Reviewing outfield options from Josh Hamilton to Grady Sizemore

Josh Hamilton – (32) LF/CF, 6’4”, 240 Lbs, L/L: You look at Josh Hamilton these days and the story isn’t so much about his one-time troubles with addiction.  The biggest question that general managers and Sandy Alderson have for concern with Hamilton is his age and the size and length of his desired contract.  Is Hamilton a $25 Mil a year player?  I don’t know.  From a Fantasy Baseball perspective you have to ask if you’d be taking him in the top 40 players and then the answer is yes.  The problem with Fantasy Baseball vs. Real Life Baseball is that it doesn’t take into account things like handed-ness or a player’s emotional issues and the problems with that player going to a “Big Market” area like New York.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Contact and Power Cost: 7 Years $175   Mil Desired (Comp Pick)
Speed: Steals a Little and Good Range Hand: Another Lefty in the Lineup
Visibility: The Mets Would Make Waves Health: Averaged   Only 129 Games a Season
Fielding: Plays CF with Power for LF Troubled Player: Is New York   the Best Place?

 

Justin Upton – (26) RF/LF, 6’2”, 205 Lbs, R/R: The more I look at the options available to the Mets the more I’m struck with the upside of Justin Upton being the best fit.  We will ignore my silly pipe-dream of uniting Justin’s brother B.J. with his former teammate (David Wright) AND his brother and focus on the idea of 1 player being added to the outfield to make an impact.  His cost is manageable and the time on his contract is equally acceptable.  He’s not going to show Hamilton’s power OR Bourn’s speed but he’s a similar hitter to David Wright and that is no bad thing.  Flanking Ike Davis with two righties of that caliber could greatly help the hitting of the team regardless of other moves.  Though… who ever hits 5th would be hurt in SBs.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Contact and Power Cost: 3 Years $40   Mil
Speed: Steals and Good Range Trade: What Would He Cost (In Prospects)
Hand: A RIGHTY!!! Numbers: Are Arizona   #s Inflated?
Visibility: The Mets Would Make Waves  

 

Michael Bourn – (30) CF/LF/RF, 5’11”, 180 Lbs, L/R: If Upton is a little scary because of what you have to trade for him, the next most useful candidate would be Bourn.  Though he’s a lefty, the Mets lack anyone on the team who fits into the leadoff role naturally.  It would shift Ruben Tejada into his more natural spot of #2 in the lineup and would give Wright and Davis a guy like Reyes to drive in.  The Mets lack a typical leadoff hitter in their system and  Bourn’s ability to play center allows the Mets to avoid slotting Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Mike Baxter into a less-than ideal position.  I believe Bourn will get enough attention to out-price the Mets.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Contact Cost: 3+ Years $45+   Mil (Comp Pick)
Speed: Steals Well and Great Range Age: 30 and His Value is 100% His Legs
Leadoff: Is a “Spark Plug” Hand: Another   Lefty in the Lineup
Fielding: Plays All OF Positions  

 

Shane Victorino – (32) LF/CF/RF, 5’9”, 190 Lbs, S/R: Victorino is another intriguing option for the Mets as he can leadoff (like Bourn) and has some power (like Upton) but he’s not as fast and not as powerful.  On the Mets he would wind up as the leadoff hitter, which would suit the Mets fine but as with all the Free Agents the question but he isn’t expected to be given a qualifying offer so he wouldn’t cost the Mets a coveted draft pick and that is HUGE for a team in their position.  Do the Mets (Minus part of Jason Bay’s 2013 contract) have enough for Shane Victorino?  Your guess is as good as mine but I would bet that they don’t.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Okay Contact and Some Power Cost: 2-3 Years   $20-35 Mil (No Comp Pick)
Speed: Steals a Little and Good Range Decline: His Numbers Aren’t Exemplary
Hand: Switch Hitter!  
Fielding: Plays All OF Positions  

 

