Archive for November, 2012

Waiting On Wright

Update 11/30/12 – According to Mets beat reported Ed Coleman, David Wright has signed a contract valued at 138 million dollars. The contract will keep David with the Mets through the 2020 season. For more, go to Metsblog.com.

Original post…

Some have said the Mets should not have leaked the Wright deal to the press. On the contrary, the Mets had too. Quite simply, the offer on the table, apparently the final offer, is more fair than many would have negotiated. But Wright is deserving of the 140 million that  currently awaits a signature.

According to MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential last evening. Wright is the third best third baseman in baseball in terms of WAR (wins above replacement). That includes offense and defense. Speaking of defense, Wright should have won his third Gold Glove for 2012 but the award was given to Chase Headley. Wright was much better defensively.

At a time when few contracts of this magnitude are being offered, Wright would have to be insane not to take it. The contract would keep Wright a Met through the 2020 season. He would be the second highest paid third baseman in baseball behind Alex Rodriguez and it would be the largest contract the Mets have ever offered. If anything and perhaps finally, the Mets are showing loyalty to one of their own, something Tom Seaver unfortunately never experienced.

Wright has said all along he wants to play his entire career with the Mets. If the widely reported offer is true, then the Mets are saying they want him here too. And make no mistake about it my fellow Mets fans, there will come a time when we regret this contract. But Wright is a hard working athlete. So if anyone can continue to be productive on the back end, it could be David.

Then of course there is the uncertainty factor. What if Wright decides to try free agency next fall? What if he has a bad season? What if he gets hurt? Is he willing to walk away from 140 million bucks? It makes no sense to me if he does. And by the Mets leaking the information, at least it puts the ball in Wright’s court. If Wright turns it down, Alderson would be free to shop Wright for a bundle. No Mets fan could blame the Mets ownership then. Quite frankly, as good as Wright is, he is not worth more than Evan Langoria with the Rays but he will be paid more, much more.

Perhaps Wright really does not want to play with the Mets. I guess that could be a possibility but I am doubting that. This is probably a case of his agents and Alderson working out the details related to deferred payments and possibly restructuring Wright’s salary next year slated to be 16 million (the last season of his current contract). Hey if Wright really wants to win, why not move eight to ten million off of next year’s salary to be deferred to help the team spend that money elsewhere, like the outfield.

Clearly the Mets have made a generous offer to Wright. They have shown they really want him to remain with the team. They understand he is currently the face of the franchise and that they want him to be that through this decade. Now it’s up to Wright. Do the right thing. Sign on the dotted line so the front office can get on to other things.

Seaver, Gooden, and now R. A.

Tom Seaver did it three times. Dwight Gooden did it once. Who would be the third Mets pitcher in the history of the franchise to win the Cy Young award?

Would it be David Cone who won 20 games for the Mets in 1988? No, he didn’t do it. What about Frank Viola in 1990, the next to last Mets pitcher to win 20 games? No, not him either. Certainly it had to be one of the Generation K pitchers, Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson, or Jason Isringhausen? No, none of them panned out with the Mets although Isringhausen carved out a nice career in the bullpen in Oakland and St. Louis.

What about Al Leiter or Mike Hampton? No way. Leiter was one of the gutsiest pitchers to ever wear the blue and orange but he was never Cy Young material. Hampton pitched great in 2000, getting the Mets to their last world series but no, he did not win one either.

Tom Glavine pitched very well for bad Mets teams even though they were in the playoffs once with the former Braves hurler.  How about him? Nope, he never go the Cy Young either. Surely Johan Santana must have done it? Well, Johan solidified his place all time in Mets lore by pitching the first no-hitter in team history last June 1st but no Cy Younger for him either. The third Cy Young pitcher in Mets history goes to none other than…

R. A. Dickey!    R.A. Dickey? Who?

It is truly one of the great stories in Mets history. Last evening, the coveted Cy Young award in the National League was delivered to none other than R.A Dickey and he deserved every bit of it.

Purely from a baseball perspective, Dickey deserved the award and he won it handily getting 27 first place votes. Not even close. But Dickey deserved the award for his incredible story too. Not that any of that counts as far as the voting is concerned but here is a person who worked so hard to re-image himself through adversity and make it as a major league pitcher. Plus he toiled brilliantly for an absolutely terrible team, at least they were terrible the second half of the season.

Of course the story is old now. Dickey had to learn the knuckle ball because of arm trouble early on. It was the only way he could survive in professional baseball. Omar Minaya, the former Mets GM, the GM I love to bash, gave Dickey a chance. And it paid off. He was cut from the major league roster in spring training of 2010 and went to Buffalo to work on his stuff with Josh Thole working behind the plate. The rest is history. Dickey got his chance, pitched better and better, then came the magical year of 2012.

