It’s John Lackey and Pray for Rain

November 15, 2009

For ten long days, Mets GM Omar Minaya will be allowed to chit-chat with some of the most influential player agents in all of baseball. Prior to those meetings, Jeff Wilpon, the organization’s COO, saw his chance to commandeer Minaya into his office and reassure him that for what ever its worth, he was at his disposal. As Minaya exited the room, Wilpon confidently replied, “Give’m hell and get me another front-line starter.” Of course, these events are merely hearsay except for the chit-chat and most likely a fabric of my imagination. However, there is some semblance of truth in all of this; the Mets desperately need starting pitching.

Midway through the 2009 season, the then Toronto Blue Jays GM, John Ricciardi, shook the baseball world by threatening to trade one of the most dominating starting pitchers of this generation, right-hander Roy Halladay. To this day, those around baseball still can’t figure out why a mid-level organization like the Blue Jays would part with such a specimen. Nevertheless, a handful of teams jumped into the Doc Halladay sweepstakes and exposed who they really were, a team lacking starting pitching. Though it was unofficially documented, the New York Mets were one of those candidates that laid everything out on the table. Ultimately, it was not to Ricciardi’s liking. Back to the drawing board Minaya went where he was forced to wait until the end of the season to explore other options.

Perhaps, if you were to ask another of Minaya’s previous off-season acquisitions, closer Francisco Rodriguez, he would tell you that having a short-term memory is a good thing. So much so that Minaya has forgotten all about dealing for Halladay and has set his sights on landing another dominating right-hander, John Lackey. With such a stout performance against the World Champion New York Yankees in Game 5 of the ALDS in which Lackey lobbied Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia to leave him in a game that he considered to be his, the stakes to sign the veteran right-hander will most likely be high. (Initially, I was not so hot with the notion of Lackey coming to the Mets. However, I feel more comfortable now since his emotional stance after Game 5. Let’s be honest the Mets need to find someone that can bridge that gap between left-hander Johan Santana and the rest of the pack next season.)

    Footnote to this post

Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin alerted reporters stationed at the GM meetings that “no one has heard from” former Brewers right-hander Ben Sheets. Some Mets fans have suggested the 31-year-old could be lightning in a bottle. Using the 2009 Mets season as a reference, he could fit in very nicely. Sheets (torn flexor tendon in his right elbow) made five trips to the disabled list from 2005 to 2007 with a mixture of arm injuries to go along with an inner ear infection that led to vertigo.

Recent reports have mentioned the Phillies are very serious about acquiring Halladay. Some reports have the 2008 World Series MVP, Cole Hamels, throwing off a mound next season north of the border.

This post was inspired by the outlandish idea that any team would take a shot at signing the oft-injured Ben Sheets.

“I will tell you that he has a very good chance to be one of the most impactful free agents, without question,” Sheets’ agent, Casey Close said.

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One Response to “It’s John Lackey and Pray for Rain”

  1. Paul Says:

    Signing Ben Sheets is not a bad idea.

    Counting onBen Sheets and/or offering him significant guaranteed money are bad ideas.


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