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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Friday, December 04, 2009

2010 ZiPS Projections - New York Mets

Well, that didn’t go according to plan.  I think.  If it did go according to plan, I seriously question the planning abilities of the New York Mets.

A few things did go right for the team.  Francoeur flailed enough hits to actually contribute while with the Mets, though I don’t expect that to last given his history of having plate discipline so poor that Brad Pennington couldn’t walk him.  Pagan played legitimately well.

Not many teams can absorb losing Delgado and Reyes for most of the season, Beltran for half a season, and Wright’s loss of power.  The hypothetical team that could would have to have a pretty strong pitching rotation and a great deal of organizational depth.  If the 70-92 record didn’t do it, having a team that was very happy that Nelson Figueroa was hanging around should disabuse any holdouts that think the Mets could have been that team.

So, what do the Mets do?  Delgado’s gone, but it’s hard to resist the urge to go for it when you have Beltran, Wright, Reyes, and Santana on your team.  The team desperately needs a fill-in at 1B better than Murphy and they need someone to catch for a year.  Getting an actual innings-eater is a must and it would be useful if someone would inform Omar Minaya that an innings-eater doesn’t necessarily have to be a pitcher as bad as Livan Hernandez or Tim Redding.

Offensive Projections

Name               P Age   AVG   OBP   SLG   G AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB   K SB CS OPS+
David Wright         3b 27 .307 .396 .507 148 566 104 174 37 2 24 101 84 130 24 7   140
Carlos Beltran#      cf 33 .294 .381 .514 113 432 79 127 28 2 21 83 62 78 16 2   137
Jose Reyes#          ss 27 .294 .363 .455 109 462 79 136 24 10 10 49 49 58 43 11   117
Carlos Delgado*      1b 38 .271 .351 .479 74 284 44 77 15 1 14 56 32 62 0 0   119
Fernando Tatis       1b 35 .277 .345 .458 107 336 46 93 19 3 12 49 30 64 4 2   113
Angel Pagan#        cf 28 .285 .335 .446 92 298 48 85 16 7 6 36 24 53 12 4   107
Chris Carter*        1b 27 .278 .334 .428 128 493 57 137 27 1 15 69 41 79 1 0   102
Gary Sheffield       lf 41 .248 .347 .411 97 302 43 75 14 1 11 45 43 60 4 1   102
Luis Castillo#        2b 34 .290 .368 .349 120 441 72 128 14 3 2 38 55 48 18 5   94
Daniel Murphy*        1b 25 .274 .326 .408 150 525 66 144 34 3 10 69 41 79 6 4   95
Jeff Francoeur       rf 26 .269 .310 .425 155 602 75 162 34 3 18 86 32 111 4 3   94
Jason DuBois         lf 31 .242 .310 .425 116 388 50 94 18 1 17 59 31 113 2 1   94
Josh Thole*          c   23 .273 .335 .360 124 447 48 122 26 2 3 51 40 55 5 2   87
Chip Ambres         rf 30 .252 .317 .393 125 448 57 113 23 2 12 54 42 100 4 4   89
Emil Brown           rf 35 .259 .314 .396 100 351 48 91 19 1 9 55 27 72 5 3   89
Jeremy Reed*        lf 29 .274 .320 .394 139 368 47 101 20 3 6 38 24 52 5 5   90
Andy Green           3b 32 .248 .325 .369 93 290 44 72 13 2 6 29 32 58 4 2   86
Mike Lamb*          3b 34 .266 .314 .377 108 342 41 91 19 2 5 44 23 40 0 1   84
Nicholas Evans       lf 24 .240 .295 .402 130 438 53 105 25 5 12 50 33 113 1 0   84
Fernando Martinez     cf 21 .251 .297 .406 86 335 43 84 21 2 9 41 19 75 4 2   86
Cory Sullivan*        cf 30 .262 .319 .364 127 390 51 102 18 5 4 38 33 70 8 4   83
Jesus Feliciano*      lf 31 .284 .327 .349 112 398 46 113 18 1 2 34 23 43 8 6   82
Ike Davis*          1b 23 .227 .302 .388 122 472 46 107 24 2 16 58 50 154 0 2   83
Alex Cora*          ss 34 .251 .322 .336 85 235 28 59 10 2 2 17 19 26 4 2   77
Robinson Cancel       c   34 .256 .299 .358 69 215 21 55 11 1 3 19 13 31 5 2   75
Anderson Hernandez#    2b 27 .255 .304 .338 129 462 58 118 19 5 3 40 32 81 9 7   72
Ruben Tejada         ss 20 .247 .299 .324 139 527 56 130 23 3 4 42 34 88 11 4   67
Omir Santos         c   29 .247 .289 .342 92 295 28 73 14 1 4 33 15 55 1 1   69
Javier Castillo       3b 26 .246 .288 .343 127 472 43 116 22 3 6 43 27 107 3 3   68
Ramon Martinez       ss 37 .243 .300 .313 49 144 14 35 7 0 1 18 12 20 1 1   65
Rene Rivera         c   26 .226 .268 .353 75 266 23 60 13 0 7 29 14 72 0 1   65
Shawn Bowman         3b 25 .216 .258 .320 70 269 24 58 12 2 4 24 14 93 1 1   54

Defensive Projections

Name           CThr 1b     2b     3b     ss     lf     cf     rf    
Wright                       Av/100                      
Beltran#                                      Vg/97      
Reyes#                            Av/93                  
Delgado*          Fr/103                                
Tatis             Av/116       Pr/116       Fr/120       Fr/120
Pagan#                                  Av/92   Av/105 Av/92  
Carter*            Pr/146                 Pr/108       Pr/137
Sheffield           Pr/75                   Pr/75       Pr/75  
Castillo#                Fr/100                            
Murphy*            Vg/144 Fr/173 Fr/144       Av/129       Av/129
Francoeur                                           Av/97
DuBois             Fr/125                 Pr/129       Pr/129
Thole*        Fr   Fr/111                                
Ambres                                 Vg/104 Pr/131 Vg/104
Brown                                   Av/127       Fr/119
Reed*                                  Av/75   Fr/84   Av/75  
Green                   Av/100 Fr/120 Pr/120 Fr/100            
Lamb*            Av/121       Pr/114                      
Evans             Av/95                   Fr/123            
Martinez                                 Av/93   Fr/93   Av/93  
Sullivan*                                Av/84   Fr/84      
Feliciano*                              Vg/78   Fr/71   Vg/78  
Davis*            Av/105                                
Cora*                  Av/86       Av/99                  
Cancel         Av   Fr/114                 Fr/114            
Hernandez#              Vg/107       Av/108                
Tejada                 Vg/131       Vg/131                
Santos         Av                                      
Castillo                     Av/146 Fr/175                
Martinez                 Fr/61   Fr/61   Pr/61                  
Rivera         Av                                      
Bowman                       Vg/79                      

* - Bats Left
# - Switch Hitter

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

Name           PO   EX   VG   AV   FR   PO       COMP 1       COMP 2       COMP 3
WrightDavid     3B   85%  14%  1%  0%  0%  AlfonzoEdgardo   JacobyBrook     SantoRon
BeltranCarlos     CF   97%  3%  0%  0%  0%    LankfordRay   AndersonBrady   van SlykeAndy
ReyesJose       SS   86%  11%  3%  1%  0%  FurcalRafael   ApplingLuke   RenteriaEdgar
DelgadoCarlos     1B   12%  38%  28%  19%  3%    AdcockJoe   JohnsonCliff     FairlyRon
TatisFernando     1B   5%  25%  25%  31%  14%    KarrosEric     PippWally     MormanRuss
PaganAngel       CF   24%  27%  33%  15%  2%    KeoughMarty   WynneMarvell   SandersDeion
CarterChris     1B   2%  10%  20%  45%  24%      CoxSteve   McCrawTommy     JohnsonRon
SheffieldGary     LF   5%  17%  21%  27%  30%    SauerHank   SlaughterEnos     WanerPaul
CastilloLuis     2B   20%  18%  22%  25%  15%  RandolphWillie   VinaFernando   BlasingameDon
MurphyDaniel     1B   0%  3%  9%  35%  53%      KrukJohn     DalenaPete   MastellerDan
FrancoeurJeff     RF   1%  4%  11%  26%  59%    JonesJacque ChamberlainWes     JamesChris
DuboisJason     LF   1%  5%  10%  25%  59%  JohnsonDeron   HatcherChris     ClarkBobby
ReedJeremy       LF   0%  3%  5%  14%  79%      UnserDel     MayDerrick WilliamsDallas
BrownEmil       RF   1%  5%  6%  15%  73%    SierraRuben     WardGary     HoagMyril
TholeJoshua       C   1%  13%  31%  42%  13%  NavarroDioner     LevisJesse   KendallJason
AmbresChip       RF   1%  2%  4%  15%  78%  CordovaMarty   SpencerShane     CimoliGino
MartinezFernando   LF   0%  1%  4%  17%  77%    JamesChris   O’NeillPaul   HartsockBrian
GreenAndy       3B   0%  3%  12%  32%  54%  TatisFernando   RoysterJerry   BarnesSkeeter
LambMike       3B   0%  2%  8%  24%  66%  ChristmanMark     StrippJoe   BarnesSkeeter
SullivanCory     CF   1%  2%  12%  34%  50%  PodsednikScott     ScottTonyMcCrackenQuinton
EvansNick       LF   0%  1%  3%  12%  85%    MoutonLyleSmithermanStephe     PoeCharles
FelicianoJesus   LF   0%  1%  2%  6%  91%    WanerLloyd     SpanglerAl     RamosKen
DavisIke       1B   0%  0%  1%  8%  91%      HornSam     SantosChad   WhitesellJosh
CancelRobinson     C   0%  3%  9%  37%  51%  HemsleyRollie   NorrisSteven     CeroneRick
CoraAlex       SS   0%  3%  19%  43%  35%      BoleyJoe   FletcherScott   FernandezTony
HernandezAnderson 2B   0%  0%  1%  6%  93%    MaciasJose   InfanteAlexis   VerasQuilvio
TejadaRuben     SS   0%  0%  5%  24%  71%    ChavezPedro   DiSarcinaGary   InfanteOmar
SantosOmir       C   0%  0%  2%  20%  77%    HeintzChris   HubbardMike DalesandroMark
CastilloJavier   3B   0%  0%  0%  2%  98%  SpringerSteve   GonzalezEdgar ColombinoCarlo
MartinezRamon     SS   0%  0%  1%  14%  85%MaranvilleRabbit   LockhartKeith   BluegeOssie
RiveraRene       C   0%  0%  0%  8%  92%  ColbertCraig   ReynoldsRonn     BrownJason
BowmanShawn     3B   0%  0%  0%  0%  100%    CaliseMike     RustBrian   DuncanCarlos

