Financial Value of Mets’ Non-tenders

The Mets have not tendered contracts to Jeremy Reed, Cory Sullivan, Tim Redding, nor Lance Broadway.

Personally, I enjoyed watching Reed and Sullivan, but neither will be worth what they could have made through the arbitration process. Redding finished strong in September but I can’t see offering him anything other than a minor-league contract. Lance Broadway’s greatest asset to the team was his last name.

Previously, the Mets did tender contracts to Alex Cora, Henry Blanco, Elmer Dessens, and Chris Coste.

Is it me, or is there little difference between the two above groups?

For those without calculators, let’s break it down:

2009 salaries: Reed ($925K) + Sullivan ($600K) + Redding ($2.25M) + Broadway ($402.5K) = $4,177,500

2010 salaries: Blanco ($750K) + Coste ($650K) + Cora ($2M) + Dessens ($700K) = $4,100,000

Yes, I realize the Mets replaced two backup OFs and two pitchers with two backup catchers, one pitcher, and a utility infielder. But that’s hardly of consequence in the grand scheme of things.

It’s true that the first group (the non-tenders) would have to have been offered arbitration, which almost certainly would’ve caused that final number to swell by anywhere from 10-25%. But at the same time, the second group includes a number of incentives that could increase that final number to well over $5M — so the bottom line number on both groups is pretty similar.

Moreover, the extra bonuses of the second group are not the “good” kind of incentives. Why not “good”? Because they are based on playing time, and if Henry Blanco, Alex Cora, and Elmer Dessens get into enough games to reach their incentives, then that means the Mets are having another awful season in terms of injuries. In other words, they will pay MORE for substandard performance (I’m assuming, of course, that PEDs are not allowed back into the game, and those three 35+ year-olds play down to their expected potential).

Conclusion? The Mets obliterate the financial value of non-tendering overpriced dead weight, by signing similarly overpriced dead weight. I think this is referred to as “running in place”.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Paul December 13, 2009 at 6:54 pm
    Plus all the players let go were………WHITE!!!
  2. joejanish December 13, 2009 at 7:23 pm
    Bill Madden has an explanation for that.
  3. gary s. December 13, 2009 at 8:40 pm
    joe, good stuff.. maybe the wilnots can rename citicavern, “running in place” field..and on second thought i’d pass on jason bay if it involves a 5th year.citicavern would probably make him into a 22 hr 80 rbi guy..not worth the big bucks.another thought, usually when a team puts a full court press on to sign a f.a. they have some of the stars of the team contact the f.a. to talk up the city or the ballpark.I guess d. wright can’t call bay and tell him what a great ballpark citicavern is to hit home runs in… of course if jason bay likes rotunda’s, just sign on the dotted line..
  4. IveMetFan December 14, 2009 at 6:11 am
    Good Call Gary S… Finally someone who see’s what I see from this Jason Bay/Matt Holliday fiasco. These guys are not worth the contracts they want. If these two were in next years free agent market they would be valued less. Bay and Holliday are horrible fielders and Citifield’s outfield is tremondously huge. Also I agree their numbers will definetly go down with the pressures of playing in NY and Citifield. Even if they have a 27 hrs with 90 Rbi season it wouldnt justify spending that type of money on them with their poor defense..Had they been speedy guys who are gold glove caliber I would have done it. That they are not.Signing them makes the outfield defense weak and interm makes the pitching alot weaker..I predict alot of gettable balls headed into the gaps alot of balls dropping in front or going over their heads cause they dont have the speed and ability as exceptional outfielder would have..Plus signing them takes money away from what really is going to help us win PITCHING. We have to play to the strength of the ball park and the ballpark tells us we should have strong pitching and defense. Citifield was built for speedy outfielders with decent gloves…Not horrible outfielders who cant track down balls in the gap..This hurts our pitching…Citifield tells us how our team should be made up…Like I said Speedy Outfielders who can go get the ball and catch it…We are lucky we have Beltran a guy who is a gold glover with speed and can hit 30hr…Bay/Holliday are no Beltran… Citifield also tells the team you should strengthen your pitching because with the ball park its a strength already since pitchers would pitch better knowing that they can get away with alot more mistakes….only if they have speedy outfielders that they are confident can get to the ball….Citifield also tell the team that if your not lucky enough to have 3 Beltrans in the outfield then your power has to come from the infield….3B and 1B are usually the 2 power positions we have a power 3b (hopefully wright can find his hr stroke) and we arent lucky enough to have a chase Utley so that leaves us with adding power at 1st and Catcher…Molina would be a good pick up at the right price…and Signing a Delgado to a 1 year Deal if he proves he is healthy until Ike Davis comes up in 2011 would be the right move….Murphy cannot play 1st Citifield demands us to have power at 1B cause we can’t get speed and power from our corner outfield positions….Murphy should move to second base where he belongs..he has a solid glove, is a tough player, wouldnt be scared of a collision at second turning a double play, he will dive and be an above average hitter at second…. Id leave Pagan in the outfield and sign a speedy guy who can hit as a backup…maybe a endy chavez, who you would need for late inning defense anyway if we were to sign the bone heads Bay/Holliday

