NEWS & VIEWS: Cruz, Starting Pitching, Small Markets, David as Salesman, and More

NelsonCruz (1)Jimmy:

I’m not feeling Nelson Cruz at 4/$75. Given the team’s fiscal circumstances, I think you’ve got to be very careful to whom you give the big money. I don’t think he’s the guy.

Mike:

I don’t even know. We need a bat, badly. Teams like ours are priced out of the best players, anything we do will just be a gamble. Hopefully Sandy is ready to roll well.

Jimmy:

The Tampa Bay Rays have an established strategy these days of trading pitchers about two years before they reach free agency, with David Price being the latest example of that. Say what you will about the Rays, they’ve come to terms with what they are.

Mike:

They are the shining stars of small market baseball. As Mets fans we should be happy about the success Tampa has had, it is cause for hope.

Jimmy:

Another small market team worth noting is the Oakland A’s. And I don’t mean in a vague “find good players on the margins” sense. I mean, they are not afraid of giving young pitchers the ball. In 2012, the A’s had an all-rookie rotation, won 94 games and earned 1st place. In 2013, they featured two rookies Sonny Gray (18th pick, 2011 Draft) and Dan Straily — again ending up on top of the Division.

Mike:

If you are going to win on the cheap you need to trust young players, period. Once those first few years are up arbitration kicks in, and players get expensive. To win with a tiny payroll you need to be able to produce a large flow of high quality first and second year players, over and over. And then you have to play them.

Jimmy:

I’m thinking the phone call went like this:

Sandy Alderson: “Ruben! How you doing?

Ruben Tejeda: “Fine, I guess.

SA: “How’s the leg? You feeling good?

RT: “Yeah, sure.

SA: “Are you okay, good buddy? Catch you at a bad time?

RT: “It’s just that I’m a little surprised you are calling. Last time I noticed, you called me a fat, lazy player and that upgrading shortstop was your top priority.”

SA (laughs): “I was kidding, Ruben. KIDDING!

Mike:

I’ve been critical of Alderson plenty of times, but the idea that he would be this off on what market prices would be is just hard for me to believe. Alderson talked about Tejada in a way that indicated there was no doubt we would have a new shortstop. When I see this now it makes me think the financial goalposts were moved on Sandy since September. But that is me surmising.

All we know for sure is that if Ruben Tejada is back as our starting shortstop Sandy Alderson looks foolish.

Jimmy:

And for that reason alone, it almost seems impossible, even if it’s not totally without merit. I read that Phillip Hughes is too expensive for the Mets. What are we going to do, wander the Iron Triangle and hope somebody is selling pitchers out of the trunk of their car?

Mike:

We better hurry, before Sterling Equities gets there with the bulldozers.

Jimmy:

I do think that one way of going — and we know, there are many approaches that could result in improvement — would be to sign a Hughes, sign a Harang, then turn around to trade Niese for a bat. You start Montero in the rotation in April, bring up Syndergaard asap. For me, I’d start the season with Syndergaard in Flushing, too, but I realize that the Super Friends (hat tip, Metstradamus) are keen on him pitching most of his innings in Las Vegas . . . because, um, just because!

Mike:

Word is Arroyo could happen, and yes, if we make that signing a trade could be on the horizon.

But if we are now Tampa Bay, and that is how it looks to me, we cannot bring Montero up in April. The Rays did not even start Wil Myers in the majors last year. As a team that cannot afford to pay market rates for talent due to our tiny market we have to accept the consequences.

Montero should begin the year in Vegas. It’s painful to have to think like this, but it is what it is.

Jimmy:

I keep thinking about poor David Wright, sitting by the phone, eager to make that call to a prospective free agent, selling him on the virtues on life in the Big Apple. I bet he didn’t expect he’d be combing the DFA list, like a salesman in “Glengarry Glen Ross” making cold calls from a weak list. I see this scene (one of the greatest in movie history) and think, yeah, that’s David’s world right now.

David: “Hi, Garrett Jones! It’s me, David Wright! Let me tell ya, you’d love it hear in the Big Apple! I’m looking at a minor league contract with your name on it and –“

Garrett: Click.

David: “Hello? Hello? I’ll throw in a free case of Smart Water! Hellooooo??!!”

You might be amazed to learn, Mike, that I updated our Blogroll — and even figured out how to list things alphabetically. A few sites bit the dust this past year, but I guess that’s normal during bleak times. I added a new site, Effing Mets, led by Rob Patterson, Kieran Flemming, and a collection of contributors. As you might infer from the name, the tone is not exactly reverent. Worth checking out, if you haven’t seen it. Some recent entries to give you a taste:

Anyway, good luck, guys. Sincerely, have fun with it. We don’t mind that you seem young, jaded, and cynical. Just don’t mess with our turf: We’ve got “old & grumpy” covered. We’ll swing around with a bundt cake just as soon as we learn how to work this new-fangled Cuisinart Food Processor.

NY0503_Coconut-Bundt-Cake_s4x3_lg

Mike:

Yes good luck, I hope they have fun with it.

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3 comments

  1. Eddie Wilkowski says:

    If the Mets are going to operate in a small market fashion like Tampa and Oakland then they should cut their ticket and concessions prices down to that of Tampa and Oakland. Not that I buy in to their feigned interest in Cruz but he’d be the wrong guy in CitiField. Too much of a liability defensivly in a park where defense is paramount. The signing of the 30 year old lifetime .235 hitter shows right were we are at.

  2. Eric says:

    128…..108…..124…..159…..109…………… GAMES PLAYED….. 33 Years Old

    PASS!!!!!!!

    CHOO—- up to 110/ 5Years……. Do That!!!!

  3. Patrick Boegel says:

    I am still trying to parse the most recent Alderson quote of quotes.

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