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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rest of the Mets off-season

During the beginning of the off-season, I was operating that the Mets had a 20 million dollars to spend this off-season. Since then, Buster Olney has said he believes its closer to 24-30 million.

Now that the Mets have spent 15 million on J Bay, the Mets have a max of 10 million dollars to spend. I'm still advocating that the Mets need to sign Ben Sheets as he is the only pitcher that still has an upside of the #2 pitcher that the Mets desperately need. Sheets is scheduled to throw a bullpen in the upcoming weeks, and then we will see how his market develops and hopefully his price drops from the 12 million currently being rumored.

But instead, the Mets will prob sign B Molina to a 2 year contract although no one else is going to offer him 2 years, for close to 12 million. Why I still don't understand, but maybe it's just to show "the Mets are spending money." That doesn't mean it's spent wisely...

Jason Bay

Although this was a bizarre occurance that Mike Franseca broke a news story that the Mets have an agreement with Jason Bay, I will tackle it as it is official.

4 years, approximately 65 million, and a 5th year option that most likely will be vested to make it 5 years for 80 million. He gives the Mets the much needed power that they need and his defense isn't as bad as everyone thinks. He isn't a gold glover, but he is average, and heck, he is better than Gary Sheffield and Daniel Murphy who butchered/patrolled left field last year.

It is a lot of money for an "old 31" year old, but I dont think it will sink the Mets if he doesn't perform like an 80 million dollar player. There is very little upside that he'll outperform the contract, but I don't think there is much risk that he completely underperforms it.

What I'm more concerned with is what Omar's next move is, and I hope it is pitching, not Bengie Molina, but nothing will surprise me with this team...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kelvim Escobar

Can someone explain to me why we gave him a guaranteed 1.25 million dollar contract? Do we know of any other team that was going to guarantee him money? Everything I had read was for a minor league deal, (which I was in favor for). But I do have confidence in Dr. Altchek's ability to repair a shoulder, and for that I won't kill this deal. It's not a major deal, 1.25 million isn't going to kill us, but still, no need to guarantee it.

Escobar is going to work out of the bullpen and could be a nice addition.

I will write up a longer post tomorrow in response to Ben Sheets wanting 12 million and other hot stove topics.

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yankees acquire another All Star

And they do it again. The Yankees add another all-star Javy Vasquez today, all while not hurting their 2010 major league team all that much. They did give up a potential power arm in Vizcaino (but he's 19 years old, a lot of things can go wrong between now and 3-4 years when he would be ready to help a major league team).

And they also put themselves back in the market for a corner outfielder (Damon), so it decreases the Mets leverage slightly with Bay until the Yankees fill that "supposed void" with another all-star. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees do have a budget and don't bid on Damon, Bay or Matt Halladay.

As far as the hot and heavy rumors of RA Dickey, please see my comment under the Jason Marquis posting.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jason Marquis

Update: Jason Marquis has signed with the Washington Nationals, 2 year 15 million according to Buster Olney. He was originally looking for anyone with a pulse to give him a 3 year deal, but the market never shaped up, and he's probably smart to sign now.

I don't see a whole lot of chance for Marquis to outperform that contract, so I'm not going to beat up Omar for not signing him. As I've discussed previously, he's a 4th/5th starter.

Remaining free agent starting pitchers of interest: J Piniero, B Sheets, C Wang, E Bedard, with the last 2 pitchers not being ready to start the season due to surgery.


All was quiet on the Mets Hot Stove this weekend, as it's been 10 days since they offered contracts Bengie Molina and Jason Bay, and they still haven't heard from either of them.

The agents are trying to play chicken and see who will blick 1st. I really hope Omar is a good poker player...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jason Bay

Now apparently Jason Bay is looking for a 6 year deal "from the Mets." AKA, Jason Bay doesn't want to play for the New York Mets. Now the whispers are the Mets are willing to go 5 years for 75 million. If that is on the table, and he doesn't take it, his agent should be fired, because I highly doubt he gets a deal for more money than that.

