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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Comments

while i will agree that the signing of bay does help the mets, i think there are WAY too many "ifs" to call them "dangerous". too many holes in their pitching staff and not enough punch in their lineup, not to mention their defense. i don't expect them to be nearly as bad as they were last year, but i still don't think they can match the phillies, marlins, or braves, for that matter.

I disagree- Bay is a difference maker. He might give them the edge over the Nationals.

I'll worry when the Mets sign a starter.

From the previous thread:

BBeard, I don't like it when any competitor gets better. I think that's true of most people.

I've said since before the end of the season that the Braves rotation will make them much tougher next year and believe they'll be the chief competition to dethrone the Phils.

I didn't expect the Mets to sit still. They have needs and the means to fill at least some of them. IMHO they still don't have enough to pass the Bravos, but they may give the Fish a battle for 3rd.

Of course, this is baseball and anything can happen. Who, before the 2008 season, predicted the Rays in the WS? Who predicted before the playoffs began that the '06 Cardinals would win the WS?

I also expect the season to be a dogfight.

Others here (at least one) expect 2010 to be a veritable stroll in the park.
______________________________________________________________________

Also, here are some relevant stats of Bay vs. the NL East:

vs. Phils - .311 .383 .563 .946, 5 HR, 17 RBI in 120 PA

vs Nats - .297 .384 .525 .909, 6 HR, 22 RBI in 138 PA

vs. Bravos - .250 .381 .390 .771, 4 HR, 18 RBI in 168 PA

vs. Fish - .227 .354 .370 .723, 2 HR, 15 RBI in 147 PA


FWIW, this was better for the Phils and the rest of the NL EAST than the Mets signing Holliday, who kills the NL East. His OPS vs. the Phils, Braves, Fish and Nats is 1.006, 1.016, 1.071 and 1.022, respectively.

bay is a nice player.. who seems to quietly put a 135 OPS+ which is a little bit better than a Jayson Werth or Burrell. But that's virtually his ceiling.

And at the end of the day... he doesn't inspire "DANGER". The mets just have to stay healthy... which over the last 3 years they have shown no sign of doing.

Baxter - Bay didn't make much of a difference with the Pirates. We'll see how he does in NY when he is not under the radar. He had a lot of pressure taken off of him in Boston.

Joel Sherman suggests the vesting option is easily attainable.

I agree that we have a lot of "if" to be right there with you guys. but you guys also have some problems.

what if hamels doesnt rebound? will the league figure out happ? does moyer have anything left? is ibanez going to decline? your bullpen struggles?

we are not that far behind the phillies if we stay healhty.

Mets fan - a lot of your If's happened to us last year. And we made it to the world series.

A lot would have to go wrong for us AND a lot right for the Mets for them to win the division.

Looking forward to watching him in that big outfield at Citi ballpark. Watching Dunn for the Nats in the OF was like watching a train wreck, should be similar in my opinion. I wonder if now they'll bring back Delgado on a 1 year deal, with a plan to move Bay to first for the last couple of years of this deal.

metsfan08: Sure, all teams have ifs. But we're the two-time defending National League champions returning 7 of 8 position players and upgrading the 8th, while also acquiring the best pitcher in baseball to be the staff ace.

The Mets, on the other hand, followed up two historic collapses with a season in which they barely beat out the Nationals.

Let's just say one teams' "ifs" are a lot bigger than the other.

Being from Boston originally, I watch a lot of the Red Sox too and Bay is a good player, but definitely not a guy that is going to turn a franchise around. He was also very hot and cold. He looked like the league MVP in the first half, but then would disappear for long periods of time. I put his defense at below average too, I don't care what anyone says. He had trouble covering ground in Fenway, he'll be a liability in Citifield, especially as he gets older. He'll get some big hits against us, but overall I'm glad the Mets tied up all that money in him. I don't think he's worth that kind of contract.

Bay's a nice player, but he's a poor fit for the Mets in that ballpark. UZR has him giving back 43 runs with his glove over the past three years, and with him getting older and moving to a cavern of a stadium, that's not going to get any better.

Holliday, on the other hand, has the glove and line drive hitting style would have made him a much better signing.

I like Bay. But I think the Mets have too many holes to focus on their offense. Espically, a LFer which offers good offensive numbers but rapidly declining defensively.

They could have easily used that $16 million per year they gave Bay to acquire a legit starter in eithier Washburn, Looper, Pineiro or Garland. Therefore you move Maine to the bullpen. Also, you could also sign a guy off the bench like a Jerry Hairston Jr.

