The Mets can’t wait until June, opportunity may be now

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I hate when this happens, but I think I agree with WFAN’s Mike Francesa, who has been saying on air today that the Mets should jump on this opportunity – in the free-agent market – to help the team be significantly better in 2014.

It would likely cost roughly $25 million a year to sign free-agents Stephen Drew and Nelson Cruz. You could swap out Cruz for Fernando Rodney or Bronson Arroyo, depending on what you think the Mets need more. Or, just stick with Drew for around $10 million a year. In any case, these men would bump their 2014 payroll up to around $100-110 million, or roughly 20 percent over their established budget. I have no idea what the yearly commitments would need to be for these guys (probably two years for both players, maybe three for Cruz to keep him from Seattle, Texas or the Twins). But, I do know they would help improve this team with what seems to be a very short-term commitment at a time when their young pitching is about to blow wind in their sales… I mean sails

ht_MetsSpringTraining183_thg_130327_wblogAs is, the Mets will begin Spring Training with position battles in the bullpen, starting rotation, first base, center field and shortstop.

“This is a huge spring training for us,” Terry Collins said Monday (Kernan, Feb. 4). “We’ve got a lot of decisions to make. There’s going to be a lot more emphasis on at-bats and innings pitched. We’ve got to come out spring training ready to go. We can’t wait to June.’’

Sandy Alderson said on SNY late last year that he wanted to enter 2014 with as much of a set roster as possible.

If that’s the case, it’s all on Ike Davis. It starts with him, and whether or not he grabs hold of the first base position and never lets go. His presence, or lack-thereof, will determine much of what happens with the rest of the position players on the roster. What’s more, if Ike hits and Alderson can acquire just Drew, a portion of what we’re debating today will become irrelevant. On the other hand, if Ike stumbles (worse, if Lucas Duda also stumbles) and Drew and/or Cruz are not in the mix, there’s going to be a whole lot of arguing about a whole lot of spots on this team.




231 comments
MikeTomlin
MikeTomlin

Drew and Rodney. Then sign us up for the 2nd wildcard!

trevordunn
trevordunn

the fact Tejada, Duda and Ike are still here is sickening. All 3 of them should have been purged

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

"it’s all on Ike Davis"

That's not good. Ike Davis is a shame -- started so well, especially with the signature over the barrier catch thing he did. Then, he had some illness (apparently) but came back for a good 1/2 yr. Then, he regressed again. Really wanted to like him -- but really starting to be tired of his inconsistency.

I think other players are important too, but yes, if they don't get another bat, 1B will be a major factor in determining how the team's offensive does. Hoping everything goes right didn't work THAT well in the past. Get Drew, please.  Tedeja as a back-up is a decent idea. Cruz doesn't really work for me. Arroyo? No, they don't need another starter. Rodney? They can use another arm in the pen, but sounds expensive. Maybe.

lindro88
lindro88

I think when its all said and done, Drew will be the Mets shortstop.  I just can't see him going back to Boston, and hoping that Bogarts fails, or someone gets hurt.  He is not a utility player.  He already has a ring.  Boras is milking this thing trying to squeeze every drop of juice out of it, but in the end I believe he signs here.  2 years 25m would make sense.  The Mets need a reliable defensive SS.  It makes a huge difference to the pitching staff,knowing that if they make a good pitch and get a groundball, its going to be handled.  I really think Tejada's terrible defense in the first month of the season set the tone for the losing.  The Mets actually played decent baseball for long stretches last year, but when you start the season having to dig out of a hole,  it sucks the life out of the fan base and more importantly the team.  The negative articles start, and somehow injuries seem to become more prevalent.  Despite the fact that its such a long season, the Mets really have to get out of the gates fast this year.  They have to play at least .500 baseball the first two months.  I think if they don't sign Drew at this point its a big mistake.  If he was still in the position to ask for Peralta type money, that would be one thing, but hes not.  Also I believe Tejada will make a very nice backup middle infielder.  He played a nice second base, and I'm sure they will find games for him to start against tough lefty's.  It just makes sense, and while it doesn't make them WS contenders, I know it would make me more excited for the new season.  I bet it would make the veterans on the team excited as well.  Step up and spend a few more bucks to finish off what would be a pretty good offseason.   

