From the crack staff here on this website to you and yours ... save some food for the rest of us. You savages.no comments
From the crack staff here on this website to you and yours ... save some food for the rest of us. You savages.no comments
Sandy Alderson made good on his promise to spend more than the $5 million he spent on major league free agents last winter. (Though you can hardly call Shaun Marcum a major league quality pitcher.) The Mets have signed outfielder Chris Young to a one year deal worth $7 million.
I'm going to repress my natural instinct to cry and make snarky comments about "print those playoff tickets". I want to, don't get me wrong. Not so much because Chris Young has declined from .257/27/91 to an injury prone .200 hitter with a .280 on base percentage (which ... with a .200 batting average says something about his eye at the plate) all before the age of 30. But more because Young cost $7 million this year out of the reported $25-$30 million the Mets have allocated to Sandy to work with. (Though the Mets, in damage control mode most likely, quickly came out and said that "it could be more" ... I'll believe that when they spend it.) And now in an offseason where tons of money came off the books and MLB clubs all will receive about $25 million extra to work with from the new television deal, 23-28% of the Mets budget for 2014 has gone to who Grant Brisbee calls "the poor man's B.J. Upton" (B.J. Upton having just completed a season in which he hit .184). Yes, the Mets are poor.
Dave Cameron of Fangraphs attempts to cheer us up by telling us that Young might be the steal of the free agent market at only one season of seven million dollars:
He takes some walks and gives up some strikeouts in the process. The combination of low contact rates and high fly ball rates means that he’s going to post very low batting averages, but the walks keep the OBP respectable and the occasional home runs mean that he’s still contributing while hitting .230.
None of that changed last year. He still hit for power, drew walks, struck out, and hit fly balls. However, he posted a .237 BABIP that was the lowest of his career, so his wRC+ fell from 98 to 82. Other than that, he was basically the same hitter he’s always been, and while BABIP for hitters isn’t entirely random, there’s no reason to expect him to sustain a career low. Steamer projects him to post a .269 BABIP in 2014, a little below his career average, and that bump would push him right back to league average hitter status.
Think about this for a second. What this is basically telling us is that if enough balls fall in for hits, Chris Young could be an average player. Average. In an off-season that has been talked up by people associated with the Mets as one where there will be an impact, 28% of the budget is going to a player whose ceiling is mediocrity. An offseason where the priority is to protect David Wright gives us the bounty of an average player. Number one market in the United States, the cash cow of SNY, $25 extra million in television revenue, Johan Santana and Jason Bay off the books ... and they spend $7 million on an injury riddled player who might be average at best. Awesome.
Now if Young were merely step one in a multi-pronged plan much like ... oh, I don't know ... a "Red Sox Model", then we could live with it. But here's the thing about the "Red Sox Model": They spent $61 million in 2013 on all those new acquisitions that created "The Model", when you figure in Mike Napoli's $8 million in incentives that he earned. The Mets have, at best, half that to work with. And $7 million of it went to Chris Young, in hopes that he will return to "league average", and at best be next year's Marlon Byrd. He might do it. Look, unlike most free agent acquisitions the Mets seem to make lately, Young actually played baseball in the last calendar year. He's 30 years old, and he's shown the ability to have a good major league season. But he's a reclamation project. This off-season was shaped up to be more than acquiring the "if everything goes well" reclamation projects. And now that the Mets have been reportedly scared off the top free agent talent that this winter has to offer, such as Jhonny Peralta (who reportedly has a four year $52 million offer in hand), Shin Soo Choo and Stephen Drew, $7 million on a .200 hitter sure as hell seems like it could be the biggest move of the off-season. And it can't be. Absolutely not.
But how can it not be, especially when the Mets don't want to acquire a $100 million player? And if the Mets don't want to bring on a contract like that, they're going to have to trade to get cheaper talent. Who is to say that teams aren't going to ask for the moon for players that are just okay? And as much as I hate to say this, even if teams are reasonable in their trade offers, the built in excuse is always there for the Mets to say "teams were asking for too much." It's enough to make your head spin.
