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   1. J in the Slope Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:40 PM (#3027471)
What's the word on what Sheets is going to get? Seems that 22 starts of ~3.50 ERA has value to the Mets, no?. Lowe's age bothers me, but I do think he is a good bet to be better than Ollie next year.

It is a nice place to pick up easy ground - obviously if my fifth starter can post a 100 ERA+, then it’s a big advantage.


And trading for Jason Marquis? Pass.


Jason Marquis' ERA+ since he became a full-time starter in 2004 -
115
102
74
101
99

His WHIP isn't good, his ERA won't be good, but he's a good bet to be better than: #5 83 (you know, someone bad).
   2. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:41 PM (#3027474)
Nice article Chris.

If you could do a Schoeneweis-for-Marquis deal (as it's rumored) and also sign either Ollie or Lowe (whom I agree are the most attractive among the realistic FA SP options), would you do that? Seems to me that with Feliciano, Schoeneweis is a bit redundant. Marquis is more palatable than Garland given Marquis' contract, and it would be nice to have Niese as depth while he spends some more time getting ready at AAA.
   3. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:43 PM (#3027479)
Put me in the "MORE OLLIE" camp.

Then again, I'm the optimist/surrealist in chatter, so...
   4. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:45 PM (#3027483)
His WHIP isn't good, his ERA won't be good, but he's a good bet to be better than: #5 83 (you know, someone bad).
Yes, but as I understand it, he's a dick. And the #5 guy is *free*. I don't want to pay that guy at all.
   5. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:50 PM (#3027488)
If you could do a Schoeneweis-for-Marquis deal (as it's rumored) and also sign either Ollie or Lowe (whom I agree are the most attractive among the realistic FA SP options), would you do that? Seems to me that with Feliciano, Schoeneweis is a bit redundant. Marquis is more palatable than Garland given Marquis' contract, and it would be nice to have Niese as depth while he spends some more time getting ready at AAA.
I don't want Marquis. He's erratic. I don't think Feliciano and SS are redundant. We need to identify the 'cross-over LHP'. The LHP that gets out RHBs, and trade for him. He needs to be cheap. Feliciano in 06-07 posted a nice 700 OPS against RHBs. Last year is a clear abomination. I mean, it's one of the worst splits I've ever seen, and the two years before it say to me it's a sample size issue.

I like SS in a proper role. There are enough people in the pen that a couple of OOGYs isn't a problem. SS does need to get out LHBs *even* better.

I don't like Marquis and just don't want him.
   6. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:55 PM (#3027493)
The seeming lack of interest the Mets have in Sheets really bothers me. Though it seems no one really has a ton of interest in him. I know the injuries are why, but still, I'd much rather have Sheets at like 2/25 than Burnett at 5/75. Ollie and Sheets would make me ecstatic. One and Pedro would make me content. Marquis and Niese will leave me ANGRY.
   7. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:56 PM (#3027496)
Give me Sheets, Smoltz or Pedro, and Uehara, and let's go to battle.

Sabathia/Sheets/Pelfrey/Maine/Pedro with Uehara and Niese in reserve should be good enough.
   8. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:59 PM (#3027504)
Oh, I forgot one more target: Brad Penny.

Sheets, Penny, and Smoltz/Pedro/Uehara under my Christmas Tree, please.
   9. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:02 PM (#3027511)
I don't think Feliciano and SS are redundant. We need to identify the 'cross-over LHP'. The LHP that gets out RHBs, and trade for him. He needs to be cheap. Feliciano in 06-07 posted a nice 700 OPS against RHBs. Last year is a clear abomination. I mean, it's one of the worst splits I've ever seen, and the two years before it say to me it's a sample size issue.


If you're saying Feliciano stands a good chance of being the "cross-over" guy once again (though I may be reading you wrong), I agree.

I like SS in a proper role.


I do too.

I don't like Marquis and just don't want him.


I had not heard anything about him being a jerk.

I like the idea of the Mets having six viable starters, which means they'd need two more. If the Cubs are willing to give them a #5 plus cash for one of the Mets' two LHP relievers (with the SP and the reliever both in their walk years), it seems more palatable to me than committing to a Jon Garland or even a Randy Wolf (though I don't think Wolf would take much to snag).

I can definitely see where you're coming from, though. I think there's a decent chance Feliciano will once again become the versatile reliever we saw in 06/07, which means that a LOOGY like SS would still be a useful part to that pen.
   10. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:07 PM (#3027518)
I like the idea of the Mets having six viable starters,
Me too, but we have Figueroa, right? I like him as a spot starter. He pitched well enough in that role. I think he can give us the 5 ERA, and could possibly make 20 starts there. Other than his walks, he actually pitched pretty well as a 5th starter.
   11. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:13 PM (#3027526)
I'm surprised you're comfortable with Figueroa getting 20 starts, Chris. I'm not comfortable heading into the season with him as anything more than the 7th or 8th starter. Preferably, they start the season with Niese as the 6th guy, or even Pedro if he'd be willing to be a swingman. I am not at all comfortable with Figueroa being the first person the Mets go to when someone gets injured.
   12. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:16 PM (#3027533)
Me too, but we have Figueroa, right? I like him as a spot starter.


I did too.

