In the recent post on new Met Carlos Carrasco, it was mentioned that 13 Mets pitchers have combined to produce 27 seasons with an fWAR of 5.0 or greater. Here’s the list:

1971 Tom Seaver (70, 75, 73, 76, 68, 72, 74)
2018 Jacob deGrom (19)
1985 Dwight Gooden (84, 90, 88)
1974 Jon Matlack
2013 Matt Harvey
1991 David Cone (88, 90)
2005 Pedro Martinez
2016 Noah Syndergaard
1990 Frank Viola
1974 Jerry Koosman (69)
1994 Bret Saberhagen
2008 Johan Santana
1988 Bob Ojeda

Checked the Astros, who joined the league the same year as the Mets, to see how their pitchers have done and it’s very similar. They have had 25 seasons of a pitcher turning in a 5.0 or greater fWAR, including two by Mike Cuellar in the mid-60s. It’s easy to forget that Cuellar spent several year in Houston before being traded to the Orioles prior to the 1969 season. Looking at the roster of the 1968 Astros, things could have been a lot different if their GM (Spec Richardson) didn’t, well, screw it up so bad. In addition to Cuellar, he dealt Rusty Staub, Joe Morgan and John Mayberry. Plus he lost Nate Colbert in the expansion draft. That’s a Cy Young Award winner (Cuellar,) a two-time MVP (Morgan,) a 4X All-Star (Staub,) a 2X All-Star and a guy who finished 2nd in the MVP (Mayberry) and a guy who tied for 8th in most HR between 1969-1973 (Colbert.) And the Astros essentially got a couple of league average seasons in return for those five. And Jack Billingham, who went in the Morgan deal, didn’t do too bad, either, once he left Houston.

30 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (1/13/21)

  • Name

    Wow the White Sox are idiots. What a ridiculous deal they just gave out to Liam Hendriks. 3 years and 50+ mil to a soon to be 32 yr old with barely over a year of sustained success and in this economic climate when you could have gotten a younger and more proven pitcher in Hand at just 1 year and 10 mil…

    Recent history is littered with these “one magical year and done” relievers : Jose Leclerc, Corey Knebel, Matt Bush are a few of the more extreme examples.

    • TexasGusCC

      It’s a four year deal stuffed into a three year AAV. By make the fourth year a $15MM option or a $15MM buyout, they must expense it into the three guaranteed years. Those are 3/$39MM. So, it’s a $54MM package, hitting the AAV at a three year $18MM per year cost. I figure that’s because their kids will start being arbitration eligible soon and they’ll want to have space under whatever Luxury Tax Cap there is. So, if they turn it into an option, it’s been expensed. However, if it’s a buyout, it will be broken up into the subsequent seasons for distribution. I just don’t know if I want to pay him $13.5MM per year average starting at 33 years old, but, Hand’s price just went up.

      • Name

        That’s an interesting reason why they wanted to structure of the deal that way. I’m not sure how deferred the $15 mil fourth year is, but unless it’s very deferred with no interest paid and the PV is a lot less compared to nominal value, it almost certainly will be picked up.

        Still, a guy with little proven track record getting probably a top 5 reliever contract in this climate is just mind boggling and speaks to the incompetence of the White Sox front office. We’ve seen other recent examples of them bidding against themselves and overpaying (Kuechel, Grandal) I think it’s more likely this won’t “reset” the reliever market and will end up being more of an outlier.

  • Woodrow

    Wainwright? Jose Quintana?

    Two lefties! Wainwright a pro’s pro. One year deal with lots of bells and whistles. Might be a better gamble than Kluber. Quintana should be able to give you innings and looks like a good bounce back candidate.

    • José

      Kluber has a bigger upside, possibly huge. Have you seen his numbers from 2013 to 2018?

  • JimO

    Just thought I’d give a shout-out to the organization for using Citifield as a vaccination center.

  • John Fox

    Just to avoid any confusion, the Astro’s first Gm was Paul Richards, who has a decent case to be in the HOF. Richards took the expansion Houston team and managed to sign guys like Rusty Staub, Joe Morgan, Jimmy Wynn and many others and turn the Astros into a very strong organization. Richards left after the 65 season, and it was his successor, the very similarly named Spec Richardson who made all these disasterous trades.

