8 things that should happen before the Mets begin the 2013 season

It’s only been a week since the Mets’ 2012 season ended and Mets’ fans are already thinking of ways to upgrade the team for next season. For a team that stormed out of the gate this season but crashed and burned in the summer yet again, Mets’ fans want to correct a few wrongs and better prepare for next season.

So, as we get set to see other teams participate in the playoffs (sans the Mets for the sixth straight year), let me roll off eight ideas that the Mets should entertain in an effort to be playing at this time next year.

1. Re-sign David Wright

There is a faction of Mets’ fans who want to trade Wright while his value is high so that he can land us a prospect overhaul. While that’s nice in theory, who’s to say that it will ultimately work out.

David Wright is the face of the franchise, probably more so than any other position player in Mets’ history. While he declined in the second half, Wright has value to this team that goes beyond what he does on the diamond. By not resigning him or subsequently trading him, you will divide the fanbase and alienate more ticket buyers.

There is no need to ruffle any more feathers in Queens and if a reasonable deal can be made-and both sides think a deal can get done-you make the deal.

2. Sign R.A. Dickey to a new contract

Don’t worry about his age; Dickey is a knuckleball pitcher who should have a long shelf life in the majors.

While he may not approach the astonishing numbers he had this year-but then again maybe he can because Dickey is not your typical knuckleball pitcher. But even if he doesn’t approach the numbers he had this year, do remember Dickey was no slouch in his first two seasons as a Met, as he has been an above average pitcher in his tenure with the club.

Dickey’s tale is a tremendous story and the next few chapters deserve to be written in Queens.

3. Upgrade at catcher

Somehow, someway the Mets can’t go into the 2013 season with both Josh Thole and Kelly Shoppach as the only two catchers. You can stick with one to be the backup, but it would behoove the Mets to find a competent starter.

I’m not too opposed to signing a guy like A.J. Pierzynski or even trading for a Wilin Rosario. What the Mets have right now behind the plate is simply not working.

4. Get some outfield help

This notion of getting some outfield help has been harped on for years and sooner or later the Mets have to follow through on this premise.

Scott Hairston and Andres Torres are most likely not coming back; Lucas Duda should move to first (if Davis is traded) or he should be traded himself; Jordany Valdespin may be moved to become a utility infielder; Mike Baxter is nothing more than a reserve; Kirk Nieuwenhuis has a lot of room for improvement. And we’ll get to that other certain left fielder in a moment. Plus, the Mets don’t have many other great options in the minors.

So, whether it be bucking the trend and signing a guy like Michael Bourn, Shane Victorino or B.J Upton or trading for B.J’s brother, Justin Upton, something has to go down this winter to get a competent-hitting (preferably one with some power) and slick-fielding outfielder. And only acquiring one won’t do. At this juncture the Mets have to look into reeling in at least two quality starting outfielders.

If this means trading perhaps the likes of Ike Davis and a Jonathon Niese, then so be it. Pitching depth is one of the Mets’ most reliable assets. So, in order to get something you’ll always have to give up something.

5. Cut Jason Bay

As has been mentioned here before, Bay is a sunken cost and it’s only best for both parties to part ways with the Mets finally eating Bay’s contract.

The Mets-while trying to change the culture of losing and the doling out of bloated contracts-can’t keep Bay around any longer, as it would be a detriment to the growth of this team.

Enough is enough. There is no need for Jason Bay to be even on the bench, let alone start.

6. Get a legitimate lead-off hitter

This suggestion goes hand in hand with getting outfield help. Ideally, the Mets could kill two birds with one stone by signing Bourn, but that seems highly unlikely.

So, perhaps the Mets can make a trade to address this need. As good as Ruben Tejada is, he is not a leadoff hitter and no one on the current roster comes close to resembling a quality leadoff hitter.

7. Trade either Ike Davis, Lucas Duda or Daniel Murphy

Simply put: all of the above cannot play together on the same team next year. All three are best suited to play first base. Sure, Murphy is not that bad at second base, but the Mets have to decide who they want at first since shoehorning Duda in right field won’t cut it anymore. If you think you have more trade value with Davis, then trade him for a better package and put Duda at first.

8. Get more bullpen help

In the middle of the season this was assumed to be the most pressing need, but the Mets got solid contributions from the likes of Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch, Robert Carson and Josh Edgin at the end of the season that pushed this need to the backburner.

Still, the Mets need all the help it can get in the bullpen, as this is an erratic group who will likely always struggle with consistency. And Frank Francisco is no sure thing to be closing games next year.

It would be wise if the Mets added more fresh pieces to stir the pot.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

52 comments for “8 things that should happen before the Mets begin the 2013 season

  1. Dave
    October 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

    You DON’T trade a guy like Ike Davis, a guy who will give you 32 HRS, 90 RBI!! That’s irreplacable!!

    • David Groveman
      October 11, 2012 at 9:12 am

      Trading Davis does smack as a bad idea

  2. October 11, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Interesting article; thanks.

    I agree with Dave: We do not trade Ike Davis. His upside is still remaining to be seen. The virus he had in the Spring left him weak for months. We then saw what a strong Ike Davis could do. He is untouchable.

