|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
|Tony Gwynn's Take|
Their next need to address is a bat for the middle of the lineup. Carlos Beltran is still available, but I doubt the Mets can afford him after shelling out $53 million for Pedro. Still, there's a heaping helping of quality free agents out there who won't cost top-of-the-line money.
Some pieces of New York's offensive puzzle, like Mike Piazza and Cliff Floyd, weren't as productive in '04 as they have been in the past. Will the Mets trade Piazza? Or move him back behind the plate and maybe get somebody like Carlos Delgado to play first? Or will Floyd move to first? The Mets still have lots of questions to answer.
They hope they've answered one with Pedro, but his arm issues are a factor because of the money involved and the contract length (four years). If I'm the GM, I definitely would have tried to sign Pedro, but I don't think I would have signed the 33-year-old to a fourth year. But Mets GM Omar Minaya knows Pedro. Minaya knows he wants the ball and wants to win.
And even if he isn't the old Pedro who won three Cy Youngs, I believe he's still one of the best starters in the game. The Mets' rotation does look really good now, with Pedro, Kris Benson, Tom Glavine and Steve Trachsel. I wonder about closing out games, though.
For more analysis from ESPN's Tony Gwynn, sign up for ESPN Insider.