Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why Can't We Move Luis Castillo?

I don't get it, do you? Do the Mets actually have a plan this offseason, or have they been blowing smoke up our collective fan "ass"? Is $6 million per year over two years really the albatross that is keeping this team down from other movement? Does Luis Castillo have a contagious disease? Why does nobody want this guy? I have no idea, but here are a few questions I really would like answered about Luis Castillo and the Mets this offseason.

- Are the Mets really having this hard of a time moving Luis Castillo? Or are they waiting for a "better deal"?

Coming into the offseason, and more specifically going into the Winter Meetings, we were told the Mets were looking to move Luis Castillo, get starting pitching help, and sign a left-fielder. They've only done one of those, so far, and it's got to be because Castillo is immovable right? Around the majors there are at least six teams that are considering obtaining a second baseman. For argument's sake let's say the Nationals, Indians, Mariners, Cubs, Rays and maybe the Royals are at the least willing to look into upgrading their second base hole. Of those teams, the Mariners, Royals and Indians strike me as teams with serious motivations to trade for a second baseman. The Mariners might be interested in Castillo due to their desire to move Jose Lopez to first base because this guy is too big, and entirely too slow to play second base. The Royals have Jose Guillen, who is a trade waiting to happen, and although I don't necessarily want him on the Mets, it's more addition by subtraction for both teams. And finally, over the last week Cleveland is supposed to be looking into upgrading their 2B play. And although I'm really not sure how much of a defensive upgrade Castillo is over Luis Valbuena, he is a sizeable OBP upgrade. I wrote about why this deal makes sense here, but the short of it is close to equal payroll and both can bring upside, while addressing a hole on each team. If they have the ability to move him, I say move him for ANYTHING you can get, and if you don't like the return, how about considering the next question...

-Can the Mets really not afford to kick in some money on a Castillo deal to get it done?

It's $6 million. That's it. I know I'm not paying the bill here and that seems like nothing comparatively. How can you not pay some of this guy's salary to get him out the door? I'm concerned that the reason the Mets are yet to deal Castillo is because they are unwilling to eat some of his salary. Which got me thinking...

-Can't we just release the guy?

If we cannot afford to release Luis Castillo and pay his salary without handcuffing the team on the field than we probably have bigger issues as an organization. Sure, I think they should have tried everything they could have to move him first, but isn't releasing him an option? Isn't it worth it if the organization sees Hudson as a big upgrade on the field to make whatever move necessary to bring him in. Or...

-Is it worse to bench Castillo and bring in a starter than to release him outright?

Can't the Mets just go out and upgrade 2B, bring in Hudson, and put Castillo on the bench. $6 million on the bench may not be worth it, but isn't it about putting the best product on the field? At this point to me, I'd rather release and upgrade, than have him disgruntled on the bench, but either way, this should be an option. Because, I REALLY WANT TO KNOW...

-Is $6 million dollars REALLY keeping the Mets from making other moves?

Like I said earlier, I realize that the Mets have a budget (although it's not set according to reports) like all major league teams, but did Castillo's contract keep them for reaching on Sheets? Reports said the Mets were willing to go $7 million or so, and Sheets signed for $10 million. To me, if you add Castillo's $6 million, that seems like enough to make up that difference, with money to spare.

I hate to say this, but let's be a little more like the Yankees, call Castillo a bust, move him, eat the money and do what we have to do to WIN. It's okay to look at the Yankees and say, of course they won, but look at how much they spent to do it. But isn't that an investment in your fans and the organization? Isn't it worth it to spend extra to win, in a league where big payrolls usually equal big results? If the Mets cannot afford to take on extra salary, maybe the Madoff thing really did hurt the Mets more than people want us to think. I mean, Madoff took George Costanza's iToilet money, so why couldn't he have taken the Mets?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frank Catalanotto: I Like It

Nice signing by the Mets. This guy can do it all decently in the field, and can really hit.

Let's make this short and sweet...

This makes up for the Mariner's signing Byrnes, who I've wanted on the Mets for years. Catalanotto is going to provide some really nice depth for a team, and fans, that really could use it.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Royals Pitching and Catalanotto

According to Jayson Stark, in an article for, the Royals may be open to dealing either Gil Meche or Brian Bannister during Spring Training. It's nice to know there are other options out there for the Mets in terms of starting pitching, but there's something about trading back for a guy you once traded that bothers me. I know it sounds kind of stupid, but it's for that reason, along with better stuff, that I'd rather trade for Meche than Bannister if I am the Mets. Also, there is a part of me that felt Bannister was dealt because he won't ever become any more than a number 4 guy in a rotation. At least Meche has a higher ceiling and can be seen as a two, or three in certain rotations.

Also,'s Jon Heyman has tweeted that the Mets are one of the teams looking at Frank Catalanotto. Now, this is the type of player I like. A real utility-type guy who can play outfield and first base. He's a real hard-nosed guy who's a quality reserve. I really like the Mets looking into him, except for one thing...Isn't that why they just resigned Tatis? Once again, I know it seems to be my mantra lately, but depth is good, at the right price.

Wild Idea: How About Fausto Carmona for Luis Castillo?

Alright here's my wild idea for the week...

According to Ken Rosenthal on, the Indians are looking to clear salary in order to sign Orlando Hudson, who they feel would be an upgrade over current 2B Luis Valbuena. In the article Rosenthal pinpoints Carmona as a piece the Indians would need to move in order to that upgrade.

So here's my wild idea. Since Carmona will make $11 million over the next two years, and Luis Castillo makes $12 million over 2 as well, and both teams are looking to upgrade their respective positions, why not give it a whirl?

Castillo would be an interesting addition for Cleveland who does not currently have a true "lead-off" type hitter (Asdrubal Cabrera & Grady Sizemore being the closest). Castillo could step in and be a lead-off hitter with his overall lack of power, but high average (.302 last season) and good OBP (.387). Also, Castillo would offer a major OBP upgrade over Valbuena (.298), and would give the Indians a baserunner for Cabrera, Sizemore and Hafner to drive in.

Meanwhile, the Mets would get a high risk, high reward player in Fausto Carmona. Carmona is only 26 and is two years removed from a 32 start, 137 strike out, 3.02 ERA season. And worth the risk...

I think the Mets should take the risk if given the opportunity, and even throw some money in the deal to make Cleveland bite. And the best part about this idea, is the Mets get a potential top-of-the-rotation guy, should he get his head on straight, and simultaneously relieve themselves of the black cloud that has been hovering over Flushing the past three years, Luis Castillo.

So, how wild is this idea really? It has some sense to it...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Scrapin' the Bottom of the Barrell: When Is It Not An Upgrade

Today there have been some interesting people connected to the Mets., linked the Mets to Josh Fogg, here. And another one that I read on MetsFever, citing Seven Train to Shea (who cited ESPN), the Mets may be interested in Braden Looper and Felipe Lopez.

I'm concerned that these are the only options we have left, which got me thinking, Why do the Mets keep sliding down the free agent list? Do we really need to add this "type of depth"? The short answer is yes, but there is a caveat here. I think Mets fans are so sensitive about last year's injury riddled lunacy, that we're basically looking for back-ups that can start for other teams. That's just unrealistic. Felipe Lopez and Braden Looper are not great, or upgrades persay, but they fit what the Mets fan is looking for, a safety blanket. It may be a realistic option to get Fogg on a minor league deal, which I say they should go for. But he should NOT be taking up a gauraunteed roster space that could potentially be taken up by a young player who is ready to blossom.

I'm not promoting the Mets sit on their hands more than they already have this offseason, but I am saying that anything we do should be to upgrade our bench/'pen/rotation, not as a just in case. The "just in case" guys are minor leaguers, right? Isn't that the point of a farm system.

Mets fans, we need to sit down, take a deep breath, and realize we're not going down the toilet if we don't sign Felipe Lopez to patrol the bench for a bunch of money just because we can. We're not going to crap the bed if Braden Looper signs somewhere else. We have enough guys capable of pitching to a 5.22 ERA while striking out 100. In fact, Tim Redding almost did that in 17 less starts than Looper last year.

The point here is this, let's stop going down the list of available free agents, just because we feel like we need to do something. It's not worth the stress. I feel funny because I've been just as guilty of doing this as anyone else. But realistically, the only free agents available that could really UPGRADE something for us, are Wang (which is a risk), Washburn (although I'm not sold on that) and potentially Smoltz.

The truth of the matter is that the Mets need to upgrade their rotation and trade Castillo more than anything else, and I'm starting to get the feeling those things will only happen if we're still in it in July...

Report: Mets Have 4% of the Best Minor Leaguers

Please take that headline with a grain of salt...I was being funny. But...

According to an insider rankings from Keith Law, the Mets have 4 of the top 100 prospects in baseball. That gives the Mets a whopping 4% of the best prospects in baseball, which actually is kind of uplifting, considering that there are thirty teams they have slightly above what they should have (assuming all teams have equal prospects - 3.3 players on the list/team).

The highest on the list is Jenrry Mejia, at 23, who Law describes as having "top-of-the-rotation stuff, but is just 20 with the command you'd expect to see in a live-armed teenager." That sounds like promising stuff to me.