Name         .300 BA .375 OBP .500 SLG 140 OPS+  45 2B   10 3B   30 HR   30 SB
WrightDavid       60%    77%    53%    47%    15%    0%    19%    24%
BeltranCarlos       40%    57%    60%    39%    3%    0%    11%    1%
ReyesJose         40%    32%    20%    12%    0%    65%    0%    95%
DelgadoCarlos       19%    21%    33%    9%    0%    0%    0%    0%
TatisFernando       20%    14%    16%    3%    0%    1%    0%    0%
PaganAngel         31%    10%    12%    5%    0%    25%    0%    0%
CarterChris       17%    4%    5%    1%    1%    0%    2%    0%
SheffieldGary       7%    18%    3%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%
CastilloLuis       38%    40%    0%    0%    0%    2%    0%    4%
MurphyDaniel       13%    1%    1%    0%    6%    1%    0%    0%
FrancoeurJeff       8%    0%    2%    0%    8%    1%    3%    0%
DuboisJason         1%    1%    4%    1%    0%    0%    2%    0%
ReedJeremy         20%    3%    1%    0%    0%    1%    0%    0%
BrownEmil         9%    3%    3%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
TholeJoshua       12%    4%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
AmbresChip         4%    2%    1%    1%    1%    0%    0%    0%
MartinezFernando     3%    0%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
GreenAndy         4%    5%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
LambMike         11%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
SullivanCory       8%    3%    0%    0%    0%    5%    0%    0%
EvansNick         0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    4%    0%    0%
FelicianoJesus     28%    5%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
DavisIke           0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
CancelRobinson       9%    1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
CoraAlex           7%    5%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
HernandezAnderson     3%    0%    0%    0%    0%    5%    0%    0%
TejadaRuben         1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    1%    0%    0%
SantosOmir         3%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
CastilloJavier       1%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
MartinezRamon       10%    3%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
RiveraRene         0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%
BowmanShawn         0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%    0%

Pitching Statistics - Starters

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+
Johan Santana*        31   3.23 16   9 30 30   206.1 184   74 24   52 203 133
John Maine           29   4.20   9   8 23 22   122.0 113   57 14   57 103 103
Jon Niese*          23   4.57   8   9 26 26   143.2 155   73 14   55 103   95
Mike Pelfrey         26   4.86 10 14 33 33   189.0 216 102 18   69 111   89
Jenrry Mejia         20   4.90   3   5 16 16   75.1   78   41   8   44   54   88
Oliver Perez*        28   4.93   7 10 27 27   142.1 138   78 20   87 132   88
Nelson Figueroa       36   5.06   6 10 28 20   131.2 151   74 17   46   91   86
Fernando Nieve         27   5.19   3   5 24 11   67.2   75   39   9   31   50   83
Tim Redding           32   5.32   6 10 32 25   150.2 171   89 23   58   96   81
Jack Egbert           27   5.46   6 11 29 22   123.2 147   75 15   49   75   79
Tobi Stoner           25   5.58   6 11 26 25   132.1 156   82 18   56   77   78
Bobby Parnell         25   5.67   5 11 52 20   120.2 142   76 14   67   86   76
Adam Pettyjohn*        33   5.67   6 12 27 21   127.0 152   80 22   41   65   76
Bradley Holt         23   5.72   4   8 18 18   83.1   88   53 14   50   67   76
Lance Broadway         26   5.98   5 12 33 22   143.0 175   95 20   67   75   72

Pitching Statistics - Relievers

Name               Age   ERA   W   L   G GS   INN   H   ER HR   BB   K ERA+
Francisco Rodriguez     28   3.13   5   2 74   0   72.0   55   25   6   37   88 138
J.J. Putz           33   3.53   4   3 43   0   43.1   37   17   4   20   45 123
Pedro Feliciano*      33   3.92   4   3 83   0   57.1   54   25   6   24   56 110
Sean Green           31   4.30   3   4 75   0   75.1   75   36   6   36   61 101
Elmer Dessens         39   4.42   2   2 34   0   36.2   37   18   4   13   23   98
Brian Stokes         30   4.54   3   4 77   0   81.1   85   41   8   38   56   95
Brandon Knight         34   4.61   4   5 25   8   68.1   70   35   9   26   57   94
Kyle Snyder           32   4.84   3   4 31   9   70.2   76   38 10   27   46   89
Pat Misch*          28   4.87   5   7 44 13   114.2 127   62 15   36   70   89
Jon Switzer*          30   5.06   2   3 48   0   58.2   64   33   8   24   43   85
Eddie Kunz           24   5.43   3   5 48   0   58.0   64   35   7   33   36   80
Arturo Lopez*        27   5.48   1   2 28   2   42.2   48   26   5   25   26   79

* - Throws Left

ODDIBE (Odds of Important Baseball Events)

Player         PO     TOP   MID   BOT         COMP 1         COMP 2         COMP 3
RodriguezFrancisco RP     71%  26%  3%      LidgeBrad     GossageRich   GarreltsScott
SantanaJohan     SP     92%  7%  1%      ViolaFrank   CandelariaJohn     HubbellCarl
PutzJ.J.        RP     45%  40%  15%    BerenguerJuan     LeskanicCurt     NelsonJeff
FelicianoPedro   RP     34%  50%  16%    McElroyChuck     LavelleGary     MyersRandy
MaineJohn       SP     35%  52%  13%    PavlikRoger       WellsKip     MillerWade
GreenSean       RP     15%  54%  30%    BernardDwight     StewartSammy       PowerTed
DessensElmer     RP     29%  30%  40%      WhiteRick       MesaJose       FowlerArt
StokesBrian     RP     6%  48%  46%    RiedlingJohn   PufferBrandon     ParontoChad
NieseJon       SP     15%  61%  24%      SmithBud     ThurmondMark     TroutSteve
KnightBrandon     SP     8%  41%  50%    GardnerMark   RasmussenEric   CarraraGiovanni
SnyderKyle       RP     4%  30%  66%      ReedJerry     BrockChris       SoffRay
PelfreyMike     SP     6%  56%  38%      LaCossMike       ScottMike   FireovidSteve
MischPatrick     RP     4%  31%  65%      KnottEric     YoungCliff     CrawfordJoe
MejiaJenrry     SP     9%  44%  48%      DurbinJ.D.    NippertDustin     AlbersMatt
PerezOliver     SP     7%  46%  47%      ScoreHerb     SearcySteve       LollarTim
FigueroaNelson   SP     6%  38%  57%      ShowEric     TomkoBrett       PowerTed
SwitzerJon       RP     3%  28%  69%    EischenJoey     HolzemerMark     CrowellJim
NieveFernando     SP     2%  24%  74%    GrimsleyJason     CressendJack     ShieldsSteve
ReddingTim       SP     1%  26%  73%  FernandezJared     OrtizRamon   SpringerDennis
KunzEddie       RP     1%  17%  82%      EyreWillie     DrummondTim     BowlesBrian
EgbertJack       SP     1%  21%  78%    RandallScott       PughTim     AguileraRick
LopezArturo     RP     2%  16%  82%      JarvisMatt   BarzillaPhilip   RodriguezRich
StonerTobi       SP     0%  18%  81%    ArroyoBronson     IrelandEric     HarikkalaTim
ParnellBobby     SP     0%  5%  95%  ManningCharlie     TorresDilson     MillerKurt
PettyjohnAdam     SP     2%  15%  83%  MulhollandTerry     MayDarrell   LorraineAndrew
HoltBradley     SP     2%  17%  82%      KinneyMatt     BonserBoof   ElliottDonnie
BroadwayLance     SP     0%  5%  95%      BauerPeter   FarnsworthJeff   MendozaHatuey

