One Guy Talking to Himself: Kershaw’s $215 Million, Payroll Concentration, Murphy, Montero, Meija, Lannan & More

Well, Mike’s not around much this week, so I’m all alone, talking to myself. Not to worry! I’m used to it.

Jimmy:

Hey, look at this. John Buck signed with Seattle for a tidy million.

Jimmy Also:

That’s called a market correction. Seattle got a good price. He might have made a nice backup for Travis d’Arnaud, but I’m sure Big John was looking for more playing time. Also, I think sitting John in favor of Travis would have made Terry’s head explode. Better to remove the temptation.

Jimmy:

They keep talking about signing Dice-K or some other veteran “innings eater.” I don’t get it. Why not just let Montero or Meija earn the job this Spring?

Jimmy Also:

A generous take would be to point out that depth is important and this is the time to acquire it. Didn’t you hear they just signed John Lannan?

john-lannan-like-john-lennon-get-it

Jimmy:

My favorite Beatle! Wait, what?

Jimmy Also:

Well, they did. I’ve always liked Lannan, a Siena guy and a southpaw. Smart signing. It’s being billed that he’s signed to “compete” for the #5 spot, but my hope is that he’ll become the cheap veteran stashed at AAA. The backup plan. It’s time to go with a young arm. I want excitement and a chance to win. I want a new story, these guys need to start taking their lumps now. Maybe that’s still a possibility. Here’s to some open competition in Florida this year. If Montero and Meija falter — sorry, I can’t take deGrom seriously yet — then Lannan can temporarily hold down the fort.

Jimmy:

What’s more, you need a systematic progression for these rookie hurlers, a schedule. The Mets can’t bring up Syndergaard, Montero, and Meija all at the same time, though it’s certainly conceivable that all three could be pitching for the New York Mets by July. If that’s true, the process must get started earlier, rather than later.

Rafael Montero: It's time.

Rafael Montero: It’s time.

Jimmy Also:

I like the way you think!

Jimmy:

So, um, do you think I could permanently take Mike’s place?

Jimmy Also:

No, no, no. Mike’s just taking a few days off.

Jimmy:

Did you read that Clayton Kershaw signed a 7-year, $215 million contract for an annual salary of $30.7 million?

Jimmy Also:

Rubber_DuckyYes, and on that same day Fred Wilpon pumped his fist and declared, “THANK GOD MATT HARVEY BLEW OUT HIS ARM!”

Jeff Wilpon grabbed his rubber ducky and hid under a desk. “Scary,” he said.

Jimmy:

Heh-heh. You’re funny.

Jimmy Also:

And you, good sir, are too kind.

Jimmy:

But seriously, this is where it becomes very clear that the Mets organization cannot possibly stay on its current fiscal path. We need owners who can pay the electric bill. We can’t sit shivering in the dark, eating cat food, complaining about the high cost of living.

Jimmy Also:

Exactly. Mike wrote a good piece last week, basically calling bullshit on Sandy Alderson’s “payroll concentration” comments, the misleading idea that it’s bad to have too much payroll absorbed by too few players. What’s the end game there? You trade away Matt Harvey? You start pointing at David Wright, insinuating that he’s the problem? You need good players, and therefore payroll must expand with the times.

Jimmy:

Long before the injury, I wrote that Harvey was headed for a $200 million contract. Now his future is uncertain, but the threat remains: If the Mets get good, their best players are going to have to get paid.

Do we really want to become the Oakland A's, only to watch our best players walk away?

Do we really want to become the Oakland A’s, only to watch our best players walk away?

Jimmy Also:

Some guys, yes. Baseball teams are going the way of the rest of America, divided into “haves” and “have nots.” What gets wiped out is the shrinking middle class. Talent comes in the shape of a pyramid. Smart teams will have a lot of guys under two million per year, say 14-17 players, many close to the league minimum. At the top, you have 3-5 guys earning $12 million and more. The other 3-5 guys land somewhere in the middle — and just like in corporate America, those are the guys you look to axe.

Jimmy:

So a guy like Daniel Murphy . . .

