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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Newsday: Matthews: Minaya should open Mets’ vault for A-Rod

Question…is Newsday a step up or a step down from Gotham Baseball?

Think of how easy a transition this would be. Rodriguez could hold on to his apartment in Manhattan. He still could sunbathe in the park. (Flushing Meadow, not Central.) The Mets, having learned from past mistakes, could offer Alex and Cynthia their own reality show on SNY. (Anna Benson is going to be sooooo jealous!) And just like that, all those unsold luxury boxes and season subscriptions to Citi Field will vanish like Carlos Delgado during “God Bless America.”

Best of all, with the stroke of a pen, the Mets can give their fans real reasons to go to the ballpark next year, aside from getting one last look at Shea Stadium.

For the first time in their history, the Mets would have the best player in the game while he still was the best player in the game. For the first time in their history, they could sign a free agent and watch him get better, not worse.

Repoz Posted: October 30, 2007 at 04:41 AM | 213 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, rumors

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   101. rfloh Posted: October 30, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2600343)
Ugh, pass. Sam's quote about not trading Wright (with a matching contract) for Santana I understand, because that's not baseball related - its personal. This one is ridiculous - Santana is the best pitcher in baseball. Reyes, no matter how much kool-aid you're drinking, is not one of the 20 best players in baseball (he hit .280/.354/.421). I realize you're a Mets fan, but put down the rose-tinted glasses.


And how many games a year does the best pitcher in baseball play? 50? 100? 125?

BPro has Santana year by year, from 2004, by runs above average: 47, 36, 38, 25.

They had Reyes at 16 batting runs above average in 2007. RZR had him at +12 runs defensively. ZR had him at +13 runs. UZR had him at +23 runs.

BPro had Wright at 39 runs above average offensively in 2005, 37 in 2006, 58 in 2007. RZR had him at +24 runs, ZR had him at +1 run.
   102. Conor Posted: October 30, 2007 at 05:53 PM (#2600347)
on Posada:

First of all, depending on how much better you think the AL is than the NL, he could get a little bump there, but also, consider this:

Posada career has a slight platoon advantage; 886 OPS vs lefties and 850 vs righties. He's played 20 games at first in his career; Yankee fans, how did he look there? If you bring him in, you could potentially move him a little between the two positions. Delgado could definitely use someone to spot him against lefties, and if you come back with Castro then he wouldn't be a horrible option to catch some games vs lefties. Perhaps play him at first 15-20 times a year, have him catch another 120 or so, and you get the same 140-145 games he always plays, and maybe you save a little wear and tear on him.

Reyes SS
Castillo 2B
Wright 3B
Beltran CF
Posada C
Alou LF
Delgado 1B
Milledge RF

and vs lefties
Reyes SS
Castillo 2B
Wright 3B
Beltran CF
Alou LF
Posada 1B
Milledge RF
Castro C
   103. The Artist Posted: October 30, 2007 at 05:56 PM (#2600356)


Yeah, but that one didn't have the "matching contract" qualifier. If you could obtain Reyes, with his contract, for Santana (with only one year remaining on his deal), I think you'd have to do it. Of course, it depends on who you are; are you a team that can re-sign Santana, or one that knows it is going to lose him? Big difference? But as an asset, because of his reasonable contract, Reyes is a more valuable asset than Santana is.

As for my Wright comment, I stand by it, even as a pure baseball matter. IMHO, a great position player is more valuable than a great starting pitcher, because of the injury risk. And the numbers show Wright is at least as great as Santana. So matching contracts? Give me the position player.


Honestly Sam, given your own qualifier (about funding) - I'd do Reyes for Santana from the Mets perspective. Santana is probably the best pitcher since Pedro at his peak (not as good though - no one else in history was either)- the kind of guy who doesn't exactly come along often. The Mets are going to be rolling in dough (with the stadium rights, the TV rights) for a while - the three years that Reyes is signed for (at what - $18M?) replaced with 3 Santana years (at $63M over just those 3 - conservative estimate) is something they can afford to do. Yeah, if I was the Marlins I might not make the deal, but I simply don't believe Reyes is going to be the uber-superstar Mets fans think he is. Wright to me has a far better chance of being great than Reyes - I'd definitely be more hesitant about Wright for Santana. To give up a solid, above-average SS (but one with an OPS+ of 103 last year - he isn't exactly A-Rod or Jeter) for the greatest pitcher in the game, even with the huge financial cost? Yeah, I'd do it.
   104. CrosbyBird Posted: October 30, 2007 at 05:58 PM (#2600359)
But as an asset, because of his reasonable contract, Reyes is a more valuable asset than Santana is.

It's not just that. I think that as great as Santana is, if Reyes never gets better than his 2007 season, in offense and defense, he's arguably greater than Santana in value because he's an everyday player. I just don't think any pitcher can be as valuable as a position player much like I don't believe any reliever can be as valuable as a starter.

There's no question Reyes under control for the length and amount of his contract, barring obscene regression or injury, is more valuable than Santana 2008 alone. I feel pretty strongly that there's little question that Reyes is worth more with this contract, at this age, all other things considered, than Santana 2008 + enormous extension.

I wouldn't trade them at equal salaries for each other, recognizing that Santana is a better pitcher than Reyes is a position player. Although I'm not sure that I'm right there. That's a more interesting discussion, I think.
   105. CrosbyBird Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2600368)
I should add that my serious questions about Reyes are not whether he'll improve or not, but whether he'll ever be as good as he was in 2006 and 2007 again. He looked like a totally different player for the second half of the 2007 season and if he doesn't take those shoes off and put the early 2007 shoes back on, he could be just an okay offensive good glove.
   106. Conor Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2600372)
Reyes is also a really good SS. He is probably one of the top 5 fielding SS in the game. Even in a year that has to be considered a disappointment, he was one of the 2 or 3 best SS in the game. Depending on how much faith you have in UZR, he had a 50 run advantage over Hanley Ramirez and close to that on Jeter as well with the glove. He adds a on of value that goes beyond his OPS+. His durability, his glove, his speed; OPS+ is probably the worst statistic to compare Reyes with.
   107. JPWF13 Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2600376)
Reyes, no matter how much kool-aid you're drinking, is not one of the 20 best players in baseball (he hit .280/.354/.421).



He was 30th in winshares in 2007 and 11th in 2006.
He also won't turn 25 until 6/11/08.

What kind of odd would you give AGAINST Reyes being one of the 20 best players in baseball over 2008-2010?
   108. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2600377)
This is just my hunch, but if Santana gets traded, it's going to be to the Dodgers for Kemp, LaRoche and a quality young pitcher. The Twins are pretty desperate for a 3rd baseman and have a need for a CFer and they may think Liriano will help offset the loss of Santana. I think hiring Torre is the first of a series of big moves by the Dodgers. I also don't think trading for Santana will keep them out of the A-Rod derby, either. They're filling Dodger Stadium, MLB revuenues are up, and they may be feeling the pressure of the Angels consistent success. It's all theoretical now, but if the Dodgers come up with A-Rod and Santana, it might be one of the best offseasons any team has had in the free agency era. The Giants had a nice offseason in 1992. I'll have to do some digging to come up with something better.
   109. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:13 PM (#2600392)
And are you ever going to respond to the point that it is really A-Rod's ego that is the operative one here? You keep talking about "no room for egos," but seem to think it is perfectly fine that moving Wright around would be all about doing so for the sake of A-Rod's unwillingness to move. Ironic.

I don't think A-Rod has to answer to anybody regarding whether he's a team player. After a MVP/GG SS season he shifted to 3B to accomodate his new situation. He will likely be the only man in MLB history to do this.

Anyway, it's easier to teach new tricks to a young dog than to an old dog.

Really, though, it doesn't matter, because Minaya must know he has no need for A-Rod.

Mustn't he?
   110. Dizzypaco Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2600396)
It's not just that. I think that as great as Santana is, if Reyes never gets better than his 2007 season, in offense and defense, he's arguably greater than Santana in value because he's an everyday player.

I think this is utter insanity. Jose Reyes is better than the best pitcher in baseball, even if Reyes doesn't get better? Money aside, I wouldn't trade Pujols for Santana. I wouldn't trade ARod for Santana. And that is it. In my opinion, Win shares underrates the value of great starting pitchers. If I knew Reyes would be the fifth best player in baseball, I wouldn't trade Santana to get him.
   111. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2600397)
Err Howard - dream on. There isn't a GM in baseball who wouldn't fall over himself to deal Milledge for Kemp. As for Kershaw, both BA and BP suggest he's probably the best or second best pitching prospect in the minors (after David Price). Humber and Pelfrey (who has exactly one pitch) aren't exactly equivalent. If you're the Twins, you'd rather have high level talent, and the Bums offer is significantly better that regard.

