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Mets Scoop: Tavarez, Zito, Benson, Baez

A slew of information coming from my Mets source today.  Let's see what we've got.

My source believes the Mets will give Julian Tavarez the four-year deal he's looking for.  The market explosion has necessitated this length, and Omar Minaya will go to great lengths to avoid a subpar bullpen like last year's.

The Mets are the current frontrunners for Barry Zito, and Lastings Milledge is still a requirement.  As reported earlier, the Mets plan to request a 72 hour contract extension window upon trading for Zito, but would make the trade with just a verbal agreement from the pitcher.  Zito's best years came under Rick Peterson's guidance, so it'd be a good fit.

The Mets don't have the upper hand in any possible Kris Benson trade, so teams are backing off and offering less value.  The feeling is that Anna Benson's media tirades are precluding small market teams from acquiring her husband.  Anna has definitely decreased Kris's value around baseball.  She knows that her career will stall if they end up in a place like Kansas City, so she'll do anything she can to stay in New York.

If the Mets can't get fair value for Benson, Steve Trachsel and/or Victor Zambrano may be dealt for prospects.  The Mets hope to acquire players that would appeal to the A's as part of a Zito deal.

The Aaron Heilman for Danys Baez rumors that have been floating around are false.

Not surprisingly, there's no market for Kaz Matsui, even at a 50% off discount.  While they'd prefer Mark Grudzielanek, the Mets are OK with their depth at second base.

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I hear the Mets are also the front runners for Tom Seaver and Sandy Koufax as well. They might also look to add Hank Aaron for some outfield depth.

Koufax for Milledge?

That could work.

I personally think if they trade Heilman for Baez it will be their worst move since the Kazmir for Zambrano deal.

What, they don't read Penthouse in KC?

Word on the street is that they're Hustler types.

Amazing that the Cubs raised ticket prices and will get an incredible increase in revenue with their bleacher expansion project, yet never seriously throw their hat into players that the Mets have interest for. Manny Ramirez, Barry Zito..? Why isn't CHICAGO getting involved in these discussions?

The Cubs will win as many games as the Mets this year. Glitzy names only help if they actually stay healthy and produce. The Mets have a better shot at winning the All DL team than the World Series.

Teetz, very gully thing to say. True the Cubs have better starting pitching, but wheres your offense coming from. Dont say stuff out of jealousy. The mets will and I guarantee it, win more games than the cubs next season. By the way how many days on the DL were the entire cubs team last year. Read facts fool

Apparently James is very retarded.

Cubs are going to need to make some more moves if they want to compete with the Mets. Their lineup is still pretty weak and their bullpen's a joke. Ryan Dempster's your closer? Ha. And what Mets players are DL bound? This coming from a fan who's team has Mark Prior and Kerry Wood in their rotation. Get a clue.

WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR.

Im not a Cubs fan, at all actually, I just know the Mets roster.

Pedro - One fastball from a fully torn labrum
Beltran - One hustle play up the line from another hammy injury
Floyd - Last season was an anomoly, hes good for 40 lost games this year
Wagner - His arm could fly off at any point, if his mouth doesnt first
Delgado - Isnt exactly "young" anymore.
Glavine - 47 years old
Trachsel - Didnt his arm blow up last season?

Like I said, the all DL team.

Just like I thought, retarded.

what about Woods and Prior, both those guys have been on the DL almost every year. those 2 are out, the season is over for the cubs. There entire team is pretty bad except 1b and 3b and Ramirez was hurt for the end of the year. Dont bash the mets because you are upset about the cubbies sucking every year and are bitter about the White Sox won a championship b4 the cubs. Get a clue and come up with some other reasons why the mets and cubs would finish with the same record, instead of just pulling some stupid remarks about injuries, EVERY TEAM has to worry about injuries.

I'm no Mets fan, but you obviously don't know their roster that well...

It was a quad injury for Beltran and Trachsel's back was his problem, not the arm...

I'd imagine your point remains the same though...the Mets do have injury concerns...

I don't think James is retarded. He makes some very valid points about the Mets. Here are some of mine, even despite all their signings and trades:

1)Who in the bullpen is going to be able to keep a lead to get to Wagner in the 9th?

2)Outside of Pedro, who scares you on the Mets starting pitching staff?

3)Will Carlos Beltran do anything outside of his usual numbers?

4)Will Floyd stay healthy?

5)How will Delgado handle New York? Big difference between New York and Toronto/Florida.

6)Will age catch up to some of these Mets players come summer time?

Yes, the Mets have improved themselves, but they are no lock to win the division. I could see them very easily finishing in 3rd, even despite all their new signings/trades.

Thing is, im not a Mets hater, I just look at their offseason thus far, and last year's, and see it as more glitz than substance.

1. Their core group of players, outside of Reyes and Wright, is old. Look at the ages of their starters and pitchers:

Lo Duca - 34
Delgado - 33
2B....??
Reyes - 22
Wright - 23
Floyd - 33
Beltran - 29 (at the end of April)
RF...???

Martinez - 33 going on 40
Glavine - 39 going on 50
Trachsel - 35
Wagner - 34, with a 37 year old arm

Benson and Zambrano arent very good at all, and their third or fourth best starter, Heilman, is being used in the bullpen. Thats fine if hes the primary setup guy, but he hasnt been used that way yet, and theres no indication he will be. Hes way too talented to be used as a middle relief guy.

The bottom line is, no matter how good a fantasy roster they put on the field, they need those players to all produce, and they more importantly need their pitching to perform better than average. Pedro is still Pedro, but innings and wear/tear are a factor, and were last year. Glavine is ok, but can you really expect a great season from him at almost 40? After that, its a crapshoot. You sent your next best starter, Seo, to the minors last year after he 1 hit the Phillies. Heilman is wasting away in middle relief, you have a mediocre Benson, and a mediocre Zambrano. Its not like you have some young hot shots ready to take over, you traded away most of your talent already this offseason.

Omar definitely has the spotlight now, people are paying attention to the Mets again, but the same thing happened last year, to a lesser degree, and they went an awe-inspiring 83-79, good enough for fourth place.

Could they be much better this year? Sure. Would I pick them over Atlanta, or even Philly? Probably not. Do they have serious concerns about injury/durability of their roster? They sure as hell should.

You're a Phillies fan, James. Give it up. Your team isn't very good and your pitching is an absolute joke.

Right, we aren't very good, yet we've finished ahead of you how many straight years? Our offense is just as good as the Mets, and we are much younger at most every position. The pitching is in tatters right now, but it isnt what we're going to camp with. Im objective enough to know our pitching is in trouble, unlike Mets fans, who feel their team should be handed the hardware in December.

The Mets have holes still. But they didn't address their two biggest needs this off-season; the closer role and a bit bat in the middle of the order. You can bad mouth Wagner all you want now that he's an ex-Philly, but he is one of the more dominant closers in the game. He can be injury prone, but he's coming off a healthy year where he was terrific. Delgado gives them their big bat. Carlos hits 30 homers and can bat around .300 every season.

Philly hasn't done much to improve themselves. They got Rowand, but I don't believe their defense in CF was that big of a need for them. They've got good young players with Utley and Howard, no doubt. But so do the Mets with Wright and Reyes. The Phillies aren't bad at all on offense, but their pitching will be their downfall. It's bad. And their bullpen is very shaky now that Wagner's gone.

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