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

Friday, November 09, 2007

The 'C' Word

It seems the 'c' word is being dropped and this wreaks of Boras possibly miscalculating the market for A-Rod. In his effort to continually push the envelope in regards to player compensation, he forgot that though baseball is thriving, there is a not unlimited cash outside of the Bronx.

"Over the past few days, press reports coming out of the general managers' meetings relating to the sharing of information between clubs as to their plans regarding players potentially raise serious questions concerning the fairness and integrity of the free-agent market," the union said in a statement Thursday night after the four-day session ended. "Such questions are amplified by reports stating that the commissioner is attempting to influence the market for at least one player."

I call bullshit! Look, if a team wants A-Rod, they will pay A-Rod what they think is appropriate. If Boras falls flat on his face and fails to get A-Rod the contract he has been so adamant about getting him, it will not be his fault according to Boras himself. It will be the owners colluding. Fiscal responsibility? Who needs that shit?

At $30+ million a year, it would be hard for any team to extract full value out of A-Rod. You need a team with plenty of disposable income that can spend that much on a player and not think twice. There is no other team in baseball outside of the Yankees that could truly afford that price tag and there are few people that would really argue that two $15 million dollar players are not more valuable than one $30 million player. Of course, the problem is there just is not that much out there this off-season which does bode well for A-Rod.

However, can Boras get someone to bid against themselves like he did with the Giants and Zito last year? Probably not since we are talking about money in a different stratosphere. I am 100% sure he will get some good offers and I am 100% sure that he will get $20 to $25 million per season, which would make it pretty hard to scream collusion. There was only eleven players with a salary more than $15 million in 2007. Only three made over $20 million. There is simply too much room in the $20 million range for anyone to rationally jump into the $30 million range and I do not think it will happen.

Every team but five made over $10 million in 2006. Eleven teams made over $20 million. Only one team made over $30 million and that was the Marlins with an astounding $43.3 million profit. Even if teams clear a considerable amount of payroll, they will need to backfill positions which will inevitably cost a sizable chunk of change being shitty players now make between $5 and $8 million and then they need to come up with another $30 million for A-Rod? I do not see that happening and truly believe he will now end up in the $20 to $25 million dollar range with something being added in so Boras can save face in some way.

Not many teams have the financial wherewithal to get this done no matter what anyone says without owners dipping into their own pockets, which seems unlikely. It seems that Boras may have finally out-Borassed himself.

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  • The Mets top ten is out and it certainly is interesting.

    1. Fernando Martinez, of
    2. Deolis Guerra, rhp
    3. Carlos Gomez, of
    4. Kevin Mulvey, rhp
    5. Eddie Kunz, rhp
    6. Brant Rustich, rhp
    7. Philip Humber, rhp
    8. Jon Niese, lhp
    9. Nathan Vineyard, lhp
    10. Robert Parnell, rhp

    Mulvey has passed Humber on the list which is not all that surprising, but is more of a testament to Mulvey taking a nice leap forward than Humber taking a huge step back. Comparatively speaking, Humber's numbers for New Orleans were pretty good when put up against his peers. However, the most interesting thing overall is that the Mets are waking up.

    “We’ve adhered to the commissioner’s slot recommendations,” Minaya said. “We’ve been good citizens. But not all the teams have done that, and the competitive balance is not fair. We have to take that position under review as an organization.”

    Playing fair only hurts the Mets long term and it is unfair to expect some teams to adhere to the commissioner's wishes while other teams just ignore Bud's wishes. Now, the Mets have found themselves in quite a pickle in regards to their organizational depth.

  • It looks like Ben Sheets might be dangled out there by the Brewers. There might be a weak free agent market, but there are some big names out there that might be available via trade and it really seems like some huge names will be moved.

    Also within the piece, Ken Oberkfell seems to the leading candidate for the Mets first base coach vacancy. FINALLY! Ken gets a taste of the bigs again and it is only a matter of time before he has his own big league team.

  • I think Tejada would be a great pickup for the Yankees, but he might not cost one of the big three? The Yankees have done a nice job with their system and have some top flight arms, but am I missing where they really bulked up the rest of their system? Austin Jackson? Alan Horne? Shelly Duncan? Jose Tabata? Who are they giving the Orioles that makes it worth it for them to trade Tejada? Some middle relief prospects?

