By Mike Steffanos
I found quite a few of those "looking ahead" type of articles today, despite the fact that the World Series has just started.
Daily News: Rubin's Plan
Adam Rubin offers up four things he believes the Mets should do in the off-season. Let's look a them point by point:
1. Re-sign Tom Glavine, Orlando Hernandez, Guillermo Mota and Chad Bradford
Hard to argue, although Glavine's family will have a lot to say about his return. Mota, despite some inconsistency in the playoffs, will be pricy to re-sign in the current market for relievers, as will Bradford. Bradford pitched surprisingly well against left-handers this season, and teams may be looking at his as a bridge to the closer, not just a one or two batter righty specialist. Still, if the Mets want to roll the dice at the bottom of the bullpen that's fine, but I agree with Rubin that they should try very hard to keep the late-inning group intact. Given the strong possibility that Aaron Heilman is a starter here or somewhere else next season, and keeping Mota and Bradford would seem that much more important.
2. Trade Lastings Milledge for an ace
Everyone tells us how far Lastings' stock has fallen, then in the next breath they still believe he can be a major chip for one of the rarest commodities in baseball -- a top of the rotation starter. If Milledge's value has dropped so much, it's important that the Mets properly evaluate his future. If they still believe he's going to be a good one, they will not want to sell low with this kid. If they don't believe in him anymore, than they should get whatever they can. I'm sure the overwhelming talk radio consensus is to deal him, but that doesn't necessarily make it the correct baseball move.
3. Sign Moises Alou and Julio Lugo
I was all for a reasonable rental of Alou when those rumors came around in July and August. I'm not sure how much I'd want to commit to a 41-year-old player who's been banged up over the past couple of years. I agree with the need to balance the lineup so they're not as vulnerable against left-handed pitching, but I'd like to see the Mets get a little younger and more athletic in the outfield.
As for Lugo, he's certainly an attractive player. Despite not hitting well after being traded to the Dodgers, I think he's a guy many teams see as an excellent offensive shortstop, which might make him pricey to the Mets as a second baseman. It wouldn't shock me if the market priced him elsewhere.
4. Stockpile starters
No argument here, particularly if we can avoid the Jose Limas and Geremi Gonzalezes of the world.
Bergen Record: Starting Pitching Options
Steve Popper does a good job of outlining some of the options the Mets will have in putting a rotation next year. I found this item about Jason Schmidt interesting:
Jason Schmidt is the other top-of-the-rotation free agent, compiling an 11-9 record with a 3.59 ERA for the Giants. But at 33, his numbers have dropped in recent years, fueling speculation within his own clubhouse that he used and stopped using steroids -- a charge he angrily denied.
I hadn't heard steroid rumors linked with Schmidt's name before. Putting that aside, it's the age and drop in numbers that would scare me away. The Mets need to get away from the fragility in their rotation that came back to bite them so hard at the end of the season, not to mention that Schmidt will likely receive a contract commensurate with his ability and production from 2 years ago. It's doubtful that his production will rebound back to that level.
NY Sports Day: Changes
Joe McDonald takes a position by position look at some of the roster changes we're likely to see next year.