They’re still capable of looking like they might make a run but losing 20 of their last 30 and everything to the godforsaken Diamondbacks smells a lot like the Mets are going to fall short this season. With only hours remaining until the trade deadline I’d be strongly tempted to see what Pedro Feliciano and Frankie Rodriguez would bring back on the trade market, not that I’d expect that kind of vision from Omar (or that another team could be convinced that the $29 million Rodriguez has coming to him is even a fraction of what he’s worth). It might be different were the Mets able to start that run I’ve been talking about for weeks now, but they just haven’t, and I’m afraid it’s over.
The only new personnel so far is Jesus Feliciano, returning to take the place of Jason Bay, who went to the disabled list with a concussion. The Mets also on Friday traded AAA first baseman Mike Jacobs to Toronto for a Player To Be Named Later: It’s hard to believe Jacobs was the opening-day first baseman on this team.
Well, as suspected below last night’s marathon prompted the Mets to bring up another pitcher tonight — and the offense just might get a jolt too.
Tobi Stoner, who made a few late-season appearances last season wearing No. 29, was recalled. The surprise was that rather than demoting a gassed arm, the Mets designated flailing first baseman Mike Jacobs for assignment in order to make room. That leads to speculation that an offensive player would be recalled once the Mets depart St. Louis, first base prospect Ike Davis being the most intriguing option.
Davis has been wearing No. 20 up in Buffalo but there’s some speculation he could end up in No. 49, which his dad, reliever Ron Davis, wore for at least some of his career.(As pointed out below, Ron Davis wore 53, 39, 34, 55 and 33 in his career). No. 20 currently belongs to coach Howard Johnson. We’ve argued here before for No. 17, which would properly honor another terrific Met first baseman but require that Fernando Tatis changes his shirt. Stay tuned!
The Mets are hitting the leftovers like the day after Thanksgiving. Only hours after posting the numerical roster below, one number, 35, came available again when the Mets claimed outfielder Jason Pridie from Minnesota with a waiver claim and designated pitcher Jack Egbert for assignment. Egbert joined the Mets roster late last season when they claimed him off waivers from the White Sox, fulfilling the destiny of all baseball players on the downside of their careers from the tri-state area.
Anyway, Pridie, a potential challenger for innings in center field, is in and not yet assigned a number.
The Mets were hardly done, it turned out, signing former Met Mike Jacobs to a minor league deal and a chance to pressure incumbent Daniel Murphy at first base. There’s been some speculation that Jacobs would take his old No. 27 and leave Nelson Figueroa to search for a new uni, but I doubt that comes to pass. Jacobs hasn’t really earned any equity in 27 and I think he’s a longshot to be anything more than a Buffalo Soldier this year, as attractive as ability to punish mistakes by righthanded pitchers is. He could really help his cause by taking up catching again, though. My guess is he takes Egbert’s 35.
Also new to the NRIs is Tokyo Giants lefty Hisanori Takahashi (no relation to Ken as far as I know). This Takahashi could land in the vacant No. 21, that was his jersey back East. Ex-Rays catcher Shawn Riggans, like Jacobs a shaky defensive player with power, accepted an invite and looks to me destined for 73 or 76.
The Mets today announced they would acquire slugging first baseman
Carlos Delgado and 7 million U.S. Dollars from the Marlins, giving up promising
young hitter Mike Jacobs 27 and alleged phenom pitcher
Yusmeiro Petit in return. That this is a dynamite deal for the Mets should be
obvious: Delgado fills the need for another threatening bat in the lineup
and they didn’t need to cough up Lastings Milledge to get him. This
of course isn’t the first time the Mets have picked up luxury goods on
the cheap in a Marlin liquidation: The 1998 sell-off produced
Dennis Cook 27, Al Leiter 22 and Mike Piazza 31, all key players in the last
respectable Met era.
Considering the strenous attempt to land Delgado last off-season, we expect the Mets will provide Delgado with all the comforts he deems necessary, which means
Kaz Matsui 25 might find a new jersey hanging in his locker this spring
(presuming it says “Mets” on the front, that is). We argued back in ’03
that Matsui should have been issued 77 and would still like to see it.
Speaking of Marlin giveaways, the Mets quietly provided X-Marlin lefty reliever
Matt Perisho with a minor league contract and invite to Spring Training.
Perisho wore 46 with the Marlins last season.
The Mets today welcomed back Steve Trachsel 29, and slotted him in the rotation on Friday. The drama as to who would be sacrificed to make room for him was satisfactorily resolved when washed-up mop-up man Danny Graves 32 was designated for assignment. On Monday, beefy reliever Heath Bell 19 was recalled from Norfolk while Dae Sung Koo 17 was demoted. On Sunday, reserve catcher Mike DeFelice 33 returned to the active roster when the Mets got around to disabling catcher Mike Piazza 31. Meanwhile, a massive three-run homer in his debut turn at bat Sunday appears to have saved a job for Mike Jacobs 27, who’s now your starting first baseman.
MBTN reader Mike from Tennessee points out that Jacobs became the fourth Met to hit a home run in his first Major League at-bat — and that each of them had ascending uni numbers: Benny Ayala 18; Mike Fitzgerald 20; Kaz Matsui 25; and Jacobs 27. This is the kind of useless history MBTN was designed to capture.
Just as Carlos Beltran 15 returned to the lineup, looking remarkably healthy despite a broken face bone, we learned that catcher Mike Piazza 31 will take at least a few days off with a hairline fracture of his own (he fractured his hand, not his hairline). To be certain we’re in catchers, the Mets did a cool thing and recalled slugging, lefthanded-hitting AAer Mike Jacobs, who arrived at the park tonight wearing No. 27. To make room for him, the Mets designated reliever Jose Santiago 33, who failed to distinguish himself over a few weeks as the team’s 6th or 7th reliever.
The 2004 Mets next week will be arriving in Port St. Lucie for Spring Training and goofy numbers aplenty are expected. According to the official (but not always accurate) Mets website, here’s what to expect: Pat Strange, whose 38 was taken by Jae Seo when Seo’s 40 was given to Braden Looper (whose 41 was unavailable)… is listed in No. 34. As expected, veteran returnee Todd Zeile was issued No. 27. Karim Garcia in the meantime was issued No. 20, with Prentice Redman switching to No. 5. Catcher Mike Jacobs has been issued the highest uni number among the 40-men in camp, at 71. See more at the official site.