Jatin A. Shah
Jatin A. Shah

Not sure about Cruz.  I'm not confident we know what we're getting with him.  If he doesn't perform, ownership will clamp up and not sign someone else when the time comes.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

Matt, who on earth do you see competing for the shortstop position?  From the roster, the only shortstops I see with Major League experience is Tejada and Quintanilla.  Unfortunately, Tejada would be a utility backup on most other teams, and Quintanilla would be a utility backup on even less teams.  Wilmer Flores, by your own admission, is never really going to be a shortstop.  Wilfredo Tovar is on the roster, but doesn't seem to be a factor since he really hasn't played above AA. So who's really competing here?  Just the same it has been for the most of the last two years, it will be Tejada starting and Quintanilla on the bench.

Stunning competition!  I'll be at the edge of my seat all spring.

Andy
Andy

Chris Young signing was the most bonehead signing in a while.  Luckily it's only a 1 year mistake.  On the flip side, if Young has a monster year, NO TEAM OPTION for additional year...

Antonino Plaud
Antonino Plaud

Joseph, Bartolo is 40 going into 41. However am 72 and still perform marvellous after eight  oçlock.

I think the guy knows to pitch and in this park and with Mets defense he will win 20 this year and will compete for the CY. There is a saying "never is enough"but with the arms we got we don't need Arroyo. I am sure between Colon and Matzuzaka the Mets has 35 wins, so add on the math...

Joseph Baffi
Joseph Baffi

bourne murphy wright grandy cruz ike drew travis d wouldn't of been a bad team but we didn't want to lose a big 1st round draft choice so that was scrapped. the mets do not know how to build a team if they signed bourne last year grandy  cruz  drew arroy0 don't sound far fetched

Antonino Plaud
Antonino Plaud

Mets'got a pretty good team to start the ST, stop complaining . Pretty good Pitching and some offense, plus a great defense at outfield the backstop and corners infield with adequate ss and second (they are better than bad) , so lets start the season and see what we can add. But spending just for the heck of spends will not do us any better. Drew is a good player but just that, I dn't like Cruz at all even with his 27 bombs LY. I am comfortable with what we got.

Joseph Baffi
Joseph Baffi

if the mets signed bourn last year they wouldn't of had to make desperate moves to keep fans mouths shut i.e young colon  they could of gotten grandy  and waited the free agents out. Garza just signed arroyo still out there and as far as pos players drew and cruz  are still out there. how did a 40 yr old pitcher get on radar he could be done 1 yr when your in 40,s  is big its not like a 27 yr old is turning 28 no big deal 40 to 41 is a big deal

eric88
eric88

Sam, Neise's numbers to aggressive. He doesn't have the make up of say D. Gee. Great stuff but hasn't translated into top production Mets anticipated . Most of your numbers are assuming great run support, with a starting lineup where four guys hit under .210 and two others under .235, Yuck! Bad team.

Sam Mack
Sam Mack

2014 rotation playoff bound if they produce these stats

Colon 29 Gs 15-7 3.55 180 ip

Niese 32 Gs 15-8 3.65 208 ip finally over 200 ip

Wheeler 33 Gs 16-9 2.95 200 ip

Gee 31 Gs 16-11 3.75 208 ip

Mejia 25 Gs 10-8 2.50 125 ip

Syndergaard 10 Gs 8-2 1.90 55 ip

Let's Go Mets!!!

You Gotta Believe

Joseph Baffi
Joseph Baffi

how did mets get better we lost Harvey for yr and   byrd  and replaced em with grandy and colon oh and we replace buck w young still have davis and tejda and duda who will duda will be taking ab away from  ey and lagares so where is the improvement


Jon Forsyth
Jon Forsyth

Cruz would help, but would he place Lagaras ir C. Young? Can we afford to replace Lagaras defense with a big bat/poor defender? Do we eat the money we owe young? Can Cruz play first? I just don't see this happening

Zac Tindall
Zac Tindall

Cruz would make us a potential playoff team a lineup of

Lagares

Murphy

Wright

Granderson

Cruz

Davis

D'arnaud

Tejada

Wheeler or neise on opening day looks great I still feel lobaton or bello as backup catcher would be great

xgamblorx
xgamblorx

Come on, Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew, and/or Fernando Rodney don't make this a playoff team. Cruz arguably makes the team worse than its current construction. Drew and Rodney are good players and do make this team a little better, but neither is a sure thing or a significant leap. Drew has a long injury history and is coming off one of the better seasons of his career. Rodney is as volatile as any reliever is year-to-year. Dropping $20m+ for 2014 (and potentially more for 2015) to make this team 2-4 wins better isn't the make-or-break calculus that you make it out to be.


