A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Endy Will Save Us All

There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to admit they were wrong. I was critical of Endy Chavez being brought in and Tike Redman being jettisoned off and now? Not so much.

According to NYFansonly.com, Tike Redman was designated for assignment. That didn't take too long and that leaves Endy Chavez as the resident backup outfielder/speedster lefty off the bench. Chavez is worse player in my opinion and not by a little either. Though it is a minor thing, this is the kind of stuff that gets me pissed at Omar. He could still pass through waivers and be retained, but I just think he has no shot at the big club with Chavez around.

Just for the record, I was behind Tike because I thought he was the better glove from what I've seen of him in Pittsburgh playing centerfield and I thought he had more upside offensively.

Omar stands by his guys. He loves his old players and will try and give them the opportunity to succeed over and over again. Endy Chavez has not only been thrown into the mix, but given a Major League contract. The team already had four outfielders on the Major League roster and one guy in Tike Redman, who figured to compete as the backup centerfielder that could be a defensive replacement/platoon guy and as a left-handed bat off the bench. Endy Chavez represents the same type of player as Tike Redman, but will cost money if cut from the team and is needlessly taking up a spot on the 40 man roster. The redundancy is certainly perplexing, but would have been acceptable if the best man would be able to win the job.

Omar is sometimes almost loyal to a fault. Maybe he feels he knows his old players better and their abilities since he is so familiar with them, but for whatever reason he tends to lean towards them. It is not only not out of the realm of possibilities that Redman out performs Chavez this spring and does not make the team, but highly likely. Just like Heath Bell is set to be a causality solely because he has options while less talented players head north simply because they got Major League contracts.

Who would have guessed that Endy Chavez would have had a career year for the Mets in 2006? His mom? Maybe, but probably not even her. The thing about Endy is that he was supposed to be the Expos/Nationals leadoff man of the future. He broke in the league at 23 and was traded to the Montreal Expos from the Kansas City Royals. At 24, he hit .296/.321/.464 for the Nationals and looked like a promising young player. He followed that up with a sub-par year in which he posted a below .300 OBP and played slightly better in 2004, but had worn out his welcome with Frank Robinson. In 2005, he was horrendous and put up a .215/.243/.299 line in 91 games with the Phillies and was rewarded with a $500,000 contract with the Mets.

Could I be faulted for not being enamored with the guy? Now, I may look stupid, but I'm not. I do not think it is a forgone conclusion that the Endy Chavez of 2006 is the Endy Chavez that we will see for the rest of his career, but the fact remains he is in his prime right now. He could have just needed some guidance and could have just needed to be a in an environment more conducive for him to succeed. Philly was not exactly the best place in 2005, just ask Mr. Billy Wagner. It is well documented that Frank Robinson is not exactly the most well liked manager in the league and if you are on his bad side, you are not in a good position.

However, in 2006, Endy came up big for the Mets time after time and displayed some spectacular defense while being solid at the plate. He hit over .300 in three months of 2006 and hit .280 in September. His .328 batting average in the second half of the season was second to only Paul LoDuca and .023 points higher than third place David Wright. With Shawn Green manning right field at this point and left field due to be Lastings Milledge or possibly a big bat, there is room for Endy. While I do not think a full time job is the way to go with him, it is not crazy to envision him getting 130 games again. The tricky part will be keeping him around. He certainly played well enough and would be cheap enough to warrent some team taking a chance on him for an affordable multi-year contract, but Omar needs to see what he can do to hold onto him. He was such a big part of this team and added so much depth to this team, it would be a shame to see him leave.

* * *

  • Talk about spin:

    Do you think trading John Maine for Kris Benson was a good deal? I understand Benson is a reliable innings eater, but Maine seems to have much more potential to contribute to the Mets in the future.
    -- Will R., Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

    Actually, when Baltimore acquired Benson from the Mets last winter, Maine wasn't even the main player in the exchange. Ex-closer Jorge Julio also went over to New York in the deal, but he was subsequently traded to the D-backs. Maine pitched well for the Mets -- both in the regular season and the playoffs -- but Benson is a far more accomplished pitcher and should be effective for years to come.

    In hindsight, Maine may have proven to be a better starting option than Rodrigo Lopez or Bruce Chen, but the Orioles decided that they had some more important pitching prospects to protect. Benson didn't have his best year, but he provided a steady backbone to the rotation and bought more time for young arms like Daniel Cabrera and Adam Loewen to mature.

