Here’s what you wrote about Wilmer Flores on November 26:
I am not about to abandon the idea that he can play a passable second base. He is much more valuable as a second baseman, period. If he proves beyond a shadow of a doubt he cannot play second, only then would I look at him as a corner. That also allows him more time to mature as a hitter, his Double A numbers were solid, not jaw dropping.
In a system bereft of hitting prospects Flores looks great. In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. I see a good prospect here, not a great one, and another year in the minors for Flores will benefit everyone.
So where does that leave us now? Has anything changed in your assessment?
Not too much. When I talked to Edgardo Alfonzo in September he believes second base is the best spot for Wilmer. I found that interesting. As for seeing him there myself, it was a brief audition and he had an injured ankle, so I didn’t get to see much.
Now one thing I would not be doing right now is clearing second base for the guy. We have a second baseman, and he is one of the best players on our team. Barring a trade, Wilmer can play some second against tough lefthanded pitchers, and in general, serve as depth.
Good teams need good bench players, and I’m ready for the Mets to become a good team.
You targeted Shaun Marcum very early in the process. As far as I recall, I first read about him from you. Congratulations, Mike! You wrote:
“But there is a guy who intrigues me more and should not break Fred’s precious piggy bank –
Marcum has made a career of pitching well or being hurt. He is coming off elbow issues from 2011. Because of that he may not get more than a one-year contract, but I do think he could end up with a two-year deal. If I’m Alderson, I’m very interested, and two years should not be an issue.”
What can I say, it was Christmas Eve, and I had just got done caroling. The funny thing about this is at the time nobody had us linked with Marcum. Eventually we signed him, for what I still believe was good logical reasons. If Marcum was not a health risk he would have commanded a much higher financial commitment. Sandy was operating with limited funds and took a shot with Sean. Baseball is a results business and this move went badly, I get that, but it was always a calculated gamble. It did not work out.
Considering the other names that were being bandied around at that time were Mike Pelfrey and Carl Pavano there was not much lost here. And Marcum spared us a few Laffey starts too.
That alone might have been worth the money.
I am going to agree with you here. It comes back to the trade discussions we’ve been having offline. When the reasoning is solid, that’s all I can ask. That, and a solid backup plan for when the shit hits the fan.
Back on June 16th, we had this exchange about Marcum.
So, sigh, Shaun Marcum: When his name first came up, I wondered why Milwaukee didn’t want to retain him. So I read and posted a convincing article by Jaymes Langrehr, “Why the Brewers Are Shunning Shaun Marcum,” that made me skeptical about his future health. Once the deal was done, I nonetheless held out hope that he’d be decent into July. Um, wrong. Is this the Jason Bay lesson, the essential first question: Why doesn’t the team he’s played for want to sign him? What do they know that we don’t? It’s the inverse of the Oliver Perez question — he was our guy — we knew him better than anybody — and we still signed him! So what’s the take-away here?
With all due respect to a cult who worships Bob Uecker (not saying Bob’s not worthy) their post was more of a “the Sun rises in the East thing,” than anything else. It’s not a secret that Marcum had health issues. He made over $7 million last year coming off a healthy productive campaign. If he was a certified 100 percent his dollars would have been very high this offseason and he wouldn’t be with us. Alderson used $4 million of Fred’s money to gamble that Marcum would bounce back this year. The Twins gave the same money to Mike Pelfrey, also a health risk. I liked the logic and was happy to see Sandy try something, we did very little this offseason. And every start Marcum has made so far would have been made by Collin McHugh or Aaron Laffey. I am not wistful that I didn’t get to see any more of that.
I haven’t learned anything from this. Sometimes these signings work out (Capuano) sometimes they don’t.