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nmigliore

Official 2013 New York Mets Thread

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Sorry nmig, my mistake, re: Mejia.  Yeah, I agree he's iffy at best...even if he got through an entire season healthy, I'd still be very leery. 

 

I think if Sandy's bringing in an outside starting pitcher, it's not going to be anyone who's had any recent success or is still a name...for whatever it's worth, I think it's going to be a Hughes-type (Sandy will point to 2012 and say he won 16 games).  He's only 27 years old to boot.  He's not sexy, but if the Mets are going to continue being bargain-hunters in 2014 (and it sure looks that way), I could live with a two-year deal, especially if the money was reasonable. 

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Agreed on what is likely to happen: some rotation filler who is cheap because he hasn't been good (Hughes) or is old/recently hurt (Maholm). And I hate that. Sure, give me one of these guys to take up ONE rotation spot, but give me a legitimate arm (again, there have been plenty of 1-2 year types that fit this bill who have already signed) to take up the other spot. Whatever, maybe they'll surprise me, but for now I'll just expect some cheap filler type only.

 

Hughes is at least young-ish and could benefit from a move to a league and park that fits his skillset better. If he stinks, the bullpen is always an intriguing option with his experience there. I wouldn't give him anything more than 1 year deal; maybe something like 1/7 plus a vesting option based on IP.

 

Hughes definitely isn't my first choice though; I'd sign Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona) before him: 151 IP, 97 xFIP- last season with the Rays. Essentially, he'd have been an above average pitcher with a normal HR/FB rate. Same idea applies: cheap 1 year deal, maybe throw in a vesting option, and he could switch to the bullpen if his homer issues prove to be more real instead of bad luck. 

Edited by nmigliore

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Moving this here to avoid spamming up the Yankee thread with Mets-related debate: 

 

I still think the thing that would help the Mets out the most would be to trade one of their pitching prospects, I suppose Wheeler, for a stud bat, like Tulowitski.  Pitching prospects are a dicey proposition to begin with.  And that's what the Mets have a lot of. (Daniel)

 

Agree completely on the fickleness of pitching prospects and being very open to moving them. The Mets keep saying Wheeler and Syndergaard are untouchable, and while most fans would probably be okay with that, I hate it. 

 

Getting Tulo is a total pipedream, though. He'd cost FAR more than Wheeler alone if he were available, which is all moot anyway since Rockies' ownership has already said they aren't moving him. And frankly, why should they? He's the best SS in baseball, in his prime, on a great contract relative to what the market is paying for wins these days. This is a bit crude, but using his Steamer projected WAR in 2014 (+5.5) with standard aging after that (-0.5 WAR per year), his remaining deal pays him a little under $5M per win. For reference, the current going rate of a win in this free agent market (so far) is a hair over $6M and will go up over the years with inflation and the influx of cash via TV deals. That's a bargain for Tulo.

 

It's just so tough finding a quality SS these days, just ask why the Cards paid $53M for Jhonny Peralta's age 32-35 seasons, which is closer to $7M per win based on the same Steamer projection/aging process I did with Tulo. Stephen Drew will probably end up with a similar deal to Peralta's, maybe 5 years instead of 4, plus he has Boras as his agent. They are pricey commodities.

Edited by nmigliore

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Looks like Tejada is back in the mix. 

 

Those bodies that the Mets were supposed to be moving on from?  Doofus, Tejada, etc.  Looks like we're stuck with 'em. 

 

I know Furcal's 2013 numbers are nothing to crow about, but geez, I'd almost be willing to bring him in on principle (since it seemed like Tejada couldn't be bothered to compete last season, even with the job being his going in).  He'd be better than Quintanilla at least.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Furcal didn't play in 2013, so those are 2012 numbers you're looking at. He was also pretty bad in 2011. So you're talking about 4 years since his last good season, coming off of a completely missed season due to TJS, and he's 36. 

 

I know the other day I said, given the barren free agent market after Peralta (gone) and Drew (we won't sign him), gambling on Furcal doesn't sound like the worst idea ever, but I'm not sure that's just a shiny new toy effect. Check out how he and Tejada compare since 2011:

 

Tejada: 1104 PA, 86 wRC+, +3 WAR

Furcal: 900 PA, 86 wRC+, +1.1 WAR

 

And again, Tejada is 12 years younger and didn't just miss an entire year due to TJS. As much as I cannot stand Tejada, I don't think Furcal is the answer.

