11/30/09

Mets Sign Cora - Savings Down to $44mil

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The Mets 2009-2010 Off-Season:


End of season: Released: OF Wily Mo Pena ($400k), IF Ramon Martinez ($750k), and signed RP Jack Egbert ($400k)… savings: $750,000.00

10-7: Mets acquired first baseman Eddie Lora (minimum minor league contract) and outfielder Chris Carter ($400K) for Billy Wagner ($10.5mil) – savings: $10,100,000.00

10-11: Mets grant free agency to: RP Jon Switzer – savings: $475,000.00

10-11: Mets grant free agency to P Connor Robinson – savings: $450,000

10-19: The Mets release RP Ken Takahashi. Savings: Takahashi had an incentive based minor league contract that could earn him up ti 1.5mil a year. I assume he earned it in 2009, since he pitched so well: savings: $1,500,000.00

11-5: The Mets have told J.J. Putz that they do not intend to pick up his 2010 option and will buy him out instead for $1 million. Putz's option would have been for $9.1 million. Savings: $8,100,000.00

11-6: 1B Carlos Delgado filed for free agency. Savings: $12,000,000.00.

11-6: C Brian Scneider filed for free agency. Savings: $4,900,000.00

11-6: IF Alex Cora filed for free agency. Savings: $2,000,000.00

11-6: The Mets exercized their option on SP Mike Pelfry, for $500,000.00. Last year, due to his original contract, he earned $2,900,000.00. Savings: $2,400,000.00

11-9: OF Gary Sheffield filed for free agency. – Savings: $400,000.00

11-10: P Elmer Dessens released – savings: $600,000.00

11-16: Passing on resigning OF Fernando Tatis at option rate… savings: $1,700,000

11-16: 16 AAA/AA players file for free agency… 13 are minimal salaries that will be offset by additional minor leaguers at same rate… three had individual contracts: IF Wilson Valdez (381K), C Robinson Cano (408K), and P Carlos Muniz (402K) – savings: $1,191,000

11-30: Mets sign Alex Cora – spending: $2,000,000

Total savings so far: $44,566,000.00
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Breakfast Links: Schneider, Josh, Marquis, Delgado, Livan, and Tony B

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Brian Schneider:

The Mets might be hard-pressed to replace free agent Brian Schneider. Schneider hit .218 and was injured for much of 2009 but is well-equipped to handle a pitching staff. The '09 Mets surrendered 66 steals (third-fewest in the National League), and they could go with Omir Santos, who performed respectably in Schneider's absence. Josh Thole, a late-season call-up, showed offensive potential in Venezuela this offseason. - usa today


Josh Thole:

Caracas 6, Lara 3 - Mets prospect Josh Thole went 3-for-4 with an RBI, raising his average to .403 in 38 games for the Leones,  - mlb



Jason Marquis:

Or maybe the Mets will just notice that pitchers better than Jon Garland and Jason Marquis are being desperately ditched by other teams, and get the hint that multi-year, multimillion dollar commitments to pitchers with marginal stuff rarely--if ever--end well. In the never-ending myopia of the Mets brass (and some of their fans), though, the injuries of last season will create a premium on durability. Undoubtedly some nightmarish, Oliver-Perez-part-deux scenario will develop where Jeff Wilpon and John Ricco conference call with "Scott Boras," who is really just Omar Minaya in the other room, forging fake term-sheets between Jon Garland and the Brewers, which he might "accidentally" leave in the fax machine on his way out. -
Amazinavenue


Carlos Delgado:

Delgado has been a slightly below average defender in recent years without being a major liability, according to UZR/150. He isn't the offensive force he was in the early part of the decade with the Blue Jays, but he recovered from a tough start to hit 38 homers and post an .871 OPS in his last full season, 2008. This year, he had a .914 OPS before getting hurt in May and he's now just 27 homers away from 500. So if you cheer for one of the many teams that could use a first baseman or DH, would you want your club to add Delgado? He's never been much of a defender, is returning from hip surgery and turns 38 next season. But he shouldn't be too expensive and he can still hit. The Mariners, Orioles, Braves, Mets and D'Backs are among the teams that could fit - yardbarker



Livan Hernandez

The (allegedly) 34-year-old righthander was arguably the worst starting pitcher in baseball in '09 after Mets GM Omar Minaya signed him as one of the options to fill the void in the back of their rotation. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Hernandez had the highest ERA (5.44) in the majors among qualifying starters along with the highest batting average against (.308) and the second-highest baserunners-per-nine innings ratio (14.11) with 120 hits and 67 walks in 183 innings. You had to be pretty bad to get cut loose by both the Mets and Nationals. - Read more: NYDN



Steve Phillips

It's been a few years since the ex-Mets GM made it onto this list, but his latest impropriety, cheating on his wife with an ESPN intern that cost him his job as the network's No. 1 baseball analyst, earns him permanent turkey status if only because he's now blown two prestigious baseball jobs. Can't imagine anyone or anyplace in baseball giving him a third strike.


Tony Bernazard

Like Bradley, his temper earned him a premature summer vacation, but his firing by the Mets - after the Daily News' revelations of him tearing off his shirt and challenging their Double-A Binghamton players to a fight - was long overdue. Before that, he undermined Willie Randolph with the Latin players on the Mets and was generally a negative, perpetually angry influence in the organization. Lastly, as VP of player development, he presided over the worst farm system in baseball.


Omar Minaya

Much as we might personally like the Mets GM, he had a horrible year, culminating with his out-of-line “shooting the messenger” - in this case the Daily News' Adam Rubin - in the Tony Bernazard affair. Otherwise, Minaya's three-year, $36 million contract to chronic head case Oliver Perez was misguided, as was his judgment that Tim Redding and Livan Hernandez could be adequate back-of-the-rotation options.

Read more: NYDN
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The Recontruction of the New York Mets - Part Two

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The Re-Construction Of The New York Mets – Part Two


Cement The Foundation:

We talked yesterday about the “big five” current on the team: David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Francisco Rodriquez, and Johan Santana. It seems like yesterday that Beltran was signed, as well as contract extensions given to both Wright and Reyes, but the fact is a couple of these key players are scheduled to hit the free agency list soon.

Beltran’s contract runs through 2011, Rodriquez has a team option for 2012, Wright’s is done after the 2012 season, and Jose Reyes has a team option for 2011. Johan Santana’s current contract has a team option at the end of the 2014 season.

