A combination of strong starting pitching and timely hitting got the 2012 Mets off to a great start. But the team that began the year 46-39 has gone 8-20 since then, with three of those wins coming thanks to the efforts of R.A. Dickey. The offense crumbles whenever a LHP is on the mound, the team has little power and all of the speed of a three-legged turtle, the less said about the bullpen the better and only the Herculean efforts of St. Dan Warthen (all bow in his greatness!), who taught Dickey the knuckleball and showed Matt Harvey how to throw 97 mph, have kept the starting pitching afloat.

We were supposed to be optimistic because Sandy Alderson and his team were smarter than not only what the Mets had previously, but smarter than what other teams have assembled. But the brief success that the Mets enjoyed in 2012 had much more to do with the talent left behind by Omar Minaya than anything Alderson did to push it forward.

It’s certainly true that Alderson has been fighting with one hand behind his back due to the payroll constraints that he has. But he sunk the vast majority of his available dollars into the bullpen, which has been the biggest problem area for the club throughout the entire season. He’s either outright lied about the amount of money available to him – remember our $110-$120 million payroll? How about our ability to add payroll during the season? – or rolled over without a whimper of protest as Fred Wilpon lied to him. Which one seems more likely from the former Marine?

Instead, let’s focus on what we know for sure Alderson did do. Here are the players Alderson has contributed to the current 25-man roster, ranked in descending order of their fWAR, with their 2012 salary:

1.4 – Andres Torres ($2.7 million)
1.3 – Scott Hairston ($1.1 million)
0.7 – Mike Baxter ($0.48 million)
0.6 – Ronny Cedeno ($1.15 million)
0.6 – Jeremy Hefner (no details available)
0.3 – Chris Young (minor league deal)
0.3 – Jon Rauch ($3.5 million)
0.2 – Tim Byrdak ($1.0 million)
0.1 – Ramon Ramirez ($2.65 million)
0.0 – Frank Francisco ($5.5 million)
0.0 – Rob Johnson (minor league deal)
0.0 – Garrett Olson (minor league deal)

Of the five top players Alderson is responsible for on the team, four are platoon players and the other is an emergency starter. But more damning is the $12.65 million he sunk into the bullpen for four guys with a combined 0.6 fWAR.

For all of his attempts to piece things together on the cheap, Alderson would have been better off picking up four random AAAA relievers, DFAing Jason Bay and signing Carlos Beltran. The money would have been essentially a wash and the production would have been a giant step forward.

In a team where the pieces just simply didn’t fit, Alderson made just one trade (Angel Pagan for Ramirez-Torres) which can at best be called a wash. When everyone else could see that the team needed a RH bat and bullpen help – Alderson did not make a move. Many have credited him for not mortgaging the farm in a misguided attempt to chase a playoff spot. But there’s a difference between surrendering Harvey for the 2012 version of Victor Zambrano (a move no one was suggesting) and dealing from strength in C-level prospects for a better reliever than Pedro Beato or a better reserve than Johnson.

Alderson lost Nick Evans and his lifetime .849 OPS against LHP for nothing. When he lucked into Vinny Rottino providing power against lefties, he waived him so that Terry Collins could have a second lefty reliever in Justin Hampson, who pitched all of 1.1 innings before being replaced on the roster.

Collins earned a lot of goodwill with how he managed in 2011 and he seems determined to spend it all in 2012. His insistence on playing Jason Bay, his love of the platoon advantage, the daily usage of Byrdak for one batter, the burying of Ramirez, the sniping at Ruben Tejada – more steals, really? – , the constant threats to tinker with Dickey, the failure to get more out of Lucas Duda, the undue drama he created over Johan Santana’s pitch count in the no-no…

As for the players:

Josh Thole is an even bigger question mark going forward
Ike Davis had one hot stretch but is now a platoon first baseman with a .703 OPS
Duda was banished to the minors despite hitting better than Davis and now has zero trade value
Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Jordany Valdespin were exposed with additional playing time
David Wright’s OPS has dropped every month of the season and sits at .718 in August
Torres did not recapture his 2010 hitting magic
Bay is performing even worse than he did previously
There’s no hitter in the farm system ready to make a contribution

What exactly are we supposed to be happy with here in August of 2012?


