October 13, 2008

How to fix the Mets (probably the 317th article with the same title)

We can all look back on this roller coaster season and question, second guess, and even criticize the Mets for what they did. Sure they crashed and burned one more time, and I am as hard as they come when judging my team, but I can honestly say, we are better than half the teams in the playoffs. Last year, when we missed the playoffs, we deserved it. We were bad and that's all there is to it. This year was different. We actually were good, we actually deserved it. We were down 7.5 games early on and came back. This was truly a magical season. Sure we blew another opportunity, but I am honestly proud to still say I am a Met fan. I was as depressed as any and still get that feeling when I see the Phillies continue to win, but I know, we will bounce back and overcome our harships.

Now let's talk about fixing this team up. Sure, the Mets have a lot of money, but there are limits. Obviously, if we had an endless supply, you'd see a rotation of Santana, Peavey, Sabathia, Maine, and Pelfrey while having K-Rod as your closer and signing Texiera and Manny in the same breath. Wouldn't everybody love to see this. Obviously this can't happen. Sure, we'll free up a lot of money, but the probability of signing more than one big name guy is highly unlikely. In fact, signing one of them would really be questionable.

Peavy is up for trade. He is the best starting pitcher available available to acquire, however we do not have enough to give up to acquire him. The only way would be to probably through Delgado and F-Mart to them, but then you would have a hole at first (Texiera would need a lot of money as well and signing Peavey and Texiera would be too costly). Also, the Padres have Adrian Gonzalez so they wouldn't need Delgado. So Peavey is out.

Sabathia has shown to be a great National League pitcher for half a year. His problem is not so much us, but it is him. He loves and wants to stay in the National League, but he truley doesn't want to come to the east coast. He is rumored to want to move to the West Coast, leaving the Dodgers the likely candidate for him. We shall see, but I believe it will be hard for him to wear a Met uniform.

Texiera is the best first basemen on the market. With the Mets picking up Delgado's option, rightfully so, Texiera's only way of becoming a Met is through a trade of Delgado. I do question is Delgado can put up numbers next year like he did this year, but we do know he is capable of it, and he comes a lot cheaper than Texiera. Most likely, it will be hard to pry Texiera from the Yankees, because we sure know Hank will be throwing money to players left and right to get his beloved Yankees back to the playoffs.

Manny doesn't like New York. Omar does like Manny. Unfortunately, Omar will probably lose the battle because Manny will require too long a contract and a lot of money. The Dodgers have a ton of money and will definitely be willing to pay Manny with how he got them over the hump single handedly.

K-Rod is a possibility for us. Obviously we need a closer, but obviously, we need a bullpen. By giving him so much money, we would be limiting our ability to acquire other bullpen guys which is truly needed. I do, however, worry that since the Angels, who have the money to sign K-Rod, would let him go, since he has been so good. Overall though, I'd still sign him in a heart beat. Fuentes is good, but he doesn't scare me like K-Rod would. If we're going to be paying 10 million a year (what Fuentes wants) for a closer, I'd rather pay more and get one of the best there is.

Here is my plan for logically fixing the Mets. It will be costly, but not in the sense that we all want. I would get rid of all the bullpen guys with the exception of Joe Smith. I would then bring in many guys who can pitch to both lefties and rigthies. No more of this specialist non sense. Stokes was this way for a while, but then even he blew it. The main part is definitely fix the bullpen obviously. I would keep Smith, and I would get rid of all of the others, even if it means paying their salaries for next year. I would first try to trade them for any possible reliever in return, but if they have no value, which I don't think they do, I would just release them and pay their salaries. I would sign K-Rod if you can win the battle. I think it is a neccessity. I would trade for guys like Houston Street and or Kevin Gregg and make them the eight inning man. I would then bring in three more relievers, either through trade of our current relievers, or through free agency. I would also give Parnell a shot and maybe another young guy, in spring training to see what they got. I also think we will end up trading Nick Evans away. He has not much benefit to us because he is a true first basemen which we have too many players there and he isn't a great outfielder. His hitting was decent, but that looked to be more of a fluke than say Murphy. I do beleive the Mets will trade him to a team and in return get a decent reliever. They may end up packaging a couple of their guys like Castillo, Evans, and some of their relief to get packages in return.

