Offseason Complete for Mets

After being waived by the Mets, 23-year-old Fernando Martinez is now a member of the Houston Astros. And according to Adam Rubin, diminutive Danny Herrera has cleared waivers and will return to the Mets as a minor leaguer with an invitation to spring training.

Also according to Rubin, the Mets have re-signed the ageless Miguel Batista and inked free agent pitcher Fernando Cabrera as well as shortstop Sean Kazmar.

Batista is 40, Cabrera 30, and Kazmar 27. All are expected to fill out Buffalo’s roster next spring, though Batista has an outside shot of making the big club if he performs impeccably and several pitchers go down with injury.

In other news, the signing of 31-year-old Scott Hairston was made official.

Finally, Rubin reports that the Mets are “done” making additions to the organization.

So, now that the offseason personnel adjustments are complete, what do you think? Are you satisfied with changes? What grade do you give the Mets for their offseason? Answer 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. GaryG January 12, 2012 at 7:38 am
    Underwhelming and depressing. Waiting for Bud to tell Fred and Jeffie to sell. Hopefully this occurs over the next 6 months.
  2. Mike B January 12, 2012 at 8:16 am
    They get a big fat F. Aside from the fact that I am not a fan of rebuilding, I didnt see any moves that get me excited about the future. Not to mention the loss of Reyes to a division rival. Even though I dont blame them for booting F Mart its also depressing to see the last piece of that 3 headed “future superstar” outfield go with essentially nothing except one helped bring over santana.

    They should have resigned Reyes I am sure they wanted to rip the band aid off and just let him go. But they could have signed him to a back loaded contract and traded him anytime, there would always be a taker for a top 3 ss no matter how many games he has missed.

    • Bill January 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm
      Mike B, if your “top 3” shortstop can’t run anymore and is being paid $22 million/yr, do you think you can trade him without eating most of the contract? The Mets deserve some credit for not doing anything stupid that will hamstring them (yes, I’m trying to be funny) for the next 5 years. No more albatross contracts, thank you Mr. Alderson!

      The new regime seems committed to not paying large amounts of money for very marginal upgrades that produce nothing in the standings. Will Nickeas be worse than Ronny Paulino? Maybe. Will he be much worse? No. Will he be a whole lot cheaper? Yes. It’s good to see the Mets stop throwing away large amounts of money on slightly better, but still mediocre, players that don’t get us to the playoffs. There were no catchers available that would really make a difference, so passing makes good sense.

      I keep seeing posts that “we should have signed Reyes to a reasonable contract when he was coming off a down season,” but I have NEVER seen ANY EVIDENCE that he was actually willing to take such a contract rather than test free agency. Really, people, stop complaining that the Mets didn’t so something that was not an option!

      • Mike B January 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm
        Bill Reyes got 17 a year not 22, If you cheap out in the begining you got to pay in the end.

        And guess what, its 2012 if you want fans to care about your team and spend larger amounts of money to support your team you better be putting large amounts of money into your team.

        No question Reyes deal was risky so was Pujos, CC Sabathia’s Arods and every other contract that is multi year and over 15 million dollars a year but that is what it coast to have stars on your team.

        Let me ask you this, are the mets supposed to build this young team like the Rays and then when they reach Free Agency let them go because its cheaper to pay unproven youngsters and less risky???????

  3. Izzy January 12, 2012 at 8:45 am
    Grade the winter…. lets see. You replace Reyes with Ronny Cedeno. That’s so low it doesn’t even warrant an F.
    You replace the crappy Ronny Paulino with a AA player Nickeas. Its hard to do but that gets an F.
    You repalce Pagan with an older and crappier CFer but add an average reliever. That gets a C.
    You prepare for Santana not being able to start 33 times by doing nothing and saying you might re-sign the always injured Chris Young again. that gets an F.
    You use KRODS money, well maybe half of it to sign two, not one, but two, average at best relievers…. That gets a D.
    Good Winter Alderson.
    Am I satisfied…Sure…. The money that is normally spent on Met games will go elsewhere. Thanks for the diversification……
  4. Steve S. January 12, 2012 at 9:41 am
    Pagan trade = B, with attitude improvement and good reliever coming to the Mets

    Francisco = B. A decent closer (needed)

    Rauch = C-. Mediocre, overpaid.

    Tendering Pelfrey and not improving the crappy rotation = F.

    Bench signings = C-. OK with Hairston, but that’s it.