The one thing I don't want is for Marquis to be the only addition. I think Pelfrey and Maine are big enough question marks to justify an outlay on a Perez or Lowe.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:06 PM (#3027599)
And the #5 guy is *free*. I don't want to pay that guy at all.


I don't understand this stance. If you have an opportunity to make your team better here, you take it.

And by the way, the 84 ERA+ figure is not for the man that started the 5th most games in his rotation. It is for all the guys that took turns in that slot. So if you are confident that Niese or Figueroa can put up an 84, the overall number will almost certainly be lower when you factor in the starts that will almost inevitably go to 2008's versions of Dave Williams, Geremi Gonzalez, Brian Lawrence, Brandon Knight, Jason Vargas, etc.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:13 PM (#3027608)
I would pursue Paul Byrd. He is old but he is reliable. Ought to be good for 180 innings and a 100 ERA+, which would be really great in the 4th or 5th slot.

He declined arbitration from the Sox - as he would have earned over $8 million next year, I don't know if that means he thinks he can make more than that or if he wants the security of a multiyear deal, or what.
   15. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:18 PM (#3027613)
outside of cost which prevents you from getting someone else, why not have a decent 5th starter? Injuries happen, and having someone competent to step up is pretty important. Likewise, just because your average playoff team has dreck for a 5th starter, why should you settle for it? it's still a position that gets 25+ starts and could easily pitch 175 innings. having it be someone who gives you a within spitting distance of league average (92 ERA+, say) is probably worth a win or two, and at the point where the Mets are now, a couple marginal wins is important. You don't place the importance over, say, a left fielder or 2b, but it's not nothin.
   16. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:20 PM (#3027619)
Uehara

She's a babe, too.




Wait, who?

Oh.
   17. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:32 PM (#3027632)
I have mixed feelings about a Schoeneweis for Marquis trade. On the upside, you are very likely to get decent innings at the back end of the rotation . . . that "reliability" thing Chris alluded to in a nicely gentle knock at me in the piece. And the rumors seem to indicate that the Cubs would kick in some $$$ to offset the difference between his $9M and SS's $3M, so the cost is an issue but not as big as it might seem on the surface. A decent starter is worth more than a decent reliever (which SS is if used right). On the downside, I fear that Marquis would be THE starting pitching acquisition, and that would be really bad. If you got him, and signed either Ollie or Lowe, that's an entirely different thing than trying to just plug in Marquis and calling it an off-season. Also, with the Phillies' line-up getting even MORE left-handed with the signing of Ibanez, having two LHP in the pen in Schoeneweis and Feliciano, along with the power righties we just added, seems like a good idea to me. So basically . . . if they do it for the bottom of the rotation while also filling in at the top, I'd be OK with it. But I'd be just as happy if they passed, too.

Jayson Stark seems to believe the Derek Lowe market is going to come very nicely right to the Mets:

It's now apparent that neither the Phillies nor the Red Sox made an offer at all. And they no longer seem any more than mildly interested.

The Yankees are still an option -- but maybe not for long. If Burnett and Andy Pettitte say yes to offers already on the table, the Yankees are out. And although the Mets maintain interest, it appears they want no part of the four-year, $72 million price tag Boras was tossing out there early on. But there's a scenario in the making in which they become the last serious bidder standing. So maybe this will turn out to be Omar Minaya's lucky winter.


That would work for me -- a reasonable deal for Lowe, and then either trade for Marquis or don't to create some real depth at the bottom of the rotation (Marquis, Niese, Figueroa). That would make for a . . . wait for it . . . reliable rotation in which there are enough great (Santana), very good (Pelfrey, Lowe), good (Maine), and decent (the others) options to take the starts/innings. I'd be happy.
   18. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:36 PM (#3027634)
I don't understand this stance. If you have an opportunity to make your team better here, you take it.
So you are all for signing Bonds? And Manny. And Tex. And Durham. It's more complicated than that.

And by the way, the 84 ERA+ figure is not for the man that started the 5th most games in his rotation. It is for all the guys that took turns in that slot. So if you are confident that Niese or Figueroa can put up an 84, the overall number will almost certainly be lower when you factor in the starts that will almost inevitably go to 2008's versions of Dave Williams, Geremi Gonzalez, Brian Lawrence, Brandon Knight, Jason Vargas, etc.
I specifically meant that the entire slot would make an 84. So Figueroa (and whomever) could post a 91. I am confident they can get it closer to 100.
   19. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:37 PM (#3027636)
You don't place the importance over, say, a left fielder or 2b, but it's not nothin.
Right, but it has costs, and anything we spend on a #5 starter was money we should have spent elsewhere.
   20. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#3027637)
I'm nervous about signing Lowe, or Penny, or any pitcher who was ONCE awesome.

And yet, I'm ok with Sheets, so I must be rather capricious.
   21. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:41 PM (#3027644)
Lowe wasn't just "once awesome". His last three seasons average 210 IP (199-218) and a 124 ERA+ (118-131). Lowe is a very good pitcher.
   22. HowardMegdal Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:49 PM (#3027657)
Truthfully, of all of these pitchers, I’d rather sign Derek Lowe. Lowe can possibly be had for three or four years at $12-13 million.

At three years, and $12-13 million, I like Lowe. Sounds like the price is more like 4-5 years, $16-19 million, though. Of course, the teams dropping out could rapidly bring that down.

