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   1. Mark S. is bored Posted: December 11, 2008 at 06:24 PM (#3026305)
According to ZiPS it Mets gaining 137 innings with 53 runs and giving up 129 innings with 60 runs. So 8 more innings with 7 fewer runs.
   2. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 07:15 PM (#3026392)
Yes, but I think Dan is off on a couple of things there - IP for Putz (too low) and IP for Heilman and Smith (too low). Also, I think he's got too much weight on Heilman's 2008, and Smith - well, Smith has two MLB seasons with a 123 and a 118 ERA+, and Dan predicts a 104. That's not likely to me.

Perhaps Dan is mixing in some fictitious league differential.
   3. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 11, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#3026408)
Personally I don't think Smith is really as valuable as his ERA+ might indicate because you have to use him so carefully (.443 OBP allowed to LHB last season) and it strains the rest of your pen.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2008 at 07:49 PM (#3026446)
I think that "It's Mets ... Just Mets" is being misused.

I would guess that the reason it was created was to give the Mets fans a little corner of BTF and stop bothering other members with our thread takeovers. So we can have our turgid arguments about Mets minutiae somewhere else.

Instead just Dial has the keys, he never posts any articles or any news of Mets interest. It is a blog that is only updated monthly ... there is no point to it.
   5. Sam M. Posted: December 11, 2008 at 07:50 PM (#3026449)
I admire your conviction, Chris -- seriously. But let me try it this way. Forget looking at it from the POV of what you are projecting from these players for 2009, because we aren't going to agree on the value of the projection regarding Heilman and what it should mean for the Mets (because as I said yesterday, I think the Mets should want reliability). Think about it from the POV of what you project from Putz, compared to what the Mets had in 2008. It is a massive upgrade, isn't it? With the signing of K-Rod and the acquisition of Putz, the Mets are largely (not entirely, but largely) unchanged as a team from the 1st-7th innings, but they are substantially better at run prevention in the 8th-9th innings than they were. They are awesomely better at this than the team as it existed once Wagner got hurt.

Now, I know you don't think they are that much better than the team they projected to be. But the point is that they are much better than they actually were in 2008, in the precise way that was so damaging to their winning chances in a tremendous number of actual games. Thus, this makes the Mets much better than the 89-win team they had in 2008, which is a pretty important thing. And in my mind, better than the team they would have had in 2009 without the trade, because I simply don't have a high confidence level in that Heilman projection . . . but of course that's the point we disagree on.

Granted, losing Endy does do some harm to their late-inning run prevention. And so does losing Smith, but I agree with Robert that you underestimate the effect that having such an inflexible pen was having, and Smith was part of that despite his effectiveness in that limited role.

One more point: Putz is some pretty damned nice insurance against a repeat of what happened in 2008. We lost Wagner and ended up with Luis Ayala trying to close games. If something happens to K-Rod, we'll have J.J. Putz. Works for me.
   6. JPWF13 Posted: December 11, 2008 at 07:54 PM (#3026455)
Thus, this makes the Mets much better than the 89-win team they had in 2008


This might be good place to point out a factoid I read yesterday- the Mets either lead or were tied after 7 innings more than any other team in baseball last year.
   7. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 07:59 PM (#3026470)
I would guess that the reason it was created was to give the Mets fans a little corner of BTF and stop bothering other members with our thread takeovers. So we can have our turgid arguments about Mets minutiae somewhere else.
This isn't correct.
   8. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:12 PM (#3026488)
Dial does a good job with this when he has time to post but it might be good to give other people the keys as well. It's not like us Met BTFers lack guys who could chip in.
   9. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:13 PM (#3026492)
While I enjoy Dial's posts, I would like to see this updated more often with different Mets articles or news.
   10. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:13 PM (#3026495)
Forget looking at it from the POV of what you are projecting from these players for 2009, because we aren't going to agree on the value of the projection regarding Heilman and what it should mean for the Mets (because as I said yesterday, I think the Mets should want reliability).

Okay, well, let's talk about that. "Reliability" means absolutely nothing. Preventing and allowing runs is all that matters. On the field, and not for your peace of mind. So, what do you think Heilman will throw in 2009? 85 innings? 70? What ERA? The 5.2 he threw in 2008, or the 3.0 he threw in 2007? Somewhere in between, and given the work in 05-06, probably a little closer to the 07 number. So, about 3.75? Would you prefer 4.00?

There is no real POV *except* preventing and allowing runs. the rest of it doesn't matter. Where do you think Heilman will be in 2009?

Think about it from the POV of what you project from Putz, compared to what the Mets had in 2008. It is a massive upgrade, isn't it?
It is an ugrade over 2008. But SOso is standing pat. Standing pat is *just* as much of a "massive upgrade". that's the point. We didn't need to give away all these other players.

With the signing of K-Rod and the acquisition of Putz, the Mets are largely (not entirely, but largely) unchanged as a team from the 1st-7th innings, but they are substantially better at run prevention in the 8th-9th innings than they were.
I disagree. they are approximately the same as they would have been without the trade. You traded an old car that got 20 mpg for a new one that gets 20 mpg, and you are claiming your mileage is MUCH better!!

They are awesomely better at this than the team as it existed once Wagner got hurt.

Now, I know you don't think they are that much better than the team they projected to be. But the point is that they are much better than they actually were in 2008, in the precise way that was so damaging to their winning chances in a tremendous number of actual games. Thus, this makes the Mets much better than the 89-win team they had in 2008, which is a pretty important thing. And in my mind, better than the team they would have had in 2009 without the trade, because I simply don't have a high confidence level in that Heilman projection . . . but of course that's the point we disagree on.
Wait - so with respect to performance, you agree that no trade would yeild the same performance, but your personal confidence in that would be lower? Are you concerned about Putz' arm?

In 2008, Green/Putz threw 129 IP and had an ERA of 4.38. Heilman/Smith threw 137 IP and had an ERA of 4.45. If Green/Putz reproduce 2008, we got nothing.

The point about Smith's usefulness doesn't make sense. Smith threw 63 IP and posted the ERA he posted. He's just as useful as Green. And better in his IP.

Granted, losing Endy does do some harm to their late-inning run prevention. And so does losing Smith, but I agree with Robert that you underestimate the effect that having such an inflexible pen was having, and Smith was part of that despite his effectiveness in that limited role.
What "limited role"? He threw 63 IP. If he threw much less, I'd think you'd have a point, but he didn't. If he was managed in the limited way you want his ERA+ would be much much higher. In a non-limited way, he's still effective.