Player         130 ERA+  100 ERA+  K/9 >8 BB/9 <2 HR/9

<1
RodriguezFrancisc 65% 96% 97% 0% 84%
SantanaJohan 62% 98% 79% 30% 51%
PutzJ.J. 45% 79% 83% 1% 79%
FelicianoPedro 27% 72% 71% 1% 58%
MaineJohn 9% 59% 32% 0% 61%
GreenSean 11% 57% 19% 0% 87%
DessensElmer 23% 52% 4% 16% 59%
StokesBrian 4% 41% 2% 0% 74%
NieseJon 2% 39% 3% 0% 77%
KnightBrandon 6% 43% 29% 2% 45%
SnyderKyle 3% 28% 2% 2% 39%
PelfreyMike 1% 22% 0% 0% 77%
MischPatrick 3% 27% 2% 7% 43%
MejiaJenrry 1% 24% 6% 0% 61%
PerezOliver 0% 20% 64% 0% 28%
FigueroaNelson 1% 16% 5% 4% 42%
SwitzerJon 2% 25% 6% 1% 51%
NieveFernando 1% 17% 8% 0% 47%
ReddingTim 0% 5% 0% 0% 15%
KunzEddie 1% 14% 0% 0% 44%
EgbertJack 0% 4% 0% 0% 47%
LopezArturo 1% 13% 2% 0% 60%
StonerTobi 0% 4% 0% 0% 30%
ParnellBobby 0% 2% 1% 0% 45%
PettyjohnAdam 0% 5% 1% 6% 13%
HoltBradley 0% 6% 20% 0% 12%
BroadwayLance 0% 0% 0% 0% 24%

Extrapolated Career Statistics

Name           BA OBP SLG   G   AB     R     H   2B 3B   HR RBI   BB   SO SB CS OPS+
CastilloLuis   .289 .367 .350 2341 8846   1385   2555 273 75   40 633 1093   1140 457 167   92
ReyesJose     .285 .353 .434 2058 8646   1470   2460 459 158 172 804   922   1200 693 186 108
WrightDavid     .292 .389 .473 2733 10245   1819   2989 618 38 387 1686 1635   2539 308 106 128
BeltranCarlos   .280 .362 .485 2414 9292   1645   2603 545 78 402 1593 1204   1753 389 52 120
DelgadoCarlos   .278 .379 .536 2297 8284   1391   2301 536 22 519 1701 1219   1971 14   8 135
SheffieldGary   .291 .392 .512 2638 9408   1663   2737 479 28 515 1704 1506   1218 254 104 139

Player         W   L   S   ERA     G   GS   IP     H   HR   BB   SO   ERA+
SantanaJohan     242   146   1 3.44   566   489 3401   3051   411   950   3248   128

All figures in % based on projection playing time

Disclaimer:  ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. 
Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors -
many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2009. 
ZiPS is projecting equivalent production - a .240 ZiPS projection may end up
being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example.  Whether or not a player will play
is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting
the future.

Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. 
This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in
the offseason. 

ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.46 ERA and the NL having a 4.41 ERA.

Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected.  More information
is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting
the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery.

Positional offense is ranked by RC/27 and divided into quintiles based on what the
most frequent starting players at each position did in 2007-2009.  Excellent is the top
quintile, Very Good the 2nd quintile and so on.

 

2010 ZiPS Projections Archive

Nationals

Orioles

Padres

Phillies

Pirates

Rangers

Rays

Red Sox

Reds

Rockies

Royals

Tigers

Twins

White Sox

Yankees




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Dan Szymborski Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:18 AM | 186 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Frisco Cali Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:28 AM (#3402789)
Not quite the projection that Ike Davis fans were looking for.
   2. Juan V Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:34 AM (#3402797)
Wright's top comp: Edgardo Alfonzo. Ouch.
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:36 AM (#3402798)
Wait, that's not right.
   4. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:41 AM (#3402805)
Figured it out - Alfonzo slides down because I had his '99 season for both '99 and '98 in my database. Elliot and Chipper slide up. Not enough to make a difference in projection.
   5. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:48 AM (#3402813)
Love that Santos projection.

700 doubles, nearly 400 HR's and 300 SB's for Dub? Slightly disappointing.
   6. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:51 AM (#3402818)
What, only an 87 OPS+ projection for the second coming of Matt Wieters? ZiPS must be broken!

-- MWE
   7. Juan V Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:53 AM (#3402822)
It would be awesome to see a 700 doubles guy.
   8. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:57 AM (#3402831)
WrightDavid -- COMP 1: AlfonzoEdgardo


That's just mean.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 04, 2009 at 12:59 AM (#3402835)
I better double-check that too - 700 doubles is extremely aggressive for ZiPS.
   10. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 04, 2009 at 01:03 AM (#3402840)
Fixed. I'm just having all sorts of issue with Wright's projections.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2009 at 01:06 AM (#3402844)
Last year's projection was an eye-opener to me. I was initially positive about the '09 Mets but the clear lack of depth beyond the superstars had me commenting about similarities with the late 90s Mariners.

I don't think the 2010 Mets really have a prayer of contending. The good news is that Wright/Reyes are in their primes, while Beltran/Santana/KRod aren't so old that you have to think about assembling a "one last shot" win-now type of team. They'll be there in 2011.

The Mets are not in an obvious "success cycle" stage. They aren't good enough to marshall veterans for a championship run, but they're not bad enough to really think about rebuilding properly. They have the frontline talent but nothing behind it: how do you develop depth quickly? Ten years ago I would have been yelling from the rooftops that they should be trolling the minor league FA lists for Ken Phelps types and such, but I'm not convinced that it's that easy anymore.

I've seen people on this site advocate buying a bevy of mid-range free agents (your Gregg Zauns and Randy Wolfs) but that seems like a way to guarantee heartache.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 01:37 AM (#3402867)
I've seen people on this site advocate buying a bevy of mid-range free agents (your Gregg Zauns and Randy Wolfs) but that seems like a way to guarantee heartache.

If you keep the deals to 1-yr, the heartache will at least be short. It's not a plan I love, but I don't see them having any other option. The have too many holes and not enough minor league depth. The only alternative to mid-range FAs is to totally gut the farm in trades for one last death-ride, which Minaya has a lot of incentive to do.
   13. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 04, 2009 at 01:59 AM (#3402890)
The offensive projections are cause for optimism, while the pitching ones certainly are not. Pagan's numbers are surprisingly good after his first really good season. I'd rather he be on the bench than starting, but he wouldn't hurt the team at all if he could put up the projected line.

Any chance management would actually consider a Carter/Tatis platoon at first, or are we doomed to more Daniel Murphy? I would put Murphy in AAA to start the year and have him play second base there all season. I think it's very unlikely he could ever play second base at an acceptable level, but I think it's more likely than him hitting acceptably for a first baseman.

I also would not be at all opposed to Thole being the primary catcher if the other option is giving a multi-year deal to someone like Bengie Molina. It'd be nice if the catcher depth for this team was better than Santos/Cancel/Coste though.

I am really fearing that the opening day lineup will include Santos and Murphy. I hope I'm wrong, and I hope management realizes that even if no FAs are signed, they aren't the best options.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:05 AM (#3402895)
If you keep the deals to 1-yr, the heartache will at least be short. It's not a plan I love, but I don't see them having any other option.


But this doesn't really solve the problem. It makes the team less embarrassing. That's something, but it doesn't answer my question. How do the Mets develop real depth?

How did the Mariners do it? They went from a team with ARod/Griffey/Unit that couldn't make the playoffs into a team with none of them that did.
   15. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:06 AM (#3402896)
It'd be nice if the catcher depth for this team was better than Santos/Cancel/Coste though.

The Mets just signed Blanco for 1.5M.
   16. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:11 AM (#3402903)
I would hate to be in charge of the Mets right now. They are in no-man's land when it comes to contending or starting over.

I'd probably be OK with them paying for B free agents on short contracts and just praying for better health.

I love that Pagan projection and that Chris Carter projection is interesting. That Tatis projection seems a bit optimistic to me.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:12 AM (#3402904)
But this doesn't really solve the problem. It makes the team less embarrassing. That's something, but it doesn't answer my question. How do the Mets develop real depth?

Draft well. Go above slot. Spend on international scouting and bonuses. Trade shrewdly.

The depth aint coming in 2010-11, and they need to compete in those years before Reyes contract expires, and Beltran/Santana/Rodriguez get old.
   18. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:13 AM (#3402907)
Because Reyes will sign with the Yankees in 2011?
   19. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:17 AM (#3402910)
How did the Mariners do it? They went from a team with ARod/Griffey/Unit that couldn't make the playoffs into a team with none of them that did.


The answer, my friend, ends with a !.
   20. Lassus Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:19 AM (#3402911)
I'd rather [Pagan] be on the bench than starting

And who would be starting, then?
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:19 AM (#3402912)
Because Reyes will sign with the Yankees in 2011?

No, because he's a free agent. They will likely retain him, but at full market price, so the advantage of elite production at a bargain will gone.

Jeter will be the Yankee SS through at least 2012, probably 2013. It may get ugly.
   22. CraigK Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:21 AM (#3402913)
I wonder what Wright's numbers would look like if he played in a league-average ballpark instead of one tailor-built to #### him over.
   23. AJMcCringleberry Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:22 AM (#3402915)
I wonder what Wright's numbers would look like if he played in a league-average ballpark instead of one tailor-built to #### him over.

He hit 5 homers on the road last year.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:24 AM (#3402917)
I wonder what Wright's numbers would look like if he played in a league-average ballpark instead of one tailor-built to #### him over.


I'm just hoping he gets double-digits in homeruns
   25. Lassus Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:25 AM (#3402918)
And I thought ballpark factors showed Citifield to be only slightly below neutral.

It wasn't the park, Craig.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:28 AM (#3402921)
It wasn't the park, Craig.

