I need to be completely honest with you - this Yorvit Torrealba signing doesn't instill me with a huge amount of confidence heading into the 2008 baseball season.
Torrealba is a career .251 hitter, with 30 career home runs and 173 career RBI. I hate to say it, but when I heard about the signing (or I guess when I heard that he would be signed...it hasn't technically happened yet), I actually wished that Jorge Posada was going to be the Mets catcher next year. (For the record, Posada had 20 homers last year alone, and 183 RBI over the past two years.)
Offensively, I don't think a Torrealba-Ramon Castro (who the Mets are also expected to re-sign, and give more playing time) rotation would be any worse than Paul LoDuca-Castro...maybe a lower batting average, but not a huge drop-off. Baseball-reference.com compares players - and the number one comparison to Torrealba is former Met Jason Phillips. Just what the Mets need...Phillips revisited. Maybe after Carlos Delgado is gone, which is looking like it can't be too soon, Torrealba will make an ill-fated move to first place, a la Phillips.
The Mets made the right decision moving away from LoDuca - he's getting old, and the off-field stuff was becoming a huge distraction. Torrealba's defense is supposed to be above-average, so at least he's got that over Posada...but even so, Torrealba doesn't have the greatest percentage throwing out runners.
I can learn to love Torrealba. The one thing that stands out to me about him is his clutch hitting - I feel like he had a lot of clutch hits for the Rockies, and every time I saw them come back late in a game, I feel like Torrealba was involved. That said, I'm not tremendously confident that he is what the Mets need. And there's one huge factor that will be make or break as far as me liking Torrealba, and it's why I chose the picture above to show him. His jersey number with the Rockies (and before that, with the Giants) was 8. If he knows what's good for him as far as gaining my fanhood, he'll either pick a new number with the Mets, or show a LOT of respect for the number 8 of Hall of Famer Gary Carter.
IN OTHER NEWS:
I am very, very surprised that Alex Rodriguez is going to remain a Yankee. I can't imagine he'll be very well-received in the Bronx, though.
I am not at all surprised that Barry Bonds has been indicted. Is it really that big a deal? Who didn't see that coming?
Finally, with Jake Peavy winning the National League Cy Young Award so decisively, it made me wonder...when a player wins unanimously, is it even worth listing the second and third place finishers?