Dec. 22.09: Does Vazquez deal hurt Mets chances at Bay?

The Javier Vazquez deal both helps and hurts the Mets.

It helps in that the Braves are worse today than they last night. Vazquez is worth more to them than Melky Cabrera. This was a cost cutting move on their part. However, before judging this completely, realize the possibility the Braves might do something else with their savings. For one thing, Adam La Roche is still out there.

It hurts, because the Yankees now have a hole in left field that can be filled by Jason Bay or Johnny Damon. It would not surprise me in the least if the Yankees made a run at Bay, even if it means having their payroll swell over $200 million.

52 thoughts on “Dec. 22.09: Does Vazquez deal hurt Mets chances at Bay?

  1. Or Halliday.

    Yes. it hurts their chances because there is now a big spender that seems to have a need.

    Yes it hurts because the braves now have another bat although their rotation is weaker.

  2. Dave: FWIW, the Yanks are rumored to be targeting DeRosa for Left Field, not Bay or Holliday. As far as their rotation goes, the Braves took a HUGE hit IMO, especially if Hudson doesn’t come back healthy.

  3. #1

    As with any sports team, you hammer the thing until they stop!

    In this case, until there is some other news item or the guy goes someplace.

    We can always resurect the Lastings discussion. That is always good for a laugh.

  4. (5) Dave: Nah, i’m not THAT down on 2010 yet. LOL. People seem to forget that this team does have 3 potential MVP candidates and one potential Cy Young candidate on their roster.

  5. Steve(6)


    If Reyes comes back healthy
    If Beltran comes back healthy
    If Wright doesn’t turn into Castillo at the plate.
    If Franceour plays like he did while with the mets rather than the previous 2 years with our competitor to the south
    If Johan recovers from his surgery.
    If Maine is healthy
    If Perez is over whatever it is that bothers him.
    If Pelfrey learns to trust his stuff.
    If Murphy continues to improve
    If we get a decent catcher.
    If Rodriguez pitches to form.
    If we can get a pen that works

  6. The Mets have a problem that’s bigger than just one free agent. The problem is reputation. This stems back 5 years or so.

    If you think of it like going for a job. You need experience, if you don’t have it, you don’t get the job. But how do you get experience, with a job.

    Extrapolate that to the Mets. How do you attract the cream crop free agents without WAY overpaying them, if at all? By winning. But you can’t win without a balanced slate of free agents and home growns.

    It’s a conundrum I don’t think is going to be fixed with the current baseball operations people. If you look at it simplistic like this, it makes sense. Most free agents are using the Mets as a bargaining chip.

    The fact that there doesn’t appear to be any other serious bidders for both Bay and Molina, yet they remain unsigned, is a telling tale in itself.

  7. 6. But people do know how much weaker this team is than the one team that won a division under Minaya. No bat to replace the bat that Delgado had, no bat to replace the miraculous year that Valentin gave at 2B, no catcher to hit 300 like LoDuca did, no bullpen to match any part of the ’06 bullpen, Even the overpaid and overhyped KROD is not as good as the flawed and overrated Wagner was, and the rotation…. It has a young ace and then it has nothing so one area is improved as the rest deterioated.

  8. 11. To get the Pitt pitchers you need guys who have no or little major league experience that are “ready” to play in the big leagues and whom the Pirates can advertise as being part of the team that wil someday end their now 17 season losing streak.

  9. to answer the original question, Yes. It will slow things down for sure. Now despite their denials, I can see the yankees swooping in on Bay. He can give them some balance in thier lefty heavy lineup and they get a chance to stick it to the mets at the same time.

  10. 14 A cruel, cruel summer. But never fear the mets are close to a deal with 35 year old RP RA Dickey.

  11. Sam (8): With what you’re describing being true in large part, we’re not seeing improvement any time soon. The window to win might have slammed shut after 2006, but so might have the FA window. I don’t think players will sign here just because Citi Field is a nice place.-JD

  12. 15. Thanks for the good news Sadecki. I’ve loved knuckle ball pitchers since the days when Mickey Mantle couldn’t hit Hoyt Wilhelm!

  13. John(14)

    I am hoping that the team does not play as badly as this past year, but so far we have not improved ourselves and it seems to me that we will follow the same script as the past 4.

    That means whatever we do will be done to feed the faithful to think that something meaningful has been done to win when in fact nothing really has changed.

  14. Never mind Jason Bay.
    The Mets today have virtually guaranteed a World Series appearance in 2010 with the imminent signing of 35-year-old free agent relief pitcher R.A. Dickey — he of the 4.62 ERA last year with the Twins and of a previously nondescript tenure with the Mariners.
    General Manager Omar Minaya has done a stellar job this off-season of cornering the market on mediocrity.
    The signings of Henry Blanco, Chris Coste, Elmer Dessens and Alex Cora will eventually be hailed as the difference-making moves that brought the Mets back to respectability.

