It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me at:itsmetsforme@gmail.com or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Mets Offseason Strategy? Raid LA!

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2008-09/42128827.jpg
Re-upping Delgado takes the Mets out of the running for this talented defensively skilled first baseman. Or does it?


It's HOT STOVE fantasy time for Mets fans. And it's "make-up any shit we want to and publish it" time for the beat and national mainstream sports reporters. This winter, to me, already has a Steve Phillips era, irresponsible fantasy feeling to it. It is clear that Omar has no responsible plan or grand strategy for the club, so fuck it, let's roll the crazy dice.

What Omar does have is stability. After some dubious contract renewals, the Mets may have endorsed mediocrity and unaccountability, but at least we now know who is running the show this winter. Omar has job security. And Jerry Manuel has the useless NY media eating out of his hand. Manuel thinks the the Angels “are a good model for what needs to be done”, which would be more inspiring if the Halos weren't getting their asses swept out of the playoffs by a team they seem unable to beat. So unbelievably (and thanks largely to the smokescreen of excuse cover provided by the Wilpons), the Mets decision-makers are working from a position of professional strength.

The good news is that the Mets more often than not, win the off-season! Yay! And the failures of the last 3 years should mean everyone outside 4 core players is totally expendable. The bad news, well there is quite a bit. There ain't too much out there for the pen, which could force Omar to spend a lot of his (mental and financial) resources on one part of the team (ala last year's Santana quest) while potentially ignoring other vital parts (hello bullpen and useless aged bench). Many of the potential Met targets are represented by Scott Bora$$. We don't know exactly how the structure of the hot stove market will play out, but we already know the wealthy Yankees will be a factor: they have also been humiliated, resigned their GM, have rotation holes, and opened a new stadium. Some of the Mets potential targets are playing in the playoffs, for teams in nice climates with big budgets: these factors don't make it easier to snag such players. Finally, no one is talking about it, but how will the financial crisis play out here? Already insuring these gargantuan contracts has been a major concern of teams trying to sign big ticket items. How will problems in the insurance industry affect this year's hot stove?

First things first. Aguayo needs to go!!

The Mets must fill their rotation, not with more elderly has-beens, but with innings-eaters in the Jerry style. They also need to improve the bottom of their order. They have to supplement the core offensive players with a righty bat. Without much thought, I'd endorse tire kicking on Derek Lowe, C.C. Sabathia, Manny Ramirez, and Mark Teixeira. But this season, Omar really needs to make intelligent, creative moves, or find someone who can do this for him. So he needs to do the opposite of signing Moises Alou, Luis Castillo, Orlando Hernandez, trading all the club's fire throwing relievers, etc. All GMs make mistakes, but whether or not Omar can admit them or doubles down on them will determine the Mets future.

Above all, although arrest warrants have only been issued for one of their relief pitchers, the Mets need an entirely new bullpen if they want the team to inspire a shred of confidence. Bullpens in an easy year are a total crap shoot, but after the last two years, this pen needs an enema. Omar has had mixed success with the pen, if you want to be charitable. Signing Scott Schoeneweis at all, not moving Heilman when it was possible, thinking Matt Wise would fix the 2007 bunch of bums for 2008...it'd take all day to list Omar's sins.

Francisco Rodriguez is a tough one to call. The Mets are a club skilled in giving out big contracts and need a closer. K-Rod wants a big contract and is a closer. The guy saved 62 games for the Angels, and he is 26. How close he gets to the five years at $15 million K-Rod is said to be seeking will tell us something about the sanity of the GMs this winter. At least five years at $75 million seems to be what it will take, since the Angels have offered 3 and $34 last winter, and seem to be dangling a four year with 5th year option already. Can the Mets afford the lack of flexibilty of another Billy Wagner-like signing? Can they find a downmarket solution? Can they develop their own candidates? It is clear to anyone watching the Red Sawx-Angels series that K-Rod is no Paplebon. And with K-Rod's storied dip in velocity, Wagner's inability to finish his contract, and the over-ratedness of the "save" statistic, the Mets stance on KRod may be a referendum on whether this club can learn from their mistakes at all. Right now, I'd prefer that the Mets not invest a lot of money in the "closer" position. The situation demands thoughtfulness, problem-solving, and ingenuity, and I am not convinced Omar and his crew have it.