  • The Angels should make every effort to get Cabrera, but Kendrick, Wood, and Adenhart? I don't know about that. Cabrera will be the best right handed hitter for the next 10+ years, but that seems like a lot.

  • Make sure the sound is cranked.

  • Hmmmm...

    Mike(NYC): Hey Mr.Law would you trade Gomez and Phillip Humber for Matt Garza and one of their relief arms?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:58 PM ET ) No, Gomez is extremely raw but has a high enough ceiling that that's a poor risk for the Mets - Garza's got good stuff but isn't exactly a sure thing himself. And the Mets shouldn't deal Humber now while his value's a little down.

    I repeat....Hmmmmm....I still would deal Gomez and his upside for Garza as many guys like him fizzle out. The Mets have Beltran, F-Mart, and Milledge so he is really expendable and Garza is young and very good. However, I would see if you it can get done with Niese instead of Humber or something of that ilk. Straight up would be even better, but that won't happen.
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    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Just Say No to A-Rod

    The Angels are joining the Mets in chasing A-Rod? I had no idea the Mets were even chasing A-Rod. I do not care what is out there, the Mets are not chasing A-Rod.

    Scott Boras is scheduled to meet with the Mets this week concerning you-know-who, and Tuesday the new GM of the Angels certainly made it known his team will be in the A-Rod sweepstakes.

    But other than the Giants and Dodgers, who have previously expressed their intention to explore the A-Rod situation, only the Mets and Angels seem interested in Alex Rodriguez and his hefty price tag.

    I know many people think that any play for A-Rod would be a good one, but I seriously do not agree and it seems to be a square peg in a round hole situation no matter how it shakes out. Too much money over too many years when the Mets already have a great third baseman as is. Of course, a good GM is always open to anything.

    It would not be shocking if they made a similar pitch in this spot to see if they could get Rodriguez at a price that would make a significant roster shuffle - likely Wright to a new position - worthwhile. But it is probably even more likely that they simply will not make an offer and concentrate their full attention on finding pitching in this difficult market.

    The article does mention that the Mets are most likely just humoring Boras and trying to keep a good working relationship rather than being genuinely interested, which makes sense. However, one has to wonder if Wright would be more likely to hang around after his contract expires if he stays at third versus being moved to first. Would he rather go play third base for someone else if the Mets move him?

    I do not think this is a black and white situation and it is not just as easy as move Wright and Delgado, who they will most certainly have to eat $6 million to $10 million when you factor in the buyout. It is easier to find offense at first than any where else and though A-Rod makes this team a better offensive team in 2008 and beyond, his signing could have bigger implications than just money. No matter what Wright says about being a good soldier to accommodate A-Rod, one has to wonder what he would ultimately do and I think this is more delicate than people realize.

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  • Tom Glavine looks like he might be heading back to Atlanta and that is just fine by me.

    "I think it would be nice for our fans if Tommy finished as a Brave," Wren said. "At the same time, we're looking for a quality pitcher, and we feel Tommy is still that."

    He did some nice things here and I will not deny that, but it is 100% time to move on for the Mets. Besides, the insistence by Willie to use him as their #1 scares me when I think about the Mets in the playoffs and this is truly a case of addition by subtraction in many ways.

  • The Yankees are possibly looking to acquire Miguel Cabrera.

    A canvas of executives indicated the Yanks would have to trade Melky Cabrera and one of their high-end starters, perhaps Ian Kennedy, but more probably Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain in a package. And there are no signs the Yanks are willing to part with their best young pitchers, even to replace A-Rod.

    Melky and Ian? First, the is a bizarre report that the Yankees would balk at that. At least that is what they are saying now. Second, that would be truly a ridiculous trade and if the Marlins do not get Phil or Joba back, that trade would be a horrific one for the ages.

    I think Kennedy is a solid pitching prospect, but not in the same tier as the other two and you will excuse me if I do not think Melky is good enough to be a centerpiece of a deal of that magnitude. I am not nearly as high on him as many Yankee fans are and just think he is going to be a mediocre regular player down the line. Other teams would have to give up the likes Kershaw, Kemp, Wood, etc. and the Yankees would give up Melky and Horne? Ridiculous. People are crazy and Yankee fans are crazy for thinking this deal is even discussed without Hughes or Joba.

