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

Saturday, January 26, 2008

If Matthews is still yapping....

...Omar is doing the right thing. It is hard to even know where to start with this one.

They shed Lastings Milledge, Paul Lo Duca and Tom Glavine. In return, they brought in Ryan Church and Brian Schneider, paid more money to Ramon Castro, Luis Castillo, Jose Reyes and Endy Chavez, and issued a stern warning to Duaner Sanchez to stay out of taxicabs in South Florida at 2 in the morning.

Meanwhile, Johan Santana still is a Twin, A-Rod still is a Yankee and Reyes still is a Met.

And yet, to quote the words of Mets VP David Howard, "If you look at it objectively, [we] are a championship-caliber, playoff-contending team."

And if you look at it rationally, Howard, or whoever is writing his material, very well may be out of his mind.

So, let me get this straight. A team that was one game away from the playoffs last year and either remained the same or slightly improved (depending upon who you talk to) is not a playoff-contending team? It is completely inconceivable that a rotation led by Pedro, Maine, and Ollie with a lineup led by Reyes, Wright, and Beltran can make the playoffs with possible above average production at every position with the exception of second base?


They act as if last season was some kind of hallucination, that the historic collapse (they led the Phillies by seven games on Sept. 12 with 17 games to play) never really happened, that despite what the NL East standings showed Oct. 1, the Mets actually were the best team in baseball and, as such, didn't really need much in the way of tinkering in the offseason.

I would not say they are ignoring it, but would you prefer they deal F-Mart, Church, Gomez, Pelfrey, Guerra, and Mulvey for Santana? Omar is trying to do what he can to improve the 2008 Mets within reason, but the team with the best off-season simply earned that crown by re-signing their own players. In other words, there was not much to be done. Garza or Haren would have been nice and it is hard to think that the Mets could not get a comparable deal together for Haren, but Omar was trying.

What really happened here is that once again, the fans are being forced to pay for the failings of the players. When the Mets bombed out of the playoffs, they lost anywhere from $2 million to $15 million in postseason income. Somebody had to make up that shortfall. It wasn't going to be the players and it certainly wasn't going to be the Wilpons.

That leaves, well, you.

Strangely enough I agree with him here. The price hike was a little much for me given the state of the Mets and how much cash they pocketed from their playoff run.

But sooner or later, the smoke will clear, the air will warm and it will be baseball season again. The Mets will be back in business with roughly the same cast of characters, the same set of built-in excuses, the same big talk and the same small expectations.

But then, you know what they say in Flushing: Around here, there is no offseason.

I guess they shouldn't even bother to play. They should send home the two guys who should have won the MVPs the last two years in Beltran and Wright, they should send the most electric baseball player home and tell him to pick up a new hobby, they should tell Pedro he rehabbed for nothing and he can go sit under a mango tree, Maine and Ollie are hitting their prime and set to build on their '07 success but should take an extended vacation, Wagner should go ride some more tractors, Heilman finally gets his wish to not come out the bullpen...the only catch is he is won't be pitching at all...etc.

Why bother? I love how the Mets are done and the Yankees are locks. Two rookies in the rotation paired with Mussina at the back end in a highly competitive American League sounds like a recipe for success to me. Why is no one saying the Yankees need Santana? Let us not forget about Posada's likely regression and one of the worst defenses money can buy and the Mets are the only ones in New York with problems. I like the Yankees long term direction with all that young pitching, but it would be foolish to think they do not hit any bumps in the road. In fact, I would not be shocked to see the Yankees home in October while the Mets are playing. That of course is not the worst thing for the Yankees who need to let Hughes, Kennedy, and Joba develop, but it is simply not that much of a stretch.

* * *

  • A little NL East info for your bad selves.

    Tim (DC): Nate, how tough is it to make projections for totally new parks? Thinking about the Nats new park, and guys like Dukes, Milledge, etc.

    Nate Silver: It's not *that* hard if you plug in the field dimensions, geography, and so forth. We have it playing as a very mild pitchers' park -- like a 98 or 99 -- though the word from insiders is that the wind patterns are such that it will play more like a 95.

    In these supercharged offensive times, it is good to see another pitcher's park spring up.

    charlesford (arlington, va): Can you give me any hopeful PECOTAs for a Nationals player (not named Zimmerman)? I'm guessing one of the new, young outfielders might be our only hope.

    Nate Silver: Lastings Milledge: .289/.358/.478. Really, if that team didn't have such a godawful middle infield, the offense could be quite all right.

