They sit fourth in the NL East, ahead of only the Marlins – who could have one of the worst teams in the last ten years – 12.5 games out of first place, ten games out of wildcard contention.
It’s still only the first half of the season and you never know when a surprise will pop up ala the Indians from the film Major League, but the season looks gloomier for the Mets as every game passes and the Braves pull farther ahead in the division.
You have to wonder where the team would be without the surprise season from Matt Harvey, the emergence of Daniel Murphy or the return to consistent production by David Wright. Could we see the Mets in the gutter behind Miami? The scenario is a doubtful one, but it’s scary to think that there is even a possibility.
It’s apparent that the front office of the Mets were trying to be frugal with their finances in the off-season (Wright’s extension being the one expensive move made by the franchise) and avoid a spending spree like they did with Omar Minaya in the GM role and so far some of their low-cost acquisitions and promotions have paid off.
If we take a look at the production of players on the Major League roster in comparison to the money they make, there are some key standouts who are and who are not players who give the Mets a lot of bang for their buck.
Wright is producing at a level Mets fans have come to expect (.276 AVG, 8 HR, 32 RBI) but he will earn $11 million this season, so his numbers better be there otherwise ‘Mets Nation’ will demand his head on a platter (not really, but you get the idea), so his bang comes at a hefty price.
Although the name may mislead you, John Buck is not a good bang for the buck. The catcher got off to an incredible start for the team, but has cooled off since. He still has 11 HR and 35 RBI under his belt, but his average has dipped to .217 and his OBP is just .274. The power numbers are nice and Fangraphs has him coming at a WAR of 0.8 with a Dollars stat of $4 million, which means he’s currently worth what he’s being paid, but he’s no bargain. For those of you not familiar with Dollars, it is a stat where WAR is converted to a dollar scale based on what a player would make in free agency.
It looked like the Mets had gotten a steal when they inked Shaun Marcum to a one-year deal worth $4 million, but so far the return has been next to nothing. Marcum is 0-6 with a career worst ERA of 5.71. He has allowed more hits then innings pitched and hitters are batting .293 against him. Aside from the 41 innings of work he has given the team, the Mets haven’t gotten much out of the right-hander. So far he’s all buck, no bang.
Marlon Byrd surprised many fans by making the Opening Day roster for the Mets when the season began and the outfielder continues to show he still has something left in the tank as the season progresses. The 35-year old has contributed 8 HR and 28 RBI with the bat and has hit to a line of .255/.310/.489 while playing both right and centre field for the team. He also has four outfield assists and has only committed two errors. Not that bad for a guy who is being paid $700,000.
Harvey is far and a way the best bang for your buck on the Mets team this season (did you really expect it to be anyone else?). Harvey is only making $498,750 this year and has been the Mets best player, pitching to an undefeated record of 5-0 with an ERA of 2.17, striking out an impressive 89 batters in 83 innings pitched.
That kind of production is worth a lot more then he is being paid and this season will surely start some kind of long-term deal discussions between the Mets, Harvey and his agent Scott Boras.
Harvey and Byrd are the best bang for your buck players on the Mets so far this season, but as the old baseball cliché goes, things can change in this game in a heartbeat. Let’s see if they are still the best bang for the Mets buck come the end of the season.