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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Megdal: Sandy Alderson promises more 2013 improvements, somehow

Or as David Hester repeats over and over in that annoying commercial…“Mmmoney, money, money…”

General manager Sandy Alderson discussed his plan to add outfielders, along with a starting pitcher to replace Dickey in the rotation, bullpen help, additional starting pitching depth, and even another catcher.

All of this makes sense, in terms of what a minimally competent major league team needs. But it’s not clear how they’ll do this with the money at their disposal. According to Ken Davidoff, the Mets have about $7 million to spend this winter. (Davidoff confirmed via Twitter that this came from a team official.)

By itself, that is problematic, considering that the Mets had every one of the needs described above, with the exception of replacing Dickey, at the start of the offseason. $7 million for those tasks isn’t much.

It’s a surprisingly small number, actually: Since the start of the offseason, they’ve retained Wright, and structured his contract extension so that he’ll earn a salary $5 million less than he’d been scheduled to earn, with another $3 million of the 2013 salary deferred.

That alone should give them more than $7 million for this winter.

Also, when the Mets bought out Jason Bay earlier this offseason, Bay agreed to defer the lion’s share of his $21 million still owed to him until 2014-15, receiving just $6 million in 2013.

Add that together, and the Mets should have $23 million to spend on this offseason, even if they hadn’t budgeted a dime toward other improvements beforehand.

So where’s that money going?

Repoz Posted: December 18, 2012 at 05:44 PM | 38 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: December 18, 2012 at 06:44 PM (#4328054)
According to Ken Davidoff, the Wilpons give the best blowjobs in New York, & whenever possible he likes to return the favor.


Fixed.
   2. NattyBoh Posted: December 18, 2012 at 07:30 PM (#4328085)
Which is why Scott Hairston is too expensive to re-sign. I guess newly-acquired Colin Cowgill will get several hundred plate appearances.
   3. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 18, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4328101)
Shouldn't they make AN improvement before making more improvements?
   4. formerly dp Posted: December 18, 2012 at 08:18 PM (#4328104)
Shouldn't they make AN improvement before making more improvements?
They're finally rid of Notorious Clubhouse Cancer R.A. Dickey. Addition by subtraction FTW.
   5. Bob Tufts Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4328156)
Clubhouse Cancer


Like calling an athlete a "warrior", this term that should be removed from the sports lexicon.

And Mongoose, stay classy!
   6. J.R. Wolf Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4328157)
The Mets have become an abomination,
   7. Walt Davis Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4328196)
become?
   8. Tuque Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4328205)
All I think when I read Mets threads anymore is "thank god McCourt's gone."
   9. Lassus Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4328214)
This never would have happened if they were still in Shea.
   10. Benji Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4328217)
We are such moaners! They didn't improve the outfield, bench or bullpen, but JP Ricciardi got a big raise. Doesn't that make them more watchable?
   11. PreservedFish Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4328219)
Cowgill probably does actually improve the team. Hell, the 17 year old might start.
   12. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4328231)
Wasting $23 million on a bunch of mediocre players isn't going to make them win this year. Do we need the next Frank Francisco sucking up salary for the next couple of years?
   13. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: December 19, 2012 at 01:46 AM (#4328264)
I don't understand why anyone thinks the money situation is going to improve. The Mets are clearly broke, both now and for the next several years at bare minimum. I'm looking forward to seeing how people react to them putting forward a 40m dollar roster in 2015 and having to trade Harvey before he hits arbitration.
   14. smileyy Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:46 AM (#4328285)
"Clubhouse Cancer" should be reserved for players who actually step up and give their teammates cancer.
   15. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:00 AM (#4328299)
What a negative bunch of NY fancy lads.

FTFA:

There's no real way around spending, either. The Mets don't have much to give up on the trade market, and a new collective bargaining agreement, with caps and strict penalties, has resricted other shortcut options like international and over-slot signings.

What Alderson is doing is building the Mets for 2015, while Fred Wilpon and his partners do what they can to stick around till then.
What does Howard expect to happen in 2015? That's pretty vague.

In 2015 Cot's has Wright owed 20m, Niese owed 7.05m.
Arb 3 guys are Murphy, Davis, and Parnell.
Arb 2 guys are Gee, Tejada, Turner, and Baxter.
Bay's off the books.