B.J. Upton – (29) CF/LF, 6’3”, 185 Lbs, R/R: The older of the two Uptons reminds me of someone… The right-handed Matt Den Dekker.  He has power and speed (albeit a lot better at stealing than Den Dekker) with limited contact and poor plate discipline.  The other big question when it comes to Upton is the cost.  He’s going to cost a comp pick and probably $12-15 Mil per year.  So it’s only right to ask, “How much would you give for a player who you would end up burying behind Wright, Davis and perhaps Duda?”  If the Mets had up to a $150 Mil budget as a team in their market should I might suggest the Mets signing B.J. and trading for Justin which would give the Mets a solid lineup: Tejada, Murphy, J. Upton, Davis, Wright, Duda, B. Upton and Thole.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Power Cost: 4-5 Years   $48-75 Mil (Comp Pick)
Speed: Steals Well and Good Range Hitting: Poor Contact
Hand: A RIGHTY!!! Plate: Strikes Out   Too Much
Fielding: Plays CF with Power for LF  

 

Melky Cabrera – (29) CF/LF/RF, 6’0”, 200 Lbs, S/L: There are a couple great reasons to look at Melky.  He was off to a tremendous year, he’s put together these better numbers for two seasons in a row and he can play any position in the outfield.  Then there’s that little issue he had with performance enhancing drugs and his attempted cover-up.  The negative opinions swirling around Cabrera also lead to a potential positive in that his contract would not be too long or expensive.  He’ll want a one-year deal to reestablish his value and make another pass at a contract in 2014’s incredibly weak Free Agent market.  You have to wonder how much of his success was medical and how much was his blossoming into a better player.  One part of what I like to see is that he was hitting in a spacious “Pitcher’s Park”.  Depending on Alderson’s willingness to gamble… Melky Cabrera is among a short list of potential bargains.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Contact and Power? Cost: 1 Year $10+   Mil (No Comp Pick)
Speed: Steals a Little and Good Range Cheater: How Much of it is Real?
Hand: Switch Hitter! Visibility: Bad   Publicity
Fielding: Plays All OF Positions  

 

Cody Ross – (32) CF/RF/LF, 5’10”, 195 Lbs, R/L: Ross is coming off a productive year for the Boston Red Sox and frankly… since 2006 he’s sported an OPS over .700 and averaged over 20 HRs per 162 games season.  There remains a cloud of doubt about Ross that he truly is an everyday player.  It seems that teams will not be able to use that excuse as Ross is probably most team’s backup plan for Josh Hamilton.  That is why I expect his price tag to exceed the expected 3 years $25 Mil that people project.  With all that said, I’m just not sold that he does enough to improve the Met’s lineup to justify a $10 Mil a year commitment.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Contact and Power Cost: 3 Years   $25-30 Mil (No Comp Pick)
Speed: Good Range Reality: Is He as Good as His #s
Hand: RIGHTY!!!  
Fielding: Plays All OF Positions  

 

Nick Swisher – (32) LF/RF, 5’11”, 200 Lbs, S/L: The Yankees made a qualifying offer but it doesn’t seem like the Bronx Bombers have any real desire to keep Swish-a-Licious around.  At $18 Mil a year I can’t really blame them.  The good news is that Swisher gets my vote as “Most Likely to Take a Lower Offer”.  I’ll estimate a yearly salary at around $15 Mil which is acceptable over 4 years for a guy who has the ability to offer you a steady diet of 80+ RBI seasons.  In fact he fits wonderfully into the Met lineup between Davis and Duda and would be a solid pickup but I worry about the number of years.  A 4 Year $60 Mil contract is not a small thing and who knows how a power hitter like Swisher would fare as he switches from the “Hitter’s Paradise” of Yankee Stadium to the “Pitcher’s Dream” of Citi Field.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Contact and Power Cost: 7 Years $126   Mil (Comp Pick)
Hand: Switch Hitter! Speed: Not Really
Fan   Base: He’s a People’s Player  
OBP: Good Eye  

 

