Friday, November 25, 2005

Hot Stove Action Shakes Negligent Blogger Out of Torpor

I apologize for the long layoff. I'll be posting semi-regularly (once or twice a week) through the offseason, before getting back to my every weekday schedule as Spring Training starts up.

For now, the business at hand is the hot stove, particularly the Mets' acquisition of Carlos Delgado. I can't help but think back to last offseason, when the free agent courtship ended on less-than ideal terms (Delgado signs with FLA for a contract of lesser face value, calls out Omar for playing the race card, etc.). Surely, it would have been preferable for that process to have gone smoothly, making Delgado a Met at the cost of cash only, rather than Yusmeiro Petit, Mike Jacobs, and a PTBN named Grant Psomas (all praise to Vinny for the Psomas info and some very thoughtful coverage generally). To say nothing of making him a Met a year earlier, which, I think we can all agree, would have made the '05 Mets a whooole lot better.

On the other hand, that's why they call them free agents, and the trade should be evaluated on its merits. I've made no secret of my fondness for Yusmeiro Petit, whom I consider one of the top 5 pitching prospects in all the land. I am well aware that the book on him is that he gets by more on deception than stuff, and therefore could be susceptible to getting smacked around above Double-A by savvier hitters.

Do I buy this? I do not. I don't care if he tops out at 83 mph. He has 429 strikeouts as a professional against 75 walks, he turned 21 this past Tuesday, and I fully expect that before too long we will wish he were taking the mound at Shea.

Now that I have that off my chest, I think it's a sensible trade by Omar. First base was a crime scene last year, and Delgado's decline from his Toronto hey has been fairly gentle. He's going to be better than, say, Jim Thome next year, and didn't cost as much in terms of '06-big-league talent.

Last year I wrote out what the lineup should look like with Delgado aboard here. With another season and partial off-season under our belts, here's how I would like to see the '06 lineup:

1. Carlos Beltran
2. David Wright
3. Carlos Delgado
4. Cliff Floyd
5. Xavier Nady
6. Ramon Castro (boy, C. Hernandez would be nice here)
7. Kazuo Matsui
8. Jose Reyes

There it is. That's right, for those who had forgotten, I'm that BP-addled guy who hates on Jose Reyes... But there'll be plenty of time to get into that.

Happy Holidays,


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