Second base is a huge issue. Here is how to fix it. Get rid of Castillo. There, fixed. I would trade Castillo away for any reliever worth putting in the bullpen. If not, I'd release him and eat his salary for three years. It is worth it. I would then sign Orlando Hudson and his personality to fit right in with the Mets. This will be so much more productive in the batting order than having Castillo there. A lot of people are talking about moving Murphy to second. I love the way this guy hits and he seems more than just a lucky scrub. He looks like a true hitter. I also think he is an awful fielder, no matter where you put him. I don't think second base is the smartest position for him. I think it will be good to use Murphy as a platoon with left, right, and fill in at first, rather than have him be the starting second baseman.

For the rotation, I would sign Ollie back. I know it is highly unlikely, but he is still young. He will demand and receive a long term contract worth a lot of money. It will hurt to sign him and I know his Jeckyl and Hyde ways, but the guy can be great. He will come cheaper than people like Sabathia and you don't really have to worry about injury like you would with Ben Sheets and AJ Burnett. You are going to need two starters next year, and with Ollie (who has streaks where he is untouchable) you would only need one. You can then pay a guy like Derek Lowe, who will demand less years and money than these other guys, as your fifth starter. This would be an incredible rotation with a revamped bullpen.

Catcher is such a bad position. Unfortunately, we don't have anyone real good and Castro gets hurt all the time. We do still have Schneider under contract and there isn't anyone to sign to make Schneider worth releasing. Most likely, we will go into the season with a platoon of Castro and Schneider again, which actually worked out pretty well.

The last hole is quite a difficult one to figure out. Obivously, Church will stay in right, and he was our MVP early on. I don't think he is as bad as he played at the end of last year. I think he is somewhere in the middle of beginning part to the season and the end of the season. He should never have been playing last year and he should be good to go next year. As for left field, we need to bring someone in. Adam Dunn is a terrible fielder. His home runs will definitely help the offense, but the lack of batting average will hurt during rallies. I don't think this is the way to go. He will be costly as well. An even higher price comes Manny Ramirez. Manny will get 4 or 5 years and that is scary because he is 37. That would bring him well into his 40's making a lot of money. If we can get him for 3 years, I would do it. He is one of the best hitters in the game still. This is exactly what we need in the lineup. But with what he is demanding, I think it will be a difficuly sign. Plus, Manny playing for a New York team sounds weird. A cheaper route would be to sign Raul Ibanez. I know he is just as old, but he will be less expensive, plus not require such a long contract. He still can hit well too. He is a very underrated player. I see a platoon with Murphy in the outfield with Ibanez and Church. I think it is valuable to keep Murphy in the lineup, but it is very dangerous because he is such a poor fielder. I also think F-Mart should start to think towards the major leagues because by the end of the year, I believe he could really be an added player to this team. He could give us spark.

***Note, The Mets are likely to make a couple trades this offseason, so if people are wondering why am I talking all of this trade talk for relievers because we have no one to trade, we really do. I learned that if Mota can be traded, anyone can. With Evans and Murphy emerging, the Mets have a couple pieces of trade material. It probably won't warrant too much in return, but at least they have cards to play with. If they do break up the core, Beltran would be the first to go, but this is highly unlikely and would definitely make me angry. They could also pick up Delgado's option and then trade him, but that will probably not happen as well. Castillo and some of their relievers could be traded, but have very little value in return.

So heading into 2009, my Mets batting order and rotation look something like this.
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Orland Hudson, 2B
3. David Wright, 3b
4. Carlos Beltran, CF
5. Carlos Delgado, 1B
6. Ryan Church, RF
7. Raul Ibanez, LF
8. Brian Schneider, C

Bench:
Castro, Anderson, Murphy, Endy

and the Rotation:
1. Johan Santana
2. Mike Pelfrey
3. Oliver Perez
4. John Maine
5. Derek Lowe

and the Bullpen:
Francisco Rodriguez, Cl
Houston Streen, Setup
Joe Smith, Middle Relief
Bobby Parnell, Middle Relief
Eddie Kunz, Middle Relief
Kevin Gregg, Middle Relief

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Manny doesn't like New York? He grew up there. I still would not want that cancer on the mets

Robert Milelli said...

