies whom Oswalt specifically named as a team he wants to play for.

No matter how bad the Nationals may look right now, adding Oswalt and Strasburg at the top of their rotation would mean big trouble for the Mets.  And I don’t even want to think about Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt in the same rotation.

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Mets Hype Machine Already Hard At Work Tue, 08 Jun 2010 16:15:47 +0000 It never ceases to amaze me how the Mets over-hype their prospects to no end. I’m not talking about your garden variety hype mind you, all teams are entitled and expected to hype their prospects. But with the Mets it’s completely over the top and it always leads to lofty unrealistic expectations for the prospects themselves who are mostly average at best.

Many of the fans buy into this PR hype “hook, line and sinker” and can be identified by comments such as “this guy is untouchable” or the ol’ ”we can’t drain our farm system” mantra whenever a trade proposal or even a rumor comes along.

Case in point was the news item from Ken Rosenthal the other day in which he reported that the Mets would not part with Ruben Tejada in a trade for one of the top starters in the National League, Roy Oswalt.

Ruben Tejada is an undrafted player who signed as an international free agent in 2007 at age 17. Now 20, he has compiled a career average of .274 in 1,594 plate appearances. He has no power as evidenced by his 11 homeruns in 3 1/2 seasons with the Mets organization. He has averaged 32 RBI and 47 runs scored per season. He is not ranked among Baseball America’s Top 200 prospects, and probably wouldn’t make an appearance in their Top 500 if they had one.

Roy Oswalt on the other hand… 148 W – 72 L to go with a .642 Winning Percentage, second best among all active pitchers in the Major Leagues with 250 or more starts. This season, Oswalt is lights out and sports a career best 1.11 WHIP to go with a 8.4 K/9 ratio, the highest since his rookie season. He is stuck on a bad Astros team and wants out.

If you were to exclude all Mets fans, what percentage of baseball fans would balk at the notion of trading Ruben Tejada for Roy Oswalt assuming that was an actual offer?

Getting back to the point of my post, yesterday, Matt Cerrone posted information he gleaned from his conference call with the Mets and reporters. Here is what Matt posted (in bold), followed by my comments.

He has a power arm, capable of throwing his fastball between 91 and 98 mph.

This is the first time 98mph has ever been included in Harvey’s range of velocity. which has been universally advertised as 91-96 and has reached 97 mph a few times. On occasion, some pitchers can hit a high number once or twice due to variations in radar guns which are less reliable in college than they are at the major league level, but that’s not even the case with Harvey. The fact is that he only touched 97 mph a few times this season according to Keith Law.

His curve ball sits in 80s, his change-up in the low 80s, and and his slider in the mid-80s.

He rarely uses his curve since adopting the slider which is still in the development stage. His changeup is far from a done deal and needs to be further developed if he expects to be a starting pitcher in the Majors, or else it’s the bullpen for Harvey. Most scouts believe he will end up being a power reliever.

He pitches off his fastball, but all of his pitches are usable.

Harvey has barely one plus pitch, and it’s his four seam fastball. Harvey struggled to throw any of his secondary pitches as well as he did when he was first discovered in high school where he impressed many scouts. Luckily, he has improved his offerings during his junior season at UNC, but they are still not nearly at the level that wowed so many experts in 2007.

He has good command and control for his age.

The knock on Harvey has been and still is his erratic control. During Harvey’s first two years with UNC he walked 89 batters in 142.2 innings and had 18 wild pitches. He got better in his last 14 starts leading up to the draft with 35 walks thanks to a new delivery, but he still had nine wild pitches in that span.

He was already very good in high school, but benefited from college coaching.

All players benefit from college, especially those who complete all four years instead of just three like Harvey did, who opted out in his junior year. His metrics from his three college years in total were not worthy of a first round selection, and he was drafted highly solely based on his elevated performance in his last ten starts. Keep your fingers crossed that he stays on his current course. Mets minor league coaches have a nasty habit of changing what worked for their draft picks and having them drop certain pitches, change release points and arm angles, and in some cases completely ditch their usual delivery.

He’s going to be a strike thrower, using both sides of the plate.

Harvey has shown great promise, but he is not a strike thrower, at least not yet. He will fool many college players and lower level minor leaguers with his current stuff, but players in the high minors and Major Leaguers won’t be so easily fooled as we all learned from Kevin Mulvey, Eddie Kunz and Bobby Parnell.

He is represented by Scott Boras.

