Apparently the Mets have enacted the revolving door policy this offseason. Either Omar Minaya is trying to burn all his phone's free minutes or he is getting advice on roster stability from Isiah Thomas. Either way, this Thanksgiving, as my family sits around the table, I'll be thankful my Mets haven't made any dumb trades with the Devil Rays - yet.
Here is a round-up of the offseason's transactions. And there have been a few:
This offseason the Mets have (in reverse chronological order):
- Signed outfielder Moises Alou to a one-year contract.
My two cents: I never thought Alou was all that good, even when he was good. Now he is better suited for the American League as a DH or on a company softball team. He is completely one-dimensional when healthy, which is rare. And did I mention he is over 40? What happened to baseball players actually getting old? On the positive side, Moises speaks Spanish, so he will fit in.
- Acquired pitchers Jason Vargas and Adam Bostick from the Florida Marlins for pitchers Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens.
My take: Word of warning when dealing with the Marlins: they don't trade good pitchers. Have you ever seen a Marlins prospect since Trevor Hoffman blossom somewhere else? It doesn't happen. But the Mets traded young arms with them anyway. Ok, let's talk about Vargas for a moment. He went 5-5 with a 4.03 ERA in 2005 and showed a bit of promise. Then he became expendable when the Marlins' other young pitchers settled into Florida's rotation in 2006. It doesn't help that Vargas also regressed last year, going 1-2 with a 7.33 ERA and walking 30 in 43 innings. Sounds like another Rick Peterson control problem project. Could end up as a spot starter, swingman to replace Heath Bell and/or Royce Ring. Whoopee. Moral of the story: unless the Marlins have just won a World Series and are giving away players, don't call them.
- Claimed pitcher Jason Standridge off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.
My analysis: Ok, from 2001 through 2004, this guy bounced up and down with the Devil Rays and couldn't stay on the team. Bad sign. Seemed to be alright with the Reds in 2004 and 2006 with a stint in Texas in 2005. I'd be surprised he makes the team in March. On a positive note, he did go 9-1 with a 2.19 ERA during his senior season at Hewitt-Trussville High School in Trussville, AL. Go Jason.
- Signed infielder Damion Easley to a one-year contract.
My opinion: Hasn't hit over .240 since 2001. Can play the entire infield and even played an inning in RF. Ladies and gentleman, this year's Joe McEwing. And did I mention he is 37? The Mets' bench should just apply to AARP as a group and see if they can get a discount.
- Acquired outfielder Ben Johnson and pitcher Jon Adkins from the San Diego Padres for pitchers Heath Bell and Royce Ring.
Analysis: I am disappointed. This is not the same Ben Johnson who was stripped of his medal in the 1988 Olympics. This Ben Johnson was a prospect with the Padres who had a cup of coffee with them the last two years. Interesting note: according to MLB.com, he injured his left shoulder in a outfield collision with Mike Cameron on July 1 vs. San Francisco, causing him to miss 22 games. He should get along well with Carlos Beltran.
- Resigned El Duque.
Analysis: I do like El Duque, but he is 83 years old. He was old when he came from Cuba. Let's just keep him in St. Lucie until July, then warm him up and put him in the rotation in August. He is only good in the postseason anyway.
- Resigned Jose Valentin.
Analysis: A pleasant surprise last year. Another geriatric veteran. Baseball and reality are totally opposite sometimes: in baseball, the elderly end up in New York. In real life, they end up in Boca Raton.