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December 27, 2009

Prospectus Today

Metropolitan Inactivity

by Joe Sheehan

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A few weeks back, near the end of the Winter Meetings, I got a panicked text message from a friend of mine: "Are the Mets going to do ANYTHING?" It was a fair question, as even now the Mets have been almost completely silent this offseason, but as I pointed out then, doing nothing is better than signing Bengie Molina.

In fact, it's the lack of the big mistake that defines the current offseason for the Mets, who are coming off a disastrous season in which six of their top seven players by payroll spent significant parts of the season on the Disabled List. It was the injuries, above and beyond all other factors, that destroyed the team's season; the Mets were 17-13 and in first place when they lost Carlos Delgado on May 10, the first of the string of season-ending hurts. They were 21-19, a game out of first, when Jose Reyes went down for good on May 20. They were hanging on a month later at 34-33, still just two games out, when Carlos Beltran went on the DL. At that point, the wheels fell off: without those three players, the Mets went 28-42 until Beltran's return on September 8, during which time they also lost Johan Santana for the season and David Wright for two weeks following a beaning. As disappointing as John Maine and Oliver Perez and Francisco Rodriguez were, the line for the 2009 Mets runs through the DL.

So in planning for 2010, it's fair for Omar Minaya to not see his team as needing radical reconstruction. With health, he'll have back the core that nearly won the division in 2007 and 2008. In Reyes, Wright, Beltran, and Santana, the Mets have a championship-caliber foursome that matches up with that of the Phillies if all four players have healthy seasons. (The Phillies' health record is tremendous the last three years, a real edge for their team.) The roster around that core is capable, and in fact, almost certain to be better in '10 than it was in '09. Maine and Perez combined for just 29 starts, walking 96 men and allowing 93 runs in 147 1/3 innings. I'm bullish on Mike Pelfrey, whose 2009 ERA was inflated by the porous defense behind him. Getting Reyes back and adding a true first baseman would help him.

Signing Bengie Molina wasn't going to help things. The Mets, in fact, got a player who provides 90 percent of Molina's value when they signed Henry Blanco to a one-year, $750,000 contract. Blanco has a legitimate cannon behind the plate and he hits left-handed pitching well enough to carry that half of a platoon. Moreover, there's little temptation to bat him high in the lineup or give him a bigger job than that. Molina's inflated RBI counts hide the fact that he's an offense-killer, posting a sub-.300 OBP in two of the previous three seasons. He's also one of the slowest men in the game, and not a particularly good defensive catcher. To sign him and bat him sixth in 125 games would make the Mets actively worse. What they need is a lefty bat to pair with Blanco; I'm open to the idea that Josh Thole can be that player, but Thole has to hit .290 to play and it's an open question whether his Mike LaValliere act will carry forward to the majors. Josh Bard, who can't throw and might hit, could serve as a stopgap while Thole spends two months at Buffalo, but the real key here is to avoid signing Bengie Molina. It would be wasted money.

This isn't to say that the Mets' offseason couldn't use a boost, and I don't mean by signing a guy with a single appearance in two years. Kelvim Escobar might work out, and for a million bucks, it's worth finding out. The same applies to Ryota Igarashi, a Japanese right-hander brought over on a two-year, $3 million deal. By Cot's count, the Mets have about $98 million committed to 14 players, plus a million bucks owed to J.J. Putz. Jeff Francoeur, John Maine, Pedro Feliciano, Angel Pagan, and Sean Green are all arbitration-eligible; combined, they made about $8.5 million last year, only Pagan had a good year but all added service time… let's say they'll cost $13 million in 2010, and set aside that $6 million of that will go to the right fielder with a career .311 OBP. That would put the Mets at $112 million. They were at $149 million last year, $137 million two years ago, $115 million in '07. Let's say that they can go to $149 million again, but no higher, as last year may have been a local peak with some contracts overlapping and the new park coming on line. How do they spend the other $35 million in a way that helps them compete with the Phillies and the Braves for the next two years before Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes reach free agency?

