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

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Just Let It Sink In

According to MLB.com, the deal will pay Lee $11 million in 2007 (plus a $3 million signing bonus), $12 million in 2008, and $18.5 million for each of the last four seasons. The contract runs through the 2012 season.

$18.5 million in EACH of the last four years and over $15 million in average salary annually. This is flat out the craziest off-season I have ever seen. Never have I seen so much money go to non-top tier players, but I have never seen just about every top player off the market by December. I use the term 'top player' loosely though. It is an interesting time in baseball and with the Cubs now looking at Vincente Padilla and the always surprisingly competitive Astros who continuously lack offense picking up a big time run producer, it is clear that the National League is a bit more competitive in terms of teams that could have stepped up their overall level of play significantly.

The early returns seem to be that the Phillies, Astros (if they bring back Clemens and maybe make another move or two), and the Cubs may indeed be the Mets biggest threats next season, but the Mets are not done. If Omar does succeed in tweaking the rotation to add a stud, you have to still believe the Mets are still in a class of their own. I just thank the baseball gods that the Mets are not the ones laying out contracts that are plainly going to strap their organizations in the not so distant futures. While some teams do seem to be operating in the short term, Omar is staying the course and looking at the long term when considering his options to improve this current Mets team. We should all be thankful for that and be confident Omar will do the right thing this off-season.


Anonymous DG said...

A little semantic quibble. I don't think that Omar is "staying the course" per se, I think he's been quite methodical AND proactive. He gaged the market well enough to make quick affordable deals that don't overextend commitment to inappropriate players; he's also made several small trades with good upside. This offseason, with pitching such a premium, the position players seem seem to be coming off the board first, Omar has been quite successful in organizing his finances. Just about all of his available cash at this point is earmarked towards pitching.

In my view, STC is not changing and going with what you have (and not the desperate Bushian drivel about constantly changing tactics on the ground). Omar goes out and does his job and uses all means necessary.

2:48 PM

Blogger Mike V said...

I think that if the rest of the offseason continues like this, the Mets may have an advantage in future offseasons, when their competitors have their payrolls jammed up with bad contracts while the Mets have flexibility to make trades and signings. And this is without considering the cash windfalls from the new stadiums and SNY.

3:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

its pretty funny that the astros are paying that much for an above avg player but were tight asses when it came to shelling out what it took to get an elite player in beltran...

5:44 PM

Anonymous Sidd Finch said...

That contract is CRAZY! There's no mystery here. The crazy contracts have to do with the new TV deal. All the teams seem to be spending all the TV money in the first year. Yikes!

8:21 PM

Blogger mr. met said...

I think Omar is staying the course. His main focus was/is pitching and he's sticking to that (which to me is staying the course) and didn't get caught up chasing any big offensive players and/or making big time commitments. The right guys were not out there so he didn't try and force a fit, but made a great deal with Alou.

Either way, we agree he's doing the right thing.

Exactly Mike V...The Cubs and the Astros felt desperate. Soriano is an excellent player, but 8 years for anyone on the verge of being 32? Nuts.

And Lee can rake, but those last four years @ $18.5 each are going to be painful to say the least.

Anon, I think we all know that Houston wishes they took Beltran. If they can do it all over again, they would have done what it took to get him, but it boiled down to the no-trade vs. money. The money was virtually the same, but he wanted a no trade. That being said, no trade for Beltran (can always be waived and usually does when push comes to shove) where as Lee might as well have a no trade as he is going to be getting paid Manny money.

As for Woody Williams, he had a nice bounceback year in San Diego, but Houston will not quite be as friendly.

10:56 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we all agree that Omar has the capacity to adjust to his plan (i.e. Dirty's injury last year). I do agree that Omar has a plan and is sticking to it. It's comforting to see the other teams blow their load on offensive players and average relievers (Stanton, Baez). Omar and Cashman will fight over the larger prize of Zito. It should be interesting.
Cubs and Astros should be strong in the short term, especially if Clemens and Petitte resign, but they will be tight during the latter part of Soriano and Lee's contract.
I think Glavine is gone. Mike, you're right, it's not about money now, it's about security and being close to his family. Perhaps, a Clemens-like deal, where he can fly home during his off days might sway him to stay in NY. I still think he's going back to Atlanta. At least, he has a set of false teeth to remind him of NY.

11:15 AM

Anonymous Scott says fuck Glavine said...

"This is flat out the craziest off-season I have ever seen."- I have to disagree dude. I think the Matthews jnr. deal is the craziest. The guy has a career year and his career best numbers are AVERAGE for the league and they throw $50m at him. MoFo-That is C.R.A.Z.Y.!!!!

Let 'vine' grow free. Zito reminds me soooo friggin much of the vine and he is only one quarter of his age. Glavine will have his 10 wins in Atlanta this upcoming season but that will be all he will get with that team. Prediction- Andruuuuw is traded in June and the team is second last in the NL east in front of Washington. DIE REDNECKS...DIE!

If Zito does come to NY I nominate his nickname as 'Dragonball' after the computer game "Dragonball Z"

11:50 AM

Blogger mr. met said...

You think Cashman will fight over Zito? I think they are truly not going after him simply because they (along with Boston) lambaste him and are not thoroughly impressed/convinced when it comes to him being able to succeed in the AL East. I think his value is outside of the AL East. For the money they will be paying, they will not be maximizing their returns. He’s a swell pitcher, but guys with dominating stuff succeed there rather than crafty guys. A 4.50 ERA is about what I would expect Zito to do in the AL East throughout his career and the Yankees can find that output for much less money. I really think the Mets might not be fighting anyone here besides the Dodgers and San Diego and we know that San Diego did not get a chance to spend that HUGE chunk they have ready to go. Hopefully the Dodgers keep spending big bucks on bad players to knock them out of any potential Zito-run.

