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Monday, November 29, 2010

Omar Minaya would have pursued Derek Jeter

When Omar Minaya became Mets GM after the 2004 season, his first major move was signing a future Hall of Famer one year removed from a great season. The superstar was available because his team thought his best years were behind him and they did not want to give him a contract based on past glory. But Minaya felt that Pedro Martinez would bring the mediocre Mets instant respectability. And he was right.

After the 2007 season, Jorge Posada’s contract was up. The Mets needed a catcher and Minaya reportedly targeted Posada, who stayed with the Yankees but may have gotten a four-year deal instead of three thanks to his testing the market.

So if Minaya were still running the Mets, you can bet he’d want free agent Derek Jeter.

What if the Mets were willing and able to spend tens of millions of dollars this offseason, as they did in five of Minaya’s six years as GM? What if they decided to trade Jose Reyes for much-needed starting pitching?

What if Jeter were willing to leave the Yankees - and what if he were willing to come to the Mets? And what if he were willing to sign for something along the lines of the Yankees’ reported three years, $45 million?

Tripon Posted: November 29, 2010 at 01:57 AM | 119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, yankees

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   1. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:32 AM (#3698422)
So is this article suggesting that they were right to fire Minaya?
   2. Something Other Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:02 AM (#3698433)
This is intensely painful to think about.

Signing Pedro wasn't a particularly wise move, but the 2004 Mets needed to do SOMETHING, and as gambles go it was hardly a terrible one. It wasn't inconceivable that Pedro could have given the Mets 100 starts with a little better ERA+.

As befuddled a GM as Minaya was I suspect he would have been aware of the difference between a 37-39 year old Jeter and both Beltran in his prime and Martinez still able to do some wonderful pitching. Then again, he signed Ollie and Castillo, and who knows how much the Wilpons would have pushed to put Jeter in orange and blue. They also figured Reyes at 2B was a good idea once upon a time, and might figure it was time to try that little experiment again.
   3. Rich Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:19 AM (#3698436)
This is a decision that is made at the ownership level.
   4. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:40 AM (#3698441)
This is a weird topic. This is what the author thinks the former GM might have done. He's not the GM anymore so it doesn't really matter. In addition. how do we know that Omar would have pursued Jeter?
   5. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: November 29, 2010 at 04:47 AM (#3698442)
This is a decision that is made at the ownership level.

Sure, but the GM has tons of input. A strong GM can talk ownership into or out of going after a FA. He may not always be successful, but let's not pretend the GM's opinion doesn't matter.
   6. Lassus Posted: November 29, 2010 at 05:26 AM (#3698446)
Sure, but the GM has tons of input. A strong GM can talk ownership into or out of going after a FA. He may not always be successful, but let's not pretend the GM's opinion doesn't matter.

One word: Wilpon.
   7. Paul D(uda) Posted: November 29, 2010 at 05:31 AM (#3698448)
It wasn't inconceivable that Pedro could have given the Mets 100 starts with a little better ERA+.

Hm, I don't know about that, that seems virtually impossible to me.
   8. Sam M. Posted: November 29, 2010 at 05:50 AM (#3698458)
I suggested in a thread about 10 days ago (I think) that it would have been hysterical if the Mets had gone after Jeter to be the player-manager and play second base. Yankee fans would have gone totally berserk, not only at the thought of Jeter coming to the Mets (that's bad enough), but worse still, at the idea of their idol having to switch positions for Jose Reyes, a player they (a lot of them, anyway) look on with utter disdain. And to the idea that Jeter would be a terrible (or at the very best, unproven) manager, I say: you're missing the point. This is all about entertaining me at the expense of Francesa, Lupica, Matthews, and Pearlman, each and every one of whose heads would have exploded. And hell, just hire a good bench coach to run the team, and how bad could Jeter be as a manager?

Anyway, that ship has sailed. And in the real world, there's no way the Mets would go after Derek Jeter under Minaya, Duquette, Alderson, or anybody else. It would provoke mutually assured destruction, and the Yankees would spend whatever it took -- and I do mean whatever it took -- to sign David Wright when he hit free agency. The Wilpons have their issues, but they are not completely oblivious to the implications of launching a nuclear war with the Steinbrenners. If Minaya proposed it, they'd quietly tell him to move on to Plan B. Or Option J. Or something else not completely insane.
   9. Something Other Posted: November 29, 2010 at 06:12 AM (#3698474)
Hm, I don't know about that, that seems virtually impossible to me.
The talk at the time mostly centered on whether Pedro would give the equivalent of two or three reasonably complete seasons.

They got 57 starts, 14 per season. That was the worst case scenario right there. The Red Sox offered three years, iirc. No one that I can recall thought his arm was going to fall off just from the effort of signing the contract. 57 is getting close to 2 full seasons, and really was as bad--particularly with that 109 ERA+ (from Pedro??)-- as the Mets could reasonably have expected. I admit 100 is pushing it, but not a by lot. Would 30, 27, 23, 20 starts have really been all that shocking?

Am I the only one at least a little surprised some team didn't come to terms with Pedro for 2010? His 2009 numbers were respectable.
   10. billyshears Posted: November 29, 2010 at 06:16 AM (#3698475)
Before Minaya took over, the Mets wouldn't even pursue big name free agents because they were afraid they would look foolish if they didn't get them. Minaya's greatest strength as a GM was that he dreamed big and was not afraid to fail. Jeter is a bad idea, but I'll never go after Minaya for trying to do something big because it seems too impossible.
   11. steagles Posted: November 29, 2010 at 06:31 AM (#3698483)

Am I the only one at least a little surprised some team didn't come to terms with Pedro for 2010? His 2009 numbers were respectable.
he was in talks for a while with the phillies, but he had a setback with his elbow in june, and decided not to rush back.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: November 29, 2010 at 07:13 AM (#3698494)
What if Jeter were willing to leave the Yankees - and what if he were willing to come to the Mets? And what if he were willing to sign for something along the lines of the Yankees’ reported three years, $45 million?

If this were all true and I was the Mets GM, I would sign Jeter in a second!

Bear in mind, I hate the Mets. :-)
   13. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: November 29, 2010 at 07:27 AM (#3698497)
What if they decided to trade Jose Reyes for much-needed starting pitching?

Is this really being considered? I have an almost-new John Lackey that the Mets might be interested in...
   14. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: November 29, 2010 at 07:52 AM (#3698503)
Jose Reyes, a player they (a lot of them, anyway) look on with utter disdain.


Honestly, I've never thought this, nor do I know anyone else who has.

Is there something to Sam's observation here, or is this the "Yankee Fans suck so much that they look down their noses at X player"?
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: November 29, 2010 at 08:11 AM (#3698505)
I don't know any Yankees fans at my office who has ever mentioned the words "Jose Reyes."

He'd have to be better, or worse, to rate a mention.....
   16. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: November 29, 2010 at 08:25 AM (#3698508)
When the Mets were good and Reyes was at his best, I remember hearing a lot of Yankees fans complain about Reyes' behavior and get really defensive whenever someone would say the Mets had the better SS of the NY teams. Haven't heard much talk about Reyes from Yankees fans the past couple of years, for a variety of reasons. I assume if the Mets become good again, the Reyes hatred will become more prominent again, especially if Jeter continues to decline.
   17. asdf1234 Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:47 AM (#3698515)
I've said this already, but that would be awesome. Everyone who loves Sandy Alderson would hate it, and everyone who hates him would love it. Cognitive Dissonance all around!


The only thing better than seeing Jeter wind down his career on the Mets would be Jeter getting his 3,000th hit with the Nationals.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 29, 2010 at 01:19 PM (#3698526)
I've said this already, but that would be awesome. Everyone who loves Sandy Alderson would hate it, and everyone who hates him would love it. Cognitive Dissonance all around!


The only thing better than seeing Jeter wind down his career on the Mets would be Jeter getting his 3,000th hit with the Nationals.

Let's trade Jeter for Strasburg!
   19. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: November 29, 2010 at 02:38 PM (#3698539)

Bear in mind, I hate the Mets.


Especially, for some reason, Ike Davis.
   20. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:07 PM (#3698546)
Is there something to Sam's observation here, or is this the "Yankee Fans suck so much that they look down their noses at X player"?