One more point: Putz is some pretty damned nice insurance against a repeat of what happened in 2008. We lost Wagner and ended up with Luis Ayala trying to close games. If something happens to K-Rod, we'll have J.J. Putz. Works for me.
That's a terrible reason to pay Putz and give away 4 minor leaguers.
   11. Fridas Boss Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:14 PM (#3026497)
The title could be improved as well.
   12. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:15 PM (#3026499)
Mets articles are linked to the mainsite with regularity. If you want to write something and send it to me, I'll be happy to post it.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:18 PM (#3026504)
Standing pat is *just* as much of a "massive upgrade". that's the point.


Nobody else believes this.
   14. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:23 PM (#3026516)
Nobody else believes this.
Math does.
   15. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:24 PM (#3026519)
You know what I'd like to talk about? Jon Garland. How much would you guys offer him? He's obviously not an ace but he is a durable pitcher who has generally managed to post quality ERAs prior to 2008. He won't cost a draft pick either. Is he someone the Mets should be interested in?
   16. Obama Bomaye Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:24 PM (#3026520)
It is a blog that is only updated monthly ... there is no point to it.

Like all the team blogs that were created during the "major revamp" of the site.

All 5 of them.
   17. Lassus Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:25 PM (#3026525)
I think it's a little early to be making the statements Dial is about this being a terrible trade, but I do think his points make sense. I'm just not sure they make sense as a predictive foreshadowing of complete mediocrity.
   18. Sam M. Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:29 PM (#3026534)
It is an ugrade over 2008. But SOso is standing pat. Standing pat is *just* as much of a "massive upgrade". that's the point. We didn't need to give away all these other players.

That's where I suppose we just have to agree to disagree. I don't think that standing pat would be just as much of an upgrade; Aaron Heilman has never been as good a pitcher as J.J. Putz, and as you right acknowledged in your post he doesn't project to be in 2009, either. And as PreservedFish pointed out in the other thread, once you control for usage, Green is actually just as good against both LH hitters and RH hitters as Smith. If he is used the way Smith was in 2008, predominantly against righties and protected from lefties, he should project to be better than you supposed above. So if you're not bothered by the issues that were created by Smith's platoon differential, then you should acknowledge Green can and should be just as useful a pitcher.

The point about Smith's usefulness doesn't make sense. Smith threw 63 IP and posted the ERA he posted. He's just as useful as Green. And better in his IP.

As noted, if you plug Green into that role, his numbers suggest he would and should be just as good. And I think the point does make sense. A manager gets more use out of a pitcher who can handle both righties and lefties relatively well; he is not forced, as Manuel was so often, to make multiple pitching changes, and then later on be compelled to have a short pen -- and perhaps end up with bad (sometimes god-awful) match-ups. When Smith was lifted in the 6th or 7th because he couldn't be counted on to get out a lefty in that key situation, that meant he couldn't start the next inning, when two righties were due up first. So that LHP had to be lifted (because, of course, our lefties were also OOGIES, and couldn't be counted on to face the RH hitters), wasting him after one batter. So that lefty wasn't available later . . . . Etc., etc. Versatile is better than limited. That's my point. Smith wasn't versatile.
   19. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:34 PM (#3026538)
As noted, if you plug Green into that role, his numbers suggest he would and should be just as good.
No they don't. Look at a larger sample for both. Fish squeezed it down. Green had a MUCH better year vs RHBs than his record would indicate.

Career for both:
Smith: .223 .317 .326 .643
Green: .272 .329 .352 .682

They aren't the same.
   20. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:35 PM (#3026540)
When Smith was lifted in the 6th or 7th because he couldn't be counted on to get out a lefty in that key situation, that meant he couldn't start the next inning, when two righties were due up first. So that LHP had to be lifted (because, of course, our lefties were also OOGIES, and couldn't be counted on to face the RH hitters), wasting him after one batter. So that lefty wasn't available later . . . . Etc., etc. Versatile is better than limited. That's my point. Smith wasn't versatile.
But Green allows a 830 OPS vs LHBs vs a 880 for Smith. Green isn't as good.
   21. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:37 PM (#3026545)
Smith is a little better vs. righties and Green is a little better vs. lefties. They don't seem that different to me.
   22. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:38 PM (#3026548)
Smith is a little better vs. righties and Green is a little better vs. lefties. They don't seem that different to me.
In terms of OPS. Smith does a better job of preventing runs there. Green doesn't really "de-OOGY" the pen. He's just a worse ROOGY.
   23. The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:39 PM (#3026550)
But Green allows a 830 OPS vs LHBs vs a 880 for Smith. Green isn't as good.
Allowing a lower OPS indicates that a pitcher is better, not worse.
   24. Sam M. Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:42 PM (#3026552)
They aren't the same.

OK, they aren't the same. Fair enough. Still, if you adjust for usage, and then plug Green into Smith's role instead of the role he was filling in Seattle, he would perform better because he'd be facing a much higher percentage of righties (against whom he has a .682 OPS, instead of a .830 OPS). That should change the projection.

Moreover, if he is not as good as Smith, the difference isn't as great as the difference between Heilman and Putz because Putz/Heilman are pitching higher leverage innings (and because the difference in quality is greater between Putz and Heilman than it is between Smith and Green).
   25. Conor Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:42 PM (#3026553)
You know what I'd like to talk about? Jon Garland. How much would you guys offer him? He's obviously not an ace but he is a durable pitcher who has generally managed to post quality ERAs prior to 2008. He won't cost a draft pick either. Is he someone the Mets should be interested in?


I have no idea what the market is for him; would it be possible to land both him, and say, Perez?

I have been thinking the Mets could use a pitcher they could plug into the 2 spot in their rotation; I am very much in favor of this being Lowe because of his durability. Santana, Lowe, Pelfrey, Maine, and Niese would be a pretty solid rotation.

Garland obviously isn't Lowe, but he has been durable. If they could land him and Perez, that would be a pretty good rotation as well. Not as good in the front, but probably better in the back.
   26. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:42 PM (#3026556)
They are awesomely better at this than the team as it existed once Wagner got hurt.


Assuming that Putz is (a) healthy and (b) pitching at the level he showed before he got hurt.

-- MWE
   27. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:49 PM (#3026563)
Moreover, if he is not as good as Smith, the difference isn't as great as the difference between Heilman and Putz because Putz/Heilman are pitching higher leverage innings (and because the difference in quality is greater between Putz and Heilman than it is between Smith and Green).
That's all well and good, but I *allowed* for that. Giving Putz a great ERA+, and allowing him to get back to his previous level of innings and dropping his ERA to 2.57 - which is a HUGE assumption.