The Mets have no left fielder and no first baseman, and assigning Daniel Murphy to one of those spots doesn't change much, as it's certain that he can't hit enough to play first and questionable that he can hit enough to play left given how poorly he fields the position. Murphy could end up as Frank Catalanotto, but right now he's a career .275/.331/.437 guy in the majors and has just one game at Triple-A, so all we really know is that he can play in the Eastern League. You cannot build around him, so looking outside the organization for solutions is the way to solve both these positions. The Mets have a luxury in that they only need one of these players to bat in the middle of the lineup; Reyes/Castillo/Wright/Beltran is a good top four, so what they need is one player to fill out that top five and the other to likely bat seventh, between Francoeur and the catcher. If they were to sign two very good hitters, Castillo could move down in the lineup.

The Mets have to fix their offense before they fix their pitching. They should be spending their money on bats, rather than on starters, and given the high-risk pitching that's out there, money spent on Joel Pineiro or Jon Garland or Jarrod Washburn doesn't change things for them, it just adds the type of pitcher they already have but with more recent success. The Mets needed a John Lackey, someone to be a clear second starter between Johan Santana and the rest of the field, and there was exactly one John Lackey available this season. A move for a high-upside player, such as Ben Sheets or Erik Bedard, would make more sense for them, while allowing them to stay in the market for hitters.

With so many suitors finding other answers, both Jason Bay and Matt Holliday are still available, and presumably at a price that gets a little better every day. I've recommended staying away from both, as both are declining stocks, good-but-not-great players likely to be overpaid because of their status as the top guys in a weak year. The Mets, however, are a special case, a big-market club with some money to spend, a core that would allow either player to be the fifth-best on the team, and a short time horizon. For the Mets, Matt Holliday could make sense, as he's a gap-to-gap hitter who should play well in Citi Field, he's good enough defensively to cover ground in those same gaps, and he fits within the payroll parameters. Bay would likely be less expensive and require a shorter commitment, but his defensive issues would give back a lot of the offense he provides. This will be the first time I've recommended this for anyone, but the Mets should sign Matt Holliday for up to $18 million per season on up to a five-year deal. They'll be hurting a little on the back end of that, but the improvement over Murphy or Pagan (who is a strong fourth outfielder, and probably better than Francoeur) in the short term is worth that.

That leaves first base, and about $17 million to spend. Well, there's no first baseman who's going to come close to that on the market, so the good news is that the Mets come in under budget on my plan. That extra money can be used in the midseason trade market, or added to an offer on Aroldis Chapman, or perhaps piled into incentives for Sheets. As far as how to fill the spot, I go back to the man whose injury started the team's downfall. Quietly, Carlos Delgado has had a very gentle decline phase, and was hitting well when his hip problem forced him to the DL in May. A strained oblique suffered during rehab effectively ended his season. I asked Will Carroll, and he indicated that while he'd prefer if Delgado had a DH option, he doesn't see a health reason to not sign him. Delgado is one of the few players available who brings some OBP, and the Mets should try and fill the spot with a left-handed batter for lineup balance. Coming off a shortened season, and with a limited market for free agents-Nick Johnson's contract is likely an upper bound for Delgado-he'd be inexpensive enough to allow for another signing, such as Bedard. As a value-for-money proposition, I'd rather have Delgado for one year at his price than commit to Adam LaRoche for three years at his.

So let's wave a magic wand and see how the roster shakes out with these moves:

SS Reyes
CF Beltran
LF Holliday
1B Delgado
3B Wright
RF Francoeur
2B Castillo
C Bard/Blanco

Bench: Blanco/Bard, Pagan, Murphy, Alex Cora

S1 Santana
S2 Maine
S3 Perez
S4 Pelfrey
S5 Bedard
S6 Escobar

R1 Rodriguez
R2 Igarashi
R3 Green
R4 Feliciano
R5 Niese

There's roster space for another hitter, probably a right-handed-hitting outfielder/first baseman. That could be Nick Evans, or it could be something from the free-agent pile. Ryan Garko is sitting out there, and would be a steal at this point. He might be able to take the first base job outright by the end of the year. Thole could claim a chunk of the catching job at midseason. The back end of the pitching staff is in considerable flux, as the Mets have an assortment of fifth-reliever/sixth-starter types, and under this plan would have two starting pitchers in camp coming off lost seasons, in addition to Maine and Perez. Niese, Figueroa, Fernando Nieve, Brian Stokes and others will all be fighting for jobs.

