Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Our nightmare is apparently over (hat tip Jason, who has a nice number of interesting links up today)...
New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya's idea of trading for Sammy Sosa was never that popular to begin with. And now, it's officially dead.
With Sosa out of the picture, the Mets will center their attentions on free agent right fielder Magglio Ordonez. They also have not ruled out the return of Richard Hidalgo.
So, it seems as though our discussion for RF the past few days is where the Mets are going. Sadly, Wes and I still disagree on the choice of which player...

Speaking of which, a few people chimed in on yesterday's post with some interseting thoughts, though more are always appreciated, so go scroll down and chime in.

Friday, December 03, 2004
Open Thread Friday

Catchy, right? Anyway, there is a lot of stuff going around Met land, so I think its time to just start discussing away. Here are the main topics...

1. Mike Stanton for Felix Heredia. Good or bad deal?

2. Al Leiter close to deal with the Fish. Question: If he doesn't sign by December 7th, do you offer him arbitration? And, in honor of Al, favorite Al memory?

3. Pedro might be getting a guaranteed fourth year from the Mets...
If and when the Mets go to four years - and many industry sources believe they will - Martinez may have to decide between playing the next three years in Boston or the next four on the National League side of New York.
Thoughts on this? Good or bad?

4. Richard Hildago or Maggilo Ordonez? For back story, read the comment thread on this post which includes a great comparision by Wes involving Cliff Floyd. So, if its 2/15 with a 3rd option year for Maggilo and a few million cheaper for Hidalgo, who do you take? Why?

As always, to start it off, my answers...

1. Bad. There are paying the Yankees money along with the deal and no one is sure how much (though I think its being assumed the difference in contracts will be about 1 million). So they are saving a little money and getting worse in the bullpen. That's not smart at all. Even if the Mets release Heredia (who has a 200K buyout), the Mets might save 500-750K for next year and if McGinely and Ring get picked in the Rule 5 draft (even if they don't, when you think about it), the Mets in-house replacement would be Fedro Feliciano. And then if they go out of house...? I'm not sure they are doing themselves any good here...

2. The arbitration question is tough... have the Mets burned any bridges with the way they handled the negotiations? I'm not sure, but I doubt it. I think if Al can get the money he wants, which I think he would in arbitration, he would come back to Mets, as that has always seemed like his first preference. So, no, I don't offer him arbitration. I think the risk of getting him back, especially if their sights are set on Pedro, is too high.

And favorite memory? This game, by a mile.

3. 4 years... I guess its not a deal breaker, but I'd prefer the 4th year option, where we know he has to stay healthy for a few years to get it. I really don't like guaranteeing a 4th year...

4. My thoughts are basically in the comments, but Maggilo is my choice. He is a better and more consistent hitter. If he can prove in a few workouts he is healthy, I think he is a better risk than Hidalgo (who is a risk because you are not sure he will hit).

Fire away in the comments.

Thursday, December 02, 2004
It's time for another edition of everyone's favorite game...

Omar Minaya's Good Idea-Bad Idea

You may remember, last time we met, this issue was trading Cliff Floyd (good idea) for Sammy Sosa (bad idea). Here is this week's edition...

Good Idea: Trade Mike Stanton
Bad Idea: Trade Mike Stanton for Felix Heredia

This Felix Heredia. There is nothing good there. Nothing.

This is the one guy I wouldn't trade Mike Stanton for (okay, I won't say the only one... but he is one). See, Willie will use both of the them too much, with his influence from Joe. But I feel more comfortable with Mike being used too much (Huh? Did I just say that?)

See, before getting overworked, I thought Stanton was pretty good. Not great, but not completely bad. Heredia, on the other hand, was just bad.

Here are Heredia's and Stanton's 2004 PECOTA projections...

Heredia: 5.34 ERA, 3.1 VORP
Stanton: 4.16 ERA, 5.9 VORP

And here is the reality:

Heredia: 6.28 ERA, -1.0 VORP
Stanton: 3.16 ERA (though as ask any Met fan about this chart), 16.8 VORP

Stanton, even with the inherited runners, severely out-performed Heredia last year. Stanton's K and BB rates stayed essentially the same, so I don't think he would be in for much more of a decline, but more of a steady crappiness. As for Felix Heredia... Who knows?