I hope Buster Olney is right is that the Mets still only have the 4 year deal on the table, with an option for the 5th max.

But please, don't guarantee 5 years and don't even think about a 6th year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New relief pitcher on the horizon?

Here is a brief scouting report on a new potential set up pitcher Ryota Igarashi. He's 30 years old and below is the scouting report from Keith Law, who has him listed as the 25th best free agent this offseason.

Igarashi is a slightly wild power reliever who missed all of 2007 and part of 2008 due to Tommy John surgery, but has fully recovered and handled a regular workload in 2009. He has a very quick arm and has been clocked at 98 mph, although he'll probably pitch at 93-96 in a one-inning role in the U.S. His best off-speed pitch is a mid- to upper-80s splitter with good bottom, and he can throw the pitch for strikes instead of waiting for hitters to chase it in the dirt. He has some deception in his delivery, and he's almost a "drop-and-drift" guy without great forward momentum towards the plate.

For a reported 1 million that sounds good enough to me. Get 'er done.

And 1 programming note

In response to hearing that Bengie Molina now wants a 3 year deal, I'm laying this out there before it happens. If this happens, this blog will turn into Anti-Omar and begging/pleading him to be fired immediately. There is absolutely no reason to sign him more than 1 year (I dont think there is any reason to sign him for 1 year, but I would accept it as not a terrible deal).

Please Omar, I beg you, DO NOT SIGN BENGIE MOLINA, but if you have a man crush on him, please dont go for more than a year. Don't use the moronic Kansas City Royals signing Jason Kendall for 2 years as a bench mark to justify a 3 year deal for Molina.

Updated Off-Season Plan/Response to DCB's questions

I'll address each of these 1) Other blogs wanted guys like Adam Kennedy, but in reality his fielding percentage was worst, at 2B, than Castillo's last year and it's difficult to argue against Luis' offensive output last year. Fielding % means very little for a 2nd baseman. It still boils down to the fact that we'd have to eat so much of Luis' contract that it isn't cost effective to do so. 2) What do you expect out of Fernando Martinez this year? He's 21 years old. Let's see what some player comps are for current players in their 1st full year in the big leagues, then try to see what a reasonable expectation is for F-Mart. (/ stats are batting average/on base %/slugging %) Carlos Beltran's 1st full year stats (22 years old). 293/337/454 . 27 sb, 8 cs (since then he's been the best at SB %). Andrew McCutchen 286/365/471. 108 games 23 years old Colby Rasmus 251/307/407. 147 games 23 years old Dexter Fowler 266/363/406. 134 games. 23 years old Jacoby Ellsbury 297/350/414. career numbers 1st 2 years (25-26 years old) My expectations for Fernando Martinez, at 21 years old are: 265/350/410. So similar power to Dexter Fowler and J Ellsbury (= occassional pop, but not a slugger). I'm shocked that Rasmus' slugging % is so low, and again shows not to give up on young kids. Rasmus is going to be a future star, but if you take those numbers for face value, you would think he's the next Jeff Francoeur (280/329/423 last year) 3) Do you believe we'll carry three catchers this year? Yes, for reasons only Omar will understand. They rationed it last year because they liked Ramon Castro's bat and wanted to use him as a pinch hitter. Coste/Thole/whoever else they sign are not good enough to warrant to keep as a pinch hitter, so the 3rd catcher would be a wasted roster spot. 4) Would you offer Sheets a second year to bring his asking price down? There is no reason to believe that Sheets wants to sign for a second year. From my understanding is that he wants a one year deal, show he is healthy, then become a free agent next year and search for a long term contract. The 2nd year may be more beneficial to Erik Bedard, who will not be ready to pitch on opening day. Not that I'm advocating signing Bedard, but if it could be a 1 year 5 million dollar base contract with incentives, I'd do it and see if he gives us 130 quality innings. 5) Chien-Ming Wang - ground ball pitcher in Citi Field? It's a major warning sign that the Yankees didn't tender him a contract. The few million dollars is petty cash to the Yankees, and they may not have confidence that he will ever be completely healthy. In theory, Wang would be a good addition to the Mets rotation (switching leagues etc), but since he doesn't miss many bats, I think his upside would be a #3 pitcher. For the right price (3-4 million) I would sign him to compete for the back end of the rotation. So given the current market of starting pitchers, I'd still sign Sheets to be the number 2 pitcher we need (and the only one left on the market), then take a gamble on Wang/Bedard I'd be ok with that. 6) Do you give Bay more per year, add a fifth year to get him, or abstain all together? Before this year, everyone was saying Boston wouldn't sign Bay for more than 3 years. Now everyone is saying 4 is a definite and you need to go 5 years to get him. I WOULD NOT GIVE HIM A 5 YEAR DEAL. As it is, I think you'd be eating a lot of money that 4th year (36 years old, for a guy who has shoulder and knee surgery). But I also wouldn't touch Holliday for 8 years with a 10 foot pole. Both of those guys are going to be bad contracts. So to summarize, this is an updated plan based on the current free agents/non-tenders. 1) Sign Ben Sheets for 1 year deal, 8 million up to 10 million if that's the market. 2) Sign Bedard/Wang to a 1 year incentive laden deal, with an option for 2nd if possible (but doesn't need to be a deal-breaker) 3) Allow F-Mart to grow and patrol Left Field, and sign Ryan Garko as a utility player to help out D Murphy and F Martinez against tough lefties. Garko is just 29 and has a career .313/.392/.495 line against left-handers. And for those counting at home, that would still come in below the cost of 1 year of Jason Bay Keep the comments coming, and Let's Go Mets. Please Omar don't make a "splash"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Don't Jump Off any Bridges

