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

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Budget '07 Part II

So far this off-season, it seems the Mets need to fill seven positions. 2B, IF, IF/OF, SP, RP, RP, and RP. Of course if Lastings gets moved they would have to fill left field, but in moving Lastings, they would fill a rotation spot most likely leaving the Mets with seven holes still to be filled. I think we universally agree that Chad Bradford will be back. He has been making $1.4 million the past two seasons and the most I can see him getting this season is $2 million. However, if the Mets lay down a two year deal which I do not have a big problem doing, they might be able to sneak him for $1.5 million per year. Being that he is a type A free agent who will get offered arbitration by the Mets, it is hard to see someone giving up first rounder for him and laying out $3.6 to $4 million for million on top of that. Although, the Cubs are still in existence and they love plunking down insane amounts of money for set-up men, I think he is coming back.

For better or for worse, I also see Chris Woodward coming back for his versatility. He will get paid roughly $0.85 million. The Mets also need to find a middle infielder to come off the bench and I do think they will ultimately bring Jose Valentin back despite his deal with the Devil having seemingly run out. He can provide some pop off the bench and played solid defense for the Mets. If they do not bring him back, figure on a similar player getting roughly $1 million to come off the bench.

That ultimately leaves four spots that are real wildcards here for the Mets. Second base, ace, and two bullpen spots. In my perfect world, here is how I would like to see things shake out:

2B Rich Aurilia - $4.00
IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
SP Daisuke - $12.00
RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
RP Justin Speier - $3.50
RP Dave Williams (or other lefty long man) - $1.40
Total Payroll $106.23

If you get a big pitcher like Daisuke, I'm comfortable with letting one of the kids fill in for Pedro until he is ready. I have no problem with a top three of Daisuke, Glavine, and Maine with Perez/Williams/Humber/Pelfrey/etc. getting a shot at the last two spots. As for Aurilia, check his home/road splits in 2006. He was a solid player and I would even give him a two year contract if it was affordable with an eye to place him on the bench in '08 if someone else steps up to play second. For now? No one is really close and Rich provides some nice pop to help alleviate the lack of a big bat at the corner outfield positions. I really want Speier. I think he certainly makes Heilman expendable and the Mets could backfill Heilman's spot in house with a cheap option. Dave Williams takes Darren Oliver's place and can spot start when needed.

2B T. Graffinino - $2.00
IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
LF Alfonso Soriano - $15.00
RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
RP Dave Riske - $3.00
RP Dave Williams (or other lefty long man) - $1.40
SP Acquired via Trade - $8.00
Total Payroll $113.06

Here Lastings, Heilman, and whomever was traded for a starting pitcher making $8 million per year. I overshot here because I have no idea who it could be, but in this framework, the payroll will come down a few million if the player is getting paid less and it is likely whomever Omar would trade for would be making less. It is possible that Omar can field a team with Soriano and a young ace that would cost about $111 million.

2B Mark Loretta - $3.00
IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
SP Vicente Padilla - $8.00
RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
RP Phil Humber - $0.84
RP Dave Williams - $1.40
SP The Duque - $4.00
Total Payroll $102.57

In this case, Omar shits the bed. Well, not so much shitting the bed as not overpaying because he was desperate. Zito priced himself out of what they though he was worth, the relief market went nuts and Riske and Speier got paid $12 million per year by the Cubs to pick up some garbage innings in losses, and Omar decided to hold onto Heilman and Lastings because everyone was playing hardball with him via trades. Padilla was the only guy priced appropriately and The Duque was brought back. Highly unlikely? Not really.

2B Alberto Callaspo - $0.33
IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
SP Barry Zito - $15.00
RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
RP Justin Speier - $3.50
RP Dave Williams (or other lefty long man) - $1.40
LF Moises Alou - $5.00
Total Payroll $110.56

Omar was just kidding. Zito was the guy they wanted all along but did not want to drive up his price. Unfortunately, it was sky high anyway. However, Omar pulled off a shrewd move in bringing in Alberto Callaspo from the Diamondbacks to get a cheap position player in there at second and to fill in an organizational need. He also brought in Moises Alou because the Mets needed more pop and he was not keen on letting Lastings and Alberto both start so Lastings will get sent to AAA to refine his game. If he starts lighting the world on fire like Wright did, Green's days will be numbered.