It’s not really this bleak. Much like the past offseason, the Mets have some obvious holes but they are not without talent and with some tinkering they could field a team with a shot at the playoffs. But Alderson really needs to have a more productive season.

16 comments on “A pessimistic look at the 2012 Mets

  • Name

    First things first. Torres has a higher fWAR than Hairston? I guess WAR doesn’t compensate enough for the late-inning pinch hit i guess because in everyone’s mind Baxter has been more valuable than Torres.

    Probably my biggest beef with Alderson is his inflexibility. It’s great to have a plan and all, but 99% of the time, things won’t go as you plan and you must work on the fly. The Mets in the first half had shown enough that they deserved to be viewed as contenders. More importantly, their run was fueled by good starting pitching, which means their success wasn’t a fluke and deserved to be considered serious. Alderson, however, refused to deviate from him “plan” and get addresss any needs, which is frustrating for any fan.

    • Brian Joura

      Almost all of Torres’ value comes on defense, while both Hairston and Baxter are below-average defensively.

    • 7train

      I know this was the pessimistic side but still………………..

      I know fans want the GM to give them 100% insight into every move or thought but that doesn’t happen in any corporation, industry or sports franchise anywhere in the world. Whether the 100-110 M was readjusted or not no one can say for sure. Maybe it was there in the right circumstances and those didn’t present themselves. In that case why blow it? Just to show you care? Of course he cares this is his career, He didn’t come here to wreck the team he came here to put it on solid ground and the only way that will happen is when we get some all around talent that thrives in ALL situations, not one or two out of six and being a minus in the other four.

      DFAing Bay was a no go due to the vesting option in 2014. Signing Beltran was dependent on both Alderson and Beltran. My opinion is neither entity wanted that for a number of reasons and if your going to complain about Collins not establishing Duda than how could he have done that if Carlos was here and please don’t tell me CF. Those days are over for CB unless the Mets moved to the whiffle ball court.

      How is it Collins fault Duda didn’t establish himself anyway? He wrote the guys name in the lineup everyday even though he was killing the pitching staff. Lucas is 27 next year, might be on the 25, might start out in the minors who knows. Personally I think he was a pump and dump project designed to bring back a Mikie Mahtook, Travis d’Anaud or Gary Brown and I can’t fault Alderson for trying that because our farm doesn’t have those sorts of prospects and those types of guys are the difference between winning and losing.

      Alderson did make just one trade but who was he supposed to trade? Obviously Harvey, Wheeler, Mejia and Familia weren’t going anywhere but the lower grade C guys would have in days gone by included names like Isringhausen, Mora, Bay, Cruz, Vargas, Joe Smith, Carl Everett, Carlos Gomez. Players that you just didn’t know enough about after one year like Flores, Puello, Lagares, Ceciliani, Pena, Armando Rodriguez, Carson, Elvin Ramirez, Adrian Rosario, Darin Gorski, McHugh, Montero, Tapia, Vaughn, den Dekker or Tovar shouldn’t be traded. Even if they can only “hold the fort” or provide AAA depth they could save a season for you if someone goes down and who can say that one or more of these guys couldn’t be a big time producer like Bay, Cruz or Heath Bell turned out to be? To Alderson’s credit he protected 5 prospects on the 40 man roster that had no chance to be called up this year in April rather than lose a potential solution going forward. One of them did in fact come up in Carson to no great effect but a young LHP who throws 94 is a far better usage of a roster spot than Nick Evans who would have helped a little but had no chance to be a difference maker going forward.

      Vinny Rottino? 32 years old, 13 Major league hits, 5 lifetime MLB XBH’s? sub .200 BA? The whole reason you sign guys like Rottino to minor league contracts is so you can lose them instead of a Juan lagares if you have to bring a guy up or rush someone if you have nobody. The industry set Rottino’s value back in January when he signed a minor league deal to play in Buffalo.

