Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, January 17, 2004
 
I really don't have much today, but this made my day (at 11 AM no less!)...

Padres Snare Ordonez to be option at short

No, not the news, but the quotes...

Towers doesn't want the 24-year-old to languish on the bench, so Greene either will start or will begin the season at Triple-A Portland. If he starts, the backup will likely be Vazquez because he offers the Padres more versatility with his ability also to play second or third base. If Greene heads back to the minors, however, Ordonez should get his opportunity.

"I see his best chance of making the club as the everyday shortstop," Towers said of Ordonez.


He'll jump Vazquez... yeah... and this...

The Padres beat out several teams for the services of Ordonez, who will take a major pay cut from the $6.25 million he made in 2003 as the final season of a four-year, $19 million contract signed with the New York Mets. Should he stick with the Padres, Ordonez would earn $650,000, with a chance at $125,000 more in performance bonuses.

"I'm excited to have him," Towers said. "He was on our radar screen early, but we didn't think we'd be able to match up financially."


Match up with him financially? Several teams after him? On you radar screen early? I love stuff like this.

Friday, January 16, 2004
 
Mets Musings

All apologies to Peter White of Mariners Musings on the title, but I like the alliteration myself.

Anyway, we have 5 topics to cover today...
1. Todd Zeile
2. Livan for Timo (You'll see)
3. Optimism in Garcia
4. Newest platoon idea (its strange)
5. That Japanese closer dude (Yes, I will refer to him by his name at some point)

Tood Zeile

I'm disgusted with the signing of Todd Zeile. It's just plain out bad. He's old, can't really hit anymore, and isn't exactly a great defensive replacement for Wigginton. The defense I can't really prove to you (but come on, he was a shaky first baseman with the Mets), but the offense, well, I can. Let's look at his past four years, starting with 2000, his first year with the Mets the first time around.

2000 (NYM): .268/.356/.467
2001 (NYM): .266/.359/.373
2002 (COL): .273/.353/.425
2003 (MON/NYY): .227/.308/.385

A slow decline, minus 2002, but he played his home games in Coors, where he hit .315/.414/.500. Think he was helped out?

A better way to look at his stats is to look at his road stats, where park factors are considered to be neutral.

2000: .258/.346/.491 (.837 OPS)
2001: .259/.348/.381 (.729 OPS)
2002: .233/.291/.353 (.644 OPS)
2003: .215/.312/.349 (.661 OPS)

I'm not a big fan of OPS, but its good enough for this example. After 2000, his power fell off the table and has never come back (except in Coors, but that doesn't count for this, at least). His AVG and OBP have also slowly been dropping and by looking at his OPS, you can see how badly he has fallen off. He's 38, and there's hardly any hope he'll start hitting again.

Really, this signing makes no sense, and there are plenty of other players out there that would be capable of backing up Wigginton while hitting better and providing a better defensive replacement.

Livan for Timo

A suggestion brought up by Metsblog.com and followed up on by Avkash of The Raindrops and its actually a pretty good one. Livan is set to be paid 5 million dollars next year and the Expos/MLB would love to get that off their hands. Omar loves Timo and the Mets have no use for Timo, especially after the Karim Garcia signing. Livan is a solid pitcher and if the Mets are out of contention come July, Livan could be moved in a trade for prospects.

Now, obviously, Timo won't make this trade alone (Omar Miyana doesn't make trades that are that bad), so I say throw in Jeremy Hill. Livan Hernandez for Timo Perez and Jeremy Hill. How can you tell me you don't like that?

Optimism in Garcia

Karim Garcia is an interesting topic. There are basically two sides.

1. The ones that see small sample sizes and a non-walker and are pessimistic.
2. The ones that like the idea of Karim against right handed pitching, but never want to see him face a lefty.

I fall into catergory two. I really believe he's a good pickup. Power bat, good hitter against righthanders (at least so far... I will admit, the sample sizes are not huge). Unfortunately, the Mets don't have a platoon partner for him... but I have an idea...

