SportsProf

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

General Managers Gone Wild

Well, not exactly, and, certainly, not yet.

But because of the Yankees' crash in the post-season and the Mets' starting pitching problems (as evidenced by last night's loss) the post-season sweepstakes for starting pitching will be a feeding frenzy.

And this guy should get a ton of money, as it seems like the Yankees and Mets will have to pursue him. This guy should fare well, too (and likewise will draw interest from both of those teams). And the way he's pitched in the NLCS, Jeff Weaver, despite his spotty track record in recent seasons, could well get a Derek Lowe-like contract (you'll recall Lowe's heroics in the 2004 post-season after he was yanked from the BoSox rotation during the regular season).

The Mets have a frail Pedro Martinez, an ancient (if very gutsy) El Duque (who well could be in his forties), a soon-to-be-long-gone Steve Trachsel, an Old Master (who might not get the calls on the lines anymore) in Tom Glavine and an up-and-comer in John Maine. That's not exactly a starting pitching staff that makes people think "well, there's a strong chance of post-season success." It's relatively old, battered and tired.

The Yankees have Chien-Ming Wang, who is excellent, but they also have Randy Johnson, who's undergoing back surgery, who's old and who hasn't pitched well, Carl Pavano, who hasn't been healthy since he's been in NY and hasn't exactly wowed anyone with his judgment and Jaret Wright, on whom they've never been able to count. Cory Lidle, who just passed way, would have been a free agent, and Mike Mussina is a free agent and, from what I've gathered, unlikely to return (although I confess that I may be wrong about that). This, too, is not a pitching staff that makes one think that the Bronx Bombers are likely to make a deep run in the post-season. It's incomplete, inconsistent and injury-prone.

Oh, it's a fine time to be a free agent starting pitcher when both New York teams will be in the hunt, big-time, to fortify their staffs and are in need of at least two starting pitchers apiece.

Once the World Series is over and free-agent signing season begins, the hunt for big baseball game is on.

And the trophies are the guys who can pitch 200 innings and bring you 15 wins a season.

Omar Minaya has done a great job with the Mets, but the early line says that George Steinbrenner will get who he wants. Minaya, after all, hasn't been in Queens all that long, and he hasn't gone head-to-head with the Yankees.

It's the T-Rex versus the Raptor.

And it ought to be fun to watch.

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