    I also think Murphy played a great 2nd base. He is a solid 40 doubles, .290 hitter who’s defensive play at 2nd improved dramatically. He was awesome in August and September at 2nd.

    I agree that Tejada is solid, but not a lead off hitter. A centerfield leadoff hitter would be the best find.

    What can Duda bring in a trade? He does not appear to be able to learn Left field. Can he learn right? He may have a lot of home runs in his bat.

    Catcher. No question.

    As to cutting Jason Bay, you may be right. I would prefer to make that decision on the last day of Spring training. I don’t understand what happened to him. The age factor usually takes an athlete down slower than he went down. Perhaps mentally it just fed upon itself. If he tears up Spring training, I start with him, since it is unlikely that any team would take his contract. If he bats .200 in the Spring, he is cut and we eat his contract. Nothing more we can do.

    As to back up, I like Baxter, but agree he is not a starter.


    If we build a starting outfield via trades/free agency, we will have a successful 2013.
    Here at the blog, I have read interesting material about Josh Thole, which I find myself agreeing with. He appears to have not been given the chance to develop in the minors as he should have. Could he have a better year? It is only a slight ‘maybe.’

    Dan, thanks for an interesting article. I think regular reading about the 2013 Mets will be a positive this winter.

  3. October 11, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Hey Dan I pretty much agree with what you have to say. I do have a couple of questions.First and foremost is the budget constraints for next year. Between Bay, Santana and Francisco that’s 50 million already tied up next year.A Number of players who will be eligible for arbitration next year.Replacing minimum wage players with legitimate full time quality players like you mentioned is unrealistic.I actually like Niese and since he’s already signed for 3 million,I think it’s a solid investment for the Mets. What free agent pitcher are you going to sign at that salary? As for Ike Davis well I can say one thing.He’s already shown us that he can hit home runs in any ballpark(Citifield included)Why is everyone so anxious to trade a left-handed hitting first baseman that can field his position? Duda has potential but that doesn’t mean he will do it day in and day out.We don’t need a Adam Dunn type hitter who will strikeout 200 times ans have an OBP of 300.Let’s get Keith Hernandez to Port St. Lucie next spring and have him work with Ike on his approach to hitting lefties.I was thinking the same as you for the outfield. Back load a contract for Michael Bourn and that takes care of lead-off and center field.Platoon right with the kids.That leaves us with left field and that fiasco.Start the season with Bay and if he performs well then we have an opportunity ti keep him or trade while his value is high.I don’t think the Mets are going to eat 18 million for him to sit at home or sign with someone else for the minimum while they pay him.Next the Mets have to decide priorities. Which of their arbitrary eligible players are they going to keep. The signing of low cost free agents is just a waste of time.Upgrade the bull-pen. Let Parnell have a full season as closer and if he successful then you have your closer for the next 5 years.If not I would look to trade for maybe Charlie Perez from the Indians. Frank Francisco is not the answer.How much do you think R.A. and Davd Wright will sign for? Payroll for next year is probably going to be the same.The Mets as we speak are at 55 million today.So we shall see just how good a job Sandy Alderson does at General Manager this winter.

  4. Charles
    October 11, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Unfortunately, I think Ike Davis is a goner… Here’s why:

    For some reason, in the last week of the season and despite a huge second half, someone in the organization felt it a good idea to call Davis’ nightlife and resistance to coaching into question.

    Despite a horrible season, a demotion, and a deer in the headlights approach to the NY media, the Mets higher ups, keep singing the praises of the only guy on the team who could possibly fill Ike’s shoes…Lucas Duda.

    There’s already been speculation about trading Ike and remember, he’s a free swinger whose approach at the plate differs from the organazation’s idea that OBP is absolute.

    They need outfield help. Other then trading Wright, Dickey, or Niese, the Mets don’t have a better chip then Ike at the Major league level. Harvey is not an option. Unless Wright and Dickey don’t sign, trading Ike and moving the Dude into first seems the best way to kill a bunch of birds with one stone.

    I hate this idea. He had a great rookie season and started 2011 off with a bang before missing the rest of it with injury. That time off, coupled with the Valley Fever contributed to his historically bad first half. But damn, to finish with the power numbers he did was amazing. This guy could easily be a 40 homer threat for the next 6 years. Does anyone see Duda doing that? Oh man, I hope they don’t trade him.

    • Mack Ade
      October 11, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Man, I want to play for this team some day.

      Start the season off with a desease that can kill you, be robbed of all your strength, come back and hit 30+ home runs and be one of the league leaders, and read every day that I’m going to be traded when I’m just entering my first arbitration year.

      What a great fucking place to play…

      • David Groveman
        October 11, 2012 at 9:40 am

        Great point

        • Name
          October 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

          It’s because of US fans and media that they get such a high payday anyways.
          If you’re famous, you get perks such as money and special treatment, but you have to give up your privacy. It’s a tradeoff that they have to accept. You cant get the best of both worlds. Deal with it.

      • Dan Stack
        October 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm

        I absolutely love Davis and all he brings to the table. But let’s be frank here, how are you going to get outfield help (legitimate starting caliber outfield help) without giving up something of value? I just don’t see how you can keep Ike while also bolstering the OF.
        If you can keep Ike and legitimately upgrade the OF, please let me know your idea. I mean can you trade Duda for a quality OF?