I think Stanton will out-perform Heredia next year. Something like a 4.25 ERA for Stanton and a 5.25 for Heredia. If the Mets will move Stanton, why pay for a replacement to take his spot that's just as bad (it seems as though the teams may try to work out the money even). Of course, it would be nice if the Mets moved him for low level prospects, paid half his salary and opened the lefty bullpen spot for Blake... oh wait, nevermind. Still, that would be my preference, if Stanton is moved.

Felix Heredia, on the other hand, is not my preference. Ever.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Pedro- Hey, its better than talking about Sosa

As you know, I've been struggling. A lot. But I think I've finally gotten to it.

The fourth year scares me. Jason explains why. But, other than that, this is perfectly OK. Actually, its good. For now.

See, we, as in the bloggers, attempt to view this team from the analytical side and try, when writing, to ignore our own fan biases. But, when the off-season comes, everyone has a plan. A plan they want the team to follow. How often does your favorite team follow that plan? Hardly ever. And what I've realized is that Pedro was never an option in my plan, because as I've stated, pitcher was the third hole to fill this offseason and defintely much less important than 1B and RF.

BUT, that doesn't mean signing him would be wrong. Actually, the contract is very good. It's very likely Pedro comes over here and is dominant. Sure, his body has a chance of breaking down, but he is such a good pitcher that it can be well worth the risk. I love watching Pedro pitch and he is a very good pitcher who can be dominant with the Mets, especially with Shea and a move to the NL.

Just because, as a fan, I had Heilman in that spot, thinking more about the offense (or had a cheaper pitcher if it was a FA), doesn't mean signing him isn't good. It just means the front office has to make good moves in other spots to make this a good move.

See, the Mets need Sexson or Delgado. They need a real 1B. They also need a RF. I would prefer an upgrade to Hidalgo, though Drew and Beltran would be too pricey then. So how about this?

Pedro, Sexson, Maggilo Ordonez.

If Maggilo could come at a discount (2/15, 3rd year option), then I would take a shot. He's not much of a defensive player, but the man can hit, even if his numbers were Comiskey inflated. His two biggest assets are power and average, but I still think he could go .275/.340/.490. Granted, Richard Hidalgo could do that, but will he? See, I'd much prefer the surer thing and there is a higher ceiling for Maggilo there.

I still think the Mets have mis-identified their holes and where they are going this offseason, but that's both because we are still very early on and because I really think a fifth pitcher for this team was a luxury, not an all out need.

As you probably know, Matt and I talk about the Mets and the things going on with them quite a bit. And the one thing he seemed to remind me (possibly without saying it even) is that Minaya is being aggressive this offseason. And while I may not agree with everything he's done this offseason so far (both in execution and in rumors), he seems to be exploring every option.

And in that, Matt reminded me that maybe I should hold just a little more faith in Minaya. Maybe we'll have a premier first baseman and an upgrade over Hidalgo in RF, plus Pedro.

For now, I'll hold onto that thought as I watch Carlos Beltran slip away.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
If nothing else, Minaya is aggressive...
A person familiar with the negotiations said yesterday that Minaya pitched a three-year deal worth approximately $38 million that includes a vesting option for a fourth year similar to the one Tom Glavine received from the Mets in 2002.
That's not all...
hat left an opening for Minaya, who pounced quickly over the Thanksgiving holiday to dangle that critical fourth year, a bold move that would make the Mets' offer more attractive than Boston's most recent package, believed to be a three-year deal worth roughly $38 million.
Hold up... slow down there buddy.

A fourth year? Like the supposed 4/60 Martinez wants? Um, big time pass. 3/38... I prefer a real 1B (Delgado or Sexson) and a big time OF, preferably Drew and Beltran and I'm not sure if they have the money for all that if they give Martinez a little less than 13 million a year. My wish list...

Beltran, Sexson, Radke.

In that order (though Drew replacing Beltran and Delgado replacing Sexson are okay, but in any case Beltran isn't involved, pick the 1B first) exactly with the pitcher a distant third idea. Speaking of Beltran...
The White Sox were interested in Beltran, but general manager Ken Williams is on record as saying he will not sign any Boras clients. The Angels also have given indications they won't break the bank for Beltran. Conversely, new Mets general manager Omar Minaya is set to challenge the Yankees and Astros for Beltran.
Woo! Meanwhile, the above Newsday article paints a different picture...
With the Mets cooling on Sosa, they have turned their attention to free agents Richard Hidalgo and Magglio OrdoƱez for rightfield.

