2 GUYS TALKING: The Tulowitzki Conundrum; the Future of Noah Syndergaard Hangs in the Balance

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Mike:

Only the Wilpons know exactly how much money they can and will use on the 2014 payroll. And although at some point I wouldn’t mind having a theoretical discussion about what a smart offseason would look like without arbitrary financial handcuffs, all signs indicate that day is not here. So while we have Hot Stove discussions, for the sake of clarity, I’m going to use a financial assumption: that the Mets can add $30 Million to payroll in new talent. Any number anyone uses is a finger in the air, so I’m picking one. Otherwise I have to answer every question about every acquisition with the same words and no other words.

“I don’t know if we can pay him.”

That would be a very long and boring offseason. We know because that was pretty much the 2013 offseason.

Jimmy:

Last winter, we dreamed of upgrading on Nickeas, and got Recker. Those were heady times! But, sure, $30 million sounds realistic to me, if somewhat disheartening.

Mike:

And so, given I have $30 million to spend, I’m blowing $16 million right off the bat and targeting Troy Tulowitzki. I get it, the team has a lot of holes that need to be filled. The biggest one, the crater, is star power. Tulowitizki, playing next to David Wright, is a bold, exciting move. It’s a move that changes this team dramatically and instantly. Both on the field, where we go from the worst shortstop in the NL to the best, to the stands where Tulo shirts will pop up instantly. There are a limited amount of great players, and you need them to win. Of all the names I have heard available as a free agent, or via trade, I haven’t heard of another player as good as Tulo. This is a “Mike Piazza moment.” Don’t worry about how the guy will fit, thank your lucky stars if you can get him and do it. After that you can figure out where you go from there.

Jimmy:

Amen, brother. Perhaps because he plays in Colorado — some desolate elsewhere west of the Hudson River — I think East Coast folks might not fully appreciate him as a player. And, yes, there’s the inflated numbers problem that comes with any player from those high altitudes. But consider this: The OPS for the Mets shortstop position in 2013 was the lowest in baseball at .561. Tulowitzki put up an OPS of .931. Fine, do your park effect calculations, whatever they mean. Let’s make it .850. The impact of that difference would ripple through the lineup. It really is the outhouse to the penthouse. Your shortstop is batting cleanup.

As much as they need star power, the Mets need an impact bat. When Troy went down in 2011, Cargo struggled and noted that they were pitching to him differently. You add an impact bat, and you also get more out of David Wright, who was a big investment. And you can live with platoon solutions at other positions.

Mike:

Adding an impact bat changes everything. We have seen it before.

Jimmy:

Let’s look at the contract for a moment, because it’s not nothing.

  • 2014: $16M
  • 2015: $20M
  • 2016: $20M
  • 2017: $20M
  • 2018: $20M
  • 2019: $20M
  • 2020: $15M
  • 2021: $15M Team Option, $4M Buyout

I don’t know, he’s 35 in 2020. These numbers seem like a bargain. Hunter Pence just signed for $18 million through the next 5 years . . . and he’s Hunter Pence! Wait until Robbie Cano signs a new deal. The Yankees are offering him “significant” money, plus the Yankee legacy. I believe his agent, Jay-Z, will be looking for “significant” money, plus more money. And he’ll get it from somebody. Cano is a middle infielder who mashes.


tulowitzki defence

Mike:

If you take the most negative view, that he needs to be bought out in 2020, it is $19 million per year for seven years. His contract lines up very favorably with our other star, David Wright, who is also signed through 2020 at an $18 million per year rate. The issue with the contract is the length, not the rate. But Pence just got five years, Choo will get at least five. The Mets can hold their breath and pout all they want, if you want to compete you need players, and the market is the market. I don’t see a big hitting star awaiting us on the Las Vegas roster.

Jimmy:

What do you think it would take to get him? Or let me rephrase that, what kind of offer would you be willing to make for a player of Tulowitzki’s caliber? My sense is that the Rockies always need pitching — it’s a chuck-and-duck staff out there — and they are in a semi-rebuilding mode.

Here’s my conclusion: the shape and scope of the entire off-season depends upon Noah Syndergaard, currently ranked 3rd best pitching prospect in baseball by John Sickels, behind only Taijuan Walker and Archie Bradley. Without him on the table, I don’t know if the Mets can trade for the big boys.