CJ: You also forgot to mention a improved bench and improved bullpen (the returns of Romero and a return to the norm for Lidge).

Overall, the Phillies and Mets are in different Stratuspheres.

metsfan08, let me turn it around for you:

Which do you think it is more reasonable to expect - a rebound from Hamels or a rebound from surgically repaired Ollie and Johan?

You obviously don't come here much because no one here expects Happ to pitch to a 2.93 ERA in 2010. We'll be HAPPy if he pitches 180 innings to a league average ERA (4.20-4.30).

Moyer will probably not make the opening day roster, IMHO.

Ibanez? He "declined" last year going from .312 .371 .656 1.027 before he went on the DL to .232 .323 .448 .771 - after coming off the DL and his injury. A better question for you is what will he do if he doesn't get hurt this season?

The bullpen? We all acknowledge that issue....

but even with a crappy bullpen, horrible closer, season-long slump from their ace, losing their #2 (Myers) for the season, demotion to the 'pen of another TWO of their starters, LF going on DL and not being the same afterwards and a "career-year slump" during the first half from their leadoff hitter they still had enough firepower to win 93 games and the division by 6 games, spank the rest of the NL in the postseason, and make it back to the WS.

What happens if those things don't repeat themselves?

Bay is a nice signing, but he is basically Jayson Werth with a little more power and A LOT less defense. Good luck wiht him chasing balls in the vast confines of Bailout Park.

Dear Omar:

We L-O-V-E this signing. The Mets just spent a lot of money on a marginal power bat (75% of his home runs at Fenway will be lazy fly outs at Citi field) and horrible defensive player.

Signed: Your biggest fans (The Phillies)

Tommy - Why do you assume that Romero will be healthy and pitch well, and Lidge the same?

Lidge had two surgeries, one on a previously surgerized knee and another on his elbow. And Romero also had a not insignificant surgery.

I'm curious to know how you're sure they'll not only recover, but also pitch up to their good old days of 2008 form?

In fact, you have zero idea. And there's no way you can know that information because at this point, I'd be willing to bet that neither Lidge nor Romero are sure of their status for this season.

Are you as relentlessly Pollyanna-ish about everything, or just the Phillies and every move they make?

akasmith: How will you know they won't?

Lidge's career trend tells me that he alternates bad years with a good year following.

Also, Monty was on 610 a week ago and said both feel better than they have in a long time and are set to come back by opening day. If not, it will be very soon there after.

awh:

did you know that the mets were in first place on june? without delgado,reyes and ollie?

we fell apart when beltran and others were down and we were basically a AAA team. I know the phillies are better than us, but we are not that far behind.

"Are you as relentlessly Pollyanna-ish about everything, or just the Phillies and every move they make?"

Umm...I think back-to-back NL champs gives me the right to be excited about the improved team, no?

Maybe we should just call you "BAP-squared" from now on?

Bay also isn't the kind of fiery player that is going to inspire the Mets team to get out of their funk. I predict last year was his career year.

Again, he's a good player, but I'm glad that the Mets have all that money and years tied up in him.

Interesting note one that I wasn't aware of ...

ScottLauber tweets -- Worth noting the #Mets had Jason Bay in double-A. They traded him to SD in '02 for Jason Middlebrook and Steve Reed. He was NL ROY in '04.

mvptommyd: Our bullpen is not yet improved. In fact, with the loss of Park, it is worse right now.

I hope Lidge rebounds, but it's certainly not guaranteed. I hope Romero is healthy, but that remains to be seen.

Another intersting note ...

MLBTR Live Chat 12-29-09 Tim Dierkes
[Comment From RumorLover]
WORST deal of the offseason so far?
Dierkes: For me it's Polanco. When I named him in my worst contracts so far post, I was surprised to see the level of disagreement. Might be something we can never truly settle, because we don't know what the next-best offer would have been.

metsfan08, did you even read AND comprehend my post?

Your post seemd to bear the assumption that everything went right for the Phillies last season.

Their rotation to begin the season:

Hamels
Myers *
Blanton
Moyer*
Park*

Their rotation at the end of the season included only Hamels and Blanton.

Did you read or ignore what I posted about Ibanez?

Let me post this again. Maybe this time you'll 'get it':


"but even with a crappy bullpen, horrible closer, season-long slump from their ace, losing their #2 (Myers) for the season, demotion to the 'pen of another TWO of their starters, LF going on DL and not being the same afterwards and a "career-year slump" during the first half from their leadoff hitter they still had enough firepower to win 93 games and the division by 6 games, spank the rest of the NL in the postseason, and make it back to the WS."


