By Mike Steffanos
The baseball season gets closer, and I tend to agree with Joyce -- I just want them to play ball. Although this off-season hasn't been chock full of big name signings, it's been an adventure. Just when you thought that most of the hot stove brouhaha is over for the Mets, Gotham Baseball reports on a possible deal with the A's for Danny Haren:
According to a Bay Area-based baseball official, the Mets and A's "are finally discussing a deal that could send right-hander Danny Haren (not Rich Harden) to the Mets in return for Heilman, Lasting Milledge and a minor league pitcher".
"Yes, the A's are reluctant to deal Haren and would rather deal Blanton," said the official. "(But) the Mets really don't want to give up Milledge unless they get a No. 2, or a potential No. 1 starter in return."
Haren, who went 14-13 with a 4.12 ERA for the A's last season, is one of the most sought-after young starters in all of baseball, and if Minaya is able to land him, it would be an amazing coup. But will he be able to pull it off? The two clubs have talked swaps for several players over the last two years and have never found enough common ground -- or patience -- with each other to get a deal done. What makes this deal different.
"Minaya and Beane really wanted to have this deal done at the Winter Meetings, but for some reason, the Mets and A's could never seem to make the different parts work. I think they're past that stage now, and might be closer to something happening"
I guess rumors of a deal between the Mets and Athletics will never completely go away. If the Mets can land Haren for Milledge and Heilman they probably should do it. I guess for me it depends on the minor league pitcher. If it's going to be Pelfrey or Humber I think it's too much to give up. Also, I know there are a few out there who view Haren as a "No. 2, or a potential No. 1 starter", but I'm not one of them. I think his stuff projects to more of a solid #3. While prospects are always a risk, particularly pitchers, you'd be giving up a potential star in Milledge, a very solid and still relatively cheap young pitcher in Heilman, and in either Humber or Pelfrey a pitching prospect with more upside than Haren. I honestly feel that giving up Milledge and Heilman could possibly be too much, but in the current market for pitchers at least justifiable.
Anyway, we'll see if it happens. I'm so tired writing about possibilities after a winter of chasing Barry Zito and rumors such as this one. I want spring training to start and then get to watch some of those battles for the rotation jobs. Enough already...
I tried to finish my conclusion to the series I've written on the starting rotation late last night but couldn't make it. I've been under the weather again this week and it caught up with me. I'll get that up tonight or tomorrow. I've already started my research for the bullpen previews that will start Monday.