Beltran will play 2010 as a 33-year old and there doesn’t seem to be any reason, other than the possibility of an injury, for him slowing down soon. In addition, Jose Reyes, regardless of his 2009 injury, is still one of the most talented and exciting infielders in the business and it would be suicide to take a team option after the 2010 season and let this guy go the route of free agency. Forget the kids in the minors. We’re talking Jose Reyes.

The Mets need a constructive 5-year plan, but, in my opinion, all of this is more easily accomplishable if you lock up these five superstars, possibly as long as through the 2015 season.

And, if I’m wrong, and some of these guys slow down a step by then, what’s the worst thing the Mets have on their hands? An aging David Wright? A slower Carlos Beltran? I’ll take this any day while the five year plan continues.

What’s Available Down On The Farm?:

Before we go anywhere on this subject, let me make a strong point.

The Mets have not depleted their depth or talent in the minor leagues by trading key prospects to other teams for established players. Everyone turns to the Santana deal as some kind of device that sucked the air out of the Mets minor league affiliate operation. Feel free to find some decent major league stats on the four players traded to the Twins that day.

No, the only reason the Mets minor league’s talent level and depth is in question is because the Mets suck at signing international free agents and drafting talented players in the MLB draft.

There’s has been only one international player that has been signed since Omar Minaya took over to make the New York Mets. That would be OF Fernando Martinez, who still has to prove his worth.

But the draft has been the bizarre world of the Minaya era. Can we possibly forget the first five picks in 2006 after Omar & Co. had a full year to figure out who to sign? Let’s see… Kevin Mulvey, Joe Smith, John Holdzkom, Steve Holmes, and Scott Schafer.

But it was last year when the Mets actually came up with a list of draftees that no one had on their hit list. Talk about a “mock” draft… don’t get me started.



Is There Anyone Out There?

We’ll talk about the lower levels of the minors down the road, but you can’t build a good 5-year plan unless you put the time, expertise, and money into your minor league system. There’s nothing any of us can do about who already is part of this organization. But we can recognize where our strengths lie in this system.

There is no one in the current system that will crash the team come spring. Catcher Josh Thole and pitcher Tobi Stoner should return to AAA to get some more work done, and I’m sure we’ll see both of them soon. Jon Niese should be back if he heals correctly, and there’s a good chance that Fernando Martinez will be asked to grow up in Queens, rather than Buffalo, especially if no stud left fielder is signed.
Frankly, my dark horse here is Stoner. He and I have been oil and water since the day we met, but this young man has the confidence and bravado to make a big difference in the Mets bullpen and even possible as the 2011 SP5.

No one thought that Ike Davis was a bigger shit pick than I. I was wrong. Davis will take over first base in the spring of 2011 and he needs to send the 2010 season in Buffalo, freezing his ass off, learning everything he still need to learn. This is a future 20-25 home run a year guy who will also win some golden gloves down the road. Daniel Murphy and Chris Carter will do just fine in 2010. We can wait.

But, that’s about it for now. The good news is no one thought Stoner or Thole would have made the team last year, so there could be others that crash Queens in the next two seasons. Lots of prospect lists still has F-Mart up there, but I want to first see him do 400+ at bats in one minors season, before I project him out in Queens.

Right now, sadly put, Ike Davis may be the only projectable star.

Tomorrow: Here come the kiddies, a restructuring of the scouting system, and back to Wilpon pocketbook.
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11/29/09

The Keepers - #10 - SP - Jeurys Familia

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10. Jeurys Familia – SP – A+ - 19/yrs.


“Family” signed with the Mets during the October 2007 International signing period. 2008 was spent with with the GCL Mets, where he went 2-2, 2.79, 1.14 in 11 starts. He quickly became the dean of the staff.

In September, Toby Hyde wrote: RHP Jeurys Familia – 2-2, 2.79 ERA, 11 GS, 51.2 IP, 46 H, 20 R, 16 ER, 2 HR, 13 BB, 38 K - I’d been told to expect big things from Familia’s right arm, but he was just ok when I saw him. I think the 18 year old just had an off day for me in Vero Beach. He showed off a fastball that was 89-92, mostly around 90, to go with two pitches - a slider (77, 78 mph) and a change up (84) - that need about the amount of work you’d expect from an 18-year old his first professional season. However, sometimes the big fastball is there from his loose delivery. In his first start in the GCL in 2008 he was dialing it up 94-96 mph. A scout from an American League club confirmed that he saw Familia dealing similar gas in instructs in 2007. So go figure.

In 2009, Familia pitched for the Savannah Sand Gnats: 10-6, 2.69, 1.16, 109-K, 134.0-IP.

His two year professional stats are: 12-8, 2.72, 1.16.

Forecast:


Nothing but blue skyfor the 19-year old, but his job is just beginning. We’ve seen many a pitcher do well in rookie and A ball, only to fade away by the time they compete AA. Familia definitely loos like the real deal, but it is too early to tell. He’ll rotate with his Sand Gnat buddies for a new coach in Flordia and we wish him well.
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Top First Basemen in the 2010 MLB Draft - updated

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1. Kevin Keyes – (moved from OF) - Texas – 6-4, 225… excellent bat speed and strength… 2nd on team in 2009 in HRs and doubles… charts out as a RFer… average arm

8-1: from http://perfectgame.atinfopop.com: power stroke, runs well, better underway and has at least a 55-60 arm, reminds me a lot of JD Dye of the White Sox.

8-2: from 6-16 article www.sportsillustrated.cnn.com: Keyes has physicality that can't be ignored at 6-4, 225 pounds. He has bat speed and strength that plays even in Texas' spacious Disch-Falk Field, as he ranks second on the team in home runs and doubles. He profiles as a right fielder with an average arm and enough speed for the position. His draft status will depend on how well he taps into his raw power.

9-30: From: http://web.usabaseball.com: - Karsten Whitson, Connor Mason and Kevin Gausman combined on a three-hitter, and an opportunistic offense took advantage of five errors as the USA Baseball 18U National Team remained unbeaten with a 19-0 run-rule shutout of Colombia Monday on Day 4 of the COPABE "AAA" Pan American Junior Championships at Daniel Canonico Stadium. Garin Cecchini made it a 3-0 game with an RBI double. The team then added four more runs in the second on Tony Wolters' two-run double and a two-run home run by Bryce Harper, a towering blast to right field. Team USA erupted for five runs in the fifth on two hits and two Columbia errors, with Brian Ragira's two-run double the big hit in the at bat. Wolters ended up with three RBIs. Harper, Cecchini, Ragira and Kavin Keyes had two apiece. Keyes also had three hits. Harper, Cecchini and Manny Machado each scored three runs.
11-2 from www.perfectgame.com: - Future Scout Sully said: Here is my list of the Top 50 in the class. I have seen almost every one of these players. Went out to AFLAC for the week, saw team usa play, and went to many cape games: - 17- OF Kevin Keyes – (3rd OF on list)

11-4 from www.baseballamerica.com: - Texas is moving hulking outfielder Kevin Keyes to first base, which could open up an outfield spot for freshman Cohl Walla. Keyes is still listed at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds but has bulked up to around 260 and lacks the mobility for the outfield.

