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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Megdal: The Mets are building an October tradition, too

I know Freethought Day is this month…not sure about Freewright Day or Freedickey Day.

While playoff teams struggle simply to raise a flag that will represent success for, at most, one season, the Mets are set to fight a pitched battle for ownership’s financial survival, while at the same time, trying to keep the team’s most valuable pitcher and everyday player for years to come.

Now those are some high stakes.

...But neither Wright nor Dickey would have much to fear, in terms of getting a bounced paycheck; M.L.B. would step in a guarantee payroll should current ownership falter. Both players have described a winning team as just as important to them as a big payday, however, and the Sandomir story simply reiterates the specifics of what Alderson meant when he said last week that the Mets “will not in the near-future have unlimited funds”.

Thus, the knock-on effect: it is up to Alderson to sell the future of the Mets to Wright and Dickey, and signing them would provide some measure of independent validation that someone other than the Wilpons themselves actually believes in the long-term prospects of the Wilpons. Securing them would make the Mets better on the field in 2013, and validate them in a significant way off the field as well.

So they may not be contending for a championship in Flushing next season. But they’ll be playing for a lot.

Repoz Posted: October 09, 2012 at 04:11 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. depletion Posted: October 09, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4261020)
saying it’s conceivable Wright and Dickey will have new deals in place

It's conceivable that 10 supermodels will hunt down depletion because of his charm and great looks, but it just isn't very likely. *sigh* If I were Wright or Dickey, I'd be trying to figure out where to play in 2014. From the article, even though the Mets unload some contracts at the end of 2013, they're leveraged out the wazoo.
   2. Benji Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:54 AM (#4261434)
I hate to say this, but the Mets are doomed as long as Selig draws breath. He won't leave and he will continue to back the Wilpons as they remake the late 70's Met franchise. A horrible and boring team. I really can't imagine another MLB team hesitating to lock down Dickey and Wright. Only in the Bizarro front office would the longevity of a knuckleballer be a concern! Niekro, Wilhelm, Candiotti, Wakefield and Hough. All left the game at such a young age. And Wright, the only position player who had a great year (don't give me Tejada - next year his bloops and bleeders will be caught and he'll be lucky to have a .600 OPS) and a guy who works his ass off for the team, should get whatever he asks for. But we're told we must root for lower payroll. If they draw 2 million next year I'll be stunned. Rock bottom is approaching.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: October 10, 2012 at 04:58 AM (#4261445)
Candiotti's last really good season was at 35. From 38 to 40 he posted a 95 ERA+ and 1 short terrible "season" followed. I'm assuming Dickey is not signing for 95 ERA+ money.

Wakefield from 38 to 40 had a 104 ERA+. Followed by one good season, one solid season but overall 600 IP of 94 ERA+.

Hough was very good from 38 to 40 (118 ERA+), average after that. Niekro was very good from 38 to 40 (122 ERA+), mainly average after that.

Wilbur Wood was done at 36.

As a reliever, Wilhelm is tough to comp but yes, he had great rate stats.

Anyway, there's a good chance he'll follow Hough and Niekro, there's a good chance he'll be average, there doesn't seem a lot of chance he'll fall off a cliff. Then again there's probably not much chance he'll repeat a 140 ERA+ (true of any pitcher sporting a 140 ERA+).

I have no idea of the money/years Dickey is looking for. I expect a short, fairly cheap extension will eventually get worked out. But they already have an option for 2013 for $5 M -- why should they be in a hurry? They don't have to "buy high" on Dickey so why should they? And I'd guess not extending older pitchers you already have under your control is standard operating procedure for teams rather than it being unimaginable that another team wouldn't have extended him yet.

For example, the Red Sox didn't give Beckett his first extension until July 06, the middle of his to-be-FA year (I think ... service time a little hard to tell). It was April of 2010 before he signed his 11-14 extension.

There are only two possible reasons to extend Dickey right this instant. First is to use the fact that he's only getting $5 M as leverage and see if he'll give you the other years cheap to get more money upfront. The second is that you think you'll piss him off if you don't and he's gone. Against that you have the risk of injury and the likelihood that he won't be as good next year so don't buy high now.

Wright is younger, very popular, etc. so is a different story. Still, no team would be talking to these guys until now and it would be a month or two before something got worked out.
   4. RollingWave Posted: October 10, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4261459)
wow, I had no ####### idea tht Dickey's so old.
   5. zonk Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4261488)
Few things put me in a worse mood than actually feeling pangs of sympathy for the Mets...
   6. depletion Posted: October 10, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4261522)
Few things put me in a worse mood than actually feeling pangs of sympathy for the Mets...
Don't feel sympathy for the Mets players and coaches, feel sympathy for the unfortunate Wilpons. They try to help out poor people by directing their investments to Bernie Madoff and what do they get? Nothing but aggravation!
   7. Elvis Posted: October 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4261541)
HM's reporting on the Mets' financial issues has been outstanding and all Mets fans are better off because of it.

