This time of year is usually spent on waiting for the playoffs to come and go before serious talks about players start. Cliff Lee  would look great in our rotation. Carl Crawford would also look pretty good roaming the outfield at Citi Field. But what about the guys we have now? Will they all be back next year?

Names that come up right away are Beltran, Perez and Castillo.

Do I want to see Oliver Perez in a Mets uniform ever again? No – and many of you out there will agree with me. I still really just don’t understand how Minaya could have fathomed that was a good deal. I don’t care if he was the only pitcher left available to sign that off season, nor do I care his agent is Scott Boras. I would have taken my chances with any other pitcher we had in Triple AAA before signing Perez. He was a straight up bust & acted like a baby this year. But knowing our luck, he’ll sign end up on another team and get a no-hitter in the process, because that’s the Mets curse.

Luis Castillo was no way nearly as bad as Perez, but it’s time to let him go. Will we be able to trade for him? I’m not really sure. If we do, we’ll probably have to eat up a bunch of his contract and probably won’t get much in return. I would really rather see Ruben Tejada start the year at second and see where he goes from there. I know the field is divided on that subject because the other half would rather see a more experienced veteran at that position, but I think it’s time for fresh blood on the field. Either way, Luis Castillo is no loner the answer for us and to tell you the truth, I still haven’t forgiven the guy for dropping that ball giving against the Yankees. What a putz.

Carlos Beltran is an interesting subject though. I was all for the get rid of Beltran thing during the year and see what we can get for him but I forgot he had his contract year coming up. This makes for some very interesting baseball come 2011. It’s known that players in their contract year put out all the stops. The greater the performance, the greater the pay day and in Beltran’s case, it may be the last one due to his knees. I’m guessing this will be the last year you see Beltran in a Mets uniform. He was one of the best center fielders we’ve ever had and had some great games with us, but will I ever forget the strike three call. I was there. My heart broke and it hasn’t been the same since.

The good thing about the contract year is that there is potential for a great season ahead in 2011. One player can make a team get fired up and do some major damage. Watching Brett Gardner the other night hustle and slide into first was awesome! He started the 8th inning domination of the Rangers by just being a gritty ballplayer. Those are the kind of players any team can benefit from and that may be a bug that bites Beltran in the butt next year and gets us going. Add a healthy Bay and Reyes and you never know. Add a Lee and Crawford…well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.