11-17 from www.mlbdraft.blogspot.com: - 22. Texas Rangers- Kevin Keyes, OF, Texas - Another first round pick for Texas. I see the Rangers staying local, and selecting the power hitting Keyes. They have been on Keyes for a while, since selecting him in the 2007 draft before he attended UT. (4th OF picked)


11-18 from www.macksmets.blogspot.com: - 29. 1B Kevin Keyes – Keyes would never be a first rounder, but he will move to first base from the outfield this season and his power will easily make him the top prospect at that position. That means more press and higher ranking. (only 1B on list)




2. Cody Hawn – Tennessee

9-24: From: http://mlbresource.blogspot.com: Mock Draft Version 1 – 7th pick overall - Cody Hawn 1B – Tennessee

9-25: From Blake Crosby: - Strong first basemen with a ton of power. Hit .364 with 22 HR last year for Tennessee. His height at 5'11 is his downfall but he has hit at every level for power and scouts love his makeup. Been drafted twice, once in 2007 by Milwaukee, and once out of Walters CC in 2008 by Oakland. He has played a little 3B and outfield.




3. Andy Wilkins –- Arkansas … 6-2, 225, R/L… junior… excellent swing… can hit for power to all fields … 2009: .319, 19-HR, 58-RBI, 48-BB

8-1: from http://perfectgame.atinfopop.com: lefty power plus with solid skills at 1b. Runs good for a big kid and upside left. Project to a 280 type hitter with 20+ HR power. Playing for Team USA this summer.

11-2 from www.perfectgame.com: - Future Scout Sully said: Here is my list of the Top 50 in the class. I have seen almost every one of these players. Went out to AFLAC for the week, saw team usa play, and went to many cape games: - 39- 1B Andy Wilkins (1st … and only… 1B on list)

11-4 from www.collegebaseballblog.com: - named the 77th top college player in 2010



4. Christian Yelich – Westlake HS (CA) – 6-3, 190, L/L - also plays OF… runs 60-yd in 6.8… arm strength questionable… projects out at 1B… one of the best pure hitters in draft…

8-1: from http://perfectgame.atinfopop.com: solid power, lefty stroke, make solid contact and adjusted well enough seeing several pitchers with different deliveries, could be a solid contributor at the ML level in 4-5 years

8-10: From www.baseballamerica.com – Area Code Games - Yelich is a and tall and thin lefthanded hitter whose sweet swing produced a long triple to right center in today’s morning game. He followed that in his next at bat with a sharp double down the left field line.

10-5 from http://baseballdraftreport.com: - top 50 prospects in 2010 draft – #41 – Christian Yelich – 1st 1Bman on list

10-6 from: http://baseballdraftreport.com: - 1B Christian Yelich - If I had to pick one guy on my list to drop off over the course of the season, I’d probably go with Yelich. That naturally begs the question of why he is on the list in the first place. Yelich is like the hitting version of Stetson Allie, an up and down prospect that can look like a late first rounder one day and a fifth round lottery ticket on the next. It gets repeated every year, but it’s important: prep players limited to first base need to be able to hit, hit, and hit some more to be taken seriously as a draft prospect.




5. Ben Thomas – – Xavier… junior… 2009: .338, 16-HR, 66-RBI, .667 Slug%, also pitched: 5-2, 7.41, in 12 apearances, 11 starts… named 2nd team all-conference first baseman

11-1 from: www.collegebaseballblog.com: - named the 80th top college player


6. Kevin Patterson – Auburn – 6-4, 220, L/R – 2009: .231, .418 slugging percentage, 6-HR, 18-RBI in 31 starts…

8-1: from http://perfectgame.atinfopop.com: power stroke, upper cut, 250-270 type hitter, also OF, not a great runner, however gets it done. Glove is ok with adequate range. Power numbers are intriguing.

10-18: from www.collegebaseballblog.com: - named the 94th top college player


7. Mickey Wiswall - Boston College – junior… L/R… 6-0, 205… 2009: .320, 14-HR, 63-RBI… .551 slugging percentage… played the summer with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox: .305, 30-RBI… named 2009 CCBL 1st team 1st baseman

7-23: stats thru 7-15 in Cape Cod League: .323, 2-HR, 18-RBI… starting in Cape Cod All-Star game

10-28 from www.collegebaseballblog.com: - voted the 84th top college player


8. Wes Cunningham – Murray State – senior… 2009: .411, 11-HR, 52-RBI in 51-G… .698 slugging percentage… summer 2009: Jayhawk league: .395, 42-R, 18-doubles, 4-HR, 39-RBI…

8-31: From www.baseballamerica: Cunningham wasn't drafted this June even after hitting .380 and .411 the last two seasons for the Racers. Just 5-foot-11, he doesn't profile at first but ran a 6.6-second 60-yard dash at a pro workout this summer and could move to the outfield. He showed gap power while hitting .402 this summer and uses the whole field well; his power would improve if he learned to pull the ball more. Cunningham helped lead the Broncos to the NBC World Series title, scoring the winning run in the championships against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.

10-25: From www.collegebaseballblog.com: - voted the 87th top college player


9. Troy Scott - Univ. of Washington – 6-5, 205, L/R, sophomore -

10. Daniel Palka – Greer HS (SC) – 6-2, 190… also is LHP…

PG Cross Check has Plaka as the #2 high school prospect out of South Carolina and #124 in the nation


11. Chris Brooks – South Aiken HS (SC) – 6-3, 190…

PG Cross Check has Brooks ranked as the 5th SC prospect and the 216th overall in the nation…


12. Kyle Roller – East Carolina – senior… L/R

7-23: stats thru 7-15 in Cape Cod League: .326, 4-HR, 13-RBI… starting in Cape Cod All-Star game


13. Mike Giller – Illinois – DH/1B – 6-3, 220, senior, L/R… played the 2009 summer for the Waterloo Bucks…


7-24 – Fr. www.rivals.yahoo.com: The skinny: Giller didn’t have much of a spring for the Fighting Illini, but is making the best of his summer with the Bucks. Giller finished this past season hitting just .231 in only 13 at bats. With the Bucks, though, the veteran is a force at the plate. Giller is hitting .363 with 11 doubles, two homers and 34 RBIs. He also has walked and struck out 17 times each. Giller appears to be readying himself for a strong senior campaign for the Illini.


