BES-BALL TALK #7

NY NEEDS...

A hell of a whole lot has happened here in NY since the last time I did a Bes-Ball Talk. The Yankees signed CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira, while the Mets signed a new closer, Francisco (KRod) Rodriguez, and traded for a set up man, JJ Putz. All big moves that made the teams better, but the Hot Stove is still burning, and there are moves yet to be made by my area teams.

The Mets need another pitcher, maybe even two. Derek Lowe seems to be the best available target, and one of the prime catches of the whole season. He's a good durable pitcher, who won't set the world on fire, but will win for you or at least fight hard to do so. It seems, though, that he wants more than the Mets may be willing to spend for a pitcher, which absolutely makes no sense to me. Their rotation is shaky past Johan Santana. You hope that Mike Pelfrey is the stud that he looked to be in the second half of last season, but his career prior to that may raise an eyebrow or two. Personally, I think the guy's a bulldog,and he brings a fierceness to the mound that the Mets don't have otherwise, so I think you may be OK there. If John Maine can return to form, after his injuries, then you might be in even better shape, but that's an iffy situation. There's a general thinking that the 5th spot will be left for some young guys to battle in, which leaves the 4th open. Now, if you can't get Lowe, which is possible since the Braves are heavy into him since losing out on Burnett, and also surprisingly losing John Smoltz to the Red Sox, you have to try to get Ollie Perez back. I'd actually take Perez over Lowe, as he's younger and has a better up side. After him, it could get scary. I hear that they have an offer out to Tim Redding for some strange reason. I don't like that guy's make up at all, and his record last year feels like that of a 5th starter on a bad team, not the Mets! I'm not a fan of Randy Wolf either, so my only other choice, unless you're bringing back Pedro, is Jon Garland. Now, to me, there's a decent choice to put in there. I've always liked the way Garland goes about his business, and I'd welcome him on my team any day. Honestly, they have to get Lowe or Perez first, or I'd be afraid for that rotation otherwise.

The Mets also need another outfielder. You can't go into the season with Beltran as the only known quantity. Call me scarred by the Melky Cabrera fiasco, but how can you trust that Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis will give you what they did last year?! And Ryan Church is a huge question mark after his concussions! No way, I would not feel safe with those three. They need Manny or Bobby Abreu out there. Manny is the obvious choice, as he instantly makes the team better even if they do nothing else. The Wilpons are crazy if they don't want this guy. I don't care for his personal makeup as much as the next guy, but get real, this isn't a personality contest, this is about winning and making cash, and Manny will pay back the team he signs with with boatloads of both. You want safer, more PC, though? Cool, sign Abreu. You can bat him in front of David Wright and Carlos Beltran, and he'll get on base for them no problem, or put him behind and he'll drive them in at least 100 times next season. Guaranteed. To be honest I loved Abreu on the Yankees, but it doesn't seem like he's coming back, so I'm hoping the Mets pick him up just so I can still watch the guy play. Ha! I guess you could sign Adam Dunn, too, and after Delgado leaves you can play him at 1st base, which isn't the worst idea. Either way, the Mets need another good bat in there.

For the big spending Yankees, the needs are less. One more pitcher may be needed since it seems like Andy Pettitte may have pitched his final Yankees game. I don't mind a battle for number 5, but to me Joba Chamberlain is not a lock for the rotation. You need another guy, and for me that guy is either Ben Sheets or Jon Garland or even Ollie Perez. Garland, for the reasons mentioned above, Perez is an intriguing lefty wild card, and Sheets has ace like material. I didn't mention him for the Mets because, for some reason, he doesn't feel like a Mets pitcher to me. Just a feeling. I'd love Sheets for the Yanks, though. If not, I'm ready to accept Phil Hughes or Alfredo Aceves into the rotation. Phil Coke should be left to the bullpen for now, and Ian Kennedy should get ready for a trade. I'll miss Pettitte, but the rotation needed a new life infusion, and CC and A.J. and whoever else bring that. Couple that with Wang and Joba and you're good to go. The bullpen is pretty set, unless you put Joba in there, and then you went from very good to dominate.

The other move the Yankees want to make is a clearing of the outfield situation. I don't think Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon are going anywhere, but Xavier Nady, Nick Swisher, and Melky are all on the block. To me, if you get rid of Nady and Melky, you're good to go. Maybe send them to the Giants for Aaron Rowand. This way you put Swisher, who I'd actually like to see play, in right, and Rowand in center, with Brett Gardner as the back up. Of course, there's also the Manny what if? Well if that would happen, A. it would be insane, and B. you'd have to play Damon in center, which means Nady would have to be traded for either a prospect or another bullpen arm or an utility infielder. (although I do believe an utility infielder's competition between Cody Ransom, who I really dig, and newly acquired Angel Berroa, may be already set.) And you can really live with Damon in center if you get Manny, especially as a one year stop gap. If you left the team "as is" though, I can deal with that too. Matsui is your full time DH, Gardner/Melky in center, Nady/Swisher in right, Damon in left. Swisher backs everyone up there, as well as backing up Tex at first. I think that would work out fine. There are worse things for Joe Giradi to deal with than having a good, flexible bench!

Next time, I'll go around the league to see how everyone else is progressing.

And that's Bes-Ball.