If you want to take the position that an injury free Mets team is nearly as good as an injury free Phillies team I really have to question your baseball judgement - or at least your "homeristic" tendency.

Position by position, the Mets are only better than the Phillies in 2 places:

CF and 3B. That's it.

SS is the only place where you might even be able to make an argument but, no, Reyes can play brilliantly but he's too caught up in his own hype and he disappears at crunchtime. And he's not close to as good as Rollins defensively.

LF - even, assuming the Bay signing goes through

RF - Werth is better than Francoeur, both defensively and offensively

1B - Howard vs. ??? (and he's better than even a healthy Delgado at this point)

2B - do I really need to address this?

C - right now the Ruiz/Schneider combo is head and shoulder above what the Mets field


Pitching?

#1, the Mets have Santana coming off of surgery, the Phils have Halladay.

#2, Hamels vs. Pelfrey/Perez

3#, Blanton (one of only 16 pitchers who have thrown 1000 innings the last 5 years) vs. Pelfrey/Perez

I could go on and on. The Mets have the edge at closer because Lidge is still a question mark, but if he come back healthy that edge disappears as well.

Plus, coming off of surgery you have no idea what you're going to get from Santana and Perez, and Maine's health has been spotty since his surgery.

So please.....be just a little objective.

Sure, the Mets should rebound but on paper or otherwise they are not as good as the Phillies, and it's not as close as you think.

Umm...and they don't know how Polanco will perform...

So he basically got one more year than what the red sox were offering? didn't they offer 3 or 4 for 60 or 66? play for a contender or play on a horrible team in the largest market that actually cares about how their team performs? he'll be regreting his decision by May

So the GM who saw fit to trade Jason Bay for Lou Collier in '02 finally has his man back, & for a mere $66-$80 million guaranteed? Talk about a pendulum swinging wildly. I'm gonna enjoy watching the same LF who couldn't manage to cover the cozy confines of PNC & Fenway adequately do his best Daniel Murphy impression at ShitiField. Ah, Omar ... you're the best thing to ever happen to the rest of the NL East. A belated "Feliz Navidad!" to you, my friend! :-)

Luke, who cares what Dierkes thinks?

Polly was signed because of the way he fits the lineup, because of the way he can pick it with the glove, because they didn't have to give up a draft pick, and because he fits well into the locker room.

Analysts tend to look at FA signings in a vaccum, that is, they don't look past the stats on paper. They have an arbitrary dollar figure in mind as to what a player is worth, and they don't look at it from the standpoint of a "team" or putting one together, and how that player fits in as part of "the whole".

IMHO, the Phillies will get their money out of Polanco, even if they did overpay, whatever that is.

LUKE, look at it this way: Milton Bradley's signing by the Cubs was looked at the same way by a lot of analysts last season. But Bradley was a bust partly because he had a bad year, but mostly because he's a locker room problem - the other Cubbies just wanted him gone.

The M's are being hailed right now because they made a great trade to dump Silva's contract for Bradley's, but if he blows up that losker room and they don't compete, that axquisition will have blown up on them.

AWH, agreed just thought it was intersting ... hopefully Polly works out as well as the Ibanez signing which if memory serves me right was panned by many in the national media.

David Murphy has an interesting blog

How the Phillies' line-up/rotation/bullpen/bench would look if the season started today: http://go.philly.com/highcheese

Ibanez batting 7th as the three-hole hitter for the second half of the order hmmm.

Interesting hit chart comparing Bay to Holliday can be found here. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/306792-bay-over-holliday-not-so-fast.

The net result: Bay has 5 home runs at citi field next year.

ZZZZ Not a big deal.Now if they would have gotten Holliday. Then I would care.

An injury-free Mets team isn't that far behind an injury-free Phillies team. The Phillies are better, but it's not a wide gap. If you recall, in 07 and 08, we were only a total of like 4 games better than them.

Holliday would have been much better for the Mets. A year younger, a better overall player, better athlete and defender.

There are 15 guys with 180+ HR since 2004 (30+ HR/year). Bay is one of them. Only 6 are 30 or younger (Bay is one).

There are 15 with 150+ since 2005. Bay is one. 7 are 30 or younger.

There are 16 with 120+ since 2006. Bay is one. 9 are 30 or younger.

There are 16 with 88+ since 2007 (~30/yr, as many as Bay has) since 2007. 11 are 30 or younger.

Bay is in relatively elite company. They should get at least 3 solid years from him.

That said, I don't expect much from their pitching. But there were no world-beaters on the FA market this year.

