Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Changes Coming?

After last night's game, Jerry Manuel claimed changes are coming. Despite the Mets DFA Claudio Vargas and calling up this year's early frequent flyer from New Orleans Carlos Muniz, nothing has occurred just yet. Today's lineup which includes Marlon Anderson and Fernando Tatis does follow through on Manuel's promise to reward players as those are two of the players that actually hit a little bit yesterday.

The monkeys were a little disappointed to read Omar's comments that he still likes the team as is and Manuel can be in charge of lineup and rotation moves, but Omar is still in charge of personnel decisions. Fact of the matter is that tweaking the lineup is not likely to produce real results.

Here are some of the monkeys thoughts on 2 moves that people have shouted for:

DFA Carlos Delgado -- The monkeys strongly endorse this move. Delgado has become the symbol of what ills the Mets. A passionless veteran past his prime that often does not give max effort. Mike Carp could provide a boost of energy and fans would be more inclined to forgive his struggles with a realistic hope that he might get better. Even Valentino Pascucci who the monkeys wrote about yesterday would be a decent stopgap who would certainly welcome an opportunity and play hard when he finally got his chance.

Trade Oliver Perez -- The absolute wrong move. First, the Mets would get less for him than they would if they just let him go as a free agent and got draft picks. It is important that he keeps pitching and wins enough games to remain a type "A" free agent (determined based on the last 2 seasons) that could bring the Mets needed extra draft picks. Besides as maddening as Perez can be, when he is on he can shut down teams like few others in this rotation.

Revisiting our recommendation from a few weeks back, the Mets should consider trading Billy Wagner. Now that he is pitching well again, you can see the monkeys are not just making an irrational decision based on his recent struggles. The Mets need a young right-handed hitting outfielder in any retooling scenario. They have no other somewhat replaceable asset to trade to get one. Free agents do not offer young players. Besides Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Maine, Pelfrey and Santana (all untouchables), what assets are there to trade? Wagner is only going to be here for a year and a half more. The Mets might be able to trade Heilman for Brian Fuentes and not throw in the towel for this year.

Why not tempt the Brewers who have a legitimate shot at the wildcard for the first time in years but lack a closer? The Mets can try and get Matt Laporta who has 19 homers and 59 RBI at AA and is the type of young right-handed hitter the Mets need. It's a gutsy move and the monkeys are fans of Billy Wagner, but the Mets need to start getting in the habit of taking risks on younger players rather the old ones.

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