      Tejada? He’s trying to make him the best player he can be. That’s development and it takes different forms with different humans. This year Ruben plans to work out in LI for 2 months in the off season. How is that a bad thing? The steals I’m with you on though.

      Dickey? Agree completely. Leave well enough alone. He’s not your conventional Knuckleballer and he is 37.

      Collins being honest about Santana’s pitch count? A minute after complaining about Alderson perhaps being less than honest? How does one ever win around here? Honestly who is to say that Collins was even wrong to be conflicted and verbalize it. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      Brydek gets smoked against RH hitters even when he gets the out and everyone knows it, the batter, the players, Brydek himself. Everyone.

      Platoon? What would you do. Ike hits 50% GB’s and strikes out 30% of the time. Lucas hits 50% GB’s and strikes out 40% of the time. Kirk hits 50% GB’s and strikes out 45% of the time. Torres .293/.417/.404 (against LHP)and better defense in CF. Cedeno .328/.371/.500 (against LHP) and better defense at 2B and Murphy’s bat coming up in a big spot off the bench, or you could have 3 almost automatic outs (4 counting Bay along with Ike, Duda, Kirk) back to back to back to back which he did live with as long as possible to try to get them going.

      Bay? Like it or not Bay is exactly what this team desperately needed. Competent defense and a hitter that mashes LHP. Alderson/Collins didn’t sign him and they did everything possible to get him going and potentially raise his value so they could ship him out of here. Didn’t work but there is more here than simply baseball and the Mets just aren’t in a position where they can get nothing for guys that aren’t a part of the future because there is very little quality in the farm. Didn’t work, what can you do. Oftentimes a teams option are dependent on the work done or not done by the previous administration and Bay is a clear example of that. Not fair to blame Alderson or Collins.

      Bench? None of these guys cost anything but money to acquire. Cedeno and Quintanilla covered SS when Tejada went down, Baxter has played well. Hefner too when he got a chance, Hairston’s been terrific, Torres bought us an extra year in CF as the decision was made on Pagan (who everyone wanted gone anyway) As for the one dimensional nature of the players brought in that was to cover the one dimensional nature of the players he inherited.

      The bullpen hasn’t been good but with all the flyball and infield hits, DP’s not turned, passed balls, missed cutoffs, relays not turned into outs the ERA is inflated quite a bit not to mention Acosta’s inexplicable start to the season (29 earned runs in 22 innings and 6 HR’s) and all the errors charged and not charged.

      It’s also important to view the bullpen in context. Not every reliever Alderson may have wanted to bring in wanted to come here and some may have wanted more than a one year deal which means a roster spot in the winter causing the loss of a prospect who may never make it, could be a superstar for years or more likely something in between, even a very useful bench/role/platoon guy here for 6 years would be worth more than one year of even a decent reliever on a team struggling to fill so many holes with so many incomplete one dimensional players.

      The pen should be viewed under all the decisions made with all the information which we will never have but what we do know is that Alderson could have let K-Rods, option vest, resigned Takahashi and Feliciano and gotten many less innings covered at a much higher ERA for a lot more money and no Michael Fulmer who is the 3rd youngest starting pitcher in the Sally League, has the 2nd best WHIP and lowest ERA. Adrian Rosario from the K-Rod deal holds some potential as well.

