Welcome back everyone. I’ve been off working two jobs and then moving to a new job that will pay me the same as when I worked two jobs. Also there was a month of holidays.
But I’m gonna try my darndest to keep this website current as a new year’s resolution. I’ll be working on getting more posts and some video commentary out as well. Joe hopefully will be able to chime in once a week or so. We’ll see.
I wanted to talk about the moves made by the Mets this offseason each time a new one went down, but, alas and alack, I never found time to sit down and pound out some content.
So without further ado, a long overdue view of the New York Mets second season signings.
Chris Young– This is the first guy they got and an opening salvo to show that last year was just not good enough. They got lucky with Marlon Byrd last season. Young is the same kind of gamble, but the floor isn’t quite as bad as it was with Byrd. Last season I mentioned many a time on this site, my desire to get an outfielder with major league experience into the mix and it took the Mets right up to spring training to do that last year. This year they got that done before Thanksgiving. Young is one of those big power, low contact guys, the ones with the high dingers and low batting averages. His average could get a little better, and the homers will top out at 30. It’s an upgrade over what they’ve got and it’s a contract that’s flippable, if the Mets fail to make a playoff run. Overall I like the move.
Curtis Granderson– this was the big deal for the Mets. This is who I thought they would come away with and it’s not a bad deal. I would have preferred Jacoby Ellsbury, but with contracts and money being what they are, I think the dollars per value we got was reasonable. Curtis Granderson will play at a little under $15 mil per year over four years. Ellsbury at a little over $21 mil a year for seven, with an eighth year at the Yankees’ discretion at $21 mil even. Both teams control their players through their age 36 season, which means you should expect reasonable production out of them by the end of their contracts. And here’s the rWAR for the two over the last seven years (Ellsbury has only played 7 seasons, Granderson 10) http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/grandcu01.shtml#2007-2013-sum:batting_value http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/e/ellsbja01.shtml#batting_value::none
Granderson has an rWAR of 29.8 in that span, and Ellsbury 21.0. That puts Grandy’s actual rWAR preseason more than a win higher than Ellsbury and their 162-game numbers only 0.3 different (Grandy 5.1, Ellsbury 4.8). So it looks like the Mets actually signed the better deal.
In that seven-year span, Granderson had 1800 more at-bats than Ellsbury. Granderson’s numbers should taper off while Ellsbury will plateau or potentially get better, but is that worth $6 million the next four years (and $21 mil after that)?
Bartolo Colon– Speaking of Harvey, here’s the guy who will be taking his innings. Two years seems like a long time for a pitcher pushing past 40, but there’s not as many years on that arm as you may think. And no I’m not referring to steroids. Between 2006 and 2011 Colon did not pitch more than 100 innings at the major league level. In fact, he didn’t pitch at all in 2010. When he won his Cy Young in 2005 (remember that?) he pitched 222.2 innings. Between receiving that award and throwing his first pitch with the Yankees in 2011, (a five year span) be pitched 257 innings. That 50 game “vacation” he received in 2012 helped a little, too.
Now onto the steroids. When the Oakland Athletics signed him coming off a suspension, I had my proof of what smart front office people thought about steroids. That it was not a big deal. First part of that was, he served his time and the second part was, we think he can be as good this year without testing positive. And what does he do? Turn out the best season of his career. Frankly, if the Mets get Colon’s 162 average season, (16-11, 3.94 ERA, 200 ip.) this is a great signing. It’s not Matt Harvey, but no one is.
Jeremy Hefner– Why they cut him to resign him, I don’t know. But depth is depth, and Hefner was solid in his fill-in work. Tommy John’s will keep him on the shelf for most if not all of 2014. But it’s nice to still have.
The Mets haven’t signed anyone else. The grumbles are for the team to sign Stephen Drew to fix short stop. I’ve begun to feel we can get one serviceable year out of Reuben Tejada. He might just surprise and blossom in his age 24 season. And if not, the Mets may be willing to make a strong run at Hanley Ramirez next season. Really would you rather have Han-Ram or Drew?
The Mets still have a number of players who became free agents this season. Shaun Marcum signed with Cleveland (where he will undoubtedly pitch to a 3.49 ERA), Greg Burke and LaTroy Hawkins signed with Colorado for the better schools.
The Mets could still use a fifth starter/rotation depth kind of guy, and Daisuke Matsuzaka and Aaron Harang could be those guys. (But don’t let Aaron Harang be that guy). Bullpen pieces like Tim Byrdak and Scott Atchison could be back. But likely Sandy Alderson will simply wait out the market and sign some guys on the cheap that will be ok.