The contingency plan

Bear with me: The Mets have had, to date, a successful offseason.

Before you click away or jump to the comments section to accuse me of abject shillery or horrifying optimism, check out what I wrote in October, after the fateful press conference where Mets brass called 2009’s results “unacceptable” and pledged change for 2010.

I argued then, as I have since, that the Mets — faced with so much uncertainty coming off the injury-addled 2009 campaign — should prioritize the future above all. I said that their offseason mantra should read:

First, do no harm.

That’s not to excuse all the minor failures of the winter, of course. The Mets had opportunities to inexpensively improve their chances for 2010 without jeopardizing their future and missed them. I don’t know if there’s truth to the reports of budget constraints or bureaucratic inefficiency, or if the problem stems from either or both or is simply an innocent — and damning — misreading of baseball’s marketplace, but whatever it is, it isn’t good.

But the Mets haven’t traded a Minor Leaguer since they sent Greg Veloz to the Nationals for Anderson Hernandez in August. And considering how tempting it must have been for the team to package prospects for veteran help this offseason, I will call that a victory.

Because the Mets are in no position to mortgage any little bit of the future for the success of the 2010 team.

I know what you’ll say: You must win every year in New York. This city won’t abide a rebuilding process. I hear you.

That’s not what this needs to be, though. The Mets don’t need to rebuild anything in 2010, they need to reassess. Entering the season with question marks at nearly every position, the Mets must figure out what they’ll get from all the players who were injured, ineffective or irregular last year.

If Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, Oliver Perez and John Maine are healthy, and Mike Pelfrey, David Wright and Francisco Rodriguez perform more like they did in 2008 than they did in 2009, and Jeff Francoeur plays like he did for the Mets and not for the Braves, and Daniel Murphy and Omir Santos prove they’re Major League regulars, and Carlos Beltran comes back healthy as soon as we hope he does, the Mets will be just fine.

That’s a lot of ifs, of course, and should some of them not pan out, the Mets will be less fine. The more ifs that don’t, the less fine they’ll be.

Fans have killed the team for the lack of clear-cut contingency plans, and to some extent, that’s fair. The Mets probably should have found a more capable backup shortstop than Alex Cora for the event that Reyes gets hurt again and another starting pitcher for the brigade.

But to me, the biggest contingency plan for the 2010 Mets is the 2011 Mets.  Because if things go horribly awry this season — and after 2009, we’d be foolish to dismiss that possibility — the team at least won’t have to look far to see the future. Top prospects Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez, Josh Thole and Jon Niese — should he not earn the fifth starter’s role in Spring Training — should all start the year in Triple-A.

Behind them, the team will have another crop of talented young players entering their first full seasons in the high Minors at Double-A Binghamton. The Mets may not be able to boast a star-studded crop of prospects on par with the Rangers or Rays, but theirs is hardly the dreck it’s been made out to be in the local media. ESPN’s Keith Law recently ranked the Mets’ system 15th out of the 30 Major League clubs.

And much of the Mets’ young talent is concentrated in the upper Minor League levels. Seven of Law’s top 10 Mets’ prospects should start the season at Double- or Triple-A, as should Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who missed Law’s list but ranked ninth on Fangraphs’, and Ruben Tejada, who placed ninth in Baseball America’s ranking.

Now I can’t say if this was all held intact by accident or design. For all I know, the Mets were eager to trade all their best prospects for one year of Bronson Arroyo but couldn’t get the paperwork in order.

But I’m hoping that’s not the case, and that there’s real reason for optimism here. I’m hoping someone in the front office — and who knows who it is — recognizes that the best way to develop a sustainable winner is to build one from within.

And so I’m hoping that the Mets’ biggest failure this offseason was not in roster construction, but merely in communication when they threw around terms like “unacceptable” and “change” and “spend” and “trade.” Maybe they would’ve been better off starting with the slogan I suggested back in September:

The 2010 Mets: Please Be Patient While We Get Our S@#$ Together

Instead, we’ve got, essentially, “The 2010 Mets: Losing is unacceptable, so here’s Jason Bay,” and a very angry fanbase.

