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  • Mets Turn to Blanton or Haren

    Mets turn attention toward A's Haren or Blanton

    BY DAVID LENNON | [email protected]
    11:17 PM EST, November 27, 2007


    As the Yankees trumpet their trade talks for Johan Santana, the Mets, in typical fashion, aren't saying much when it comes to their rotation needs. Omar Minaya, like every other general manager in baseball, has coveted Santana. But the Mets don't appear to have the chips necessary to compete with the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers for the two-time Cy Young winner.

    That will force Minaya to look a little further west for a starting pitcher and once again lead him to the door of Athletics GM Billy Beane, who possesses two excellent alternatives to Santana in Dan Haren and Joe Blanton. It's a familiar spot for Minaya, who discussed trading for two A's pitchers at last year's winter meetings in Orlando, but there's more of a sense of urgency this time around.

    With few other places to turn for an elite starter, Minaya is at the mercy of Beane, whose demands will be steep. Unlike past years, when Beane was forced to act because of pending free agency, both Haren and Blanton aren't necessarily going anywhere.

    Haren, who went 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA last season, is signed to a modest contract that pays him $4 million next year, $5.5 million in 2009 and a team option for 2010 worth $6.75 million. Blanton is more of a wild card because he is arbitration-eligible for the first time after finishing 14-10 with a 3.95 ERA and those numbers will earn him a significant raise.

    Plenty of teams also will be after Haren if Beane chooses to move him. But it is Blanton, according to a person familiar with the Mets' thinking, who should be easier to get. The A's aren't thrilled about the possibility of going to arbitration with Blanton, and at the moment, they have no plans to sign him to a long-term deal.

    That's where the Mets come in. Minaya is looking for an innings-eater and Blanton is a workhorse who piled up 230 innings in 34 starts last season -- that's almost seven innings every time he took the mound. The Mets' interest in Blanton is similar to last year, when they wanted Rich Harden and were hesitant to take Blanton instead for a package of Lastings Mil.l.edge and Aaron Heilman.

    Now those two may only be a starting point in upcoming negotiations for either Haren or Blanton. It seems that Beane has to be bowled over to make a deal and that means Minaya is going to have to overpay in talent to convince him. Even if the A's do launch into more of a rebuilding mode, they're looking for major-league ready talent -- or close to it -- and that's a short list among the Mets' top prospects.

    Beane always liked Milledge during his development stage, but that affection has diminished some since his bumpy initiation to the majors. Heilman also is a favorite, as is John Maine, but it seems unlikely the Mets would sacrifice Maine in a deal for another starter. They would much prefer to send someone like Mike Pelfrey, Philip Humber or Kevin Mulvey. All three are unproven in the majors, however, and Beane doesn't necessarily have to take such a risk.

    One person familiar with the A's thinking said Tuesday that if Beane does decide to trade one of the pitchers, it is very likely he could move both to completely restock for the future. That would be good news for the Mets, who will be competing with the other teams that fail to get Santana.

    If the Yankees do in fact trade for Santana, the Red Sox and Dodgers both have enough young talent to acquire either Haren or Blanton. With premium pitching in such demand -- and a poor free-agent market -- there's no guarantee the Mets can even upgrade their rotation this offseason.

  • #2
    Originally posted by GIANT View Post
    Heilman also is a favorite, as is John Maine, but it seems unlikely the Mets would sacrifice Maine in a deal for another starter.
    If the Mets give up on Maine, I will never watch another Mets game again.

    On a side note: Was Haren or Blanton around in Oakland when Rick Peterson was pitching coach there?
    Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

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    • #3
      I'd much prefer Haren to Blanton.

      There would be no point in getting either if Maine is in the deal.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AutographCollector View Post
        If the Mets give up on Maine, I will never watch another Mets game again.

        On a side note: Was Haren or Blanton around in Oakland when Rick Peterson was pitching coach there?
        neither of them were haren was with st. louis when peterson left and blanton hadn't come up yet

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        • #5
          i wouldnt mind seeing haren or blanton in a mets uniform if the price was right say like milledge heilman, or prospects. but i agree they shouldnt think about dealing maine.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mikemets View Post
            i wouldnt mind seeing haren or blanton in a mets uniform if the price was right say like milledge heilman, or prospects. but i agree they shouldnt think about dealing maine.
            agreed. maine's a keeper.
            you can take the Dodgers out of Brooklyn, but you can't take the Brooklyn out of the DODGERS
            http://brooklyndodgermemories.freeforums.org/

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            • #7
              Get rid of Pelfrey and Milledge.
              Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection

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              • #8
                I can't imagine you would get much for Milledge now. The bloom is off his rose. If Haren is the one you want he will be expensive talent wise. Do the Mets even have anything in their system that would tempt the A's to give them a stud like Haren who is cost controlled for the next 3 years?? Don't think so.
                Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KCGHOST View Post
                  I can't imagine you would get much for Milledge now. The bloom is off his rose. If Haren is the one you want he will be expensive talent wise. Do the Mets even have anything in their system that would tempt the A's to give them a stud like Haren who is cost controlled for the next 3 years?? Don't think so.
                  i too think haren might be out of reach for the mets but i dont think that blanton is a bad guy to grab if they could 14-10, 203ip last season in the AL era wasnt too bad 3.95 ,his numbers are pretty similiar to maine's he went 15-10 191ip and had a 3.91 era , he wouldnt be a bad number 2 or 3 for the mets imo.

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                  • #10
                    Dealing with Billy Beane is like playing the slots. If you want to hit the jackpot, you're going to have to pay a lot.
                    "I'm happy for [Edwin Encarnacion] because this guy bleeds internally, big-time" -Dusty Baker

                    "If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it on the scoreboard?" -Jeff Francoeur

                    "At the end of the day, the sun comes up and I still have a job" -Joba Chamberlain

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NYMets523 View Post
                      Dealing with Billy Beane is like playing the slots. If you want to hit the jackpot, you're going to have to pay a lot.
                      Yeah maybe you can't go rob him like some other GMs but if he's got the guys you need it's dumb not to talk to him.

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                      • #12
                        It's dumb to expect him not to try to fleece you for everything you have. Haren is not going to be cheaper than Santana in terms of what you give up.
                        "I'm happy for [Edwin Encarnacion] because this guy bleeds internally, big-time" -Dusty Baker

                        "If on-base percentage is so important, then why don't they put it on the scoreboard?" -Jeff Francoeur

                        "At the end of the day, the sun comes up and I still have a job" -Joba Chamberlain

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NYMets523 View Post
                          It's dumb to expect him not to try to fleece you for everything you have. Haren is not going to be cheaper than Santana in terms of what you give up.
                          Yes, I know, he will TRY. But you can't be fleeced unless you let yourself be fleeced. Don't give in, NEGOTIATE. But being afraid of a person is stupid.

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                          • #14
                            I can sort of the Mets having to give up more to get Haren than Santana. Haren is under contract for the next 3 seasons for a great, whereas Santana is a FA after this season.
                            ~MOE

                            Moonlight Graham
                            ...one game, no at-bats...


                            RisingApple.com

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                            • #15
                              It's unfortunate that Mets don't even have the talents to compete with most of the teams that want Santana or go after Haren. Maybe what Mets should do is improve the scouting and the farm system and hope that in a few years they'll have their own Santana and Haren to pitch for them.

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