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

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Must Read of the Day

You just cannot make this stuff up.

We are holding Jesus ransom until you clean up the poopie from your wieners and trust us we see you take your wieners for long walks w/out picking up their poopie in our yards. This has upset us dearly so please clean up all the wiener poopie, if you want to see Jesus unharmed. Sincerely, Lindy Lane Residents.

Just let that sink in.

At first, this all seems to be your typical Oregonian suburbanite craziness. Then after it marinates for bit, it all seems reasonable. What type of heathen does not clean up the excrement, or 'poopie' as they phrased it, that is left by their dogs? Of course, this story is made all that much better by being able to say 'weiner poopie' because 'labrador poopie' just does not have the same pizazz.

"It has to be a young person because they put these lines around Jesus, no adult is going to waste their time doing that," says Mansel. "And referring to wiener poopie. My gosh!"

Although that sounds like airtight logic, I would presume it is in fact a grownup. Kids generally do not get all bent out of shape about dog droppings around the hood. I do not know about you, but I cannot wait to hear the end of this tale that includes Jesus being stolen, ransom notes, and weiner poopie.

* * *

  • Congress is back at it assuming their newly self-crowned position of morality police. I think Belichick should sit in the corner for what he did, but stealing baseball signs has been around and is probably still prevalent. Teams go through great lengths to try and mask their signals because they assume there will probably be an attempt to steal them.

    Now sitting somewhere with a video camera is different case, but this is not really all that big of a deal that Congress should get involved.

  • What is more improbable than a blind guy hitting a hole-in-one? A 92-year old blind guy hitting a hole-in-one.

  • By way of Rob Neyer's blog, this is swellicious read.

    Unfortunately, I occasionally encounter fans of teams I do not support, and I will never be able to understand how they can have come to such a clearly incorrect conclusion. I spend a great deal of time trying to set straight whatever misinformation they have received. Yet, they somehow still manage to believe that their team is the best, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary. Take Red Sox fans, for example. The Red Sox suck, whereas the Yankees, by contrast, rule. There's simply no debating that. Why some people cannot grasp such obvious, empirically demonstrable facts is beyond me.

    Give the entire article a read.

  • This is a first that I'm reading this nugget.

    Once the Santana trade is done, expect the Mets to swoop into the free-agent market to add an outfielder to replace Carlos Gomez. One name they've kicked around: Kenny Lofton.

    Um, why?

  • How come no one is screaming about the Latino movement? I mean, Johan is Venezuelan and his last name ends in a vowel. Furthermore, Omar traded away two white players as part of the deal. Hmmmm...seems fishy to me.

  • Oh, no big news here. The Mets only finalized their deal for Johan Santana. These types of signings happen all the time.
  • Labels: , , ,

    Friday, February 01, 2008

    Chicks Dig Run Protection

    For me, there is nothing better than a well pitched game. The casual fan might not enjoy a pitching duel, but many true fans of the game can appreciate the beauty of a well pitched game.

    To put the point differently, we can compare what the Mets would look like with and without Santana, using Dan Szymborski's excellent ZiPS projections, which are available at baseballthinkfactory.org. According to Szymborski's numbers, Pedro Martinez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Hernandez, and Pelfrey project to pitch 796 innings this year, with a 4.10 earned run average. Swap Pelfrey out for Santana, and the rotation looks good for a 3.69 ERA in 880 innings.

    Just to give you an indication of how tremendous that is, only 22 qualified starters in the entire big leagues posted a 3.69 ERA or better and the Mets project to have their entire starting staff average ERA there. As for team ERA for starters, the Padres, Indians, Cubs, Boston, Angels, Giants, and Toronto rounded out the top eight with a 4.11, 4.19, 4.19, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.24 respectively.

    The Mets were 11th with a 4.40 and it should be noted, Tom Glavine helped pull down that number as he was on the wrong side of 4.40. Of course there will be injuries, but Mike Pelfrey is one of the better 6th options in the league so I feel pretty comfortable saying the Mets might be odds on favorites to lead the league in starter ERA with a full year of Pedro and Johan in the fold.

    The scary part is the Mets were already sixth in the bigs for starter k/9. Tampa was first with 7.71, Boston was second with 7.01, Baltimore was third with 6.95, the Cubs were fourth with 6.92, the Angels were fifth with 6.87, and the Mets were sixth with 6.85. Minus Tom Glavine's 4.00 k/9 and add in Johan and Pedro's innings at an aggregate of 9.00 k/9 or more and you have something that makes a grown man giggle.

    Also, the Pedro and Johan-less Met starters last year were second in the league in BAA with .256 second to only the Cubs .248. It is safe to say that will improve quite significantly as Johan's three year BAA is .217 and Pedro's is .216, which will obviously be up post surgery, but I do expect him to be pretty damn good.

    This is why I think it is comical when people say "I'm not all too worried about Perez and Maine" or "I do not think their pitching is all that good". They were really pretty decent last year and are markedly better this year. Green is not a flattering color, but it seems to be a popular one these days when it comes to anything relating to the Mets. One thing is for sure, it is hard to get Met fans down these days.

    * * *

  • Not only is Dayn Perry emotional, sensitive, shy, introverted, and angsty, but he is also sensible.

    The upshot is that the Mets now boast the best starting pitcher in the division in Santana, the best position player in the division in David Wright (who should've been NL MVP last season), the best closer in the division in Billy Wagner, and the best GM in the division in Omar Minaya (Pat Gillick is deliriously overrated, and John Schuerholz is now the Braves president).

    That's a fine start on a division title. Contingencies certainly remain. For instance, the Mets need Carlos Delgado to rebound to a degree (likely), they need Moises Alou to stay generally healthy (uncertain), and they need Ryan Church to provide an upgrade over Shawn Green in right (very likely).

    Getting Santana without having to give up Fernando Martinez, Aaron Heilman or Mike Pelfrey makes the Mets that much more potent in the NL East, and a front-runner for the NL pennant

  • I consider myself pretty confident and I do not think I'm dumb. I also try and not be a homer, but I have to admit, I doubted myself at times in defending the Mets prospects in the Santana deal. I started to wonder if I was completely off base. Ultimately, I stood by my guns and it is nice to see at least one expert validate the fact that I am not crazy.