      All the 2012 moves were about buying time while being watchable on the field (which they were and we know that because fans were calling for us to be buyers and talking Wild Card) Buying time is vital due IMO to drafting 1 and two tool college players because they are quicker to the majors and cheaper to sign but what you get are less talented, more severe platoon split, worse defensive players who’s clocks are ticking right from the start of their pro careers. Our 3 top OF prospects will be 26 (Kirk and Den Dekker) and 27 (Duda) next year. They all have very real questions regarding their future and might very well begin their age 26 and 27 seasons in the minors. Individually each is good in their own right but collectively when you add them to other less than all around players in the starting lineup like Thole and Murphy what you have is a scrambled, jumbled roster that requires all sorts of garnishing, seasoning, marinating, side dishes and plenty of wine to make it palatable and to that end I say Alderson has done a good job and the better ingredients are on the way in the form of Wheeler, Evans, Nimmo, Fulmer, Marquez?, Plaweicki, Cecchini, Pill, Taijeron, Panteliodis, Garcia, Rosario, Mateo. Added to what Minaya left behind and with more on the way that could be pretty satisfying.

      With just a brief interruption from 1994-1997 this Organization has made every decision based on what’s best financially in the short term instead of what’s best baseball wise in the long term. Big names have been brought in here right at ticket selling time and then cashed out in July and August to recoup some of the investment when they fail. So much of the operating budget went to the Major league payroll that corners were cut elsewhere for the ability to generate a quick return on investment. The draft was continually used for need and speed and expense instead of highest possible talent level. Development gave way to filling holes, players rushed through the system and put in unfamiliar positions. Three times in the last 24 years we have made the playoffs and we have had the highest payroll in the NL during that almost quarter of a century and were it not for our friends the Marlins having frequent fire sales we probably never make the post season. For those who claim we can do both build and compete I say where was that sentiment the last 24 years? How are you going to have a good all around team when you spend one #1 pick on OFer’s as we did for 11 consecutive years? (2000-2011, not counting Alou) or just two 2nd round picks on OFer’s from 1983 to the present (not counting Floyd or Bay) Speaking of the 2nd round we haven’t hit on anyone drafted in the 2nd round since Todd Hundley in 1987. Just to put that in context the Braves hit on McCann, Escobar, Freeman and Simmons in just an eight year period.

      Wondering why we haven’t developed a catcher since we took Hundley in 1987? We haven’t spent a #1 pick on one since 1989 or a number two since 1994. Internationally we signed Flores (lost in the rule 5) Pena and Cordero. Our closest catching prospects Centeno and Maron came from the 32nd and 34th round respectively.

      We haven’t hit on a 3rd round pick other than Joe Smith since Rick Aguilera in 1983. 4th round we’ve gotten only Angel Pagan since we drafted Mike Jorgansen in 1966. 5th round since Burt Hooten in 1968. 6th round never. Most teams in MLB have better results than that counting just the players they drafted but didn’t even sign.

      This team didn’t get the way it is over a short period time. Alderson is addressing the illness instead of the symptom for a change and that may take a while. Might even cost 5 wins or so in the short term. Might make the patient a little sicker than they were before but it is necessary to fully remove the tumor, not just cover it up with plastic surgery or a new hairdo. It will certainly take longer than it would have if the treatment had begun back in 2005 or allowed to run it’s course in 1997 due to the new CBA but it is the only way to have a healthy and successful team year in and year out and is no different than the pain the Yankees had to go through under Gene Michael in the early 90’s and they came out of it OK huh?

      In the meantime we can examine each and every transaction made or that could have been made without context or complete information and arrive at judgements based on the day to day on field results but one thing should be clear. At the end of Alderson’s four year deal this team will be under no crippling financial restraints and the farm will have all around complete players in it instead of 26 and 27 year old “kids” that come from the same 1B/LF/DH mold culled from the 7th-13th round and fit into oddly shaped holes that the typical Met fan has extolled the virtues of until they flopped then started screaming to bring in proven Major leaguers like Vince Coleman, Brett Saberhagan, Bobby Bo, Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Todd Zeile, Roger Cedeno, Luis Castillo, David Weathers, Billy Wagner, K-Rod, JJ Putz, Scott Schoenweiss, Moises Alou and Jason Bay as if that ever did anything for us.