No, it seems like it was Wright's attempt to adjust to what he thought the park would be that screwed him up. If he just goes back to his normal approach, he'll probably be fine.
   27. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:29 AM (#3402923)
Am I the only one who looked at Francoeur's projections and thought "not a chance in hell"?
   28. Downtown Bookie Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:30 AM (#3402924)
I'd rather [Pagan] be on the bench than starting

And who would be starting, then?


Holliday.

DB
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:32 AM (#3402927)
Am I the only one who looked at Francoeur's projections and thought "not a chance in hell"?

He has a career 92 OPS+, and Dan is projecting him for 94. That's not crazy.

In any case, a 94 OPS+ from an average defensive RF making $4M+ is a terrible player.
   30. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:36 AM (#3402930)
Am I the only one who looked at Francoeur's projections and thought "not a chance in hell"?

Expecting much better eh? Unless you are drinking the Frenchy kool-aid (I am), it's a fair projection.

He is 26 years old, coming of a 93 OPS+ season, and has a career OPS+ of 92. A projection of 94 is reasonable. A lot of Brave fans have an inordinate amount of hate for Francoeur. He was bad but he was not the reason the Braves have missed the playoffs the last 4 years.

Also, please let's not have this thread become another one in which we argue about Frenchy. I am at fault for commenting but we have had this discussion multiple times already.
   31. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:43 AM (#3402937)
No, it seems like it was Wright's attempt to adjust to what he thought the park would be that screwed him up. If he just goes back to his normal approach, he'll probably be fine.


No. He just sucked.
   32. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:47 AM (#3402940)
No. He just sucked.

That is kind of harsh. Before getting hit on the head, he was hitting .324/.414/.467. That's pretty close to his pre-2009 levels in overall value.
   33. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:53 AM (#3402941)
No. He just sucked.

He was an average third baseman in 2009. Wright only sucked for Wright.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 02:57 AM (#3402944)
No. He just sucked.

Didn't Wright actually talk about altering his approach?
   35. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:04 AM (#3402948)
Before getting hit on the head, he was hitting .324/.414/.467. That's pretty close to his pre-2009 levels in overall value.


With a BABIP that was on pace to break world records, right? He sucked last year. He turned into Joe Randa for a year. I don't know why it happened, but it did.

Didn't Wright actually talk about altering his approach?


Why didn't he alter it back when it seemed not to be working? I do not believe that Wright altering his approach would have resulted in his road numbers sinking horribly and his Ks going through the roof everywhere. Wright did not suddenly decide to become a high average, high strikeout, low power hitter. He just sucked and being BABIP lucky saved his season from seeming really ugly.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:13 AM (#3402953)
Why didn't he alter it back when it seemed not to be working?

Because once you get your mechanics messed up, it's hard to fix. It also was working fairly well, I'm pretty sure Wright was not thinking "Wow I suck this BABIP is unsustainable" when he was hitting .360.

in his road numbers sinking horribly and his Ks going through the roof everywhere

I think it's hard to have two totally separate approaches.
   37. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:15 AM (#3402957)
I think saying "he sucked" explains the whole thing better than playing amateur sports pyschology
   38. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:17 AM (#3402959)
[37] Actually, it explains nothing, which is why you're annoying people on this site for baseball analysis.
   39. Something Other Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:23 AM (#3402963)
I've seen people on this site advocate buying a bevy of mid-range free agents (your Gregg Zauns and Randy Wolfs) but that seems like a way to guarantee heartache.

If you keep the deals to 1-yr, the heartache will at least be short. It's not a plan I love, but I don't see them having any other option. The have too many holes and not enough minor league depth. The only alternative to mid-range FAs is to totally gut the farm in trades for one last death-ride, which Minaya has a lot of incentive to do.
The latter post is precisely the point. That way we don't wring our hands and punt another year of Beltran/Reyes/Wright/Santana, we DON'T trade any promising minor leaguers who might make 2011 and beyond a whole hell of a lot more fun, and we DON'T make any commitments that saddle us with Castillo-like contracts beyond 2010.

The Blanco signing only bothers me if the Mets now sign Bengie Molina (though signing Molina would bother me even if the Mets traded Luis Castillo for Roy Halladay straight up). Blanco's got a good defensive catcher, his platoon splits complement Santos', and Coste may be done after last year's swan dive so Coste should hardly be the last catcher acquisition the Mets make this offseason. Coste's a nice pickup btw. He's cheap, I believe he can be stashed at AAA, and if he's got a rebound year in him he's a good hitter for a catcher.
   40. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:27 AM (#3402966)
How was Wright an average 3B? If a 123 OPS+ is an average 3B, you are very, very spoiled people.
   41. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:31 AM (#3402970)
[37] Actually, it explains nothing, which is why you're annoying people on this site for baseball analysis.


Honestly, I think it does. Obviously "he sucked" is not an explanation, it does not illuminate the cause of his bad year, but it is IMO the best possible diagnosis, better than speculating about his mindset.
   42. Orange & Blue Velvet Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:37 AM (#3402979)
How was Wright an average 3B?

Wright played very poor defense. The worst of his career by far... before and after the plunking.

If he has a similar year in 2010, he's playing first base in 2011.
   43. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:44 AM (#3402990)

If he has a similar year in 2010, he's playing first base in 2011.


This is very unlikely, regardless of whether it should be. Ike Davis coming up, Wright's status in the franchise, his not fitting the mold physically - I can't see it.
   44. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:58 AM (#3403002)
Wright played very poor defense. The worst of his career by far... before and after the plunking.


25 players that played 3B the most often had 400 PAs last year. Wright ranks 6th in VORP and drops behind 2 players if you chop off 10 runs (can't check FanGraphs for the WAR as there seems to be some kind of sorcery involved to get positional lists that make sense). He was still a solidly above-average 3B.
   45. Something Other Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:06 AM (#3403004)
That's "Blanco's got a good defensive rep" (and he throws out something like 40% of basestealers) and hell, for all I know, he's got a good defensive catcher too.
   46. Lassus Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:15 AM (#3403008)
25 players that played 3B the most often had 400 PAs last year. Wright ranks 6th in VORP and drops behind 2 players if you chop off 10 runs (can't check FanGraphs for the WAR as there seems to be some kind of sorcery involved to get positional lists that make sense). He was still a solidly above-average 3B.

Arguing with or expecting anything but Velvet's pessimism and negativity is a pointless task, no matter what kind of facts you use.
   47. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:20 AM (#3403011)
I don't see Wright ever moving from third. Also don't understand the point of it. Will be many years before it happens.
   48. Mike Webber Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:30 AM (#3403017)
Dan, if Wright's K rate had been 1 per 6.2 Plate appearances like it was in 2007 and 2008, instead of 1 per 4.41 like it was last year, what would that do to his projection?
Would it be very different, or about the same?
   49. Walt Davis Posted: December 04, 2009 at 05:28 AM (#3403054)
The team desperately needs a fill-in at 1B better than Murphy

If you believe ZiPS, a Carter/Tatis platoon should do OK.

I'm just having all sorts of issue with Wright's projections.

I'm not sure you're done ... 2733 games? I'm not sure how many ZiPS is projecting will be at 3B, but that's Brooksian. There have only been 5 guys to make it to the 2200 mark for games at 3B. Even if ZiPS is moving him to 1B/DH at around 2000 games, that's still an awfully long career.

I'd say the same for the Zimmerman projection for the Nats which had him over 2400 games. I assume ZiPS projections aren't adjusting sufficiently for injury risk.

On Wright's "averageness" -- obviously he's well above average. But fangraph's UZR rated him at -10 last year. I don't put a lot of faith in that number but if that is his new level of defensive talent (and presumably getting worse) then a move off 3B would be wise.

Thole projects better than I would have guessed -- with fair defense that is playable at the ML level. Pagan projects better than I would have thought -- not saying it's wrong, just saying the Pagan I saw with the Cubs wasn't a guy I ever expected to project to a 107 OPS+. Castillo has a nicer projection than I'd have guessed as well. Now the pitching staff ....
   50. Mister High Standards Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:09 PM (#3403203)
I think people are overyly negative about the Mets chance at success in 2009. I think they are likely contenders and certainly a potential playoff club.

If the core 5 are reasonably healthy. Beltran, Reyes, Wright, Johan and K-Rod they are in the mix.

They need to not have another disasterous offseason though and actually work to improve the club at the positions the core players don't play, rather than just run out the status quo.
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:24 PM (#3403215)
But fangraph's UZR rated him at -10 last year. I don't put a lot of faith in that number but if that is his new level of defensive talent (and presumably getting worse) then a move off 3B would be wise.

Why? If he goes back to putting up a 140 OPS+, what's the problem with him as a -10 3B? The position shift to 1B costs him 15 runs in value, and it's a lot easier to find a good 1B. Every below average fielder doesn't need to move positions.
   52. The Essex Snead Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:47 PM (#3403241)
Wait -- so a 3B doesn't need to hit like Mike Schmidt & field like Brooks Robinson to be valuable? Are you guys sure that's right?
   53. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:49 PM (#3403246)
I think people are overyly negative about the Mets chance at success in 2009. I think they are likely contenders and certainly a potential playoff club.


Now, that's just mean...
   54. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 03:54 PM (#3403253)
Wait -- so a 3B doesn't need to hit like Mike Schmidt & field like Brooks Robinson to be valuable? Are you guys sure that's right?

Shhhhhh! Don't tell the Hall of Fame Voters, it might upset them.
   55. JPWF13 Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:20 PM (#3403283)
If the core 5 are reasonably healthy. Beltran, Reyes, Wright, Johan and K-Rod they are in the mix.

