Please use this thread all week to discuss any Mets-specific topic you wish.

So, The Athletic ran a survey asking readers what they thought on a bunch of different topics on the Mets. Among their questions was asking the reader to grade the free agent signings, with the following choices:

A
B+/A-
B
C+/B-
C
C-/D
F

Here’s how I responded:

Mark Canha – B
Eduardo Escobar – C+B-
Starling Marte – B+/A-
Max Scherzer – A

Not sure I’d like to go to Vegas and wager on any of these but that’s how I feel today. Hopefully none go down when October/November rolls around.

34 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (1/12/22)

  • Chris F

    I filled mine out too, but didnt like the scoring bins. Who groups a B with an A? Yikes.

    Canha – B
    Escobar – B
    Marte – B+/A-
    Scherzer – A

    • Brian Joura

      Let the record show that Chris F was optimistic on something – even more than me, as he gave a higher grade to Escobar.

      • Chris F

        even the Mayor has weak days!

  • Wobbit

    Marte A+
    Canha B+
    Escobar A
    Scherza A+

    I wanted Escobar, Marte is a wow, Canha a solid addition.
    Scherza brilliant (it’s not my money)…

  • Metsense

    Canha B-, Escobar B-, Marte B, Scherzer A
    I based the grade as an average player would be a C.
    I would wager this bet at Cherokee Casino.

    • BobP

      My grades would be the same as Metsense.

  • Wobbit

    Just to be clear… we are not grading the players and their abilities, but the “signings”. To me, that means signing an under-the-radar, great-fit player for a good price into a position exactly needed is a great signing (A), regardless of the player’s talent.

    I can’t believe the Mets getting Marte, generally considered the best CF available, is somehow considered underwhelming (B?)…

    • Metsense

      Wobbit, I agree that the question says what is the grade the signings not the abilities. By most your criteria that should taken in be the present and not the future. Brian comment also make a world of sense about hindsight. The Mets need was two outfielders, a 3B and a starting pitching.
      Marte was a best CF, priced slightly less was expected, and length of contract what was expected. Grade A+
      Canha’s case, there were better outfielders available and he is priced slightly more than expected but his lengthof contract was expected. (2/26.5) Grade B- . Garcia signed with the Marlins at the same price, 4/53. Would that be be a better option? He his younger with more power and the Mets are thin in the outfield in the minor leagues.
      Escobar was the second best 3B after Bryant and his contract was the expected price and length. He won’t Batty and can move to 2B and won’t Mauricio in the future. Grade A.
      Scherzer is the best pitcher but was much expensive ( 3/130, 43.3 AAS) but the length was expected. Grade B.
      The Mets still need another starting pitcher. Gausman at 5/110, 22 AAS and Ray 5/130, 23 AAS would have fill the need at the similar price.
      Still, the Mets did a good job with their signings.

  • Mr_Math

    I don’t know how to grade them because I don’t know exactly what was available to fill comparable rolls. Other than Mad Max, none of the others elicited any reaction other than being too tired to mumble, “meh”. They are the types you pick up when you’re already holding a strong hand containing several impact players.

    Not taking $ into consideration, I’ll give Mad Max A to A+
    I’ll give the other 3 a combined C

  • JimmyP

    I think it’s too soon to grade individual moves, need to see the totality.

    I’ve wanted Marte for years now. Very glad we have him, hoping for a Curtis Granderson-type late career. Allow Nimmo to move to LF and that’s a gigantic defensive upgrade over Smith.

    Escobar is everyone’s favorite clubhouse player. Can play both 3B and 2B. A plus, I think.

    Scherzer, obviously. He’ll be fun.

    Canha still strikes me as a 4th outfielder — and a very good (possibly overpaid) one. If he’s our everyday RF, that’s a huge gamble. Only once in his career has he had more the 450 ABs in a season. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t love last season’s .231 BA. If our starting RF is hitting .220 in June, I’ll be sad. I like Canha at 400 AB with his solid defense and strong OBP. This is the move that makes me wonder if Bryant is still in play.

    I don’t see a playoff team yet.

    • JimmyP

      Or Suzuki. I like the idea of having four solid outfielders.

    • BrianJ

      I think it’s important to use two things to grade a trade/free agent signing. It’s important to note what the opinion was at the time the move was made. My go-to example is that the Mets would have been crucified at the time if they traded Matt Harvey straight up for Rick Porcello before the start of the 2016 season. Harvey’s trade value would have been so much more. But it would have been a great deal had they made it, as Porcello went on to win the Cy Young Award that year.

      So, we need to see what the consensus was at the time of the deal. Most people view the Marte and Scherzer signings as money well spent. That will be an important part of the story if Scherzer gets hurt and/or Marte puts up a league-average BABIP.

      If one or both of those things happen, you know that people will climb out from underneath rocks saying they “knew” it was a bad idea.