14. Kevin Koziol – Brother Rice HS (IL) - 6-2, 195 –

7-29: From: www.baseballfactory.com: - Koziol has a big, strong frame that produces some raw power from the right side of the plate. He has good hands in the field to go along with a solid throwing arm and he runs a 7.2-second 60-yard dash.


15. Marcus Littlewood – Pineview HS (UT) – 6-2, 185 –

8-1: from http://perfectgame.atinfopop.com: played wherever the coaches wanted, displayed solid contact from both sides of the plate, solid arm strength, running speed is adequate and has room to fill out, will be someone to follow through college for sure.


16. Jeff Jackson – Wauconda HS (IL) – 6-3, 195 –

8-1: from http://perfectgame.atinfopop.com: mostly DH'd during tourney, made solid contact, better power showed in BP, needs a position, 1b seems to be the best bet for him. Good face too! Will contribute solidly in college, so a solid watchful player next 3-4 years.


17. Ryan Ford – Plano West HS (TX) –

8-6: From www.baseballamerica.com: - Ford is a powerful hitter, with natural lift and pull-side power. Ford drops his bat head on the ball quickly and the ball explodes off his bat. He is smooth at first base and has potential above-average ability there.


18. Jared King – verbally commtted to Tennessee

9-8: www.pgtracker.com lists as one of the top 10 high school players coming out of Ohio.
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Breakfast Links: Ike, Roy, Black Friday, Tobi, David, Sheff, and Bryce Harper

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Ike Davis:


He was the Mets first-round pick in 2008. He is coming off a strong showing at Double-A Binghamton and the Arizona Fall League (.341) and, according to Ron, who knows about major league talent, could start for the Mets now. “I believe he’ll play 10-15 years in the big leagues without a problem,” Ron said of his son. “I know he’s a great defensive first baseman, has a lot of power and I know he’ll keep his average up. Most guys are going for stats, but he’ll do things to sacrifice for the team. The Mets definitely got a winner.” -
NYP




Roy Halladay:

Let’s face it. We all know that this is Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel’s last season with the Mets if they don’t win in 2010. Do you think they’re dumb enough to entrust their careers to Daniel Murphy at first base and Omir Santos at catcher for the entire season? I don’t. And that would be the scenario if they trade for Halladay and Wells, barring a massive reconfiguration of the roster.

To pull off this move, the Mets would need to unload Luis Castillo for starters which hasn’t proved to be easy. They would probably need to get rid of another player(s) in the $10 million/year range to cover the salary of bringing in a second baseman and catcher. It starts to get very complicated, more so than is likely to be realistic in one offseason. - Mets Report



Black Friday:

It was a tale of two Black Fridays for New York’s baseball teams. The Yankees Clubhouse on 42nd Street, still basking in the glow of the team’s 27th World Series championship, was flooded with customers elbowing through racks of commemorative T-shirts, hats and jackets. Pedestrians stopped to snap photographs of the storefront. Two blocks east, the Mets Clubhouse hosted a handful of passers-by who gazed at the rows of jerseys and sweatshirts, many 50 percent off. The store seemed to be as quiet as Shea Stadium was after Carlos Beltran looked at Adam Wainwright’s called third strike to end the 2006 season. -
NYT



Tobi Stoner:

While trying to determine if Stoner’s winter numbers were fluky, I checked out his consistent if not exciting minor league stats. From St. Lucie in 2007 to Buffalo in 2009, Stoner generally has struck out twice as many as he’s walked. Hopefully this is something he can keep up at the major league level, because he allows too many home runs to compensate for a K:BB ratio lower than 2:1. Another sign of Stoner’s consistency is his FIP (fielding independent pitching) statistic, which has hovered just above 4.00 for his entire career. Posting a FIP of 4.00 as a major league starter would make Stoner worthy of a rotation spot, but only time will tell if he will hit a wall at the major league level or keep on getting batters out with his good-not-great stuff. His Dominican starts have certainly been encouraging and Stoner should contend for at least a bullpen spot in spring training. - Daily Stache


David Wright:

This is a look at baserunning runs, excluding stolen base attempts. Here's the basic method:

•For all plays, we consider the lead runner only.

•We figure out the average change in run expectancy for the lead runner for each non-discretionary running event - typically a ball in play (either a hit, error or out). Those plays are grouped by:

◦The number of outs in the inning.

◦The type of event - single, double, etc. (A fielder's choice is considered an ordinary out.)

◦For batting outs, whether the ball was hit in the air or on the ground.

◦The position of the player who fields the ball.

•Then we figure the change in run expectancy for the lead runner on each individual baserunning play. For a non-discretionary event, we subtract the average value of that running play. For a discretionary running play, such as a wild pitch or passed ball, we do not - a runner is not penalized for the decision not to run.

That gives us our baserunning runs. Your leaders (and trailers) for 2009:

1. Michael Bourn

2. Dexter Fowler

3. Eugenio Velez

4. Chone Figgins

5. Scott Podsednik

6. Brandon Phillips

7. Emilio Bonifacio

8. David Wright

Hardball Times



Gary Sheffield:

Which is too bad. The vanishing of Sheffield in September surely was a combination of the disagreement between Mets management and Sheffield, and Sheff’s physical ailments. But he did prove, through it all, that he could still hit. It’s doubtful he’ll ever again be an everyday player, but the bat speed is there, and the behavioral problems are an overblown fallacy. If Sheff wants to play in 2010, he will, and he’ll be productive. Not the superstar he once was, but productive. The shame of it is, just before “the incident”, Sheffield received a custom-made first baseman’s glove (as part of an endorsement deal). He knew the outfield was getting to be too much for his old bones, and that Daniel Murphy would need a platoon partner. But since he never had the chance to show what he could do at the position, we’ll never know if he and Murphy would’ve been a good tandem. Of course, if the Mets acquire a big-time first baseman and/or send Murphy packing, this point is moot. In fact, the whole argument is moot because “the incident” effectively eliminated Sheff’s tenure as a Met.For five months though, Gary Sheffield was fun to watch and a big reason the Mets had any hope at all. - link



Bryce Harper:

Although the money would have still been there for Harper had he entered the 2011 MLB Draft, why not enter a year early, while increasing his leverage, and making him a year younger at the time of the draft. Those two factors, with the addition of Scott Boras will equal out to what should be the largest bonus ever for a high school player. Even if he is not the first player drafted, which he should be, Harper will not get far. Teams like Boston, New York, and many more will not let a talent like Harper slip by them. I see both sides of the argument, but to me, Harper is making the choice he wants, and who are we to question that? -
MLB Draft
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The Re-Construction Of The New York Mets – Part One

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The Re-Construction Of The New York Mets – Part One


My good buddy Jack Flynn wrote yesterday that I have to keep the faith because I’m one of the few guys that write about the future of the Mets, rather than the miserable present.

