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Monday, August 27, 2012

Sherman: Bosox-Dodgers blockbuster underscores Mets mess

The Mets were indecisive last July with Jose Reyes — going for a playoff pipe dream and to seduce fans that never came to Citi Field. The Dodgers, playing Luis Cruz at third, needed an upgrade at that position as badly as they do first base. So why exactly couldn’t the Mets have been bold with David Wright, as long as they could attach a bad contract or two with it to gain a total financial reset along with prospects? Are the Mets so positive they will re-sign Wright that they can keep letting opportunities to set themselves up for the future float away?

Instead, it is the Red Sox who have refortified their system and, unlike the Mets, now have the money and the will to spend in the immediate future. They could decide to trade Jacoby Ellsbury or rebuild around him. They could be in play now for any team looking to escape its own long-term problem. For example, would the arm-needy Twins ever consider dealing Joe Mauer, long an object of Red Sox desire? Boston essentially found a mechanism to start over again.

The Mets? They seem stuck in the same horror movie one year after another. Except worse now. For they not only have to deal with the Yankees in New York, but the Yankees of the West Coast in Los Angeles and the National League.

Thanks to Galen Barnald.

Repoz Posted: August 27, 2012 at 12:41 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, dodgers, mets, red sox

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:01 PM (#4219184)
Mets hijack!

So why exactly couldn’t the Mets have been bold with David Wright, as long as they could attach a bad contract or two with it to gain a total financial reset along with prospects? Are the Mets so positive they will re-sign Wright that they can keep letting opportunities to set themselves up for the future float away?


But -- the Red Sox seem likely to spend at least a large percentage of their savings on improving the team in one way or another. If the Mets had dumped a lot of salary, how much of that would have gone back into the team and how much would have gone into the owners' continuing efforts to remain solvent? From a fan's perspective, this dump would've been a disaster, unless Alderson had actually gotten a good on-field return. This is more interesting:

Six months ago, the Mets and Dodgers were lumped in as big-city financial disasters; the Mets because of their owners’ relationship with Bernie Madoff and the Dodgers because of their miserly owner, Frank McCourt. But in late March, the Dodgers were sold for more than any other sports franchise ever, $2.15 billion, to the Guggenheim group. At that time an NL personnel chief told me, “Watch, they want to and will become Yankees West.”


The Mets will never be the Yankees West East, but with decent ownership they should be in the tier of spenders right below the Yankees-Dodgers-Red Sox. Rather than a team barely making it despite spending $30 million less than the Marlins.
   2. Conor Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4219187)
I feel like it would've been a lot more difficult for the Mets to make this kind of deal. They basically only have 2 other bad contracts on the roster, Bay and Santana. First, Wright would've had to clear through waivers all the way to the Dodgers spot. That's possible since it happened to Gonzalez. But Santana is owed $30 million next year (plus whatever he is owed for the rest of this year, something like $4 million) and Bay is owed $16 million this year plus another $2 or $3 for the rest of this year. Plus, of course, Santana is now done for the season after being terrible for the month prior, and Bay has been just terrible this year. Beckett hasn't been great this year but he's at least actually pitching right now; which makes him more useful than either Santana or Bay.

Also worth mentioning that if Wright is traded then he can void his option for next year,which he almost certainly would. I can't see how this really would've worked out; the two bad contracts the Mets have right now are so useless; would it be worth taking on $19 million for Jason Bay for the right to sign David Wright to a huge contract in the winter?
   3. PreservedFish Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4219192)
The situations do not seem analogous`to me. Bay and Santana are oustkies in 2014, so, no, you don't trade the franchise player in order to get a single year's jumpstart on a rebuilding process.

On edit > I mean, the Mets currently have $5.5 million committed for 2014. Bobby Bonilla is currently scheduled to be their second highest paid player. They have "a mechanism to start over again" built into their payroll already.
   4. Stevis Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4219212)
Bobby Bonilla is currently scheduled to be their second highest paid player.


That is simply my favorite thing I've read all day.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4219218)
On edit > I mean, the Mets currently have $5.5 million committed for 2014.