    Let the 2006-2009 team get one last shot at it this year.. Add good solid pitchers via freeagency..Move murphy to second so in 2011 he has 1 full year under his belt. And lets look forward to 2011 and beyond with an infield of Wright, Reyes, Murphy, Ike Davis and hopefully Josh Thole…How sweet is that an all farm major league squad…Murphy can be an all star if he’s at second..He can be a reserve for Utley..lol…
    We would also have FMART in LF, Pagan as a backup but if he has a solid season and stays healthy I would put him in RF and let Francoeur go…
    Reyes Wright Murphy Davis Fmart Thole Pagan all starting in 2011 would be music to my ears…lol

  5. Harry Chiti December 14, 2009 at 8:39 am
    Paul,, Actually what they have in common is that they are very mediocre players.
  6. Harry Chiti December 14, 2009 at 8:45 am
    IveMetfan: You reading is oiff base on virtually every item.
    If Bay/Holliday could field like gold glovers and steal a lot of bases you’d be whining that they weren’t wrth the 20+ million they’d be getting.
    Pagan: Did you watch the Mets last year? You want him to be the left fielder because of his speed? The Mets just non tendered two guys far superior to him in the field. If you want defense out there you should be complaining about the non tenderes.
    You want Delgado if healthy!! When y\are you going to know that? Maybe in May?
    You want Murphy at 2nd. Based on what? A short lived and failed experiment in Ariazona. The guy couldn’t play left, can barely play 3rd and you just know he’ll excel at the far more complicated 2nd? You need to substantiate your claim. There is no basis for it based on his history.
    Finally, based on the history of the Mets in developing hitters you have all this confidence that every prospect will blossom and all at the same time. That was at least entertaining.
  7. isuzudude December 14, 2009 at 10:12 am
    Paul: don’t look now, but all the players the Mets did tender contracts to (Francoeur, Green, Maine) are all white too. Of all things the Mets are guilty of, racism is not one of them.

    IveMetFan: I’m seconding Harry’s thoughts. There’s nothing wrong for wanting to develop a team from within and root for the prospects to succeed. But you need to know when players are worth rooting for and where they are best suited. A 2011 team with FMart in LF, Pagan in RF, Murphy at 2B, Thole at C, and Davis at 1B would struggle to win 50 games. If a dead last finish in the NL East is ‘music to your ears,’ then, if I were you, I’d have the volume turned down real low because I don’t think a lot of other fans are going to enjoy your brand of music.

    Also, I was pretty sure your plan involved trading FMart and Murphy to Toronto for Halladay, and signing the Cy Young fixture known as Jason Marquis to a ‘hometown discount.’ Didn’t take you long to scrap those plans, did it?