Also checking in on the list is 18 year-old Wilmer Flores, at 41. Who Law describes as having "quick wrists" defensively, and showing the "promise of future plus power" at the plate. Law also goes on to say that it looks like he won't cut it at shortstop, and will most likely move to 1B, or a corner outfield position, which I find intriguing considering the early comparisons he recieved to Miguel Cabrera. Hopefully, he doesn't like the bottle as much as Miggy does though.

My new man-crush, Ike Davis checks in at 64, who Law says has a chance to be an above-average everyday player. That sounds nice, but I am slightly dissapointed because I was under the impression that Davis had a higher cieling than that. Regardless, I still crush on him.

And finally at 73, is the organization's favorite son, Fernando Martinez. Who despite being 21, has shown an uncanny ability to get hurt, and is in my mind turning into the next Alex Escobar. Oh, that makes me shudder. Law notes that Martinez had the largest drop off of any player on his list, and just barely met the requirements in terms of being considered a rookie. In fact, he played the most games possible without having 2009 qualify as a his rookie season. Regardless, I still like the guy, and they say he can hit, Law actually compares the way ball comes off his bat as being in the same manner as Starlin Castro who is number 12 on the list. Law states, which we all know, that health, not talent is Martinez's problem. Law also says that an argument can be made for Martinez to be in the top 25 of this list, had he not been injured so much, he would have been there.

So, for the most-part, as a Mets fan you'd have to be happy with this list, and the potential for some nice players to come up through the system. However, there is one major negative about this list...

3 of the top 5 players on this list are in NL East farm systems, including numbers 1 and 2: Jason Heyward (OF-Atlanta) and Stephen Strasburg (P-Washington). For those interested number 5 is Mike Stanton , an Outfielder in the Marlins system.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mets Close To Re-Signing Tatis

Looks like the Mets found some infield depth in the person of Fernando Tatis. According to the New York Post, Omar Minaya "is deep in negotiations" with Tatis, and reportedly "has been told by Minaya that he is wanted as part of a first-base platoon with Murphy." The report also says Tatis was seeking close to the $1.7 million he recieved last year.

Alright, let's be reasonable here. There's no way Tatis as a platoon partner for Murphy is a good idea. If you want to get Murphy a platoon partner, get him a quality platoon partner. I would have been happier with Mike Lowell, or Ryan Garko, as a platoon partner for Murphy, over this stupidity. Hopefully, the "platoon" part of this report is a mistake or something. I am fine with Tatis as a bench player, but a platoon-partner is a bad idea.

If the Mets aren't going to bring in a real first baseman they might as well let Murphy be groomed and learn the position. Omar, this is dumb. The only positive here is that it probably eliminates any chance of Delgado coming back...Ugh.

Mets Staff/Line-Up vs. Atlanta, Florida: How they Stack Up and Realistic Expectations

The Mets may be the fourth best team in the division again this year. Why? Let's take a look at the current Mets line-up and rotation/bullpen as it is constructed today and I think we'll see why.

First off, the line-up as constructed today looks something like this: Reyes, Pagan, Wright, Bay, Francouer, Murphy, Santos, Castillo, Pitcher's Spot. Yikes. With Beltran back, it makes the line-up better, and could probably contend for the wild-card, but this line-up does not scare anyone.

Let's compare that line-up to the one's in Florida and Atlanta. I'm not even going to look at Philadelphia's line-up because they are so far beyond, it's not worth the calories typing it.

My projection of the Marlins line-up: Maybin, Coughlin, Ramirez, Cantu, Uggla, Ross, Sanchez, Baker, Pitcher's Spot.

Projection of the Braves line-up: McClouth, Prado, Jones, McCann, Glaus, Escobar, Melky Cabrera, Diaz, Pitcher's spot.

Of the three line-ups I laid out, (the Mets,Marlins and Braves) I would say the Marlins probably have the most question marks because no one can tell what Maybin, Sanchez and Baker will produce. Also, Coughlin is a tough call as well, he was so good last year, but I don't know if he'll succumb to the sophomore slump. However, all four of those players have some nice upside. Sanchez could turn out to be another big bat, Maybin might be an on-base stud and speedster with power, while Coughlin could keep doing what he did last year, and Baker could be more than serviceable. So, worst case scenario for the Marlins, the Mets have the better line-up, best case the Marlins do. So, I'm going to call them a wash until a see more from the young guys in Florida, and until Beltran returns, because I think that swings the balance a bit.

However, I think there is very little argument that the Braves have a very good line-up. They don't have as many question marks as the Marlins, as they have more proven hitters. They have the potential for double-digit homers from every player in that line-up, and should Glaus really be back and healthy, I would argue they have 20 homer potential from everyone except Prado, maybe Escobar and Diaz. Still, that is an impressive line-up compared to the Mets, have only about 5 guys capable of hitting 10 or more homers (6 counting Beltran), with a very generous estimate of that same group capable of hitting 20 each (Reyes, Wright, Bay, Murphy, Francouer). Most likely, you're looking at two 20 homer guys (bounce-back year for Wright), and the others being 10-plus homer guys.

Now, let's look at the same three teams rotations, once again omitting the Phillies, this time to avoid depression. Mets: Santana, Pelfrey, Maine, Perez, Nieve/Niese. Braves: Lowe, Jurjjens, Hanson, Hudson, Kawakami. Marlins: Johnson, Nolasco, Sanchez, West Volstad.

This scares me. The Braves and Marlins both has young guys in there who can be dominant. Outside of Santana, the Mets are a bunch of question marks. I'd give the edge to both Florida and Atlanta here, BUT, I do like the Mets bullpen over both Atlanta's and Florida's.

So, taking all that into consideration, it seems to me like the Mets have a good chance of finishing behind both the Braves and Marlins, again this season, unless Beltran comes back quick, and Pelfrey and Perez rebound from last year. I know I seem pretty pessimistic here, but, without another more established starter the staff worries me. Realistically, I think the Mets will be in running for the wild card, and I think that's all they are looking to do.

Considering the way the offseason has been handled, I would not be surprised that the Mets plan is to just hold out and see where they are in July, and make additions that way. It may be another up and down season, but one things for sure, it can't be any worse than last year...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Washburn Like Seattle/Minnesota, Garland Signs with San Diego

And then there were three...options.

There was a rush on starting pitching today, and none of it rushed into New York. First the A's sign Ben Sheets, then a report came out from Jon Morosi on, basically saying he heard from a source that Washburn wants to pitch for a short list of teams including, Minnesota and Seattle. Morosi then goes on to say that the list, "may not be much longer than that." That doesn't sound too promising for the Mets. And now there's a report from Rosenthal on twitter that Jon Garland has signed with the Padres for one year, $5.3 million.

I'm not upset the Mets missed out on Garland, or that Washburn seems less interested in any town not Seattle or Minneapolis, but couple the loss of those options with the signing of Sheets by Oakland earlier today and I'm getting slightly concerned.

At this point the only options that are still out there for the Mets are John Smoltz, Chien-Ming Wang and a trade for Bronson Arroyo. I'd take one of those moves, would prefer two (involving a Smoltz bullpen swing situation), but if none of the above happens and the Mets decide to stay with Nieve as their fifth starter, I won't be pleased.

This team came into the offseason trying to improve their starting pitching, and with pitchers and catchers not all that far from reporting, the Mets are yet to address that need.

I Want Wang, There, I Said It

After calming down after writing my last post, I realized the Mets have one last shot at getting a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, Chien-Ming Wang.

I'm not worried about an innings eater right now, the season hasn't started yet. Our bullpen will not be tired right away, so let's cross that bridge when we get there. In the meantime, getting 200-plus innings from a starter with a mid-4 era is not worth it. Sorry, Garland. Let's get Smoltz in the fold for the time being, and then move on Wang. Wang is the only front-end guy left here, and if we need to wait until May to see him start, then so be it. But, either way, the Mets need quality over quantity in terms of innings.

And it seems to me, our last hope for a quality arm is Wang...

No Sheets, What the Hell Rant

Alright, seriously, What the hell?

According to Jon Heyman on twitter, the A's have signed Ben Sheets to a one year deal worth $10 million plus incentives. Unless something comes out and says that Sheets doesn't like New York, I don't get it. Could the Mets not offer $10 million? I am really dumbfounded. Is the $6 million they owe Luis Castillo leaving them that hamstrung? Oh yeah, and if they end up trading with the A's for Sheets at the end of the year, I may stop following this team.

I was fine with the Mets not getting Lackey, Holliday, Piniero and even Molina, but this one is irritating. And now Ken Rosenthal is tweeting the Mets are in on Smoltz as a back-up to Sheets. So now the Mets are stuck still looking for a number two starter, and barring some miracle, the best we might be able to get is Smoltz, Garland or Washburn. None of those guys are number two starters. Garland never was and Smoltz/Washburn haven't been for a few years (just realized how generous that statement was to Washburn). Even if the Mets do end up trading for Bronson Arroyo, that's not a number two starter either.

But one thing is for sure, if the Mets sign Smoltz (which I am still okay with-despite how pissed I am about losing Sheets) they better have another move up their sleeve, or else we will not be in good shape.

And I swear, if they sign Smoltz/Garland/Washburn and try to make a huge deal out of it, then we'll all know the truth about the front office, they're not dysfunctional, they're morons...

