Mets Merized Online » Jonny Gomes http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 25 Jul 2014 21:58:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Terry Collins Also Wants Mets To Follow “Red Sox Model” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/terry-collins-also-wants-mets-to-follow-red-sox-model.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/terry-collins-also-wants-mets-to-follow-red-sox-model.html/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 11:56:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132946 red sox

On Thursday night, Mets manager Terry Collins discussed the Mets offseason with reporters at a charity dinner in New York City.

According to Adam Rubin, Collins also expects the Mets to follow the “Red Sox model” — signing a bulk of middle-tier free agents rather than the biggest names.

“I’m sure that’s what the philosophy is going to be,” Collins said. “Again, that’s Sandy’s stuff. As I’ve always said: When I get to spring training, I’ll see what names are on the locker and try to do the best we can with it.

“I knew when I got hired here that there were some things that had to get done,” Collins said. “One was we had to clear some money, some of the contracts that we had. I know that we’re trying to build up the minor-league system. And it’s taken some time. But I think now we’ve got some freedom, some money to spend. We’ll see what it buys”

David Wright shared those exact sentiments the night before in a phone conversation with Marc Carig of Newsday.

“Let me preface this by saying that this is my opinion, and not anything that Sandy has told me, or anything that Sandy and I have talked about,” Wright told Newsday.

“It seemed like it worked for Boston last year. If you can get three or four — maybe not those marquee free agents — but three or four guys that are very good, solid, players I think it helps us fill more holes. And ultimately we become a better team because of it.”

When Collins was asked to describe his own responsibility this winter, he responded, “This is Sandy’s time right now.”

There are two main components of the Red Sox model that frequently get overlooked.

1. The Red Sox got tremendous bounce back seasons from their starting pitching:

Jon Lester improved from 9-14, 4.82 to 15-8, 3.75

Clay Buchholz improved from 11-8, 4.56  to 12-1, 1.74

Felix Doubront improved from 11-10, 4.86 to 11-6, 4.32

John Lackey, who missed the 2012 season went 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA

2. The Red Sox already had a strong core of players that included All Stars Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz and some of the pitchers I mentioned above.

The other thing is that the Red Sox got lucky with almost everyone of their free agent signings and trade acquisitions, and that’s something that would be difficult for the Mets or any other team to duplicate.

Shane Victorino, three years, $39 million
Ryan Dempster, two years, $26.5 million
Jonny Gomes, two years, $10 million
Stephen Drew, one year, $9.5 million
David Ross, two years, $6.2 million
Mike Napoli, one year, $5 million
Koji Uehara, one year, $4.25 million

A lot of things went right for the Red Sox and in a way it was the Perfect Storm.

Updated 11/15

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2014 GM Meetings: Twenty Nine General Managers, One Comedian http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/2014-gm-meetings-twenty-nine-general-managers-one-comedian.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/2014-gm-meetings-twenty-nine-general-managers-one-comedian.html/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 21:05:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132848 latestpix linksports

Winter 2004. It was a great time to be a Mets fan. As cameras clicked away and members of the press took their seats, all eyes were focused on the recently acquired outfielder. With Jeff Wilpon on one side and wife Jessica on the other, Carlos Beltran donned a Mets cap for the very first time. Suddenly, General Manager Omar Minaya appeared. He rode on to the stage on a tricycle. Dressed as a clown with a bright orange wig and large yellow shoes he stood alongside Beltran. Each time Beltran began to answer a question Minaya honked his own nose, causing the media to laugh. Good times.

And who can forget the press conference in 2002 when Steve Phillips introduced Mo Vaughn to New York by saying, “Hey, Mo. Whaddaya, a wise guy?” and proceeded to hit the Mets first baseman on the head with a hammer and poke him in the eye. I may be mistaken but I think Phillips even threw in a couple of Nyuks Nyuks Nyuks for good measure.

frank cashen davey johnson

But these were nothing compared to when Frank Cashen presented new Mets manager Davey Johnson in 1984. Who could ever forget Cashen continually squirting Davey in the face with a stream of water shot from his bow-tie?

Wait? What? None of this happened? Oh, Minaya, Phillips and Cashen took their job seriously? They were more focused on bringing a winning team to Flushing than going for a cheap laugh? Wow, that’s certainly a far cry from our current GM.