      • Brian Joura

        Alderson can’t have it both ways. If he want to provide a window into how he works – “we’ll have an X payroll” or “we’ll have money to add salary” than he has to be prepared to answer why those things don’t happen. As far as I know, he’s never directly answered why he promised us one payroll and then delivered another. He doesn’t need to do this while the negotiating period is underway, but there’s absolutely no reason why he can’t tell us in August why the payroll situation changed in pre-March times. Actually, there’s no reason in August that he can’t tell us how much payroll he could have added at the trade deadline. He chooses not to. That’s fine but that decision comes with a cost, which includes coming under fire for promising one thing and delivering another.

        Can you explain why Bay’s vesting option that is based on PA in 2012 and/or 2013 would factor into a decision to DFA him? I suppose there could be language in the contract that if he was released that the option would automatically vest, but there’s no mention of that on Cot’s and a quick Google search turned up nothing.

        DFA Bay, play Duda in LF and Beltran in RF.

        If management is willing to play Davis when he’s got a .501 OPS in June and a .703 OPS in August — why the need to demote Duda with a higher OPS?

        How does anyone win around here — be honest, make a decision and live with the consequences. Once Collins made the decision to allow Santana to throw the pitches (certainly the one I would have made) – he needed to not look back and turn it into a soap opera.

        Who was Alderson supposed to trade? Unlike you, I don’t agree that you don’t trade the top 100 prospects in your farm system. I would have viewed Harvey and Wheeler as untouchable and everyone else available in the right deal.

        The issue with losing Rottino had to do with *why* he was lost. They cut him to add Justin Freaking Hampson – who was only around so that Collins had another lefty he could masturbate with his incessant chasing of matchups. Then they used him for all of 1.1 IP before realizing that he really served no purpose. If they lost Rottino to promote Harvey – that would have been fine. For Justin Hampson? That’s the opposite of fine.

        Byrdak doesn’t need to face RHB. He also doesn’t need to pitch every day.

        Bay is simply not what the team needs. While last year he hit versus LHP he hasn’t hit them this year. You can say small sample size but he’s not hitting them to a .511 OPS clip. That’s completely unacceptable. DFA him and be done with it. The fact that Alderson didn’t sign him should be all the *more * reason to get rid of him. Just like he did with Ollie and Castillo. His presence on the team is hurting the effort to get better. I’m not blaming Alderson/Collins for signing him or for trying to reestablish his value. But his value is not returning. The best chance the Mets have to get anything for Bay is to hope that someone picks him up off waivers. Then they’ll be responsible for the pro-rated minimum wage for 2012 and all minimum wage in 2013. That’s around $600K. That’s all the salary relief they’re going to get. The real value comes from playing a guy in his place who has a chance to post a .725 OPS – something Bay’s not going to do.

        If the SP could survive the defense there’s no reason to put extra blame on the defense for the RP. They’ve both suffered, the SP more because they’ve pitched more innings. The RP just has not been good. Some of that is guys not performing like they have in the past, some of it is how the manager has used his players and some of it is the GM hitching his wagon to the wrong guys.

        Alderson inherited a tough situation and in several cases, he’s done a very good job. Cutting Castillo and Perez was the right move. Getting Wheeler was a very nice stroke and the 2011 Draft appears to be a good one. Signing Capuano, Hairston and Cedeno to the contracts he did was good work. Getting out from the K-Rod option and picking up a couple of usable arms was very good – although he allowed Collins to use K-Rod in a manner that made the vesting option a guarantee should not have happened. I also agree with the decision to not offer multi-year deals to Takahashi or Capuano.

        But his MLB roster construction in 2012 has mostly been a dud. He’s gotten lucky to get 179+ innings from Santana and Young when he could have gotten zero. The bullpen is a mess and the money should have gone elsewhere. If you think the team’s relationship with Beltran was poisoned beyond repair (don’t agree but whatever) they could have gone after Michael Cuddyer or Jason Kubel or Josh Willingham as a righty-hitting corner OF to balance the lefty lineup. Instead he hitched his wagon to a Bay rebound and that didn’t work out. After evaluating Bay in 2011 they anticipated a comeback. And that one’s on Alderson/Collins.

