11.22.09

The Mets’ Long Winter : Bargain Hunting Or Bottom Feeding?

Posted in Baseball at 1:59 pm by

If the Mets have to deal for a moody, banged-up slugger whose current team can’t wait to be rid of him, perhaps KC’s Jose Guillen (above, shown in bat-flinging mode at Shea Stadium), is a better option than Milton Bradley?  For starters, the former can play the outfield. And unlike Bradley, the volatile Guillen has been ID’d by the Daily News’ Adam Rubin as a person of Amazins’ interest “if the Matt Holliday and Jason Bay bidding gets out of hand.”  And it will.

The Royals want to acquire an inexpensive outfielder in return for Guillen, and are impressed with Angel Pagan despite his shortcomings. They’d be willing to eat money in a swap: Guillen is owed $12 million in 2010, the final season of a three-year, $36 million deal. One impediment would be the salary Kansas City would be willing to kick in probably isn’t enough for the Mets to acquire Guillen in what sources say may be a frugal offseason – especially if Guillen is no longer a full-time player.

The Mets desperately are searching for a power upgrade and have a void in left field. However, Guillen’s power and range have diminished and he isn’t driving the ball as thoroughly as he did while hitting a combined 82 homers from 2003-05. Guillen was named in the Mitchell Report but had a 15-game suspension rescinded on April 11, 2008.

From a Royals perspective, it may be impractical to retain both Guillen and ex-Met Mike Jacobs next season, since both might need to see the bulk of their duty at DH because of defensive shortcomings.

Hard to fathom why the Mets believe the aged Guillen will have any easier a time contending with Cit Field’s vast dimensions than any of their 2009 roster. Since the club long ago ruled out moving the fences in, it seems as though Omar Minaya is better off assembling a team that places a premium on players with Angel Pagan’s skill-set.

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