But the issue isn't Milledge for Kemp. It's Milledge as part of a deal, along with Gomez, a huge talent, along with two top-tier pitching prospects.

You may be right, that the Twins will take the better pitching prospect, even though he's failed to even show command at AA, ahead of the two AAA/MLB guys along with two outfield talents. But I think you're wrong.

And yet you still use Alfonso as an example for why the Mets should try Wright at second.

You really seem to have trouble with multi-tiered arguments.

The two issues are that Wright would be learning a new position AND that his offense is likely to suffer as a result of playing a more demanding defensive position. Alfonzo is an example to address the second part of the argument. We don't have a whole lot of data either way relating to the first part.

No, the argument against the idea, which you dismiss all too easily is the fact that learning to play 2nd base for the first time at the Major League level is impractical and ridiculous. It could lead to injury, it will almost certainly result in lower production at the plate, and it is very likely that he won't be good at it.

I'm glad you are comfortable passing off your opinion as fact. Yes, it could lead to injury- as can playing third base. I'm simply not sold that it will lead to lower production at the plate, and I'm reasonably certain that the difference between A-Rod and Luis Castillo will more than make up for any loss in production. And I think, though we are both guessing, that Wright's natural talents lend themselves to being a good second baseman. I think there would be growing pains, but I think he'd be good at it, and I believe he'd put the work in to maximize how good he could be, given how he works on his game now.

Why does everyone understand this but you?

It's hard to say. Sometimes we're on an island. I'm not dismissing that such a move would have some degree of difficulty- I simply think the move has a better chance to work than most, and that the upside makes it worth it.
I'm not particularly worried about people disagreeing with me, especially when their atguments (well, yours, really, Sam actually backs his up) is "Moving David Wright to second base is impractical and ridiculous because moving David Wright to second base is impractical and ridiculous."
   112. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:17 PM (#2600398)
Posada career has a slight platoon advantage; 886 OPS vs lefties and 850 vs righties. He's played 20 games at first in his career; Yankee fans, how did he look there? If you bring him in, you could potentially move him a little between the two positions. Delgado could definitely use someone to spot him against lefties, and if you come back with Castro then he wouldn't be a horrible option to catch some games vs lefties. Perhaps play him at first 15-20 times a year, have him catch another 120 or so, and you get the same 140-145 games he always plays, and maybe you save a little wear and tear on him.

This is a really good point- Posada could save you the money for bringing in a good righty offensive bat to spot Delgado at 1B. Hadn't thought of this.
   113. Conor Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:25 PM (#2600410)
The two issues are that Wright would be learning a new position AND that his offense is likely to suffer as a result of playing a more demanding defensive position. Alfonzo is an example to address the second part of the argument. We don't have a whole lot of data either way relating to the first part.


But it isn't the same. It isn't just the offense of Wright suffering because he is playing a more demanding defensive position; it's his offense suffering because he has to learn how to play a mroe demanding position. Fonzie had already played the position before, and in fact he had already played an even more demanding position than second. You can't say that Wright won't have any trouble with his bat moving to second because Fonzie did because Fonzie was moving back to a position he had already played. The transition for Wright will be much harder than it was for Fonzie.


"I'm not particularly worried about people disagreeing with me, especially when their atguments (well, yours, really, Sam actually backs his up) is "Moving David Wright to second base is impractical and ridiculous because moving David Wright to second base is impractical and ridiculous."

You could understand why people who disagree with you aren't exactly swayed by "Wrights bat won't suffer from moving to second because when Fonzie moved back to second his didn't either" though, right?
   114. Dizzypaco Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:27 PM (#2600413)
I have an idea that I know Howard will support. Move Wright to catcher - two problems solved at once! After all, there's no real evidence that learning a new position affects your offense, and if learning a new position is not big deal, why not?
   115. Srul Itza Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:43 PM (#2600439)
I would really, really like for Alex Rodriguez to be a Met

What do you have against the Mets.

Whoever gets A-Rod will not see a WS. He is an albatross.

A supremely talented albatross. An Inner Circle Hall of Fame albatross.

But an albatross nonetheless.

Let this one go by.
   116. formerly dp Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:45 PM (#2600444)
I just have to weigh in on this briefly-

All crazy talk. Why would you get A-Rod? It is signing the right player at the wrong time. Just because the Mets should've had him in the first place (they spent the Rod's money on a huge pile of crap at a time when they needed him most), doesn't mean they should try to right the wrong now. F*ck Santana too. The Mets should only sign FAs this offseason, and give Ollie a huge deal. Money is no object, but talent is. You start dealing Milledge and Gomez (maybe Gomez, but he's got to have lost some value after last season), Pelfrey and Humber, and this is going to be a frontloaded team with very little upside.

Look, what happened in 2007 was traumatic. I don't know what zombie ate Reyes's brain, but I hope he's coughed it back up. The notion that this team needs to make noise for the sake of making noise is crazy. Ideally you sign A-Rod, but there's no where to put him. No where. Wright isn't gonna learn 2B. It's a dangerous place to hang out; the risk of a traumatic knee injury is higher there than anywhere else on the diamond. And you don't want to screw up your pitching staff by running a defense out there with no range- they'll have to throw that many more pitches, which is gonna be an issue this year due to Pedro, Maine and Hernandez.

I can't be the only non-Sam person here that doesn't remember the Mets long string of signing guys for the wrong stretch of their careers...the only way you sign Arod is if you make him a 1B.

BTW_ OMAR should be continually skewered for losing Flores.
   117. CrosbyBird Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:48 PM (#2600448)
Jose Reyes is better than the best pitcher in baseball, even if Reyes doesn't get better? Money aside, I wouldn't trade Pujols for Santana. I wouldn't trade ARod for Santana. And that is it. In my opinion, Win shares underrates the value of great starting pitchers.

First of all, you're really underrating Reyes.

Jose Reyes had 112.2 runs created in 2007, 13th in the NL. He was an exceptional defensive player at the most difficult defensive position. He is the best base-stealer in MLB. He may have already been one of the top 20 players in baseball last year. He was certainly one of the top 10 overall position players in the NL.

That he had the misfortune of sharing a division with a better hitter at the same position (although overall weaker player), a very good hitter having a career year on a better offensive team at the same position, and an MVP season offensively and defensively from the 3B on his own team should not detract from how good he was.

Secondly, I don't really put a lot of stock in win shares in general, so that's not the basis for my argument of the relative value of pitcher vs. position player. The argument is simple playing time. Reyes played over 1400 innings of defense. He had 765 PA. If the two are even close to equal in performance when they are on the field, Santana can't catch up.

If we're talking 2004 Santana, okay, that's a different story. But I don't think even he's that good. And I consider him to be the best pitcher in baseball.
   118. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2600462)
You can't say that Wright won't have any trouble with his bat moving to second because Fonzie did because Fonzie was moving back to a position he had already played. The transition for Wright will be much harder than it was for Fonzie.

Dear Lord. I'm not saying that. I am saying we know in and of itself, a move from 3B to 2B won't necessarily hurt a player's offense. I do think the move could impact Wright- but it is an unknown component, and since I am optimistic about his ability to make this move, as well as the known upside of improving from Luis Castillo to Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, I'm for it.


You could understand why people who disagree with you aren't exactly swayed by "Wrights bat won't suffer from moving to second because when Fonzie moved back to second his didn't either" though, right?

Of course! My argument isn't, "I'm certain that moving Wright to second will have no consequences." Certainty about this in either direction is ludicrous- we simply don't know. My argument is that given Wright's athletic ability, the fact that merely moving from 3B to 2B has not killed other players' offense, and the known upgrade in lineup from Castillo to Rodriguez, it is a chance worth taking.

I also think reasonable people can disagree with this. Sam makes vital points- they are subjective ones, and I differ with him on them, but they are understandable, to say the least.

My position is not the safest one- but I don't see the risk as so great as to offset the huge upside of such a move. For those who feel it is far riskier than I do, it is a different equation.
   119. Fat Al Posted: October 30, 2007 at 06:59 PM (#2600468)
   120. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:06 PM (#2600473)
Wright seemed to feel Rodriguez was a perfect match -- and that was before A-Rod blasted through the greatest regular season of the last 50 years

The above is from Klapisch's article. Try if you can to take the article seriously after that. Also, DW backs off a bit from his enthusiasm about moving to second.
   121. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:10 PM (#2600477)
I just don't know why the Mets would want to make their team all about endless "what's wrong with A-Rod?" questions. That's what's going to happen unless the guy replicates 2007 for the forseeable future, which he won't.

