November 14, 2006

Off-Season Outpost- Special Edition 3: The Arms Race Is Heating Up!

After we published our first "Off-Season Outpost," focusing on starting pitching, Jonathan reminded me that, of course, Omar would be going in multiple directions at once. With Matsuzaka apparently becoming property of the Red Sox, as expected, that leaves Barry Zito as the number one "most glamorous" free agent pitcher left on the market. We hear that the Marlins are reluctant to discuss trading Willis, and that the White Sox are asking for the moon (as in Pelfrey or Humber) for one of their 3 starters, Buerhle, Vasquez or Contreras. Now it's very likely that the Mets will still make the biggest play for Zito, who, no doubt, would love to pair up with his old pitching guru, Rick Peterson, once again. It's also possible, if we were to sign Zito, that one Mark Mulder might want to reunite with his buddy, as well as the pitching coach that he had both a contentious relationship with, but also his most success with as well. However, it's still open to great debate whether or not Omar views Zito as a top-of-the-rotation starter, rather then the #2 that many have painted him as, and it would be most costly to sign someone to the kind of contract that Zito's bound to be asking for (think 5-7 years at $15-$18 mil per) if he didn't believe him to be a #1 starter. Either way, Zito is certainly going to be someone's "number one" starter, and we still hope it will be at Shea/Citifield for the next 5 years.

Additionally, as Jonathan also brought up, there's another school of thought in play- that while everyone else is trying to sign Matsuzaka (which, apparently, the Mets did make a major bid for), and/or Zito, the Mets might be trying to sign a lesser talent, such as Vicente Padilla, and add him to the mix with Maine, Glavine (hopefully re-signed), Hernandez (just re-signed), and a combo from the pool of Perez, Williams, Pelfrey, Humber, Bannister and, if healthy at some point next season, Pedro. Then, with at least Padilla in the fold, they could heat up trade talks with the Marlins for Willis or with another, as yet unnamed team, for someone that no one else either realized was on the market, or yet another, seemingly secondary starter, like Jake Peavey of the Padres.

We don't need an all-star team to win it all, and we already have a roster laden with great talent. Perhaps this past season showed us that we can win it all with merely solid starting, holding the line for the time when Pelfrey and Humber make it to the big show, for good.

Hey- it's over 80 degrees out here in SoCal, and while it's not baseball season, there seems to be as many baseball articles out there right now as there is during the heart of the season! That's why I LOVE this time of year!!!!

1 comment:

adenzeno said...

I like Padilla and or SChmidt as an efficient signing-I would lopve to get them on a 2 years deal(even at 10-15 per) to give Pelfry Humber etc time to develop. 5 Year del for pitchers NOT a good idea.