        • Willis
          October 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm

          You can package Duda with a minor league arm. The better the arm the better the return. I bet a package of Duda and Familia would be very compelling, particularly to an American Leugue team.

    • October 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      Trade Ike Davis?

      I’d like to talk about a Mets first baseman. He fields his position really well. Bats in the middle of the order. He’s an excellent presence in the clubhouse, although he’s a little outspoken. He parties at night. Therefore, some people in management don’t like him.

      I’m talking about Keith Hernandez, of course.

      I don’t know who the person in management is who thinks that Ike’s manners need to be a little bit better. I think Ike’s attitude is just fine. Management may want a whole bunch of model citizens, but that begins to sound like a group of gentlemanly, timorous weenies who have spent five years failing to prove Cole Hamels wrong.

      Let’s leave Ike’s swagger in place.

      We do need new people in the outfield. But may I point out that there were two starting outfielders who were here when Sandy Spinderson took over who were still playing ball today and batting at the top of their orders, even leading off.

  5. TJ
    October 11, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Nice article. A few points. Your suggestions do not take into account the payroll restrictions stated by Sandy Wilpon. Yes, signing Bourn would kill two birds with one stone, but there is now way this will happen. Likewise with signing AJ to catch. Even the Uptons don’t work salary-wise unless you are willing to part with David Wright to make 2013 payroll room, which makes no sense. Now, if the Wilpons could scrape up another $10-$15 mil for the 2013 payroll, one or two of those moves will be possible. Since they refuse to do that (I think they can but won’t), Sandy will be looking to fill CF and C with proven MLB players with 3 years or less (minimum salary guys. Buorgos on the Angels, Rosario on the Rockies are a few examples. The big problem is that no one wants to deal affordable and productive guys like this, so it will be very challenging. I agree with the resigning of DW and RA as steps 1 & 2, although I doubt they will come to terms with RA. Let’s hope that happens and then see what the trade landscape is. There only FA signings will be late winter bargain basement guys.

    • October 11, 2012 at 9:51 am

      I agree with you TJ. Alderson is going to be looking for cheap ready players as would I. Bourjos, Revere (Twins), Cain or Dyson(KC), Kalish (Boston), Frazier (Cinci) are some guys I would look at without giving up Ike Davis. Duda to Boston for Kalish might do as Duda can become their 1st and be a monster there. I also read in a Angels paper that they might dangle Trumbo for right price.

  6. Mack Ade
    October 11, 2012 at 10:10 am

    You all have touched on some good points and Dan has it pretty covered. There’s no big surprised when you’re working with $100mil and you have this current team.

    The fact is I’ve been pipe-dreaming lately about finding great outfielders. The only ones that would be available would have to be either guys at the AA/AAA level or recent graduated that are salary controllable.

    Can the Mets put a playoff team on the field in 2013 with the current crew, a $100mil cap, and a little luck?

    First, a little advance on my Sunday column:

    Here’s your 2013 “Salary Template” as of today:

    SP (4) – Johan Santana $31mil, SP R.A. Dickey $5mil, Jon Niese $3mil, Matt Harvey $490K

    RP (6) – Frank Francisco $6.5 million, Jeurys Familia $490K, Jenry Mejia $490K, Robert Carson $490K, Elvin Ramirez $490K, Josh Edgin $490K

    IF (1) – David Wright $15.350mil

    OF –(3) Jason Bay $19mil, Jordany Valdespin $490K, Kirk Nieuwenhuis $490K

    That’s 14 members of the 25-man that total $83,770,000

    Guys (and their 2012 salary) that still need to be added, are:

    SP – Dillon Gee $502K

    RP – Bobby Parnell $504K, Manny Acosta $875K

    IF – Justin Turner $491,209, Ruben Tejada $491,209, Josh Thole $498,920 (going into arbitration), Ike Davis $506,690 (going into arbitration), Daniel Murphy $512,192 (going into arbitration)

    OF – Mike Baxter $480K, Lucas Duda $497,218

    That’s 10 more members of the 25-man, which now total 24. You’re short a catcher (Shoppach).

    The 10 added had a combined 2012 salary of $5,358,438

    ‘HoJo’s Mojo’, over at Metsmerized, estimates that it will cost the Mets around $6.5mil more to close a deal for Murphy, Thole, Davis, and Parnell. I add a $2mil salary for Shoppach and the numbers come in at:

    25-men, $99,462,438, no new players

    Most vulnerable player/projection: Acosta – $963K

    So, if you cut Acosta, you have around a mil for one new player. The rest of the ‘new players’ would have to replace someone I listed above.

    1. Forget the Niese trade. Stay on track. If anything, fast track Wheeler and trade Gee for an outfielder who is controllable salary wise in the Domonic Brown class (calm down… just using the name, not the player)

    2. I too would leave Bay home and open camp with an outfield of Nieuwenhuis, Baxter, Duda, Valdespin (still your rough diamond) and new 100mil guy. I would continue to try and package seconddary prospects for the real deal here.

    3. I’m afraid you’re going to have to live with Josh Shoppach. They are your 2013 catchers and there is no one in the system close to ready (if at all) for the major league jump. You have to develop this player, primarily out of the Latin system. There just aren’t that many around and those that excel do not become available.

