Real and imagined bad ideas from the Mets this offseason

logoSince gravity is doing its job, perhaps negativity can pull me through. With that thought in mind, here’s a list of things I don’t like here in the offseason for the Mets.

After three seasons of not spending more than 2/$12 on any free agent acquisition, people are drunk with expectations on who the Mets might add. You could just about fill a lineup with bad ideas that various people have linked to the Mets. Let’s see what we’ve got:

1B – Corey Hart – Yes, let’s sign a guy on the wrong side of 30 who has bad knees and missed all of last season. Oh yeah, he was a horrible defender at 1B in 2012, with a (-11.9) UZR/150. Worst of all will be the throwback references to the terrible singer from the 1980s.

2B – Howie Kendrick – It’s SAT time so tell me: Which fWAR number does not belong: 1.9, 2.1, 1.8, 5.7, 3.0, 2.7? Kendrick’s 2011 season is way out of line with what he’s done the rest of his career so sure, let’s pay $19.5 million the next two years to hold steady or downgrade from Daniel Murphy.

3B – Yunel Escobar – When he first came up with the Braves, the joke was that he was a Yutility infielder so we’ll slide him over to 3B. What a great idea to acquire him. Terry Collins couldn’t handle Jordany Valdespin – what’s he going to do when he comes across a guy with a truly bad attitude?

SS – Rafael Furcal – Another guy on the wrong side of 30 who missed an entire year due to injury – is that the new market inefficiency? Furcal hasn’t played more than 121 games since 2009 and in the last six years he’s played a total of 491 games – fewer than 82 per season.

OF – Nelson Cruz – In his last three years he’s posted a combined 3.9 fWAR, including a 1.1 mark in 2012 when he played in 159 games. Oh yeah, he can’t run and he can’t field. If this is what the Mets are going to spend their money on, just put Lucas Duda back in the outfield and save the cash.

OF – Nick Markakis – He had exactly 700 PA last year and finished with a (-0.1) fWAR. This century there have been only 10 players to amass at least 650 PA and finish the year with a negative fWAR. Joining Markakis on this list are luminaries like Cristian Guzman, Juan Pierre and Jeff Francoeur. Son, I don’t like the company you’re keeping.

OF – Curtis Granderson – He’s on the wrong side of 30, coming off an injury, has a fWAR profile similar to Kendrick’s and he’s looking for a four-year deal. I have no doubt that he’ll be able to help some club in 2014. My issue is why pay $75 million for him when you can spend a little more and get a player more likely to help?

C – John Buck – The Mets haven’t been linked to many catchers so Buck makes this list by default. He’d be fine as a backup but I can’t shake the feeling that his “heartwarming” arm around Matt Harvey last year in the dugout was done with the camera in mind and I don’t want to have to contemplate that for another year.

P – Josh Johnson – While his xFIP numbers are encouraging, his injury history is not. If he was available on an NRI, that would be one thing. But he’s likely to command even more guaranteed money than Shaun Marcum and that money should go to the offense.

*****

Now we just need to put that team in the camouflage jerseys the Mets will wear this season. Top it off with the all white ice cream man hats in an interleague game that has multiple replay challenges and ends with a Huey Lewis concert and I’ll know I’ve reached a certain level of Hell.

40 comments for “Real and imagined bad ideas from the Mets this offseason

  1. Jerry Grote
    November 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I keep thinking we are going to look back this year and regret the simplest signing of all: a fan favorite, a guy that provided you with 4 … FOUR … Wins above replacement last year, that only wanted $8 a year for two years.

    And you let him go … to Philadelphia. This is the sort of punchline that only a Yankee fan could write.

    Meanwhile Sandy & Co. are going all shocked that the cost of free agents has gone up, like the team that couldn’t draft straight didn’t project that FAs would get greedy precisely the time when teams were flush with cash from a new TV deal.

  2. NormE
    November 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Brian,
    Your critiques of the players you mentioned are truly valid. Now let’s take the next step—who should the Mets be going after and how much for a FA and who do you get by trade (and who do you offer in exchange)?

    • November 15, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      You need to tell me how much there is to spend. If there truly is $30 million plus to spend then I’m going after Choo.

  3. Metsense
    November 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    So far the only good ideas have been Aoki ( who is now not available), Peralta (who has an asking price a little too rich for Sandy) and Fowler ( who is a 2.3 WAR player the past 3 years). I like these three to improve the club but it will only move the Mets to .500 and thzt should not be the goal.

