Omar Minaya said Lastings Milledge is in the Mets’ plans, but then again, he can’t say anything else. Ripping Milledge just lessens his value. Signing Moises Alou sends the message Milledge isn’t ready, that he needs a full year in the minor leagues, something he didn’t get last year.
In hindsight, by force feeding Milledge last year out of need, they might have weakened their position in the trade market for him. They balked at deals for Barry Zito and Manny Ramirez, in part because of the request for Milledge in the package and might regret that now. Of course, in fairness, maybe the deals wouldn’t have been made because of other factors, put pulling Milledge off the table was a killer.
What to do now?
* Well, they could dump him for whatever they can get in the pitching market. With that comes the risk he becomes a big time player.
* They could start him on the major league level and let him sink or swim. Personally, I think Shawn Green gives them a more consistent player in right field. It is fashionable to say give right field to Endy Chavez, but while he showed flashes last season, will he do it in a full time role?
* They could leave him in the minor leagues and let him develop without pressure. Doing that would mean resisting the urge to bring him up if there is an injury or somebody is slumping.