Trades are also an option, especially given that the Mets can take on some payroll, but I'm not sure there's a fit for them. Fernando Martinez's value is down due to his ongoing inability to stay healthy and a rough debut last year. I think trading him now would be a mistake, and the Mets should play him every day in Triple-A until he forces his way into the outfield picture. If that's June, great; it's a nice problem to have. He's just 21 years old, and never should have been in the majors last year, and remains a tremendous talent. They shouldn't trade Jenrry Mejia, and I'm not sure assembling a prospect package without those guys gets them where they need to be. Then again, Cliff Lee, Curtis Granderson, and Javier Vazquez have all been dealt for packages seemingly below their station, so perhaps there is a deal to be made.

The biggest flaw in my plan for the Mets is this: it still doesn't get them ahead of the Phillies as the division favorite, and they may not be as good as the Braves, even with $30 million worth of free agents. I think the signings make sense for them, but even with them, there's so much volatility in the Mets' roster that it's hard to project the team with confidence. They could win 95 games and the NL East, and they could win 82 and fade softly from the wild-card race in September. They could end up even worse if none of the pitching works out. Where they are right now, though, starting both Murphy and Pagan, is not good enough. They have the money and they have the needs, and they should use one to fill the other, knowing that they're not nearly as bad as they looked in '09 and that their core, returning healthy in '10, matches up with their competition.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Joe's other articles. You can contact Joe by clicking here

Related Content:  A's,  The Who,  Daniel Murphy,  Bengie Molina,  Mets,  Year Of The Injury

45 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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tyardis

Given that the moves you suggest don't make the team good enough to beat the Phillies, and the many, many question marks surrounding the team, wouldn't the Mets be better off saving their $$$?

The '10 season should be used to answer those questions, give Martinez, Thole and Niese a shot at real playing time, and then the Mets should be a great position next offseason to fill whatever holes they have - with a MUCH better group of free agents to pick from.

Dec 27, 2009 11:22 AM
rating: 4
 
Amos

This comment is more sensible than the article.

Dec 28, 2009 02:41 AM
rating: -2
 
SaberTJ

Well the closer they get to the Phillies and the Braves the better. If the Phillies health finally breaks, and the Braves keep giving away talent the Division could be New York's.

Dec 28, 2009 07:17 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Joe Sheehan
BP staff
(17)

Because they have two years left of the Beltran/Reyes part of the core (one if they pass on Reyes' option) and wasting one of them isn't sensible. That's why they can justify Holliday now; the Mets have been built to win from 2006-2011, and they haven't yet done so.

Dec 28, 2009 09:02 AM
 
Sharky

Joe, definitely enjoyed this article. Interesting take. Also interesting that you make no reference to the rumors (just that, as far as we know) about the Wilpons' diminished financial wherewithal. Seems like that could be relevant here.

Also another key issue (one I would like your perspective on): IF the Mets make a run and fall short in 2010, how can they rebuild? It's not clear that they can get anything other than salary relief by trading away their aging and injured core. Will other teams pony up for Beltren, Reyes, etc.? Seems like that should factor in, too.

Dec 27, 2009 11:28 AM
rating: 1
 
R.A.Wagman

Interesting piece. Another way to possibly fill their 1B hole would be a trade for Lyle Overbay. As a lefty hitter with gap power and a healthy OBP, on only a 1-year, low-cost ($7M) commitment. Apparently, the Jays are shopping him, and I would presume that his trade-cost would be relatively low (1 or 2 middling prospects).

Dec 27, 2009 11:53 AM
rating: 3
 
kerrigrr

Interesting indeed and I agree with the Holliday and Bedard-or-Sheets pickups as the types of moves the Mets need to make in order to bolster the core, but I definitely agree with R.A. Wagman here in preferring Overbay to Delgado. The Mets can't take another year of persistent injuries and I think they just need to walk away from a 37 year old 1st bagger who has been injured fairly consistently for 3 years.

Dec 27, 2009 15:19 PM
rating: -1
 
R.A.Wagman

Just from looking at Baseball America's 2009 Prospect handbook, I would think a prospect like Reese Havens would do the trick. And looking at how AA handled the Roy Halladay trade negotiations, the Jays may be willing to pay for part of the salary if the return package is improved.

Dec 27, 2009 15:28 PM
rating: 0
 
Ogremace

Delgado has played no fewer than 139 games in any year except last since coming to the mets, and in that time has .267/.351/.506/.857. I'll take Will Carroll's advice over yours.

