October 14, 2008
Where do we go from here?

Now begins the silly season, with predictions sure to arise that will scramble your brains: Signing Sabathia, Lowe, AND Manny; trading Heilman, Schoenweiss, and Castillo for Ichiro; trading Delgado for Tim Lincecum straight up. You get the idea– you´ve seen them before. But we all know that that stuff won´t happen. The question is What will?

The team has a core of position players that won´t be moved: Wright, Reyes, and Beltran. Church will probably get a mulligan for last year´s second half post-concussion problems. I don´t think Schneider and Castro will be moved, mostly because that´s not where the main problems are. Delgado could be traded, but I doubt they could get perceived equal value, so I think he stays.

As to pitchers, our top 3 starters are set : Santana, Maine, Pelfrey. Bullpen: it´s a mess, but with a few additions and subtractions, and with players being used according to their strengths, there is a brighter tomorrow.

So, what does that leave us (aside from the bench)? The Mets need to address 2nd base, left field, 2 starting pitcher slots, a closer, and at least one setup guy. Most of my suggestions are based around FAs, with only one trade idea mentioned (as viable trades are simply unforeseeable).

2nd: While Murphy is doing well in AZ, the Mets just don´t have a recent history of trusting young players. Besides, in recent comments Omar has said that he sees Murphy more at 1B or OF. I think even Omar recognizes the need for a change at 2nd, and that retaining Castillo sends the wrong message and will negatively affect fan mood/ willingness to give the benefit of the doubt, as well as the marketing of the team in their first year at CitiField. While Murphy is a dark-horse candidate, I think Orlando Hudson is the main target among position player Free Agents. Energy, good teammate, good defender, decent bat, and younger.

LF: While Murphy is again a dark-horse candidate, I think Omar will spurn the big-ticket guys like Manny or Burrell, and go instead for someone like Juan Rivera, knowing that he has backup in Endy and Murphy. He can also be a stopgap until F! is ready.

Starters: I think Omar will pass on CC, and instead target Derek Lowe and/or Ben Sheets for the 4th starter slot. Backup FA possibilities (a big step down) include Paul Byrd and John Garland. For the fifth slot, I think he´ll let Niese, Vargas, and Armas (and anyone else he can pick up on the cheap) battle for the job.

Closer: Given the money already committed to Wags, I think Omar will pass on KRod and maybe even Fuentes. A possible target is Kerry Woods. Brandon Lyon has been mentioned, but looking at his numbers, I´m surprised that he was closing this year: lefties his .278 off him, and righties .321! David Weathers has been mentioned too, but he´s 39 and has horrible peripherals. Verdict: maybe Woods, maybe Fuentes, with an unknown dark horse acquired by trade as an outside possibility.

Setup guys: Okay, Sho and Heils have to go, and they may have some trade value left regardless. So after the new closer, our chief targets should be:

FA- Juan Cruz: No contest here. In 51 innings Cruz gave up 34 hits with 31BB and 71Ks. Lefties hit .159 off him, and righties .221. He´s 30 years old. Get it done Omar!

Trade- Joakin Soria(KC): I don´t know what we´d have to give up to get him, but the guy was amazing this year. 67 IP, 39 H, 19 BB, 66K. .167 vs lefties, .171 vs righties. 24 years old. ´Nuf said.

Final comment- Bench: Reserves will probably be Castro, Endy, A.Reyes for middle IF, and Dan Murphy as a IF/OF (1B,3B,LF,PH) utility guy. If I could dump Marlon´s contract I´d try to replace him with Tatis, or a guy like Kevin Millar, who has GRIT! (though I admit this last suggestion is completely out of the blue and I haven´t looked at his numbers at all. He can´t be worse than Marlon though…).

That gives us this:

C – Brian Schneider –
C – Ramon Castro –
1B – Carlos Delgado –
2B – Orlando Hudson
SS – Jose Reyes –
3B – David Wright –
IF/OF –Dan Murphy
IF – Argenis Reyes –
LF – Juan Rivera
CF – Carlos Beltran –
RF – Ryan Church –
OF – Endy Chavez –
OF – Marlon Anderson –

SP – Johan Santana –
SP – Mike Pelfrey –
SP – John Maine –
SP – Derek Lowe / Ben Sheets
SP – Niese/Vargas/Armas/etc.

CL – Kerry Woods
RP – Juan Cruz /(J.Soria)
RP – Pedro Feliciano –
RP – Duaner Sanchez –
RP – Brian Stokes –
RP – Joe Smith –
RP – Eddie Kunz /Ayala

Not bad! I like it… What do you think?