2B A. Hernandez - $0.33
IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
SP Barry Zito - $15.00
RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
RP Warm Body - $1.00
RP Dave Williams - $1.40
LF Alfonso Soriano - $15.00
SP The Duque - $4.00
Total Payroll $122.06

Omar went for broke. He kept Heilman and Milledge and went out and got the big dogs like a few people want. The Mets payroll hits about $140 million when benefits are added and the rest of the forty man roster is added in falling short of the $148 million luxury tax threshold. Milledge will be sent to AAA until he forces his way up the bigs since he didn't exactly destory AAA last year. Norfolk goes undefeated with Gomez, Milledge, Humber, Pelfrey, Bannister, Smith, and Mulvey leading the charge. The World explodes.

2B Mark Loretta - $3.00
IF Jose Velentin - $1.00
IF/OF Chris Woodward - $0.85
SP Aquired via Trade - $6.00
RP Chad Bradford - $1.50
RP Warm Body - $1.00
RP Dave Williams - $1.40
SP The Duque - $4.00
LF Moises Alou - $5.00
Total Payroll $105.73

Omar kind of plays it safe. He gets the ace he needs via trade and loses Heilman and Milledge in the process and he brings in some vets for a one year run and to keep the seat warm until something else presents itself. He chose not to overpay for bullpen help and went with a guy like Ryan Franklin who they felt could be solid out of the bullpen for them with a little work.

There are endless possibilities, but I just wanted to give a few scenarios so everyone can gauge the type of payroll the Mets could be looking at. In any season without The Duque, you can add in $4 million if you think Omar will add him into the mix instead of wanting to go with Brian Bannister, Phil Humber, Mike Pelfrey, or Dave Williams for part of the season. For me, it really depends upon whether or not Omar can reel in that ace. If he can bring a front line starter in, I am more than comfortable with making a rotation out of what the Mets have. If the Mets run with Acquired Ace, Tom Glavine, and John Maine as their top three, I am comfortable with the Mets finding two guys in house to hold down the fort until Pedro comes back and I am certainly comfortable with the Mets being able to find one guy out that bunch who will hold down the fifth spot more than admirably when Pedro does come back. I consider The Duque a luxury item but not a necessity.

* * *

  • Bobby Valentine is enjoying his time in Japan and taking a bit of the credit for David Wright and Jose Reyes.

    "They were my picks to click," Valentine said. "[Tom Robson] was the special assignment guy. Robby's assignment was to go out and see if David Wright can hit. Robby came back and was like, 'Don't let them draft anyone else'. Jose, he came one Spring Training for a while. I remember throwing him batting practice to him as a switch-hitter, we were making him a switch-hitter. He didn't think he could hit left-handed, and you can go ask him, I said, 'You can hit left-handed.'"

    Whatever dude, you were a good guy but I'm glad you are still not managing the Mets. He also fielded some Daisuke questions and it is safe to say he is a member of the fan club.

    "He's a good pitcher, he'll do fine," said Valentine. "If he stays healthy, he'll do just fine. He's a world-class pitcher."

    Can Matsuzaka, who is being chased by both the Yankees and Mets, handle New York if that's where he winds up?

    "Well, I don't know," Valentine said. "He's been the biggest star of his team in his league since he's been 15-years-old. The thing he might not be able to handle is not being the biggest star. But I don't think expectation is going to be a problem. He's a legendary [figure]. He's the [Hideki] Matsui of the pitching world. He's the pitcher prodigy basically."

    He was very vocal about Ichiro when he came here much in the same manner.

    While on the topic of the biggest mystery of this off-season, here are some of Scott Boras' thoughts on the topic.

    "You're talking about a guy who can change the face of the franchise," Boras said. "We've never had an international pitcher in this position this good. And to acquire him, there's no compensation. You don't have developmental costs. You don't have to wait eight years to see if he'll become a No. 1 pitcher.

