Thursday, December 07, 2006

Screw You Guys, I'm Going To The Dominican Republic

And with that, Omar headed for the airport, with Muselix Burgos in tow.

What, you expected more?

Yeah, me too.

But the winter meetings seem to be all about chasing windmills anyway. Lotsa talk, lotsa foundations laid down...but if you want big news, the last thing anyone should do, myself included, is depend on the winter meetings for excitement and thrills.

So let's review, shall we?

The Phillies trade Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez for Freddy Garcia.

What's this, now Pat Gillick gets smart? While I still haven't forgiven Gillick for his awful Bobby Abreu/Cory Lidle salary dump, this isn't a bad trade for Philly. Garcia isn't a world beater (there was a reason why Aaron Heilman alone would have gotten this deal done during the 2006 season), but for Floyd and Gio it's an upgrade, and more importantly, Philly now has the flexibility for a possible Jon Lieber for Derrick Turnbow and Kevin Mench trade, which would help them more than the Garcia trade does. (And heaven help the rest of the National League if Dallas Green can keep Pat Burrell away from the "broads"!)

But here's the good news: Carlos Beltran is a lifetime .429 hitter off of Garcia. Carlos Delgado is a lifetime .357, and each have three home runs. And get this, Todd Zeile is a lifetime .455 hitter off of Freddy Garcia (no, I have no idea why Zeile, and Mo Vaughn, and Wil Cordero, and Andres Galarraga, and Bret Boone, and Jay Bell who hasn't played in the league in four years, are still listed either). Now place those at-bats in Citizens Bank Shoebox and you have the potential for some Playstation numbers...or at least steroids era numbers.

The White Sox then put Jon Garland on the market, attempting to trade him to the Astros only to have Taylor Buchholz fail a physical (like he's Lee Suggs or something).

All right. We knew that the White Sox would get rid of one pitcher. But now they're getting rid of two, which leaves nothing for the Mets...which is fine since the fact that Omar Minaya seemingly wants to have Javy Vazquez's children (in an "adopt them from the eastern hemisphere" platonic kind of way...of course) doesn't instill comfort in my loins. But what it does mean is that the Astros are starting to scare the crap out of me...adding Garland along with Carlos Lee means that the Astros can still pitch and now they might be able to hit too. Metstradamus cannot sanction an Astros revival.

The Dodgers sign Jason Schmidt to a 3-year $47 million deal.

We knew all along that Schmidt was going to sign with a west coast team, but aren't we mildly surprised that he went directly from the Giants to the Dodgers? Barring Gil Renard tracking Schmidt down in the Dodgers lockerroom and using a rusty wrench crawling with scurvy to take liberties with his insides, this tips the balance of power in the Western division towards Los Angeles. Since Greg Maddux is about 85 years old anyway, so Maddux to Schmidt is an upgrade.

So three seemingly unrelated items come out of the winter meetings (and by the way, if GM's had any testicular fortitude, they would hold the winter meetings in Toronto or Montreal or Moose Jaw. It's not like these guys leave their hotel rooms anyway, right? What use are you going to get out of Lake Buena Freakin Vista? So Steve Phillips could play golf?) But as you know, nothing is unrelated. The signs are flashing, and the truth is out there.

Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, and Jason Schmidt merely underscore the importance of the Mets signing Barry Zito.

Omar is still going to dance the waterdance. He's still going to tell Scott Boras (in the guise of addressing the public at large, of course) that "hey, we have Glavine back, we have a reliever named Trail Mix, we have our very own performance enhancer for 112 games, and we might even trade for Danny Haren! We don't need to pay your ridiculous prices for your high end merchandise". And if Minaya loses this game of chicken, he'll repeat that line. But he doesn't mean it.

At least, I hope he doesn't mean it.

Here's the problem, Omar's dancing may have been a shrewd strategy before the winter meetings started, it isn't going to scare Satan Boras anymore. Boras has Tom Hicks ready to turn on the money faucet for Zito. He may have the Giants, Mariners, and Angels on line as well. Boras also has the Garcia trade, the Schmidt signing, and the potential Jon Garland trade as proof that the Mets need to keep up with the Joneses, and he'd be right.

What does Omar Minaya have...besides of course, Orlando Hernandez and his calf slated to be the number two starter? Minaya might have had Boras' desperation to keep a New York team in the chase, but with Boras using a four hour chat with Brian Cashman as a possible smokescreen (Lord I hope it's only a smokescreen), does Minaya even have that anymore?

