Claiming “the Mets don’t exactly need major renovations this winter, not with a nucleus that includes 29-year-old Carlos Beltran and 23-year-olds Jose Reyes and David Wright,” the New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin has a bunch of suggestions for Omar Minaya just the same.
1. Re-sign Tom Glavine, Orlando Hernandez, Guillermo Mota and Chad Bradford
Glavine, who turns 41 during spring training, says being away from his family in Alpharetta, Ga., makes a decision about whether to remain a Met or return to Atlanta uncertain. But since he’s planning to pitch only one more season, you’d suspect his family will let him remain in Flushing. El Duque’s 40-something body, including a torn right-calf that scratched him from the postseason roster, underscores the danger of relying on older players. Still, Hernandez deserves to return on a one-year contract. That’s not something the Mets seemed willing to consider at the time of the May trade that sent Jorge Julio to Arizona for El Duque, but it now appears an option they’ll entertain. Bringing back Mota and Bradford maintains the team’s bullpen strength. And if Duaner Sanchez returns healthy from shoulder surgery, watch out. Yet Mota, whose price tag probably skyrocketed with his success after a trade from Cleveland, was noncommittal about a return to Shea ,saying: “It’s too early to think about that.”
2. Trade Lastings Milledge for an ace
Oh, if only it were that simple. Milledge, whom the Mets hoped to package with Aaron Heilman at the trading deadline for Houston’s Roy Oswalt, surely saw his value tumble with his on-the-field performance (.241 in 166 at-bats) and off-the-field trouble with teammates. Even Minaya painted a pessimistic picture of Milledge being handed the left field job for 2007. It’s no longer clear what Milledge would command in a trade, but again, trying to package him with Heilman would be an option, especially if the Mets are convinced Sanchez is healthy and Mota re-signs. Angels 16-game winner Ervin Santana could be dealt this offseason, but L.A. is looking for an established star such as Miguel Tejada in return, not prospects. And then of course there’s still Dontrelle Willis, but would the Marlins really trade their ace to the Mets?
3. Sign Moises Alou and Julio Lugo
You’ll hear a ton about Barry Zito this winter, but the free agents the Mets have coveted for a few years are Lugo, who has New York roots, and Alou. Both are righty hitters, helping balance the lineup. Letting Jose Valentin go in favor of Lugo – who has played 84 career games at second base – would be a tough business decision, but will Valentin’s 2007 performance match his surprising ’06 stats? And how much will he cost after this season’s output? Meanwhile, as good a guy as Cliff Floyd is, he just hasn’t stayed healthy, forcing the Mets to let him walk. Alou, who turns 41 next season, hit .301 with 22 homers and 74 RBI for the Giants. He would give the Mets a deep outfield with Beltran, Endy Chavez, Shawn Green and Milledge (if he remains).
Considering the campaign waged against Da Edge by the New York media and teammates alike, it’s hard to determine how far his trade value has fallen. If nothing else, his is name well recognized around the country. As for Moises Alou, he’d be a fantastic acquisition for the Mets…in the year 1997. More recently, Alou has missed over 100 games the past two seasons.