Browsing Archive January, 2012

Fielder Follows Father’s Footsteps, Foregoes Flushing

For the second consecutive day, the Mets are left holding the bag.

Still smarting from being spurned by Cody Ross the Mets received another blow when , Prince Fielder passed on the Mets’ flirtations and instead signed a 9-year deal with Detroit — the city where his father Cecil enjoyed 6 1/2 standout seasons after a stint in Japan.

The good news, however, is that now Ike Davis doesn’t have to worry about re-learning left field, a position he played frequently during his college career.

The Mets were seen as a frontrunner if Prince Fielder limited his marketplace to baseball teams in Flushing. Further, the Mets made clear that Prince would be welcomed with open arms if he were willing to sign on their terms (rumor had it that the Mets’ offer consisted of a one-year, non-guaranteed, $550K contract with the option to go straight to the front of the line at the Shake Shack between innings).

In all seriousness, this surprising signing by the Tigers changes things beyond Detroit. For one, the NL has now lost arguably its top three sluggers over the last year — Fielder, Albert Pujols, and Adrian Gonzalez — in turn collectively lowering the danger quotient of NL hitters. I would be curious to see a stathead figure out if there is any kind of impact on NL pitching performance as a result of these exits — has anyone done this kind of study? For example, will NL pitchers’ WHIPs and ERAs in general go down because they no longer have to deal with these other-worldly sluggers — and, can pitch around the dangerous hitters who remain?

In regard to the latter part of that sentence, here’s an interesting comparison: in 2011, Ryan Braun was intentionally walked TWICE, and has been given a free pass only 9 times in the five years he’s hit behind Prince Fielder. It’s presumed that Fielder will now hit behind Miguel Cabrera, who was intentionally walked 22 times in 2011 and 32 times in 2010. Go ahead — let your head spin considering what Cabrera might do in 2012, with hurlers having to pitch to him.

Random thought: it’s a bizarre winter when two of the top 5 sluggers in all of MLB are free agents, and the biggest of the big markets — New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco — are not in the bidding. OK, there was some noise from the Cubs but was there really any substance to that?

Perhaps the best thing about Prince Fielder going to Detroit is that he didn’t go to another team in the NL East. Though, it depends upon your perspective — as a pure baseball fan, I’ll miss not seeing him play against the Mets and performing like a man among boys.

What’s your thought? Did the Mets mess up their rebuilding plan by not going harder after Prince? Are you happy to see him out of the NL? Does this mean Mike Pelfrey‘s ERA will go down? (Fielder hit .455 with a 1.318 OPS vs. Big Pelf in his career.) Post your reaction in the comments.


Red Sox Steal Cody Ross

The New York Mets received crushing news when Cody Ross announced he came to an agreement to play for the big bad Boston Red Sox in 2012.

According to various rumor mills, the Mets were hot on the trail of Ross, who can play all three outfield positions and occasionally hits the ball over the fence. However, those freewheeling, big-spending Red Sox swept in and stole Ross from right under the Mets noses.

What do you think? Do you see this news as some kind of omen — a sign that the Mets are in for a difficult 2012 season? Can the Mets switch gears quickly enough to find another fourth outfielder? If so, who is left on the market that they might pursue — and can afford? Answer in the comments.


Should Mets Trade Jason Bay for A.J. Burnett?

Should Mets trade Jason Bay for AJ Burnett?

This rumor just won’t go away, and there isn’t much else news to report from Flushing, so we may as well mull it over.

The theory goes like this: the Yankees are looking for a righthanded power bat for a corner outfield spot / DH. Why? Because everyone seems to have forgotten that Andruw Jones was re-signed earlier this winter. Additionally, the Yankees are looking to unload A.J. Burnett, who has been — put lightly — a disappointment. Further, the Yankees suddenly have a surplus of pitching, after signing Hiroki Kuroda and acquiring Michael Pineda. Burnett is excess baggage they are motivated to move for a power bat.

From the Mets’ perspective, Bay has also been a disappointment, and he’s an expensive contract to bear for a business going bankrupt. Though they’re not exactly flush with outfielders, the Mets are desperate to rid themselves of any and every multi-year, multi-million dollar contract. The immediate future is looking bleak, and even if Jason Bay returns to his monster form, it’s unlikely to make much difference in the Mets’ fortunes. Additionally, the Mets have very little depth behind their projected 5-man starting rotation — and a few of those projected starters have question marks. Getting another MLB starter is a distinct need, and there are worse options than Burnett — who might benefit from a return to the National League.