Well at least they got this fact straight. Harvey was originally drafted in 2007, but at the request of Boras who could not get Harvey the big bonus he demanded from the Angels, he went to UNC and saw his stock plunge after very poor freshman and sophomore seasons. Luckily, he changed his delivery this season and it seemed to work better for him. Enter the Mets.

I don’t want to knock Matt Harvey who by many accounts is an excellent prospect with loads of potential. But lets just leave it at that…

There is no need to embellish his already noteworthy accomplishments. We did this with Brad Holt in 2008 and Steven Matz in 2009. Holt has struggled mightily since then and now has questions about his attitude, and Matz is already gone for the season with Tommy John surgery and there’s no telling if he will ever be close to the pitcher he was before the injury. 

The worst part of this over-hyping is the enormous amount of pressure that is placed on the player to perform and play up to these unrealistic expectations.

Does Matt Harvey now try to over-exert himself to throw the 98mph four seamer in an attempt to justify what the Mets said he has?

Harvey was a bit of a reach at number seven and was ranked 13th in the draft by Baseball America and 20th by

With advent of the internet and the social media boom, it’s so easy for the common fan to check out the claims a team makes about his players, so why say things that are counter to the real facts?

You drafted Harvey, well that’s great… Let’s all welcome him to the team and hope that he can stay healthy and reach his true potential, whatever that potential might be.

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Mets Have Trade Bait Tue, 08 Jun 2010 11:00:39 +0000 Omar Minaya became the General Manager at the end of the 2004 season.  Since then the Mets have mostly been quiet when it comes to the trade deadline.  Except for 2006, when Duaner Sanchez went for a cab ride, injured his shoulder, forcing Omar to make a trade with the Pirates for Oliver Perez (thanks a lot Duaner!) and Roberto Hernandez the trade deadline always comes and goes for the Mets.  This year looks like it will be different.

The Mets need another pitcher for the starting rotation; there is no doubt about that.  It looks like if/when John Maine returns from the DL he’s going to be placed in the pen. Oliver Perez has lost his locker as he is now on the DL and who knows when we’ll see him again.  Takahashi did a great job but it looks like the league is starting to catch up to him, especially the 3rd time facing the lineup.  That’s not a knock on him; if you look at his numbers the opposing team hit him better after the 5th inning.  He excelled when he was in the pen as the long man and if you really think about it the bullpen has suffered a bit since he went into the rotation.

There are 3 pitchers that will be available: Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee and Kevin Millwood.  If you paid attention closely this season you can see the Mets have been busy building trade chips.  Once Daniel Murphy got injured and Ike Davis became the 1st baseman the Mets decided they were going to make him a jack of all trades.  Murphy is a natural 3rd baseman and he played a decent 1st base last year.  The Mets also were going to have Murphy work on playing both the outfield and 2nd base in the minors.  Unfortunately for the Mets Murphy was the victim of a cheap slide last week in Triple A and is out for the season.

The Mets over the weekend cut ties with Garry Matthews Jr.  They also put 2nd baseman Luis Castillo on the DL.  They called up Ruben Tejada from Triple A and the plan is for Tejada to get most of the playing time while in the majors.  Just to remind you guys Tejada made the team out of camp and was very impressive in the field but his bat needed work.  Tejada went down, worked hard and improved his offense.  He had some good hits over the weekend.  What some may not know is that the Mets have another 2nd baseman in the minors who is tearing it up and is projected to be the future 2nd baseman of the team, Reese Havens.  I’ve read online over the last few weeks that he could be ready for 2011.  The Mets don’t need 2 futures at 2nd base and I think that the Mets are showcasing Tejada to trade him at the deadline.

As of this writing there is speculation that the Mets are going to call up 31 year old outfielder Jesus Feliciano.  Feliciano is a career minor leaguer who has never really gotten a chance.  As he has gotten older he has dominated Triple A pitching.  He has been hitting close to .400 this year in Buffalo.  The Mets do plan on Carlos Beltran coming back and Angel Pagan has more than earned his spot on this roster, so once Beltran comes back they won’t need an outfielder.  If I had to guess I’m guessing that like Tejada Feliciano is trade bait.