Word is slowly (ok, spreading like wild fire), that the Phillies are getting Roy Halladay. Before anyone and everyone goes and kills Omar for not going and getting Halladay, realize the Mets didn't have anyone the equivalent to C Lee to trade to get him. 2nd off, does this make that big of a difference for the Phillies? At max, they get 1-2 wins better than last year. Cliff Lee is an all-star pitcher, so they traded an all star pitcher for an all star pitcher. If they had gotten Roy without giving up Lee, than they would have the best top 3 pitching rotations in baseball. BUT, as strong as Halladay and Hamels is as a 1-2 punch, they still have holes in their rotation 3-5 (and don't tell me Blanton, Moyer, Happ etc are reliable). So don't jump off any bridges Mets fans, and please urge Omar not to make a "splash" by signing Joel Pineiro and/or Jason Marquis. Stick by your plan, (IF Omar has one), and don't worry about the back pages of the local newspapers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

JJ Putz

Just signed with the Chicago White Sox. 1 year 3 million, with incentives to make it 6.25 million. I don't know if he had any interest in coming back to the Mets, but for that cost he's a bargain.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jason Marquis

A couple people were wondering why I left Jason Marquis off my list of available pitchers. well here are a couple reasons... Is Jason Marquis any better than a #4 pitcher on a playoff team? The only reason why he is on the radar is because he's a local guy and has publicly said he wants to play for the Mets. The last pitcher who said that was Tim Redding. that worked out well. Even still, I dont think Marquis is that good. He isn't a strike out pitcher (4.8 k's/9 innings over the past 4 years), so he doesn't miss many bats. Maybe you've heard he's a "ground ball pitcher". Last year, he was (1.3 go/fo), but before that, his go/fo ratio for his career is 1.10, so 11 ground balls to 10 fly balls. And in 2008 he actually had more fly balls than ground balls. If he wants to give the Mets a home town discount, say 2 million a year, sure I'll take him and allow him to fight for a spot in the rotation, but he's not worth 8-10 million/multiple years. He is a league average pitcher. And the Mets have enough guys that are average, we need to pay for above average pitchers

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Harden and the pitching market

