We’re almost to the start of spring training and I’m excited.
Once again it is time to cast my IBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot, but first here’s how the voting would have gone for my theoretical Tiered Hall of Fame. Here’s the last “Golden Ballot” I did in 2014 (2105 was a lost year due to a pile of issues)
For reference here’s the eligible IBWAA players. Continue reading
The Mets have a hole at the shortstop position. Ask any Mets fan, pundit, blogger or media member.
I’ve heard that the Mets need to upgrade their offense, and the only place that is really an open spot to do so is at shortstop. Our infield is mostly set for the next year and we have an outfield that either provides quality defense or is manned by a veteran. We even have a catcher who should be a solid offensive weapon. So the offensive upgrade is at shortstop.
I had advocated for Hanley Ramirez. I still would have taken him, but the amount of money we would have signed him to and the fact that his days at shortstop were likely limited means it’s probably for the best we didn’t throw money at him.
So why not Troy Tulowitzki. There are three points against him; 1. He costs a lot of money, 2. He is injury prone, 3. He would cost at least one top prospect and likely more.
The first point shouldn’t be an issue. Adding Tulowitzki’s contract would make the 2015 Mets expected payroll (including arbitration increases) at about $119 million. That would put the Mets almost dead in the center of team payrolls in 2015. The Mets would be on the hook for $20 million each year through 2019, when he’ll be 35. Then one year of $14 million and an option year of $15 million or a $4 million buyout. So at least $118 million left (Not including bonuses and possibly $5 million contract escalators for the last two seasons.) Fangraphs had a unit of WAR (or a win) valued at about $6 million. Tulo last year earned 5.5 BWAR in about half a season of at bats (319). So in half a season he exceeded his $16 million 2014 season salary by $17 million (6 $/WAR x 5.5 WAR = $33 million). If we were to get that same production, even if it were stretched out over the whole season instead of just half, we’d still have his contract more than paid for. The 2013 season saw Tulo earn 5.3 WAR over 446 innings. He’d still be worth $20 million a year. The 2012 season was Tulo’s worst gathering 0.4 WAR over 181 at bats, which by the 2014 value if a win would be $2.4 mil. A bad break that would be mitigated by the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
So in answering why Tulo seems like he’d be worth the money, I pretty much answered the point about injury. Tulowitzki played in an average of 107 games per season over his 9 year career (117 per season if you eliminate his 26 games in a late call up in 2006 as a season). It’s still more than half the games per season, but ideally you’d like to see him somewhere around 140-160. However, he’s averaged a 4.7 WAR (not counting his 2006 call up). Every season, except for lost years in 2012 (0.4 WAR) and 2008 (0.6) and the 2006 cup of coffee (-0.4), Tulowitzki has been one of the top three shortstops in WAR in Major League Baseball. Tulowitzki’s current hip injury is a little scary for a player at such a mobile position, but the Royals’ Alex Gordon and the Denver Bronco’s Wes Welker have come out of the torn labrum surgery fine, so there is hope he will be a good player upon returning. I mean aren’t we hoping for the same from Matt Harvey.
As for the prospect cost, that’s where red flags start popping up for me. In terms of an offensive upgrade, only three other players can hold a candle to Tulowitzki in recent years, one is the aforementioned Hanley Ramirez, who projects to be a left fielder sooner than later. Another is Jhonny Peralta, who actually led MLB last year in WAR for a shortstop. The Mets could have gotten him but said he was too expensive. In terms of $/WAR he made $34.8 million of his four-year, $53 mil. contract in one season. In the Harvey-less 2014, it would have been a less valuable year, but it could have been enough to get the Mets over .500. The last possible offensive upgrade would be Ian Desmond, who the Mets could have had. Desmond could have been had by sending two top prospects, likely including Noah Syndergaard to the Tampa Bay Rays while assuring that the Washington Nationals received Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar. In this deal the Mets would get one of the best shortstops, but only for one year. The Nationals would get a good short stop and also one of the best ss/2b/lf/etc. in baseball. In fact if that trade went through, the Nationals would have ended up with more WAR based on the previous year’s total.
I would take Desmond, but only with 3-4 years of control. While Tulo is a big expense, at least we’d know that we’d be getting six years of control of a top player after we traded 2-3 top prospects and an MLB player.
Hello folks. J. Lalli here to talk about the Mets starting rotation. Now first and foremost is the rotation Position of Strength or a Piece of S**t? Well the way it looks, it is defiantly a strength. Here’s why. The rotation is deep right now. Now granted we don’t have the “big names” like we all want but lets go over this.
First lets just start with who we have right now. There’s Dillon Gee, Matt Harvey, Jenrry Mejia, Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, Jeremy Hefner and I’ll even throw this one out there Johan Santana. I’ll explain him later. So, working with what we actually have on the roster, I think we all know who should be the ace of the club.
1) Matt Harvey – He’s going to be around for along time, and to be honest I see him as the next David Wright as in he is a gamer who will not quit on you. He gives you quality starts and can go deep into the game which saves the bullpen. Plus he’s young so he will give you a lot of years.
2) Zack Wheeler – The second of the one two punch. The one thing I will say about Zack is I think he was brought up just a touch early. Granted they are using his wisely and mainly because at the time they brought him up it was kind of necessary. I would have like to see him come up around this time of year because you never stop learning in the minors. Either way as a number two for next year, he’s a perfect fit.
3) Jon Niese – Now I know what you’re thinking here, he was the opening day starter in 2013 and you have him at number three! Well, that’s the thing, as good as Jon is the three hole is still a good fit. look at it this way, first you have Matt who is the future of pitching for the team, Wheeler because he is also the next face of the franchise. Jon who is still an ace can go deep into games, however, Jon has a slight problem which I hope he can and will fix. That’s when if he gives up a hit or home run he loses focus and starts throwing grapefruits.
4) Dillon Gee – Dillon has always been a short range pitcher, meaning you can always get at least six innings out him about 77% of the time. Gee has also been a .500 pitcher too so he’s going to be hit or miss. He needs some work to get over that hump of just being another pitcher on the mound.
5) Jenrry Mejia – After coming back from the DL Jenrry has put up some good numbers. Give him a little more time and he will be back in his groove 100%. Now I put him at five because Jenrry is a strong pitcher and knows how to last in his outing. He will also be a perfect set-up for Matt’s next start.
6) Jeremy Hefner – Here’s where I throw convention out the window. Jeremy has delivered very well during his time in the big leagues. He will and has been a great starter. This is where I say the Mets should stick with a six man rotation. Just because everyone else uses an five guy set doesn’t we should follow suit. We have six starters, that means our pitchers are fresher during end of the season. And if anyone does happen to go down, rotation is still in tacked.
Now for that wild pitch I mentioned before, Mr. Met No-Hitter him self Johan Santana. Here’s what I am thinking, yes I know that it’s a long shot for him to get re-signed but if we do, do it for a one or two year deal and please oh please do not over pay him. So we have him back in the rotation and now we have three “Opening Day” starters that can and will go deep into the game. If Johan doesn’t work out at least we can trade him for something and won’t have to give up a lot of money because we are still paying him off. Bobby Bonilla anyone. We’re still paying him until the year 2035! Argh! Different story for a different day.
Time to get excited Mets fans! There’s a player who has some upside and some major league success potentially available! Rejoice, Your Savior Brennan Boesch could be right around the corner.
All kidding aside, Boesch was a trade target in my mind for the Mets back before arbitration. I figured he could be had for a small fee, potentially either for a low level prospect or even (Gasp!) cash considerations (possibly send the cash we got from Detroit for sending them our Rule 5 draft choice).