Saturday, January 29, 2011

An Early (or late) Christmas Present?

Do you know how often I have hoped to hear those wonderful words?

You know... the ones that go: "The Wilpons are selling the Mets!"

Then of course my hopes and dreams are smashed by hearing they plan to only sell a minority share, and would still be the majority shareholders, thus still in a strong position of power with the team.


Ok... maybe I'm being unfair. I HAVE wished many, MANY times, that the Mets would be sold. I just have had too many bad tastes in my mouth with the constant feelings of the Wilpons' Keystone Cops-type management style. However they have shown the ability to finally allow the reins to be passed onto actual baseball people to have mostly full control over baseball decisions with the hiring of Sandy Alderson... so at least we have the chance to see the team move ahead without the total bumbling that seems to stick with the Mets front office.

In any case, with this nuggest of news hitting the media yesterday, I've heard a large amount of snickering from a number of Yankee fans... who likely don't realize their own team majority owners (the Stienbrenners) don't even own a full 40% of the Yankees.

That's right Bleacher Creatures. Hank and Hal (and daddy George Warbucks before them) only own about 39.6% of the Yankees. However it is the majority. The Mets could sell off a full 45% of the Mets and still have majority control and own more of their team than their crosstown rivals.

Not that it's really a big deal in the end. Most major league teams have multiple partners. The Mets are one of the few teams with an ownership of 99%.

So I'm hearing a lot of different rumors... like Mark Cuban, Donald Trump, Jerry Seinfeld and Charles Wang.

I honestly don't know what to think about that other than OH GOD PLEASE NOT WANG!!!!

Charles Wang has run my favorite hockey team (the NY Islanders) in the proverbial ground. The LAST person I want to see dipping his hands into the Mets well is him.

Listen, an influx of cash into the team could only be a good thing in my opinion. Yes there is potential to some future issues if someone with a strong personality (and strong media presence) becomes a part owner and decides he/she has a different ideology than the Wilpons on particular issues... however this team is just starting to stabilze itself and the road to respectibility is going to need something solid... like a credit line.

I think the Mets will be a better team than a lot of people seem to think they will be in 2011, however I have no delusions... and to fully compete with the Phillies and Braves going forward the team will HAVE to spend some money. Serious money for some serious players.

I would welcome a Mark Cuban or Donald Trump in here. Both of those names will come with a sense of entitlement and blowhardism... but both of those names would fall into the SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!!!!! mentality the George so aptly had over in the bronx... and look how well that has turned out when the combination of money and baseball smarts are put together.

I've seen the Mets spend money. I've seen the Mets make good decisions. However, those two things haven't always gone together. When they do... it's a wonderful thing.

So, bring on the rich blowhards! Put some serious cash in Alderson's hands. It's about time.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I don't get it...

So the Angels just pulled off a trade... and it's one that makes no sense to me what-so-ever. They sent catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera to the Blue Jays for outfielder Veron Wells and his remaining $86 million dollar contract (over the next four years).

The Angels made strong bids on free-agents Carl Crawford and Adrian Beltre, but lost out on both. Feeling like they needed to do something to keep in step with the American League Champion Texas Rangers in the AL West they seem to have made a panic move that makes little sense.

Wells is a decent centerfielder who had a pretty good stick a few years back and somehow lucked into one of the most bizarre contracts in MLB history. He's lost a step since then and it really better slated as a corner-outfielder now... where of course his lessened offensive numbers make him look WAY overpaid with stats below what you'd expect at those positions.

Napoli only hit .238 last year and his defense is considered a step below average, but it's hard to ignore his power (26 HR in 2010 in 453 at-bats, 20 HR in 2009 in 382 at-bats, 20 HR in 2008 in 227 at-bats). He'll make between $5.5 and $6 million or so in 2011. Rivera's power has all but disapeared, but he will only make $5.25 million in 2011. Both are not long term issues for the Blue Jays to be concerned with and both are more than appetizing when you filter in the fact the Jays are out of that albatross of a contract and will save about %74 million over the next few years.

For the Angels, they get a decent player who seriously bogs down payroll. At face value you have to think that the Blue Jays have to pay SOME of that contact. If not, it's a bizarre move that at the present seems to have hurt the Angels more than help.

Wells is a good guy. There is no question about his make up or his attitude. His 2010 was much better than his sub-average 2009. He hit .273 with 31 HR and 88 RBI with only 86 strike outs. Pretty good numbers, but not worth the $23 million he'll make this year.

The raise in payroll lifts the Angels to about $146 million, pushing them up with the Mets.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Arm: Mets Ink Young

Well, it was expected and in the end it was another decent low-risk, possible high reward move. Adding Chris Young to the rotation (I would say it's fairly likely he'll be the Mets #4 starter to start the season) was a move many projected.

Young gets a simular deal that Chris Capuano got earlier this month. He signs a $1.1 million dollar contract with inceptives that could make the total amount $4.5 million.

Young had excellent back to back seasons in 2005 and 2006 and was solid in 2007 and the start of 2008 before injuries put him on the DL twice. In 2009 he again started well but ran into problems and lost his last four starts before he had season ending arthroscopic surgery to repair partial tears in his labrum. In 2010 he six shutout innings in the second game of the season before being pulled with a right shoulder strain which caused him to miss most of the season. He did make three starts at the end of the season, finishing 2–0 with a 0.90 ERA.

Like Capuano, I think this is a good move that helps stablize the rotation to a degree. I think Young is a decent talent that healthy, can do quite well in Citifield. Right now I would pencil him in as the #4, ahead of Dillon Gee and Capuano who will compete for the #5 spot in the rotation.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

One Month Until Spring Training!

Wow. That actually kinda went fast.

Well, in 30 days we'll all be excited and hopeful as all the MLB team fan bases should be (except for likely the Royals and Pirates).

I'm looking forward to getting back to the basics and the baseball season to start up. I miss it. I miss meaningful games and despite the very low expectatations everyone has for the Mets, I expect this season to have some excitment and a ton of meaningful games.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mets Ink Chris Capuano

In what is likely to be one of the bigger moves (and yes the irony of that line is not lost on me) of the offseason for the Mets, they have signed Chris Capuano (formerly of the Milwalkee Brewers) to a one year $1.5 million dollar contract (with an additional $3 million in incentives).

Capuano won 18 games in 2005 and was an All-Star in 2006. He had tommy-john surgery after the 2007 season and missed the entire 2008 and 2009 seasons. He pitched decently in 2010 going 4-4 with a 3.95 ERA.

No one is expecting another 18 win season, but I think this is a good move with little risk and fairly decent rewards expectations. I see Capuano as either a long man out of the bullpen or the 5th starter (depending on if the Mets make any other expected moves for another starter.

This is the sort of thing I'm expecting the Mets to do this offseason. I think they'll get at least one or two more players in this same vein (ie: pitcher with past success coming off injury with something to prove). I'm fairly confident the Mets will wind up with Jeff Francis or Chris Young... both of who I'd be quite interested in. The thing is, I have faith in Mike Pelfrey and I think the Mets will be able to count on R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese to pitch fairly well. If they can get two servicable pitchers out of Dillion Gee, Capuano, and whom ever they sign next they can hopefully stay in contention until the return of Johan Santana, I know it's not ideal, but it's not out of the question either.