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

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back To Square #1

Just when you think things are a done deal, they fall back apart. Now, the Mets are back out looking for a catcher after their deal with Yorvit fell through. I for one, am a bit disappointed. Not because I think Torrealba was the lynchpin to the season, but because now they have to go back out there and find another catcher in a market that is just not good for catchers.

Laird? Texas knows there are not other attractive options and will not just give him away. They have no incentive to. If it would cost a low level hard thrower, then possibly. However, those guys are nice to have for any team and giving one up for Laird would probably not be a great thing. Shoppach? He will cost more than Laird. The Indians presumably love having him as they can give Victor Martinez some time at first or DH and not lose much at catcher. He is a luxury item for them.

Overall, Torrealba was the best fit. Was he getting overpaid? Shit yeah, but the Mets were giving up a few more dollars than they should have to retain draft picks, which Michael Barrett will cost, and to get someone that is on the right side of 30 that could have capably shared a job with Ramon Castro. I do not know why the deal was broken off, but injuries and a possible inclusion on Mitchell's soon to be infamous list have been bandied about. Either way, the Mets are back to needing a catcher. Orangeandbluebood said it best though:

If the Torrealba deal is dead a new catcher is needed. I hope the Mets wait and let the market develop. If the Padres do not offer Barret I say go after him. Since Castro is in the fold I think Barret is a good upside risk. If Barret is offered arbitration and would cost the Mets #22 pick and the Braves have signed Glavine Barret may still be an option since the Braves would give the Mets the #18 pick by signing Tom, Not So Terrific Glavine. I wouldn't complain if the Mets went for a solid defensive catcher with average offensive skills. Consider Mike Leiberthal or someone like him. A solid defensive catcher who would be cheap for a short term contract and up until last year was a .275 hitter with .315 OBP skills and more power than LoDuca. Better defense than LoDuca, better power and similar average and OBP skills and he could likely be had for a one year $2M deal. No matter what, the available catchers are all #8 hitters so why not get low cost, low years, and good defense. My preference would be Castro and Barret but I think the #18 and 22 pick in the draft may be worth Castro and Leiberthal.

At least the Mets have locked up second base, but four years for Castillo seems excessive for a slap hitter extraordinaire. Obviously less than $6 million per year is not going to break the bank, but I hope this is not backloaded. Maybe $7 million for the first two years, $6 million for the third year, and $5 million for the last season. I guess there was more competition for Castillo than we all expected and Eckstein wanting a $36 million dollar contract added up to overpaying for Castillo. But with Gotay in the fold, I am not all that concerned since he probably is a better choice right now anyway so second base will be capably filled at all times.

* * *

  • Five years and $93 million dollars? Hopefully Santana takes that deal and if he does not, I think they might work things out either way. Maybe they should tack on some vesting options or some nice mutual options to sweeten the deal.

    Also, if they ink Santana, trading Garza or Slowey not only becomes more likely, but almost a certainty in my eyes.

  • The Braves just gave the Mets their 18th pick of the 2008 draft. Thanks Tom! Now if the Mets squander their pick other first rounder on Michael Barrett, that will be upsetting. The upside would be that they still have a first round pick, but the Mets really need to try to bolster their system this year.

    Also within the piece:

    David Wells is one name that is expected to be pitched to the Mets. The 44-year-old free-agent left-hander finished last season with the Dodgers.

    Wells is considering retirement, but the Mets are among the teams for which he would consider pitching.

    Um, let me think about this one. No thanks. The Duque, Pedro, and Wells?

  • How ironic is this?

    Says Willie, "I felt all year long we didn't have that killer instinct consistently that we should've had. We had at it times when our backs were against the wall, and we did show some fight (the Mets went 8-2 after the first four-game sweep by the Phillies), but you have to be careful when you put your back against the wall, because you can't always get off that wall. In the end, that's (exactly) what happened."

