Declaring “the future is now” (though not in so few words), Mets closer Billy Wagner tells the New York Post’s Joel Sherman that he’d gladly swap the organization’s hottest prospects for Dontrelle Willis.
“You can’t think long-term when you are about winning it now,” Wagner (abvoe) said. “If you get Dontrelle Willis, it says you are about winning now. It is not about tomorrow. It is all about today.”
In this, Wagner should know he has an ally. Minaya refused to discuss Willis directly. But those close to Minaya said he would be open to trading Milledge or Pelfrey, his top two prospects, if Willis were available. But, at present, Willis is not available and no executive spoken to in the past few weeks expects that to change.
The Mets love Jason Schmidt, but it would take the unlikely – the Giants falling out of the congested NL West race – for their ace to be marketed.
Still, Minaya is determined to add a veteran starter with Washington’s Livan Hernandez a strong candidate, in part, because the price in prospects would be tepid. That would contrast what the Marlins would extract should they change their minds on Willis and open the field to the Mets and the 10 or so teams that would crave the star lefty.
For now, Willis is merely revelatory of the Mets’ thinking, in the clubhouse and the executive suites. For at the midseason break, both Wagner and Minaya see the Mets needing more to improve their championship stock. Wagner, despite permitting a homer to Miguel Olivo, saved a 7-6 victory over Willis’ Marlins, which gave the Mets a 53-36 first-half mark and command of the East. But winning the division is not enough.
“Getting to the playoffs is a great accomplishment,” Wagner said. “But getting there and not doing anything is not satisfying.”