    Lastly, the future success of this team is on the mound. A rotation of Santana, Dickey, Niese, Harvey, and Wheeler would get you there.

    • TJ
      October 11, 2012 at 11:42 am

      All excellent points, and I think your last one is the most important. They’ve been saying it for over 100 years, “you can never have enough pitching”, and they’ve been saying it for a reason. Yes, the Mets need bats, and the SP depth is pretty good, but I’m not dealing any unless someone want to take Santana’s money (which will never happen) or there is now way they can extend Dickey AND other teams are making a fair offer for one year of a Cy Young candidate.

      • Mack Ade
        October 11, 2012 at 12:05 pm


        If you lock up Dickey, and fast track Wheeler, Gee will become your long man and solve a lot of the bullpen problems. He would be backed up with Carson, Familia, Mejia, Parnell, Edgin. That’s a pretty good start. If Francisco came back, your are there.

        Moreover, Montero is the one guy that seems to be ready to dominate at the upper minor league levels. If that happens, he becomes the 2014 replacement for Santana or an immediate trade chip to a bunch of teams that are watching him. The scouts flood the stands when he pitches.

        And, it simply is too early to count out Gorski, Fulmer, or Verrett. My money is on Fulmer but Verrett will become very wanted next season.

        Most of the Mets every day player problems in the next few years will be solved by trading some of these guys, but a 2015 rotation of: Wheeler, Harvey, Dickey, Niese, and Montero could be the best in the league.

    • David Groveman
      October 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      What is sad is that bringing the Mets up to $150 Mil would so drastically change this team from a treading water at 4th place to competing for the division.

      • Name
        October 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

        $50 million will change what they have on paper and people’s preseason perception of that team. That doesn’t necessarily translate into results(see Tigers, Angels, Boston)

  7. Reese
    October 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I hate to disagree with you, Mack, but I can’t see a lot of GMs burning up Alderson’s cell phone minutes for a crack at Dillon Gee.

    As much of a heresy it is for the Mets to consider trading David Wright to free up salary dollars and obtain prospects, I’m wondering if perhaps the other creative angle they may want to try is seeing what the market will bear for Zack Wheeler? After all, he didn’t exactly dazzle in his 2012 season and although everyone acknowledges that the talent is there, Harvey actually did show it at the ML level already. Wheeler would likely set GMs hearts a flutterin’ a lot more than Dillon Gee would. Could you, for example, net a Willin Rosario for Zack Wheeler?

    • 7train
      October 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Good job with your off season thoughts Dan. Here are a couple of countering points

      #1 Resign Wright – Dan here you state the potential downside of dealing Wright but you never discuss the downside of signing him. The biggest downside to signing him is that you will not be able to surround him with talented, all around position players from ages 23-28 until he is on the last few years of his contract when presumably he wouldn’t be posting big numbers. In short that the Mets won’t have enough with Wright in the short term and that Wright won’t have enough left when they do. That is a very real possibility, more real IMO than two studs hand selected from 30 different farm systems anywhere from A+ – AA busting if such a deal is possible.

      There is also the risk of injury and declining or spotty performance.

      I hate the idea of not having him play his entire career here and see #5 put on the wall but there are two sides to this issue.

      Re Sign Dickey – I agree that Dickey will probably fulfill a 3 year deal in fine fashion and would love to see him lead a young staff here in Queens from 2013-2016 (including a club option year) but again where are the other pieces we need coming from? There is a very real possibility that we have no OFer’s or catchers above short season ball and that means 2016 when Dickey’s deal is over and he is 42.

      There is also the risk, mitigated to some point by RA’s professionalism, of injury in the area of muscle pulls at his age that hamper preparation and therefore performance that cannot be dismissed out of hand.

      Upgrade at catcher – AJ is not a bad choice but after him there is no one in FA and AJ himself will probably have numerous teams interested and it’s not only up to us, it’s also up to him if he would want to come here. There is also the issue of age. He’s 35. All things considered I’d say that AJ is about a 1% chance of coming here which means trade.

      In the last few years young catching prospects like Wilson Ramos (Matt Capps) Travis d’Anaurd (part of Halliday) Grandal (biggest part of Latos) Norris (part of Gio) Montero (Pineda) Joseph (Pence) Brantley (Sanchez, Infante) Lino (Thome) Ianetta (Chatwood) have cost quite a bit to obtain. In addition teams that have a surplus in this area (Toronto, SD, Colorado) probably aren’t in a rush and demand will be high. That means something like Fulmer or Montero or both. Pitching depth can evaporate with just two injuries so if you trade two that means your short there.

      Getting OF help – Trading Niese except for a Wil Myers, Travis d’Anaurd, Christian Yelich or comparable elite OF or catching prospect is a no go for me. We do not have a LH starting pitcher other than Gorski above short season ball and Darin is highly questionable. There are just too many top LH hitters in our division to roll out RH starter after RH starter. (Harper, Heyward, Freeman, McCann, Howard, Utley)

      Ike is a worthwhile idea and while no one can say how the desert fever affected him his performance against LHP doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that he will ever hit them consistently enough to be left in the lineup on an everyday basis. If he got us d’Anaurd or Jimenez from Toronto that’s a slam dunk.

