Mets Merized Online » John Lackey http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 02 Feb 2016 14:00:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.12 Sandy Alderson Did What Sandy Alderson Does http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/sandy-alderson-did-what-sandy-alderson-does.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/sandy-alderson-did-what-sandy-alderson-does.html/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 18:27:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=162358 alderson getty imagesSandy Alderson is a hard nosed General Manager. As we’ve seen in past trades, he gets what he wants and doesn’t give up anything more than he feels he has to. Yesterday, the trading deadline came and went with the Mets making exactly zero moves. They didn’t land the big bat they so desperately need, they didn’t move any of their young pitchers and they weren’t able to get out from under the Chris Young or Bartolo Colon contracts. In short, Sandy Alderson did what he does best.

The Mets could go on a run in the second half of the season but we know that they are built to win next year. While we’ve been hearing that for a few years, next year there will be no excuse. Matt Harvey will return to pitch alongside whichever pitchers are still here and David Wright and Curtis Granderson will anchor the offense. With an eye on 2014 there was no reason for Alderson to back down at the trading deadline.

He’ll have the entire off season to try and land another slugger and while it would have been nice to have that guy this year, they’ll really need him next year.

Colon represents another interesting development for Alderson. While John Lackey is six years younger than Colon with a much better contract situation, there isn’t a great discrepancy in their stats. Lackey has a 3.60 ERA while Colon has a 3.88 after 21 starts this year. Lackey was able to bring back Allen Craig and Joe Kelly from the Cardinals (from the Red Sox). If that’s the case, Colon should be able to get a similar return if Alderson is willing to eat some of the contract.

Free agency is becoming a harder and harder market to win in, especially with a payroll like the one Alderson is dealing with. Under the circumstances, paying a part or all of Colon’s salary will allow them to bring in a much better player, similar to Craig, without dipping into free agency. Although Alderson has publicly stated he would not eat any part of Colon’s deal, you’d imagine that if the right player was out there, his tune would change.

Colon allows Mets fans to stay focused on August 31st, the waiver trade deadline. Assuming Colon passes through waivers, the Mets could elect to trade him to a playoff contender if there is an unforeseen injury sometime before the end of August. Colon would obviously help a lot of teams out there and the Mets won’t have room for him next year. If he gets claimed off of waivers then the Mets will send him packing, freeing up $13 million or so for next year.

Sandy Alderson spent the trading deadline doing what he does. He didn’t overpay. He didn’t get bullied into a trade. He held onto one of the best hands in major league baseball and will be poised to make the move he wants to make once it presents itself in the off season.

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10 Free Agents The Mets Didn’t Sign http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/10-free-agents-the-mets-didnt-sign.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/06/10-free-agents-the-mets-didnt-sign.html/#comments Sun, 13 Jun 2010 13:07:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=28953 Looking back on the season as it is, and the possible free agents that the Mets could’ve signed, I figured it may be best to look at 4 pitchers and 6 hitters that the Mets didn’t sign, and in a few days I’ll do a free agents the Mets did sign recap.

Pitchers

John Lackey – A very rough start to the season, but Lackey has rebounded somewhat. Lackey is 7-3 but has allowed 93 hits in 81 innings, walking 35 and striking out 44 putting up a 4.54 ERA. Lackey has only has one walk-free outing, and that was on June 11th. He has only K’d more then 3 in a game 5 times, with 6 being his season high. If Lackey would’ve been signed, then LF would’ve been filled from within or with a much cheaper player then Jason Bay.

Randy Wolf – Although Wolf has had some tough luck, he is 4-6 with a 5.31 ERA. He has struck out 49, but walked 39 and  allowed 88 hits. Essentially, he’s a bend-not-break pitcher, and he’s spent most of his season bending, with only 4 QS in his 13 outings.

Joel Pineiro – After walking 27 all of last year in 214 innings, Pineiro already has 21 walks in 84 innings. He’s been striking out more batters, but his 4.56 ERA says that when contact is being made, its being sent far. 11 HR allowed all last year, 9 up to this point. Also has given up 9 runs in 2 starts this year.

Jason Marquis – Currently on the DL, but that is probably a good thing. Jason went 8.1 innings, giving up 20 runs and allowing him to hold his 0-3 record and his 20.52 ERA closely. Signing him would’ve just been more money the Mets couldn’t have spent to replace him.

Hitters

Bengie Molina – After a torrid start where he was hitting well over .400, Molina has calmed down, hitting .261 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI. Uncharacteristically, however Bengie has walked 12 times to his 16 strikeouts. He also had a DL stint so far, and has only thrown out 19% of runners. Looking like a good idea to not sign him in retrospect.

Matt Holliday – The 120 Million Dollar Man is putting up decent numbers, but nothing near his worth hitting .295 with 6 HR and 25 RBI with 6 steals. With Albert Pujols hitting in front of Holliday, one would expect those numbers to be much higher but Holliday isn’t putting up the numbers

Garrett Atkins – .216/1/9 is his BA/HR/RBI slash line. He has since lost his starting position as the Orioles 1B to a combination of Rhyne Hughes/Ty Wigginton.

Johnny Damon – .280/3/18/4 is his BA/HR/RBI/SB slash, and nothing here says he is worth more then his 1 yr/8 million dollar deal, but it was to be expected once he was moved out of Yankee Stadium and that short RF porch his home run production would plummet.

Adam LaRoche – .250/7/36 is his BA/HR/RBI slash line. A notoriously slow starter, his average to above-average defense makes these stats tolerable until he decides its the 2nd half of the year and goes bonkers.

Chone Figgins – .228/0/16/13 is his BA/HR/RBI/SB line. Chone is a usually strong BA producer, but has been used at 2B and has not been able to consistently hit. He is still walking at a healthy pace, but it can’t offset the fact that he isn’t hitting the ball well.

It is always easier to look back on a situation and say the best decisions were made as an organization, but the Mets did not bite on any of these players who were grossly overpaid and have reaped the benefits of having some financial freedom going into next year to fill key positions that may be opening, or to cut ties with other positions that may be financially prudent (Castillo-release, anyone?). By not making snap-decisions, the Mets have produced an over .500 team without adding a plethora of marquee-type free agents.

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A Few More 2010 MLB Staff Predictions http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/03/a-few-more-2010-mlb-predictions.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/03/a-few-more-2010-mlb-predictions.html/#comments Tue, 30 Mar 2010 16:23:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=23768 Here are few more 2010 MLB predictions, before we unveil all of our 2010 Mets predictions later today.

Which MLB free agent will be the biggest bust in 2010?

Jeff S. –  John Lackey
Dave L. – Kelvim Escobar
Tom S. – Joel Pineiro
Satish R. – Randy Wolf
Michael B. – Joel Pineiro
Rob S. – Jason Bay
Brandyn C. – Ben Sheets
Joe D. – John Lackey

Which MLB free agent signing will have the best impact?