I can’t imagine that’ll do much for ticket sales or advertising dollars, but I’ll chalk it up to another of the small losses that have shrouded the offseason’s larger win.

59 thoughts on “The contingency plan

  1. I somewhat agree but if ’10 is a throwaway year as it appears, they essentially signed Jason Bay for 4 years at $71.5M for his age 32-35 seasons That’s a very poor allocation of funds.

    • Yeah I was going to reply with this same thing. I would have no problem with the rest of this off-season if they hadn’t signed Bay, but now we’re going to be wasting the likely only year he’s worth his contract and for 3-4 years after this well overpaying for just above average production. To me if you’re going to give that contract then you should at least be committed to spend a lot on short term deals, like say to Garland/Sheets/Piniero and Lopez/Hudson/Branyan to push yourself into contention for 2010/2011 but are fairly low risk and probably won’t have any affect long-term.

      Plus considering the “rumors” of the players they were targeting and just missed out on, like Molina/Garland/Marquis, and the fact we apparently tried to get GMjr even before Beltran went down, it doesn’t really seem like their plan was too do no harm and put the future above all else. It seems more like they just targeted not very good players, and I suppose we should be happy they missed out, and there was too much confusion in the front office for them to properly manage negotiations. Which doesn’t really bode well for future off-season/in season deals/management.

      • Oh I’m certainly not going all-in for the current crew making decisions, nor do I think the Bay deal was a good one. But it’ll be a lot easier for them to bear that salary if they’re getting Major League contributions out of some salary-controlled young players from 2011-2014.

        Like I said, there’s a very real possibility they stumbled backwards into not screwing up their future, but however they went about it, they didn’t.

  2. Good thoughts and I would agree with most But:

    1 The “plan’ for the offseason fell far short.
    2. We needed a #2 starter drasticlly.
    3. Our opponent are better … arguablly.
    4. Still too many ifs all over the field.
    5. The Beltran situation only proves that the front office is totally disjointed.
    6. The prediction of our farm system is nothing more… Remember Generation K.
    Can’t miss … well all missed with the Mets.
    7. The bench is old and very poor. We could have 4 very avg. 35 year old players on the bench… with no power.
    8.jerry manuel
    9. The third highest payroll with … again… a terrible staff
    10. Omar Minaya, who has mismanaged the salries, minor leagues and player relations for too long.

  3. Glad someone else said it; someone with some credibility (as opposed some guy using a pseudonym in a comment section/me).

    The Mets have had a successful off-season because a front office that makes poor decisions made a minimum of decisions at all.

    People criticize their slow rolling, but really if you’re in over your head thats the best way to proceed until someone competent arrives.

  4. Ted – I like your analysis. I agree that it will take a lot of luck for this team to win 45+ games by the all-star break (the measure of whether a team will be a buyer or seller at July 31), so I would hope/expect that the Mets will use that date to make some key 2011 moves.

    The real concern, IMO, is whether Omar and his team will be able to pull the trigger on the “right” deals: the ones that send a player off the 25 man roster for a “stud” prospect, or that buy the top player who can’t be afforded by his current team (Yo, Adrian!).

    I think the key to being able to make deals in July is for Maine, Francouer, Pagan & Santos to have strong starts. Each of them is the prototype of the player you “sell” in late July for a top prospect.

  5. Meh, Bay is getting pennies in 2010 ($6.5M), so my biggest disappointment this offseason is not stacking the team with 1 year-high-reward players like Smoltz, Sheets, Bedard, Wang, Branyan, Lopez, O-Hudson, Barajas etc. It would instantly make the Mets contenders in 2010 while not effecting 2011 all that much, if at all.

    • I’m pretty sure his signing bonus, 8.5 million, was paid as soon as the commissioner approved the deal, so while it may be prorated for lt purposes he’s actually making 15 million this year.

  6. I hear what you’re saying, and maybe it’s just semantics, but it seems kind of like a false choice to me.

    True, Minaya hasn’t irreparably harmed the future of the team (this time around). But there were plenty of cheap, one-year upgrades available that wouldn’t have had any impact on the team’s long-term future.