I don't love going three years on Lowe at his age, but it's better than 4, and much better than five.

I still prefer Perez for the same number of years- at 2-3 years, it's a lot closer, though.

Regarding your fifth starter is free issue- if Maine weren't coming off of surgery, Pelfrey off of his first good year with a huge jump in innings, I'd feel a lot better about the idea. But the principal reason to build pitching depth is that pitchers get hurt- and suddenly your number 5 guy is your number 3 guy.

I do like Marquis over Niese as fifth starter next year, especially with Marquis signed for one year, giving Niese a full season at AAA, ideally.
   23. Joey B. "disrespects the A" Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:53 PM (#3027661)
Yeah, the Mets are crazy if they don't compete hard with the Yankees for Lowe.

He's not what he once was, but he's about as durable and reliable as they come.
   24. Mark S. is bored Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:56 PM (#3027665)
I'm nervous about signing Lowe, or Penny, or any pitcher who was ONCE awesome.

And yet, I'm ok with Sheets, so I must be rather capricious.


Sheets pitched 198 innings this year. That was the most he had pitched since 2004. 2004 is also the last time Lowe pitched fewer innings than Sheets pitched this year.
   25. Mark S. is bored Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:58 PM (#3027666)
I do like Marquis over Niese as fifth starter next year, especially with Marquis signed for one year, giving Niese a full season at AAA, ideally.


This I agree with. I don't believe Niese is ready for MLB yet (even as a 5th starter). Marquis being signed for just one more year gives Niese time to develop and get some spot MLB starts as injuries happen.
   26. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:58 PM (#3027667)
Yeah, the Mets are crazy if they don't compete hard with the Yankees for Lowe.

It seems to me the Yankees are pretty much setting their own nutty little market for whomever they seek. I think Omar would be playing it just right to let the smoke clear, see which pair of pitchers Cashman signs to go with C.C. in that particular market, and then goes after whomever is left -- maybe Lowe, maybe Ollie -- as the biggest remaining checkbook among the somewhat sane teams who need pitching. The value he'll get for Wilpon's $$$ will be much, much better, and leave some cash in the vault for mid-season needs.
   27. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:02 PM (#3027672)
So you are all for signing Bonds? And Manny. And Tex. And Durham. It's more complicated than that.

Well, Chris, I think most of us here are for signing Bonds. We just know it's never going to happen, so it's not even worth talking about in the hypothetical. As for the others, their cost simply is greater than their value to the Mets would be. If Manny would be willing to play for $12m/year, I'd love for the Mets to sign him. If Tex is willing to play left field, I'd love for the Mets to sign him. Realistically though, their cost way surpasses any gains they'd give the Mets.

Signing a Sheets to fill the last spot in the rotation would provide a huge boost at what would probably be a reasonable price. Probably similar to the upgrade any FA OF would provide over Murphy or Hudson would over Slappy. I don't exactly know what the team's budget is. It seems like the Wilpons are willing to go over their basic budget when the team can be significantly improved by doing so. That makes me think that improving the back of the rotation so that it's not just Figgy/Marquis/Niese wouldn't mean that the 2009 lineup would have to mirror the September 2008 lineup.

Also, on a related note, has anyone heard anything about Moises Alou? Is he going to be "healthy" for the start of the season. The Mets obviously could not rely on him to give them even a single AB, but is their any chance he comes back. On the rare occasion he played, he was fun to watch, and he'd be a cheap gamble with no real risk if he comes back.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:02 PM (#3027673)
So you are all for signing Bonds? And Manny. And Tex. And Durham. It's more complicated than that.


OK. Of course it's more complicated. The way you presented it, it sounded like the logic was: "Hey, I just found out that most teams have sh-tty 5th starters. We can have a sh-tty 5th starter too!"

Obviously that is dumbing the point down. But I don't see why it matters what other teams have for that slot. You are trying to maximize wins per dollar spent in the offseason. It might be very easy to prove to me that those $6-10 million are better spent on LF or 2B - in fact it appears that you consider it self-evident - but you haven't proven the point here, and the 83 ERA+ number is irrelevant, in my opinion.

The Marquis trade makes a lot of sense to me. I value 180 average innings very highly, especially now that any above average starter is talking about $13+ million per year on the market. Marquis at $10 million is only a slight overpay, if at all. Schoeneweis is decent but I don't mind losing him to upgrade a starter's spot.

I am also more pessimistic than you are about how easy it is to cobble together a 5th slot using spare parts. It seems an almost yearly refrain that Mets fans say, "Well, look at how HORRIBLE our 5th starters were last year. If we can just put together a 5.00 ERA, which should be easy to do, we've gained 2 wins!" But then we say the same thing next year. Our two best candidates for the role today, Niese and Figueroa, combined for a 5.70 ERA last year as starters. They could both wash out and we'd be in Limaville.
   29. HowardMegdal Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:02 PM (#3027674)
It seems to me the Yankees are pretty much setting their own nutty little market for whomever they seek. I think Omar would be playing it just right to let the smoke clear, see which pair of pitchers Cashman signs to go with C.C. in that particular market, and then goes after whomever is left -- maybe Lowe, maybe Ollie -- as the biggest remaining checkbook among the somewhat sane teams who need pitching. The value he'll get for Wilpon's $$$ will be much, much better, and leave some cash in the vault for mid-season needs.