Jeff S. – Jason Bay
Brandyn C. – John Lackey
Michael B. – Jason Bay
Dave L. – Matt Holliday
Tom S. – John Lackey
Satish R. – Jason Bay
Greg P. – Jason Bay
Joe D. – Jason Bay

Who will be the first manager fired this season?

Jeff S. - A.J. Hinch, D-Backs
Brandyn C. – Ron Washington, Rangers
Rob S. – Ron Washington, Rangers
Michael B. – Dave Trembley, Orioles
Dave L. – Jerry Manuel, Mets
Tom S. – Dusty Baker, Reds
Satish R. – Cito Gaston, Blue Jays
Greg P. – Ron Washington, Rangers
Joe D. – Ron Washington, Rangers

Who will throw the season’s first no-hitter?

Jeff S. – Cliff Lee
Brandyn C. – Justin Verlander
Rob S. – Josh Johnson
Michael B. – Josh Johnson
Dave L. – Zach Grienke
Tom S. – Ricky Nolasco
Satish R. – Justin Verlander
Greg P. – Jon Lester
Joe D. – Tim Lincecum
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Halladay To Phillies, Lackey To Red Sox, Jack Squat To Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/halladay-to-phillies-lackey-to-red-sox-jack-squat-to-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/halladay-to-phillies-lackey-to-red-sox-jack-squat-to-mets.html/#comments Tue, 15 Dec 2009 02:51:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=17362 On a day when a few extra coals have been added to the Hot Stove, the Phillies are close to trading for ace pitcher Roy Halladay, while Jon Heyman of SI.com is reporting that John Lackey will be signing a five-year, $85 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.

In related news, the Mets have announced the signing of Jack Squat.  Squat hasn’t done much in the past and might go unnoticed in the Mets clubhouse, but that is due to the fact that no one ever knows he’s there.  Since he wasn’t a Type A or Type B free agent, the Mets pounced on Squat since they knew he would sign for next to nothing.

I have to joke about this because if I didn’t, I’d be crying.  The Mets are just twiddling their thumbs watching players they should have acquired not only sign with other teams, but get traded to teams that will have a great impact on where the Mets will finish in 2010 and beyond.

Not only are the top pitchers being signed and/or traded to other teams, but now the Mets might have to overpay for pitchers such as Jason Marquis and Joel Piñeiro so that they don’t sign with other teams.  I have nothing against either pitcher, but what if Santana gets hurt again like he did at the end of the 2009 season?  Neither Marquis nor Piñeiro is good enough to be the ace of a staff the way Halladay and Lackey were with the Blue Jays and Angels, respectively.

The 2010 Mets with a staff of Santana, Marquis/Piñeiro, Pelfrey, Maine and some $36 million pitcher looks a lot like the 2009 staff, meaning mediocre at best.  Of course, on the bright side, the Red Sox might not be able to afford Jason Bay now that Lackey will be getting a couple of bucks from them.  Unfortunately, Jason Bay can’t pitch and now that Halladay and Lackey appear to be off the radar, there is a dearth of ace-type starters for the Mets to consider.

The Citi Field press conference room is resembling a ghost town.

Let’s just put it this way.  The way the Mets have gone about this offseason, it looks like they’re taking the “let’s take our time and see how this all plays out” approach.  What might have worked in the past is not working this time around.  Omar Minaya can’t let other teams, especially his main rivals, scoop up player after player while he waits intently in the Citi Field press conference room for the player introduction that’s not going to happen.

While teams like the Phillies and Red Sox are giving their fans awesome stocking stuffers, Mets fans are just getting lumps of coal in their stockings.  At least we’ll be able to use that coal to heat up our stoves because it sure looks like the Mets’ hot stove isn’t using it.

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What Does Lackey To The Red Sox Mean For Mets? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/what-does-lackey-to-the-red-sox-mean-for-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/what-does-lackey-to-the-red-sox-mean-for-the-mets.html/#comments Mon, 14 Dec 2009 18:56:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=17342 According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports, free agent pitcher John Lackey may be close to signing a deal with the Boston Red Sox. He writes,

Free-agent right-hander John Lackey underwent a physical Monday with the Red Sox, an indication that he is close to an agreement with the team, according to a major-league source.

Rosenthal also speculates that the deal is expected to be similar to the five-year, $82.5 million contract that the Yankees awarded free-agent right-hander A.J. Burnett last winter.

Obviously this is a big blow to any chance that Lackey would end up signing with the Mets, who failed to even make an offer because as a team source said, “we are focused on Jason Bay right now.”

In my opinion if the Red Sox do indeed sign Lackey, and it sure looks that way, it makes signing Jason Bay all the more important. It also now puts Jason Marquis and Joel Pineiro squarely in the Mets’ sights, like it or not.

That said, it pisses me off that no offer was tendered to Lackey who would have been a more valuable acquisition for a team that desperately needs a compliment to Johan Santana.

I didn’t realize that the Mets front office has become so inept that it is only capable of focusing on one free agent player at a time.

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Mets To Make Two Offers; Bengie Molina and John Lackey? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/mets-to-make-two-offers-bengie-molina-and-john-lackey.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/mets-to-make-two-offers-bengie-molina-and-john-lackey.html/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2009 16:24:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=17191 Steve Popper of the Bergen Record is reporting that the Mets will make two contract offers before leaving the Winter Meetings today.

Based on additional reporting from Adam Rubin of the Daily News, one of those offers will most likely be to free-agent catcher Bengie Molina. Earlier reports yesterday that the Mets had already made an offer turned out to be inaccurate.

Also, there is some buzz around Twitter that the second offer could be for starting pitcher John Lackey. However, this has not been confirmed by any reliable source so please take it with a grain of salt.

The Mets did meet with the agents for John Lackey last night, so it wouldn’t be far fetched to think that an offer could be forthcoming.

Of course it’s a 2-way street as well. Making an offer is only half the battle and the easy part. It’s accepting the offer that usually proves to be more elusive.

Stay tuned for more updates on this…

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Sticker Shock Has Mets Looking At Lackey Again http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/sticker-shock-has-mets-looking-at-lackey-again.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/sticker-shock-has-mets-looking-at-lackey-again.html/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2009 03:30:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=17111 Jon Heyman of SI.com got a few laughs tonight when he said the following on Twitter moments ago,

Mets taking a little closer look at Lackey after getting sticker shock on middle-rung starters. Might rather pay for ace.

I guess when the Mets learned that the Milwaukee  Brewers’ offer to starting pitcher Randy Wolf was around three years for $30 million, they freaked.