    Adding Hudson or Lopez at second, signing a risk-reward pitcher like Sheets/Harden, etc. 2011 could be nice, but K-Rod is getting worse every year, I don’t see Santana improving in 2011, etc. So while the Mets have some key young pieces and some nice potential in the minors, it was foolish to not inexpensively upgrade by 4-5 wins that could make the difference between contending for a playoff spot and not.

    So to me, it was a bad offseason. Not a terrible one, but still a bad one.

  7. You make some valid points Ted but don’t you think this is more of looking for the silver lining?

    The silver lining being the Mets didn’t trade away prospects. The cloud being the Mets failures this off season.

  8. I agree that “do no harm” is a good motto, but this is the NEW YORK Mets we’re talking about—and a starter (even Washburn would be OK with me, at this point) and a better bench (at lower cost!) was needed. Also, why trade for Matthews Jr. and give up Stokes?

    That aside, soon enough we’ll see a better team: INF of Davis, Hudson, Reyes, and Wright next year, with Tejada and Murphy on the bench; OF of Bay, Beltran, and Fernando Martinez; C Thole, or even Victor Martinez!

    The starters (after Santana) are more of a problem for next year, but at least ONE of Pelfrey, Maine, and Perez will be better, and Niese will probably be our #3. That leaves us with two spots to fill— two from this FA list: Beckett, Bonderman, De La Rosa, and Lee.

    Relievers: K-Rod, Escobar, Igarashi, Feliciano, another lefty, and two other good ones (not named J.J. or Aaron). Maybe Jenrry Mejia as a setup guy.

  9. Ted’s right.

    Because 2009 was such an across-the-board catastrophe, 2010 was never going to be about the players that the Mets brought on in the offseason; rather, it was always going to be about, and is going to be about, righting the Titanic and seeing if it can still float.

    The horror show that was the 2009 season precipitated, whether Mets fans like it or not, an unavoidable 2 year plan. I won’t say it’s a 2-year rebuilding plan, but like Ted says, it’s a 2-year reassessment plan. Would we like the Mets to be competitive in 2010? Sure. But 2009 blew up so thoroughly in the team’s face, that 2010 was always going to be a regrouping year first and foremost, to see who on the roster had actually survived the explosion intact.

    I expect the Mets to compete in 2011. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they compete in 2010. But I don’t think they missed out on a whole lot of “must-make” moves this offseason.

  10. What a schill, this off season has been a complete failure. They failed to bring in a starting caliber catcher, they failed to get the starting pitcher they needed, and they failed to bring in a decent 1b rh platoon guy. This offseason has been an epic failure.

    • As far as a decent platoon player, even though it would require him to give him a chance which may never happen, Evans has destroyed lefties at pretty much every level of his career, and even in his poor major league stint he’s opsed .800 against them. So they have a cheap platoon option if they ever decide to use him.

      • Nick Evans is a AAA player. Hes not even AAAA player in my eyes. Although I’m not a huge fan… how about Russell Branyan? What could he possibly cost for 1 year? 3 million? And he is a guy that hit 31 homers in the MAJOR LEAGUES. Perfect platoon would be him and Jonny Gomes who mashes lefties. And if you want to start Ike Davis in 2011 go ahead.

        A Branyan/Gomes platoon would cost about 1 million more then Cora and Tatis and would result in about 40 homers. Nice decision Mets.

  11. I cannot disagree more with this article. With the highest payroll in the National League and superstar players such as Wright, Reyes, Santana and K-Rod in their prime, THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO REBUILD. If you want to trade all 4 of them and rebuild the right way, I would have no problem with that. But wasting the prime of 4 superstar players to see if Omir Santos and Daniel Murphy are “major league players” is totally wrong.

    It is also very disheartening to know that the mets could have upgraded their team significantly by spending anywhere between 12 and 15 million, if that. Sure, it might sound like a lot, but if they are giving Alex Cora 2 million and Tatis around the same thing, I have to wonder what is going thru Omars head. The fact that we could have had Jon Garland for 4 million dollars and were outbid by the PADRES shows me how pathetic our front office really is. Instead of getting a reliable #3 starter, we are paying 2 awful BACKUP PLAYERS the same amount.

