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Castro Back, Torrealba Close

Mike SteffanosThursday, November 15, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

With Ramon Castro already re-signed for 2 years and multiple reports that former Rockies' catcher Yorvit Torrealba will sign this afternoon, it looks like the Mets have their 2008 catchers locked up.

I do understand the reasoning behind not trading prospects for a catcher. I'm waiting to see how many years they had to give Torrealba, but most accounts peg it at a 3-year deal.

If the Mets manage to sign Louis Castillo, on days that Torrealba catches and Castillo plays second, the lineup will feature very little power from these 2 slots. Factor in that Moises Alou in a best-case scenario is likely to play in 120 games, and the number will probably be less. Combine that with Delgado's decline as a power hitter and I have some concerns about the line-up next season. Of course, much of this will depend on what else goes down this winter. Anyway, while (of course) not seeing this as a disastrous move, I have some reservations about this.

Barring something else of immediate interest popping up, I will go back to trying to finish my 2007 season recap. My goal is to actually get it done before the 2008 season is underway.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (8)

Just because the Met's power has declined doesnt mean they still arent good. People often forget that power isnt the only way to score runs in baseball.

Stephan - We understand very well that there are many different ways to score runs. Today's game does place a premium on offense and power. You might have noticed power hitters make the biggest salaries. Besides, Torrealba doesn't hit for average and doesn't walk much, either. I'm not putting up Lo Duca as an offensive powerhouse, but this is one guy who is actually an offensive downgrade to Lo Duca.

Boy, you expressed my thoughts exactly.

At times I get the notion that the Mets WANT to continually run out these underpowered teams. I know it's not true, but it keeps happening.

The nice thing about LoDuca was that he rarely struck out. This is why he was in the two hole most of the time before Castillo joined the team. Considering that you can count on Castillo not playing a full season (if the Mets do re-sign him) it would have been nice to have LoDuca as a backup for that spot. Endy Chavez can fill that spot when he plays, but I'm not sure if Milledge or Gomez are good options at this point.

If Milledge does play full time the Mets should get some more power out of right field than they did from Shawn Green. However, I wouldn't be upset if the Mets used Milledge, Gomez, and Pelfrey as trade bait to acquire some good quality pitching (starting or relief) and then went out and got a Xavier Nady type outfielder who isn't going to wow you, but always puts up good consistent numbers.

I like Castro better than LoDuca or Torreabla. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I think he is better at throwing out runners (certainly no worse) and he does a reasonable job blocking the plate. Offensively there is no comparison. If he stays healthy they should let him play 50% of the games.

Gregg - I agree with you on Castro. If he can stay healthy enough to catch half the games this signing looks a lot better. I'm just not convinced, based on what he's done in the past, that he could stay healthy enough to catch that many.

Before you get too worked up about letting LoDuca go, remember that he is 35 and like all catchers reaching that age is starting to break down physically and, therefore, productively. Torrealba is 6 years younger, is supposed to be very good defensively--especially handling pitchers (which LoDuca did not do during the game and which can be very important for young guys like Maine and Perez) and calling pitches (where I think LoDuca did a good job also)--and has as much power as LoDuca, though not, historically, the average. But will the 2008 LoDuca be the guy of several years ago or even 2006 or the guy who finished last season beat up and unproductive. At his age, I'd predict the latter.

Now let's go get a pitcher like Noah Lowery or Gorzelany of the Pirates without giving up the 4 prime young studs on the current roster--Milledge, Gomez, Pelfrey and Humber.

Good luck to you, all Mets fans and the Mets. It's 85 degrees and sunny in Arizona today. Let's play 2!

Herb Geller

Looks like the Torrealba deal is dead. Read a few news stories, but not much on detail. This is from The Star-Ledger:

After saying all week that the reported 3-year, $14.4-million deal for Yorvit Torrealba was not finalized, the Mets proved themselves prophetic this afternoon after talks with the free-agent catcher broke off.

The fracture was first reported by Newsday.

"We don't have an agreement with Torrealba and there are no negotiations with him or his agent,'' a Mets spokesman said a few minutes ago.

Calls to Torrealba's agent, Melvin Roman, were not immediately returned.

Herb - Try to stay warm if that night time temp dips into the 70s :^)
Gregg - Isn't that amazing? A friend told me the deal fell through last night. I thought he was yanking my chain. It will be interesting to see their next move.

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