I surmise that when the agent for Joel Pineiro mentioned the words “four-year deal” the Mets went absolutely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Hey, whatever it takes right?

If sticker shock was all it was gonna take to stir the Mets into action, all that matters in the end is that they sign the best players and John Lackey is clearly at the head of the class.

There hasn’t been much to rave about for us Mets fans so far this off season, but I think it’s a good sign that the Mets are now shopping at Best Buy instead of Family Dollar.

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Mets Attempts To Sign Randy Wolf, “Fruitless” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/mets-attempts-to-sign-randy-wolf-fruitless.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/mets-attempts-to-sign-randy-wolf-fruitless.html/#comments Tue, 08 Dec 2009 22:44:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=17077 Jon Heyman of SI.com reported via Twitter that the Mets attempts to try and sign free agent starter Randy Wolf appear to be “fruitless”.

It now appears almost certain that he will sign with the Milwaukee Brewers for three years and approximately $9 million dollars per season.

The Wolf to the Brewers rumors really intensified last night, but earlier today some had reported that the Mets still had a chance to cut in and make a move. However those efforts now appeared to have failed.

The Mets seemingly ignored Randy Wolf a year ago choosing instead to sign Oliver Perez for three years at $12 million per year. Wolf wound up taking a one year deal with the Dodgers and had a solid season.

It’s too bad because he was one of the better pitchers in “Group B” after John Lackey who was all alone in “Group A”.

It’s back to the drawing board for Omar and company as he seemingly gets outbid and out maneuvered by a smaller market team.

I guess everybody is getting in on the act now.

Do you require anymore evidence that the Mets will not be going hard after any of their targets, and that they do no have the stomach for any bidding wars?

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Another Winter Meetings Wish List http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/winter-meetings-wish-list.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/winter-meetings-wish-list.html/#comments Tue, 08 Dec 2009 12:00:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=17031 Yesterday the winter meetings officially began in Indianapolis and as usual some trades were apparently made and then it turned out that there was no trade. In some cases the two teams involved in the trade had not even spoken to each other.  This is the joys of covering the winter meetings.  In the case of the Mets a Philadelphia paper reported that the Mets traded Luis Castillo as part of 3 team trade that had the Mets acquiring Pat Burrell.  Thankfully, that trade was proven false and as of this writing it does not look like it’s even going to happen.  Burrell is an overrated hitter and not much of defender in the outfield and the idea of him playing  first base was not a good one as he hasn’t played that position in close to a decade.  Burrell’s offensive numbers in the past were aided because he played at Citizens Bank Park - a hitter’s paradise. Playing half of his games at Citi Field, Burrell would be lucky to total 20 homeruns and that’s a stretch.

Edwin Jackson yesterday was also rumored to be joining the Mets, but that rumor was also shot down less than 20 minutes later.  Unfortunately, we live in an age where the quest to break the news, outweighs the responsibility to accurately report the news, and it frequently leads to the kind of inaccurate reporting we saw on Day 1 of the 2009 Baseball Winter Meetings.

Regardless, those rumors did get me to think about what I would like to see happen at the winter meetings for the Mets this year. 

My wish list for the winter meetings begins with a starting catcher. I’m hoping that the Mets are done signing every backup catcher on the market, and will now focus on acquiring a starting catcher for the 2010 season.  As we all know, the team is very high on Bengie Molina and would prefer to sign him, but the problem is that Molina is said to be wanting a 3 year deal.  There’s no way that the Mets can give into him.  Omar cannot cave into any of the pressure that Molina and his agent are putting on him regardless of how much he wants him.  It’s very unlikely that any other team would give Molina a 3 year deal, and Omar cannot give in to the players demands as he did last year when he agreed to give Oliver Perez a 3 year deal.

It’s important to remember that the 2010 starting catcher would be a one year stop gap, and that Josh Thole, barring a major setback, will be the everyday catcher for the Mets in 2011.  The Mets did sign a very good defensive catcher last week in Henry Blanco, and they also have Omir Santos and Chris Coste. Rod Barajas is still available and would be a good alternative to Molina, and Dioner Navarro could possibly be non-tendered and become available as well. The bottom line is that the Mets have options and are the ones sitting in the driver’s seat, not Molina.

The second item on my wish list is to get a starting pitcher.  The Blue Jays are reportedly taking offers for their ace Roy Halladay, and besides the huge cash outlay that Halladay would require in an extension. it’s going to require a bunch of top prospects be sent to Toronto in exchange for Halladay’s arm.  The Mets farm system is not very deep at all, and trading away our best prospects will set this organization back so far it could take years to recover.

It’s imperative that the Mets focus all of their attention toward signing free agent John Lackey.  He will not cost as much per year as Halladay, and of course he won’t cost the Mets any of the prospects that Halladay will.  The  Mets need to sign Lackey and then go after a second tier pitcher like Joel Pineiro, Randy Wolf, and Staten Island’s own Jason Marquis, who wants desperately to be a Met.

Finally I want Matt Holliday.  He will cost a ton of money, but his bat and power is much needed for this team next season and beyond.  He is not exactly the best defensive player, but he is still an upgrade over what we had last season. Holliday would be a force in the lineup and provide much needed protection for David Wright.

I know my list is long and costly, but this is what I believe the Mets need to do for them to be competitive next season.

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Twitter Hot Stove Update: Ryan Doumit, John Lackey, Nick Johnson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/twitter-hot-stove-update-ryan-doumit-john-lackey-nick-johnson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/twitter-hot-stove-update-ryan-doumit-john-lackey-nick-johnson.html/#comments Mon, 07 Dec 2009 23:39:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16993 According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Mets are expected to meet with the agent for John Lackey tonight, among many other meetings.  Olney adds that he doesn’t know if the Mets would be able to meet his financial demands which are reportedly expected to exceed $100 million dollars according to one report.

Joel Sherman reported via Twitter that the Mets are one of several teams that are looking at Kelvim Escobar who might pitch in Venezuela later this month to prove he is healthy. Escobar had labrum surgery in August of 2008.

Jon Morosi tweeted that there are currently four unknown teams interested in Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit. Ventures a guess that it could be the Giants, Blue Jays and Mariners, but as long as we are venturing guesses would it be okay if I were to speculate, or better yet hope, that the Mets are one of those four teams?

Jerry Crasnick tweeted that Elmer Dessens could still re-sign with the Mets, though the pitcher has talked to the Dodgers and Padres.Apparently the Mets like Dessens because he could be a great influence on Oliver Perez and could help Ollie elevate his game. Wow, what a reach.

You may have heard that rising star Edwin Jackson of the Detroit Tigers, was a a New York Met for about one two minutes today as a comment overheard in the hotel lobby went viral. It wasn’t long until it was officially ruled dead and buried. Now it seems the Yankees could be in on him and Curtis Granderson too for that matter. Bob Nightengale of USA Today said the Tigers are very close to a deal.

