Monday, July 25, 2011

Mets 2012 - Rejuvinated at 50

Someone, a follower but non-diehard fan, asked me last night if the Mets were going to re-sign Jose Reyes. I told him that I honestly didn't know. I could see it going either way. I hope they do, and he has the ability to be a large force of the rebuilt Mets, but at the same time, he has the ability to go down to leg injuries every year that cuts into what he provides to the club. This year's (so far) was minor, and this year, he's showed potential, but one has to wonder. Now, he's not at the point of it being a joke like Fernando Martinez. But it's been a few years since Jose played the entire season healthy. All of that, especially over the past few seasons, makes me wary of throwing lots of money (assuming the Mets can afford it) at Reyes for many many years (though he should still be in the "prime" of his career 5 years from now and on the edge of it 2 years later). Omar Minaya would throw the money at Reyes and lock him up, which is what a lot of the vocal fans want. I don't mean to insult those fans by comparing their desire to what a clown like Omar Minaya would do. But Sandy Alderson is different, and I just don't know what he's going to do. I've said before that the best ballpark for Jose Reyes is Citi Field because of its wide open space. I'm waiting for him to go for 4 bases (you know it's going to be a play where a typically slower runner would end up with a triple). But who knows how much money will talk to Reyes in the offseason and make him leave NY. Or worse, moving to the Bronx.

The other realization I had, and thanks to Steve Popper at the Bergen (NJ) Record and was that the expected trade of Carlos Beltran means the end of the "core" group of Mets from the Omar Minaya era. I had also never thought of Beltran, Reyes, and Wright as being the core. I guess they were. Pedro and Delgado were there too. Beltran, when healthy, was something special. When healthy! But my thought here is that these are the last days of Carlos Beltran as a New York Met.

Now, Beltran is having a great year. An All-Star Season in fact (I think so anyway...didn't watch anything related to the game). He's a veteran who has some control on a trade. Ultimately, that may prove to be a bad thing for either side. Beltran really really doesn't want to play in the American League because of the fear of the DH. Coming into this season, I was ready to concede that Beltran was best suited as a DH for the Mets (for the amount of time that such a thing exists), but he proved me wrong. As far as 2012 and beyond is concerned, having a DH position to fall back on may be good. NL teams may not offer him as many years because of his knees (since they don't have the DH as a fallback). But in the near-term, I don't think it matters where Beltran goes. I'm sure he really doesn't want to leave the Mets (though I am sure he's not in the Mets future plans), but it's also pretty clear that the Mets will trade him in the next few days (they haven't yet already, have they? I'm taking a long time to write this post). If he has a chance to win, and a team and guarantee that he will play 6 days a week in the outfield, it shouldn't matter which league it's in. I know there's a comfort zone in the NL. Maybe that can come in handy with a team in the World Series.

One note on K-Rod. I knew Francisco Rodriguez would be traded. I just didn't expect it to happen during the All-Star Game. Too bad he wasn't having an All-Star season (think about it. How often does a player get traded mid-game and NOT need to get pulled).

David Wright's back. Hey, that's a double-pun. Wright had a big weekend with the bat (I still think he's un-clutch, but I'll give him a week or so to let the excitment of returning from a 2 month absense wear off), but I've heard more talk about his bad throwing mechanics, something I started noticing in 2009. Those things are hid a lot better by a good defensive first baseman (like Ike Davis or Keith Hernandez) because people tend to forget the cases when he gets the out. Wright is signed through next year, and there are no trade rumors. But that won't stop me from advocating trading Wright. Like Beltran and Reyes, and even more-so, Wright has been the "face of the franchise" since his arrival in 2004. And what have the Mets done over that time? I won't remind you, but it wasn't what we all had hoped they would do. I think he needs to wear the captian's "C" on his jersey, or he needs to be traded to a team that won't put the pressure on him. It should happen in the offseason...before the rumors of next year's trade deadline start distracting him.

I'm starting to wonder about Johan Santana. I can only remember him pitching one complete season with the Mets, that being his first in 2008. Maybe it was the new ballpark. Maybe Omar Minaya got damaged goods (and he hasn't led us to winning anything, though in that first year, he came pretty damn close to getting that chance). I would like to see how he comes back from this latest recovery, because the pitching staff will be better with him than without him. But the pitching staff is getting very weak. Even Mike Pelfrey should be considered a treadeable pitcher instead of a number 2 guy.

It's just about time to completely rebuild the organization, something I've advocated since 2009. Both the major league team and the farm system (think about the "talent" down on the farm - the oft-injured Fernando Martinez, the not-quite-closer Bobby Parnell (who blew a save on Sunday in the 8th), who else am I missing - more misses that hits down there). But at the same time, it's time for the Mets to get younger with Reyes being the veteran leader of the Mets Kids Club. Something, maybe, to look forward to next year in 2012. Mets 2012 - Rejuvinated at 50!

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