Edited by nmigliore

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When it comes to how the owner impacts the team, it really comes down to how much they're willing to spend and on what, unless you have a Jon Henry type, and I don't even know how involved he is at a nuts and bolts level. So even if the Wilpons had some plan, beyond saying we're going to open up the checkbook, I don't really see what you're asking them to say. They don't, nor would you want them involved in making the trades. They don't evaluate talent and don't make the drafting decisions. So again, you're saying that the Wilpons won't give Alderson the financial support, I ask, financial support to make precisely what moves?

 

If you don't like Alderson, then I guess that's on the owners. But usually, when it comes to anyone other than a disaster GM of the Mike Milbury mold, the fans have that attitude like a high school teacher of mine that was the swim coach, who liked to joke that his only job was to say "swim faster".

 

Daniel, I'm not asking the Wilpons to be talent evaluators, or deal makers involving acquiring players.  That's Sandy's job. 

 

I don't know what moves Sandy had in mind exactly, and I'm just speculating here, but I think Sandy probably had a Plan A based on the amount of money he thought he'd have to spend, then had the rug pulled out from under him just when he was about to try to implement it.  After the meeting with the Wilpons, he probably had to switch to an on-the-fly Plan B that he's likely not feeling terribly enthused about.  And though the Wilpons take plenty of deserved flak from Met fans, Sandy is the guy taking a lot of it right now (I've gotten on his case too at times).  His meek, defeated nature in interviews doesn't help his cause, but more and more I think the Wilpons really blindsided him when they told him how much he had to spend, to try to plug a LOT of holes.  

 

Owners impact the team more than what they're willing to spend on the product.  The Wilpons have spent significant dollars on the team in the past, but the organization comes off as amateur and buffoonish at times, and a lot of that comes back to the Wilpons.  You'd have to be blind not to see that.    

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Mets likely out on Phil Hughes because he's likely to get 2 years. I'm not terribly disappointed. He's worth a one year flier with maybe an option, but I wouldn't guarantee him a 2nd year. I mean, he just isn't that good. What happens if he's as bad as he was in two of the last three years (2011: 5.79 ERA, 2013: 5.19 ERA)? Then you're on the hook for like $7M or more in 2015 for a replacement level pitcher. No thanks. 

 

I still hope we sign Roberto Hernandez; he won't cost as much and has more upside than Hughes anyway. 

Edited by nmigliore

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I really don't understand the Mets aversion to Stephen Drew. He's not old. Other than 2012 he's been a solid, steady bat for his entire career. He's kind of like Murph only with a lower batting average...but higher OBP. He will work long at bats, will hit his double digits in HR's and drive in runs. A big upgrade over whatever crap we throw out there from within the org.

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The Mets are a lower middle/small market team now, in terms of how they're going to run the team.  Maybe that changes down the line...who knows?  But right now, they clearly don't have any money.  It'd be nice if the fvcking Wilpons could be up front and honest with their fanbase about the state of the Mets just once, but they've yet to do that, so I certainly don't expect them to do it now.  I'm not a huge Sandy Alderson fan either, but I think the Wilpons have made his job a pretty thankless one at this point.

 

So that means a Drew-type is off the board.  A big-market team could afford to overpay a guy like Drew (and he WILL get overpaid, as he is the only FA SS worth a damn), but the Mets can't.  Whatever little money they have left will go into some meh outfielders who have a little power, some meh relievers to fill out the bullpen, and a meh starting pitcher to hold the fort until Montero and Syndergaard get call-ups. 

 

Tejada is coming back, and he'll be the starting SS on Opening Day, because the lying Coupons don't have enough money to allow Sandy to bring in someone else.  Maybe Doofus or Davis gets traded, but one of them is your starting first baseman on Opening Day as well.  For the Mets to show any progress next season, you have to hope either or both of Montero and Syndergaard get called up relatively early and develop quickly; Wheeler, Gee, and Niese all turn in good years; d'Arnaud and Lagares take big steps forward at the plate; Davis (hopefully it's him over Doofus) can show his post-minor league jaunt with a new plate approach wasn't a fluke; and one of Sandy's scrap-heap signings somehow turns in the equivalent of a Byrd-type performance.  If all of this happens, Mets can crack the 80-win barrier, and the franchise can claim to have made progress, even though ownership did absolutely nothing to facilitate it. 

