Jan 19

Mets Arbitration Recap

The Mets avoided hearings with four players eligible for salary arbitration after reaching one-year agreements with starter Mike Pelfrey, relievers Ramon Ramirez and Manny Acosta, and center fielder Andres Torres, the team announced Tuesday. Here are the final numbers.

  • RP Manny Acosta signed for $875,000. His 2011 salary was $450,000.
  • RP Ramon Ramirez signed $2.65 million. His 2011 salary was $1.65 million.
  • CF Andres Torres signed for $2.7 million. His 2011 salary was $2.2 million.
  • SP Mike Pelfrey signed for $5.675 million. His 2011 salary was $3.925 million.

Additionally, Adam Rubin calculates that with these moves the Mets payroll will be nearly $91 million for 2012.

Jan 18

What can $90 million get you?

First of all, I’d like to apologize for my spotty attendance lately. I’ve had several personal issues I’ve needed to attend to, and lately my health hasn’t been good. I was in the hospital yesterday and just haven’t felt up to it.

I have tried to maintain a consistent presence over the years, but have not been good so far in 2012. I apologize to you and promise to do better. I also appreciate your continued support.

Thank you.

This past few days have given me time to think, and, or course, attention drifts to the upcoming baseball season. Usually, this time of year has the optimism of spring training. With the Yankees making moves to improve their pitching, the Mets have done little.

The Mets’ projected payroll for 2012 is $90 million, which is a long separation to that of the Yankees, Phillies and most any other team expected to contend for the playoffs.

There have been examples of teams with small payrolls contending and even reaching the playoffs as Tampa Bay, Milwaukee and Minnesota proving over the years.

Winning can be done with limited financial resources, but a common denominator has been building with homegrown talent, having it develop and locking in the key pieces. Evan Longoria, Ryan Braun and Joe Mauer are prime examples. At one time, that’s what I thought the Mets were doing with David Wright and Jose Reyes.

Wright is entering the prime years of his career, but he is doing so with a string of nagging injuries the past few seasons and a lack of complementary support. The Mets aren’t in a hurry to trade him, but the fact they are contemplating it is all the proof you need to know where this franchise is headed.

Teams can compete – to a point – with a $90 million payroll, but doing so requires a strong foundation, and that’s also lacking. Ike Davis, Jon Niese, Ruben Tejada, Josh Thole, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy are young pieces, but I would be hesitant to label them a core for the future. We’ve only seen a smattering of promise from them, but also flaws and in some cases an injury history.

None possess the potential Wright and Reyes had when the Mets signed them to long-term contracts early in their career when the winning window was wide open.

Yes, 2006 seems like a long time ago.

If Niese and Davis, Duda and Tejada can play well, others stay healthy, and veterans such as Wright, Jason Bay and Mike Pelfrey play to their potential, the Mets could make some noise.

But, that’s a lot of things that have to break right for a franchise that’s been on a negative slide, and not going away is the potential $400 million hit from the Ponzi scandal.

I can’t say things won’t break for the Mets, but it is January, time for positive hoping if you’re a baseball fan.

Jan 16

Is Wilmer Flores Being Phased Out At Shortstop?

Anthony DiComo of Mets.com, posted a cool article on the future of shortstop for the Mets and dishes out some interesting info on Ruben Tejada as well as prospect Wilmer Flores whose shift from shortstop has already begun.

Two or three years ago, there was a notion around baseball that, perhaps, Wilmer Flores, a middle infielder by nature, would be ready to crack the big leagues by 2012. That hope dissolved when Flores, still just 20 years old, began developing slower than expected.

Recently (and hardly unexpectedly), the concept that Flores might ever be the long-term solution at shortstop has disappeared, as well.

To that end, the Mets allowed Flores to play almost exclusively at third base during Winter Ball in Venezuela, where he batted .301 with a .382 on-base percentage. It was the first tangible positive in some time for Flores, who posted on-base marks of .309 and .324 during extended runs at Class A St. Lucie in 2010 and 2011.

Now, Flores finds himself at something of a career crossroads. Either the Mets send him back to St. Lucie, where he will no longer be notably young for the level, or they promote him to Double-A Binghamton on the basis of nothing more than projection.

For years now, scouts have insisted that Flores possesses all the proper tools to become an offensive star. The statistics, they have said, will come in time. Whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen. But Flores has already proven one thing: that shortstop is not likely his long-term position.

Flores will have to have a very strong showing in 2012 to keep his status as a top prospect.

The Mets can ill-afford another slide like F-Mart went through, going from the organization’s top hitting prospect to being placed on irrevocable waivers last week.

Flores has already slipped from #1 prospect to somewhere between #5-10 depending on who you ask.

Hojo’s Mojo – MetsMerizedOnline.com

This is Joe D. from Mets Merized Online, and I just wanted to let the fine readers of this site know that from time to time I will be posting some of our content here on NY Mets Report as me and John continue to work together on some projects. Lets Go Mets!

Jan 13

Santana talking 2012 … we’ve heard this before.

Johan Santana said he’s hopeful about returning by Opening Day, which, if it happens, would be welcome news for this free-falling franchise. Who is holding their breath on this one?

When it comes to injuries for this team, whether it comes from player or management, it is best to disregard any statement from Flushing. When it comes to Santana, return and throwing dates have already been pushed back several times.

Santana’s shoulder injury was extremely serious, with long odds against a healthy return. I’d love to see Santana pitch like an ace again, but have resigned myself to doing so by watching classic video.

When it comes to Santana’s return, I’ll believe it when I see it.

 

Jan 11

F-Mart decision puzzling.

The Mets could be hours away of losing Fernando Martinez on waivers, the decision made to place Scott Hairston on the 40-man roster. After all this time of choosing not to deal Martinez under the guise of protecting their youth, the Mets are poised to lose him so they could keep a journeyman outfielder.

The Mets opted not to rush Martinez to the majors because they wanted him to learn and get at-bats in the minors, which made sense according to conventional thinking.

Of course, the Mets are anything but conventional.

Martinez has not proven he could stay healthy, but if the option was losing him over keeping Hairston, I would have kept him this spring as a fourth outfielder to see if there was any chance of him developing.

After all, he is only 23, and history has seen plenty of late bloomers.

As it is, Martinez is sure to get claimed. As for Hairston, who wouldn’t be surprised to see him dealt to a contender at the trade deadline. And, if not, for sure we won’t see him next season.

This just makes no sense.