Then there's the question that will nag us until the end of time, because it most likely will never be answered: Would the Mets have this "sticker shock" where they go after the Chris Youngs of the world instead of the Shin Soo Choos if Matt Harvey was ready to go next season? In any event, Chris Young had better be more of an astronaut instead of an intern. And he had better be the first astronaut instead of the only one.no comments
Like most of the pundits out there, I was fascinated in last night's Prince Fielder/Ian Kinsler trade. Partly because I see the potential for this trade to help both the Rangers and Tigers. In a vacuum, the Rangers get the player with the higher impact. But when it comes to roster construction and payroll, this could really help Detroit do some things that they wouldn't have been able to do with Fielder on the roster.
But as a Met fan, I find it fascinating that Fielder might have "Glavined" his way out of Detroit, coming up with this quote after losing to the Red Sox in the 2013 ALCS:
"It's not really tough for me," he said. "It's over. I've got kids I've got to take care of. I've got things I've got to take care of. For me, it's over, bro."
Someone suggested to Fielder that Tigers fans might not understand how it would be so easy for him to move on.
"They don't play," he said. "I mean, if you have responsibilities it should be, you know, you shouldn't take your work home, you know? I've got to still be a father and take care of my kids, so, you know, I've got to move on."
I don't know if Fielder was actually traded because he went all "disappointed not devastated" on the Tigers. But the bottom line is that I hope Tom Glavine never darkens our door step again. Damn you Tom Glavine.
Also, I would say that this trade hurts the Mets in that now they can't trade for Elvis Andrus to play shortstop, or pawn Ike Davis off on the Rangers. But let's face it: The Mets weren't going to trade for Andrus anyway, because the Mets haven't made a creative trade since Kevin Appier for Mo Vaughn. (I said creative ... not good.) Hell, you could even go back to Lance Johnson and Mark Clark for Brian McRae and Turk Wendell. This fact is scary because now that the Mets only have maximum of $30 million to spend, Sandy Alderson is going to have to get creative to significantly improve the team in the next few months. (Funny how as the prices go up for free agents, the Wilpons put a cap on what Sandy can spend ... thanks guys.) This is why this is a huge off-season for Alderson, and why he must find a way to creatively upgrade this team and not just sign somebody cheap like, say, Willie Bloomquist.no comments
Heard tonight Mets' owners won't stretch budget due to high cost of FAs. Alderson has $25-30 mil to spend and no more. Good luck with that.— John Harper (@NYDNHarper) November 22, 2013
I'm not sure how many calm, reasoned, dare we say ... positive leaning fans read this blog. I probably drove most of you away in the last five years. But for those that are left I ask you this: Is this the last straw? Would this, if it plays out to be true, send you to the dark side? If so, I'll have cookies ready for you.
Get ready for the Willie Bloomquist era, kids.no comments
Days like Wednesday are the reason why Hot Stove season can be bad for your health.
Metsblog Godfather Matt Cerrone conjectured on a possible Ryan Braun trade to the Mets. This led to Matty being mentioned on the Milwaukee local news, and Milwaukee Telemundo (jealous!) This also lead to mass suicides and murders in places like Kew Gardens, Sheboygan, and Grand Junction, CO. In other words, everybody freaked out ... and I'm not sure people realized why they were freaking out. It only proves that our fan base has a hair trigger explosion rate because the Mets haven't gotten people excited in a winter month since Anna Benson wore a low cut dress to a holiday party.
All Matty said was that the Brewers were more inclined to trade Ryan Braun than Norichika Aoki. Now, we know that the Brewers scoffed at an Aoki for Ike Davis swap, and that they weren't thinking of trading Aoki at all. So being more inclined to trade Braun than Aoki is like saying "I'd rather stick needles in my eyeballs than shave my genitals with a running steel blade fan." Precede the statement with "put a gun to their heads", and I think you've got your context.
Matt also said that the Mets have had internal discussions about Ryan Braun. I hope they have internal discussions about every baseball player on earth. These conversations could range from "What would we have to give up to get this guy" to "Do you think the price would come down because of the 'roid scandal" to even "Do you think Ryan like Red Velvet cupcakes or do you think he's more of an Oreo guy?" Knowing the Mets, I'd lean towards the latter ... especially if they're thinking of adding a cupcake stand to the Citi Field concourse (which will most likely be their next announcement to come an hour after declaring that "something's cooking".)
This is why I caution all of you fine people to take a breath ... especially in November. Read your internet reports carefully. After that, take them with a few grains of salt. And then, know your rumor subject. If your rumor involves "Mets" and "Expensive Player", chances are this rumor is just that. Nothing Matt said is false. But society somehow turned it into "THE METS ARE TRADING FOR RYAN BRAUN!!!" Which only sets people like you and me up for disappointment. It proves that Hot Stove Season is maddening, and that society is rotting from the inside out.