    There are many of you, including me, that probably did not want to read that. If that is how it shakes out, there will be plenty of dissension in the ranks.

    Darren (NY): Care to expound on the NL East race? Seems there are three teams one could make a credible case for.

    Nate Silver: It should be very competitive. The one group I'm relatively less optimistic about are the Phillies, who are still giving too much away at the back end of their rotation.

    I really feel like it is the Mets slightly ahead of the Braves in overall talent, but the Phillies are in third and it is not all that close. However, as much as I hate intangibles, the Phillies seem to have something going on there and seemingly have more of drive to win.

    That being said, I think it comes down to the Braves and the Mets with the Mets taking it. And no, it is never too early for predictions.

  • Jayson Stark lays down an opinion on the Santana fiasco.

    Good question. Where's the big-league-ready, can't-miss centerpiece player the Twins said they had to have in that Mets proposal?

    Carlos Gomez is a guy with enticing tools, but most teams don't view him as the kind of Jose Reyes cloned talent the Mets portray him to be.

    Kevin Mulvey and Phil Humber are looked at as No. 4 starters in their best-case scenarios.

    And Deolis Guerra has an eye-popping arm. But he's only 18 years old -- "and he doesn't even have the semblance of a breaking ball right now," said one scout.

    Maybe the Twins think the Mets are so anxious to reel in Santana that they'll add Mike Pelfrey and/or outfield stud Fernando Martinez to the package. But there has been no indication the Mets will ever do that.

    So while the Yankees and Red Sox backskate away from the deals they almost made, the Mets have obviously decided there's no reason to sweeten this pot. What they're telling the Twins, essentially is: "This may not be what you want -- but it's better than two draft picks."

    There are people inside the Twins' organization who believe they have to move Santana before spring training. But unless they can justify why they turned down much more attractive packages in December, they may have maneuvered themselves into a situation where that has become practically impossible.

    Trying to justify passing up any offer is a slipper slope. However, the Twins are where they are and the fact remains that the Mets offer may lack names but not talent. Jayson Stark writes many interesting things, but I still think he is off here.

    "Most" teams don't view Gomez as a 'Jose Reyes' cloned talent? Humber and Mulvey are 4th starters at best? Thems strong words Mister Stark. Really, I would be quite happy hanging on to these trash prospects. Especially F-Mart, Gomez, Mulvey, and Guerra.

    Last season, F-Mart was 18th and Gomez was 34th in the top 100 according to Baseball Prospectus and did nothing to lessen their standing as a prospect. Guerra catapulted up the charts this season and might be a top 25 prospect.

    BA had F-Mart as the 22nd best prospect and Gomez as the 60th. I also know from chats that Jim Callis loves Deolis so I feel comfortable projecting him in the top 50. Of course we will not know until the to 100 list for '08 is posted, but they should be out soon and I just cannot understand why these falsities are being perpetuated.

  • From DG.....and more stuff you might not want to read:

    9. Lastings Milledge, RF, Nationals

    The trade that sent Milledge to the Nationals from the Mets in exchange for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider figures to be a steal for Washington. Milledge has exceptional skills at the plate, and he's a smooth defender in the outfield. Milledge's attitude problems were grossly overblown by the New York media, so the change of scenery may serve him well. Milledge put up solid numbers last year in limited duty with the Mets, and let's not forget that in 2005 he hit .337 in the Eastern League as a 20-year-old. Also, the Nats' new park figures to be much more hitter-friendly than RFK. Milledge should come up big in '08.

    The dude can play. Bowden is going to be happy about this trade, but I think Church is going to do enough to not make Met fans jump off of ledge.

  • Also from DG. I am not sure what is funnier...the video or the comments.

  • I am no stranger to sensationalism so I feeling comfy chalking this up to that.

    Colleague Steve Popper offered the Mets sound advice in Wednesday's Record, urging them to hurry up and trade for Johan Santana. Whatever it takes, is the message Omar Minaya needs to hear, because unless Santana is wearing a Mets' uniform by opening day, they can forget about winning the East in 2008.

    This is no doomsday prediction. The Mets have been in decline ever since Carlos Beltran looked at strike three in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series in 2006. The ghosts hung around last year, ruining what should've been a smooth ride to the playoffs. That means the Mets are 0-for-2 in the two seasons during which they've had the most talent in the National League and its biggest payroll. Willie Randolph has to prove he still has the clubhouse (not to mention use the bullpen more prudently), which means his job is on the line.

