What the Mets Should Do

by Ross Friedman

Steve Phillips was applauded for the way he handled the A-Rod situation. He embarrased Alex Rodriguez in public by saying the Mets would not make it a 24 + 1 atmosphere by giving into all of these special requests demanded by agent Scott Boras.

A-Rod was so embarrased by this that you can be assured that there will be no billboard clause or any other such crazy clause in his contract. The contract will be solely about money, and he may not even take the highest offer he gets.

Now Steve Phillips should get off his high-horse and sign Alex Rodriguez. Now if Phillips could get a lot of pitching instead of Rodriguez so be it. However, since he spent so much time pondering how to get ARod, he ignored Mike Hampton and John Franco long enough that it seems he’ll lose both of them. Mike Mussina would be a nice fit, but he seems headed to the Bronx.

Three weeks ago Rodriguez wanted to play in Shea and the Mets wanted nothing more than to see that. Steve Phillips needs to get on the horn, call Scott Boras and tell him it’s time to meet. He should tell him to bring Alex with him to avoid any other confusion. If Phillips doesn’t do this, A-Rod may very well be playing in Atlanta next season while the Mets are playing golf in October.

If Phillips does a good job from this point he can get Rodriguez signed without having to give him any perks (if you don’t consider $22 million per season for playing baseball a perk).

After that, the Mets should try to find a way to salvage their pitching staff amd get one somewhat decent outfielder. Signing Rick Reed or Denny Neagle is a must. They should also re-up with Turk Wendell and righty Bobby Jones. Jay Buhner may be a decent fit for the outfield as he can be signed at a decent price and is a well-above average rightfielder.

The rest they should do by trade, as the free agent money they have to spend would be sparce after the signing of A-Rod. The Mets probably have enough on the farm to pull of a trade for Dustin Hermanson of the Expos. After that, they should see if they can ship Rey Ordonez off to the Mariners and bring back Jose Paniagua to bolster their very strong bullpen.

Finally, the Mets should trade Timo Perez for whatever they can get. Find a GM who was not watching the World Series and didn’t notice how exposed Timo was, and see if they can get anything in return before he becomes a .180 hitter.

This pitching staff wouldn’t be quite as good as last year’s, but it may already be too late for Steve Phillips to do anything about that. It may not be too late to find a way to bring A-Rod to Shea.

Plan B:

Sign Manny Ramirez.

2001 Suggested 25-man roster:

LF-Benny Agbayani
2B-Edgardo Alfanzo
SS-Alex Rodriguez
C- Mike Piazza
3B-Robin Ventura
1B-Todd Ziele
RF-Jay Buhner
CF-Jay Payton

C - Todd Pratt
IN - Kurt Abbott
Util. - Lenny Harris
OF - Darryl Hamilton
OF - Bubba Trammell
PH - Matt Franco

Al Leiter
Rick Reed
Dustin Hermanson
Bobby M. Jones
Glendon Rusch

Armando Benitez
Turk Wendell
Jose Paniagua
Dennis Cook
Rick White
Bobby J. Jones

Send Ross your opinions, comments or verbal abuse at ross@JBaseball.

© 2000 JBaseball

"How can you not be romantic about baseball?" - Moneyball.