It's my belief that he falters somewhat when he goes from reporting to forecasting. Mainly it's because he doesn't properly account for all of the people and institutions who *want* Wilpon and the Mets to succeed. Benji pointed out how Selig is one of them and he's a good ally to have.

The Mets should have an attendance cushion in 2013 because Selig gave them the All-Star game and the Mets are tying All-Star game seats to season-ticket packages. I expect they clear two million in paid attendance easy next year.

At some point the extra revenue from the new TV packages kicks in. Then there's getting out from the Bay and Santana contracts. Sure, others will get raises that will eat some of that - and maybe they'll actually put some of that back into the team - but it's still something that should positively affect the bottom line.

Allegedly the team lost around $60 million in 2011 and around $23 million this year. My guess is the banks look at it as a business that has suffered the worst, made necessary adjustments for a sustainable model going forward and has new forms of revenue (All-Star game, TV money, expiring contracts) on the immediate horizon.

With MLB firmly in their corner, the Mets will be able to get refinancing from the banks. And I disagree with the article that it will be at a much higher interest rate. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it was at a lower rate.

The team will still have substantial money issues the next couple of years. But unlike when the Madoff suits were hanging over their heads with an unknown bill lingering which would have required immediate payment, it's now possible to see not only a way out, but a return to profitability for the Wilpons on the horizon.
   8. KronicFatigue Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4261637)
The Mets should have an attendance cushion in 2013 because Selig gave them the All-Star game and the Mets are tying All-Star game seats to season-ticket packages. I expect they clear two million in paid attendance easy next year.


Good point. I wonder though if these tickets aren't going to flood the secondary market and depress walk-up sales, etc.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: October 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4261695)
If I were Wright or Dickey, I'd be trying to figure out where to play in 2014. From the article, even though the Mets unload some contracts at the end of 2013, they're leveraged out the wazoo.


If the Mets cannot resign Dickey or Wright, or any veterans in their stead, then their 2014 payroll will be down in Pirates/Astros/Athletics territory. I think they'll get it done - Wilpon is still the guy that is antsy about making offseason news to drive season ticket sales - assuming that Alderson wants them back.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4261704)
I have no idea of the money/years Dickey is looking for. I expect a short, fairly cheap extension will eventually get worked out. But they already have an option for 2013 for $5 M -- why should they be in a hurry? They don't have to "buy high" on Dickey so why should they?


Another article a week ago said that both Dickey and Wright have told the organization that if they don't get extensions in this offseason, they will definitely shop around on the FA market next year. Don't know if it's true or not, but, it's something to consider.

My prediction is that Dickey will sign a 2 year extension for $30 million. I'm a lot less certain about Wright's price tag, and also about what I'd be willing to pay for him. But I think they should do their best to keep them both.

> on edit, I just read an article by Heyman that suggests exactly the 2 years, $30 million number, but says that the Mets don't want to go that high and are concerned that Dickey's reliance on high velocity makes ageless knuckleballers like Niekro and Hough poor comps.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4261744)
the Mets don't want to go that high and are concerned that Dickey's reliance on high velocity makes ageless knuckleballers like Niekro and Hough poor comps.

????? He averages 70 MPH on his knuckler, and 85 on his FB. Where's the "high velocity".

50 y.o. Jamie Moyer is still throwing 82.
   12. Conor Posted: October 10, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4261767)
????? He averages 70 MPH on his knuckler, and 85 on his FB. Where's the "high velocity".


Per Fangraphs, Dickey averages 77 MPH on his knuckleball. He throws a really hard knuckleball.
   13. Karl from NY Posted: October 10, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4262346)
Good point. I wonder though if these tickets aren't going to flood the secondary market and depress walk-up sales, etc.

Bingo. The Mets probably already have the highest no-show rate in MLB, given the amount of tickets that go to corporate buyers in NYC and how easy it is to blow off schlepping to the stadium so far from Manhattan. It'll be even worse next year thanks to the ASG effect. Take any Mets attendance numbers with a big grain of salt, since they lie.
   14. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: October 10, 2012 at 08:20 PM (#4262486)
"HM's reporting on the Mets' financial issues has been outstanding and all Mets fans are better off because of it."

The financial reporting's been good; his legal analysis not so much - in particular when he pronounced that Picard could not would not settle.

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