Dave Cameron on the Mets’ offseason

Dave Cameron ranked the offseason moves of all 30 teams. Here’s what he had to say about the Mets:

The Mets had one of the weirdest offseasons of any team in baseball. After watching their defense betray them in the World Series, they doubled down on poor defenders, bringing in Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker to cover minimal ground up the middle. Once Yoenis Cespedes fell into their laps, they essentially were all-in on an offense-and-pitching strategy, and while it isn’t necessarily the way I’d prefer to build a roster, the individual moves look smart enough to call it a good winter overall. At the prices they paid for Cespedes and Walker, those deals were too good to turn down, while Cabrera is still a useful player, and he didn’t cost much either.

The team’s strength of dominant starting pitching should help alleviate some of their defensive weakness, and if the line-up hits well, the Mets will be contenders once again. Overall, you have to give the Mets positive marks for their moves this winter; they took advantage of a soft market for hitting and set themselves up for a chance to return to the World Series in 2016, and gave up nothing they’ll miss long-term to do so.

Source: Dave Cameron, FanGraphs

Click on the link to see where the Mets rate among all MLB in Cameron’s mind.

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13 comments for “Dave Cameron on the Mets’ offseason

  1. Jim OMalley
    February 22, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    So maybe the defense guys come in at the trading deadline this year.

  2. TJ
    February 22, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I am a traditional pitching/defense guy, but I can accept these moves as good overall. I do think the middle defense will be upgraded with the addition of Cabrera/Walker…while they are below average Walker is at least close to average and will avoid the killer mental mistakes that Murphy was prone to. I also like these moves because they address the “win now” state that the team is in while at the same time leaving plenty of flexibility for the system to fill the middle infield spots for years to come. I think the youngsters will bring better defense with them.

  3. Matty Mets
    February 22, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    I agree with the assessment actually. I’m confident for 2016 because of pitching, depth and enough offense but I do not like the defensive makeup of this team.

  4. James Preller
    February 23, 2016 at 7:25 am

    Yes, this strikes me as overall solid. Though his bullpen thoughts were not included here, I think it’s more of the same: overall good, though nobody’s jumping out of their socks.

  5. Eraff
    February 23, 2016 at 10:07 am

    I’d agree that it’s not a perfect team, but they are certainly constructed to win a Pennant and compete in a World Series—they’ll seem “closer to perfection” if they do that….and the Manager will seem Smarter and Smarter.

  6. Eraff
    February 23, 2016 at 10:14 am

    My understanding of the “newer” Defensive Stats is that quite a bit of what may be quantified as “Range” might have a tremendous linkage to Positioning and effectively “Pitching to The Shift”.

    It was always observable that older players had “experience” that allowed them to make up for perceptions of lost range…or maybe, we were just forgiving them their physical decline??? Maybe that “experience” is now available to all players via scouting, positioning and shift deployment.

    I believe that is Greatly the case.

    Guys who Make the right Play…make the plays that are in front of them…make the plays they should make…… I believe that describes the Met approach to their off season Mid IF personnel moves….and I believe they’ve made upgrades to answer to those focus points—and provided themselves with more depth and Flexibilty.

    They did a great deal of what “could be done”…. I give them Credit!!

    • February 23, 2016 at 11:10 am

      I’m not sure if the main defensive systems have adapted to the aggressive shifts that teams use for extreme pull hitters, so I don’t believe we can say for sure what is range and what is positioning.

      The Pirates aggressively use shifts, certainly more so than the Mets. It will be curious to see the effects on Neil Walker’s defensive numbers this season. I believe the Rays do, too, but I’m not as sure with them. But we’re all interested to see how Cabrera and Walker do this season.

      The good news is the bar isn’t set very high. The bad news is that it’s not sure at all if they can be better than Flores and Murphy in the field.

  7. Metsense
    February 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    In the late innings of a ball game the Mets can put out a better defensive team to preserve a lead. Tejada could sub for Cabrera ( or Walker) , Flores for Walker, and across the outfield play Cespedes, Lagares and DeAza. Will the Mets do this? Probably not too many egos involved.

    • Eraff
      February 23, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Sense, I believe Platoons and Defensive switches are a Test of both the Clubhouse and The Manager.

      As for Flores as a Defensive Sub for Walker..???? I’d keep hjim on the Bench for the possibility of a needed bat. I don;t see that as a Defensive Switch.

  8. Chris B
    February 25, 2016 at 8:28 am

    How about this as food for thought – by “doubling down” on offense and pitching this offseason, the Mets have actually constructed a stronger team than if they went defense-oriented.

    Take a look at the Jays last season, trading for Tulo when they were already the best offensive team in the league! We need to stop perpetuating the idea that a team needs to be a perfect balance. I’ll take an ‘A’ SP core, ‘B+’ RP core, ‘B+’ Hitters and ‘B-‘ Defense any day of the week.

    Have we ever considered that they Mets pitching is so good that…it kind of is their defense?

    • February 25, 2016 at 9:51 am

      But it’s far from certain that the Mets actually improved themselves with their middle infield moves. The offensive projections for Cabrera and Flores are indistinguishable and no one is acquiring Cabrera for his defense. And while Walker’s offensive projections are clearly better than Dilson Herrera’s, it’s debatable if the total profile of Walker (hitting, defense, baserunning) is superior to that of Herrera.

      Bottom line for me is that these moves looked worse when we thought the Mets were going to have a payroll around $110 million. But since they had around $30 million more than that to spend, these moves are more tolerable.

  9. Eraff
    February 25, 2016 at 11:31 am

    I realize we won’t come to an agreement that simply states that “Cabrera is a SS…Flores Is Not”. We might agree that they’ve expanded their Depth…….. especially when you consider the absolute unknown about David Wright. They may have over-stocked for and with a purpose.

    They have also extenended their trade stock.

    All in—they did pretty well with “do-able things”., without any sacrifice of talent—- all within a “win now and preserve assets” approach.

    I approve

    • February 25, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      I have no problem if you want to say that Wilmer Flores is not a SS. What I have a problem is anyone who says that turning around and then saying that Asdrubal Cabrera is one.

      In the period from 2010-2015, there are 37 SS who have played at least 2,000 innings at the position. Cabrera has the worst UZR/150 of the group. If we separate into individual seasons and require 1,000 innings at the position, there are 119 player seasons that qualify. Cabrera has four of the 17 worst seasons.

      It made perfect sense for the Mets to upgrade SS. Too bad they didn’t do it.

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