According to another tweet from Jayson Stark, the Mets are in a group of seven teams that are all kicking the tires on first baseman Nick Johnson, 31, who is seeking a two-year deal. I believe Johnson is the last thing the Mets need right now, especially coming off a season in which their players logged a record number of days on the Disabled List.  

It looks like the St. Louis Cardinals are on the verge of signing pitcher Brad Penny and that only a scheduled physical stands in the way.

Here is a recap of some of the things Mets GM Omar Minaya had to say to reporters this afternoon in Indianapolis.

Brian Costa – Minaya said he believes Mets have trade chips, but, “You don’t always want to trade your prospects to fill your major-league needs.” The Mets plan to check in on Roy Halladay, but that’s kind of like me planning to check in with my local Porsche dealer. Fun to look, but… Ya gotta love Brian who does a bang up job!

Bart Hubbuch – Omar Minaya told reporters in Indy that he will meet with representatives of Pineiro and Wolf tonight. Interest in Marquis, too. Additionally, Minaya says he has “advanced” in trade talks but obviously wouldn’t specify. Doubtful it’s a blockbuster, though. Hubbuch is another great resource to follow on Twitter.

Regarding Twitter, it’s an excellent resource for quick information that can be turned over quickly, but because of it’s 140 character limitation, much of the information is usually choppy and not as detailed as one would like. Still, I love it and would be lost without it.

Don’t forget to tune into SNY’s Mets Hot Stove Tonight at 7 PM where Kevin Burkhardt will provide a full recap of today’s activity at the Baseball Winter Meetings.

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Free Agent Season Has Begun; Shop Early, Shop Often http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/free-agent-season-has-begun-shop-early-shop-often.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/free-agent-season-has-begun-shop-early-shop-often.html/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2009 11:00:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16196 Attention, GM shoppers!  The Free Agent Warehouse is officially open for business.  Throughout our store, you will find everything to help fix your team.  From starting pitchers to power hitters.  From bullpen help to role players.  Everything is here to satisfy your needs.  Please be aware that there are no rain checks in case we are sold out of the players you’re looking for.  Also, we do not accept coupons.  Yes, we’re talking to you, Daddy Less-bucks and Little Orphan Jeffy, so stop asking us if we have any “buy one, get one free” deals.  It doesn’t work that way at the Free Agent Warehouse.

We hope you brought your checkbooks.  We will have many registers open to help speed up your free agent shopping and numerous player agents will be on hand to assist you.  If you have any questions, please direct them to our manager, Mr. Boras.  Now let’s take you on a tour of our store.

First, we have our electronics department.  Here is where you will find all the gamers, such as John Lackey.  His tenacity, determination and consistency will help your team fill a very important spot in the starting rotation.  If you do not find John Lackey on the shelves, perhaps we can interest you in a different pitcher.  We always have Joel Piñeiro and Jason Marquis in stock.  They’re not the hot item of the week, but they can provide a cheaper alternative to John Lackey.  For those inquiring about when Roy Halladay will be in stock, we were told that he will not be available at the Free Agent Warehouse for another year.  If you are here for Halladay and only Halladay, please report to the corner pawn shop, where trading is encouraged.

You will also find batteries in our electronics department.  A good battery consists of a pitcher who can throw any pitch and spot it exactly where his catcher wants.   We just received a new shipment of Bengie Molina for any team who needs a replacement battery.  Brian Schneider is somewhere on the battery wall, but he’s in need of some recharging.

From here, we take you to our lighting department.  Without proper lighting, your home stadium will suffer from a lack of power.  We have multiple items that may be to your liking.  We have received many requests for Matt Holliday and Jason Bay.  As you all know, without our customers we have nothing.  Therefore, we are proud to announce that both Holliday and Bay are available.  Power is not cheap, so we hope you came prepared to spend if you choose to brighten your stadium with those bulbs.  If you have dark corners in your home stadium, we have Adam LaRoche, Russell Branyan and Hank Blalock, all of which can provide temporary power help.  Of course, we still have our older models like Carlos Delgado, but we cannot guarantee that he will be bright for an entire season.

Over here, we have our hardware section.  These players have the tools to bring a team together.  They might not light up the scoreboard, but they provide the glue that solidifies the team.  Orlando Hudson and Chone Figgins are our most requested items.  Another item that may intrigue you is Mark DeRosa.  He is one of our most versatile tools, providing assistance in your infield and outfield.

Our toddler section is under renovation, so you will not find any players there at the moment.  We hope to reopen it by next year at the earliest, or perhaps in two seasons.  By then, we’ll have Manny Ramirez and Milton Bradley as the toddler section’s main attractions.

Although you have all winter to buy the free agents we have in stock, please remember that all purchases are final.  Also, we are not responsible for damaged goods.  We are not forcing you to buy anything in our store.  You’re making that decision on your own.  If you make a poor purchase, it’s on your hands.  However, if you find free agent gold, your fans will be dancing in the streets.

That’ll end the tour of the Free Agent Warehouse.  We hope you found something of interest for your team.  For those of you who need to use the rest room before leaving, please be careful when you flush so that your wallets don’t accidentally fall in.  Yes, Mr. Minaya.  I’m talking to you.  We don’t want you to come up with a convenient excuse if someone else comes in and scoops up one of the players on your shopping list.

Don’t forget to come again soon.  We’ll be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the winter to serve all of your shopping needs.  We’re the Free Agent Warehouse, where no one has to go home empty-handed.

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At Midnight Omar Turns Into A Pumpkin http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/at-midnight-omar-turns-into-a-pumpkin.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/at-midnight-omar-turns-into-a-pumpkin.html/#comments Thu, 19 Nov 2009 16:40:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16177 Tonight when the clock strikes twelve, general managers everywhere will begin negotiating with free agents of their liking. The exclusive window for teams to negotiate with their own free agents expires at midnight tonight, beginning what will be another busy and very active hot stove season full.

I have read several reports that although Omar Minaya still holds the title of general manager, his power to move and act freely has been taken away. Anything he may want to do, will now have to be reviewed by a committee that includes assistant GM John Ricco, VP David Howard and even the Wilpons themselves.

One GM who wished to remain anonymous recently said that unlike years passed when Omar Minaya seemingly called all the shots and freely negotiated on the phone, he now excuses himself when an offer is made and doesn’t call back until 30 or more minutes later.

While Omar is kept on a short leash, there is a tremendous amount of work to be done, including resolving first base and left field, acquiring two starting pitchers, finding a new setup man, bringing in a new starting catcher to replace Brian Schneider, and a possible upgrade at second base.

