The Mets didn't do anything today. They did less than the Yankees, even, who after acquiring one beloved former Met (the X-Man), were hungry for another (last graph, obvs).
Instead, the sellers had this club in a holding pattern, asking the Mets for hard-throwing lefty Jon Niese or human tool-shed Fernando Martinez in exchange for crummy used goods, like Raul Ibanez.
The Mets couldn't acquire a difference-maker for the corner outfield spots or for the bullpen without surrendering serious talent, it seems. And, hell, they couldn't even acquire a non-difference maker without surrendering something substantial.
Desperate times call for desperate measures: Omar even tried to grab Luis Ayala, in hopes of reassembling his Expos squad in Flushing.
ASIDE: How has no one pointed this out yet? As Mets GM, Omar has acquired Brian Schneider, Ryan Church, Endy Chavez, El Duque, Fernando Tatis, Claudio Vargas, Tony Armas, Ron Calloway, Wil Cordero, and Val Pascucci, all of whom were his subjects at one point when he was master of the most useless domain in baseball?
Today, he tried to acquire Luis Ayala! The same Luis Ayala of the 5.54 ERA and 1.49 WHIP! He is actually trying to recapture the glory of those Expos days, when Matt Loughlin would eat french fries with cheese curd (it's called poutine!; right) and Fran Healy and Ted Robinson would lull us to sleep telling us how sneaky-delicious those fries were, while Eric Valent hit for the cycle.
Good times - who knew they were being reassembled beneath our nose at Shea? If it's any luck, Brad Wilkerson will soon be patrolling a corner outfield spot. Or maybe Peter Bergeron will. On second thought, Bergeron will probably be running the poutine stand at ShittyField. I'm sure there will be one.
--END OF ASIDE--
In any event, we Mets fans should be mildly pleased that the team made no moves.
While Manny would have been a welcome addition, the Mets have no prospects, outside of Martinez, who would be capable of even carrying Andy LaRoche's jockstrap. And while LaRoche (and the heretofore unheralded Bryan Morris) may seem to be quite a mild price for a masher of Manny's caliber, there always exists the possibility that Jeff Kent will be dead at Ramirez's hand by the end of the season.
I've already reserved FreeManny.com to secure funds for his legal defense.* (Actually, this is not true. Please don't register this website. You will have stolen my idea - consider investing in KentHadItComing.com)
In any event, there really wasn't that much out there for the Mets. Considering that Griffey wouldn't have waived any clause to come here (and he's only a minimal upgrade anyway), and that the price for Bay was so high, it looks like the Mets did the right thing by standing pat.
Placidity was a theme in the NL East today, as the Marlins acquired but Arthur Rhodes, while the Phillies only have that Blanton deal to go on. While both teams had previously been mentioned as potential homes for ManRam, his incurable psychosis (if he's on your team, this may be called "Manny Being Manny," or, alternatively, fun-loving attitude) may have scared them away.
In fact, it makes sense that the Dodgers' Ned Colletti was the only GM in baseball ultimately able to swing a trade for Manny - Colletti's methodology for acquiring players involves a simple set of questions:
1) Was he good five years ago?
2) If you answered yes to the first question, acquire him. If no, could he be described as either "gritty" or "a gamer"?
3) If you answered yes to the second question, acquire him. If no, did he ever play for the Devil Rays?
4) If you answered yes to the third question, acquire him. If no, is he Ramon Martinez?
The Dodgers have done everything possible to take at-bats away from James Loney, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp in that outfield – and by everything possible, I mean Andruw Jones' 218 PA of .167/.268/.250 and Juan Pierre's 311 PA of .279/.325/.316 baseball out of a corner outfield position.
Angel Berroa is also logging time at short with a line of .204/.260/.247, but hey, he won Rookie of the Year only a few years back!
While it won't take much to win the NL West, I'm still terribly excited for the pissing match that will ensue over the next couple months. Even though the Dodgers have Manny, that team is still managed by veteran-loving Joe Torre with Colletti calling the roster shots upstairs. Here's to hoping Manny rides pine for the rest of the year after refusing to cut his braids and Casey Blake grinds out his career 106 OPS+ in a corner outfield spot opposite Juan Pierre.
In any event, the Mets didn't bite on any offers and still have Fernando Martinez, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Dan Murphy, Nick Evans, Mike Carp and Raul Casanova (wouldn't have been able to cope had we traded him.)
What's nice is that this team is no less equipped to win tomorrow than it was yesterday, even if that game didn't turn out so well. It wasn't like trading Nady for Bert, Kazmir for VZ, or doing anything that would give Luis Castillo a larger share of the team's at-bats. The Mets haven't changed, for better or for worse.