  • It seems I have been proven 100% wrong.

    “It is about the two draft picks," Cashman said. “By offering arbitration, we get the first-round pick of the team that signs him and a sandwich pick."

  • It really seems that LoDuca's days as a Met are over.

  • It looks like instant replay is backed by the vast majority of big league GMs.

    With the Mets and Yankees among those in favor, baseball's general managers formally recommended that the sport adopt instant replay.

    After several years of discussion, the GMs voted on the issue for the first time yesterday, and replay was approved 25-5. It would be used only for "boundary calls" such as whether a ball is fair, clears a wall or is touched by a fan.

    "It just makes sense to me to use everything available to get it right," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said.

  • Marlon gets two years and $2.2 million. He truly seems to flourish here and he is certainly welcome back.

  • I would not mind Silva, but I do have my limits.

    The Mets have interest in free-agent pitcher Carlos Silva and planned to meet here with Silva's agents, Barry Praver and Scott Shapiro. Yet they are wary of the large price that Silva (perhaps five years and $50 million) could command on the open market.

    Of course, that is way to much and Silva is getting a lot of attention making it likely that he does receive that amount. This is one of the worst markets in recent years which is saying a lot because they have been rather paltry the last few years. Silva may cash in big time and he might become a bit expensive for rational GMs.

  • Wow. There is a video as well and this has to be one of the stranger things that I have seen.

  • Carlos Gomez for Matt Garza? Sign me up. I know Gomez has some immense upside, but Garza has front end potential and is under control for another four years. The Mets would be dealing from an obvious position of strength and this would truly be a tremendous move for Omar if he can get this done.

  • You cannot make this stuff up.

    Millions of Chinese-made toys have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful date rape drug when ingested. Two children in the United States and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.

  • The Astros continue to venture down a very perplexing road.

    The Phillies made a great deal to get Brad Lidge form the Astros, which allows them to move Brett Myers back into the rotation after he did a decent job as a makeshift closer. The Astros received Michael Bourn, a talented outfielder, as the main piece in return, and he has a chance to be pretty good. No great surprise that new Astros GM Ed Wade dealt with his former team.

    Why maximize the value of your players?

    This team is so far away from winning, they might as well blow things up. Oswalt would be in his mid-30's by the time they might become competitive and it will be extremely difficult to become competitive without trading him. He may be an icon down there, but anything that is not tied down should be dealt with only Pence as an untouchable.

    Especially with a horrific free agent class, they can look to really cash in with three guys who would be in the in the top ten of available free agents with ease.

    As for the other side, Nate Silver likes the deal for the Astros. However, the caveat I would add to this is that Lidge is not necessarily for one year as the Phillies could easily afford to extend him. Even so, I would still take my chances with a sandwich pick and a first rounder instead of those two beacons of mediocrity.

  • Cordero for Gomez or Pelfrey? If I did not like Cordero for Humber, I certainly do not like that deal as I still maintain Humber or Pelfrey would be solid arms out of the bullpen for much cheaper and much longer with some upside in the rotation. For me, this is no brainer to not do and the Nationals could just sit and stew in their horribleness.

  • It looks like the Mets do have some interest in a Japanese import.

    A pitcher the Mets have their eye on is Japanese righty Hiroki Kuroda. The 32-year-old is a free agent, though it's uncertain whether he'll head to the United States or what his timetable is.

  • Eleven of this year's free agents have been nabbed for steroids. Good times!
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    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    Moving Right Along....

    So Curt Schilling is off the market. He was only looking for a one year deal which would have suited the Mets just fine and allowed them to move on from Tom Glavine, but that was not necessarily the best move they could have made. I still think the Mets should stay the course and not do anything crazy. Crazy would be classified as getting A-Rod or signing anyone that costs their first round draft pick.

    If you like puking in your mouth, read this. The likes of Woody Williams, Dave Roberts, Roberto Hernandez, etc. were Type A free agents and just reinforces how screwed up the old system was. Luckily, that has changed and the Mets should be focusing on anyone that does not classify as a Type A free agent.

    AL Rankings
    NL Rankings

    Of course, under the new collective bargaining agreement, only Type A free agents would net a compensatory pick, Type B free agents only net a sandwich pick for their old team, and Type C free agents no longer exist. Good times! If you are like me and wonder how they come up with theses rankings, just keep reading.