        I think Alderson has done a good job in many areas. But there have been enough bad moves and non-moves to be worrisome and I’m not going to give him a free pass because I like that he traded for Wheeler.

        I agree that the Mets in several years are going to be better than what we have now. But I think they could have been better now than they are.

        • 7train

          Pointed noted on Rottino.

          Alderson has to say something. People have to accept that things can change considering the circumstances at the time. Maybe he was just letting us down slowly who knows. I don’t really care what he says, I only care what he does and I’ve been that way ever since I heard Joe Torre talking about how four everyday players is better than Tom Seaver.

          Bay was exactly what we needed we just didn’t get it. I was vehemently against signing him in the first place but I also realize we are not really in a position to throw out anything unless every possible chance has been exhausted. That point has been reached but the Mets are obligated to pay him and everything above the minimum if his option does vest. While it is unlikely and improbable he could wind up on a team decimated in the OF who does in fact play him everyday thereby vesting his option that I don’t see how we wouldn’t be on the hook for. Personally I would take the risk but I understand both sides of it. Hell Cora’s option would have vested for the same reason.

          Purposely trying to avoid K-Rod’s vest would have been unethical and had ramifications with the players union who put the Mets on notice about it in ST plus it would have destroyed Collins credibility in the clubhouse. I was not a huge fan of the non save situations that Collins brought him into though. Those could have been easily avoided although it would have been very close even without those had he remained.

          I don’t believe there was money for Cuddyer, Kubel or Willingham. We’ll never know but I think it was a good idea to try to pump Duda’s value for the off season and minimum salaries are the way their going for one reason or the other.

          Ike had a track record and lost 5 months last year. His defense had been top notch and he is viewed as part of the future. Duda at 27 next year may not. Shipping out Ike either moves Lucas to 1B (have you seen him there?) or ends the 2B trial for Murphy. That just further muddies things up in this transition period.

          I am not in favor of keeping the top 100 prospects, maybe the top 99 but certainly not triple figures. Which of our prospects stock was up last off season and what could they have reasonably been expected to return? Familia for sure. Lagares somewhat with an OB totally dependent on his BA and no power. Valdespin, Gorski, den Dekker, that’s really about it. Flores was down, Mejia hurt, Carson flat, 2011 draft class not eligible. I really don’t know that any of these guys other than Familia would cause a GM to keep talking and for what? We have heard Street, I’m sure there others as well, didn’t happen. You know what they say, sometimes the best deals……….

          This is where I stand on the farm Brian. How do you even begin to rank them? Tovar I keep. Flores no position, Havens, Ceciliani always hurt, Pena nothing yet but Ruiz wasn’t either until 25, Aderlain great power, slow with rocks for hands, low average high K’s, no walks, Lagares already noted, Vaughn good RF platoon guy if……..Puello and den Dekker intriguing but…….ect and so forth. the point is we don’t know which guys start putting it together. By keeping them they will start to sort themselves out and we’ll be able to start formulating some ideas of where we’re good, where we’re OK and where we need to upgrade and we’ll get MORE by waiting once some of these questions start being answered and we’ll better know what we should be looking for. What is the worst that could happen? They spend 3 years as AAA depth instead of having to go out and get Johnson and May, Lowen and Lewis, Emaus, Shields and Kazmar and this is key. With options. That means you can bring them up and send them down as need be without DFAing a guy and who knows, maybe someone comes on strong and stays. Competition is good for a team and knowing there is a Cesar Puello in AAA who has the tools even though he hasn’t displayed them effectively is good for everyone concerned. Even Mookie’s game improved with Dykstra breathing down his neck.

          If we could trade a package of prospects for a highly regarded 1st or 2nd year catcher or RH RFer I’m good with that depending on the names. To add an extra 5-10 wins this year? No way, we’re not close enough. We’ve repeatedly set ourselves back through the years by trying to accelerate the process. Fans will always look at one AB, one inning, game or season but the GM has to look at multiple seasons and finally we have someone that is doing that.