    The move is indefensible if you are team that is essentially in a re-building phase to trade a guy like Maine for a pitcher like Benson. If Benson is going to be your team's Jeff Suppan as a mid-rotation solid guy and you figure to be in the playoffs, great. But he was not that for the Orioles. They got him to be their ace on a bad team. You need to build on young pitching the Orioles made a bad move. It was a bad move for them then and it is still a bad move in hindsight.

    Here is the funniest part though...

    You have to give talent to get talent. The O's gave up a potentially good pitcher, but they got a league-average starter at a league-average salary.

    And you are backing that deal as a good one while giving a potentially good pitcher up for a league average one? The Orioles might even lose him this off-season as he can opt out of his contract. So Will R., to answer your question, it was a bad move by the Orioles to deal Julio and Maine for Kris Benson.

  • Jim Callis? On board with Daisuke train.

    The bottom line is that Matsuzaka has a lively 90-96 mph fastball, a plus-plus slider, a splitter and a changeup. He has dominated in Japan and he dominated in the World Baseball Classic, where he was the MVP. In eight years in Japan, he has led the Pacific League in strikeouts four times, victories three times, ERA twice and won the Sawamura Award (the Japanese Cy Young Award) once. He has been a legend since his high school days, when he threw 250 pitches to win a 17-inning game in the quarterfinals of Japan's national prep tournament—then came back to get a save the next day and to throw a no-hitter in the finals two days after that. He's also 26, so he should have a lot of pitching ahead of him.

    Without hesitation, I would take Matsuzaka over Zito or Schmidt or any other pitcher who will be on the free-agent market this offseason. Similarly, if Matsuzaka does come over, he has to rank as the game's best pitching prospect. His stuff is in the same class as Philip Hughes (Yankees) or Homer Bailey (Reds), and he has proven himself at a higher level.

    It could cost $20 million to $30 million to win the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka and at least twice that to sign him. Every big-budget team is expected to at least explore that possibility, and he's worth more to a club that doesn't already have a Japanese star because of the new revenue it could generate from Japanese TV and advertising rights. It's just a guess, but I could see him winding up with the Rangers, who need pitching in the worst way and never have been afraid to spend exorbitantly on Scott Boras clients.

  • Ouch! Baseball America has their prospect rankings out and it is a grim picture for the Mets farm system. I really thought Jesus Flores was going to make an appearance in the top ten for catchers, but he missed out. In fact, the Mets only had prospects check in for the centerfield spot and for the right handed pitching spot. Fernando Martinez checked in at the sixth spot and Carlos Gomez checked in at the eighth spot. If Lastings had been eligible, he would have most likely checked in in the fourth spot pushing everyone else down one slot in center. For right handed pitchers, Mike Pelfrey checked in at the ninth spot and Phil Humber checked in at the eleventh spot.

    Interestingly enough, Humber seems to have closed the gap on Pelfrey in terms of prospect status and Hochevar, who was not considered as good at Pelfrey during the 2005 draft has rocketed up to the third spot. The best overall? Philip Hughes. A little tidbit for you to chew on and enjoy, the Mets had four guys land on the list while the Yankees had three.

  • The Minor League free agents are out and here a few guys I would give an invite to join Spring Training.

    Dustan Mohr: He has had two pretty bad years in a row, but he has had some mild success in the past and is a right handed outfielder that could play all three outfield spots. The Mets direly need to balance their outfield this off-season.

    Carlos Hernandez: He has had shoulder issues in the past but really opened some eyes when he was 22 and pitching well for the Astros. He is certainly worth a look for a Minor League contract if the Astros are fed up with him.

    Esteban Yan: He has a live arm and has mixed results in the past (mostly bad), but he is the type of guy that thrives under Rick Peterson.

    Jesus Colome: He has a rocket for an arm and has had mixed success in the bigs in the past. Again, a guy that can thrive under Rick Petereson.

    Francis Beltran: He has never lived up to expectations, but he can throw a mid to high 90's fastball being he is still just 26 years old, he could still end up being a solid reliever.

  • AFL Update:

    Fernando and Mike Pelfrey are good.

    Two Mets players, outfielder Fernando Martinez and righthanded pitcher Mike Pelfrey, will play in the Arizona Fall League's inaugural "Rising Stars Showcase" at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, AZ on Friday, Oct. 27th.

    Pelfrey will start for the East Division in the Showcase. Martinez and Pelfrey both play for the Soler Sox in the AFL.