  • David Groveman

    I pose a question:

    The Mets have approximately $30 million left to spend in 2021 if they are going to avoid the luxury tax. How would you spend this money? Please use projected salaries per MLB Trade Rumors when you can.

    • David Groveman

      First of all, since $30 million is the limit, Trevor Bauer is out as he’s projected an average salary of $32 million.

      George Springer would eat up almost all your remaining budget at his projected $25 million and we know he wants more. If you want him… you are pretty much only getting him.

      My Spending Spree:
      Jackie Bradley Jr $8 million
      Brad Hand $7 million
      Corey Kluber $12 million
      Kevin Pillar or Albert Almora $2 million

      With Jackie Bradley Jr. batting from the wrong side of the plate I’ve decided to add a 4th outfielder who isn’t a lefty. Brad Hand being available is too good to miss even if he’s not, exactly, needed. Kluber’s showcase was good and I’d love to have that added insurance at the back end of the rotation.

      1. Brandon Nimmo, LF
      2. Jeff McNeil, 2B
      3. Francisco Lindor, SS
      4. Michael Conforto, RF
      5. Pete Alonso, DH
      6. Dominic Smith, 1B
      7. J.D. Davis, 3B
      8. Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
      9. James McCann, C

      1. Jacob drGrom
      2. Carlos Carrasco
      3. Marcus Stroman
      4. Corey Kluber
      5. David Peterson/Steven Matz
      (Noah Syndergaard when healthy)

      CL – Edwin Diaz
      SU – Seth Lugo
      SU – Trevor May
      SU – Brad Hand
      MR – Dellin Bettances
      MR – Jeurys Familia
      MR – Brad Brach
      MR – Miguel Castro

      C2: Tomas Nido
      IF: Luis Guillorme
      IF: Luis Carpio
      OF: Albert Almora or Kevin Pillar

      • Rob

        Anyone else see Taijuan Walker as a good fit? Have heard almost no news on him.

      • MattyMets

        Dave – I like your plan and agree with 90% of it. I want Hand and JBJ too. I also want to bring back Todd Frazier for a stronger glove at third and another bench bat. Your proposed bench is weak. Although, if there’s a DH, pinch hitters aren’t so critical. Since Kluber is gone now, how about Lester, Wainwright, Quintana, or Porcello?

        The more I think about it, in Lindor, the Mets got the best available player this off-season. Realmuto, Springer, and Bauer are all trying to command superstar money. They’re very good players, but not franchise players you can build a roster around.

    • TJ

      Brian has stuffed the ballot box and got Mr. Nimmo up to #5 CF in MLB!!!
      Tremendous cost avoidance/savings incurred to be reinvested in the 2021 payroll. I certainly agree with adding pitching quality and depth in the form of one additional quality starter, along with one additional quality pen arm. I also agree with adding CF defense to be tactically deployed. The final piece would be some 3B insurance. I think Guillorme is a very good backup/spot starter to cover multiple positions. It is hard to name prices but…
      No Springer –
      Kluber/Paxton $10 million 1 year
      Hand $15 million 2 years or Wilson/Watson type 1 year $5 million
      Marisnick/Pillar/Almora $2 million 1 year
      Frazier/Holt type $3 million 1 year

      With Springer-
      McHugh/Happ type $5 million 1 year
      Hand $15 million 2 years Wilson/Watson type 1 year $5 million
      Frazier/Holt type $3 million 1 year

  • Steve S.

    Bradley $8 million
    Kluber $12 million
    Hand $7 million
    Pillar $3 million

  • Woodrow

    Wong 6 Million
    Quintana 8 million
    Hand 8 million
    Almora 2 million

    • Woodrow

      If Wainwright hasn’t t signed with Cards sub him for Quintana

      • David Groveman

        My issue with Wong is that he’s another lefty bat. The Mets already have too many of those.

        • Woodrow

          Wong or JD? Wong and Lindor would sure help the pitching.

        • Remember1969

          I kind of like Wong to create a very good defense up the middle, but am waiting for the proverbial ‘rest of the story’. If Wong, then what to do with McNeil? If outfield, then what to do with Nimmo, Smith, or Conforto?