I think there is a difference between the small percentage of Yankee fans that are knowledgable and the large percentage that are more casual fans (all teams have such a split in my opinion, this isn't a knock on the Yankees). I would bet that the knowledgable Yankee fans probably respect Reyes' game but the majority of the fans are the folks that get into the "count the ringzzzzz" BS and look down on Reyes.

We get this here inn Boston all the time. It's the same subset that had the majority of fans upset that the Sox would have the audacity to replace Mike Lowell with Mark Teixeira. The people worth listening too knew it was a good idea but most people aren't worth listening to.
   21. Sam M. Posted: November 29, 2010 at 03:08 PM (#3698547)
Honestly, I've never thought this, nor do I know anyone else who has.

I certainly see/hear plenty of Yankee fans (not typically the ones around here, I'll grant you) who see Reyes as the anti-Jeter -- not clutch, hot dog attitude, unreliable. All flash, no substance, and thus emblematic of the difference between the Yankees' success and the Mets' failure. Reyes is a punk, Jeter is God, to sum it up. I think if you polled that sentence at a random Yankee game, you'd get upwards of 75% (or more) agreement.
   22. Rich Posted: November 29, 2010 at 06:24 PM (#3698674)
I suggested in a thread about 10 days ago (I think) that it would have been hysterical if the Mets had gone after Jeter to be the player-manager and play second base. Yankee fans would have gone totally berserk, not only at the thought of Jeter coming to the Mets (that's bad enough), but worse still, at the idea of their idol having to switch positions for Jose Reyes, a player they (a lot of them, anyway) look on with utter disdain.


It would depend on the contract. If it was for anything over three years, he's yours.

As for Reyes, I would love for him to be the next Yankee SS (not that I expect that to happen).
   23. Walt Davis Posted: November 29, 2010 at 08:27 PM (#3698802)
Especially, for some reason, Ike Davis.

I have no feelings with regard to Ike Davis whatsoever.

I do get frustrated with fanboys who tout perfectly decent players like Davis as if they are future stars, especially when they do so while ignoring pesky things like K-rates. Posters who describe Davis as a perfectly average 1B who will be cheap for a few years and has some potential to be better than that get little/no gruff from me.

I also get frustrated with anti-fanboys who rag on perfectly decent players like Adam LaRoche as if they were a dime-a-dozen.
   24. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:25 PM (#3698837)
Oliver Perez hasn't allowed a run in his last 10 innings in the Mexican league. You have to crawl before you can walk, I guess.
   25. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: November 29, 2010 at 09:53 PM (#3698865)
Oliver Perez hasn't allowed a run in his last 10 innings in the Mexican league. You have to crawl before you can walk, I guess.


To paraphrase Matthew Cerrone on metsblog.com, I don't care. We've all -- especially Omar -- seen Ollie look like Steve Carlton in situations that don't mean anything: Winter League, ST, rehab. It's only when he gets to Queens that the mischief starts.
   26. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: November 29, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3698903)

I do get frustrated with fanboys who tout perfectly decent players like Davis as if they are future stars, especially when they do so while ignoring pesky things like K-rates.


You shouldn't ignore his K rate or his BB rate. Remember that time you defended the comparison to Mike Jacobs?
   27. Sam M. Posted: November 29, 2010 at 11:58 PM (#3698983)
It's only when he gets to Queens that the mischief starts.

At last, something I have in common with Oliver Perez . . . . Ah, those crazy lefties.
   28. Something Other Posted: November 30, 2010 at 11:27 AM (#3699100)
Is there something to Sam's observation here, or is this the "Yankee Fans suck so much that they look down their noses at X player"?
I did recently read a post from a Yankee fan claiming that Reyes was pretty good--after all, he had proven himself on the New York Stage by hitting .308 at Yankee Stadium.

Ike Davis. Ah. AmazinAvenue ran a poll asking readers to project Davis's career. 40% said Keith Hernandez. 20% said Jeff Bagwell. I understand Walt's irritation.

Reyes... let's see...how about 3/30 with a couple of hefty vesting options for 2015 and 2016? 3/30's a nice chunk of change for a guy with fewer than four wins over the last two years, but it won't break the team if he continues to struggle--and--if he stays healthy he gets paid well, so that the Mets aren't taking all the risk in a five year deal.
   29. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 30, 2010 at 11:49 AM (#3699103)
Reyes... let's see...how about 3/30 with a couple of hefty vesting options for 2015 and 2016? 3/30's a nice chunk of change for a guy with fewer than four wins over the last two years, but it won't break the team if he continues to struggle--and--if he stays healthy he gets paid well, so that the Mets aren't taking all the risk in a five year deal.

You do realize that Uribe just got 3y/21m and Marco Scutaro got 2y/13m a year ago? There's no way Reyes even thinks about signing that. There are several big market teams that will be looking for a shortstop next year so there's going to be a significant market for him. What you think Reyes should sign isn't close to what he would sign.

It's pretty clear, to me at least, that Reyes is not going to sign a contract until he becomes a free agent.

Teams that will likely be looking for a SS next offseason: Mets, Phillies, Red Sox, Dodgers, Tigers, Giants.
   30. Something Other Posted: November 30, 2010 at 09:08 PM (#3699437)
You're missing the part where Reyes has been worth half of what Scutaro's been worth over the last two years, and rather less than what Uribe's been worth over the same period. People who don't get projections often hold attitudes like, 'but he was hurt. That's the only reason he didn't produce at his previous levels,' or, 'the way he was stealing bases in September shows he's obviously recovered from the hamstring problems,' etc., etc. I know you've gotten upset about this in other threads, but Reyes is no longer Reyes. Over the last couple of years he simply hasn't been very valuable. It would be foolish for the Mets to assume a great deal of the risk of Reyes' next contract. Teams that pay guys who have been hurt and producing at best at half their peak value for a couple of years get what they deserve when they hand out long deals at top dollar.

The deal I mentioned would pay Reyes around 5/60 or 5/65 IF he's reasonably healthy over the next three years. If he wants the Mets to sign him this offseason to a deal like 5/70 (obviously things will change if there's no agreement and Reyes plays another season before the next round of negotiations), which sounds like the minimum you think he should "settle" for, the team needs to let him walk. Best case for Reyes would be his returning, rather miraculously, to a level approaching his peak, while staying healthy enough to play 80% of the time. That 5/70 thereby turns into 4/70. It's hard to see him getting more than 4/70 if he was a free agent today, and whatever team signed him to that would still be assuming just about all of the risk. That's not what smart teams do.

Just because there *might* be a team out there who wants to pay Reyes as though he was both healthy and producing at his peak--and this should go without saying--doesn't mean the Mets should. Desperate teams do silly things all the time. There's no reason for the Mets to be one of those teams. Since in the past as here you've declined to suggest dollars and years you think would make for a fair agreement on both sides, I'm not sure what else therr is to say about it all...
   31. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 30, 2010 at 09:44 PM (#3699466)
People who don't get projections often hold attitudes like, 'but he was hurt. That's the only reason he didn't produce at his previous levels,' or, 'the way he was stealing bases in September shows he's obviously recovered from the hamstring problems,' etc., etc. I know you've gotten upset about this in other threads, but Reyes is no longer Reyes.


He hit .290/.322/.445 after May 1 (OPS+ of 108), basically as a hitter 2006-2008 Reyes is still here

but- 2009 was basically the second time he essentially lost a season+ due to hammy troubles
that's a bit troubling
   32. Sam M. Posted: November 30, 2010 at 09:46 PM (#3699467)
I think what there is to say about it is that there is a rational reason for both Russlan's position and your's, Omar. The reason is that he is looking at it from Reyes's eyes, and you are looking at it from the Mets' POV. If I'm Reyes, I absolutely look at what Uribe and Scutaro got, and even if I can (maybe) see your points, I think, "Why should I sign NOW, coming off a couple of injury-plagued years and at the bottom (or near-bottom) of my value?" If he thinks that 3/$30M represents his current value on the market (even with a couple of tasty option years tacked on), then of course he should (as Russlan suggests) not sign a contract until becoming a free agent. His 2011 represents his chance to add a huge amount to that value and thus to his next contract.