    "What you're getting is a ready-made No. 1 pitcher that half of the franchises in baseball don't have."

  • Delgado? The man.

    "I'm very pleased to say, we did talk to Carlos' agent, David Sloane, and Carlos has notified us that he is very happy to be here. He enjoys being with the New York Mets and everything about this organization. He will not exercise the right to demand a trade," Minaya said on a conference call. "He wants to be a Met for the rest of his career. Hopefully he'll not only win a World Series here, but he can get to 500 home runs. I think there's a very good chance that he has a chance to be Hall of Famer. My wish is that he will be with us for the rest of his career."

    Omar? The Man times two.

    Delgado's agent, David Sloane, asked the Mets to pick up the $12 million option, but Minaya refused.

    "I'm hopeful that, at some point in time, we will exercise that option. Right now is not the right time," Minaya said in a conference call with reporters. "That [2009] would be the year we go to a new stadium. He has bought a house in the area. He's involved in the community. We're hoping that he can play beyond the option with the New York Mets."

    I would have caved (which is why I'm not a GM). Not that it would have been the worst thing, but I would have broken and ponied up the guaranteed money. Delgado was happy here so I could not have really envisioned him leaving anyway.

  • Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.....

    The Mets are waiting on a decision from left-hander Tom Glavine, who could opt out of his contract. "It's pretty much in Tommy's court right now," said Minaya, who has been talking with agent Gregg Clifton. Glavine has said he will play for either the Mets or Braves next season.

    Shit or get off the pot man. The Mets have enough to worry about and need you to make a decision so Omar knows where he needs to focus his efforts. Newsday seems to think a one year deal for $12 million is on the horizon and that would seem about right.

    As for Glavine, he and the Mets should hammer out a one-year deal for about $12 million by Friday, the day that Glavine must act upon a $7.5-million player option (he'll decline it). The Mets want and need Glavine, who turns 41 in March, to front their rotation. They also will consider free agents Jeff Suppan and Randy Wolf; lefthander Barry Zito appears a less likely option at this point.

  • Also from the above link:

    Randolph, who won the NL East title in his second season with the Mets, is expected to get another three-year contract, at a significant raise from his current three-year, $1.875-million package.

    Congrats Willie. You will get a raise because the GM is brilliant. Not the other way around.

  • It seems the Mets were in on Ichiro.

    An executive of one of the teams considering submitting a bid said he had no idea how to decide what to bid. When Ichiro Suzuki was posted six years ago, the Seattle Mariners won the rights to him with a bid of $13,125,000. The $125,000 was added in case any other team bid $13 million.

    But the Dodgers and the Mets, believed to be the runners-up, fell well short of the Mariners’ bid; the Dodgers bid $8.5 million, the Mets $8 million.


  • Mesa beat Scottsdale 10-6. Fernando Martinez went 1 for 4 with a run scored and a strikeout and owns a line of .236/.282/.347. It might not look great, but he has been a rousing success so far this winter.

    Anonymous benny said...

    I think its also safe to assume that El duque will get resigned.
    So I think that would leave just 1 spot for Oliver, Williams, Humber, and Pelfrey.
    Regardless of what happens, the whole scenario thing begins with whether or not the Mets get Dice-K. THankfully we'll know by the end of this week. Then the dominoes will fall.

    Scott Boras is an amazing sales man. He knows the right words to say.

    Now, when they say 5pm deadline for bids on Dice-K, is that eastern or japanese time?
    The suspense is killing me.
    THe only sucky part is waiting for the Lions to accept the bid which is another 4 day process...

    12:17 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I don't think it is a slam dunk El Duque will come back. I think it's more than 50/50 he'll return, but it's not a slam dunk. I think we need to see how things play out with the ace situation.

    You won't hear anything by Wednesday. You'll hear on the 14th which is the time the Japanese team has to accept. They could accept early, but it is not likely. Seems like the type of thing that will get drawn out. Then another 30 days to sign because Boras will wait until the last second.

    12:42 PM

    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    If 148 mil is the threshold for the luxury tax there are no excuses when it comes to the $$$$ since the Mets are very profitable.