For the rotation, there are many ways to go. I have come around to valuing the type A draft picks the Mets could get more than I value seeing Ollie "By Golly" Perez walk a tightrope and win another 11-15 games next year. So I'd say that Santana and Pelfrey are the only two you can count on seeing next year. You can't count on Maine. The Mets need at least 2 guys and a backup plan. Among the interesting free agents:
C.C. Sabathia. He likes to eat, and NY has plenty of great restaurants. A two-ace team in NY? Consider.
Ben Sheets shouldn't be trusted to sign a new contract without hurting himself. Pass.
Derek Lowe is 35. He likes to bone local sports casters. We have those. Consider.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/03062008/photos/temp021b.jpg

On to Mark Teixeira. Why discuss him when the press is already reporting the Mets bit on Delgado's option? Well, because I think the Mets need a guy like him. Although I don't know what kind of no-trade provisions are built in to Delgado's contract, I would say the option of trading him to the AL and blowing the $20 million a year for at least $200 million total on Teixeira would be the best solution obviously available to improve the team and build for the future. Delgado? Well, I like the guy personally, and I'm glad the horror show that is his decline was temporarily put on hold, but there is no way he is going to produce anywhere near the level he did this year. The Mets took his option based on what he did last year and how his contract was structured, neither striking me as terribly sound baseball reasons.


http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/mets/docs/images/manny.jpg

On to Manny Ramirez. The Mets should pursue him because this sort of thing is not only Omar's best skill, but also his off season hobby, if you believe the media. Omar is very good at persuading weirdos (Pedro) and the best available free agent of any given year (Beltran, Wagner) to join the Mets. I don't know how he does it, but I suspect at some point he shows them his magic pen with which he will transfer untold riches into given star's bank account. Where are the Mets now if Omar had pulled the trigger to trade Lastings Milledge for Manny a few years back? To answer this question, first ask yourself where they are after he allowed the Thrilledge asset to erode until it was worth a fourth outfielder on a last place team and a $10 million defensive catcher. Got the answer yet? "A much better place." Manny is a offensive force of nature who lives on Planet Crazy where no NY media can hurt him. No matter what they think of themselves, the Mets are indeed in "just so crazy it might work" territory. Three successive early exits for a team built to go deep into October. Time for desperate measures. And defensively, if the Mets are ever going to be able to contain Manny's occasional outfield adventures, it will be when he is pinned in by Beltran, Wright and Reyes. Sure, he might like LA, but like all players, he likes to be "respected" (PAID CA$H MONEY). Hey the Mets already have the posters printed.

What other changes are possible?

The list of free agent left fielders is pathetic. And trades? No Matt Holiday. Just stop it people.
As for catcher, lots of old guys available, but let's just say that I would rather see the 37 yr old Jason Varitek be carved out of the ass of Red Sox nation and installed at Citifield than live through another Schneider Castro filled year. Second base. Besides my ingenious plan to move Wright there, I'd beg out of the talk of Orlando Hudson (31), and look to either give Murphy a shot there, or get creative. Basically, I am not satisfied anywhere other than shortstop, CF, and third base.

Can anyone here fix this team?

Labels:

16 Comments:

  • At 2:42 PM, Anonymous JDON said…

    I agree with your reference to Omar as a thinker incapable of flexibility. Not only does he think in the box, he signs free agenst who are almost "in the box", if you know what I mean. I like Lowe, and have been talking him up to my friends. The Mets love Maine, and rate him much higher than they should. Oliver did respond to the new tutelage for the first few months, but in September he went back to his stupid slow leg kick, walked the world and no one could do anything about it. Talented, but unmanageable. A good trait in a Manny Ramirez, but a bad trait in a lefty starter. I would think about bringing Manny in but I would want to send Delgado out. Maybe play Murphy at first, since he is no athlete and probably cannot do second. Shoot Castillo, no I did not mean that, but at least arrange for an alien abduction. Find a closer. Is Kerry Wood a FA? I know: he is brittle. If you pay Manny you will never pay K-Rod. No Brian Fuentes. Every time I see him pitch he stinks. I would keep Stokes, Parnell and Smith for the pen. Then I would fish around. You are right about the strikeouts. Is Ayres a FA? I really hate our lefties. I even hate Rincon, and I hardly know him. What it boils down to is Omar is not a thinker and a planner and he is our bossman. I am going to enjoy raking him over the coals this winter....and for the next FOUR YEARS... Sheeesh!

     
  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Ellen said…

    Hi

    I love your blog. I usually read Metsblog and happened upon a post of yours and made the link. I actually am more aligned to your opinions than those over at Metsblog. I, too, am one who does not have a crush on Manuel and would have liked the front office to at least look at other options before resigning him. I think he fell into the manager job at the right time - the team had started to turn it around when they canned Willie so I do not subscribe to the thought that Manuel worked his own brand of wonders.

    Anyway, I will be a frequent guest here.

     
  • At 10:54 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    jdon why no Fuentes? Aside from the obvious he's a Rockie? I really don't know enough about him.

    Welcome Ellen and thanks for your comment. I guess I should just thank the sometimes inept Mets front office for enabling me to have strong opinions for 4 seasons and 3 years. I think you'll find we have some of the best readers/commenters on the interweb here.