          Measure twice, cut once, not the other way around. The information is not in. We don’t have a big enough margin of error. Many teams in the NL have monster farm systems. Atlanta, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, SD, Arizona, the Marlins really helped themselves at the deadline, so did Philly and Washington is not going anywhere. We simply cannot make decisions before we have to placate the fans or we we could very well shoot ourselves in the foot yet again.

          I appreciate your opinions regardless of whether we agree or not. Their always well defended and valid and most importantly they come from a passionate Met fan.

          • Brian Joura

            I am 99% certain that if the Mets cut Bay and someone else picks him up and plays him enough for the option to vest – that team and not the Mets is responsible for paying it. I will look into it and get a definitive answer for you.

            Keeping K-Rod’s option from vesting by not pitching him in save situations would have gotten the Mets in trouble with the Union. But if he was only used in the 9th inning in save situations they would have no bounds for a grievance. He was 23-26 in save situations – he would have needed to have amassed over 46 saves last year if he only pitched the 9th in save situations. They could have had their cake (K-Rod closing) and eaten it too (not having the option vest) if they played their cards better.

            Mets spent $12 million plus on the pen. Cuddyer signed for $10.5 million per year, Kubel signed for $7.5 million per year and Willingham signed for $7 million per year. Alderson chose Bay and nothing more than one-year commitments (Francisco aside). I don’t think it was a completely unreasonable choice by Alderson. But it certainly hasn’t proven to be the right one. I don’t expect Alderson to bat 1.000 on all his moves. But when the move(s) don’t work out, they have to go on his overall record.

            Davis’ defense has been underwhelming this year. Certainly he seemed to be the better defensive option heading into the season but at this point I’m not convinced he’s better than Duda would be. DRS has him at (-3) this year, a far cry from what he did in 2010 when he was +12. I’ve only seen Duda for a handful of games at 1B and he seems like he does in the OF – he catches what he gets to but he doesn’t get to a lot.

            I’m not ready to rank the farm system right now. But going into last year I think that Familia, Mejia and Valdespin would have had varying degrees of value. Perhaps Flores, too. By themselves they may not have fetched much – I don’t really know. But as part of a package, I think getting someone like Familia would have been attractive to other teams.

            Going forward, the Mets have three untouchable guys – Harvey, Tejada and Wheeler. Everyone else should be on the table. I don’t particularly want to trade Brandon Nimmo, but if he gets us someone like Justin Upton, I would do it. I really think Alderson needs to be more aggressive in the trade market and it it takes trading a Davis or Niese or Fulmer or Mazzoni to do it, I’m ready for it.

            • Chris F

              I guess it is time to look all directions and work on the 2012 post mortem, even with a lot of games left. There is plenty of blame to circulate.

              Oh hell. Its not worth getting past all you guys have noted. Its clear. We have a good way to go still.

            • 7train

              I’m holding (within reason) on Tejada, Harvey, Wheeler, Edgin, Tovar, Fulmer, Montero, Tapia, Mateo, deGrom and Nimmo.

              I would really look at Wright, Dickey and Davis to bring back 3 catching prospects and 3 OF prospects (an A,B and C of each) in the A+, AA, AAA range.

              Install Duda at 1B, Lutz at 3B followed by Flores and Marte. Go with Santana, Niese Harvey, Gee, McHugh, Hefner, Familia, Mejia, Wheeler, Cahoon, Gorski, Mazzoni, Gonzalez for the next couple of years.

              If we pick the right catchers and OFer’s we will have 2 of each up here by then along with Tovar, den Dekker? and Flores with all our young pitching intact and whichever of Minaya’s other prospects stick. Lutz or Campbell could help Duda at 1B or we could draft a college first basemen, they get up quickly and that keeps Plaweicki, Nimmo, Evans, Marquez, Cechini, Tapia, Mateo, Fulmer, deGrom and Montero in line with hopefully more to come.