  4. Les Gomez
    November 15, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    The best idea would be blowing the Rangers away for Profar. He solves multiple problems for us and is only 21 years old. I want to win just as much as every other Mets fan, but I don’t want Sandy to spend this offseason just for the sake of spending.

  5. November 15, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Signing just 1 impact free agent outfielder can start to turn this team around (Choo). Trading for another outfielder (CarGo) sets up your outfield for the next 4-5 years. I can’t imagine the 2014 Mets having potentially 5 below average players in their starting line. Just a thought. Even if and when Harvey returns in 2015 he’ll have an innings cap like Strasburg had in Washington.

    • Chris F
      November 15, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      The innings cap is exactly correct for Harvey. Note that same will be true for Syndergaard in 14, making ’15 the earliest likely appearance of something reasonable. In that regard, maybe it’s just best not to waste money on the first year or two of a new hot shot FA when we won’t be competitive…maybe we are better served to wait to see the next FA class, or the one after before committing to a big contract…and make the best use of those spent dollars?

    • Chris F
      November 15, 2013 at 11:55 pm

      By the way, Colorado made it clear Cargo and Tulowitzki are not leaving Denver.

    • Jerry Grote
      November 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Name a single, “impact” free agent OFer that has changed a team in the last four years.

      2009: Matt Holiday and Jason Bay. We picked the wrong one.
      2010: Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford. You want either one of those contracts?
      2011: Honestly, neither Cuddyer nor Beltran were seen as the “impact” bat; but the four impact position players signed were Pujols, Fielder and Reyes. Step up if you want those contracts.
      2012: Josh Hamilton and BJ Upton were the “impact” bats.

      STOP THE MADNESS. Not only do you not “need” Choo, you shouldn’t even begin to think about signing him. Anyone want to do the math on the dollars expended on the nine contracts above and the return on investment?

      • November 17, 2013 at 2:29 am

        There is no madness when you sign a player in his prime and pay for what he WILL do rather than what he did.

  6. November 16, 2013 at 12:08 am

    I read the same thing too. I was wondering if someone had made an offer for CarGo and that was their way of letting the other team know the offer was insufficient.

  7. November 16, 2013 at 12:12 am

    If you packaged Murphy, Montero, Davis or Duda and(you fill it in) would that be enough for the Rockies to make the deal?

  8. November 16, 2013 at 12:12 am

    If you packaged Murphy, Montero, Davis or Duda and(you fill it in) would that be enough for the Rockies to make the deal?

    • NormE
      November 16, 2013 at 12:20 am

      No!

      • November 16, 2013 at 12:35 am

        NormE. Is that a No not enough? Or is that a No, no way you would do it?

        • NormE
          November 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

          Pete,
          I’m sorry, but from a Colorado viewpoint I would turn the trade down. Colorado has to believe they could get more for Cargo. However, a package deal that might include Fowler could be of interest. Mets fans have to come to the realization that if Cargo or Tulo were available (and I have to believe they’re not) the Mets don’t have enough to get them—-unless Thor or possibly Wheeler were involved and even then it would be a tough sell.

    • Chris F
      November 16, 2013 at 8:19 am

      Not in a million years. Cargo is like trading Wright. What would we want for him?

      Cargo would cost Montero Syndergaard Niese and possibly d’Arnaud…before they even started to listen.

  9. Metsfan 62
    November 16, 2013 at 12:21 am

    I say not to get caught up with bad contracts, that are risky, for overthe hill talent. Only intrest I have is in a veteran catcher to help this young staff, teach our future catcher… A J Pierzynski…… comes to my mind. He will certainly piss off oppenents, bring toughness…. throws out 33% of runners as well. He has pop, is a contact hitter and has been a .275 career hitter. Only downfall age… 37…. but bats left.

  10. November 16, 2013 at 12:36 am

    And he’ll be affordable!

  11. Scott Ferguson
    November 16, 2013 at 5:20 am

    It’s starting to get depressing and Jeff and Sandy’s comedy routine at the end of the GM meetings
    Jeff: we have something going on, something to announce by the end of the day…
    Sandy (eyes bugging out of head) what the…
    Followed by a Boyz 2Men announcement.
    Along with Sandy’s blatant disrespect of the fans on the radio yesterday and I’m now starting to buy into that nothing big is happening this year and we’ll be stuck with another 74 win team.
    Peralta needs to be signed … PERIOD!
    That would prove something to me.

  12. November 16, 2013 at 5:44 am

    But they need to build on that Scott. Otherwise they’ll say well we signed Peralta and to add any other impact free agents was not within our means.

