Mets Offseason Thus Far

As we embark on a new year, let’s take a detailed look at what’s happened so far in the Mets’ offseason.


RHP R.A. Dickey, C Josh Thole, and C Mike Nickeas traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for C John Buck, C Travis d’Arnaud, RHP Noah Syndegaard, and OF Wuilmer Becerra

INF Jefry Marte traded to the Oakland Athletics for OF Collin Cowgill

LHP Kyle Lobstein (Rule 5 Draft pick) traded to Detroit Tigers for cash

Traded cash to the Oakland Athletics for INF Brandon Hicks


LHP Aaron Laffey signed to a minor-league contract with invitation to spring training

RHP Carlos Torres signed to a minor-league contract with invitation to spring training

INF Brian Bixler signed to a minor-league contract with invitation to spring training

RHP Greg Burke signed to a minor-league contract (later added to 40-man roster)

OF Jamie Hoffman signed to a minor-league contract

LHP Scott Rice signed to a minor-league contract

INF Josh Rodriguez signed to a minor-league contract


C Anthony Recker claimed off waivers from Chicago Cubs

LHP Kyle Lobstein claimed off waivers from Montgomery Biscuits (Rule 5 Draft)


Some of you may be thinking, “gee whiz, is that ALL? When are the Mets going to get it in gear and overhaul this team, as Sandy Alderson said a few months ago that he’d do?” Relax, and have patience, young grasshopper. The Mets front office prefers to take things slowly and cautiously, making sure to methodically analyze all options fully before committing. There are many bargains to be had by playing the waiting game. Consider that last January, the Mets signed 14 free agents — half of them in the last week of the month. The strategy paid off handsomely, as once February arrived, Scott Hairston, Ronny Cedeno, Miguel Batista, and Omar Quintanilla were all in Mets uniforms.

Now, doesn’t that make you feel better? I fully expect the Mets to make a similar haul in the coming thirty days — imagine the possibilities!

What’s your feeling? Are you excited about who the Mets may bring in this month? Anyone in particular in mind? 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. Vilos January 2, 2013 at 8:48 am
    Compared to last year, would Cedeno, hairston, Batista andvQuintanilla been on your lists of FA available at this time? Or did they come out of no where?
  2. TexasGusCC January 2, 2013 at 9:36 am
    Joe, I read your response to my comment on trading Niese for Upton, thank you for responding. Although you are agree with it, do you see this management making such a move to take on maybe an extra $10MM in salary as Upton is $9MM to Niese’s $3MM and then sign another pitcher for maybe $4MM? It seems the bottom line is all there is with this club, at the expense of talent.
    • Joe Janish January 2, 2013 at 10:25 am
      Gus, you make a great point. The Mets talk a good game, with Alderson telling season-ticket holders that there is more in the budget, but they have yet to put their money (if they have any?) where their mouth is.

      If there is indeed money to spend — and there might be, based on the David Wright extension — then maybe they can handle Upton’s contract. But like you, I’m pessimistic.

  3. DaveSchneck January 2, 2013 at 9:58 am
    Trading a 20 game winner from a 74 win team and not adding anyone that will be guaranteed a 25 man roster position leaves the Mets as one of the 3 worst teams in MLB. As you point out, a lot will happen in January, but the quality of additions had better be far above thaose of 2012 just to field a respectable, watchable team. Anything short of a real 10-12 win MLB pitcher, a real MLB CF/leadoff hitter, a RH OF, and a backend BP arm or two, and Alderson should wear the scarlett letter that Izzy has spend hours stitching up for him. Now, if he does dig into Jeffy’s piggy bank, spend most of that $20 mil he has, and provide legit players to fill each of those spots, he should be taken at his word and given the benefit of doubt. Met fans can dealt with the stealth rebuilding, reagrdless of what is being said, but how can we support a 60 win joke in NYC due to cheap owners? I think Alderson is on a very, very short leash regarding the paying customers he hopes to show up at Citifield. Not filling these holes competently will all but assure under 2 million in attendance, and a further drop in the Citifield bond rating.
    • Joe Janish January 2, 2013 at 10:27 am
      “Anything short of a real 10-12 win MLB pitcher, a real MLB CF/leadoff hitter, a RH OF, and a backend BP arm or two…”

      Agreed. And there isn’t much time to fill all those holes by spring training. It will take an incredible flurry of activity to accomplish. We’ll wait and see.