    It is ironic because that is the persona Willie projects. Don't get too high. Don't get too low. Keep it even keeled. Even keeled Willie drove this team and their lack of urgency reflected his leadership style. Even when we could all smell collapse, he did not exhibit any urgency and is now shocked at the way his team played? I've been saying all off-season that the Mets needed someone at the helm to create a spark if no one there was going to do it. It is time to get someone with fire in there, which Willie clearly does not have.
  • Labels: , , ,


    Anonymous jake said...

    reposting from the tail of last comments. nothing to say about hot stove...

    re, bonds...

    let's not forget this is the guy that beats down his girl in public, etc, etc, etc.

    benny, don't be ashamed...

    when i was a uva and fl state had bobby sura playing we used to heckle him so bad from the front rows of the student section while he was trying to shoot foul shots. theme: gerbils!

    11:34 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Good point. But I have to admit, all this personal stuff is not what I'm on top of and who knows what is true or not. I could be naive here, but I know nothing about the guy and I assume he is not saint, but whatever. I do not think his other transgressions should translate to him being vilified for roids and being the ONLY guy that everyone has called for his beheading.

    Also, you can run down a list of unsavory characters in this game. I just do not like people getting treated differently. This federal charge is one thing, but I do not expect him to get any jail time. However, it should not tarnish his career or his achievements unless everyone that is named by Mitchell is treated the same way.

    11:51 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    ....and let me throw on top that his criminal charges should not tarnish his career. He would not be the first convicted criminal to play a sport.

    11:52 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So has anyone heard that Yorvit is named on the Mitchell list? Or is this pure speculation?

    Seems strange that the reports had him all but bending over ah coughing for Mets doctors then he is gone!?!?! Huh? Or is this a case of the bloggers/media building upon a rumor that turns out to be completely wishful thinking?


    12:03 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    P.S. I'm not sure i want Castillo back. Don't really want Eckstein either but the boozing/clubbing rumors of him with Reyes and then Reyes' slow decline over the season worries me somewhat. And 4 years? With those knees?



    12:05 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Speculation that was thrown about in the comments. No idea if it has any basis or if any teams have heard 'rumors' of who might be on the list, but worth noting.

    The injury thing does not jive as much because the Rockies wanted him and still want him. You would think their former employer that has a viable catching option would steer clear from him, but they didn't.

    Who knows.....

    12:06 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    P.S. to your P.S... I agree. But the Mets like him in the #2 spot even though I think those light hitting slap hitters have no place at the top of the lineup, but Willie and Omar LOVES them. So...whatever. Give me pop and at least doubles power and I'll show you a more productive offense.

    That said, he is a decent OBP guy that can play solid defense and steal the occasional base. They could have done worse and second base has quickly become the black hole of the bigs with few meaningful players at that position. I want Gotay to see 60 or so starts around the horn with 20 or 30 at second base and I hope they mix it up more. But I doubt the Mets will.

    12:10 PM

    Anonymous MikeinSpaininLA said...

    4 years for Castillo is AWFUL. Actually, 2 years of Castillo would still be awful. We're paying this guy for things he did 5 years ago. He's the only *speedster* in MLB who steals less than 10 bases a year. The worst part about the trade for him last year is that it didn't allow Gotay to get a real audition, which he obviously won't now either. Break down the 2B position in the NL East for the next few years...it ain't pretty.

    And good riddance to Torrealba.

    12:38 PM

    Anonymous orangeandblueblood said...

    I was hoping the Mets would creatively fill 2B for a year and sign Hudson when he becomes a free agent next year. That's probably too much patience for the Mets as they are currently configured to win now. Castillo will serve OK. The last year or two of his contract may not be very pretty. It's good to have Glavine removed as a temptation for Omar and Willie. If Barret is not offered arbitration I like his upside, but having two first round plus a sandwich pick is really tough to pass on. Hopefully the Mets will draft a high school power arm and a high end infield or catching prospect. College power pitchers seem to arrive with under developed secondary pitches and over stressed arms. That makes a trade for a young guy like Garza more important. Especially if the cost is only Gomez (or Milledge). I don't want the Mets to totally devestate the farm system to get an established front line pitcher. I totally agree that Santana staying with the Twins so Garza is free to trade is the prefered scenario. Pedro, Perez, Garza, Maine, Warm body with Wagner, Heilman, ElDuque, Feliciano, Sanchez, Smith, and the LOOGY we are stuck with for 2 more years is a pretty good staff.

