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Mets Hot Stove: More on Delgado

Mike SteffanosWednesday, November 23, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

The big story this morning is the Mets trade for Carlos Delgado. We have some early reaction to it, and also the latest on Billy Wagner.

Buster Olney: Big Spender
Although Olney feels the Mets are going to have the best offseason this year, he has some reservations about how Omar has accomplished this:

...the trademark of Omar Minaya's dealings so far is that he overpays for everything. He can get Delgado, and that's great. But why overpay for him? Why not tell the Marlins, Look, you don't have teams beating down your door to take his contract. We'll do you a favor and take his contract, and you'll take one Grade B-minus prospect from this list of three, along with this backup Class A catcher, and you'll be thrilled with that.

Landing Pedro, Beltran, Wagner, Delgado, all good. But at some point, the bill is going to come due, and the Mets at least have to try to pay market value, rather than spending above and beyond that in each and every deal.

In fairness to Omar, according to early reports the Marlins are giving the Mets $7 million of the $48 million remaining on Delgado's contract, and the Marlins undoubtedly needed more from the Mets to complete a trade than they would have to trade Delgado outside of the division. However, Olney does give us some food for thought.

Daily News: Harper on Omar
John Harper offers a much more flattering profile Omar in the Daily News from the Wagner press conference yesterday:

Just as the Mets refused to step aside last year for the Yankees, and wound up holding the Carlos Beltran press conference on the same day that Randy Johnson was introduced in the Bronx, they make their play for Wagner for all to see.

More than anything, it seems, that's what Minaya has done for the Mets. He has convinced the Wilpons of the need to think big, as they did last year in landing Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran because they were willing to outspend everyone else.

Omar offered an interesting take on the mindset with which he pursues free agents: "I go into it thinking I'm the underdog, and I have to push it to the end. I want to be the underdog. You've got to go the extra mile."

Also in the News, Don't forget Billy
According to Adam Rubin, Omar hints that he will top any Phillies bid. Rubin also quotes Wagner:

I can't say what I'll take right now. I'm up here to visit and get an idea of the flavor of New York, I guess. I'm pretty open to anything. Definitely it will be worth coming to New York if we're kind of overwhelmed. Four years is a big deal to us. It all comes down to what our family decides.

I don't know about anyone else, but this whole thing to me is reminiscent of that girl when I was a kid, the one that always seemed right on the verge of giving me what I wanted, only to pull back just short of it. I feel an old ache just thinking about it.

Also in the News, Adam Rubin on Delgado
In an article published while the Delgado trade was still a rumor, Rubin gives us a nice, thoughtful look at all of the considerations. Lest we forget, Rubin reminds us that there is bad blood between the Mets and Delgado that needs to be addressed.

One more from the News, Bob Raissman on Mike and the Mad Dog
I wasn't the only one that noticed how surly the lads were yesterday.

New York Post: More Delgado
Kevin Kernan reports on the Delgado trade, and also imparts the nugget that the Mets are again pursuing Alfonso Soriano. (ugh) Javier Vasquez is also mentioned as a possible trade target.

What does this all mean?
Unless Delgado was acquired to turn around in another trade -- say to Boston for Manny -- I'm a little concerned that there will be a problem with Delgado. If the Mets can work this out, though, this was a huge pickup.

Right now the meat of the Mets' batting order looks a little overbalanced to left-handed batters, but I'm still not convinced that Cliff Floyd will be here. If the Mets get Manny or Soriano that would obviously be a right-handed power bat right there. My concern here is you hear talk that Omar is nowhere near done going after big players -- my question is, at what point do the Mets just become the Yankees here, trying to buy a championship and selling off all of their prospects? Stay tuned.

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