    Losing Reyes to rival = D. Yes, Miami overpaid, but for a NYC team to lose their homegrown star to a division rival? Yuck!

  5. JoeJP January 12, 2012 at 9:59 am
    I have no idea if the team won’t sign anyone else in the next three months if the opportunity arises, noting only that the source cited said “minor league deals” are still open.

    The Mets are currently in “wait and see” mode. This is somewhat depressing but I don’t see the grand moves made the last year or two. Jason Bay? Yeah, can do w/o that sort of thing. Hey, you will win 70 – 80 games, but they got a big name! Yay! Oliver Perez? Castillo?

    The best things that happened came from within or was surprises like R.A. Dickey. Both might continue.

    The offseason was adequate. They got some relievers. The closer makes sense and at least one of others does as well. I would have liked another starter, but the options weren’t much better than Batista, Schwinden and maybe some other “minor league” option they will still pick up. Still, probably be nice to get another starter there. Personally, maybe I’m wrong, “inning eater” and all, I rather they get rid of Pelfrey, but well, that didn’t happen.

    Some will appreciate Pagan leaving thinking we had to change there; others really won’t miss him either way. The replacement is okay and has some potential to surprise at least for the short term. Which is all he is anyway. Cedeno is just an mid-fielder back-up. They needed such a spare part and got it. Hairston also is a useful guy off the bench. You don’t put some rookie who needs time in that spot. Standard to put some vet in that off the bench/back-up OFs spot.

    Fact is, they were getting rid of Reyes. They could have kept him, if they had the will and better money situation. Didn’t happen. Life stinks. Yeah. But, the die was cast a long time ago. At some point, you have to let it go.

    I’m not sure what else they were supposed to do this winter. Trade Pagan for a CF prospect? Is he worth that? Find some other starter? I guess, but they weren’t going to pay Buerle type money for him. So, yeah, not a great off season. But, when was the last one of them?

  6. Dan B January 12, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    The problem with Reyes is not that the Mets didn’t sign him this offseason to a huge contract, it’s that they didn’t sign him last offseason to a reasonable contract when he was coming off a down season. This offseason the Mets didn’t resign Wright coming off a down season. Hmm…(yeah, I know he still has a team option after 2012, but still…) My biggest problem with this offseason is that it completely lacks momentum. I don’t see the moves that makes me think they believe in this year yet I also don’t see the moves that make me believe that they are truely rebuilding. I just see them getting bodies to fill a roster.
  7. SiddFinch January 12, 2012 at 12:20 pm
  8. NormE January 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm
  9. Jujo January 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm
    What was Alderson supposed to do? The Mets spent big in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and what did they get? Nothing. In fact they demoralized fans with the crashes of 07 and 08. Beltran, Reyes and gang did not win the division or get the wild card, period. Omar saddled the team with old players and high $ contracts. I would love to the Wilpons sell or be forced to sell. That will not happen this spring. So knowing this and knowing that the club is losing $ daily, Alderson got some pieces to fill gaps. Bullpen, bench and made trades that clarifed things (Pagan). A huge key is Santana but at best we can hope he is 80% the pitcher he was before. That may good for up to 15 wins. Dickey is good, Niese shows promise. I would like to get rid of Pelfrey but he has been one of those every other year guys-maybe he does better pitching in the #4 spot this year. I don’t expect much from Gee/Schwinden. I like resigning Batista as he is verstatile and cheap. The Mets lineup is not bad. Its not great but if everyone can do their part (decent OPBs) and the big guys drive in runs our offense will be competitive. The starting pitching is what is the big issue. Unless the Mets can somehow pony up big $ for a Jackson, Oswalt or even less with a J Vazquez, the #1 and 2 starters will have a hard time winning going head to head with Halladay and the likes. Lets wait until spring training and see how this team as assembled plays. We will know better if it will be an overachiever (close to 80 wins) or a loser.
  10. Rob January 12, 2012 at 2:56 pm
    They didn’t spend any money. That about sums it up. They will finish in last place unless their starting pitchers each have career seaons and Santana comes back fully recovered from his shoulder surgery. That’s unlikely. It’s gonna be a crappy year…and the only thing that’s supposed to make this bearable is the prospect of Alderson rebuilding the team from the minors on up. I just don’t see it happening. If they were rebuilding with a three or four year plan in mind, they would have spent the money to retain Reyes so as to keep the core alive. They’re not going to spend any money, people. They’re going to continue to contract their payroll and we’re going to be the Kansas City Royals for the next several years. Unless the Wilpons sell…and we get an owner who is willing to wisely spend to rebuild a contender.