    1:03 PM

    Anonymous Gehoff said...

    Matsuzaka seems like a better idea to me the more I read about him.

    I also like the Callaspo idea. He looks like a good player and shouldn't cost a whole lot in trade. I like Aurilia as well and he and Callaspo are probably the best options. As old as this team is though youth might be better.

    1:08 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Steve, that is high man. They Mets cannot go that high. You need to have payroll flexibility so when your kids need to get paid, the money is there. There is a better way to do things than just spend, spend, spend. I love the vision Omar has. The MAX I would like to see the Mets go is $110 and that is spending on the luxury items. I want the Mets to be the most profitible and successful franchise. It can be done.

    Gehoff...glad to see you on board!

    Callaspo will cost a lot I think....maybe even Heilman.

    I agree on the old thing, but as long Reyes, Wright, Lastings, and Beltran are here, I'm ok with it. The Mets of '02 and '03? Not okay, but they can fill small holes with older vets.

    1:16 PM

    Blogger Anthony said...

    I wonder if Maine is a no brainer to be in the rotation as we think? Sometimes these guys come back and stink it up after being fairly solid in their first year. I think he's going to need a solid spring training to solidify his slot in the rotation. I really liked him and hope he continues to do what seems like a lot of potential. Seems like he could be a very solid number three/four if he keeps it together. Would be great if he turned into a 13-15 win guy.

    Our outfield corners scare the crap out of me right now. I really think we need to find somebody solid in left. The answer, I'm not sure who. I think we're all going to get extremely annoyed with Green in right. It's really too bad we lost x-man due to the stupid shit in florida. He really seemed to fit that role well. Young guy with some nice pop, great hustle and a good attitude.

    For some reason, I just don't feel like we're going to get Dice-K. I agree about El Duque, don't think it's a slam dunk. If he comes back for a reasonable deal, probably, otherwise I think Omar let's him walk.

    Tommy, just constantly to the last second getting on my nerves even when I try to like him. He makes it difficult.

    Delgado, gotta love him...Omar...gotta love him even more.

    2:45 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I feel like the Mets are gonna get Dice-K.
    I can feel it! Its gonna happen

    2:50 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yeah, Maine has to earn the spot. Willie and young guys don't get along. I think Maine matured a lot this season and he looked legit. Good fastball and can dial it up when needed. Solid breaking pitch...solid off-speed. All thumbs up. He looks like a solid mid-rotation starter. Never an ace, but he'll drop down 15 wins a few times for sure.

    I'm scared about the corners too, but the Mets don't have many options. I think Lastings will really turn it on after 40 games and be a lightning bolt for this team. X-man would have been great, but Ollie might be big in '07 negatating the loss. I think it will work out if the Mets can get decent 12-15 homer pop from 2b (Aurilia?).

    Benny, I'll chalk that up to wishful thinking. I do agree that the Mets think he is the best out there. I think Omar and his scouts are solid. They are excellent talent evaluators and we can see that in the deals they have done so far. If they like Dice-K, rest assured it is a very, very calculated risk.

    3:15 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    lastings in right; soriano in left. dice k. amen.

    4:33 PM

    Blogger Emad Mekhaeil said...

    '2B Alberto Callaspo - $0.33'

    I like him more than Pedroia. Never strikes out, but has decent pop. It will probably take Heilman to get him. I guess he's expendable because of Stephen Drew... could he play SS? I ask only because I don't think the D-Backs have a great SS prospect and they might be reluctant to give him away.

    'Omar went for broke. He kept Heilman and Milledge and went out and got the big dogs like a few people want. The Mets payroll hits about $140 million when benefits are added and the rest of the forty man roster is added in falling short of the $148 million luxury tax threshold. Milledge will be sent to AAA until he forces his way up the bigs since he didn't exactly destory AAA last year. Norfolk goes undefeated with Gomez, Milledge, Humber, Pelfrey, Bannister, Smith, and Mulvey leading the charge. The World explodes.'

    Yeah. Omar loses his mind and the Mets become the Yankees. It's not only the least likely scenario, it's also the least desirable from my perspective.