Newest platoon idea

Let's introduce it before I defend it.

Pre All Star Break: Karim Garcia vs. righthanders, Rual Gonzalez vs. lefthanders with the occasional at-bats for Roger Cedeno vs. lefties (in the month of May)
Post All Star Break: Roger Cedeno vs. lefthanders and vs. some righthanders, Karim Garcia vs some righthanders (mostly in September)

This is nuts, right? Well, I have stats to defend it. Let's start with the Pre-All Star Break.

We all know why Garcia against righthanders, so we don't need to dwelve into that.
Rual Gonzalez against lefthanders because well, he's righthanded.

Roger Cedeno occasional at bat vs. lefties in May. Weird stipulation, right? Well, here's why.

2001-2003 Splits
May: 274 AB, .307/.385/.445

Maximizes his hitting ability. So, Rual vs. lefties in April and June, Roger in May.

Now the Post All-Star Break...

Roger Cedeno hits .291/.337/.407 post all-star break as opposed to .259/.316/.347 pre all-star break. That's a .744 OPS vs. a .663 OPS (2001-2003 Split).

So why give Karim the September at-bats. Easy.

2001-2003 splits in September
Karim Garcia: .277/.304/.515
Roger Cedeno: .267/.327/.372

Now, granted, Roger actually gets on base better, but Karim provides the power, so give him most of his at bats in September, when Roger cools off.

Am I serious? No, I'm not serious. But the way rightfield is looking, it might not be the worst idea out there.

That Japanese closer dude

His name is actually Shingo Takatsu and apparently the Mets are interested. And they shouldn't be. Why?

1. He's 34 and will cost a few million dollars. The bullpen is already old and already has too much money tied up in old guys.
2. Instead of having one spot open in Spring Training for Wheeler, Feliciano, Cerda, Jason Anderson, and co., there will be no spot open. Well, until, Weathers, Stanton, and Franco all go down with arm injuries.
3. His stats don't impress me all that much, especially last year.

Let's tackle #3 because we can. He's the all-time saves leader in Japan, passing Kaz Sasaki last year. Guess what? That means nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Thanks to Japanese Baseball.com, we can look at Shingo Takatsu's stats. Here are his rate stats for his career.

8.40 H/9, 0.96 HR/9, 7.05 K/9, 3.02 BB/9, 2.34 K/BB, 3.13 ERA

Not terrible, right? Well, consider a few things.

1. He's coming to pitch in a different and harder league than Japan.
2. He is coming to Shea Stadium, which is a help, but still has to master major league hitters, umpires, and all that other good stuff.
3. He's 34 and we have no clue about his health and how much stress has really been put on his arm.

Why do I think #3 is important. Look at how he pitched in his Age 33 season (last year)...

9 H/9, 1.5 HR/9, 5.57 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 1.24 K/BB, 3.00 ERA

Yeah, the ERA looks nice. Unfortunately, the rest doesn't. Walk rate up, K rate dropped, terrible K/BB and a high HR/9. Am I suggesting he's not completely healthy? Not at all. What I'm suggesting is that he might have a lot more stress on his arm than we know, which is very possible at age 34.

So, this shouldn't even be an option for the Mets based on his age alone, but when you factor in his performance, I don't think any team should spend 2 million dollars on a pitcher who is 34, who is coming off a terrible year, and who is from a different country. But that's just me.

Thursday, January 15, 2004
 
It's a snow day for me from school and I've got a lot of school work to do (midterms coming up), so, in the words of John Bonnes, I'm phoning it in. With what? Well, I'm going to rerun two of my columns from late August that dealt with the idea of a platoon in rightfield. Enjoy (I did a little editing, knocking out unimportant other stuff in the articles)...

Tuesday, August 19th, 2003

Yesterday, I talked about a platoon involving Timo Perez and another OF who hits well off lefties. I found another list of free agents, and there were not many promising names. But, I did find one that I think might be a nice fit. You can call me insane for even bringing up this name (you probably will), but from the list of free agents I found, the guy I would want is...