Dec 27, 2009 16:17 PM
rating: 1
 
DWrek5

You had a great point, but then you got uber-defensive. "I'll take Will Carroll's advice over yours."

Why take a shot a ruin a good convo?

Dec 28, 2009 08:56 AM
rating: 4
 
kerrigrr

He may have played in 139 games other years but in how many of those games was he limited by nagging hand injuries, the hip, etc.? I watch about 155 Mets games a year and altho I agree he has been decently productive, his injuries have increased in severity and the risk on that trend going on as he gets increasingly older (and by the way - check out how long its taking him to come back from this recent surgery as a case in point) doesn't seem worthwhile, especially coming off the train wreck year the franchise just absorbed.

Dec 28, 2009 13:19 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

You could say the same thing about Jose Reyes and his hamstring. Delgado's had nagging hand injuries, but he has produced overall.

You also put words into R.A. Wagman's mouth. Just because he considers Overbay as an option does not mean that he prefers Overbay to Delgado.

Dec 28, 2009 13:57 PM
rating: -1
 
R.A.Wagman

huh? What words?

Dec 28, 2009 17:19 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

kerrigrr said you preferred Overbay over Delgado. I didn't see you mention Delgado in your comment, just that Overbay was an additional option.

Dec 28, 2009 19:57 PM
rating: -1
 
R.A.Wagman

I'm a Jays fan and am trolling for potential landing spots for Overbay. An apparent attempted swap to the D-backs earlier this off-season, in exchange for Chris Snyder, supposedly fell through when Snyder failed his physical.

Dec 28, 2009 20:56 PM
rating: 0
 
kerrigrr

Offering another option apart from the one Joe suggested in the article struck me as saying Overbay was a better option than Delgado. For me, as a Met fan, I'd prefer him.

Dec 29, 2009 12:59 PM
rating: -1
 
StarkFist

Interesting that Delgado managed to get in 538 ABs in '07 & 598 in '08 while being injured consistently for three years. How much do you figure he'd have played those two years without the owies?

Dec 30, 2009 01:03 AM
rating: 0
 
bflaff

Best move the Mets could make, arguably, is getting rid of Minaya and replacing him with someone who has some credibility, and who can offer some hope. Right now it's easy to look at the Mets and imagine that - despite their talent - they'll continue to fall short with Minaya at the helm. And I can't think of many players who want to be stuck on a NY team when it is falling short of expectations. Met fans have been downright hostile the last few seasons, and until the team does something dramatic enough to signal a new direction, the negativity surrounding the team will probably continue.

Dec 27, 2009 12:43 PM
rating: 1
 
dkirschner

There have been rumors that Jason Bay does not want to come to the Mets. You have to wonder if the issues in the front office--the bizarre Tony Bernazard incidents, the way they handled Willie Randolph, just to mention a few--make it more difficult for the Mets to sign players.

Dec 29, 2009 11:03 AM
rating: 2
 
kerrigrr

Everyone said the same about Sabathia taking so long to accept Yankee offer last year - that he didn't really want to come to NY (despite the Yankees obviously being better run than the Mets). In the end, the wait didn't keep him from performing and adding to the team. IF Bay has been holding out bc he truly wants Seattle to come back to him, the way CC arguably would have preferred to go to the West Coast for comparable money, so be it. It doesn't mean he won't perform in blue and orange.

Dec 29, 2009 13:02 PM
rating: 0
 
dkirschner

Now that it appears that Jason Bay is going to join the Mets, I hope you are right.

Although I like Bay and think he will be an upgrade over the inhouse options, I agree with Joe that Matt Holliday would have been a better fit. Holliday is younger and better defensively.

Dec 29, 2009 21:10 PM
rating: 1
 
DrDooby

Unfortunately, I´m quite sure that the Mets won´t have 35 mio $ to spend left in their budget. From what´s been written, the figure is more in the 20 to 25 mio $ range.
And for that money, the Mets won´t be able to afford either Holliday or Bay, plus Delgado or rotation help.

As for the rotation, Oliver Perez and John Maine already offer enough upside & lack of dependability, so signing yet another high risk / high reward pitcher like Sheets or Bedard for significant money is probably too dangerous - even with lots of backup options like Nieve or Niese around (who aren´t dependable either, of course).