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Mike:

Look, when it comes to this stuff the answer is Alderson should do it for as little as possible, of course. And, by the way, if any one of us were sitting in the room with Colorado we would not start out with our highest offer. But I’m not passing on Troy Tulowitzki over Noah Syndergaard. We have Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, and Gee, and all have shown plenty at the highest level, the major leagues. Montero has shot through the system and is also a high-rated prospect. Plus, we get told all the time how pitching-rich our system is. You have to give up to get, I would do it. This is not trading Wheeler in a Justin Upton trade. This is not a very good player. It is a great player. Tulo can really field too, let’s not forget that.

Jimmy:

Would you rather trade Wheeler? I wonder if he has more or less value than Noah Syndergaard. These highly-ranked prospects strike me as the most coveted pieces out there.

Mike:

No, I much rather trade Syndergaard. I put a lot of value in Wheeler’s major league success and ability to help this team in 2014.

Jimmy:

So, let’s pretend the Mets pull this off. That only leaves the team with $15 million more to spend, assuming we don’t trade Daniel Murphy. How do the Mets fill the rest of the holes?

Mike:

If you keep Murphy, you can now go Young, Murphy, Wright, Tulo. That is formidable. With Tulowitzki batting cleanup, the idea of a Duda/Satin platoon at first becomes more viable. Those guys at six would not kill you. And go defense with Lagares in center, and bat him eighth. We still have d’Arnaud. When you add a great player, your other players start to look a little different, as you are not asking them to do what they cannot.

Is Young the perfect leadoff hitter? No way. But this is where the trade-offs come in, the Duda/Satin platoon too. I rather have those two guys, with a proven big bat, than take my chances on three good, not great, players.

There would still be money to get a professional hitter who plays right. Hell, maybe the return of Byrd, if he would take a one-year deal. It wouldn’t have to be a dumpster-dive guy this time. And he could bat fifth.

Or you sign Abreu and go cheap in right field. That could still fit for 2014 commitments, but you would be adding a risky long-term commitment with Jose too. Me, I love that, you bat him fifth and go get it, that is what I would do.

JoseDarielAbreu_display_image

Jimmy:

It’s what Omar would do, too.

Mike:

I would be shocked if that happened though, Tulo and Abreu, but since you asked, that would excite me. I believe Abreu is going to hit. Why I’m so sure of that, I don’t know, I guess it’s crazy.

Also, if you go Jose you can non-tender Ike and that adds a few more bucks to the $30 million.

I’m not holding my breath on his being a Met though, Tulo or no Tulo.

Jimmy:

A guy might say, hey, the Rockies had Cargo and Tulowitzki and it got them nowhere. Why would a two-star approach work for the Mets?

Mike:

As for wins and losses, I still don’t see a playoff team unless a lot of things go right. The biggest would be getting that right field spot to work out well. But with only $30 million to spend things can only move so far without some good fortune, no matter the path taken.

Did somebody say "pounce"?

Did somebody say “pounce”?

For 2014 this approach won’t guarantee much of anything, except one more guy who is worth buying a ticket to see. That alone is not a small thing. Any dollars generated are needed right now, the revenue line is dormant.

Longer term we would have two big stars anchoring our infield in the biggest baseball market in the world. A capable GM should easily be able to build around that. Going the other way, adding a bunch of guys in an attempt to sneak into the playoffs once, is the opposite of building for sustained success. We need a core of great players to get to my goal, a World Championship. If one is sitting there to be had, in his prime, we need to pounce.

 

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41 comments

  1. How about starting out with this offer for Tulo: Jenrry Mejia, Dillon Gee and Wilson Flores? Mejia as averaged 8 K’s / 9 innings over nearly 400 innings in his pro (Minor League) career, with an ERA under 3.00. He’s going on 24, so he’s young but he’s not that young. He hardly ever seems to get mentioned very prominently in Mets plans, anyway. And to pitch in Colorado, you have to have the ability to K some guys. Gee is a good pitcher, but back-of-the-rotation kind of guys are not that hard to come by, and Flores appears to be a man without a position. Plus, Flores would make it easier to justify trading Tulo away by claiming they want to go younger and cheaper with Flores (though he’s probably not a real shortstop.) I would hate to trade Syndergaard. This kid is a real stud, and could be a staff ace in a couple of years. I like him better than Wheeler, actually.