Now, here's where I contradict everything I just wrote:
Mets dealing with "sticker shock" on free agents. Thought they could get Peralta on a two-year deal, but he wants at least three years.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) November 20, 2013
But wait a second, what the hell happened to the "Red Sox Model"? You know, the one where they signed Shane Victorino to a three year deal? And the one where Mike Napoli would have had a three year deal had he not been hurt?
Sticker Shock? Ballplayers wanting money and long term security is shocking?
Just sign Willie Bloomquist and get it over with.no comments
"There's probably a glut of first basemen. You can count five, if you wanted to. ... We have five first basemen that could play and that didn't really seem like the point of need. If he played left or right field, I think, yeah we probably would've offered the guy a contract." -Jeff Wilpon, October 29th 2013
Mets sign Brandon Allen, first baseman -November 19th, 2013.
To be fair, Allen has played a little left field in his career. 17 games. Which makes him Lucas Duda Part Two. Awesome. But hey ...
The Mets are OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!!no comments
In February, LaTroy Hawkins will be an instructor to young players in Brazil as he tries to expose baseball to regions not known for baseball. It's that kind of baseball philanthropy that probably explains the last year of Hawkins' life ... trying to expose baseball to another region that hasn't seen baseball lately: Flushing.
Hawkins' attempts to teach children in Flushing how to play baseball was ... ultimately ... unsuccessful. So now he must move on. After it was reported that Hawkins would "likely be back" with the Mets in 2014, along came the Colorado Rockies with an offer that blew the Mets away. And now off LaTroy goes to the Rocky Mountains. So it goes.
I wish Hawkins luck, and hope that he remembers his time in Queens as something other than "the year I got harassed by Aryn Leroux." But this all makes you laugh, doesn't it? On the one hand, the Mets are blown away by the Colorado Rockies for a 41-year-old relief pitcher ... and yet they're somehow holding secret meetings with Jay Z to "discuss Robinson Cano???"
The hip-hop impresario joined Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, general manager Sandy Alderson and assistant general manager John Ricco for dinner at a posh Manhattan hotel to discuss Cano’s free agency, two sources familiar with the situation told The Post.
Never has "hot stove season" been more hilarious. The Mets are going to pay $300 million for Robinson Cano? The Mets can't even afford to pay for the dinner! Cano becoming a Met is about as "likely" as LaTroy Hawkins coming back. And by the way, I totally believe that Jeffy being at the same dinner table with Jay Z is going to turn into something positive for the Mets, and not with Wilpon causing an international incident by saying something stupid like "So who is this 'Jigga' you keep singing about?" Or telling him that he used to stay up all night learning the words to his hit "Getting Jiggy With It".
Wake me up when this mythical "hot stove" season is over and the Mets wind up with Willie Bloomquist.no comments
Oh good, just what the Mets need ... more positive publicity. More proof that the club is a model organization is coming to light. Of course, what kind of model is up for debate. In this latest episode of "How Not To Win Friends And Influence Employees", the New York Mets have pissed off shortstop Ruben Tejada to the point where he's going to file a grievance against the club. For what, you might ask? I'll let the actual journalist ... Yahoo's Jeff Passan ... explain:
Infielder Ruben Tejada is considering filing a grievance against the New York Mets, accusing the team of shortchanging him one day of service time that would have allowed him to become a free agent after the 2016 season instead of 2017, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Yahoo Sports. (...) On Sept. 1, the Mets summoned relievers Vic Black and Tim Byrdak and utilityman Zach Lutz from Las Vegas. On Sept. 7, they brought up reliever Sean Henn. Las Vegas lost its final game that day. On Sept. 9, outfielder Mike Baxter, starter Aaron Harang, catcher Juan Centeno and reliever Greg Burke arrived. One day after that, the Mets finally recalled Tejada. He was their last September call-up.
Should Tejada follow through with a grievance, arbitrator Fredric Horowitz – currently overseeing the Alex Rodriguez case – would decide whether the Mets were within their rights to leave Tejada with two years, 171 days of service time. A full season of service time is considered 172 days. While the actual baseball season is 183 days, players can accrue a maximum of 172 in a season, leaving Tejada one day short of three full years.