Wil Cordero

Yes, Wil Cordero. The guy playing mostly 1B in Montreal right now. The same guy who was on Aaron Gleeman's NL Bizarro World All-Stars as the worst 1B in the NL. But, before you laugh at me more and close this window, let me give you an excerpt from Aaron's entry on him (because I figure you'll listen to Aaron if you won't listen to me.)

"As has been the case in past seasons, Wil Cordero is hitting left-handed pitching pretty well. From 2000-2002, a span of 304 at bats, Cordero hit .296/.362/.487 against lefties, and he is hitting .283/.367/.434 against them this year. So, he's a valuable player to have and can fill one-half of a platoon role very nicely, but he stinks against righties. Unfortunately for the Expos, he has gotten a ton of playing time against righties this year and is hitting just .236/.309/.372 against them."
(I obviously took the liberty of bolding that part about the platoon.)

If you don't believe me, believe Aaron. And if don't believe him, believe the stats. At that point, he had an OPS of .801 against lefties... now its 1.006 (though it is only 84 AB's). This guy can hit lefties, if nothing else.

As Aaron mentions, he had a .296 AVG and a .849 OPS from 2000-2002 in 304 AB's against lefties... here it is year by year.

2000- .323/.932 (127 AB)
2001- .298/.786 (84 AB)
2002- .258/.791 (93 AB)

In 2000, he was wonderful. In 2001 and 2002, he wasn't great, but not bad (especially for a guy who in the lineup I'll put out will be hitting 6th, 7th, or 8th...). And anyway, its a very small sample size. Now, here's Timo's stats against righties in that time... (this year he's at .291/.720)

2000- .317/.833 (41 AB)
2001- .258/.680 (213 AB)
2002- .318/.831 (380 AB)

2000 and 2002 are very good. 2001 was his first year full time in the league and he slumped in July and October (a combination of about 50 AB's). Their career splits against lefites look like this...

Wil Cordero- 1185 AB's, .295/.361/.467/.828 OPS (compared to .738 against righties with a .268 average)
Timo Perez- 837 AB's, .296/.336/.430/.766 OPS (compared to .405 against lefties with a .154 average)

For a platoon, that would not be bad. Timo is still young and might be better off just facing righties. Wil Cordero can play against lefties, but still stay in the game to play against righties because he's not that terrible. Timo also provides speed and pretty good defense. Really the only problem that might exist is Wil Cordero's defense. In 2002, most of his AB's were in games where he played the OF, though he was mostly a LF. Here I would ask him to play right because Cliff Floyd is in LF. This might not be as much of a concern if the Mets also sign Mike Cameron like I suggested yesterday. He is arguably the best defensive CF in the game and can make up for some of what Wil can't do. Plus, he won't be out there everyday, which should help him.

He also provides bench flexiblity as he can play first base. If the Mets also keep Joe McEwing, the Mets don't need a backup 1B and could get another middle infielder to fill the bench.

This also provides financial flexibility (yes, the Mets and financial flexibility) because this platoon will cost around 1 million dollars. This allows the Mets money to throw at Cameron and at another starting pitcher if they want too. This gives them a chance to sign a few bullpen arms and gives them a chance to have some money around for next year or the year after if

1. The platoon doesn't work out
2. They need to pick up another big free agent or someone in a trade

Maybe I'm nuts. Maybe I'm trying too hard to convince myself that Wil Cordero if worth the Mets time. But why not give it a shot. It's not a bad idea and may keep the Mets from throwing loads of money at more veterans who will underachieve. Plus, look at the lineup, its really not that bad...

1. Reyes
2. Cameron
3. Piazza
4. Floyd
5. Phillips
6. Wigginton
7. Cordero/Perez
8. Scutaro

If you want, Perez could bat second and bring Cameron back down to sixth, but even the way I have it, its not a terrible lineup. It might not be the best production you have ever seen from the right field position, but it will probably be better than Burnitz's 2002 or what you'll see from anyone on the roster now (who would be playing full time, because obviously, Perez is on the roster).