    One could argue that the Mets have the 3 worst players at their position in the entire league. Santos, Murphy, and Castillo. Is there any first basemen in the leauge that you wouldn’t rather have over Murphy? I can’t think of one.

    This is not the team you want to surround Wright, Reyes, Johan and K-Rod with. Not to mention Beltran. Either blow it up, or try to win. This somewhere in the middle garbage does nothing.

    • Wright and Reyes, should, just be reaching their prime, they have years left. Santana isn’t really in his prime anymore, he was still awesome and top ten in 08 but no where near his best years with the twins, and he’s really a player they should be accessing, his peripheals have been declining, but because of his injury which they had him pitching through for reasons unknown to anyone, it’s hard to tell if it’s because he’s declining or because of the injury, if he can repeat or better the 08 production this year then they probably have a few years left of him being a top-line starter, but if not he could be turning into a bad contract quickly. Same thing with K-rod and his 09 numbers, plus I don’t think you can ever really consider a closer part of the core. The only thing they might be wasting is relatively cheap years of Reyes/Wright, and the one year Bay is worth his contract.

      Outside of that there’s really no rush to compete this year, and if anything the rush to compete and idea that we were wasting years of our core is how we got into the mess we’re in in the first place. Rather than realizing we had multiple years left of high level production and we went with a lot of quick fixes between the end of the 06 season and the start of the 09 rather than building a quality roster, to try and compete immediately.

      • A closer can’t be considered part of the core? Is Mariano Rivera part of the Yankees core? What about Jonathan Papelbon?

        I dont understand your point on Santana. First you say he is not in his prime. Then you say he is a top 10 pitcher. So if you have a top 10 pitcher (personally I think hes closer to top 5) why wouldn’t you want to build around him right now? And you say “there is no rush to compete”, but by the time you are ready to compete (I assume your plan would be to develop Ike Davis, Josh Thole, etc) we would have to look for an ace becuase by then Santana would probably be declining.

        In my opinion we have 2 years to compete with this team. After next year Reyes is a FA along with Beltran and K-Rod. Even Francouer is a free agent after next year. If we are ever going to win with this core, it would have to be this year or next. Surrounding the core with Murphy, Santos, Castillo and having 4 question marks after Santana is no way to win.

      • K-Rod isn’t in the same stratosphere as Mariano. And he’s not that close to Papelbon, either. Mariano’s a special case (greatest ever) and the Sox don’t consider Papelbon part of their core. They’re already grooming Bard to take over his role.

        Mariano’s K/BB ratio the last 4 years: 6, 12.83 (good lord), 6.2, 5

        “K”-Rod’s: 1.92, 2.26, 2.65, 3.5 — getting worse every year

        Papelbon: 3.17, 9.63, 5.6, 5.8

      • I said he was a top ten pitcher in 08, not last year, but that when a player is the best pitcher in the league for 3-4 straight years, being borderline top 10 isn’t really his prime anymore. It’s like how Pedro was still useful in 2006, but he wasn’t the Pedro of 2000. Rivera is probably a special case, but for the most part you can’t consider someone who pitches 1 inning so important that you have to shape your off-season plan around their aging curve. Papelbon and Rivera are important but I’m sure the Yankees didn’t say oh Riveras getting old we better go drop 300 million on the FA market, just like I’m sure the Red Sox don’t make their roster decisions based on how best to surround Papelbon. When you’re talking about a core you’re talking about a team you build around, closers are an important piece but not important enough to shape your off-season plans.

      • also Beltrans already going to miss a significant portion of this season and Frenchy at this point is easily replaceable and you can likely get the same production for much cheaper so it’s not like him being a free agent is that important. He was practically a DFA candidate as it was. Really with Beltran already injured, and not knowing how he’ll return this season or 2011, with not knowing how Santana is going to perform this year to next year, the only real issue they’re facing is are they wasting the last two years they’ll get of Reyes. And if the second most valuable franchise in mlb can’t resign a star homegrown player who’s as good as Reyes then they have bigger problems than any of us realized.

    • re: Murph @ 1st. Maybe not many, but for my money (well their money) Daric Barton comes to mind.

      If you weigh emotional attachment to the kid the list gets a lot longer. But from a strictly baseball perspective your hyperbole isn’t too extreme (?).