The rumors are flying around fast and furious, but now with teams able to negotiate freely with any free agents they want, we should start seeing some rumors with real teeth on them.

Ken Davidoff of Newsday believes that the Mets will make a big splash simply because they have to, and I absolutely agree with him. he writes,

But I think the Mets realize they have to make a splash in order to placate season-ticket holders, and with the market for Lackey not robust (in my mind), I can envision them giving Lackey the same deal that the Yankees gave A.J. Burnett a year ago, then pointing to how much more Lackey has accomplished than Burnett had when he got his money.

Kevin Kernan of the NY Post says that the Mets have to be as bold this offseason as Brian Cashman was last off season. He wants them to break open the bank.

The player at the top of their shopping list must be right-hander John Lackey. If not, why are the Wilpons even in the game? The Mets should pull a Cashman and sign both Lackey and Holliday. Win now and the victories come in summer.

The last thing the Mets need to be saying right now is: “We have too many holes to fill.” They should look at this as an opportunity. If they focus on bringing an AL ace, a bulldog, to the NL, always a winning move, and to a ballpark that is death for hitters, they will be ahead of the game. If half of their injured players come back healthy, they will be in the thick of it if they have that 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation. Put both Lackey and Holliday on the roster and the Mets make it a two-team town again.

As much as I would love to see the Mets get both Matt Holliday and John Lackey, I just don’t see that scenario playing out at all. The Mets would have to win not just one bidding war, but two of them with a potential cost of almost $200 million dollars. No way that happens.

What ever does happen will happen quickly, as I believe that Minaya will try to strike early as long as the Wilpons allow him to. I do think all the Mets higher ups are agreed on one thing, and that is that they need to salvage dwindling orders for season tickets. A big name or two can help get ticket sales moving again.

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Is Signing Lackey A Smarter Move Than Trading For Halladay? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/is-signing-lackey-a-smarter-move-than-trading-for-halladay.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/is-signing-lackey-a-smarter-move-than-trading-for-halladay.html/#comments Tue, 17 Nov 2009 14:55:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16001 Let me begin by saying that you’ll get no argument from me as to who is the superior starting pitcher between Roy Halladay and John Lackey. Obviously, it’s Halladay and it’s not even close. If Doc was pitching for a high powered offense like the Yankees, he may have been a 25 game winner this season, and the one before that, and the one before that too. He is a tremendous talent who is worthy of all the consideration by bloggers everywhere who all wish their teams could somehow pry him away from the Blue Jays.

Toronto’s newest GM made it very clear that Halladay could be traded if he is blown away by an offer. Ahh, interesting choice of words. Exactly what does “blown away” mean?

Did the Mets blow the Twins away when they sent Carlos Gomez, Philip Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey for Johan Santana? By the looks of those names, certainly not, but the Mets did make the best offer and that was good enough for the Twins, the Mets, and me.

Readers of this blog know it’s no secret how much I cover Halladay. I wanted the Mets to get him when they were just 4.5 games out of a playoff spot and it was no secret he was available before the trade deadline.

Halladay has already stated that he has no problem waiving his no-trade clause in exchange for a fat extension. So in that regard, he’s not a rental. If you make the trade, you get the negotiating window and Halladay is yours for at least five years and most likely six.

Based on recent contracts for pitchers of his caliber, a 6-year deal could easily average $23 million dollars per season or more. Damn, that’s a lot of cash…

Are you willing to blow the Blue Jays away with a package of major leaguers and your best prospects just for the privilege of dishing out $140 million dollars to a bona-fide ace who will turn 32 next May?

There’s an old saying that comes to mind, and it seems somewhat appropriate right now; Don’t Keep All You Eggs In One Basket.

Imagine the Mets having to pay two of their starting pitchers nearly $50 million dollars a season. Great starting pitchers? No doubt, but what a stranglehold on the rest of the teams payroll, especially with Reyes and Beltran soon to become free agents barring an extension. I haven’t even raised the specter of God forbid one of them suffers an arm injury and requires surgery. How do you manipulate a payroll when almost one third of it is tied up in two players?

The more I ponder the situation, the more I look at John Lackey.

To begin, he would cost the Mets nothing in terms of players. Heck the Mets don’t even have to give up a first round pick to sign him. Plus, from a contractual standpoint, most are speculating a deal that could top what A.J. Burnett got last season, but not by much. We’re talking 5 years at $18 million per, tops.

I didn’t even get into who the Mets would have to give up to get Halladay, but you could expect Mike Pelfrey, Ike Davis, Josh Thole and Jenrry Mejia to all be bandied about and ultimately packaged. That caviar sounds a little bit too rich for my taste.

After careful consideration, it’s now my belief that signing John Lackey (and making sure that the Mets win any bidding war) would be the best way for the Mets to go.

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Here’s An Overlooked Reason Why Lackey’s The Man http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/heres-an-overlooked-reason-why-lackeys-the-man.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/heres-an-overlooked-reason-why-lackeys-the-man.html/#comments Sun, 15 Nov 2009 18:00:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16021 John Lackey?  Roy Halladay?  Both are All-Star caliber pitchers.  Both could elevate the Mets to the level where we expect them to be.  Signing Lackey and trading for Halladay would look lovely, but we know that’s not happening.  After all, the Wilpons are our owners.  Acquiring one of the two appears to be the more likely scenario.

As Joe D stated in a blog earlier today, John Lackey might be the wiser choice because he would be a less expensive option than Halladay, is 1½ years younger and wouldn’t cost the Mets all the players they’d have to give up in exchange for Halladay.  I agree with all of Joe D’s points but I’ve looked into it a little deeper and found another reason why the Mets would be better off with Lackey instead of Halladay.   It’s something that has been overlooked by many but is quite relevant considering that whoever they acquire would be switching leagues.

Roy Halladay has a phenomenal career record.  Since making his debut for the Blue Jays in 1998, his career record is 148-76 (.661 winning percentage), with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.  If Halladay was traded to the Mets, he’s be facing primarily National League teams.  His career numbers against NL teams are fairly similar to his overall career numbers.  Against the senior circuit, Halladay owns a .680 winning percentage (17-8) with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

If the Mets were to trade for Halladay instead of signing Lackey, it would make sense that Halladay should be far better than Lackey against National League teams.  After all, how would Halladay’s 20-4 career record against the Baltimore Orioles be relevant as a member of the New York Mets?  When looking at Lackey’s career numbers against National League teams, it might come as a surprise that not only is Lackey on par with Halladay, he’s actually better than him.

Lackey has been in the majors for less time than Halladay, as his major league debut didn’t come until 2002.  However, against the teams that the Mets would facing in the National League, Lackey is 12-4 (.750 winning perecentage) with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.  By comparison, Johan Santana was 16-4 with a 2.26 ERA against National League teams while he was a member of the Minnesota Twins.  In his first year in the National League with the Mets, he led the league in ERA with his 2.53 mark.