    John, NY: Keith, In your listing for Fernando Martinez, you made this statement: "It's been fashionable this off-season for some writers to bash the Mets' top prospects, mostly vis-à-vis the Johan Santana trade talks, but this criticism has been way overblown." I'm assuming this was before the Santana trade - but are you saying you like the Mets system? Who's left now?

    Keith Law: (2:40 PM ET ) I was talking about how many writers said the Mets' "inferior" prospects would preclude them landing Santana, even to this day. Gomez and Guerra are not zeroes. I hate to be in a position to defend the Twins' end of the deal, but really, the criticism is way overboard. They didn't deal Santana for a bag of balls; they just didn't get what they probably should have gotten.

    Muchas gracis Senor Law.

  • Also from the above link:

    Ed (Charlotte, NC): Keith really enjoy your work. Was wondering why E. Kunz was left out of the Mets top 5 prospects?

    Keith Law: (1:26 PM ET ) Sidearming reliever, could just be a specialist, bad athlete. He was a consideration at #5, since their system is rather depleted; Carp probably wasn't the best choice for that slot.

    I guess I feel a little better that Carp should not have been the fifth best prospect, but it is still rather ugly down there.

    Chad (New Hope, MN): I keep hearing Carlos Gomez has "raw" talent. So what is his ceiling? Potential all-star or is he just an average everyday player?

    Keith Law: (1:45 PM ET ) Ceiling is a potential All-Star, leadoff guy with explosive speed, plays well above-average defense in CF.

    Wilson (DC): Gomez ceiling = Juan Pierre. OH BOY.

    Keith Law: (1:47 PM ET ) No, I said Gomez would be good.

    And he did rank his 36th overall in terms of prospects so that is pretty good.

    Alan (St. Petersburg): Is there anyone in your top 100 who you think could make a big leap this year, maybe someone you downgraded for now out of caution?

    Keith Law: (2:23 PM ET ) Chorye Spoone. Josh Smoker. Tyler Robertson. Deolis Guerra. Chris Nelson. Fautino de los Santos. Moustakas. And anyone I downgraded due to injury - Garcia, Brackman, Lincoln.

    I actually thought he was a bit pessimistic in regards to Guerra, but it is good to see him acknowledge that he is a breakout candidate.

    Justin NJ: hey, you biased Fishmonger! The Mets ain't been in da newz at all lately. Gimme some Brant Rustich lovin'!

    Keith Law: (2:29 PM ET ) Live arm, lot of minor injuries, not sure about him in pressure situations.

    The arm is there, but his college numbers versus what people say about him is what confuses me the most. If he has three above average pitches, why did he struggle so much at UCLA?

    Dan (Hell): How about a projection for the 2009 Top 10?

    Keith Law: (2:43 PM ET ) Kershaw, Snider, Fernando Martinez, Jennings, McCutchen, Wieters, Wade Davis, Price, Vitters, Triunfel. Candidates to jump to #1 overall would include Martinez, Davis, Price, Wieters, Triunfel, Porcello, maybe Austin Jackson.

    Of course, this is the real joy of the chat. Fernando, Fernando, Fernando...

    10 Fernando Martinez OF New York Mets TOP '07 LEVEL: AA (Binghamton) age: 19

    It's been fashionable this off-season for some writers to bash the Mets' top prospects, mostly vis-à-vis the Johan Santana trade talks, but this criticism has been way overblown. Martinez's 2007 performance doesn't impress on a quick look, but consider these facts: He played the entire season at age 18 in AA; and he was hitting .309/.372/.409 as late as May 25 before the effects of a contusion on his left hand ruined what remained of his season. He was shut down on June 23 and missed the rest of the year. Martinez shows huge raw power in BP that will make its way into his game performances, and he has a solid approach with good pitch recognition for someone so young. He has good range in center and a plus arm if he outgrows center field and has to move to right. To put his development in more perspective, if he'd played a full year at AA and hit .290/.360/.410 or so, he would have been on pace to debut in the big leagues at 19 or 20 and be a big league regular before he turned 21. He's going to be a star, but everyone has to bear in mind how young he is to keep his performance in perspective.

    Sweet baby jebus. That is good stuff and exactly why Law was a lone soldier saying he would not trade Fernando straight up for Johan and his one year. If you are sure he is going to be star, much like Longoria is going to be, they are much more valuable than an ace. First off, there is so much risk in regards to arms and everyday players that are stars will generally add more wins than ace pitcher year in and year out.

    Of course Johan is the best of the best so he pretty much beats most position players every year, but when you factor in Fernando's cost for that type of projection, it really makes him hard to move for anyone that does not come with many years of below market cream of the crop production and that is why the Reds would not move Jay Bruce for Erik Bedard either. Of course the Mariners are giving Jones away for Bedard if it goes through, but there are plenty of people to argue that this is not exactly the best deal for the Mariners who are incorrectly calculating they are one 'ace' type pitcher away from contending.

  • A little more 'I told you so'.

    Even if that's true -- and Cabrera is no world-beater yet (even those who don't love Gomez say he's "a tick above'' Cabrera in terms of value) -- it's still hard to knock Smith for ignoring Hank Steinbrenner's quick deadline and pressing for more.

    Precisely. Even the people that did not love Gomez agree he is more valuable than Cabrera. The people that love Gomez must have it as a landslide towards Gomez over the known (and mediocre) quantity Melky.

  • Wallace Matthews is a creepy douchebag who is a failure at being funny or objective. You get the feeling he thought he was writing a brilliant column when it is really just steaming pile of shit.

    DG had another theory.

    "Fucking idiot, isn’t he? You know he’s full of himself enough to think his possibly drunken rants actually influence anything!"

    I had not considered any inebriation involved with his writing, but that would explain a lot.

  • By way of DG, I present to you cheeseburger in a can. Mmmmm... cozy yourself up on the couch for the Super Bowl with one of those bad boys and some bacon vodka and you have yourself a par-tay. Who needs friends?

  • More truth. Make sure you read the last two paragraphs.

  • Goldstein is not as high on Fernando as Law. I'm sure a healthy year of the true Fernando will change his mind, but for now, he likes Austin Jackson and Tabata marginally better.

  • Viola is way off.