The point is that because it is only 150 innings out of these guys, the run differential just isn't going to be there well enough to warrant this trade. If Putz manages "only" an ERA of 3, then the "new" guys will actually perform *worse* than without the trade.

Your lack of confidence in Heilman's ERA+ going up 30 points doesn't jibe with your subsequent confidence that Putz' ERA+ is going to climb by 70 points.

And we still don't have a left fielder, who can easily beat our old LFs by *30* runs, while you are quibbling over 0-10 runs and your personal confidence.
   28. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:52 PM (#3026566)
Assuming that Putz is (a) healthy and (b) pitching at the level he showed before he got hurt.
Shhhhhhh....you heretic.
   29. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:52 PM (#3026567)
Lowe's a good pitcher and he has been remarkably healthy but he's in his mid-30s, is going to be moving from arguably the worst hitting division baseball, will cost the Mets a draft pick, and will cost the Mets a first round pick.

We know all about Perez by now and signing him will cost the Mets two picks (the compensation the Mets don't get if he leaves).

I don't think the Mets can sign both Perez and Garland. But they can sign Wolf (maybe Pedro?) and Garland, not cost themselves any draft picks, and give themselves some financial flexibility.

See, I think Pelfrey is going to prove to be a legitimate number 2 starter (his ERA in his 23 starts was 3.20 wtih very good periphs) so I don't think getting another front-end starter is a must to compete.
   30. Sam M. Posted: December 11, 2008 at 08:54 PM (#3026572)
Assuming that Putz is (a) healthy and (b) pitching at the level he showed before he got hurt.

True, but the difference between his first-half and second-half numbers in 2008 at least suggests -- doesn't prove, but suggests -- that he had gotten himself healthy. But lord knows pitchers will break your heart . . . .
   31. HowardMegdal Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:00 PM (#3026585)
True, but the difference between his first-half and second-half numbers in 2008 at least suggests -- doesn't prove, but suggests -- that he had gotten himself healthy.

Put another way: Putz has posted exactly one half season in the past three years that isn't better than anything Heilman has ever done. And it isn't his most recent half season.
   32. Sam M. Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:06 PM (#3026593)
If Putz manages "only" an ERA of 3, then the "new" guys will actually perform *worse* than without the trade.

Sure. But if Heilman duplicates his 2008, then we will all bless Omar for somehow managing to turn a guy whose career is pretty much over into Putz, who will have given the team a solid, if unspectacular, 8th inning performer if/when he manages an ERA of 3.00, good enough to at least be a substantial upgrade over what they got in 2008.

That "if" game can go on all day and night. It's certainly not my position that this is a sure thing -- Putz may not rebound. The point, however, is that even in a "down" year, he was better (much better) than Heilman, just as he was much better than Heilman when both were at their best. Even Putz's 2008 would have helped the Mets. When you get the best player in the deal, that produces the relative certainty that a team like the Mets should have been aiming for in trying to fix their bullpen.
   33. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:07 PM (#3026594)
Put another way: Putz has posted exactly one half season in the past three years that isn't better than anything Heilman has ever done. And it isn't his most recent half season.
How absurd.
   34. billyshears Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:07 PM (#3026595)
One's opinion on this trade almost entirely depends on which Aaron Heilman you believe would have shown up for the Mets in 2009. We will never know the answer to this and while I hate to get all gooey, I don't believe Aaron Heilman would have pitched to his projections for the Mets in 2009. He had lost the fans, he lost Manuel and he may have lost the team. It seems that he feels the Mets screwed him out of a chance to start. Intangibles are unpredictable things, but there was a lot of bad karma surrounding Aaron Heilman in a Mets uniform. I think that bad karma makes the error bars around his projection a little bit bigger. I think the trade is worthwhile to get rid of the downside uncertainty attached to Heilman and to acquire the potential upside that you get with Putz.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:07 PM (#3026597)
The point is that because it is only 150 innings out of these guys, the run differential just isn't going to be there well enough to warrant this trade.


I don't really like this argument. It ignores the unique importance of a good reliever properly leveraged - but more importantly it just seems wrong.

If you trade Joe Smith straight up for Mariano Rivera, by this kind of counting you have only saved something like ten runs in 70 innings. And it would follow that the trade was perhaps not cost effective, and in fact possibly a waste of the GM's time or trading resources because he could make so much greater gains by trying to improve LF or 2B. That the trade, in fact, would be ultimately be negated by the swap of Endy Chavez for Jeremy Reed.
   36. HowardMegdal Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:09 PM (#3026599)
How absurd.

With all due respect Chris, I don't think your opinion is absurd. Your math is logical, though like Sam I don't agree with the conclusions you reach. Care to elaborate? All of Putz's 2006, 2007 and his second half of 2008 were better than Heilman's best seasons, no?
   37. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:09 PM (#3026600)
The point, however, is that even in a "down" year, he was better (much better) than Heilman, just as he was much better than Heilman when both were at their best. Even Putz's 2008 would have helped the Mets. When you get the best player in the deal, that produces the relative certainty that a team like the Mets should have been aiming for in trying to fix their bullpen.
I already demonstrated this to be barely true (4.38 ERA vs 4.45), and if this trade were these two straight up, that'd be another thing entirely. But we gave up 5 more players. And Reed is a replacement player.

You seem to foget Putz only threw 46 IP last year. His season wasn't "much better". It was a little better, because I have another 30 innings of RL pitcher.
   38. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:10 PM (#3026601)
The Mets also added Darren O'Day and Rocky Cherry in Rule 5, although O'Day will probably miss 2009 with a labrum tear. Cherry could help in the pen, too.

-- MWE
   39. HowardMegdal Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:12 PM (#3026603)
One's opinion on this trade almost entirely depends on which Aaron Heilman you believe would have shown up for the Mets in 2009.