    Just let it sink in how young Fernando is.

    Oct 21st: Mesa beats Grand Canyon, but Fernando Martinez goes 0 for 4 and faces a legit pitcher in Luke Hochevar in the process. He did not strike out though, he managed to pop out to Troy Tulowitzki.

    Oct 23rd: Mesa lost to Phoenix 3-2 as Fernando went 1 for 2 with his second homerun in the AFL with his fifth RBI.

  • Steve Popper gives Willie straight A's. While I cannot argue with leadership and handling players resulting in an A, his strategy is still lacking. It is only masked by a well balanced team in which no bullpen arm was the wrong choice and the Mets quite a few capable bats in which the lineup could just be written and then left to perform.

  • Four Mets got surgery and the surprising one is obviously Aaron Heilman.

    Carlos Delgado, Paul Lo Duca, Aaron Heilman and Chris Woodward went under the knife yesterday at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and Cliff Floyd and Roberto Hernandez are scheduled to do the same tomorrow.

    Pretty crazy. That will make seven guys who have gotten surgery already since the playoffs started through the end of today.

    The Mets never disclosed that anything was wrong with Heilman, who served up Yadier Molina's tiebreaking homer in the ninth inning of Game 7, but he also had surgery for tennis elbow. Woodward's operation was for a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

  • 44 and still trucking. Should the Mets be shaking in their boots yet?

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Hey man, don't admit your mistake. Just ignore it and pretend you didn't say/do it, haha.
    Its not like anyone REALLY remembered what you said about Endy Chavez, so just play it cool.
    As far as Endy goes, just hope and prey that he can continue this in 2007 as well. We all know how inconsistant pinch-hitter type can be.

    Maybe I'm crazy but since when is Kris Benson any form of innings eater? To me he's more like innings fodder. Also interesting about the trade was that Omar was after Adam Loewen

    Dice-K from what I've read from many guys that post on a Mariners blog that live in Japan, has about 5-12 pitches. I mean obviously, some of them are variations of other pitches but still, he can keep hitters of balance and he has good control.
    Good thing about Matsuzaka is that this whole things ends quickly.
    Around the first week of November he gets posted, whoever wins wins, and there is no real waiting game.
    Hopefully Mets get him.

    Just curious, who were ranked 8-10 as far as catchers go? I only want to know the bottom for 2 reasons:
    1) I really felt that Flores could have made it and wanna see how he stacks up with the bottom.
    2) It is pay content and don't want to be a dick.

    I LOOOOVE Jesus Colome. When i get home from school, I'm gonna look at the list and see how else can be useful as far as Minor League FA's go.

    God Bless Moyer and Phillies. I don't think round 2 of Jaime Moyer is going to be as fun at Citizens Bank.

    1:08 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    just want to follow up from chris' comment on the other thread....although peavy is a pipedream ervin would be solid and, my point is, crawford would be swell. i'd rather have him than anyone i can think of from manny to lee.

    i think we should all keep a couple of things in mind over the coming months (and excuse me if these go without saying): a) omar is going to do little things that will pay off in ways we do not understand -- just ask mike about endy; and b) omar is going to do big things that make us piss ourselves with pleasure like the delgado deal (hopefully get crawford and oswalt).

    the sad thing is (and since none of you can reach me i'll slap myself because this obviously goes without saying) that we are all reduced for waiting to see what cool things omar does instead of watching our boys stomp through the series. fuck suppan. fuck wainwright. fuck molina. fuck em all.

    1:57 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Loewen was #1 for sure, but I like Omar's tactics. Go after something you cannot get and settle for semething less, but still good.

    5-12 pitches is in The Duque category. Yeah, there is not back and forth between multiple teams. Whoever wants him bad enough gets a shot. Apparently Callis thinks it will untimately cost $90 million between posting cost and the actual contract. Nuts. Just nuts. That is the only thing that scares me and you know Boras is going to rake whatever team wants him over the coals. If they do not succumb to his demands, he goes back to Japan and is an unrestricted free agent at 27 and STILL cashes in. Daisuke is in a very, very good position.

    1. Jeff Clement, Mariners
    2. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Braves
    3. Neil Walker, Pirates
    4. Kurt Suzuki, Athletics
    5. Chris Iannetta, Rockies
    6. Hank Conger, Angels
    7. Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks
    8. Shawn Riggans, Devil Rays
    9. Matt McBride, Indians
    10. Max Sapp, Astros

    I've only heard of 1,2,3, 4, 5, and 7. Not sure about the rest, but I thought since it was a rather week position in the minors, Flores might have pumped himself up into that status. I could only guess he is in the top 15 for sure though.