The Winter Meetings kicked off this week and our Mets arrived with more holes than a package of Swiss Cheese. We’re in need of a couple outfielders, a catcher, protection for David Wright, at least one starter and a few arms in the bullpen in addition to resolving our situation at first base and shortstop. Certainly there is lots to accomplish. And upon arriving in Orlando with so much on his agenda our GM immediately sprang into action…with a joke.

“I was upstairs counting our money. Don’t get too excited. They were all fives.”

Par for the course…

Last year’s winter meetings when the Mets were in the market for a couple of outfielders….as opposed to this year’s meetings when–well, when we’re still in the market for a couple of outfielders–Alderson announced,

“There’s been a lot of talk about our outfield and I want you to know I’m in serious discussions with several I met on the Internet.”

LOL. That Sandy, what a jokester!!!

The GM and Winter Meetings is serious business, a time when teams try to focus on next year’s World Series. It’s nice knowing our GM is there to provide some levity. Other teams have general managers; we have comic relief.

sandy alderson

So what if we haven’t won it all since the Reagan administration? Who cares if we haven’t been to the World Series since people were getting over that Y2K paranoia? Sure, we haven’t been in the post-season in seven seasons and haven’t played a meaningful game after the All-Star break since 2009. These are fun days to be a Mets fan. Lots to laugh about.

“Getting ready for spring training. Driving to Florida, but haven’t left yet. Big fund raiser tonight for gas money.”

Sandy, Sandy, Sandy. Always with the funny tweets. What a guy!!!

There is plenty to laugh about. TV ratings are way down. Attendance has dropped five consecutive seasons for the first time in team history. In three years of the Alderson regime, the Mets have averaged 75 wins and finishing 25 Games Back…

A couple years ago Alderson laid down the gauntlet. Sure, Jose Reyes was the best lead-off hitter in team history and one of the most beloved and fun players we’ve ever had. So what if he’d been a Met for nine seasons and was a homegrown talent? Alderson wanted more proof. Jose went out and promptly became the first Met to ever win a batting title. Alderson responded by saying “Thanks for playing” and sent Reyes packing without making a real offer to retain him. However, he did make a joke: “Maybe I should have thrown in a box of chocolates.”

What a funny guy!

Besides that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Comedy is all about timing. Who amongst us hasn’t laughed at an Abe Lincoln joke? But back in 1865 no one made jokes. Later this month Americans will commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of JFK. And even after the passage of half a century, some jokes still seem in bad taste. Twelve years ago, our nation lost her innocence on a Tuesday morning in September. The wounds are still too fresh and too new. But a hundred years from now people will make jokes about terrorists flying planes into buildings.

Comedy is timing, Mr. Alderson.

HODGES SNIDER STENGEL+

In the 1960’s the Mets were lovable losers. We laughed at the ineptitude our team displayed. And at the helm of our floundering ship was Casey Stengel. Back then, it was okay to laugh. We were bad and we knew it. And we expected it.

Now, fifty plus years later, the Mets are not lovable losers, they’re just losers.

We expect more in 2014 than we expected in 1964. Our hopes are higher in November 2013—or at least should be– than they were before The Beatles set foot in America. Casey was funny and we laughed at his Stengelese. I don’t find anything humorous in Sandy and his double-talk, double-speak and Aldersonese.

“Prepping for trip. Bought 4 new ties at a chop shop across from Citi. He threw in free wiper fluid. Better than the Wheeler deal…”

Lenny Bruce. George Carlin. Richard Pryor. Jerry Seinfeld. Sandy Alderson.

jerry_seinfeld-thumb-275x206-12551

Am I taking Alderson’s joking too serious? Should I lighten up? Perhaps. On the other hand, for our GM this is a job, a paycheck. For us fans, our team is important. Rooting for the Mets is not a job, it’s ingrained in our soul. It becomes part of our makeup, the very material the fabric of our life is stitched together with. For our GM, it’s a salaried position: for us it’s a lifetime commitment. Sandy Alderson’s been our GM for three seasons. I’ve been a fan for forty one. So, yes, I think I have a right to take offense to his ill-timed humor in the face of our crumbling team.

“Outfield. What outfield? We’re probably gonna have to move the fences in another 150 feet.”

I say that it’s time for Alderson to put some actions behind his joking words. Two things are clear: 1) His job as general manager interferes with his desire to make people laugh. 2) The Mets have no money. Therefore, I have a way to satisfy Alderson’s thirst to be a comedian AND save money. I say it’s time to eliminate Mr. Met. Since the Wilpon’s are so frugal—scratch that, cheap—and since Alderson seems more concerned with a funny quip than building a winner, it’s time to combine our GM and mascot. Money’s tight. Do we really need to pay some guy to walk around the stands in an oversized baseball head?

