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[ESPN]Mets dealing for catchers (C'mon 'Stros)

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by JunkyardDwg, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. JunkyardDwg

    JunkyardDwg Contributing Member

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    Mets offer deals to Molina and Hernandez

    NEW YORK -- Now that they have Carlos Delgado, the New York Mets are turning their attention to Bengie Molina and Ramon Hernandez.

    General manager Omar Minaya said Friday the team had made offers to the pair of free-agent catchers. He also refused to rule out trying to acquire Manny Ramirez from Boston, although he wouldn't go into specifics.

    "We will have conversations sometime this week, hopefully not this weekend," Minaya said during a telephone conference call. "It's been two Thanksgivings now that I've been working every day."

    With Mike Piazza leaving, the Mets have made it a priority to get a catcher, especially one with better defensive skills. Going after both Molina and Hernandez is somewhat unusual.

    "I was honest. I let them know I have two offers out there. They're both very good catchers," Minaya said. "We might possibly go the trade route, also."

    Alan Nero, Molina's agent, said no decision was imminent.

    "We got an initial offer from them. Because of the holidays, we haven't had a chance to go over it," he said. "It's an initial offer. We're expecting offers from several other teams, and we have lot of work to do."

    Last year, Minaya had Thanksgiving dinner with Pedro Martinez. The three-time Cy Young Award winner signed with the Mets, a move that helped New York persuade center fielder Carlos Beltran to join them a few weeks later.

    Delgado, the other major free agent Minaya went after, spurned New York to sign with the Florida Marlins. But with Florida slashing payroll, the Marlins sent the first baseman to the Mets on Thursday for first baseman Mike Jacobs, right-hander Yusmeiro Petit and infielder Grant Psomas. The Marlins will give the Mets $7 million to offset part of the $48 million Delgado is owed over the next three years: $1 million next season, $2 million in 2007 and $4 million in 2008.

    Minaya wanted to get the deal done before a decision was made by Paul Konerko, the top power hitter on the free-agent market. He figured teams that failed to land Konerko might get involved in talks to acquire Delgado.

    "Any time a cleanup hitter, a guy that hits 30 to 40 home runs and 125 RBI [is] out there in the marketplace, you better not be too slow," Minaya said.

    New York hopes Delgado, David Wright, Cliff Floyd and Beltran will combine to provide a consistent offense threat.

    "When you look at championship teams, they usually have a presence," Minaya said.

    Minaya, Mets owner Fred Wilpon and team chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, spoke with Delgado, who is scheduled to be at Shea Stadium for a news conference Monday. Last March, Delgado told the Toronto Star that he didn't like the way Minaya and assistant Tony Bernazard focused on his Hispanic heritage when trying to recruit him.

    Minaya said reports of friction between Delgado and Bernazard were overblown.

    "Tony and Carlos have spoken," Minaya said. "Tony and Carlos go way back."

    In another potentially touchy subject, Delgado protested the U.S.-Iraq war by refusing to stand when "God Bless America" was played at major league ballparks. Balancing Delgado's free-speech rights and the patriotism expected from players by some fans in New York could be a delicate balancing act.

    "I don't have an answer to that question right now," Minaya said. "At some point in time, we will sit down with Carlos and talk about those issues."

    The 33-year-old Delgado, a two-time All-Star, hit .301 with 33 homers and 115 RBI in his lone season with the Marlins, reaching 30 homers for the ninth consecutive year. His defense, however, is shaky.

    "The bottom line is his offensive production," Minaya said. "We've seen him play. He holds his own over there."





    It would be nice to see some movement in the Astros camp. While the team was never gonna go after the likes of Konerko, Thome, Delgado or Beckett, this latest news is a little worrisome. Catcher is one of the few positions the Astros can upgrade. Maybe these guys will be out of their price range? Perhaps, but it would still be nice to see some sign from the Astros. I really hope they aren't waiting for Clemens, cause that would be most unwise.
     
  2. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    I agree... Catcher is one position that Tim specifically mentioned that the club would try to upgrade (but he also said that re-signing Ausmus was a priority... so who knows what their real plans are).

    But, for what its worth... if all these FA's end up being signed by the Mets, its really not going to be a bad thing for the rest of the NL. We all know the Mets are not going to magically become a winning team... after all, they're the Mets. Thus, with them getting all these "good" players, it will definitely weaken the rest of the field because it prevents some of the other decent teams (Phillies, Cardinals, Braves) from re-loading and becoming more dangerous.

    Hooray Mets... the countdown to another dissapointing/mediocre 70-80 win season has begun.
     
  3. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    One of these days, the sky will really be falling. Maybe.
     
  4. Major

    Major Member

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    It's not like the Mets are the Cubs. They went to the World Series about 5 years ago, have won a World Series, etc. There's no reason to think the Mets won't be good this year. They are making some big upgrades on that team.
     
  5. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Big upgrades, yes... but I still believe that the best way to build a team is to have a primary core (either home-grown, or FA's that have been around for a few years)... and then add a piece here or there.

    The Mets just seem to think that getting the "biggest name" out there year after year will = success. Sure, you have the occasional team that just goes out there and buys a championship (1997 Marlins), but you far more often have teams loaded with new expensive players that invariably come up way short (The Mets since 2000, the Yankees since 2000, The Cubs since 03).

