Inbox: Should Mets sign Crawford?
Beat reporter Marty Noble answers fans' questions
Do you think it would be wise for the Mets to sign Carl Crawford? He isn't really a power hitter, so Citi's dimensions won't scare him off, and if Jose Reyes' injury is serious, they need speed in that lineup. And I also believe his personality and leadership is what the Mets need right now. What do you think?
-- James K., Queens, N.Y.
If the Rays don't exercise their option on his contract, Crawford would be an attractive free agent for any team. And I don't suspect his appeal to the Mets would be less with Reyes playing at full speed. Crawford isn't the power hitter the Mets need, but if the club plans to build on pitching, defense and speed, Crawford would be ideal. He could handle left field at the Citi and, with Carlos Beltran and Jeff Francoeur, move the foul lines closer to each other.
I think you are underestimating Angel Pagan. Give him more credit. With a starting assignment in left field and the knowledge he will be playing every day, he will perform much better then you have stated. He is an excellent No. 2 or leadoff hitter, and he and Reyes would create a speedy and dangerous 1-2 combo. Keep him and give him the left-field starting position.
-- Don A., Lyngby, Denmark
You know, I'm a sucker for anything from Denmark. Anyway, I don't recall berating Pagan beyond pointing out his many mistakes in the field and on the bases. He was a productive offensive player last season. But his errors -- of omission, commission and in thinking -- were so many, assessing his skills can't be done so readily.
I am wondering why the Wilpon family seems to disregard Mets star players from the glory years. Jackie Robinson gets more attention than Keith Hernandez, Tom Seaver, Mookie Wilson, Gary Carter, Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. Why is that? Why isn't the stadium named Mets Citi Field?
-- Michael G., Rockville, N.Y.
Citi Field was not as Mets-ified as it could have been in April when it debuted. But since then, the club has added many photos and flags inside and outside the park. No mistaking it now, it is a Mets park that includes a grand monument to Robinson, not because he was a Dodger but because he was who he was. That the rotunda that bears his name is similar to the rotunda of Ebbets Field hardly is a crime. The Mets are the offspring of the dearly departed Dodgers and Giants. And, to me, the rotunda is the best-looking part of Citi's exterior.
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The club has planned to add a Mets museum before next season which will address your concerns to a greater extent.
Much has been written already about the Mets' need to overhaul the roster before next season, most notably in the rotation and the middle of the batting order. What do you think about the Mets sending Oliver Perez (along with his hefty contract and inconsistency) along with Fernando Martinez and, say, John Maine, to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells?
The Jays have made no secret about wanting to shed some payroll, albeit they get some back with Perez. The Jays will let Wells go for nothing like they did for Alex Rios, just to rid themselves of the contract. Whether they will be willing to swap Perez's contract for Vernon's would be a question. Martinez and Maine might also be enough to get Halladay.
Again, the value of a payroll dump while picking up a decent Major League starter and a top prospect might be worth giving up one of baseball's finest starters. The Mets would add enough strength to the rotation to be able to sign a free agent to act as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter behind Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey. While Wells' hitting numbers were down last year, he still had more home runs than any Met, and if he would agree to play left field, his defense would be an asset in Citi Field.
-- Gary B., Winnipeg, Canada
Some of what you mention -- the benefit to the Mets -- has genuine merit. But no new general manager is going to trade Halladay and import Perez unless much more is included in the package going to the Jays -- something like Willie Mays. Perez is virtually untradeable as much because of his performance as his contract. His injury makes it worse.
Seeing so many comments on how pitcher-friendly Citi Field is has me thinking, can the Mets try to build a team like the Braves of the 90's?
-- Danny J., Queens, N.Y.
They should be so fortunate. Those Braves teams, renowned for their pitching, had productive offenses. Chipper Jones, Fred McGriff, David Justice, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, Brian Jordan and Terry Pendleton didn't pitch, they made the pitchers' jobs less stressful.
Did you ever play the game you write about? And if you didn't, how can you cover it?
-- Carl W., Bronx, N.Y.
Yes, I played baseball -- rather poorly -- in the school yard of P.S. 28 in your borough and later in suburbia. At no point beyond age 11 did I have visions of grandeur or even thoughts of being adequate. My five-tool belt was empty.
None of that interferes with covering the game, though. You didn't have to walk on the moon to write about it.
Do you think it's possible to trade Luis Castillo to the D-backs for Eric Byrnes and then make a run at Orlando Hudson to play second base? Also, how about offering the Padres a package of Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell, Martinez and a Minor League pitcher for Adrian Gonzalez?
-- Pete R., Wingdale, N.Y.
When Gene Michael was running the Yankees, he found a taker for Steve Trout in December 1987. So all things (other than trading Perez) are possible in the trade market. Likely is another proposition. And if the Mets could acquire Gonzalez for the package you cite, they would have already. Remember, Martinez's value was diminished by his performance at the big league level, and his tendency to break down is turning him into Alex Escobar.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.