I don't fully agree with this. For instance, I am closer to Chris in terms of how I think Heilman would have pitched than I am to believing in a repeat of 2008. Still, I see Putz as an upgrade because:
1. Like you go on to describe, I think there was a non-trivial chance mental aspects keep Heilman from performing well in NY in 2009.
But far more important:
2. Putz has both more recent success and a higher ceiling for success, given past performance.
   40. HowardMegdal Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:14 PM (#3026605)
I already demonstrated this to be barely true (4.38 ERA vs 4.45)

Not taking into account that Manuel will likely use Green as he used Smith, let alone excluding Putz's higher ceiling, right? Not trying to be difficult, just trying to get it straight in my mind.
   41. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:15 PM (#3026606)
Care to elaborate? All of Putz's 2006, 2007 and his second half of 2008 were better than Heilman's best seasons, no?
Half seasons, and limiting it to those three years certainly is. Half seasons compared to entire seasons? And Putz had one HUGE season that is a complete outlier to the rest of his career. Heilman's second half of 2007 was better than several of Putz' half seasons. Heck, Heilman's second half of 2005 puts everything Putz has ever done to shame.
   42. billyshears Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:15 PM (#3026608)
Also:

1) I'd resign Perez. He's going to be cheaper than Lowe and is 9 years younger. Ollie is only 27 - I still think that there might be some upside left with him. Lowe has been very good for the past few seasons, but I don't think the market is accounting for enough age related decline for him.

2) They do need an LF. I think that the market for one of Dunn, Burrell or Abreu is going to bottom out. The Mets should hang around the periphery of the negotiations and see if they can poach one of these guys. I especially like the idea of signing Dunn and potentially moving him to 1b in 2010.
   43. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:16 PM (#3026609)
Not taking into account that Manuel will likely use Green as he used Smith, let alone excluding Putz's higher ceiling, right? Not trying to be difficult, just trying to get it straight in my mind.
I was answering a direct question. I made specific projections above.
   44. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:18 PM (#3026614)
I don't really like this argument. It ignores the unique importance of a good reliever properly leveraged - but more importantly it just seems wrong.
Perhaps, but other than a closer, can you really leverage that well? Middle relief is a big part of the point (and I see the lure of the closer isn't limited to Sam).
   45. The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:19 PM (#3026617)
limiting it to those three years certainly is.
How do you not limit projections to the last three years? I don't think it makes much sense to go further back than that.
   46. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:20 PM (#3026620)
One's opinion on this trade almost entirely depends on which Aaron Heilman you believe would have shown up for the Mets in 2009.
What do you think he'd do? Sam, care to proffer an estimate?
   47. HowardMegdal Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:21 PM (#3026621)
Half seasons, and limiting it to those three years certainly is.

But the reason I find this useful is because Putz's 2008 first half is a huge outlier, based upon injuries that his second half suggests he got over. I'm not trying to slice and dice into half seasons at random- looking at full seasons is best for sample size issues, but obviously, if something changes in a player's physical condition, that matters, no?
Even if you simply eliminate Heilman's 2008 entirely due to injury, and do the same for all of Putz's 2008, Putz is way ahead. And Putz had a better 2008 in total than Heilman did.

I was answering a direct question. I made specific projections above.

Right, but nobody's putting you on trial, Chris. Aren't we trying to reach some kind of conclusion, ideally? Would you agree that normalizing for a more ideal usage of Green makes for a large difference in his 2008 performance?
   48. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:21 PM (#3026622)
But Chris, can you address the math of my argument? "Math" is your talisman on this thread. I see a Joe Smith for Mariano Rivera trade only resulting in 10 runs.

Conventional wisdom would peg it as an extraordinary upgrade - I think there must be something to that.
   49. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:21 PM (#3026623)
Perhaps, but other than a closer, can you really leverage that well?


Nowadays, yes. That's why teams have 12-man pitching staffs.

-- MWE
   50. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:21 PM (#3026624)
How do you not limit projections to the last three years? I don't think it makes much sense to go further back than that.
Because it is so few innings for a reliever. It's the equivalent of one year for SPs.
   51. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:26 PM (#3026631)
But Chris, can you address the math of my argument? "Math" is your talisman on this thread. I see a Joe Smith for Mariano Rivera trade only resulting in 10 runs.

Conventional wisdom would peg it as an extraordinary upgrade - I think there must be something to that.
No, because, as you note when those runs score can have an effect. If Rivera takes on Smith's role (63 IP in the 6th-8th), then I'd say it was not worth it. Well, that's 10 runs and a win, but I wouldn't throw in 5 other players to do it. Because that's my complaint. I even noted, were it just these two pitchers, fine, because of the bitterness. However, the Mets coughed up 5 more players, including Endy, who really makes this trade a loser. 10 runs is 10 times more than the Mets are getting in this trade, if it were straight up. 10 runs is differnet than zero runs.
   52. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:27 PM (#3026633)
Would you agree that normalizing for a more ideal usage of Green makes for a large difference in his 2008 performance?
It dpeends. Many believe Green can and thus should pitch against LHBs. I don't believe Omar/Manuel think of Green as a ROOGY, since none of you do. So I don't think he'll be leveraged similarly, thus resulting in the continued worse performance/value.
   53. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:27 PM (#3026634)
O'Day will probably miss 2009 with a labrum tear.

How does this work? They put him on the DL for the year and they are free to do whatever they want with him next year?
   54. HowardMegdal Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:32 PM (#3026643)
I don't believe Omar/Manuel think of Green as a ROOGY, since none of you do.

I certainly do!
   55. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:37 PM (#3026650)
I certainly do!
And that's fine. Even is the ROOGY's are a wash, we gave them 5 more players for a player we are going to cut.
   56. The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#3026654)
Because it is so few innings for a reliever. It's the equivalent of one year for SPs.
Yeah, but on the other hand, the guy from four years ago is like an almost totally different human being. Not just in Putz's case (although probably more dramatically so in his case; it does seem like he "put it all together" at that time), but just in general for anybody.

Also, how was Endy going to play the 1000-1200 innings (111-133 nine-inning games) that you used to figure out the number of runs he'd save on defense? He wasn't going to get nearly that many (and neither will Reed.)

Finally, I think it's silly to assume that Green will be used against lefties more just because he sucks less against them than Smith did, even though he actually isn't any good against them. That could happen, that he's just good enough to be dangerous, but I don't think it's the most plausible assumption... the most plausible assumption IMO is that they'll manage the pen according to accurately evaluated strengths and weaknesses.
   57. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:39 PM (#3026656)
How does this work? They put him on the DL for the year and they are free to do whatever they want with him next year?


Nope. The player must be on the active 25-man roster for a minimum of 90 days. If O'Day doesn't meet that requirement in 2009 it carries over into 2010. (See Adam Stern.)

-- MWE
   58. HowardMegdal Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:39 PM (#3026659)
we gave them 5 more players for a player we are going to cut.

Well, this seems like an awfully incomplete way to describe Putz, who will be a vital cog in the 2009 bullpen, and could very well agree to a contract extension after 2009, or simply be traded by the Mets- if his 2009 is terrific, there certainly should be a market for him.