Now the reality: does it make sense for the clubs to do such a deal?


Blog Roundup: Friday Edition

It was a difficult day in Metsville, as the Daily News reported that Gary Carter’s condition has deteriorated.  The beloved former Mets catcher has been battling cancer since being diagnosed with brain tumors in May, 2011.

In other news, Oliver Perez has a new home, David Wright has new walls, and Spring Training has new invitees.

To the Blogs:

  • Bats blogger Tyler Kepner of the NY Times recalls Carter’s faith as a player.
  • Metsblog took a Twitter survey to find out if fans want Gary’s number retired.
  • 7 Train to Shea says R.A. Dickey and Daniel Murphy will receive Munson awards.
  • Amazin’ Avenue has Dickey’s appearance on CNN, where he talks about his climb of Kilimanjaro.
  • Metsmerized has pictures of David Wright apparently showing Jeff Wilpon where he couldn’t hit home runs in Citi Field.
  • The Mostly Mets podcast breaks a story about Cole Hamels and his…er…friend.
  • Andrew Marchand lays out the welcome Matt for two new Spring Training invitees.

Stay tuned to Mets Today…the season is right around the corner.


Link: Gary Carter Takes a Turn for the Worse

The New York Daily News reports that the condition of former Mets Catcher Gary Carter has taken a turn for the worse.  Keep Gary and the Carter family in your thoughts and prayers.

On Thursday, Carter’s family received a phone call from the doctors at Duke University who have been treating the Mets Hall of Fame catcher informing them that the most recent MRI revealed “several new spots/tumors on his brain,” Carter’s daughter, Kimmy Bloomers, wrote on the family website.

Read more:


It’s Official: Mets Are Irrelevant

ESPN has released their Sunday Night Baseball Schedule for 2012 — and not one game features the Mets.

Do you know why? Because the Mets are irrelevant.

Go ahead and check the ESPN schedule yourself — do you see the Royals, the Pirates, the Orioles, the Astros, or the Padres? No. Why? Because those teams are irrelevant. No one outside of their respective home cities is interested in watching them play.

And now, it’s clear that the Mets have joined that elite club.

Of course, the Mets have been irrelevant for some time now — being shunned by ESPN’s programming schedule merely makes it official. But when, exactly, did the Mets become irrelevant? When did the snowball of irrelevancy begin rolling down the mountain? Was it when Carlos Beltran‘s knee buckled in October 2006? When Tom Glavine wasn’t devastated a year later? When J.J. Putz blew out his elbow in 2009? When Jose Reyes blew out his hamstring around the same time? Perhaps some time before, or at some point after, those events?

This much we know: the Mets became relevant when they signed Pedro Martinez on December 17, 2004; we know this because everyone said so. At some point between then and today, the Mets became irrelevant. When? Can you pinpoint the date?

Answer in the comments.


Arbitration Recap

The Mets avoided arbitration with all four of their arbitration-eligible players today, signing each to a 1-year contract.

  • RHP Manny Acosta signed for $875,000.  He figures to be in the Mets bullpen when Opening Day comes around.
  • RHP Mike Pelfrey signed for $5.675MM, roughly the amount most experts expected he would win in arbitration.  For better or worse, Pelfrey will be in the starting rotation because he can rack up innings.
  • RHP Ramon Ramirez signed a 2.65MM deal.  The key piece of the Angel Pagan trade will be the Mets’ seventh or eighth inning arm.
  • OF Andres Torres, the other part of the Pagan deal, agrees to a $2.7MM contract.  Will he be 2010 Torres or 2011 Torres?  Either way, to paraphrase Casey Stengel, you need a center fielder, because without one, there would be a lot of inside-the-park home runs.

The Mets haven’t gone to arbitration with any player since Oliver Perez (*shudder*) was awarded $6.5MM in 2008.  Before then, they hadn’t gone to arbitration since 1992, when David Cone was awarded $4.25MM.  He was traded that season to the Blue Jays for Jeff Kent and Ryan Thompson.