Philly has their phanatic. There’s a Pirate Parrot and Bernie Brewer. I think it’s time for our GM to dress up in a donkey uniform so the Mets can debut their new mascot: Alderson the Ass. This would save the Wilpon’s money while allowing Alderson to moonlight and satisfy his desire to make people chuckle.

“Will have to drive carefully on trip. Mets only reimburse for gas at a downhill rate. Will try to coast to Florida.”

I’m sure the power bill at Citi Field is high enough as it is. Do we really need to spend more by wasting electricity to have an apple rise from a hat? I propose that when a Mets player goes deep our GM can jump off the Shea Bridge into a container filled with $5 bills. The next time one of our players gets injured our depression would be eased if our GM came out in a full body cast and danced a little jig on the pitching mound. When our bullpen blows the lead and fans are filing out of Citi Field dejected, don’t you think the heartbreaking loss would be easer to accept if Sandy appeared in a top hat and tails and did a little tap dance on top of our dugout? I think it’s also time to end this whole singing thing. Fans have been bellowing ‘Take me out to the Ball Game’ long enough. It’s outdated. I say we set up a microphone at home plate and while fans stretch in the 7th inning, we can be regaled with some Alderson-ese and funny little quips. Tell me you wouldn’t love to hear the rest of:  So, Miller Huggins, Connie Mack and Terry Collins walk into a bar…

Author Robert Creamer once stated, “Baseball, at its very core, is fun.” And indeed it is. Who out there still doesn’t crack up when watching ‘Who’s On First?’ I’ve seen that ball bounce off Jose Canseco’s head a hundred times and it’s still funny as hell. From Bill Veeck to Max Patkin, from Al Hrabosky to Harry Caray, from Earl Weaver arguing with an umpire to Lou Pinella tossing second base, from Brian Wilson’s beard in LA to Jonny Gomes’ beard in Boston, baseball IS fun. And it should be.

But Alderson takes it too far. And his comments, remarks and failed attempts at humor are a direct slap in the face to all Mets fans.

Have you ever heard any business executive—not just of a baseball team, but in corporate America—bad-mouthing their own product? I sure haven’t. Alderson makes jokes about how bad his product is and how his employer has no money. His bosses, the Wilpon’s, sit back and allow him to get away with it while they too complain about having no money. Yet, they expect us fans to spend OUR money? Apparently, it’s okay for owners not to spend theirs but perfectly acceptable for us fans to spend ours.

12_citi_field_empty_05_16_11

“There’s a sucker born every minute.” - P. T. Barnum

Most likely things will be the same in 2014, if not worse. We’ll still have the same issues, same problems, same disillusioned fan base, lack of offense, lack of power, overuse of the bullpen, and promises of a brighter future with gifted rookies. But thankfully we’ll get some funny jokes from our GM (general mascot)

For a while the Mets have been New York’s other team. Now, we’ve become a non-entity in the entire league. Perhaps, Alderson’s snazzy one liners DO belong in Flushing. Regrettably my team has become a laughing stock and Alderson is the headlining act. So, Sandy, I look forward to next season and more of your Alderson-ese, your cutesy little comments, your hilarious tweets, your sidesplitting one liners and your regurgitated sound bites. I just wonder how many are laughing with you and how many are laughing at you.

Auguste clown

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Spreadsheet Baseball Doesn’t Win Championships, Character Does http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/spreadsheet-baseball-doesnt-win-championships-character-does.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/spreadsheet-baseball-doesnt-win-championships-character-does.html/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 15:22:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132174 gomes-big-7761.r

If you haven’t done so already, check out this article by Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. The veteran columnist shares an incident that took place in Spring Training when Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster asked teammate Jonny Gomes how he was doing and his response was: “Great, one day closer to the parade.’’

“Let that sink in for a second,” writes Kernan. “Here it was spring training, a time when players are focused on honing their individual skills for the long season. Yet Gomes, when asked about himself, talked about the Red Sox being one day closer, not only to a championship, but a parade the entire Red Sox Nation would take part in, the ultimate party day for fans and team.”

Of course Gomes’ words proved to be prophetic as the Red Sox did have their parade after winning their third World Series since 2004.