Cowgill's fast, but didn't get out of AA until age 25. A little pop that all but disappeared when he got to the majors, and not enough power to start in the majors for even two months unless he can stick in CF, but I don't know anyone who expects that. A respectable utility OF is probably his upside. The Mets had to get someone to play the OF, and this is who they could get for a non-prospect (was Marte even top 30 any more?). I'm not sure why a 21 year old who isn't hopelessly overmatched in AA goes for 2013's Jason Pridie. The Mets must have given up on Marte's glove.
   16. HowardMegdal Posted: December 19, 2012 at 08:05 AM (#4328328)
FWIW, what I expect to happen by 2015 is many more of the pre-arb players they'll employ will have a chance to be much better than Lucas Duda. So either the talent base will be better, period, or it will be better for a new owner to supplement with a surrounding team. Either way, better than the current scenario.
   17. Lassus Posted: December 19, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4328348)
Lord save me from Mets fans.
   18. depletion Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4328375)
They should get a donkey as a mascot. That will help.
I'm doing research into becoming a Blue Jays fan. Is there an application I can fill out?
   19. zack Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4328393)
How many languages can you sing O Canada in?
   20. depletion Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4328400)
O.

   21. Benji Posted: December 19, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4328410)
Maybe Mettle is still alive. But every time I see Alderson I think they've already hired Tommy Flanagan.
   22. Cooper Nielson Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4328453)
The Mets need a starting pitcher and the Tigers are shopping Rick Porcello. Porcello's from New Jersey, he's still young, he's a groundball pitcher, and presumably the Mets have a better infield defense than the Tigers. Let's make this happen!

Question is: What do the Mets have that the Tigers need? Could we get a non-Frank Francisco reliever and a backup infielder with defensive skills?
   23. JJ1986 Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4328475)
Question is: What do the Mets have that the Tigers need? Could we get a non-Frank Francisco reliever and a backup infielder with defensive skills?


The Mets bullpen at this point has 3 pitchers in it, so unless you want Josh Edgin, there's no reliever available.
   24. formerly dp Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4328486)
The Mets need a starting pitcher and the Tigers are shopping Rick Porcello. Porcello's from New Jersey, he's still young, he's a groundball pitcher, and presumably the Mets have a better infield defense than the Tigers. Let's make this happen!
I don't really see Porcello as a good target for the Mets-- he'll be costly, and the Mets have more pressing needs that need to be addressed. The Mets are going to be bargain-shopping for the rest of the winter. Is Grady Sizemore healthy? That might be a decent gamble. Bringing Chris Young back wouldn't be the worst thing, though the Mets need an innings-eater and Young is not that guy.

This list seems pretty accurate.
   25. Ravecc Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4328487)
I'm sorry, but does Howard pay Repoz payola or something?
   26. NattyBoh Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4328488)
Unless Ike Davis rebounds, Wright is going to get a lot of IBB's. Can't wait for that mid-week afternoon game with the Marlins.
   27. Ravecc Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4328491)
What do the Mets have that the Tigers need? Could we get a non-Frank Francisco reliever and a backup infielder with defensive skills?


We'd like to keep Edgin and Parnell, but you're welcome to anyone else on the pen. And you can have Valdespin, who (allegedly) can play short and second.
   28. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: December 19, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4328529)
Only partially joking, but Kazmir is supposedly throwing low 90's again in the Winter League. Might be worth a flier for the Mets.
   29. Knock on any Iorg Posted: December 19, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4328608)
Why would Colin Cowgill give up a cushy job as an ESPN talk show host to play for the Mets with their questionable financial situation?
   30. NattyBoh Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4328697)
What a negative bunch of NY fancy lads.


Should we talk about the Jets?
   31. formerly dp Posted: December 19, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4328713)
Unless Ike Davis rebounds,
Rebounds from what?
   32. Lassus Posted: December 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4328779)
Only partially joking, but Kazmir is supposedly throwing low 90's again in the Winter League. Might be worth a flier for the Mets.

YOU SHUT UP
   33. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4328852)
@16--thanks for the details.

@25--why do you ask?

***

Anyway, because thinking about 2015 is more fun than thinking about 2012-13, and with the usual caveats and stipulations regarding the unknowable, and by way of pre-empting silliness about we can't know anything that far away...

Roughly (this being the sort of thing I'd sketch out at draft time, just in case it nudges me in one direction or another):

Of the players the Mets can control,

Wright's around a 4 win guy, they'll get 2 wins from Niese... 27m

Arb 3 guys: Murphy's a 2 win player if he's healthy, Davis a 3 win guy, Parnell 1 win... at 80% of their FA value the Mets will pay the three of them something like.... 4 + 7 + 3 = 14m

Arb 2 guys: Gee gets 4m, Tejada gets 3m, Turner and Baxter maybe 2m each, though it's easy to see the last two as guys teams don't offer arb to once they get at all expensive, as in they're a lot less likely to stick around than Gee and Tejada... Maybe 2 wins for Tejada, 1 for each of the other three.

