Blog Entry

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

Posted on: October 5, 2011 12:38 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 12:48 pm
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MetsBy Evan Brunell

Another season gone, another disappointment for 29 teams as one is immortalized forever. Let’s take a look back at 2011 and forward in Eye on Baseball’s R.I.P. series...

Team name: New York Mets
Record: 77-85, 4th place, 25 GB
Manager: Terry Collins
Best hitter: Jose Reyes -- .337/.384/.493, 101 R, 39 SB
Best pitcher: R.A. Dickey -- 8-13, 208 2/3 IP, 3.28 ERA, 134 K, 54 BB

2011 SEASON RECAP

Coming into the season, no one expected the Mets to contend and the team did fans a favor by starting out 11-16 and setting expectations. The club rebounded to post three straight winning months largely on the strength of Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Dickey. There was some noise in the summer months about how New York could potentially finish .500, which would have been a resounding success, but once Beltran was traded and Reyes battled hamstring problems, New York quickly fell out of the race, with a season-worst 10-16 August and by then, it was just playing the string out.

2012 AUDIT

The Mets are still a couple of years away from contending, and 2012 will be much like 2011 in that GM Sandy Alderson needs to get the team in order moving forward to win. That means wiggling out of poor contracts (looking at you, Jason Bay) or finding players who can fit in New York. The free-agent market isn't robust, so for any significant changes, the Mets will need to turn to the trade market. Don't expect them to deal any of their heralded prospects, though, as these players are the future of New York. The club could use more pitching, but what team doesn't? Alderson will have a tough call on his hands this winter, deciding whether or not to bring back Jose Reyes as well as trade the face of the franchise, David Wright.

FREE AGENTS

Chris Capuano, SP
Scott Hairston, OF
Willie Harris, UTIL
Jason Isringhausen, RP
Jose Reyes, SS
Chris Young, SP

OFFSEASON FOCUS

  • It'll be difficult for fans to accept it, but Jose Reyes needs to walk. The amount of money that would be otherwise tied up in Reyes would be astronomical given his checkered injury history. In addition, as great a year as he had, it was also a career season, and he's only had two other seasons in which his OPS has been greater than .800. It's not the right investment for Alderson to make, especially since Reyes would fetch compensatory draft picks that can stock the Mets' farm system. To replace Reyes, the team shouldn't go for a silver bullet. No one can replace Reyes in the minds of fans, so they shouldn't even try. Instead, sign defensive wizard Clint Barmes, whom pitchers will love.
  • Keep David Wright. There's been scuttlebutt that the Mets might consider trading him, but New York needs to give fans at least one reason to come to the park. Deleting Wright wouldn't provide enough of a return coming off an injury-plagued and poor year. Start the year with Wright in the lineup and make him available in July.
  • Resign Chris Capuano. The lefty wants to be with the Mets, and he was more than capable in the back of the rotation. Someone who clearly wants to be with the Mets is a good thing right now.
  • Go with Ruben Tejada at second base permanently. The Mets need to figure out if they have a long-term answer at the position with Tejada, and playing him is the only way to find out. Daniel Murphy could also stick at the position if and when Ike Davis returns from his injuries.
  • Do nothing else. Yes, really. Look, this isn't a team that can contend in 2012. It just can't, and Alderson is not the type of GM who will trade away prospects important to the future just to slap a band-aid on the major league team. There is a significant crop of free agents coming in 2012, and the Mets need to save their money for then as well as work through the remaining questions on the roster. Jason Bay is entering a put-up or shut-up season for the Mets, Angel Pagan is looking to rebound, and there are two outfielders close to the majors that need to break in and get at-bats in Fernando Martinez and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. By this time next year, the Mets will have a clearer picture as to the future of the team, its top prospects will be that much closer to the majors,  a bountiful free-agent crop will await, and the Phillies will be another year older. It will take time, but Alderson can and will get the Mets back to relevancy.
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Comments

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:41 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

you're absolutely right. 10 batters in the lineup probably won't happen.
Thats priceless right there.



Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:55 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

LOL - you got me.  Maybe I've been a Met fan so long I've completely lost touch with reality.




Since: Oct 6, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:50 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

you're absolutely right. 10 batters in the lineup probably won't happen.




Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:40 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

Jose Reyes is going to play closer to home. He will probably sign with the Florida Marlins since they project their payroll to be increased to 75-85 mill next year.