    This is so depressing that I can’t even imagine this upcoming season. We’ll win 70 if we’re lucky.

    And if I’m wrong, I’ll gladly post and admit that I was wrong. I hope that I am. But right now, I’m on the ledge looking down from the 100th floor…ready to jump. Things have never looked so bleak.

    • Glenn January 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm
      At some point people need to stop complaining about what has already happened and where they would like the Mets to be and come to grips about where they are and how they plan to get there.

      Alderson did the right thing. He got cheap options on short contracts. If these players do well not only may the improve the product on the field, they may be spun off for some prospects at the trading deadline. If they fail, little was risked. the Mets had the best offense in their division even while playing in Citifield. They lost because they had bad pitching. Until that improves the Mets will lose. The way the Mets have chosen to improve is to allow the farm system to grow and supply a steady chain of good players, who will improve performance, which will boost attendance, which will raise revenue so that those truly good players can be retained. That’s the plan. Will it work? Eventually it will but how soon? Will this current group of prospects produce or will more drafting and scouting be needed because we do not yet have the good prospects necessary. Time will tell, but I prefer the farm system method to the buy every FA you can method. We tried to buy a pennant in the 2006- 2009 period and it didn’t work. Time to try this way.

  11. Marathon Met January 12, 2012 at 5:06 pm
    IMO the way the Mets are bringing down costs is reasonable, as a fan, I don’t agree with it, but its reasonable.
    The Mets lost 70 mm this year, attendance is shrinking at
    high rates and the whole organization (team, stadium and network) has already used its share of debt.
    Sure they could have played the longshot of keeping Reyes, trying to get into the playoffs and getting attendance back up, but if that backfired, then they would far worst off. Sure as fans, we wouldn’t care, because we think that a NY team has to spend its way into competitiveness, so a new owner would come in and do it. But that might not be the case. The wilpons could continue to hang, we might risk losing more rising stars and from an organization standpoint, the situation would be worst.
    Therefore its reasonable for Alderson & Co to pull down costs, put on the field a team that if everything goes there way would be a pleasant surprise (isn’t that the story behind being a Met fan) and regain Payroll flexibility.
    A question I do have is if they didn’t pull the plug too soon on fmart. Time will tell
  12. PETE January 12, 2012 at 6:38 pm
  13. PETE January 12, 2012 at 6:41 pm
  14. DaveSchneck January 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm
    Going Izzy-style,
    1. Reyes. D-. One can debate where to draw the line on an offer, but no offer and no recruitment was terrible.
    2. Bullpen. B. They may have overpaid lightly but needed to act early. Madson would have been nice but hard to predict market in January.
    3. Starting pitching. F. Lame, payroll limits or not. Where to start? Alderson trying to sell this group of 5 as all deserving of a spot is laughable. If Santana did not throw a pitch in the majors this year it would not be surprising. Pelfrey is a #5 costing $6 mil. Gee may or may not be able to stick. No kids are close, so signing/trading for a decent pro would not block anyone or cost any picks.
    4. Bench. D. Hairston, Cedeno ok. Other spots not acceptable.
    5. Defense. D. I know they need bats, but Murphy at 2B, Duda in left, Thole catching, with Wright at 3B, and shorter fences make for a pitcher’s nightmare.

    Overall D.

    What is Joe J.’s grade?

    • Joe January 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm
      Reyes: The optics were bad. I don’t really see the end result changing.

      Bullpen: Agreed.

      Pitching: The starting pitching is mediocre but even w/o Pelfrey giving you much (and I’m with the guy who thinks he might give you more though yeah I wanted him gone), the team managed okay there. Santana probably will give you as much as Cappy there, I’d think. But, yeah, they should have picked up a fifth starter. C.

      Bench: Murphy and Turner is going to be on the bench a lot, especially if Cedeno sees a good amount of playing time (as I see him doing). Guys like Satin, Baxter etc. also provide you something. I think at least a C. I don’t know where you want to put him, but I also think the Torres pick-up was a net positive.

      Defense: I don’t think Wright’s defense is THAT bad. Other than Duda, who is adequate and you aren’t going to lose that many games via a corner OF, the OF defense is decent. Davis and Cedeno/Tejeda is decent too with Davis pretty good. Again, I think D is too low. B-/C

      Another Joe’s opinion.