Reyes, IOW, should not sell (himself) low. The Mets, OTOH, should at least explore the possibility of buying him low, and seeing if he might (foolishly, it seems to me) bite. Because I suspect the price will likely go up, based on the notion that Reyes did perform better as the rust wore off last year (.773 OPS/113 OPS+ in the second half v. .731/98 in the first half), and that he'll have the strongest possible incentive to show he's still got a lot to offer. I don't think a return to a 5.0 WAR Reyes would be "miraculous" at all. Not the most expected result, perhaps -- but far from miraculous.

Trying to get Jose at a bargain price now would be the easy call. He'll say no, as he should, but it's the easy call. The hard call is going to come if he has a revival in 2011 . . . and the price goes skyrocketing. Then they'll have to decide if they want to assume the risk that he really is, once again, a 5.0+ WAR shortstop, and assume the risk of a five-year, $60M deal. Good luck, Sandy, deciding on that one . . . .
   33. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 30, 2010 at 11:35 PM (#3699532)
I am not upset with what you post, OBC. I am just saying that I think is realistic wrt Reyes' signing a contract isn't close to being what you think is realistic and what you think Reyes' best case scenario isn't what I think his best case scenario is. It's not the first time we've disagreed and I suspect that it won't be the last.

Alderson et. al have an approach to management with which you agree so it'll be interesting to see what you think of their moves as times time progresses. I think you underestimate the difficulty of being a GM and statements like above are why I think that. It'd be great for the Mets to sign Reyes to the aforementioned contract but you can't call a GM incompetent for signing him to a bigger deal because what you want Reyes to sign isn't something he would sign.
   34. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: November 30, 2010 at 11:57 PM (#3699549)

Ike Davis. Ah. AmazinAvenue ran a poll asking readers to project Davis's career. 40% said Keith Hernandez. 20% said Jeff Bagwell. I understand Walt's irritation.


Certainly that is lunacy. I don't think many Mets fans on this board would subscribe to either of those comparisons. A comment of mine from over the summer:

14. Freeballin' Whistles Louder When He's Got Nothing Posted: August 27, 2010 at 07:58 AM (#3627151)
This guy ain't touching Olerud, but he's got substantially more discipline than Kotchman.

If everything breaks right, he could be Richie Sexson.

If everything breaks so-so, maybe more like Adam LaRoche.


Certainly there's no lower limit to how unsuccessful he could be, and there are a wide range of possible outcomes, but I don't think the "good breaks could yield a career like Sexson" is the type of fanboyism that Walt seems to be addressing. I would challenge him to find it from any of us here.
   35. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 01, 2010 at 12:01 AM (#3699551)
You're missing the part where Reyes has been worth half of what Scutaro's been worth over the last two years, and rather less than what Uribe's been worth over the same period. People who don't get projections often hold attitudes like, 'but he was hurt. That's the only reason he didn't produce at his previous levels,' or, 'the way he was stealing bases in September shows he's obviously recovered from the hamstring problems,' etc., etc. I know you've gotten upset about this in other threads, but Reyes is no longer Reyes.


You were addressing Russlan, not me, but I'm the first to admit that I get upset by this -- not because you're wrong, but because it's upsetting. This is a case where my sentimentality is at odds with the evidence. I doubt Alderson will be so encumbered, but I guess we'll see where we are mid-season.
   36. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 01, 2010 at 12:13 AM (#3699559)
You were addressing Russlan, not me, but I'm the first to admit that I get upset by this -- not because you're wrong, but because it's upsetting. This is a case where my sentimentality is at odds with the evidence. I doubt Alderson will be so encumbered, but I guess we'll see where we are mid-season.

If you want something to be optimistic about, he did post a .312/.347/.491 slash-line from May 22 to the end of the season.
   37. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2010 at 12:52 AM (#3699575)
I doubt Alderson will be so encumbered, but I guess we'll see where we are mid-season.

Ah, there's the rub. As I suggested, there's a strong argument that the smart play here for Alderson is not to wait until mid-season, to move now and at least try to buy low on Reyes. OBC is apparently convinced that Reyes's decline is not merely a function of time missed to injury, but reflects a real, true-talent decline, and thus that Alderson should pass. But if Alderson thinks there is real bounce-back, and that there is a discount from real value available because of Reyes's problems the last two seasons, he should explore trying to lock it in. Maybe Jose doesn't want to go all-in on the risk of a bad or mediocre 2011, and would take a less-than-top-dollar extension. I doubt it, but maybe.

Clearly, the Mets aren't inclined to go this route, since they've already just exercised Reyes's option for next year. But if he repeats 2006/08, or even 2007, the pressure on the Mets to renew at his price next winter is going to be enormous -- not least because the replacement from within the system is (to say the least) not apparent.
   38. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 01, 2010 at 01:07 AM (#3699579)
Eh. Ruben Tejada hit .284/.364/.433 in September/October! (he also hit .111/.241/.133 in August, but that was forever ago).
   39. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 01, 2010 at 01:16 AM (#3699588)
Furcal and Rollins will be free agents next season. I'd prefer Reyes obviously but I think the Mets could find an acceptable replacement even if they don't have one. Tejada might not be a bad option there either by this time next year. A .675 OPS with pretty good defense isn't the worst thing in the world from your SS if it's provided for the minimum.
   40. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2010 at 01:20 AM (#3699590)
Ruben Tejada hit .284/.364/.433 in September/October!

If Omar Minaya were still running the Mets, I would actually be afraid that he would regard Ruben Tejada as a potential replacement for Jose Reyes. Now that Alderson, DePo, and Ricciardi are in charge, I am quite confident that they will see Tejada as the utility guy, and/or the throw-in to finish off a five-man deal, he has always been destined to be.

Cue scolding from Russlan in 3, 2, 1 . . . .
   41. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 01, 2010 at 01:38 AM (#3699598)
Cue scolding from Russlan in 3, 2, 1 . . . .

If you know you deserve it, then I have done my job already.

Guys, are the Mets going to try to compete in 2011? In theory, the Mets could be competitive with some luck and a couple of godd additions. But I have no clue what they are going to spend this offseason. I haven't even really heard that they are looking at signing anyone of interest.
   42. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 01, 2010 at 03:29 AM (#3699656)
Reports are that they have 3-5 million in wiggle room today. I imagine they'll try and increase that in increments -- a million here, a million there by ditching Castillo and . . . I don't really know who else, but I'd be surprised if some players with salaries aren't moved around to at least some financial relief.
   43. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2010 at 03:34 AM (#3699663)
Guys, are the Mets going to try to compete in 2011?

Riddle me this: Are Pelfrey, Dickey, and Niese (PDN) the rocks upon whom a competitive rotation can be built?

Last year, they got 552 IP out of those three, with ERA+ of 107 (Pelfrey), 138 (Dickey), and 93 (Niese). I think we might agree that Dickey is fairly unlikely to repeat 138, but that Niese has reasonable promise of being able to improve on 93, too. Pelfrey seems to have established a reasonable level of being an average, reliable, and hence valuable starter. Let's assume that they can reasonably expect to get fewer combined innings (450?) of solid (110 ERA+) pitching out of those three.

I think we can be fairly certain that the Phillies are going to get better than that -- by a lot -- out of their top three. And while the back end of the Phillies' rotation is nothing special, right now you can say that the Phillies at least have a back end to their rotation. The Mets? Not so much. If PDN were the back (3-4-5) of the Mets' rotation, or perhaps even the middle (2-3-4), you could make some arguments about their rotation being competitive with the Phillies. It might depend on who was # 1, and who was # 5. But right now? Ugh. I think you have to say the same thing, even though it's more arguable, about the Braves' rotation right now. Really, pretty much every contender in the NL has substantially better front-line starting pitching than the Mets can throw out there, at least until Johan comes back and even then, until and unless he proves he is back to some semblance of his best self. So tell me how the pitching will be contender-level, and then we can talk.

Beyond that, assuming the rotation doesn't sink them, I think they are going for the "wing and a prayer" approach. Hope for returns to glory-level performances from Reyes and Beltran, based on returns to health and strong incentives in a contract-year for both guys. Hope for 10% improvement from Davis and Thole.
   44. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 01, 2010 at 03:37 AM (#3699667)
So you're saying there's a chance?
   45. Accent Shallow Posted: December 01, 2010 at 04:31 AM (#3699688)
Furcal and Rollins will be free agents next season.

