Dec 01

Mets bring back Cora ….

Sorry for the late post on this. The Mets will bring back Alex Cora to a one-year, $2 million contract for the 2010 season with a vested club option for 2011.

Which means if he plays as much as he did last year, a contract would kick in for the 2011 season. Because of the Jose Reyes injury, Cora played far more than the Mets anticipated when they signed him. He’s a great clubhouse presence by all accounts, a professional Reyes and others can learn from.

They can learn from him because he’s 34 years old.

I like, and I don’t like, this move. The Mets would have had to get a utility infielder anyway, so they might as well bring back somebody who has been productive for them. That’s the plus side.

On the down side, what really would have been the demand for Cora next winter? Had he not been given the option, I’m sure the Mets could have brought him back for 2011. It’s basically a two-year deal, something that didn’t work out with Moises Alou and Orlando Hernandez.

In a prepared statement, Cora said: “I am excited about coming back. We have a lot to prove as a team after what happened last year. As for me personally, there is unfinished business. I was hurt a great deal of the time and I really wasn’t able to perform like I know I can. I’m healthy now and I can’t wait to get to spring training. We all have something to prove.”

ON DECK: Mets offseason acquisitions.

Dec 01

Delgado decision today …. what should they do?

DELGADO: Won't likely offer arbitration.

DELGADO: Won't likely offer arbitration.

Today is the deadline for teams to offer salary arbitration to their own free agents. Doing so enables them to receive draft pick compensation if the players signs with another team. OK, that’s the good news.

The bad news is the player might accept, and in the case of Carlos Delgado, he might accept and the Mets could be on the hook for up to $12 million, which is what he made last year. If I’m Delgado, I accept in a heartbeat because right now, with his injury history and age they won’t be lining up for him.

Another player is Fernando Tatis, who had some good moments with the Mets, but not enough to where he is a “must sign.”

If the Mets don’t offer arbitration and they become free agents, the team can try to re-sign them for a lower cost. Good luck in that. If Delgado proves he’s healthy playing in the Puerto Rican winter league, he’ll get a decent contract.

Should the Mets offer arbitration and risk taking back an aged player with an injury history or should they move on?

ON DECK: Mets bring back Alex Cora later this morning.

Nov 06

Mets free agent filings ….

From the MLBPA: Mets’ infielders Alex Cora and Ramon Martinez filed for free agency.

Cora played in 82 games, mostly in place of the injured Jose Reyes. He .251 with one home run and 18 RBI, but tore a ligament in his thumb and missed the rest of the season.

Martinez replaced Cora, but injured his thumb in June and missed the rest of the season.

Oct 13

Looking ahead to 2010 ….

Just a blog note: This is the 800th post since I started this blog. Thanks to you for reading and your responses. You don’t always agree with me, and in fact, a lot of you don’t, but I always appreciate the give-and-take.

This blog carried me in a lot of ways as I job search and I’m always grateful for the input of my readers. For as long as I am in the area and have access to the Mets, I will continue the blog. Thanks.

Brand New World Awaits.

Brand New World Awaits.


That being said, let’s take a quick look at 2010. In projecting the Mets’ line-up, unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be much difference from the group that played so well this summer.

The Mets have promised trades and free-agent signings that could make it all better, but if history is an indication, there will be more smoke than fire.

Here’s what I see:

CATCHER: Brian Schneider is gone. They would like to add a veteran presence, preferably one with some offensive capabilities. That unknown would platoon with Omir Santos, who played well then faded down the stretch after Josh Thole was added. I’m projecting Thole to start the season in the minor leagues, but he’ll play during the year. There’s a lot of promise there, but he’s learning the position and now to hit on this level.

MURPHY: Showed enough to get chance at first.

MURPHY: Showed enough to get chance at first.


FIRST BASE: The Mets haven’t said they won’t re-sign Carlos Delgado, but those odds are long, especially since he never came back from the disabled list and was reinjured during his rehab. Daniel Murphy, who was force-fed the position, showed improvement over the past two months where they should be comfortable with him in the position until Ike Davis is ready – assuming, of course, Davis does get ready. Adam LaRoche and Aubrey Huff are available on the free-agent market, but neither will lift the franchise to the next level. LaRoche likely will stay with Atlanta.