The Mets are going to have to deal with enough baggage next year as it is without adding his freak show to the mix. There's going to be a Williewatch if the team is 20-20 in May and/or every time it loses three in a row. Adversity that would be normal to any other team is going to seem crushing to them because of what happened in September.

The Mets are going to have to find a way to do something they haven't done the last two seasons - take it to the next level and start playing like the champions they can be - and they're going to have to do it in the toughest, most unforgiving environment this particular cohort has ever experienced.

The absolute LAST thing they need is for every one of their games to be turned into a referendum on A-Rod.
   122. Fat Al Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:11 PM (#2600478)
Also, DW backs off a bit from his enthusiasm about moving to second.


By text message. Which I love, it's so "meta" or whatever the kids say these days.
   123. Conor Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:13 PM (#2600480)
My argument is that given Wright's athletic ability, the fact that merely moving from 3B to 2B has not killed other players' offense, and the known upgrade in lineup from Castillo to Rodriguez, it is a chance worth taking.



Yes, and you seem to be ignoring the fact that the other players you reference have already played the position before. That is completely different than moving a guy who has never played the position before.

Dear Lord. I'm not saying that. I am saying we know in and of itself, a move from 3B to 2B won't necessarily hurt a player's offense.


No. You are saying that moving back to second base from third didn't hurt the bat of Edgardo Alfonzo. I have no idea why you think that proves the case would be the same for Wright.

How many guys have made the transition you suggest? Guys who played one position their entire minor league career, and through their first few in the majors, and then moved up the defensive spectrum? I would honestly like to know. If there have been a ton of guys who have done it without hurting their offense,(especially if they made the same third to second transition) I would feel a lot better. But citing Edgardo Alfonzo doesn't really do it for me. Alfonzo was a short stop; the fact that he was able to handle second base without it having an impact on his offense does nothing to convince me that Wright could do it.
   124. rfloh Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2600482)
In my opinion, Win shares underrates the value of great starting pitchers. If I knew Reyes would be the fifth best player in baseball, I wouldn't trade Santana to get him.


So, use something else. BPro had Santana at 57.7 VORP this year. Reyes at 46.2 VORP. This is without taking into account defense.

It's the same using runs above average. The gap between Reyes and Santana really isn't all that notable.
   125. BDC Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:17 PM (#2600484)
Money and length of contract aside, I would never trade a 24/25-year-old starting-All-Star position player for any pitcher who ever lived. You would be trading five or six years of close-to-guaranteed everyday All-Star play for a highly uncertain five or six years at one spot in your rotation.

Now obviously there have been conceivable trades like that in the past that would have worked out great: Wally Joyner for Roger Clemens in the winter of 86-87, for instance. But how about Wally Joyner for Dwight Gooden in the same winter? Would that have looked like a magnificent deal for the Angels, or what?

Young stars like Wright and Reyes are almost never traded, let alone even-up for pitchers, so it's hard to find an example offhand -- Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio comes to mind, though Brock was nowhere near as established as the young Mets. Roger Maris for Don Larsen, maybe, though that was part of a larger deal, nor was Maris yet a star. Keith Hernandez for Neil Allen, though Keith was older and that was more than a bit of a fire sale ... these trades do not work out real well for the team that got pitching in return ...
   126. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:23 PM (#2600489)
No. You are saying that moving back to second base from third didn't hurt the bat of Edgardo Alfonzo. I have no idea why you think that proves the case would be the same for Wright.

Ok, for the last time- no I'm not saying that. I've made this point four times now. It DOESN'T prove the case for Wright. It proves part of the case-that merely moving from 3B to 2B won't necessarily hurt his offense. In other words, the added stress of playing 2B over 3B. It does not take into account learning a new position as opposed to merely returning to a position he'd already occupied.

My point about the other half, the learning a new position part, is that given his athletic ability, and the upside in moving from Castillo to A-Rod in the lineup, it presents an acceptable risk to me. THIS IS THE SUBJECTIVE PART.

How many guys have made the transition you suggest? Guys who played one position their entire minor league career, and through their first few in the majors, and then moved up the defensive spectrum? I would honestly like to know.

There haven't been that many. But given the particular players involved, I like the chances of making it work- and the level of defense they get from the new arrangement would have to be historically awful to make it a losing proposition, given the huge upgrade it provides offensively.
   127. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2600490)
Money and length of contract aside, I would never trade a 24/25-year-old starting-All-Star position player for any pitcher who ever lived. You would be trading five or six years of close-to-guaranteed everyday All-Star play for a highly uncertain five or six years at one spot in your rotation.

This nails it for me- why you trade the prospects for Santana, but not Wright/Reyes.
   128. Dizzypaco Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:28 PM (#2600496)
Money and length of contract aside, I would never trade a 24/25-year-old starting-All-Star position player for any pitcher who ever lived. You would be trading five or six years of close-to-guaranteed everyday All-Star play for a highly uncertain five or six years at one spot in your rotation.

What makes guys like Santana, and Greg Maddux, and Roger Clemens, and Tom Seaver, and Warren Spahn, and Walter Johnson so valuable is that they are/were relatively certain. Having a pitcher who is very highly likely to be both durable and terrific is extremely valuable. It is much easier to replace Reyes on the open market than Santana. There are lots and lots of guys you can sign to replace his skills (a combination of pretty good offense and good defense at short). It is extremely difficult to find or replae guys are likely to be among the best pitchers in baseball year after year. Just ask the Yankees. Or the Mets, for that matter.

Johan Santana is not Dwight Gooden in 1986 (who was 21 years old at the time). Comparing Santana to Ernie Broglio or Don Larsen or Neil Allen is rather astonishing. How well did it work out for the Mets when they traded Tom Seaver? How well did it work out for the Cubs when they let Maddux go? How well did it work out for the Red Sox when they decided they didn't need Clemens around any more?

It's the same using runs above average. The gap between Reyes and Santana really isn't all that notable.

Its very notable, because its easier to replace 50 runs on an offensive player than on pitching by spending enough money. If you don't have at least one top level pitcher, its very difficult to obtain one, and its very difficult to win the whole thing.
   129. Fat Al Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:30 PM (#2600500)
Its very notable, because its easier to replace 50 runs on an offensive player than on pitching by spending enough money. If you don't have at least one top level pitcher, its very difficult to obtain one, and its very difficult to win the whole thing.


Hard to argue with this.
   130. Conor Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:32 PM (#2600503)
There haven't been that many. But given the particular players involved, I like the chances of making it work- and the level of defense they get from the new arrangement would have to be historically awful to make it a losing proposition, given the huge upgrade it provides offensively.


I can finally understand your point about Fonzie and Wright. Not sure if I buy it, but fine. I think the biggest issue by moving Wright to second isn't that he won't be a good defender there, which I think will be the case. I think the biggest issue he has no idea what he is doing there and he gets hurt and we are playing Castillo there anyway.
   131. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:37 PM (#2600507)
Wallace Matthews is the Ann Coulter of sports columnists, only dumber and with his invective aimed at Mets fans instead. *yawn*


And he doesn't look nearly as good in skirt and knee boots...
   132. Sam M. Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:41 PM (#2600513)
I don't think A-Rod has to answer to anybody regarding whether he's a team player. After a MVP/GG SS season he shifted to 3B to accomodate his new situation. He will likely be the only man in MLB history to do this.

I agree. But this whole discussion about moving David Wright is a hypothetical whose premise is based on the assumption that A-Rod will sign with the Mets ONLY if he can play 3B. If he's willing to move (to LF, say), then we don't have the issue in the first place. And then I'm perfectly happy for the Mets to pursue him.

So any criticism I've implied of A-Rod in this thread is purely working off the presumption we're starting with, which is that his bargaining stance would lead the Mets to have to move the wrong guy to a position that is a huge risk for him to play, and treats that guy exactly the way an organization should not treat a cornerstone player. Remove that presumption, and we have a whole different conversation.
   133. Dizzypaco Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2600515)
I think the biggest issue he has no idea what he is doing there and he gets hurt and we are playing Castillo there anyway.