    "You're talking four guys with a big question mark by all of their names," Viola said. "Carlos Gomez, he has to be comparable to a Kirby Puckett and a Torii Hunter? Good luck with that."

    Really? Gomez is going to have to be comparable to those guys? Gomez will have to and not....oh I don't know...Delmon Young perhaps? Gomez is under pressure to perform because of the trade, but not because he is going to be the centerpiece of this team. Maybe he will be, but there are plenty of other guys on the team to be 'Kirby' or 'Torri'.

  • Jon Heyman rounds up some voices from the other side of the trade.

  • The deal will get done, but it bothers me Santana is trying to get this year at market price with a signing bonus. As if $130 million+ was not enough over the next six years? So the Mets really will not get one year of Santana under market price and had to send $4.5 million or so in signing bonuses to the Twins as well. Anyone still confused why Santana was not worth as much as most of the media would like you to believe should be crystal clear now on his value.

  • More arms on the way?

    Once the Santana deal is completed, the Mets may add more starting pitchers. They have not ruled out the possibility of signing the free-agent right-hander Kyle Lohse, who went 9-12 in 32 starts for Cincinnati and Philadelphia last season.

    That move could push Orlando Hernandez to the bullpen, bolstering an aspect of the team that crumbled toward the end of last season.

    Hernandez’s versatility would make him a valuable long reliever or, because of his success against right-handed hitters (they batted .167 off him last season), a late-inning specialist who could defuse a pressure-packed situation.

    I'm torn on this one and I have not given it much. I did want The Duque in the bullpen, but I wanted someone else in the rotation.

  • My favorite article of the day goes to Joel Sherman.

    JOHAN Santana has never thrown a no-hitter. Neither has any New York Met. Yet, I believe the moons are aligned for that to change.

    Amen brother.

    1. He is great. Actually, I don't think it has truly sunk in yet with even giddy Mets fans just how great. His 9121/3 innings over the past four years are 251/3 more than anyone in the majors. Yet even if you shrink the criteria to 500 innings, no pitcher has allowed fewer hits per nine innings than Santana's 6.95. And that is working in the AL.

    The hardcore fans know, but there are plenty of people, like my father, who would have no idea who he is. So yes, legions of Met fans have no idea what they just got.

    "He works quick, gets it and throws. He is athletic, so forget bunting on him. He is competitive, and then some days his slider, which is good, is great. On those days, you have no shot. He is unhittable."
  • Labels: ,

    Thursday, January 31, 2008

    Damaged Goods/Viva Johan!!!

    "The Twins are going to know him better than anybody," an evaluator in the AL said Tuesday night. "It's not that they think he's hurt, but maybe they're seeing signs (of decline) in him, and figure it's better to make the move now."

    A clear option would've been for the Twins to hang onto Santana and try to win in '08. "But there was a reason why they made the decision to move him now," said the evaluator. "They're smart people over there. It makes you think … "

    Santana injured? That deserves one of these. Regardless, let us take a look at Santana and his incredibly soon-to-be exploding arm.

    There are various tools we can use to try and predict a pitcher's future performance.

    1) DiPS is pretty good and may it correlate more with next year's ERA than the true ERA.
    2) GB/FB ratio is also useful.
    3) K/9, K/BB ratio, and HR/9 rate are pretty widely accepted as well.

    First, his DiPS ERA was 3.65 in 2007. That compares favorably with many other top pitchers and is not far off his regular ERA. Also, we know he had a bad year so it was understandable that his DiPS ERA was up from 3.05 the previous year. Of course this is still a negative trend, but nothing out of the ordinary in my eyes and no other peripheral stat jumped out in correlation with the jump in ERA. Besides, it was still pretty damn good and if he had a DiPS ERA of 4.50, I might have one tiny bead of sweat as it would have suggested he performed far worse than his numbers would have seemed to indicated.

    Second, his GB/FB ratio over the last six seasons was .70, .58, .93, .91, 1.06, and .92. Basically, he has been right were he has been since 2004. Yes, more balls went over the fence, but this basically tells me not much changed in 2007 it was more freakish than anything.

    Lastly, his K/9 was 11.38, 9.61, 10.46, 9.25, 9.44, and 9.66 since 2002. His K/BB was 2.80, 3.60, 4.91, 5.29, 5.21, and 4.52 since 2002. His HR/9 has been .58, .97, .95, .85. .92, and 1.35 since 2002.

    The only thing that jumps out at us is the HR/9 in 2007, but we knew it would be high. His career average is .99 and he eclipsed that by 36%. However, his K/9 and his and K/BB were above his career average.

    Now we'll just take a quick peak at 2007 a bit closer. In the first half he had a 7.07 H/9, 9.30 K/9, 2.23 K/BB, 1.26 HR/9, and a 0.215 BAA. In the second half he had a 8.07 H/9 (Beckett had a 8.48 H/9 all year and Sabathia had a 8.89 H/9 all year), 10.10 K/9, 2.02 K/BB, 1.47 HR/9, and a .236 BAA.

    In September when he had that last string of horrific starts, he had a 7.84 H/9, 10.16 K/9, 3.19 K/BB, 1.16 HR/9, and a .229 BAA. So while he did tail off at the end, his peripheral numbers should give everyone some confidence that his 'stuff' was still good.

    If there is anything out of all of the above to suggest decline or worrisome problem over homer happy anomaly, I am all ears. The guy was still ridiculously valuable last year and his peripherals really were rather consistent throughout the year and his 2007 was pretty much in line with 2004, 2005, and 2006, which did net him two Cy Young Awards. If you could show me a huge jump in GB/FB ratio in tandem with the high homer rate, I would say you had something resembling an argument. However, it just seems ten extra balls found their way over the wall, but luckily, I think Johan is good enough to adjust. Also, It never hurts to get some good old fashioned scouting in conjunction with numbers.

    “He threw the ball over the plate and didn’t make pitches,” the evaluator said. “They were out of the race; maybe he was just trying to throw it over. He didn’t walk many guys and he got beat with some early-count fastballs. If they’d been in the race at all, maybe he’d have been a little more selective. But he was healthy. He was still throwing hard, still pitching deep into games.”

    Instead of some crazy injury theories, let me for a second cook up some crazy scheme. Some players do not like getting traded mid-year. Carlos Delgado is a prime example and conveniently plays on the New York Metropolitans. Before he left for free agency, the Blue Jays wanted to trade him to a contender. You know what? He declined and exercised his no trade clause.