    Elias determines the which 'Type' (A, B, or neither) each MLB player is, and not just free agents. They are put in 1 of 5 groups depending which position they appeared in the most games at over the 2 seasons.

    Group 1: first basemen, outfielders, and designated hitters
    Group 2: second basemen, third basemen, and shortstops
    Group 3: catchers
    Group 4: starters
    Group 5: relievers

    Here are the stat categories used for each of the five position groups.
    2B/3B/SS: PA, AVG, OBP, HR, RBI, Fielding percentage, Total chances at designated position
    C: PA, AVG, OBP, HR, RBI, Fielding percentage, Assists
    SP: Total games (total starts + 0.5 * total relief appearances), IP, Wins, W-L Percentage, ERA, Strikeouts
    RP: Total games (total relief appearances + 2 * total starts), IP (weighted slightly less than other categories), Wins + Saves, IP/H ratio, K/BB, ERA

    The new system is great. It no longer prohibits teams from picking up finishing pieces to their team that previously cost them first round or second picks. That means the Mets can pick up decent bullpen arms, middling starting pitching, and mediocre catchers and not give anything up.

    I still think the Mets do not need to do anything drastic. I think it is a must that The Duque heads into the bullpen and I am warming up to the idea that the Mets should give a long hard look at Carlos Silva. Honestly, I had been really liking the idea of Schilling for no commitment, but he was a Type A free agent and Silva may end up being the innings eater that the Mets need. I am still interested in Hiroki Kuroda and I said I preferred him to the more expensive Silva, but I'm leaning towards the more expensive option at this point partly because of some news and the fact that he might not be all that much cheaper. However, either should give the Mets a capable arm in the rotation, which is what they need and not necessarily and ace.

    Outside of that and the bullpen, it is all really minor moves for the Mets. LoDuca, Torrealba, or Ramon Hernandez? Who gives a fuck. It seems like Castillo will be back and that is just fine at this point. Outside of one starter and one reliever (I am resigned to the fact that Humber and/or Pelfrey will be back in AAA), the Mets are just looking to make some minor moves. If the Mets can get Siliva or Kuroda and then add a reliever like Riske, they would not be giving up any picks and would be playing it rather safe.

    The starting eight would look like this:
    Reyes, Wright, Castillo, Delgado, Alou, Beltran, Milledge, and LoDuca/Torrealba/Hernandez

    The rotation would look like this:
    Pedro, Ollie, Maine, Silva/Kuroda, and Humber/Pelfrey

    The bullpen would look like this:
    Wagner, Heilman, Hernandez, Feliciano, Smith, Schoe, and Riske/Affeldt/Linebrink (getting rid of Mota is a must or see if he will pass through waivers)

    With the bench looking to be pretty decent again with Gotay, Easley, and Marlon already in the fold, I would be comfortable with that team. Also, that team would have to still be the prohibitive favorites of the entire National League again even after their collapse.

    * * *

  • I'm conflicted. Jeter and Palmeiro among others have made the Gold Glove a joke, but Wright and Beltran winning it makes me happy.

    One thing Wright's Gold Glove does do is quell some of the desire to unnecessarily bring in A-Rod. As I have stated before, if the Mets want to open up their wallets for A-Rod, let him move.

  • The Rockies and the Mets might just end up trading catchers.

    The Rockies anticipate they may lose catcher Yorvit Torrealba and their top target to replace him is Met free agent Ramon Castro. Colorado imagines Castro's power being even more overt playing home games in Coors Field rather than Shea Stadium. The Rockies also have strong interest in free agents Paul Lo Duca and Jose Molina as replacements for Torrealba.

  • Again, any big bid on Posada for the Mets would be a mistake. Really, the guy had his best year by far and should only stand to go downhill from his 2004 to 2006 numbers. I'm sorry, this would be a disaster.

    However, if the Mets are just going to help drive up his value and leave a couple of years where the Yankees are sorely overpaying, great. I love driving up the price for the Yankees.

  • There is no reason to turn on Reyes just yet. Everyone was anointing him the golden boy of baseball earlier in the year and now he is chop liver? Give the kid a break. Maybe it was his attitude. Maybe it was not. If it was, he surely had some time to clear his head and get back on track.
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