    • James Preller says:

      I would HATE to give up Syndergaard. Unlike Mike, I would trade Wheeler first. I really don’t know which of those two has more current value. I am pretty sure that half a year in Vegas will take the shine off his numbers.

      Meija has been injured too much, but he would be an inticing throw in. Murphy would look good out there. Ike.

      And yes, I would trade Gee, no problem.

      I would not surrender 3 pitchers in a deal — maybe Gee and Matz and Murphy and Ike — I really don’t know. Keeping Syndergaard would be a priority. But: The Mets desperately need a player like Troy, and they have enough pieces, and money, to get it done.

    • Alan K. says:

      You have to give quality to get quality. If I were the Rockies GM I don’t trade Tulo unless Synergaard or Wheeler is coming back. The Mets can start out with any opening offer they want but in the end it comes down to whether they’re willing to move one of those two pitchers. Tulo is not going to be a painless trade.

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        The Rockies have tried the fastball curveball pitchers before and it has not exactly worked well for them, so who knows what they are really after.

      • Thing is, you’re not the Rockies G.M., and we don’t really know how badly, if at all, they want to trade Tulo. Obviously, we start out with a package deal that might entice them to the bargaining table. We also shouldn’t assume all these guys are geniuses, or that how we evaluate talent is going to be the same as how they do it. I’m not assuming we wouldn’t have to, in the end, trade a player like Wheeler, but I wouldn’t necessarily jump to that conclusion.

  2. RAFF says:

    William – SO, obviously we’d be keeping our powder dry on the initial offer- But I’m assuming we’d respond positively if they insisted that we add; Ike, Valdespin, & Turner, along with the Branding Rights to any Promotional Products engendering the Name of the Great Art Shamsky?

    • I think we should just charter a bus and send virtually our entire 2013 roster, but for about four guys, out to Denver, and see what they send us back. Couldn’t be much worse than what we already have.

  3. RAFF says:

    I’m struggling with the numbers. To the point- If we accept the numbers, then we should be developing a plan to Win Within the spending numbers we have agreed to. We started out today’s discussion with the notion of ACCEPTING the figure of $30million in additional spending. This is based upon Alderson’s statements targeting a payroll of roughly $100mm. if we are to ACCEPT these numbers, we should be tasking ourselves with developing a PLAN to win at the spending levels we have agreed to accept. This is our reality. Virtually everyone who is on the “GET-TULO” (or Carfo, Or Stanton) band-wagon has already stated that doing so will NOT bring us a winning club. They have additionally stated, to varying degrees, the number of and level of prospects and existing talent required to pull-off such a deal- Indicating large holes which will need to filled, through further spending on free agents and further loss of attractive, tradable prospect pipeline, which is relatively thin to begin with. GETTING TULO pretty much eliminates the ability to spend on meaningful additional Free Agents, and it removes many of the prospects who are expected, in short term, to advance to the major league roster or be used to trade for useable players.

  4. Patrick Boegel says:

    Here is the big math problem I have currently with Sandy Alderson.

    The Mets payroll the last two seasons has been roughly $93MM-$95MM give or take a rounding error.

    Currently there are 23 names on the 40 man roster who could likely cost the Mets money, which at rough estimate totals $44.55MM. Of that David Wright, Jon Niese and likely Murphy, Parnell and Gee should account for roughly $35.05, though only Wright and Niese are locks to stay. The rest are all guys who are league minimum salaries, with the exception of Collins bag man Justin Turner. So around 18 of your possible roster spots are league minimum commitments.

    The expired or jettisoned contracts from actual players in 2013 equals $27.46MM. I’ve put Ike Davis in that mix. That sounds an awful lot like the creepy numbers Alderson has been bandying about lately.

    However the Mets restructured the jettison of Bay, he and Santana cost the Mets $43.5MM in 2013 payroll.

    So not a lot makes sense here. Unless the Mets are targeting a $75MM payroll in 2014, they should have nearly $50.95MM to put toward new talent or contracts to existing players whom they wish to extend early (can’t think of one currently, Harvey would have been had he not blown his elbow)

    My math says you could trade for Tulowitzski, sign Choo, sign Abreu and still have a pool of $17MM on league minimums and maybe a couple of slightly more expensive relievers, or a starting pitcher.

