CENTERFIELDERS OF THE NL EAST: By Doing Nothing, Did Sandy Alderson Engineer the Best Move of All?

One nice aspect of this blog, started during the last World Series, is that we’ve begun to acquire some brief history. In December, we looked around at the NL East and saw teams actively addressing their centerfield needs.

 

The Mets flirted with CF Michael Bourn, who signed with the Indians for 4/$48, with a vesting option for a 5th year. His current OPS: .685.

The Mets flirted with CF Michael Bourn, who signed with the Indians for 4/$48, with a vesting option for a 5th year. His current OPS: .685.

 

The Braves signed B.J. Upton for $75 million; the Phillies traded for Ben Revere; the Nationals traded for Denard Spahn; and Miami, well, Miami was tearing down the present while building for the future. The Mets traded for Colin Cowgill, kicked the tires on Michael Bourn, and talked up the future of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker. It seemed to us like we were losing the battle.

Well, here we are with some reviewable data. I’ll allow you to draw your own conclusions, other than to ask: Is this a case where doing nothing turns out to be the best of move of all?

BRAVES

  • B.J. Upton: Age 29. 371 PA: .184/.266/.294. OPS: .560
  • Salary: $12.450 million for 2013; $13.450 million for 2014; $14.450 million for 2015; $15.450 million for 2016; $16.450 million for 2017.
  • Acquired via free agency.
The big winter signing that made many observers wonder, "Why?"

The big winter signing that made many observers wonder, “Why?”

NATIONALS

  • Denard Span: Age 29. 524 PA: .265/.316/.364. OPS: .680
  • Salary: $4.75 million for 2013; $6.5 million for 2014; $9 million team option ($.5 million buyout) for 2015.
  • Acquired via trade with Twins in exchange for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer.

PHILLIES

  • Ben Revere: Age 25. 336 PA: .305/.338/.352. OPS: 690.
  • Salary: $.515 million for 2013; Arb Eligible 2014; Earliest Free Agent, 2018.
  • Acquired via trade with Twins in exchange for Trevor May and Vance Worley.

MARLINS

  • Jake Marisnick, Age 22. 98 PA: .185/.227/.250. OPS: .477.
  • Salary: League Minimum; Arb-Eligible 2016; Earliest Free Agent, 2019.
  • Acquired via trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, along with with Anthony DeSclafani, Justin Nicolino, Henderson Alvarez, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Jeff Mathis in exchange for Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes and cash.

METS

Juan Lagares, an "internal option" that appears to have worked out . . . so far.

Juan Lagares, an “internal option” that appears to have worked out . . . so far.

  • Juan Lagares, Age 24. 288 PA: .258/.291/.395. OPS: .686.
  • Salary: League Minimum; Arb-Eligible 2016; Earliest Free Agent, 2019.
  • Acquired: Signed by Mets in 2006 as amateur free agent.

 

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7 comments

  1. RAFF says:

    Let’s get back to reality here- Lagares is bumping up against .260 with a .298 OBP… Let’s not enshrine him in Cooperstown just yet. I think I’d like to watch another 30-35 games before I make any conclusions. Also- rather than discussing & Comparing the merits of the other players- Let’s focus on the “Merits” of DOING NOTHING- which in baseball management is the rough equivalent to a broken clock being correct twice daily… SO- in other words— Doing NOTHING might result in stumbling into a couple of positive results- but there are 25 Major League Roster Spots- in addition to a host of other personnel slots which require analysis and decision making. Surely DOING NOTHING will continue to produce the level of “success” that doing nothing has resulted in… To quote my Favorite Rock n Roll Video of All TIme::: HAVE YOU SEEN JUNIOR”S GRADES???

    • Please, get a grip. I described Lagares as a player who — and this is an exact quote — “appears to have worked out . . . so far.”

      You reply with “Let’s not enshine him in Cooperstown just yet.”

      Then you leap to the global — to abstraction — while rejecting the idea of discussing the specifics of the situation. You quote Van Halen, well here’s William Carlos Williams: “No ideas but in things.”

      Meaning, get down to the particulars, the specifics, even if they don’t fit the story you want to tell.

      This post was almost completely without opinion. Just a laying out of facts, numbers.

      At one point, Michael Bourn and the first-round draft pick were on the table. At another, Mike entertained the missed opportunity of trading Michael Fulmer for Denard Span. Others have discussed the value of giving young players a true opportunity to succeed. I did not see Juan Lagares coming.

      Today, I see him as akin to an all-glove, no-hit shortstop. And given the Mets current situation, I think that answers a need. Lagares looks like he might be able to improve with the bat. By plan or by dumb luck, the Mets did okay in CF relative to their competitors in the NL East.

      And like I said at the top of the post, you are free to draw your own conclusions.

  2. Or, keeping with the Rock n’ Roll theme here, “Even the Loser’s Get Lucky Some Time.”

  3. RAFF says:

    You began your post with the statement “we’ve begun to acquire a brief history” (since you started the blog)… My view of this Management’s actions extends further than the history of this blog, In my view of “history”- Doing NOTHING and accepting the consequences has been their M.O, with minor exception (Beltran). You ended your post with an open invitation for me (us) to draw our own conclusion regarding the question you pose: “…is this the case where doing nothing turns out to be the best move of all?” So here’s the central idea: Your question is a faulty Straw-Man, both in the context of how I view history and how I view this player in particular > A player with a .298 OBP is still auditioning for the roll, and even if he DOES become a more productive hitter to couple with his slick leather- my answer is the same. No, I don’t think it is the best move of all. Doing Nothing is a replicable action, which over time yields less good results than bad results.

  4. Eraff says:

    Sometimes the best moves are the ones you DON’T Make!….on the other hand, ADDING a player like Bourn AND having other talented players (young guys like Juan Legares, for instance) would be the type of strategy that has ALWAYS produced winning teams.

    The Mets seemed to have no intent with Lagares…so they really DID do NOTHING!

  5. Eraff says:

    Mike—quit Picking on my Brudder!!!,,,hahahahaha

  6. Eraff says:

    OK…Back to The Future!!!!…and REALITY!!!

    Shocking stat—the Mets are 13-13 in Harvey’s starts. It’s an odd thing about “pitcher’s” luck/run support…sometimes the Pitcher’s record doesn’t match the pitching. However, the TEAM’S record is not matching the pitching over a substantial sample—and it’s a sample of OUTSTANDING Pitching.

    DOING NOTHING has a result of a team that cannot take advantage of increasingly good pitching. Low movement and delayed decision making may have been appropriate to this point (I don’t agree, but concede the point)….. It is NOT the way forward!

    REALITY— Wright and d’Arnaud are the only names in Ink going forward. Harvey is the Only Pitcher in Ink. EVERYTHING else needs to be based on Opportunity and some degree of taking a position and risk with some true cornerstones. This means that The Lagares, and Flores Types are made flexible going forward—positions need to shift to make room for Anchor players…established players.

    Team needs a Professional LH Hitter–Find one…THEN start making decisions about fitting your existing talent/trading existing talent.

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