-- Doug K., St. Louis
I suppose the best way to respond to your e-mail is reuse this Inbox question and response from early February:
Would you have signed Perez for three years, $36 million or Randy Wolf for less money and fewer years?
-- Derek T., Columbus, Ohio
Good question. My answer is: Wolf for one year and an option, if possible, or for two years, tops. My sense of it is that Perez will produce five to eight starts that would exceed all but one or two of Wolf's starts. But Wolf would afford his team a chance to win more often than Perez. And I would use the money saved to pay the salary of a quality starter who might become available in the summer.
Don't want to say I was prescient, but look at what Wolf has done. He has a 5-4 record in 21 starts, averaging slightly more than six innings per start and has produced a 3.45 ERA. Perez has a 2-3 record and a 7.68 ERA in eight starts, his season interrupted by poor conditioning, an injury some people questioned and a lack of focus. His average innings per start is less than five.
Moreover, the Dodgers, who score runs from time to time, have a 13-8 record in Wolf's starts. The Mets, who don't necessarily score, have won twice in Perez's eight starts. They have averaged just less than four runs in his games -- not a good figure when combined with a 7.68 ERA. The Dodgers have averaged just less than five runs per game in Wolf's starts.
And now Halladay is the quality starter who has become available in the summer.
Let's be realistic, the 2009 Mets should become Trade Deadline sellers. Contending teams like the Rays and Cardinals may be interested in bullpen help like Pedro Feliciano, Brian Stokes or Sean Green for much-needed prospects.
-- Bill F., Bronx, N.Y.
I wouldn't deal Feliciano unless I had another left-handed setup man in mind. The Mets probably don't, and none is on the roster.
I feel that, when the season is over, that the Mets undoubtedly need to shake things up and blow up their current core group of players. This is what I would do: trade Carlos Beltran and Bobby Parnell to the Red Sox for Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz; then trade Jose Reyes, Luis Castillo and Fernando Martinez to the Rangers for Michael Young and Ian Kinsler. The Mets should undoubtedly hold onto David Wright to continue being the face of the organization. These trades would allow them to have a new leadoff hitter in Ellsbury, a new No. 2 hitter in Kinsler and a new No. 3 hitter in Young. These trades would change the entire look of the organization for the better. Could I please have your thoughts on this?
-- Daniel B., Yonkers, N.Y.
It's a tad early to look to next year, and not because I anticipate the Mets making a miracle recovery and U-Turn. And beyond that, I don't expect the Red Sox and Rangers to make such trades.
Have a question about the Mets?
E-mail your query to MLB.com Mets beat reporter Anthony DiComo for possible inclusion in a future Inbox column. Letters may be edited for brevity, length and/or content.
-- Alex F., Long Island, N.Y.
The Mets have said the Blue Jays never made the offer that was reported. I can't believe the Mets rejected it or the Jays ever proposed it. I don't think the Mets have the wherewithal to trade for Halladay and not create voids in other areas. And one more thing, if they did acquire him for next to nothing, eliminating the Phillies wouldn't be likely. The Mets, as they are now, could add Halladay, Tom Seaver and Sandy Koufax and lose a lot of 1-0 and 2-0 games.
Why have the Mets limited Nelson Figueroa to a few spot starts despite the fact that he has been effective?
-- Vincent G., Bayville, N.Y.
Their general sense of Figueroa is that he is a Quadruple-A player, meaning that his skill level is somewhere between Triple-A, where he often prospers, and the big leagues, where he isn't nearly so effective.
Who are the Mets? Will they ever recover? Where do they go from here? From the collapse and poor play, lack of leadership and injuries, it seems like there is always is something holding them back from their true potential. Obviously the injuries dealt with this season is what's killing them. Yet I still feel as if they could be doing better on the field. There are too many errors and no hope from young players to come up and produce. Where do they go from here?
-- Jonathan D., New York
Where the Mets go from here can't be determined until we see when Reyes, Beltran, John Maine and J.J. Putz return. And even then, we won't know until they have played for a month. I don't expect the club to re-sign Carlos Delgado, so his return is critical to his future but not the Mets'. August is close, and chances are the last two months of the season will be more about assessing the Mets' personnel and needs than about calculating magic numbers and Wild Card chasing.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.