No research. Straight to the monkey.
My thoughts are: Meh? It’s an interesting idea, but it’s wholly dependent on Santana being able to physically handle the new role so it’s impossible to say if it’d work. From what we’ve seen this year, it seems Santana’s performance has become a bit finicky in his old age and hampered health, and we’ve heard him suggest that in certain starts he couldn’t get loose. Would he be able to throw three nights in a row if necessary? Would he have games in which he just doesn’t have it? While I realize that starters converted into relievers usually meet with success, I’d be very hesitant to transition a guy with Santana’s injury history.
Wait, do you mean more production from the players, or a greater quantity of productive players? I think it’s safe to expect the former in many cases: Josh Thole, Ike Davis, Ruben Tejada, Jordany Valdespin, Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are under 27 and presumably growing more productive — whether they’re in the team’s plans or not. And cutting Jason Bay will mean replacing him with a more productive player, because basically no player has been less productive than Bay.
As for quantity? Beats me. I don’t have any idea what the Mets have to spend or what they’re willing to part with. But they’ve got some depth in the starting rotation from which to deal — though that might mean trading a prospect. Speaking of:
Yes. Maybe Zack Wheeler will be awesome, but he’s a pitching prospect so he’s no sure thing and he’s subject to injury at pretty much any time. Upton had a down year in 2012, but he’s a 24-year-old with a superstar resume and he’s signed through the end of the 2015 season.
I got a lot of trade questions asking if the Mets should deal certain guys and if they should pursue certain guys. The answer to every single one is always the same: Depends on the trade. Should the Mets trade Daniel Murphy for the sake of trading him? Hell no: He’s a valuable Major Leaguer. Should the Mets trade Daniel Murphy for Justin Verlander? Yes.
The same is really true for R.A. Dickey and even David Wright. I don’t think there’s much of a chance Wright gets traded, but if it looks like he wants to test free agency after the season and someone’s offering you a package of young Major League and Major League-ready players that you feel will provide more in their careers with the team than Wright will for the remainder of his contract, then, you know, duh. But that’s always true.
Well, David Wright is the pb-and-honey sandwich minister in the clubhouse, so I suspect it’d be hard to associate the sandwich with poor play.
Good question. Presumably the evaluation phase should never really end, but I think the Mets should have a pretty clear sense of what they’ll get from Dickey, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Murphy, Wright, Scott Hairston and Andres Torres moving forward. The rest still feature question marks due to age, injury, sample size, or pretty broad fluctuations in performance.