As for first base, the Mets have not yet made an offer to Richie Sexson, according to a person familiar with the situation, but he is on the club's radar, as is Carlos Delgado.
The latter part is very good. The former? Hidalgo should be a last resort in my view. Maggilo? Too much money (and possibly years) to me for a guy with too many issues (I may have to write longer on that at some point). I'd probably take Hidalgo back over him.

See, I'm pretty much resolute in the belief, that looking at the Mets team and farm system, they have the biggest holes at 1B and OF in the upper minors. Milledge won't be ready until Cammy's contract is up, which would be a perfect fit for Cammy leaving, especially if Drew or Beltran, both capable CFs, come here (who knows whether Milledge will stick in CF). The Mets have 1B in A-ball but they won't be ready for 2 years at the least (if they are ever ready) and a 2 year deal with an option for a third for Delgado/Sexson fills the hole perfectly.

Pitcher? Heilman isn't special, but there is still talent. Petit should be ready by the end of the year at the latest. Soler could be ready this year. If Humber ever signs, he could be ready by the middle of 2006. Then there are names like Keppel and Lindstrom still down there. If the Mets are so dead set on getting a pitcher, I think they should go for a less expensive and shorter deal (i.e. more tradable), like I don't know... 2 years, 13 million to Radke with a 7 million option (I'll get around to some Radke stuff soon)?

I feel that pitcher, based on the team structure, immediate farm system and farm system looking forward, is the third need this offseason (hard to believe catcher might be the first one next offseason).

But, part of me would love to see Pedro here. A big part of me. But I just don't think its worth the money to the Mets with where they are now.

Monday, November 29, 2004
Pedro... I'm still on the "no" side, but have no big problem with it if the Mets...

1. Sign a real 1B (Delgado or Sexson) and an OF before him (Preferably Beltran, though Drew and the bunch will do).
2. Don't start a bidding war with Boston and NYY (I'd prefer two years with an option for a third, but that's probably impossible).

But, there is good news in the first baseman department...
In other news, the Mets have reportedly offered Richie Sexson a contract for approximately $10 million per year, although the length of the contract is unclear.
As you all know, I'm partial to Sexson over Delgado, but either way, this is big news in the fact that they are serious about getting a big time first baseman.

But, for a second, let's say they get a 1B and go after Pedro, but can't go after a big time OF. Let's see how things might look...

Wright (We all realize this is wishful thinking, right?)

Or plug Sosa in there if they do that deal. Anyone else just unhappy with that? Imagine plugging in Drew or Beltran into the middle of that lineup and moving Piazza down a spot. That I would love to see, more than Pedro. Why? Because other almost equal talent, while not as high reward (but not as high risk in most cases), is out there for cheaper if they are so dead set on a pitcher (which, as you know, I'm not). But what pitcher (excluding Pedro)? For now, without comment, the list...

Odalis Perez

Okay, one comment... I'm not in love with any of the middle three, but Odalis will come much cheaper, so I'd take him first (plus he's younger)... then Clement over Pavano because he strikes out more people. As for Radke, I think we'll save that for a longer rant. Also, the list of the 3 pitchers I want no part of...

Jaret Wright

I've read the last few days in a few places the Mets are expressing interest in Millwood? The best question for that is why. Morris? HR happy with a declining K rate. Not good. Wright? Not with Mazzone... might be a problem.

Anyway, this offseason is getting more interesting every second (I never considered Pedro an option), but hopefully Minaya realizes the offense at 1B and RF are in much more dire need of help than the fifth pitcher spot.

Hopefully he also realizes that Tino Martinez and Sammy Sosa aren't the answers.

Sunday, November 28, 2004
Pedro Martinez Open Thread

Here are his career statistics. The K/9 and H/9 trends scare me as do the massive jump in HR/9, his pitch limitations and his fragile body. He is 33. I say no, mostly because of where I believe the Mets sit (needing to clear out a few players before competing basically) and the money it would take the Mets to sign him, which would be much better spent at first base and RF (I'm still for Heilman getting the fifth rotation spot).

But still, this is hard for me, because I love Pedro. But I'm just not sure he's the same Pedro anymore and I think, if the Mets have to sign a pitcher, Clement/Pavano might be a better fit.

Still, this is an open thread. Let's hear your thoughts.

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