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Monday Applesauce

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Apologies for the content-free weekend. I was busy cramming to finish the Mets chapter for the forthcoming Hardball Times Season Preview 2009, and those slave drivers over at THT actually expect you to stick to a deadline. That book comes out in February, so if you can't simply get enough of me here you can find a little bit more of me in there.

Some notes for a slow Monday:

Rotation

Having shored up their bullpen (for the most part), the Mets turn their attention to the starting rotation, which is at least two pitchers shy of a full set. Oliver Perez and Pedro Martinez are both free agents, and the Mets have expressed some and little interest in bringing each back, respectively. Scott Boras is holding fast to his demands for a five-year, $70 million deal for Perez, which is two years and $40 million too much. At $14 million annually, there's really no compelling reason to sign Perez over Lowe. If Lowe -- also a Boras client -- wants $16 million and Perez is just a shade under that, I'll take the established track record despite the extra ten years in age. If Perez is willing to sign for $10 million per season for three years, then he becomes a much more attractive option. If you're not enamored of any of the available free agent starters, look at who was available this time last year. Woof!

Frank The Closer

Francisco Rodriguez claims that his drop in velocity last season was a result of fiddling with a changeup. I don't know if that means we can expect the fastball to go back up a few ticks in 2009, but at least we have some kind of explanation for it, the viability of which is certainly open for debate.

Left Field

At leat on the surface, the Mets seem content to platoon Fernando Tatis and Daniel Murphy in left field next year. Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn and Pat Burrell would all represent upgrades of varying degrees, and all are positively dreadful defenders. It could be that Omar Minaya really is fine with his lineup as it stands now, or perhaps he is just waiting for the market to turn in his favor before he swoops in and grabs one of the trio at a a discount.

A few links:

  • At MetsGeek, Chris McCown compares this offseason to the Mets' offseason between 1998 and 1999 when they acquired Rickey Henderson, Roger Cedeno, Robin Ventura, Armando Benitez and others.
  • At RotoGraphs, David Golebiewski takes a look at former Met Heath Bell's fantasy value now that he'll be the closer in San Diego.
  • If you missed any of the Winter Meetings coverage from last week, The Hardball Times recaps the whole shebang.