      Bourne will be looking to break the bank, Upton as well. Neither will have us on the top of their lists. Justin Upton would solidify the D and help against LHP no question but consider this. Away from Arizona he sports a career .250/.325/.406 This year .252/.326/.344. Giving up a lot to get him and paying him 38 M over the next 3 years may be worth it or may not. His performance in Arizona has been spotty and that’s why they want to bail. I would only consider this from a salary dump perspective. If it’s only money and not all that much else I’m OK but AZ needs position playing prospects so a 3rd team would probably have to be involved.

      I go with Victorino here for medium money 2 year max. One year player option would be perfect if he’s still hanging around in January. At his worst he would be a great platoon mate for Kirk as he hits LHP well and them come in for D with Kirk sliding over to LF when we have a lead.

      Bay – No brainer, do it before the rule 5 though.

      Victorino/Kirk to start, can’t fix everything without costing yourself down the road.

      Trade – Ike, Lucas, Murph. I don’t consider trading Murph. As the only LH hitter on the team who handles LHP I keep him. With Wright (or Lutz, Turner, Flores) whoever Murph is an insurance policy at 3B and once we have a solid starting eight can be a great backup at 1B, 2B, 3B and pinch hitter. A very good part of a good team. Ike has value, Lucas not so much. Choice is clear but depends on the return and what else is done.

      Pen – We do have some candidates. Parnell, Carson, Edgin, Familia, Mejia, Ramirez, Acosta, Rosario, Gonzalez German, Rosario, maybe even a rule 5 or Madson on a 1 year deal.

      All in all I don’t see us being able to do enough to make a difference with the situation in the farm and the payroll to disturb the future so I see what Wright, Dickey and Ike can get us to position ourselves properly with young top talented prospects in A+-AA for the OF and catcher. Take the 25 M saved and Sign Victorino and Madson if they’ll come here and add to what we have on the way rather than subtracting from it for the illusion of competability.

      Patience must rule the day here for once and you cannot fix every need at the last minute and expect everything to work out as no one would know better than Met Fans.

      Nice job, I’d just go the other way. Worse in the short term, better in the long term.

      • Dan Stack
        October 11, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        Great extensive write up 7Train.
        I too preach patience and don’t want the team spend frivolously, so maybe management can make trades to upgrade the team. On the other hand, they can make some waves and sign at least one decent free agent without having to break the bank. Is it such a terrible ting to raise the payroll a little. I mean after next season, you’ll have Bay and Santana’s contract off the books as well as FF.

        • 7rain
          October 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm

          Thanks Dan and thanks for your writeup.

          Nothing wrong with picking up a good player on a FA deal by raising payroll a bit or a couple medium guys. Reed Johnson, Madson, Victorino. something along those lines combined with getting long term catching and OF prospects, grab a catcher in the rule 5 or non tender but extract a real back stop to pair him with in a year or two and a future 8-10 year full time starting OFer.

      • TJ
        October 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm

        nice summary. I just take exception to this theme that DW will be out of gas by the time the team arrives. Next season he will be playing in his age 31 season. Just this year along, guys like age 35 Beltran (32/97/.842), age 33 Willingham (33/110/.890) age 36 Torii Hunter (16/92/.817), even age 40 Larry Jone (14/67/.832) put up very good years. If they are paying DW $20 mil/per or less in 2016, 2017, there is still a very good chance that he will provide solid value for his pay.

        I agree with you on virtually all otrher points. Victorino mot bad to leadoff play CF if money drops, 2 yrs max. I agree on Niese. I agree that acquiring a closer and bumping everyone down a spot can do big things for the pen. It’s all about thge Benjamins.

        • 7rain
          October 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm

          TJ I’m not saying that he will be out of gas at all. My main point all along is he’s not enough on his own so signing him doesn’t get us better now and with OF and catcher being such distinct weaknesses down the road doesn’t appear that he will be enough later either.

          My thoughts aren’t on David not being worth the money or going Alou or Bay on us. Chiefly I’m concerned with not winning now and not winning later. I’m not of the belief that enough can be done now even with David but I do think we have a good chance come 2015-2016 but that will depend on what we do now to prepare for those years.

          While it is true that prospects he could be traded for could bust it is also true that he could not fulfill his deal performance wise by being injured or experiencing a rapid decline. I don’t expect that but it is at least as likely as hand selected prospects busting and he has been late on the FB on occasion already.

          Just feel both pros and cons should be examined.

  8. Mack Ade
    October 11, 2012 at 11:58 am


    About Gee…

    I love him. He’s a great SP5, the future emergency SP6 (someone always goes down, right?) and could easily slot into a long man for many years. A fellow teammate told me that he mixes so well that, by the time he throws 91 at you, you think it’s 95 (remember… you only have 4/10th of second to decide what to do with a 95 mph fastball).

    But… I’m trying to build a 2013 playoff team. I have horses, spears, but not enough foot Gladiators…

    Gee could get me something better than a 32-year old hanging around at the $1-1.5mil level. I can use his+ Acosta money and put someone in the outfield that would be an upgrade until the 2014 money free’s up.