      But re: Garland, I think its tough to categorize it as being outbid when the Mets don’t overpay a player who doesn’t want to come here. If they do, generally we beat them up over the contract. Now we don’t and they’re sitting on their hands.

      Tough one.

  12. Thank you! I so needed that after listening to Francesa on WFAN beat the Mets into the ground.

    There were only three impact players available this offseason. We got one, one got a small fortune and the other didn’t want to play for us. The rest of the FA bunch were all either over 35, coming off an injury, inconsistent or just not that good. Sounds like the 18 guys we have not named Beltran, Reyes, Wright, Bay, Santana and KRod.

    Maybe I’m drinking the koolaid, but I’d rather give our own kids a chance to develop then throw a bunch of money at fat catchers, old first basemen and mediocre pitchers.

    We’ve got a great core of players and some young players coming up. I don’t think 2010 is going to be our year, but there’s no reason we can’t bounce back and win 86 games or so and fight for a wild card. The Braves and Tigers both did it last year after injury marred seasons the year before.

    I for one am excited for 2010. Francesa can kiss my butt. Ted – thanks for a great read.

    • Agree completely. The key to the season will be letting the supporting players be supporting players, and not ask them to carry the team. Let’s see Murphy grow into a good bat in the bottom part of the order. Let’s see Frenchy continue his post-trade hitting. And hopefully we’ll get a bounce-back season from either Pelfrey or Ollie.

  13. RYAN… the site wouldn’t let me respond to your thread… so I will here..

    In no way did i compare Rivera and K-Rod. Not even close. I was responding to Gina when she said that a closer cannot be considered part of the core. I’m not interested in you posting Rivera and Papelbons K/BB ratio. Nobody is comparing them. All I’m saying is that a closer can be a core part of a team. Especially if its the closer with the most saves in a single season in major league history.

    • So, then… you consider Francisco Rodriguez as important to the fortunes of the team as Wright, Reyes, Beltran and Santana? Hell, as important as Bay, even?

      “Closers” pitch 70 innings a season in a heavy-workload year; relievers are at most an important supplementary part of a baseball team (even if they’re elite… and assuming recent performance trends aren’t aberrant, Rodriguez lives squarely in the fat part of the late-inning reliever bell curve).

      • I might be able to read your argument if this was 1983 and starters went longer into games. It is very difficult to win a championship without an elite closer. Lidge didn’t blow one save in 2008 and they won the championship. Rivera has multiple rings. In an era where most pitchers only go 6 innings it is very important to have a solid closer to “shorten the game.”

        It’s fine. If you want we can trade K-Rod for prospects and sign Luis Ayala back, we can do that. I guess 2008 wasn’t a good enough example of how important a closer really is.

      • “It is very difficult to win a championship without an elite closer.”

        Recent World Series won by teams without an “elite” closer: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.

  14. Ted, you’re an optimist. I’ll agree that the FAs out there really weren’t very good, but considering the deals they ended up signing, there really isnt any good reason the Mets couldn’t have picked one or two of them up. As it stands, our rotation is horrendous, with 4 out of 5 starters having had season ending injuries (3 of whom required surgery). The only one who wasnt injured is primarily a ground-ball pitcher who gave up a career high HRs last year and has a terrible 2B/recovering SS behind him to boot! Not one upgrade to the rotation was made this offseason. THAT is unacceptable.

    In terms of hitting, I don’t mind Murphy. He’s hard worker and I think he deserves a chance to prove himself. I don’t understand why we had to focus on Molina and didnt even try to get one of the other decent catchers out there. The fact that they brought in Cora for that much money is ridiculous when equivalent players could have been had for much less money. The Mets should have just eaten the cost of Castillo’s contract as every single part of his game other than OBP and BA is well below average. Your own SNY colleague Howard Megdel makes this point every chance he gets and is very low in the Mets offseason and I’d be inclined to agree with him. Theres no reason a better 2B can’t be signed for the same 2 mil they’re paying Cora.