That means the team gets around 17 wins from all of the above, which isn't so hot a number to get from your arb 2 and 3 players and your star, absent a real FA budget, and they'll be paying those players around $50m. None of them have much upside, either. Murphy is what he is, which is fine, but he's not turning into a 5 win player at age 28; Tejada isn't going to develop power; Turner and Baxter are already 27.... They all might get incrementally better in any given year, and they might get incrementally worse, but none of them are breakout candidates of any kind. Well, maybe Davis, but after his struggles I'd love to see him just get back to his 2011 level.

They'd need 22 wins more from guys making the minimum and from free agents in order to get to 87 wins. That's 22 wins from $44m if payroll stays where it is. Just to fill out the 25 man roster means another 9m for 18 guys, leaving 35m for raises, FAs, and so on. The point of that is knowing where your wins need to come from. If the team is getting wins at market prices, meaning around 6 wins from their 35m or so FA budget, then current minor leaguers and pre-arb guys need to chip in or be traded for another 16 wins.

That's a lot. That's the combined level of production you'd need from 8 average major league regulars. There are ways to chip in to that figure. Alderson has shown a dismaying inability to put together a real bullpen on a budget, but it's certainly possible to add a couple of wins to your total just by having thoroughly league average relief.

***

A lot can change, and payroll could be anywhere from 60m to 120m, but if things stay roughly the same, the roster tends to shape up as:

Niese
Harvey
Wheeler
Gee
?

Tejada
Baxter
Davis
Wright
D'Arnaud
Murphy
LF
CF

Parnell
?
?
?
?

It doesn't make a lot of sense to try to get too specific, but those are the guys the Mets will control in 2015, if they want to. Fill out the OF and rotation from the best in the system, or propose a package for a AA OFer and see if that helps.

.
   34. zack Posted: December 19, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4328866)
2015 is too far off to even think about in a meaningful way. To give you an idea, here's BA's projected 2013 lineup from 2010.

Catcher Josh Thole
First Base Ike Davis
Second Base Reese Havens
Third Base David Wright
Shortstop Jose Reyes
Left Field Fernando Martinez
Center Field Carlos Beltran
Right Field Wilmer Flores
No. 1 Starter Johan Santana
No. 2 Starter Mike Pelfrey
No. 3 Starter Jenrry Mejia
No. 4 Starter Brad Holt
No. 5 Starter Jon Niese
Closer Francisco Rodriguez

Four of those guys are scheduled to actually make the team in 2013. I would guess that the 2015 team is more than half players who are not in the organization right now.
   35. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: December 19, 2012 at 05:39 PM (#4328902)
2015 is too far off to even think about in a meaningful way.
Obviously not, since every team in the majors does infinitely more work three years out than I did in 33. Do you think when Alderson is making up his draft he pays no attention at all to what the club is going to look like in 2015, given who's in the organization now? Do you think when teams are looking a free agents they don't want a sense of who might be at a given position in three years? Do teams just shrug and not think about it? Do they not do any kind of payroll projection whatsoever? (The Yankees were doing a whole lot of planning towards 2014 in 2011, just to name one club for whom three years out was extremely determinative.) When the Red Sox sign guys to seven year deals (let alone three year deals) do they not have a 2015 board for reference? It's just a wild ass guess, but don't you figure most clubs would rather know in 2012 than 2014 that they have literally no one in the system that's projectable at a given position for 2015? When a GM is in internal discussion, and the subject of the 2015 club comes up, does he just shrug and do no thinking about it at all?

here's BA's projected 2013 lineup from 2010.
And that's definitive, how?
   36. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: December 19, 2012 at 06:58 PM (#4328982)

This never would have happened if they were still in Shea.


Something else atrocious probably would though.
   37. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 19, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4329009)
"Clubhouse Cancer" should be reserved for players who actually step up and give their teammates cancer.

So just this guy, then.

Although I'd take a hard look at the 1992 Dodgers, whose entire starting outfield developed cancer before the age of 40.
   38. depletion Posted: December 19, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4329093)
Dave Dravecky is the all-time cancer player, is he not? We never see a clubhouse cobalt-60 treatment anymore.

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