Santana Will Be Ready For Opening Day, Mini-Camp Attendees

Good news, Mets fans. Johan Santana will be ready for opening day, well, that's what he says. In an article for the NY Daily News, Adam Rubin quotes Santana as being "way ahead of where I was last year at this point." Interesting, considering last year he wasn't coming off offseason surgery. Hey, if Johan say's he's feeling great, then that is good enough for me.

Also in the article Rubin lists some mini-camp attendees including Oliver Perez, Bobby Parnell, Daniel Murphy and Eddie Kunz. Another interesting name on the list is Chris Carter, who the Mets eventually, no thanks to the Yankees, recieved from the Red Sox in the Wagner deal last season. I like Carter as that potential back up first base option, although he's not a great fielder, the guy can hit.

Interesting stuff...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Heyman Isn't Optimistic on Sheets, Back up Plans Anyone?

If the Mets offseason plans can be put in the form of an alphabet, the Mets are staring plan Q right in the face.

In the world of "you've got to be kidding me", Jon Heyman on twitter seems to think the Mets will not land Ben Sheets. I have been a huge proponent of the Mets signing Sheets, both for upside and general morale, and I still think should they choose to pay up, Sheets will end up in New York. But, should they miss out on him to the A's or Rangers, the Mets are looking at a serious drop off in free agent pitching talent.

Heyman cites the Mets as potentially being interested in Garland, Washburn and Smoltz, should they miss out on Sheets. Look, I'd be fine with any of those three options, if they weren't the only addition being made. However, Heyman's making it seem less likely that we're looking at a Sheets/Smoltz combo, and more likely that it's going to just be Smoltz.

As I've been advocating for the last week or so, Omar needs to do whatever necessary to get Sheets in here. The only way I wouldn't be upset about losing out on Sheets, is if he just flat out says he doesn't want to play in NY. Which we haven't heard yet. Although, the longer this drags out the more likely it is that the Mets haven't been discounted as a landing spot because Sheets and his agent can't afford for that to happen.

Sheets, Santos, Niese and Bench

According to, Ben Sheets is looking for about $8 million guaranteed for 2010. I'm going to make this short and sweet. SIGN HIM. Give him what he wants and get him in the fold. The Mets cannot afford to lose Sheets, especially not to the A's, so they better give him whatever he needs to bring him in. There's nothing more frustrating than the possibility of the Mets having to trade for Sheets in July, when they can just pay a little extra now. I don't see the logic. Isn't the extra couple million now, worth more than say, Fernando Martinez, in July? I think so...

As reporting by Adam Rubin of the NY Daily News, Jerry Manuel is suggesting that Omir Santos will be the Mets number one catcher this season. At this point, I'm ok with it as long as it means saving money so we can get some starting pitching. I really don't think the starting options available are better than Santos, at this point. There used to be a better option on the market, but Omar made a smart move by not giving him two years, and he resigned with the Giants.

In the same article, Rubin talks about the Mets pursuing Smoltz, which, as long as he's willing to be a swing man this year and doesn't keep them from signing Sheets, I am game for...

Also on the pitching front, Metsblog relayed from ken Davidoff, that Niese threw off a mound today. Exciting stuff. I think this kid can be really good if given the opportunity. As long as the Mets take it slow with him, there's no way I see him being worse than a solid number 4 starter.

Also on Metsblog, Matt Cerrone talks about other blogs and fans hoping the Mets will sign Ryan Garko. As far as I'm concerned I think Mets fans are a little too high on Garko, who in my opinion, is a nice back-up but not great. I think there are other options out there that will be more cost efficient, like Chad Tracy.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Don't Be Scared, Go For Sheets...

All offseason the Mets and their fans have been concerned with free agent signings, specifically how much money and how many years to spend on these players. I know the fans, and hopefully management, have learned through being handcuffed by bad contracts, like Luis Castillo, the Mets do not have limitless pockets like the Yankees do. And that those bad contracts that hold the team back from other acquisitions, in conjunction with poor results and high payroll, lead Mets fans into a situation where they are always defending their team. As a result, Mets fan and management are afraid of failure.

As a Mets fan, there is nothing more frustrating than being given crap from other fans because your team is not producing with a huge payroll. I think this, more than anything else is the reason Mets fans have been put in a situation where they are overly concerned with free agent contracts/salaries. It's time for the fans, and the organization, to care less about how much players and being paid, and time for them to be more concerned with improving the team by any means necessary.

The truth of the matter is, on the free agent market, the Mets can afford to spend more money on free agents than most teams. The Mets know it, their fans know it, and most importantly agents know it. So, if that's the case why aren't the Mets cashing in on free agents. Easy, they are afraid. Everyone is afraid. The team is scared to make big financial, and time, commitments to certain players at the risk of them being handcuffed, or worse, mocked for it.

So how do the Mets curb this fear? Go all out, and use the one-year, incentive-laden deal to your advantage...

Now that it's time to start stepping up and making moves in the free agent market, especially when it comes to pitching, the Mets need to open up the checkbook and pay for what they want. Ben Sheets is not going to come cheap, BUT, on a one-year $12 million deal with an attainable second year option, the Mets should NOT be afraid. The Mets are in a position where they need to bolster their staff and should do so by all means necessary, financially. They need to learn from their past mistakes, which so far they seem to have done, see Bengie Molina's two year demand. But a player like Sheets offers the Mets a good option, the one-year option.

Should Ben Sheets pitch up to his contract financially, and attain his incentives, then he would be well worth the money and would warrant a more than one year investment. Should the Mets stink this season, and Sheets pitch well enough, he can bring back a nice return on the trade market. If Sheets turns out to get hurt, he'll be a bust, BUT, he'll only be around for a year.

The bottomline here is that if the Mets don't take a risk and do what is necessary to sign Ben Sheets, then they'll be looking at much lesser options available to them. Good organizations don't take lesser options. Good teams, and organizations aren't afraid to make mistakes. Good organizations aren't looking over their shoulder, or accross the river. Good organizations step up take a risk, and don't make excuses should they come up short.

It's time for the Mets to show the league, their team and their fans, that they are a good, confident, organization...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mets Trade for Gary Matthews Jr.

As first reported by Jon Heyman on twitter, the Mets have acquired Gary Matthews Jr. from the Angels. Apparently, the Angels are picking up a large portion of the contract. And is speculating that the deal is going to involve a low-level minor leaguer, or relief pitcher.

Also, Cerrone hears that some MLB sources are speculating that this move will be part of a bigger deal, so stay tuned...


Jon Morosi of is tweeting that the Mets are giving up Brian Stokes in the deal.

Not horrible, but still not excited about this deal. I smell something else here...


Apparently the deal is what it is. I can't say I'm excited about that, but at the same time it doesn't hurt because of the money they are getting for Matthews. It's a wash to me...

Rumors Are Flying This Morning...

According to Matt Cerrone of, "The Mets are up to something." Cerrone mentions hearing some wild rumors, and throws out the names Matthews Jr., Castillo, Smoltz, and in another posting Hart/Maine. Alright, let's tackle these one at a time. For my opinion on Matthews Jr., click here. The short version, HELL NO! As for moving Castillo in another deal that would not end the Mets with Matthews Jr. I am down. Smoltz, I feel would be a great complimentary pitcher, in that he could step in the rotation or the 'pen and help the team out.

The most intriguing thing I'm reading here is the Maine/Hart trade re-visited. I loved the idea as a solid plan B, should the Mets not have signed Bay, but now that they have I don't see how Hart fits. I don't know that he's capable of playing CF, and even if he was, I don't think he's a fill-in type of player. I think he's a starter. So, if that Maine/Hart trade is still being discussed, then you'd have to think there is a companion trade on the horizon involving Murphy or Francouer. I don't know if Hart is capable of playing 1B, but I'm throwing in Murphy for argument's sake. Regardless, the only way I would be happy with moving Francouer (mind you I have a huge man crush on him), would be if we moved him to the Cubs for pitching. And when I say pitching, I mean Zambrano. Granted Zambrano has shown no desire to waive his no-trade clause at all, I do remember hearing about the Cubs desire to obtain Francouer before the Mets did. So there's that...

As for some other rumors...

Looks like the Mets are interested in Wang, according to the Daily News, as well as kicking the tires on Chad Tracy as a back-up option at first. As far as Wang goes, you have to be interested on him, what's not to like. He's a groundball pitcher who's had great success, and he's had that success in New York. You cannot ask for much more than that. As for Tracy, I am very intrigued by this as I think he could provide a nice back-up option to Murphy, and could potentially push for the starting job as well. I like that idea. I like it better than this one, bringing back Tatis. The New York Post is saying that the Mets may turn to Tatis should Delgado not happen. To be completely honest I don't usually put much behind the Post when it comes to the Mets, but, this is an easy rumor to buy into. Regardless, the Mets need to finally cut ties with Tatis, he was good two years ago and last year hit into about 4,000 double plays. It's not worth it. There are better right handed bench bat options, as well as better corner infield options still available.

Either way, stay tuned, it sounds like it's going to be a fun day...


Heyman is tweeting that the Mets are getting Matthews Jr. from the Angels. Ugh, this is awful news unless it nets them something more than him and gets rid of Castillo. But I doubt it...


Apparently the Angels (Heyman again) are picking up a lot of money on Matthews deal...Ok, fine, whatever, who did the Mets give up here...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Move Castillo, Get Matthews Jr.?