He won 20 games, the first to do so since the aforementioned Viola 22 years ago. He led the league in strikeouts, was second in ERA, first in innings pitched and games started and third in WHIP. Dickey was first with five complete games. That’s two more than only two other pitchers in the NL who had three. He also led the league with three shutouts, two being back to back.

Dickey was truly remarkable on a very bad team. Plus he’s a great guy who is down to earth, intellectual, sentimental, and totally deserving of all the nice things every commentator is saying and every writer is writing. His story is right out of Hollywood and I would not be surprised to see his tale on the big screen in the not too distant future.

Ironically, because of the Mets current situation, its possible Dickey could be in another uniform come opening day. I hope that isn’t the case but the Mets need to shake things up after four miserable losing seasons. Ultimately it comes down to fielding a winning team. If it means trading Dickey to get pieces that can help the Mets win and sustain that winning for a time, you can be sure Cy Young or no Cy Young, Dickey will be moved. I hope that Sandy Alderson can figure out a way to get the Mets where they need to go with Dickey in the mix but I am also tired of the losing and will defer to the GM.

Never the less, Dickey gave us Mets fans something to truly cheer about this season and make us proud. For that–congratulations R.A and best of luck where every your journey continues to take you.

Be Careful What You Wish For…

At least that’s what I might say to Jose Reyes this morning. Now true, the Mets never bothered making an offer to Reyes knowing — a) last year they could not afford him and b) there were serious doubts among the Mets hierarchy that Reyes would have the kind of years his contract demands would warrant.

But if we are going to blame Sandy Alderson and staff for not kissing up to Reyes, where was the love from the Mets former shortstop and his agent? Did he ever go to Alderson and tell him how much he wanted to be a part of the Mets future?

Like so many baseball players and other professional athletes today, Reyes was driven by the bottom line. He took the best contract monetarily wise he could get, a six year 110 million dollar deal from the newly renamed Miami Marlins. Look, I’m not blaming him. An athlete’s career is short and he (or she) has the right to earn as much money as possible. All I am saying is I never faulted the Mets for their position because as much as Reyes was so popular and at times could be an unbelievable player, there were still many holes in his game and injuries caused him to miss a lot of time. Plus moving forward as Reyes would be heading into his 30s, there was a lot of concern for those legs which have been problematic in the past. And for those Mets bashers out there, no other team made any offers to Jose either. The Marlins bid against themselves in acquiring Reyes.

Well here we are today waiting on official word that Reyes will be heading to Toronto in a blockbuster deal that could make the Blue Jays a legitimate threat. The Jays will now have a real lead off hitter and an outstanding defender in Reyes at short. You cannot question this deal from the Jay’s side of things. Not only will they get Reyes, they are getting Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck,  and Emilio Bonifacio. That’s quite a haul basically for nothing. The Marlins get a lot of salary relief but the subject of the Marlins requires a completely different post to figure out that whole mess.

What I am focusing on here is Reyes. Here’s a guy who has had major issues with his hamstrings for years. Now he will be playing 91 of 162 games (81 at home and 10 in Tampa) on artificial turf, a substance that has been problematic for Reyes in the past. Although AstroTurf is long gone, the more pliable Field Turf is installed at Rogers Centre and in Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field. But it will remain unclear how Reyes will do on the fake turf. But in Toronto, unlike Tampa, Reyes will be standing on the plastic stuff for most of the game since Rogers Centre is the only baseball diamond left in the majors with the blasphemous sliding boxes.

Reyes was traded because the one thing he and his agent could not acquire with his 100 plus million was a no trade clause. That meant the Marlins could send him (as well as the others who did not have a no trade clause) anywhere they pleased.

Perhaps Reyes is glad about the move but I am doubting so. Not only will Jose have to deal with artificial turf but he will also have the Canadian exchange rate and local taxes, something he did not need to worry about in Florida. Plus, and I am guessing here, I can’t imagine that Toronto has the Hispanic community that Reyes enjoyed in Miami and certainly so much so in New York.

Well, Reyes got his money after a stellar season when he won the batting title, the first in Mets history. But many fans never got over Reyes snubbing them by removing himself from the lineup after one at bat in the 2011 season finale. That’s the type of selfishness we never see from David Wright and that’s the difference between the two home grown stars. Frankly I am happy with Ruben Tejada at short moving forward and wish Reyes all the best. But its funny sometimes how things work out, isn’t it?