 

But even if all of the above happens, Met fans have probably lost whatever remaining trust they had in the franchise, and it's going to take a hell of an offseason before 2015 if the dipsh!t Wilpons think they can get it back.  They have to be among the most hated owners in MLB right now. 

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Hughes off the board to Minnesota, 3 years at $8M AAV. Again, not crying about that one; I didn't like the idea of giving him 2 years, forget 3 years.

 

I would really look into Roberto Hernandez; there are a ton of similarities between he and one of my other favorite free agent starters that went off the board, Dan Haren:

 

Haren, 2013: 169 IP, 4.67 ERA, 3.67 xFIP, 3.60 SIERA
Hernandez, 2013: 151 IP, 4.89 ERA, 3.60 xFIP, 3.66 SIERA
 
Haren, 2014 Steamer projection: 173 IP, 3.57 ERA, 3.55 FIP, +2.2 WAR
Hernandez, 2014 Steamer projection: 182 IP, 3.72 ERA, 3.50 FIP, +2.9 WAR
 
Both had a significant case of good process/bad results in 2013, both are 33 year old veteran right handers, and both have very similar 2014 projections from Steamer (though Haren's projection comes in the NL at Dodger Stadium with less IP, hence the WAR difference). 
 
Haren got 1/10 plus a vesting option for $10M based on 180 IP. I expect Hernandez to land a similar deal, but probably 40-50% of the guaranteed money that Haren got; maybe something like 1/5 with a IP/games started vesting option that holds a salary increase. MLBTR projected him for 1/5 plus incentives earlier in the offseason while the Fangraphs Crowdsource had him at 1/4ish.
 
He fits the budget and type of bargain-bin profile the front office is probably looking for among starting pitchers; usually that's not a good thing, but Hernandez could actually be one of the best bargains out there right now. For what it's worth, that +3 WAR Steamer projection ranks 3rd best among current free agent starters; only Burnett (+3.9) and Kuroda (+3.5) have a better projection. 
Edited by nmigliore

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Still intrigued by Arroyo, and apparently Sandy is too (they have a meeting scheduled).  Get the feeling he'll be too rich for their blood. 

 

As far as bargain bin guys go, guess you could do worse than Hernandez. 

 

fvck the Wilpons.

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And there goes Kazmir, signing an incredibly reasonable deal for 2/22 with Oakland. That will turn out to be one of the best starting pitcher signings of this winter if he stays healthy. Ugh, can we trade Zack Wheeler for Billy Beane?

 

So far we've signed a platoon player that only addresses a small part of our outfield problems and done nothing else. And we won't have Harvey next year. Get excited for 2014 folks!

Edited by nmigliore

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Kazmir feels a bit risky, given his history, and doesn't give you innings.  Did a nice job with the innings he DID provide though, I'll give him that.

 

I know I'm beating the dead horse here, but the Wilpons really need to be honest with their fanbase about the state of the team's finances.  Yeah, we know they're probably screwed, but we need to hear it from THEM.  HONESTY - simple fvcking HONESTY - goes a long long way, even if the news is lousy.  Just admit it...you're in deep sh!t financially, and you can't afford anything close to a big-market, NY-style payroll.  The fanbase can't possibly despise you more than it already does, so just tell the fvcking truth already and maybe you'll win some fans back by the fact that you at least copped to being broke.  But we've been patient and loyal fans of this amateur franchise for far too long...if you don't have any money to spend in 2014, 2015, and possibly beyond, fvckING TELL US!     

 

Like I've said, I'm not a big Alderson guy, but the Wilpons are leaving him out there to take most of the abuse.  I'm starting to find it hard to believe that he's THIS passive.   

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Today was the non-tender deadline and the Mets dumped the following:

 

The #Mets have non-tendered Scott Atchison, Jeremy Hefner, Omar Quintanilla, Justin Turner and Jordany Valdespin.

 

Two surprising names there: Turner and Hefner.

 

I'm not crazy for Turner but MLBTR projected him to get $800k in arbitration. He had a 97 wRC+ over the last three seasons while playing all over the infield. You do plenty worse than what Turner gave the team as a utility infielder, and frankly, we probably will. If we give Satin his at bats, that works for me, but then I bet they carry a true-SS who won't hit a lick. 