So much for the plan of Harden signing with the Mets, it seems like I had the money right (7.5 million), be didn't know of his (or make that any pitcher's) burning desire to pitch for the Texas Rangers. The only positive is that now maybe the Rangers won't sign Sheets as well, or maybe that the Rangers are reading my blog and realize it would be smart to sign both of those guys as high upside/low downside risk (1 year deals). Now the remaining free agent pitchers are Lackey (very expensive), Pinerio (can't understand how he is a 12-14 million a year pitcher), Bedard (has no interest in pitching, and would get eaten up in NY) and Sheets. Trade options would be Doc Halladay and Derek Lowe. At least the Mets didn't give Lowe the 60 million he wanted last year; Ollie's contract actually looks decent compared to the 45 million Lowe is still owed.

Mets off-season Wish List

For all intents and purposes, I'm going forward with the fact that the Mets had 20 million to spend this off season, of which they've used 3 million on Coste, Cora and Henry Blanco. So the remaining 17 million should be spent on...? I am going on the premise that Matt Holiday will sign 5 year $90 million deal, and out of the Mets price range. If the Mets have 30 million to spend, than this would change my thinking, but no one truly knows how much the mets have to spend. Since J Bay turned down a 4 year 60 million dollar deal with the Red Sox, he obviously expects more than that and he also doesn't fit into the Mets plans. John Lackey is looking for a 5 year 80 million dollar deal, so 16 million per year would be the only other Mets signing this off-season, and as we've seen during our recap, the Mets need more than just one impact player. 1) Sign Ben Sheets, 1 year 8 million, with an option for the 2nd year. 2) Sign Rich Harden to a 1 year 8 million deal, with a 10-12 million option if he reaches 180+ innings. 3) Sign Julio Franco or Marlon Anderson. Oh wait we've tried this and it didn't work? never mind then. so the new revamped rotation would be. 1) Johan 2) B Sheets 3) R Harden 4) M Pelfrey 5) O Perez/J Maine/Neise that would allow the Mets the luxury if they so desire to trade Maine for a clone of Jeff Francoeur, aka, Corey Hart, who puts up decent counting numbers because he gets 650 at bats, but they aren't quality at bats. Obviously I would rather keep Maine for pitching depth since the 2 free agent starting pitchers are both injury risks. And with that starting 5, I would put the Mets rotation up against any other rotation in the National League. And it has the depth to allow extra rest for Sheets and Harden knowing they can't go past the 180-200 innings mark without breaking down. Yes the line up would be weaker than I'd like, but with that starting rotation you have a chance to win a low scoring game/series. Catcher is adequate with Blanco/Coste/Santos/Thole, give D Murphy the season to sink or swim, Castillo is fine at 2nd, Wright and Reyes, then F-mart/Reed, Beltran and Frenchy round out the outfield. I've seen better, but we work with what we've got.

Granderson Trade

For those who don't know, the Yankees acquired "all-star" Curtis Granderson yesterday while giving up Phil Coke, prospect Austin Jackson and former prospect Ian Kennedy. I don't love Granderson, as he is worse than Ryan Howard vs lefties and fails to adjust. He is a .210 hitter versus lefties. ouch. Yes he's fast, but his defense has slid the past 2 years and he might be better suited for Left Field, all the while being younger (29) and slightly cheaper (average 10 million over next 3 years) than Johnny Damon. Yes, while the Yankees didn't give up much in terms of their 2010 team, doesn't Austin Jackson look to be able to provide similar production to Granderson in 2011 and beyond, all the while costing $400,000? But there is no "bridge" year in the Bronx, and they will continually look to win now and every year. I just hope that Omar doesn't make a knee jerk reaction to this and try to "capture the back page" and make a big splash the next few days just for the sake of making a splash.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Former GM's take on the winter meetings