Wednesday, August 20th, 2003

Since I've opened the mailbag, this is one of the rare oppurtunities I have to actually devote an entry to e-mails I got. These e-mails come to me because of yesterday's article, where I talked about a RF platoon involving Wil Cordero

The first one comes from Michael over at Michael's Mets Ramblings, who agrees Cameron would be a great sign.

"Didn't know Mike Cameron was a free agent this year. He'd be a GREAT sign. Great hitter, extraordinary in center field. I'd have to disagree with you though on " arguably the best defensive CF in the game" Much as i hate him, i believe Andruw Jones is a step above everyone else."

Which is part of the reason I said arguably, but this is more of an opinion of course, because, well, there is no real way to pin down exactly how valuable a player is defesnively. But I do have one Mets fan who also believes in signing Cameron.

Another e-mail comes from reader Ricardo Gonzalez, who has other ideas for a platoon player against lefites...

"First of all, let me tell you i enjoy your blog very much as you bring up interesting points.

About the RF platoon, i'd like to add the name of Reggie Sanders to it. I know he'd come a little bit more expensive, but his numbers are a little bit better and he offers the defense that Cordero doesn't.

Sanders against LHP:

.330/.404/.730

Another candidate I'd add to that list would be Bubba Tramell (.282 .363 .493) career statistics against LHP. He'd come cheap, and i'm sure he'd like a chance to return to the Mets.

Also, would you consider a platoon for Wigginton as well? He struggles against RHP but he is murder against lefties."


(First of all, I combined two e-mails together as I had answered the first one that just involved Sanders and then he also suggested Bubba in an e-mail back.)

Anyway, Reggie Sanders would actually be a great choice and was a big oversight on my part. He's a FA at the end of the season and is making 1 million this year. For the season, he's batting .269/.327/.571 for an OPS of .898. Against lefties, he's got a 1.107 OPS and still has a good .813 OPS against righties. Between 2000-2002, he batted .270/.356/.553 against lefties. And for his career he's .297/.379/.559 against lefties. There are a couple of problems though...

1. He's probably going to cost a good 3-5 million dollars and that's too much for a platoon player in my opinion.
2. He's not going to want to platoon after the year he's had. He can get plenty of good money to go somewhere to play everyday.

Ricardo said that he would be willing to sign him for 2.5 mil under the conidtion that when he slumps he gets platooned (Sanders is really streaky). Interesting point, but I think the money is a little short and the idea of him even having to consider a platoon doesn't seem like it would work. Also, he's 35, and I would think coming off the year he's had, he would want to go to a contender and have a chance to win a World Series (I know he has one with the D'Backs, but I'm sure at 36 he would want to have a chance to play for one).

The next name, Bubba Trammell is really interesting. I loved Bubba Trammell when he was over here and don't know why the Mets ever let him go to the Padres. He has an .856 OPS against lefites for his career. In 2001, his OPS was .773 against lefites and .806 against righties. In 2002, his OPs was .921 againt lefites and .664 against righties. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but for his career he seems like a good lefties hitter and not a bad righties hitter. Really somewhere around Cordero's numbers. They are around the same age and Bubba probably plays a little better defense. The problem is that Bubba is still under contract with the Yankees and he's under an interesting situation with them. My gut feeling is that they will release him after the season. If they do, I would love to see the Mets go after him, maybe even more than Cordero.

And finally, the Wigginton question. I wouldn't platoon him yet. He's young and I would give him about two more years to prove how well he can hit. Timo got some time to prove what he could do against lefties and we all found out he can't hit them. So give Wigginton a little more time and we'll see what happens (.890 OPS against lefites, .660 against righties).

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
 
Rightfield is the topic here again, as it will be until we have a clear cut answer...

Eric Valent. Who? Well, Avkash has the answer and the reason. Interesting idea, but probably will never happen.

