Are The Phils Unbeatable Now?
The 2009 Mets: A Year Of Misery, Injury, And Instability

Vazquez To Yanks - How Will That Affect Mets?

With Javier Vazquez going to the Bronx, it will have a domino effect on the market for both free agent starting pitchers and the left field duo of Jason Bay/Matt Holliday. For the Mets, its is a like a good news-bad news day because it could help them land a starting pitcher while it might re-define the market for Jason Bay.

First the good news--Getting Vazquez effectively takes the Yankees out of the market for a starting pitcher and when you consider high payroll teams like the Red Sox, Phillies, and Cubs are not looking for pitching and add in the fact the Dodgers are not looking to add a dollar to their budget you get the sense the Mets might be able to grab a Joel Pinhiero for far less than the market price had escalated to during the Winter Meetings. It might also bring the price down for a guy like Ben Sheets who might finally realize a pitcher coming off an injury is in no position to ask for the moon. Even a skilled hurler like Sheets.

Now the not so good news--We have all been desperately trying to figure out who this mystery team is that is pursuing Jason Bay. Up until today, I firmly believed that was pure fiction orchestrated by his agent to drive up the price on the Mets. But losing $11 million dollars off their payroll makes the Braves a player for another bat plus with Cabrera likely in right and McClouth in center, there is a spot for Bay in the Braves outfield. If history has taught us anything about the Braves, they act quickly once they dump payroll.

This might also help Matt Holliday and Johnny Damon whom it seemed had limited options just 24 hours ago as Damon may now be in play in the Bronx while Holliday may get a sniff from the Braves. It is not out of the realm of possibility that Holliday may also get a call from Brian Cashman or even Bay.

Things just got a little trickier for Omar Minaya thanks to his friends across the river but he must still proceed with caution. I feel the same about Bay and Holliday as I have all off-season--they are very good players but not difference makers and neither is worthy of more than a 4 year contract. You may be able to re-sign Carlos Delgado and get the same RBI production for less dollars and less committed years. And you can put that money into pitching which is the primary need of this team.

Not the Christmas present Met fans are looking for but it would be the right course of action for the Mets.


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