As all of you know, I’m currently coming to the end of my top 100 Mets minor league players that deserve another year in the system. Today will begin the ten top dudes in the system and some of these will be making an impact as soon as March.

I was known as a “work out artist” when I was in the broadcast industry and the best work I ever did was taking over the management of failed radio stations and turning them around for resale. This kind of work came directly from the banks that held the notes and there was nothing more satisfying than working for someone that doesn’t know two shits about what the hell you do every day.

This alone has made me a viable writer of the New York Mets.

A Change in Control:

Turning a business around comes from the top and, frankly, the first thing you do is replace the top dog that got you in this pit in the first place. Sometimes that person has already been fired. Sometimes it’s a friend of yours and he or she hired you. There’s no room for a conscience for a work out artist. You do what has to be done and you sleep like a baby.

The heirs of Joan Payson sold the Mets in 1980 to Doubleday Publishing, for $21.1 million (sic). Chairman Nelson Doubleday Jr. named minority shareholder Fred Wilpon the club president, who bought 100% of the team in 2002, for $391 million.

It really doesn’t matter who owns the Mets. What matters is who is in control of the operation. All you need is the right person in charge who has the support of an absentee owner, or financial organization that holds the note. Bill Parcells proved for years he could produce a successful sports franchise, but only when he didn’t have to look over his shoulder and see if Jerry Jones was in the locker room.

The last thing I want this piece to be is another ‘fire the manager” or “sell the team” rant. There is enough of them out on the web and that’s not the reality of the situation. The Wilpon family is not going to sell a business that they paid $391 mil for and is now worth close to a billion dollars (in April 2009, Forbes estimated the value of the New York Mets at $912 million). It isn’t going to happen, so get over it.

What does have to happen is Wilpon has to come to the realization that the total operational control of this team must be turned over to someone who knows how to run a ball team, has the respect of the industry, and is given the autonomy to do what is necessary over the next five years (yes, five years) to finally produce a consistent winner that represents the National League in baseball.

The Mets have never been a consistent winner. They began the year I tried out for them… 1962. They just finished the 2009 season. That’s 48 seasons. They won twice.

A bunch of us writers and bloggers have written posts on what we would do if we either owned or ran this team. This multi-part article on the re-construction of the New York Mets is not a pipe dream. There will be no change of ownership and Omar Minaya will be the General Manager for the 2010 season. These are the conditions of taking on the task of turning around this “property”.

The conundrum that exists in 2010 is that Minaya already knows that 2010 will be his last year, unless he wins, at least, the NL East, while at the same time, the future of this team over the long run is not to sacrifice the future with a futile attempt to win one year. Given the choice, Minaya would spend what it takes to sign the top players available in today’s market, but that’s not going to happen for a couple of reasons. One, Fred is done giving Minaya an open checkbook, and two, the Halladay’s of the world want nothing to do with a team owned and run by the Grizwolds.

Yes, new players will be signed, and maybe the Mets will get lucky and bring in another hit like they did in 2008 with Fernando Tatis, but luck doesn’t get you Alex Rodriquez, or Manny Ramirez, or C.C. Sabathia. Nor, will it get you another Johan Santana.

Wilpon can continue to do what Omar started, when he bought Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran before the 2005 season. But, once you go down this road, there’s no turning back. You will constantly deplete your minor league system of your future talent, and you will someday have to change fifty bucks for a hotdog.

Big market teams spend the Thanksgiving weekend restocking their successful franchise. The Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers are all trying to put together a deal for Halladay. The Mets are trying to resign Elmer Dessens.

Concentrate Your 2010 Spending On One Key Position: SP2

If the Mets truly want to begin to a five-year plan to turn this team into a consistent winner, then they should go out and spend the money it takes to sign the best free agent starter that is available. Do like Boston did for Dice two years ago, or what the Yankees did last year for C.C. Take the player off the table. Make the offer 5-8mil more than anyone else will touch. Just do it.

And, don’t tell me you don’t have the money. You own a business worth almost a billion and you paid less than 400 thousand for it. Trust me, you can get a line of credit from CitiBank.

Do any of you participate in fantasy leagues?

Let me ask you a question: Forget injuries… how would you like to walk into the room you and your buddies go to when you draft your fantasy teams, and find out you already have on your team David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriquez, and Johan Santana? That’s 20% of your 25-man.

Wilpon need to let Minaya buy the right player, at the right position, and Santana needs to go out on the mound every fifth game knowing the next day will have someone just as good out their doing the same job. You now would have six all-stars to build your future around, plus you probably just guaranteed 30 of the 90 wins you need to win the division.

Tomorrow: Tie Up Loose Ends and a Stark Look At The Affiliates
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11/28/09

Not Much To Write About

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It's getting increaingly more difficult to come up with a decent link page each morning about the New York Mets. Frankly, there just isn't much being written about them these days.

Various Mets writers are all calling for a long range plan for the Mets, which would be the correct direction to go. There really isn't a short range solution for this team, for various reasons:

1. It's just not special anymore being a New York Met. No baseball player involved in the current free agent market is telling their agent "hey, I want to win a world series before I retire so get me a deal with the Mets."

2. The recent off-season firing of front office personnel and flame out by Omar Minaya during a press conference have confirmed that this is a team in turmoil. If the front office can't behave, why would you want to be part of this team?

3. I can speak from first hand knowledge that it just isn't fun being a ballplayer for this team. Countless current and past Mets could speak of the infantile and gestapo methods used to "manage" the players, especially in the minors.

4. The new stadium is a nightmare for a player trying to increase  his slugging percentage. Whether we like it or not, salaries and endorsements increase with positive statistics, and playing half your games in a stadium that reduces the chance of increasing those stats just doesn't make sense for players outside the system.

The New York Times had an article about Black Friday and how the Yankee store was slammed, while the Mets store down the block was empty. This speaks volumes for the perception of this team by the locals. Forget the press and the baseball community; New Yorkers currently wouldn't think of buying someone a Christmas present with something that had "Mets" printed on it.