They turn 34 and 33 at the end of the upcoming season, respectively. Who would you be less terrified to give a decent-sized contract to?
   46. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 01, 2010 at 05:01 AM (#3699704)
Even with a healthy Santana, I don't think the Mets can compete with the Phillies. They are in another class right now. I think the Mets can compete with the other NL teams for the Wild Card with a some money spent in the right spots and luck.

I am fairly confident that the Mets will get more innings from PDN but I am not sure how good those innings are going to be.
   47. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2010 at 05:35 AM (#3699715)
Now that Alderson, DePo, and Ricciardi are in charge, I am quite confident that they will see Tejada as the utility guy, and/or the throw-in to finish off a five-man deal, he has always been destined to be.

I want a video of the apoplectic reaction, and you typing furiously when Ruben gets the starting 2B job out of spring training on Sandy's say-so.
   48. Something Other Posted: December 01, 2010 at 05:41 AM (#3699720)
Ah, there's the rub. As I suggested, there's a strong argument that the smart play here for Alderson is not to wait until mid-season, to move now and at least try to buy low on Reyes. OBC is apparently convinced that Reyes's decline is not merely a function of time missed to injury, but reflects a real, true-talent decline, and thus that Alderson should pass.
Sam--I really don't think that Alderson should pass on Reyes. That's why I suggested 3/30 with a couple of hefty vesting options. Whatever we think of Reyes, if he can take the field he's at the least pretty good, and even a far-from-his-best Reyes is a 2-3 win guy. When he's not missing half a season or more, that is, and thus is worth in the neighborhood of 10m a year even in low gear. At the same time, it's hardly out of the question that he could miss two to three hundred games over the next three years. There's even the nonneglible chance he'll get badly hurt again and not play much at all.

The point of the 3/30 with vests isn't to screw Reyes, but to continue the happy partnership with both sides sharing the risk. (It is buying low, and I'm all for that, though the vests make it closer to 'buying middle'.) If Reyes is reasonably healthy (averaging, say, 140 games a year) over the next three years he'll be underpaid, but then the first vest kicks in at a hefty salary, compensating him for being underpaid. And if he's healthy again, he picks up another nice chunk of change in the fifth year of the deal. On the other hand, if Reyes' next three years are anything like his last two, the Mets won't be getting full value, but at least they won't be on the hook for a 5/65 deal where they're getting hosed for much of it.

It's a great offseason to be a smart gambler wrt Reyes. On the other hand, if I'm him, and I had any confidence at all I could get back to my peak, I'd be sorely tempted to play out next season. If his 2011 is like his 2006-2008, he could pull down an extra 20, 30 million. Maybe more. Beltran had the second excellent season of his career and instead of 1/10 he's looking at 5/70. GMs STILL wildly overpay for one good season.

Free--I understand. It is upsetting.
Russlan--Glad you weren't offended.
   49. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 01, 2010 at 05:52 AM (#3699725)
Beltran had the second excellent season of his career and instead of 1/10 he's looking at 5/70. GMs STILL wildly overpay for one good season.

Who are you talking about here? If it's Beltran, please explain further. If it's not, who are you talking about?
   50. Something Other Posted: December 01, 2010 at 05:53 AM (#3699726)
edit: "Beltre"

Guys, are the Mets going to try to compete in 2011?
They should. The rotation is hardly the best, or even the middling, but I don't see why it can't be improved, and they're not competing only against the Phillies. It wouldn't make sense, of course, to trade the farm to shoot for 90 wins in 2011 at the expense of 2012 and beyond, but there are starters who are presumably available in trade who are under contract for several years. I don't know if they're available but Garza, and Shields, for example, are not expensive in 2011. There are affordable 2b FA's who are likely to stop the hemmorhaging. If it's like last offseason there are cheap backup C's around who can solidify the position. A smart FO should be able to pick up bullpen arms on the cheap to fill in around FRoddy, Parnell, and Acosta. Having a team capable of playing .530-.540 ball throughout the season seems to me to be worth some additional hundreds of thousands of fans in attendance, and therefore worth the risk, which is you put, say, an additional 7m into the team only to find Bay will never play again, Beltran just doesn't have it any more, and Davis was a flash in the pan. I'm projecting the Mets as currently constructed to be worth around 83 wins. Given that Manuel is no longer actively sabotaging the club it's just not a Herculean task to find five more wins.

So much depends on payroll that it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to go on, but on general principles should most .500 teams that will have a ton of money to spend in 2012 punt 2011? And if they shouldn't, why should the Mets be any different?
   51. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2010 at 05:55 AM (#3699728)
I want a video of the apoplectic reaction, and you typing furiously when Ruben gets the starting 2B job out of spring training on Sandy's say-so.

Don't hold your breath, Lassus. I am confident that Alderson will see it the way I did, when I put this way in an earlier thread on the subject:

I am all for giving Tejada time to develop. The absolute last place he should have been doing that in 2010 was Citi Field, and that remains the last place he should be doing it in 2011. Let the kid learn to hit -- if he's going to -- in the minors, the way 29 out of 30 organizations in baseball would (and hopefully now 30 out of 30). I have no idea whether he's got the talent to learn and was just overmatched by pitchers for lack of experience, or if he will never hit because he just doesn't have enough pop (.282 SLG) in his bat. Contact can keep a guy from striking out, thus explaining a seemingly nice w/k rate, but it doesn't keep him from making too many outs (.305 OBP). Whichever it is, I am certain of one thing: it will do very little good for the 2011 Mets to have him with the major league team, and it'll do even less good for Tejada and the Mets of the future.

Put it this way: if Alderson OKs Tejada starting for the 2011 Mets, IMHO, it will be the surest sign that he does NOT think much of the kid's future, because it will show he's willing to sacrifice that future for the tiny contribution that Tejada can make to the tiny chance the Mets have to compete in 2011. If, however, they keep him in the minors, it could actually mean they see some future for Tejada and want to nurture it.

The point of the 3/30 with vests isn't to screw Reyes, but to continue the happy partnership with both sides sharing the risk.

Which is exactly what they tried to do years ago with their partially non-guaranteed offer to Vlad Guerrero, and that went nowhere. You don't get big-time FAs with "sharing the risk" type offers. Despite that, as I said, I'm all for Alderson making the attempt to buy low, on the off-chance that Reyes may be the extremely rare position player approaching free agency who will be risk-averse enough for the team to get a bargain. But -- perhaps unlike you -- I have no illusions that it will work, and if (as you suggest, and I don't disagree) it would be dumb for the Mets to pay Reyes now as if he is the player he was from 2006-08, then we should be prepared for him to hit free agency. Because he's not going to take a low-end deal, and he's not going to take a share-the-risk deal. He's going to believe that a big 2011 is ahead, and that it will allow him to cash in next winter.

And so I ask -- what if he does replicate 2006 next season? Do you then pony up the big bucks it will take, or do you let him walk, on the theory that one throwback season doesn't prove to you it would be smart to commit to him with a huge, long-term contract?
   52. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 01, 2010 at 05:57 AM (#3699729)
I want a video of the apoplectic reaction, and you typing furiously when Ruben gets the starting 2B job out of spring training on Sandy's say-so.

If the choice is between Slappy and Tejada, we're all losers anyway.
   53. CrosbyBird Posted: December 01, 2010 at 06:23 AM (#3699739)
Even with a healthy Santana, I don't think the Mets can compete with the Phillies. They are in another class right now. I think the Mets can compete with the other NL teams for the Wild Card with a some money spent in the right spots and luck.

I think the Phillies will have a substantially weaker offense in 2011 as compared to 2010, not that it will be enough to make them close to the Mets in overall team quality, even ignoring the huge pitching advantage. They will miss Werth, and Ruiz had a huge spike season.