The offseason is far too long.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

Sorry to say this, but I've been waiting all off-season to say this, but Ike Davis sucks rotten eggs.Six weeks of fat camp is not going to help Lucas Duda, and Tejada (with all the work in the world) won't be anything close to a Carnegie Deli Reuben.

tullydew
tullydew

I hate when this happens, but I think Matt Cerrone wrote a good blog post.

chasesimms
chasesimms

You agree with Francesa Matt because he 100% right on this. 

Daniel Brennan
Daniel Brennan

Signing Cruz would make the Mets worse. You would be replacing a 3-4 win player (Lagares) with a 1-2 win player (Cruz). No thank you.

Joanie Yan
Joanie Yan

I'm all for Drew but it's too late for Cruz and Arroyo who in my opinion would have been better signings than Chris Young and Colon who we are stuck with.

EricsWorldOrder
EricsWorldOrder

OK Let's see how this all shakes out offensively we are going to have to do some guessing here but perhaps we can get this in a good place. Figure we will carry 11 Pitchers.  That gives us 14 Offensive Players.

1B- Kendrys Morales-.277/23/80/.336

2B- Daniel Murphy-.286/13/78/.319

SS-Stephen Drew-.253/13/67/.333

3B-David Wright-.307/25/90/.390 (Projected)

C- Travis d'Arnaud-.260/15/60/.320 (Projected) 

RF-Nelson Cruz-266/35/100/.327 (Projected)

CF-Chris Young/Eric Young/Juan Lagares .250/20/60/.301 (Projected)

LF-Curtis Granderson .240/32/100/.325 (Projected)


Bench:

Anthony Recker .215/6/25/.280

Wilmer Flores.290/15/40/.300

Lucas Duda/Ike Davis: .225/20/50/.330 either or is ok. Pick one they both blow!   Duda can sort of play more than one position, Ike has a better glove.

Reuben Tejada .215/0/20/.260 We need a back up, if it were up to me I would prefer not to have him and have Josh Satin or Zack Lutz here.  We need a SS Drew Gets hurt.


Do you see a better offensive team?  I say yes provided everyone can live up to expectations.  You have the potential for 4-100 RBI Guys, At least 6 Guys that can hit at least 20 Home Runs. So decent defense in most positions a young emerging catcher who is still an unknown entity.   I think I too need to agree with Francessa.  The team is better.   At this point some of the dead wood needs to go.  I say Duda, Davis and Tejada are all weak links.  The only issue I have with this is who will lead off on a daily basis? What would the batting order look like?  On Days we have EY in the lineup it can be 


1. EY

2. Murphy

3. Wright

4. Granderson

5. Cruz

6. Morales

7.d'Arnaud

8. Drew

On Days without EY it can be, well that is where I am at a loss.  Chris Young?  Drew? Murphy?  Perhaps I would be crazy to do this but what about 

1. Granderson 

2. Murphy

3. Wright

4  Cruz

5. Morales 

6. CY/Juan Lagares

7.d'Arnaud

8. Drew

Just a little food for thought I guess.

 


zoddie
zoddie

Why? Duda was one of our best hitters last year and he costs no money.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@Joseph BaffiYou know Bourne had a pretty poor season last year.. His walk rate went back to his career norms. he stole only 23 bases. His triple slash line was .263/ .316/ .360  for a .676 OPS.. To put that wonderful performance in perspective here is EYJ's numbers 47 steals

.251/ .318/ .329 for a .647 OPS... and Lagaras's line was .242/ .281/ .352 for a .633 OPS. 


So i would say the Mets GM made a VERY VERY smart move not giving up his first round pick (who is in some top 100's already) for a mediocre CF who can be replaced with 4th OFers like Eric Young...


I don't like Eric young (as a starter), but would MUCH rather Eric young at 1.85 million as opposed to Bourne at 13.5 million or 7x the cost for roughly the exact same production. .