Torii Hunter – (37) LF/CF, 6’2”, 225 Lbs, R/R: How much would you pay for 15 HRs, 10 SBs and a .300 average?  I think a lot of teams would answer $10+ Mil.  I just don’t know if the Mets are among the teams who have $10 Mil to spend.  The fact that he won’t cost a pick and shouldn’t command over 2 Years is a feather in his cap, but there are going to be enough buyers to scare the Mets away.  At 37 with diminished speed I also can’t be sure that he can handle center field as the Mets would want him to.  If teams drop out of the market and Hunter lingers I expect Sandy Alderson to pounce.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Contact and Some Power Cost: 2 Years $20   Mil (No Comp Pick)
Speed: Steals a Little and Okay Range Plate: Increasing K’s Decreasing BB’s
  Age: 37 and   Getting Older
  Big Fish: Yankees and Red Sox Interested

 

Ichiro Suzuki – (40) RF/CF/LF, 5’11”, 170 Lbs, L/R: Should we call him the more affordable Michael Bourn? Would Alderson sign off on Ichiro for 1 year and $6 Mil?  I would wager that he’d say yes so quickly he could beat Ichiro down the first-base line.  Even at 40 Ichiro Suzuki would be better than any option the Mets have to leadoff for the team.  The issue, of course, is that the Yankees will have first dibs and seem inclined to bring him back and that would rule out the Mets who should and would not want to blow another team’s offer out of the water.

Pros:

Cons:

Hitting: Good Contact Cost: 1 Year $5-8   Mil (No Comp Pick)
Speed: Steals and Good Range Age: He’s 40… 40!
Leadoff: Is a “Spark Plug” Likely Not Available: Should be a   Yankee Soon
Plate: Doesn’t Strike Out  

 

Grady Sizemore – (31) CF, 6’2”, 200 Lbs, L/L: Remember 2009?  At the beginning of the year Grady Sizemore was the Fantasy Crown Jewel.  A 30/30 candidate like Hanley Ramirez who could lead your Fantasy squad to victory in multiple categories.  He’d only play 109 games in 2009, 33 in 2010 and 71 in 2011…  He’d also see his average consistently drop below .240 and his value drop with it.  Grady Sizemore is the Lou Lamoriello Special of the 2013 Free Agent market.  He was once good and has fallen on hard times.  The Mets could try to offer him a chance to resurrect his career and maybe… JUST MAYBE, he could.

Pros:

Cons:

Cost: Under $5 Mil (No Comp Pick) Hitting: Where has   All the Contact Gone?
Potential: Anyone Can Have a Comeback Speed: In Doubt With All the Injuries

 

27 comments for “Reviewing outfield options from Josh Hamilton to Grady Sizemore

  1. Stephen S
    November 10, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Given their situation, I would gamble on both Cabrera and Sizemore. You either catch lightning in a bottle or end up in the same place where you started.

    • David Groveman
      November 10, 2012 at 9:51 am

      It is certainly a worthy gamble

  2. Rev. Al
    November 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

    What’s the worse that can happen?I think it’s worth a gamble.

    • David Groveman
      November 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

      Gambles are interesting and a way for a team without a lot of money to compete but they do have the ability to be utter failures.

  3. November 10, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Lets go backwards. Grady Sizemore is finished and the Mets could so much better with their limited resources. How can you invest in a player who hasn’t been able to play a full season since when? Look towards the future and forget the past.Let’s go forward and stop looking to find lightning in a bottle. The Mets will probably have a budget in the 95-100 million dollar range. As of today their payroll sits at 56 million and that’s before any arbitration hearings. As to how much they have agreed upon paying Jason Bay this year we will have to wait and see. Ichiro wants to play for a contender so I think that eliminates the Mets and again he’s 40! Your free agents are going to look for maximum dollars. Most of them are either winding down their careers or at a point in time where this will be their final shot at a big contract. If your going to gamble then take a chance on our prospects and see what the Mets truly have in the foreseeable future. One last note. Michael Bourn will probably get 5 years at 90-100 millon dollars.

