Monday, November 28, 2005

Wagner Signed to Four Year Deal

For the second consecutive year, Omar Minaya has made a pair of acquisitions of such impact that he could probably spend the rest of the off-season drinking mojitos and playing XBox 360 without drawing a word of criticism. Not that I have any reason to expect he will do either.

Hours after Carlos Delgado met the press and had is picture taken in a Mets uni, the report came that Billy Wagner will be joining him.

I may appear to have a bias against the "win now" mentality which, it would seem, a fan should like to see from his or her front office. If there's one thing I think I might be guilty of, analysis-wise, it's overvaluing high-grade prospects and undervaluing outstanding veterans. But this deal takes place in a different context than that which saw the Mo Vaughn, Tom Glavine and (cough) Victor Zambrano acquisitions. The Mets now have a legitimate championship-caliber roster.

To look at the heart of the Mets lineup, the starting rotation, and the top portion of the bullpen depth chart is to peep game. Chalk it up to shrewd management, brute financial force, or whatever; it's hard to imagine this team winning fewer than 90 games. I'm excited. Perhaps even... yes, giddy. I'm going to save my final, and far more quantitative, predictions for the spring, but my preliminary diagnosis of the Mets is that they are just plain sick.

Do I wish Omar could have signed Wagner to a 2 year deal instead? Sure, but I'm comfortable with the impossibility of such a deal. And, for all my harping about the overemphasis on the Dominant Closer in baseball, I do look forward to seeing one ply his trade at Shea.

If we get two years and 140 innings of prime Billy Wagner, I can live with what could very well be an underperforming investment after that. The Mets may not win the Series in the next two years, but at the time the deal was done (i.e. today), Mr. Minaya was well within his rights to consider this a team that can "win now," and should be loaded up with the finest, if not freshest, talent available.

Of course, I don't expect the Mets are done shopping. The dual offers to Bengie Molina and Carlos Hernandez are apparently still standing. I'm pulling hard for Hernandez, and wish Omar had focused on him more exclusively, but he can't just keep doing everything we wish for, can he?

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