Exactly. I can see the argument for both Lowe and Ollie, and much like K-Rod/Fuentes, I'd grab the one you don't have to pay a premium for in dollars and especially years.
   30. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:05 PM (#3027677)
This I agree with. I don't believe Niese is ready for MLB yet (even as a 5th starter). Marquis being signed for just one more year gives Niese time to develop and get some spot MLB starts as injuries happen.

I think Niese should be ready by midseason. But still, it never hurts to have an extra starting arm, and I think Marquis has proven himself to be above replacement level. I don't want him to block Niese or Gee from getting their shots though.
   31. billyshears Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:06 PM (#3027678)
My preferences:

1) Sheets and Pedro
2) Ollie
3) Lowe

I really like the potential upside you get with Sheets. If you can get to the playoffs with him healthy (which is the big trick), Santana and Sheets would be an outstanding 1/2. His health is a big enough concern though that I think you have to sign another starter as well, which is where Pedro comes in. Niese could start the year at AAA and fill in when the inevitable injury comes along.

I prefer Ollie to Lowe. Lowe is better but he's a lot older. I don't think he's signing for less than 4 years and while I imagine he would still be useful in year 3 and 4, I think he will be significantly overpaid. I also think there could be some upside left with Ollie - he's a lefty headcase with great stuff - don't those guys mature later than most?
   32. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:07 PM (#3027680)
If Tex is willing to play left field, I'd love for the Mets to sign him. Realistically though, their cost way surpasses any gains they'd give the Mets.

Tex would be a very, very interesting play if the Mets had a quality deal lined up to send Delgado someplace for a starter or a LFer. You have to wonder if some team wouldn't even take Castillo's contract in order to get Delagdo's very reasonable one-year deal . . . . It sure doesn't look like Omar has even explored that option, though.

Also, on a related note, has anyone heard anything about Moises Alou? Is he going to be "healthy" for the start of the season. The Mets obviously could not rely on him to give them even a single AB, but is their any chance he comes back. On the rare occasion he played, he was fun to watch, and he'd be a cheap gamble with no real risk if he comes back.

Ugh. Please don't get me started. The seasons the Mets lost to the reckless, foolhardy decision to believe that Moises Alou could make it through a major league season . . . . No spring training invite. No minor league, make-good contract. No gold watch. Just good-bye, and PLEASE learn from your mistakes, Omar.
   33. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:23 PM (#3027697)
I also don't like Marquis' trends. He's thrown fewer innings in each of the last three seasons, and his WHIP is high - I have to pay Marquis 10X what I have to pay Niese/Figueroa for not very many runs or innings. The Cubs picking up half the tab, and if we could trade, say, Mike Carp for him...maybe. What? We don't have Mike Carp?
   34. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:25 PM (#3027700)
Chris, if your problem with the Putz trade is that we lose a chip that could have been turned into Jason Marquis, then, well, I am not convinced.
   35. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:29 PM (#3027703)
Chris, if your problem with the Putz trade is that we lose a chip that could have been turned into Jason Marquis, then, well, I am not convinced.
Not for Marquis, but for anybody.
   36. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:34 PM (#3027707)
I also don't like Marquis' trends. He's thrown fewer innings in each of the last three seasons, and his WHIP is high - I have to pay Marquis 10X what I have to pay Niese/Figueroa for not very many runs or innings.

Well, in one of those years, the decline was all of 2.2 innings (from 2006 to 2007). Another way of talking about Marquis' innings is that he has pitched over 190 innings every year but one (last year, I grant you) since 2004.

But yes, he's a mediocre pitcher. Which is why his chief selling point is that he gives you innings at a decent major league level. Nothing great. Not even particularly good. But serviceable innings, which is nothing to sneeze at. Many, many more innings than Scott Schoeneweis. Depending on how much of the $6M difference in their salaries the Cubs picked up, I could certainly see why that deal would help rather than hurt the Mets. It wouldn't be a huge step forward, but it wouldn't hurt, either.

Just not as a substitute for getting the actual good pitcher the Mets really need, that's all.
   37. Gaelan Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:36 PM (#3027711)
The problem with the fifth starter sucks for everybody idea so why bother is that you don't know ahead of time who is going to be your fifth starter.

The entire idea of slotting starters has no connection to reality. There is no such thing as a fifth starter and there is no such thing as a bad pitcher who is good enough for the "fifth" spot. That study did more damage to how we conceive of starting pitching than DIPS because it made it seem that bad pitchers were actually average.

No team and no commentator should ever use this kind of language. It's silly and fruitless. No team that wants to contend should enter the season with any bad starting pitchers regardless of what day they happen to pitch.
   38. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:00 PM (#3027760)
Our two best candidates for the role today, Niese and Figueroa, combined for a 5.70 ERA last year as starters. They could both wash out and we'd be in Limaville.
The difference between 167 innings from Marquis and what we can get for free is not worth it. Sign Claudio Vargas. I don't have my heart set on Niese. There are pitchers that can approximate Marquis' performance for a fraction of the cost, and allow us to not give up a very good LOOGY and spend money on a hitter. For the cost of Marquis, I'd rather have Pedro for entertainment purposes.
   39. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:06 PM (#3027766)
The Mets are broke! Expect a lot of Nelson Figueroa in your future!