The Mets need pitching and if these guys are packaged in a trade for a pitcher then so be it.  Now I would guess F-Mart and perhaps another minor leaguer will have to be part of a package for Cliff Lee.  Lee would be great to have on this team.  This guy wants to stick it to the Phillies.  If it wasn’t for him it’s a good chance the Phillies would have been swept by the Yankees in the World Series.  He has proved that he can pitch in New York and think of a front 3 with Santana, Pelfrey and Lee.  Add Dickey and Niese into the equation and you have a pretty formidable rotation.  I know that he will be a one year rental and that’s why the Mets cannot trade Mejia for him.  If the Mets cannot sign him next year then they can get the draft picks from the team that signs him and rebuild what they lost in the trade.

I don’t want Oswalt on this team.  He’s had back injuries and he’s owed a lot of money.  I would rather the Mets go after Millwood.  I think Millwood on a good team can help a rotation.  He might not be in Lee’s league but I believe that he would be more beneficial than Oswalt.

Overall the Mets are in a good position.  The Mariners wouldn’t mind cutting salary as I’m sure the same can be said about Baltimore.  Barring injury, the Mets can add a good to great pitcher at the trade deadline and they won’t have to sell the farm to get him.

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Mets Won’t Move Ruben Tejada For Houston Ace Roy Oswalt Mon, 07 Jun 2010 20:37:18 +0000 From the files of the strange, but true…

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Mets will not part with “B Level” prospect Ruben Tejada, even if it meant acquiring a top of the rotation starter like Houston Astros Ace, Roy Oswalt.

The Mets are so high on rookie infielder Ruben Tejada, their fill-in second baseman for the injured Luis Castillo, that they’d be reluctant to include him in a trade for a pitcher such as Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt.

I don’t really comprehend the wisdom in that if it’s true, but it does give a clear indication that the Mets will not make any moves to bolster the rotation as had been believed by many.

Minaya committed to Mets fans that his priority would be to add a top of the rotation starter in the offseason, but that never happened. He then said he was keeping the savings so that he could upgrade the rotation mid-season, but that no longer appears to be the case.

The Mets have yet to show any indication that they have interest in Oswalt, Cliff Lee or any other top flight pitcher.

I hope they know what they’re doing, because it seems like they are going to ride Hisanori Takahashi and R.A. Dickey for the rest of the season, and their backup plan looks like Oliver Perez and John Maine.

I can see not wanting to part with Jenrry Mejia or Wilmer Flores or even Dillon Gee, but Ruben Tejada? Really?

It doesn’t make sense especially when you consider that they have Reese Havens projected to be their second baseman of the future about a year away?

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The New Mets ACE In The Hole? Mon, 07 Jun 2010 12:27:28 +0000 With the Major League Baseball draft beginning today, the New York Mets, coming off their sweep at home of the Florida Marlins, will be in a very good position with the 7th overall pick in the first round.

Sach C has done an impressive job by breaking down the many high school and college prospects recently. It’s a definite must read and I recommend everyone to check those out.

The Mets last two first round picks were in 2008 when they had the 18th pick – Ike Davis and the 22nd pick – Reese Havens. I’ve always been adamant that the Mets need to build from within and draft picks, while always a gamble, can sometimes yield very nice results – the aforementioned Ike Davis being one.

As much as I stress having a stocked farm system, it’s always welcome to have a few teams willing to part ways with a gem or two. As we get closer to the trade deadline of July 31st, the Mets find themselves in the hunt to assemble an elite starting pitching triple punch core , the likes of which are only talked about in that OTHER New York borough. Two ace starting pitchers are on the market.

Roy Oswalt’s non-demand, demand to be traded may have rubbed a few of his fellow Texans on the Astros the wrong way. With a record as of today of 3 – 8 and an ERA slightly over 3, Oswalt, who’s silver bullet is a no-trade clause in his contract, has seen the writing on the wall and yes Houston we have a problem. The Astros are in a serious decline and Roy Oswalt wants a ring. I can’t blame him. He’s option one.

Option two is out on the left coast and plays in the Siberia of baseball, Cliff Lee of the Seattle Mariners. The only thing that would have been worse for Lee, when the National League Champion Phillies traded him this past off season, would have been if Lee’s plane ticket read : one way – Baltimore/Washington International Airport. The TSA probably would have had a few issues that day.

To this day I’m still oddly annoyed at the treatment of Lee by the Phillies. Then again anything the Phillies do tend to annoy me. I realize Roy Halladay is THE stud pitcher in baseball right now but call me sentimental; didn’t Cliff Lee pretty much pitch his gluteus maximus off during his brief tenure?