In a very interesting post to, Matt Cerrone hints at the Mets being able to move Castillo for Gary Matthews Jr.

Let me throw my two cents in on this one...ABSOLUTELY NOT. Castillo is a much smaller headache than Matthews Jr. is, contractually speaking. And for those who would argue trading Castillo would be addition by subtraction, think about this, Matthews Jr. is owed $23 million over the next two years, Castillo is only due $12 million over 2 years. And beyond that, the only positive about getting Matthews would be as a CF fill in until Beltran comes back, and then he'd be relegated to the bench. If the Mets want to lose Castillo to sign Hudson that badly, why wouldn't they just sign Hudson and let $6 million sit on the bench, in Castillo, as opposed to $11.5 million should they obtain and eventually sit Matthews Jr.

Also, I have a feeling that any deal the Mets have potentially brewing with the Reds, another item Cerrone eludes to, might involve Castillo. I'm fairly confident the Mets could work out a deal with the Reds for Arroyo and could move Castillo as part of the deal, especially when the Reds are currently set to enter the season with Paul Janish as their starting shortstop. I think they're waiting to pull the trigger on a deal to create some space and then go out and get a shortstop like Orlando Cabrera. But, I'm just guessing...

Another Day, Another Dollar: Signing Updates & San Juan

Another free agent pitcher is off the board, but this one is a relief. Ken Gurnick of tweeted that Vincente Padilla has signed a one year deal worth $4 million (base) with the Dodgers, meanwhile Tim Dierkes of has it as $5.025 million. Either way, thank goodness the Mets weren't in on him, I might have freaked out. He was a good pitcher in Philly, then went to Texas to stink, and came back to the NL and was great again this postseason. So, for LA this is a minimal risk, considering price and length, and what he was able to accomplish last postseason for them. But I'm still pretty happy the Mets stayed away from him, considering how many times they were supposedly "interested" in him in the past.

Todd Zolecki of is reporting on twitter that Joe Blanton has signed a three year, $24 million extension with the Phillies. Good for Joe Blanton, way to get more than you deserve. In all honesty it's nice to know, as a Mets fans, that Blanton will be stomping to the mound for three more years in Philly. He doesn't scare me, and probably never will. But he is an innings eater and overall that was a nice move by the Phillies to keep that rotation well rounded (pun intended) for a few years to come.

In other news, according to, the Pirates have signed Octavio Dotel to a one year deal, presumably for around $3 million, with a club option for 2011. That sounds like a good deal for both. I'm sure Dotel will be on the trading block in July should he have a nice season in Pittsburgh.

And finally, as was relayed by from an article by Ronald Blum of the Sun Sentinel, the Mets and Marlins are inching closer to that series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico. The series would take place June 28 - 30, and would be hosted by the Marlins. Can't say if I'm excited or not about that. But I can say I'm happy its an away series, it gives me more opportunities to hit up Citi Field.

Mets Offseason: Take 3

Alright, looks like it's time to reset the offseason considering the Mets lost two players who were believed to be their top targets with the recent signings of Bengie Molina with the Giants and the apparent Piniero deal with the Angels.

So what's the plan?

As far as pitching goes, the Mets need to be sniffing around Garland, Wang and Smoltz, while being aggressive on the Sheets front. Also, they need to keep the potential Arroyo deal ready to go should they miss out on any more free agents. The bottom line is they need a starting pitcher, or two, with one of those starters being able to transition to the pen, cough, cough, Smoltz. At this point unless the Mets have a trade laying around somewhere that no one has heard about those are the options. I'd be satisfied with any combination of two pitchers here, but would prefer Sheets, and his upside, bolstered by Smoltz and his versatility.

As far as catching goes, without Molina I'm not quite sure there's enough of an upgrade out there to warrant a signing. It might be worth it to let Santos and Thole compete to be the back-up or time split with Henry Blanco. The only exception in my mind is if the Mets can get Chris Snyder from Arizona, in a deal including Luis Castillo. But with the D'backs signing Kelly Johnson, and considering their earlier reported disinterest in Castillo, this seems like a long shot.

There are some nice depth options available in the outfield, especially now, with Arizona releasing Eric Byrnes. The Mets should be looking into Byrnes, Endy Chavez and Rocco Baldelli, who can all be serviceable options in CF to help out Pagan until Beltran returns. Then, should Beltran return and be proven healthy the Mets can re-visit moving Pagan, especially if he plays well and increases his value.

In the meantime, the Mets need to get their priorities straight and work on getting pitching help before addressing outfield depth and, lastly, catching.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 Analysis Points Out Mets as Least Efficient Team of the Decade

In a must read column for, Tom Verducci sets out to find the most efficient teams of the decade. He concludes that the top five includes the Marlins, Cardinals, Twins, A's and Rays (in that order- 1st to 5th). Whereas the bottom five were the Mariners, Dodgers, Cubs, Orioles and Mets (in descending order). Therefore the Mets were the most inefficient team in the past decade, according to Verducci.

Let's break down how he came about this conclusion.

First, Verducci takes the total payroll of the opening day rosters for the decade and divides that by the number of wins the team had in the decade to obtain a "cost per win" stat. Predictably enough the Mets come in number 2 in cost/wins, behind the Yankees, at $133,300/win (Yankees were at $174,600/win).

Then, Verducci looks at achievement, through a system he calls achievement points, he awards 1 point to being in a pennant race (defined as finishing within 5 games of a playoff spot), 2 points to making the playoffs, 3 points for winning a postseason series, 4 for winning a pennant and 5 for winning the world series. In this analysis the Mets finished 12th in "achievement points" with 21 (4 pennant races, 2 playoff appearances, 3 Post season series won, 1 pennant and 0 World series - adding up to 21).

From there Verducci takes the "achievement points", which he considers an investment towards winning and subtracts that from the "Cost per win" to establish the efficiency rating. So we take the Mets 133.3 and subtract 21 from that to leave us with their efficiency rating of 112.3 the highest number of all the major league teams. In this circumstance, higher is bad.

Personally I don't think this is 100 percent scientific, but Verducci himself goes as far as to note that himself. Basically in terms of "bang for your buck" the Mets are the worst over the past decade, but if you compare them to the highest efficiency rated team (Marlins) the Mets only finished 1 "achievement point" behind them, but at a huge deficit because of payroll.

So, to me here's the biggest thing to take away from this analysis...

As Verducci points out, the Mets have only achieved for more wins overall than the Marlins in the past decade while spending $737.5 million more.

Think about that...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Missing Out on Molina: What's Next?

With the news today that Bengie Molina resigned with the Giants on a one year/$4.5 million deal, this leaves the Mets in an interesting position. I think I was one of the only people who actually wanted to see Molina in NY, despite his terrible speed, granted I did agree that it needed to be on a short term contract. cited Chris Carlin as saying that the breaking point was the Mets decision to not to go over a year for Molina. I can't say I agree with Thole being ready next year, but it is interesting to see that the Mets will not exceed a one year deal for a catcher. Maybe that is only because Molina is 35, or because of Thole, but if they didn't go two for the best catcher on the market I find it hard to believe they would go two years for any other catchers.

So, what's the next step for the Mets?

My assumption here is at this point the Mets will probably be more satisfied, and make better use of their money, if they don't spend any money on catching and enter the season with Santos as their catcher. Personally, I am not wild about Santos. I think he's a fine back-up catcher, but I'm still not crazy about the idea of him starting. That being said, I am just as lukewarm about Barajas or Torrealba. At this point, I'd rather the Mets revisit a deal for a catcher, like Snyder or Doumit than sign one of these other guys.

If I'm Omar, I'm looking to add Sheets and Smoltz on short term deals over Piniero for a longer term deal. As much as I'm not a fan of starting the season with Santos as the catcher, and if it came down to getting two pitchers and starting with Santos or another catcher and only one of the two pitchers, I'd take the two pitchers and Santos.

Now without Molina and the positive feedback from the throwing session this afternoon, it's time for the Mets to move on Sheets. He should be their next move.

Delgado with Jays? Molina back in SF?


Rotoworld has been dropping bombs the last few minutes. First, they relay a report out of Puerto Rico saying the Jays have signed Carlos Delgado, here.

And then within minutes they dropped knowledge that Chubbie Molina resigned for one year with the Giants, here.

I'm happy that Delgado found a play to play this year, but I'm even more excited it's not with the Mets. No offense to Carlos, the guy can hit and gave us some great thump in his time in NY, but a hip injury in the National League, where you have to field, is a tough one. I hope he plays well in Toronto as a DH.

As for Chubbie Molina, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I would have liked Molina on a one year/$4.5 million pact. But on the other I think this is a sign the Mets are going to put more of their efforts into their pitching staff, which needs it, or has something else lined up. I liked the idea of Molina catching, but not at the risk of Thole's development, but he ended up signing a one year deal. So...more than anything else, I'm just interested to see what exactly the rift was here, since years didn't seem to be the problem.


It seems as though Torrealba is the next catching target for the mets, according to Olney on twitter. I mean, the guy hits in the playoffs, but we need to actually get there before that's an issue. I guess if they can mend the rift from two years go, I'm ok with him.


Looks like denials of both signings. Something's not right here... stay tuned.


Carlos Delgado and the Blue Jays have both denied an agreement, according to Jordan Bastian on twitter. So there goes that one...