If he has no idea what he's doing, or can't learn to turn the double play, he's not going to keep playing there, even if he's healthy. He'll need a new position. Short is filled. Third is filled. First is filled. Center is filled. So what will happen is that he'll move to left field. Which makes him far less valuable, even if his offense doesn't go off the cliff.
   134. BDC Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2600517)
What makes guys like Santana, and Greg Maddux, and Roger Clemens, and Tom Seaver, and Warren Spahn, and Walter Johnson so valuable is that they are/were relatively certain

Well, you're invoking crystal-clear hindsight in five of those six cases :)

Comparing Santana to Ernie Broglio or Don Larsen or Neil Allen is rather astonishing

Yes, because there are so few cases of a 20-something position-player star being traded for a pitcher.

How well did it work out for the Mets when they traded Tom Seaver?

You could just as easily ask how well the Indians made out by trading Sam McDowell, or Oakland by trading Mark Mulder, or the Phillies by trading Rick Wise. My point is simply that you just do not know about pitchers, even Johan Santana.
   135. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:43 PM (#2600519)
And he doesn't look nearly as good in skirt and knee boots...

Ann Coulter. Ewww. I think I may be as sexually attracted to her as Sam M.
   136. Dizzypaco Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:44 PM (#2600520)
So any criticism I've implied of A-Rod in this thread is purely working off the presumption we're starting with, which is that his bargaining stance would lead the Mets to have to move the wrong guy to a position that is a huge risk for him to play, and treats that guy exactly the way an organization should not treat a cornerstone player. Remove that presumption, and we have a whole different conversation.

If ARod is willing to move to left field, I suppose its a different conversation, but would you be willing to give that much money to a 32 year old left fielder, even if he does hit like ARod? Keep in mind that even if there is no one else to give the money to this year, there could be some superstars next year to throw money at.
   137. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:45 PM (#2600522)
If he has no idea what he's doing, or can't learn to turn the double play, he's not going to keep playing there, even if he's healthy. He'll need a new position. Short is filled. Third is filled. First is filled. Center is filled. So what will happen is that he'll move to left field. Which makes him far less valuable, even if his offense doesn't go off the cliff.

This is the point I tried to make yesterday but you've made it much better than I did.
   138. billyshears Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:46 PM (#2600524)
Based on my observations of David Wright for the past few seasons, I have little reason to believe that he could handle second base defensively. I understand Howard's point, but does anybody really think that D-Wright could be a competent defensive second baseman?
   139. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:47 PM (#2600526)
I agree. But this whole discussion about moving David Wright is a hypothetical whose premise is based on the assumption that A-Rod will sign with the Mets ONLY if he can play 3B. If he's willing to move (to LF, say), then we don't have the issue in the first place. And then I'm perfectly happy for the Mets to pursue him.

So any criticism I've implied of A-Rod in this thread is purely working off the presumption we're starting with, which is that his bargaining stance would lead the Mets to have to move the wrong guy to a position that is a huge risk for him to play, and treats that guy exactly the way an organization should not treat a cornerstone player. Remove that presumption, and we have a whole different conversation.


And for what it's worth, I attack this avenue before I move Wright.


So what will happen is that he'll move to left field. Which makes him far less valuable, even if his offense doesn't go off the cliff.


Actually, I believe league average for 3B and LF are roughly equivalent, no?
   140. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:48 PM (#2600529)
Based on my observations of David Wright for the past few seasons, I have little reason to believe that he could handle second base defensively. I understand Howard's point, but does anybody really think that D-Wright could be a competent defensive second baseman?

Well, I do.
   141. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:49 PM (#2600532)
And I like Kershaw, don't get me wrong- but you're talking about a guy with 24 IP above A-ball, and 17 walks in those 24 IP. Good pitching prospect? Sure. But a long way from ready, and the Twins need major-league ready players. Humber/Pelfrey are both there.

You may be right, that the Twins will take the better pitching prospect, even though he's failed to even show command at AA, ahead of the two AAA/MLB guys along with two outfield talents. But I think you're wrong.


I think you misrepresent the organizational needs of the Twins. In terms of young, MLB-ready starters, the Twins would have Liriano, Garza, Baker, Bonser, Slowey, and Perkins even after trading Santana. Would either Pelfrey or Humber be a sure bet to make the team next year? They look to be basically interchangeable with the guys the Twins already have to fill out the back end of the rotation. Unless they see Gomez as an All-Star caliber player, which in my mind is a possible but unlikely position, the Twins would appear to be better served by the Dodgers' offer (assuming Kemp v. Milledge is reasonably close). A potential frontline starter is more valuable than a few marginal upgrades.
   142. Dizzypaco Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2600534)
Yes, because there are so few cases of a 20-something position-player star being traded for a pitcher.

The better way to put it is that there are no cases of a 20-something position player star being traded for the best pitcher in baseball, over the period of several years. Comparing Santana to Neil Allen is like comparing Albert Pujols to Bob Bailor.

You could just as easily ask how well the Indians made out by trading Sam McDowell, or Oakland by trading Mark Mulder, or the Phillies by trading Rick Wise. My point is simply that you just do not know about pitchers, even Johan Santana.

None of those guys could be considered the best pitcher in baseball during the time in which they played. Pitchers are, on average, less predictable than position players, but Santana is more predictable than any other pitcher alive, which is what makes him so valuable - and similar to guys like Seaver and Clemens and Maddux and Randy Johnson. If you lose Reyes, you can go out and sign another postition player who is of equal value. There is no pitcher comparable to Santana right now.
   143. Loren F. Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2600536)
Let me say something here about Johan Santana and his value to a contending team.

As a Yankees fan, I'll tell you that the one thing I really wish the team had for the last few years was a dominant ace, a guy like Johan Santana (or Jake Peavy or Brandon Webb, etc.). In the regular season, having pitchers who could, at their best, put up an ERA+ of 118 was enough because the offense scored so many runs that over 162 games, that combination generated 90+ wins. The problem came in the postseason, where the Yankees starting pitching was just not good enough. (Obviously, it would have helped this year's series against Cleveland if the Yankees lineup scored more runs in games 2 and 4, but once again the starting pitching was not enough: Wang and Clemens stank, and Mussina looked good only by comparison to Wang.)

Based on his 2004 & 2006 postseason performances, Santana would easily have been the best pitcher for NYY in the 2007 ALDS. In other words, Santana seems like the kind of pitcher who can put you over the top in the postseason, the player who can make the difference between a first-round playoff exit and a World Series trophy.

I know that in the regular season, each league has probably 8 or 9 players more valuable than Santana. But when you get into the postseason, it's awfully nice to have that ace that you can count on. And Santana is the most durable, reliable ace in baseball now. Teams like the Mets have to plan for how they'll win the division, but they also have to plan for how they'll win in the playoffs. All this talk about how Reyes was more valuable than Santana this past year is true. But Santana's value increases in the postseason; think about it: in the regular season, Santana starts 20%-21% of your games; in the postseason, he starts 29% (2 of 7) or even 40% (2 of 5) of your games. You have to factor this into your calculus of Santana's value.

I'm not underestimating Jose Reyes's value, and I'm not saying this would make it worthwhile to the Mets to trade Reyes for Santana. But if that trade is possible, and the Mets can sign Santana to an extension, Reyes-for-Santana is something I would at least consider.
   144. Dizzypaco Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:55 PM (#2600538)
Based on my observations of David Wright for the past few seasons, I have little reason to believe that he could handle second base defensively. I understand Howard's point, but does anybody really think that D-Wright could be a competent defensive second baseman?

Well, I do.


Its possible that he could be a competent defensive second baseman, but its also very possible that he'll be a disaster, leading to an expensive mess. He's never played the position, so none of us can predict the odds with any degree of accuracy, but I wouldn't take the chance.
   145. Sam M. Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:56 PM (#2600541)
Ann Coulter. Ewww. I think I may be as sexually attracted to her as Sam M.

That could be taken two ways, you know. And since I'm pretty sure you didn't mean to suggest anything about how attracted I am to Ann Coulter . . . .

I think I'm insulted by it. I think everyone should be more attracted to me than to Ann Coulter. Not just straight women and gay men. Even straight men and lesbians. Certainly bisexuals. Maybe I'd make an exception for really submissive gay men with domination/leather fetishes. I can see why they'd be into Coulter more than me.
   146. formerly dp Posted: October 30, 2007 at 07:58 PM (#2600544)
but does anybody really think that D-Wright could be a competent defensive second baseman?