    The Twins were in the know alright. They knew that Johan said trade me now or watch me walk for two draft picks and you can forget about signing me no matter how much you throw at me. The Twins leverage here was at an all time low with only one serious team involved and Johan's desire to leave ASAP. Have we all forgotten this?

    These were Johan Santana's words Tuesday after the non-waiver trade deadline passed without another trade: "I'm not surprised. That's exactly how they are. That's why we're never going to go beyond where we've gone."

    The Twins acquired two minor league prospects for Castillo, saved $2 million in payroll and did nothing to bolster this year's chances.

    "It's not just about hope," Santana said. "In a realistic world, you have to really make it happen and go for it.

    "You always talk about future, future. ... But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won't be part of it," Santana said.

    The two-time Cy Young Award winner wasn't smiling.

    "Why waste time when you're talking about something that's always going to be like that? It's never going to be beyond this point. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here, you know?"

    Torii Hunter will be a free agent at season's end. Santana and Joe Nathan will be free agents after 2008. Asked what message Ryan's latest decisions had sent to that trio, Santana continued firing.

    "I've been here for eight years, and I've seen a lot of those kind of things," he said. "I've seen a lot of those guys [like Castillo] come in and leave. [The decision makers] don't care. They always talk about caring about it; I don't think they care.

    "Because if you're always talking about having young players — that's the philosophy the team has, and I respect all that — but it's been proven that it's not enough to go all the way to the World Series."

    Explosive. My response to those who think the Twins knew about some injury or that Johan is in decline? Wrong. This is simply a guy who seemingly wanted to be on the Mets and in the National League and the everything worked out in his favor.

    * * *

  • Keith Law is the only the guy who I really think did a good job covering this trade.

    In the abstract, it's hard to accept dealing your marquee player and top trading asset without getting your partner's top young player in return, and that's what the Twins did. They did get back significant economic value in four young players, each of whom has under one year of big-league service and two of whom aren't even on the Mets' 40-man roster yet, so the Twins will have each of them under control for six full years of service. That return in exchange for just one year of Santana's services is reasonable. But premium players should fetch premium prices, because there's value to a club in having so much production coming from a single roster spot. And in this case, Minnesota GM Bill Smith did not get a premium prospect in return.

    Of course you would like to get premium players back who are ready to be stars now like Hughes or Jones, but maybe they should have dealt him before the 2007 season. They did not and were in this position. This is a topsy turvy time we live in where youth is gaining value. Of course we can argue whether or not youth is gaining too much value, but they are indeed gaining value.

    If people give up youth, they want youth and value back. Not one year and immense risk. If the Twins wanted the Mets to give up Fernando too, then the Mets would have needed another few years under market value to mitigate their risk.

  • Actually, I lied above. Joe Posnanski had probably the best piece of all on the trade. It really gives you some valuable insight and basically, no one is right or wrong. There are valid reasons to be on either side of the fence or straddling it.

  • Some Yankee fan called into WFAN yesterday and said Johan is not even the best pitcher in the league. Josh Beckett is. Right, even if I conceded to that madness, then he is the second best. What is the point?

  • I heart Time Marchman and his stoic looking picture.

    As if that piece was not enough, he drops this one on us.

    To put the point differently, we can compare what the Mets would look like with and without Santana, using Dan Szymborski's excellent ZiPS projections, which are available at baseballthinkfactory.org. According to Szymborski's numbers, Pedro Martinez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Hernandez, and Pelfrey project to pitch 796 innings this year, with a 4.10 earned run average. Swap Pelfrey out for Santana, and the rotation looks good for a 3.69 ERA in 880 innings.

    It is nice to have someone NOT try and pee on our picnic.

    The glow won't fade for weeks.

  • I still think the Indians could retain CC as long as they do not add a no trade clause, but who knows. It is a lot of cash and Fausto may persuade them to roll the dice and try their luck without him.

  • Fun Santana facts of the day.
    • In 2007, he struck out 62 lefties while allowing 39 hits. In fact, he struck out more righties than he allowed hits as well in his off year.
    • The majority of big leaguers are righties. Over the last three years, Santana has held righties to a .213/.251/.358 line. Don't worry, I soiled my underwear as well.
    • Johan Santana is not Barry Zito.
    • Johan was selected by the Florida Marlins from Houston in the 1999 Rule 5 draft and then traded to the Minnesota Twins for minor leaguer Jared Camp. Camp never threw a pitch in the big leagues....Ooooops.
  • CC is down for extra drug testing.

  • There may be other teams jumping into the mix for Bedard.

  • The Mets picked up Ruddy Lugo, who is incidentally Benny's best friend. Shit, meet wall. Wall, meet shit. Hopefully something sticks.

  • Inflammatory? Perhaps. But nice to read. Also, a A+++ comment surfaced here.

    Strawdoc Jan 30, 2008 8:20:07 PM Report Offensive Post
    It is so funny -- the Daily News runs this whimsical story, complete with provocative headline, to stir up yanks fans. And sure enough, the usual nitwits like libertytwerp are pounding their keyboards in indignant frustration (compounded, in libertytoy's case, by his apparently unsuccessful effort earlier today to find a 13-year-old girl). What upsets them is that with this deal, the Mets are clearly the best in the city (remember, we can't look at the yanks' PEDs-tainted stats. to assess their roster). Not to mention best in the National League.

  • Interesting.

    Pelfrey never a factor: It turns out there was no chance that Mike Pelfrey would be included in the package for Santana. The Twins were interested in Pelfrey as a pitcher, but not as an expense. The agreement that Pelfrey's agent, Scott Boras, negotiated with the Mets when they selected Pelfrey in the first round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft established the pitcher's salaries for four seasons.

    Pelfrey is to earn at least $1 million this year, whether he's in the big leagues or not. And the Twins, always cost-conscious, don't want to pay anyone that kind of salary for Minor League work.

    I cannot say I am unhappy about that at all.

  • When Mike Carp is in your top five, it is safe to assume you have the worst system in the big leagues.

    New York Mets

    1. Fernando Martinez, cf
    2. Brant Rustich, rhp
    3. Nathan Vineyard, lhp
    4. Jon Niese, lhp
    5. Mike Carp, 1b

    As for the Twins, they do not look so bad.