Roy Halladay’s career numbers make him seem like a better pick over John Lackey.  But when looking at career records, the only relevant numbers to consider are the ones against foes the Mets would be facing.  If Lackey has been more effective against National League teams than Halladay has, when you combine that with his age, the less expensive price tag, the lack of players given up to acquire him and (lest we forget) the postseason experience he has that Halladay doesn’t have, it should be clear that Lackey’s the man.

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If Randy Wolf Was Mets Top Acquisition, Would You Be Satisfied? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/if-randy-wolf-was-mets-top-acquisition-would-you-be-satisfied.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/if-randy-wolf-was-mets-top-acquisition-would-you-be-satisfied.html/#comments Wed, 11 Nov 2009 20:38:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=15723 In the last five days, I hear the name of Randy Wolf more often when it comes to the Mets pursuit of a number two starter, than this years pick of the litter, John Lackey.

Earlier today I posted about the Mets being concerned about the potential for an arm injury with regard to John Lackey, which you can read in the post below this one.

Last week, Randy Wolf’s name came up when Jon Heyman reported that a team source told him that the Mets would like a “do-over” on Randy Wolf. Today he echoed those sentiments when he reported from the GM Meetings in Chicago and wrote,

The Mets are expected to make a play for Randy Wolf.

ESPN and Fox Sports both reported that Wolf would be on the Mets radar this winter and that he would command a three year deal.

Tim Dierkes of MLBTR, ranked Randy Wolf number five among all free agents and predicted that he will ultimately sign with the Mets. He writes,

The Mets regrettably chose Oliver Perez over Wolf a year ago.  As the best available starter aside from Lackey, Wolf is primed to get a three-year deal worth more than $30MM.

The latest development that might bring Randy Wolf even closer to Flushing is this:

The Elias Sports Bureau has completed it’s rankings and Wolf has been classified as a Class A Free Agent.

What that means is that any team that signs him would have to part with their first round draft pick in next June’s MLB Draft. However, there is one little stipulation that plays in the Mets favor. Any team that finishes among the lowest teams in the standings (IE: the Mets), do not have to forfeit their first round pick.

The fact that a team may have to forfeit a first round pick may scare some teams away from the bidding, and put the Mets right into the drivers seat.

Of course, the Dodgers would have to offer Wolf arbitration, but it’s expected that they will and that Wolf will turn it down and look for a multi year deal elsewhere.

But here is the real question…

If Randy Wolf became the Mets top pitching acquisition this off season, would any of you be happy with that?

Wolf finished the season with an 11-7 record and a 3.23 ERA. The lefthander had an impressive 1.10 WHIP and struck out 160 batters in 214 innings pitched. He did all that for the rock bottom price of $4.9 million dollars. (It’s no wonder the Mets want a do-over!)

Would an Opening Day rotation of Santana (if healthy), Wolf, Maine (if healthy), Pelfrey and Perez be enough to win the NL East?

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Mets Trying To Pull Another Vladimir Guerrero http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/mets-trying-to-pull-another-vladimir-guerrero.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/mets-trying-to-pull-another-vladimir-guerrero.html/#comments Tue, 10 Nov 2009 17:11:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=15712 Last month, during a much ballyhooed appearance with Mike Francesa on WFAN, Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon seemed to indicate that the Mets would be major players in the free agent market this winter. They stated that their the top targets would be a number two starting pitcher and a big time power hitter. (Their words, not mine.) 

They also made it clear that money was not an object and that Omar Minaya was free to pursue any of the top free agents without fear of a cut in payroll. In fact, Wilpon himself said that payroll may very well increase. That was then, and this is now…

Jon Heyman of SI.com, reported on Monday that the Mets are very leery of committing to starting pitcher John Lackey because of concerns about a potential arm injury. Really?

This is the first time that anything regarding Lackey and his potential for injury has been reported.

Apparently, the Mets’ crack medical staff, who were the absolute worst in diagnosing the myriad of their own injuries, have raised the alert in the Mets front office regarding Lackey. Or is this more of the same old Wilpon shenanigans?  I smell a rat…

The Mets have played this card before.

Remember back when Vladimir Guerrero first became a free agent?

At the time, the Mets were worried about a potential back injury. Of course Vlad went on to win the MVP that season and compile a Hall of Fame caliber resume since that infamous Mets prognosis. During the span of the six year deal he signed with the Angels, Guerrero averaged 604 at-bats, 30 homeruns, and 103 RBI’s per season. Oh and one more important thing to note…

The Angels went to the post season five times during Guerrero’s six year deal.

If the Mets don’t have the stomach for a bidding war on John Lackey, why don’t they just admit it?

Do they really think that their fan base is so ignorant that they can con us the way Madoff conned them?

How do you think John Lackey and his agent feel today after learning that the Mets made their fears of a Lackey injury public?

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when that dung hit the fan.

What the Mets did was ensure that John Lackey will never wear the Mets uniform.

They did it in a way that would soften the blow for Mets fans by raising the fear level and sounding the alert at a time when the word ”injury” would make most Mets fans shudder.

From a devious point of view, their plan is brilliant.

Unfortunately, that farce may actually work on many Mets fans, and that’s what Minaya and Wilpon are banking on.

If enough Mets fans fall for it, then they can go ahead and bank the $90 million dollars that they would have had to pay John Lackey.

Instead, Lackey will most likely join Sabathia, Burnett and Pettitte in the Bronx next season.

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MLB Execs Think Lackey Is Coming To New York http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/mlb-execs-think-lackey-is-coming-to-new-york.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/mlb-execs-think-lackey-is-coming-to-new-york.html/#comments Tue, 10 Nov 2009 17:00:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=15689 According to an article by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, a recent survey polled 20 MLB executives (general managers, assistant GMs, etc.) on a number of topics, including where they believe free agent pitcher John Lackey will sign.  They also revealed their thoughts on the possible length and dollar amount of his contract.

Of the 20 executives who were polled, the majority believe his new area code will be 718.  However, will that be in the Bronx or in Queens?

Only three executives believe he will return to the Angels, while four think the Mets will sign him and eight believe the Yankees will buy him at wholesale price.

Lackey is originally from Abilene, TX.  That makes it quite surprising that the Rangers and Astros weren’t seen as potential suitors for his services.

As for the years and dollars being bandied about, the executives believe that it could take as little as three years and $36 million (although this was an anonymous poll, I’ll bet you Oliver Perez’s sombrero that I know which GM thought Lackey would find that deal to be reasonable.  Ollie’s Money Ain’t Reasonable!)