This is like criticizing the Mets for signing Jose Reyes, who eventually will perish from this earth, as all mortal men do.
   59. Mark S. is bored Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:40 PM (#3026661)
And that's fine. Even is the ROOGY's are a wash, we gave them 5 more players for a player we are going to cut.


Who are the Mets going to cut? If they decide that they don't want to keep Putz in 2010 for $9M, then they go around the 2009 winter meetings offering up a closer for $9M. Someone will jump on it.
   60. billyshears Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:42 PM (#3026663)
What do you think he'd do?


I think he would enter every game to a chorus of boos, pitch to about a 4 ERA for a month and a half, give up a couple ill timed homes which turns the atmosphere in CitiField absolutely toxic whenever he's on the mound before the Mets traded him in mid-May for pennies on the dollar just so they could turn the page.

If he was hypothetically allowed to pitch for the Mets for a full season, I think he would pitch to about a 4.25 - 4.50 ERA. He lost his control last season and gave up more HRs in fewer innings than he had previously (though the numbers are so small, who can tell if this is real). Those changes could be significant. He still strikes guys out and doesn't look as if he has lost any stuff, so I can see where he would rebound. But again, I think the atmosphere on the Mets would get to him. I think there's a non-negligible chance that he wouldn't have rebounded at all for the Mets and he would be worthless by June.
   61. Sam M. Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:44 PM (#3026667)
One's opinion on this trade almost entirely depends on which Aaron Heilman you believe would have shown up for the Mets in 2009.

What do you think he'd do? Sam, care to proffer an estimate?


Sure, but before I do, I want to emphasize that I don't agree with the premise -- or perhaps I'd just put it differently. As I've said, my opinion of trade is based in large part on my view that I wanted (as billyshears said later in the same post, # 34) the Mets to rid themselves of the substantial and harmful uncertainty surrounding Heilman's status and likely performance in that role. So the issue is not which Heilman I believe would have shown up; it's that I am so uncertain on the question itself that affects my view. That's point one.

Point two is that even if I had a higher confidence level in Heilman's likely performance, I would still be in favor of this trade because I believe in getting the best player. I think you can replace a Joe Smith (indeed, unlike Chris, I think Green appears to be pretty much identical once you control for usage, so I think they pretty much have already done it); I think a reasonably able FO can replace the average players who fill the bit-part roles. So I think if you can upgrade your performance in the hard-to-fill roles, you do it, and you just don't worry about the difference between Joe Smith and Sean Green. Leverage matters. The fact that J.J. Putz in both 2006 and 2007 was much, much better than Aaron Heilman has ever been in a full season and IMHO ever will be in a full season tells me all that the Mets got a player who can be a difference-maker in those game-deciding situations. To repeat: leverage matters.

Now, as to what Heilman would have done for the Mets in 2009 . . . my best guess is that he's have performed decently. His 2006 season was the worst of his three years Before the Fall (120 ERA+, sandwiched between a 130 and a 140; also his worst peripherals, although they weren't substantially out of line with the other two years). I think he'd have been in line for fewer innings, which has been his pattern as he's been getting older and less effective, so I'd peg it at something like 70 IP and a 115-120 ERA+.

But that's if I were forced to guess. How much would I bet on being even close? Not a penny. Compare that, for example, to what I'd bet on -- say -- on what I'd project for David Wright, the most consistent, reliable MFer on the planet. I'd almost bet my house (which is OK, since I'm about to sell it anyway . . .) on being right about that projection. Or if you think it's unfair to compare my lack of confidence in Heilman to a third baseman (especially Wright), take Johan. I'm pretty damn confident that I'd be awfully close about Santana. But I could be 40 points off in ERA+ on Heilman, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit. You think that uncertainty is endemic to bullpens; I think some such unpredictability is inevitable, but not at that level and that it can be reduced. And I think Omar has done that, and I'm thrilled.
   62. HowardMegdal Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:48 PM (#3026677)
I'd almost bet my house (which is OK, since I'm about to sell it anyway . . .) on being right about that projection.

In this market, isn't selling your house the worst projection of all?

Otherwise, exactly.
   63. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#3026682)
Finally, I think it's silly to assume that Green will be used against lefties more just because he sucks less against them than Smith did, even though he actually isn't any good against them. That could happen, that he's just good enough to be dangerous, but I don't think it's the most plausible assumption... the most plausible assumption IMO is that they'll manage the pen according to accurately evaluated strengths and weaknesses.
But, but , but...if that's the case, why did Green face so many LHBs last year?
   64. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#3026683)
Nope. The player must be on the active 25-man roster for a minimum of 90 days. If O'Day doesn't meet that requirement in 2009 it carries over into 2010. (See Adam Stern.)

Ok, thanks.
   65. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#3026684)
so I'd peg it at something like 70 IP and a 115-120 ERA+.
Perfect. I gave Heilman a worse prediction than that above. Where do you put Putz? 70 IP of 170 ERA+ or higher?
   66. James SC Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#3026685)
Chris, I just don't even come close to agreeing with just about anything in the article:

1. I love Endy, he was one of my favorite players on the team and made me happy to see him go out and play. His catch will be played for the next 30 years on Mets TV. That being said, you overvalue him to a fault in this article. ND really didn't have a good fit for this team which was made painfully obvious all season long last year. He just could not give any offense whatsoever and his defense is just not worth it if he is not playing center, and if you didn't notice we have a pretty good CF so that wasn't a good value for us. On the other hand, the OF we got back is pretty good defensively (certainly not below league average as you suggest), and will be a great fit for the corner OF spot he will fill. A definite boost for both teams who can use each player much better than the current team could use them for.

2. Heilman, once again I am in the pro-Heilman club, but to think that he was going to rebound to pre-2008 performances without getting a starters job in NY was slim to NIL. Sometimes a player just can't work for the same team anymore, and while I hate to admit it, Heilman was at that point. Omar even admitted as such in some of the quotes that were coming out behind the scenes. Heilman has been a scapegoat for the last 3 years since the HR against the Cards and it was time to cut bait. I think he will be a pretty good starter for the M's, but he wasn't going to achieve that as a Met.

3. Joe Smith, he is really highly over-rated in your post, he was a team KILLER last year with the baby gloves that he had to be handled with. He was way too much of a ROOGY and just could not be used in big situations, Green is slightly more usable in those situations (although still too high a split) but is much more ground ball oriented and might fare better with our improved D and better pitching situation in NY.