  4. Vilos January 2, 2013 at 10:01 am
    If thats the case, then I agree they’ll make a similar haul.

    As for trading Niese for Upton I don’t think the Mets are ready. The way I see it, is to make a trade like that, the team cant have that many ifs and maybes..

    This year must be the year that davis, murphy, tejada, duda and kirk either show they belong or move on. On the other hand, if they continúe to strengthen pitching then they’ll have moré options to trade for an outfielder (like the Hernández trade of the past), but only if the others work out.
    If not, then back to the drawing board.

    • Joe Janish January 2, 2013 at 10:31 am
      Vilos, you bring up something that I hadn’t considered, that should scare the heck out of Mets fans – what if Tejada, Murphy, and/or Davis have a down year? We know that Duda and Kirk are question marks, but the Mets’ future is kind of tied to at least Davis and Tejada either staying where they are or improving. There’s absolutely no one on the farm who projects to be a Major League shortstop or first baseman.
    • Mike B January 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm
      This is what I dont get…… “The way I see it, is to make a trade like that, the team cant have that many ifs and maybes..”

      The team has so many if’s or maybe’s because they DONT SPEND MONEY. Lets talk about Ike Davis and Tejada, I like both of them by the way. But does anyone in the world project them to be more then light hitting slighty above average fielding SS and a solid D at first with a little bit of pop, they should be our 6 and 8 hitters not leadoff and clean up. Jose Reyes and Prince fielder they are not but they are legitimate starters on most MLB teams. AS for the other guys, Murphy, Duda, Kirk they arent question marks they are bench players on every team in baseball.

      As far as pitching, we will be lucky if 2 of pichers are almost as good as Dickey and Santana. So with no position players coming up besides a catcher who is going to dissapoint everyone when they find out he isnt mike piazza who are we waiting for to save this team.

  5. Joe January 2, 2013 at 11:34 am
    “the David Wright extension” is mentioned in the comments. Not exactly sure why it is only mentioned there. It occurred in the “offseason” and “thus far.”

    Also, getting rid of Bay with some of the salary postponed also occurred in that time. Again, not a trivial thing.

    So, yes, that isn’t “all.” Anyway, I love those Montgomery Biscuits. Good with some jam.

    • Joe January 2, 2013 at 11:42 am
      So, Wright was signed long term. The albatross of Bay is gone. The team has a catcher for the future that might be seen as soon as late ’13. It got another promising pitcher prospect in the deal that can be trade bait. It picked up a useful outfielder piece, a short term catcher, a potential left handed reliever/spot starter/fifth starter & some spare parts.

      Not trivial to me. They could have signed three relievers quickly like last time & have Joe Janish explain how he doesn’t like any of them, I guess. I would like an outfielder and various options was suggested by others. Some relievers were left out there to be picked up by others but I will wait to see how that balances out. They have a few options already to fill in the pen. Keep an eye out for fifth starters.

      OF and/or lead off is the biggest issue now.

      • Izzy January 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm
        Like the team ? Kinda like it? how much money of your own are you going to spend to go and watch them play? Really want to know who will actually spend money to watch this team play. Maybe you should go to Vegas to watch all these great prospects.
      • Dan B January 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm
        Personally, I do consider the Wright signing and the release of Bay to be more trivial then significant. First of all, Wright was already signed for 2013. Also, extending Wright does not make the Mets better, it just prevents them from getting worse. Teams resign good players, especially fan favorites — it is commonplace. To not extend him would be significant. It is also not a sign the Mets are willing to spend money because they are actually paying Wright less, not more, next season. If Wright is still on the team when he starts making $20 million/year, then it is a good sign. But who is to say he won’t get traded after 2013 because they need more prospects? Releasing Bay means nothing to me because he wasn’t playing the second half of last season and nobody expected him to play in 2013. If the Mets had taken the money they deferred on Bay’s contract (and Wright’s contract, for that matter) and used it to sign a talented FA, then it would be significant. But they are using it to pay down debt so it means nothing to wins and losses.
      • Joe Janish January 2, 2013 at 10:49 pm
        Are both of these comments from the same “Joe” or are there now two “Joes”? It’s confusing enough that people refer to me as “Joe” — maybe it’s time to add something to your username so we can keep the conversation straight.