The Mets issues reside with their pitching. Aside from health, Perez, Maine and Pelfrey have been disappointing (to say the least). I suppose if they all can put it together this year, they could be very dangerous. It's a big gamble.

I still expect the Mets to compete, but the Bay signing doesn't scare me. Holliday, OTOH, would have been a problem. Who's going to play first for the Mets? Murphy?

An argument against this signing that I like has not much to do with the years given (pretty standard for a guy his age) or Bay's value (which I think is, in general high) but with the Mets park. It may make more sense for them to concentrate on pitching, defense, and speed. Just try to double people to death otherwise.

Jack: Correct... 07 and 08 was a tight year. But I think the improvements the Phils have made, primarily the trade for Halladay, have widen that gap a bit. It will be interesting to see if all the Mets players do come back healthy and ready to go.

And, yes... Holliday would have been a much better choice for them, I believe.

Sophist: There's been a lot of talk about the Mets needing to build a team around their park (better defense, better speed, etc.), but is it just an aberration how bad that stadium was for offense last year because they team was all hurt?

I think Bay will be a very good bat for them in the lineup. I don't believe the statdium will sap his power. However... I don't believe he was the best choice for them.

awh, most analysts qualm with the Polanco signing was the third year, just like BL on Ibanez last year. The difference is that apparently there was enough interest in Ibanez to warrant the 3rd year, but apparently no other bidders on Polanco for 3 years. I'm not sure about all that, but after hearing how Polly raved about wanting to come back here, don't you think it's plausible that he would have signed for 2 years? And isn't it that 3rd year that stands to be the riskiest in terms of overfpayment for performance? For a GM that values his flexibility, it seems odd if he added a third year and he didn't absolutely have to.

SmokyJoe: Third year seemed to be the issue with most. However, maybe Amaro thought the third year was a good deal. We'll have to wait a couple years to find out!

thanks clout, I mean CJ.

BTW, I agree that Polly is a great fit for this team in many ways.

"Bay is a difference maker. He might give them the edge over the Nationals."

Bacxter, don't forget that the gNats signed them a gloom-producing, tp-inducing gNome to strike fear into the oft-injured knees of Mets' batters everywhere. THAT's what I call a difference maker.

SmokyJoe: Ha! Yes... no contract can be evaluated until it's complete!

I guess my point was that many analysts have problems with lengths of deals, but sometimes teams may actually feel like having the cost certainty at a position is a good thing. In the Phils case, we have absolutely no one in the minors pushing for that third base job.

Mets are also close to signing Molina to play
C too.

It is funny how mvp keeps arguing that the bullpen is somehow improved when they subtracted three of their better relievers last year (Park, Eyre, and Condrey) and have yet to replace a single one of them although they supposedly have a tentative agreement with Baez.

RHP Brad Lidge (closer)
RHP Ryan Madson (set-up)
RHP Chad Durbin (multi innings)
RHP Free agent (7th-8th)
LHP Antonio Bastardo
LHP Sergio Escalona
RHP Kyle Kendrick

This is not a strong bullpen and I would be really surprised if Lidge/Romero both are healthy & effective this year. Frankly, Phils will be lucky if Lidge rebounds to give them a passable year & they get some kind of limited contribution from Romero (say 30-35 IP of relatively decent relief).

****We L-O-V-E this signing. The Mets just spent a lot of money on a marginal power bat (75% of his home runs at Fenway will be lazy fly outs at Citi field) and horrible defensive player.****

While I'd love for that to be true, Bay is a pure pull hitter to LF and his avg HR distance of 389 ft is more than enough to get out in Citi Field. He might lose 2-3 HRs playing there but I doubt it will be a major dropoff...unfortunately.

He'll lose some average by not being able to play wall ball off the Monster but his HR totals won't be majorly affected.

CJ - It is because the later years of multi-year deals (especially with players in their 30s or older) don't end well with limited production and a large price tag.

Moyer's extra year has them on the hook for $8.5M contract this season and it has really come back to bite the Phils in a big way. That is the possible difference between Lee being here, a more quality option in the bullpen if Lidge falters, or Beltre at 3B.

Phils likely will be stuck with a bench player at a large dollar value in Polanco's 3rd year and the same might be true of Ibanez in '11.

Jack, neither the Mets nor the Phillies are the '07 or '08 version. Look who is on their redpective teams NOW.

For crying out loud, the Phils 3B in '07 was Nunez.

CF was Rowand and Vic was in RF. Do you really want to compare that OF to what they'll put on the field in '10?