    Remember… with a little patience, the 2013 outfield could have been Duda, Francouer, and F-Mart. Not an all-star lineup, but a lot better than today’s lineup.

    • 7rain
      October 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Mack that’s worse than our current OF.

      Francouer, Duda, Fern? I assume that would be Fern playing CF.

      The strikeouts would be about twice the OB% and the defense in CF and LF the worst of all time.

      Lucas doesn’t hit LHP for XBH’s, Fern doesn’t LHP at all and Frenchy only hits lefties.

  9. Name
    October 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Just some ideas(that might be crazy).
    1. Buyout Bay the way they did it with Bonilla. Maybe ask him to take 6 million for the next four years and say goodbye to him. It would give him some money for the next couple of years(since we know he won’t be getting any more big major league contracts for the next couple of years) while allowing us some flexibility. Or we could make it more extreme by delaying any payments till 2014 or later, but then they would have to pony up more money.

    2. Sign Ichiro to a 1-year deal. This may be a huge longshot, but at least for next year he could provide us with a leadoff man and some speed and someone who can play RF. I don’t know how much he’s going to cost though. But if the Mets flop next year they could trade him to dump his salary.

    3. Trade Wright + JV + some prospect(or two) for Upton. There are very few players Wright can be traded for while not riling up the fans. Upton could be that guy. Upton is a very high profile player, like Wright, and he provides us some needed OF help. When you give up a high profile guy but get another back, it isn’t that detrimental to a fan’s perspective because it doesn’t imply rebuilding. Plus, we would be save us around 5-6 million this year. Upton should be entering his prime and if all breaks right he could become a superstar in NY. At worst, he’ll just be a slighty above average player.

    4. Sign Dickey to a contract that includes a post-playing coaching career. The Nats gave Ryan Zimmerman a contract that includes that type of clause. Zimmerman will be paid $2 million for 5 years, for a total of $10 million, after he retires from playing and works for the Nats in another capacity. I think it would be a great investment to have this type of knuckleballer working for you. If he is even able to teach his craft to just 1 youngster it would be well worth it. Who knows, maybe RA can be the father of a new knuckleball era.

    5. Trade Parnell. His value is as high as ever. Teams see his sub-3 ERA and 100 mph fastball, but all i see is a pitcher who melts down when the games count with a fastball so straight my grandma can hit. Let another team worry about this guy.

    • David Groveman
      October 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      1. If Bay is willing

      2. I think Ichiro would want more but getting a leadoff guy would be huge

      3. I think the Mets are losing on the deal for Upton

      4. I’m fine with the coaching clause for Dickey but how much he wants is huge

      5. For who?

      • Name
        October 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm

        Do you think the Mets could get a deal done for Upton that includes Wright?
        And i really don’t care who Parnell is traded for as long as the person we get back is cheap as well. He’s that low in my book.

  10. Metsense
    October 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Point 7 is the key. If they trade Davis the Mets would have to bring in a big bat outfielder that was affordable. Someone like Josh Reddick (Oak).256 BA .305/.463/.768 85 RBI. If Duda is traded maybe he could go to Colorado (who needs a 1B) for Tyler Colvin (Col) . 292 BA .327/.531/.858 18 HR 72 RBI. Duda’s value is low so a prospect may have to be added. If the Mets traded Murphy the impact on the lineup would be minimal. They already have two average second baseman in Valdespin and Turner so even though it is a downgrade it isn’t a large downgrade. Murphy alone can’t bring in a better than average OF alone so again a prospect would need to be added.
    Hairston should be re signed and be the starting left fielder (or the starting right fielder if a trade brings a left fielder). The Mets don’t have the resources to pay someone better than Hairston and they don’t have anyone AAA ready within the next two years .If it takes giving Hairston a two year deal then they will have a better than average left or right fielder at an affordable cost.
    Shoppach is a free agent and could be signed and play full time and he may put up average OPS. because his career OPS is .732.(league average for catcher) This would be an inexpensive way of putting an average player at the position. It would be preferrable to upgrade this position,because Shoppach hasn’t been a starter since 2008. Thole has been given ample opportunity and has a career .664 OPS which should indicate at the most a backup role.

    • David Groveman
      October 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Let’s just write out the thoughts.

      Ike Davis for Josh Reddick (I think the Mets lose substantially on this)

      Lucas Duda + Prospect for Tyler Colvin (Okay)

      Murphy + Prospect for ???

      • Metsense
        October 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

        At this point, the Mets don’t have one average OF in place going into 2013. I’m not keen on the Davis trade but would make it if nothing materialized this winter. Reddick hits lefties better than Ike. Duda is the man that needs to be moved because his defense in the OF negates his offense. Murphy could go for a Colvin type OF. My point is that the Mets need 3 above average OF and an above average catcher. Free agency does not seem to be an option. (Hopefully the late winter bargain bin of FA will produce one of these spots). If the Mets can at least put all 8 offensive players of average ability in the lineup, the starting pitching, which is there strength, may carry them to a surprising record in 2013. When the 7-9 spots in the lineup are black holes, like in 2012, then the team stands no chance.

  11. Charles
    October 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    I wouldn’t trade Wright for Upton strait up so forget about giving Jordany plus another prospect for him… Wow.