As for the latest Mets news, its looking like they will sign Karim Garcia for 1 year at 850 K. Not a terrible move (actually I like it), but as we all know, Karim has a major flaw (other than that he's a little hefty and isn't a great fielder).

vs. Left- .237/.270/.466
vs. Right- .297/.327/.528

*All splits used will be of the 2001-2003 variety unless otherwise noted

Now, granted, he isn't a patient hitter from either side of the plate, but he puts up a good enough average against righties to be respectable. He has great power, but it drops off from the left, while being very good from the right. So, obviously, he can hit against righties. Unfortunately, that leaves about 200 AB's against lefties. Who should take them? Let's start in-house...

Roger Cedeno- A .251/.297/.384 line against lefties. That, combined with defense worse the Garcia's, is going to get him released in my plan.

Timo Perez- I just wanted to put this up for the hell of it... .160/.200/.193. That makes you shudder, doesn't it?

Joe McEwing- There's good news and bad news... the good news is that he hits lefties better than righties. The bad news is that he hits them at a .233/.290/.370 clip.

Raul Gonzalez- I believe he has to stay on the 40 man, but send him back to AAA to polish himself up.

So, with the above in mind, what should the Mets do? Three things...

1. Release Roger Cedeno. Now. He has no use, eat his contract. It will be a good PR move...
2. Send Raul Gonzalez back down to AAA.
3. Sign one of these two players to platoon with Karim Garcia... Raul Mondesi or Wil Cordero. I'll make the case for both, but if it was my preference, I'd take Cordero, something I'll explain. I will separate this into four catergories... offense, defense, character (something that I think goes along with playing in a platoon role) and contract (age doesn't matter, they are both 32).

Raul Mondesi

Offense: He's got a fairly decent eye and a pretty good power bat. Was a superstar in waiting in LA after winning Rookie of the Year, but never did quite pan out to stardom. Here's his splits...

vs. Left: .266/.371/.519
vs. Right: .247/.318/.438

It seems he's more patient against lefties and he hits for better power. Offensively, he'd be a great fit with Garcia in a platoon.

Defense: It gets a little rough here. He's known for his great throwing arm, and well, he's got one. Unfortunately, his 2000-2003 UZR is -10. Watching him play with the Yankees, I never really felt he was very good, and he seemed to lack an instinct on how to play RF. He makes me think of a Vlad Guerrero with less speed and not as good of an arm.

Character: OK, before I start, let me just say, I don't like him. At all. Now that that's out of the way, he's been described pretty harshly and I'm sure the term "a cancer" has come up a few times. I just don't feel like he would be willing to accept a platoon role, expecially the short end of one. And really, the Mets don't need another clubhouse character and bad guy this year.

Contract: 1 year, 1.5 million might do it... I would want to lowball him at a million, but my gut tells me he would try to get 1.5 million.

Wil Cordero

Offense: I've written about Wil Cordero before, when I thought Timo was still a platoon option against righties (crazy me). You can read that here. Cordero is a patient hitter good at taking walks and isn't quite the K guy Mondesi is. He also doesn't quite have the home run power Mondesi does. Here are the splits...

vs. Left: .295/.383/.467
vs. Right: .253/.315/.388

More patient against lefties, a lot more powerful against lefties, and coming off a .324/.421/.528 year against them. Another great fit in a platoon with Garcia.

Defense: I can't find any numbers for him defensively in the outfield, but his UZR from 2000-2003 at 1B is -16, so that doesn't bode well. He's not particulary fast or agile and I don't think his throwing arm is great.

Character: Not too many problems with him as there are with Mondesi and a guy I think, the way his career path has gone, would be willing to accept a platoon role.

Contract: 1 year, 850K. Seems very possible to me.

So, with that in mind, why would I take Cordero over Mondesi? Let's look at the four catergories...

Offense: A slight edge to Mondesi for more home run power, though basically even considering Cordero's high OBP and big year last year.

Defense: Really, both stink. Mondesi gets an edge on throwing arm, though it really doesn't matter, since Cameron is out there. And they pass the "We can catch the ball" Roger Cedeno test.