There’s a lesson to be learned here for the Mets (and Yankees) says Kernan who believes the Red Sox model last offseason was not just targeting mid-level free agents, but seeking out players with confidence and character. Players who wanted to win a championship so badly they’d do anything to help their team get one.

Now, more than ever, a player’s personality has to be taken into account, he boldly states. “It’s not just about wanting to win — after all, everyone wants to win. It’s about making a commitment to your teammates in doing whatever it takes to win, but also having the confidence to do what it takes to win a championship.”

He points to Shane Victorino as another player who rose to the occasion for the Red Sox.

“In what I consider the most important statistic of them all — RBIs. Victorino hit .429 against the Rays in the Division Series and dropped to .125 in the ALCS and .154 in the World Series. But during the postseason he drove in a Papi-like 12 runs — three in the ALDS, five in the ALCS and four in the World Series. Only David Ortiz drove in more with 13.”

Kernan stresses that there is no new “philosophical’’ approach that’s going to make a difference for the Yankees and Mets. They just have to do a better job of evaluating the market and they just can’t be “looking at an iPad screen of numbers” to decide who’s the best fit. They need to add players that hunger’ for the prize more than the next guy.

“Spreadsheet baseball does not win championships.”

Incidentally, this was the Red Sox model last offseason:

Shane Victorino, three years, $39 million
Ryan Dempster, two years, $26.5 million
Jonny Gomes, two years, $10 million
Stephen Drew, one year, $9.5 million
David Ross, two years, $6.2 million
Mike Napoli, one year, $5 million
Koji Uehara, one year, $4.25 million

Have at it…

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Does 2015 Free Agent Market Influence Mets 2014 Offseason Strategy? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/does-2015-free-agent-market-influence-mets-2014-offseason-strategy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/does-2015-free-agent-market-influence-mets-2014-offseason-strategy.html/#comments Tue, 29 Oct 2013 02:16:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131802 sandy alderson

An MMO Fan Shot By Andrew Doris

The two-year plan

The past two seasons, the Mets have finished 74-88. Over that time, they’ve dumped all their albatross contracts (except Bobby Bonilla…) and resolved the Bernie Madoff lawsuit, such that management finally appears capable of investing in the team. Whether they will or not remains to be seen, but Sandy Alderson has said the team has about $30 million to spend this off-season if he chooses. This post assumes they are serious, and aims to shed light on the wisest way to invest that money.

It’s reasonable to assume that without any major off-season additions, the Mets might finish 74-88 again in 2014. That might even be optimistic, because they’ve lost two key producers from last season already: Matt Harvey and Marlon Byrd. Perhaps young players will develop and improve enough to replace those losses, but even if that’s the case, they would still just be treading water to match last year’s output. It’s safe to say the current roster is no better than a 74 win team.

With that in mind, it is highly unlikely the Mets will win the World Series next season – there are just too many holes to fill in one off-season with the money and trade chips at Alderson’s disposal. A more realistic approach is to view the next two off-seasons as stepping stones to serious contention – a sort of “two-year plan” to get this team among the league’s elite.

Phase one of this plan should be to improve the team by enough that the fans take notice and tune in for 2014. The piqued interest would increase ticket sales and TV revenue, and ideally enable additional payroll expansions (read: player acquisitions) in phase two – next off-season and beyond.

However, doing this will require a team that, as Fred Wilpon famously put it back in 2004, is “playing meaningful games in September”, and a 74 win team does not match that criteria. How much does Alderson need to improve the roster to make that team a reality?

In a division with the Braves and Nationals, I suspect the Mets will need to win at least 85 games to even compete for the playoffs. Last year the Nationals won 86 and still finished 4 games out of the wildcard race. To actually make the playoffs, they may need to win 90, but I think Mets fans would be satisfied with 85 if it meant they stayed in the hunt until late in the season.

The question Alderson must answer, therefore, is this: how can he improve the team by 10 wins or more this off-season, without impeding his flexibility to make even more acquisitions next year? If the Mets are to navigate this question successfully, it behooves them to consider what options might be at their disposal next off-season. This foresight is particularly necessary at their positions of need, because those are the spots at which the greatest improvement can be made.

As I see it, the Mets’ greatest positions of need are OF, SS, 1B and SP, in that order. I put SP last because it is the only one of those holes that exists only in the short term. With the return of Harvey and the ascent of Syndergaard, Mejia, Montero, DeGrom and even Robles all expected by 2015, pitching shouldn’t be a problem over the long term (unless some of those names get traded filling one of the other three holes). By the time we’re seriously contending for a world series, that hole will ideally have filled itself. Neither OF, SS, nor 1B, however, have any promising minor leaguers nearing an MLB arrival date, so it makes the most sense to target external additions at those positions.