    • David Groveman
      November 12, 2012 at 9:20 am

      Guessing contacts is hard and not everyone had an easily found article listing their desired salary. I could see Bourn being offered that much by a contender.

  4. TJ
    November 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    You forgot to mention Scott Hairston. The Mets should bring him back. He fits in with the team and can play in NY, a big thing to consider. I don’t think he would cost too much per year and would not get more than 2 year deal. That’s a good thing as the Mets wind down from these big contracts on their books. Hairston has some pop and plays a good defense – he already knows the corners in Citi Field. If Bay wasn’t being paid so much money, Hairston would have started most of the season last year.

    • David Groveman
      November 12, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Did I forget to mention Scott Hairston or do I not consider him an everyday player?

  5. Chris F
    November 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I’d also add Juan Pierre. Top of the order batter with lots of speed, sure he’s old, but he will be an instant upgrade.

    • Name
      November 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      He made 800K last year, and if he was willing to accept under 1 mil again, I think he could work for the Mets.

      • Chris F
        November 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

        And he constantly makes the Mets suffer. I’d rather he be on our team. He profiles well for our needs and budget, except for being a lefty.

        • Name
          November 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm

          I didn’t even think of that part. He’s a .324 average hitter vs Mets, but he’s more of a run creator than run producer as he only has 29 RBI’s vs them.

          • David Groveman
            November 12, 2012 at 9:22 am

            Juan Pierre is an interesting thought but I feel like he’s only a 4th OF at this point but he CAN lead off.

  6. Name
    November 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    It seems like the contract values you put all seem to be best-case scenerios for each player.

    If a team gives Hamilton 25 mil/year for 7 years, then they are out of their mind. He’s already 32 years old and even though he might be a good player when he is 35-36 years old because of his break from baseball, paying someone 25 million during their age 39 season is ludicrous. Plus the fact that he only plays around 80% of all games, I think realistically he will get 5 years 100 mil(though i wouldn’t want the Mets to do it).

    Bourn i think will get a 4-5 year deal from 12-15 million. I think 4 years 50 million is fair value, but some team will overpay and do 5 years 80-85 million. At that price I’d pass. Just take a look at Crawford

    Victorino is probably a 3rd or 4th option for most teams, and frankly, i just never thought he was a good player. At 10+ million, he’s probably too rich for mine and the Mets taste.

    BJ Upton was a guy i thought the Mets could go after in the offseason because he was a guy who could reestablish his value on a 1 year deal. After nearly going 30/30 this season though he may be looking to cash in, and I don’t think he’s worth it. He’s basically a .230-.240 hitter, and before this year he was only a 20 HR hitter. Now he may be entering his prime, but I don’t see him going much higher in the HR’s/SB department, and I don’t see him improving his average because he strikes out too much. A 2-3 WAR player is not worth 15 million, which is about the value he is seeking.

    The Melkman will almost certainly get a 1 year deal. However, i don’t think any team will pay 10+ million to see if he is the real deal or simply a cheater who benefited. 5-8 is more realistic. But i think he would bring a lot of bad publicity to an already badly publicized Mets team.

    Cody Ross is Jason Bay 2.0 in my opinion. Nuff said. Even in his “great” 2012 campaign he only racked up 1.6 WAR.

    If Matt Holiday only got 7 years/120 mil, then Swisher getting 7 years/126 is laughable. I don’t forsee another team doing what the Nationals did to Werth. Plus, any team that will be able to get his asking price down by pointing to his posteason numbers. He should expect an Andre Etheir type deal(although the Dodgers are reportedly already regretting that deal)

    Torri Hunter might be the most cost-effective player on this list, although i would be hesistant to give him more than a 1 year deal.

    Good analysis on Ichiro. I think he has 2 options. Go for the most playing time or go for the Yankees. The first option would give him the best chance at getting 3000 hits, while the 2nd one will allow him to play for a contender.