    The Phillies have every reason to feel that way, of course. The Mets need a drastic, sea-change event to reverse their slide, both in the standings and in their rivals' perception of them. Santana is the antidote. Without him, those ghosts could be a problem again this summer.

    Right. Because if the other teams have a negative perception in regards to the Mets, that is a bad thing. Who gives a shit what the Phillies or Braves think? Whatever happened to good old fashioned evaluation? I look at three teams having a chance at the NL East. I will not deny the Mets are not head and shoulders above anyone, but to say they have no shot? Please. Take a little more time out of your day to be more creative and write an article with substance.
  • Labels:

    Friday, January 25, 2008

    Sugary Goodness

    Why do I still call David Wright 'Sugar Pants'? Mostly because it annoys people. However, it is still an apt nickname for the best third baseman in the universe over the next ten years. The kid can flat out play some baseball and I just do not think I talk about him enough. Luckily, Rob Neyer has us all covered.

    With all that (and some other stuff) in mind, our tentative list:

    1. Wright
    2. Cabrera
    3. Rodriguez
    4. Zimmerman
    5. Beltre
    6. Ramirez
    7. Reynolds
    8. Atkins
    9. Andy LaRoche
    10. ????

    That's right. Neyer would take Wright over every other third sacker in the league over the next five years. I am sure he would pick him over the next ten years over everyone in the bigs and in the minor league hopper. The Sugary One has posted an OPS+ of 118, 139, 133, and 150 since breaking into the bigs with an astounding 81% of his bases stolen succesfully. If you look at his crude Hall of Fame monitors, they look pretty good.

    Gray Ink: Batting - 41 (582) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
    HOF Standards: Batting - 29.0 (288) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
    HOF Monitor: Batting - 40.5 (445) (Likely HOFer > 100)

    That is with only three full years of ball and one half of a season with his best seasons clearly ahead of him. Wright has slugged over .500 in every season so far and batted over .300 in the last three years. Yeah, he is good. In case you needed more info on that one, only Alex Rodriguez and Matt Holliday topped him (by .4 in each case) in WARP1 last season and it was not even a career year for him when you factor in projection. Was anything he did that unreplicatable in 2008 and beyond?

    His BABAIP has remained pretty consistent over the last three seasons as did his GB% and LD%. Basically, there is nothing to suggest anomally and I really do not think anyone could find anything to suggest such poppycock. The dude is also turning into the model of offensive consistency. Over the last three years, he has hit .282/.387/.475, .306/.377/.535, .314/.391/.574, .298/.364/.486, .328/.411/.556, and .324/.390/549 in April/March, May, June, July, August, and Sept/Oct. respectively. The man shows up from day #1 and can be depended on every day.

    What is not to like? I'm sure Yankee fans will tell us plenty of things, but information never stood in their way when it comes to formulating opinions.

    * * *

  • I know I am late to the party on this one, but rib-removal surgery?

  • Nice.

  • .271/.335/.385 = ugly. Six homers, twenty-two doubles, and caught stealing 33% of the time. The thirty-nine walks to sixty-two strikeouts were nice, but statistically nothing to really get your panties all wet up about. However, scouts were pretty univerally aligned when it came to agreeing the kid was oozing talent. All of this occured for the player when he was 21 years old in 122 games in AA. Who was it? Stop being lazy and figure it out for yourself.

    Now, Gomez posted a .281/.349/.423 line with more extra base hits in every category despite having thirty less at-bats. He also had 30% less walks, 30% more strikeouts, and he also stole bases at a much higher SB% in virtually the same exact amount of games while being a year younger at AA. I am not at all implying that Carlos Gomez will turn into that mystery player above who blossumed inexplicably the next season into one of the best players in the bigs after skipping AAA altogether.

    However, it simply cannot be ignored when you are talking about these toolsy type players. Is anyone really all that curious why teams are still enamored with a kid that has largely not put up numbers to support his supposid skill set? If you watch him, you know what is possibly there and he has taken encouraging steps forward. I will be the first to admit it might be disaster starting 2008 off with Gomez in right if Church is dealt, but if they do, he needs to be in there everyday and take his lumps, which is not something Willie will feel compelled to let happen. With another manager on a non-contending team that might work, but not with the Mets. All in all, I would still not be upset to see the Mets pick up Livan or Lohse and keep their prospects. I still like Humber, Mulvey, and Pelfrey and Fernando and Gomez have a shot to be special.