He went 7 – 4 with an ERA of 3.39 for them last season. The postseason is where he was truly off the charts. He went 4 – 0 with a minuscule 1.56 ERA, winning Philadelphia’s only 2 games in the World Series.

Now I understand the business complexities of baseball but isn’t there something to be said for a little loyalty anymore, especially when it comes to the guy who carried his team’s water in the postseason?

Not only did Philly go out of there way to trade for Halladay, but constructed a four team deal that required Ralphie’s Little Orphan Annie decoder ring to decipher. The result of which supplanted their 2009 postseason “hero” into baseball exile.

Allow me to explain. You ready? You may need to sit for this. The Phillies sent Lee to Seattle then sent prospects – catcher Travis d’Arnaud , pitcher Kyle Drabek and outfielder Michael Taylor to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays then sent Taylor to the A’s for first baseman Brett Wallace.

In return the Phillies received Halladay, pitching prospects Phillipe Aumont and Juan Ramirez and outfielder Tyson Gillies from Seattle. I almost forgot they also pick pocketed six million in cash from Toronto.

Now I’m not sure if I’m annoyed at Lee’s disrespect by the Phillies, or that the Phillies had the stones to get this done- and who the hell knew Canada had six million dollars just laying around? I mean it’s Canada…really?

Now what does all this mean to the Mets you ask? Great question. First off I’m leaning towards Omar making a move for Lee, as soon as possible. The Mets and just about every other buyer come the July 31st trade deadline, could be in the driver’s seat for Lee.

The Astros still have Oswalt under contract until the end of next year, trading him, in spite of his unhappiness, isn’t a major priority, unless of course he has a major league Oliver Perez style hissy fit in the next few weeks. Now that would just be downright ugly and not to mention would completely lack originality and I’m a man that likes originality baby. There can only be one big A…I mean O and it’s not you Oswalt.

The Mariners gain nothing by keeping Lee for the remainder of this year unless of course they plan on offering him arbitration knowing he’ll decline and in turn score themselves a draft pick. They’re in last place and unless they collectively have a complete out of body experience, it’s going to remain that way.

I find it hard to believe that at 32 years old and to have already tasted postseason play, that Lee will decide to stick around for a few “rebuilding” years in Seattle.

What would it take to pry Lee from Seattle? Not much if Omar plays it right. It’s like a game of poker and Omar knows that Jack Zduriencik, the General Manager of the Mariners, has a weak hand and the river card is about to be dealt.

I could see a deal involving mostly minor leaguers. Perhaps going so far as to offer Fernando Martinez, Brad Holt and perhaps Kirk Nieuwenhuis. I’d be more apt not to let F-Mart go, but I swear every time I hear about another F-Mart injury the name Alex Escobar comes to mind and we all know what a storied career he had.

If Omar really wants to test his creativity and Zduriencik’s will, he could try prying Chone Figgins along with Lee. But let’s not jump ahead of ourselves; that may cost the Mets some serious coin and it’s not like this is Toronto where 6 million clams are sitting around stuck in a zamboni. The key to the deal would be for Omar to do what he did in the Johan Santana trade when he worked out an extension simultaneously.

Imagine a rotation that includes Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey and Cliff Lee. Imagine Chone Figgins and Jose Reyes in the same lineup? That my friends, could be a huge advantage and take us to the post season and if you don’t think that deep down Cliff Lee would absolutely love to stick it to the Philadelphia Phillies, then I’d bet my rather impressive MMO salary on it. If by any chance you win, just reach out to Joe D for the payout. I hear he pays in Euro’s.

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Trade Winds: Rod Barajas, Andy Sonnanstine, Roy Oswalt Sat, 22 May 2010 20:16:22 +0000 As my colleague Mike Lloyd informed us last night, Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt has demanded a trade and will waive his no-trade clause to get something expedited. From the sound of it, this might be something that gets done very soon and will not linger on until the July trade deadline.

I just wanted to weigh in and voice my own support for such a move by the Mets and I do hope that they make a strong offer to secure him for this season and next. Oswalt is owed about $30 million for the next two seasons which is only about 20% more than they owe Oliver Perez.

Of course acquiring a talent like Oswalt is easier said than done and would require a hefty return in exchange. Any offer from the Mets may have to include our top pitching prospect, Jenrry Mejia.

But hey, if that’s what it takes to get the best available starter on the block and a true ace, then so be it.

According to Buster Olney in a post to ESPN Insider, the Mets may be interested in acquiring Andy Sonnanstine to fill one of the voids in the starting rotation.

