First things first, the Mets were never in this. GM Omar Minaya has gotten a lot of high marks from a lot of you, but this might be one of his better decisions. To tell ownership not to cave in on the years, even though the Mets probably have the resources, was the responsible thing to do.
Seven years is way too much for a pitcher, and despite Barry Zito’s durability history, I’m willing to bet he won’t have a breakdown or two, or maybe more, during this contract. The Mets are going into next season with a questionable rotation, but that’s far better than possibly going into the next seven years hamstrung.
The remaining free agent market is thin, with Jeff Weaver maybe the best available. The rest? Tony Armas Jr., Russ Ortiz, Mark Redman and Tomo Ohka, not to mention Steve Trachsel.
There’s not much available in the trade market either. They looked at Javier Vazquez, but with the White Sox already dealing Freddy Garcia and Brandon McCarthy, they won’t deal a third starter.
Don’t look for the with Oakland for either Dan Haren, Joe Blanton and Rich Harden to be revived. The A’s wanted a lot then – Lastings Milledge, Aaron Heilman and Phil Humber – but with the market even thinner now, they aren’t likely to back off those demands.