I kid, I kid. If this affects the team's payroll, then the Wilpon's are bigger chumps that any of us think.
   40. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:09 PM (#3027769)
The entire idea of slotting starters has no connection to reality. There is no such thing as a fifth starter and there is no such thing as a bad pitcher who is good enough for the "fifth" spot. That study did more damage to how we conceive of starting pitching than DIPS because it made it seem that bad pitchers were actually average.

I agree with this. This whole idea of talking about pitchers as if they're a 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 always makes me chuckle. Well, not always, but sometimes!
   41. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:15 PM (#3027773)
There are pitchers that can approximate Marquis' performance for a fraction of the cost, and allow us to not give up a very good LOOGY and spend money on a hitter. For the cost of Marquis, I'd rather have Pedro for entertainment purposes.

There may well be pitchers who can "approximate Marquis' performance," but Pedro is most definitely not one of them. The last thing the Mets need is to re-sign the Moises Alou of starting pitchers. I hate to say this about Pedro, but what the hell -- someone has to. He is simply not a guy who can or should be counted on at all. At all. He can't stay healthy with the workload of a major league pitcher. His body can't do it any more. To sign Pedro is to give in to understandable affection and nostalgia, and to put Dan Warthen and Jerry Manuel and all of us through the wringer one more time.

No way, no how, not again. If you sign Pedro, you may as well be saying you are turning the 5th spot over to Niese and Figueroa. He will break down, he will miss weeks, probably months, at a time. If and when he comes back from those muscle strains or tears, he will be so rusty he will be useless. Valiant, but useless. By the time the rust starts to flake off, he'll get hurt again. The spirit is not only willing, it is amazing. But the body simply isn't able.

Bob Seger said it best, boys. Turn the page.
   42. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:15 PM (#3027774)
I agree with this. This whole idea of talking about pitchers as if they're a 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 always makes me chuckle. Well, not always, but sometimes!
It's not what they "are". It's how they perform.
   43. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:19 PM (#3027780)
If you sign Pedro, you may as well be saying you are turning the 5th spot over to Niese and Figueroa. He will break down, he will miss weeks, probably months, at a time. If and when he comes back from those muscle strains or tears, he will be so rusty he will be useless. Valiant, but useless. By the time the rust starts to flake off, he'll get hurt again. The spirit is not only willing, it is amazing. But the body simply isn't able.
I agree. THat's why it is for entertainment purposes.
   44. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:26 PM (#3027789)
I agree. THat's why it is for entertainment purposes.

But billyshears is all for it for baseball reasons (# 31). Others have supported it, too. I just can't see it.
   45. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:28 PM (#3027795)
I can't disagree with anything Sam said about Pedro but have to also mention that there's still an upside to re-signing him and wouldn't mind rolling the dice on him bouncing back tothe point where he's an aceeptable option.

Another guy I'd like the Mets to consider is Bartolo Colon.
   46. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:32 PM (#3027798)
I have no problem with counting on Pedro for 70 good innings - with potential for more. Then again, I support signing Alou to another incentive-laden contract.
   47. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:34 PM (#3027802)
Another guy I'd like the Mets to consider is Bartolo Colon.

Why Colon before Penny?
   48. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:36 PM (#3027806)
BTW, how important are the draft picks that the Mets would be giving up if they signed Ollie or Lowe? That does have to factor into the equation, doesn't it? I am not hugely concerned with adding another frontline starting pitcher because I think Pelfrey's for real. He was outstanding in his last 23 starts (3.20 ERA, 3.70ish FIP). I think he's a legitimate #2, and could live with 2 of Garland, Marquis, Byrd, Pedro, etc. to fill out the rest of the rotation.
   49. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#3027808)
I don't really prefer Colon to Penny. Either one would be fine.
   50. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#3027809)
Garland is going to crash this year. Stay away.
   51. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:40 PM (#3027816)
I have no problem with counting on Pedro for 70 good innings - with potential for more. Then again, I support signing Alou to another incentive-laden contract.'

These are roster spots, Rasky. Roster spots. You can't allocate them to guys the team simply can't count on. We have been down this road before and it has contributed mightily to the ruination of the last two seasons. Omar has to get off of this Proven Veteran™ treadmill, especially when it involves these guys with massive, now virtually indisputable track records of consistent breakdowns in the face of the physical burdens of the major league season.

I am just stunned, honestly, that any Mets' fan would want to continue down that road. With any players like that, really, but with those specific ones in particular. The sooner we can get rid of the third Bobsey Triplet -- Castillo -- the better. Unfortunately, that one is going to take some time.
   52. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:40 PM (#3027817)
There are pitchers that can approximate Marquis' performance for a fraction of the cost


I don't think that's true. It's not easy to find a 95 ERA+ pitcher. They have value.

It's certainly not easy to find one guy that can do that for you. And if you don't even have that one guy - just a collection of NRIs, prospects and minor league veterans that you hope to sort out - then you are really in trouble. If you are already cobbling together your rotation on day one, you will be ###### in midseason when one or two of your good starters goes down with an injury.