    By the way, anyone watching the surprising Dodgers sweep out the cubbies tonight thinking "the mets could have done that"? Aside from a pretty good bullpen and a clutch superstar named Manny, what do they have that we haven't? Ok ok, but seriously I don't think they are much better than the Mets--they are gelling into this year's "it" team I think. I support the Dodgers when I can since i live here in LA, but can they beat the Phillies, assuming that the Crew put up its last struggle tonight? The Phillies painful demise is the only hope I have left for this off-season, since a Brewers World Championship doesn't have quite the cache as a Cubs one.

    Also since I had tickets to the now moot game tomorrow, let the record show that for the $75 worth of tickets I bought, I was charged $40.10 in service and bullshit fees by ticketmaster. More than 50% fees, that can't be right. "Facility charges, convenience charges, and Order processing." Perhaps that industry could use a little regulation too? Here's the crazy thing, I also have $100 worth of tickets for a game in the next series (2X$50), the service fees are LOWER, at $30.10!! What conclusion is there, other than they are ripping people off, quite at random!

     
  • At 6:19 AM, Anonymous cver said…

    Mets 2009 Slogan -
    KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMAS CLOSER!

     
  • At 12:56 PM, Anonymous jdon said…

    I liked what manuel said about "selfish hitting". I guess he finally felt he had the leverage to say it. Everybody focuses on the "David Wright at-bat." He had a ton of times this year when he tried to jerk balls and he should have been going the other way. But what about Delgado? Virtually every at bat he has the whole left side to work with but he does not take the single. I realize you want some power from the guy but he had many chances to prolong rallies this year and he chose to ground to right field instead. And of course dumb hitters like Castro and Schneider and even Church hurt us with their lack of situationals. Notice I do not even mention Reyes. It should be interesting to watch. We do not need 3 guys with 100+ RBI. The Yankees were a 900 run a year team for years and went out in the first round. We need a smarter offense and a better bullpen. Not unattainable.

     
  • At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    By now you all know the Sillies did away with the Brew Crew. The Brewers looked pretty anemic; only the Moyer game did they make a decent showing.

    I agree though - a Dodger beating of the Phils for the NLCS is my only remaining thrill for this post season. If Torre's troops can manage that, I will go through the winter happy.

    I personally would love to see the Dodgers against any team NOT the red Sox in the WS.

    Otherwise, Go Jets!

     
  • At 5:05 PM, Blogger katherine said…

    I just can't bring myself to watch any postseason baseball until the phillies are eliminated. I hope that happens soon.

    It kills me to see them playing.

     
  • At 6:50 PM, Anonymous jdon said…

    the phillies normally do not win in the post season, if they get there at all, unless the opposing team's star pitcher's arm is hanging off and their second star pitcher's arm has fallen off. This unhappy coincidence has cryastallized for them this year. They actually have a shot at the WS. ARe you sure you are not at least peeking, Katherine? Just a little bit?

     
  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger katherine said…

    NOT WATCHING ANY BASEBALL AT ALL because the phillies ruin my enjoyment of it

    And Fuentes was so bad for an extended stretch of time; I forget if it was this year or last year, he was demoted from being closer temporarily. Not reliable.

    I believe the Mets have enough money to get K Rod - they should go for it!!!

    Speaking of money, my sister, who is a Yankee fan told me yesterday that the company she usually gets her yankee tickets from finally gave up it's box (right behind the yankee dugout) because of price increases. The eight seat box now costs more than 400,000 per season - that is about 650$ per seat per game. Isn't that incredible? I am actually in mourning over this news as I occasionally got a freebie to see a Mets/Yankee game

    What are the Mets charging, I wonder?

     
  • At 4:55 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    Can you imagine laying ou 400K for a season of baseball tickets? That is truly ludicrous. If I won a 100 million dollars in the lottery I would not do it. As much as I love baseball, that is just a warped sense of priorities.

     
  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    if i won 100 million dollars, i'd buy the Rays, and move them to LA. That way I could have my Scott K*zmir back. Then I would go about trading for the Mets that I like and the ones that got away. My blog readers could all have season tickets for free.

    One good thing about the coming depression is that sports prices will have to eventually come down. I have a feeling corporations will be forced to cut their luxury events budgets. The last day at Shea was a travesty, that story about ticket brokers buying tickets to secure season tickets at Chityfield being the reason why they had empty seats that weekend. The system is broken when there are no tickets for fans because the tickets are more valuable for some other purpose. Any tom dick and harry broker can apparently get their hands on huge blocks of tickets but as a fan, i need to run around sending in applications to be chosen for the chance to buy tickets. Also, Ticketmaster is trying to ruin entertainment as we know it and they're doing a slambang job of it.

