The time has come. Embrace it. Get involved.
Wherever you turn - television, radio, blogs - one can't help but notice that the 6th biggest sport in America has commenced its season.
Welcome, Hot Stove.
"Should we resign the catcher? Do you think Boston would make a trade
like that? Is he worth a 2 year contract? What was his OBS in 2009? He's
like 39 years old, I don't know..."
Ah, questions...questions...more questions...
We've got your answers! Regarding the Mets, at least.
The Old; An Idea; Old Again:
Michael Baron of MetsBlog, writes, "The Chicago White Sox have bought out the 2010 option for 36 year old outfielder Jermaine Dye, making him a free agent."
Baron continues, "The option called for $12 million for 2010, but the White Sox opted to buy him out for $950,000."
Although "Dye finished the year hitting .250 with 27 home runs and 81 RBI for the Sox," one can't help but wonder if we're looking at a Gary Sheffield Jr. in 2010 or a legitamate, albeit skill-declining, veteran left fielder for the Mets next season.
Granted $12 million is a bit much for ANY team (even those cross town Champs) to sign the aging outfielder but for the right price and for one (maybe 2) year(s), I can't say I wouldn't mind seeing those left field fans replace their Sheff Hats with Tye-Dye shirts.
Some "don't like the idea of going after second tier players unless they are complimentary, and... certainly don’t feel comfortable with the Mets chasing aging superstars and hoping they can either catch lightening in a bottle or hoping that a player can sustain a prior level of productivity...". But that's the sensible way of looking at it and it hasn't done squat for us in the past 23 years.
2010 Left Fielder:
The two organizations that will have the greatest tolerance for the long-term dollars are the Cardinals or Mets. In regards to Matt Holliday, that is. Minaya is working to keep his job, as EddiePerez23 pointed out, so don't look for Omar to put his eggs into an aging basket in Dye. Anything more than 6 years for Holliday is proposterous and, with Scott Boras as his agent, don't expect an easy 5 year signing. Some trials and tribulations later... we're looking at Meet the Matt in left field.
After an encouraging finish to 2008, the power-hitting first baseman Carlos Delgado was betrayed by a torn labrum in his hip and missed all but 26 games in 2009. Daniel Murphy, Jeremy Reed and Co. were not able to man the position, let alone make up for the power you expect from a first baseman.
Delgado is not the craziest of ideas when you really think about it. As Carlos Beltran, his good buddy, said yesterday, "A healthy Delgado will give you 30 HR's and a 100 RBI season." I would say those numbers, at this point in Carlos' career, are a tad inflated but who ever said Beltran was quite the mathematician?
2010 First Baseman:
I'm going with Adam LaRoche. Shocker? Well, not really. LaRoche, who split the 2009 season with the Pirates, Braves and Red Sox, is 30 years old and batted .277 with 25 HR and 83 RBIs. Granted his .avg needs improvement if he is going to play for a serious contender who wants to be more than your "average playoff team" but a 2-3 year deal for this man is something Omar Minaya should consider, even though LaRoche is said to be "streak at times." He can pave the way for future Hall of Famer Ike Davis; or at least that's what Omar is hyping him up to be. Daniel Murphy (another hyped-up-Omar-product) will play the bench.
The Mets really haven't solidified this position ever since the Piazza days. Paul Lo Duca was a nice player but his mouth, age and declining set of skills caused him to get the boot. Brian Schneider came in here advertised as the "defensive catcher" but he didn't perform behind the plate as the Mets would've liked. He couldn't hit if his job depended on it - actually it sort of did - and he now joins 27 other free agent catchers looking for a job behind the plate.
We're looking at two Type A players in the free agent market. Victor Martinez will most likely be picked up by the Red Sox for $7.7 million (Update: Wednesday 2:40pm - Martinez was picked up), leaving us with (we'll take him!) Bengie Molina.
The right handed catcher is 35 years old (turning 36 in July) and is in the league for 11 years. This man is everything Brian Schneider was not. Granted he only hit .265 in 2009, but his 20 home runs and 80 RBI's make up for his below-average, er, average. Molina made about $6 million in each of the past 2 years with the San Francisco Giants and according to my thorough analysis - is worth, yes, a 2 year deal. The Mets will likely go with Omir Santos as their backup, if this scenario were to unfold.
When 2011 rolls around, the Mets are looking at 23 year old catcher Josh Thole as one who will be ready to tackle the majors. For those, such as Joe Janish of Mets Today, who don't like the idea of Thole, either catching or backing up the starting catcher, in 2011 - maybe we'll postpone his true Mets debut until 2012. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world IF Molina were to take Thole under his wings in 2011 but all this is not for now. We'll discuss 2011/2012 when appropriate.
As Ken Davidoff wrote for Newsday, "The Giants are likely to offer Molina salary arbitration, according to a person familiar with San Francisco thinking, as they would like to bring back the eldest of the catching Molina brothers. Once Molina gets the arbitration offer, then the Mets would have to surrender a draft pick as well as the money necessary to land him."
Davidoff continues, "Because the Mets, having finished 70-92 this past season, draft seventh overall, their first-round pick is protected. So they would have to give up their second-round pick, and - should they sign additional Type A free agents - their third-round, fourth-round selection and so on."
Thanks for the math lesson, Ken.
Bengie ("Did you know his middle name was Jose?") Molina and Omir Santos.
...other positions coming soon... what, already?... it's not like you're paying for this stuff...