Other GMs thought it would take as much as six years and $100 million to sign Lackey.  I don’t think the Mets would go that high for Lackey as far as years go.  I do believe they would sign him for that average annual value. They’d probably have to offer a minimum of four years and quite possibly five to get Lackey to come to Flushing.

It may take an A.J. Burnett-type deal (five years, $82 million), but Lackey is worth it.  He is as consistent as they come and he will be coming to the National League, where he will not have to face a DH.  Although he has begun each of the past two seasons on the DL, he has recovered well from each injury.

Of course, his intangibles also make him an attractive commodity.  He is a fierce competitor and his tenacity on the mound is matched by few.  One pitcher who could match his grit and determination is Johan Santana.  Imagine if Santana and Lackey were able to start 40% of the games in 2010.  The Phillies would have to pray for more three-run homers because they surely wouldn’t be able to match that one-two punch on the mound.

If executives think John Lackey will be a New Yorker next year, Omar has to go all out for him the way he went all out for Johan Santana.  He can’t let the Yankees scoop him up.  They added an ace and a solid #2 pitcher last year in CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and they helped lead the team to a World Championship.

If Sabathia could be swayed to sign with the Yankees instead of with a team in his home state of California, then why can’t the Mets do the same with Lackey?  He is a native Texan, but if Omar can pony up the cash for this stud, he must rope him in.

Lackey would have to change his uniform number (his #41 is kind of reserved for a wine connoisseur.  I think his initials are GTS.), but perhaps with a few extra numbers on his contract, he can put a new one on his back.

Now pitching for the New York Mets, John Lackey!  I expect to hear that at Citi Field in 2010 and in the years following next season.  Are you listening, Omar?  You better be if you want to be at Citi Field in the years following 2010 as well.

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Let The Hot Stove Season Begin http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/let-the-hot-stove-season-begin.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/let-the-hot-stove-season-begin.html/#comments Thu, 05 Nov 2009 16:06:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=15533 After a long 2009 season that resulted in our crosstown rivals taking the World Series from our division rivals, the hot stove season has officially begun.  Opening Day of the 2010 season is exactly five months away and the Mets have plenty of work to do in those five months, to say the least.

The Yankees just won the World Series after they went hard after free agents CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira.  They filled two voids by signing those three players.  By adding Sabathia and Burnett, they replaced the retired Mike Mussina and did not have to depend on the likes of Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner anymore.  Teixeira replaced Jason Giambi at first base and instantly brought a fearsome bat to the hot corner that Giambi stopped being a few years ago.

Coincidentally, the Mets are now looking for a few starting pitchers and a first baseman.  Of course, they might also be shopping for a left fielder as well.  Unfortunately, this year the free agent class isn’t as deep in the starting pitching and first base department as it was last year when the Steinbrenners maxed out their credit cards in order to buy their championship.

There is no under-30 superstar first baseman to be had, a la Mark Teixeira.  The best available players at the position include Adam LaRoche and Hank Blalock, neither of which can produce the across the board numbers Teixeira did even if they played half of their games in a Little League field as opposed to Citi Field.

Recently, I suggested that the Mets should go hard after Adrian Gonzalez if the Padres decide to trade him.  However, with the emergence of Ike Davis, I’m not so sure about Gonzalez anymore.  Sure, Gonzalez would give the Mets the power they got when they traded for Carlos Delgado in 2006 at a much younger age than Delgado was, but Davis would keep the payroll lower for a longer period of time, enabling the Mets to go after pricier free agents in the future, especially starting pitchers.  If the Mets don’t feel that Davis will be ready for the majors until 2011, then they’d be better off signing a stopgap first baseman to a one-year deal, like a Russell Branyan.  LaRoche and Blalock would be good one-year signings, but it is unlikely either player would accept a one-year deal at this stage of their careers, as they’re both younger than Branyan.

As far as starting pitchers go, I think I’ve made it clear in past blogs that I want John Lackey on the Mets.  He is a fierce competitor who would complement Johan Santana perfectly.  Imagine a lefty-righty combo of Santana and Lackey.  They would be firing up the team on and off the field with their win-at-all-costs attitude and determination.  Obviously, the 2009 Mets lacked good health.  But one other thing they lacked was the fire good teams need to succeed.  Lackey would add a few logs to that fire.

There has been talk around the hot stove that Lackey would prefer pitching in his home state of Texas.  Isn’t that the same talk that was revolving around CC Sabathia last year?  Wasn’t he supposed to go to a California team so he could be back home?  Instead, he left Milwaukee and went in the opposite direction and found himself a World Series ring under his pillow.  Why can’t the Mets do the same for Lackey?

Having Santana and Lackey ahead of John Maine and Mike Pelfrey (I’m intentionally leaving Oliver Perez out of the mix) would allay fears of who the Mets can count on after every fifth day that Santana trots out to the mound.  With only Santana, the Mets would have to rely on Oliver Perez too much.  Even Maine and Pelfrey are question marks for the 2010 season, with Maine’s injury concerns and Pelfrey’s regression to his pre-2008 form.  These question marks might require the Mets to look for another starting pitcher even if they do sign Lackey.

What about left field?  I personally love Angel Pagan, but I know he might be best suited as a fourth outfielder.  His bat is without question his strength, but his fundamentals still need a little work.  If he hadn’t confused aggressive baserunning with reckless baserunning so much in 2009, perhaps a Pagan/Beltran/Francoeur outfield would have been the ideal situation for the Mets.  However, because he did not prove that he can be a heady ballpayer just yet, the Mets might need a different player to patrol left field.

Ideally, the Mets would need to have a power hitter at first base so that the need for power in left field would not be as great.  Outfielders, especially in spacious Citi Field, need more speed than a first baseman requires.  Therefore, if the power at first is addressed quickly, then the Mets can turn their attention to someone like Carl Crawford.  There’s no question he has the speed, as he’s an annual threat to win the stolen base title.  His defense is another facet of his game that is above average.  I would trust him chasing after fly balls more than I would trust Angel Pagan.  If the Rays feel that they cannot afford to keep Crawford, then the Mets should do what it takes to bring him to Citi Field.

Some of the moves I have suggested are free agent acquisitions while some would involve trades.  It’s much easier for me to write about these moves than it is to actually make them.  That’s where Omar Minaya has to come in.  He is very much in danger of losing his job if the Mets can’t compete in 2010.  He has to make this hot stove season burn brightly.  I’m sure he noticed what the Yankees did last year during the winter and look what it did for them this season.  If the Wilpons want to make sure there aren’t as many empty seats at Citi Field as there were during the last month of 2009, they have to supply Omar with the funds to put together the best possible team he can.  Otherwise, the hot stove will only serve to burn the fans instead of lighting the way to the promised land.