          Just a note on the lefty dominated lineup, I am OK at this point with that with Davis, Alonso, McCann, and Lindor. Roughly 70% of the starting pitching in MLB is right handed, so a half and half lefty righty lineup isn’t a bad thing.

          • Woodrow

            Wong moves McNeil to 3B and JD to bench and trade block. Nimmo stays in center,Smith in left. Get defensive CFer to back up Nimmo in late innings.

            • Remember1969

              I don’t think there is any way you see McNeil at third again in his career. He was awful last year for the first nine games and never had another chance. While this is a new regime (other than Rojas) and I am not sure who made the decision to pull him at the the time, I cannot believe he will ever get much better. In addition, he does not really have a third baseman’s arm.

  • Metsense

    The Mets are thin with starting pitching should focus on that issue. Matz is their fifth starter and he shouldn’t rely on but having him as the first option substitute in case of injury is palatable. I would sign Odorizzi or Tanaka at $13m to stabilize the rotation. When Syndergaard is ready and not rushed, he would then replace Peterson. Syndergaard, Stroham and Matz are free agents in 2022 and Peterson will should have opportunity to secure a spot in the future rotation. It maybe unfair to Peterson but the Mets control him for the next 5 years. My observations are that thing’s don’t work out as planned. Depth cures unforeseen problems. I would stop at this point with high price signings ($5m+) until it was definitive determination with the DH.

  • Mike W

    Jose Martinez was an interesting signing. Wonder if it means anything for Dom.

    • Name

      Gotta give the fans (maybe) in Syracuse something to root for.

    • Woodrow

      Lefty dominated lineup is going to need right handed PHs.

  • TexasGusCC

    If the Mets get their guys, it will probably be Hand at about $8/yr for two years, Kluber or Paxton at about $9-$10/ yr and Springer at about $22/year. I’ve written many times that I don’t want Springer and don’t think they need him anymore as he isn’t a good fit age-wise or contract-wise over Conforto, so I would just sign Pillar for about $5/yr. They can have Pillar, Paxton/Kluber, and Hand for what Springer alone costs and you will have flexibility down the road. It, Springer is a good player, I guess….

    As many times Jon Heyman has been called a hack for agents, I have to take his reporting that the Mets are going hard after Springer with a grain of salt and probably dash of pepper. We all heard Alderson two days ago saying that they are “loosely” tied to Springer and I’m thinking that Alderson knows he’s now holding the cards. Springer’s market is two teams and one of them may not be a real option. Love it.

  • Woodrow

    But….Springer is a perfect fit! RH bat, legit CFer. Mets sign him and on paper they’re right up there with the big boys, Dodgers,Braves, Padres….

    • TJ

      They need Springer + more SP & RP to be up there with the big boys…without compromising the ability to retain all their best players going forward. Even rich dudes need to work out these types of challenges.

  • Steve S.

    So if the Yankees sign LeMahieu for 6 years at $15 million/year (as is being reported), what is Springer worth? Springer has been better consistently at the plate (102 OPS+ for the former vs. 131 for the latter) and both are good defensively. How about Springer for 6 years at $20 million/year? It’s us and Toronto, apparently, so that might work. Maybe the sixth year even be an option year.

    Then sign: Kluber for $12 million/year and Hand for $7 million/year.

    That’s $39 million. But then release and/or trade Matz and Gsellman to save about $6 million, and trade Familia (along with $3 million). Is this possible? If so, we’re now at $30 million.

    • Steve S.

      Well, the price was about right for Kluber, but he’s signing with the Yankees for 1 year/$11 million reportedly.

      I still think the Mets might get Springer on a longer term deal for $20 million/year or less.

      So, how about:
      Springer $20 million
      Walker $8 million
      Hand $7 million

      And slice $5 million off by releasing or trading one or more of Matz, Gsellman, and Familia (throwing in cash for the latter pitcher).

  • MattyMets

    Looks like Ken Rosenthal jumped the gun on Brad Hand to the Mets. I keep refreshing Twitter waiting for this to be announced, but other teams are in on him too. I think he’d be a great get. He can close and lefties can’t touch him. There’s a clip of him striking out Harper on 3 straight sliders that’s so much fun to watch. I think he could have thrown 5 more and he wouldn’t have even fouled one off.

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