By Mike Steffanos
The Mets reached a deal with Alex Cora to slot behind Johan Santana in the starting rotation. He'll also be redesigning the infamous Citi Field patch which has become an object of ridicule on the internet, to the shame of Mets fans everywhere.
In an exclusive interview with Mike's Mets on the signing, GM Omar Minaya has expressed his confidence that Cora can give the Mets 200 quality innings and a sleeve patch that Mets fans and patch lovers in general can proudly get behind. He'll also back up Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes.
Well, the last sentence is true -- unless Castillo completely falls apart, in which case Cora is likely to be the starting second baseman.
What I like about the signing is that the Mets have a quality backup shortstop that can give Jose Reyes a few days off without a huge hit on the infield defense. By all accounts, Cora is also a quality guy for the clubhouse.
What I don't like is Cora's lifetime .245/.313/.348 batting line. Minaya seems to like these guys who are offensive throwbacks to the 80s. In 3+ seasons in that bandbox in Boston, Cora had 6 home runs in almost 700 AB. None at all last season.
The Mets are giving up a little pop from Damion Easley -- who admittedly had a somewhat down year in power last season -- for more defense. With a likely 5-man bench, I don't love this one. I don't particularly hate it, either.
As for the starting rotation, Omar is reportedly "confident" that he can re-sign Ollie Perez. I hope that's true -- I just don't think the Mets can afford to roll the dice with Ben Sheets when they have questions regarding Pelfrey (big innings jump last year) and Maine (shoulder). Sheets is a gamble you can take when you feel really good about your other guys.
I'd still love to see Omar sign Perez and someone else, even Pedro, but we won't get too greedy at this point.
Oh, and as far as that patch -- am I the only one that thinks it's getting WAY more attention than it deserves? It's like the Sarah Palin of sleeve patches.
Yes it's dull and unimaginative -- quite lame, actually. Still, I'm already over it. I only wish that patch proves to be the lamest thing on Citi Field next season.