Have Our Priorities Shifted From Winning To Something Else?
Buster Olney of ESPN spoke to an agent who told him that a strong postseason by Rangers starter C.J. Wilson could set him up for a five or six-year contract worth between $85-$100MM this winter when he becomes a free agent. A weak postseason could bring a potential deal down to five years and $60-$65MM.
Basically, Wilson will average between $12-15 million dollars annually, which is par for the course for a pitcher this caliber.
In his first year as a starter in 2010, Wilson won 15 games and posted a 3.25 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He had a high walk rate of 4.1 to go with 170 strikeouts in 204 innings pitched. Not a bad debut for any starting pitcher especially a southpaw.
In 2011, Wilson knew the Rangers would be counting heavily on him to replace Cliff Lee and he delivered an All Star performance and improved in all facets of his game. He cut his walk rate by over 25%, increased his strikeout rate to 8.3 and his 2.78 K/BB rate was a career high. He led the AL in starts with 34 and in 223 innings pitched he finished with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
He outperformed C.C. Sabathia and won’t cost nearly as much. Both are 30, but Sabathia has over 2,300 innings of wear and tear on his arm and let’s face it, his 300+ pounds are becoming a bit of a concern at this stage of the game.
I’ve already read plenty of Mets posts/comments here and on other sites knocking Wilson from here to Sunday with excuses that he’s a fluke, his two years as a starter are not enough of a test, he’s past his prime, etc. I don’t buy it for one second… I think it’s the money thing again as more and more Mets fans would rather pass on a top performer than pay him what he’s worth or market value. Weird.
As I’ve said before, many fans have become too conscious and maybe even obsessed with keeping the Wilpon’s profit margins fat. Their eyes are focused on expenses and payroll, instead of ERAs and RBIs likfe fans did before the Twitter-age.
You look at C.J. Wilson’s numbers and compare them to what was a pathetic 2011 performance by our rotation and you would think the answer would be so obvious. Definite upgrade, right? You would think all Mets fans would be drooling for a pitcher like Wilson, but no, not in Flushing. There’s something wrong with the water supply.
Shockingly, some fans have no problem with bringing back the same five starters including tendering Mike Pelfrey (4.74 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) and re-signing Chris Capuano (4.55 ERA, 1.37 WHIP). And don’t forget those numbers were skewed by a mammoth ballpark. Pelfrey had a 5.94 ERA on the road and a .305 BAA, while Capuano countered with a 5.42 ERA and .292 BAA. Can you believe that?
There’s also a contingent suffering from a mass delusion that Wheeler, Harvey and Familia are taking the Mets to the post season in 2013 or 2014 and we should just wait for them. I’ve seen this before, it’s called Generation K Syndrome. Last year at this time Jenrry Mejia was on this short list… you see how fickle fate can be in baseball when all you do is count on hatchlings?
The Mets will have you believe that Johan Santana will be back and pitching like the ace he was before come Opening Day… Seriously, who among you is really drinking that particular flavor of Koolaid? His projected return this season was a series of “setbacks” that were never labeled as such… Shhh… Don’t say that word… And he’s already been shutdown for the winter – so not one pitch thrown to a major league hitter in real game action in 18 months…
A five year deal for C.J. Wilson should be a no-brainer… Especially when the Mets first round draft pick is protected. Especially since it’s been forever since we’ve had a legit No. 1 and No. 2 starter. Especially because even if one the kids is ready by 2013, he’ll have the same growing pains as Jonathan Niese or Dillon Gee and may not reach his stride for years after that and will simply not be thrust into the ace role – use your heads. So what is everyone so afraid of?
Does anybody even want to make an attempt to play meaningful games in September next season?
Does winning matter anymore?
Is this what happens when you make a movie from a bestseller that glorifies a team that never won a championship?
What if you play this Looney-Tunes waiting game for the next five years and we’re still no closer to contention than we are now… Then what?
The odds of that playing out are a thousand times greater than the notion that Wheeler, Harvey and Familia will all come up and do their best Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Gary Gentry impressions and lead us to our third World Series championship in 2014.
Is this front office incapable of multi-tasking?
Is it that difficult a task to contend now while also building a sustainable future?
That must certainly be the case because I still can’t believe they traded the team’s best slugger and best reliever, but made no counter moves to replace them while the team battled for a Wild Card. They hung the entire team out to dry, and that’s exactly what the team did after that.
R.A. Dickey, who’s now my favorite current Met, was pissed and couldn’t believe it either. The players got the shaft and Terry Collins had to call an emergency meeting the next day to cool down all the hot tempers in a shocked clubhouse.
Somebody is getting ready to comment that the pitching went downhill after that, that’s why they tanked after those trades….
Really? Guess what, C. J. Wilson is available, you want to remedy that situation right here and right now?
Yeah, I didn’t think so…
Like I said, there must be something in the water supply – that’s why I stick to bottled water.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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