  15. (21) To be fair to Omar, his current roster includes three potential MVP candidates, as well as one guy who could easily win a Cy Young. While he needs to add some things, it’s not clear that he needs another MVP-type at this time. Rather, health might be a more important issue than talent for this team.

    (8) As far as the Mets’ reputation, they did themselves no favors by running already-injured players out there with gauze bandages and cortisone shots. If the Met players believe they were forced to play through injuries that would have landed them on the DL in other organizations, you can be assured that would-be free agents are aware of this perception. More short-term thinking from the Wilpons.

    Jason Marquis: Why pay $7.5 million for a league-average pitcher?

    Jason Bay: While I can’t speak to his defense, he is one of the better offensive players in the game, putting up stats in the neighborhood of David Wright back when he was still hitting home runs regularly. I think the Mets need to sign either Bay or Delgado — you can decide which one you prefer. I think Bay is a surer bet and his acquisition would allow the Mets to consider using F-Mart to acquire a pitcher. I don’t know that I’m in favor of trading a 21-yr-old with F-Mart’s potential, but I think Bay and, say, Jonathan Sanchez would be nice pieces to add to this team for 2010 and beyond.

    Finally, re Omar and Manuel and the criticism regarding the lack of a long-term plan: This problem is hardly exclusive to them; rather, it’s been emblematic of the Mets since the day Nelson Doubleday basically checked out and left the day-to-day operations to the Wilpons. When’s the last time the Mets went outside the organization for a GM? Answer: 1980, when they brought in Frank Cashen. When’s the last time the Mets brought in a top-flight, respected manager with credentials to match? I want to answer Davey Johnson, but even he was an untested rookie in 1984; I’m guessing George Bamberger. That should tell you that the current problems are not reflective of Omar and Jerry, per se, but of a larger issue with the organization on the whole.

  16. A rare appearance by tiffany. Good points. Omar is only the latest flunky brought in by the wilpons. He is way over his head. Only a boycott like the late seventies early eighties will rid us of the wilpons and thier minions.

  17. tiffany

    welcome back

    while we do not necessarily have to go for the best guys out there, we do need to improve the team.

    We have had the same core MVP types for 2 years now and as you know we have finished at the top of our class.

    That is why paying 7.5 mil for a league avg pitcher is not a bad deal. how many league avg or better pitchers do we have in our 5 man rotation?

    I want bay too, but not for more than 16 per for 4. no one we know of is in the running. should we bid more?

    i am about ready to give up on fmart for 2 reasons. 1 – he is always hurt 2 – he may not be as good as advertised. issue #1 is more important. he seems to have talent that can help us, but if he is never on the field who cares?

  18. i for one am not completely sold on Jason Bay, the problem is this yrs free agent class is not all that top class. if there was more patience than waiting til next yr to make a splash would be the smart move but as we all knowp patience and mets fans (especially after the last 3 yrs) is not synonymous. we desperately do need a rbi bat so ill wait and hope omar finds a miracle trade

    the restaurant is finally giving a bit of a blow and i cant wait to be more of a regular and talk mets with all of you

    go metropolitans

  19. Jd/everyone else- who do you think the mets SHOULD sign/ investigate trading for

    and who do you think they WILL sign/trade for

  20. (26) Jonathan Sanchez, LHP, San Francisco Giants. He is on the cusp of establishing himself as a front-end starter, but is thought to be expendable in a rotation fronted by Linceum and Cain and featuring Zito. The word is that the Giants are willing to move Sanchez in exchange for a bat; you have to wonder whether the Mets, if they could sign Bay, would be willing to move F-Mart in such a deal.

    But since we’re focusing on league-average pitchers for our rotation, how about Zito? He pitched very well over the second half of 2009, and you have to think the Giants would be willing to pick up most of the freight on his existing contract. How much, in terms of annual salary, would you willing to spend on Zito?

  21. Zito is entering the fourth season of a seven-year deal that averages $18 million a season. He also has a full no-trade clause. At the time I wrote the Mets should not pursue Zito because I had questions about his durability. He obviously proved that wrong.-JD

  22. john(31)

    obviously 18 million for four years is not the price i would pay for a pitcher of his quality. they would have to pay a chunk of change for me to want him.

    he is useful and the mets would be better with him, not at those prices tho..