17 Responses to “Where do we go from here?”

  1. Comment posted by fatt lipp on October 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm (#877146)

    I can live with that, Daniel.

    Unfortunately, our single biggest weakness is also historically the most difficult to predict success out of. Bullpen arms are notoriously inconsistent from year to year. Which means that we can go into 2009 feeling great about our newly revamped bullpen (you know, like we did going into 2008), and it could just be the suck all over again.

    Me likey your O-Dog, Rivera and Lowe suggestions.

  2. Comment posted by fatt lipp on October 14, 2008 at 4:40 pm (#877149)

    Dave, sorry about the misnomer.

  3. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 14, 2008 at 4:53 pm (#877157)

    No worries Fatt–
    I hear you on the unpredictability of pen arms. On the other hand, sometimes talent is more or less consistent from year to year. I´d rather start with a guy who has shown something tantalizing than someone who has been consistently mediocre or downward trending.

  4. Comment posted by WilmerHasArrived on October 14, 2008 at 9:31 pm (#877228)

    I like O-Dog, Cruz, and Lowe. Please spare me the Juan Rivera stuff: he is not very good. Left field does not need a star player, perhaps 2B does. But closer, definately, does. Go for Fuentes, however, because K-Rod scares me.

  5. Comment posted by WilmerHasArrived on October 14, 2008 at 9:34 pm (#877229)

    And if Jake Peavy is available, give up F! That’s not enough in all likelyhood, so I’d throw in someone like Parnell+Carp. For some reason, I just refuse to believe these two will be good players.

  6. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 15, 2008 at 2:43 am (#877250)

    I don´t think Rivera that great either, but I think he might be the kind of player Omar goes for. Right-handed, recovering from an injury (2007), a little cheaper, and maybe motivated to prove himself on a short term contract.

  7. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 15, 2008 at 2:45 am (#877251)

    I don´t think Carp will amount to anything. Parnell might be a useful setup guy, but I don´t see him as much more than that.
    And I´d trade F for Peavy too.

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  9. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on October 15, 2008 at 12:08 pm (#877512)

    Good job here, Dave!

    I want no part of Kerry Wood. I’m utterly unconvinced he’ll be able stay healthy for any great length of time. I’m getting more sold on Brian Fuentes. Throwing the money at him instead of K-Rod frees up cash for other areas. Beyond the obvious need for a set-up man, I believe the Mets also need a reliable long man. IMHO, Darren Oliver took a lot of stress off the Mets starting staff and pen in ’06. I don’t see his name mentioned a lot, but I’d take a shot and bring him back.

    As for the offense….I’ve lobbied for Manny but with so many other holes to fill, it appears more and more like a pipe dream that he’ll be signed here. Instead, I’d love to see the Mets get O-Dog. Solid player I’ve always admired, on and off the field. HUGE added bonus with O-Dog: many have compared his clubhouse presence to that of Cliff Floyd – ie, the leader the Mets have been sorely lacking.

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  11. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on October 15, 2008 at 12:10 pm (#877513)

    Beyond the obvious need for a set-up man AND CLOSER….

    Fixed my own sentence :)

  12. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 15, 2008 at 2:49 pm (#877698)

    Thanks MFS!
    On Darren Oliver- he had good numbers this year, but I saw one projection that he might end up as a Type A Free Agent. The cost in draft picks might not be worth it for a long man. He´s also older (younger than me, of course, but it´s all relative…), so that might factor against him too.