  13. November 16, 2013 at 8:38 am

    To dream the impossible dream.

  14. pablo
    November 16, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    If the team puts up big dollars to sign one young impact player outfielder & a major league short stop for 2015-2016 seasons, what money will be left to spend in order to retain our future aces and closer? Will we simply lose them? Other teams must be facing the same problems. Is building from within the only real option left? Maybe, along with picking one impact player.

  15. Robby
    November 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Lot of good comments and all have one thing in common. METS NEED MAJOR LEAGUE TALENT. This team is relying on too many role oe platoon players being starters. Davis, Duda, Kirk N. So tired of hearing those names. You are going to have to overpay thats baseball this off season. You have the pitching but these guys need runs to win. Get a Kemp or a Cargo and if it cost you so be it. Though the only farm guy I would not trade is Noah as I think he could be and ace.

  16. Metsfan 62
    November 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Scratch Kemp….. his injuries, and bad contract. That is unless the people over in LALA. land are willing to take NY crap, and give money to help pay for him. Would rather trade for Scott Van Slyke straight up for Duda. Better yet send Duda to an AL team willing to overpay for DH. There is also an old saying in BB, “SOME OF THE BEST TRADES IN BASEBALL ARE THE ONE’S YOU DON’T MAKE.”. We nearly traded Kooseman. Now in the history of the Mets it holds VERY TRUE. Amos Otis for Joe Foy, better yet Nolan Ryan for Jim Fergosi…… OMG WE WHO HAVE BEEN LONG TIME METS FANS KNOW HOW THOSE WENT!!!!!!! Well Nolan Ryan was a pitcher with CONTROL problems, who walked to many batters at the time. So let’s repeat history! Trade Ike and see it repeat. This is the year to see if he improves again. Valley Fever is an illness that takes up to 2 years to recover from. I know it took me that long. I AM A METS FAN LIVING IN DIAMONDBACK TERRITORY! To me this is the make or break year for Ike.

  17. Metsfan 62
    November 16, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Speaking of Met history…… everyone wants the ’86 Mets. Look at how long it took to build it. Then we went the way of the Yankees. Destroyed our team, and farm system in the process. Even Gene Micheal took a lot of heat for sticking to a plan to build a core of players….. got fired upon King George’s return….. I give credit for building a core to him. His scouting department. His patience. He used FA to fill gaps in that core. Built Champions, with strong pitching, strong defense, and players who knew their roles. Give SA some credit…… HE INHERITED THE NY MESS, NOT THE METS! He is doing it without the money, nor the South American presence the those Damned Yankees have. Just be glad we are not Astro Fans. The Mets have won with a worse team than this in ’69 and ’73.

  18. Les Gomez
    November 16, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Don’t make moves just to make them. Let our young arms develop and add bats wisely.

  19. Metsfan 62
    November 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Thank you Les, I see next year a year for those young arms to prove themselves. I only ask for an experienced catcher to bring them along. Someone to teach our young catcher who would be heir apperent and still be an adequate bat in 6 or 7 hole in the order. I am looking more than next year…. I see ’16 more. The year after Matt Harvey returns. So I see money being spent wisely. Chemistry, dynamics, also play a role. It is easy for the fans to build a fantasy BB team. Many fans get caught up spending the teams money, after all it doesn’t cost them a dime. They are spending someone else’s. I just want to see them learn to win at home. They already know how to win on the road. That is something you can’t teach. Look around and winning teams look to be .500. or a little above. We already do that. Build a team that wins on the road.

  20. November 17, 2013 at 2:02 am

    I’ll take Choo any time over Young. Choo got on base last year over 300 times in 154 games. Let’s see. Young OBP ,318 Choo ,423.Young slugging .329 Choo .462.OPS+ Young 85 Choo 143. I could go on and on about WAR etc… So. Yes you will have to pay for Choo but I guess you rather see someone like Hart in right field just because he comes cheaper. Eventually the Mets are going to have to make some kind of move to improve their offensive production from their outfield. We know it is NOT going to come from within. So where do you suggest they find their Marlon Byrd for next year? You can’t keep running the franchise looking for rejuvenated players that have seen better days. Besides it’s only temporary since they’ll get traded for some youngsters.