  • Sometimes I partake in some vodka on the rocks when I go to whatever watering hole is lucky to have me. Exclusively from me enjoying those vodka on the rocks, I like to partake in some bacon. Now, Dep has given me the recipe for everlasting happiness and has combined two of my favorite things.

    For that, you may have first born.

  • From Ossy....

    "HGH [human growth hormone] is nothing. Anyone who calls it a steroid is grossly misinformed," Stallone says in the issue out tomorrow. "Testosterone to me is so important for a sense of well-being when you get older. Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it because it increases the quality of your life. Mark my words. In 10 years, it will be over the counter."

  • It seems that Livan and the Mets are close to a deal. I would assume landing him means Johan is out, but I guess I should not be assume anything. The other weird part is who broke the story. How and why the fuck is it coming out of Colorado?

    Also, anyone down on this deal is nuts. Hopefully it is for one season, but he essentially replaces Glavine's innings and is roughly as valuable as the 2007 version. With Livan replacing Glavine's production and Pedro adding his, this is a big step forward for the Mets.
  • Labels: , ,

    Thursday, January 24, 2008

    Pondering Some Ponderances

    Scott (Philadelphia): If you did have an east coast bias, wouldn't you at least answer one question about the Phillies? Will Drabek recover from TJ?

    Jim Callis: (2:51 PM ET ) I forgot to mention the Phillies . . . No reason Kyle Drabek can't recover, because the TJ track record is good. But he is kind of flaky and still has to prove that his makeup won't be an issue. It's a bigger setback for him than most, I think, because he hadn't had much pro success and probably won't get his killer curve back until 2009 or even 2010.

    I have no intentions of speaking about Kyle Drabek specifically, though it does sting a bit that the Phillies picked him up with a Mets pick that was surrendered to them, but this 'killer curve' that Jim speaks of brings someone to mind. Drabek actually got his surgery around the same time of year that Humber got his as well.

    Presumably, Drabek will be back next year for some obligatory innings before he gears back up for his first full pro-season in a similar fashion to Humber. Though Drabek has more overall talent and a more electric arm, both Humber and Drabek both used a devastating curveball as their out pitch.

    Phil still was 10th in ERA in the PCL. His 4.27 ERA does not look pretty, but only four guys actuall managed to post a sub 4.00 ERA versus twleve in the IL. Maybe that speaks more lack of good pitchers than just pitching in the PCL, but I tend to think it is the latter. He also finished first in WHIP with 1.24, which would be tied for 6th in the IL, 5th in strikeouts with 120, which would be good for 8th in the IL, a 7.77 k/9 and a 2.72 k/bb ratio, and had a respectable .244 BAA.

    If you really want to start to cherry picking numbers to sway your pro-Humber argument, you can point to his Post All-Star ERA of 3.80 with a .183 BAA and a 8.22 k/9. Of course he walked over four guys per nine, but things happen. Most people these days classify him as a throw in or a non-essential piece. However, I beg to differ. How quickly everyone forgets the kid had surgery on his money maker and had his first full season back in 2007.

    His curveball lost a little? Probably, but as Callis states above, it might take another extra season to fully get back into sync. Humber's 2007 numbers were better than people think and he also deserves to get some extra time before people pass judgement. If he is indeed a thrown in, I would be more than happy to see the Mets swap him out for another throw in because I think he can be a solid big leaguer in 2008.

    * * *

  • From Mr. Sickels:

    Robert Parnell, RHP, New York Mets
    Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 180 DOB: September 8, 1984

    A ninth round pick out of Charleston Southern in 2005, Parnell has a 90-95 MPH sinking fastball, and a slider which is often overpowering. He gets plenty of ground balls, but his changeup is below average, and Double-A hitter exposed this weakness. His track record, in college and as a pro, is erratic. He clearly has the arm strength to succeed, but is still making the transition from thrower to pitcher. He's a least a year away from being ready for the majors. My guess is that he'll have to move to the bullpen to succeed in the majors. Grade C.

    Good fastball and an overpowering slider? I'd take that out of the bullpen. I am not sold on him as a starter despite him being many fans sleeper candidate year in and year out. As Johnny stated above, he has been rather inconsistent and that wreaks reliever to me.

  • I know I should never post anything on this topic again, but I cannot help it.