Character: This is the big part where I make my decision. I don't like Mondesi, I think he is a cancer, and I think, even if you explain the platoon to him, he'll see his stats (which will hopefully be good) and demand more playing time.

Contract: If Wilpon's cheap, Cordero's contract is better, though neither is expensive.

Overall, I find that Cordero would be a better fit for a team that is looking to plug a hole in the outfield for one year. I don't think the Mets want to or should deal with a player like Raul Mondesi in the clubhouse, especially after coming off the clubhouse of the last two years.

So, release Cedeno, move Raul Gonzalez to AAA, and sign Wil Cordero along with Garcia. The defense in rightfield will stink (though they can catch the ball and Cameron is in center, so its not a huge deal), but the offense will be fairly good.

So, if the Karim Garcia signing happens, start clamoring for Wil Cordero (who ever thought those words would be said in a sentence).

Tuesday, January 13, 2004
 
I've decided not to talk about the Rafael Soriano thing, if only because I'll annoy myself more if he gets traded somewhere and its not the Mets.

For Baseball Interactive, I think I might make my first article an assortment of posts I made on Tom Glavine. He's been my favorite player to talk about, and probably the guy who's gotten me the most attention on this blog. And anyway, if you don't know my thoughts, feelings, and statistical views of Tom Glavine, then you're missing a big part of what I like to talk about (Also, if you have any suggestions for archived material that I've done before that's good, leave a note in the comments).

All the Mets have left is to solve the right field issue, and really, I'm getting afraid that its Cedeno. I would actually rather play Timo out there, only because of the defense factor (Like Aaron, I'm starting to put a lot of weight on defensive value). While he's certainly not great, he's faster, has better range, and can catch the ball. And to be honest, the offense may not be a big difference between the two.

As for FA's, nothing's left. I've made my assertion on Jay Payton, and I'm not changing it. There is no way I want him. And anyway, Rotoworld reports that he is probably headed to the Padres.

But there is another option out there, and its starting to get talked about in a few different places. That would be the idea of giving the job to Victor Diaz. He's got pretty good speed and well, hits for power. He's not particulary patient, but he hits a lot better than anyone we got and hell, might be close to the league average in RF production. I think he could become a slightly better than average fielder given time. He's got the speed for range and learning to catch a ball (if your not Roger Cedeno) should be fairly easy. And anyway, as much as Timo's got the natural skills to play the outfielder, he probably has as much "baseball sense" in the outfield as Diaz does now.

So, given a choice, I'd stick Victor Diaz out in rightfield. But I don't think Mets management is smart enough to do that, so we'll be stuck with a rotation of Rual Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Timo Perez, and everyone's favorite, Roger Cedeno.

Monday, January 12, 2004
 
I had to post this...

Over at Primer today, Chris Dial has an interesting article about Tom Glavine and his struggles. He comes up with a few different things, including age, a little defense and some issues with the home mound, and the comments are interesting, especially MGL's.

It's a different look at it, but I still think my idea of defense at home being Glavine's big problem is true (if you don't know what I'm talking about, look here and here). I still believe part of it is Ques-Tec getting in his head, but I think most of it is the defense at home. If you remember, I used a little stat called BIP-H% (balls in play for hits %). Here are the results...

July 5th
Home- 35%
Away- 30.9%

End of Year
Home- 33.5%
Away- 29.2%

And if you remember, he pitched better at home in the second half and fell back to Earth a little on the road, but still pitched fairly good on the road in the second half (his components did not equal a 2.82 ERA on July 5th).

Chris uses BABIP (batting average on balls in play) to come to the conclusion that Glavine was not affected by the Mets defense anymore than other pitcher. Using his formula, we'll see how this works out if we do it for home/road splits (only the end of the year, since that's what he was doing it for)...

2003 Season BABIP
Road- .2675
Home- .3114

The average for all Mets pitchers was .2949, but its not like that was good. Still, the BA is up 20 points at Shea and down 20 points from normal on the road. And here are the BABIP splits for the whole team...