      • Jimmy P

        I know that always bothers you, the hindsight guys.

        The Harvey trade would have always been a bad trade, IMO, since there was no predicting the cascade of injuries to follow.

        I don’t think it’s fair to look at a trade in light of injuries that happen after the fact. Or, say, signing David Wright.

        You have to assume a standard, reasonable amount of health (and, likewise, realize that an old 2B is going to be banged up from time to time).

        On Marte, I see an athlete in good health who is aging and inevitably slowly down. He’ll be a corner within two seasons. But if he goes down and we lose for two years, I don’t think it would be fair to criticize the signing because it didn’t work out. Decisions are made under imperfect conditions, under the pressure of a competitive marketplace. Risk will always be a factor.

      • Bob P

        Agreed. Another example is the Cano/Diaz deal. Even if Kelenic bombs out and never amounts to anything, that doesn’t make the deal any better since they should have gotten more for him at the time if they were going to move him.

        • Jimmy P

          I think trading for relievers is pretty consistently a bad move. Kelenic was too high a price to pay and I would like to think I would not have made that deal.

          That said, if Diaz and Cano played up to expectations, the 2019 Mets make the playoffs and possibly go on the same run that the National go on. Syndergaard was terrible in 2019, too. It was also one of the 2-3 most enjoyable Mets seasons they’ve had in the past dozen years.

          All factors considered — the Wilpons foremost, but the state of the farm system, too — I consider it a “defensible” trade. I know a lot of fans would just rather not try to win, all that messy risk, but I respect the attempt.

  • T.J.

    Individual grading is fun, but I prefer a collective grade on the offseason acquisitions…trades/signings together. I like to see them all working together towards an overall strategy of meeting immediate needs and aligning for future acquisitions and promotions. With that in mind…so far so good…let’s say B+. Now, there is still work to be done…so that grade can change…these moves with none further would drop to a C/C- and not make much sense…they need the rest of the story to play out.

  • TexasGusCC

    I kind of disagree on a few things.

    Scherzer: [B-/C+] I don’t think it was such a tremendous signing to give a 37 year old pitcher that just came off an injury in the postseason the highest AAV ever given. Did they expect him to say, “no, please, I don’t want $43MM, I can live with $42MM”? If he was 27 years old, then ok. Yes, he’s Max Scherzer, but we are grading the signing and I hope it wasn’t an ego trip like having to have Baez was last July. We saw how that shortsighted move turned out.

    Marte: [B] Again, a 33 year old getting 4 years when Alderson wouldn’t sign Reyes at 28 because speed is the first quality to go south. Hmmm. Still, I think Marte should be worth it, but not a steal.

    Escobar: [A-/B+] I like the length. It allows for flexibility and the guy plays everywhere.

    Cahna: [B-] Nice player, but like Jimmy says, I’d love to see if I could do better first. Conforto wasn’t even a consideration, I guess. Just like several other Mets gone by that the team preferred the draft pick. While I was intrigued by Cahna, I would have liked to see Lee and Plummer get a shot at some playing time, having McNeil and Smith as backup plans. Does everyone think Smith sucks now after one injured season? Is everyone so mad at McNeil that we dismiss three previous excellent seasons?

    I’m in full agreement with the two P’s, Jimmy and Bob, about the Kelenic trade. At a time that Craig Kimbrell was a available for only money, you can’t give up your number 1 prospect for a closer. It was a Wilponian move because they wanted the c h e a p e r closer. I don’t care if Kelenic can’t break .200, BVW didn’t know that at the time of the trade. Stupid, stupid, stupid. He had options. And Cano wasn’t going anywhere else because he had a no trade. BVW had leverage, but DiPoto bluffed him. Took the rookie to school.

    • James Preller

      I think Lee or Plummer have a real shot at being #4 and one of them will look good in the short spring season. I don’t love that. The #4 is going to get 400-450 ABs. I’d like that guy to be Canha.

      I think Smith sucks because he can’t play the outfield and doesn’t help the Mets defensively at all.

      I still love Jeff’s bat but I don’t think Francisco can stomach him as a DP partner. We need a real 2B, not just a guy who sticks a glove on his hand and stands around out there. If they want to keep Jeff and use him in the outfield, I can live with that. I would also explore what he brings back via trade. We are still hurting for pitching and at 2B.

      Conforto was so bad last season, so lost — and not for the first time in his career — that it became hard to believe in him as the guy you wanted to sign for big money. A guy you had to outspend all of MLB to keep. He’s better than Canha and for the right contract, I’d bring him back. I just don’t think the right contract will be available. I also don’t think he should start against LHP. We’ll hate him as a Philly and he’s love that park.

      • TexasGusCC

        Can’t really disagree on any points. Would have loved to try for a talent like Suzuki, but I don’t see the room now. Seems like the Mets live year to year and no plan for down the road at all.

