Mets Free Agent Targets: 09 Mets

ny_mets_logoEight 2009 Mets filed for free agency: Alex Cora, Carlos Delgado, Elmer Dessens, Ramon Martinez, J.J. Putz, Brian Schneider, Gary Sheffield, and Fernando Tatis. Let’s go through them briefly, one by one.

Alex Cora

Pros: good guy in the clubhouse, versatile.
Cons: aging, fragile, not as good in the field as he used to be, never was much with the bat, expensive for a utilityman.
Decision: At $2M or more, he’s not worth it. In fact, he’s not worth it on any contract that’s guaranteed. A wonderful guy, hard-nosed ballplayer, but doesn’t make sense for the Mets at this time. Let him move on and/or begin his managerial career.

Carlos Delgado

Pros: ideal cleanup hitter, can carry a team when hot
Cons: health, age, decaying skills
Decision: he may have a few more good years left, but it’s time to let this ship sail on. Even if he returns to his slugging form, the Mets need a change in their personality.

Elmer Dessens

Pros: pitches well in short spurts when underexposed
Cons: ordinary stuff, aging, mediocre over the long term
Decision: he cannot get a guaranteed MLB contract for 2010. AAA filler at best.

Ramon Martinez

Pros: can roll out of bed and join a AAA club after 3 months of inactivity
Cons: age, fragility,lack of offensive skills, fading defensive skills
Decision: is there really any reason to bring him back?

J.J. Putz

Pros: lights-out stuff
Cons: chronic elbow problems, expensive, unhappy as setup man
Decision: if the Mets can get him on a cheap, incentive-laden deal, then do it. Chances are he’ll prefer a less-stressful place where he has a chance to close (Atlanta?)

Brian Schneider

Pros: handling pitchers, defense
Cons: fragile, aging, subpar offense
Decision: not enough offense for the Mets, and the fans want to see a change behind the plate. Sorry Brian – though I believe he’ll do well in the right situation in 2010.

Gary Sheffield

Pros: can still hit, power threat / presence, good RBI man
Cons: health, negative public perception
Decision: the Mets already decided Sheff is not in the plans.

Fernando Tatis

Pros: versatile, hustler, can go on hot streaks
Cons: mediocre glove at most positions, aging, can go on cold streaks
Decision: undecided. You have to like his team-first attitude, ability to play almost anywhere, and occasional pop. But does he hit enough to justify having him instead of other options?

Post your comments on these players below. We will be evaluating the other free agents on the open market in future posts.

In the meantime you can vote for your favorites

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. Walnutz15 November 30, 2009 at 3:10 pm
    As the whispers of a Cora 1-year extension for $2MM — plus a vesting 2011 option — start to trickle in.

    Attaboy, Omar. Keep putting together the overpaid scrap-heap dynasty…..


  2. sincekindergarten November 30, 2009 at 8:33 pm
    Walnutz, it’s fact now.
  3. Harry Chiti November 30, 2009 at 9:27 pm
    Agree about Cora. The need to rush was because???? Until a GM sees who’s being non-tendered there’s absolutely no reason to sign any bench players.
  4. mic December 1, 2009 at 12:00 am
    Alex Cora will hardly break the Mets back on the field or in the clubhouse. Meanwhile the Mets are dominating MLBrumors today 🙂

    – They have signed Chris Coste. No he is not Russel martin, but he is a scrappy player and decent catcher.

    – Wayne Krivsky has been added. I thought this was a done deal a year ago. but I like the hire. Brandon Phillips?

    – Terry collins was hired to take Tony Bernazzards job.

  5. isuzudude December 1, 2009 at 9:21 am
    mic: Cora may not break the Mets’ back, but his egregiously over-valued re-signing is a clear indication that the Mets still don’t understand proper market value and are still willing to overpay for players who will be playing very minor roles. So don’t expect the Mets to buck their trend of handing out bad contracts to old, talent-lacking veterans.

    Aside from the $2M salary, the contract is made even worse because a $2M option for 2011 automatically kicks in if Cora starts 80 games in 2010. So, if Reyes or Castillo go down longterm next season, and Cora is forced into duty, regardless of how horrible Cora may hit or field, he’ll be guarenteed another inflated salary in 2011 because he fell ass backwards into a starting job in 2010. Bad, bad, bad, and just more indications that the Mets still have not learned their lessons from the previous 3 years.

    Chris Coste is a decent pickup only if he was given a minor league deal. I like that he can handle 1B and can hit right handed, but he’s another veteran on the downslope of his career and is a liability defensively behind the plate. If he’s Santos’ backup heading into April, then it’s another step in the wrong direction.

  6. Walnutz15 December 1, 2009 at 9:35 am
    Cardinals signed infielder Ruben Gotay to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.

    Gotay, 26, batted .272/.429/.450 for the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A club last season. He can play most infield positions, but has spent the majority of his career at second base.

    (Rotoworld — since I always have problems with links in my posts, sorry.)