    • Name
      October 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      And you’re reasoning? Wright is only signed for 1 year while Upton is signed for 3. Upton is also making 5 million less than David this year, and only costs $15 million the next 2 years. He is entering his prime(he’s 25 this year) while Wright is already 29. Wright was a pretty pedestrian player the 2nd half and has only had 1 good half out of the last 2 years. It would also avoid the Mets having to give out a $100 million dollar contract.
      JV is nothing special, he’s too much of a free swinger.

      And the reason we would have to give up another prospect is because Wright is only signed for 1 year while Upton has 3.

  12. Mack Ade
    October 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Did everyone here just trade the entire lineup?

  13. Charles
    October 11, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    My reasoning is this…david is the franchise and will not ever be traded in a package for just Justin Upton. Money aside, the deal is from fantasy land to think the Mets would ever do that trade. How does that even make the team better? It just frees up some monies in an already week free agent market, loses the face of the team, as well as possibly THREE prospects for a team trying to build through the farm. Yes, you said JV(who in my mind is still prospect), and one maybe two prospects. Thats Wright and three young players for a guy who is a .280 hitter and has never driven in over 100 rbi’s. David had driven in over 100 three times by his 25th birthday and over 90 three more times since. Wright is a gold glove caliber third baseman as well and hits for average. Upton doesn’t bring nearly enough to the table to justify trading David Wright the player and the face of the team for.

    Now, if they moved him for two or three excellent prospects, I’d understand that.

    • Mack Ade
      October 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm


      If David Wright, his agent, or both of them want to leave the Mets, the money will be there. There are simply far too few top third basemen currently in the league.

      The Mets are not going to chase off Wright. They will offer him every dollar they can and still operate in a proper manner, but look at deals that went down in the past few years:

      Jason Werth – 7yrs/$126mil
      Carl Crawford – 7yrs/$142mil
      Joey Votto – 10yrs/$225mil

      Other teams operate in the black and they are not afraid to fill in the one slot they have open. And (I hate to keep bringing this up), you can easily roll the dice a year early on the TV money if you are already making money.

      I think Wright’s age screams of a six year contract at best, but, to some teams he could be worth $150mil.

      This ball is in Wright’s court.

    • Name
      October 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm

      You are speaking too much from your heart and it is preventing you from thinking rationally. You can’t run a baseball franchise that way. You are also too focused on the past rather than forecasting what will happen in the future. I think it’s safe to say the Wright we have now is vastly different from the Wright pre-08. I could point out that Jason Bay hit 20+ HR’s from 2004 to 2009, but what value does he have now?

      You point out that J-Upton is “only” a .280 hitter. Well, over the past 3 years, Wright has posted a .284 average. RBI’s is a terrible stat to evaluate someone by(just like wins). I think you are putting too much emphasis on this “face of the team” thing. Justin Upton is not a nobody. He is a very high-profile player and so we could still have a “face”.

      As for how Upton can help, have you seen our OF? We need OF help so badly. At 3rd, we could stick Murphy there and use Turner at 2nd. Then we could desperatly use the $5 million in saved money into our bullpen or getting another OF help. So we could potentially fill 2-3 needs with Wright and also without having to shell out big bucks.

      Also, you need to understand that Wright is only signed for ONE YEAR. ONE year. It’s ridiculous to think that you could get 3 excellent prospects for a ONE year rental player. In the best case i think you could only realisticly get 1 excellent prospect and maybe 1 good prospect without picking up any money.

  14. kjs
    October 11, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Name—Turner ANYWHERE as a full-time player may not be such a hot option…

  15. Name
    October 11, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    kjs-Turner isn’t great at anything(but he’s pretty good with RISP), but he is plenty serviceable. Worst case is that the Mets go out and get someone at the deadline to either platoon or take over 2b.

    Or some other options would be to retain JV and platoon him with Turner.
    Or hope that Reese Havens/Tovar will be ready at some point next season and could take over/platoon with him.
    Or the Mets could just sign someone, but since FA hasn’t even started yet i can’t provide you with any potential names.

  16. October 12, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Great discussion here.

    Re: Jason Bay. Given his age and his rapid decline from his years in Boston, I think there is something beyond just declining skills due to aging. His contract is not in dispute and his value is nil all around.

    I do think that there is a possibility that he could work his tail off this winter and find out, through careful study and hard work, what went wrong, and regain his swing. If, however, it is concussion related, his career is likely over due to just how far he has fallen off career numbers.

    Recall how hard RA worked each winter, pounding the wall with buckets of knuckleballs, learning to throw it hard. Perhaps Bay can find his swing. I think we will know before spring training is finished.

    Speaking of RA, I think that we still need to consider his age. The notion that a knuckleballer can have success past 40 is based upon throwing it slowly. RA throws a “hard” knuckleball. He did tire in the 8th and 9th frequently. He is turning 38. I’d love to see him play for 3 more years.

    • Mack Ade
      October 12, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Peter and all:

      The more Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, and Zack Wheeler progress, the less pitching pressure there will be on an again RA Dickey. He could wind up an SP5 well into his 40’s. I just don’t see the risk of signing him for three years.

