After losing out on the absolute insanity that was the Barry Zito albatross contract, and - to a lesser extent - the Jeff Suppan albatross-lite consolation prize, the Mets rotation currently reads Tom Glavine, El Duque, John Maine, Oliver Perez, and a fifth-spot option of youngsters Mike Pelfrey (raw, but still needing an effective breaking pitch) or Philip Humber (raw as well, but left early from the Arizona Fall League with arm trouble). Pedro won't be available until mid-year or later depending on which back page you read. Now, they can still score eight runs a game, but do they really want to gamble on the front three or four listed above holding up all season and into the playoffs (those guys didn't step up for them last year).
With all the myriad of trade rumors that are "almost a done deal" (give me a break Pirates blogs), you never hear the Mets mentioned as possible trading partners with the Braves. And I know, I know, they're inter-division rivals, but if they are clamoring for starting pitching (and if Minaya listens to the radio like Sabean does) then perhaps they would like a guy like Tim Hudson. Hey, it's the same positives that they were saying about Zito - being reunited with former Oakland pitching coach Rick Peterson. Perhaps the Mets brass believes that a reunion like that could heighten the value of Hudson to the point where they would trade some of their top prospects. In the long run, Melkey Cabrera and Lastings Milledge are similarly projectable, and Hayden Penn and either Pelfrey and Humber are also of equal value.
Milledge would satisfy our left field/replacement-for-Andruw-in-center-next-year need, and one of their young pitchers (even Aaron Heilman) would satisfy our desire to get younger in the rotation. Now I know that we usually don't want to make trades with teams within our division (especially the Mets), but if we are itching to get some pieces in return for one of our high-priced guys then this type of trade might get us several lower cost options which we desire.
Pretty much, I'm just throwing it out there thinking that the Mets might be scrambling after losing out on all the top and middle tier free agent pitchers (save for Glavine and El Duque, which were really resigns).
In other Zito related news:
- This Giants blog has some great comments on the Zito signing, a must read.
- Zito's former team's bloggers are wondering why the Yankees were not in on the negotiations harder, and they are now coping with the five stages of grief after losing the Z-man. Keep in mind, losing Zito to the cross-town rival Giants was like the Braves losing Glavine (twice) to the rival Mets. And boy, the Mets better be glad they re-signed Glav early or else they'd really be hurting.
- In non-baseball news, Kyle over at DawgSports is worried about Georgia's special teams in their Peach Bowl match-up with Va-Tech.
Have a happy New Year's!