The Mets have had Santana since '07 and the Phils never had an ace to go head-to-head. Who will you choose in a matchup of aces - the Phils with Halladay on the hill, or will you go with Santana backed by the Mets lineup?

I think CJ has it correct:

The Phils are an improved team the last couple of years, and have made decent upgrades in LF, 3B and RF and the rotation. I'm not sure this Mets team is better than the '07 version, or the '08 version that lost by 3 games.

Going forward, there is no 1B left on the market that will, IMHO, give them the production Delgado did those two seasons. (Laroche has a shot but can they sign him?)

I'll posit thesame thing to you that I said to the mets fan: Sure, the Mets should rebound but on paper or otherwise they are not as good as the Phillies, and it's not as close as you think.

MG: Believe me... I unerstand the argument. And in most cases I agree with it. I hated the 2nd year for Moyer. I don't like the third year for Ibanez. And I don't think the third year for Polanco will work out as well as hoped.

Bay stinks defensively but it is LF. Not like it is 2B/SS/CF where you have more chances to make an out over the course of a year.

Frankly, I wonder what kind of year Francoeur will have for the Mets. If he the guy who gave them a boost last year or is he the goat at the plate & defensively he was for the Braves in '08.

MVPTommy - Murphy seems to think that Romero won't be around to start the season. The Phillies are hoping he won't miss more than a month. In much the same way he was going to be well rested and a big contributor after missing the first 50 games last season, I guess. How did that work out?

I'd love for him to return to his old form. I just don't see it as likely after the last year plus.

Anyone see this gem from Fangraphs on the Bay deal:

"This move appears to be one of the more significant overpays of the offseason, and it by no means vaults the Mets into the playoffs. Much needs to go the Mets' way for this contract to work out as planned, and it appears that this is just yet another example of Omar Minaya overpaying for a veteran presence."

Pretty much sums it up.

i'm shocked that Omar signed a non-latin player. I like that fact that they spent a huge chunk of money instead of going with plan B, filling more holes with more in between type of players. Bay was in a contract year in fenway, I don't see him coming anywhere near what he did in 2009 next year in Citi Field. Mets will likely sign Pineiro but I think the key to the mets competing in 2010 in reyes, if he bounces back with a year that he is capable of, I think the Mets will be in the thick of things...

Some Metsbloggers think the next move is dealing Castillo and a prospect for Carlos Zambrano in some three-team deal and then signing Orlando Hudson.

Good luck!

MG, IMO, Francoeur is the 'wildcard' in the Mets lineup. Keep in mind he's only going into his age 26 season and should be entering his prime.

It may very well be that the Church/Francoeur trade will wind up being the best of Minay's tenure.

Bay definitely helps the Mets, but when a team plays in an extreme pitcher's park, you must first look at their pitching to project how they'll do next season. Just as with the Phillies, you must look first at their offense. And the Mets pitching, after Santana, is very unimpressive.

Jason Bay's top comparables on BR:

1. Ryan Klesko - hit a wall in his Age 32 season...rapid decline from 32 on.

2. Geoff Jenkins - Do I need to elaborate?

3. Tim Salmon - Did pretty well...best case scenario for them...had a 123 OPS+ for Ages 31-34.

Many would say that Francouer was never very good.

Suggestion for a BL thread: overpaid players a.k.a. "look who's stealing the money."

clout - They have one quality starter right now in Santana. That's it. Mets' fans might try to sell Pelfrey as something special but he is nothing but a run-of-mill starter who has been pretty bad on the road the last 2 years.

At best, he gives the Mets what Blanton has given the Phils the last year and half. My bet is that Blanton ends up with slightly better stats than Pelfrey too next year.

After that, it is a guy who hasn't given them even 150 IP either of the last 2 years (Maine), a semi-reclamation project at this point (Perez), and a bunch of question marks (Niese/Parnell/etc).

One of the reasons I thought the Mets would contend in the East last year was because people were overhyping the Phils' rotation and that the Mets rotation would be at least as solid.

Nothing really worked out right for the Mets all year in their starting rotation (even Santana wasn't the same) and the Phils' rotation really turned the corner after Memorial Day as they got key contributions from Happ/Pedro and picked up Lee.

The reaction to the Bay deal is almost comical. The Mets don't operate under budget restrictions similar to the Phillies. They sign who the want, period. The only question is whether they improved the lineup and, undoubtedly, they did. If he replaced Burrell instead of Ibanez the only two objections would have been eliminated - he's younger and right handed. The guy can hit and hit for power. He is an upgrade. As for fielding, that seems to be the major criticism. Let me remind you - he plays left field. I don't fear the Mets after this signing but, it's foolish to see it as a positive from the POV of Philadelphia.