The consequences for him could be significant. If Tejada remains on a major league roster for at least 172 days in 2014, 2015 and 2016, he would end up with five years, 171 days – one day shy of free agency, which he would not receive until after the 2017 season.
So the Mets are going to be embroiled in a fight to try to keep one extra season of control of a guy who hit .202 last season? Yup, sounds about right.
This grievance only ends up in a positive if it's decided by a cage match between Tejada's agent and Saul Katz. No disqualification, chairs under the ring, and special guest referee Charlie Furbush (who will probably be using those chairs across Saul Katz's back before the match is over so that he could get his own Super Two status out of this ruling).
And you have to climb the cage and grab the suitcase full of money to win the hearing. But it's the Mets, so the suitcase won't actually have money in it. Just a can of tuna fish and photocopies of Bobby Bonilla's contract. And in the back of the arena, Jeff Wilpon evil laughs through his twirly mustache.
I like Mets fans. Sure, we have our moments. We throw our televisions out the window, we boo players on Opening Day, we stalk tall relievers on Twitter. But all in all, Mets fans are a fun, industrious people.
I like Mets players ... most of them. Look, as much as I complain about them, the fact of the matter is that they have a skill that's difficult to obtain, and they work hard and sacrifice a lot to make having a career in baseball a reality. While Mets players may not be as good as ... say ... many other players who wear other uniforms, Mets players are, once again, a fun and industrious people.
Mets people, on the other hand, are slime.
Andy Martino of the Daily News put something in print the other day about how the Mets want less dickheads (technical term) on the team and more shiny happy people, and also how the Mets are trying to stick with one hitting philosophy throughout the organization. Here's what Martino found out from "Mets people":
It began with catcher Ronny Paulino and reliever D.J. Carrasco in 2011; the former was uninterested in following game plans, and the latter drove the coaching staff crazy with frequent whining about his usage. Subsequent years brought Jon Rauch’s unrelenting surliness and Frank Francisco’s unwillingness to pitch, along with attempts to dissuade youngsters from doing so. Shaun Marcum was, well, not charming, and while Marlon Byrd arrived with a questionable reputation, he was generally a pleasant surprise in the clubhouse -- save for what many Mets people saw as his overcoaching of teammates.
Overcoaching? Hell, there have been plenty of actual coaches that we've wished wouldn't coach the Mets so much. But by all means, continue Andrew:
Byrd is an aggressive swinger, unwilling or unable to draw many walks (his walk rate last year was a lowly 5.4 percent), and more than willing to encourage teammates to follow his own ideas while they worked pregame in the batting cage. That is one of the reasons the Mets did not pursue a reunion with the outfielder, who signed a two-year, $16 million deal with Philadelphia on Tuesday.
I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, begrudging the Mets for trying to stick to an organizational philosophy. But was it really necessary for these "Mets People" to take a shot at Marlon Byrd in the process? Mind you, these are the same Mets people that used Martino as their mouthpiece to trash Johan Santana (and whatever you feel about Martino, don't blame him here ... he's doing nothing more than his job), and then there was the whole Carlos Beltran situation that you shouldn't get me started on. And they were still on the club when these anonymous "Mets People" got cranky. Taking a little snipe at Byrd after he leaves the club is an altogether different animal, and quite frankly, I don't know what's worse. Just as Byrd should be thankful that the Mets gave him a shot after a season that would have put some players out of the league, these "Mets People" should be thankful that Byrd, who they signed dirt cheap, worked hard and bounced back long enough for the Mets to be able to trade him for two young prospects. Are they thankful? Of course not. They chirp him through Martino.
Let me ask you all a question: What if that was an anonymous teammate that said that about Byrd. How would you feel then? My guess is that there would be a lot of "outrage" and tossing around the word of "coward", and calls for this guy to be weeded out. You'd be right. Is it any better in this case because the source is simply "Mets People"? At least Byrd can find out which teammate said it and confront him, or punch him out. Would Marlon Byrd really go punch out a suit ... or two? And that's why these "Mets People" feel bulletproofed enough to say things like these to reporters. Because even if Byrd was still on the Mets these "Mets People" would never have to cross his path if they don't want to. Now, we can talk about cowards.