    Crawford is the #1 guy. Yes, you can buy Zito, but you cannot buy a guy like Crawford until...well another one is born or he is a free agent. Really, that deal in the other thread was no where near enough. Try Milledge and Pelfrey and they will talk to you. That might not still be enough. He's that good.

    Oswalt just signed an extension. He is not going ANYWHERE. The Jays have cash and will keep Halladay. Believe it. I doubt they let him hit free agencey. Peavy? Doubt it. The Padres are a decent team with a decent revenue stream in a new stadium. As far as trading goes, Santana is the only guy who we know might be moved and they want a bat which is why a three way might be the only way it gets done. Milledge and Pelfrey to the Orioles for Tejada and Tejada goes to the Angels for Santana and Aybar maybe?

    2:17 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Jake - hear hear! I'm sure I did it on this site as many others, but I SLAMMED Omar for so many deals last year, it wasn't even funny (Mike can back me up on BloDuca, which I used to call him as a result)...then I saw what he was doing and thought...ah-ha! That's what he gets paid the big bucks for. I met Omar over the summer and I told him I would never ever doubt him. This was after the Nady massacre, which I had shadows of doubt at first, then realized what he was doing, saw he was a genius, and moved on.

    I'm sure Omar's got a few things in the works...I think he will be a front-running candidate for Zito, just to show that he can generate the interest. Personally, I don't think that's his ace in the hole. Mark my words, there will be a blockbuster trade a la Gary Carter to Mets for a bunch of scrubs and Hubie Brooks kind of deal...one that puts them over the top. Watch.

    2:17 PM

    Anonymous brian b said...

    Wow, never even had any hints that anything was wrong with Heilman at all. I still don't think he is a suitable starter due to his lack of a 3rd pitch (i don't even want to hear about his slider, meatballs don't count as pitches).

    Maybe we rank low on the talent depth chart but perhaps that is also because we have two of the YOUNGEST stars in baseball in the major leagues. I mean Dwright and Jose could easily still be in the minors, ryan howard was held there till he was what, 27? I think our minor league system isn't as bad as people say it is.

    Didn't they say Kaz Matsui was the safer signing too? I have to say I still think signing Japenese players is a gamble, although i suppose pitchers are a bit less of a gamble than hitters, because their stuff stays the same, it is just a matter of if MLB players can hit it or not.

    2:18 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Mike, I just don't get the fascination with "Hot" Carl Crawford. I don't think he's worth a Milledge and a Pelf. Maybe Milledge, but like half-a-Pelf for that deal. Milledge and cash gets that deal done for me (are you listening Omar LOL). It's not worth it, to me anyway, to get anymore bats without a solid or semi-solid pitching foundation. And Pelfrey isn't worth dealing unless there is a better more reliable major league ready pitcher available. In my views anyway. Whew!

    2:20 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I feel bad about LoDuca. I've apologized many a time.

    I agree on the trade front. With so much young pitching and with the Milledge-gate shit that has come out, the Mets have one hell of a package.

    Coop, check out Crawford's comps on baseball reference. He's special and very young.

    I still don't think he is a suitable starter due to his lack of a 3rd pitch (i don't even want to hear about his slider, meatballs don't count as pitches).

    Ha, you know I was going to come back with the slider and you already slammed the door. Nicely done.

    RE: Mets system. It has come soooo far in the last year with guys like Carp, Flores, and Gomez really boosting their status, Humber coming back healthy, Guerra and F-Mart proving they are the real deal, Mulvey looking solid, and 2nd tier guys like Miguel Perez, Emmanuel Garcia, etc. looking like sleepers. They are not in that bad of shape considering their ML level and the young talent with Reyes, Maine, Wright, Ollie, Sanchez, Heilman, Beltran, etc. Things look really, relaly good.

    Kaz was widely considered one of the top five SS in the world. OOOPSS! But look at guys like Ichiro? Hideki? Nomo was very good at times. There is skill there and Daisuke is the best pitcher to come out of Japan and it is not even close.