    But for the Mets to actually land Santana it will take at least two significant hurdles being cleared, and that doesn't include having to negotiate a long-term contract with him. First, the Mets have to agree to send over a package of many real prospects, probably five or more, which would considerably deplete their minor-league resources. Second, the Red Sox and Yankees, who are both better stocked at the upper reaches of the minors, have to continue to take a less then enthusiastic approach in the competition to add one of the game's top two pitchers.

    Five or more? No thanks. Why no thanks? I've been saying it for weeks and weeks.

    The current prospects on the table appear to be outfielder Carlos Gomez plus pitchers Deolis Guerra, Phil Humber and Kevin Mulvey. None of these players is likely to make the immediate impact of a Lester, an Ellsbury or a Hughes. But some scouts believe the overall talent will be greater in a Mets package, and that they should work it out with the team from Queens.

    To review...Yankees package is Hughes and spare parts. Essentially, it is for Hughes. How that would be enough is perplexing to say the least even with his skill set, but the Twins appear fixated on him. The Red Sox packages feature closer to the bigs help and very good talent top to bottom, which is certainly appealing. The Mets package has talent top to bottom as well and is more risky, but possibly the best.

    It appears the Twins may favor Gomez over Fernando Martinez because Gomez can play center field, a need since the defection of fan favorite Torii Hunter to the Angels, and may actually like Humber as much as the Mets' more ballyhooed pitching prospect Mike Pelfrey, whose stock waned last season. In any case the Twins aren't as desperate for immediate pitching help as some might imagine, since they are well-stocked with minor-league arms.

    Good thing on Gomez and why the fuck not in regards to Humber? Coincidently, I gave him some time in my little corner of the internet as this came out to explain why I think they way I do.

  • Also from the above link:

    "Kennedy's as good as Hughes," opines one scout, "They shouldn't do that." Still, some are surprised at the restraint being showed by the Yankees, considering the threat of Santana going to the rival Red Sox. "If Boston gets Santana, they lock up the division the next three or four years," one competing executive says.

    That deserves one of these. Kennedy as good as Hughes? I like Kennedy just as much as the next baseball fan, but this would be the first time I heard this one. Even if you are not as high on Hughes as other people, Kennedy just does not have the stuff that Hughes has.

  • Payroll stuff. The Mets might be #4, but there are plenty of teams that cracked the $100,000,000 barrier. 'Tis crazy times we live in. In fact, half of the MLB teams were over the $90,000,000 threshold and everyone is till making cash.

    This also begs the question, can the Indians afford CC? The short answer is yes, but I am going to give you the long answer. They could give him the contract he is looking for. Afterall, the Indians laid out over $100,000,000 on players before. Sure, they lost $4,0000,000 in that season, but baseball is much stronger these days. It also cannot be glazed over that they made $34,600,000 in operating profits this season with a $70m payroll. Is it a risk based on the amount of payroll he would be taking? Yes, but they could certainly handle it.

    He roughly made $9m in 2007 and 2007 so the difference would be $12m to $15m or so to their current payroll if you just factor in his salary alone. That would bring them up to the mid $80s if everything remains the same and gives them another $20m to play around with for other players. It could be argued that it is not smart, but he would also be a very tradeable commodity providing he does not get hurt, which is the big risk here isn't it?

    Either way, the Indians could do it, but the question remains if they should. Let us not forget that the Indians have built up a warchest over the past few years. Profits of $15m, $19m, $17m, $4, $10m, $27m, $35m, and $25m since '98 compared to only two years and $5m of losses adds up to a lot of money. That is $137m in total before you even consider what they should rake in this season. Of course they need a lot of that money for other things, but they have cash because they are one of the best run franschises in the bigs. Check out their Forbes team valuation:

    I am not one of those people who thinks that the owner, if rich enough, should pony up cash to buy those special players. That just does not jive with me and that is not fair to ask of them. However, a lot of these teams have a ton of money from past seasons and have the ability to dig deep. It all comes down to whether or not they want to and for a player as special as CC, they might have too.

  • Wright says the Mets do not need Santana.

    "I agree 100 percent with Omar [Minaya]," Wright said. "If it's the right price, 30 teams would want him. You don't want to give up the farm system. I've faced Johan. I know how nasty he is."

    This article says Wright wants him despite the above caveat.

    Look, I know it is a slow news day, but can we not ask Sugar Pants inane questions that we know the answers too? I feel the pain too as I have NOTHING to write about either.