Chirping Byrd, anonymously trashing Santana and Beltran, combined with Fred Wilpon giving interviews to the New Yorker where he trashes his best players, and Jeff Wilpon's general stupidity serve zero purpose except to make people think twice before committing 1-6 years of their lives to wearing a New York Mets uniform. And here's what I find funny: Players being sourpusses are all of a sudden unacceptable, but Andy Martino's sources are allowed to go all Mean Girls on everyone, and do it anonymously? They're the biggest sourpusses in the damn organization! I mean, as long as we're implementing organizational philosophies for players, how about we implement a policy that certain Mets officials have the authority to speak, and everybody else has the authority to shut the hell up and stop needlessly trashing players through the media ... especially players who have hit home runs in the playoffs within the last two months. Remember the playoffs?
Here now, exclusively, are Andy Martino's sources:
As the New York Mets go forth in their search for more astronauts (thanks for that analogy, Mr. Boras ... we had plenty of astronauts back in 1999 ... and the space suits were terrible), it looks like they're about to jettison one of their existing astronauts into space (or Houston, which has less Dairy Queens.) Ike Davis, who said his goodbyes near the end of last season, turned that into a self-fulfilling prophecy as the suitors are lining up to build Davis his own rocket ship, as the Astros, Brewers, Rays, Rockies, and Orioles have all reportedly "checked in" on Ike Davis, whatever that might mean. This news comes amidst an interesting tidbit that came out recently, that Davis confided in the one and only "Sports Pope" back around the All Star Break that he wanted out ... that the team and the fans had given up on him.
Davis is widely seen as a "change of scenery" guy ... somebody who is going to go somewhere else and flourish. I believe it wholeheartedly. First off, Davis has ability. We've seen it, albeit in short spurts. Other teams must see it, as the five teams interested in Davis seem to be five more than are interested in Lucas Duda. And let's face it ... the "scenery" around here sucks.
(And imagine Davis in Camden Yards with Chris Davis and Manny Machado.)
But if Ike Davis, as much as I still believe he can be a force somewhere else, wants to look for people who have given up, Davis needs to do nothing more than look in the mirror. Saying goodbye to your teammates on September 1st? Maybe he was saying goodbye just for the season. But if those were more farewells than "see you next years", then that's a white flag, Isaac. But Davis gave up long before that. Here's John Delcos from May 17th:
"I realize this is a different era, but Davis’ strikeouts are inexcusable. He didn't seemed concerned about them when I spoke with him earlier this spring, telling me he’s a home run hitter, that he likes to hit home runs and strike outs are part of the package. That’s nonsense, and in some ways, just as selfish as Jordany Valdespin’s styling after hitting a meaningless home run."
Delcos was on the money then, and he's still on the money at present time. In 2011, Davis had a slash line of .302/.383/.543 to start the season before he had that freak ankle injury that started him in a spiral. Davis had 31 K's in 149 plate appearances in those 36 games. Averaged out to Davis' 162 game average of 627 plate appearances, that works out to 130 K's for a full season. With that slash line, 130 K's is more than acceptable. Then came his Jekyll and Hyde 2012, where he had a slash of .227/.308/.462. He struck out 141 times, which was more than his 130 K average in 2011. Stretched out to 627 PA's, that's 151 K's. Last season? 627 plate appearances would have gotten him 167 K's, with a horrid slash line of .205/.326/.334, and diminished power.
So Davis went from a 30 home run pace with 130 K's, to a 15 HR pace with 167 K's and worse than that, accepts that strikeouts are a part of his "package"? Obviously, that's a different package. And I don't know 'bout you, but to me that sounds like a guy who has given up on himself. When you show the ability to be Joey Votto, yet you're content with being Adam Dunn, that's giving up. And that's a damn shame. Lucas Duda doesn't have near the amount of ability that Ike Davis has. Duda is who he is. Nobody is ever going to lament over what Duda could have been. Because even at his best he's just okay. Davis could have been a star here. Between his plus defense and the season he was starting in 2011, Davis could have been a mainstay here.
Now, he'll have one chance to do it somewhere else. The Mets are the only organization that Davis has ever known. A trade will probably be the one thing that could jar Ike's brain into thinking "hey, maybe I need to accept the responsibility to get better and reach my full potential. And if/when that happens, it's going to be another thing Mets fans get to lament about life. But as much as I like to blame the Mets for everything ... and when Lucas Duda is going through another six-week long stretch when he hits one double and one home run I'll be sure to curse the Mets' very existence, in this particular case it's wise to remember that there's plenty of blame to go around. And most of it is in the mirror, Ike.no comments