So, what are the Mets' options?

Leave a comment

ESPN’s Buster Olney (and about a zillion other people today) note that the Jason Bay-to-the-Mets stuff is dragging on.  Rather than come up with new and exciting Mets jokes, Buster gets constructive and makes eight suggestions for adding depth and improving the team without blowing a big chunk of money on Jason Bay.  His ideas:

1. Sign Orlando Hudson;
2. Sign a cheap, defense-first outfielder like Randy Winn;
3. Sign Mark DeRosa
4. Get a reliever or two in the Bob Howry or Chan Ho Park mold;
5. Rotation filler like Jarrod Washburn;
6. Make an offer for Fernando Rodney;
7. Get a starter like Brett Meyers, Jon Garland or Vicente Padilla;
8. Make an offer to Joel Piniero.

Not sure if that’s really eight ideas given that two of them deal with getting a reliever and three of them deal with getting some back-of-the-rotation help, but at least someone’s thinking about how to make the Mets better. God knows Omar Minaya isn’t.

So whaddya all think? Kneejerk reaction: I like depth moves better than big splashes for a team like the Mets. I mean, if you’re going to blame every damn thing that happened in 2009 on injuries, why not improve the depth?

As for the specifics, I’m not sure how many of the pitchers Olney is serious about the Mets pursuing or if, alternatively, he’s just listing potential options, but New York could use someone who could pitch beyond Santana. I think DeRosa has become everyone’s go-to reference for depth and utility, but I think people are underselling the fact that he’s getting older, can’t play the middle of the infield much anymore and is asking for far more money than the spare-part DeRosa we all came to love a few years ago.

But those are merely my shallow nitpicks. Your thoughts?

Athletics hire third base coach Matt Williams

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Athletics have hired former MLB manager Matt Williams, the team announced Friday. Williams will take over third base coaching duties under manager Bob Melvin, filling the vacancy left by Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale after the 2017 season.

Williams is no stranger to the Bay Area, but this will be his first time sporting the green and gold. He got his start in pro ball with the rival Giants in 1987, where he manned third base and collected four All-Star nominations before jumping ship to the American League in 1997. After a one-year stint in the Indians’ organization, he returned to the NL to finish off his 17-season career and eventually hung up his cleats with the Diamondbacks in 2003.

Post-retirement, Williams has crafted a resume that almost over-qualifies him for a coaching gig. He led the Nationals to a cumulative 179-145 record from 2014 to 2015 and earned props as NL Manager of the Year after bringing the team to a first-place finish in 2014. In 2016, he split the season as a first and third base coach in the D-backs’ organization, then accepted a studio analyst position with the Giants for the 2017 season. Although he has yet to suit up for the Athletics in any role, he’s not unfamiliar with skipper Bob Melvin. The two were teammates on the Giants’ 1987-88 roster and spent some time in Arizona together when Melvin took a coaching job there in the early 2000s.

While next year’s reunion will be fun to watch (unless, I suppose, you’re a Giants fan with a long memory), Williams may not have his sights set on a coaching role forever. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reported back in July, the 51-year-old knows what it feels like to win as a manager, and it’s a position he might be open to pursuing in the future.

“For me, my most comfortable space is in uniform,” he told Shea. “I’ve done the ownership thing and front-office stuff, and that’s fun. The most gratification I get is swinging a fungo and throwing batting practice and being on the field. It’s what you know and love. I look at myself as a teacher first and foremost. At the end of the day, I think that’s how I have my greatest influence.”