SECOND BASE: Who would have thought Luis Castillo would hit .302 this year. The Mets believe they might find a taker, but they are dreaming. There are still two years and $12 million on his contract, and just because he stayed healthy for one season doesn’t mean he will in the future. Castillo’s offense was surprising, but his defense regressed. If the Mets can deal him they should, but that’s so unlikely.

THIRD BASE: David Wright has three years and $39 million remaining on his contract. He’s the face of the franchise and here for the duration. There were noticeable flaws in Wright’s game this season, notably dramatic drop in home runs and alarming spike in strikeouts despite hitting over .300. Wright will work with hitting coach Howard Johnson in an attempt to regain his power stroke. And, the power drop wasn’t just Citi Field because he didn’t go deep on the road, either. This is a big offseason concern, and the hope of Wright hitting for more power will shape the Mets’ offseason thinking.

WRIGHT: Needs to regain power stroke.

WRIGHT: Needs to regain power stroke.


SHORTSTOP: A hamstring injury that will require surgery limited Jose Reyes to 36 games in 2009. They expect him back, but nobody is making any promises as to what they believe they’ll get. No doubt, a quality back up should be added, and that means Alex Cora. For the Mets not to have a healthy Reyes, or an ineffective one in 2010, wouldn’t be a reach.

LEFT FIELD: The free agents are enticing. Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, Bobby Abreu, and yes, even Manny Ramirez. A quick rundown: Bay will stay in Boston; Abreu likes the Angels; Holliday’s price tag will scare the Mets; and everything about Ramirez should frighten the Mets. There might be a middle-of-the-board option, but isn’t that the same thing as saying Angel Pagan? I’d like Holliday, but my gut tells me the Mets won’t spend.

CENTER FIELD: There are two years and $37 million left on Carlos Beltran’s contract, one with a no-trade clause. Beltran wants an extension, but his injury history should give the Mets pause on that option. A healthy Beltran should help fill the power void.

RIGHT FIELD: Jeff Francoeur will be a free agent in two years, and if the Mets are smart, they’ll lock him up before then. He played with a grit the team has long been accused of lacking.

STARTING ROTATION: If the Mets changed nothing, and that wouldn’t be a shock, they’ll have this rotation: Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, John Maine and either Jon Niese or Bobby Parnell. All of them have issues. Santana, Perez, Maine and Niese have injury issues; Pelfrey took a step back and Parnell’s confidence could be shot. The free-agent market isn’t deep, with the Angels’ John Lackey the premier choice, but he’ll be pricey and has an injury background.

BULLPEN: Closer Francisco Rodriguez had breakdown signs this year with most every save opportunity an adventure. Nothing was ever easy for him. J.J. Putz can forget about having his $8.6 million option picked up. Parnell could get the set-up role, and if he does he should be left alone. Count on lefty Pedro Feliciano returning. After that, it’s back to square one in rebuilding the pen.

Sep 30

Reyes news gets worse ….

The diagnosis on Jose Reyes is a torn right hamstring, which happened when he was running the bases earlier this week. I wrote several times letting Reyes run would only make matters worse. I’m not the only one with that opinion.

Surgery seems inevitable, even though the team made no such announcement. How can it not be? Every time Reyes tested his hamstring he had a setback, which means there was a slight tear that gradually got worse until it was a full blown rip job from the bone.

REYES: Has complete hammy tear.

REYES: Has complete hammy tear.


By not completely shutting him down, and not having surgery earlier, Reyes and the Mets wasted at least two months of what could have been valuable recovering time. There’s no telling when he’ll have surgery now and now long it will take to recover, so there’s no guarantee he’ll be ready for spring training.

The Mets could now be faced with the prospect of needing a shortstop for next season. Alex Cora should be re-signed, but he’s not enough. The team with countless holes likely has another.