This is very well said, especially after 15 rumors had Pat Burrell going to the Mets etc. "The important thing to remember during this week is that rumors are just that - rumors. Most of what you read or hear this week won't come true, so don't get too worked up about it. In fact, most of the news coming out of here won't be entirely reliable. Even this. In fact, you're wasting your time right now by reading this sentence." - Paul D., San Diego Padres I am thankful the Nationals signed Pudge to a 2 year deal to prevent the Mets from doing the same. Still don't understand offering Molina a contract (even tho we won't lose a draft pick and it was apparently 1 year 6 million). I am hopeful the Mets don't act on Corey Hart for John Maine. Mets need to keep pitching and add more, not trade it away for another average outfielder who strikes out a ton. Thanks for the continued posts, I'll try to post more frequently in the coming week, and will comment on any Mets signings or trades as they happen. Go Mets! - Anthony

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pitching outlook

The biggest concern of most Mets fans is the lack of pitching depth/any one besides Johan Santana. And I'm here to confirm, yes, all these worries are true. And that is why you will/should hear the Mets linked to every high profile free agent starting pitcher, as well as exploring every pitcher on the trading block (Roy, A Harang, B Arroyo etc). #1- Johan. He is everything we could've wanted and asked for since Omar pulled off the trade of the decade. Yes he is coming off of a elbow clean out of some bone chips, and yes he has had this procedure previously, but he should be fine for spring training. The best news was that during the surgery when examining the UCL (the famed Tommy John Surgery/Ligament), it was intact and not needing a repair (and a 12 month rehab). Hopefully the clean out will also help Johan return to throwing his slider and give him another tool to return to the top 3 pitchers in the National League. #2- Mike Pelfrey. UGH. That just pained me to type #2 and follow it up with Pelfrey. I have no problem with Big Pelf and think he will take a big step forward this year, but he needs to enter the year as our #4. He has the stuff to be a ground ball machine and also has the fastball that can beat most hitters, but it's the matter of him finally putting it together. I will get my Big Pelf shirt, but only if he is our #4 starter. #3- John Maine. Another pitcher with a ton of question marks (yes this will be a recurring theme). Even when he's been healthy, he has never been a great pitcher. He has the stuff that could be a #3 pitcher, but some how never can stay healthy and/or last more than 5 2/3 innings (his career average). Hopefully he has been compliant with his rotator cuff strengthening exercises and we can finally figure out what exactly John Maine is. (He is arbitration eligible and could be non-tendered, but he is expected to re-sign with the Mets eventually) #4- Oliver Perez. Another pitcher with a ton of question marks (yes this will be a recurring theme). He had surgery on his knee in September (similar to a surgery Beltran had 2 off seasons ago, and should be fully healthy by Spring Training). There isn't much to be said about Ollie that hasn't already been said. But hopefully Beltran finally got through to him and he's working out at the famed Athlete's Performance in Arizona. Hopefully he throws more than 66 innings this year for the 12 million a year he's earning. His best season was 15-10 record, 3.5 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. I think every Mets fan would sign up for that in a heart beat for the next 2 years if possible. #5- J Niese/ T Redding/probably Livan Hernandez/El Duque/J Contreras (yes I'm only half kidding about the last 3. We all know Omar loves these guys). J Niese = Another pitcher with a ton of question marks (yes this will be a recurring theme). He is coming off surgery to reattach his hamstring tendon to the origin (near his glutes, so opposite of the surgery Jose Reyes had which was at the insertion, behind the knee). Although there aren't many baseball players/pitchers to have this surgery, he has plenty of time to rehab and be ready for the season. He showed some promise in his starts (7 innings 1 er vs houston), although I would like him to miss some more bats, he's still young (23 years old). I wouldn't have any qualms having him compete for the #5 starter job with Ollie and Maine, but he is the only one with options so most likely will be in Triple A. Tim Redding was a bad signing last year (no reason why we needed to give him a guaranteed contract), and don't know what role he has on this team unless we dont' get 2 legit starters, then in that case, we can't compete, and might as well see what you have with Niese. Bullpen: K-Rod is everything an Angels fan knew he was. Some Mets fans thought he was going to be lights out, but he is more like John Franco. Throws a ton of balls and hopes he gets hitters to chase. But he is effective and is not a liability. Not exactly what you would hope after signing him to a big contract, but at least he's better than Brad Lidge. Sean Green and P Feliciano are great match up pitchers, as long as Green isn't overworked (Got that Jerry?) I would love for the Mets to re-sign Putz, but it doesn't seem like he's on their radar. I hope they reconsider, as he has high upside if he's healthy (as he should be now, and never was as a met). I will post my hopes for who they get to revamp the rotation, but who do you guys want them to target? Have a great day! - Anthony