While it´s boring, signing a Garland / Washburn / Padilla / D.Davis type to a modest contract (2-years, 14 mio $ - whoever blinks first) to give the Mets 180 boring IP of 4.25 ERA, .740 OPS against probably makes more sense. If Santana isn´t 100 % or none of Pelfrey / Maine / O.Perez takes a major step forward in 2010, even Tim Lincecum wouldn´t be enough for this team, so while hoping for progress from what´s already there, the Mets need to bring in a modern version of Steve Trachsel again.

Dec 28, 2009 00:21 AM
rating: -3
 
adenzeno

That rotation would be lucky to
A-win 85 games
B-stay healthy
C-not destroy the bullpen as they avg 6 IP a game

Dec 28, 2009 04:12 AM
rating: 1
 
Cangrejero
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Option at 1b, trade for Kotchman without giving your top prospects.
I believe they need to sign Bengie Molina, Thole should not be a starter, he is more of a backup.

I think Niese should pitch in the rotation, sign Pineiro and make Niese and Oliver Perez pitch for that 5th spot.

Now, the big question is LF. It does not look like Jason Bay wants to play with the Mets, so Holliday is next. They could get that bat trading Pagan and a good prospect.

Dec 28, 2009 05:35 AM
rating: -8
 
Hoff

The Met's really don't need to fix their offense.
They had the 14th best EQA last season, with the whole core getting hit. They were only 2 points behind another 7 collective teams. They are a top ten offense when firing on all cylinders and a fine defense too when beltran and reyes don't miss much of the season and you have a real first basemen.

Their pitching blows, but frankly, they can't really fix that this offseason. They need to do nothing then spend like crazy next season.

Dec 28, 2009 07:35 AM
rating: 0
 
Travis Leleu

I think Joe is saying "fix the offense" because the Mets will have to pound some opponents into submission next year. As he went over, they really should've pushed for Lackey, but there really isn't much quality left out there. That's why he suggested Sheets.

Further, if they do nothing this season, their aging core is getting 1 year older. Fans in NYC are 1 year more impatient. By adding Holliday and Sheets, they have a shot to make a run this year. Especially if they get Delgado for less than NJohnson money, and he performs to his career norms.

Dec 28, 2009 09:00 AM
rating: 0
 
Hoff

Sign Arlodis Chapman. Hope that you can take your 6th draft slot and sign bryce harper with craaazy money.

Dec 29, 2009 10:32 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

I like your take Joe, but I'd rather sign stopgaps like Dye or Garko/Delgado and take a run at Crawford and Brandon Webb next winter. It's tough to see anyone toppling Philadelphia next year and I don't think I'd waste the money on Holliday. Especially when Carl Crawford is the prototypical CitiField player.

Dec 28, 2009 12:29 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Garko? The same Ryan Garko that the Giants thought would win them the Wild Card?

Dye/Delgado/Garko... one of these three is not like the others.

Dec 28, 2009 14:00 PM
rating: 0
 
kerrigrr

Couldn't agree more that Crawford fits Citi Field like a glove. However, rumors are swirling the Yanks already have him targeted for next offseason and in real life, who's going to win that bidding war?

Dec 29, 2009 13:04 PM
rating: 0
 
PeterBNYC

Thanks, Joe, for your usual thoughtful analysis. What you are saying, I think, is that the Mets are stuck with gambling that their core- Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Santana- returns from injury to productive years at or near their prior levels. That is a "real" gamble. While I don't disagree with Joe on bringing back Delgado, it also is not clear his game suits Citifield. But it isn't clear Overbay is a solution either. The Mets- whether it is Minaya or another GM (I like Doug Melvin, if they are looking for someone else)- may have to consider retooling into a defense/ speed/ pitching oriented team- a job Omar would not do well-to adjust to Citifield, which it appears has a more radical effect on roster construction than anyone previously has contemplated. Thus retaining Pagan, rather than trading him, is important, and getting Holliday, plus the best they can for Green/ Evans/ Francouer- Aaron Harang?- is imperative. And will somebody please suggest what is responsible for Wright's power outage? I can't figure it out.

Dec 28, 2009 12:51 PM
rating: 0
 
PeterBNYC

Sorry- Evans, MURPHY, Francouer.