Yes I know, and close to the Mets too. That doesn't mean he likes New York though, don't forget, he was a Sock and we won't have Pedro to recruit him. It would not be a good fit...like you said, a cancer.

Anonymous said...

WHAT ABOUT THOSE PHILLIES!!!

Anonymous said...

NO IBANEZ_ BAD D TOO OLD- Bring up youngsters!!!

Robert Milelli said...

haha, yeah. I'd probably agree with that, but honestly, compared to what we have, he has comparable defense. Plus, his age definitely is less of a factor when you platoon him with a Murphy or Tatis. I'd stick with Murphy and Tatis though, I think that is the best scenario if we aren't going to import one through trade (which will cost a lot). I retract my previous Ibanez suggestions.

Robert Milelli said...

Just a note: Derek Lowe is far from as cheap as I thought. At 16 million a year, he is definitely not worth it. He'd be a great 5th starter, but at that price, it isn't worth paying. I retract that as well. A better fix would be a younger guy. If you're going to pay Lowe that much, you mine as well up the price and give Sabathia Santana's contract, which is very unlikely. If we can sign one starter, I say stay in house. Perez is probably the best value. He will be cheaper than the biggest names and is the youngest at 27, plus we know what we're getting.

Anonymous said...

What! That's your ideal lineup? C'mon, now I know you don't mean that. Omar may not be the best GM out there, but I know he can and will do better than that. I like your starting lineup and it could happen, not so much for the relievers, as I learned Gregg and Street are out of the picture, they're now Rockies'. The one problem I got with your lineup is, too many lefties. I've heard Astros' OF Carlos Lee will be expendable this offseason, I'd rather go after him than go after Ibanez. Mets need a power right hander at LF, they don't need another lefty on the team.

Anonymous said...

I think your lineup is good with the exception of Ibanez. I would go after Lee or Dye rather than Ibanez. I also think that the Mets might go after Burrell.

Your bullpen is completely off. I think that K-Rod will end up in NY but with Juan Cruz setting up.

Thanks!

Robert Milelli said...

Update: Everyone is killing me for Ibanez. He is extremely old, but look at his history. He is extremely underrated. In all honestly, Carlos Lee would require us to trade too much. We probably don't have the power to get Lee. There isn't a really good righty outfielder outfielder. The best we can do is go with Tatis, and this happen to be written when I didn't think they'd sign him. I would LOVE Dye on the team. I think he is so underrated. Same problem with him and Lee though, it would be hard to obtain him. Omar already came out and said he plans to improve pitching and bullpen because he feels the lineup is already ok. Trust me, the lineup I put out is not ideal, I'd rather have Holliday in there haha but I just felt Ibanez is the only feasible one. If you look at Ibanez's stats over the past five years, I think you guys would be really surprised. I do not want to see Pat Burrell however. He strikes out too much and goes in horrendus slumps. How is that completely off, I have K-Rod as the closer. I think you could be right about Cruz setting up, the only thing wrong is Street and Gregg. I really think either Parnell or Kunz will make it. Plus that isn't the whole bullpen, I think they will retain Feliciano and maybe Stokes as well.

Anonymous said...

no raul, yes to dye.
the d-backs have b. lyon and j. curz both FA's, and lyon w/ closing experience. I would sign both, along with k. wood, and j. bimiel. then sign o-dog.
off to chisox for dye - murph, evans, and a P. if that P is not heilman, ship the starter off to the rockies for h. street.

Robert Milelli said...

Hahaha, I would love for that to be the Mets next year. If that is the case, I honestly believe our bullpen will be great, Dye will be a great fit, and we would solve a lot losing Castillo. The only thing we would need is a starter or two. I would love Beimel and K-Rod. If we can get Lyon and Cruz as well, we could plug anyone in to get us from starter to K-Rod. Dye would also give us the power that we lacked that Delgado brought back to us. A lot of people don't realize how bad our offense has been and the main reason is lack of power. In 2006, we had home runs. In 2007, we didn't. In 2008, Delgado brought the power back and Dye would add beautifully in 2009!!

