2 Guys Talking: NL East Round-Up


Well Jimmy, even though Sandy Alderson has been moving at a methodical (glacial?) pace, there has been a lot of moves made by the other NL East teams. Some big names like B.J. Upton, Dan Haren, and Michael Young are joining the Division. While we wait for Sandy to get some more clarity I thought we could take a look at what is going on around us as I’m sure it is effecting Alderson’s decisions.


Quick story: I used to be friends with a guy who was the world’s slowest eater. He had some kind of choking/gagging issue with his food. It was a serious medical problem and he had to be very, very careful. So if we were sitting around together for a meal, we’d all finish and stare in glassy-eyed stupification as he’d chew and chew and chew. He’d pause, take a sip of water, then chew and chew some more. It was interminable. You wanted to stand up and scream, “JUST SWALLOW THE FREAKING BURGER!” Seriously, it got to the point where we were all just wishing that he’d choke to death already. We had lives, things to do! Anyway, I guess my pal comes to mind after watching Alderson at the Winter Meetings. He’s not going to rush into any crazy deals, that’s for sure.


I wanted to start with the Braves. They made two major moves in signing BJ Upton for five years and $75 million over five years, and trading Tommy Hanson for Jordan Walden. I like the Walden move, they are looking for a bounce back year but get themselves another big arm for the bullpen. If Walden comes through teams better get to the Braves early in games, that will be some pen! Upton though, wow, that is a lot of money and years for B.J. Upton. He can run and has some pop but there is a big hole in his swing. I’m not crazy about this signing. They also made a nice small move in resigning Reed Johnson for one year. Johnson is a fourth outfielder, but a good one, and over a long season you need depth.


Are the Braves the best-run organization in baseball? They opted not to overpay Michael Bourne, lost him to free agency, and acted swiftly and decisively to address the hole. Upton will help them. When you look at the Victorino contract, 3/$38, the Upton numbers look okay to me. The guy who sticks in my craw is Reed Johnson, because I wanted Alderson to pick him up in July when the Mets still had a fighting chance. Clearly, Johnson was available — at that point, everyone in Chicago was available, Epstein would have traded Harry Caray’s corpse if someone offered a low-level prospect. Theo was in rebuild mode. The Mets played a full season with a glaring weakness against LHP and here was Johnson ready for a taking, a veteran player who could have helped a little bit, yet Sandy never lifted a finger to fortify the club. I thought it sent a terrible message to the players in the clubhouse. Oh well, I suppose Sandy was busy masticating.


Moving on, the Phillies were busy as well. They picked up two players in trades. One was a very young player, the speedy centerfielder Ben Revere, and one old player, Michael Young. To make all this happen they traded Vance Worley and three pitching prospects. The Phillies are an a tough spot, their core is aging and it makes sense to keep trying to win now. The Young trade is all about 2013, and I understand what they are doing.

The trade for Revere shows one eye on the future as they attempt to get a little younger and faster. I don’t like this move at all because I don’t like Revere. He has zero pop, Revere gives me Otis Nixon flashbacks. I never have liked these one dimensional speed guys.


You have Otis Nixon flashbacks? Mine are of former Mets first-round pick, Jason Tyner. The skinniest arms in baseball! Amazingly, Tyner played for 8 seasons, though less than 1,500 PA’s total, with 1 HR and 94 RBIs for his career! What I mean to say, Mike, is I hate no-power guys, too. As for Michael Young, I realize he is in the sunset of his career, but he’s a ballplayer I’ve always respected. I don’t know how the Phillies are going to use him — he got  651 PAs last season — but in part-time duty, say 400 ABs, I think he’s still a nice player to have on the field and in the clubhouse. The Phillies are only on the hook for $6 million of his $16 million contract. Looks like they waited a year too late to trade Worley. However, looking around, I think we had a better winter than the Marlins! Like I said at the time, pop the champagne, we just locked up 4th place!


Well we are sure having a different winter than the Marlins too, they have been busy. But I’ll save any other thoughts I have on us and the Fish to another day. For today I will finish my roundup with the Nationals. They made two major moves, signing Dan Haren for one year and $13 million and trading pitching prospect Alex Meyer for centerfielder Denard Span.

I’m suspicious of Haren. He is so injury prone that I really think the Nationals will regret this move. The Span trade, though, I like. Span is a really solid player at a tough position to fill, and with a reasonable contract. The Nationals got better.

These poor guys just want one lousy major league outfielder

OK, back to Sandy. I’m really, really, trying to be patient, but three teams in our own Division just picked up centerfielders. One was a high priced player, one was a medium priced player, and one was cheap (in salary dollars). We seemed uninterested in any of them, all while Alderson jokes that we have no outfielders. If we are not punting 2013, which our GM also claims, I guess we are going to be real busy real soon.


I am keeping the faith for now. Sandy is still chewing things over.


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  1. Dan says:

    Nice job summing up the division. It really examplifies the lack of activity by the Mets. Very frustrating as a fan.

  2. FL Met Fan Rich says:

    I would suggest you invest heavily in paper bags to put over your head to beat the rush or start drinking heavily.

    Punting is to nice a term for the 2013 season!

    • As a kid, I was fascinated by the idea of the “quick kick,” or surprise 3rd-down punt. After two plays, things look so bad you just kick it as far as possible. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it happen . . . except maybe this winter, on an altogether different playing field. Still have hope!

  3. I am so happy we just installed the thumbs-up, thumbs-down icons in the comments section. Hopefully that adds to the overall party atmosphere here at “2 Guys.” Carry on!

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