Jimmy Also:

. . . begins to make less sense when he’s at $5.7 million for a team like the Mets. He is in danger of getting whacked when an accountant thinks, “Hey, we can get 90% of this production for 10% of the cost!”

Jimmy:

But I like Murph.

Jimmy Also:

Me, too. I like the way he plays, too. He’s got grit, he cares.

Daniel Murphy, the one guy on the Mets who could have fit in with the 2013 Boston Red Sox. He's a beard waiting to happen.

Daniel Murphy, the one guy on the Mets who could have fit in with the 2013 Boston Red Sox. He’s a beard waiting to happen.

Jimmy:

Now that the abitration cases have been resolved (except for Lucas Duda), let’s look at the structure:

  • 2014 SALARIES
  • Wright: $20 million
  • Granderson: $13 million
  • Colon: $9 million
  • C. Young: $7.25 million
  • Murphy: $5.7 million
  • Niese: $5 million
  • Parnell: $3.7 million
  • Gee: $3.625 million
  • Davis: $3.5 million
  • E. Young: $1.85 million
  • Duda: $1.8 million (estimate)
  • Tejeda: $1.1 million
  • Plus 13 Roster Spots: Cheap!

Jimmy Also:

Assuming no big signings — I know, crazy! — that’s 2 players above $12 per, 16 under $2 million, leaving 7 in the fuzzy middle range, roughly at an average of $5.5 per season. The crazy thing is so many of those mid-tier guys will be due raises next year. That won’t fly for all of them. Chris Young goes away, and the big hope is that Colon stays healthy, pitches well, and can be dealt. I’d hope that next winter they can afford to bring in one more top-shelf position player.

Jimmy:

I hope so, too. The key is getting production from the base of your pyramid, those bottom 12-15 guys. When they can make meaningful contributions on the cheap, it’s possible to succeed at the major league level. For the next few years, it’s lining up to look like that may be the case.

Jimmy Also:

Really well said. Awesome job!

Jimmy:

Mike who?

Jimmy Also:

mExk0vjf7W83YgiaGWmKLdwHey, we signed Omar Quintanilla!

Jimmy:

Another old first-round draft pick by the Oakland A’s. Sandy sure scours the entire world for replacement players. Unfortunately, the internet is out of space. We’ll address this, and Ruben Tejada, tomorrow.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

7 comments

  1. Michael Geus says:

    Not exactly a nation-wide search to replace me.

    Humbling.

  2. Alan K. says:

    One of the good things that have resulted from the Kershaw contract and the explosion of salaries is that it will eventually push ownership in a corner they can’t maneuver out of. Either the team and revenue improves on its own to the point that the Wilpons can play in the financial big leagues or they have to get out.

  3. DD says:

    The Mets can’ bring up Syndergaard, Montero and Meija all at the same time — but if they were the Oakland A’s, that is exactly what they would do; and it would work.

    I did like someone’s musing that Lannan could possibly become this year’s Darren Oliver. Oliver was something of a flyball pitcher too at least as I remember.

    Oh, and since I read it: another ancient reliever in the news is Guillermo Mota signing a minor league contract with the Royals. The Mets should have brought him back for Mike Piazza Day. Entertainment!

    • Dan! Always a pleasure to think of you passing by the “2 Guys” Ranch. Yes, about Oakland, I brought them up a while back. Didn’t they have an all-rookie rotation in 2012, something close to that, anyway. Part of being a team in the Mets position is showing faith in young players, and to date there seems to have been an odd reluctance to do so.

      Yes, on Oliver. That was a good call by somebody in the blogosphere, though Torres might be that guy for now, only righty. Again, we talked that out all last year, mystified in this team’s refusal to place a long man in the pen.

      Mota at Piazza day would have been perfect. A this is your life format. “Do you remember choking this man by the neck? Sure you do, it’s your old nemesis, Guillermo!”

      Lastly, thought of you recently when I finally, finally got around to reading BANG THE DRUM SLOWLY. I’m going to write something about it one of these days. What a great, great, great book. Loved it. And I know you always urged me to read it. So, thanks.

Leave a Reply

Email
Print