Dec 28, 2009 13:02 PM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

Personally, I think Wright is a bit of a headcase. He doesn't seem to be able to handle being "THE MAN" of an offense. Once his guys Beltran and Delgado were gone, he had to be the main cog and failed miserably. I had high hopes that Wright would assume the leadership role and primary offensive force of the Mets, but it's getting obvious that he's not cut out for it. I still think he's a 30 homer guy once they have another power bat with him to help shoulder the load.

Dec 28, 2009 13:06 PM
rating: -1
 
kerrigrr

Tough to call him a headcase when you are concurrently admitting that he had *no* protection in the lineup.

Dec 28, 2009 13:20 PM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

I'll take him and trade you Milton Bradley... er wait.. Jose Silva...

Dec 28, 2009 13:58 PM
rating: 1
 
eighteen

I'll take Wright over any 3B not named Longoria or Rodriguez.

How anyone can bitch about a .309/.390/.447 line and a 3.2 WARP, in that pitcher's heaven, with that crappy supporting cast, is beyond me.

Dec 28, 2009 16:06 PM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

Well, we're talking about the same club who had an ex-GM (Steve Phillips) publicly torch Beltran on air for not being a true competitor.

Dec 28, 2009 19:58 PM
rating: 0
 
phuturephillies
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Even if they sign no one, PECOTA will project them to win 93 games, which will give them an 8 game edge on the Phillies, who are annually projected to win no more than 85 games. Mets fans shouldn't be worried at all at this point.

Dec 28, 2009 14:39 PM
rating: -10
 
amazin_mess
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Phuck you.

Dec 28, 2009 17:18 PM
rating: -14
 
antoine6

Not only has the Phillies' health been significantly superior to the Mets, they have done a MUCH better job building a supporting cast around their core players. If you consider Utley-Howard-Rollins-Hamels a wash with Wright-Reyes-Beltran-Santana (and, in fact, the Mets' core might be slightly better), there's simply no comparison when you look at the rest of the roster. Guys like Ibanez, Werth, Victorino, and Ruiz would all be the Mets' next best player. Instead, they're stuck with guys like Murphy, Pagan, Castillo, Franceour. I won't look it up now, but I would imagine the collective WARP of the Phillies' starters outside the core dwarfs that of the Mets'.

No question, in my mind, that the difference between the late 00's Phillies and Mets has been Gillick (and Amaro) simply being much, much better at putting together a full championship team than Omar Minaya, through player development, FA, and trades. And usually with a lower payroll, as well. The Phillies are simply the better franchise.

Dec 28, 2009 22:28 PM
rating: 3
 
Richard Bergstrom

Utley/Howard/Rollins/Hamels are also much less expensive than Wright/Reyes/Beltran/Santana, allowing additional roster flexibility.

Dec 29, 2009 05:52 AM
rating: 1
 
dkirschner

Amazingly, all four of the Phillies "core" are players they drafted. The Mets also have done well with Jose Reyes and David Wright. Obvioulsy it is much more expensive to buy core players, e.g., Carlos Beltran and Johann Santana. (I realize they traded for Santana but it is unclear if the Mets would have traded for him without being able to reach an extension with him first.)

Dec 29, 2009 21:14 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

I don't give the Phillies super props though.. they took a long time to promote Utley and an even longer time to promote Howard.

Dec 29, 2009 21:46 PM
rating: -1
 
TGisriel

Remember that delay in promotion allows a team to keep the player deeper into his core peak period before arbitration/free agency

Dec 30, 2009 07:25 AM
rating: 1
 
StarkFist

Injuries were a big part of the problem for the Mets last year, but injuries aren't why Pelfrey regressed, and I don't buy that a bad knee is what went wrong with Perez (did anyone else notice that he didn't complain about pain until after he'd demonstrated his inability to find home plate with a road map? Yeah right).

No, I think the biggest problem with the Mets pitching staff last season was that they were badly coached. Why else does a team playing in a big roomy park like Citifield lead the league in walks? The staff was much better when they were coached by Rick Peterson.

btw, while we're looking at free agents, I think the Mets missed out by not signing Greg Zaun when he was available. I also think that Russell Branyan can give them a boost to the offense at either 1B or LF, and will hold his own defensively at either of those positions. If he can hit 31 HRs in Safeco, then he should be able to handle Citifield. He also draws a ton of walks (all hail the Three True Outcomes).

Dec 30, 2009 01:22 AM
rating: 1
 
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