    I too will take back most of what I have said about Torre being an overrated corpse of a manager lauded for winning championships with a 200 million payroll if his new team can beat those Phucking Philmes. Arghh! Right now, I think we need to pray the Red Sox stay in it, because our main interest is having the strongest possible teams lined up to defeat Philadelphia. If the Dodgers can't do it...

     
  • At 11:06 AM, Anonymous jdon said…

    I gotta tell ya--Kuroda and Lowe do not do it for me against the Phils. I am a Billingsley fan. And I like Lowe, just not toe to toe with Hamels. We can only hope that Manny eviscerates Hamels.

     
  • At 2:27 PM, Anonymous cver said…

    I don't know if all of the events in baseball and otherwise in the last coupla weeks have been so surreal that I am losing it or not, but what I am about to say might surprise some of you. As a Met fan, I personally only have one true enemy and that is the Br*ves. Even as unthreatening as they have been to us these last few years, I just despise them. OK, some of the Marlins' behavior, I also can't take, but these players will come and go. There was a systematic taunting by some of those Br*ves for many years. But my point is, as you all know, until recently, the Philmes were just a harmless nearby franchise whose rare up-years never coincided with our rare up-years. One could say that the Philme's have unlikeable bad citizens playing at Citizens Bank, such as Myers, but then again, we do have Burgos, for example. Bottom line is that they have won 16 of their last 20 games, I believe - very very impressive. They do have a fairly fearsome lineup, some good starters and a great closer. They have earned a chance to make the World Series. Love them or hate them, but give them their due. Of course, I would rather see the Dodgers win and have the Rays beat them.

     
  • At 2:42 PM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    i watched the 3 games vs the cubs, and i gotta say the dodgers look like they have gelled awesomely. That and 6.50 will get you a soy decaf latte though. the last team i watched sweep the NLDS lost to a shitty cards team.

    As for the Philmes, they can never replace the Br*ves as enemy #1 (an enemy who will return next year like clockwork), but my problem is they are doing exactly what the mets were supposed to be doing. While the Br*ves were actually better than us for most of those years, the Philmes are mojo stealers: we sign a washed up grandpa for the rotation in Gl*vine, they sign phucking Moyer; we finally get a lefty masher for first and he declines, they come up with ryan howard; we sign an astros closer that was theirs and we get BillyGoat wagner who is in the hospital, they sign a down on his luck former astros closer and hit jackpot; we have a young core at 3rd, ss, and CF, they suddenly have one at 1st, ss, and 2nd PLUS bottom of the order guys who didn't just get on a bus from AAA. Their fans are cretinous and undeserving, our fans are deserving and like to boo our own team. On paper, they are no better than the Mets, yet they get a September gift marked playoffs every year from the Mets. They mocked the Mets and won. It isn't fair, it's a mojo mixup. And that's why I can't say a damn thing good about them.

     
  • At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Shea Guevera said…

    The essence of what you say at the end definitely rings true in that I put on the Philme's/Brewers game for about 30 seconds and I had to shut it off right then. How could I watch those two teams. No, the Mets didn't deserve it - there, I said it! I love my Mets. The thing is they didn't win enough games to make the playoffs. Nobody's fault but theirs really. Not just the player's fault or the manager's fault or the GM's fault. It was a group effort. The fans made things sometimes quite tough on them and made things harder for them to succeed at home, but sometimes they were a great help. Still, I couldn't watch those two teams. Still, the Philmes did win 16 of the last 20 and that wasn't smoke and mirrors, as painful as it is to admit. It also wasn't like the umps had conspired against us enough to make us lose an extra 4 games. On another subject, a lot is made of the Mets playing better under Gagsta than Willie in 08. That's true, but I notice that no one has been mentioning how in the part of the season during Willie's tenure, the Mets had to go west 4 times in a month and during Gagsta's tenure, they only once crossed the Mississippi, I believe. Just a footnote to it all.

     
  • At 5:52 PM, Anonymous jdon said…

    I am glad Willie is gone. I wanted Obie and we got a Yankee instead. It made me nauseous at the time. Willie could not get his you know what out of his own ass. I was never sure about him. Did he really think that highly of himself or was it the biggest insecurity complex in the history of mankind? Oh well. No matter. I hope the Phillies are quarantined with mumps and have to forfeit. I hope the Mets bring in some hitters who actually have an approach at the plate. I hope we score as few runs as the Angels and hit as few homers as they did. That must be the formula for 100 wins. When you look at their players stats you have to wonder if Omar is going about this the right way. From now on I refer to him as the Scarecrow, and his theme music is "If I Only Had a Brain."

     

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This blog is meant completely and entirely in jest, unless you count the angst, and is not meant to offend anyone, unless you are a Br*ves fan. It's not affiliated with Sterling, the Mets, common sense, good taste, or anything really.