IF
IF
IF
IF
IF
IF

If that happens and Pelfrey AND Maine AND Ollie all pitch 150+ IP of 100-105 ERA+ Ball...

IF

sigh
   56. Mister High Standards Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:31 PM (#3403293)
IFIFIFIFIFIF


It's not that big of an if to ask for 5 players to be reasonably healthy.
   57. PreservedFish Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:36 PM (#3403304)
It's not that big of an if to ask for 5 players to be reasonably healthy.


If 3 of them had major injuries last year, it is. And the other two had crappier-than-usual years for no discernible reason. They are all question marks to some extent.

But really, the pitching staff is a joke.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 04:40 PM (#3403308)
If 3 of them had major injuries last year, it is. And the other two had crappier-than-usual years for no discernible reason. They are all question marks to some extent.But really, the pitching staff is a joke.

I think Wright, Reyes and Santana will be OK. But the potential chronic and debilitating nature of Beltran's injuries is worrisome, and Rodriguez looks like he might just be loosing it.
   59. billyshears Posted: December 04, 2009 at 05:00 PM (#3403330)
Can we get some momentum going for my plan of signing Rich Harden, Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard and Nick Johnson? I mean, how much fun would that be?
   60. JPWF13 Posted: December 04, 2009 at 05:09 PM (#3403338)
It's not that big of an if to ask for 5 players to be reasonably healthy.

Ordinarily, no.

To be honest I expect Santana and Beltran* to be OK.
Reyes? I'm queasy, but if he can run and shift into that extra gear he has in Spring Training I;'ll be happy.

Wright? I have nagging sneaking suspicion, that he was hiding a nagging injury or something like that last year... My fingers are crossed that 2009 was like 1978 for Mike Schmidt and not 2005 for Eric Chavez (or 2001 for Edgardo Alfonzo)...

* I expect Beltran to have decreased PT from here out, 120-140 games per year, but to be a good player when he plays (Assuming they don't have him play 150g a year on bad wheels like 2005...)
   61. Barnaby Jones Posted: December 04, 2009 at 05:26 PM (#3403355)
A lot of Brave fans have an inordinate amount of hate for Francoeur.


It's quite ordinate, thank you very much. Just you wait.
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 08:17 PM (#3403538)
It's quite ordinate, thank you very much. Just you wait.

It's like Francoeur is a really hot but psycho chick that the Mets fans have just started dating and think is great. The Braves fans are the friend that used to date her, and have seen the psycho, and are trying desparately to warn the Mets fans, but the Mets fans are too infatuated to listen.
   63. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 08:28 PM (#3403551)
This Met fan is definitely NOT infatuated...

That being said, I'll take his projection any day of the week & twice on Sunday.
   64. zack Posted: December 04, 2009 at 08:39 PM (#3403566)
#50: They need to not have another disasterous offseason though and actually work to improve the club at the positions the core players don't play, rather than just run out the status quo.


The problem is that there are no indications they are willing or capable of doing that. Letting the Rays get Shoppach for a PTBNL was the first mistake. Not taking Frenchy out behind the shed already isn't a good sign either.
   65. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 08:42 PM (#3403570)
That being said, I'll take his projection any day of the week & twice on Sunday.

Really? That projection is essentially his full-year 2009, which put him 23rd of 25 qualified RFers in wOBA. The only guys worse were Winn and Rios, and there was a huge gap between Francoeur (.313 wOBA) and the 22nd best RF (.330 wOBA)
   66. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: December 04, 2009 at 09:42 PM (#3403654)
Really, in that I didn't expect him to be even that good...If Frenchy gets within 6 of an OPS+ 100, I consider that gravy.
   67. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: December 04, 2009 at 09:43 PM (#3403659)
This team should be a wild card contender no problem (I'm assuming the Phillies have the division sewn up, barring CATATASTROPHE [a "catatastrophe" would be the entire team being eaten by lions or other assorted jungle cats]). Yes, if three or four of the team's best players DIE, then they will falter. But that's true for everyone including the $200m+ Yankees.

Stop being so dramatic, Mets fans. Get ready for the fun of the Mets-Marlins-Braves-Rockies-Giants-Brewers wild card race in September.
   68. billyshears Posted: December 04, 2009 at 10:13 PM (#3403685)
Can we all stop ceding the division to the Phillies? They only won 93 games last year - it's not as if they're some juggernaut. Their core offensive players are all over 30. Jimmy Rollins has become not good. Ryan Howard has a body type that could fall apart at any minute. Chase Utley is a 31 yr old 2b. Their LF is 38 and they just signed a 34 yr old 3b who may also be in the midst of a decline. Carlos Ruiz isn't as good as he was in 2009. Seriously, what offensive player on the Phillies do we really expect to be better in 2010 than they were in 2009. Yes, Cliff Lee is good and Cole Hamels should be better, but JA Happ will be worse.

The Phillies are a very good team and will likely win the division in 2010, but their advantage is not insurmountable. And they're not some dynasty. In 2-3 years, they will have to refresh their entire lineup. If they have an injury or two and don't have their typical mediocre player come out of nowhere to become really good, they could be had. And if the Mets stay healthy and their best player remembers he isn't playing in the dead ball era, they could be the team to take them.
   69. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: December 04, 2009 at 11:20 PM (#3403822)
The Braves have the potential to be very good next year. They worry me as much as the Phillies.
   70. Something Other Posted: December 05, 2009 at 12:35 AM (#3403900)
This team should be a wild card contender no problem,...
The only problem, really, is the FO. This is a team with enough talent to contend, provided the worst holes are filled: two starters, and OF or 1b bat, C, probably a bullpen arm.

The problems are easy to diagnose, but they've been esay to diagnose for years. A lot of the garment-rending by Mets fans stems from the plain fact that the FO doesn't have a handle on the rudiments of roster construction, and there's no reason to believe that inadequacy has changed.

* I expect Beltran to have decreased PT from here out, 120-140 games per year, but to be a good player when he plays (Assuming they don't have him play 150g a year on bad wheels like 2005...)
This seems pretty straightforward. Spell Beltran with Pagan, moving Beltran to LF at least from time to time assuming he has no problem with the shift. DH him when possible. Day games after night games off. I say seems, because you'd think it would be obvious to all sentient creatures that trying to get 155 games out of Beltran in CF is infinitely foolish, but we are dealing with the Mets here.

If that happens and Pelfrey AND Maine AND Ollie all pitch 150+ IP of 100-105 ERA+ Ball...
Pelfrey is a big favorite to do this. Ollie and Maine are big favorites NOT to do this. The Mets have, in fact, all of two real starters, in a rotation where the 5 starters with the highest upside pitched all of 524 innings last year. If the Mets sign Marquis and call it a day I'm going to root for the Red Sox until Minaya is gone.

#62 is perfect. I would have quoted it, but it seems to want to be an image when I copy it.
   71. PreservedFish Posted: December 05, 2009 at 01:36 AM (#3403934)
A lot of the garment-rending by Mets fans stems from the plain fact that the FO doesn't have a handle on the rudiments of roster construction


I am interested in seeing your plan, if you think it's all so easy and matter of fact.
   72. Banta Posted: December 05, 2009 at 01:40 AM (#3403941)
It's like Francoeur is a really hot but psycho chick that the Mets fans have just started dating and think is great. The Braves fans are the friend that used to date her, and have seen the psycho, and are trying desparately to warn the Mets fans, but the Mets fans are too infatuated to listen.

It's more like Francoeur is the girl who gave the Braves fans herpes and even though us Mets fans have been ####### Frenchy for awhile now, we've yet to show, but we know it'll most likely happen eventually.
   73. PreservedFish Posted: December 05, 2009 at 01:44 AM (#3403945)
72 = accurate
   74. Lassus Posted: December 05, 2009 at 01:50 AM (#3403955)
72 = accurate

Banta makes his return laudable.

-applause-
   75. Something Other Posted: December 05, 2009 at 09:56 AM (#3404157)
I am interested in seeing your plan, if you think it's all so easy and matter of fact.


Since the middle of the decade the Mets have needed to augment their core of stars with as many average or better major league ballplayers as they could get their hands on. In the event those players were not available, the Mets needed at least to minimize the risk that any given position would turn into a black hole of OPS or UZR, and they needed to do these things while avoiding trading off promising minor leaguers for quick fixes, or signing aging guys in their decline phases to expensive, multi-year contracts.

Once again that's what the Mets need to do: This year, if they want to be competitive, they need to stanch the bleeding or potential bleeding as much as possible at 1b, 2b, rf, c, and in the rotation so as not to waste another year of Beltran, Wright, Reyes, and Santana. 2 starters are essential. That's a straightforward task for the largest-market team. Here's an example of that kind of plan. You can quibble with the details but it does identify existing weaknesses and fix those weaknesses without trading any of the Mets' good minor leaguers, without taking on any long term contracts likely to cause problems, without relying on Ollie Perez to rebound, all while leaving plenty of money for the better 2011 free agent class and without blocking any authentic prospects.

There's no reason the Mets can't be extremely competitive in 2010 and a real threat to knock off the Phillies. A lot of the commentary I read seems off, as though the Mets and their fans had a small man complex and thought the club was some mid-market team that had to watch its pennies and had no idea that in fact they were the big kid in the schoolyard, and could easily push the Yankees to $21 million per year or more for Holliday, if they wanted to, or outbid the Red Sox for the right free agent.