At the very least, the Mets have not been good at doing this. The one real success story out of the 6th slot mishmash is John Maine. But the year he debuted also saw Alay Soler, Dave Williams, Jose Lima and Geremi Gonzalez tally up 20 starts between them. It's not easy. I have no faith that New Orleans will be stocked with guys that can hit a 90 ERA+ in the bigs
   53. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:41 PM (#3027818)
Garland is going to crash this year. Stay away.

That I agree with. The Mets will have arms help coming from the farm in a year, there's no need to overpay longterm for an innings-eater.
   54. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:43 PM (#3027823)
The Mets are rumored to be considering signing Alex Cora, which seems like a good thing. He'd be a good guy to have on the bench as he can play SS and second base and the Mets don't really have anyone who can do that now.
   55. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:46 PM (#3027829)
These are roster spots, Rasky. Roster spots. You can't allocate them to guys the team simply can't count on. We have been down this road before and it has contributed mightily to the ruination of the last two seasons. Omar has to get off of this Proven Veteran™ treadmill, especially when it involves these guys with massive, now virtually indisputable track records of consistent breakdowns in the face of the physical burdens of the major league season.

I am just stunned, honestly, that any Mets' fan would want to continue down that road. With any players like that, really, but with those specific ones in particular. The sooner we can get rid of the third Bobsey Triplet -- Castillo -- the better. Unfortunately, that one is going to take some time.


I don't see any problems with roster space. Niese has options and Figgy - as much I like the guy - is major league/AAA shuttle fodder. You can always call them up 2-4 times during the season to fill in whenever Pedro or Sheets get hurt. You can throw Parnell into that group as well.

Alou is for bench/right platoon bat. In neither case will the Mets be counting on them for anything critical. That's the difference between next year and last year, when we "needed" them.

Heck, I even support signing El Duque to an incentive-laden contract.
   56. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:47 PM (#3027832)
The Mets are rumored to be considering signing Alex Cora, which seems like a good thing. He'd be a good guy to have on the bench as he can play SS and second base and the Mets don't really have anyone who can do that now.

Cora would be a nice signing (and a nice complement to Murphy at 2B, not that it's going to happen...)
   57. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:48 PM (#3027834)
I don't think that's true. It's not easy to find a 95 ERA+ pitcher. They have value.
I think that there aren't many 95 ERA+ guys. THose guys like to go 110, 80, 105, 85 (I think). Catch a down year, and you are crushed.

It's certainly not easy to find one guy that can do that for you. And if you don't even have that one guy - just a collection of NRIs, prospects and minor league veterans that you hope to sort out - then you are really in trouble. If you are already cobbling together your rotation on day one, you will be ###### in midseason when one or two of your good starters goes down with an injury.
Yes, a big injury and you are in trouble. That was one reason we shouldn't have let Darren Oliver go. Figueroa/Vargas fill that role very well though. Plus, when you have crap in that role, you are (IMO) more likely to *skip* that slot. If you have an established pitcher there, you tend to give him his starts. We don't want that. I'd like to see the Mets push Santana/Lowe/Perez to 36 starts.

At the very least, the Mets have not been good at doing this.
I absolutely agree.
   58. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:49 PM (#3027835)
The sooner we can get rid of the third Bobsey Triplet -- Castillo -- the better. Unfortunately, that one is going to take some time.
If only someone had been criticizing his acquisition from Day One.
   59. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#3027838)
He'd be a good guy to have on the bench as he can play SS and second base and the Mets don't really have anyone who can do that now.

Our Heinous can't do this?
   60. Lassus Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#3027840)
If only someone had been criticizing his acquisition from Day One.

I was!
   61. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#3027841)
Alou and Tatis seem redundant. Alou is probably still a better hitter, but Tatis must be healthier. I don't see both of them coming back
   62. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:56 PM (#3027849)
Our Heinous can't do this?

Argenis is a pretty horrible hitter, he had a .670 OPS in the minors last season and was at about .500 last season. Cora is a better bet. Honestly, I had totally forgotten about Argenis but still I'd prefer Cora to him.
   63. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 09:57 PM (#3027852)
I don't see any problems with roster space.

The "problem" is that if you sign Alou and Pedro, that's two roster spots you COULD have used to sign somebody else. Somebody who might actually help your team instead of wasting the year away on the DL. Somebody who might not have the pedigree from a decade ago, or five years ago, but who is, I don't know, actually capable of playing major league baseball now? Wouldn't that be nice, to have a bench, and bullpen, and back end of the rotation, stocked with players who can actually contribute as they currently are instead of as Omar Minaya remembers them from their Glory Days?

I had a friend was a big baseball player,
back in high school.
He could throw that speedball by you.
Make you look like a fool, boy.
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar,
I was walkin' in, he was walkin' out.
We went back inside, sat down had a few drinks,
But all he kept talkin' about was

Glory days.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:01 PM (#3027860)
I think that there aren't many 95 ERA+ guys. THose guys like to go 110, 80, 105, 85 (I think). Catch a down year, and you are crushed.


The "down year" is what we are going to get if we have Figueroa and friends as the only option.

Plus, when you have crap in that role, you are (IMO) more likely to *skip* that slot.


Uh...

I absolutely agree.