The options at shortstop:

Let’s start at SS. As Mets fans know, this was one of our biggest areas of need last year, with Ruben Tejada and Omar Quintanilla combining for a woeful -1.7 WAR on the season. The 2014 free agent class has two primary options at SS: Stephen Drew, and Jhonny Peralta. Although these are good players, both are on the wrong side of 30 with health concerns, and both may cost around $12 million a year on a multi-year contract. The 2015 class, by contrast, features a whole host of interesting names: Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hardy, Hanley Ramirez, and Jed Lowrie. Furthermore, each of those players play on teams that are often open to trading players in contract years, such that Sandy might be able to land them in a deadline deal this upcoming summer depending on where everyone is in the standings.

For this reason, I recommend the Mets hold off on signing a big-name SS this winter, when the market is thin and prices are high. This has the added benefit of giving Ruben Tejada a few more months to turn things around. Even if the Mets don’t view Tejada as their SS of the future, it is unwise to sell low, and Tejada’s value has never been lower. A solid start to 2014 might improve his trade value and net them something better in return than they could get right now.

The options in the outfield:

Next up is OF. Even if we assume that light-hitting Juan Lagares is the answer in CF, the Mets have only one MLB caliber starting outfielder on their roster, with no help from the minors in sight (short of Cesar Puello, who has some questions to answer). If they are to get away with Lagares in CF, they desperately need some offense from the corner OF spots. Thankfully, the 2014 free agent class has several big name outfielders that could serve as the power-hitting cleanup hitter Terry Collins needs. Shin-Soo Choo, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Beltran, and Nelson Cruz could all fit that mold, while Jacoby Ellsbury could busy our competition on the market and make those other names more affordable (higher supply of marquee OF’s = lower price for each one). Additionally, there are several big name outfielders rumored to be on the trading block this winter, from Jose Bautista to Giancarlo Stanton to Matt Kemp to Andre Ethier. 2015, by contrast, has very few exciting names under 35 years old. Colby Rasmus is pretty good, but after that it goes downhill fast: Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner, Jonny Gomes, Emilio Bonifacio, Nate Schierholtz, Norichika Aoki, Chris Denorfia…you get the picture.

Curtis+GrandersonFor these reasons, it’s imperative that the Mets land at least one marquee, power-hitting outfielder this offseason, even if they have to sign him to a long term deal. Ellsbury and Choo may be outside our price range, but I think Curtis Granderson could be an excellent fit. He’s certainly comfortable in New York; in his first three years with the Yankees, Granderson was a superstar, averaging 36 homers per season with an 11% walk rate. Before you argue that was inflated by Yankee stadium, realize that Granderson averaged 18.5 road home runs from 2011-2012, which is more than any current Mets OF could provide in an entire season.

The 2013 season was lost to fluke injuries stemming from two stray fastballs, but before that Granderson was extremely durable, averaging 153 games a season from 2010-2012. His speed and defense will decline with age, but keep in mind what it’s declining from: a speedy, gold-glove caliber centerfielder. If the Mets shift him to LF to accommodate Lagares, he’d still offer plus defense and base-running in the short term, without being anything close to a liability in the long run. Granderson also has a reputation for being one of the most amiable players in the game, making him a fan favorite and a great locker room presence. He does strike out a lot, but that’s nitpicking, especially when you consider the much larger flaws of any 2015 option. In a deep market, Granderson could probably be had on a 3-4 year deal at $14-15 million per year, which still leaves Alderson enough flexibility to sign a SP and some role players for 2014. If they miss out on Granderson, I’d suggest Carlos Beltran or Nelson Cruz as high-ceiling fallbacks. If we felt like signing two outfielders, Nate McLouth might warrant consideration.

The options at first base:

Finally, we have 1B. With Jose Abreu gone to the White Sox, this year’s free agent class features interesting options like Mike Napoli, Kendrys Morales, and Corey Hart. 2015, by contrast, has very few good options under the age of 35 (assuming the Royals use their club option to pick up Billy Butler’s contract). Using the above logic, this would seem to imply that if the Mets are to get an external option to man 1B, this is the offseason to do it. If Sandy chooses to go that route, I’d support the decision.