I think we will miss Cleto or whoever his name is in a few years when all this shakes out, he seems to have good raw stuff and could harness that to annoy us in 2011 or so. However, I will take the fact that I can now go to Putz-KRod for the 8th 9th in a heartbeat, and honestly, every other baseball guy would. Great trade by Minaya.
   67. thetailor Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:52 PM (#3026689)
Putz to Heilman is a huge upgrade. Not only was Heilman's overall line in 2008 terrible, it was even worse than his overall stats would indicate. By year, his tOPS in high leverage situations:

2008: 153 (.326/.458/.547 line against)
2007: 128 (.314/.368/.505)

For his career, he coughs up an 802 OPS against in high leverage situations and 591(!!!) in low leverage situations. Even if he were to go back to "good" Aaron, he'd still be an utter disaster at the back of that bullpen. More data? 888 OPS against last year when the game was within 2 runs, 598 OPS against when it was four or more runs.

I don't hate Heilman. I think he's useful. He throws hard, he's a nice guy, and he strikes people out. He'll be very useful to Seattle -- as a starter. He could even be useful in the bullpen, but not in the 9th and probably not in the 8th. The upgrade to Putz is enormous and it is not useful to look at it as "runs saved" devoid of context.
   68. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:53 PM (#3026695)
Well, this seems like an awfully incomplete way to describe Putz,


Who are the Mets going to cut?


Jeremy Reed. He's useless.
   69. thetailor Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:53 PM (#3026696)
I disagree. they are approximately the same as they would have been without the trade. You traded an old car that got 20 mpg for a new one that gets 20 mpg, and you are claiming your mileage is MUCH better!!

We traded an old car that got 20 mpg for a new car that gets 30 mpg.... and that old car? It only broke down WHEN YOU NEEDED IT. It worked fine when you were sitting at home but broke every time you had an interview.
   70. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:53 PM (#3026697)
Also, Smith is *5* years younger than Green.
   71. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:55 PM (#3026701)
Also, how was Endy going to play the 1000-1200 innings (111-133 nine-inning games) that you used to figure out the number of runs he'd save on defense? He wasn't going to get nearly that many (and neither will Reed.)
Right. I offered how many he'd save in his actual playing time.
   72. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:56 PM (#3026703)
I think he would enter every game to a chorus of boos, pitch to about a 4 ERA for a month and a half,
check out Heilman's June and July.
   73. Sam M. Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:57 PM (#3026705)
But, but , but...if that's the case, why did Green face so many LHBs last year?

Because, I assume, he was being used in accordance with the Mariners' patterns. The best assumption post-trade is that he will be used by Manuel more in keeping with the way the Mets have used their relievers, until and unless we see a change in those patterns. The best evidence we have is that Green would be used the way the Mets have used a similar pitcher in the past. And that would be . . . Joe Smith.
   74. thetailor Posted: December 11, 2008 at 09:59 PM (#3026711)
I wish we had kept Smith. If, for all intensive purposes, Green = Smith... why couldn't we keep our old home grown Brooklyn Cyclone?
   75. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:00 PM (#3026715)
I think it is more likely Green will be used as he has been used.
   76. The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:00 PM (#3026716)
I offered how many he'd save in his actual playing time.
Where? There isn't much math in your "math."
Endy Chavez is the best defensive outfielder in the game. His defense in limited palying [sic] time is worth a good dozen runs, and were he given the chance to accumulate 1000-1200 innings, he is worth about 20-25 runs. That does a lot to offset such a poor bat. Reed’s defense isn’t particularly good. Endy is probably 30 runs better than Reed on defense.
English would help, but if you're saying Endy saves 12, then how is that 30 better than Reed? Todd Hundley in LF wouldn't be -18 in the playing time Reed is likely to get.¹

¹ Don't hold me to that.
   77. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:10 PM (#3026738)
Where? There isn't much math in your "math."
There's lots of math in it.
In their PT, it is 15-20 runs. Fortunately, they had similar PAs in 2008, where Reed hit his career level and Endy was a little below his. Reed created 32 runs, and Endy created 28. Endy is a good win plus better than Reed. And Endy's skill's are more leverageable.
   78. James SC Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:12 PM (#3026744)
Ack, nightmares of poor Todd Hundley running around in LF again. Poor man, he did not deserve that disgrace.
   79. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:12 PM (#3026745)
Endy played 800 innings in 2006. the Mets should be using him more like that.
   80. zack Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:18 PM (#3026753)
Endy also hit .306/.348/.431 in 2006. If he could hit that well normally he'd be an everyday player.
   81. The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:18 PM (#3026754)
There's lots of math in it.
Possibly, but it's mystery math that we only get to discover by asking you questions.

Okay, so last year Endy made 216 outs on offense, Reed made 223. So, I'm divining that the claims are that if you give each of these guys 220 or so outs to use up on offense, 1) Endy will save about 12 runs on defense, and 2) those 12 will be about 15-20 runs better than Reed.

Am I correct, then, that if you give Reed 220 or so outs on offense, he figures to be -3 to -8 on defense?
   82. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:19 PM (#3026755)
I'm pulling a quote from Dial from the other thread where the same argument is occuring:

Putz, given a 170 ERA+ and Heilman given a 110 ERA+, yields a handful of runs. Not a huge amount.


This, combined with the statement that he would not trade Joe Smith for Mariano Rivera, really clarifies the debate. The crux is not, as billyshears stated, what you believe Heilman will do. The crux is this: Do you think relief pitchers are important?

Dial does not. While all of the rest of us watched the Mets lose games because of an awful bullpen, Dial and his buddy Math don't think that the pen really determined much of anything. And so even substantial gains in the bullpen are hardly even worth arguing about.

Apologies for the anti-stathead tone. But Dial's arguments are so abstract, so academic, it really brings out the Murray Chass in me.
   83. James SC Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:26 PM (#3026766)
Preserved, not exactly what he said. He said trading Joe Smith for Mariano to fill Joe Smiths roll on the team would not make much sense. And that is true, why would you give 13 million dollars for a guy to be your 6th/7th inning guy, that is just not a wise use of resources.

The difference though is that the 8th inning is a lot different than the 6th/7th in today's game. The 8th has really become every bit as important in the "closers" job in todays game. Putz-Krod will be awesome in that roll.
   84. PreservedFish Posted: December 11, 2008 at 10:42 PM (#3026793)
He said trading Joe Smith for Mariano to fill Joe Smiths roll on the team would not make much sense.