Still unsure about the Molina thing though...


I'm stupid on Molina front. I misread something...he's signed, not Delgado.

Sheets Reactions

According to Ed Price on twitter, one scout who saw Sheets throw today described him as throwing very well, and most importantly, throwing easy. His scout also guesses the Mets, Rangers and Cubs were the leaders, with the A's also well represented.

I liked Sheets before, and I like him more now that he threw easy, and according to Trenni Kusnierek of MLB Network on twitter, topped out at 91 mph. If he's at 91 mph before spring training, and throwing easy, those are some very, very nice signs.

As for competition, with the reports a while back saying the Cubs were far off with Sheets, they seem to me to be less of a concern than the Rangers. Now, the Rangers have been in talks with Sheets for a while, and he likes Texas, and the Rangers close to being sold. So, they seem to be the front-runners to me. I'd have to think all things being equal, that Sheets would chose Texas, so for the Mets to get him, they may have to get out of their comfort zone a bit to do it. So, if the Mets really liked what they saw, they should go for it. They just need to run him through some vigorous physicals before the signing, preferably by someone else's doctors...


Ed Price just updated on twitter that the Mets physical rehabilitation specialist, Chris Correnti was there. that a good thing?

Was this the guy who worked with Reyes/Beltran/Delgado/Maine last year? Because if so...I say yikes.

Crazy Man on the Subway Theory: How Having No Defined Budget Can Actually Be an Advantage For The Mets

Today, in a post to his ESPN insider blog, Buster Olney reports that the Mets ownership have never given Minaya a budget to work with this offseason and that because of this the Mets are taking free agents on a case-to-case basis. Up until this point in the offseason the media, players and fans have not had much knowledge of the Mets financial standing, as it seems neither does the team. But now, free agents and other teams either think that the Mets are unable to deal with multiple situations at once or have no budget, and that should be a big hindrance in negotiations, which might explain why everything has been moving so slowly for the Mets this offseason. But maybe this isn't such a bad thing...

My argument is that this COULD be used to the Mets advantage. How? By a little theory, I like to call, "the crazy man on the subway" theory. By this I mean, the fear of the unknown. Everyone fears the crazy man on the subway talking to himself in the corner, being weird and shouting. Now, I'm not suggesting Minaya do the same, but I like the idea that the Mets are now an unknown entity because they are believed to have no set budget, and therefore no set plan, and this makes them unpredictable. The Mets can be the "crazy man on the subway", this offseason, something the Yankees have been doing it for years...

The Yankees are always dangerous in the free agent market because they have an unlimited supply of money and therefore are never counted out on any player, and can never be predicted. The Mets now have a similar opportunity, in that they have an unknown budget. They can, and should, use this to their advantage. The Mets are now known as a team without a budget, which means no one knows exactly how much they can or cannot spend. This makes them just as dangerous in the free agent market as the Yankees are because no one can guess what the Mets are capable of now. They are now legitimately a threat on any and all players because by not having a budget, they can be in on any players they want and use this as leverage in negotiations with other free agents.

I understand that the Mets front office seems to be a bit "all over the place" right now, but maybe this idea of them not having a budget will give them an edge they haven't had since they signed Beltran and Pedro, the ability to scare other teams/players because a general lack of public knowledge of their negotiations, plans, and ultimately, potential restrictions. The Mets should seize this opportunity to be more like the Yankees, and make themselves "the crazy man on the subway".

Outfield Depth and Starting Options

After the Padres signed Jerry Hairston Jr. this past weekend and reports of Ankiel not wanting to be in NY, it dawned on me exactly how much I like the idea of the uber-utility man on the Mets roster. So, I'm officially lobbying for Alfredo Amezega as a back-up in the outfield, 2B, 3B and shortstop. The guy can field, and can run, and has provided excellent depth for the Marlins the last few years. I think the Mets can really use him as a do-it-all bench player, as it would allow for them to still go after other quality depth options in both the outfield and infield, namely Nady, Chavez, Gomes, Lowell, etc.

Also, since today is the big day for teams taking a look at Ben Sheets, hopefully we'll have an idea of exactly how interested teams will be later in the day. If this guy looks anything like he used to in Milwaukee, I think the Mets should scrap the Piniero idea and turn it into two one year deals. Give Sheets what he wants, should he look as great as he had and then move on either Wang (on incentive laden deal) or Garland on a one year pact. I'm not as enamored with Piniero as others are, and I really feel multiple options are a better way to go for the Mets. Plus, Omar should be given credit for turning scrap-heap players into effective players. To me, it just seems like a better idea, pitching-wise, to spread money than to give too much of a commitment (both financially and year-wise) to a guy like Piniero who really has been up and down in his career. Especially considering should the Mets make multiple risk signings and lose on all them all, the worst case scenario is a Santana/Pelfrey/Maine/Perez/Niese. Although that didn't do the job last year, it's a much better back-up plan than most teams have.

Francouer, Molina, Piniero, Sheets and the Mets Hall

According to Heyman on twitter, the Mets have avoided arbitration with Francouer and have signed him to a one year/$5 million deal. I know not everyone likes him as much as I do, because he is quickly becoming my biggest man crush. I'm in serious debate as to whether or not to make my first Mets jersey (since my Strawberry jersey I had when I was 7) a Jeff Francouer jersey. I think he's going to be a key cog to this team, should they be able to turn 2010 around.

Buster Olney on twitter said earlier today that Bengie Molina has turned down the Mets latest offer and now the Mets have turned their attention to Joel Piniero. Alright, this "Chubbie" Molina situation is really starting to get on my nerves. I like that the Mets are standing their ground, which clearly is the case or else Chubbie would have signed already, but I think they should make this move happen sooner rather than later. If we're quibbling about money then the Mets should just give him a little more and not worry about it. But, if the issue is two years against three, then the Mets should hold their ground. I'm ok with Molina for two, because to me, if Thole's still developing as a catcher he'll need two years before he can be a full-time starter., and keeping Molina around will absolutely help. Three years of Chubbie is just ridiculous. If I'm Omar I'm either making this deal, or moving on very very soon, because he's not worth all this trouble, and to be honest, Chubbie doesn't really have other viable starting options.

As for Piniero, I like him but I'm starting to get a bad feeling that people are going to start reaching for him and he'll end up with a bigger contract than he deserves. Especially since Olney has tweeted that the Angels are in on the bidding. I can easily see the Angels going above and beyond for Piniero because of the fear that they have done little to nothing this offseason. I am always afraid of the desperate team, and to me, they seem desperate. It's worth a bidding war over Piniero with other options still out there. Especially, when some options may including dealing Luis Castillo as well.

Also, in a post to Metsblog, Matt Cerrone relays the rumor that the Mets will announce today the induction of Gooden, Strawberry, Cashen and Davey Johnson into the team's hall of fame. All I can say on this one is overdue, along with the museum which the Mets are adding to the new stadium this year. It's about time...

Friday, January 15, 2010

More CF Options for the Mets

Although yesterday I was advocating the signing of Ankiel or Reed Johnson to a one year deal, there are some other interesting options available to the Mets that would provide a stop-gap in CF, and good depth.

Ken Rosenthal on twitter says that according to his source the Mets have contacted Jerry Hairston Jr. who would provide both depth at CF and SS. I like this idea. Hairston has speed and some power and his ability to play multiple positions makes him extremely useful even after Beltran returns. Hairston finished up the year last season with the Yankees and was a useful player for them, playing 3B and outfield. By the way, he can play 2B as well...

In another area of interest, it seems as though with the Diamondbacks aquisition of Adam LaRoche the D'backs will have to make room on the 40 man roster. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has tweeted that the team is leaning towards cutting ties with OF Eric Byrnes. Now, I have always been a huge fan of Byrnes, because of how hard he plays and the type of team first attitude he brings. Byrnes is the type of guy who puts his body on the line everyday on the field and he can hit for some power and run. Although he is getting older, the idea of bringing him in (should he get released) as a CF platoon-mate with Pagan, and then a depth outfielder, is an intriguing idea. Admittedly, I have a huge man-crush on Eric Byrnes, he just strikes me as a hard-nosed, no BS player. The type of player that automatically gives a team an edge, and gets their overall attitudes back on track.

Although, I still like the ideas of the Mets looking into adding Ankiel and Reed Johnson, especially Ankiel, Hairston and Byrnes may be more economic options. Either way, the Mets need to go out and add depth in the OF, with a player who could be a solid fill-in for at least the first month.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mets Need CF Contingency Plan

Alright, here it goes, something I never thought I would my entire life...

Go sign Rick Ankiel or Reed Johnson.

The Mets have zero outfield depth at this point, and as much as I like Angel Pagan as a fourth outfielder, they need another body to help carry the load. Ankiel can provide a little pop and some extraordinary defense, which will be needed, as the Mets have yet to address their staff. Also, Ankiel and Johnson, can both cover a ton of ground in the OF, which is nice in CitiField.

I think which of the two the Mets sign should depend on the situation they feel they are in. If things are looking bleak on the Beltran front, I'd sign Ankiel who I feel is better stop gap. But, if it's looking like Beltran will be back shortly after May, then I'd be fine with Johnson and Pagan splitting time.

Also, I'd like to advocate, even more than I already have, signing Endy Chavez to a minor league deal.