Oh Bay Bee!

Not impressed. Try again, Muts!

Jason Bay signing = the Mets way of saying "we're doing everything we can to improve our team". Even if it means paying at least $6 mil more than a contract Bay turned down in July.

The problem is that he doesn't improve their team that much, and a better GM would have set about plugging the numerous holes on that team in other ways.

Bay is like a right handed version of Howard in that he can't hit breaking balls for his life. He's purely a fastball hitter.

He hits fastballs at a .323 clip, .174 vs. curves, .249 vs. sliders (.178 vs. LHP sliders), .209 vs. changes (.273 vs. LHP changeups), .143 vs. splitters. He's definitely a pull hitter.

Hamels will have a tough time against the heart of the Mets order; Wright and Beltran already own him and Bay looks like he matches up well against Hamels.

Bay (and Beltran) also have very good numbers against Halladay.

small revision to my previous statement. Bay is like Howard in that he can't hit breaking balls (although Howard can hit breaking/off-speed stuff thrown by righty pitchers. He's just useless against LHP stuff, including fastballs).

Bay improves the Mets, but he is a PR signing as well.

additional comments on Bay...

Over the past three years, he has consistently shown elite-level plate discipline and rarely chases. He also hammers inside fastballs. He has a lot of difficulty with off-speed strikes. And is also well below average in 2-strike situations. His shtick seems to be to wait for a particular pitch in a particular zone (inside) and hammer it and he's had overall success with that approach. However, he doesn't have great plate coverage and is not great at defending the plate with his all-or-nothing swing. He seems to have several holes in his swing in that regard.

This all said, it's been reported that he learned how to hit breaking balls towards the end of this past summer because AL pitchers threw him nothing but.

Promote your site or blog on f9book.com

CJ - Agree that one year isn't enough to see park factors. But given the park's dimensions and fence heights, I'd be surprised if it were any more than neutral for hitters.

Still think that Bay is a solid signing, but that it's a strategic error. In any case, he's better than what they had and better than most options.

Zambrano would be another big 'if' for them.

Only time will tell if this makes one of those "worst contracts" lists.

From reading here about Bay, I am surprised looking at his career 131 OPS+

Yes, kart racer, he's shockingly inept. Doomed to failure at shitifield.

Holliday is the better player, defender, and younger. But add all of this up with a little agent named Scott Boras and he becomes exceedingly expensive. Jason Bay for 4 years at $16.5 million/year is a good contract for a player who is in the prime of his career.

I don't think anyone thinks Bay is a bad player or that it's anything but an improvement for the outfield for the Mets, but...the Mets issue really is their pitching beyond Santana. I guess with the FA market the way it was this season, they decided to go for the hitters and take their chances with their rotation as is or add an under the radar arm. Maybe they'll go in for the Cliff Lee sweepstakes next season? How much would that suck?

If the Mets sign Molina, as it seems they will, then the Mets everyday lineup is as good as the Phillies. However, for the 1st time in the last couple years, it's clear that the Phillies have better pitching.

Ruiz - Molina = Mets
Howard - ? = Phillies
Utley-Castillo= Phillies
Rollins-Reyes = push
Wright-Polanco= Mets
Ibanez - Bay = push
Beltran - Vic = Mets
Werth-Francour= Phillies

Halladay-Sanatana= Phillies
Hamels - Pelfrey = Phillies
Blanton - Maine = Phillies
Happ - Perez = Phillies

Rodriguez-Lidge - Mets

Carlos Ruiz is a better baseball player than Bengie Molina. Better defensively, and the huge gap in OBP makes up for Molina's power advantage. Ruiz is also a better athlete and runner (almost anyone is).

I so hope the Mets sign Molina to a 3-yr deal and get stuck paying a catcher who is 36/37 nearly $7M/year.

Molina is valuable because of his power numbers at catcher. If his power drops to say 12-13 HRs (and 35-year old catchers typically aren't know to age well) the Mets are stuck with a catcher who is really only above average in one category (AVG). Otherwise they are stuck with a sub .300 OBP guy who likely would have an sub .400 SLG pct who is one of the worst defensive catchers in the league.

mikey, I beg to differ. I think that you have to mot only look at the better player when comparing them by position, but HOW MUCH better the player.

Looking at you list, there are positions where each team has a player that is significantly better than his counterpart. 2B and 3B are examples where each team has a significant advantage.