    2:27 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Very dissapointing with the catchers.
    Shawn RIggans sucks.
    McBride guy came in the Wickman trade, he's decent but Flores out hit him at a much higher level with only a 7 month age difference.
    And Max Sapp and Hank Conger just got drafted, wtf?
    Conger played 20 games, a good 20 game sample, but 20 games nontheless.
    Sapp played 50 games but very shitty 50 games. .229 AVG with just 1 dinger.
    Whatever I guess the coolness and novelty of highly regarding players that were JUST drafted was too good to pass up.

    Carl Crawford IS worth it.
    And with the "depth" I'd been willing to trade Pelfrey :)
    I mean after that it leaves Humber for dominance, and Bannister, Soler, Guerra, and hell even Mulvey as middle tier/back end guys.
    And trading Milledge is especially easy because I can only WISH Milledge can turn into Crawford.
    Coop, the big deal about Crawford is this. Just imagine the Mets with 2 Jose Reyes'.
    Power, Speed, Gold Glove Caliber Fielding? Can't beat that.

    2:54 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    You hit the nail on the head Benny. Pedigree and draft status counts. Judging by your list, Flores should be on there. His 2004 was solid, 2005 was injury riddled, and 2006 had him back in 2004 form. I think he has a track record that should be taken into account.

    2:58 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Whoa, my article is totally pointless. Endy is under control for 2007 and 2008. I thought that since he was cut by the Phillies, he becomes a free agent. I didn't know his arb clock starts again as he signed with the Mets. That is awesome news.

    3:05 PM

    Anonymous The Brooklyn Bum said...

    I don't want Crawford. As far as I'm concerned Milledge = Crawford. Crawford just has a couple years of big league experience on Lastings. Having seen how fast Lastings' hands are it's only a matter of time, when his pitch selection is better, before he breaks out in a massive way. I'd also like to see him inch a little closer to the plate. He had a hard time getting to outside pitches. If he' going to wear the armor at least use it.

    We're not going to get Zito. Omar will make a reasonable offer right out of the gate somewhere in the range of 4 years/$52 million. That way he can claim that he was involved, but when Boras counters with 6 years/$96 million Omar will laugh and go somewhere else.

    Halladay is gone gone gone after 2007. There is no way that Toronto can compete with the Yankees/Mets/Red Sox/Angles. That's why a smart team will get him this off season with a great package of talent.

    I've got to agree with coop. Omar will pull off a trade that nobody sees coming, but will blow us all away. And it's going to be for a starting pitcher.

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned how a small market team in the AL (Twins/A's/Jays) could game the posting system to keep this pitcher out of the hands of a competitor. Lets say that the Twins bid $75 million for him as the posting fee with absolutely no intention of signing him. He's kept off the Yankees roster for another year. That seems like an Executive of the Year type move to me.

    3:12 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned how a small market team in the AL (Twins/A's/Jays) could game the posting system to keep this pitcher out of the hands of a competitor. Lets say that the Twins bid $75 million for him as the posting fee with absolutely no intention of signing him. He's kept off the Yankees roster for another year. That seems like an Executive of the Year type move to me.

    I'm sure you have to make some kind of offer and there is always the chance it is accepted. I doubt they can say 1 year @ 1 million and laugh themselves to sleep.

    If Milledge = Crawford I'd shit my pants. If Crawford was in NYC, he would already have bronze statues all over the city for him. Look at how much everyone drooled over Reyes. He's been doing that for years!

    3:23 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    One of the BA guys put the Mets minor league organization in the late teens last week during a chat, that's a big improvement from last year (dead last) and most likely due to some prospects coming back from the brink. Pretty good in a year without a first round pick and some quesitonable picks in the first 10 rounds.

    Endy deserves props but don't give him a starting job. He'll be hardpressed to do it again. That said, I'm still thrilled by that catch!

    4:04 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    *Just let it sink in how young Fernando is.*

    He's facing some of the best pitchers in the minors and most are three to five years older than he is. Frankly, if Fernando! hits .250 with decent power, he should be rated as the #1 outfield prospect in baseball.

    And if Fernando! should get it together and hit better than that, start him in AA. An 18 yo has no business being in the AFL, so ANY performance is all kinds of impressive.


    4:48 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Oh, he'll be in AA next season in short order. Believe it. Omar lets the player not the age dictacte where they should be.

    DG, good stuff keeping up with the BA chats..I've ignored them and I'm going to go back and read them.

    I agree, no way the Mets were last or even the worst ten with some of the high ceiling guys they have. Same old story though, very top heavy.

    5:07 PM


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