Last night in the span of about an hour, Mets G.M , Sandy Alderson made the Mets fan base stand up and take notice. In three bold moves he obtained four new players, while jettisoning outfielder, Angel Pagan. The first move that was announced was the signing of free agent reliever( and Chewbacca impersonator), Jon Rauch. Next up Alderson swung a deal with the San Francisco Giants in which the ever pouty center fielder, Angel Pagan was exchanged for veteran outfielder, Andrew Torres and hard throwing middle reliever, Ramon Ramirez. And within 15 minutes after the trade was made public ( physicals still need to be passed), the Mets signed former Blue Jays reliever, Frank Francisco.
I know that the names that I have just mentioned aren’t the players that most Mets fans were hoping for. Yes most of us want to see a Buhrle or a Bailey or even a Puljos wear a Mets uniform come Opening Day, but all in all these were bold moves by Alderson.
First off with the acquisition of Rauch, Ramirez and Francisco, Alderson has solidified the back end of a extremely weak bullpen. Last night there was a stat that was bandied out that the Mets bullpen blew 21 games after the Mets were leading in the seventh inning or later. 21 GAMES ! When you think about it if the Mets could have just won seven of those games they would have finished with a .500 record !
And I know there are a faction of fans out there that will be upset that Pagan is gone, but Torres is an older version of Angel – except he will do what is in the best interest of the team without sulking. Torres has the reputation of being a leader – something this team is sorely lacking, and although his bat was lacking last season – he is a better defensive outfielder than Pagan ever was.
The way that this team is constructed thus far reminds me of the ’96-’97 teams – except that the starting rotation is not nearly as strong. Dickey is the only pitcher that we know what to expect from. Johan may not – and probably will not be anywhere close to the Cy Young Award pitcher that he once was. But with that being said if he can pattern himself after a post surgery Pedro Martinez then we can’t complain. Gee, Niese and Pelfrey are all working class pitchers at this point.
When I see how that this roster is panning out, I see a blue collar team. I feel that may be a good thing. Most of the Mets teams that we have grown up rooting for have been of the blue collar variety.Us Mets fans like rooting for the underdog player – whether it was Rick Reed or Todd Pratt. Yes we love out stars, and we still have a few left ( Wright, Johan, Ike), but with the way the payroll has been cut we have to embrace this everyman team.
While the team in the Bronx will be sipping their Krystal and sampling their Beluga caviar, this Mets team will be downing Rheingold and eating Nathan’s Famous franks ( just run with my hyperbole).
This team I hope will be better than last season and it is possible they can be competitive against the top teams in our division. But I think Alderson is right when he made the claim that next season should be fun.
Your thoughts ?
And with that said….. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!
Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today include:
Mets starting pitcher/long reliever from ’67-’70, Don Cardwell would have been 76 today (1935) .
Reserve outfielder from last season and Flushing native, Mike Baxter is 27 (1984) .
The New York Mets sold the contract of catcher, Chris Cannizzaro to the New York Yankees on December 7, 1966.
The New York Mets purchased shortstop, Tim Foli from the San Francisco Giants on December 7, 1977. And so the Mets original “Crazy Horse” returned to the fold – albeit for a brief period of time.
The New York Mets traded starting pitcher, Walt Terrell to the Detroit Tigers for third baseman, Howard Johnson on December 7, 1984. This was one of Cashen’s best under the radar trades.
The New York Mets traded middle reliever, Doug Sisk to the Baltimore Orioles for middle reliever, Blaine Beatty and minor league pitcher, Greg Talamantez on December 7, 1987.
The Minnesota Twins signed middle reliever, Don Schulze of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 7, 1987.
The New York Mets traded second baseman, Wally Backman and minor league pitcher, Mike Santiago to the Minnesota Twins for minor league pitching prospects, Toby Nivens, Steve Gasser and Jeff Bumgarner on December 7, 1988. I feel this was one of Frank Cashen’s worst deals. None of the players the Mets obtained for Backman ever played for the Mets.
The Cleveland Indians signed first baseman, Keith Hernandez of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 7, 1989. And so the Captain of those great ’80′s teams begrudgeingly left Flushing for the tribe.
The Mets drafted spot starter/middle reliever, Mike Draper from the New York Yankees on December 7, 1992.
The New York Mets signed free agent reserve outfielder, Chris Jones of the Colorado Rockies on December 7, 1994.
The Seattle Mariners signed first baseman, John Olerud of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 7, 1999. I was upset, I was livid, I moved on.
The New York Mets traded third baseman, Robin Ventura to the New York Yankees for outfielder, David Justice on December 7, 2001. Boy was this a deal that blew up in then G.M, Steve Phillips’ face. Ventura proved that he was far from washed up by helping propel the Yanks to the World Series, while Justice never played a single game for the Mets.
The New York Mets signed free agent middle reliever, D. J. Carrasco of the Arizona Diamondbacks on December 7, 2010. Carrasco was nothing special last season, and he has one year remaining on his contract.
The New York Mets traded minor league pitching prospect, Mike Antonini to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Chin-lung Hu on December 7, 2010. For the first month of this past season Hu was making us ask “WHY” ?!?
The New York Mets signed free agent back up catcher, Ronny Paulino of the Florida Marlins on December 7, 2010.I hope when I write this column next year Paulino will be referred to as the former Mets back up catcher.
Mo Vaughn was so shocked by all the deals the Mets made yesterday that he choked on his Diet Coke !