    12:43 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Guys like Gotay never get a shot with the Mets. Look how long it took them to give Milledge a full time shot? I have already come to terms with the fact that our Mets would rather use retreads rather than give the Humbers, Gotays, and Milledges a fair shot before spending money and prospects.

    It pains me to say that, but that is what is going on. Within the framework of that plan, Castillo is not the worst option. Two years would have been better, but thanks to the lack of second base options, Castillo was more valuable than he ever should have been. Whatever...it is not enough money to cry about when Mota and Schoe are on the payroll. He will add more value.

    Two first round picks should be impossible for the Mets to pass up after not have one for the last two years and should be priority #1.

    I think the Mets can have a better than a warm body scenario between Humber and Pelfrey. I would think they would be able to perform at league average or ever so slightly worse, which is just fine for fifth starter with some upside mixed in.

    I also agree on not wanting to eviscerate the farm for a frontline starter, but the Mets seem set on doing so.

    12:46 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Yeah, I don't really hate the Castillo deal. He's a solid player and will be worth the contract for at least a couple of years in all likelihood. And the Mets have shown repeatedly that they have zero faith that Gotay is a potential answer at second base, so the deal is hardly a surprise. I guess time will tell. Gotay certainly serves as great insurance for Castillo should he get injured or lose effectiveness.

    I definitely have some concerns with Castillo. Will he age well? His knees are bad and he already plays older than his 32 years. Will he keep getting on base at a .370ish clip? His offensive value is entirely tied to his on base skills, if those diminish at all, he becomes a below-average player quickly. When Castillo's skills begin to clearly decline, how long will the Mets stick with him at the top of the order, and how long will they continue to play him because he is making so much money? This is probably my biggest concern. You just know the Mets will play Castillo long after his usefulness runs out, assuming he declines during this contract, which seems pretty likely.

    The catcher situation went from settled to a mess. The Mets are going to have to overpay for whatever catcher they get now. Teams and player agents know they have the Mets over the barrel. Let's see how patient and creative Minaya can get, he's going to need it here.

    I can't believe the Mets get the #18 overall pick with Glavine's departure. Swellicious.

    1:31 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    4 years is a long time. i like what he does but i think he just got back in the market at the right time. he does good things with the bat...

    they need to keep santana or trade him to the mets for delgado

    lol i wish

    1:57 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Danny, I think you know the answers to all of your questions.

    Sadly enough, I think we all do. Again, I do not agree with how long the Mets keep running out guys with no juice left, but it is what it is and we can do worse than Castillo. I guess that it is not the biggest vote of confidence, but if his surgery went well, he should be pretty good and pretty valuable for the next three years with the fourth being a question mark based on health. A .370 OBP in front of Wright and Beltran is valuable and his defense is tight even with his diminished range. Not a big splash, but a steady move.

    Agreed on the catching issue, which is why Kendall might happen. Laird is very valuable so I do not think they are just going to give him away. At this point, Castro should probably be pegged as the starter with 120 or so games.

    3:06 PM

    Anonymous F said...

    So, over jet lag enough to finally post again. Sorry guys, I didn't disappear. Was in China for two weeks. Totally awesome trip, especially Great Wall, and tremendous food. Now I just have a transport strike to contend with. Lots of fun getting my kids to school every morning! Only eclipsed by the pleasure of having to get them back home....

    So, I also liked the idea of going for Hudson, either now, in a trade, or after next year. But, there's no way the Mets, as the Mets, would choose to go with Gotay and change for a year. Firstly, they'd be excoriated by the media for having a weak solution at second base, and more importantly, as many have mentioned, the Mets just don't seem to give those sort of opportunities to young players unless they're supposedly future stars. This is no longer the Ty Wigginton era.