      • IDRAFT

        I think stuff like another outfielder will get done once the embargo lifts. Don’t have a feel for whether they go big or just do a Pillar type. I think with the money already spent – no way they hold the line now. I think Lee and Plummer will be depth at AAA. A bullpen arm or two as well will get done too.

        Starters are harder because there isn’t much left worth pursuing. Things look way worse without Jake and who knows on him but if Scherzer does his thing I think they can make the sure to be expanded playoffs anyway. After that you never know.

        If Jake makes even 25 “Jakeish” starts and Max makes 25 “Maxish” starts the Division will be in play. That’s the big if, as you all know already.

        Always available to state the obvious!

  • Woodrow

    How about grading this “trade”. Stroman,Conforto, Loup,Syndergard and Baez for “scherzer,Marte,Escobar and Canha. A shaky C perhaps?

    • James Preller

      Apples, oranges, watermelon: a fruit salad.

      Based on comments from some, the vibe I get is that Stroman was a lot to deal with and a problem in the clubhouse. Wasn’t a good sign when he declared war on the media. Or maybe it was that he was a Brodie guy. Very hard to tell from my recliner. He performed well in 2021.

      I don’t think bringing back the old team would have been a great idea, though I thought they’d keep Baez. I do believe that Lindor has historically been a “winner” and that it makes sense to build around him. Maybe that doesn’t work, but there are 341 reasons to give it a try (and kind of self-defeating if you don’t).

      But I agree with the notion that this is at best Incomplete. The pundits keep saying how the “Mets are built to win” and I’m not seeing it. One more real pitcher in the rotation — an improved bullpen — a 2B and help in the OF — then we can talk.

      I still feel like we’re going nowhere without Jake.

      (Sorry for so many comments, I’ll stop!)

      • Metsense

        Don’t stop. You have intelligent insights that should be shared.

        • TexasGusCC

          +1

        • IDRAFT

          Be careful what you wish for.

    • Mike W

      Scherzer is a hall of fame bulldog winning pitcher. He changes the clubhouse in a food way. Who on the list equals that ? Noone. Stroman and Loup will regress. Syndergaard is a question mark and Loup will be replaced. Maybe Condorto pans out somewhere and maybe he doesnt. It will sure be an interesting season if they play.

      • James Preller

        “Hey, guys! I made roasted pork loin with a honey garlic glaze. There’s enough for everyone!” — Max Scherzer.

        As typos go — and I’ve made a million of ’em — this one by Mike W is one of my favorites:

        > He changes the clubhouse in a food way. <

  • Wobbit

    I love the changes to the roster. The Mets, because of a lack of imagination, have tended to beat a dead horse… expect more from players than they tend to produce.

    Syndergaard is a mid-rotation guy at best.
    Stroman had good years, but will likely fade.
    Can Loup keep doing what he did last year?
    Conforto just needs a change of scenery, maybe.
    McNeil will not hit .300 again, very mediocre defensively.
    Smith is a second-tier player.

    Meanwhile,
    Max strengthens every aspect of the team.
    Marte brings intangibles to an offense that desperately needs them…
    Canha is solid and brings improved OBP… gotta help.
    Escobar fits like a glove in the clubhouse, switch hits, and gives the team unbelievable flexibility.
    Maybe resign Villar, too… for the same reason.

    Or better yet, get Storey and take on the Braves. Great infielder.

    • James Preller

      The move I hoped Sandy would make — knowing that he’d never do anything this proactive — was to sign Noah for three years.

      I wasn’t optimistic about getting value from a one-year deal.

      My guess is since he had TJ and hasn’t pitched in two full seasons — that he doesn’t have 180-200 quality innings in his arm in 2020. That he’ll run out of gas along the way, just when the games get really important.

      (Aside: a lockout-shortened season might help!)

      I think even with a terrific recovery, 2022 will be a transition; the hope is that he’d be a top-tier starter in 2023. I still see that potential for him. He was truly awful in 2019 and I wonder if he wasn’t “right” physically even then.

      Will he ever throw that same wicked hard slider with conviction ever again? I hope so.

  • TexasGusCC

    Is anyone else constantly being thrown out on their devices and needs to log in every so often?

    • Bob P

      I do need to log back in every couple days.

    • ChrisF

      Not only that, but I regularly write a reply and it goes to some error page, then when I hit back what I wrote is gone.

      Very frustrating.

      • TexasGusCC

        At first, I thought the continuous logging off was a hacking blocker of some type to protect the site.

        I find myself needing to press twice to post a comment because the first time it tells me “server not connected”. So, I press it a second time and it gets connected! LOL. Small stuff overall, but just wondering. I’m fortunate that when I hit back the comment isn’t lost.

      • Metsense

        Chris, I too have that problem. Also, the majority of times, I can’t edited my comment. It just post and I look like an uneducated fool. I might be a fool but I did receive an education.

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