Since: Mar 24, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2011 7:21 am
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

"Jose Reyes needs to walk."

"Go with at second base."
Okay, so who plays shortstop?  I don't think Bud Harrelson is available.

Actually, here's a batting order would be as good as some of this year's playoff teams:

Reyes
Tejada
Murphy
Davis
Wright
Duda
Pagan
Bay
Thole
Pitcher

Not going to happen, but...



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:43 am
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

Interesting comments so far, on a VERY interesting perspective from the writer.  For the record, grew up a Mets' fan on the east coast, some 30+ years ago, and haven't wavered over some very painful years.

That being said, out of the free agents listed, I think the only two you DO try like hell to resign are Capuano & Reyes. I know, I know, all the talk about Reyes' hamstring injuries.  That's why any contract he signs, with ANY team, will be incentive laden- his agent won't have any other choice.  That being said, I don't think David Wright is going to be able to keep the fans coming to the games, not by himself.  Ever since Citi opened, much has been made of the fact that the Mets built a park that negates David Wright's abilities.  How can you pitch a team built around one guy, who does his best hitting on the road, to a fan base?

I would like to see them trade Wright & Pelfrey while they might still have some trade value, and get some return on them.  Then, bring in some middle of the road free agents who won't break the bank.  We cannot do anyting about Bay at this stage, except hope he comes in & plays for his next contract (with another team) in 2012.  A lot of people are forgetting that there is a lot of dead weight (Headcase Perez, Beltran, K-Rod, Luis Castillo) that is gone from the books now.  Just because they shouldn't expect to win it all next season doesn't mean we should just write it off as another waste year.

I have a different take on all these highly regarded prospects in the organization as well.  I agree that Fernando Martinez & Pagan are players we should not retain.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be coming off a big injury this past season, and, in reality, is going to need a year at AA or AAA to find out if he's ready the following season.  Anyone remember Brien Taylor?  the Yankees drafted this hard throwing teenager out of high school back around '91.  He was supposed to be the next big thing.  Anyone remember him?  He blew out his arm in the minors and was never heard from again.  Prospects are hit and miss, and how many actually go on to have great MLB careers?  I'm not saying sell the farm, but I also don't think we should be putting all our hopes and efforts into just that.  I don't believe Duda be a long term solution, and I'm not sure what's going on with Pridie, but it seems like he sure wasn't Collins' favorite the second half of the season.

My opinion, Alderson should resign Reyes, then start wheeling & dealing at those winter meetings, maybe actually improve the team a little.



Since: Jul 3, 2007
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:05 am
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets


think they should try Tejada at SS, Murphy at second. They both worked hard and produced this past year, and indicated that they could produce in a major league lineup. Look, I'm not terribly thrilled about it at the moment, but this young core of Tejada, Murphy, Davis and Duda at least deserve another year of this to prove they can make the Mets relevent. Anyway, there's clearly too much dead weight around them with Bay and Wright, and there's no answers to the pitching situation in sight. There just isn't an ace right now, period, or even a legitimate number 2 starter. This team won't contend in 2012 but I agree that they should be quiet. Look for a guy who plays a good defensive center field, either a veteran with leadership qualities, or look for outfield prospects for long term answers. Wait until July to deal Wright, look for some pitchers who are closer to the majors then Zach Wheeler. Find a new catcher and continue to build the outfield and rotation from there



Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: October 5, 2011 11:31 pm
 

Money Management

Here's an idea that will help the Mets front office sign free agents.  Take the $1.2M that Bobby Bonilla is due each of the next five years (but not the whole 25), and defer payment until 2016, at which point he will be paid $47.2M. 

What's that you say- Omar Minaya is no longer the GM of the team?



Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: October 5, 2011 11:27 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

If the Mets are going to let Reyes leave, who will sign him? Very few teams can afford him & most of those teams have SS's or too many high salaried players already..aka the Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers. The only logical team I can come up with is the Giants. I might be in the minority but I think Reyes will be back with the Mets, maybe not a 100 mill deal but enough per year to keep him there for 2-3 more years. 



Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: October 5, 2011 11:05 pm
 

R.I.P.: 2011 New York Mets

Agree on Capuano: good young arms are very hard to find.  Agree, sadly, about Reyes: too many injuries at that price. But why keep Wright: he can't hit in this park--he's more useless than an injury-plagued Reyes will be.  And what are they supposed to do with the saved $$$ except give it to Madoff's idiot/greedy victims?


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