Also, 1B is a position where the Phillies are much better no matter who the Mets sign.

While Molina(assuming he signs) may be better than Ruiz, based on their last 3 yrs. OPS+, 90 vs. 85, is he really that much better to make up the dropoff the Mets suffer at 2B? Besides, take a look at Jack's post. He thinks overall Ruiz is a better player and he makes some good points.

In CF Beltran is much better than Vic at the plate, but defensively Vic is, while not a smooth or pretty, IMHO, nearly his equal, and has made 1/5 of the errors Beltran has the last 4 years.

Lastly, I don't rate SS a push. Offensively, Reyes is superior when healthy, but at the second most important defensive position on the field Rollins is significantly better. Also, Reyes is coming off of an injury/surgery so no one knows how effective he'll be. (And that's not including his cocoon like behavior in September.)

I think you get the point.

Bottom line, I disagree that the Mets everyday lineup is as good. They are so inferior at some positions they don't make up for it where they are superior.

To overcome a sub-.300 OBP and still be even an adequate player, you have to either be a top-notch defender (see Pedro Feliz, Adam Everett, etc.) or have incredible power (actually, these players don't exist. It's apparently impossible to hit 30 HRs and have an OBP below .300).

Molina has neither. He's a bad baseball player. His SLG is good for a catcher, but is due to decline as he enters his mid-30s. If the Mets think signing him to a multi-year deal is a good investment, I can only support that. As a Phillies fan.

Apparently Chris Young of the DBacks had 32 HRs and a .295 OBP in 2007.

There are not very many other examples of good players with sub-.300 OBPs (and "good" is a relative term. Young ended up being sent down to the minors in 2009, in part because he had no plate dicipline.)

Rollins, of course, had a .296 OBP this past year. He had similar power numbers, however, to Molina, played GG-level SS, and once again was one of the best baserunners in the game. This makes him a lot more valuable than Bengie Molina. And that was easily Rollins' worst season since he was 23.

So does this signing set the market for Werth next year at 16 to 17 million per for 4 or 5 years? Anyone think the Phillies will pay that (or should pay that) after having traded away his successor to Toronto/Oakland?

I think we need to pay Werth but I dont see how we can...unless they push the payroll to at least $150 million.

" the Mets everyday lineup is as good as the Phillies"

Mikes77, I usually agree with alot that you say. But this is just way off base. As Jack and AWH have stated, the Mets are so inferior at some positions that it doesn't even out to the positions where they are superior.

Also, Ruiz is better defensively and offensively as well(if we are going according to OBP & OBP+).

Ruiz's OBP in the past 3 years are .340,.320,.355 and his OPS+ are 87,63,104.

Molina's OBP the last 3 years are .298,.322,.285. His OPS+ in that same time frame is 86,98,86.

Also Rollins is far batter defensively than Reyes.

In the end, the Mets will improve the lineup but still not equal to the Phillies. Also, both contracts will aweful deals if they sign Molina to a 3 yr/20 mil deal. That is outrageous.

JBird: Yea. I think Werth is going to be looking in the $15-17 mil range for 4 years after this year.

I think it will be tough to keep him, but we can do it if you want to sacrifice a #3 and 5 in the rotation. Since Moyer and Blanton's contracts are off the books after this year, you can use their $14 million to sign Werth. But you are going to have to go young guys to fill those spots. I think Werth is gone after this year.

Jack, I'm starting to agree with you.

Molina batted 4th most of the seaason, and as a result had a lot more PA than Chooch - 520 to 379 - which is 37% higher.

If you extrapolate the additional PA to Chooch's season to try to estimate comparable production numbers for Chooch, then Chooch would/could have had 12 HR and 59 RBI. While that is nowhere near what Molina did, one wonders how many RBI Chooch would have if he were hitting in the 4 hole.

That said, Chooch actually had a higher OPS in 2009 than Molina, .780 to .727, and a higher OPS+, 104 to 86.

For their careers, Molina has an OPS of .726 to Ruiz's .716, which is not that great a difference. Career OPS+ numbers are 88 for Molina and 85 for Ruiz.

I also looked at some defensive statistics(which are problematic, so I'll stick to the ones that are more easily comparable), and for their careers Molina has been better at throwing out baserunners, though in the last 4 years, Chooch's time in the league, they have been nearly identical in nailing 27%.

While wild pitches (WP) are a stat for which pitchers are held responsible, one could argue they are an indication of a catcher's prowess (or lack thereof) in blocking bad pitches. The same can be said for passed balls (PB), though those are blamed on the catcher. (Subjectivity on the part of the Official Scorer reigns.)

