5 Quick Comments: Defense, Wheeler, Catching, Gold Glove, Wright’s Contract

* I’m not going to search for the exact quote, but after the World Series, Giants GM Brian Sabean said the simplest thing [sic]: “When you build around pitching, you need good defense.” I think the best shot for the Mets to rebuild is through pitching. It’s time this organization started to put a priority on defense. Fortunately, on the open market, defense is cheaper than offense.

* I don’t see it debated much, as it seems almost universally accepted that Zach Wheeler “needs more time” and should begin the 2013 in Las Vegas. Because, well, what can possibly go wrong in Vegas? One concern, I guess, is over starting the arbitration clock too early. For a team that’s squeezing pennies, maybe keeping him down is another way to save a buck. But I believe he’s ready to take the next step in his development at Citifield in April. He’s more advanced than Harvey, he’s cheap, he will excite the fans, and probably sell tickets. It’s Zach Time. He’s healthy now, let’s use those innings at the big-league level. Maybe he gets roughed up here and there, it’s okay. He’s not a Faberge egg.

It’s Zach Time.









* Let’s be clear: Kelly Shoppach isn’t a starting catcher. Neither is Josh Thole. You are looking at two backup guys. Together they don’t add up to an acceptable tandem.

* Gold Glove is a tough call for any fan to make — we just don’t see enough of the other guys. But David Wright did a hell of a job in the hot corner this year. Too bad Chase Headley won it.

* I don’t believe Sandy Alderson when he says the Mets intend to sign Wright and Dickey. They can’t afford both — not unless they want to round out the roster with cardboard cut-outs of George “The Stork” Theodore. So I can’t shake the feeling that keeping Wright at, say, 7 yrs/$140 million feels like the wrong path for this organization, like treading water in the deep end. Moreover, the arguments for keeping him are partly based on sentimentality and fear of a fan backlash. I understand that trading Wright might be an impossible dream, something the Wilpons would be too frightened to do (and Sandy’s tenure can in no way be described as “bold”). But I have to wonder what might happen if we built around pitching. Kept Dickey, Niese, Harvey, Wheeler, Gee, Santana. Got something in a trade for Wright, plus $20 million to reinvest.

I’ve remarked elsewhere that David looks like a man in the last few years of a bad marriage, the weight of the world on his shoulders. Maybe it’s time for a new beginning. (And yes, finally, yes, I blame the Wilpons for creating a situation that has me even considering such a move, since it’s so obvious that a healthy organization retains its best players.) He may be the face of the franchise, but lately it’s been such a sad face.

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  1. Alan K says:

    The problem with trading Wright is that the fact he’s entering his walk year will depress his trade value to the point that what the Mets could get in return will fall short of fan expectations. Furthermore, trading Wright would cause the Mets to fall backwards, in the standings and in ticket sales, and in public relations and the Wilpons can’t afford to absorb any of those hits. The Mets have painted themselves into a corner where they virtualy have no choice but to re-sign Wright.

  2. […] hear you on the importance of outfield defense, and I’ve made that same point before. But . . . in half a season at AAA this past year, Den Dekker earned 14 walks and struck out 90 […]

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