However, I don’t think first base is such a dire necessity as is the outfield, for the simple reason that the Mets have better in-house options to man the former than they do the latter. Between Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Satin, Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy, the Mets have five candidates for one position. With the exception of Flores, none of those candidates have a career OPS below .746. Even if only one or two of those options work out, Terry Collins could probably cobble together moderate levels of production by riding the hot hand. The options in the OF, by contrast, inspire much less confidence: Eric Young Jr., Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordany Valdespin, and Matt den Dekker. None of those guys have a career OPS over .672 – none have a track record to prove they are major league caliber hitters. Until Cesar Puello (who has his own question marks) gets called up, these four AAAA guys would be competing for two vacancies, and the result would be woeful even if nobody got hurt.

TL;DR:

The bottom line is this: if the Mets are serious on improving the team in 2014 while maintaining the flexibility to make additional improvements next winter, they should devote this off-season to acquiring at least one marquee OF, either via a trade or via free agency. Then, they should sign a high-upside veteran starting pitcher to a short, cheap, incentive laden deal, as well as a backup catcher and some affordable bullpen arms. However, they should hold off on acquiring a SS upgrade until the market thickens, and if money’s tight, they should also hold off on committing to an external 1B until they have more information on the viability of their internal options.

By following this blueprint and getting a little lucky, the Mets should be able to plug all their holes with capable and exciting players in a cost efficient way before the 2015 season, while still improving enough in the short term to make 2014 exciting. Only time will tell if Sandy Alderson agrees.

bleed orange & blue  button

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Check Out Last Year’s Off-Season Grades On Jays, Red Sox, Angels http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/check-out-last-years-off-season-grades-on-jays-red-sox-angels.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/check-out-last-years-off-season-grades-on-jays-red-sox-angels.html/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 16:39:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130664 One of our readers, Rob Aguilar, sent me a link to February’s Off-Season Report Cards by the Sporting News. His point, as he indicated in his email, was that nobody was gloating over the Red Sox model before this past season began. Anyway, it’s funny looking back and reading these three particular capsules in hindsight.

dickey

Toronto Blue Jays: A

When general manager Alex Anthopoulos finally made his move, he didn’t mess around. The impact was felt all the way to Las Vegas. When Anthopoulos convinced the Miami Marlins to make their salary dump in Canada, the Blue Jays became favorites to win the World Series.

What a dump it was, with the Blue Jays acquiring one of the game’s top shortstops in Jose Reyes, two proven starters in Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, and speedy second baseman Emilio Bonifacio. The deal was expensive—the Blue Jays took on nearly $150 million—but Rogers Communication can afford it.

Dealing for R.A. Dickey put the odds even more in the Blue Jays’ favor. I would have added a plus to their grade if Anthopoulos hadn’t given cheater Melky Cabrera a $10 million raise.

josh hamilton

Los Angeles Angels: A

Having a local TV deal that brings in $150 million a year sure is nice. It allowed owner Arte Moreno to nab the top player on the free-agent market for the second consecutive year. Josh Hamilton, armed with a five-year, $125 million contract, should fit nicely hitting cleanup behind Albert Pujols.

The Angels also brought in a new closer, Ryan Madson, and remade the bottom of their rotation by acquiring Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton and the underrated Jason Vargas.

stephen drew walkoff

Boston Red Sox: C

No team overpaid more free agents. The Red Sox overextended for a shortstop, Stephen Drew, one starter, Ryan Dempster, two outfielders, Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes, and a backup catcher, David Ross. Only the Mike Napoli signing looks reasonable, and they needed nearly all winter to complete that.

There is good news, though. The six signings combined will cost around $100 million, or about $40 million less than what they threw at Carl Crawford two offseasons ago. The Red Sox fared better on the trade front, acquiring All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pirates.

Based on what players are saying, Boston’s best move was hiring John Farrell to replace Bobby Valentine as manager. Of course, most players would have considered a statue an upgrade over Valentine.

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The Red Sox Model and the Audacity of Hope http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/the-red-sox-model-and-the-audacity-of-hope.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/the-red-sox-model-and-the-audacity-of-hope.html/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 15:07:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=130655 jeff wilpon

New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said the 2014 budget has already been discussed, and Sandy Alderson said he could have enough resources at his disposal to offer a $100-million contract, which seemed unthinkable last year at this time.