He is moving the goalposts by pointing out real-life problems with my hypothetical. If they both pitch 70 innings, Mariano Rivera beats Joe Smith by a dozen runs or less. That is, by the way, the same number I get when I do the math with Putz vs Heilman at 170 ERA+ vs 110. A dozen runs would also be the difference between an average pitcher and Guillermo Mota '07.

The idea that it is a small sum, not really worth a bother, is absurd to me. If the math says that relief pitchers just aren't very important, and that huge differences in ability between them actually translate to small differences in win totals, then I think that the math is incorrect. If the math says that the difference between Joe Smith and Mariano Rivera is the same as the difference between Jeremy Reed and Endy Chavez's defensive contributions ... well, you get the point.
   85. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 11, 2008 at 11:37 PM (#3026890)
The Mets, in 2008, had 149 late-inning leads of 3 or fewer runs at the start of an inning. They lost 27 of them (18.1%) - the average team lost 16%, which was a difference of -3 given the number of leads that the Mets had. The range was from +10 (Yankees) to -7 (Detroit).

The real problem, IMO, was not just that the Mets were below average - but also that the Phillies were excellent (+5), with pitchers who don't look a lot better than the Mets' 2008 crew. The Mets weren't really all that bad at blowing leads - except in comparison to the direct competition.

-- MWE
   86. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 11:44 PM (#3026898)
Possibly, but it's mystery math that we only get to discover by asking you questions.

Okay, so last year Endy made 216 outs on offense, Reed made 223. So, I'm divining that the claims are that if you give each of these guys 220 or so outs to use up on offense, 1) Endy will save about 12 runs on defense, and 2) those 12 will be about 15-20 runs better than Reed.

Am I correct, then, that if you give Reed 220 or so outs on offense, he figures to be -3 to -8 on defense?
I don't think that's fair. Admittedly, I suppose I expected people to be somewhat familiar with my work, and perhaps you are not. Here is an article I posted about two months ago that includes comprehensive math about each player and his total value (Offense Plus Defense - OPD), and a Google document with every player and their contribution in their PT, not extrapoloated to a full season. In 2008, Endy was just about 9 runs betterthan Reed, but considerably better the previous few years, when Reed couldn't play. THere are links in that article to clarify all of my math. I think it is considerable, and I don't think I have kept it a "mystery" at this site.

Yes, your assessment is correct though.
   87. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 11:48 PM (#3026903)
He is moving the goalposts by pointing out real-life problems with my hypothetical. If they both pitch 70 innings, Mariano Rivera beats Joe Smith by a dozen runs or less. That is, by the way, the same number I get when I do the math with Putz vs Heilman at 170 ERA+ vs 110. A dozen runs would also be the difference between an average pitcher and Guillermo Mota '07.
I did NOT move the goalposts. There weren't any goalposts - I clarified them. In fact I said that a win makes a trade worthwhile. And while it is an upgrade, it isn't a HUGE upgrade. PLUS we didn't trade "Aaron Heilman for JJ Putz". We traded a bunch of other players. The total runs going away from the Mets is significantly more than the runs coming to the Mets. That *seems* like a bad trade to me. I especially don't like it when one of the pitchers - the keystone, was injured in 2008 regardless of what the 20 innings he threw after said injury say. It's 20 innings.
   88. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 11:49 PM (#3026904)
The idea that it is a small sum, not really worth a bother, is absurd to me. If the math says that relief pitchers just aren't very important, and that huge differences in ability between them actually translate to small differences in win totals, then I think that the math is incorrect. If the math says that the difference between Joe Smith and Mariano Rivera is the same as the difference between Jeremy Reed and Endy Chavez's defensive contributions ... well, you get the point.
Don't put words in my mouth. I didn't say that. I actually said the opposite.
   89. Chris Dial Posted: December 11, 2008 at 11:51 PM (#3026908)
But by and large, no, I don't think relievers are particularly important. I think they are very interchangeable with a few exceptions. Rivera happens to be one.
   90. Conor Posted: December 12, 2008 at 12:08 AM (#3026919)
The Mets, in 2008, had 149 late-inning leads of 3 or fewer runs at the start of an inning. They lost 27 of them (18.1%) - the average team lost 16%, which was a difference of -3 given the number of leads that the Mets had. The range was from +10 (Yankees) to -7 (Detroit).

The real problem, IMO, was not just that the Mets were below average - but also that the Phillies were excellent (+5), with pitchers who don't look a lot better than the Mets' 2008 crew. The Mets weren't really all that bad at blowing leads - except in comparison to the direct competition.


Just a few points on this

What is a "late inning"? I am guessing 7th or on, but I would be curious.

Also, I would be curious as not to the % of leads the Mets lost, but the total number of times. I would guess it is pretty close to the most in the majors; though I could be wrong. I know I read a stat here that the Mets were leading more games afte 6 than any team in baseball or something. Anyway, my point is that from the POV of a Mets fan, even if they blowing close to an average number (and if they won 3 more games than people wouldn't be having this conversation anyway) is that they were in a position to do it so muich more often that it seems worse.

I would also wonder about the distribution of those leads; did the Mets blow more 3 run leads than the league average? I would guess so.
   91. The District Attorney Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:03 AM (#3027137)
Here is an article I posted about two months ago that includes comprehensive math about each player and his total value (Offense Plus Defense - OPD), and a Google document with every player and their contribution in their PT, not extrapoloated to a full season. In 2008, Endy was just about 9 runs betterthan Reed, but considerably better the previous few years, when Reed couldn't play.
Okay. Well, as you say, Reed hasn't played all that much. His defensive rep is good, as far as I know. I'm skeptical that he would continue to field at a pace that would cost, what, like 10-20 runs if it were a full season?... that is pretty bad. Especially since he won't be playing mostly CF with the Mets; he'll mostly be playing an easier position.

That's a minor point, as even if I don't necessarily buy that Reed is a major defensive liability, I do buy that Endy is better than him and in fact great defensively. But #84 addresses the larger issue eloquently, I think. And saying "Mariano is different" does not. It could be Joe Smith and Endy for Nathan, Lidge, K-Rod, whatever non-HOF but still superstar closer you like... by this logic, it'd still be a bad trade if we also got Jeremy Reed back. (Would it be better to get no position player back at all, since Nobody costs 0 runs on defense?) Heck, it doesn't have to be Smith or Reed either; it could be any pitcher who projects to about a 4.50 ERA and any backup who isn't much good. LaTroy Hawkins and Endy for Lidge and Mike Morse, bad trade for the team acquiring Lidge, presumably.¹

¹ At least if you use Lidge to set up, since you implied it'd be a totally different story if the new guy is used as a closer, although I'm not sure where you get that from either.
   92. Howie Menckel Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:17 AM (#3027148)
Chris,

I almost always hate the "Did you ever watch this guy play" comments, because it tends to be some fanboy of whomever clinging to some notion that his guy is a "gamer" or whatever.