    Two first rounders would be nice, especially given that the Mets will be picking before the Sox & Spankees. I'm reasonably optimistic that the Mets have overcome their drafting on the cheap. They'll take two players who fall due to bonus demands. I like this!...

    Torrealba thing is totally weird, but I have to say I'd rather have Castillo for four than Torrealba for three. (Course as I said, I'd really prefer Orlando Hudson.) I see the catcher situation moving in the one year fix sort of direction. I still think that Gerald Laird would be a good fit for a reasonable price, but reasonable prices don't seem to be happening. Therefore, my prediction is that the Mets acquire Brian Schneider or some other left handed hitting catcher and platooning him with Castro. If the Mets have not solved the situation by the 1st, I would not at all be surprised to see them offer arbitration to LoDuca. One year deal or they get a supplemental draft pick.

    If I was Santana I would not hesitate to take 5/$93. He'll be 29 when next season starts and would be looking at free agency at 34. My guess is he gets 5/$100.

    As for the Mets and a top pitcher. They'll trade one outfielder out of Milledge & Gomez and give right field to the other. I doubt they'll trade Fernando. After that it's Pelfrey, etc. I'm not expecting much from Pelfrey these days, and I'm not sure anyone else is either. I don't see the Mets trading Maine or Perez, so how much is there really to trade here? There's a strong possibility that the Mets just go for Livan and make do with what they've got.

    3:18 PM

    Anonymous dg said...

    PS f is me, DG

    3:20 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    DG, I was wondering if you were still alive. I hope you did not eat any dog whilst traveling to China.

    Agreed on Gotay. Much to our chagrin, the Mets just would never entrust him and risk that. Though I thought a possible platoon would have helped them hedge their bets, it is not something they care to do these days.

    I'd do a little Schneider action if he is on the market. But who are they going to go with? I don't think Flores is ready full time.

    LoDuca coming back for a year would be interesting with all that has gone on so far. I wonder if he would even consider it?

    I love to watch Livan, but how can they head into the season like that? I am a tad bit more pessimistic about this upcoming season. I just think The Duque needs to be in the bullpen and not in the rotation and they Mets need some more youth to rely on instead of these aging pitchers.

    I don't know...I think the fallback plan from a Garza-type should be Silva. He gives you innings and is younger. Hopefully the market does not go insane for him, but I guess the likelihood of that happening is very small.

    3:33 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Farva Said...

    Tom Glavines greatest achievement as a Met...#18 Pick in the 2008 baseball draft.

    So long Mr.Brave

    Haha...you won your 300th game in a Mets uniform!

    3:55 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well said.

    5:07 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    i wouldnt rip glavine as much as ya do....

    he was a solid 2 or 3... it wasnt his fault he was put in the #1 slot... ill miss those 200 ip

    8:40 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Gerald Laird netting back guys like Lastings Milledge and Carlos Gomez? SYKE!
    Someone like Mike Lieberthal or Jason LaRue wouldn't have bothered me, well LaRue isn't available anymore, so Leiberthal it is.

    The Castillo deal is great as long as the Mets and Willie (if he's on the team for those 4 years) have the balls to bench him/cut him when he begins to suck. To me that's the important part. And for $6 million I can see it happen.
    No Torrealaba? :-)
    No David Eckstein? :-)
    Wow, I'm a happy man!

    5 years for $93 million for Johan, not bad. People forget Johan is 30 years old so any deal for him is scary no matter how good he is right now.

    I can't believe the BRaves did that with Glavine! I'm soo happy! So the Mets have the 18th and the 22nd pick! AHH! If the Mets offer Lo Duca arbitration and they should if they don't have a deal in place for someone else they can get a sandwhich pick. I'm going to pee my pants if that happens.

    Reading that Willie article made me realise how pathetic he is. I can't believe the Mets really hired this man, someone with no managing experience on any level to manage the New York fuckin' Mets, amazing.

    DG, the transit strike is STILL going on in France? Amazing, those guys have balls, its been like 3 weeks already!

