Here’s My Plan for 2012; What’s Yours Sandy?

An article by posted on November 18, 2011

There are a lot of people throwing their “plans” for the Mets out there, so I figure why can’t I?

I think most if not all of us have come to the realization that the Mets are not printing money at Citi Field. Their biggest offseason move may be bringing the fences in.

However, we start at Catcher:

I think Paulino’s biggest crime as a platoon catcher was that he was acquired by Sandy Alderson.

It clouds people’s judgment. I’m not saying he was an All-Star, but when he was signed what was the message to all of us? “He’s here to hit against lefties” Was it not?

The problem was he was needed to do MORE because Thole proved or is proving he is not a starting catcher.

.289 average, .363 OBP, .389 SLG, .752 OPS 90 AB was Paulino’s lefty splits, yet he had 138 AB versus Righty.

Paulino had a terrible 2nd half, no doubt about it. But if Thole is the starting catcher then the backup is primarily going to be used versus LHP, so if Paulino is not coming back, which I haven’t heard he officially is not then I am looking at:

Kelly Shoppach or Jason Varitek

Shoppach is 31 years old, and from 2009-2011 he has hit .262, with 16 HR, 44 RBI, .372 OBP, .488 SLG and a .860 OPS versus lefties.

Varitek would be a good sign if he could in fact teach Thole something, anything about leadership.

In terms of lefty splits, Varitek has hit .241 with 11HR, 34RBI, .332 OBP, .463 SLG and a .795 OPS from 2009-2011.

If we are assuming Jose Reyes is leaving us, then I feel like the Mets badly will need a veteran SS. Much like the Indians did for Asdrubal Cabrera, I think bringing in Orlando Cabrera would help Ruben Tejada immensely. If you told me that Tejada for his career would mirror Cabrera’s, I’d be happy with that.

If Cabrera is off the table, then Rafael Furcal would be my 2nd choice. Basically, I’d look to get a SS who can be the type of player Tejada should become one day. Omar Vizquel could be a nice option too, but no disrespect to the Hall of Fame Defender but the Mets would need somebody who could step in and start if things with Tejada do not go as planned early on.

In the outfield as of now it looks like it will be Bay-Pagan-Duda, and while I’m rooting for Duda, I don’t trust him. If the Mets didn’t (or don’t) tender Pagan, I would have loved to see a guy like Coco Crisp in CF, but it doesn’t look like that will happen.

I would kick the tires on David DeJesus. I’ve been a fan of his for years, in fact I think I wrote a blog on here about him 2 years ago. He had a TERRIBLE 2011 season, but he’s a Brooklyn native and his terrible 2011 campaign could drive the price way down.

I am not on the “Bring Endy Back” bandwagon, mostly because I think the 4th OF needs to be one that can actually produce because I think the odds of Bay-Pagan-Duda being producers every day is slim to none. I think the 4th OF needs to have a chance to steal a starting job.

If he’s a signing like a Willie Harris, then I do not mind it.

The starting rotation appears to be Johan-Niese-Pelfrey-Dickey-Gee, so in reality, signing any pitcher who thinks they deserve a guaranteed spot in the rotation is out the door. That’s why I can see them bringing Chris Young back. I know Alderson’s critics despise Young but if you think realistically, what free agent pitcher would come to the Mets if he wasn’t guaranteed a spot?

The only ones that would are pitchers with something to prove.

I could see the Mets kicking the tires on guys like Dontrelle Willis, Brandon Webb, and maybe, just maybe, Tim Wakefield.

In the bullpen, those that intrigue me are: Jonathan Broxton, Todd Coffey, Chad Durbin, Scott Linebrink, and of course Joe Nathan.

In terms of a lefty, I prefer Mike Gonzalez to any available, but Josh Grabow wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

I think a big piece to any successful bullpen is the ability to call up players and have them fill-in immediately. I’m not looking at the Mets as a team that can buy a championship right now, so I’d like to see what some of these kids have to offer.

Pitchers like Schwinden, Herrera, and Mejia could play a huge factor in who the Mets do and do not go after in terms of bullpen help.

I think there is enough out there for the Mets to turn their 2012 team into a respectable team on the field.

If the Mets do bring Reyes back, it changes everything. If Ruben Tejada is a SS for the future, and the Mets re-sign Reyes, then Tejada either becomes a 2B for the future, or somebody else’s SS.

If they don’t sign Reyes, then Daniel Murphy may find himself sent elsewhere mostly due to the fact his stock will never be higher. While some believe Wright could be traded this off-season, I do not. If the Mets do not sign Reyes, there is no way they trade Wright during the winter.

Wright will likely benefit from the fences being pushed in, so if he were to ever be traded, it’d be after he improves his numbers.

Don’t forget about Johan Santana either. If he proves to be healthy, will he ask to be traded if this team appears to be a full-on rebuilding one?

After this season, I’d like for Sandy Alderson along with the Wilpon’s to stand at a podium and tell us all what the plan is. I am a patient guy, but I need to know what I’m waiting for and for how long. How bad are things really? I don’t BLAME Alderson like others do.

I believe his job is to HELP whatever problems may exist within this organization. Those problems existed BEFORE he ever got the job.

However, after two years go by, I believe we all deserve some answers on the future of this organization.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

Comments are closed.