BUT, did you watch Heilman pitch at Shea Stadium down the stretch in 2007?

You don't see a panicky guy with a tight sphincter?

I do believe Heilman can yet be an effective MLB pitcher again as a starter or a reliever.

Do I think it could yet happen as a Met? No way.

He's wound tighter than a drum even in good times, and when others start to falter....
   93. Howie Menckel Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:19 AM (#3027150)
Guh, 2008
Why can't we edit here?
   94. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 05:25 AM (#3027154)
You don't see a panicky guy with a tight sphincter?

I do believe Heilman can yet be an effective MLB pitcher again as a starter or a reliever.

Do I think it could yet happen as a Met? No way.


Well, I don't go that far. In fact, had Heilman not been included in this deal but the Mets acquired Putz for other talent, I could easily see Heilman doing well in the 6th/7th innings, setting the table for Putz and K-Rod. Put him into the lower-leverage situations, and I suspect he'd do fine, even as a Met, even with all that's happened.

If, that is, he didn't have such a negative attitude about it that he just took his unhappiness with not being a starter out there with him and let it affect his performance. Which would be no sure thing, even if he tried not to let it ruin his season.

In this market, isn't selling your house the worst projection of all?

Already done. I close Jan. 16th, same day I move into my new condo. Hell, for all I know it may be the only home sale in Louisville in 2009 . . . .
   95. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:15 AM (#3027190)
I'm more worried about the rotation than the bullpen. At the moment we have

1. Santana
2. Maine--never pitched 200 innings, had one good year, is coming off an injury
3. Pelfrey--one good year, and only one year when he threw close to 200 pro innings
4. Niese--pitched 125 innings at AA and all of 40 innings at AA
5. Chan Ho Park

Seriously--the rotation could easily be well below average.
   96. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:27 AM (#3027198)
2. Maine--never pitched 200 innings, had one good year, is coming off an injury

Actually, he's had two good years. Injury-shortened though it was, 2008 was a good season (especially if you discount his starts when he was pitching hurt). But yes, the surgery makes him somewhat questionable.

3. Pelfrey--one good year, and only one year when he threw close to 200 pro innings

Yes, he has to prove it again, but I'm very happy and confident Pelfrey is going to be quality. When all was said and done, his overall innings increase wasn't that troubling. He went from a total of 152.7 innings in 2007, to 200.7 in 2008. Fifty innings over his career high isn't that bad.

5. Chan Ho Park

Funny guy.

Don't worry, overall. Omar recognizes the need.

Re-signing Oliver Pérez remains a priority, but the Mets do not expect a resolution on his status until Derek Lowe — like Pérez, a free-agent client of the agent Scott Boras — makes a decision. Minaya was unable to meet with Boras during the first three days of the winter meetings but hoped to connect before leaving. The Mets could also pursue the left-hander Randy Wolf and have revealed an interest in obtaining the right-hander Jason Marquis from the Cubs. They do not seem interested in Jon Garland, who, as a Type A free agent, would cost the Mets a draft pick.

“Before I start moving my dollars to offense, I’ve got to move my dollars to pitching,” Minaya said.
   97. Raskolnikov Posted: December 12, 2008 at 06:50 AM (#3027215)
Problem is that the rotation was a weakness last year. Not as bad as the bullpen, but still weak. If Citifield plays like Shea, the Mets should have a top 5 ERA rotation to compensate for the park effects. We were not close last year.

So even if Omar brings Perez back, that just leaves the rotation as it was last year. He would still need to upgrade it somehow.

Which is why I wanted Omar to swing away for CC. Now that he's gone, Omar should try for Sheets + Wolf/innings eater. There's more upside there than with Perez.
   98. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:46 AM (#3027228)
Re-signing Oliver Pérez remains a priority, but the Mets do not expect a resolution on his status until Derek Lowe — like Pérez, a free-agent client of the agent Scott Boras — makes a decision.
This is a touch Delphic, but my guess is that if Omar prefers Lowe to Ollie, and if he can get Lowe, then Ollie won't be a Met in 2009. Lowe is a typical Omar signing. He's a very good old player who has a terrific chance of being essentially useless for too large a portion of his contract. I don't suppose there's a snowball's chance the budget is big enough to sign TWO good-quality starters?

So even if Omar brings Perez back, that just leaves the rotation as it was last year. He would still need to upgrade it somehow.

Which is why I wanted Omar to swing away for CC. Now that he's gone, Omar should try for Sheets + Wolf/innings eater. There's more upside there than with Perez.
Sounds like you think there's enough cash for two in the Wilpons's mattress, Rask. Particularly w Sheets's injury history (but even with a more reliable type) someone who's a lock to throw 200 innings with a 95-100 ERA+ has enormous value to the Mets. Sam's optimism notwithstanding I think there's a strong chance that Maine and Pelfrey will have trouble combining for 350 respectable innings.
   99. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: December 12, 2008 at 07:50 AM (#3027229)
edit: in other words, I agree with you. The rotation with Ollie is as it was last year. Santana pitched like Santana, despite the injury Maine wasn't bad, and Pelfrey had the year we all hoped he would have. And that's STILL not enough going into 2009.
   100. Sam M. Posted: December 12, 2008 at 08:33 AM (#3027238)
The rotation with Ollie is as it was last year. Santana pitched like Santana, despite the injury Maine wasn't bad, and Pelfrey had the year we all hoped he would have. And that's STILL not enough going into 2009.

I'd be OK with it, to be honest. I hate to say it, because it will sound like a slam at Pedro, but I think it would be reasonable to expect that rotation to be better than the Mets' 2008 rotation was. Pedro was SO ineffective, and losing Maine was such a hit, that if we went with:

Johan
Peolfrey
Maine
Ollie
Niese/Parnell

I honestly think it would be at least a bit better than what we had in 2008. It would certainly be more productive with a better bullpen behind it helping to translate the starters' quality efforts into actual wins.

But I have to agree that someone else who is reliable about putting up 180-200 innings of averageish pitching sure would look good in there. It's certainly fair to say that there are some question marks in that proposed rotation. That really is my buzzword these days, isn't it? Reliable.
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