Alderson also said it is conceivable the Mets’ payroll could be even smaller next year. Their payroll this season – excluding what they owed Jason Bay – was $88 million. The Mets will have roughly $40 million coming off the books, which leaves them financial flexibility should they choose to use it.

“Would it be the right player?’’ Alderson said. “And, would it be prudent to do it, even for the right player? Factor in what’s left to do the kind of things we want to do. But is it out of the question? It’s not out of the question.“Will we do it? That’s more of a strategic question than a resource question. At this point, it’s not a matter of resources.’’

No, it is not. It is a matter of using those resources wisely, which they did not do with Shaun MarcunFrank Francisco and Brandon Lyon to name a few.

The outfield must be upgraded from an offensive standpoint, and the elite options are Shin-Soo ChooJacoby Ellsbury and Nelson Cruz.

However, are any of them worth $100-million? Are any of them truly elite? Will any of them be a difference maker? Probably not.

In addition to the outfield, the Mets are looking to upgrade their bullpen, shortstop, first base and with Matt Harvey probably out, there’s a need to add one or two starters.

“We could go after the perfect player, at the perfect price and for the perfect number of years,’’ Alderson said. “And, we won’t sign anybody.’’

Alderson said the Mets could spend, but won’t spend just to make a splash. The Mets have not been active in the free-agent market in Alderson’s first three years – they only spent $5 million this season – and this year’s spending depends on the market.

“The bottom line is yes, it’s conceivable we won’t sign a player,’’ Alderson said. “But look, we have to be realistic about the marketplace, so I’m hopeful we’ll get some things done.

“It’s great to say, well, we have financial flexibility, and then blow it on players’ deals that don’t work out and put yourself right back in the same situation you were in before. At the same time, at some point, you’ve got to go for it. Having flexibility is great, but at some point, you’ve got to put yourself on the line.’’

Thoughts from Joe D.

david wright jeff wilponOne of the things the Mets front office has been very good at, is molding many in the fan base to look at success from a dollars point of view rather than by wins and losses.

One of the cheesiest lines that often gets used whenever the Mets are outbid on a productive player or when the front office bails as they so often do, is the new standby of. “Well, we’d still win just 78 games with or without that player” or the other Alderson Era classic, “Who cares, that player is not a difference maker.”

I see those two lines at least 3-4 times a day in our comment threads and everytime I do I think with a smile, “Wow, Sandy has his base well conditioned.”

The latest trend is this notion that the Mets will utilize a Red Sox model this offseason. Poppycock… If only that were true…

You see the Red Sox don’t have this mindset of targeting a “difference maker” like the front office and most Met fans do. Not at all. Instead, the Red Sox simply upgraded at various positions in one fell swoop. That is why they are playing in the post season while the Mets watch on TV. Again.

The Red Sox didn’t go after Troy Tulowitzki, they went after a barely above average option like Stephen Drew and paid him $9.5 million for one year. They didn’t go after an elite option in the outfield, they went after a player with declining skills in Shane Victorino and gave him a three year deal worth $39 million dollars. They also gave Jonny Gomes a two year deal for $10 million and paid Ryan Dempster $27 million for two years.

Most of those deals may look good in hindsight, but a year ago none of them would have appealed to this front office or the majority of this fan base. Lets call a spade a spade.

I see people arguing today that Carlos Beltran shouldn’t get a two year deal worth $28 million… Really? You want Stephen Drew for two years and $20 million?

While a scant few of you would say, yes, bring them on. The majority is simply saying, “Not worth it.”

So lets cut this pretense of using the Red Sox model because the truth is if you want a Red Sox model you’d need to fire our front office and hire their front office – or employ their intense focus on winning to get it done. And the fact of the matter is that this entire organization and most of its fan base is still too hung up on accounting and ledger book decisions – which suits the Wilpons perfectly fine.

bleed orange & blue  button

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Can Jonny Gomes Be A Good Fit For Mets? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/can-jonny-gomes-be-a-good-fit-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2012/11/can-jonny-gomes-be-a-good-fit-for-mets.html/#comments Sun, 04 Nov 2012 05:08:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=99990

The Mets need a right-handed power hitter. There’s no doubt about that. The Mets ranked 22nd in baseball in home runs and 23rd in slugging percentage, and that’s with Scott Hairston, who will likely not return next year, in the lineup. Finding (and acquiring) these players will be a difficult task, especially with the Mets budget already limited. Sandy Alderson will likely re-sign David Wright, which will bring the payroll to or even over the $100 million budget, so unless the Mets somehow dump Jason Bay or Johan Santana, they will have to search the free agent bargain bin for what they need.