The Mets will probably have around a league-average offense (maybe a tiny bit better), assuming some rebound from Reyes, Bay, and Beltran, but the pitching is downright terrifying. I wouldn't be thrilled with the rotation with a full year of a healthy Santana, but without him, it's very ugly.
   54. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2010 at 06:57 AM (#3699752)
Sam, (and AJM) I get everything you say on Tejada, but I just do not ascribe to your the One True Place for Ruben. I think if he continues winter ball and spring with the same bat he had at the end of the year for the cost we have him, that IS development, and that IS good for the Mets. YES that's an if, of course, and an optimistic one. I simply think that the decisions so far, even with the old FA team, were not made in a vacuum but based on who they had already, where the money could go, and how Ruben was developing. I know you disagree, I just don't think that writing him off as someone who has no other place but HERE THIS ONE SPOT is all that can - or should - be done.
   55. Something Other Posted: December 01, 2010 at 08:57 AM (#3699769)
You don't get big-time FAs with "sharing the risk" type offers.
And that, of course, is the rub, because Reyes is not a "big-time" FA. His ego may well tell him he is exactly that, just as Jeter's ego is whispering to him "6/150, Big D, ... 6/150...", but Alderson knows better, and doesn't have to play. What the Mets cannot afford, unless their payroll soars, and there are no indications to date that it will, is yet another Santana-Bay situation, where the Mets already have $38m in salary obligations (and that's not even counting Santana's deferred money) to players--in 2011, in 2012, and in 2013--who are aging and have real health problems. So, in a word, no. If Reyes has 2006 in 2011, I would absolutely not pay him as though 2009 and 2010 never happened. They did happen, and while I hope for Reyes' sake and the sake of the pleasure we all get from watching him play at full speed, a GM would be a fool to project him and pay him as though he wasn't capable of falling off cliffs.

I'm not sure what we'd be talking about if Reyes was healthy and productive in 2011 (5/75 that offseason?), but the Mets, with over a quarter of their payroll in 2012 and 2013 going to Bay and Santana (and god forbid Frankie is still in picture in 2012), are in no position to take on another big, risky deal. That changes, of course, if Bay has his 2009 season next year, and Santana comes back, pitches well, and ends the season in good shape with a good medical report. As of today, though? We've seen what happens when the Mets have $60-70m going towards a handful of wins. I'd like that to end.

edit: I'll guess, too, that Reyes might go a little further than Vladdy did in his situation in order (for Reyes) to stay in NYC. He seems to genuinely like it here. I also don't follow endorsement stuff. Is it worth a few million a year for Reyes to stay in NY?
   56. Something Other Posted: December 01, 2010 at 09:14 AM (#3699771)
The Mets will probably have around a league-average offense (maybe a tiny bit better),...

While seven or eight of the following happening in 2011 is a stretch, it's not a wild stretch, and none of these projections are outlandish:

Bay 3.5
Pagan 4.5
Beltran 3.0
Wright 4.5
Reyes 3.5
2b 1.5
Davis 3.5
Thole 2.0

26 wins. That leaves the rest of the roster including the entire pitching staff needing to contribute 14 wins to get the Mets into the upper 80s. Of course it means that the starting eight are all reasonably healthy and reasonably productive, but no peak years from Wright, Bay, Reyes, or Beltran. There's also a little slack in that projection, in that I don't think six or seven wins from Wright are out of the question, Davis could take another step forward, Alderson might bring in Orlando Hudson, who might put up three wins.

Okay. I'm reaching...
   57. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2010 at 06:46 PM (#3700076)
I'm not sure what we'd be talking about if Reyes was healthy and productive in 2011 (5/75 that offseason?), but the Mets, with over a quarter of their payroll in 2012 and 2013 going to Bay and Santana (and god forbid Frankie is still in picture in 2012), are in no position to take on another big, risky deal.

If Reyes goes all 2006 on the league next year, I would bet that it will be impossible to sign him for less than 5/$75M, and it would probably take more. So if you are saying the Mets should just say no, you better be prepared to let him walk and hear the accusations that the Wilpons can't afford to run a New York team any more, and pay the $$$ it takes to sign championship-caliber players. If 2012 alone is the concern, because of K-Rod's possible presence (of course, they would know that one way or the other when bargaining with Reyes) they could always back-load Reyes's deal for one year, starting it a bit lower.

Sam, (and AJM) I get everything you say on Tejada, but I just do not ascribe to your the One True Place for Ruben. I think if he continues winter ball and spring with the same bat he had at the end of the year for the cost we have him, that IS development, and that IS good for the Mets. YES that's an if, of course, and an optimistic one. I simply think that the decisions so far, even with the old FA team, were not made in a vacuum but based on who they had already, where the money could go, and how Ruben was developing. I know you disagree, I just don't think that writing him off as someone who has no other place but HERE THIS ONE SPOT is all that can - or should - be done.

That's fine, we can disagree of course. But I think the evidence is overwhelming that if Ruben Tejada has any future at all as a major league regular, he needs substantial development as a hitter. It has always been my view -- not limited to Tejada by any means -- that players do not develop simply by being overmatched playing at a level for which they are not ready. They develop by learning, by having some success, and by being able to work on their weaknesses. The very last place any young player can actually work on his weaknesses is at the major league level, where winning is the priority. You can't tell a young pitcher to work on his secondary pitches to improve them, and get his head handed to him, when he's pitching for the Mets. But you can if he's at Buffalo. You can't tell a young hitter to learn to take pitches, even if it means he strikes out a lot in the short-term, trying to win ball games in New York. But you can at Binghamton. Ruben Tejada isn't going to reach his potential being overmatched in New York, and he won't be able to prioritize development of his game when he's on the major league roster. Right now, he has too much development as a hitter to do for him to be playing in the majors. I don't think any team other than the one run by Omar Minaya would have had that kid in the majors last year, and it is one of the best examples of the mismanagement of the organization (right up there with Mejia) I can think of. The only way it would be defensible would be if Tejada were NOT a prospect, in which case you could say, "Who cares? No loss." If you think he's a genuine prospect, a question on which I have mixed feelings, what Omar did with him last year should make you mad.
   58. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 01, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3700122)
I think the Phillies will have a substantially weaker offense in 2011 as compared to 2010, not that it will be enough to make them close to the Mets in overall team quality, even ignoring the huge pitching advantage.


I think the Phillies offense will be weaker, a combination of age and losing Werth, EVERY 2010 starter will be on the wrong side of 30 in 2011, I really do not expect Howard to age well, Rollins is aging poorly...

But
Halladay
Hamels and
Oswalt

Oh My....
   59. Lassus Posted: December 01, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3700128)
Yeah, we do disagree, Sam, but then again, it would be boring otherwise. Here is further fundamental disagreement:


But I think the evidence is overwhelming that if Ruben Tejada has any future at all as a major league regular, he needs substantial development as a hitter.

"Overwhelmingly" is as easily subjective as anything my optimism has spawned. The fact that he DID develop and improve as the year went on negates any overwhelming in the judgment. Sample size caveat? TBD.


It has always been my view -- not limited to Tejada by any means -- that players do not develop simply by being overmatched playing at a level for which they are not ready.

My parents (both!) were gym teachers - basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball coaches primarily, and everything else secondarily. I admit, their own coaching philosophies in this regard have brought me to believe more or less the opposite of what you do here - i.e., it can work, and well, and often. They most certainly didn't coach in the pros, although they themselves were professional coaches.


They develop by learning, by having some success, and by being able to work on their weaknesses.

Taking Tejada's full year into account, I believe he has done this, and come out better for it.


Also, for what it's worth, comparing Ruben's year to the Mejia mess is not fair. I don't think there is any kind of parallel there. And I do believe that WAS a mess.
   60. Sam M. Posted: December 01, 2010 at 07:33 PM (#3700150)
"Overwhelmingly" is as easily subjective as anything my optimism has spawned. The fact that he DID develop and improve as the year went on negates any overwhelming in the judgment. Sample size caveat? TBD.

Sample size caveat -- you bet. Tejada was horrendous, the worst he was all year, in July/August. Then he was better, the best he was all year, in September/October. I don't think there is any substantial evidence of genuine development and improvement, not that I would base any sort of real optimism on either about how he was handled, or about Tejada himself for 2011.

I think there is absolutely a parallel between the handling of Tejada and that of Mejia. Both are excellent examples of the Mets taking players whose age and performance records in the minors showed them to be utterly unready for the major leagues, but for whom the Mets had (or thought they had) a critical need on the major league roster. In both cases, they allowed their short-term view of the immediate needs in New York to override the long-term best interests of the franchise, and the developmental interests of the player. That, IMHO, is a massive indictment of the now-evicted regime. It shows they were either making really bad judgments, or they were making desperate ones, in the vain hope of saving their jobs by trying to catch lightning in a bottle with a miraculous run last season.

