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

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Wave of the Future

The new regime in Tampa seems to be doing something, which is a stark contrast to the previous Namoli regime. First, the bold move in shipping Young out. In shipping a very talented young outfielder with only one year of service time, he got back a potential front end starter, a potential electric bullpen arm, and a solid shortstop that helps the Devil Rays vastly improve what was a horrible defense.

Longoria, Bartlett, Iwamura, and Pena on the infield with Crawford, Upton, and Baldelli/Gomes/Floyd in the outfield is pretty tight. They jettisoned off Upton and Wigginton who were just terrible defensive players on the infield and stand to really provide defensive support for what all of a sudden is looking like a tight rotation.

The Wheeler move seemed suspect at the time being the Rays were bad and the picking up a guy with two years left seems a bit unnecessary, but now that this team has a defense, solid offensive potential, and a solid rotation, they needed a bullpen. Now the are having Percival close out games with Wheeler, Reyes, and possibly Niemann in a set-up role with Morlan possibly making an impact this year.

Now the franchise makes another statement by inking James Shields for seven years and $40 million dollars. That buys out his last four years of team controlled years and tacks on three more. Even if he misses two seasons because of injury, this contract has value. Of course it has less value, but value. The only way this deal will look horrible is if Shields is unable to remain a starter, which really does not seem likely to me.

The Rays also get some cost certainty because they are going to have a lot of players over the next few years going through arbitration and having all that uncertainty settled gives them a much better idea of run to run their team's budget. This deal is going to look brilliant in three years when you factor in the current asking price for less than mediocre pitching and the ever escalating salaries.

With the impossible task of assembling a solid rotation at a bargain price by picking through the free agent market, this might become the norm. Tampa has $40 million on the table in terms of risk should something go horribly wrong, but they stand to lose quite a bit more if they had to match his innings from someone off the free agent market. If they do plan to be competitive in '09, '10, '11, and '12, and it seems they will be, this move makes a lot of sense.

* * *

  • The Mets re-upped Endy Chavez for two years and $3.85 million and this move has nothing to do with any possible Santana deal. It has everything to do with bringing back a slick fielding fourth outfielder that was by some metrics the best outfielder in 2006. He also can do a little something with the bat and steal some bases.

    Regardless of any trade possibilities, this move had to be done and was a solid one.

  • Steve Popper gets it wildly wrong.

    Which makes me wonder: Will today be the day that Santana finally is traded?

    I know what I'm hoping. I hope that we never hear another rumor, never read another story – after this one – about Santana coming to (fill in the blank). And the only way that will happen is if Santana goes somewhere, anywhere.

    So Mets, get it done. Give up four prospects. Give up five. Give up Fernando Martinez. Get it done.

    The Mets can get by this season without him, and they still might be the favorites to win the East. But the reason they should go for Santana is the one that critics would tell them not to make the deal for -- the future.

    Martinez may turn out to be a star. Deolis Guerra could turn out to be an ace. Or maybe they won't. But in Santana, arm health permitting, the Mets would ensure the future of their pitching rotation, something that they are desperately in need of beyond this season.


    Get it done at all costs? Why? These young guys have a lot of value and we are not just talking about Martinez, Guerra, or Gomez. The Mets still have a formidable front three that a lot of teams would not mind having and can admirably fill in the last spot in the rotation with Livan Hernandez and get some league average innings.

    I just cannot get on board with giving Smith whatever he wants just because he wants it. How about we give him what he deserves? The fact is, he was asking for way too much to start and his best offers were on the table already and have seemingly been pulled back at this point. Maybe I am missing something, but why does Smith have all of the leverage here?

  • The main flaw with some players and their arbitration figures is that they cannot compare themselves to guys with four, five, six, or seven years of service. Howard is a 'super 2' player. While most third year players are getting paid $900,000k if they are lucky, he is asking for $10 million. Basically, all of the value in bringing up your own players through your system would be sucked out. $7 million might be light, but $10 million is 43% higher than the Phillies figure and the highest every received in Howard's situation.