The Mets this year are a remarkably easy team to diagnose, and they have the money to fix their problems. Whether the Wilpons choose to spend that money, or even see that this team is eminently fixable, is another thing entirely.
   76. Freeballin' (Tales of Met Power) Posted: December 05, 2009 at 06:35 PM (#3404346)
thinkingoutloud for GM!
   77. Walt Davis Posted: December 05, 2009 at 08:03 PM (#3404412)
#75

I don't normally give folks this much grief but (good for you!) you tackled an entire roster construction in a good bit of detail so no rest for the weary.

1B: By ZiPS, Carter/Tatis will do as well as Overbay and cost less. Also, that proposed 3-way never made any sense for Toronto who would see payroll go up and already have two defensively-challenged OFs. The proposed 3-way with TB is more feasible with the Mets ending up with Burrell for a couple million more than Overbay. Are you in favor of that?

2B: Polanco is gone now of course and the guy you thought you could sign for 1/$4.6 actually signed with the division rival for 3/$18. (surprised me too but there you go). Would you have been willing to go 3/$18 for Polanco? (The Mets would probably have had to beat 3/$18.) If not, what's your fallback plan now? You can't do either the Overbay or Burrell deals without picking up a 2B at some point.

C: Here you probably could have had your man (for $2.25-2.5) but the real world Mets missed out on him. Now what?

LF: Holliday will be interesting to watch. My gut tells me he goes for more than $17 per. If I'm Boras, I'm shooting for Soriano's 8/$136 as my minimum (which is $17 per). You're expecting to sign him for what Carlos Lee got 3 years ago -- I don't see it happening, especially with the Yanks and Red Sox interested.

Starters: Maybe you can pick up Arroyo for minimal, maybe not -- I haven't seen any solid rumors on the guy yet. You certainly can't count on it and need a second option. Marquis will be interesting to watch but after 3 very solid years, I think he's gonna get a raise from somebody, so I don't think you get him for 2/$14. Again, it's certainly not something you can count on.

Bullpen: bullpens are kinda crapshoots -- your plan looks reasonable as any although, again, you can't just assume you're gonna get the guy you want. More curious is having Maine and Niese "buried" in the pen. You've also got Figueroa out there giving you three long men. Do the Mets have enough prospect arms to fill out the bullpen over the season (teams use 20+ pitchers per season)? ZiPS and I think most others peg Maine as the 2nd best starter on the team -- and he projects about as well as Arroyo and Marquis and much better than Pelfrey.

Basically, if you really want Holliday, you want some of the money you've allocated to Arroyo/Marquis free at least until Holliday signs somewhere.

I agree with your basic premise that the Mets have such a solid core that, assuming the core is healthy, this isn't a hard team to move into contention. I just think too many of the moves you suggest aren't particularly feasible.

Anyway:

Would you do the 3-way for Burrell? Would you be willing to toss in $1-2 M (going to TB) and/or a B- prospect going to the Cubs (with the Cubs sending more money to TB)? [Note, I'm not saying that second bit will be necessary to get the deal done but I'm sure that will be asked for and I'm curious if you'd take that.]

Would you have topped 3/$18 for Polanco? Or 2/$12 for Scutaro? I assume not 4/$36 for Figgins. If not, what's your plan now?

Is 6/$102 as high as you're willing to go for Holliday? What's your fallback plan?

What's your fallback plan with Zaun off the market? (Your suggestion here would have gotten it done assuming you were willing to match or eke past Milwaukee's offer of $2.25 and I'm guessing you would not have signed Blanco for basically the same money. Just wondering what you'd do now.)

The pitching suggestions are too soon to judge (has any starter signed yet?) but what are your other options?
   78. Lassus Posted: December 05, 2009 at 08:06 PM (#3404414)
What's your fallback plan with Zaun off the market?

The fact that we'd need a fallback plan for a lack of Gregg Zaun seems ridiculous.
   79. Something Other Posted: December 06, 2009 at 08:18 AM (#3404776)
That's an extremely challenging post, Walt. Rather than respond quickly I'll do some serious thinking and post a reply in a couple of days.

The fact that we'd need a fallback plan for a lack of Gregg Zaun seems ridiculous.
Maybe so, but other than his antiquity (which is why he was readily available) he was perfect for the part: Cheap, available on a one year deal, smart enough to show Thole the ropes as needed, good for 80 games, cheerful, thrifty... Instead, after getting Blanco, the Mets still need another catcher. (Who had better not be Molina as their platoon splits aren't complementary.) With Zaun the Mets could consider themselves reasonably well covered at the position. I like the Coste signing, btw. Iirc he only makes $0.5 if he's on the Mets, otherwise he gets minors money. He's a good bounce back candidate and if he does remember how to hit after a one year drop off he's a very good hitter for the position. Exactly the kind of small but smart pick up a good GM makes.
   80. 1k5v3L Posted: December 06, 2009 at 02:27 PM (#3404806)
Fixed. I'm just having all sorts of issue with Wright's projections.
So is David Wright. And Michael Kay is still on his crusade to convince the world the Mets screwed up David Wright by moving to Citi Field.

The team desperately needs a Latino at 1B better than Murphy [shouldn't be hard] and they need a Latino to catch for a year [Molina, come on over]. Getting an actual Latino innings-eater [Pinhead, welcome to New York] is a must and it would be useful if someone would inform Omar Minaya that a Latino innings-eater doesn't necessarily have to be as bad as ... non-Latino Tim Redding.

There, fixed that for you, Dan.
   81. Lassus Posted: December 06, 2009 at 03:41 PM (#3404829)
OH HA HA HA LATINO HA HA HA OHHHH THAT'S A GOOD ONE
   82. Something Other Posted: December 07, 2009 at 02:15 AM (#3405139)
[managed to post this initially on the rubin on blanco thread]

Tough crowd in these parts.

Just to put it out there my priorities in rough but close order are:

1) SP
2) OF corner
3) SP
4) Catcher
5) 2B
6) 1B
7) RP

After serious consideration I turn down the offer of Burrell for Castillo even if I don't have to throw in money or a prospect. Nevermind the likelihood of the perfectly sensible platoon of Carter/Tatis outperforming Burrell, I think after his crash year there's a very good chance a platoon of Evans/Murphy outperforms Burrell. Pat's old, he hasn't played 1b since 58 games in 2000, and James, for one, doesn't see him improving all that much on his horrible 2009. (James also projects Murphy's OPS in 2010 at 800, Burrell's at 775; I assume his optimism is due to Murphy's unlucky .286 BABIP in 2009.) As for the $9m+ Burrell is due in 2010, he's been worth more than that only once in the last four years. Castillo isn't dog food (on the open market I figure he'd get something like 2/6), and I don't want to give him away just to get him off the team. So, I'm going to do something that superficially is easy to criticize, but the more I thought about it the more sense it made.

Fangraphs ran an excellent recent piece on Polanco demonstrating that while he wasn't as good as his 2007 (no surprise) he was better than his 2009, and in all likelihood he's been about the same hitter each of the last three years: around 100 OPS with authentic gold glove defense. After much hawing I'll sign him with an offer of 3/19. Here's why: It's not just that we have a 2bman with real collapse possibilities, we also have a SS who suffered an extremely serious, season ending injury of the type he's been contending against for years, and who played all of 36 games in 2009. Add to that the real possibility that after his brain injury it may be a mistake to try to get 155 games out of Wright, and it's clear to the point of obviousness we need serious backup options at 2b, SS, and 3b--someone who can step in at any one of those 3 iffy positions without skipping much of a beat. In fact, it probably doesn't need to be said but Polanco is now the Mets starting 2bman. I understand that that makes Castillo an extremely expensive backup, but this plan would have rendered the Cora signing moot, so I'm really only paying Castillo $4m in 2010. It also allows me to deal Castillo at my leisure. While I'm reasonably happy to keep him, if someone makes me an offer I shouldn't refuse, I'll send him on his way. All the more reason to pick up a cheap $1m or less MI glove that I can stash in AAA. (On reflection adding a guy like Adam Kennedy [I realize he signed for 2010] to the mix is decent insurance for only a little more than $1m--one of Castillo, Polanco, Reyes, and Wright is likely to miss real time so this MI becomes my de facto backup MI, it doesn't put me in a box if I trade Castillo, and I don't want to run someone such as Wilson Valdez out there any more than I have to.) I don't think having two starting 2bman costs me much if anything in terms of what I might get for trading Castillo: Slightly below average, reasonably durable, starting 2bman aren't available on the waiver wire and, as I said, given the possibility of one or both of Reyes or Wright needing significant time off, in those cases I'm effectively substituting Polanco for Cora (or the cheapish glove I mentioned) if I've kept Castillo.

Figgins at 4/36 doesn't make sense to me--his best position is occupied by my HOFer--and Scutaro is a below average defender over his career at 2b while Polanco is around +10 UZR/150 at 2b, SS, and 3b. For the same money I'm happy to give Polanco the extra year.

