Posted by JD on November 22, 2010
It’s over, it’s done, let’s turn the page (please). Now that the Mets have named Terry Collins as their next manager (and announced that Chip Hale and Dan Warthen will remain on as the third base and pitching coaches, respectively), we can move on to a (much, much) more important matter: building a roster for 2011. There are a couple of key dates coming up:
- November 23: Last date to offer salary arbitration. In the Mets’ case, this applies to Pedro Feliciano. Despite the fact that Feliciano can expect to be awarded a contract of about $4 million in the arbitration process, the Mets should offer it to him. Yes, rumors have swirled that the Mets’ offseason budget may be limited to $5 million, and at 35, Feliciano’s an increasing injury risk. But he is a premium left-handed reliever who would likely command a multi-year deal from another team (the Yankees are already rumored to be interested), so the odds of him accepting would seem to be slim. And if he does? Those same teams might be willing to trade for him. Either way, the Mets should be able to turn Feliciano into some sort of longer-term asset.
- December 5: Last date to outright a player before the Rule 5 draft. The Rule 5 draft is designed to prevent clubs from stockpiling talent in the minor leagues by allowing other clubs to select players who are not on the 40-man roster. The Mets have already made some moves in this area, outrighting Jesus Feliciano, Raul Valdes, Mike Hessman, Omir Santos, and Eddie Kunz, waiving Joaquin Arias, and adding Manny Alvarez, Zach Lutz, Jordany Valdespin, Josh Stinson, and Armando Rodriguez. There will be other moves made, as John Maine, Luis Hernandez, Oliver Perez, and Luis Castillo still have roster spots.
- December 6: The Rule 5 draft. This will be interesting. Considering their budget limitations, the Mets will probably make a few picks. I expect them to take a pitcher or two to compete for the open spots in the rotation or bullpen. It’s my goal to go through the other 29 rosters and identify a few targets before the draft but, given my recent track record, there’s a great chance it won’t happen. But I’ll give it a shot. Keep in mind that any players picked must stay on the major league roster the entire year or they get offered back to their former organization (for $25,000).
As an added bonus, there will likely be a free agent signing or three sprinkled in (though maybe not until January). We’re not going to see big signings, but we might see the next R.A. Dickey sign in the coming weeks. This is the fun part of the offseason, watching the moves that shape the roster for next year. Anything is better than watching beat reporters and fans try to read the tea leaves of a managerial search, then endlessly venting over the results (accurately depicted here). We can’t turn the page fast enough, in my opinion.
Posted in Mets, Offseason Moves, Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins | Tagged: Armando Rodriguez, Chip Hale, Dan Warthen, Eddie Kunz, Jesus Feliciano, Joaquin Arias, John Maine, Jordany Valdespin, Josh Stinson, Luis Castillo, Luis Hernandez, Manny Alvarez, Mets, Mike Hessman, Oliver Perez, Omir Santos, Pedro Feliciano, R.A. Dickey, Raul Valdes, Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins, Zach Lutz | Leave a Comment »
Posted by JD on November 6, 2010
This post is more a recap than anything. I was reflecting on what’s happened since Sandy Alderson was hired as General Manager when I realized just what a whirlwind it’s been over the last ten days or so. Just look at what’s happened:
- Several scouts departed or were not renewed.
- Razor Shines was let go.
- J.P. Ricciardi was hired as special assistant to the GM.
- Ticket prices were lowered and season ticket holders were given the option to qualify for some (in my opinion, anyway) pretty awesome perks (Caryn Rose of Metsgrrl has a great summary here).
- Manny Alvarez was added to the 40-man roster.
- The Mets picked up Jose Reyes’ 2011 option.
- The Royals claimed Joaquin Arias on waivers.
- Jesus Feliciano, Mike Hessman, Raul Valdes, Omir Santos, and Eddie Kunz were outrighted to Buffalo, bringing the 40-man roster to 34 (in anticipation of the Rule 5 draft).
- In a sad and shocking turn, long-time clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels has been suspended indefinitely while the FBI and Queens District Attorney probe his gambling activity.
- The Mets could not reach an agreement with Hisanori Takahashi, who will not return in 2011.
It figures to continue, too. Alderson is trying to add Paul DePodesta to his staff, the free agent market just opened up, and the search for the next manager continues.
With the obvious exception of the Samuels investigation these changes are largely beneficial. It’s never a nice thing to see people fired but in this case it’s important: it’s definitive proof that Alderson is putting his stamp on the organization. Similarly, letting Takahashi walk shows that Alderson won’t over-react (or overspend) to keep useful players. This in turn bodes well for the free agent market: for the first time in years, I’m confident that any additions will be rational, affordable players who will shore up weaknesses and compliment the players already on the roster. I may be getting ahead of myself, but it feels like the days of grabbing a big name just for the sake of signing him (long-term consequences be damned) are gone.
I’m still skeptical of the Wilpons’ ability to refrain from interfering, but Alderson’s early moves have gone a long way toward quieting my fears (I’m sure that was his number one goal). I can’t wait to see who he selects as manager. I’d be fine with most of the candidates I’ve seen mentioned so far, with one exception: Wally Backman. Maybe I’m just being contrarian, but I just don’t understand the fascination some fans have with him. I get that he’s energetic, fiery, and scrappy, but he’s also had a checkered past and he’s largely unproven. I’m sorry, winning one division championship with a roster that’s largely old for it’s level is just not that impressive to me. Not to paint with a broad brush or anything, but I imagine that the portion of the fanbase that’s overly enamored with Backman has a lot of overlap with the group that can’t stand Carlos Beltran, and it drives me crazy.
But I digress. Sandy Alderson has his hand firmly on the wheel, steering the Mets in a bold, new direction. I like what I’ve seen so far and can’t wait to see how the 2011 roster takes shape.
Posted in Carlos Beltran, Mets, Offseason Moves, Sandy Alderson | Tagged: Carlos Beltran, Charlie Samuels, Eddie Kunz, Hisanori Takahashi, J.P. Ricciardi, Jesus Feliciano, Joaquin Arias, Jose Reyes, Manny Alvarez, Mike Hessman, Omar Minaya, Omir Santos, Paul DePodesta, Raul Valdes, Razor Shines, Sandy Alderson, Wally Backman | 1 Comment »