    So a big question to ask is, what will the payroll be next year, not this phantom wishy washy amount that Alderson says he has to spend on new players.

    • Given the $30 million to spend that Alderson has talked about, it looks like they are still cutting payroll to below $90 million. It’s all “Fun With Numbers” with these guys — we keep counting Jason Bay twice, double-dipping in the reverse direction. He’s off the books, he’s on the books, we still owe him $15 million, and so on. My feeling is that THEY are still counting that real money that they really owe — and that it was a con to count it last year (on the books).

    • Michael Geus says:

      For the second year in a row this issue makes discussing moves the team should make difficult. There is this cloud over what the Wilpons can spend. Not just what they are willing to do, but what they are able to do.

      The $30 million number I picked is nothing more than a guess, and not the number I would pick. My hope is I end up surprised and the number spent is higher.

      I get on Alderson from time-to-time, but the idea that the owners are dying to raise payroll and he is blocking them is hard for me to digest. Not that anyone here is suggesting that.

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        Get that is is the ownership, but since they don’t speak currently, it is incumbent upon the mouthpiece to explain.

        I am just fiddling with the actual numbers. If we are to believe what he is saying, then the Mets payroll next year is going to around $70-$75MM, that is unacceptable.

        If Ike Davis was a blossoming star, d’Arnaud had just rake through year one and Puello was a blue chip guarantee then one could make the argument the Mets are in a rare position to be frugal and take advantage of rich assets before they cost a ton.

  5. RAFF says:

    Let me provide an alternative approach to trading multiple high-end prospects for a high-end/high salary guy (TULO)… What if the Mets targeted teams who have a very productive player, who is under control, but likely to be moved, due to another young player who is targeted to replace them. As a specific, and I believe there are a number of them– The Cardinals might be looking to move John Jay to make room for phenom prospect, Oscar Taveras.. Of Course, the possibility exists that they would prefer to move Mat Holliday instead, but I’m just trying to make a point here. Instead of trading MULTIPLE prospects for Tulo- Why not look to trade one- Perhaps Syndergard or Wheeler, or D’arnaud for a “John Jay type”. Jay is arbitration eligible, and 3 years from free agency 2017 – so his dollars will be reasonable, given his production. The Cardinals would want a top end prospect, of course, but NOT 2 or 3 of them. Lastly, the Mets would retain the additional prospects for additional trades, or to fill positions on the field. Assuming Jay get’s an arbitration awarded at 7-8 million (possibly a bit more)- this leaves at least 10million additional to spend on Free Agents… I think this type of approach would be more in keeping with a plan to build a winner at $100million, or so.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      The idea is sound, the player referenced is not. Jay is a mediocre centerfielder with low production offensively and not very good defensively. Or at least not elite enough to provide the type of value for an elite prospect.

      I don’t think the cost of Jay would be Syndergaard, Wheeler or d’Arnaud by any stretch.

      Maybe Flores, but to me for a player like Jay who is a dime a dozen, that is even too high.

      The Mets have to hope that Lagares given some time can at least be a .700-.725 OPS offensive player and that his defense will remain exceptional.

      So, they need to look for trades absolutely, but if you are trading an elite prospect it better return an elite player.

      • RAFF says:

        Patrick B— Correct- I am advancing an idea> AN APROACH to player acquisition and the development of a PLAN to provide a winning team within the constraints of the budgetary figures we are all being led to assume- or at least accept for the basis of our discussion here, … The specific players mentioned are for the purpose of illustration only. No animals were used in the testing of this response.

  6. Eric says:

    The Big and Necessary question: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO OWN A MAJOR LEAGUE TEAM? ….A MAJOR MARKET MAJOR LEAGUE TEAM.

    If YES, then go out with ANY plan that indicates a commitment—don’t come to April 2014 with an $82 million 76 win an Ifs-Buts-Candies-Nuts Roster.

  7. Eric says:

    and PLEASE—the IKE Trade ideas—please STOP!!!!! He’s not a Piece in ANY trade—if he’s tendered, he’s a 4 million dollar expense that NOBODY wants to trade for.