Road- .2925
Home- .2954

It's about a three point difference. What does it mean? He got a lot of help on the road, and not a lot at home.

For next year, I think he can rebound. He will be a year older, but will have a better defense (that might be able to match the road numbers. BTW, what is a normal BABIP for a team and what is good? I'm not sure myself). And that will help him out in spacious Shea, where the defense last year killed him.

 
Not much today, just a few things...

Some of my posts will also be put on Baseball Interactive, a site you should check out. You know, the good ones, not like this...

John Vander Wal signs with Reds. Now, as OFF pointed out in the comments, he was offered arbitration, so it would not have been worth it. But, apparently, according to Al, Type C free agents don't force you to cough up a second round pick. ::shrugs:: Not a big loss either way.

I'll discuss this news tomorrow (and yes, those are two separate links).

Sunday, January 11, 2004
 
Why did I get optimistic? I was telling everyone yesterday that he wasn't going to the Mets, yet inside, I felt he was. And now, we get Todd Zeile...

Oh yeah, if you haven't heard, Vlady is going to the Angels for 70 million over 5 years. The Angels? Where in the hell did the Angels come from? (As a side note, imagine if they can't trade any of the outfielders and Erstad doesn't move to first. More Jose Guillen moaning...)

As another side note, this is what someone told me last night when I told them the news (non Mets fan)...

"Mike Piazza for Garrett Anderson."

I sorta chuckled. He was serious. I'm not. Piazza is a much better hitter and Anderson is looking for a raise after next season. I really would rather play out the last two years of Piazza's contract (along with Glavine's... no team option) and sign a big time 1B and RF before the 2006 season (Kazmir replaces Glavine).

Rightfield options are still out there, ranging from John Vander Wal to Jeremy Giambi to Russell Branyan. I'm biggest on Vander Wal, only because I don't think he's a total disaster in the field. I also like Giambi as a bench bat, but that means Cedeno has to go somewhere. Would I be willing to give Vander Wal a two year contract? He's 37, so I'd probably go 1 year with a team option for a second. If he plays well, let him come back as the stopgap in 2005.

Oh yeah, my reaction to this whole thing? Dissapointment, but not resentment against management. The first place I visited this morning was The Eddie Kranepool Society, hoping to see Stephen tee off on management. He's doesn't, only mad at the fact that the Mets got our hopes up.

I feel the same way. I'm mad that the Mets management got our hopes up and got us believing, but I'm not mad at their offer or how they went about it. I agree with Heyman's assertion that the Mets made a smart and good offer and were just beat by someone will to take a risk.

The Mets offered 5 years and 71 million dollars, but they only guaranteed 30 million. The other 41 million would come from incentives and clauses trigged by PA's (They weren't completely comfortable with his medical reports). He could actually opt out after 3 years. But then the Angels came along, with the new Tom Hicks (Artie Moreno), and ponied up 5 years at 70 million, all guaranteed. The Mets couldn't beat that.

The Mets, for whatever reason, be it the medical reports or Mo Vaughn (though I'm hoping it was the medical reports), were afraid of Vlady's back. They were deadset on not getting in the market for Vlady, but when they saw that the market was dying and that he really didn't want to go to Baltimore, they thought they could sneak their way in. They decided to make an offer that still had good money, but relied on Vlady playing. They thought they could lure him by using New York as a city and almost had him, until those Angels came along. It was a good idea to try to backdoor their way in and it was a good idea to not give him guaranteed money if they were afraid of his back, but I'm just dissapointed, because it seemed like they had him in their grasp.

I think Stephen sums it up best today

"So let's see what happens. If Guerrero plays 5 seasons a produces as he has in the past, then Freddy Skill sets will never live this down. If Guerrero breakdown and the Mets get back on the winning track then he's a hero."

Amen, Steve.

Also, I've added MLB Center to the sidebar. Great site to check out, and who knows, you may see a little writing from me there one day...


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