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If Citi Field Is A Pitchers Park Why Not Go After Top Pitchers? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/10/citi-field-is-a-pitchers-park-why-are-the-mets-not-going-after-top-pitchers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/10/citi-field-is-a-pitchers-park-why-are-the-mets-not-going-after-top-pitchers.html/#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2009 02:30:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=15090 As we all know by now Citi Field is a pitchers park.  It has a big outfield and 16 foot fences on the outfield walls.  The Wilpons decided when building a new ball park for the Mets to play in that they wanted a pitchers park for the Mets. I’m sure if you ask David Wright he will tell you emphatically that Citi Field is indeed a pitchers park. With Citi Field being a pitchers park and the Mets planning on becoming a small ball team it would make sense that the Mets would want to sign the best pitchers they can to take advantage of their home field.  Unfortunately for us that seems not to be the case.

Rewind back to the off season and the quality of pitchers that were available on the free agent market.  Sure there was C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett but I was realistic enough to know that the Mets wouldn’t sign either of those guys, just think what the payroll would be with Sabathia and Santana alone.  The Yankees I still believed overpaid for both Sabathia and Burnett, however there were other free agent pitchers that were available and were settling for less than C.C. and Burnett.  The Mets passed on free agent pitchers Randy Wolf, Derek Lowe, Jon Garland, Pedro Martinez and they turned down a trade for Jason Marquis to sign Oliver Perez.

This year the free agent market is a lot smaller than last year.  The best free agent pitcher on the market this year will be John Lackey.  He showed this post season that he is a big game pitcher, he will work his butt off for his team and he’s got the stuff to back his warrior mentality up.  Now he is not going to come cheap.  He will get more than A.J. Burnett, rightly so in my opinion as he is a better pitcher.  The estimates are that he will get a 5 year, 100 mill contract.  I think Lackey is perfect for Citi Field and more importantly he is perfect for the Mets.  He could be a great number 2 guy in the rotation.  Johan Santana followed by Lackey would be a very hard 1-2 punch for any team’s lineup.

The Mets have a pitchers ballpark but you need good pitchers to utilize it properly.  We saw that after Johan in 2009 the Mets don’t have a number 2 pitcher as Pelfrey took a giant step backwards.  There was not one pitcher in the rotation for 2009 behind Santana that is anything more than a number 3 guy in the rotation.  A pitchers ballpark doesn’t make mediocre pitchers better, just protects them a little more.  If the Mets aren’t going to utilize the ballpark what was the point of building it that way?

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Did John Lackey Pitch His Way Onto The Mets? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/10/did-john-lackey-just-pitch-his-way-onto-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/10/did-john-lackey-just-pitch-his-way-onto-the-mets.html/#comments Fri, 23 Oct 2009 04:01:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=14832 John Lackey has been with the Angels since 2002, when he helped them win the World Series.  He has been the heart and soul of their pitching staff for eight seasons. Now he may have thrown his last pitch for Los Angeles/Anaheim/California. Is it possible that his performance for the Angels in Game 5 of the ALCS just earned him a contract for the 2010 Mets?

The Mets need a proven #2 starter to follow Johan Santana in the rotation. Mike Pelfrey and his 5.00-plus ERA just isn’t cutting it. Lackey’s consistency and bulldog mentality would form a great lefty-righty tandem with Santana.

Let’s see just how consistent Lackey has been over his career. He started out slowly for the Angels from 2002-2004. Over his first three seasons, Lackey was just a .500 pitcher, going 33-33 with a 4.44 ERA. However, as he gained experience, he also became one of the best pitchers in baseball. Witness his 2005-2009 seasons:

  • 2005: 14-5, 3.44 ERA
  • 2006: 13-11, 3.56 ERA
  • 2007: 19-9, 3.01 ERA
  • 2008: 12-5, 3.75 ERA
  • 2009: 11-8, 3.83 ERA

That’s five consecutive seasons facing a DH in every game (other than interleague games in National League parks) with ERAs under 4.00. His 3.01 ERA in 2007 led the American League. He is also one of only six pitchers in baseball to win at least 11 games in each of the last six seasons, with the other five being potential teammate Johan Santana, CC Sabathia, Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez and Jason Marquis.

For the five-year stretch mentioned above, Lackey is a combined 69-38 with a 3.49 ERA. He has also walked only 282 batters in 150 starts made over those five years, an average of less than two walks per start.

The Mets struggled with their control all year in 2009. Lackey’s impeccable control would surely help the pitching staff. He walked 52 batters or less in each of the past three seasons. Compare that to the 58 walks surrendered by Oliver Perez in only 14 starts this season.

In addition to his excellent work in the regular season, Lackey has plenty of playoff experience, making 12 starts over five different postseasons. His ERA in those 12 starts is 3.12, which is even better than his regular season ERA. Also, opposing hitters have only hit 4 HR off Lackey in 78 career postseason innings.

Lackey has proven that he can step up his game when his team needs it the most, unlike certain members of the current Mets staff. When the Angels needed him in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series, he was the winning pitcher as a rookie. With their backs against the wall in Game 5 of this year’s ALCS, Lackey pitched beautifully, giving up three runs in 6.2 innings, although those runs did not score while he was in the game (no thanks to former Met Darren Oliver). He wants the ball at all times and is not afraid to speak his mind when he feels that he’s still the best option to get a hitter out (as seen by his “this game is mine” comment that lip readers could recognize when Mike Scioscia removed him from Game 5 against the Yankees).

Who wouldn’t want him on the Mets? Probably the people whose names would appear on the bottom of his paycheck. Lackey will not come cheap. More than likely, it will take at least five years and an average annual value of $16-$18 million to sign him. He has definitely earned those dollars with his consistency over the past five years. However, if Lackey agrees to a five-year deal, he would be almost 36 when the contract expires in 2014. $18 million might be a lot to give to a pitcher on the statistical downside of his career.

As with all pitchers, the Mets must be careful not to overpay for a pitcher who might give them great performances over the first part of the contract, followed by a dropoff afterwards (see Pedro Martinez). However, Lackey might give them a good reason to make an exception. After all, he began both the 2008 and 2009 seasons on the disabled list but came back both times to pitch as well as he did before each injury occurred.

If Lackey doesn’t re-sign with Los Angeles/Anaheim/California/Disneyland/Wallyworld, then the Wilpons should open up their wallets to bring him to Citi Field. The Mets haven’t had a potential dominant 1-2 punch since…heck, I have no idea! That’s how long it’s been.

If the power outage suffered by the Mets in 2009 continues in 2010, then they will have to outpitch their opponents. Having Santana and Lackey on the mound for 40% of their games will surely help them improve from their dismal 2009 season.  Let’s get it done and make John Lackey a Met in 2010!

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