    • Michael Geus says:

      I agree, I would also non-tender Ike.

    • Sorry you don’t agree, but I’ll write what I want. I would happily part with Ike Davis. The Brewers, for example, need a first baseman. As a throw-in, Ike is an interesting guy for another team. It’s a relatively cheap, short-term gamble. And I personally believe that he needs to get very far away from Dave Hudgens. Ike is confused, flummoxed. He’s a mess. There’s a possibility, even a likelihood, that he’ll return to his version of success — a .250 BA, great power, and shitty against LHP — for another team. Does that translate into 40 HRs in Colorado? It could, it might. As part of a larger package, I don’t think he’s as worthless as you think he is.

      There’s a real scenario where Ike Davis plays good 1B and hits more than 30 HRs again. I don’t think that happens in NY, with the hitting approach stressed by this organization.

      He has the ability.

  8. Patrick Boegel says:

    This is the t-shirt that fans should start wearing.

    Tulo, Choo, Abreu

    See you in October

    Mets.

  9. Eric says:

    Jim—- Baseball GM’s don’t trade for a 5 million dollar “problem/possibility”—they invite them to camp with a “minor league deal”, or a “small” guaranteed MLB deal—1-2 million—a chance to rehab his career. Maybe they guarantee a bit more—but they CERTAINLY don’t sacrifice TALENT Plus guaranteed money.

    He Has NO Value….that’s not a debate about whether he can recapture a career—I believe he can…I believe HE needs to be away from the Mets—as much as they need to be parted from him.

    And sure…write whatever you like. Mine was only a figure of speech.

    • I don’t really disagree. But when you talk about a package, as Mike and I were, where the Mets are taking on a contract such as Tulowitzki’s, Ike’s $4 million could be a gentlemanly way of helping make the money work out. That’s a common practice in trades. And, if you and I both think Ike might return to form, I’m thinking some GM’s might also believe it. I don’t see Ike Davis as a centerpiece, and have never presented him as one. But the two times I suggested him as a possible 3rd or 4th guy in a deal, it was in cases where the Mets were taking on more than $100 million in salary commitments. Look at the Red Sox and Dodgers. Or any number of other trades. “Bad” contracts are often moved within the context of larger deals. And Ike’s is not really that bad, at all, especially when you consider the upside.

  10. RAFF says:

    The rub with Ike being part of a deal is this: IF someone wanted him in a trade, or any player in a trade, the presumption is that they would want that player locked up for some period of time. Given Ike’s recent 2 years- he’s not a guy who anyone would want to commit to for more than a year. He might be attractive as a free agent, as a “look-see” invite to camp, or even as a 1 year deal to see if some of the previous value and talent could be brought to the fore again. … But as far as a team wanting to bring him in as part of an exchange for a valuable player- I think that’s a tough proposition. Further- I’m not sure if the “compensation-swap” part of the argument holds water, either. Is it not the case that the Mets are easily relieved of any obligation to Ike, simply by not tendering him? Would the Mets go out of their way to CREATE an obligation for a guy, SPECIFICALLY IKE- only to then go out and offer him up in a trade for a the purpose of off-loading the “bad contract” they had just created? This does not seem logical. Perhaps I’m ignorant of the facts.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      Teams swap guys who are potential non-tender candidates all the time.

      The Mets and Giants did this just two years ago.

  11. RAFF says:

    Patrick – as stated, I’m a little ignorant of the facts and rules. When did the Mets and Giants do this, and please tell me the specific players involved, if you can recall.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      Torres and Ramirez for Pagan. Torres and Pagan where both non-tender candidates. The Mets basically gave the Giants the right to control Pagan for at least one year via arbitration vs going in an open market for him, while the Mets got Ramirez and the right to control Torres. The Giants made out famously well and won a World Series. The Mets well…

      • RAFF says:

        Patrick – Regarding the Ramirez-Pagan-Torres trade between the Mets and Giants. This really isn’t analogous to the situation regarding the Rockies agreeing to “take-Ike”, as I see it. Primarily, I was responding to Jimmy’s comment that teams regularly make “gentlemanly” concessions, and they take on Bad Contracts, as a way of “making the money work out”- True enough, as a general statement. For starters- In the Mets Giants trade- ALL THREE players were players which Each Team Wanted- and signed to deals. The motivation for each team was to gain EXCLUSIVE (arbitration) bargaining rights to players THEY WANTED. The response I made, was in reaction to the premise that teams take on players and their bad contracts to make a deal for a larger purpose. So – Taking On A Bad Contract- This would not be the case, in any event, regarding IKE/Colorado- Unless the Mets signed him first, and then insisted that Colorado take him on. NOW- it’s entirely possible (not likely) that COLORADO might insist on IKE in the deal, and they might want to have the exclusive arbitration rights to him- I do not know this. As a final point- IF Colorado is seeking to move Tulowitzki, due to financial considerations- They would have LIMITED INTEREST in a deal which “makes the money work out” – Taking On A Bad Contract- REGARDLESS of the specific players involved.

        • Patrick Boegel says:

          The only wanted player in the Mets deal was Ramirez, the other two could have been non-tendered and presumably targeted by both teams, the advantage is that each team could then go to arbitration vs. the open market. But neither the Giants nor Mets were tripping over themselves for Pagan or Torres. Frankly from the Giants perspective it was entirely odd. Here was a player the Mets wanted and needed, and to do it they agreed to swap players both teams were going to non-tender.

          Bad contracts are bad contracts. Some are big money, others are those ones in which you are caught between the rock and hard place of tendering a guy a deal or letting him go.

          In the case of Davis, you have a player who will in arbitration make around $3.5MM or so which is puzzling given his last season. From a Mets perspective, if the Rockies are willing to take that on maybe they ask for less money or no money paid on a Tulowitzki pending the caliber of prospects headed that way.

          Ever since the Twins bungle with David Ortiz, teams are far more reluctant to just jump to non-tender and watch a guy explode elsewhere. They at least explore if they are compatible with another team in a swap.

          This is actually more intriguing from Colorado’s perspective in that they do not any longer have a 1B. The worst case scenario Ike Davis proves to be the dead weight he was first half of 2012 and all of 2013. Best case, he gets out of New York and the awful atmosphere he was in, rebounds, blossoms and finds himself negotiating a nice deal with Colorado in October of 2014. For Colorado they get a couple of key prospects, and a guy whom if things work out they could control favorably for a handful of years while jettisoning $120MM

  12. Michael Geus says:

    Well, if the Rockies owner is being genuine today we all will need to set our sights elsewhere.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9801512/troy-tulowitzki-carlos-gonzalez-traded-colorado-rockies-owner-says

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      I find it hard to believe anyone is being genuine in trade talks, or contract talks.

      At the end of the day, the only thing that really means anything is what actually happened.

      That is part of the reason I was pulling apart the Mets numbers and scratching my head. Unless Alderson has grand plans of the amount of money he is willing to hand over to Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler and even the problem armed Harvey today, I don’t see where he came up with his funky $30MM number other than to plant a sad smoke screen that is easily whisked away by other GMs and more importantly agents.

      The Mets could as I’ve laid out trade for Tulowitzki assuming Rockies can be motivated, sign Choo, sign Abreu and still be at around $95MM-$100MM in payroll with a real competitive team and a chance to take the city away from the Yankees for at least a summer who are going to be in reconstruction mode for 2014.

      On the flip side. The Yankees could probably sign Choo and Abreu, resign Cano and then continue to walk on the Mets grave.

  13. James Preller says:

    My position this time of year:

    Talk < Action.

    We shall see.

  14. Eraff says:

    ^^^^^^^^^^ YES^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  15. It’s tricky blogging this time of year, because it naturally involves a high degree of speculation. It’s unavoidable and we try to make it entertaining & relevant. We’re not rumor mongering, but more just trying to examine the available possibilities. I tried to kick this hot stove season off with a post on October 1st, quoting T.S. Eliot: “Decisions and revisions which a minute with reverse.”

    Things change quickly. And there are many ways to skin a cat, but I will contend that I want “the plan” to be about building a great team, not making moves that maybe, possibly line the team up for a miracle year. Most teams are a miracle away from making the playoffs, everything breaks right, etc. I’d rather have a well-built team. Which is why I favor adding a building block to that foundation rather than, say, this year’s version of Cody Ross. Though the two and not mutually exclusive.

