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Mets Hot Stove: No more old guy jokes

Mike SteffanosSaturday, December 10, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

Okay, I've had enough of the old guy jokes at Franco's expense. Let's look at what else is out there:

New York Post: Dotel, Vazquez, Matsui
Besides filling us in on Julio Franco, who we're already bored with, Mark Hale tells us that the Mets bench would seem to be set, but quotes Omar from last evening's conference call that, "you always need to leave yourself open to ideas and what's available out there."

Other items of interest that Hale imparts:

  • The Mets have made a proposal to Octavio Dotel's agent, but are "not a strong candidate" for the former Met.

  • If the Mets are going to successfully deal for Javier Vazquez, they will have to outbid the Braves, Red Sox, White Sox and Cubs.

  • The Mets are trying to move Kaz Matsui to the Devil Dogs; the trade may hinge on whether Tampa deals Julio Lugo.

Daily News: Roberto Hernandez
Adam Rubin reports that the 1 year deal former Mets setup man Hernandez signed with the Pirates was for $3 million, a little higher than the $2.75 million the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting. In any case, it was much higher than the Mets were willing to go for the 41 year old reliever. The Pirates may use Bert as a closer or in the same setup role that the Mets used him. Rubin also reports that the Mets "remain interested" in Octavio Dotel, and have hired a highly regarded former Devil Rays scout.

Newsday: One more on Franco
David Lennon offers us this on new Met Julio Franco:

Just the sight of Franco's aggressive stance, with the bat locked and loaded above his head, is enough to unnerve pitchers. Not to mention the fact that he is stronger and more determined than players half his age. He credits a varied training regimen that includes yoga and plyometrics - as well as techniques he learned in Japan playing for the Chiba Lotte Marines in 1995 and 1998 - for his longevity.

What those unnerved pitchers don't realize is that "aggressive stance" is just Franco waiting for his prune juice to kick in. (Sorry)

ESPN Insider: Grow your own
Peter Gammons, in his latest column, talks about the value of young pitchers. He quotes Indians GM Mark Shapiro:

This winter's pitching market makes it vital that we hold onto the young pitchers we think can be top-of-the-rotation starters. The market value of young pitchers is greater than ever.

I feel like I've been a broken record on this point at times, but in the new reality of Major League Baseball, where revenue sharing has allowed small market teams to retain more of their players, I'm convinced that the teams that succeed down the road will be the teams with productive farm systems. The rich teams can't buy what isn't for sale, and will pay through the nose for what little is out there on the market, either by trade or free agent signing.

Omar Minaya has stated that the young pitching he traded this off-season is not the best in the system. I'm not going to argue, I think Omar is more qualified to judge then I am. Many of you out there will rate Omar based on how good he can make this team now, I will hold him to a tougher standard. I have little respect for GMs that can't sustain success for more than a short time, we have had far too many of those since the game passed Frank Cashen by.

Omar insists that he can build a team to win now without mortgaging the future. If he can do this, he will earn the respect of all of us. But make no mistake, despite the low regard many Mets fans have for home-grown talent, this team is destined to crash into Steve Phillips hell unless it can produce some of its own players.

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