        In any case, my bad for titling this post “Mets Offseason Thus Far” rather than “Mets Offseason Additions Thus Far.” I’m blaming my editor.

  6. Dan B January 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm
    Since Alderson was signed, how many starting position players has he acquired? How many starting pitchers? How many “diamonds in the rough” did he find? How many good seasons have the Mets had under his leadership? You can talk all you want about trades for prospects (trades which I liked) but that is only a fraction of his job description. All I know is that the team sucks, payroll keeps going down, and, for all the talk of prospects, the team has cut its minor league budget and not signed a lot of draft picks. And Joe, about the four players Alderson signed late last year, none were starters and it looks all will not be on the team in 2013. But happy new year to all
  7. Vilos January 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm
    Mike B
    Maybe your right and davis and Tejada are average and the rest are bench players but those are the mets under control as of now.
    To build a team you have four categories: (1) under control, (2) A type FA of 15-20 mm a year for 5 years, (3) Type B FA 5-10 mm a year for múltiple years and (4) short term FA.
    The question is where to start.
    • Mike B January 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm
      I think you answered your own question.

      Under control DW, Tejada, Davis And I can deal with Buck while we wait for the Kid. If you surround these guys with (2) BJ Upton? (3) Justin Upton ?(4) a solid SP or BP help the team all of a sudden looks like a major league team. Doesnt have to be the Uptons, just first guys that came to my head.

      The problem is 15-20 million is not happening, 5-10 million not happening and any short term FA contract maxes out at 1.5 million and free parking for home games.

      • DaveSchneck January 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm
        Be patient. Although this ownership/GM does not have the trust of the fan base, there is a very good chance the $15+ mil will be spent on a SP, a CF/OF, and some bullpen help. Reasoning is that they can’t be dumb enough to chase every paying customer from Citifield. Can they?
        • Mike B January 2, 2013 at 5:35 pm
          Can you tell me when that will be? I lost my patience a long time ago. I dont know how anyone can hand over thier hard earned money to the Wilpons until they change thier ways.
        • DaveSchneck January 2, 2013 at 5:41 pm
          It will need to be soon, for sure. I agree with you and will certainly not be spending any money on the product if they do not spend what amounts to a minimal amount for field a decent MLB team, which means filling those spots – they needn’t be all-stars of HOF candidates – but proven MLB players that don’t require commitments that will hamstring them in 2014 and beyond. That is not asking much from our multi-million dollar FO.
        • Dan B January 2, 2013 at 6:39 pm
          Mike B., I will tell you when the Wilpons will spend money — sometime in mid 2014. And even then less then what fans want them to spend. Why then? Because they need to pay down debt before they refinance their two big loans. Even after that is done I doubt we will see $150 million payroll anytime soon because there revenue will have fallen so low. So yeah, I think they are willing to risk chasing fans from Citifield because these loans are the Wilpons’ fiscal cliff.
  8. argonbunnies January 2, 2013 at 8:57 pm
    Every year some team signs a usable player for next to nothing once the calendar gets late enough that players are desperate for jobs. Maybe we’ll make a big push for unsigned guys once Spring Training begins.

    On the other hand, if someone gets Bourn for 1 year, I imagine that team is going to have to be quick on the trigger. Because once it’s known he can be had for 1 year, a better team will scoop him up.

  9. Quinn January 2, 2013 at 11:04 pm
    They signed Andrew brown today who ever that is
    • Joe Janish January 3, 2013 at 12:44 am
      Good timing; was working on that story when you posted this comment. Thank you.