That's what I have for the moment, Walt. More later.
   83. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 07, 2009 at 02:19 AM (#3405142)
Wow, Levski. I know you are more about the quantity of snark rather than the quality but that was pretty pathetic. You can do better than that.
   84. Something Other Posted: December 07, 2009 at 05:29 AM (#3405298)
PART TWO: STARTING PITCHING

The Mets are going into 2010 with a rotation where the five starters having the highest upside threw all of 524 innings in 2009. Four of those starters suffered significant injuries. Three of those four didn't pitch competitively after being injured while the fourth threw 19 innings of uninspired ball after coming back. This is a rotation that cries out for the addition of two durable, above average starters. I am unimpressed with most of the free agent crop and would rather wait for the better class of 2011 before making a significant commitment. The idea of paying Piniero or Wolf 3/30 for their one good year out of three makes my head hurt, despite claims that Wolf reinvented himself in 2009. (Although Wolf would be my preference since his upsurge really started in the last half of 2008, after he went to Houston.) I also have little interest in Lackey if the reports he'll get Burnett money are accurate. The chance that a 31 to 35 year old pitcher who has started to miss 5-7 starts a season due to injuries to his throwing arm will be worth anything close to $82.5 million are slim indeed. It's also the kind of contract that, combined with the Oliver Perez debacle, can hamstring even a largest market club (though I'm admittedly much more concerned about the last three years of the contract than I am by the first two). I don't think Lackey is essential to the Mets reaching the 2010 postseason, so I don't think it's worth overpaying for those two good years up front. The Mets aren't a mid-market club. Like the Red Sox they can afford to be extremely competitive every year (even more so what with not being in direct competition with the Yankees), and they don't need to roll the dice. Not this year, anyway.

My estimate of this club is that the strengths are real and that supplementing the stars with league average (or better, ideally) players at every position is the simplest way to get this team to the postseason. In an earlier post I said I'd aim for Marquis and Arroyo because it looked like both could be had for only money and, respectively a two/three year and one year commitment. Walt inquired into my backup plans. Aaron Harang is a possibility. I doubt he'll ever again be the pitcher he was in 2005-2007, but a rotation anchor very likely to throw 200 innings of 95-115 ERA+ for 12.5 million per on a short deal is the kind of starter the Mets need, though at 12.5 going to 14.5 if his buyout is exercised is steep, to be sure. I'm less thrilled by Jon Garland, and I don't believe numbers such as 1/6 that I've seen thrown around. Not after a year with an ERA+ of 145. I don't think he has a lot of upside but again, the Mets can benefit as much as any team and more than most from having a durable starter in the 95-115 range. I'd strongly consider him at 2/14, but then I imagine there are a dozen clubs out there that would, too.

I have to disagree with that projection Walt cited, for Maine vis a vis Pelfrey. Over the last two years Maine has thrown 220 innings while Pelfrey has thrown 380 innings. Maine has been injured both years. Pelfrey has been healthy both years. Maine threw 81 innings in 2009. It would be unreasonable even if he recovers nicely to expect more than 150 innings out of him. A lot of Pelfrey's troubles last year were related to defense. I'm more willing than most to give up on Perez (though I'd look into a challenge trade before dumping him, and I'd start looking into that NOW), and if I pick up two starters in the offseason and Perez is poor in ST while Maine is strong, I'd have no hesitation putting Maine in the 5th slot. I'd be happy to see Maine throw 150 innings with an ERA around 4.25, but that's his upside, imo, while I would find that disappointing coming from Pelfrey. Too, since I was given the option of picking up Polanco by beating the offer of 3/18 he got, a right side of Polanco and Murphy (assuming Carter doesn't wow us in ST), a reasonably healthy Reyes, and a return to normal by Wright on defense might lower groundballer Pelfrey's ERA by more than half a run even with no changes in his peripheral stats.

If the Reds were willing to let Arroyo go in order to get out from under his $11m salary in 2010 I'd think they'd be amenable to a move sooner rather than later. If it's simply a salary dump that's a move I want to make and make quickly, and it certainly doesn't hurt my negotiations for a second starter to have the first in the fold. I'm still interested in Marquis, too. Of all the second tier starters out there there it will take a 2 or 3 year deal to get, Marquis is probably the most likely to meet or exceed the value of his contract. He became an even more extreme groundballer last year and a solid Mets infield would help him keep his value. He certainly doesn't have Harden's or Sheet's upside (or risk), but that's not what the Mets need.
   85. Lassus Posted: December 07, 2009 at 12:39 PM (#3405369)
I'm bumping this because thinkingoutloud deserves a little more audience for his copious work.
   86. Elvis Posted: December 07, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3405473)
Thanks to thinkingoutloud for his post.

I disagree that Pelfrey is a better bet in 2010 than Maine. Why Pelfrey was hurt somewhat by his defense, his FIP last year was 4.39 so I don't see how you could be disappointed if Pelfrey put up a 4.25 ERA next season. Pelfrey had a very nice month of May (6 games, 2.92 ERA) but was terrible the other five months of the year. I would be thrilled if Pelfrey puts up a 4.25 ERA this season.

If Maine is healthy enough to throw his slider in 2010, I have little doubt that he'll be better than Pelfrey. His September results were encouraging, but at this point you just cannot count on him to throw a full season. But I still think 125-150 innings from Maine will be more valuable than 200 from Pelfrey.

I don't see anyone making a challenge trade for Oliver Perez and I don't think I would want back whatever we would get in such a deal. It looked like he was starting to pitch a little better before the season-ending injury. He wasn't pitching deep into games (shock!) but he was leaving with leads and ending up with no-decisions. I don't see Perez being a viable bullpen option so he has to be one of the starters entering the season. Hopefully he comes to camp in better shape and allegedly he is spending the off-season in Arizona to do just that.

Lackey is my first choice and I am not as worried about the missed starts as others. I still see him as someone likely to deliver 30+ starts and I like having Santana-Lackey at the top of the rotation. I want no part of Pineiro (if Pelfrey was hurt by the defense, what would that do to him?). Wolf would be okay but I wouldn't want him at $10 million-plus.

My backup plan would be Garland. His ERA+ of 145 came in 6 starts with the Dodgers, so I don't think he's going to expect a contract based on that number. Garland's overall numbers were skewed last year by Chase Field. He had a 5.29 ERA at Chase Field, and most of that damage was done early in the season. Garland's ERA last year in games played elsewhere besides Chase Field was 3.13 in 120.2 IP.

Where is this solid Mets infield that you mentioned? Wright and Castillo were terrible last year and Reyes was when he played, too. Even in 2008, Reyes was just average.

Fortunately, Perez, Santana and Maine are all big flyball pitchers. Which is why Jason Bay would not be a good fit. Actually, I would like to see the Mets take a page from the Mariners and trot out a good defensive outfield. Pagan, Beltran and Marlon Byrd would be a nice group.
   87. thetailor Posted: December 07, 2009 at 08:31 PM (#3405866)
If I may make some observations...


Too Optimistic

David Wright: .307/.396/.507, 140 OPS+
Fernando Tatis: .277/.345/.458, 113 OPS+
Luis Castillo: .290/.368/.349, 94 OPS+

Too Pessimistic

Daniel Murphy: .274/.326/.408, 95 OPS+
Fernando Martinez: .251/.297/.406, 86 OPS+
Alex Cora: 251/.322/.336, 77 OPS+
Angel Pagan: .285/.335/.446, 107 OPS+

Just Right

Carlos Beltran: .294/.381/.514, 137 OPS+
Jose Reyes: .294/.363/.455, 117 OPS+
Josh Thole: .273/.335/.360, 87 OPS+
Omir Santos: .247/.289/.342, 69 OPS+
   88. jfish26101 Posted: December 08, 2009 at 12:16 AM (#3406061)
I'm still struggling with the Zobrist projection. He hits a 146 OPS+ last year (I think) playing every position but C/P in a much more difficult division and gets projected at 113 OPS+. The rational appeared to be he had his career year and can't possibly sustain it even though he is only 28 and this was his first real chance to play every day.

Wright, on the other hand, puts up a 123 OPS+ you say and manages to get projected for a 140 OPS+?

Sure, Wright has been a very good hitter who has been fairly consistent over his short career so far but it just doesn't add up. Zobrist's offensive projection is even worse than his 2007 numbers!
   89. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 08, 2009 at 12:40 AM (#3406075)
I'm still struggling with the Zobrist projection. He hits a 146 OPS+ last year (I think) playing every position but C/P in a much more difficult division and gets projected at 113 OPS+. The rational appeared to be he had his career year and can't possibly sustain it even though he is only 28 and this was his first real chance to play every day.

Not to speak for Dan, but Zobrist's translated/combined 2007 line is something in the vicinity of .210/.285/.320. It's hard to project too high on a purely statistical basis with that playing into it.

I also think if you do the math on Wright's projection, you can't really argue it's high by more than 10-20 points of OPS, and that's not a significant difference for a projection system. Not saying people are right or wrong for disagreeing with it, mind you, just saying it's perfectly reasonable. He is going to be 27, after all.
   90. PreservedFish Posted: December 08, 2009 at 01:24 AM (#3406098)
The bottom line for thinkgoutloud's proposals is that the Mets will spend something upwards of $25 million (in 2010 alone) on players that are commonly considered second or third tier. In addition to Holliday.

The last time the Mets did something like this was in 2004, where it was clear to all that they wouldn't compete but the FO didn't want to make any obviously rebuildy moves. That was the year they signed Kazuo Matsui, Mike Cameron and Braden Looper to modest multiyear contracts, got Rickey Gutierrez for some reason, and relied on a Shane Spencer / Karim Garcia platoon in the outfield.

I wonder if there are any lessons from that year? Cameron worked out nicely, Looper was OK but not good enough to be a closer in NYC, Spencer/Garcia was a disaster, Matsui was a disaster.