If the ‘Stros get Clemens and Pettite back on one year deals, they will be scary. If they do not get them, it’s no big deal. The Mets will have good pitching and should be able to outlast everyone again since I would not expect the ‘Stros to make it to the playoffs with just Oswalt and Woody heading up the rotation.

As for the Cubs, they could be scary next season if Prior can actually stay healthy. Nice bullpen….Lee, Soriano, and Ramirez in the meat of the order and Zambrano and Prior heading up their rotation? We’ll see if they can manage to not choke again and Prior being healthy is a big if. We know they want Padilla so this could be a monumental turn around and make them easy early on favorites to win the NL Central.

Scott…Will Glavine get 10 wins in Atl? They might even trade Andruw and Glavine notched 11 in his first year with the Mets. Now, he has to face the Mets and the Phills a bunch as opposed to not having to face the best team in the division. Bring it….I want to see him go to Atlanta and get 299 so he has to come back another year.

Dragonball sounds good to me.

12:07 PM


Mike, man, you stoleded (that's how my son would say it!) my thunder! I was just thinkiing about writing if anyone really thought that Glav's could win 10 in Atlanta next year, then voila, you beat me MoFo!

Forgot briefly about the Matthews Jr. deal which (along with Pierre) is a likely worse deal at half the price. Lee & Soriano will at least provide some return over the first years of their contracts. Good point, Scott!

I think Zito would likely be fine in AL East regardless of the numbers but may not like the pressure and 25 individuals (read, scumbag) approach to Yankee baseball. The Mets offer a vaunted clubhouse environment - layed back and happy - to go with their pitcher's park. Plus, Zito is clearly worth more to the Mets with or without Glavine.

2:20 PM

Blogger mr. met said...

I would never call the Soriano deal and Lee deal horrible. The Soriano one might prove everyone wrong since he should age well, but eight year contracts these days are out there. Not even Wright got one to extend him past arbitration.

The Lee one is going to be downright scary for $18.5 per year. At $17+, Soriano will get you athletic defense if not good, base stealing, and offense. Lee just gives you offense and is a lot of money for a one dimensional guy. Not many are worth that much just for their bat and I do not see him as one of those guys.

Zito would be fine in the AL East, but his stuff simply does not translate as well to a power pitcher who is nasty. Lilly has proved a non-fireballing lefty can survive, but with a perinnial 4.00+ ERA. He has more value in the NL in my eyes.

4:12 PM

Anonymous Farva said...

Just watched the Mets Hot Stove report on SNY. Igawa is rated by Adam Rubin and Sweeney Murti as a #4 or #5 starter. Why are we bidding on this joker if that is the case?

Back to Matthews jr. If the Angels had added another $10m to the contract they could have had JD Drew. Now I personnally don't like the dude (he lacks any passion for the game) but the fact is he is a much, much better hitter than Matthews. This must rank as one of the dumbest moves this offseason.

8:54 AM

Anonymous benny said...

Your bidding on him because it'll be cheaper than trying to get a Gil Meche, Vincente Padilla, or whoever else.

1:15 PM

Anonymous Scott from Peekskill said...

I very much doubt that. I think Igawa will be looking for $8-10 for 4 years added to which is the multi-million dollar negotiating fee. This will not be cheap at all. All for a #4 or #5.

Good point Farva

3:14 PM

Anonymous Scott said...

We get 2 picks for Bradford signing with the O's right? Their top pick plus a sandwich.

3:17 PM

Anonymous Farva said...

Si just reported that Hanshin is accepting a $25m signing fee. No report where from though. That makes Igawa a 4 year (probable) $65million dollar man. Damn thats alot of loot for a #4 starter.

3:22 PM

Anonymous DG said...

Scott, we will not be receiving the Orioles top pick as they finished with one of the worst 15 records in the majors. Plus we may not even receive their second round pick. That depends on which of their free agents in the A category are rated better. We will receive a sandwich first round if Chad really signs with Baltimore. Two picks would be more than ample payment for a middle reliever, but I have to admit that I'm beginning to wonder about the strength of our pen in 07 as most of our major league ready - or near ready - relievers have been traded in the last two weeks. That's not to say any of them - with the exception of Henry Owens - had enormous upside, but thems the facts.

3:35 PM

Anonymous DG said...

Oh and I really hope that's not our $25 million!

3:36 PM

Anonymous John in RI said...

I for one an psyched the Yankees won the Igawa sweepstakes. That is about $65 million dollars they wont be throwing at Zito. I also read today that the Dodgers will not be trying to sign Zito. That leaves just us and San Diego as far as I can see. I hope we get him.

8:44 PM

Anonymous Scott said...

Maybe I will regret saying this when Igawa wins the Cy Young but I'm glad the Skanks are out of the Zito stakes now. I think John is right in that us and San Diego are probably (maybe the rangers) the only ones left chasing him and that has to lead to a lower cost contract.

9:33 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Cubs may still not be done shelling out the cash...maybe Jason Schmidt and 45 million more spent.

11:53 PM

Anonymous Scott says THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH!!!!! said...

Dayn Perry wrote a column....HE LIKED THE METS SIGNING ALOU! Oh, vengeful God! Please don't smight we poor Mets fans, we have suffered enough!

It must be the apocalypse, why else would he rite something nice about us?


This deal is further evidence that Omar Minaya has developed into one of the smartest GMs in the game today.

12:02 PM

Anonymous ossycocotaso said...

imagine if the mets hadnt picked up alou.... could u see omar convincing fred to shell out the dough for manny and zito? shit would be crazy

9:44 PM

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