Anonymous said...

i only sign k-rod if its not a 5 yr contract. 3yrs player option for the 4th. wouldn't even need him if others from above were signed.
in all honesty, i feel this is a big off season for omar, who imo has been lacking in building depth, and has shown little vision.

Anonymous said...

Joe Smith, Middle Relief
Bobby Parnell, Middle Relief
Eddie Kunz, Middle Relief
Kevin Gregg, Middle Relief


Just wow! that is one awful middle-relief crew.

Smith is a specialist.
Parnell is not even close.
Kunz is horrible.
So is Gregg.

Mets Tailgate said...

So your plan is to sign 5 Type A free agents? (Lowe, Perez, Ibanez, Hudson, K-Rod) You do realize the Mets would give up a ridic amount of draft picks if they actually did this? You cannot just go out and sign whomever you want without any consequences. Also the team payroll would be through the roof.

Lowe is far from a 5th starter. If signed today, he'd be the #2 behind Santana. He's far superior to Pelfrey, Maine, and ESPECIALLY Ollie.

Ibanez is underrated as a hitter, but not as a player. He is an awful defensive OF. Most fans fail to recognize the importance of defense when assessing players - they only look at offense.

Realistically, they should go after Lowe and a top closer, then try to make a trade or 2 for bullpen help. Hudson would be foolish - $50 million for an injury prone 31 year old? No thanks. What's wrong with Stokes? Guy is cheap and was pretty solid at the end of '08. Could use him as a long-man/spot starter too.

Props for recognizing that the catcher position is fine. That should not be a priority this offseason.

Robert Milelli said...

I like the way you guys think. Remember, the Mets can't do everything. The Mets would not have to give up all of those draft picks due to the rankings of the players. They would give up picks to the highest Elias ranking free agents. Obviously Gregg and Street are out of the picture (Gregg more than Street) but this was written before the trade. Lowe is definitely better than a 5th starter, my point was that if he was at the end of our rotation, it'd be incredible. I wouldn't put Lowe ahead of everyone you mentioned though, he is older and those guys are young. Pelfrey pitched better than him last year and we can only hope he will this year. Also, to who said my middle relief is terrible, look what we had last year haha. It can't get much worse. Mine was just a realistic assessment. I'd love to get the best of the best, but the Mets don't look like they are going to get much in relief other than a closer and possible trade for a set up man. Let's all hope it turns out well. Also, Carlos Lee would be extremely hard to pry away with our farm system. He would be a perfect addition, however very unrealistic. Winter Meetings on December 8th...Key an eye out!!!

Mets Tailgate said...

Rob,

I'm pulling teeth here, but I'd love to see your argument that Pelfrey was better than Lowe. Here's mine:

2008 Stats
Pelfrey: 200 IP, 3.72 ERA, 1.72 K/BB, 0.54 HR/9, 1.36 WHIP
Lowe: 211 IP, 3.24 ERA, 3.27 K/BB, 0.60 HR/9, 1.13 WHIP

(I'm assuming you know what all these stand for) Lowe was superior to Pelf in every meaningful category.

The lesson here is that we cannot allow ourselves as Met fans to be biased for our players in player evaluation. There's just no way Pelfrey was better than Lowe this year, I'm sorry.

Robert Milelli said...

How about the age factor. Please don't insult my intelligence on if I know baseball statistics. I assume you know as a baseball fan that it is more than just numbers. It is about the future. Why would be throw so much money Lowe's way and possibly have what happened with Pedro to us happen again. Now last year Lowe was better that is fine. Honestly, I'd take Pelfrey over Lowe for the future any day. I love Lowe, but not at the price. I am sorry to sound touchy, but I don't like when people insult me on my passion.

Mets Tailgate said...

Rob,

You wrote:

"Pelfrey pitched better than him (Lowe) last year and we can only hope he will this year"

That's all I was addressing, that there's no way you can say Pelfrey was better than Lowe in 2008. Would I rather have Pelfrey going forward - probably. But that's a different topic then who was better last year.

You weren't touchy, you just changed around what you previously wrote that's all.