With all due respect, I think Buster should stick to reporting and stay out of the speculation business because in all honesty he sucks at it.

Sorry folks, but Andy Sonnanstine doesn’t come close to fixing any of the Mets problems in the rotation. It’s probably better for him to stay put as the Rays’ mop up man.

We already have several mop up men of our own to choose from, no need to import any new ones.

Here’s some new from the Lone Star state… 

It seems that the Texas Rangers have become very enamored with the only non-pitcher that is actually exceeding expectations for the Mets this season. Yes, Of course we are talking about catcher Rod Barajas, who recently slugged his tenth homer of the season.

However, there’s something about Texas Rangers rumors that has become the norm in the last two years. Whenever one of those rumors involve the Mets, nothing ever comes from them. I’m still waiting for Omir Santos trade they were on the verge of making, or the big Kevin Millwood to the Mets trade they were very close on.

Anyhow it doesn’t really matter because where Rod Barajas is concerned, here’s my advice for the Rangers, looksies only, no touchies and absolutely no takesies.

Finally, no new news on the Luis Castillo front who was reportedly the topic of conversation between the Mets and the Rockies.

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Oswalt Is Not An Option, But What About Pedro? Sat, 15 May 2010 15:27:45 +0000 In a post to his blog, Mike Puma of the NY Post writes that Mets fans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for the team to trade for Houston Astros ace, Roy Oswalt.

Roy Oswalt’s name is out there as a potential reinforcement for a team in need of pitching help, but don’t expect the Mets to inquire.

Oswalt, the Astros right-hander, recently said he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause if Houston wants to deal him. But Oswalt is making $15 million this season – a number that does not excite the Mets.

The team is reluctant to eat the $1.8 million remaining on Gary Matthews Jr., contract, making it unlikely that GM Omar Minaya would inquire about Oswalt – especially with Citi Field attendance down 6,852 fans from last season.

Puma is probably right, and I can’t foresee the Mets eating Ollie’s remaining $20 million and investing another $15 million on top of it for a year of Roy Oswalt.

On Friday, Roy Oswalt said that he would waive the full no-trade clause in his contract if Houston wants to try to shop him this season, as long as he goes to a contender.

One option that is still out there and very affordable is former Met Pedro Martinez. Martinez has desired to play a half season this year much as he did in 2009 when he helped pitch the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series.

Martinez had a solid stint finishing with a 5-1 record and a 3.63 ERA despite making five of his starts at Citizens Bank Park which can be tough on right handed pitchers.

What was most impressive about his stay with the Phillies was his outstanding ratio of 37 strikeouts versus just 8 walks. How refreshing would a K/BB ratio like that be on the gang that couldn’t shoot pitch straight?

He also compiled a 1.25 WHIP which was better than any Mets starter last season not named Johan Santana who had a 1.21 WHIP.

Look, I know everyone wants to move on from that chapter already, but the Mets really don’t have any better options right now and who is more battle tested in a pennant chase than Pedro Martinez?

His presence on the mound alone is still intimidating, plus he would want nothing more than to come back and help the Mets win a championship, something he said was one of his biggest regrets about his time with the Mets.

He’s a winner, and even at the age of 38, he would probably be the second best pitcher in the current Mets rotation.

It’s something to think about.

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Source: Mets Have No Chance At Roy Oswalt Wed, 21 Apr 2010 18:50:41 +0000

This morning one of our readers commented about possibly making a trade for Roy Oswalt of the Astros. And although I totally disagreed with having to give up Mike Pelfrey for him, the thought of adding Oswalt seemed quite intriguing.

1. Johan Santana
2. Roy Oswalt
3. Mike Pelfrey
4. Oliver Perez
5. Jon Niese

Since then, WFAN has been abuzz with talk of Oswalt, but now I came across this post by Adam Rubin which seems to put a damper on the whole idea.

A source familiar with the Houston Astros’ thinking doesn’t believe right-hander Roy Oswalt will end up with the Mets, assuming he does get traded.

“They may sniff, but have no chance,” the source said regarding the Mets.

Oswalt, 32, has long been a topic of trade rumors involving the New York Mets going all the way back to 2006 and every trade deadline and offseason ever since.

He has a no-trade clause which might complicate matters as he’s never indicated any interest in playing for the Mets.

Oswalt is set to earn $15 million this season, $16 million next year and has a 2012 option with a $2 million buyout.

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