    1. Carlos Gomez, cf
    2. Deolis Guerra, rhp
    3. Tyler Robertson, lhp
    4. Wilson Ramos, c
    5. Philip Humber, rhp

    Of course I think Mulvey is better than Humber, but it seems they did well if they added their #1 and #2 prospects in the deal. Sickels on the other hand is not as high on Gomez.

    1. Deolis Guerra, RHP, Grade B+
    2. Tyler Robertson, LHP, Grade B+
    3. Kevin Mulvey, RHP, Grade B
    4. Anthony Swarzak, RHP, Grade B
    5. Ben Revere, OF, Grade B
    6. Carlos Gomez, OF, Grade B
    7. Glen Perkins, LHP, Grade B-
    8. Phil Humber, RHP, Grade B-

    Jim Callis is also very low on Carlos Gomez citing that Carlos Beltran is his ceiling, but he does not see that happening. The fact is, Gomez is just one of those guys who you love or hate. He has all the talent in the world, but obviously the odds are stacked against him.

    However, he did make strides in the minors increasing his walk rate and slugging over the years. In '07, he for the most part lost a year of development time. Instead of playing everyday at AAA, he was in the bigs way before he should have been and then broke his hand. I think the kid will develop into something very good, but he still needs development time and last year was not a good year for him in many facets.

  • I still find it amusing how people feel the need to rain on the Met parade. However, when you try and say that Schneider is a downgrade from LoDuca you lose me. Construct a meaningful argument and I might listen. But baseless claims get you no where.

    If this was 1902 and we were looking solely at batting average, maybe Schneider is a downgrade. But this is 2007 and Schneider is at worst a sideways move offensively with a pretty good chance to be an upgrade. Compound that with LoDuca's injury and this one is a no brainer.

  • .....and finally, I leave you with this.

    "Santana's so good, though, he'll do so much for them," the GM said. "There's not much chance of buyer's regret."
  • Labels: ,

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008


    'Tis a good day. When I first saw the link, I had to check the URL to make sure it was on the up and up. Then I had to go in through the USAToday.com homepage to double check because I am sure everyone remembers the fake Beltran link that went around before the Mets actually signed him. There are evil, evil, evil people out there that like to pray upon our vulnerability as Met fans.

    The pundits said it would never happen. In fact, they are still speaking about the inferior package the Mets offered as they report this glorious news. I never wavered and fought the good fight in the name of sanity and objectivity and it turns out I was right...sort of. The Yankees and Red Sox basically pulled out, but I still thought this deal was just right all along.

    The deal could still fall apart, but that seems extremely doubtful at this point. Johan gets to come to the DH-less National League to add onto his Hall of Fame legacy and joins the other best pitcher of our time. Let that one sink in. We have the two most dominant pitchers in the last decade. Good times. Weird things did happen yesterday with the Twins upping their offer to five years and $100 million according to Mike and the Mad Dog.

    If Johan wanted to be there, he probably would have taken it. However, when faced with the option of staying in a highly competitive AL Central with a small market club or head to the Mets and instantly become the favorites in the NL East, he chose door #2 and forced their hand. Now I still think it is a three team race in the NL East, but Johan, Maine, Pedro, Ollie, Wagner, Reyes, Wright, Beltran, and Alou are a formidable group that makes the Mets the favorite.

    Let us not forget to throw into the pot that Mike Pelfrey and Fernando Martinez are still around. I will surely miss Carlos, Deolis, Kevin, and Phil, but I think that was a palatable package to give up. Though many ill informed fans would think that is not nearly enough, the fact is the Twins were not selling four years of Johan Santana.

    While that is a hard concept for people to grasp, it really should not be. Also, please ignore any previous offer. Not only were those offers for Johan's one year under market value and exclusive rights to get bent over a table by Johan, but more was being thrown into the pot to keep him from the enemy. Take the enemy factor out and you get a clearer picture of the true market.

    "A lot of teams just weren't willing to give up their best prospects, then have to try to sign this guy," one American League executive said. "Imagine if the Twins had been trying to move Santana and he was already under contract for three years at $15 million. They could have asked for the moon and gotten it."

    Omar just plucked himself off of the hot seat and solidified Willie's presence in our lives for the foreseeable future which in itself cannot even get me down. Even Emad was won over by the trade. "Well, that's a pretty 'right' package. I'm satisfied." And there we have it. The Mets just landed the guy with the most wins since 2003 (82), the lowest ERA since 2003 (2.92), and the most strikeouts since 2003 (1,152). Fun fact, Johan in his off year had a higher WARP1 than Becket and was only .02 lower than Sabathia. Sweet Jebus.

    For the Twins, I firmly believe they will get one All-Star caliber player between Gomez and Guerra. If they get one of those guys to that level, another to be dependable reliever, and another solid starter, things will be all good. They will be able to call this one a good trade. Of course, we will not be able to make a final determination for a few years, but keep your chin up Twins fans. Things look favorable.

    Not wordy enough? Let's keep going then. While speaking about the deal, I would be remiss to not bring up how Theo brilliantly played this one. The Yankees put out the initial offer of Hughes, Cabrera, Marquez, and whomever. The Red Sox and the Yankees are in a daily competition and Theo wanted to keep Johan out of Cashman's hands. So, what does he do? He puts together a package that was clearly better to up the stakes. When I say clearly better, I do not mean clearly better in my opinion. I mean it was matter of a fact better.

    Of course, Bill Smith sat on the sidelines and both the Yankees and Red Sox backed off and he was left with the Mets offer which might have been the only offer from the way things sounded. Although, that might not be the worst thing for Smith because it made his decision a lot easier. The Mets package is undoubtedly risky, but man is it interesting. The sky is the limit for Guerra and Gomez and I will be forever indebted to them for enabling the Mets to land Johan Santana while keeping Fernando.

    * * *

  • So, what did it cost to get Santana? Besides talent it certainly cost some money. Guerra cost $700,000 to sign, Humber cost $3,000,000 for his signing bonus, Mulvey cost $585,000 to sign, and Gomez cost $20,000 to sign.

    That would be grand total of $4,305,000.

  • Talk about being negative.

