Monday, January 10, 2005

Mets get their man

Oh happy day. A month after signing the biggest named pitcher on the free agency block, the Mets now get the best every day player on the market, signing Carlos Beltran to a seven-year, $119 million deal. And the Mets are not even done as they remain big players in the Carlos Delgado sweepstakes.

Of course, now that Beltran is a Met he will hit .250 and hit no more than 20 home runs, and probably spend a month or two on the DL.

In all seriousness, Omar Minaya is the first Met GM since Cashen to understand that the Mets play in New York, and thus can compete with the big bad Bombers from the Bronx. The Mets have been burned before when engaging in off-season spending sprees (see 1992 and 2002), but this should be different. Beltran may not be worth quite as much as they are paying him, but there was nobody out there any better. Suddenly the Mets have a real outfield again as he joins Mike Cameron and Cliff Floyd to give them some punch. The lineup will now feature Kaz Matsui and Jose Reyes as tablesetters, followed by five and possibly six (if they sign Delgado) big bats. A Met fan can live with that. Add to that mix a starting rotation whose fifth starter - Victor Zambrano - is a fireballer who can certainly win about 15 games a year with a solid lineup behind him, and the Mets should be poised to, at the very least, compete next year.

Unfortunately the Mets still have several holes, most importantly in their bullpen. They are also not a very deep team, and injuries could threaten to render their potentially potent lineup rather limp. And, once again, this is the Mets we're talking about, so anything is possible.

Still, great signing for the Mets, capping off a pleasing weekend for New York sports.


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