  23. To all those who think the Mets are too damn good to have a bum like Jason Marquis on their team.
    1. Poor loser Jason won only 15 games in the major leagues last year which of courss doesn’t come close to the victory number of any of the Met starters does it?
    2. Only 10 pitchers in the major leagues have double digit wins every year since 2004. That loser Jason Marquis was one of them. I wonder how many pitchers on the Met roster are on that list?
    3. Only one pitcher in the entire National League consisting of 16 teams has won din double digits every year since 2004. i wonder if that loser is on the Mets? Nah, its Jason Marquis.
    4. There is only one player in all of major league baseball whose team has been to the playoffs each of the last 10 years… I wonder who that total loser is. We wouldn’t want a guy who helps his team get to the playoffs. We’d rather compalin how he isn’t the guy who’s going to the HoF or isn’t winning the Cy Young. Afterall getting to the playoffs is not important anymore to the Mets or to their fans. We want perfect players.
    5. Unlike Pelfrey,Maine, Perez, Redding, Figueroa, Nieve, Niese, and a whole bunch of bums who probably satarted games for the Mets in 09 Jason Marquis spent the All Star break at of all places the All Star game, as a representative of a big league team. Yes, he is unworthy to play for the NYMetsies.
    We don’t need to make any moves; afterall this team was good enough to not make the playoffs the last 3 years but had so many excuses they have to make the playoffs even tho the team isn’t nearly as good as the last Met team to make the playoffs were. And of course the team that stole the last 3 pennants from the NYMetsies haven’t made a move to improve, have they?

  24. (38) JD: If the Mets passed on Steve Trachsel would you have thought it was a bad play by them too? Geez. Marquis is and has always been a mediocre pitcher. The world is full of them. Could the Mets have used an innings eater? Yes. I would prefer that the innings eater though was a good pitcher and not one with a 4.48 career ERA and who was so stellar last year that his team didn’t even give him a start in the playoffs. So while Harry waxes poetic on the virtues of a guy who by luck has been on good teams and has made the playoffs, and has a great year under his belt of a 6.02 ERA, and doesn’t realize that wins alot of times are due to run support (See Steve Trachsel (15 and 8 with a 4.97 ERA in 2006,) forgive me for not drinking the Marquis kool aid.

  25. Steve O

    While I agree that Marquis is not the player I would choose in picking players to stock my rotation, of the players available given constraints of money and other resources, he seems to be someone that a) would improve the team and b) is affordable.

    Considering what else is out there and that our choices are shrinking, I wish that we made a play for him.


  26. Steve(41)

    We might be. We as fans need to wait till everything is done.

    I am afraid that we will return the same team we have had for 2 years now in the Spring of 2010.

    As Harry I think mentioned this week, we need to take baby steps. Incrementally improve the team. Marquis could have been part of that process.

    Yes, we may not cry about missing out on him, but we may also be screaming that we could have had him but decided to pass on all the mediocrity and are poorer for it.


  27. Steve O. you don’t want anybody. You are living this fantasy that John Maine’s one miraculous month is coming back for years on end and that OP will be Sandy Koufax. You have no alternatives but every guy who signs elsewhere isn’t good enough to be a Met. If that was the case where are the flags??? They are in Phi;ladelphia. The difference between the Rockies and the Mets was that Marquis was a 4/5 guy on the Rocks and it makes you sick to realize he’d be a 2/3 on the Mets. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t improve the Mets. What you and all the dremaers leave out is a simple little fact that the Rockies went with a 3 man rotation due to all the days off. so Marquis is their 4th. Wow! Good reason to pound on him. If we only had the chance to pitch three guys in the first round of the playoffs. Do you have a 4th starter who won 15 games last year? No you don’t. Do you have any starter who pitched 200 innings? You don’t need one because this Met pen is awesome with stars like Green and Parnell and Dessens. We don’t need help anywhere.
    Happy holidays and enjoy the 4th Phillie flag in a row. Maybe we’ll be lucky and they won’t win as many in a row as the Braves won.

  28. I’m not arguing that the Mets rotation is so good that they don’t need to add an additional arm or two; rather, I’m questioning whether Marquis would have been a worthwhile investment. I tend to agree with Steve O. that Marquis has benefited from run support and the good fortune of playing for good teams (teams which, by the way, have left him off their post-season rosters). He had something of a career year in 2009, but I’m not so sure he’s not the Forrest Gump of the National League.

    My greater point, though, is that it would appear that other pitchers are available. On the free-agent market, there’s Piniero, Washburn, Pedro, Davis, Myers, Garland, Wang, Sheets; on the trade front, guys like Arroyo, Harang, Duke, Maholm, Correia and Sanchez are reportedly available.