    Sizemore is not for the Mets. We don’t need another question mark in the outfield

    • November 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm

      I don’t know if Cabrera would bring bad publicity to the Mets, so much as he would bring publicity to a team that tends to act/play poorly enough to earn their own bad news. I’ve never really been a fan of Melky, despite one of my Yankee friends telling me a sob story involving A-Rod taking him under his wing, but this could be a really good move for Alderson. A potential all-star at less than $10 million? If the scouts think there’s any chance of him being close to the numbers he put up, you deal with whatever bad publicity comes in the off-season and win in season.

      • Name
        November 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

        I’m not a fan of Melky either. I’m looking at his BABIP trends and it seems like a regression is inevitable. But if his price tag falls into the 5 million dollar range, i think we have no choice at this point but to take a look at him and maybe give him a chance.

        • David Groveman
          November 12, 2012 at 9:23 am

          Mets are not supposed to be one of the five teams looking into Melky but he does make sense in terms of cost vs. reward for them to at least kick the tires.

          • Name
            November 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

            I guess free agency was much easier for the fans last year. We knew there was going to be little spending because of the Madoff situation.

            This year… it’s much different. As fans, we have absolutely no idea on what the budget is going to be, and how much they are willing to spend.We spend most of our time here mindless arguing how much they can spend, should spend, and will spend. It makes us feel like we’re left out in the dark and makes some question their allegiance to the team. On a positive note, if the Mets do end up making a splash, then the effect will be multiplied because fans expected nothing.

  7. Charles
    November 11, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Anyone making over 4 mill a year is an impossibility. Even 4 mill is a stretch. I don’t think they’ll upgrade through free agency. I think these guys understand Dickey is the golden goose here and he’s going to bring them the young outfield help the desire. Sandy has already given hints multiple times about dealing from their strength and he’s specifically singled out pitching. Dickey is the trade chip, and Sandy is going to sell Jim to the highest bidder.

    • David Groveman
      November 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

      I think $4 Mil is a little low but I equally think $10 Mil is a little high. The word is that the Mets will trade Dickey for a catcher and that they let Bay go to add some money to bring in an outfielder. It’s all speculation at this point.

  8. November 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Don’t you think the Mets organization can do better? You do realize his use of PED’S inflated his numbers. For the kind of money your talking about might as well re-sign Scott Hairston.

    • David Groveman
      November 12, 2012 at 9:25 am

      I think everyone assumes PEDs helped Cabrera churn out those numbers but I also think that he has one of the higher upsides considering what kind of money he’ll be looking at.

  9. Metsense
    November 12, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Signing Scott Hairston would be a value for the Mets. He is a slightly better than average LF defensively, should come inexpensively at around 2M with only a 2 year committment. If the Mets could get Sizemore (if he is in playing health) for the same price, I would bring him in and gamble that 2M. RF is the problem. The Mets can’t afford the FA’s above so a trade is necessary. Duda / Murphy / Turner /Valdespin / Nieuenhuis or any combination of the above in order to bring in a serviceable above average defensive/offensive RF.

    • David Groveman
      November 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

      No guarantee that Hairston goes that cheaply after his productive year feasting on lefty pitching. I think a team with the luxury of using Hairston when they want to would outpay his value for the Mets. Maybe not.

  10. November 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

    If the Mets can find a FA at 2-3 million for one year to plat RF then I say go for it. I was wondering if anyone can tell me how much money the Mets will receive in the coming year from television and would they allocate that money towards a higher payroll?

    • David Groveman
      November 12, 2012 at 10:00 am

      That would involve opening the books and it is part of the problem with the Mets owning SNY. It’s REALLY hard to see how much the Mets make to know how much should be invested.

      Reality is that the Mets should have at least $150 Mil per year based on their geography alone.

  11. November 12, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Thanks for the information David. Jason Bay and the Mets have already agreed upon his not returning to the Mets next season. The question is how much of his 18 million did he defer? Also doesn’t the new MLB/Fox contract begin in 2014? I have read that each team will receive 50 million annually as oppose to 25 from the old contract. If the Mets really had the money to spend I think they would of. Putting a lousy product on the field isn’t going to generate any additional revenue that’s sorely needed to pay of their loans.

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