He seems to fall asleep at the switch every now and then; I just think he'll get creamed there at some point. In a comment on why he thought Robbie Alomar was going to be so good, Bill James said it was largely that he knew how to get out of the way of the runner, which would keep him from having his hitting derailed by knee problems. Not all knee injuries are traumatic; Wright wouldn't have to miss a season for the wear and tear of getting creamed consistently at 2B to get to him.

And I know this is completely subjective, but he doesn't look like he has the body for 2B.

The Rod as a LF isn't much of a gain, certainly not worth $30 million, unless you're banking on LF not causing as much of a decline as 3B would. Plus we're stacking in the OF; Gomez/Beltran/Milledge will be a hell of a defensive OF for years. The only question is if the Mets will have the stones to swap Gomez and Beltran as he starts to slide.

I say try to buy whatever short term FAs you can for '08, take a shot with the talent on hand, and let Humber, Pelfrey, Gomez and Martinez develop for another year while Milledge shows he's a top 5 RF.

And people need to stop saying Milledge has an attitude problem b/c he's got dreds. He wisely got rid of them, I think at least in part so people wouldn't infer as much as they were. Cohen might as well just get it over with and call him nappy-haired every time he comes to the plate...
   147. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2600551)
I think I'm insulted by it. I think everyone should be more attracted to me than to Ann Coulter. Not just straight women and gay men. Even straight men and lesbians. Certainly bisexuals. Maybe I'd make an exception for really submissive gay men with domination/leather fetishes. I can see why they'd be into Coulter more than me.

Don't be insulted, I'm just a doofus with language. I'm assuming you have zero attraction to Ann Coulter and I'm right there with you. In fact, even though I'm straight and have never met you, I'd bet Daric Barton's career I'd be more attracted to you than Ann Coulter. She looks like she's been animated by Ray Harryhausen with the mind of something Marty Feldman dug up on the set of a Mel Brooks film. Yikes!
   148. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2600552)
I think you misrepresent the organizational needs of the Twins. In terms of young, MLB-ready starters, the Twins would have Liriano, Garza, Baker, Bonser, Slowey, and Perkins even after trading Santana.

These pitchers run the gamut from ineffective to coming off of major surgery to very inexperienced. Assuming MLB-level performance from five of six seems very optimistic to me.

In addition, it's Milledge for CF. And Gomez, who, if the Twins think is merely average, profiles as a low-cost regular for a while.

Meanwhile, Kershaw certainly doesn't figure to make the 2008 Twins either- not until he's gotten his BB/9 under 6 in AA.
   149. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:06 PM (#2600554)
I say try to buy whatever short term FAs you can for '08, take a shot with the talent on hand, and let Humber, Pelfrey, Gomez and Martinez develop for another year while Milledge shows he's a top 5 RF.

And there's a good case to be made for this. But how about doing just that, and adding A-Rod? Costs you no players... ready-made replacements for El Duque when he gets hurt... set in RF for the next 4-6 years... and Gomez to develop for 2009.

A lot to be said for this. It'd take a Johan Santana to change my mind.
   150. JPWF13 Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:08 PM (#2600559)
What makes guys like Santana, and Greg Maddux, and Roger Clemens, and Tom Seaver, and Warren Spahn, and Walter Johnson so valuable is that they are/were relatively certain. Having a pitcher who is very highly likely to be both durable and terrific is extremely valuable.


No they weren't, you only know that AFTER the fact.
Te simple fact is that pitchers are MUCH more likely than hitters to under go sudden and irreversible performance collapses. Sure it happens to hitters- Alomar and Fregosi come to mind, but it happens much mroe frequently to pitchers.

Look at Broglio, 4 years prior to being traded for Brock, he posted ERA+s of 149, 108, 143, 120. Coming off a 250 ip 120 ERA+ season- He never cleared 100 agains and was out of baseball in 3 years.

Frank Tanana reeled off three straight season of 134, 136 and 154. He got hurt and was never the same pitcher again- though he did regain some effectiveness and had a long career.

Santana IS a great pitcher. He has a career ERA+ of 140, and he's probably more likely than any other SP to put up a 140 in 200+ ip next year than any other pitcher in baseball. If he puts up a 140 in 225 ip in 2008 and Reyes has an OPS+ of 105 in 700 PA - then I think Santana is more valuable.

BUT- Reyes is more likely to do 700/105 than Santana is to go 140/225, specifically, it's less unlikely that Reyes value might suddenly evaporate. That's why hitters get more $ in roto, that's why hitters get longer contracts than pitchers in real baseball. That's why you only trade a star position player, especially one under 30, straight up for a pitcher when the pitcher is MUCH MUCH MUCH better.

Simply put, a hitter who is 30 runs better than average has greater TRADE VALUE than a pitcher who is 30 runs better than average. No one here is a real life Nostradamus - we can't predict the futures of individual players- but we do know what the aggregates will work out to. If you have 10 24 year old Reyes and 10 28 year old Santanas: 3 Reyes will go on to have HOF careers*, 3 will have HoVG careers, 3 will be productive but disappointing for a few years, one will flame out in a year or two. 3-4 Santanas will go the HOF, one or two may even be an all time great, 1-2 will will be good but not really great after age 29 or so, 1-2 will be good to mediocre for a # of years, 2-3 will flame out pretty quickly.


Then throw in the contract situation- multiple years of Reye's prime for one (1) year of Santana?
   151. Sam M. Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:08 PM (#2600560)
She looks like she's been animated by Ray Harryhausen with the mind of something Marty Feldman dug up on the set of a Mel Brooks film.

My point exactly! (And I wasn't really insulted. Just kidding.)
   152. CrosbyBird Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:08 PM (#2600562)
Having a pitcher who is very highly likely to be both durable and terrific is extremely valuable. It is much easier to replace Reyes on the open market than Santana.

I agree with the former statement but not the latter. And here's why:

There are lots and lots of guys you can sign to replace his skills (a combination of pretty good offense and good defense at short).

For starters, Reyes has better than merely good defense at SS.

Most of the time, you have to choose between below-average offense in a great glove, or defensive shortcomings for strong offense.

Using 2007 as a baseline, Reyes is above-average offensively for the position by around 50 points of OPS, more heavily weighted towards OBP, with GG-contending defense. That's a clear All-Star player. The idea that there are "lots and lots" of All-Star SS available to sign is pretty outrageous.

That's without ever stealing a base. Reyes is also an exceptional talent on the bases. Certainly HR are better than SB, but Reyes steals a tremendous amount of bases, with a fairly strong success rate (over 75% in 2007, over 80% for his career).

As for how difficult it is to find a top level pitcher, that's definitely true. But look what it costs to get one. It cost Hanley Ramirez and Anibel Sanchez to get Beckett, a guy who didn't have nearly the cred Santana does. And that was pre-injury Sanchez. And they had to take Lowell as well for salary relief. (That Lowell turned out to have a decent 2006 and a very good 2007 was a nice bonus.)

As much as the Sox might not care now, it was a fairly different story at the end of the 2006 season, following Sanchez with a no-hitter, Ramirez with a very strong season, and Beckett having a pretty poor season. That was looking like a monstrous bust of a trade.
   153. JPWF13 Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:11 PM (#2600564)
I think I'm insulted by it. I think everyone should be more attracted to me than to Ann Coulter.


I'm sorry, but I'm really homophobic, as repulsive as her personality is, unless you were REALLY effeminate, I'd have to go for her first...

but that's just me.

edit, but I'm sure I'd much rather have a few beers with you (or any poster here) than be alone with her...
   154. Dizzypaco Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:12 PM (#2600567)
But how about doing just that, and adding A-Rod? Costs you no players

Signing ARod costs you whatever players you would have signed with the 200 to 300 million you are giving him. Even if there's no one this year that's particularly great, there could easily be a top free agent in a year or two that you'd want to spend the money on. Of course, this is true for everyone; the difference is that that the Mets already have star players at the two positions where ARod is most valuable.
   155. Dizzypaco Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:19 PM (#2600573)
Using 2007 as a baseline, Reyes is above-average offensively for the position by around 50 points of OPS, more heavily weighted towards OBP, with GG-contending defense. That's a clear All-Star player. The idea that there are "lots and lots" of All-Star SS available to sign is pretty outrageous.

I didn't say theyare are lots and lots of All star SS. I said there are lots and lots of all star position players. You can get a decent shortstop (Renteria for example), and then get an all star that plays second base, or left field, or catcher, and it comes out the same. Lacking an all star shortstop is definitely not the same thing as lacking an all star starting pitcher.

As for how difficult it is to find a top level pitcher, that's definitely true. But look what it costs to get one. It cost Hanley Ramirez and Anibel Sanchez to get Beckett, a guy who didn't have nearly the cred Santana does.