Straightening out how they handle prospects -- like these two, but not limited to them -- is one of the very highest priorities for the new braintrust. Oddly enough, I would think that we would agree on this more than disagree, because it is those who are most optimistic about the prospects who should be most in favor of handling them with an eye toward prioritizing their long-term development. Then again, I suppose we can disagree on what means is best suited to achieving that, even if we agree on the priority.
   61. CrosbyBird Posted: December 02, 2010 at 12:06 AM (#3700404)
Bay 3.5

I have no idea what Bay is going to do. It wouldn't surprise me if he put up league-average or very strong offensive numbers, and it wouldn't surprise me if he put up mediocre or terrible defense. He could be anywhere from 1.5 WAR to 5.5 WAR if he stays reasonably healthy. 3.5 WAR seems optimistic, because most years he's 1-2 wins below replacement defensively.

Pagan 4.5

This is very, very optimistic. Pagan would need to nearly duplicate his best offensive and defensive season to be in the ballpark.

Beltran 3.0

Unless Beltran is really done, this is a very conservative estimate. He played less than a half-season in 2010, with 1.8 WAR. If he's healthy, he should do much better than this.

Wright 4.5

Wright is a player that has real potential to have a breakout season in 2011. He got his power back, and if he can make a few small adjustments to return to the level of discipline that he had most seasons in his career, he'll be a superstar again.

Reyes 3.5

This could definitely happen. Reyes missed nearly 30 games last season, and in a full season might have put up a 2.8 WAR. Take into account the missed Spring Training and the ramp up, and it's pretty reasonable.

2b 1.5

I think this is wildly optimistic. The Mets will be lucky to get half a win at 2B, unless things break fantastically for them or they spend money.

Davis 3.5

Also very optimistic. If Ike Davis does nothing more than he did in 2010 (2.5 WAR), I'll take it. A hair over league-average production at 1B is perfectly acceptable for how little he's getting paid. I don't see where he's going to squeeze out an extra win.

Thole 2.0

This is a reasonable projection too, seeing as he's been pretty much the definition of a league-average offensive player with average defense as a catcher since reaching the majors, and that's just about a 2.0 WAR, maybe closer to 2.5 with some positional adjustment for catcher.

I think 2B is once again going to kill the Mets. The offense may end up better than I expect, although that assumes near-perfect health. The bench is pretty soft too, so injuries will be crippling.
   62. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2010 at 12:27 AM (#3700421)
Sample size caveat -- you bet. Tejada was horrendous, the worst he was all year, in July/August. Then he was better, the best he was all year, in September/October. I don't think there is any substantial evidence of genuine development and improvement, not that I would base any sort of real optimism on either about how he was handled, or about Tejada himself for 2011.

Well, yeah, but you said the evidence he wasn't ready to play was "overwhelming", and this is as needlessly pessimistic as me saying he's the no-doubt 2B of the future is optimistic. Only, I didn't say that. I said he did develop, he did get better, he did contribute, and he has shown he deserves to see what he can do, given our other current (non-FA division) options. Might he fail? Of course. He'll probably fail, a big percentage do, it's a game of failure. My main point was that the evidence is in no way overwhelming that he doesn't belong, that's all. I hold that you are simply too empirically pessimistic when it comes to prospects, and it came up with Davis as well.

If it helps, I'm at least on your side that they screwed the pooch with Mejia.


And that's a great post, CrosbyBird.
   63. Sam M. Posted: December 02, 2010 at 12:44 AM (#3700436)
Well, yeah, but you said the evidence he wasn't ready to play was "overwhelming",

And I was right. The post-hoc evidence he wasn't ready to play:

.213/.305/.282

A .588 OPS, and a 62 OPS+. I call that overwhelming evidence he wasn't ready -- I said he wasn't ready when they brought him up, and his performance proved me right. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to back off of this even one millimeter. I was loud and quite insistent about my opinion, and my opinion was just as right in this case as it was wrong about Daniel Murphy. I took the much-deserved abuse that came my way about Murphy with grace, but I'm sure as hell not going to miss the chance to say, "I was frigging right about Ruben Tejada and the way the Mets handled him," just because you won't admit you were wrong.

Instead, you want to cite a tiny sub-sample of that overwhelming evidence as if it somehow shows he "developed," as opposed to proving . . . well, nothing except that he had a nice flukish month in which seven doubles happened to fall in between outfielders instead of being caught by them.

Tejada has shown that he deserves the chance to develop, in good time, and in the minor leagues. That is where he belongs, and where any organization worthy of the term "professional" would have him.

And by the way, the pre-hoc evidence was just as overwhelming that Tejada had no business in the major leagues in 2010. His minor league record screamed a guy who needed a lot more seasoning.
   64. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2010 at 12:50 AM (#3700437)
My tense was perhaps poorly stated, as you rightfully quoted it above. ("Wasn't")

My point is that now, based on this year, he IS ready because of the growth he showed after they brought him up when - as you say - he wasn't ready. I mean, a yearly stat line is fine, but as we've each stated, he sucked viciously early and got better. You think the goodness is sample-size chance, I think it's evidence.

I'm not sure what you want me to admit I'm wrong about. That he sucked at the start? I already said he sucked. That he needs to be sent down to get better, when he already showed he can get better while playing in the bigs? I don't see - when the numbers support it so far - why I should admit I'm wrong. I said he got better. He did. Where's the wrongness? My opinion is that it proves he should stay, and I'm not going to say my opinion is wrong.

Time will tell the tale, certainly.


Are you really bringing up your stance on Murphy in an argument of why I should believe you now on Tejada? ;-) Hee.
   65. Sam M. Posted: December 02, 2010 at 12:54 AM (#3700439)
BTW, there are a couple of potentially intriguing Rule 5 guys out there the Mets could look at for 2B. The Blue Jays left Brad Emaus unprotected, and he looks like he can hit. The Orioles didn't protect Ryan Adams, and he used to play SS, and was rated as the 8th best prospect in their system by BA. Both have nice power; Emaus a very good walk rate -- Adams not so much.

It'll be interesting to see if the Mets take a shot at either guy.
   66. Sam M. Posted: December 02, 2010 at 01:05 AM (#3700444)
I'm not sure what you want me to admit I'm wrong about. That he sucked at the start? I already said he sucked. That he needs to be sent down to get better, when he already showed he can get better while playing in the bigs? I don't see - when the numbers support it so far - why I should admit I'm wrong. I said he got better. He did. Where's the wrongness? My opinion is that it proves he should stay, and I'm not going to say my opinion is wrong.

What was your opinion when they called him up last year? If you supported it, IMHO, you were wrong, and his overall performance provides overwhelming evidence it was a bad decision that hurt the team and hurt him.

If you think they shouldn't be looking for a genuine, major-league quality 2B to handle the position better than either Castillo or Tejada can for 2011, then I think you're wrong about that, too.
   67. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 02, 2010 at 01:58 AM (#3700460)
Tejada seems too little and weak to play in the majors. He's not even the best option in the Mets' minor league system - Turner probably is. Havens would probably hit better if he could get out of bed.

I don't really see what's to be gained by having Tejada in NY right now. There's certainly ROOM for him to improve at AAA (where he had a .673 OPS this year). If in June, he's hitting .305/.375/.425 and the Mets still have a hole, that might be a different story.
   68. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 02, 2010 at 02:06 AM (#3700463)
Lassus, if you are around, check your email.

I think I will be more optimistic about the Met bench this year than I have been in a while. Duda, Evans, Murphy, and Turner are guys who shouldn't be atrocious if they get 200 AB.
   69. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2010 at 02:07 AM (#3700464)
What was your opinion when they called him up last year?

I have no idea - I think it's likely I didn't know anything about him when he was called up. Wasn't it done because Luis went down? What were our other options? Well, honestly, it's moot. I can honestly say I probably didn't have an opinion. I had heard good and bad things about him in various threads prior.


...his overall performance provides overwhelming evidence it was a bad decision that hurt the team and hurt him.

I don't recall the options available at the time, so I don't want to seem stupider by arguing the former. Seeing as how he seems to have ended up a better hitter at the end than when he started, there is no factual basis for the bolded assessment, empirically. That it hurt him as a player is absolutely subjective and specifically NOT based on the numbers, even if I grant for the sake of argument that your concern over his yearly line is sound (and it may certainly be, we have yet to see).


