Happy Belated Thanksgiving to the great readers of Kiner’s Korner. Just like Brent Musberger refers to the 4th Quarter of a game as “The Money Quarter,” post Thanksgiving is the money quarter of Baseball’s Hot Stove season. In my last post, I urged fans to temper their excitement since the Mets are cash strapped. The theme of this off-season with the now loaded front office will be to find the low-risk, high ceiling guys.
So while the back (and front) pages of the area papers are littered with the non-story of whether Jeter will return to the Yanks, and the anti-climatic realization that Cliff Lee will also be heading to the Bronx, the Mets have gotten little blurbs here and there for some moves, such as…..
The Mets stand to get a sandwich round draft pick if Pedro Feliciano signs elsewhere!! And LHP Mike O’ Connor has been signed to minor league contract and might compete for a bullpen spot in 2011!!! And guess what else??? Ollie Perez has a 10 scoreless inning streak in Winter Ball!!!
While you may sense some sarcasm there, I understand what is going to have to take place this offseason for the greater future good. This week, there is the first buzz that the Mets are in the mix for a free agent. And yes, it’s a high ceiling guy….and not just because he’s really tall (sorry had to go for the bad joke). The Mets are one of the teams interested in RHP Chris Young, who is talented but has been plagued by injuries. He is a pitcher who fits Citi Field, and more importantly, played for the Padres under the eye of Sandy Alderson and Paul Depodesta.
Who knows if they will sign him or not, and while the prospect of signing Chris Young doesn’t have me planning a tickertape parade, it does spur one thought. One of my biggest pet peeves with the Omar Minaya era was that he would unearth certain gems, i.e. Maine, Ollie, Dickey. The problem was that Omar would discover the high ceiling guy and then count on him as much as Reyes and Wright. The thing with these sleepers is that you can sit on your laurels and act like you found a star. They are sleepers because their performances are going to be up and down and volatily unpredictable.
The new regime does not have a track record with the Mets yet, but I am hopeful to take as many as fliers as possible, and see how many gems can come out. And then more importantly, once that guy is found, to not rely on him and sign him to say a 3 year 36 million dollar contract (Ollie). As fans, we are going to grow with this new regime and learn their process of handling things. They might not sign Chris Young, but I say if the team is not in the running for Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford, then let’s bring in all the longshots. And I reiterate, that yes, Omar brought in his share, but he didn’t temper his own excitement and became too loyal to “his guys”….and it’s a very big factor that got the Mets into this mess.
The “money quarter” is underway, and as always, I love to hear what readers want out of this offseason and what their expectations are. And with our hopes for change, comes tempered optimism as we wonder what the future holds for us. As Jay-Z sang in the song for which this column is titled sums up what I think Mets fans like myself are thinking based on the past few years…”Hoping for the best but expecting the worst….Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?”
Sandy, you and the boys have the ball…