Molina(behind the plate for a total of 9,847.1 innings), for his career, has averaged a passed ball every 133 innings (74 total) vs. 1 PB every 254 innings (11 total) for Chooch(2,799.1 innings).

Molina has averaged a WP every 28 innings (348) vs. a WP every 49 innings (56) for Chooch.

Some of that may have to do with the pitchers they caught and league differences (more breaking balls in the AL), though Molina's PB and WP increased dramatically his first 2 years in SF after he left Toronto.

There are other defensive stats on b-r.com, but I'll leave it up to others to interpret them.

If Chooch can repeat his 2009 season, then it's very debatable whaether Molina is actually a better baseball player.

If Molina loses his power at the plate, IMHO, the comparison wouldn't be close.

Werth doesn't have the track record that Bay does, but Werth can actually field a more difficult position so he's worth the money. The eventual replacements for Ibanez (Brown) and Victorino (Gillies/Gose) are hopefully in line, but there's no one ready to take over for Werth until maybe Santana is ready (if ever) and he's 16. A lot can change, obviously, but I'd hate to downgrade to Jason Kubel or Brad Hawpe just to save, maybe, 3 or 4 million a year.

Phils seem to reflexively give an extra year on contracts when (to us) it doesn't seem necessary: Ibanez, Moyer, Feliz, Jenkins, Polanco, even Gload now. Can't believe it's all generosity or carelessness. Clearly, Rube has some thinking here. Can anyone explain what it might be?

JBird: Well unfortunately that 3 or 4 million will be useful in going towards Vic and Ruiz next year in arbitration.

Next Year we already have $111 million locked in. With Werth, Moyer,Blanton and Durbin being free agents. Along with Vic, Dobbs, Ruiz, Francisco and Kendrick all in arbitration.

$29 million is not that much when dealing with all thsoe arb guys and filling 2 rotation spots.

****Since Moyer and Blanton's contracts are off the books after this year, you can use their $14 million to sign Werth.****

That $14 million is eliminated by raises to Howard, Halladay, Hamels, Gload and Schneider. Combined, those 5 will make $15 million more in 2011 than 2010.

We'd have to substantially raise payroll to keep him...or go bargain basement on about 10 positions (bullpen, 2 starters, bench spots)

JBird, read Scott Lauber's piece speculating about Werth's free agency next season.

IF, and it's a big one for Jason, IF Werth can repeat his 2009 season then unless the market deteriorates significantly, Bay's contract does IMO set the market for Werth. Also, pay attention to what Matt Holliday signs for.

While Werth isn't the offensive player Holliday is, he's FAR superior defensively to both Holliday and Bay, and it's not even close.

You are correct that Werth can field a more difficult position than Bay or Holliday, but you failed to mention one thing: Werth can play a decent CF also, which makes him far more valuable defensively than either of the other two. You could even argue that Werth is a better CF than some of the guys in MLB that actually play the position full-time.

If it's true that both NYY and BOS might be looking for corner OF in after 2010, and that teams are using defensive metrics now to evaluate a player's overall value, the the market for Werth (and Carl Crawford) could be quite robust.

Based on his 2009 season at the plate, Werth is IMHO one of the top 3 RF in the game (Ethier, Upton). If defense is included, because he can play any position in the OF, he might be the most valuable OF on the market next year.

***Can anyone explain what it might be?***

Rube's modus operandi (ooh, NEPP used a latin phrase) is to offer an additional year in lieu of extra money up front.

At least that's what I've gotten out of his deals so far.

I hope Amaro is trying to sign Werth to an extension now and get Werth to trade some dollars for security. You'd think that, considering his career path, Werth would find the added security more tempting than a guy with a more traditional progression. And, I really hope that Gillies is not the planned successor.

Werth is argueably the best RF in baseball. At worst, he's a top 2/3 guy...other than Upton and Ichiro maybe. And he'll be by far the best available RF on the market next year. Good thing he's not a Boras client.

"That $14 million is eliminated by raises to Howard, Halladay, Hamels, Gload and Schneider"

Actually, that is already accounted for in the $111 million that is locked in. You have $29 million to spend next year as I iilustrated above. After Arb is done with Vic, Ruiz, Kendrick, Dobb and Francisco you will have between 10-12 leftover eithier to dedicate towards Werth or use to acquire a #3 and 5 starter.

Oh and Ethier...forgot about him.

NEPP: Maybe he's using that Stanford MBA to predict the collapse of the US dollar thereby devaluing year 3 of those deals.

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