The season hasn't even started yet and we're down a man. Seriously, Let's get cracking here Omar. Get some help in here and quickly, we need depth and a back up plan so 2010, is not a repeat 2009.

Wake Up to This! Beltran has Minor Knee Surgery

According to Jon Heyman of, it seems as though Carlos Beltran has undergone a "minor knee surgery" than will keep him out about 8-12 weeks. According to the article he will return to baseball activities "at or around opening day." So, I guess for now the opening day center fielder for the Mets will be Angel Pagan, barring some unforeseen activity.

I wish this was the biggest problem with the story, but it's not. Joel Sherman is tweeting that the Mets claim that Beltran's procedure was done "without their blessing". This prompted a response from Scott Boras, who chimed in and said because this surgery is "necessary to work" that Beltran did not require consent to have it done, according to the Associated Press.

This is a mess. Way to go Mets. The fan base was just starting to get back behind you and the off-season moves and were looking forward to the next season, after hearing nothing but positive attitudes from Wright, Bay and Murphy in public appearances and then this...

Can we please fire some of the medical staff please, this is getting ridiculous.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Molina, LaRoche, First Base and Starting Pitchers

Mike Puma of the NY Post is reporting that the Mets are inching closer to a deal with Bengie (or as I like to call him "Chubbie") Molina. I'm starting to get annoyed with this whole Molina thing. Just sign the guy already, don't give him more than 2 years and let's get on with our lives. The Mets have bigger (not literally, of course) fish to fry here. We need to add pitching and a nice bat for the bench, and figure out what we're doing over at 1B this season. So please, sign Molina and let's get on to the rest of the off-season list.

In another area of interest to the Mets, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on twitter that Adam LaRoche rejected a 2 year $17.5 Million deal from the Giants. Which I don't understand what the Giants think they are doing even trying to sign LaRoche with Huff, DeRosa, Uribe and Sandoval already on board. This piece of information is very interesting to the Mets because it may affect how they move forward in regards to 1B. Unless LaRoche was told he'd be a part time player by the Giants, I would say this prices him out of the Mets range at 1B, especially with Omar seemingly okay with starting Murphy there to start the season. Personally, I'd like to upgrade first base but not at the expense of having to hold back Ike Davis, who I feel will be a good major leaguer. Interestingly enough, I like Davis better than Thole and am more concerned with holding Davis back than I am Thole.

As far as starting pitching goes, it looks like the Mets have some competition from the Dodgers for Joel Piniero, according to, who is relaying information from ESPN Los Angeles. Like I've said before, I'm okay with Piniero but I'd rather trade for pitching (Arroyo) and sign one of the high risk starters like Bedard, Wang or Sheets. Part of that is because I still think the Mets can move Castillo in a deal for Arroyo...

Speaking of Sheets, according to he's a little too pricey for the Cubs, as he's believed to be asked for 2 years at $10-12 million/year. This is a bit much considering the guy has been hurt for the better part of the last two seasons. However, as a Mets fan I like this because I feel that outside of the Yankees, no other team will really be able to give Sheets the money he wants. It's getting to a point in the off-season where because Omar hasn't done much he actually has the most flexibility, to do the most with his team in free agency. Also, it helps that the Cubs and Dodgers are teams in uncertain financial states. The more I think about how Omar has been waiting, the more I like his plan. He's really putting himself in a good position to make whatever moves he can with his money he has yet to spend. Way to go Omar, now it's time to strike...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Molina Lowers Demands

According to Jon Paul Morosi of, Bengie Molina has allegedly lowered his asking price, and now is "willing" to accept a two year deal. Tough news for Molina, great news for Minaya who has effectively won in the game of chicken. By Molina lowering his contract demands it seems even more certain than before the Bengie will be handling the Mets staff next season.

Molina's defense and ability to handle a staff would be very nice for a Mets team that could use the leadership and stability behind the plate. Molina is also a very capable hitter and would like nice in the 7 or 8 spot in the revamped Mets line up.

I am not totally gung-ho about Molina coming to Mets, but I do like him in most facets of the game, but I do have concerns. I only like Molina on a reasonable contract length/dollars. The reported lowering of his demands makes me feel better about the Mets ability to sign him for a two year deal giving Thole a full year in Buffalo before he can come up in 2011 and learn from Molina, as Molina's back-up, before being the starting catcher in 2012. Although Molina's contract demands are seemingly becoming less of a concern, his speed remains a huge concern. I expect a lot of late inning pinch running for Molina, and a frequent sight of Blanco catching the 9th.

Molina's speed is a huge deal, and should the Mets add Molina and keep Castillo a nightmare situation could arise...

Two outs, tying run at second in the form of Bengie Molina, with the batter being Luis Castillo. Why is this a nightmare? Because the guy running at second cannot score on a single and the guy hitting can ONLY hit singles...yikes.

On the whole, I like Molina for a two year deal. But I would like him more if there was less of him to like...

Winter League Updates from the Post

In an article for the NY Post, Jonathan Lehman updates the winter outings of Fernando Martinez, Francisco Rodriguez and rule 5 pick, Orlando Lara.

F-Mart had a rough winter, while trying to recover from surgery, and hit .191 in 47 ABs with 13 K's. Those are some rough numbers, but he is young and it's hard to advocate the Mets dealing him right now because of his age and injuries. I think he should be put on the back burner and left in triple A this season to develop. Meanwhile the Mets should sign Endy Chavez to a minor league deal for depth and keep F-Mart out of the light for a while and let him grow that way.

As for K-Rod, according to the article he had one awful outing and was then awesome in the following four outings. I'm not too concerned about K-Rod, he's going to be good again, the question is whether or not that will matter this year. Last year, his struggles went largely unnoticed because of the total struggles of the team. I think we cross this bridge if we get there and just hope we never have to.

As for Orlando Lara, nice numbers for the rule 5 pick. I hope he becomes a useful member of the roster, we could always use another solid arm.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Piniero, Castillo for Arroyo, Delgado, Hips and Senior Citizens

According to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse tweeted that the Mets are talking to Joel Piniero about a 2 year/$15 million deal. Normally, I would love Piniero on a deal like this. It's not a huge risk for the best free agent pitcher left on the market. But because of the Reds recent signing of Chapman I am slightly optimistic that the Mets could get Bronson Arroyo and potential move Luis Castillo in the same deal, killing two birds with one stone. And then could potentially sign Smoltz, as Matt Cerrone of Metsblog suggests, to help sure up the rotation.

If the Mets and Reds are going to deal Arroyo and Castillo, I find it hard to believe the deal could expans to include Phillips, in any deal. However, even if the Reds are not willing to deal Phillips, they may be willing to take on Castillo for two reasons. One, a straight up trade of Castillo for Arroyo would save the Reds money, and clear up a rotation spot for Chapman who they clearly had to be high on in order to sign. The second reason is that their current starting shortstop is Paul Janish. No offense to Janish but the guy cannot hit, and if I remember correctly Phillips came up as a shortstop and might be able to make the move back, therefore making room for Castillo at 2B.

Price also said on twitter, the Mets have seen Delgado play twice in Puerto Rico and apparently have not been impressed with his mobility. And sees the Blue Jays are starting to emerge as a possible landing spot. To be honest, I was skeptical about bringing him back to begin with, but after hearing about his mobility issues, I really don't want him back. At this point save the money sure up the staff and bench. Also, they should let Murphy earn the job or bring in a platoon partner for him and settle first base already. I'm getting tired of thinking about it.

As far as Delgado's injury, I hate to say I told you so, but, I told you so. There is absolutely no way he's going to be 100% in the field for some time. We are talking a hip here, not a wrist or an ankle or even a hammy. Hips are tough rehabs and are such an important joint in everyday function that I think it's hard to expect to be at full strength in less than a calendar year. But, I must admit, I am no doctor, I'm just guessing here. But like I've said before, I've seen dogs and senior citizens die because of hip injuries. Whatever that's worth.

Batting Average: The Ex-Wife of Stats

Why did the batting average stat category become the Ex-wife of baseball stats? Everyone used to love batting average as an indicator of a players ability, but then, much like a younger girl, OBP came through and took over.

This is one of my biggest pet peeves in baseball today, the diminished value of the batting average stat category. I'm not saying that these newer stat categories (OBP, OPS, VORP) are unimportant or less useful, but I am saying that batting average is seemingly looked down upon as a valuable asset for analyzing players these days, and I don't completely agree with that. And it's not the top flight players where this analysis becomes an issue with players who have a tendency to do everything well (see: Pujols, Youkilis etc.). My issue becomes when we start comparing "second tier" RBI producing players to one another, especially among guys who don't do everything well and are clearly deficient in certain stat categories.

To further illustrate my point let's take a look at two "second tier" RBI producing players who appeal to average and newer stats, respectively.

Jeff Francouer's line (157 games) from last year was .280 with 15 HR, 76 RBI, .302 OBP, .423 slugging and a .725 OPS. The average is respectable, but as has been well noted, his OBP is not there and therefore pulls down his OPS as well.

Jack Cust's line (149 games) from last year was .240 with 25 HR, 70 RBI, .356 OBP, .417 slugging and a .773 OPS. Obviously, here we are looking at a more powerful hitter, who walks more, hits more homers, but overall has less extra base hits than Francouer. However, it is also interesting to note that Cust struck out 185 times, while Francouer K'd almost half as many times, 92.