Doesn't this prove how valuable Santana really is? Except there when the Red Sox traded Ramirez, he just a good prospect, coming off an okay year. There was no way that anyone could have reasonably predicted that Ramirez was going to be as good as he is. But that's a whole different topic...
   156. HowardMegdal Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2600574)
Even if there's no one this year that's particularly great, there could easily be a top free agent in a year or two that you'd want to spend the money on. Of course, this is true for everyone; the difference is that that the Mets already have star players at the two positions where ARod is most valuable.

with the boost in their revenues, the lack of money spent in the 2006 offseason, the unattractive FA class this winter, and the playoff appearances stemming from the signing... you're pretty much even- at least.
   157. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:22 PM (#2600579)
My point exactly! (And I wasn't really insulted. Just kidding.)

Oh I know. I was just playing along. My best friend in NYC is gay and we have a schtick that I'm inadvertently transferring here because you seem to have a good sense of humor. He calls me a homophobe and I call him a homophobe-aphobe and so on. He tells me about how much he likes Ethel Merman and I regale him with stories about my baseball cards. We're a freakin laugh riot!

Oh yeah. Leave David Wright alone!
   158. formerly dp Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:26 PM (#2600586)
Reyes also tanked mightily down the stretch. His season is propped up by some unreal numbers early on, but I'm worried about his ability to repeat last year's aggregate performance without a real change in his approach. It's likely that the Twins (Christian Guzman) would be as aware of this as anyone...

I love Reyes and the guy has a world of talent, but if he and Manny didn't switch brains for the last 6 weeks of the season, the Mets coast to the playoffs.
   159. KronicFatigue Posted: October 30, 2007 at 08:37 PM (#2600594)
I was reading through this thread hoping someone would eventually bring up the points made in 150. Big market teams should value an ace more than their position player counterpart. They're more likely to build a playoff team around that player w/ their resources, and then they'll have the advantage in the playoffs. Especially w/ the current playoff system of 5 game alds and tons of days off.
   160. 1k5v3L Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:00 PM (#2600619)
I think I'm insulted by it. I think everyone should be more attracted to me than to Ann Coulter. Not just straight women and gay men. Even straight men and lesbians. Certainly bisexuals. Maybe I'd make an exception for really submissive gay men with domination/leather fetishes. I can see why they'd be into Coulter more than me.


Sam, I'm so much more into you than I'm into Coulter. In fact, she'd seriously make me consider abandoning heterosexuality if we got stranded on a desert island... ok, maybe not, but I'd need a lot of duct tape.
   161. Karl from NY Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:00 PM (#2600621)
rpackrat posted way back in #54:

a gold-glove caliber shortstop who consistently posts an .800 OPS and steals lots of bases is nothing to sneeze at.


Here's Reyes' OPS by year (most recent first):

.775 , .841 , .686 , .644 (in 53 G), .768 (in 69 G)

That's not a consistent .800 OPS. That's a mid-.700s player with one fluke year. Reyes is certainly a good player, but not nearly special enough to be irreplaceable. I'd trade him for Santana if the deal came with an extension for Santana. (And making that trade, then signing A-Rod to play SS, would be spectacular.)

For comparison, here is Wright's OPS by year:

.962 , .912, .911, .857 (in 69 G)

THAT is HOF caliber, with which, as Sam keeps reiterating, you do not mess. At all.

Reyes and Wright are often lumped together by the media and other discussions about the team, but they're completely different players. Wright is far more valuable.
   162. CrosbyBird Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:05 PM (#2600625)
Doesn't this prove how valuable Santana really is?

No, I think it shows how much he might command in a trade, which is a little different. There's market value and there's on-field value, and I think pitching has a much worse on-field to market value ratio, so to speak, than position players do. It's harder to get great pitching in the open market; that doesn't mean a fair trade of market value translates into a fair trade of on-field results.

I was reading through this thread hoping someone would eventually bring up the points made in 150. Big market teams should value an ace more than their position player counterpart. They're more likely to build a playoff team around that player w/ their resources, and then they'll have the advantage in the playoffs. Especially w/ the current playoff system of 5 game alds and tons of days off.

I think that's a fair consideration.

Of course, there is more than one option even in this off-season. How about signing Schilling to a massive one-year deal? This serves two purposes:

1) It shows Santana that for the right pitcher, the Mets will spend tons of money.

2) Schilling + Reyes has to be better than Santana for the 2008 Mets.

Ultimately, the Mets can pay a huge price for Santana now (I don't think it's worth it, mind you, but I understand the argument), or they can wait one year and hope he tests the waters of FA, and bid competitively to get him. If they trade something as significant as Reyes for him, they lose all their leverage in negotiations. Trading Reyes for 1 year of Santana would be devastating to the franchise.
   163. bunyon Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2600632)
ok, maybe not, but I'd need a lot of duct tape.

Maybe I'd make an exception for really submissive gay men with domination/leather fetishes. I can see why they'd be into Coulter more than me.


Well, I've always said I learn a lot on BTF threads.
   164. Conor Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:16 PM (#2600638)
Reyes also tanked mightily down the stretch. His season is propped up by some unreal numbers early on,


Of course, you could just as easily say his season is dragged down by some horrible numbers late.
   165. 1k5v3L Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:17 PM (#2600639)
rotoworld:

The Bergen Record's Bob Klapisch says early indicators suggest the Mets are leaning toward pursuing Alex Rodriguez, pending David Wright's blessing.

Wright reportedly told the Mets in March that he'd be willing to move for A-Rod. The Mets could try him at second base for a year and then maybe put him at first, or they could put him at first right away and deal Carlos Delgado. Of course, that'd be the easier part of the equation. Meeting Rodriguez's asking price would be a whole lot more difficult.
Source: Bergen Record
   166. Conor Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:22 PM (#2600643)
re: 168


You do know that Reyes is a gold glove SS who can steal 80 bases a year and Wright is a decent third basemen, right?

I think Wright is more valuable than Reyes, but not by a ton. Reyes was more valuable in 06 by a fair amount.
   167. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:34 PM (#2600652)
.775 , .841 , .686 , .644 (in 53 G), .768 (in 69 G)

That's not really a good way to look at things. Reyes is a qualitatively different hitter now than he was in 2005 and before. Reyes' 2005 season really doesn't have much relevance to what he will do in the near future.
   168. billyshears Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:36 PM (#2600654)
Here's Reyes' OPS by year (most recent first):

.775 , .841 , .686 , .644 (in 53 G), .768 (in 69 G)

That's not a consistent .800 OPS. That's a mid-.700s player with one fluke year.


This analysis is remarkably flawed. It is flawed because you are ignoring age, injury, position switches, secondary statistics, fielding, base running, the location of Mars in the autumn sky, etc. If you like, we can spend the next 87 posts discussing in detail the nature of each of these omissions, but I'd prefer that you just capitulate. Deal?
   169. Cowboy Popup Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:49 PM (#2600662)
This analysis is remarkably flawed. It is flawed because you are ignoring age, injury, position switches, secondary statistics, fielding, base running, the location of Mars in the autumn sky, etc. If you like, we can spend the next 87 posts discussing in detail the nature of each of these omissions, but I'd prefer that you just capitulate. Deal?

He's responding specifically to a post that claimed Reyes is an .800 OPS SS. I happen to think Reyes is just as valuable as Wright, but that doesn't mean that someone didn't make a bullshit claim on how productive Reyes has been at the plate in the past.

Reyes is certainly a good player, but not nearly special enough to be irreplaceable.

This quote, however, is what I would pick a nit with. Who would you rather have? Tulowitzki maybe?Hanley is a great player, but he's not a SS. Reyes is most certainly a special player that is damn near impossible to replace, especially with his contract.
   170. Sam M. Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:54 PM (#2600670)
This analysis is remarkably flawed.

OTOH, what that analysis DOES show is the stark contrast with Wright. We can (indeed, we have to) speculate about Reyes's trends, what his up and down season in 2007 means for his future, whether 2006 was flukish, whether his true talent level is somewhere in between .775 and .841, etc.

But David Wright? Freakishly consistent. There have been almost no third basemen like him, ever. Almost from the outset of his career, just hanging up numbers that are numbingly outstanding year after year. You know the baseline of what you're going to get; the only question is how much better he might get. It's going to be at least .300/.380/.520. Every year. Baseline, starting at age 22. 2007 was a big step beyond his baseline, still within the essential framework of that sort of season (.325/.416/.546), but just better in each respect.