I'll continue to try and find what I can each day and post it here, but it no longer a labor of love. I have never had a sponsor for my blog and, to date, have not made one cent. I don't expect anything exciting to come out of the free agency market and I really have no desire to write a feature about Elmer Dessens.

I guess it could be worse.

I could be writing about the Knicks.
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The Keepers - #11 - SP - Robert Carson

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11. Robert Carson – SP –

Carson had a disappointing senior season at Hattiesburg, finishing 3-5 with only 36 Ks. The bright spot was his 2.65 ERA. As a junior, he went 5-2 with 2 saves and a 2.15 ERA with 60 Ks.

The Mets drafted Carson in the 14th round of the 2007 draft. He signed and was placed on The GCL Mets roster, where he went 1-0, 5.00 in 4 games, 1 start.

Scouts say he has a “big time arm” and throws a “heavy” fastball. Carson features 4 pitches, a fastball, changeup, cutter and curveball. His fastball sits 90-92, and has topped out at 94. His changeup sits around 75-80, while his curveball is low to mid 70s.

In 2008, Carson started out with the GCL Mets and pitched impressively: 1-0, 1.57, 0.74. He was promoted to Kingsport, where he went 2-3, 1.76 in 6 starts.


In September 2008, Toby Hyde wrote: LHP Robert Carson – 1-0, 1.57 ERA, 5 GS, 23 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 25 K - A pair of dominant outing in July, 12 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 16 K, proved that big lefty was ready for challenges beyond the GCL and earned him a promotion to Kingsport. Carson missed much of 2007 after being struck on the head by a ball, but had a healthy and productive ’08. Carson is the only player in this GCL review who I didn’t see play live, since he threw the day before I arrived in Florida. His fastball sat was 90-93, and his secondary offerings were a slider and a changeup. He told me in July that he was very pleased with the development of the slider this year. As a lefty with good size and velocity, I really like Carson’s ceiling – which could be an MLB rotation sometime around 2012 or so. Projected 2009 Start: Savannah

9-9-9 From www.hardballtimes.com: - Speaking of that 2011 St. Lucie rotation, Carson is another young pitcher who impressed for Savannah this year. Jumping from Rookie ball in 2008 to A ball this year, the 20 year-old lefty features a low 90's fastball (tops out around 92 MPH) that helped him to a 3.21 ERA and 3.37 FIP. Carson has to work on getting more whiffs if he wants to compete at higher levels.

In 2009, Carson pitched a full season for Savannah and went: 8-10, 3.21, 1.40, but only 90-K in 131.2-IP. He also walked 45 batters.

Carson’s 3 year pro stats are: 12-13, 2.87, 1.34.


Forecast:


Carson would have been ranked higher if he finished the season strong, but he didn’t. The Mets should have bumped him to St. Lucie at least two months prior to the end of the season, but they didn’t, and that could have been hanging over Carson. There’s a hell of a lot of talent here along with his confidence and bravado. I look for a tremendous season at St. Lucie in 2010.
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Early Breakfast Links - Park, Wags, Jerry, uniforms, Sheets, and Dessens survey

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Jerry Manuel:


In just the last two weeks, the volatile Wally Backman was hired at Class-A Brooklyn. The more cerebral Tim Teufel was promoted to Class-AA and Terry Collins, who managed the Astros and Angels a decade ago and interviewed for the Mets' job in 2004, is now the organization's minor league field coordinator. All three represent a clear and present danger to Manuel's job security. Obviously, the Mets' hierarchy isn't holding Manuel solely responsible for a 92-loss season that was sabotaged by injuries. But the apathy and lack of hustle displayed by the players who finished out the year stands as a nagging indictment of Manuel's leadership.
- Fox Sports



Chan Ho Park:

Park’s numbers won’t be eye-popping, but he’s something of a Swiss Army Knife in any bullpen. Last season with the Phillies he started, pitched in the middle of games, and in some late inning situations. Park has never returned to the near-Cy-Young form he had in Los Angeles, but he’s throwing his fastball less, and mixing up his off-speed pitches well, and is a valuable, and likely inexpensive arm for a team to put in their bullpen - .link



Billy Wagner:

Wagner is definitely no longer the pitcher who can reach triple-digits with his fastball, but he still averages over 94 miles-per-hour. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Wagner pitched in limited time and was very successful (1.72 ERA, 26 SOs, and a 1.021 WHIP in 15.2 innings pitched). Wagner’s age and injury history place him lower on the list. He was an all-but-missing piece in a bad Mets bullpen in 2008, and it isn’t often that players recover from Tommy John surgery so well in their late-30s. However, if Wagner’s arm holds up, and his numbers stay somewhere near the small 2009 sample, he’s a high-quality bullpen arm. - link



New Uniform:

My hope is that Mets fully embrace this look and wear the uniforms more than occasionally. We'll definitely see them Opening Day, but the organization shouldn't limit them to a "Sunday" uniform like the Braves do with their red jerseys. Wear the jersey against old rivals like the Cubs and Cardinals. Don it when the Dodgers and Giants come to town. And have them on hand against the Yankees. The uniform change gives the Mets a chance to form a new identity in a new ballpark. Hopefully, it will be a winning one.- Metsfansforever



Ben Sheets:

First, I have to believe a one or two year deal would get it done. I think he will look to re-establish himself with a healthy season and hit the open market again for a big payday. The idea of this was discussed by sources last winter before he was shut down and had surgery. He probably looks for around $7-$9 million per and the market of teams involved will dictate how close he will get to that. I am completely in on Ben Sheets for a year at $6-$8 million



Question from comprehensive pie-chart :  Do you want Elmer Dessens resigned?
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11/27/09

The Keepers - #12 - OF - Kirk Nieuwenhuis

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12. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – OF –

From: www.apu.edu:

Junior center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Baseball America’s 2008 NAIA Preseason Player of the Year, returns after a standout sophomore season to lead the Azusa Pacific offense … Had a breakout summer campaign in which he earned Alaska Baseball League MVP honors … Will be the centerpiece and hit in the middle of the Cougar lineup … Possesses a dangerous power/speed combination … Will make a run at several program career records.

Also from www.apu.edu:

Nieuwenhuis, Baseball America’s 2008 NAIA Preseason Player of the Year and a 2008 NAIA All-American first team selection, batted .400 (90-for-225) with 20 doubles, 15 home runs, 68 RBIs, and a program single-season record 84 runs for the Cougars as they advanced to the NAIA World Series for the second straight season, just the second time in program history the program had made back-to-back World Series trips. Through 3 seasons at Azusa Pacific, Nieuwenhuis has also set 2 career marks with 12 triples and 190 runs.