What I'm trying to say is that there's no chance that Zito's asking price is going to remain in the general vicinity of the atmosphere. So if Omar really wants him (and he does if he's smart), he brings Barry Zito to New York City...he takes him to Corona Ice King, Spanky's BBQ, and every other New York City landmark that Minaya can think of (all while keeping him away from the "broads"), and then bringing Zito and the prince of darkness to the Shea Stadium mound and offer him six years at $105 million right then and there...then give him a pen and have him sign the contract right on the pitching rubber (even offer to buy Zito a new outfit after the duds he's wearing get all muddied up by lying on the pitching mound). And if he can't commit, then send them on their way to Arlington, or Orange County, or Oblivion, or wherever he wants to go.

Is $105 million for six years overpaying? Maybe. But would you rather overpay for the best that's out there, or would you rather overpay for Adam Eaton...especially when your glaring need (and everyone knows it) is a top of the rotation pitcher? And is it really overpaying when your organization is the beneficiary of two rounds of playoffs, the largest naming rights contract in the history of naming rights contracts, and the future revenue of the new stadium named for the corporation that paid out that highest amount of naming rights money...ever?

For Zito? I say this: Remember when Tom Hicks overpaid Alex Rodriguez? How exactly did that work out? And Rodriguez was a hitter going to a hitter's park. You, my flaky left-handed friend, would be a pitcher going to a hitters park. You would also go back to Oakland 10 times a year, where those Athletic supporters will taunt you with dollar bills and insults about your guitar playing. Would it be worth all of that to pitch in Texas during brutally hot summers where the ball will fly long and hard over that outfield wall?

If you think it would be worth it, if you would trade in the immediate chance to go to the World Series...along with the opportunity to pitch to the anemic 7-8-9 hitters that the National League is famous for and the chance to reunite with your pitching guru...for a few extra million and those Arlington summers, then good luck to you. Good luck.

For now, good luck to us, as we wake up every morning to turn on ESPNEWS hoping that breaking news box reads "Mets sign Barry Zito". With perhaps a Dan Haren trade (or a Vernon Wells trade??!?) to follow.


Mike said...

Maybe Omar was just making like Rush Limbaugh, heading to the D.R. to seek out illegal drugs & young boys.

(And, uhhhh, I don't mean steroids and 16 year-old shortstops from San Pedro De Macoris).

Unser said...

Vernon Wells? Now that would be a trick.

So let me get this straight - the Mets give a 2 year contract to Mota, a guy who (1) can't pitch for the first 50 games of the year, (2) is an admitted performance enhancing substance user and (3) was one of the main reasons we lost Game 2 of the NLCS?!? What am I missing here. I would rather have seen them sign Bradford for 3 years.

Mets Grrl said...

I still want to know how to pronounce Weetabix's name.

MetsfaninTX said...

Muselix?? Trail Mix??

Classic Metstradamus.

I'm with Unser..we should have
gone three years on Chad @ 5M
per year, and go with kids in
Mota's spot. Am I the only one
who is concerned that all of
Mota's late season pitching
heroics where the result of
his steroid use and that without
it he will pitch as he did for the

I still don't understand Willie's
love affair with this guy.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the money from the huge TV contract.

k. said...

Unser's correct: Let's face it--little method and much madness with Omar this offseason. Bradford was revered at Shea; Mota was never seen as anything but a dog who took a cheap shot at Piazza. And now he has cheating on his resume too...

However, nothing Omar can do will ever equal the sadistic evil of OxyViagraRush "Cyst on the Ass So I Couldn't Serve" Limpaw.

Anonymous said...

'royally screwed' was great but i love how you refer to satan boras as the 'prince of darkness'

jdon said...

I predict that Turnbow will be the "Walkoff King" of all baseball if he winds up in the Philly bandbox. I drool at his coming to Philly. I agree on Zito although I don't like 6 years. 5 for 85? And I woyuld trade Pelfrey, Heilman and Omar's wife (as would Omar) for Wells, because I am sure Omar would re-sign him. That would still leave Pelfrey/Humber and Perez as young studs and Maine as a long reliever/spot starter. Didn't the Mets have a minor leaguer who changed his name to "Ambiorix?" No offense, but it sounds like a medication of some kind.

cabot41 said...

Could somebody please explain to me why we are thinking about Haren more seriously than Rich Harden?

Haren is a nice #3 whose going to cost you Lastings and Hielman.

Zito is a nice #2 who is going to cost you six years (and 6 years is at least two too many, regardless of how much money you spend per year).

But Rich Harden has the stuff to be a Cy Young award winner. ANd He'll cost you what you'd have to pay for Haren plus Humber/Pelfry and an A ball prospect. I know he hasn't been able to stay helathy, but he is only 25. Yet he throwns 95mph, and ... I mean have you *seen* his splitter? Its unhittable when he's on. People are acting like Harden is as fragile as Prior, but he is not, at least not yet. Reyes used to be injury prone too remember. (knocking on various wooden objects). And Harden is mad cheap.

Then you take the Zito money and make Giles an offer he can't refuse.

Look, if Beane values Harden over Haren and Zito, maybe we should too.