God, is that a valuable thing to bring to spring training every year, that consistent superlative production. That alone makes him a much more valuable asset than Reyes.
   171. billyshears Posted: October 30, 2007 at 09:55 PM (#2600671)
He's responding specifically to a post that claimed Reyes is an .800 OPS SS.


You're right - I got a bit carried away. I still do think the fact that in the seasons during which Reyes performed poorly he did so while either very young, intermittently injured, learning a new position or with a much worse BB/K ratio indicate that his OPS figures from 2005 and earlier don't lend a whole lot of predictive value. Mentioning fielding, base running and the location of Mars in the autumn sky may have been overzealous of me.
   172. Karl from NY Posted: October 30, 2007 at 10:51 PM (#2600700)
This analysis is remarkably flawed. It is flawed because you are ignoring age, injury, position switches, secondary statistics, fielding, base running, the location of Mars in the autumn sky, etc. If you like, we can spend the next 87 posts discussing in detail the nature of each of these omissions, but I'd prefer that you just capitulate. Deal?


Well, let me put in one more stat. Reyes' career OPS+, as per bbref:

97.

He's a below-average hitter for his career. He needs some of his positional, defensive, and baserunning value just to get up to league average overall. Now, there could be reasons to expect that his future performance will exceed that 97, one of which would simply be a normal aging curve. But I don't see compelling evidence that he's ever going to be substantially better than his established career performance. 2006 is just as likely to be an upwards fluke as 2005 was to be a downwards fluke. If he was injured before, he can easily be injured again. Reyes is a very good player and certainly above league average overall, but IMO not by nearly as much as he's made out to be.

(OTOH, Wright's career OPS+ is 138. That's HUGE and solidly HOF at his position. This man is a singular talent.)
   173. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 30, 2007 at 11:03 PM (#2600706)
But I don't see compelling evidence that he's ever going to be substantially better than his established career performance.

Honestly, if you don't think Reyes is a fundamently different hitter in 2006-2007 than he was in 2005, there's really no reason to continue discussing with most Met fans because anyone who has watched the games will tell you otherwise. If you want to argue that he's not as good as he was in 2006, that's a defensible position. Saying what Reyes did in 2005 has as much as relevance as what he did in 2006 is just something that is silly, with all due respect.
   174. Karl from NY Posted: October 30, 2007 at 11:10 PM (#2600709)
OK, some more stats; let's try Win Shares which accounts for positional, defensive, baserunning, and Mars-position value. Using Hardball Times as the source for Win Shares, here are some comparable shortstops:

Reyes has 87 career WS in 596 career GP = 23.6 win shares per 162 GP
Hanley Ramirez 54 WS in 314 GP = 27.9 WS/162
Tulowitzki 26 in 155 = 27.2
Jeter 302 in 1835 = 26.7
Rafael Furcal 161 in 1114 = 23.4
Jimmy Rollins 160 in 1114 = 23.3
Jhonny Peralta 65 in 527 = 20.0

There are plenty of shortstops in the same class as Reyes for overall productivity. Any argument for Reyes being a special irreplaceable player rests on contending that his past career performance is not representative of his future career expectation. I don't buy that, other than a slight improvement as per a typical aging curve. OK, he made strides in 2006, but why is the second half of 2007 an aberration to be ignored? I think that's just as likely to be representative of his future performance as any other sample.

(And for comparison, Wright has 103 WS in 543 GP, or 30.7 WS/162. A clear cut above all those listed.)
   175. rfloh Posted: October 30, 2007 at 11:12 PM (#2600712)
#179

Do you agree that 2007 is a reasonable approximation of Reyes' future performances?

I posted this twice upthread:

BPro had Reyes at 16 batting runs above average in 2007. RZR had him at +12 runs defensively. ZR had him at +13 runs. UZR had him at +23 runs.

So, taking into account everything, about 30 runs above average.

Also, "If he was injured before, he can easily be injured again."

Yeah, so can any other player for that matter. Beltran was affected by injuries in 2006. He could be affected by injuries again.
   176. Lassus Posted: October 30, 2007 at 11:22 PM (#2600718)
I'm really not looking forward to 3 months of this discussion. Especially because I think the ones who feel the most strongly about this are going to be disappointed by the outcome. I have a friend who says he's going to boycott the Mets if A-Rod shows up and Wright moves. What would be your reaction, Sam, to the worst-case scenario?

And if you were faced with David Wright saying, "This is MY choice, not the team's. I'm choosing to move because I think it's a great idea for the team and me to get our world series ring", what would you say? All due respect, David, you're an idiot?
   177. Karl from NY Posted: October 30, 2007 at 11:22 PM (#2600719)
Do you agree that 2007 is a reasonable approximation of Reyes' future performances?


No I do not. I contend that Reyes' entire career is a more reasonable approximation of Reyes' future performances than Reyes' 2007.

I don't doubt that 30 overall runs above average is quite good and valuable, but that makes him somewhere around #5-#10 among MLB shortstops, while Wright is clearly the #2 3Bman in MLB.
   178. Amit Posted: October 31, 2007 at 01:08 AM (#2600823)
"

No I do not. I contend that Reyes' entire career is a more reasonable approximation of Reyes' future performances than Reyes' 2007."


That's fine, you can contend anything you like. It reflects no grasp of player projection, but that's fine. This is America.
   179. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 31, 2007 at 01:26 AM (#2600839)
No I do not. I contend that Reyes' entire career is a more reasonable approximation of Reyes' future performances than Reyes' 2007."

Saying this is similar to saying that you are expecting a 130 ERA+ from Greg Maddux next year. This might be something of an exaggeration but it's basically the same thinking.

BTW, it appears that Maddux posted an ERA+ under 100 for the first time since 1987. That's just mind-boggling.
   180. billyshears Posted: October 31, 2007 at 01:44 AM (#2600849)
No I do not. I contend that Reyes' entire career is a more reasonable approximation of Reyes' future performances than Reyes' 2007.

As a general matter, you're wrong. It's not a matter of opinion. In any reasonably projection system, a player's prior two seasons account for at least 80% of the data used formulate his projection for the next season. If you go three seasons back, it accounts for over 90% of the data used and any performance by a player more than four seasons in the past is basically of negligible value in formulating such player's projection for the next season. In other words, weighting ancient data equally with recent data will make a player's projection less accurate. If you believe the weighting of the data used to formulate Reyes' projection for 2008 should be materially different from the data used to formulate a projection for any other player, you've yet to give any reason for this.
   181. AJMcCringleberry Posted: October 31, 2007 at 03:28 AM (#2601001)
My 2 cents

1) If Posada wants 4 years, stay the #### away.

2) Don't trade Reyes or Wright for Santana

3) Don't move Reyes or Wright for ARod.
   182. Benji Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:25 AM (#2601052)
This Santana-mania forgets one simple truth: the Mets have traded beaucoups talent for superstar pitchers before, and it failed. Saberhagen and Viola. And for you youngsters out there, they were as highly regarded as Johan Santana is now. The imbecile NY media loved the Viola deal especially, because all they gave up was "guys named Kevin Tapani", who ended up, like Aguilera, being much more valuable than Viola was.

Trading Reyes would be a disaster. Please forget the last month, Met fans. This kid is a terrific player who had something go haywire (probably Willie's asinine "tough love" policy) and can help you 162 times a year. Santana can't. He was so inspirational to the Twins that they finished 16 games farther out of first than the Mets did.

The Mets will never trade David Wright. He has already replaced LoDuca as the "all you need to know" guy on the Mets Weekly commercials. He's the face of the franchise and we should be very happy with that.

If the Mets had a farm system like Arizona's or the Red Sox a couple of years ago, then I'd make the 4 prospects offer. But now it would leave them vulnerable to injuries, and give ABs to Ricky Ledee types and IPs to Brian Lawrence type guys.

And I have another worry about Santana. He is the penultimate lefty changeup artist, and that pitch is the fad now. Like the unhittable knuckle curve of the 70's, the unhittable 60's slider and the 80's scourge, the split finger fastball. Hitters figured those out, and they'll eventually start socking that changeup too. Then what?
   183. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2601054)
e was so inspirational to the Twins that they finished 16 games farther out of first than the Mets did.

Yep, Santana's definitely deficient -- it's not Nick Punto or Luis Castillo or Jason F. Tyner that ruined the Twins season; it was Santana.

He is the penultimate lefty changeup artist ...

There's a better lefty change-up artist?

