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Rumor Mill: Oliver Perez, Manny, Etc.



By Joe DeMayo ~ January 30th, 2009. Filed under: Rumor Mill.

According to a league source with knowledge of the team’s plans, if the Mets do not have Oliver Perez either locked up, or having made huge strides in negotiations by the end of this coming weekend, they are likely to move on to other options. Those options include oft-injured righty Ben Sheets and lefty Randy Wolf. As of today, I was told, the Mets “prefer Wolf to Sheets by a small margin. A lot of people are severely concerned about the medical records of Sheets.” As far as Perez goes, the Mets are not going to overpay for him, meaning he’s not getting a 5 year deal at any financial dollar. A deal the Mets would be comfortable with is a 3 year deal with a 4th year option, but may go 4 years if the annual dollar amount is lower. For instance, they probably won’t go above 4 years $40-$43 million, and might go as much as $12 million per on a 3 year commitment. If Boras/Perez still demand beyond that, they will move on. Should there be a cause for concern? No there shouldn’t. The source went on to say that “it will get done. The Mets love Perez, and Perez loves the Mets. I doubt he would be happy anywhere else. The big stage is him.”

First off I would like to congratulate all the fine folks that parked their butts outside of SNY studios last night in the cold raving for Manny Ramirez. Hat tip to JPK over at NYFS who was the one who started up the idea of this rally, and it just spread. Getting national exposure from Florida, California, coverage on SNY, and in the NY Daily News. Great job guys and gals. Now to the bad news. When I asked a source today in regards to the Mets and Manny, I was told that “It just won’t happen. The Mets feel bringing back Perez is a priority, and if you add him to the mix, you are at last year’s payroll. The Wilpon’s are always a little flexible, but that luxury tax figure is something they have not and likely never will touch. Manny soars them past it.” So unfortunately Met fans, unless there is some dramatic change of heart, or the Mets lose out on pretty much all of their pitching targets, Manny Ramirez will NOT be a New York Met in 2009 or beyond.

In my last mill, I talked about the Mets considering signing another lefty specialist of the Will Ohman/Joe Beimel/Dennys Reyes category. I was told today that the only way this happens is if the reliever comes at 1 year deal for very cheap money. The team feels that they can find a second lefty who can do the job amongst their spring training invites, and possibly future invites. For the record, thus far they have invited Jon Switzer, Casey Fossum, Tom Martin, and Valerio De Los Santos as far as lefty relievers go. In their big league careers, the pitchers have the following numbers vs. lefties:

Switzer: 30.1 IP 23 H 3 HR 10 BB 25 K. 217 BAA
Fossum: 209.1 IP 213 H 20 HR 76 BB 162 K. 265 BAA
Martin: 137 IP 148 H 12 HR 57 BB 120 K. 275 BAA
De Los Santos: 87 IP 86 H 10 HR 32 BB 80 K. 263 BAA

Between those guys, I am sure they can figure out a way to get the outs from the second lefty who really shouldn’t be pitching that much anyway. Should be looked at as a guy who in the 6th comes in to get a tough lefty, if it’s a tough lefty late in the game, you use Feliciano. No buzz behind it, but I’d be in support of signing Tyler Johnson (just coming off arm surgery) to a minor league deal, and I’d also invite Ron Villone to camp if I could. Their career numbers vs. lefties.

Johnson: 39 IP 34 H 5 HR 18 BB 40 K. 228 BAA
Villone: 341.1 IP 300 H 34 HR 173 BB 294 K. 236 BAA

What about Pedro Martinez? Well yes, Omar Minaya was in the Dominican Republic and he met with Pedro. The meeting was not planned, it was a pure courtesy visit, I am sure Omar gave him the scoop. Only way Pedro is back is if he accepts a minor league deal, and knowing he is in competition with guys like Freddy Garcia, Tim Redding, and Jon Niese. Also he would not be guaranteed a thing. Pedro probably has too much pride to accept that kind of deal. His goal is to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, and impress some team enough to guarantee him a spot, I am sure he’ll have no trouble getting that. It just likely won’t be in Queens.