    The best solution is a long term deal as I stated before, but Howard does not seem like the type of guy to take a Reyes or Wright-esque deal. He wants to get paid. Get paid a lot. And get paid now. This all sets bad precedents and you can point out his RBI and homer totals to me as much as you want. Giving him $10 million in his third year will put him on track to just about have market value by his fifth year if he had his way. Good luck with that Pat.

  • As you have probably inferred from some of my past posts, I a optimistic about the Mets '08 outfield.

    Shit, I'm optimistic about their '08 rotation and infield as well. The bullpen? I think it could be good, but it could also be bad as well.

  • Cano is jumping on the long term deal bandwagon as well and the Yankees should pony up. I have to admit, he has turned out to be a much better player than I thought he would be. Even when I admitted to myself that he would be pretty damn good, I thought he would not be able to stay at second base which devalues him a bit. Of course, what happens? He improves a bit on defense and becomes good enough to get the job done.


  • David Aardsma was designated for assignment.

    Aardsma, acquired last off-season with left-hander Carlos Vasquez for Neal Cotts, was a disappointment. He was 2-1 with a 6.40 ERA in 25 relief appearances in two stints with the Sox and spent time at Triple-A Charlotte.

    Aardsma, 26, is out of options. The Sox have 10 days to trade or waive Aardsma, a former No. 1 pick of San Francisco.


    He has been more bad than good for his career and walks a ton of batters, but he can still strike people out. His minor league numbers are pretty decent, but he still has walked four batters per nine on the farm as well.

    That being said, why not try and get him for a minor league deal? Relievers are so year-to-year that he might be able to do something good.
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    19 Comments:

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    I"m very excited about what the Rays are doing. Kazmir - Garza - Shields, is as good as a front 3 as ANYBODY!

    Crawford, Iwamura, Upton, Pena, Floyd/Gomes, Baldelli, Longoria, Navarro, and Bartlett as the lineup?
    That's a pretty sick lineup, great speed, nice power.
    I really hope they can make some noise this year. I think everyone can root for the Rays, even Red Sox and yankee fans can appreciate them being good.

    I read somewhere that Ryan Howard has his mom and dad involved in his negotiations, jeeze. Ryan Howard is also alreayd pretty old and is not the type of guy to age well. He looks like a San Francisco Giant to me...

    Aardsma strikes out one batter per inning and that has value.

    12:33 PM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Rays improvement will lead to the Red Sox and Yankees not fattening up their records against weak sisters. They will move back to the pack, and that's good for baseball. It might even make for a 3-team race in the AL East.

    Ryan Howard = one-dimensional and fat. Is that what you were getting at, Benny?

    12:40 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    The Rays should be good. I think, though many will disagree, they are on par with the Blue Jays. Halladay/McGwoan/Burnett could easily trump their first three and their bullpen might be better, though the Rays is rather solid, their offense could be much worse.

    A lot of 'ifs' there for me. Which Vernon Wells is the real one? Will Lind get a shot? Is Overbay going to be a big help? Eckstein...nuff said. Will Rolen be healthy. They could sneak into third place.

    The Howad thing just irks me. Imagine Sugar Pants doing this?

    12:42 PM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    It's too bad that the Orioles will replace the Rays as the AL East whipping boys. It's true, the way it's going, the Rays could challenge the Jays for third.

    Sugar Pants is the MAN! He'd NEVER become a money grubber like Howard. Hopefully, he'll never become a fat POS, either.

    1:02 PM

     
    Anonymous kranepool said...

    I agree about D-Rays right now they are past the Orioles and heading toward the Blue Jays and will be a major headache to the Sawx and Highlanders

    I wish I could as optimistic as you on the Mets of '08 but as the team is constituded right now I don't see a playoff berth.

    As much as I hate Glavine his innings have to come from someone I would be giddy if Humber or Pelfrey stepped up but until they do the back end of the rotation is in flux.