    From the Red Sox, the Twins could have had left-hander Jon Lester or outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, plus a near-ready infielder, Jed Lowrie, and right-hander Justin Masterson. From the Yankees, they could have had right-hander Phil Hughes — perhaps the single best player they were offered — plus center fielder Melky Cabrera, and more.

    Instead, they will land Gomez, who might not hit well enough to become the next Carlos Beltran; Mulvey and Humber, whom most scouts project as back-of-the-rotation starters; and Guerra, who, for all his promise, has yet to pitch above Class A. The deal will become official once Santana passes his physical and agrees to a contract extension.

    So, why does he mention all of the doomsday scenarios when speaking of the Met prospects while not mentioning the clear flaws with anyone else? Weird. You would think he had an agenda or something.

    Since no one else will do it, I will.

    John Lester: I like Lester a lot. He has guts and that was evident when he faced the Mets back in 2006. However, he does have a 4.68 big league ERA, a WHIP of 1.57, and a career ERA+ of 101. The most discouraging part? His minor league numbers are not all that much prettier. He has a 3.78 bb/9 and a 1.31 WHIP. His control issues seem to be more than just a phase and will probably hamper him for taking that next step. It is hard to be really successful as a starter with that much of a control problem.

    Jacoby Ellsbury: He might not be able to hit enough to knock CoCo Crisp out of the starting lineup. His minor league ISOD is .076 and is ISOP is .112. Want more gloom and doom? At 24 he is not likely to appreciably stronger without the juice.

    Comparatively, Gomez has a .061 ISOD and a .121 ISOP for his minor league career. Throw on top of that some serious raw power, the fact he is younger, and a winning smile and that is all very interesting....

    Jed Lowrie: This is a tough one for me. I actually like Lowrie a lot and think he is going to be a solid player. He put up a .095 ISOD and a .157 ISOP in his minor league career. Not bad for a middle infielder. Wait? He might not stick up the middle? Oh...then check that. He has a shot to be marginally producing corner infielder with a sub par glove.

    Justin Masterson: He might end up a reliever or back end rotation guy as well. Actually Mulvey is a better prospect and Humber is not far off if not even better. Maybe he can give us a call when he gets his ERA under 4.00 outside of one stint in the NYPL.

    Melky Cabrera: In the bigs he has a .065 ISOD and a .113 ISOP. In the minors he put up a .053 ISOD and a .128 ISOP. He is also the 2nd worst center fielder according The Fielding Bible. Oh, did I mention he really does not steal that many bases either and at 5'11" he is not exactly projectable in terms of adding some pop?

    Just an aside, can someone clue me into why no one in the media is pointing out he is an average (I'm being generous here) player with limited upside? Is it because he is young? Am I missing some secret tools that scream upside? It seems like the best thing about him is that we KNOW he is average in the bigs where as Gomez has not had a chance to average, great, good, or bad. I am missing the allure here when people allude to the idea the Twins 'missed out' on Melky. The best thing about him is that Hughes came with him.

    Phil Hughes: Actually, I like Hughes a lot. I refuse to sink to their level and speak bad about him. The dude is squeaky clean. Of course, he is still more likely to not win 100 games than he is likely to win 100 games. Young pitching is more or less a crap shoot which is why you want a lot of it around. Which does bring me to this point. Hughes was the only player of worth in the rumored Yankee deal so Smith's eggs would have been in one basket. Hughes does not turn out to be a stud, and the Twins lose. It is that simple.

    As for Gomez again, this is from people that scout the game of baseball:

    Fastest Baserunner Carlos Gomez
    Best Athlete Carlos Gomez
    Best Defensive Outfielder Carlos Gomez
    Best Outfield Arm Carlos Gomez

    While it is fair to say his numbers are favorable if not better when factor in fielding and stolen when compared to Ellsbury and Cabrera's minor league numbers, it is also fair to say he has sizeable upside. It should be noted that Ellsbury is rather good athlete as well and has the ability to hit for a high batting, but he simply does not have the power projection or arm that Gomez has which is where they really diverge as prospects.

    Sticks and stone...I know...I know. But it bothers me that people negatively skew things towards the Mets for no justifiable reason. They make it seem like everyone in the Red Sox and Yankee deals are preordained to be stars while the Mets are just scrubs with no future and are all downside. You would think someone would at least admit these guys are talented human beings at the very least. I guess it does not matter since Omar got his man.

  • The Blue Jays could be the next team to come over to the dark side.

  • This seems like a science fiction story to me.

    This was late Monday night, about 12 hours before the Mets would pounce upon their most dramatic trade in recent history. Twins' general manager Bill Smith, in a panic to move Johan Santana, called the Yankees and admitted surrender: Phil Hughes was no longer a prerequisite, he said. Instead, the Twins asked for Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera and a top prospect. Would the Yankees still be interested, Smith wondered?

    The Yankees considered the idea, but only briefly and not seriously.

    Kennedy stood in the Yankees way? Perplexing. A guy with average stuff who 'knows how to pitch' was all it was going to take? Smith is really not looking like a good GM here. He should be thankful for his own good that the Yankees balked at that deal because the Met package was eons better than Kennedy/Cabrera.

  • The Mets getting Santana brings parity? It doesn't make them the favorites?

    "This certainly evens the balance within the division," said Glavine, who signed a free agent contract with Atlanta in November. I don't think this makes [the Mets] the class of the division. I think it puts them in a position where their rotation is much better and that was their biggest need.

    "Within the division, I think you have three teams that can now not only win the division, but also the World Series. I think all three teams did a nice job of filling their biggest needs."

    Thanks for the insight Tom.
  • Labels: ,

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008

    Santana a Met!

    Wow! How could so many people have been wrong?

    {note the sarcasm...I actually know how so many people could have been wrong}

    The Quick and Dirty: Santana Thoughts and Rumblings

    While I do think the Indians could afford to keep CC, any of this poppycock about the Twins being able to afford Johan is nuts. A long term contract to Johan could be very, very dangerous for them. They will receive a bump up in revenue from their new stadium, but they would be toeing the line.

