By Mike Steffanos
I returned from my short vacation last night. As much as I enjoyed it, it felt good to return to all of the good things of home. [Begin shameless suck up] While Lisa is, of course, right at the top of that list [end suck up], I also appreciate returning to a good computer with access to all of the latest news on things I care about such as the New York Mets. Then again, while things were happening in the world this week, not much was happening with the Mets.
Unlike last winter, where Omar and the Mets had target players that they aggressively pursued, this hot stove season has started slowly and really hasn't warmed up much at all to this point. Although there seems to be no shortage of those in the media who seem to be more than willing to definitively speak to the thinking of Omar Minaya, the Mets GM hasn't really tipped his hand all that much as to what he finds attractive in the marketplace. The GM meetings take place next week, and if Omar is looking to make a trade, perhaps something will take place then. Of course, it might be rather helpful to Omar's plans if Tom Glavine would make up his mind where he wants to play next year.
As quoted by Marty Noble on Mets.com, Glavine is less than definitive as to what his ultimate wishes might be:
I'm a little surprised that I have so little sense of what I'm going to do. I'm listing all the positives for [the Mets and Braves] in columns and trying to assess what I have as educatedly as I can. I don't want to jump at any one thing, and I'm trying not to be overly influenced by how much I'm enjoying myself being home now.
For what it's worth -- and I'm always careful to point out that I have no "inside" sources -- I'm beginning to suspect that Tom Glavine would go back to Atlanta if he could pry a decent deal out of them. I don't believe his coyness has anything to do with getting more out of the Mets, I think he's trying to get the Braves to make him a viable offer. In Noble's article, Glavine gives somewhat of a timetable:
I pretty much told [Mets COO Jeff Wilpon] that I won't hang him up on this, that I'll probably let him know before the winter meetings.
Given that the winter meetings aren't until the first week of December, that's not all that helpful for the Mets. I'm sure they want to have their "Plan B" options moving well before then. Sadly, as quoted by the New York Post's Kevin Kernan, Glavine's agent Gregg Clifton is no more specific or useful:
Tom is going to take his time and look at all the factors.
If things drag on with Glavine much longer, the Mets might do very well to proceed as if he's not returning and act accordingly. Minaya has done a good job of not allowing players to hold up the team's actions since he's taken over. I'd keep that thought going with Glavine. The Mets can't afford to allow Tom Glavine's flirtation with Atlanta to dictate their postseason plans.
No offense to those of you who are working overtime to punch Aaron Heilman's ticket out of town, but given all of the uncertainty with the Mets pitching next year, I'd be extremely wary of giving up Heilman unless it brought pitching back to the team. Besides the Glavine situation with the starting rotation, in the bullpen you have Duaner Sanchez returning from serious injury and Guillermo Mota sitting in limbo for the first third of the season.
I honestly don't know why so many take Aaron Heilman for granted. He's young, talented and cheap. Most importantly to me, he has proven he can pitch in New York in high-pressure roles. He's been the target of boo-birds and has not been buried by that. When you bring someone in from the outside, you can only hope they can handle the whole New York experience. Heilman has already proved he can. Don't discount that. There may well be a deal sitting out there that makes sense where Heilman gets dealt. Too often, however, I read trade rumors involving Aaron that just don't make sense.