    Regarding the outfield, they messed this up too! I’m not just talking about the Beltran debacle, I’m talking about Bay. They’re paying him less this year, but didn’t sign anyone with any of the money they’re supposedly saving! They’re going to have even less wiggle room in the future thanks to the way Bay’s contract is structured.

    Finally, chasing potential FAs is not necessarily the best way to go. More and more teams are signing guys to extensions before they can hit the market, leading to dreadful FA classes. Thats why people like Ollie get such bloated contracts. Combine that with the fact that the Mets payroll will be going up next year with few players coming off, the fact that EVERY other team is vying for those FAs, and that many FAs are clearly wary of the Mets organization means we are in pretty dire straits indeed.

    • Yeah i think we’ll have 119 committed to just 10 players, assuming they pick up Reye’s option, and that’s without arbitration eligible players. That doesn’t really leave a whole lot of payroll flexibility.

      • Gina, it seems as if your main concern is saving money. They are a New York team. They have the resources to go out and spend $150 million. We are not the Pirates or Royals.

        You also seemed to be obsessed with “home grown talent.” While it is nice to have a few guys that we brought it up, there is no reason to be totally commited to them. As of now our own guys besides Wright and Reyes are borderline major leaguers (Murphy, Evans, etc). There is nothing wrong with going out and spending a few million dollars (Branyan, Gomes, Garland, Bedard etc) if it is going to significantly upgrade their team. Not to mention our minor league system is below average and Omar is fighting for his job. His fate is gonna be in the hands of this squad, and I can’t see anyway in which he survives

      • When did I have an obsession with homegrown players, other than Reyes when have I brought up homegrown players. And I don’t care about saving money but the Wilpons clearly do, we can complain all we want about how they spend it but if we’re going to speculate on possible future off-seasons within the confines of reality then we have to take the Wilpons willingness, or lack there of, of spending big into consideration. They’ve already shown no willingness to go over the lt so having 120 million committed to just 11 players is going to make it incredibly hard for them to sign big name free agents, and fill all the other holes, along with working out a possible extension with Reyes, and stay under the lt figure. Now whether you think it’s right that they won’t spend more is pretty much irrelevant when we’re talking about likely future off-season plans.

      • And our minor league system isn’t below average pretty much every objective farm system ranking has them between in the 10-15 range.

  15. Gina, I’m not asking them to break the bank. But signing MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYERS such as Rod Barjas, Russell Branyan, Jonny Gomes, Felipe Lopez who are still available as well as maybe getting Garland for 4 million and taking a flyer on a Wang would significantly upgrade our roster this year. All those guys would or have signed 1 year deals. The talent that i named looks like an all-star team compared to Santos, Murphy, Evans, Castillo, Nieve so on and so forth. To just throw away this year and be patient is a complete waste of a year. I’m not saying go out and sign guys like Garland to a 4 year deal, that would hur the future. But signing veteran players to 1 year deals is something that should have been done. And frankly it still CAN be done. There are enough guys out there.

  16. What every one is forgetting here is that for all the miserable moves the Mets make occasionally they get lucky with a Reyes or Wright. Santana trade was probably the best trade they have made in a decade. Granted Bay will be a little bit older as his contract expires, but he is very solid defensively and don’t be surprised if he is back to his Pittsburgh playing days for the Mets. Granted, your silly if you think he’s going to put up 40 homers or even close to half that, because he’s never been a power guy.

    Check out MLB traderumors.com and try to find the past link of trades GM’s have done in their time as Mets gm, you see how Omar traded Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and some one else for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew to the Indians.

    If you are like me, after reading that you will want the Mets to get off to a bad start just until Omar gets canned. Then we will see if the Mets will “Hey listen I have a three year contract and I like to think that it will be honored”. Omar you suck ass stop trying to destroy the franchise, go ruin the Brewers they’re a winning team and you could reunite with Willie, take Manuel with you. Bring back Bobby V.

    Get ready Mr. Melvin and Mr. Ricardi because hopefully by May 1st it will be between you two for GM of the Mets.

    • I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I imagine more than likely they’ll replace Omar with someone like Ricco, and Jeff will continue his “alleged” meddling and we’ll just get the same results with a new scapegoat.