  21. Metsfan 62
    November 17, 2013 at 2:42 am

    Yes, i see Choo as worthwhile, I also see his stats. Read all my post.. I see HR producion dropping. Balls that leave stadium in Cincy,will be flyouts at Citifield. We have to many holes, not enough dollars, and to many suitors. I am real enough to see the reality. If they sign Hart, it best be as utility, since he has bad injuries to knees. Just what we need another DH type. That is not the solution. The solution will take a few years more, I just don’t want a player to collect a paycheck, only to live on DL. Rather have PED not named Pedria. I have been advocating speedy, defensively lyunchallenged, solid players, who pressure oppents into mistakes.

  22. November 17, 2013 at 3:18 am

    While the home run production has dropped,I’m more interested in his ability to get on base. He’s 31 so if you’re signing him for 4-5 years is not insane. He’s a smart hitter like Ichiro and can adjust to playing in Citifield. Home runs simply become doubles at home. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to see Choo having 160-170 hits,40 doubles,4-5 triples and maybe 15-20 home runs with an OBP of over .400 and slugging 450-460 with 90-100 walks. I’ll take that over whatever potential you see in Eric Young.

  23. Metsense
    November 17, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Why should Met fans have to wait until 2015 or 2016? If they signed Choo, Ellsbury and Peralta by increasing their budget from $93 M to $118 M they would have a good player at every offensive position, their young pitching intact, some depth on the bench and in the minors, and an increase in attendance, an increase in SNY ratings, and a solid team for at least 3-5 years at the cost of a second round and third round pick. So investing the $25M television money to make more money seems like a good plan to me. If the Wilpon’s can’t even afford to do this with the television money, then maybe they ought to end this masquerade and sell the team.

    • Chris F
      November 17, 2013 at 9:10 am

      I just don’t see it Metsense. Regardless if team Wilpon would approve it, there’s zero chance Alderson would take on 2, 100M$ contracts, and another 50M$ for Peralta. You also have to ask whether all three would see the Mets as a destination given everything we’ve seen and Boras’ general disdain for the Mets. I also don’t think that immediately makes the Mets a necessary threat in the NL east. We still have no proven catcher. I’m less confident about the pitching — the Harvey tide was raising everyone. Basically were back to Niese and Gee, and the wild card of Wheeler. After that, which is already more of solid back half of a rotation, there’s all question marks. I certainly think adding that amount of payroll will improve the team, but I can’t see it as making the Mets a post-season threat. We need to see the recovery of Harvey and the rise of Syndergaard and crew to make an impact. All that says ’15 to me. I’d love to be wrong though!

  24. November 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Metsense in truth this years payroll minus the 12 million Bay deferred was around 83-85 million dollars. We all know the crushing debt the team ownership is under with 600 million dollars due in 2014. Even if the Wilpons manage to secure new terms the additional 25 million is going to go to pay down their debt. We have been speculating as to how much money the team will spend this off season but we haven’t heard anything from SA or the Wilpons. Don’t be surprised if the payroll comes in at 90 million or less for 2014. FW is trying to hang on and weather the storm

    • Metsense
      November 17, 2013 at 9:12 am

      So , as a fan, I should accept the Wilpon’s financial choice of “hanging on” instead of “what an opportunity to make money in the largest market in the US”? Why should I accept such a poor business plan when a better one is available. A plan that makes both the owners and the fans happier. If that is the Wilpon philosophy, then they should sell the team.

    • Chris F
      November 17, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Pete, we heard something form Sandy, though it’s hardly good news: “we’ll spend more than 5M$.” If he had a fortune, I’d think we would be hearing a lot different. I feel like SA won’t spend much when he realizes the bloated contracts of the middle tier FAs are going to command (Peralta laughing a 3/45). We also need to remember the arbitration pay raises. In reality, SA does not have much and I’m not expecting much especially given his passive posturing when it comes to off season maneuvering.

  25. November 17, 2013 at 10:02 am

    If the Mets don’t find a way to improve themselves for next season, then how much longer can the Wilpons hold on to the team? Attendance will surely drop below 2 million and the downward cycle will continue. How does that improve their capabilities to show creditors that the team is a viable commodity if they can’t stabilize their current situation?

  26. November 17, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I believe Arb hearings will cost the team about 18 million this coming season. Put’s the team at about 50 million with 40 million (wishful thinking) to spend.

  27. Metsfan 62
    November 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I am not here to solve to Wilpon money matters. The reason for my post saying what it does about ’16 is counting Harvey 1 year past TJ surgery. I don’t disagree about Choo signing, I am looking at the realiry of our situatiion. Other teams have more money currentlu. Personally would love to have him. I look at the #of areas, we need fix and amount of dollars we have.

  28. November 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Until the money matters of the Wilpons is resolved one way or the other, this team isn’t going anywhere.

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