If you think they shouldn't be looking for a genuine, major-league quality 2B to handle the position better than either Castillo or Tejada can for 2011, then I think you're wrong about that, too.

Well, I'm not, because I wanted to make a deal for Uggla, and would have waved bye bye to Ruben in an instant if it would have helped (although even I know I doubt it would have knocked him out of the system to another team, I'm not so stupid to think he's a commodity). Instead of a miserable replacement-level fungible veteran 2B? I'd let the kid play.
   70. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 02, 2010 at 02:21 AM (#3700472)
Tejada was miserable in A-ball but was promoted anyway and put up considerably better numbers despite the jump in talent level in AA. Now, I am not comparing Tejada to Hanley but the latter jumped from a .720 OPS in AA in 2005 to stardom in the big leagues in 2006. Some guys can learn by being challenged. Hanely had much greater physical tools and is much more talented but I do think it's possible for guys to develop that way.
   71. Sam M. Posted: December 02, 2010 at 02:29 AM (#3700475)
Well, I'm not, because I wanted to make a deal for Uggla, and would have waved bye bye to Ruben in an instant if it would have helped (although even I know I doubt it would have knocked him out of the system to another team, I'm not so stupid to think he's a commodity). Instead of a miserable replacement-level fungible veteran 2B? I'd let the kid play.

Well, now. There's quite a gap between Dan Uggla and "replacement-level, fungible veteran 2B." Then again, the only differences between a replacement level, veteran 2B and Tejada are that Tejada isn't a veteran, and that replacement level would be an upgrade. But anyway, my ideal wouldn't be a replacement level guy, either. Something better than that would certainly be nice.

While I agree that some guys can learn by being challenged, in this case, the right level to challenge Tejada is AAA. It's not like he's mastered AAA, and so is ready to be challenged by major league pitching. The Mets generally need to return to a much more traditional approach to development and promotion -- the rapid promotion system touted by Bernazard needs to be ditched and used only in extremely exceptional cases. Tejada isn't that case.
   72. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 02, 2010 at 02:30 AM (#3700476)
Hanley had one of the weirdest progressions ever. Toolsey prospect with decent minor league performance, to bust, to one of the top 5 or so players in the game, all in about a year wasnt it?
   73. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 02, 2010 at 02:37 AM (#3700478)
Hey guys. What's going on?
   74. Lassus Posted: December 02, 2010 at 03:02 AM (#3700488)
Well, now. There's quite a gap between Dan Uggla and "replacement-level, fungible veteran 2B." Then again, the only differences between a replacement level, veteran 2B and Tejada are that Tejada isn't a veteran, and that replacement level would be an upgrade. But anyway, my ideal wouldn't be a replacement level guy, either. Something better than that would certainly be nice.

Completely understood and granted on the gap there; and not as snark, but actual curiosity, who are these guys who can be had? Hmmm....
   75. CrosbyBird Posted: December 02, 2010 at 06:48 AM (#3700630)
I think Tejada has a really good shot of being at least replacement level as a starter in 2011, if that's really what you're looking for. He was 2 runs under replacement in 2010, and he ended reasonably well.

I agree that he should be in AAA to start the season, mind you, but I don't think he's worse than replacement-level right now.
   76. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 02, 2010 at 07:15 AM (#3700639)
Damning with faint praise, CB?
   77. CrosbyBird Posted: December 02, 2010 at 09:41 AM (#3700663)
Perhaps. I used to think Tejada would be a good backup MI, but then I saw that he wasn't anything special defensively.

Actually, I thought Tejada was so young and so raw that he wasn't yet even a prospect. Now he's not so young anymore, and probably not much of a prospect, considering that's he's never had a really strong showing in the minors.

With further thought, I might start Tejada in AA rather than AAA.
   78. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 02, 2010 at 11:33 AM (#3700671)
Well, the 2011 season will be his age 21 season. I think he has to be considered something of a prospect for even putting up a .600 OPS with a decent BB rate as a 20 year old, while looking MLB-ready defensively at one of the more demanding positions. At this moment, I would guess his optimistic projection is something along the line of Luis Castillo's career. Castillo put up remarkably similar batting lines in Florida when he was around Tejada's age. Given that he's so young, it's not even impossible that Tejada bulks up and can hit the occasional home run. He'll never have Castillo's speed, but it'd be very difficult for him to not have at least as much power. He was a decent if unspectacular prospect at the start of last year, and I don't think last year should really have hurt his stock.

That said, there is no way this team can let him be their starting second baseman in 2011. As others have pointed out, it's probably not best for his development to start the year in New York, and if this team considers itself any sort of a contender, it should not be starting players who may or may not be replacement level. I imagine he's at least a couple years away from being a useful hitter at the major league level, even if things go well for him.

The question then becomes who can they possibly have start at second? Kind of scary that if no one is picked up via trade of free agency, Daniel Murphy seems like the best bet to me...
   79. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 02, 2010 at 02:01 PM (#3700682)
I'm going to teach my son to turn the pivot, because it seems like he'd have a good chance of making The Show.
   80. CrosbyBird Posted: December 02, 2010 at 05:56 PM (#3700866)
Well, the 2011 season will be his age 21 season. I think he has to be considered something of a prospect for even putting up a .600 OPS with a decent BB rate as a 20 year old, while looking MLB-ready defensively at one of the more demanding positions.

I don't buy it. One of the serious problems with the Met farm system is that we've put far too much stock in the idea that young players who have mediocre seasons at relatively high levels in the minors will certainly improve, when that's really not the case.

Castillo put up remarkably similar batting lines in Florida when he was around Tejada's age. Given that he's so young, it's not even impossible that Tejada bulks up and can hit the occasional home run. He'll never have Castillo's speed, but it'd be very difficult for him to not have at least as much power.

Castillo is a pretty poor comparison. Not only did Castillo have much better minor-league numbers (yes, at A and AA, instead of AA and AAA), but even his first showing in the majors was much, much better than Tejada. A .262/.320/.305 (69 OPS+) line and a .213/.305/.282 (62 OPS+) line are not "remarkably similar." Yes, they're both awful, but Castillo's offense was slightly above replacement, while Tejada's was slightly below. Castillo also provided a pretty significant amount of defensive value and showed dominance on the bases. One of the better offensive predictors in the minors is BB/K rate, and Castillo was much better than Tejada has been.

But even if you want to make a Castillo/Tejada comparison, look how long it took for Castillo to become even a marginal major-leaguer. Through age 26, he had exactly one season where he was not below-average overall, and that's with excellent speed and playing 2B. Castillo had four seasons in his entire career where he was above-average, and three of those four were post-arbitration. If a player's upside is Luis Castillo, he's a non-prospect.
   81. billyshears Posted: December 02, 2010 at 07:36 PM (#3700968)
I'll disagree with everybody: Tejada isn't a prospect, but he wasn't rushed. Tejada is exactly the type of guy you can speed through the minors - contact hitter with low Ks and BBs, good average, no power and no real chance to develop power. Sure he will suffer some deterioration in performance as he moves to the majors like most prospects, but I'm not sure there was a ton for Tejada to work on in the minors. He is what he is. If he figures out a way to hit .330 maybe he has some value, but how much do you want to manage your organization based on the chance a prospect will learn to hit .330? The Mets needed a SS/2b last year and Tejada was the best they had available. Simple as that.
   82. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 02, 2010 at 08:17 PM (#3701024)
I think we really just disagree on how good one needs to be to be considered a prospect, not on what kind of player Tejada looks like. Personally, I think a 5% chance of being Luis Castillo without speed is in fact a prospect. I consider pretty much anyone whose upside is average major league player to be a prospect. Also, when I said they had similar stats, I was just comparing MLB lines. Castillo was better at age 20, but his age 21 and 22 lines are pretty similar to what Tejada did this year at 20. I will agree though that the similarities between them are mostly that they are small second baseman with no power, and a lot of people fit that description. Since earlier in the thread I mocked the idea of him being the starter this year, and even when defending him said it'll be a few years before he can even be useful if things break right for him, I think people are responding a little strongly to the rest of what I said.
   83. CrosbyBird Posted: December 03, 2010 at 04:53 AM (#3701399)
Personally, I think a 5% chance of being Luis Castillo without speed is in fact a prospect. I consider pretty much anyone whose upside is average major league player to be a prospect.

