It wouldn’t be the best signing or the worst but I guess Jon Leiber for a year looks to be the best of a broken down bunch left out in the free agent wilderness. Coming off foot surgery, the 37 year old righty is a very good control pitcher who when on his game will give you innings and keep you in a game. At this point with Petey, Maine, and Perez locking up the top three spots in the rotation you could throw Lieber in there with El Duque, Pelfrey and Humber and  let them fight it out for spots 4 and 5. 


I was going to write about the Mets and Johan Santana but instead I went inside to lay down until that idea passed. If Santana wanted to be a Met the deal would have happened already by forcing the Twins via his no trade cause to send him to Flushing.


Jim Beauchamp passed away on Christmas day and if you’re a Mets fan my age or older you know Beauchamp as pretty decent pinch hitter back in 1972 and 1973. When I looked up Beauchamp’ stats I noticed how he was acquired from the Cardinals and was a little surprised by the deal:


 October 18, 1971: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals with Chip Coulter, Harry Parker, and Chuck Taylor to the New York Mets for Art Shamsky, Jim Bibby, Rich Folkers, and Charlie Hudson.
Parker, Taylor and Hudson (not to be confused with Charles Hudson of Phillies, Highlanders, Tigers fame) were three non-descript right handed pitchers and Coulter was a minor league infielder but Big Jim Bibby, won 19 games for the 1980 Bucos. But Shamsky, he was a ’69 Met for God sake how did he get thrown in with this dreck?


The Klapper has a who’s hot who’s not column today and guess who’s not hot, Omar Minaya. No shit!:


 The Mets’ general manager is gambling heavily on Ryan Church and Brian Schneider to make Mets fans forget Lastings Milledge. The 22-year-old outfielder was, at times, immature, and certainly underdeveloped as a ballplayer, particularly on defense. But Milledge just might blossom in Washington under manager Manny Acta, which would serve only to embarrass the Mets’ hierarchy.
If the Mets really were convinced Milledge’s trade value had plummeted, they should’ve waited a year to try again. They would’ve done no worse than Schneider and Church.
Unless the Mets can somehow pry Johan Santana away from the Twins, they’ll go into ’08 without significantly improving the team that blew a seven-game lead with 17 to go. Minaya loves the art of the deal, but he’s yet to work any magic this winter.
It’s staring to look like Omar can only get players if he can over pay them. He’s made some nice minor deals building the bench with Gotay, Easley, Marlon Anderson and Endy but he has not been able to make a big time deal since Oliver Perez and that one was made out of desperation. I’m not anti-Omar by any means.  I like Omar but this is a big season for him with the collapse of ‘07 weighing very heavy on the minds of Mets fans ands with three picks in the first 35 picks in the entry draft. As we will see when we get to May and June this draft could be what keeps Omar around for a long time or pushes him out the door.


How much would you like to bet that if Minaya could do it all over again, he’d hire Manny Acta over Willie Randolph as Mets manager?


Another thing Minaya needs to do is add a right handed bat to spell Delgado and Church. A few names come to my mind.  Matt Murton is a young outfielder who has been squeezed out of the Soriano/Pie/Fukedome Cubs outfield who would fit perfect as a caddy for Church and to split time with Endy when Moises takes his injury sabbatical. Andy Phillips, non-tendered by the Highlanders could play some OF and would be perfect to fill in at first base for Delgado. Delgado by the way is the guy I feel is the “X” factor in whether the 2008 Mets contend or pretend.. The Mets need a very big comeback year for Carlos D. Josh Phelps is another righty with power who would fit the first base backup plan and Robb Quinlan with the Angels could spell Delgado and Wright and come off the bench as the righty pinch hitting specialist.


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