So who's the better RBI producer?

On one hand someone might say Cust because of the walks, homers and higher OPS. On the other someone may say Francouer because of the less K's, higher average and higher slugging.


I think that Francouer's higher average is what makes him the more valuable player. And...

Here's why:

Despite hitting 10 more homers than Francouer last year, Cust managed to drive in less runs last year than Francouer did. That's because although Francouer walked less and hit less homers, he had a higher total number of hits (166 to 123). Hits = runs at the major league level. Very few pitchers on the major league level walk in runs, it just doesn't happen all that often. So if you're asking me in a tie game and runners on first and second with two outs who I want hitting, I say Francouer. He is much more likely to put the ball in play, and there is something to be said about players who put the load on their shoulders and try to get the big hit, versus a guy who's willing to take a walk and pass the buck to the next hitter.

So, if I'm starting a team and need to decide between Jack Cust and Jeff Francouer, I'm taking Frenchy, because I like to know that when I need a hit I've got guys on my roster that can provide it.

I like batting average. What can I say? I guess the ex-wife still does it for me.

What's your take?

While You Were Sleeping (1/11/09)...

Last night, as relayed by MLB Traderumors, the Giants came to terms with Aubrey Huff on a one year/$3 Million deal. Most likely Huff will be in the mix at 1B for San Fran, moving Sandoval back to third, and pushing DeRosa out to left field. All these parts are interchangeable though so it's hard to accurately predict, but, this is most likely going to be the case with Juan Uribe also in the mix for some PT. It makes more sense than Huff in left, Sandoval at First and DeRosa at third, mainly because of Huff's range in the outfield.

In other news, it looks like Ryan Church has finally had enough of the NL East. After stints with the Nats, Mets and Braves it looks like Church is going to try his hand in the NL Central with the Pirates, according to Jon Morosi of Good for Ryan, he needs a place where he can get some playing time. And I think besides McCutcheon and Garret Jones there is definitely playing time to be had in Pittsburgh should he perform.

According to, Carlos Delgado played first base for 5 innings in Puerto Rico yesterday. I think all Mets fans, and Daniel Murphy, are very interested in seeing how well Delgado's hip can handle the field. Like I've said in the past, a hip is a big deal, I know old people and dogs that have died from hip problems, so I'm skeptical as to how well Carlos can rebound. In my opinion there are better 1B options for the Mets should they decide not to give Murphy a shot at the job again. Either way, the Orioles are reportedly also interested in Delgado, both as a 1B and a DH, which I think can turn into an interesting situation should Carlos prove to be healthy.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer sheds a little more light on the Chapman deal with the Reds. He says in the article that Chapman has a 5 year deal worth $25 million with a player option for a sixth season. This upcoming season, however, he will only earn about $1 million, and he will be paid for the next 10 seasons by Cincy. Fay interesting notes about Chapman's contract, that "the first year it will be a major burden on the big league budget is 2014." So that gives the Reds 4 years to try to make something of this kid before he causes budgetary issues, or becomes a stud. Should he become a stud, they'd only have one year of him at a higher salary before he'd like opt out, at age 27, and cash in again in free agency. Not a bad deal for Cincy, but as Matt Cerrone of Metsblog has said before, he'll be 27 when he hits the market again and EVERYONE will know what he's about at that point.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chapman Signs with Reds, Another Move on the Horizon?

According to Jeff Blair on twitter of Toronto's Globe and Mail, as relayed by rotoworld, the Reds have signed Aroldis Chapman to a 5 year/$30 million deal.

The Reds took a nice gamble here, presumably with the money they saved restructuring Scott Rolen's contract. But I can't help but wonder if the Reds have something up their sleeves, as they have been rumored to be in talks about Harang and Arroyo at different points in the off-season.

Can someone explain to me how a team who was supposed to be cutting payroll at the beginning of the the off-season is now financially capable of taking a $6/year risk? I thought they were supposed to be cutting payroll, or at least staying the same. So, I think the Reds have something else up their sleeves.

It makes too much sense NOT to think that the Reds are still working on moving one of their bigger contracts. Arroyo, Harang, Phillips? Mets fans have long been dreaming of somehow landing Phillips and Arroyo. My guess is that it is more likely to get just one of the two, Arroyo most likely, without giving up much beside salary relief. Then there is the ultimate dream of including Castillo and finding a way to get Phillips back in the deal, but I think thats a pipe dream more than anything else.

At the least, this signing should put a few more wheels in motion around the league and start a domino effect of signing/trades of some starting pitchers as the pitcher market takes a slight hit with Chapman off the market.

Chapman Throws Everyone a Wrinkle, Signs With NL Team

Alright, last week from everything I read I would have bet money Chapman was going to end up with the Blue Jays or Angels. WELL....

Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is tweeting that an unknown National League team has signed Chapman to a $30 Million deal.

As a Mets fan, the first thought I have is, if they signed Chapman that better be 3 or 4 years and I'd be ok with the risk. He's risk reward like Sheets/Wang, but is younger and less injured. ALTHOUGH he is unproven at the major league level, I would be ok with the risk. If it's for 2 years, I am not pleased.

UNFORTUNATELY, I have a feeling he's going to end up in Florida with the Marlins, Milwaukee or San Francisco, who could use a left-handed starter.


Jeff Passon is saying it's looking like the Reds signed Chapman on a 5 year/$30 million. This is a great deal for Cincinnati, $6 mill a year is the same amount Luis Castillo is making. Not rubbing it in, but I'm just saying I'd rather have Chapman...

I will update as information is known...


It's looking more and more like it's the Reds, according to Passon. For a team that was allegedly cutting salary, adding $6 mill a year is an interesting move. Is there more movement on the horizon in the Queen City?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tejada Will Play Any Infield Position, How About 1B at Citi

According to Jose Arangure Jr. of, Miguel Tejada told a spanish speaking AP reporter that he is willing to play ANY infield position in 2010.

To me, this means two things:

1) He's not getting many offers to play shortstop, because of his diminished range/age/etc.

2) He's motivated to work on another position in an effort to increase his value, which in turn means, you might be able to get him on a one year contract should he be playing out of position in 2010.

I'm not saying anyone will get Tejada on the cheap. But what I am saying is that maybe, just maybe, he's willing to take a lesser one year deal to prove that he is capable of being a good third baseman/second baseman/first baseman in order to land a bigger deal next season as a solid hitting, versatile, player in the off season. With his line from last year being a pretty solid one: .313 BA, .340 OBP, .455 SLG, with 14 HR, 86 RBI and 83 runs. It seems like convincing him to come to CitiField and play some first base isn't such a crazy idea. Also, it allows the Mets to do other things with Murphy, like package him for a starter.

In no way am I calling for Murphy's job, but I just don't see where he fits in with the Mets plans. They now have a left fielder for the next 4 years, Murphy proved he cannot play second base in Arizona last fall and with Ike Davis on the horizon and Wright at third, there is literally nowhere for him to play. So, maybe it's best to get what you can for him now before it's too late and bring in another bat like Tejada to take his place.

Wright State of Mind

In an article in the NY Post, David Wright was interviewed regarding last year's let down and his ability to bounce back this season. In the article Mark Hale paints Wright as a positive and hard-working star looking to put up some stellar number in 2010.

"It's what I'm accustomed to," Wright said in his first public comments since the Mets' season ended. "I have all the confidence in the world that with the lineup that we're putting out there next year. And with [hitting coach Howard Johnson] and the rest of the coaching staff and being able to dissect my swing and know what I was doing right and wrong last year, I'll go out there and do what I'm capable of doing, and that's driving in runs and scoring runs."

Also in the article Wright makes no excuses about hitting in CitiField or line up deficiencies last season as his reason for his production drop off. Instead, he makes comments about having his mechanics out of whack and not being comfortable in the box.

Hale notes Wright as being thrilled by the Jason Bay signing and Wright says, ""I'm ready to go," he said. "I'm excited. We have a lot to prove. I have some things to prove."

All-in-all, it's nice to hear that he's working hard and is excited to get this season underway, because in 2010, Wright is correct, he and the Mets have plenty to prove.

While You Were Sleeping 1/8/10

Vladimir Guerrero got an offer from the Rangers, and apparently wasn't too keen on it, according to T.R. Sullivan. The deal is believed to be one year somewhere in the $5 - $7 mill range. I can't say I blame Vlad considering where he was at in his last contract, BUT, the guy is getting old and breaking down. He is barely capable of playing right anymore, and has trouble staying healthy as a DH. Not exactly a sound financial investment. Thank God Omar was smart enough to avoid this one.

According to Ken Rosenthal on twitter, it looks like Scott Podsednik is ruining my dream of an all Anderson outfield in KC. What a jerk.

In other news, it looks like Austin Jackson will be given the opportunity to be the starting center fielder in Detroit this season. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is quoted as saying, "There are a lot of guys that can play center field for us but we anticipate he'll be ready."

Not too busy a night, guess you didn't miss too much while you were sleeping...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Are Piniero & Garland Good Enough to be Number 2 Starters: A Case Study

At the beginning of the off-season I was under the impression the Mets felt that they needed a number 2 starter, and the talk has been all off-season that Joel Piniero is the best on the market. But is he really a number 2 starter? Here's a study of two pitchers who are both number 2 starters on their respective teams, followed by examining the Mets current number 2 starter, and seeing how they match up.