The proposed 2010 strategy is even more aggressive in picking up nonglamorous veterans. I have a tough time deciding, personally, whether options like Jason Marquis are more like the Steve Trachsel signing (intelligent pickup of a modest but valuable player) or like Todd Zeile (cheaply opting for the mediocre and overpriced Plan B).
   91. jfish26101 Posted: December 08, 2009 at 01:37 AM (#3406106)
Not to speak for Dan, but Zobrist's translated/combined 2007 line is something in the vicinity of .210/.285/.320. It's hard to project too high on a purely statistical basis with that playing into it.

My apologies, I meant his 2010 projection is worse than his 2008 numbers (120 OPS+). Also, if being within 20 points of OPS+ is reasonably accurate, then Zobrist's projection is even worse.
   92. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 08, 2009 at 01:52 AM (#3406116)
My apologies, I meant his 2010 projection is worse than his 2008 numbers (120 OPS+).

I got what you meant, but I still think it's a function of Zobrist's poor 2007 dragging him down. Maybe ZiPs also sees Zobrist's 2009 as a fluke of sorts?

Also, if being within 20 points of OPS+ is reasonably accurate, then Zobrist's projection is even worse.

I meant OPS, not OPS+ - sorry for the confusion.
   93. Dan Szymborski Posted: December 08, 2009 at 02:03 AM (#3406126)
Zobrist
2006: 233/332/355
2007: 233/315/336
2008: 255/340/472
2009: 297/405/543

Wright
2006: 311/381/531
2007: 325/416/546
2008: 302/390/534
2009: 307/390/447

Seriously, Josh, your quibble is with baseball history, for making the most predictive weighting of recent seasons for predictive player performance to be in the 8/5/4/2 range, not the 20/20/1/1 range.

I'm not sure what you expect from me, here. Do you want me to throw out data, which the evidence points to as being predictive, simply because you don't like the results? On what basis am I supposed to simply toss out everything Zobrist did up to 2/3 of the way through his age 27 season (if that, you apparently wouldn't like a projection that looked like that season, either)?
   94. jfish26101 Posted: December 08, 2009 at 04:13 AM (#3406199)
My quibble is with the definition of accurate being in the ball park. You aren't necessarily being accurate or trying to be accurate, you are just trying to be more accurate than the next guy.

Zobrist has had 1.5 very good seasons and some poor partial seasons amongst some equally inconsistent minor league numbers. While he bounced up and down year after year, he changed his swing and approach at the plate which could very likely be the reason for his recent success. Once the Rays finally gave him a chance to play every day, it paid off with one of the best seasons in all of baseball in the toughest division while playing 7 different positions.

I'm curious where he ranks among all MLB hitters in your 2010 projections after the season he just put up? He was 8th in OPS+ in all of MLB last year I believe and you have 5 Mets putting up equal or better seasons than he next year (not to pick on the Mets who have some pretty good hitters). You have 46 hitters projected to put up equal or better seasons to Zobrist already with almost half the league still to release. He goes from 8th in the league in OPS+ to being 70-80th? He is still relatively young, I just don't see why you can assume he can't have another season similar to the one he just had.

The comment about his 2008 season (incorrectly labeled 2007) was to show how much you are penalizing him. I don't expect him to duplicate last season but you don't even have him being close to the same player while essentially ignoring Wright's most recent season. I completely understand he has more of a track record but the difference in the way the players were treated seems too extreme to me. What is the margin for error you are working with here on OPS+? If you think 113 is a good bet, that means you think the chances of him being worse than that are the same as the chance of being better...with what I can only imagine is a 5% chance of actually duplicating the season he just had.

The Strasburg projection, like Wieters last year, is very interesting as well. I wont begin to to guess how you project someone with nearly zero pro experience to be better than you projected Greinke to be last year.

Overall, I think you do a good job but that doesn't mean everyone should just ignore things that look wrong does it?
   95. jfish26101 Posted: December 08, 2009 at 04:41 AM (#3406235)
"Wrong" is probably the wrong word, suspicious or confusing are probably better words. If your system says that is what it should be fine but that doesn't mean I'm going to agree. I think handling every player the same way is the wrong way to go about it and I think there are some instances where better judgment could be used in the projections players get is all.
   96. Something Other Posted: December 08, 2009 at 05:12 AM (#3406263)
Thanks, Lassus. I don't think the Mets offseason will be as fascinating as it could be, but trying to imagine those additions that would let them contend is engaging as all get out.

And thanks to you also, Elvis. Just to clear up one item, this thread has crossed over from the Ruben-Blanco thread, at http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/rubin_new_york_mets_close_to_signing_san_diego_padres_catcher_henry_blanco/

There we were mulling over improving the Mets infield, and my post on pitching followed assumptions made there, such as Polanco at 2b, a full season of Reyes at SS, Wright returning to his right self at 3rd, perhaps Murphy all year at 1b. That may be why we view Pelfrey's 2010 so differently. As for Maine, I hope he gets back to his 2007 form, but that was getting to be a long time ago and the nineteen innings he threw in his return at the end of last year didn't fill me with confidence. He's been injured for good parts of two seasons, and imo he should start the season as the long man out of the pen, build arm strength, give Ollie a shot at not being useless, and in general not rush things in the slightest.

As for Perez, you make a useful point about his starts before the season ending injury. In 8 starts before the disaster v Philly of his last game of the year he gave up 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, and 4 runs in 43 2/3 innings (you'd think in one of those games he might have gone all the way to 6 and 2/3 innings but, hey). Thing is, how did he do it? In those 43-2/3 innings he gave up 35 walks. That's a lot of walks. He was keeping the Mets in most of those games but he was awfully lucky to be able to do that with a WHIP verging on 1.70.

Agreed that he is not a bullpen option.

Thanks for catching my blunder on Garland. It did puzzle me as to why anyone thought he would settle for 1/6 after putting up a 145 ERA+, and I was wondering how a season that good and unGarland had flown under my rader. It sounds like, if Lackey is your first choice and Garland is your second, you'd be content with adding just the one starter. Am I right on that?

Fortunately, Perez, Santana and Maine are all big flyball pitchers. Which is why Jason Bay would not be a good fit. Actually, I would like to see the Mets take a page from the Mariners and trot out a good defensive outfield. Pagan, Beltran and Marlon Byrd would be a nice group.
That's one of the many interesting possibilities. If you don't think much of Ollie's prjection, as I do not, and are skeptical that Maine will pitch well and often enough to start to tailor the defense around the two of them, AND you add a couple of groundballers to the staff, infield defense deserves more emphasis. But it does make sense if you feel as you do that Ollie and Maine have promise for 2010 that emphasizing D in the OF is the route to take. Would you consider Cameron in CF and Beltran to LF?

The bottom line for thinkgoutloud's proposals is that the Mets will spend something upwards of $25 million (in 2010 alone) on players that are commonly considered second or third tier. In addition to Holliday.
And not without some initial hesitation, I assure you. But I think there's a dramatic difference between this year's club and the 2004 team. The 2003 Mets were just frickin' awful. They had won 66 games a year after winning 75. Reyes and Wright were children, wet behind the years. You hoped only that they would take at least some kind of step forward and not vanish in the haze of hype. That team had nothing like the current core to build around. That was a team that needed to rebuild, not fill in with aging veterans in the vain hope of struggling to a .500 season. Too, I'm proposing rather different additions. Adding, say, Pat Burrell would be a lot like the awful Todd Zeile signing. That's moving a guy in his decline phase to a (relatively) new position. I'm not proposing anything like that. Bengie Molina at 2/12 would be just the kind of deal the Mets would have made in the 2003-2004 offseason. I wouldn't go near him. After Holliday the only significant money I'm proposing is for two starters and Polanco (in the time travel version of this thread). That's, say, Arroyo for a year, and a short deal for Jon Garland. And 3/19 for Polanco but, as I noted, the Mets may well be desperate for help at 2b, ss, and 3b, and he brings terrific defense (along with an average bat) to all those positions. Those three are targeted acquisitions which fill areas of enormous need while giving up nothing but money and block no promising minor leaguers. Arroyo could have a bad year, but it would be his first bad year since 2001. Garland's cetainly not a great pitcher, but he's never been awful, and he'll probably be slightly above average in more than 200 innings. Sometimes, when you're filling in around the likes of David Wright, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, and Matt Holliday, slightly above average is exactly what you need.
   97. thetailor Posted: December 08, 2009 at 05:28 AM (#3406276)
@thinkingoutloud

I like much of what you're saying here, but you are mistaken on Garland. He's not coming off a 145 ERA+ season - that was his ERA+ for his time in Los Angeles only, spanning 36 innings.

His ERA+ for the season was 111, very much in line with his 104 ERA+ for his career. In the last three years, he also has a 104 ERA+. He's a very mediocre starter.

That said, I do think he'll get more than the 1/6 that you mention someone suggesting. With his durability (191+ innings each of the last seven years) and predictability, I see him getting up to 3/24 perhaps.
   98. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 08, 2009 at 05:32 AM (#3406282)
Jon Garland pisses me off.

Why?

Because I'm going to lose a bet I made on him years ago. I bet my friend that Jon Garland would be some form of terrible -- can't remember exactly what it was, but he's got basically no chance of being that bad on his career. The only communication I have with this friend anymore is when he emails me at the end of every baseball season to tell me about his kids and remind me of Jon Garland's stats that season.
   99. thetailor Posted: December 08, 2009 at 05:37 AM (#3406289)
@voxter

It's not too late, you know. The Mets could sign him.
   100. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: December 08, 2009 at 05:44 AM (#3406298)
I wouldn't be upset with if the Mets signed Garland, even if it took two years to get him. Even if he falls off the cliff, at least he'll avoid walking the ballpark.
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