The 6-foot-3 centerfielder was named the 2007 MVP of the prestigious Alaska Baseball League, a summer collegiate wood-bat league that regularly showcases future professional baseball talent. Nieuwenhuis batted .333 (52-for-156) in 40 games for the Athletes In Action Fire squad, registering 8 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs, and team-highs of 35 runs and 30 RBIs.

From: http://naia.cstv.com:

Azusa Pacific (Calif.) University junior centerfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was selected by the New York Mets with their third-round selection, the 100th overall pick of the 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Nieuwenhuis was the lone NAIA baseball player selected on Day 1. The second and final day of the draft continues on Friday (June 6) from the Disney Sports Complex. For complete coverage of the draft, click here.

"I really had no idea who was going to pick me, or even if I would go the first day (of the 2-day draft)," said Nieuwenhuis. "I had gotten calls from a lot of different teams, and I didn't guess it would be the third round, but God is good, and it came earlier than I expected. I was ecstatic."

Nieuwenhuis, Baseball America's 2008 NAIA Preseason Player of the Year and a 2008 NAIA All-American first team selection, batted .400 (90-for-225) with 20 doubles, 15 home runs, 68 RBIs, and a program single-season record 84 runs for the Cougars as they advanced to the NAIA World Series for the second straight season, just the second time in program history the program had made back-to-back World Series trips. Through through seasons at Azusa Pacific, Nieuwenhuis has also set two career marks with 12 triples and 190 runs.


In August 2009, Nieuwenhuis made the Baseball America Hot List with: “Sorry Kirk, but we just blew the lid off your stealth campaign in the Florida State League. Only a five-homer showing by Brett Wallace in Triple-A stood in the way of a No. 1 ranking. Batting .259/.346/.441 with 15 homers, 27 doubles, 64 RBIs and 16 steals (in 20 attempts), Nieuwenhuis leads the FSL in home runs, extra-base hits (46) and runs scored (81). And he's just four off the leaders for RBIs and doubles. Don't be fooled by that age; the physical, lefty-swinging Nieuwenhuis celebrated a birthday two weeks ago and actually spent most of the season as a 21-year-old. An '08 third-round pick, he skipped right over low Class A on his way from NAIA Azusa Pacific (Calif.) to the FSL this season. It's hard to argue with the results.”

9-9-9 From www.hardballtimes.com: - Nieuwenhuis, a centerfielder out of Azusa Pacific University, was having a pretty good year until August started. Then he had an excellent year. Nieu's combination of speed and power was a lethal combination, leading to a .193 ISO and sixteen stolen bases in twenty tries. With a .383 wOBA in St. Lucie, the lefty, who spent most of the year as a 21 year-old, moved up to Binghamton and finished the year strong, hitting .406/.472/.656 in 36 plate appearances.

In 2009, Nieuwenhuis was third in the league in home runs (16), tied for 5th in RBIs (71), and led the league for St. Lucie with a .367 slugging average.

Forecast:

Very quietly, Nieuwenhuis is becoming quite the draft pick. His test will come in the spring when we begin to find out if he can duplicate this kind of year at the AA level. If he can, this just might be the real deal, folks.
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Breakfast Links - Zeile, Elmer, Viola, Wags, and Willets Point

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Todd Zeile:


Yesterday, in discussing Edgar Martinez's chances of getting into the Hall of Fame, Larry Stone linked us to an Edgar fact sheet that was sent out by the Mariners to members of the BBWAA, a fact sheet that makes a number of statistical arguments to support his candidacy. It's an impressive document, but then, it isn't all that difficult to make one of the best hitters in baseball history look impressive. What I came away wanting to know is what these fact sheets look like for lesser players who also find themselves on the ballot. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of a similar document in support of fellow first-time candidate Todd Zeile sent out by officials with both the Rockies and Marlins, an excerpt of which is shown below. - lookoutstanding 



Elmer Dessens:

But anyway, glad the Mets are busy designing new uniforms (which consisted of going from white to cream, and nothing else), Mets-izing Citi Field, (which they were shamed into doing, so let's see if they go all out or if they just paint the park "eggshell"), and wooing Elmer Dessens. Hard at work for you, the paying customer. And that, is what I'm thankful for this holiday season.- Metstradamus






Frank Viola

In 1988 Viola won the AL Cy Young with the Twins going 24-7. After starting 1989 at 8-12, the Twins traded Viola to the Mets for Rick Aguliera and a cast of others. Viola spent 2 ½ years with the Mets going 38-32 before departing as a free agent. Even though his record wasn’t that bad, he never really lived up to his hype. Meanwhile Aguliera spent 11 years in Minnesota racking up 254 saves.  - Met Police 


Citifield:

A federal judge on Wednesday upheld New York’s $3 billion redevelopment plan for Willets Point, an industrial section of Queens dominated by car-repair shops and waste-management businesses, finding that although the city had neglected the neighborhood’s infrastructure for decades, the constitutional rights of the businesses there — many of which will be forced to relocate under the plan — were not violated. - NYT




Billy Wagner:

Even at 37 years old and coming off Tommy John surgery, and pitching primarily in a lower-leverage role (0.98 LEV) in the AL East, Billy Wags blew hitters away during his late-season return. He struck out 26 in 152/3 innings, and while his eight walks rate as a concern, his command was impressive for a guy who returned to the majors a few weeks shy of one year removed from surgery. Wagner's average fastball velocity (94.2 mph) was just a hair removed from his pre-surgical seasons (94.5), and batters were utterly baffled, hitting just .154/.279/.269 against him. The audition was enough to show that Wagner's certainly capable of returning to closing, and his upside relative to the rest of this free agent class is undeniable. The major questions come down to money and his Type A status. The Red Sox already turned down an $8 million option on his services; if they offer arbitration and he declines it, he'll cost a draft pick in addition to the big dollars—closer money—he's likely to seek. Via that route, he may make more sense for a team protected from losing its first-round choice by placing in the top 15, a rule of thumb that applies to most of the Type A's here.

baseballprospectus
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11/26/09

The Keepers - #13 - RP - Roy Merritt

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13. Roy Merritt – RP – AAA – 24/yrs.