 

Hefner wasn't even arb-eligible and coud've been 60-day DL'd the entire year, removing him from the 40-man. So basically we didn't want to pay him $500k to retain control of him. Weird. He's probably more replaceable than people think anyway, but definitely surprising. 

 

These moves are basically inconsequential in the longrun, anyway. 

Edited by nmigliore

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They're literally counting every penny.  God I wish those fvckers would just sell the damn team already.

 

Fister to the Nationals (I know it's in the MLB thread).  God I'm so disgusted right now. 

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Nats' rotation is loaded now: Strasburg-Fister-Gonzalez-Zimmermann; what a top 4. And of course they get him for practically nothing, which doubly hurts. 

 

We'll just be over here, sitting on our hands, admiring the view as the rest of the division gets better..... Ugh.

Edited by nmigliore

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Owners have no money and the GM has given up.  I'm actually half-expecting Sandy to resign.

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For whatever it's worth:

 

http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/10070568/curtis-granderson-meets-new-york-mets-gm-sandy-alderson

 

Looking at the balance of the last two years, not really sure what Granderson is worth.  He's not going to hit nearly as many home runs here as he did in Yankee Stadium, but the fact is that the Mets need SOMEONE to play the outfield, and Granderson at least has some power and draws some walks (though he's hardly an OB% beast) .  Eric Young can't be an everyday player. 

 

But until proven otherwise, anytime Sandy meets with ANY mid-tier free agent, it's going to feel like kicking the tires for the sake of looking like the Mets are trying.  If the Mets are in as bad of shape from a dollars standpoint as they seem to be, not sure a Granderson overpayment is such a great idea anyway, if it means the Mets then have no ability to make any other moves.   

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Francessa has a theory that the Wilpons are so traumatized by their experiences with Bay, Oliver Perez and Castillo that they've become super cautious with doling out the money for free agents. 

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Francessa has a theory that the Wilpons are so traumatized by their experiences with Bay, Oliver Perez and Castillo that they've become super cautious with doling out the money for free agents. 

 

Look, going the high-profile FA route is never really ideal (you're paying guys for what they were, rather than what they are, and the overpayments tend to be so high that it's hard for these players to live up to the value of these contracts...especially since the dollars lead to often heightened AND unrealistic expectations).  We've seen MANY teams throw money around and have it blow up in their faces.  In a perfect world, you build a farm system that churns out prospects at a solid rate, get productive years out of them at very cost-effective rates, possibly sign them to long-term deals that eat up some of their arbitration years, then let someone else pay them the achievement megadeal. 

 

At the same time, you can't just decide you're NEVER going to participate in free agency, especially when you have needs that aren't going to be met through what you have in the farm.  Do the Mets need to overpay wildly for Choo and Ellsbury types?  No...that would only make sense if they were one specific need away, and they're not.  But does that mean they can't see what mid-tier and lower-tier free agents are out there? 

 

When you're this cautious, it's clear that you have almost no money to spend, and I think the Wilpons refuse to address that with their fans.  They seem to want a slam dunk in FA, and slam dunks are hard to find...hell, as we've seen, sometimes it's the "huh?" guys (like Byrd) that turn out to be the surprise bargains.  The Mets have to get in the game on some level.     

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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I like Granderson some, but probably not as much as the market will. Fangraphs crowdsourced him to get 4/56 while MLBTR predicted 3/45. I'd give him 3/40. I mean, he turns 33 in March. He's a LHB leaving the friendliest park in baseball for LHB's. Fluky injuries or not, he played in just 61 games last year and didn't hit much when he did play. Steamer isn't very high on him (603 PA, 112 wRC+, +2.2 WAR) and I believe that projection is for him playing in Yankee Stadium, not a neutral park. I think he's better than that, but I just don't see enough short-term upside, especially when this team won't be contending in 2014, to justify him being a sub-par regular making $12M+ in the last year or two of a 4 year deal.