    I’d much rather see Omar turn Castillo into Arroyo, and then sign Orlando Hudson; I think the Mets would be a stronger team with Arroyo and Hudson than with Marquis and Castillo.

  29. 44. Why would the reds take that deal? they already have a great second baseman in Phillips. Most of those pitchers you named are serious health risks and the mets have enough of them already. It too bad the Mets dont have any major league ready talent in the minors to trade. Then maybe they could package Looie with them and get back phillips too.

  30. 44. You have ideas which is more than most Met fans have. If Minaya would turn Castillo into Arroyo then I’d take back everything I’ve written about him. Several days ago I wrote Arroyo was in a different class than the other pitchers on the market or being bandied in rumors.
    As for you other choices Piniero, Washburn, Garland Davis are the same as Marquis. A tad better, a tad worse, all would improve this staff. But I’m sure most Met fans will think they too are beneath the quality level of our awesome staff. Pedro I don’t know; I don’t know if he can pitch 6 months. Wang and Sheets have had more health problems than all of our DL dudes put together. If we had a flood of guys aboput ready to see the bigs, I’d say fine for one, but we don’t so I say no. Harang? He is the same as Marquis and company and you’d have to pay more and give up something. He you could turn into Castillo maybe but why bother?

    You all enjoy Christmas and I’m sure Omar and Jeffy will have a nice surprise under your tree for you. What was the name of that knuckle baller Sadecki?

  31. 46. Chiti, I forgot already. Oh, lets just call him lumpy for lump of coal. Metty Christmas all.

  32. im not a big fan of marquis, an innings eater at best in my mind…i would be very interested in signing wang (i know he wont be ready for april) and pineiro at the right price (i think his price will be too high)…with next yr’s free agent class so much better id only add a few small piecs like De Rosa (platoon at 1st and LF…he has an offer for 2 yrs 12, so if mets offered him 2 for 14.5?) hudson is a bit overrated by met fans but id like him on the team…ditch castillo and cash for a midlevel prospect or two

  33. (43) Harry: You are right. I DON’T want anyone from this free agent class though i’ll be fine if they sign Bay. I think i’ve made myself clear that I feel that 2011 is the year to shoot for when hopefully Ike Davis and Reese Havens are ready to contribute and the free agent class is much better than this year. I would bet the Mets think that way too, whoever the figurehead GM will be. From Metsblog:

    Victor Martinez, Derrek Lee, Derek Jeter, Carlos Pena, Adam Dunn, Carl Crawford, Manny Ramirez, Jayson Werth, Josh Beckett, Cliff Lee, Ted Lilly, J.J. Hardy, Jorge Cantu, A.J. Pierzynski, Mariano Rivera, Javier Vazquez, Huston Street and Brandon Webb, among others, will all be able to file for free agency following next season; meanwhile, Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, Lance Berkman, Jose Reyes, Brad Hawpe, Bronson Arroyo, Aramis Ramirez and Jimmy Rollins could all also be free agents, if their teams either do not sign them to an extension or pick up their option for the following season.

    Don’t you think the Mets IF IF IF money is truly an object to them, should wait until the end of next year before they spend? Well I do.

    Now…Have a happy holidays to you and your family.

  34. 49.
    All I can say to your strategy which of course will fail because a team that doesn’t fill its holes will only have more in a year, is that even if every one of these guys become free agents, only one or two at most would be signed here and 10 other holes would remain empty. Sleeping is the worst posssible strategy for a professional club. I hope you enjoy your team with Anderson Hernandez and Stokes, and Dessens and Figueroa and I hope you buy tickets to lots of games because you’ll have a cozy park.
    I boiul your plan down to “The sun will come up tomorrow….”
    Now you go have a happy holiday also and look for that knuckle ball pitcher under your tree. Minaya’s best move of the Winter.

  35. Steve(49)

    I agree with Harry. You list a lot of wonderful talent not all of which will be available.

    Next year, hopefully the economy will be better so prices will be higher.

    As we all know this team has many holes to fill. It is best to start filling those holes now.

    Also don’t you think FA’s will think better of us if we are not a 70 win team?


  36. Are we all missing the subtext of Jeffie’s comments during his post-season dog-and-pony show on WFAN with Omar? 2009, warts and all, was a _profitable_ year. To my ears, Jeffie seemed much more interested in making the ballpark a more dynamic experience (with things like the soon-to-be unveiled Hall of Fame) than he was in improving the day-to-day management of his organization or even addressing the failures of his medical staff. Jeffie isn’t in this to win; he’s in it to make money. Once you digest that premise, everything else that happens (or, as has been the case this off-season, doesn’t happen) then follows logically.