I suppose that's fair, although awfully liberal. What sort of player isn't a prospect by that definition?

Castillo was better at age 20, but his age 21 and 22 lines are pretty similar to what Tejada did this year at 20. I will agree though that the similarities between them are mostly that they are small second baseman with no power, and a lot of people fit that description.

I think this demonstrates something worth considering. Castillo had better minor-league performance than Tejada, had a terrible age 20 MLB season, and got worse at age 21 and 22. If you think Tejada is 5% likely to hit his peak, which is similar to Castillo, that's probably a player that's almost certainly worse than Castillo was, and the expectation should be that he'll end up worse unless you get really, really lucky.

I think I'll go a step further. In early 2009, I didn't know much about Tejada except that he was very young for AA, and could put up a marginal offensive performance for the weakest offensive position in a good hitting park at Binghamton. That's not a very promising prospect. Now it's almost 2011, and he's added a poor performance in AAA and a dreadful performance in MLB, which makes him even less valuable as a prospect. I think he's destined to be a backup MI, which is certainly a much better baseball player than I'd make, but not really worth very much.

He doesn't hit for average or for power, has relatively poor plate discipline, doesn't have impressive speed, and doesn't play fantastic defense. What am I missing that so special about him? That he's young? This is not Lastings Milledge who crushed A ball at 19 and had a very strong half-season at AA at 20, or Fernando Martinez, who dominated A-ball at 17 and put up a strong AAA season at 20.
   84. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:03 AM (#3701405)

I suppose that's fair, although awfully liberal. What sort of player isn't a prospect by that definition?


I guess it depends on why you care. If you're interested in who in the minor leagues may come up and help your team win some day, then sure, why not include guys with Castillo as upside. Folks on this site tend to have more capacity to be interested in farm system minutia. Doesn't mean we'd be pissed off if the Mets traded, say, Zach Lutz for a bullpen arm.
   85. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:05 AM (#3701407)
By the way, it appears the Mets have made an offer to Jeff Francis. Broken pitchers are the new market inefficiency.
   86. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:05 AM (#3701408)
dp
   87. PreservedFish Posted: December 03, 2010 at 05:22 AM (#3701419)
Seems like we are redefining "prospect" to mean "good prospect."
   88. Something Other Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:20 AM (#3701458)
By the way, it appears the Mets have made an offer to Jeff Francis. Broken pitchers are the new market inefficiency.
I don't have a sense at all yet of what Alderson is doing. I'm also hoping that there's very little money going to Francis and, say, Chris Young. Alderson presumably knows better, but it was part of Minaya's approach to spread a fair amount of money among several flyers rather than spend that money all in one place, on a player who was actually a good bet to produce well.
   89. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:34 AM (#3701466)
I'd much prefer Francis to Young. He had a super walk rate and had pretty good peripherals last year. I also trust an 87 MPH fastball from a lefty much more than a 85 MPH fastball from a righty.
   90. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:04 AM (#3701509)
Where are all these knocks on Tejada's defense coming from? He was roundly praised for his glovework by Keith last year, who's notoriously grumpy on the subject and doesn't really pull punches just because they wear blue and orange. I mean, I also thought he looked great at the pivot, but no one gives a crap about that, so I'll defer to Keith.
   91. CrosbyBird Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:24 AM (#3701517)
Where are all these knocks on Tejada's defense coming from? He was roundly praised for his glovework by Keith last year, who's notoriously grumpy on the subject and doesn't really pull punches just because they wear blue and orange. I mean, I also thought he looked great at the pivot, but no one gives a crap about that, so I'll defer to Keith.


I realize that I may have come off as knocking Tejada's defense. I mean it literally when I say he's not "fantastic" defensively; Tejada may be average or even a bit above-average defensively, but I do not get the impression that he's a player with incredible defensive chops that justify a miserable bat.

We have a player who has, at least right now, a bat that is grossly unsuited to play in the majors even if he's Ozzie Smith defensively. I'm just making the point that he's not at all close to that sort of defensive reputation. I'd put him in AA until he plays at least another strong half-season.
   92. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:41 AM (#3701521)
I feel that Tejada's improvement with the bat last year was real, and therefore he deserves to be kept around to see if it's a mirage or if the bigs benefit him as the small sample size indicates. I realize this is the basic stance that everyone who disagrees disagrees with.

My real-world questions would then be:

1.) Who is available to be gotten for a good price, and what would be expected from this 2B for what price?

2.) Let's say that Collins and Alderson decide to torture all y'all and start Tejada at 2B for the year because our money is better spent elsewhere. He hits a spot-on dead average in OPS for NL second baseman. If the other moves given the salary restrictions are acceptable, would this production from Tejada at 2B be a FA failure?
   93. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2010 at 09:26 AM (#3701528)
Does Turner get a shot this season?
   94. CrosbyBird Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:40 PM (#3701826)
2.) Let's say that Collins and Alderson decide to torture all y'all and start Tejada at 2B for the year because our money is better spent elsewhere. He hits a spot-on dead average in OPS for NL second baseman. If the other moves given the salary restrictions are acceptable, would this production from Tejada at 2B be a FA failure?

Starting NL 2B? This would be an overwhelming success in terms of results. Getting league-average production for close to league-minimum at the biggest hole in the lineup?

That said, I think it is more likely that Tejada is below replacement offensively than average offensively. We're talking about a huge, huge increase in offensive performance, to a level that he's never been able to maintain at any level in the minors outside of rookie ball. That's roughly equivalent to expecting Ike Davis to be an All-Star in 2011.

I don't really have a huge problem with the Mets starting Tejada if they don't add anyone else because I don't really value him as a prospect. Yeah, I expect that he'll be a little better than replacement, but that's about as good as we can expect from Castillo. My first choice would be Murphy, simply because I think he's got a chance of hitting well enough to justify crappy defense.

If you think Tejada has any real chance of being a decent player, then he should be playing in AA (or possibly AAA, but I prefer AA) where he can start every day without any pressure. If Tejada starts the season even slightly worse than his 2010 campaign in the majors, the Mets will have to have a very short hook.
   95. Lassus Posted: December 03, 2010 at 06:49 PM (#3701836)
Maybe league-average was pushing it, but I get the idea that people are rarely aware how low the league average per position actually is, that's all.

I also have no problem with shuttling Tejada to the minors or elsewhere if Murphy works out at second. My whole point isn't that I think Tejada is the awesome, just that I don't believe he's the completely crappy non-prospect cipher that almost everyone else here is arguing he is, nor that his improvement was nothing but air.
   96. Sam M. Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:08 PM (#3701848)
I get the idea that people are rarely aware how low the league average per position actually is, that's all.

It ain't a 62 OPS+, Lassus. I know you think his improvement in 70 PAs in September was real, and that's a big part of our disagreement here. But to answer your question -- of course I'd be thrilled with a league average OPS from Tejada.

In other news, K-Rod pleads guilty. Our long national nightmare is over.

And word is the Braves have cut ties with Matt Diaz. Should we have any interest in a guy who can kill lefties?
   97. CrosbyBird Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3701855)
I hate signing players that the Braves don't want. It always seems to work out badly.
   98. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:19 PM (#3701856)
I guess no one thinks much of Turner.

I'd prefer the Mets avoid signing Diaz. He is going to be 33 years old next year. I'd prefer to see what Evans can do.
   99. Sam M. Posted: December 03, 2010 at 07:25 PM (#3701861)
I guess no one thinks much of Turner.

I think I prefer the kid the Blue Jays left available for the Rule 5 draft, Brad Emaus.
   100. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 03, 2010 at 08:03 PM (#3701905)
I think I'll go a step further. In early 2009, I didn't know much about Tejada except that he was very young for AA, and could put up a marginal offensive performance for the weakest offensive position in a good hitting park at Binghamton. That's not a very promising prospect. Now it's almost 2011, and he's added a poor performance in AAA and a dreadful performance in MLB, which makes him even less valuable as a prospect.


At 19 he hit .289/.351/.381 against a league average of .258/.332/.385 - that is not "a marginal offensive performance for the weakest offensive position"

No 2010 was not a step forward, and yes Luis Castillo's age 20 in AA was better than Tejada's age 19 in AA (or Tejada's age 20 in AAA/MLB) (but FWIW Castillo had/has even less pop than Tejada)
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