But I don't think it's a problem specific to Omar Minaya. I think it's just REALLY difficult to find solid 6th starters. I'm sure most other teams have their own horror lists. You're breeziness in asserting that one can easily find an acceptable substitute reminds me of 10 years ago when statheads said things like, "Anyone can pick up Billy McMillon for peanuts and have an instant 900 OPS in their lineup."
   65. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:16 PM (#3027872)
The "problem" is that if you sign Alou and Pedro, that's two roster spots you COULD have used to sign somebody else. Somebody who might actually help your team instead of wasting the year away on the DL. Somebody who might not have the pedigree from a decade ago, or five years ago, but who is, I don't know, actually capable of playing major league baseball now? Wouldn't that be nice, to have a bench, and bullpen, and back end of the rotation, stocked with players who can actually contribute as they currently are instead of as Omar Minaya remembers them from their Glory Days?


When healthy, I think Pedro and Alou are good players. The spots and the salary slots they would be taking would be for marginal players anyway. For example, Alou would probably compete with Angel Pagan. Pedro would be fighting with Niese/Parnell, and you can always call up Niese or Parnell later on in the year anyway.

The expectations have changed. They still have the ability to be better than average, and the Mets wouldn't be counting on them in any important roles.
   66. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:20 PM (#3027877)
When healthy, I think Pedro and Alou are good players.

So are Stan Musial and Tom Seaver. I don't want the Mets to sign them, either.
   67. billyshears Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:47 PM (#3027902)
But billyshears is all for it for baseball reasons (# 31). Others have supported it, too. I just can't see it.


I'm operating under the assumption that all it would take is something like a 1yr/$2 mil deal. I don't bring Pedro back for any more than that. I just can't see how signing Pedro to be the #5 and having Niese waiting in the wings in AAA is somehow worse than not signing Pedro and handing Niese the #5 slot.
   68. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:51 PM (#3027913)
I'm with you, billy.
   69. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:56 PM (#3027923)
I just can't see how signing Pedro to be the #5 and having Niese waiting in the wings in AAA is somehow worse than not signing Pedro and handing Niese the #5 slot.

1) You've thrown $2M down the toilet.

2) You have signed Pedro instead of acquiring someone else to compete with Niese for that slot. Someone else who actually has a snowball's chance in hell of giving you major league innings. It is a false to assume the choices are limited to either Niese, or Pedro/Niese. The correct answer is: (c) Niese and somebody else.
   70. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 10:58 PM (#3027926)
Yeah, but your somebody else is going to be Jorge Sosa or someone of that caliber, I'd rather go with Pedro.
   71. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 11:24 PM (#3027954)
You're breeziness in asserting that one can easily find an acceptable substitute reminds me of 10 years ago when statheads said things like, "Anyone can pick up Billy McMillon for peanuts and have an instant 900 OPS in their lineup."
I'm pretty much the opposite of that.
   72. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 11:28 PM (#3027958)
Uh...
What?
   73. billyshears Posted: December 12, 2008 at 11:40 PM (#3027975)
The correct answer is: (c) Niese and somebody else


But then the answer is really just somebody else. I think Niese can do a credible job in the rotation this year and I think teams should generally use the 5th starter's slot to break in young pitchers whenever possible. If we get Jason Marquis to pitch his 200 mediocre innings and sign Lowe or Ollie, we're probably having the exact same conversation about Niese next year. Signing Pedro, expecting only 100 innings and committing to a corresponding usage pattern while using Niese to fill in the gaps is a way to make Pedro's fragility a feature rather than a bug.
   74. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 11:42 PM (#3027977)
I think there is value to having Niese throw more than a game or two at the big league level. It's very good for his development, IMO.
   75. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 11:47 PM (#3027984)
If we get Jason Marquis to pitch his 200 mediocre innings and sign Lowe or Ollie, we're probably having the exact same conversation about Niese next year. Signing Pedro, expecting only 100 innings and committing to a corresponding usage pattern while using Niese to fill in the gaps is a way to make Pedro's fragility a feature rather than a bug.

I'll give you this, billy. That is one hell of a creative argument: we should want a pitcher whom we can expect to break down because it will help us bring along our young prospect. Don't go for the reliable pitcher who will give us the innings we need and help us win -- go for the old, fragile guy instead!

Um, no thanks. I have zero doubt that there will be a need for a nice contribution at the major league level from Niese whether we sign Pedro or not. John Maine is coming off of shoulder surgery. Lowe and Marquis are not exactly youngsters. If history has taught the Mets anything these last 4-5 years, it's that we always need our 6th starter at some point along the way. Usually our 7th, and 8th guys, too. We don't need to sign Pedro for that to happen. Of that I'm confident.
   76. Chris Dial Posted: December 12, 2008 at 11:51 PM (#3027989)
Marquis a dick. I don't want him on the team. And he's not good. If you want to be a dick, you better be good.
   77. GotowarMissAgnes Posted: December 12, 2008 at 11:51 PM (#3027990)
So, anybody heard an update on Maine's shoulder?
   78. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: December 13, 2008 at 12:38 AM (#3028067)
Marquis a dick. I don't want him on the team.

You're a dick, yet we keep reading your pretentious, arrogant musings.