    Player Expense:

    '97: $42m
    '98: $29m
    '99: $21m
    '00: $27m
    '01: $42m
    '02: $53m
    '03: $70m
    '04: $69m
    '05: $73m
    '06: $76m

    '97: ($16m)
    '98: ($7m)
    '99: $02m
    '00: $06
    '01: $04m
    '02: $00m
    '03: ($7mm)
    '04: $00m
    '05: $07m
    '06: $15m

    Where exactly is there anything to suggest they could afford him without taking on too much risk? Their 4 year $20m per year offer is probably as far as they want to go when you factor in their need to pay up for other young guys like Slowey, Mauer, Liriano, Young, etc. down the line. Anything Smith says contrary to dealing him is just a bluff and as I sated before, Pohlad and his billions have nothing to do with this. Owners do not and should not dip into their own pockets and assuming they should is wrong.

    The 2006 season marked their highest revenue ever with $131 million and their highest profit margin. Should any team really offer a contract worth more than their yearly revenue, which Santana has been rumored to be looking for? It should also be noted that 2006's profits were aided by a trip to the playoffs as well so it stands to reason they probably pocketed a little less in 2007 being they had virtually the same attendance. If something goes wrong with Johan, it could paralyze that team for a long time and that is why he will not be a Twin come opening day and the front office understands why they have to deal him if he does not accept their current offer. The question is at this point, who blinks first.

    "The Mets are legitimately in this," an official from one team involved said. "It would be a mistake to minimize their chances." This official theorized the Twins might be willing to take a deal with the Mets if it is close to Boston's because that would get Santana out of the AL.

    There was a report yesterday out of the Dominican Republic that the Mets had pulled Gomez from his Winter League team. But Met officials said it was their plan to limit Gomez's games, and that this was not the prelude to a trade. The Mets are known to have offered a package built around Gomez, Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey.

    It seems Lester has not been pulled off of the table and I still like that deal the best for the Twins. They get talent and more importantly talent ready to play in the bigs from day one. That is not to say the Met deal is bad as it has more upside, but a lot more risk as well. If the Twins make a decision based on moving Santana out of the AL rather than what they think the best haul of talent is, they are utterly ridiculous. While it may be counterintuitive to give the best team in the league coming off a World Series win arguably the best pitcher the league, they have to take what is best for them regardless if he stays in the AL.

    * * *

  • How are the two deals related? I do not see how they should be when you look at the fact Bedard is inked for another season. Regardless though, the Mets offer still looks favorable with the rumored Seattle packaged and Bedard should get a bit more in return, which is what is happening. If the Twins try and use this as leverage, Omar needs to stand pat.

    If Angelos kills this deal, he will have set the Orioles back a bit. I think Jones is going to be a star and I think it is a solid deal for them.

    This is as good of a time as any to post my yearly Peter Angelos picture. Most of you have heard his name, but have not placed the horror that is his face with the name.

    Disturbing, I know. Everytime I see him I just think Grendel. Let us review what traits some believe Grendel to have.


    Vaguely human in shape, though much larger.
    His disembodied head is so large that it takes four men to transport it.
    When Grendel's torn arm is inspected, Heaney describes it as being covered in impenetrable scales and horny growths.
    Every nail, claw-scale and spur, every spike
    and welt on the hand of that heathen brute was like barbed steel.
    Everybody said there was no honed iron hard enough to pierce him through, no time proofed blade that could cut his brutal blood caked claw

    Yup. Sounds like Angelos.

  • I totally get why people think the Mets are dead in the NL East. Forget the fact the Phillies lost Aaron Rowand's career year of offensive output and their backend of the rotation is missing, they signed Pedro Feliz and are looking at Kris Benson. Game...set...match.

  • There is something comical about this.
  • Labels: , ,

    Monday, January 28, 2008

    Feeling 'Unwanted'?

    The Prima Dona of the week goes to........Erik Bedard! Congratulations, you get a box of tampons and chance to tour the WE Network television studio!

    "If they don't want me, [a trade] is the best thing to do," Bedard said in a phone interview with The Sun. "Obviously, they don't want to keep me because there are a lot more talks [about] trading me than signing me. What am I supposed to do? I just go with the flow. I'll keep it as it is, and go with it, day by day."

    Two things:

    1) Is he really that out of touch that he can not understand why they were looking to deal him? It should be nothing personal really.
    2) Did he really want to stay with one of the two worst run franchises in the bigs?

    Erik Bedard was a Cy Young candidate for the majority of the year and he needs some extra ego stroking to feel wanted? Cry me a river Bedard. The funniest part is that from what I remembered, they did talk long term.

    "We wanted to talk about a multiyear deal and they suggested that they just do a one-year deal," MacPhail said. "That's the truth."

    Pieper acknowledged that the two sides talked conceptually about a three-year contract that would have bought out one of Bedard's free-agent years. Bedard made it clear yesterday that he has no interest in pitching for a rebuilding team.

    Ha. While Bedard was flowing like a river, MacPhail was trying to figure out how to improve a team that is probably the worst in the AL East. Bedard over the next three or four years was not going to change that, but a nicey nice package with Adam Jones in it is much better for this team long term. We just need more clarity at this point as to who the other players are and MLBTR.com says Jones, Tillman, Sherrill, Tony Butler, and Kameron Mickolio is what he is hearing right now.

    That is two top tier prospects in Tillman and Jones, and good prospect in Butler, a good big league reliever, and another prospect of mediocre status. I like the deal for both sides as the Mariners still retained some blue chip talent though I think the Orioles will end up as the winners unless Bedard is extended. Next, Roberts should pack his backs. Rebuilding is a good thing if you can manage to have some decent drafts, just ask the Cleveland Indians. The Orioles are now putting together a nice core of offensive players and have some nice arms in the stable.

    * * *

  • Jenna Jameson is looking pretty bad these days. I want the old one back.

  • Tim Marcham has three questions for the Mets.

    1. Are they going for it or not?

    This isn't, in other words, a team like the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks or the 2005 Houston Astros, teams on the verge of implosion that had to win before their oldest, best players fell apart, and it shouldn't be managed that way. Minaya and Randolph, though, are under great pressure because of the collapse. To them, a win this year is much more important than a hypothetical win in the future. This Mets team isn't faced this year with their last chance to win; the men who run them, though, may be. This is a potentially toxic dynamic.

    Beautiful...{sniff, sniff}. Some objectivity out of the media. Someone who realizes the Mets are in fact a very good team with a solid long term outlook.