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mets collecting Catchers

I will try to keep rumor discussions to a minimum, because most of them are fruitless. But I felt the need to discuss the latest rumors have the Mets linked not only to Chris Coste (the deal hasn't been made official yet), Henry Blanco, and also Bengie Molina. UM...WHY? What is Omar's fascination with 3 catchers? There is no reason for a major league roster to have 3 average catchers. I have no problem with signing Coste/Blanco to help mentor Josh Thole, but if you sign those 2, you have no room/reason to sign Bengie Molina to a 6 million dollar contract. This is besides the fact that Omar and Jerry both have an infatuation with Omir Santos. But the most important thing is that none of these guys are difference makers. If you have limited money to spend this off-season (and although no one knows the exact number, they obviously has a budget), then why spend 2 million on Alex Cora, and other millions of dollars to secure league average catchers, when minimum salary players could fill the same role as effectively? I can justify if we were getting Joe Mauer that we need to pay 5+ million for a starting catcher(or in Mauer's case 15 million), but Bengie Molina is not the answer. The Giants realize this and didn't offer him arbitration for fear he would accept it. I hope Omar wasn't giddy because he won't have to lose a 2nd round draft pick because of that (although maybe he'd rather lose the draft pick so they wouldn't have to pay him, which is the root of the mets current position, but that is a whole different discussion for another day). Hope everyone is enjoying the 60 degree weather in the northeast today (feels like april). I will try to get the pitchers outlook tonight or tomorrow. And keep the comments coming! - Anthony

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jeff Francouer

I know I said my next post would be a run down of the Mets pitching staff, but I needed to address the multiple (sarcastic) posts about Jeff Francoeur, also referred to as Frenchy. You always have to be afraid of guys that the media/coaching staff says that they "play hard every day, and has a great attitude." Usually that means he isn't very good (exceptions of course are Utley, Jeter, Pedroia, Youk). If Frenchy wasn't so liked in the clubhouse, no one would care about him, because as you will see below, he really isn't a good baseball player at all. He would've been non-tendered by the Braves this off-season if they hadn't found a dummy to take them; golf clap for the New York Mets front office. Although I do give Omar credit for how he handled this. He gave John Ricci all the credit (or blame) for saying it was his idea to come up with this trade. Maybe Omar isn't so dumb after all. Jeff Francoeur stats the past 3 years: 2007 .293 BA, 338 OBP, 444 Slug 2008 .239 BA, 294 OBP, 359 Slug 2009 .280 BA, 329 OBP, 423 Slug In case you are wondering the league average for NL Rightfielders was: .266 BA, 339 OBP, 442 SLug. That Slug % is good for 7th best in the NL out of the 8 rightfielders that had enough at bats to qualify. The only RF that was worse was Randy Winn. That OBP % is good for worst in the MLB among Rightfielders, 19 that qualified. THE WORST. OPS (combine OBP + Slug), Jeff Francoeur is 2nd worst in MLB (again ahead of only Randy Winn). Well, maybe he just had an off year, at least there will be stats that show he still is a power hitter. So let's look at Isolated Power. Jeff Francoeur ranks 7th of 8 in the NL. Anyone that watches the Mets knows he swings at everything and never works the count. Guess who sees the least amount of pitches per at bat among all major league right fielders. If you guessed our best friend Frenchy, you are correct! Step right up and give this guy a multi-year contract.