Is this just Niese?
   6. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4219228)
Did the new playoff system encourage this whole thing? The Sox were sinking, and the Wild Card is harder to justify to the fanbase as "making the playoffs".
   7. PreservedFish Posted: August 27, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4219231)
#5 - Yup. Of course there will be players in arbitration, and there are the payments for declining options on Bay and Santana. But basically they'll have a ton of money to spend, even if they do not expand the middle of the road payroll.
   8. jyjjy Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4219246)
I can't see how this really would've worked out; the two bad contracts the Mets have right now are so useless

The comparison is to the Crawford contract however which is tough to beat.
   9. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4219247)
Did the new playoff system encourage this whole thing? The Sox were sinking, and the Wild Card is harder to justify to the fanbase as "making the playoffs".


So if the Rays pass the Yankees but the latter still gets a Wild Card, you won't consider the Yankees to have "made the playoffs"?
   10. SM Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4219250)
Not if they lose the play-in game to Oakland or whomever
   11. Swedish Chef Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4219251)
So if the Rays pass the Yankees but the latter still gets a Wild Card, you won't consider the Yankees to have "made the playoffs"?

If they don't pass the wild card playoff, no.
   12. akrasian Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4219254)
The Dodgers, playing Luis Cruz at third, needed an upgrade at that position as badly as they do first base.

Maybe long term, but short term Loney has had a 79 OPS+ this season, while Cruz has had a 122 OPS+. There wasn't the same need to upgrade at a premium this season, although they might do so in the offseason when it should be easier.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4219259)
So if the Rays pass the Yankees but the latter still gets a Wild Card, you won't consider the Yankees to have "made the playoffs"?


I will. I think the system is ridiculous, but I can't think of this as analogous to the old one-game playoff. Those were between tied teams and were simply an extension of the regular season. This will be by teams that could have clinched their participation in this absurdity 10 games before the end of the regular season (and, obviously, finish with wildly disparate records). To me, one seems like extra innings and the other a new game entirely.

It would be an unfulfilling appearance undoubtedly. But a playoff appearance nonetheless.

   14. JJ1986 Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4219262)
Are the stats in those games going to count? I would guess not.
   15. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4219268)
I said "justify to the fanbase". I don't think many Yankee fans would consider a one-and-done a "playoff year", and it certainly wouldn't prevent them from cleaning house.
   16. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: August 27, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4219280)
I said "justify to the fanbase". I don't think many Yankee fans would consider a one-and-done a "playoff year", and it certainly wouldn't prevent them from cleaning house.

In that case wouldn't it make more sense to wait till you lose that game and clean house in the offseason than during August? It doesn't look to me like the 2nd Wild Card had anything to do with the Red Sox housecleaning or this guy's call for a Mets' housecleaning. It looks more like the Mets and Red Sox weren't even going to make the Wild Card game and so their houses looked unkempt. The more interesting test of your theory seems to be in the NL, where if the Cards and Braves face off in the Wild Card game it would be interesting to see whether the loser cleans house while the winner doesn't....especially if the winner advances to the World Series.
   17. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 27, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4219315)
No. Knowing that I'm headed for the wild, wild Card and that this would be a big disappointment to everyone, I'd be very inclined to be bolder in August; to take a deal that I otherwise wouldn't.

The Red Sox fans - justifiably - have certain expectations for their team and its performance that the Mets fans don't. The Mets were in a better playoff position; and a three-and-out would not be looked upon fondly.

The 2011 Mets had many more reasons to hang in and not "White Flag" than the 2012 Red Sox.
   18. Dan Posted: August 27, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4219328)
The Red Sox haven't been in the playoffs since 2009, when they were swept out of the first round in 3 games. If they had been in a position to make the Wild Card Playoff, they wouldn't have made this deal. The team is below .500 at the end of August. Their decision had nothing to do with considering the wild card game "not making the playoffs".
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: August 27, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4219338)
Their decision had nothing to do with considering the wild card game "not making the playoffs".


Agreed. I'm sure the organization would have loved the opportunity to be the fifth-best team in the league, but that lofty perch wasn't really within reach.

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