Ken Davidoff of the New York Post says that due to lingering payroll flexibility issues the Mets have no margin for errors like the Angel Pagan trade and the Frank Francisco signing. he also points out that their is a lack of organizational depth to execute a significant trade without impacting the major-league team nor the dollars to compete with the big boys in free agency.
Davidoff adds that it’s time for the Mets to start applying the Moneyball principles that have yet to be seen and was why Alderson was brought here in the first place. He says that they need to look at players like Melky Cabrera, Randy Choate, A.J. Pierzynski, Shane Victorino, and Marco Scutaro as players who would give the Mets production and value.
Yup. Let’s go there right at the start. The Mets need to be creative, take risks and buy low. Who better illustrates these values than the man whom the Giants loathed so much they essentially declared, “We’d rather lose without you than win with you”?
We can’t know precisely what sort of player Cabrera will be now that he has been suspended for a positive test for illegal performance-enhancing drugs. We don’t know when he started using them. We won’t know whether he’ll try them again.
So why go after a guy with so many unknowns? Because there is a paucity of quality outfielders, Cabrera’s price figures to be reasonable (perhaps one year at $3 million, The Post’s Joel Sherman reported) and he’s a switch-hitter with New York experience who played extensive center field — to mixed reviews, admittedly — as recently as 2011.
Moreover, given his experience in Web design, maybe Melky could help out the Mets’ IT department as a bonus.
Since the Mets presumably won’t be players in the Rafael Soriano market, and given Frank Francisco’s shaky first year in a Mets uniform, the club should go forward with a “closer by committee” plan and tell manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen their job is to get folks like Francisco, Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin to buy into this.
The Mets have a young lefty in Edgin who has displayed the potential of succeeding against right-handed as well as left-handed hitters. Adding a second lefty would give Collins another weapon, and Choate, 37, is as good and durable a lefty-killer as anyone else out there; he pitched in 80 games for the Marlins and Dodgers last year and limited lefties to a .158 batting average, .243 on-base percentage and .218 slugging percentage. He started his career in the Yankees’ organization and likes New York.
The Yankees’ Russell Martin might be too expensive for the Mets’ tastes, so Pierzynski, 36 in December, might be a better financial fit. His excellent 2012 (a career high 27 homers) looks like an outlier offensively, yet even if he regressed to his 2011 numbers (eight homers and 29 doubles), he’d represent a significant upgrade over Josh Thole. Plus he would bring some New York chutzpah the Mets could badly use.
The center fielder’s free-agent market is tough to peg at this point. He’s coming of his worst season since 2007 and turns 32 in November. But he still steals bases (he was a terrific 39-for-45 with the Phillies and Dodgers in 2012) and fields well. If he falls down to the Mets’ level, with Michael Bourn and Josh Hamilton slated for the most outfield bucks, then the Mets should pounce.
Like with Victorino, there’s no need for the Mets to get caught in a bidding war, in case some team goes gaga over Scutaro’s tremendous October. If the price is reasonable, though, the 37-year-old would be a great fit here, allowing Daniel Murphy to be more of a role player.