If the Cubs eat some salary, i'd trade Schoeneweis for Marquis, then get Brian Tallet to replace him.
   79. Chris Dial Posted: December 13, 2008 at 12:49 AM (#3028075)
You're a dick, yet we keep reading your pretentious, arrogant musings.
You don't have to read them.
   80. PreservedFish Posted: December 13, 2008 at 10:38 AM (#3028300)
That is one hell of a creative argument: we should want a pitcher whom we can expect to break down because it will help us bring along our young prospect.


You may have missed the argument above that we ought to have a really crap 5th starter so that the manager might be tempted to skip him in the rotation once or twice
   81. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 13, 2008 at 01:54 PM (#3028313)
The Orioles non-tendered Daniel Cabrera and he's certinly worth a roll of the dice. He'd certainly be interesting. He's got outstanding stuff.
   82. Harris Posted: December 13, 2008 at 02:40 PM (#3028316)
Yes, but as I understand it, he's a dick. And the #5 guy is *free*. I don't want to pay that guy at all.


Have you met him? Do you know him personally? Did he say bad things about your mother? What....did he hit a grand slam off your team as a pitcher while they were in the playoff hunt?

(sorry....these are just the questions you jump on people with when they comment on Bonds's likeability...well except the last one!)
   83. Chris Dial Posted: December 13, 2008 at 04:46 PM (#3028330)
You may have missed the argument above that we ought to have a really crap 5th starter so that the manager might be tempted to skip him in the rotation once or twice
How are the strawmen? That's a nice one.
   84. Chris Dial Posted: December 13, 2008 at 04:54 PM (#3028333)
Have you met him? Do you know him personally? Did he say bad things about your mother? What....did he hit a grand slam off your team as a pitcher while they were in the playoff hunt?

(sorry....these are just the questions you jump on people with when they comment on Bonds's likeability...well except the last one!)
That's a fair criticism. I'm specifically referring to his interactions with coaches and senior teammates when he was with the Braves, and nothing about his hitting. He's acted like a dick. Now, they weren't simply saying he wasn't nice (which the complaints about Bonds are). You know that young guy who thinks he knows more than the award winners and mentors? (I'm sure you do).

And I said (in post #4) "Yes, but as I understand it, he's a dick." As I understand it. I don't know him. Yes, I used shorthand for it in later posts, assuming people would read the entire thread. My mistake - it is the internet, where nits get latched on to rather than a view of the larger picture.
   85. Harris Posted: December 14, 2008 at 03:30 PM (#3028614)
Yes, I used shorthand for it in later posts, assuming people would read the entire thread.


You do realize my quote was in fact from #4? (this is where you say "yes").
   86. Chris Dial Posted: December 14, 2008 at 10:14 PM (#3028807)
You do realize my quote was in fact from #4? (this is where you say "yes").
Yes, but your post seemed to indicate I hadn't indicated I was getting it secondhand. That I was claiming I knew him.
   87. Sam M. Posted: December 14, 2008 at 11:11 PM (#3028828)
As far as the assessment of Marquis' being a jerk is concerned, forget whether it's firs-hand or second-hand. Here's my problem with it:

I'm specifically referring to his interactions with coaches and senior teammates when he was with the Braves, and nothing about his hitting. He's acted like a dick. Now, they weren't simply saying he wasn't nice (which the complaints about Bonds are). You know that young guy who thinks he knows more than the award winners and mentors? (I'm sure you do).


OK, let's say he was a turd when he was Brave, and wouldn't listen to a lot of guys who knew a lot more than he did and could have helped him be a lot better pitcher. I heard that stuff, too, and have no reason to doubt it.

But it has been about six years. It's not unreasonable to suppose that in the meantime, Jason Marquis might have learned something in his travels about what he didn't know then . . . perhaps even something about how young and stupid he was then. Perhaps he even regrets how he acted when he was a phenom. I don't know, one way or the other. But I'm not going to assume I know what kind of teammate he would be, and hope the Mets make the decision, based on how he acted as a kid pitcher with the Braves in 2000, 2001. Sure, let do some due diligence on his more recent rep. But mostly, get a guy who can pitch. That's what I really want.
   88. Chris Dial Posted: December 14, 2008 at 11:28 PM (#3028831)
Sure, let do some due diligence on his more recent rep. But mostly, get a guy who can pitch. That's what I really want.
I agree with all that. But he's not a very good pitcher, and just isn't likely to be enough better than a colelctive to warrant paying him for it.
   89. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: December 15, 2008 at 01:26 AM (#3028878)
Marquis for Schoeneweis was absolutely the right way to go. He would have been a major upgrade on our current crop of fifth starters--likely worth a couple of wins, and who knows the value of that better than the Mets?--would be a tolerable fourth starter on most teams, and with a little improvement on his last two seasons could even pass as a number three. Which is why I'd drop the first choice to the third:

My preferences:

1) Sheets and Pedro
2) Ollie
3) Lowe


There's a fairly good chance both Maine and Pelfrey are going to run into trouble this year. Neither has a track record of 200+ IP success, and that's why adding two more pitchers with durability issues to the starting rotation strikes me as an unnecessarily risky plan. That's also why adding a reliably durable fifth starter--Marquis--is a particularly good idea. Hell, if Marquis can put up another respectable year, we might even get through a month or two when BOTH Maine and Pelfrey are out or merely awful.

The idea of getting Marquis and leaving the rotation at that is madness, btw. The rotation is just too weak, young, and unproven.

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