Mets Free Agent Evaluation

It appears that the Mets are done signing free agents this winter. Let’s take a look at the final tally of those given guaranteed MLB deals and play the “would you have … ?” game. Yes, there’s no guarantee that the players who signed with other clubs would have accepted the same terms to play in Flushing (more likely, they’d demand double). But this is a hypothetical game meant to be fun and create conversation — so just play along, OK?

Jason Bay
Would you have signed Bay for 4 years/$66M or Matt Holliday at 7/$120M? Or, would you have instead gone a one-year deal for Xavier Nady (at $3.5M), Vlad Guerrero ($5M), Jermaine Dye($?), Rocco Baldelli ($?)? Or, would you have thrown a minor-league deal at Gabe Gross, Jack Cust, Austin Kearns, or Jim Edmonds?

Henry Blanco
Would you have signed Blanco at 1 year/$770K, or Miguel Olivo at 1/$2.5M ? Or would you have gone multiple years for Bengie Molina, Jason Kendall, Ivan Rodriguez, or Yorvit Torrealba? Or would you have re-signed Brian Schneider? Or, would you have petitioned Commissioner Selig to eliminate the catching position altogether and replace it with a pitch-back?

Alex Cora
Would you have signed Cora at 1 year/$2M plus a one-year option or gone with a one-year deal for Melvin Mora at ($1.3M), Bobby Crosby ($1M), Adam Kennedy at ($1.25M), Juan Uribe ($3.25M), or Felipe Lopez ($?)? Or, would you have given a minor league deal / ST invite to Chris Woodward, and/or gone forward with the backup infielder position an open competition among Frank Catalanotto, Anderson Hernandez, Russ Adams, Andy Green, Jolbert Cabrera, Jonathan Malo, and/or anyone else they could scrape from the farm?

Fernando Tatis
Would you have signed Tatis to a 1-year, $850K deal to compete with Dan Murphy for the starting first base job, or would you have signed one of the following players to a 1-year deal: Ryan Garko ($550K), Jim Thome ($1.5M), Troy Glaus ($1.75M), Adam LaRoche ($6M), Nick Johnson ($5.75M), Aubrey Huff ($3M), Miguel Tejada ($6M), Jason Giambi ($1.75M), Xavier Nady ($3.5M), Garrett Atkins ($4.5M), Russell Branyan ($?), Hank Blalock ($?)? Or, would you have given a minor-league deal to Chad Tracy, Kevin Millar, Dan Johnson, Rich Aurilia, or Nomar Garciaparra? Or, would you re-sign Carlos Delgado?

Kelvim Escobar and Ryota Igarashi
Would you have signed Escobar to 1-year, $1.25M deal, and Ryota Igarashi to a 1/$3M deal, or given a 1-year deal to one or more of the following instead: Matt Capps ($3.5M), Clay Condrey ($900K), Octavio Dotel ($3.5M), Brendan Donnelly ($1M), Kevin Gregg ($2.75M), Bob Howry ($2.25M), Takashi Saito ($3.2M), David Weathers ($?) ? Or, would you have brought back JJ Putz at $3M?

The Mets didn’t sign a lefthanded pitcher to an MLB contract, though they did sign free agent submariner Jay Marshall to a minor-league deal. Would that have been enough for you, or would you have also inked Neal Cotts and/or Seth McClung to a minor league contract? Or, would you have signed Javier Lopez to a 1/$775K MLB deal? Or, would you still be going after one of Joe Beimel, Will Ohman, Alan Embree, Ron Mahay, and Ron Villone?

That’s it, folks — the Mets didn’t sign anyone else to an MLB contract. Please voice your opinions and “I would have’s” in the comments.

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. brian e February 8, 2010 at 11:36 am
    Seht McClung is a right hander. Other than that, great article. The part about replacing the catching position with a backstop almost made coffee come out of my nose.
  2. db February 8, 2010 at 11:57 am
    OK, I will play,

    I preferred Holliday as a player, but for the money and commitment, I like the Bay deal.

    Olivo, 2.5 million.

    Kennedy or Lopez. Really, this one is a no brainer and clearly the worst move of the bunch.


    I like the Escobar signing and I will give Igarishi a whirl, so I approve.

    No issue on the Loogy approach, all those guys stink.

    What is missing, is an SP. I would have signed Pineiro, dfa’d Castillo and signed Lopez or Hudson for their D. Pelfrey and Pineiro would both benefit greatly.

  3. Steve February 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm
    I’m OK with the Bay deal. They need some more power. But they needed to spend on a starting pitcher too….

    I’m OK with Blanco/Santos, with Thole coming up later. Molina was only worth a one-year deal—and I’m not sure he should have gotten even that.

    Signing Cora for that kind of deal was ridiculous. Kennedy or even Catalanotto was preferable.

    Signing Tatis was OK, but the Mets need some NEW blood, so I would have signed Garko instead. Ike Davis will be here sooner than many think…..

    Escobar and Igarashi are good additions.

    I would have signed Joe Beimel to be the LH reliever.

    I also would have signed Joel Piniero to a 2-year, $18m. deal.

  4. Dan February 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm
    The Bay signing is fine and probably the best option of those listed. Since Bay holds down left for the next four years, it will be interesting to see, if Frenchy is the real deal, what happens with F-Mart, who I still believe is a legitimate prospect.

    Catching position, eh, who cares, nothing really excited me here so might as well add a solid defensive catcher. The Mets haven’t had consistent production from that position since Lo Duca. For me, let’s see what Thole can do in the spring.

    I have no issue with the Cora signing. One of his main roles this year maybe getting Bay comfortable in NY since the two do have some recent history together. I would still sign Lopez though and mix and match him with Castillo depending on who is pitching for the Mets (assuming they would never DFA Castillo)

    Tatis – this is the one signing I totally disagree with. Here is where I would have signed Nady to platoon with Murphy.

    The bullpen is always a roll of the dice, so no issues here. I am intrigued by the signing of Clint Everts who I believe got a major league deal based on what I read. From the press release “Everts went 8-1 with a 1.65 ERA and six saves at three levels of the Minor Leagues with the Nationals this past season, striking out 68 batters through 60 innings in 44 games”. One to keep an eye on in spring.

  5. James K. February 9, 2010 at 2:26 pm
    1. I’d prefer Mike Cameron over Bay, then use the money saved to upgrade the rest of the roster. Prefer the Bay deal to Holliday though.

    2. Blanco is fine — he’s old but he’s still good defensively and cheap.

    3. Cora. BLEGH. Kennedy or Felipe Lopez please.

    4. Tatis is a nice signing. He can play multiple positions capably, which Ryan Garko cannot do. He’s a league average hitter. It’s a strong contract.

    5. I like the Escobar and Igarashi signings.

    6. LOOGY – I’d look at Will Ohman.

  6. Steve from Norfolk February 10, 2010 at 2:00 pm
    I can live with all the signings the Mets made, even Cora. He played most of last season on heart alone, and did a good job. The one thing I would do is see how Escobar would do as a starter. If he could perform at anywhere close to his previous level, he’d be the number 2 starter we need.