    1:04 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "The Howad thing just irks me. Imagine Sugar Pants doing this?"

    Mike,

    The mind can not possibly imagine Sugar Pants doing this, because in doing that exact act, he would cease to be Sugar Pants. Then the mind would be left pondering nothing, get bored, and have a beer. Which reminds me, I think it's time for a beer.

    1:04 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Sidd,

    Why is that too bad? The are run so poorly it is a long time coming and indicative of their past and possibly still current philosophies. The Orioles would be getting what they deserve. If you run a team poorly, then you should be in last place.

    Steve....No playoffs for the Mets? It is not a slam dunk, but c'mon, they are one of the five best teams in the league and considering the other four or five (if you put the Cubs up there) are not in their division, I feel OK. I would put the Phillies and Braves in the 5th through 6th range with the Cubs and you could interchange any of them.

    I thought the Mets were clearly the best in '07 whereas they are merely one of the best in '08.

    The mind can not possibly imagine Sugar Pants doing this, because in doing that exact act, he would cease to be Sugar Pants. Then the mind would be left pondering nothing, get bored, and have a beer. Which reminds me, I think it's time for a beer.

    You just blew my mind.

    1:36 PM

     
    Anonymous Dep said...

    I'd be trying to get PAID now too if I was Howard.

    Guy is gonna be declining not too long from now. he doesnt have much prime time left.

    I know its crazy and all that, but i really dont fault him. service time be damned.

    he's gotta try to get paid max dollars when he can. By the time he has the service time to get him top dollars, his production could have seriously declined.

    Baseball is a job #1, a job you want to get paid for. and lots, preferably. so again, yes its crazy, but i dont think howard is a jerk for trying to get paid

    4:22 PM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Orioles fans do not deserve the ownership they have. He should sell the team. I feel bad for Orioles fans, like I feel bad for Pirates and Royals fans. It wasn't that long ago (2002) when the Mets lost 15 straight home games. Of course, when the Yankers do something stupid, I'm all for it.

    As for deserving to be where they are, yes, the Orioles deserve to be exactly where they are. It's going to get worse before it gets better.

    I think the Mets will make the Playoffs in '08. (Sorry, Mr. Kranepool)

    4:41 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, who would not want to get paid now? He can ask for whatever he wants, it is a free country. But I also it speaks volumes to the Phillies as well about his mindset. He is being silly for the simple fact there are no comps for a 'super 2' getting $10 million. There have been some pretty good players before him, why does he deserve it?

    Because he will be declining, which I do not think he will be, he should get paid an inordinate amount? I don't buy that one. Regardless, he could easily mash and play with an iron mit for a while.

    The bottom line is the Phillies were more than generous. I know this is apples and oranges, but what if Cano was asking for $8 million? He's good enough for it I presume since comparable free agents would cost more, but the Yankees offered him $3.2 million. There are reasons you develop your own players...so you do not have to pay free agents to do less for the money.

    In no way, shape, or form does it make sense to anyone but Howard and the Union. Sure he is allowed to go for whatever he wants, but his actions are still going to cause other people to react. Let them go to court, he will not get his money. I'd say $8 million and that is probably too high. Cabrera's $7.4 was for his fourth year of service as well versus Howard's third.

    4:46 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Orioles fans do not deserve the ownership they have. He should sell the team.

    100% agree. What fans deserve shitty ownership? But why should shitty ownership NOT get saddled with a bad team. That is the only way things change, no? Let the public petition for new ownership then. Angelos is awful.

    Who are the five worst run teams in the bigs? The Devil Rays seemingly turned a corner and the Royals seem to be better with Moore.

    Pirates, Giants (good pitching, but complete lack of anything else is troubling...the caveat is I'm sure people will tell me they were trying to win with Bonds and it caused them to make bad decisions), Orioles, and that's it for now.

    The other usual subjects seem to make more sense these days. The Rangers system is really impressive and even the Nationals are making good moves.