If the Mets don’t sign Manny, what do they do? Well I’d first like to note the team absolutely loves Daniel Murphy, and they are more than confident sticking him in LF with Fernando Tatis. Barring an unexpected run at Ramirez, the Mets very well may just end up with that platoon. Adam Dunn is not under any consideration, nor will he be. Bobby Abreu would really have to be the right deal, like a 1 year deal for 5-6 million. The wild card possibility? Andruw Jones on a minor league deal. If he can’t get a big league deal elsewhere, the Mets would certainly be interested in inviting Jones to camp, a source told NYBD today. The source also said, “Omar has long liked Andruw Jones. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see him brought in. Word around is Omar would bring in a bat, but he’d have to be cheap, and for 1 year. Andruw Jones fits that category.”

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Joe DeMayo

Joe DeMayo is a lifelong resident of Connecticut. He has been covering the Mets for almost 6 years. He started off as a writer for RoundingThirdKnight, which eventually in time would turn into SheaBaseball.com where Joey served as the Editor-In-Chief of SheaBaseball until early 2007. Joey then moved on to GothamBaseballMagazine.com where he wrote for a short period of time, and then was brought on as a correspondent and Mets minor league “guru” for NY Baseball Digest. Joe’s claim to fame is that he had the Johan Santana accurately portrayed since day one and broke the Omar Minaya extension. Check out Joe’s Mets minor league reports and Rumor Mill each week at nybaseballdigest.com He also has his own personal blog called St. Lucie to Flushing.

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6 Responses to Rumor Mill: Oliver Perez, Manny, Etc.

  1. FF

    Why not just sign Manny only, if the budget is such a big deal? Is there anyone on this blog who can honestly tell me that, if they had to choose only one, that they would take the erratic headcase Oliver Perez or garbage Randy Wolf over MANNY RAMIREZ, the most dynamic RH hitter we’ve seen in the past 50 years? I understand they want pitching, but it’s not like you have Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson on the free agent market right now.

    Sign Manny, forget about these so-so pitchres, and then sign Pedro (cheap). Payroll is under 130 million right now- signing Manny would put it up around 150 million, which would only put it 10 million over last year’s payroll- and this is a team with soaring revenue streams that’s moving into a new stadium, with a new network, etc. If the fans are paying astronomical prices for tickets, well, in turn, I don’t think it’s so much to ask that the payroll be raised 10 million dollars.

    I’m sick of it, they won’t get any of my money this year. If they think they can just go sign headcase Oliver Perez and “call it a day,” they’ll finish 3rd, and I won’t give the Mets one red cent this year.

  2. over his head and the mets win it

    mistermet? is that you!? has to be, your the only one dumb enough to make these asinine comments day in and day out

  3. Vern

    I am convinced that the only magical budget number is the $162 million luxury tax threshold. The Mets seriously do not want to exceed this number! Assuming the following:

    1. Mets “ONLY” sign Manny for one year $20 million
    (or two years with $20 million in 2009)
    2. The incentives to Redding and Garcia are realized.
    (Mets do not sign any other starting pitcher).
    (Freddy Garcia’s payroll number would go to $8 million from
    $1.5 million; Redding’s payroll to $3.0 million)
    3. No new signings for the rest of 2009.

    The Met payroll would be about $157 million (adding in prorated signing bonuses). This would leave $5 million to fill out the 40-man roster and other factors involved in the luxury tax calculations. This would be cutting things mighty close with no saftey net to get someone new in case of injury. Right now, Garcia is an $1.5 million insurance policy in case of injury. The Mets would be forced to utilize this policy and go the rest of 2009 with what hey have and nothing more. There is no room to sign somebody (Pedro) cheeply and avoid the dreaded luxury tax barrier.

  4. Fran

    And Manny Ramirez isn’t a headcase in his own right?

  5. Brian

    Huge difference being Manny is a 1st ballot Hall of Fame hit .300+ 35+ HR 125+ RBI headcase while Ollie is couple games over .500 4+ ERA headcase. Which would you rather have? There are plenty of other pitchers still available who could at least come close to giving you what Ollie will and perhaps even equal or better it with luck. There is no one currently on this team or available that can even come close to what Manny will give you in LF.

  6. keith

    It’s time for Bora/Perez to make up their minds. Hopefully we here something today. In my mind forget about Perez if he doesnt decide by Monday. Then go after Sheets. Then we will see what Oliver gets.