  • Predictably, I like the pickup of Rincon. I am still angry at may parents because I am not lefty.

  • My teeth are starting to hurt.

    "He's a guy I would go to battle for any day, but when you're talking about steroids, you're talking about something that's illegal," Wright said of Lo Duca. "Steroids are something I could never - no matter how close of a friend it is - condone."

    I am going to apolgize to Wright again for thinking Reyes took over this franchise. I will never, ever make that mistake again.
  • Labels: , ,

    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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    Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    Feeling Lazy/Johan

    I'm not in the mood to think much today so I will just rip others off instead.
      I know some of you crave daily Johan Santana updates...today we've got a blurb from Charley Walters:

      The Twins say they're not panicking while holding out for the best deal for Johan Santana. But word within baseball circles is that offers by the New York Yankees (no more Phil Hughes) and Boston Red Sox are diminishing by the week. Best bet now for a trade of the two-time Cy Young Award winner appears to be with the New York Mets in a deal that would not include fast-rising hitter Fernando Martinez.

      Yikes - from those solid Yankee/Red Sox offers to a Martinez-less Mets package? If that happens then I would say Bill Smith overplayed his hand. Kat O'Brien recently talked to Smith, but wasn't able to get much out of him. She believes the Yanks, Red Sox, and Mets "all retain some interest."

    Also in regards to the topic, people never quite understand when Keith Law and others say you are only paying the Twins for one year of Santana. However, Vince Gennaro goes over it in some detail laying out why Johan simply does not or did not have the value of Dan Haren despite being the best pitcher in the universe.

    Free agents own their rights, so virtually all value accrues to the player. At the other end of the spectrum is a player such as Miguel Cabrera, who is under team control for another two years. The Florida Marlins were able to extract value from the Detroit Tigers because the Marlins were passing along control of a valuable asset. The Twins are caught between those two scenarios. Santana is only one season from free agency, so much of his value is shifting from the team to the player, yet the Twins seem to be pricing Santana as if he has two or three years remaining until free agency. This trade is basically free-agent signing with a tariff tacked on – a payment to the Twins in the form of promising low-salaried prospects in exchange for the right to sign Santana to a long-term contract without a bidding war.

    If Santana had the patience to enforce his no-trade clause and insist on playing the final year of his contract in Minnesota, he could get all the spoils next offseason by becoming a free agent rather than sharing his bounty with the Twins. The Twins are demanding a substantial tariff for the right to pay Santana market wages. In effect, they're asking the team to pay twice. And in this case the tariff may cost nearly as much as the goods.

    This is why Omar needs to stand pat in not giving up Fernando. People may look at the Mets offer of Gomez, Guerra, Humber, and Mulvey and think it is not all that great, but people need to understand what the Twins are actually giving up and the overall risk involved on the Mets end if they end up taking Santana on.

    One factor working in favor of a trade is the Twins' unwillingness to pony up the dollars to sign Santana to a long-term deal, which eventually could prompt them to lower their demands. On the other end of the deal, a team desperate for Santana could ignore the dramatic financial value created by developing front line pitching internally and take on the injury risk associated with giving a long-term deal to a starting pitcher who has averaged 228 innings over the past four years.

    I think it is safe to chuckle when people claim the Mets are not giving up enough. If you look at the big picture, the Mets are giving up quite enough and by some estimations too much. The Yankees were reluctant to give up Hughes and spare parts and the Red Sox package was an extremely good one giving the circumstances. The Mets deal might not fit into their '08/'09 model, but it certainly can turn into a good deal. We just will not know if it is or is not for a few year from now.

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  • The White Sox continue to buy relievers and Octavio Dotel will be in their 2008 bullpen. A two year deal for a set-up man for a fringe team may seem excessive, but Kenny is always going for it.

    I would have loved Dotel on the Mets, but the bullpen picture is fairly full right now and I understand why they stopped at Matt Wise and their Rule 5 pick Steven Register, who was just moved into the bullpen last season.

  • It is early in the year, but my friend already tossed out what might be the quote of the year. Usually when I go out on Mondays, I stay out too late and get too drunk resulting in a bad day at work. Last night marked a night of steel resolve and a hard deadline. The end result was me not being hung over and ready to work. I wanted to commend my friend on his wisdom.

    Me: You are a wise man.
    Friend: how so?
    Friend: My ass hurts today from buffalo sauce. I don't think that's a trait of a wise man

    Perhaps I overestimated his intelligence.
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