    4:50 PM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    The Marlins aren't very good, but Beinfest has been keeping them afloat. At least they have been getting value back from their salary dumps.

    The Reds have not been good for a long time.

    That might fill in the 5 worst teams at the moment. At least the Giants have good pitching. It's easier to bounce back when you have that.

    5:33 PM

     
    Anonymous Dep said...

    Listen i agree the phils were very generous and howard obviously looks like a money-hungry punky kinda dude for doing this, but the thing is, i dont fault him at all.

    If he puts in $10M and they put $7M in, and they agree on 8-8.5M, then it was worth it to him. and its not like there are going to be hard feelings. its all about producing, we know this (except if you're milledge) if they go to court, he will probably get the $7M, i agree with that too. then it probly wasnt worth it to him. but at least the phils know where the man's mind is at and their chances of resigning him when its time or working out a LT deal in the near future.

    I guess my point was really about fuck service time. Yea i get the whole system of baseball is based on it and the world of beisbol would fall apart if things didnt work that way and it would totally suck the value out of developing farm talent....I totally get that. So consider this rant to be tongue-in-cheek or something similar. but doing a job is doing a job.

    If i'm working at a firm where some 40 year old guy (i'm 29) has been there 10 years and is doing the same thing i am....If i am brand new and do the job better than him, i wanna be and deserve to be, paid more than him. I dont care how long he's been there at all. Maybe i wont be paid more at first cuz he's been there so long, but damn to hell i'm gonna ask for more. and when i dont get it, fine, next year I'll ask for more again and so on. Its all about doing to job to me. Service time be damned.

    And maybe I dont even ask for more next year cuz I quit and find a firm that will pay me for my ability and my talent and not something silly and arbitrary like being able to fog a mirror with my nose for X number of years.

    Maybe I'm just not a system kind of guy. In fact I know I'm not. 10 people in line with me last and 2 doors in front of us and they all choose door 1, I'm taking door 2. Why? Fuck them.

    I dont buy into the whole its been done this way for this many years and other guys dont get paid that and so that makes it right. fuck the system. fuck comparables. rage against the machine. anarchy for all!

    rant over. VIVA LOS METS.

    RICARDO RINCON BITCHES!!!! awwww yea. he fits right in our hospital unit team.

    5:52 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    As of now, John Heyman says the Mets are in the lead for Santana.

    This is as of 1/23. How much to we want to bet that Olney or Kurjian or Rosenthal say that the Mets are not by tomorrow.

    Watch the anit-Mets media.

    - Nokes

    6:08 PM

     
    Anonymous most boring off season ever said...

    Word is that Twins want SugarPants & José and the money to pay them. They've put themselves in a corner, and as I said yesterday, I think the Twins will finally relent to the Mets' current offer. The Twins should just pony up the money and keep the guy if they haven't already alienated Santana.

    I don't think Aardsma will pass through waivers, and a DFA will likely mean a major league deal from someone. I'd go there if I was the Mets. What do they have to lose? When you consider the low contract to Wise & the Rule 5 Register, why not just trade a mid-level prospect and cut him if the Jacket can't fix him?

    I mean, something must occur this off season!

    7:01 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Rincon! Last saw him managing in Veracruz state before I left Mexico for Korea in late 2005. Finally, the answers to our prayers. Who needs Santana now!

    -Will

    8:07 AM

     
    Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

    Arise internet minion, you have been tagged by Rickey to partake in the obnoxious “8 Random Things” meme. Act accordingly. (Or don’t. Rickey’s just looking to get this off his desk and avoid 7 years of bad luck).

    8:18 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Someone get Olney's Blog at ESPN and post it!!

    Again, he is down playing the Mets offer for Santana. Mike, get it, post it and pick it apart. Or someone just grab it and out it here in the comment section.

    - Nokes

    10:03 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Didn't see it yet...I'll pick away tomorrow.

    11:00 AM

     

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