“My main reason in my interest in the Mets was an opportunity to go out & make 30 starts and my ties with JP Ricciardi. I talked to David Wright and John Buck. Buck was my catcher in 2010 when I had my best year. I have a comfort level with Buck. This is a place I like. They gave me a chance. The way I feel right now, I'm looking forward to getting the ball rolling."
Zack Wheeler –
“Naturally, I hope I could make the team. But, I’m prepared to pitch wherever they send me… I just hope to put up some good numbers this spring and show them what I can do.”
3B Zach Lutz - The 26-year-old showed, once again, that he can hit in 2012. In fact, it was the third straight season he posted an OPS at or near .900 at Triple-A Buffalo, showcasing what's become a familiar mix of power, patience, and raw hitting ability. Yet, the problem, as always, is that no matter how much he hits he's blocked by David Wright. What's more, his bulky frame doesn't profile anywhere else but first -- where he's also blocked. However, the Mets severe dearth of right-handed pop means Lutz will apparently get reps in the outfield this spring. He should hit if given the opportunity, the only question is whether the shoddy defense is worth the bat -- and if/when the Mets get desperate we'll likely find out. Additionally, a lot of the same can be said for the similarly road blocked Josh Satin, though with less pop in his bat.
Like Josh Satin, Lutz has spent his entire Mets career blocked and yet neither of the two were picked in the Rule 5 Draft. In the case of Lutz, he’s had every unlucky injury imaginable. It’s simply too late for him to be converted to an outfielder and the shame is that another great minor league bat was wasted.
Carlos Beltran- Yes, Carlos Beltran. The player who many fans blame for the Mets not making the World Series in 2006. The guy who won Game 1 of the NLCS by himself, but had the gall to be unable to hit an un-hittable curveball in the 9th inning of Game 7. The best all around outfielder the Mets ever had. Beltran will be 37 heading into 2014, but is still very productive. He’s no longer elite defensively, but his offensive game is still there. He hit .269 with 32 home runs and 97 RBI’s for St Louis last year, and should be available for a reasonable one or two year deal after this season. If his 2013 resembles his 2012, the Mets should ponder bringing him back as a second piece that complements the addition of either Ellsbury, Gomez, or Choo.
This is what we call “reaching” during a period when you’ve run out of things to write about. I love Beltran, but his days in New York are over. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say that. He would fit in, age wise, perfectly with the Yankees.
Overall, those numbers don’t bode well for Michael Bourn. If there is a silver lining, however, it’s that the players who were able to maintain or improve on their stolen base rates over the next three seasons were the ones that received a lot of playing time. That does give some hope that Bourn might lucky enough to maintain his skills over the next three years. Giving Bourn a five-year deal would be a tough pill to swallow. The decline rate for these players is high enough in their early thirties, but it really jumps once they hit 33 or 34. Bourn had the most stolen bases of any player included in this study, which is another reason for optimism, at least in the short run. But the risk with speedy players is very real as they get into their 30s. The Mets are wise to be cautious in this scenario.
I think even Scott Boras is beginning to realize that his client isn’t going to get a 5-year deal. It’s simply too late in both the off-season process and the age of his client. Look for an opt-out one-year deal to develop that could result in a team getting back a 2nd round draft pick in 2014 after losing a first round pick in 2013. Now, all you have to do is find someone that wants this dude for only one year.