  13. Comment posted by dbkoob on October 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm (#878473)

    the bullpen is the same as last years your not helping try this

    here is my idea what do you think about it? Also post your own depth charts
    This should be the depth chart next year for the
    MetsC Brian Scheider,
    Ramon Castro
    1B Carlos Delgado
    2B B. Jerry Hairston Jr. can play everywhere except P,C hit in 81 games (limited by depth chart) with a .326 avg with 6 HR and 15 SB for CIn in 08 can also play (see LF D. below)
    C.Ray Durham, played all games the last 2 years a leader
    D.Jose Valentin (if he can still play)
    (for insurance if A.Daniel Murphy can’t play 2nd base).
    (Go after Brian Roberts or Placido Polanco or Mark DeRosa all free agents in 2010)
    3B David Wright
    SS Jose Reyes
    RF Ryan Church
    CF Carlos Beltran
    LF A. Juan Rivera (why not? he hit 12 HR in only 96 at bats last year hit .310 with 23 in 2006 did not play that much because of the LAA deep outfield (check the depth chart)) should be a bargain with power
    B. Fernando Tatis (if price is right)
    C. Gabe Kapler hit .301 with 8 HR in 96 games play (filled in for Mike Cameron when he was on suspension.) and played when there was a spot in the OF or as Dh? (when playing Al teams) for Mil in 08
    D. Jerry Hairston Jr. can play everywhere except P,C hit in 81 games (limited by depth chart) with a .326 avg with 6 HR and 15 SB for Cin in 08till E.Fernado Martinez is ready.
    1. Johan Santana
    2. John Maine
    3.Mike Pelfry
    4. A. Ryan Dempster can also close 17 and 6 with the cubs in 08, 28 sv in 07 overlooked much cheaper than Sabathia
    B. Ben Sheets 13 and 9 in 08
    C. Oliver Perez (dought it but you never know?)
    5.A.Sidney Ponson showed what he could do with the Yankees 8 and 5 between tex and nyy
    B. Jon Garland 14 and 8 for LAA
    C.Freedy Garcia (cheap with a good overall record 05 last full season 17 and 9. And pitched great for the Tigers down the strech)
    D. Branden Looper is much better as a starter then as a closer
    E.Carl Pavano take a chance on a 1 year non guaranteed contract (if he gets injured he doesn’t earn anything) when he was finally healthy he pitched well for the yankess in 08
    A. Fransisco Rodriguez
    B. Kerry Wood 34 sv (ok if you have Ryan Dempster(see above starter 4.) or David Weathers (see bullpen number 11) for inshuracec.
    Brian Fuentes is a good closer but can be wild.
    d.Ryan Dempster (see starter 4)
    Bullpen (free agent pick ups only)
    1.Darren Oliver welcome back he’s a free agent (pitched for the Mets in 06) was 7-1 with a 2.68 era for LAA in 08
    2.Dennys Reyes was 3-0 with a 2.33 era in 08 with MIn. has a 0.89 era with 50.2 innings pitched in 06
    3.Arthur Rhodes had a 2.04 era between Sea and Fla in 08
    4.Russ Springer had a 2.32 era for Stl in 08
    5.Will Ohman 3.68 era for Atl in 08
    6.Juan Cruz 2.61 era with Ari in 08
    7.Doug Brocail had a 3.93 with Hou in 08
    8. Joe Beimel had a 2.02 era with Lad in 08
    9.Brian Shouse 5-1 with a 2.81 era as a reliver for the Mil bullpen in 08.
    10. Jeremy Affeldt proved his worth with Cin in 08 with a 3.33 era and had a 3.51 era in Home run Heaven Col in 07
    11.Rudy Seanez had a 3.53 era with Phi in 08
    12. David Weathers wasn’t good when he was back with the Mets but last 3 years with Cin his Max era was 3.59 he also had 33 sv in 07. Said he doesn’t want to close.
    13. Mark Hendrickson good in 1 inning bullpen role for marlins when he became part of bullpen in 08the
    chart above is not a dream chart it is a realistic one (that’s why C.C. Sabathia and Orlando Hudson is not on the list

  14. Comment posted by dbkoob on October 16, 2008 at 12:52 pm (#878474)

    For a free agent list the one I used at least go to

  15. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 16, 2008 at 2:07 pm (#878583)

    I don´t use relief pitcher ERA as an evaluation stat because it´s useless. I prefer to look at Batting Average Against and K/BB ration.
    How old is Ray Durham anyway?
    Sidney Ponson? Carl Pavano?? No thank you.

  16. Comment posted by Big Bob the sluggah on October 16, 2008 at 10:26 pm (#878851)

    If you actually think that Soria will be traded you are using high quality prison meth. He’s probably going to be switched to starting, as that is what he came up through the minors as, and he has the stuff to make it as a starter. in addition, he’s one of the only stars on that KC team, and would probably take Niese and Murphy as a starting point. It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul, and a really, really bad idea.

  17. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 17, 2008 at 6:13 am (#879030)

    I didn´t say we could get Soria, just that I´d like to! Ok, maybe that falls into the category of the silly trade ideas I led off with…

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  19. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on October 17, 2008 at 8:10 am (#879032)

    BTW Dave, Kevin Millar is an interesting name you bring up.
    I’ve liked him since his Florida days.
    Could be a very good role player for the Mets and a needed clubhouse presence.
    Although he’s 37, he’s a righty bat and his 20HR/72RBI are nothing to sneeze at.

  20. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on October 17, 2008 at 6:01 pm (#879361)

    There was some talk about Millar being a target at the trade deadline, but that was probably just writer/fan speculation. Still, better than Marlon for sure…