              • 7train

                Cuddyer hasn’t been all that good this year offensively or defensively. He would have fit in well with Ike and Duda but 3/30 M starting at age 33 is not my idea of what we need. If Bay wasn’t here and Duda went to left I suppose it would be worthwhile but Bay was here. Willingham 3/21 M would have been nice but again Bay was in LF. Kubel 2/16 M same thing. We can’t seem to get rid of Bay even in 2013 so I really don’t think that was an option in 2012, speaking of which I just can’t see how we would not be on the hook for the option if it did vest. It would at that point be a contractual obligation on the part of the Mets with whatever team he’s on responsible for just the minimum. If I am wrong about that then there is just no way he should have come back with the team from the West Coast. Period, and that’s clearly on ownership. If he’s on the roster in the winter that means he will cost us a prospect as well so there is a very clear advantage for numerous reasons in cutting him.

                I don’t think Mejia coming off surgery would have been very attractive. Flores had lost his luster as well. Familia would have been tempting and Valdespin a more than decent throw in but even if that was enough for Houston Street (lets say) that still doesn’t get us to even 85 wins, bumps the salary up 7 M with more needed to be spent on the pen as well. Probably wouldn’t have signed Frank so that would have helped but Familia does have a great arm and Spin’s a great utility guy (which we wouldn’t have known back then) Lagares might have had a tiny bit of value but when you compare what Washington gave up for a young difference maker who would be there for a while (which is the only way a trade makes sense IMO) we fell far short in what we could have offered.

                They went with Duda to pump us his value and have a minimum salary in RF. They spent some money on the pen because they could do so on 1 year deals. Not so with Cuddyer, Kubel and Willingham and with Bay in the way they had no place for them anyway.

                • Brian Joura

                  Here’s the definitive answer on Bay’s option, courtesy of Dave Cameron of FanGraphs:

                  “Bay would sign a new contract with the new team, and the options attached to the old one would die when he was released. The only way his current contract would transfer to a new team is if he was claimed on waivers, which obviously no team would do. If the Mets cut him, that vesting option will not vest, no matter how much he plays for any new team.”

  • steevy

    The Met lineup now stinks against RIGHTIES,with no Lucas Duda.This looks like another home loss to the Braves.I think I’m done watching the Mets this season.

    • 7train

      Lucas was hitting .250/.366/.429 against RHP this year. That’s nothing extraordinary and combined with the defense, not much of a difference maker.

      If Lucas was the only guy who needed a platoon mate he would still be up here.

  • steevy

    Duda should be up so Valdespin can play every day in Triple A.

  • steevy

    I would consider offers for Ike Davis as well.2reasons.He can’t hit lefties.His defense is lackluster at best(not crazy about his effort on defense)Duda may be just as good if not better at 1st base.

    • Brian Joura

      I’m not sure how much trade value that Ike has now but I agree completely that he should not be untouchable. I’m quite comfortable trading Ike as part of a package to acquire a righty-hitting OF and turning 1B over to Duda.

  • Metsense

    Fred Wilpon stated many years ago that his goal was to play meaningful baseball in September. I always thought that to be a realistic approach. On June 30th, Wilpon came to bat and stood there just like he mocked his all star CF for doing. An opportunity was there and nothing was done. Sandy Alderson basically has a self fulfilling prophecy. His roster moves, especially concerning lefthanded relief pitchers would be comical if it wasn’t so sad. Every smart Met fan knows that you can’t sustain a winning organization without a farm system and I for one am glad to see this problem addressed. I’m also realistic to realize that a great farm system doesn’t guarantee a championship. Last winter there were a few quality starting and relief pitchers that could have been signed for only money and only one year. Beltran at 30M for 2 years was available. This approach would have appeased the paying customers and kept the farm system intact. This approach can work this coming winter. It is obvious that the Mets didn’t have, and still don’t, have the money so I wish the Wilpons would sell the team. The Wilpon’s ownership and lack of capital is why I’m pessimistic.

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