This season was a major disappointment when it comes to the Mets outfield. Jason Bay didn’t bounce back (if anyone expected him to), Kirk Nieuwenhuis showed promise early but faded towards mid-season, and Lucas Duda made us think about whether he really is an everyday player.At minimum, two new outfielders have to be brought in to right the ship.

One player who would fit perfectly into the Met roster is Jonny Gomes. Gomes, who will be 32 at the end of the month, had a great season in a platoon role for the Oakland A’s this season. In 99 games (333 plate appearances) Gomes hit 18 home runs and had a .262/.377/.491 slash line. He has been a part-time outfielder for most of his career, but has averaged 17 home runs per season since 2005.

Gomes would bring pop to the lineup, as well as the ability to hit left-handed pitching. The Mets as a team had a meager .675 OPS against lefties last season, 26th in the majors. This season, Gomes had a .299/.413/.561 batting line in 196 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. He and Mike Baxter could combine for a very effective platoon role in left field. Combined, they could probably hit close to 25 home runs. They also both have high walk rates and high on-base percentages.

The only concern about Gomes is his range in the field. He has never put up great numbers in either left or right field. However, having the fleet-footed Andres Torres could make Gomes’ defense bearable, like Carlos Beltran did when he was a Met.

Gomes would definitely be in the Mets price range. Last offseason, he signed a one-year deal worth about $1 million coming off a down season. He will be looking for a multi-year deal this winter, but will be much cheaper than most of the other options out there. If I were Sandy Alderson, I’d get on the phone right now with Gomes because there’s no better fit in the free agent market right now than him.

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Notable Non Tenders – Part 2 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/notable-non-tenders-part-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/notable-non-tenders-part-2.html/#comments Sun, 13 Dec 2009 15:53:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=17328 Yesterday, I weighed in on two of Saturday’s non tender players; Jack Cust and Garrett Atkins. This morning, there are several new additions to the free agent market. The following players were non tendered by their former team before last nights midnight deadline.

Matt Capps, RP – Capps would be an interesting reliever to consider for the Mets. Only 26 years old, it was surprising to see the Pirates let him go. After posting solid seasons for the Bucs in 07 and 08, he slumped in 2009 during an injury (elbow) marred campaign that saw his ERA balloon to 5.69. However, his career ERA stands at a respectable 3.61 with a 1.17 WHIP to go with it. Capps was still able to post a career high 7.61 K/9 ratio last season, and the former closer could make an excellent setup man for the Mets at a cost of about $2,5 million dollars. Two thumbs up.

D.J. Carrasco, RP – Another surprise non tender, Carrasco, 33, led both leagues in relief innings pitched and posted a 3.76 ERA. He prefers to be a starter, but seems to be more effective in a relief role. His WHIP jumped from 1.13 in 2008 to 1.41 in 2009. Depending on his price, he may be worth a flyer. One thumb up, one thumb down.

Ryan Garko, 1B – The right handed Garko will be 29 in January, and was in the midst of a solid career before a trade to the Giants changed all that. After a 90 RBI season in 2008, Garko slipped to 51 RBI’s last season with 13 homers and a .269 batting average. The first baseman has a career .313 batting average and a .887 OPS against LHP which would suggest he’d be the perfect platoon mate for Daniel Murphy. His defense is ranked well above league average at first base. Two thumbs up.

Mike MacDougal, RP – The writing was on the wall for MacDougal when the Nationals acquired Brian Bruney last week from the Yankees. He saved 20 games in 2009, but it wasn’t pretty. Still, he may have some value at the backend of a bullpen. But this is one former Royals prospect that I’d stay away from. Two thumbs down.

Jonny Gomes, OF – I have always been intrigued by Gomes ever since his breakout year in 2005 when he hit 21 homeruns and batted .282 for the Rays. He has never come close to repeating that campaign, but still has some pop in his bat. Now 29, his terrible LH/RH splits suggests that he is probably best suited for a platoon role. Defensively, Gomes is far below average as a corner outfielder, and he doesn’t seem like a good fit patrolling the vast expanses of CitiField. Still, his power against left handed pitching is worth consideration. One thumb up, one thumb down.

Previous Non Tendered Player Reviews

Jack Cust, OF – Two thumbs down.

Garrett Atkins, 1B/3B – Two thumbs up.

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