Anthony Testa
Anthony Testa

I'm gonna run out an buy season tickets off this post

Sam Mack
Sam Mack

Maybe this the year everything goes rite,solid pitching & defense except at Ss because I hope Flores plays there 120 games his offense will make up for his defense.Chris Young will have a better year than Byrd had,Grandy will hit 30 homers 30 stolen bases,Wright will produce BIG!!! LGM

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

@Sam Mack If I would be spending 40 - 50 weekends in Las Vegas with supermodel girlfriends if I produce this amount of income


$50,000,000


I think I have a better chance of accomplishing that than the stats you mention.

lindro88
lindro88

Ludicrous. This would give the Mets a more productive rotation than we will see from any team in baseball. It's nice to be optimistic, but no staff in baseball will have 5 double digit winners, with four starters winning 15-16 games.

lindro88
lindro88

The improvement can come by playing crisp, winning baseball. Not making so many mistakes. Last year the defense was terrible during the first two months. This team should be able to pitch well enough to stay in games. That's when it comes down to executing. Making all of the routine plays, moving runners, getting runners in from 3rd base with less then two outs. If they do those things, they can hang around the wild card race most of the season. The Cleveland Indians were nothing special last year. Somehow they made the playoffs. I don't think this team makes the playoffs, but if they get off to a good start, and the key players stay healthy, no reason they won't be better than last year. Adding Drew would help, he's a plus defender and lengthens the lineup.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

@Zac Tindall They've already thrown $7 million down a hole on Chris Young.  Is he just going to sit on the bench watching steroid boy play his position?

lindro88
lindro88

They need Drew more than Cruz. IMO.

Gland1
Gland1

He did? Which one was it I'd love to see it.

zoddie
zoddie

Colon was willing to sign for a shorter deal than Arroyo. Plus, when healthy, Colon has been excellent. Arroyo has never been excellent. He's been durable, which is less important to a team with really good pitching depth like the Mets.

anthony G. Decesare
anthony G. Decesare

That's some serious lumber in that lineup. Morales is a switch hitter, Ike can be cut for 650k in Spring training and Duda has an option left to be sent to the minors or come off the bench. I think between Young and Lageres, whomever hits will be the one playing cf, my bet is on young.

yankeehater
yankeehater

@EricsWorldOrder Those projections are almost all too high. Flores as a backup is going to hit 15 hrs? He'd be lucky to hit 15 playing full-time. That team would be better than what we have, but it still wouldn't be more than an 83-85 win team.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Sam Mack  IF Flores plays 10 games at short, that will be a lot. The kid is not a SS. He was moved at the A ball level for a reason. He's either going to be a utility infielder here or in LV.

And people are severely undervaluing what Byrd did last year. You do realize his OPS last year for the Mets was .848. CY's career high was .793. And Byrd hit 21 HR's for the Mets. Byrd had a career year last year and to think CY will touch that is crazy. 

Not for nothing but Byrd hit his career high in HR's last year at age 35 in a pitcher's park? Hope for their sake that Philly keeps the juice going. 


lindro88
lindro88

@flmetsfan @Sam Mack  We both have a better shot of winning Warren Buffet's NCAA pool.  Get every game right in the entire tourney and win 1b.   If I win I'm willing to split it with you, if you are willing to do the same.  This way we have TWO chances!

Sam Mack
Sam Mack

Okay Colon 7-15,Niese 8-15,Wheeler 9-16,Gee 11-16,Mejia 8-10,Syndergaard 2-8 Mets finish in last place 2014 I know this would make you happy.

xgamblorx
xgamblorx

@kefhrny17 @Daniel Brennan  I think that if they really did sign Cruz (and I don't think they will), the outfield on most days would be Granderson-CYoung-Cruz. Fortunately, I don't think that the front office is dumb enough to sign Cruz.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@zoddie And when you Factor in Defense, which you still have to play, CYJ has put up a 3.0 WAR over the last 2 years with his awful offensive numebrs to Cruz's 2.6 because of Cruz's awful defense. 


Chris Young has a chance to bounce back offensively, while Cruz will only get worse defensively.


Add in the fact Cruz didn't want a 1 year deal and was looking for more than 7.5 annually it makes it more silly.

Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly

@Gland1 @EricsWorldOrderNot to mention EY leading off on that team with that lineup is a bigger joke than leading off with the current lineup. Considering every hitter 2-8 is a superior player and hitter how could could you want to give EY more AB's then them.

Sam Mack
Sam Mack

I'll sign up for CYoung 2010 season 793 OBP 27hr 91rbi hopefully he'll do better with age better pitch selection Dave Hudgens can help out like he did Byrd?