    • that “other player” was grady sizemore but dont forget omar was working for major league baseball and for a team that was going to be dismantled and he knew he had no future there. the mandate must have been go get colon and give up whatever it takes, no gm is that out of touch . so give omar a pass on that one. if you knew you werent going to have a team the next year, you would have done what the boss said as well.

  17. Mo Vaugh
    Pedro Martinez
    Bobby Bonilla
    Jeremy Burnitz
    Tom Glavine
    any player signed from 91 to 93 also know as the worst team every signed.

    Stop me if your in pain right now or your eyes hurt.
    Omar Minaya
    Jerry Manuel
    Willie Randolph
    Rick Peterson
    The current medical staff.

  18. what a bunch of pathetic know it all gloom and doom fans this team has. lets sign this one, lets sign that one, and when these mediocore players, do nothing to improve this team we will all find something else to cry about. the team has plenty of talent that has played well at the major league level, if they are unable to perfrom there again, we arent going anywhere with or without felipe lopez. how about going into the season with some optimism , hope our core of star players and players like perez, pelf, and maine return to the levels the showed for multiple season prior to last year and if they do all the same posters crying about this mess of a team will be crowing about how smart it was to stay with what we had, then the group of paper reading scouts will figure out what to do next. just do the players a favor and wait to boo until or i should say if they deserve it. not opening day if castillo is down 0-2 in the count in his first at bat. we have arguably the worst front office in baseball but unarguably the worst fan base, front running whiners . when russel branyon strikes out 180 times and your wondering why we signed him , im sure you will forget you wanted him, when u realize every scout in baseball agrees injuries have made hudson nowhere near the deffender he was a few years ago, and hes doing nothing better then we have you will complain about it, i could see if the free agent class was loaded and we walked away empty but other then lackey there were loads of mediocore back of the rotation guys something it appears the fan base are almost ready to throw johan into a group of. watch the team for 40 games or so and if it stinks, too bad, but there were no magic answers out there this offseason, and even when we sign one of the better players out there in bay we stil complain about the money, who cares about the money? stay home if you dont want to spend the money to watch them live but reading nothing but negative remark after negative remark, its no wonder guys like lackey didnt even call us back. have a great year guys

    • Lindro, you are right, the team does have plenty of major league talent. Thats why it would be a shame to suround them with borderline major league players. Name 2 first basemen in the league that won’t outpreform Murphy?? No way you can. And thats a FIRST BASEMEN!!! YOU NEED TO HAVE A GOOD BAT AT THAT POSITION IN ORDER TO SUCCEED.

      The fact that you seem to be defending Tatis, Cora, Santos, Castillo, NIeve over Branyan, Gomes, Barjas, Garland (no longer available) and Lopez is laughable. And what would those guys cost?? A total of 12 million all on 1 year deals?

      The bottom line is no way I can see this team competing with the Phillies while playing Murphy, Castillo, Santos everyday and depending on 4 question marks after Santana.

      • Oh and…

        “Some Met pitchers also expressed concern about the way Omir Santos handled a game and, although he improved as the season went on, this is too important a defensive position to train someone on the job. The same can be said about Josh Thole.”

        Get a real catcher. Let Blanco backup.

  19. No, your optimism is misplaced. This same so-called talented core has failed miserably 3 years in a row and couldnt even stay on the field last year. The only way I will have any sort of optimism is if we sign/develop better players and get better management. Until then, pardon me if I can’t muster up many good things to say about this team!

  20. I can’t get on board with “do no harm.” Isn’t that setting the bar incredibly low? Shouldn’t that already be ASSUMED for any GM? That’s like saying, “Well, I didn’t get the job, but at least I didn’t get arrested for punching the interviewer in the face.”

  21. Good analysis. The Mets fans are acting like spoiled children after a solid off-season. Ultimately, there were few free agents this year would could make a difference, and the Mets got one of them in Bay. The team was also handicapped by a lack of MLB-ready prospects (there are some good players in the system, but none who could be expected to help any team in 2010, which is what teams want).