Edited by nmigliore

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I like Granderson some, but probably not as much as the market will. Fangraphs crowdsourced him to get 4/56 while MLBTR predicted 3/45. I'd give him 3/40. I mean, he turns 33 in March. He's a LHB leaving the friendliest park in baseball for LHB's. Fluky injuries or not, he played in just 61 games last year and didn't hit much when he did play. Steamer isn't very high on him (603 PA, 112 wRC+, +2.2 WAR) and I believe that projection is for him playing in Yankee Stadium, not a neutral park. I think he's better than that, but I just don't see enough short-term upside, especially when this team won't be contending in 2014, to justify him being a sub-par regular making $12M+ in the last year or two of a 4 year deal.

 

Yeah, we've been through this one...a lot of potential for this one to blow up, which will give the Wilpons another "see, free agency never works" chip in the excuse box. 

 

That being said, I'd probably take a shot and go 3/40 for him.  No more than that.  If that turned out to be the offer and Granderson took someone else's offer, I can't get on the Mets for that one.  3/40 is fair value for Granderson.

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I know I'm probably sounding contradictory for blasting the front office for not doing anything and then slamming a bunch of current free agents that fit our needs but Stephen Drew is another free agent I hope to avoid. Steamer and ZiPS both project him as a ~10% below league average hitter and +2 WAR per 600 PA:

 

Steamer: .232/.314/.378, .306 wOBA

ZiPS: .239/.312/.393, .309 wOBA

 

A +2 win SS per 600 PA is fine but consider the caveats: Drew hasn't even reached 600 PA since 2010, as he's frequently hurt, and you're buying his age-31 and beyond seasons; Scott Boras is his agent (MLBTR predicted he'd get 4/48); he'll require draft pick compensation. I know our SS situation is hideous but there are plenty of reasons to shy away from Drew. 

 

It's going to be really tough to fill the SS hole this year.

 

----

 

I'm just going to keep throwing out starting pitcher ideas as they come. With the signing of Scott Kazmir, Brett Anderson is pretty much out of a rotation spot in Oakland. The team also just acquired closer Jim Johnson who is looking at $10M+ in arbitration, so trading Anderson and his $8M salary seems like a given at this point, and unsurprisingly, there are already rumors already involving him

 

The downside is that he hasn't thrown even 100 innings since 2010, as he's missed a lot of time due to TJS recovery and a bad ankle sprain earlier last season. However, when he has pitched, he's shown he can be very good (career 93 ERA-, 87 FIP-, 84 xFIP-), he's still just 26 years old, and hasn't had much deterioration of his stuff despite the TJS. It could turn out to be a waste of $8M plus whatever it costs to get him via trade, but the upside is pretty big, and he comes with a friendly $10.5M team option for next season. I'd be very interested. 

Edited by nmigliore

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Re:  SS, I think the Mets have to go with Tejada for now, then see if better options become available later.  It's a great market for Drew, in that he's the only FA shortstop left worth a damn, but yeah, it doesn't look like the SS position is one the Mets can really address right this second, if Drew is the best option (and an overpriced one at that).  What I hope Sandy and Co make clear to Tejada is that he's getting a second chance out of circumstance, and not because he's earned it.  And then I hope the Mets do everything they can to light a serious fire under Tejada's ass, so that they get the most out of the meager gifts Tejada has to offer.  

 

Brett Anderson...seems like one of those guys who we'll say "When he's healthy", except that he's never healthy.  Was pretty awful last year too.  Mets already have enough young arms...I'd rather get a veteran type that you know can get you about 200 innings of decent pitching.  But these are the kinds of guys the Mets are going to target, so we might as well throw the names out there and learn all we can about them.   

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By ERA he was awful but Anderson had a 3.85 FIP, 3.26 xFIP, and his best swinging strike rate of his career last season, granted he was mostly in a bullpen role. There is still plenty of talent there. I just think these are the types they should be gambling on: big upside and he isn't expensive (let us not forget Phil Hughes, 4.85 ERA since 2011, was signed for the same price but for 3 years; Jason Vargas got the same amount for 4; these guys are league average pitchers at best). What he'll cost talent wise is what will make it interesting.

 

For a team in the Mets position I rather bet on talent than durability. The A's have done that strategy the last few years and have hit big on it. A guy like Arroyo may be solid but he does nothing for me other than present a potential mess of a deal if he falls apart given his already super-fringy stuff and age. If we're going to fill out the back of the rotation with someone like that I rather it be Paul Maholm on a 1 year deal instead Arroyo for 3. 

Edited by nmigliore

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