    9:13 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Ossy...I know he was solid for the Mets. He had some hiccups, but he was solid overall. Please do not mistake this for me saying he did nothing. However, it was time to part ways and I'm happy that he is somewhere else.

    Benny...I'm glad we agree about Willie! I almost fell off my chair when I read that piece.

    10:49 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    We like old catchers in our farm system like De Felice and Alomar!!!!


    11:20 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    Eric Simon of AmazonAvenue gives a brief introduction of Baseball Prospectus: Unfiltered’s Dan Fox’s discussion of baserunning metrics from the new Bill James Handbook and applies them to Jose Reyes. It is well worth reading even for people that are not into this type of analysis as it applies to baseball. It’s interesting that the quantitative results for Reyes pretty much agree with what we determined watching Reyes play everyday. As always it’s good to know what assumptions are made in arriving at the algorithm used whether it be simple or complex.

    Now that Glavine is back with the Braves he will once again get the call on pitches two feet off the plate.

    I would be surprised if Omar does not trade the farm for a pitcher. The major question is what holes will be created and can they be easily patched or will they catch up to the team. As I have said before the early to mid ‘70s Mets had awesome starting pitching yet it was the Big Red Machine with their outstanding position players, solid bullpen and only decent starting pitching that was the team of that decade.

    12:07 AM

    Anonymous DG said...

    So in the only article to address Glavine's compensation today - all the others give you that soppy family angle - Roger Rubin gets it wrong, saying that the Mets get only a comp pick. Man, do your homework.

    Ossy, I think last year showed that Glavine was really working on borrowed time. And I'm not talking about his last few starts but the big hole in his summer when he looked completely washed up. He had an average stay with the Mets. His first two years were absolutely nothing to write home about. The Jacket got him to change his game plan which helped, but Glavine's going to have an ERA of 4.50 or up this year, even if he gets that call off the plate.

    One has to hope that if the Mets trade for a top of the rotation pitcher they will avoid Joe Blanton and really concentrate on a game changer. I also hope they'll fold if they cannot get what they want at the price that they want. Look for Kevin Mulvey to be the minor league pitcher most in demand. Additionally, I suspect that Aaron Heilman is toast if we trade with the A's.

    But I have no problem with Gomez in right field if the Mets cede Lasto. My guess is most teams, excepting the A's, would prefer Gomez. I doubt the Mets would trade Fernando Martinez, especially as there is some doubt in the scouting community as to how good he will be - bona fide left fielder or the new Alex Escobar?

    Benny, this is the second transit strike we've had this fall. The first was for four days in October, and this one has now gone a week. In 95 we had a month long strike and the gov't backed down from making the necessary reforms. That effectively robbed Jacques Chirac of what little real cojones he had. He was a stupid jerk (to quote the Angry Samoans) in any case. His main goal had been to be president and had no idea what to do once he was elected. His legacy here is his standing up to the U.S. war march. That admittedly might have had more of an effect if the French have not habitually said "NO!" at every opportunity since De Gaulle. And yes I respect Jacques C over his stand, but cry wolf enough and the wolf gets to eat well!

    7:43 AM

    Anonymous F is DG said...

    Anyone know much about Johnny Estrada defensively? I haven't followed his career since the Braves traded him. Switch hitter could make for a nice platoon with Castro.

    7:49 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    2x4...I agree that the Mets just need to have decent starting pitching a la 2006. They could have done it with a bang up bullpen and a good offense. Their offense SHOULD be good, but we know what happened last year. I would like an ace, but I would much rather pull off a move for a legit #2 like Garza would could pitch like an ace in the NL.

    Blanton for me would be pointless. Just get me Silva even though he would cost more cash.

    DG, good to have you back. All good stuff. If Glavine posts a decent ERA this year and is around 4.00, I would be shocked. Keith Law predicted he would be one of the worst contracts of '08, though Castillo's will probably get some mention.

    Estrada would be nice. He is a nice contrast offensively to Castro being a contact hitter with little power. I don't think he is all that god offensively. Probably a LoDuca type defender.

    9:21 AM


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