    One objection: The amount they’re paying Alex Cora is reasonable for two reasons. 1. He’s getting a below league average salary and 2. it’s a matter of managing your employees. Cora gave the team something extra last year by playing despite his injuries; by rewarding him, it tells all the players that the team appreciates extra effort, making them more likely to give it. (Think of how it would affect you at work if a coworker put in extra hours and time to substitute for a sick worker, and then was fired when that worker came back.)

    • You might be the only person in the world to defend Alex Cora. Sure he is getting a below average league salary, but that extra $2 million might have been able to land us a better regular (Barajas, Lopez) or maybe it would have been the extra amount needed to get Bengie, Garland or Pineiro.

      And the last time I check MLB teams don’t owe players anything for doing their job and playing. Heck, Johnny Damon won a World Series and the Yankees said goodbye. Matsui won World Series MVP and he was let go. The Red Sox let Pedro go. The list goes on and on. The Mets do not owe a 34 year old career backup anything.

      The $2 million could have been used far more effectively.

      • Yeah just for example, if we say save that 2 million, and then DFA Frenchy, which I know was never going to happen but in my dream world it could. We could probably sign Lopez, to replace Castillo for the same price and sign Damon as a stop gap for F-mart. Instead we’re getting a pretty crappy back up MI and a crappy starter, and a pretty medicore right fielder who has some upside but it hinges on him defying 2-3 years of poor play.

      • Good post Gina. I disagree on Francouer though. He can be part of a winning team. In the right situation he would bat 7th, play above average RF, bat around .280 20 homers and 80 RBI.

        Keep in mind that Francouer is only 1 year older then Murphy. So why not be just as patient with Francouer who has proven he can be an everyday major league player as you are with Murphy, who will probably be a utility player/ on another team after this season if Ike David is ready in 2011.

      • Yeah the problem with Frenchy right now, to me at least, is whether he can still be an above average right fielder, since the 08 off-season when he put on like 20 pounds of muscle, his range in right field has pretty much been destroyed and he went to an awesome right fielder, so good that despite his offensive short comings he was still an above average player, to a complete mess in rf. It apparently also affected his bat speed and forced to him to swing early to be able to catch up with pitches which may have hurt his already poor plate discipline. He’s slimmed down some but he didn’t seem to have returned to pre 08 weight totally last season but if he can get his athleticism back he’d be an above average player again.

      • Frenchie may hit 280 if he is lucky, yet his OBP will still be below 300. Making an out 70% of the time does not a good player make. That is an awful player. Frenchie is one god awful player and 5.5 million it is that much worse.

  22. The Cora signing is the low point of the off-season for me. Complete waste. If you subtract his contract and Matthews Jr.’s, your have an additional 3.5 mil that could have gone to any of these guys: Hudson, Lopez, Bedard, Garland, Branyan. Just one of those guys would have made this team much better, and they could have gotten 2 of them if they really wanted to. The Tatis signing is also borderline because I think Evans can do what he does. So that’s another mil wasted.

    • Finally another person that sees it my way. I thought it was obvious, but for a lot of people its not. My points exactly. Just add Jonny Gomes to that list with Branyan and we have a potential 40 homer platoon at first base. Instead we are stuck with Murphy.

  23. No one’s mentioning that our bullpen could be really really bad. We have no idea what to expect from Parnell, Escobar and the Japanese guy. All are big question marks. Arguably, their most reliable righty (besides BB-rod) was Stokes and he’s gone. And we all know Green kind of blows. There’s not one guy other than Feliciano that I have confidence in, put it that way.

  24. With all the doom-and-gloom discussion of this offseason (and I’ve been there myself), this needed to be said. Thanks for that. At this point, with Spring Training about to start, I feel the need to step back and not worry about what could have or should have been done (though, to me, the biggest mistake was not bringing in a whole new medical staff), and instead let this team get through the spring and start the season. What they have now is not that much different from 2008, when they went down to the last day of the season in the race. Of the changes between then and now, most of them are upgrades: Jason Bay > Moises Alou & The Replacements, Jeff Francoeur > Ryan Church and K-Rod > Whoever Was Closing in ’08.

    I think the 2010 Mets will fall somewhere between disaster (2009’s 70 wins) and excellence (2006’s 97 wins). With their luck, it will probably be heartbreak (2007-08’s average 88.5 wins).

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