      Justin Turner would be playing if he should be. Frankly, the Mets have a very good infield right now and, it could improve greatly in 2014 with the addition of Wilmer Flores at 2B. Of course, it would be nice if the Mets would make the decision and play Flores exclusively at that position this winter and next season in Las Vegas.

      Did you watch that Jason Werth moment last night. Are you watching these games. Do you see how important it is to have the right people in your lineup, regardless of salary?

      Lastly, I guess the Torres-Pagan trade was a big mistake. I think Pagan has had a wonderful season and I wish I saw more positive stuff written about him. Filling in the future Mets outfield would be much easier with him still around.

      • Name
        October 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm

        What? You think Werth was worth that contract because he had ONE big hit for the Nats? What about all those AB’s where he did absolutely nothing? If the Mets were to make the postseason next year and Jason Bay got a big hit, you would think he was worth that contract?

        And you can’t criticize the Pagan trade at all. It really should be called the Pagan-Ramirez trade because Torres was basically a throw-in. The Mets were getting a reliever with a sub-3 ERA for the past 3 season while giving up a CF who was a defensive liability in CF, didn’t provide much with the bat, numerous baserunning mistakes. I think the change of scenery probably benefited him. We just got bad luck with Ramirez not doing well. You have to evaluate a trade at the time of the trade.

        • Mack Ade
          October 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm


          Why do you have to be so reactive?

          You keep approaching this forum like it’s a bowling alley.

          With all due respect, I never heard anything so inaccurate as saying that a trade has to be evaluated at the time of a trade, and I’d love to discuss it with you, but not if you continue to be combative in your approach.

          Again with the contract that isn’t coming out of your pocket.

          • October 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm

            I disagree – I think you absolutely have to consider a trade not only by how it worked out but by what was known at the time. If the only method you use to analyze a trade is how it worked out then you’re giving too much credit to circumstance/luck.

          • Name
            October 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm

            Mack, if you feel that i am being too reactive i will try to tone it down a bit.

            As a extremely passionite Mets fan I care deeply about this stuff and as a educated fan it gets me riled up when i see stuff that isn’t true.

            Actually, player contracts do come out of the fan’s pocket. If players didn’t get overpaid so much, ticket prices would probably be cheaper.

        • 7rain
          October 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm

          I agree one million percent with this.

          The Pagan/Ramirez trade was an exchange of someone likely to be a big help for us vs a guy who could be a big help for SF. Torres allowed us to make it because we needed good D next to Duda in RF.

          Not too many in SF liked the deal but Pagan has talent. He’s played really well for a year and a half on both sides of the ball. Who knows what happened to him in 2011 but he wasn’t going to be resigned here so Alderson got something for him.

          Didn’t work out in our favor but at least we’re not stuck with an unproductive player taking up 15% of the payroll for the next few years.

  17. Charles
    October 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm


    Wright’s average dropped in 2011 mostly due to breaking his back. We all know he’s a .300 hitter. Come on know. So, even with breaking his back and being beaned in the head and suffering a concussion, his batting average is still better then Upton’s. He also plays in Citi, historically a big time pitchers park while Upton has had a huge advantage playing in Arizona. Enough already, I’m for trading him, BUT….

    A David Wright, Jordany Valdespine, PLUS two prospects for Justin Upton? The Mets will really be losing their virginity on that one.

    • Name
      October 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      Charles, i still don’t think you understand my point.
      Wright only has ONE year guaranteed on his contract. Upton has THREE years. Years left on a ctonract make a huge difference of what you can get. Of course if you just look at the trade in terms of purely next season, it is very possible that Wright will outperform Upton. But what we will be getting is 2 more years of Upton after that.

      Look at it the other way. Ike Davis has around 3 years left before he hits FA. Not considering any money, Would you trade him away for 1 year of let’s say… Stanton? Jay Bruce? Brandon Phillips? (i’m trying to think of someone who is a little better than Davis but not too much)

    • Mack Ade
      October 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      I’m not going to debate you about salaries and ticket prices. If the Mets were on TV today instead of the Yankees, you really wouldn’t care about either one of these issues.

      I’ll just stick to my column and answer any comments there.

      • Steve from Norfolk
        October 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm

        Don’t let minor disagreements keep you out of the comments. I, for one, enjoy your input and have learned a lot from reading your work. Your opinions and columns have always helped the hot stove season pass quickly. Keep it coming!!

  18. Mack Ade
    October 13, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Hey Steve,

    I’m the one at fault here, Steve. I’ve never been good at participating in comments. Early on, I was banned from both MOFO and NYFS for fighting too much with posters/fans.

    It’s not ‘Name’ or any of the other guys here. At the same time I get upset at him, I violate my own rule and I take off after David Groveman

    I agreed to join Brian here at the site when I closed down my own. My desires are to return to a columnist which is how I started in this industry. My weekly Sunday column begins tomorrow and berings back the “I Might Be Wrong, but…” format, but most of what I will write is factual things about the minor leagues amd interviews or conversations I’ve had with some of the players the previous week. I’ll write twice a week if I have enough material.

    I will share my observations on these players there and I welcome any comments, though I probably have chased off most of you like I did on my own site.

    We all have opinions, but this isn’t a good area for me. I hope you understand.


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