A local article written prior to the draft: Roydrick Merritt, a second team preseason All-SWAC selection, pitched a seven-inning two-hitter with six strikeouts and held UAPB to a .091 (2-for-22) batting average to lead Southern to a 6-1 victory in the first game. The hard-throwing left-hander from Houston only gave up two walks and held the Golden Lions scoreless until Jeremy Davis’ RBI double drove home Scott Donaldson in the bottom of the fifth. “I really didn’t try to overpower them today,” Merritt said. “All I wanted was to go out there and throw strikes. I wanted to hit my spots. Merritt is 6-1 with a 3.20 ERA, five complete games (all seven-inning games), one save and 48 strikeouts to 24 walks. He was the winner a year ago as SU opened the SWAC tournament with a 10-6 win over Alcorn, going five innings and allowing five runs (four earned) and seven hits. He struck out five and walked one.

In 2006, he pitched 44 innings, gave up 50 hits, and struck out 44 batters. His college teammate was Savannah’s Emery Frederick.

The Mets drafted Merritt in the 29th round of the 2007 Mets. He played the 2007 season for Kingsport, pitching in 17 relief appearances and posting highly respected stats of 1-2, 2.88, 1.12.


In 2008, Merritt pitched a combined 3-0, 2.16, in 31 appearances for Brooklyn and St. Lucie.

In September 2008, Patrick Hickey wrote on: Roy Merritt- Much like Johnson, Merritt exceeded expectations and showed remarkable poise out of the pen. That, combined with a slider, with movement that can only be compared to a Frisbee, Merritt figures to be a pitcher worth watching next season. Considering the fact that he was drafted by the Cardinals in 2005 as a center fielder, it’s amazing how far he’s come in such a short time. - Final Grade-A+

March 2009: Pat Hickey Jr. on: Roy Merritt, who is still developing his secondary pitches to compliment an excellent slider and a average fastball, is still finding out what he needs to do in order to be successful. In just a third of an inning of work, the lefty-side-armer has given up three runs and two hits.

2009 was a mixed year for Merritt. He was on the fast track out of spring training and actually stood a chance to make it to Queens on a September call-up; however, a hot start turned cooler later on in the year. AA stats: 4-5, 3.45, 1.48, 14-Sv, 56-K, 56-G, 62.2-IP.


Forecast: A lot more was expected of Merritt this past year. The Mets brass fell in love with him in spring training and everyone expected him to be a September call up. He has ++ talent and could make it there by the end of this year if he aces AAA.
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More Turkey Links: 1962, Wags, Chan Ho, Josh, Murph, and Steve Chilcott

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1962 Mets:


Two months before they started limbering up in St. Petersburg and nearly four months before they began losing in earnest, the New York Mets made their debut at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23, 1961. There had only been actual Mets for about six weeks, since the expansion draft yielded 22 players of varying talents and primes who were slated to comprise the bulk of the Original Mets. Their real star, of course, was their manager. One year removed from not quite winning an eighth World Series in a dozen seasons for a particularly demanding employer, Casey Stengel had signed on to pilot the expansion Mets. Casey Stengel had been, was and would always be the personification of baseball in New York. He was a Dodger under Wilbert Robinson, a Giant under John McGraw, a Yankee who lorded it over the American League and now the best thing the nascent Mets had going for them.- yardbarker 



Billy Wagner::

Wagner was a little wild but otherwise dominant in coming back from Tommy John surgery. Despite the lost year, he's arguably the best reliever on the market, given his end-year performance and the fact that the other guys all have spotty health records. The Red Sox did him a favor by not picking up his $8 million option, as he'll do better than that on the market, most likely getting a two-year deal. Wagner may have to choose between setting up for a good team or closing for a bad one.





Chan Ho Park: Ignore the overall numbers. As a reliever the past two seasons, Park has 101 strikeouts and 37 unintentional walks in 120⅓ innings. Split the difference on his homers (10 in '08, none in '09) and project him as 70 innings of effective relief in a package that gets both lefties and righties out. He's worth at least a one-year deal, and I'd go to two if necessary. - baseballprospectus


Josh Thole:

Josh Thole leads the league in hitting at .393. The way he is raking in the Venezuelan League the Mets catching job should be his. There doesn’t appear to be any alternative. He rippled together another 6-game hitting streak, going 9 for 24 for the week and hitting his second homer of the season. His OBA is .504 with a 24/10 walk to K rate and his slugging is .554. He also drove in seven runs during this 6-game hitting streak. He’ll face better pitching in the major leagues, so spring training will be the key - mwob



Daniel Murphy:

Now, we give you Daniel Murphy's play that ... that ... behind-the-back thing he did, playing first base during the Mets' July 8 game against the Dodgers at Citi Field. Go on, describe that in 25 words or less. Can't be done, if only because any description has to go heavy on the adjectives and requires an "Are you kidding me?" and a "Holy Ozzie, Batman!" to convey the thought. What was Murphy -- once a third baseman, once a second baseman, never a left fielder and finally a first baseman -- doing making a play that Keith Hernandez, the patron saint of first basemen, wouldn't have attempted? - mlb



Wilson Valdez:

Philadelphia Phillies signed 1B Andy Tracy and SS Wilson Valdez. Valdez, a minor league free agent who had notable big league playing time in ’09, signed early and provide quality insurance for the Phillies to stash at Triple-A. Valdez, 31, served a similar role for the Mets in ’09, garnering playing time mostly as the result of being the only ambulatory shortstop in New York after Jose Reyes and Alex Cora went down with injuries. He batted .256/.326/.337 in 86 at-bats. - BA 


Ruben Tejada:

Top 15 Shortstop Prospects by Project Prospect: - #13 Ruben Tejada SS Elite contact ability, speed and glove give him high floor; not patient or powerful



Lance Broadway:

The Mets could have a sleeper starting pitcher with their pickup of Lance Broadway from the White Sox. He continues to pitch well, giving up only one run in his six inning start last week. He’s only given up two hits in his last 12 innings of work. He leads all pitchers in ERA that have qualified with enough innings pitched with a 2.65 ERA - mwob 



Deolis Guerra:

The Minnesota Twins added to 40-man roster: RHP Deolis Guerra - BA





Steve Chilcott:

The Mets had the first pick in the 1966 amateur draft. Their scouts had focused on a young outfielder attending Arizona State University. The kid had power and speed – he was a sure bet to advance though the system. Yet as the draft drew near, the Mets changed their plans and drafted Steve Chilcott, a catcher out of Lancaster, CA. The supposed reason? The young OFer was black and his girlfriend was white. Chilcott never played a game in the majors. The young OFer is in the Hall of Fame – Reggie Jackson. -
mets police
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