February 2, 2008
Quick thoughts on the fallout

First let me say that I´m thrilled that we now have Johan for the next 7 or 8 years. We desperately needed a top pitcher, and I´m psyched that we got him. Kudos to Omar!

Given that, I´ve been thinking about our needs over the next 3-4 years. We are set at 2B, SS, 3B, and CF. We have solutions at RF and C that could be upgraded, but are acceptable options. We have a corner OFer (THM!/Fernando!) who should be ready in 09 or ´10, meaning that at most we´ll need a 1 year fill-in there.

What we´re lacking down the road is a new 1B, back of the rotation guy, and closer. Let´s look at that.

1B– Delgado is signed thru this year, with an option for .09. On the farm we have Carp and Evans. The most prominent, but expensive FA will be Teixeira. Given the size of Santana´s contract, I imagine that Mets management is hoping that Carp and Evans will have great years (Carp was injured for part of 07, which affected his stats; he should be at NO this year), and that in either 09 or ´1o they will be able to hand the job to one of them. Failing that, the high cost of Teixeira will likely make them think twice.

SP– I´m sure that the Mets will re-sign Pedro to a 2 or 3 year extension after the season, barring a complete collapse on his part. The marketing opportunities for Citifield are too great to ignore. Johan and Pedro heading up the rotation is a marketing director´s dream (a GM´s dream too). After that it gets a little cloudier. Maine is under our control, but I´m not totally sold on him. He had a dicey second half, which to me means the jury is still out. In spite of that, I think we can count on  ´09-´10 rotations headed by Santana – Pedro – Maine. Ollie Perez is a FA with Boras as his agent, so if the price gets too high Omar might be hesitant. El Duque is gone after 08. This will be a critical year for Pelfrey, Vargas (yes, Vargas) and Niese. Niese is probably too far away to be a factor for 09 (he´ll likely spend this year at Bing). I´m sure that Omar would like to have Pelfrey step into the rotation in 09, and have Vargas as a fallback if Ollie P gets too expensive. Barring that, Omar could go FA again to sign a 4 or 5 slot starter as insurance or as a stopgap. That´s why the talk of Lohse doesn´t really surprise me. Freddy Garcia wouldn´t surprise me either.

Closer- We´ve got Wags thru 09, with an option for ´10. Given Omar´s recent drafts and trades, I´d guess that he´s hoping for Kunz or Burgos to step in as the replacement in ´10 or ´11, with Rustich as another possibility (though I wouldn´t be surprised to see him tried as a starter this year, given his selection of pitches).  I´d also think that Pelfrey is an option here if he doesn´t pan out as a starter, but he´d have to show some more aggressiveness to fit into the closer´s role.

In conclusion, I think that the core of the team is set, and very solid for the next 4 years. Power is a bit of a concern, but if THM! and Carp develop a bit more pop, than that worry may go away. The budget will be a factor in decision making for the next few years, but hopefully the young guys will step up and fill the supporting roles for us. I´m looking forward to following the team going forward, as I think they´ll be solid contenders for the foreseeable future.

LET´S GO MET´S!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps– I´m very curious about what their early draft strategy will be this year…

4 Responses to “Quick thoughts on the fallout”

  1. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on February 2, 2008 at 10:41 am (#603894)

    apostrophe s??? Met´s??? Oy veh…

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  3. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on February 3, 2008 at 9:40 am (#604213)

    Good journal, Dave. Lots to ponder.

    Just a few of own comments:

    – IF Delgado bounces back in 08 (I’m in the camp saying he will), there’s always the possibility his option could be picked up OR the Mets could make a run at Texiera. I just don’t see a strong viable, internal option on the horizon. Until I see otherwise, Carp and Evans do not excite me.

    – Church could surprise this year. So in 09, the Mets could very well go with Church and FMart in the corner spots. Alou will be long gone after 08.

    – The Mets (and most teams) seem to have a tendency to go for established closers. Joe Nathan would be a great choice, but the timing may be off since Billy is signed through 09 (with an option to boot). However, imho, right now there’s no reason to think Wagner won’t be more than adequate until 2010.

    Finally, there’s the free agent market and trades. Given the coup of landing Santana, I can envision Minaya getting his extension (especially if the Mets make the playoffs).

  4. Comment posted by rfloh on February 4, 2008 at 6:56 am (#604763)

    Besides Texeira, while he is an OF presently, Adam Dunn is also an FA in 2009.

    If the RS don’t pick up his option, Manny Ramirez would be interesting, depending on how he does this year: whether last year was a temporary injury caused decline.

    Depending on how he performs this season, Adam Laroche of the Pirates could be interesting. He struggled badly in April of 2007, and was decent the rest of the year. His power did decline: HR / F rate from 21.6% in 2006 to 11.5% in 2007, and on contact SLG from 758 to 597. He will have 5 years of service time after the 2008 season.

    For established closers, Beane has been shopping Huston Street around. Street should be an FA after the 2010 season.

  5. Comment posted by Super T on February 4, 2008 at 9:19 pm (#605363)

    Duaner Sanchez was looking like he would have made an excellent closer before his one very unlucky cab ride. Maybe, he can get back to that level.

    As great as it is to dream about possibly adding Texiera after this season the signing of Santana, and the money that will be needed for Pedro and Ollie after this season will pretty well rule that out, IMHO.