    Plus, I still believe that the Mets will truly be cursed for the antics of that 86 team that won it all. Frankly, the Cubs still scare me more than the Mets... NY will find a way to screw it up.
     
  6. Major

    Major Member

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    I agree with a lot of that, but I think the Mets are smartly getting young/in-their-prime players. The Yankees are the other team with this bad habit (on a consistent basis), but they keep getting old, over-the-hill guys. I think Delgado and Wagner (if they get him) are great moves for that team. Last year, their problems were a lack of a reliable closer and offense - they addressed both of those needs.
     
  7. BMoney

    BMoney Contributing Member

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    I hope the Astros management aren't that smug and complacent about a National League rival who is set to add Billy Wagner, Carlos Delgado and one of these catchers to a team that was improved last year. The Astros won six more games than the Mets did last year and your acting this cocky? "We all know the Mets are not going to magically become a good team..." You could have said the same thing about the Chicago White Sox last year. I hate to defend the Mets of all teams, but counting on your rivals to keep sucking while you do nothing is a bad idea. I can't see the Astros pitching staff duplicating their 2005 performance, so I would hope they add some bats right now.
     
  8. halfbreed

    halfbreed Contributing Member

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    God I hope the 2006 Mets aren't as scary as last year's "New Mets." My God, they were the best team ever assembled...on paper. :eek: :eek:

    Oh yeah...they didn't make the playoffs though. :D
     
  9. Major

    Major Member

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    Neither did the White Sox in 2004. Oddly enough, when you add a couple of good players, you become better. Delgado and Wagner are worth 6 games (the margin they were behind us). Florida sucking is worth another couple of games for every NL East team. Given that we won the wildcard by 1 game, it doesn't take a lot for teams like Philly or the Mets to make the playoffs.
     
  10. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    The one problem that the Mets have always had...and will continue to have...is that they try to compete with the Yankees. They would rather tyr to assemble a better team (on paper) than the Yankees than actually having a solid, unified team that can compete. That being said, the players they have added over the last 2 years...along with the couple they are still going after...certainly make them a force in the NL.

    Take into account that Beltran had an injury plagued year, Piazza couldn't throw out the garbage, and their closer was better suited working at Carmine's in midtown the way he served up meatballs, and they have definitely addressed (or have started to address) some glaring needs....certainly so much so that they SHOULD be in strong contention for a playoff spot.

    I'll save judgement on our offseason until we actually start maing moves...BUT..I hope we start to do something soon.
     
  11. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    Let's keep in mind that it's still VERY early. We haven't even had the winter meetings yet.
     
  12. The Cat

    The Cat Contributing Member

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    Someone on AstrosDaily (I know, not the most reliable) said Purpura was on 610 yesterday and said he had not spoken with any agents for other players because the team was waiting on decisions from Ausmus and Clemens. I hope he heard wrong or that it's a smokescreen from Purpura. If it's not, I'm incredibly depressed... did we not learn anything from last offseason? Make contingency plans ahead of time.

    Furthermore, even if Ausmus and Clemens both come back, I'd hope we would still be looking to make a couple of minor upgrades to the offense and possibly the bullpen.
     
  13. jtotheb

    jtotheb Contributing Member

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    It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the Astros' biggest offseason acquisition is re-signing Clemens. I came to grips with the fact that, barring trade, the Astros will not be big players in the FA market. As long as they keep overachieving with what they have.....what incentive does Drayton have to go out and sign a big FA? Bottom line, the Astros are a BUSINESS...and Drayton is a BUSINESS MAN. He'll squeeze every last dollar out of what's working until it just doesn't work anymore. And, like it or not, it "worked" more last year than any other.

    Would I like to see the Astros address their glaring weaknesses? Sure..

    I hate to be negative, but I just don't see many fans being happy with the way this offseason turns out.
     
  14. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

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    Personally, I could care less how the off season turns out. It is the regular season that concerns me and for 10 of the past 11 years the Astros have either been in the playoffs or competing for a playoff spot in September. Not too many teams can make that claim.
     
  15. JunkyardDwg

    JunkyardDwg Contributing Member

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    Didn't Clemens himself tell Purpura to not wait on him? And that if the Astros were looking for him to make a decision sooner rather than later they wouldn't like it. It's gonna be a lot harder for this team to make the postseason next year if they don't look to plug up those weaknesses. They don't need to sign big-name FA, but they would benefit from some minor upgrades. Look at the White Sox, they're the champions and they're not resting on their laurels.
     
  16. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    The problem with that is Clemens all but said (at least the way I took it to mean) that if we don't improve the offense, he isn't coming back....the other problem, like others have said, is that Ausmus is one of the most upgradable spots there is in terms of who we can get to replace him AND not breaking the bank in the process.


    Like max said...its early yet (and last yr taught us - especially me - to be patient)...its just going to be frustrating not participating in the Marlins fire sale and other early FA signings.
     
  17. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Even if we upgrade the offense, I don't think Roger will come back if Ausmus is not here.

    Yes, he thinks that highly of him.
     
  18. NJRocket

    NJRocket Contributing Member

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    According to the Bergen Record, the Mets are in fairly productive discussions with Boston regarding Manny.

    Additionally, some Toronto paper is saying that the Blue Jays are going after Giles.
     

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