    2. How creative are they willing to get with the pitching staff?

    When there were holes in the rotation, Randolph and Minaya have had a tendency to go with really terrible pitchers such as Brian Lawrence and Jose Lima or really unprepared ones such as Philip Humber. Obviously the hope this year is that Pelfrey and Humber, who now have at least a bit of experience in the majors, will give the Mets a chance to win when they're given the ball. This surely represents improvement on the likes of last year's Chan Ho Park experiment, but the team could do even better with a bit of flexibility.

    Humber, Mulvey, and Pelfrey cannot be forgotten here. Even if one is traded, the Mets will still have decent back up options. Marchman also suggests a six man rotation, which I cannot get down with. It is always an interesting notion, but ultimately, it doesn't seem like a great idea. Sure, it keeps Pedro and The Duque (who still should not be in the rotation) fresher, but I would rather see them take a short, mid-year vacation instead.

    3. How patient will the team and the fans be with Willie Randolph?

    If the biggest questions surrounding the Mets are structural questions about how well they can handle the tension between youth and age, or how well they can best use a talented pitching staff with some large and obvious flaws, that's probably largely because Willie Randolph hasn't always handled them well. The obvious greatness of Reyes and Wright made them immediate fixtures in the Mets' lineups, but aside from them, Randolph hasn't done a good job of handling younger players. Many pitchers have thrived during his tenure, but many have also been put in positions where they could do nothing but fail.

    Bingo! I'd like to say a big fuck you to everyone who questioned my continued crusade against Randolph for only exhibiting he is clueless. Making stars like Wright 'earn their chops' even through most of last year while Delgado was being an outmachine in front of him killing his RBI opportunities.

    He sets up Humber to fail miserably in his only start and failed to give Milledge a steady role even though he was by far the best option thereby not letting him get into a groove and keeping his trade value down. Or his refusal to let Pelfrey or Humber get any meaningful innings out of the bullpen because he wanted to keep running Mota out there and so many other viable options over the rookies. But hey, there was no reason to worry. Everything was fine. Then there is Keppinger as well a few years ago.

    The list certainly goes on, but if you ignore the young guys with talent, you will not win. You need to use your roster and sometimes that includes guys under 30 who can contribute. Personally, I do not think he can change. He is who is he is and holds something against young guys and that hurts this team who is still trying to develop their own prospects. I would not say I hate him because I do not know him, but he do not particularly like him.

    I can say for sure he is not the right guy to lead this team over the next five seasons or so.

    Overall, Tim proves why he is one of the best writers in New York. He can look at a team and analyze them fairly.

  • Dayn "I'm So Emo" Perry lays down the obvious.

    1. Pedro Martinez, SP, Mets
    The Mets have serious rotation issues, and they've done nothing to address them this winter. So the onus falls on Martinez, the future Hall of Famer. Martinez isn't the dominator of old, but he's still capable of loads of strikeouts and a sub-4.00 ERA. The innings load, however, is another matter. Last season, Martinez was sidelined until September after undergoing rotator-cuff surgery, and he's eclipsed 200 innings in a season only twice in the past seven years. With the injury-prone Orlando Hernandez and the volatile Oliver Perez in the rotation and no clear candidate for the fifth spot, the Mets badly need Martinez to rediscover his durability.

    Pedro will not give 200 innings. However, does he need to? I think 180 would be just fine and we all have to remember that innings is not necessarily the thing we need to worry about. He can give the Mets six innings every five days because he knows how to pitch. Six or seven innings on 90 to 100 pitches for Pedro is not that much of a stretch. He can be very, very economical with his approach to batters and I do not fear much when it comes to him this year.

  • Good riddance Captain Tom. His ego and know it all-ness was no longer needed for this exuberant team.

  • More Stantana stuff.

    "It is what it is," said an official from a club in the loop on the Santana talks. "Three GMs, all of a sudden, acted rationally at the same time. When's the last time that happened?"

    Never maybe? The market determined the price and it was decided Smith was off his rocker. Yes, Johan had value, but not nearly as much as he thought. It cannot hurt to ask, right? Well this proves sometimes it does and he did not know when to come down.

    Now, it might be him taking the best offer which many believe is far less than anything he could have gotten months ago. At this point, things appear to be coming to a head (which I know we have all thought before) and the Twins are asking for final packages.

    The Twins would like a package from the Yankees that includes righthander Phil Hughes and outfielder Melky Cabrera -- an option that some Twins players quietly prefer. Cabrera, with 16 assists last season, would join Michael Cuddyer (19) and Delmon Young (16) to give the Twins one of the best defensive outfields in baseball.

    Whoa, I had no idea assists was the main metric used to determine fielding prowess. The truth is, Ryan Church is probably a better centerfielder than Melky and luckily the newspaper columnists have no hand in the trade. The Twins front office is probably well aware of Cabrera's short comings in center.

    Of course, the rumors lately have been that Hughes and Lester are now off the table so I have no idea what is actually being offered these days. If that is true, then the Mets might actually pull off a coup and get Johan while keeping Fernando.

    "My strong recommendation is we stick with our young pitching staff and keep it in-house," Cashman said. "That's my recommendation, and we've fought hard to take one step back to take two giant steps forward."

    For 2008 that may present some bumps in the road, but it is hard to disagree with Brian there. He has three really good looking guys ready now with Brackman, Marquez, Horne, Sanchez, and Betances down the road. Why not try and develop some young guys? As for the Red Sox, they already have Buccholz, Daisuke, and Schilling. Do they really need to spend on Johan? I find it hard to believe that they want to, but they certainly do not want him on the Yankees. Maybe the Yankees are playing coy to keep the Red Sox out of it, but I think both are truly not all that interested in giving much up for him.

    In the end, if the Twins insist on the Mets giving up three B+ type prospects with another fringe B+ prospect in Mulvey ontop of other prospects as well, then I would say Omar needs to tell Smith he is nuts. Bedard was arguably more valuable and the Mets current offer is not all that far off that one. Adam Jones is clearly the more valuable than anyone the Mets are offering outside of Fernando, but Gomez is still a highly respect prospect and Guerra is worth more than Tillman. The package the Twins really want would make sense if Johan had four years under market price attached, but that is not the case. Frankly, I think Smith is proving himself to be rookie GM.
  • Labels: ,