Sunday, November 06, 2005

Mets Courting Billy Wagner, Decision Time on Ishii

Omar Minaya made a trip to see Billy Wagner on Friday. One of the Mets biggest problems last year was a reliable bullpen, and inking Wagner to a deal would go a long way towards shoring that up. Wagner's one of the hardest throwers ever, and he's held batters to a career .183 batting average against in 630 1/3 innings. He has 840 strikeouts versus only 217 walks.

The Mets also have to make a decision soon (Nov. 15) on both Kaz Ishii and Felix Hereda. Heredia is going to miss the first 10 games of the season because of a steroid suspension (or whenever he signs) and has a $2.5 million option. His buyout is only $200k and I'd be inclined to going that route because he hasn't had a decent season since 2003.

Ishii is a tougher decision. His option is $3.25 million, but his buy out is $2.2 million. With only a one million spread, I'd pick up the option and use him as a fifth starter/long relief/mop up guy.

Both Brandon Looper and Roberto Hernandez filed for free agency. Looper closed for most of the season and at best, was wishy washy. He lost seven games, and he's never been a great strikeout pitcher. When you compare him with Wagner, well, there is no comparison. Hernandez was a little better, but he'll turn 41 this week. Honestly, I'd rather see Hernandez back, even at 41, then I would Looper.

Also, you can check out Lastings Milledge's, the Mets' centerfield prospect, journal of experiences in this year's Arizona Fall League. I like how he wants to emphasize on his plate discipline. I know Milledge has a huge road block on Carlos Beltran, but it'd be nice to have a guy with his speed available as a fourth outfielder.


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