EDIT: You are welcome to make the argument that Reyes is too dear a price to pay for Johan, but that's not because of any deficiency in Santana's delivery, results, or predictable future performance.
   184. HowardMegdal Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:34 AM (#2601055)
There's a better lefty change-up artist?

No, but there is one after Santana.

You know, Saberhagen got hurt and was then very effective before being dealt, and Viola won 20 games for the Mets (indeed, he was the last to do it). They were the problem with those Mets like Santana was the problem with the 2007 Twins. The good part about Santana is that his early workload in the bigs was as a reliever. He could get hurt- but he's a far better injury risk than either of those guys.
   185. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:36 AM (#2601058)
Me thinks people need to learn the meaning of the word "penultimate":

penultimate |pe?n?lt?mit|
adjective [ attrib. ]
last but one in a series of things; second to the last : the penultimate chapter of the book.
   186. Benji Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:40 AM (#2601060)
I'm sorry. I thought penultimate meant "best". So I actually meant Santana is the best lefty changeup artist.
   187. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:40 AM (#2601062)
I was just being pedantic. It's a bad habit and I apologize for the snark.
   188. Benji Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:44 AM (#2601065)
No need to apologize. I learned something and I'm grateful that I won't misuse that word again.
   189. HowardMegdal Posted: October 31, 2007 at 04:58 AM (#2601074)
Who knew penultimate meant last AND next to last? I just knew next to last. It makes my night that "The Last of the Mohicans" could have been called "The Penultimate Mohican."

As Dr. Nick Riviera said, "Inflammable means flammable? What a country!"
   190. TFTIO is familiar with the works of Pablo Neruda Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:01 AM (#2601077)
"Transdental electromicide is the only cure!"
   191. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:07 AM (#2601079)
But David Wright? Freakishly consistent. There have been almost no third basemen like him, ever. Almost from the outset of his career, just hanging up numbers that are numbingly outstanding year after year. You know the baseline of what you're going to get; the only question is how much better he might get. It's going to be at least .300/.380/.520. Every year. Baseline, starting at age 22. 2007 was a big step beyond his baseline, still within the essential framework of that sort of season (.325/.416/.546), but just better in each respect.


I think you exaggerate Wright's uniqueness. George Brett, Wade Boggs, Mike Schmidt, Scott Rolen, Chipper Jones, Darrell Evans, Robin Ventura, and others all performed very consistently excellently from around 22/23. Some of them had massive steps up from their baselines (Brett, obviously) and a couple had dips (Evans after five or six years had a very mediocre year; Rolen's had his injury-plagued last few seasons, etc.) but mostly they have career shapes just like Wright has for a longer period of time (without regard to quality, though most of those players were just as good as Wright is). It's a bit too early to be saying that there have been "almost no third basemen like him, ever."

Of course, I just named a group of players that are by-and-large Hall of Famers, the worst of whom are borderline or Hall of Very Good.
   192. Sam M. Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:21 AM (#2601085)
George Brett, Wade Boggs, Mike Schmidt, Scott Rolen, Chipper Jones, Darrell Evans, Robin Ventura, and others all performed very consistently excellently from around 22/23.

Well, now.

David Wright's OPS+, age 22-24: 139/133/150

At the same age, the players you named:

George Brett: 124/144/142
Mike Schmidt: 76/92/158
Scott Rolen: 121/139/119
Chipper Jones: --/108/136
Darrell Evans: 35/114/112 (the first two in extremely limited ABs)
Robin Ventura: 83/126/127

Only George Brett has been as consistent, as good, from as young an age, as David Wright. Some of the others, like Schmidt, had shown one season of what they would become. Chipper hadn't yet had a single season that was as good as Wright's 2007 -- though he was about to explode. Evans hadn't even had a single 120 OPS+ season yet; Ventura hadn't had a 130+ as he hit age 25.

I don't think I exaggerated Wright's uniqueness at all. When the only comparably consistent third baseman, at the same level of greatness at the same age, is George Brett, that's a damned unique player. No doubt, if Wright is to become a peer of Brett or Schmidt he not only has to be consistent, but going forward a hell of a lot greater. Indeed, that is true (to a lesser degree) even as to Chipper. But thus far? His age 22-24 seasons stand virtually alone as a body of work for third basemen.
   193. HowardMegdal Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:37 AM (#2601096)
So imagine how unique he'll be at second base!

Sorry, couldn't resist.
   194. Benji Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:43 AM (#2601098)
Checking out the FA list. I'd like to see the Mets go after:
Kerry Wood
Jeremy Affeldt
David Riske
Scott Linebrink
Ramon Castro
J.C. Romero and
either Marlon Anderson/Damion Easley

I think Wood could be lights out as a setup guy. Affeldt could start or relieve. I like power arms, not "gee let me see if I can fool em" guys. If they could get Wood or Linebrink, then try to trade Heilman plus for Brian Schneider plus and platoon him and Castro. I don't like Posada's defense or his age.
   195. Sam M. Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:45 AM (#2601102)
There is, by the way, one member of the inner circle to whom Wright's early career combo of consistency and greatness pales, and that is the magnificent Eddie Mathews. It can be argued that Mathews had the greatest start to a career in the history of baseball, certainly when you adjust for position. OPS+, starting at age 20, all in full-time play:

113
171
172
172
143
154

That's through his age 25 season, in 1957. Yikes.
   196. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:53 AM (#2601107)
wrong thread
   197. J. Cross Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:55 AM (#2601108)
I like you plan Benji. I really think Heilman should be traded. He's not quite good enough that you want him as your 8th inning guy and wants to be a starter anyway. I'd like to see the Mets bring in a dominant 8th inning guy, ditch Heilman and at least consider moving one of Pelfrey or Humber to the pen so they get some experience facing major league hitters.
   198. J. Cross Posted: October 31, 2007 at 05:59 AM (#2601112)
Oh, and I think we should pay gobs of the Wilpons money to A-Rod. Enough to convince him play left field.
   199. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 31, 2007 at 06:40 AM (#2601129)
He'd certainly be better than Todd Hundley!
   200. rfloh Posted: October 31, 2007 at 09:35 AM (#2601136)
#184

No I do not. I contend that Reyes' entire career is a more reasonable approximation of Reyes' future performances than Reyes' 2007.

I don't doubt that 30 overall runs above average is quite good and valuable, but that makes him somewhere around #5-#10 among MLB shortstops, while Wright is clearly the #2 3Bman in MLB.


Fine. Let's completely ignore age vs league and stuff like that, for the moment. Over his 5 year MLB career, Reyes has 30 BRAA. So, an average of +6 offensively. His defensive performance this year, RZR had him at +12 runs defensively. ZR had him at +13 runs. UZR had him at +23 runs. UZR had him at +10 in 2006, -10 in 2005, +65 in 2004, -17 in 2003. 2003 and 2004 were in SMALL SAMPLES.

If you accept that his defensive performance in the last 2 years is a reasonable approximation of his defensive skills, say +10, that would still make him +16.

Also, since 2007 shouldn't be an aberration to be ignored, per your argument in #181, why then are you ignoring the whole of 2007 and only focusing on the part where Reyes played badly?

Let's see, BPro had Jeter, age 33, at +20 offensively this year; most defensive metrics have Jeter at minimum, worse than -20 defensively. So about average. Obviously, he was affected by injuries this year, so he should be better offensively. However, he's no longer young.

BPro had Hanley, age 23, at +48, RZR -25, ZR -15. So about +30.

Rollins, 28, +28 offensively, RZR -4, ZR -2. So, about +25.

Furcal, 29, -11 offensively, RZR 0, ZR +8, about -5. Furcal should be better offensively, but his career best was +17 in 2003, little different from Reyes this year.

Tulo, age 22, +9 offensively, RZR -31, ZR + 17, about +33.

Peralta, age 25, -1 offensively, RZR -9, ZR -11, about -10. Except for 1 year in 2005 where he was +25, Peralta has been below average offensively every year. He was -14 in 2006. Over his career, by BPro's BRAA, he is below average.

Jeter, Rollins are older and more expensive than Reyes. Whatever edge they had over Reyes this year was marginal.

Take Furcal's best offensive year and combine that with his defense now, and he would still be worse than Reyes this year.

Tulo is comparable to Reyes, but obviously isn't going anywhere.

Hanley is better, but also isn't going anywhere, without a huge compensatory return.

Peralta is not in the same league performance-wise, and there is lots of talk about him being shifted to another position because of his defense.

Where are these SS that make Reyes dispensable?

I'm not saying that Reyes is as good as Wright.
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