Mets Go Nuts!

Never mind what the Marlins are doing — nothing compares to the madness of the Mets at the winter meetings!

Sure, the Mets lost shortstop Jose Reyes, but Sandy Alderson is not one to let grass grow under his feet. The genius GM made a whirlwind of moves guaranteed to make the Mets almost as good as they were in 2011 — and at minimum, assures them a fifth-place finish in the NL East.

Sit down, because the plethora of moves will knock you backward if you’re standing.

First off, the Mets signed Jon Rauch to a one-year deal. As you know, Rauch is Gulliver to the Lilliputians, an absolute giant at 6’10″, 300 lbs. Remember Chris Young was similarly huge, and he was a great pitcher, too. Rauch slots right into the back end of the bullpen, where R.A. Dickey‘s 7-inning efforts have a chance to become victories. Rauch is coming off a poor season that can probably be blamed on a knee injury that required surgery in the offseason, so you KNOW this was a brilliant move. Look at how well the Mets did signing pitchers coming off injuries last winter. Woop woop!

But they didn’t stop rebuilding the bullpen there, because the Mets also signed Frankie Francisco — to a two-year, $12M deal (who said the Mets weren’t going to be big spenders this winter?). He collected 17 saves and struck out 9 batters per nine innings for the Blue Jays last year, and likely will fight Rauch for the closer role. Two closers in one bullpen … wow … just … wow.

And yes, those crazy Mets made yet another deal to bolster the bullpen, swapping Angel Pagan to the San Francisco Giants for reliever Ramon Ramirez and centerfielder Andres Torres. Ramirez had a sparkling 1.16 WHIP and 2.62 ERA through 66 appearances in 2011; he solidifies the seventh inning. Meanwhile, Torres steps right into Pagan’s role in centerfield, bringing with him much better defense, better baseball IQ, and very little offense. But who needs offense when you have these three guys shutting the door in the final three frames?

All this excitement has made me completely forget about losing that All-Star shortstop to Miami. What was his name again?

11-12 Offseason

About the Author

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.

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24 Responses to “Mets Go Nuts!”
  • Heybatter says:
    If you were any more cynical Joe people might think you’re a Phillies or Yankees blogger. I am beginning to think the only part of your Bio that applies lately is ‘cranky’.
  • mic says:
    PS: Nuts= The Marlins offer to Albert of 200M/10yrs
  • Walnutz15 says:
    I’d rather they went NUTZ…..I’d gladly play CF.
  • Joe says:
    Kevin on SNY said, though I guess it merits repeating, that these moves obviously don’t suddenly make fans forget about Reyes. They are however reasonable moves that make the team better overall.
  • DaveSchneck says:
    They are better than they were 24 hours ago, and maybe better than they were in August and September 2011. And, on top of that, Pujols is still out there…
  • Steven says:
    I really like the Torres move. I consider him an elite defensive center fielder and the Mets need good outfield defense more than the 40 or so points in batting average we are giving up assuming a revival year by pagan
  • Kranepool says:
    A reasonable set of moves, given where the Mets are in 2012-2013. My memory (maybe faulty) is that we lost a disproportionate number of games by bullpen meltdowns, especially in the 2nd half, so adding 2 pretty good relievers (like Joe, I don’t see Rauch as an improvement) should add a few wins. The FA market is pretty thin this year (other than 1 guy who’s gone and 2 we can’t afford), so these incremental improvements, together with healthy returns of Ike and Murphy (I hope!), and some increased production from Wright and Bay (the new fences should help, though I certainly understand that’s a double-edged sword), could help the Mets come closer to .500 or so, IF the rotation holds up at about last year’s level. Nothing great, but a more competitive atmosphere for the younger Mets (Ike, Murph, Tejada, Duda, Thole, etc.) to grow up in.

    On the topic of what the Wilpons can afford: This business about “losing $70 million” may be somewhat bogus. I get that the attendace has dropped around 35% over 2 years, which is a huge hit to food and merchandise sales, in addition to the tickets themselves. But they hold the TV rights in their separate sports network, so we don’t know what revenues and profits the Mets generate into Fred’s pockets from that. This suggests that the combination of post-2008 reversals in their real estate holdings (the original source of their wealth) and the loss of around $500 million they thought was safe in Madoff’s funds (not to mention the enormous legal fees in fighting Picar’s remaining $300 million claim against them) may be much more of a factor in their financial dilemna than the overall financial performance of the Mets. With the FA market getting stronger next year, and the Mets shedding some big contracts this year and next, they have to make some intelligent “buys” net year. If they can’t, then maybe Bud will finally be ready to tell Fred it’s time to sell (for you who remember, he could go to Fred with the other village elders, like Goldwater did when it was time to tell Tricky Dick to resign).

  • Rob says:
    Which raises an absolutely fascinating point. Shoenfield told us the other day that the reason that Boston and the Yanks weren’t doing anything of import this year was because the big FA class is coming next year, when guys like Cole Hamels will be available. Does anyone want to wager the house and a set of sterling silver salt shakers that the Mets will be prominent participants in next year’s FA festivities?
  • murph says:
    Why are we still even fans of this team? Do we enjoy getting kicked in the (pick one) throat, stomach, groin?

    2010 (Omar’s last year) the Mets won a pathetic 79 games (4th place, ahead of only the lowly Nationals).

    2011 (Sandy’s first year) the Mets won a pathetic 77 games (4th place, ahead of only the lowly Marlins).

    That’s right, the Nationals and Marlins are the competition now. Not the Phillies and the Braves.

    This team is a joke and an embarrassment. Now we are asked to be patient and wait for rebuilding? Come on!

    I love this blog, but sad to say, my love of the Mets is fading fast. They are not “lovable losers” they are just losers.