Pitcher A is a number 2 starter for an American League team. His numbers last year were as follows:

200.1 innings pitched
3.77 ERA
13-11 record
149 strikeouts/73 walks
1.28 WHIP
.248 BAA
28 HRs allowed

Pitcher B is a number 2 starter for a National League team:

205.2 innings pitched
3.02 ERA
14-12 record
193 strikeouts/63 walks
1.24 WHIP
.250 BAA
21 HRs allowed

Both pitchers above have logged 200 innings, a nice k/bb ratio and nice whips and BAA. All of their numbers check up nicely as being mainly on the same level. Both are the second best pitchers on their staff and were both on NON-PLAYOFF teams.

Now, let's compare those numbers to Piniero's:

214 innings pitched
3.49 ERA
15-12 record
105 strikeouts/27 walks
1.14 WHIP
.268 BAA
11 HRs allowed

Piniero clearly last year was in that number 2 range (used as a 3 on a superior staff), despite his K's being low, which is countered by his insanely low total walks for the season. So, How about Garland?

204 innings pitched
4.01 ERA
11-13 record
109 strikeouts/61 walks
1.40 WHIP
.282 BAA
23 HRs allowed

Garland clearly is not as good as Piniero based on the numbers. His BAA and Whip are high, and his record is under .500. Also, his walk numbers are a little high for his K's being as low as they are. Is Garland on the same level as these other guys? No, but he's still a fairly valuable starter and could be a good number 3 on the right team.

Finally, just for argument's sake let's look at Pelfrey's numbers last year:

184.1 innings pitched
5.03 ERA
10-12 record
107 strikeouts/66 walks
1.51 WHIP
.289 BAA
18 HRs allowed


First off let me identify pitcher A as John Danks of the Chicago White Sox, and pitcher B as Wandy Rodriquez of the Houston Astros. Neither guy is a big money pitcher. Irregardless, it's clear from the analysis that Piniero's numbers are much more fitting of a number 2 starter than Garland's or Pelfrey's. However, even Garland's numbers would qualify him as a number 2 pitcher on the Mets, as they are clearly better than Mike Pelfrey's, who has been the Mets number 2 starter for the last two years.

So, in conclusion, Omar better be working to improve the staff because we can really use the help. And although I like Piniero and his numbers seem good enough to be a number 2, I still don't like the inconsistency in his career, and think a Wang or Sheets is definitely worth the gamble.

Chapman Situation: Contrasting Reports and Why It's Good for the Mets

First off, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald on twitter, it looks like internally the Marlins have conceded that they will be unable to sign Aroldis Chapman. This would then put the front running Blue Jays and Angels even further ahead in the race to sign the potential stud, though the Red Sox still seem to be in the mix.

After the report from a few days ago suggesting that Chapman is only a few days away from signing, and another from Buster Olney saying both the Mets and Yankees are out on Chapman, it's looking more and more like the Angels and Blue Jays are jockeying for position, with the Red Sox deeper back in the race.

However, there have been conflicting reports this morning about the Angels position on Chapman. Ken Rosenthal on twitter says the angel are "trying like crazy" to sign Chapman. Meanwhile Tim Brown quotes an Angels source as saying that they "aren't in deep" for Chapman.

It'll be interesting to see how this one plays out, but as a Mets fan the idea of him being interested in three teams, and none of them being in the National League, let alone the NL East is nice to hear.

Also, in a post for Metsblog yesterday Matthew Cerrone makes a good point about Chapman, saying that the Mets being out of the running is a good thing because it gives them a few years to evaluate his talent on a major league level and then when his initial contract is up, and he's still in his mid-twenties, they can jump back into play on him if he becomes the ace that some think he will be. I cannot argue with that logic, no matter how nice it would be to make a big splash on the pitching front this offseason.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Alright You're In Dawson, The Rest of You Wait in Line

So, the baseball writers have made their votes and only one new member was selected to the Hall of Fame today. Andre Dawson finally got the votes he needed to be inducted, on his ninth try. Dawson will join Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, both of whom were chosen by a Veterans Commitee back in December.

Dawson had over 400 homers and 1,500 RBI in his career, most of which happened for the Montreal Expos. This could potentially make him only the second player ever in the Hall to be wearing an Expos cap. The first being, The Kid, Gary Carter.

Bert Blyleven missed out yet again in his 13th year of eligibility, along with first timers Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez and the Crime Dog, Fred McGriff. Of those who missed out, my feeling is Larkin, Tim Raines, Alomar (despite his character issues) and McGriff will make it soon, with Edgar Martinez (the poster boy for DH's) not getting enough support from purists who feel his career was prolonged by the DH, giving him inflated numbers.

It is also interesting to note that Mark McGwire did not make it again. And most likely won't, in my opinion, due to his questionable steroid use.

Hall of Fame Show By Hall of Famers for Everyone...

As was brought to my attention by Jon Heyman on Twitter, we are about an hour away from MLB Network's Hall of Fame Show. Which is detailed here in an article by the Washington Examiner.

On top of the MLB Network debut of Peter Gammons, the network will also be featuring Bob Costas, Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal, Harold Reynolds, Matt Vasgersian, Tom Verducci and Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. The live announcement show will last an hour and a half and will feature Costas and Gammons side-by-side. Apparently there will also be a 2010 hall of fame ballot breakdown at 9 pm tonight, also on MLB Network, featuring most of the above named pundits. Any and all baseball fans should tune in. It'll be worth the price of admission.

While You Were Sleeping (Free Agent Updates)...

Yesterday, Casey Kotchman was dealt from Boston to Seattle to help fill the first base hole in Seattle, that last year was occupied by Russell Branyan, according to Ken Rosenthal on twitter. In return the Red Sox got back Bill Hall, who's done a whole lot of nothing everywhere he's been lately. This most likely, in my estimation, kills any talk of Castillo/Lowell, as the Red Sox don't need 5 back up infielders on their roster.

The Braves went out and signed Eric Hinske according to Scott Miller of He'll be a nice bench bat and versatile back up, as Miller mentions in case the recently signed Troy Glaus doesn't hold up at third. As a Mets fan, it seems like the Braves are getting older at the corners and I don't mind that one bit.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, it looks like Dan Uggla may not be on the way out of town just yet. And it seems as though the Marlins think they are in the running for Aroldis Chapman, due to the draw of Miami and the $13 Million/year deal they allegedly have out to him. Although it seems like their competition can put up more money, Is the draw of Miami enough to make up that difference? If so, the Marlins will have the best rotation in the NL East, by far...

Once again, according to Scott Miller of who apparently had a pretty busy last night, the Twins are believed to have an offer out to Jarrod Washburn. This is a guy I'm very surprised we haven't heard really heard connected to the Mets much this offseason. He's a definite improvement over Perez and Redding, so why not look into him.

Finally, Derrick Goold of St. Louis Post-Dispatch, talks about what the Cardinals have left to do, considering the recent signing of Matt Holliday. Goold talks about the Cardinals continued interest in Miguel Tejada, potentially to play third, which would add another nice bat to a pretty potent offense. Also, Goold talks about the possibility of adding Ryan Church as a fourth outfielder, to be rotated in with Holliday, Ludwick and Rasmus. My guess would be that he would spell Ludwick occasionally against righties if LaRussa wanted to go that way. Last year he rotated Rick Ankiel in a similar way, which as a fantasy baseball owner of Ryan Ludwick, was less than awesome.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Deciphering Omar on WFAN

So today Omar spoke to Mike Francesa on WFAN after the presser introducing Jason Bay to New York. (This post is not about Bay, but man he was saying all the right things, and looked good doing it.) As for Omar a few interesting things were said, which summarizes well along with providing a link to the full interviews online.

So, Omar decided to spill the beans and let us all know he's been talking to Bengie Molina, along with other catchers. Nice to hear Omar, but thats something we knew already...

Omar also said he'd consider Delgado if he came back on the teams terms, which may not be too hard to convince Carlos to do, especially considering the Orioles and Giants seem to be the final two teams in on Adam LaRoche, according to Buster Olney. Should LaRoche go to Baltimore, I think Delgado is down his only other legitimate suitor, unless the Angels get nutty. But at the same time Omar said Murphy could step in and play 1B if need be. Shocker!

As for pitching, Omar told us basically what we knew, he's looking into everything. He said he'd considered and has been in touch with the agents for, high upside, recovering from an injury pitchers (ie. Sheets, Bedard) He also said he felt there were pitchers available via trade, with more likely to hit the market closer to the trade deadline. Omar did a nice job of telling us nothing of substance here, EXCEPT, that he may be willing to enter the season with the current staff. That scares me.

And finally, and most dissapointing, Omar was giving a bunch of credit to Luis Castillo. Even going as far as to say that the Yankee drop is responsible for why some fans are sour on him. No Omar, we're down on Castillo because we haven't won crap with him here. IN FACT since Castillo came here in 2007 at the trade deadline, the Mets have had two monumental collapses that kept them out of the playoffs both years, and suffered probably the most dissapointing season in recent memory. If I were to take a guess, that's why the Mets fans don't like him, along with that heinous drop.

So to recap, here's what we can take from Omar today, either he's really good at keeping his cards close to the vest...or, he's got nothing new brewing. Fantastic.