    Slow and steady might win the race, but in three years of drafting the Trioka has not come up with a single frontline pitching prospect or a single frontline hitting prospect. Not a one, unless you want to count the 1st rounder out of 2013 draft — but it’s early to think of that egg as a chicken.

    When people talk about “depth” at the minor leagues I could vomit. Depth is Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Depth is Robert Carson. A great minor league system produces stars. Depth is simply a secondary component.

  16. Eric/Eraff says:

    Jim— they have yet to ADD/Identify ONE front Line Player as a Major League addition. They do have a couple of guys who may break through—Lagares, d’Arnaud, but they have not made a solid AT THE MLB level yet.

    I have heard many fans with a specific Rendition of the ALDERSON PLAN—while Alderson has given only vague overviews… “sustainable competitiveness”…??? that’s sort of the recap to my ears.

    so…I just observe their actions… they have dumped payroll and swapped very selectively for prospect inflow…. they have NOT made brick and mortar MLB talent acquisitions…they have NOT made FA Brick and Mortar Acquisitions…ditto both for Star Acquisitions.

    There is NOT ONE team that is merely dumping payroll+ Drafting players and progressing/gaining playoff baseball–NOT ONE!…. that is the only “plan” that I observe the Mets to be on.

    For the past 3 seasons they’ve TALKED about the importance of “fielding a competitive team this year”— they show up every April looking about the same, BUT Cheaper!

    So— whatever…whomever—no specifics…..but DO YOU WANT TO OWN AND RUN AN MLB TEAM…or nOT!?

  17. RAFF says:

    Jimmy – You and Michael are doing yeoman’s work at keeping the blog BOTH relevant and entertaining. Thank you. As far as your desire for “the plan to be about building a great team” – You are correct> There Are Many Ways to Skin this Cat… But in the end- whether we agree with the specific approach as to whether they fill in with Free Agents, Target High End “Tulo-Types” by trading high end prospects, or some likely mix of the two approaches- As a FIRST CUT: we all understand where this is all going, in terms of Management COMMITMENT. HOW MUCH MONEY WILL THEY SPEND. for talent they actually put on the field in 2014 and beyond? You’re correct- We are not looking for occasional post season appearances. We want to be CONTENDERS on an annual basis. Recently, we heard from Rockies owner, Dick Montfort, that his PLAN was to spend about $90million annually, with a realistic goal of “…getting the Rockies into the playoffs a couple of times every five years.” This is not good enough for New York- It shouldn’t be acceptable to Met’s fans, and it’s not reasonable to ask us to accept that this is the approach we should emulate. The line of demarcation is clear. In order to COMPETE EVERY YEAR, To Put Fannies into seats, to build and RETAIN talent which wins and holds fan interest, and to maximize eyeballs in front of the TV- A Major league franchise needs to be, minimally, NORTH OF $100 Million Annually. The closer they are to $100MM, on the low side, the smarter they need to be in player development. The further they can spend above $100mm- that gives them latitude to take chances and make mistakes. When – IF the Mets make an investment amounting to $100MM in talent on the field, we can seriously debate whether they have the Right Plan to Compete Every Year. Until we see that level of commitment from management- we’re all just talking-around the issue.

  18. Eric/Eraff says:

    The Detroit Tigers have a $140-150 million dollar payroll…3 million attendance….. really puts some things in perspective. The entire Detroit SMSA is 3.5 million people….the 12th largest SMSA in the Country—I was surprised at that.

    Brooklyn and Queens together are 5 million people…..long island is another 7 million people. The NY SMSA is almost 20 million people.

    Turning the old phrase upside down—if you can’t make it here, you can’t make it ANYWHERE!!! Jeepers— New Ball Park…New Network…. with all that, they’ve figured out how to lose 1.5 million ticket buyers, 1/3 of their network revenue….and they’ve been abandoned by their radio Broadcast Partner—to say NOTHING of being set adrift by their “local” AAA partner home. That is altogether pathetic!!!!!

  19. [...] on October 10th I looked at the tea leaves and assumed $30 million in new spending. When you throw Young in we are [...]

  20. [...] October 10, I did some math for Sandy Alderson. I estimated that about $30 million would be granted from the Wilpons to spend [...]

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