What If the Mets Rebuilt in 2008?

Every once in a while I like to look back at MetsToday posts from the past, when the team appeared to be better and my writing was much more interesting (yet, ironically, had a much smaller audience).

So I went back to October 2008 and found this gem: Which Way Should the Mets Go?

It was written right after The Collapse Part Deux, and some of the biggest issues on the table for the coming offseason included whether to pick up the option on Carlos Delgado’s contract and if they should pursue free-agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez. My feeling was that, with the opening of Citi Field on the horizon, instead of continuing with the band-aid or patchwork route of adding “final pieces to the puzzle”, maybe the Mets should consider trading veterans such as Carlos Beltran and Luis Castillo and start rebuilding with youth.

Check it out, and come back here to comment: Which Way Should the Mets Go?

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. Mic March 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    Interesting:

    Sorry that I am first. BUT I vote no. maybe rebuilding LAST yr makes more sense or to me THIS year makes BEST sense.

    This yr there are expiring contracts, young ML ready talent and a hellacoius debt/PR mess to tread thru….

    Given PRESENT mess…..in which I personally absolve Omar, and turn my IRE on Jeff wilpon….I think trading the expiring contracts…(or releasing ), trading other big contracts and letting kids play.

    1B: Ike
    2B. Turner/Emaus/
    3B: Murphy/Evans
    SS: Tejada
    CF Pagan
    RF: Fernando/Hairston/Kirk
    LF: Bay/
    C: Paulino/Thole

    Rotation: (from) Gee, Santana, Dickey, Beato, Niese, Young, Cappy.
    Relief: Krod, et al

    1. Notes: Granted there would be ML ready talent incoming to relace Reyes and Wright. Plus Krod could be traded to a contender…but I’d hold on to him.
    2. Note: Wright, Reyes, CB, Ollie, Castillo represent over 50M/yr in salary. So going forward there is plenty to be optimistic about.

    • Joe March 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm
      Holding on to Krod can be quite expensive.
    • Joe March 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm
      I think the proposed roster was a tad optimistic but the overall idea you had back then made sense. But, they might have thought, new expensive park and two killer endings, the fans wouldn’t take that sort of thing in NYC. Given hindsight, well …
  2. Mic March 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm
    i left out pelfrey?
  3. wohjr March 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm
    People around NY seem to think that the Wilpons will fight to the death in an attempt to keep the team, even in the face of what has to be huge pressure from MLB. In a worst case scenario this could drag on for years… financially compromised but still-afloat ownership. Metsies are not getting to the promised land while the Wilpons are in charge and a drawn out endgame for jeffy and fred is going to push any practical contention by the mets towards/out of DWs prime (say 5-6 years– DW would be 33-34).

    Instead we should be looking to trade the kid now, or as the deadline approaches. While we are looking at getting pennies on the dollar for assets (when healthy, a big if obviously) like Beltran, DW is plausibly the only one OVERVALUED on the team right now and might conceivably fetch something interesting in return. Please don’t give me the “face of the team” crap, I see someone whose numbers could be replaced for far less $$. Lets also not forget the k problem over the last few years, and I don’t think anyone would call the kid “clutch”. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice player and apparently a stand-up individual but the team needs to be looking at contention 5-7 years from now and I question whether a high-priced DW is a piece of that puzzle.

  4. wohjr March 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm
    AND A POX UPON any deep-pockets propping up the Wilpon regime by paying top dollar for a minority stake. Leaving Fred and Jeff in control is unacceptable and any man who aids in that with his millions, well, woe unto him (or her)!!!!!
  5. Professor Longnose March 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    I remember a lot of talk about rebuilding the Mets after 2008, but it was mostly rants about how soft the Mets were, how they didn’t have any fire, and didn’t come up big in the clutch. Nice to see that there were people looking at the issue seriously as well.

    If the Mets had started to rebuild in the winter of 2008-2009, where would they be now? Would they stil be in the lo-cost part of the cycle?

  6. argonbunnies March 11, 2011 at 8:03 am
    I advocated trading Delgado after ’08 and Frenchy after ’09. If we’d done that, presumably our ML roster would be the same and we’d have a few additional prospects. Instead of K-Rod and Gary Matthews, we could have a young, cheap bullpen gaining experience, with Stokes and O’Day setting up Parnell.

    And yes, I was rooting for the upside of young Jonny Gomes over the veteran reliability of Catalanotto. Hairston and Harris are nice and safe, but I’d rather be looking for the next Jayson Werth (or Angel Pagan, for that matter).