    4:48 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Jake, I like the new prayer. I will be saying it before I go to bed every night.

    Callaspo would cost Heilman I would think and I'd do it. Fo Sho'...

    I don't thing that scenario would ever happen, just including it in there for objectivity's sake. I did say the world explodes.

    5:10 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    agree with mike - definitely don't want the payrolls to get too out of control. we are NOT the yankees and i have no desire to see this team go that route. on that note, daisuke all-in is just too much. i just can't see paying 30 mill just to negotiate. put that cash toward a good contract

    i gotta think omar is bluffing on zito. i think we're keeping the price down and hopefully omar will just sneak in for the kill. zito wants to be back with peterson and would be an amazing fit in NY heading up a young, up and coming rotation (glavine aside).

    also, you don't want to touch aurilia. he basically had one great year (2001) which was a complete aberration from the norm for him. reminds me of bret boone and i bet they had the same workout regimen (wink, wink).

    5:16 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Well your not looking for a "great" year out of Aurillia. Just a... productive one.

    As far as Dice-K goes, I think there's a misconception of the whole posting fee thing.
    If you don't get Dice-K to sign that contract, you don't give up that posting fee.
    So its not $20 million JUST to negotiate. The $20 million is PART of it, but that money comes from a seperate budget altogether.
    So it won't conflict with salary and won't prevent form going after extra players. Its a seperate budget.

    5:36 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    I like Ray Durham. Speed and power. Will he only play 120 games? Sure. But Stache can fill in while he is hurt. What would Durham command? 2/10M?

    I would rather have Durham for 5 than Loretta for 3, that's for sure. Loretta is on the decline.

    I like Callaspo too, but Heilman is steep. I wish Bannister was better and we could pawn him off. If Callaspo is only as good as say, Alex Cora, then we have overpaid for him by using Heilman. It would be a risky move.

    5:37 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, Aurilia is not my only choice. There are a few out there that are solid. I'm confident they will come away with someone solid. No worries at 2b.

    Aurilia had a solid year though home and away. He was injured over the past few years so it could have been a case of getting healthy for him. As Benny said, .300/.350/.whatever with 20+ homers is not what I'm looking for. Some protection for Wright, a right handed bat, and someone that could spell Wright at third as well.

    Throw the posting fee on top of the Stadium cost. He's already got debt out the wazzooo...what's $30 million more?

    I like Durham too. Throw him into the first sentence. The Mets will fill 2nd base nicely.

    Ah, Bannister is too little and Heilman is too much. There enlies the problem! The Mets have nothing inbetween that unless they throw in a lower level prospect like Niese or something to add to it. Zona is always looking for pitching. Not sure Bannister really fits the bill.

    5:45 PM

    Anonymous MikeinLA said...

    Mike, do you like Maine more than Heilman as a starter? Do you think there's a chance Heilman might be better?

    I think I'd rather not re-sign Duque, who's good but very injury prone (see: 2006 playoffs) and very old, and give his spot to Heilman. I'd let Humber and Pelfrey fight for Heilman's bullpen role at year's beginning, and if one of them is absolutely dominating in the minors, there will be a spot for him somewhere in the rotation - Pedro is a question mark, Maine is somewhat of a question mark, and Ollie P. is also a question mark. And if Heilman, Maine, Perez, Pelfrey and Humber all pitch to their potential, Pedro comes back healthy, Glavine continues his thing, and Daisuke/Zito contend for the cy young come midseason, we can all just shit ourselves and be happy.

    11:26 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yes, I like Maine more.

    The Duque has been pretty healthy over the years though. I'm not against him, but like I said, he is a luxury. The Mets could have six capable starters with NO #5-type guys. Shit, they might not even have any #4 type guys? All 1, 2 or 3 types by seasons end. I think Omar is still reeling from the pitching shortage this past year and wants to erraticate any chance of that happening again.

    And if Heilman, Maine, Perez, Pelfrey and Humber

    I think we can agree that is not likely, but having two of those guys pitch like a mid-rotation starter is not out of the realm of possibilities.

    12:11 PM


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