Offseason First Month
Baseball players may get the winter months to recover from a long season,
but the General Manager must work over time.
The Glen Allen Mets first order of business was to sign three key minor
league players to major league contracts. Trot Nixon had a couple months this
season to get a taste and was signed for four years to play either right or
centerfield nest year. Albert
Pujols was signed for five years and will get an opportunity to play DH, LF, RF,
1B and 3B depending upon where he is needed.
Albert is a hitting machine already at 21 years old.
He hopes to settle in at third base after Cal Ripken retires, but will
learn a great deal from the veteran. Barry
Zito was impressive in two months last season and was signed for four years.
Zito may turn out to be the ace of the staff with Milton, Ritchie and
Trachsel. Young pitchers: Gary Glover, Mike MacDougal and Adrian Hernandez were
all signed to minor league contracts. The
Mets may be developing a wonderful pitching rotation for years to come.
The second phase is the annual free-agent process.
The Mets submit bids on hundreds of players hoping to come home with the
winning combination. Every team has
holes to fill and areas where they hope to upgrade.
Glen Allen likes to have a blend of youth and veterans to remain
competitive in the NL East. "Met's
fans do not like to hear management talk about rebuilding years.
Our fans are very enthusiastic about their team and like to see playoff
game as they have the last couple of years," GM Clark reported.
have several of our key players that are on the market, fortunately none of our
starting pitchers are free agents until next year. Since I have already spent a chunk of our budget on the young
guys, I can not outbid many of the teams in our league.
I will not mortgage the future for next season."
With four quality starting pitchers, the Mets were looking for an
inexpensive #5 and signed Bryan Rekar, who should contribute 140 inning in 24
starts. The bullpen added the arms
of Bottalico, Timlin and Cook, but said good bye to Wayne Gomes, Lance Painter,
Joey Hamilton and Mark Gardner. Closer
Bob Wickman and lefty setup men Magnante, Venafro, McElroy and Heredia all were
retained to form another solid relief staff to finish games for the starters.
Glen Allen added young catcher Ben Molina and traded John Flaherty to
Brooklyn. They were able to resign
Damian Jackson, Fernado Tatis, Eric Karros and brought back fan favorite Jose
Vizciano and added Mike Lansing since Omar Vizquel moved out to Santa Barbara
for a four-year contract. The Mets will surely miss him!
bats of Dante Bichette and David Segui were added, but do not make up for the
loses of Ryan Klesko and Matt Lawton.
Now to prepare for phase three the rookie draft, but must pause to wish
all a HAPPY HOLIDAY season before returning to the trading table.