The Zionist Conspiracy
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Mets Analysis - Part 2: The Position Players
1. Contrary to the rantings of a few loudmouths, the Mets should not look to trade David Wright or Jose Reyes. No player should be untouchable, and both Wright and Reyes have come up short in key spots. But it is hard to see how the Mets would gain by trading players locked up in reasonable long-term deals and opening a hole in positions at which they would otherwise be set for years to come. Furthermore, on a team filled with aging players who keep getting hurt, why trade two guys who have been among the most durable in baseball over the last four seasons?
2. Ryan Church has been mentioned as a player who will likely be sent away this offseason. I've never been a huge fan of Church, and I was and remain strongly opposed to the trade of Lastings Milledge for Church and Brian Schneider. But I don't see Church as a problem, or as someone likely to bring back more than what he offers. Church was overhyped by Omar Minaya. He's not a great everyday player. He is a solid hitter against righties, and ideally would be part of a platoon who would come off the bench against lefties if a right-handed reliever came in late in the game.
3. Omar will try to trade Luis Castillo, but won't get anything back except for equally terrible contracts. Given Castillo's track record, it's premature to pick up most of Castillo's salary, as the Mets did with Roger Cedeno.
4. While I'm probably in a strong minority here, after picking up his 2009 option, I do think the Mets should shop Carlos Delgado. Delgado's value is relatively high after his fantastic second half, but he's going to turn 37 next season and is not the long-term answer at first base. Of course, Delgado would have to be replaced at first. Aside from Mark Teixeira, whom I don't see the Mets going after, there's not much at first among free agents - something that enhances Delgado's trade value but also makes finding a replacement for him a challenge.
5. I'm also in the minority in my view that the Mets should shop Carlos Beltran. Lots of teams would be interested, and he'd probably bring back both a solid pitcher and position player. Beltran is a good player and sometimes a very good player. But he's not the superstar who played for the Astros in 2004. At times he reminds me of Kevin McReynolds, another very talented and very quiet player who seemed to coast through much of his career.
6. The Mets can use an upgrade at catcher, but would have to trade either Schneider or Ramon Castro. I've liked Castro in the past, but he seems to keep getting hurt, especially late in the season. One player the Mets should not go after is Pudge Rodriguez.
7. I also like Damion Easley, but am not sure the Mets should bring him back. The team needs to get younger and avoid old players who break down. If the Mets think Daniel Murphy can play second base, I'd prefer to let Easley go and allow Murphy and Castillo to battle for the second base job - or share it. Otherwise, Orlando Hudson and David Eckstein might be worthwhile free agents to consider, but only at the right price.
8. If available for a bargain, Nomar Garciaparra should also be considered. Though he does go against my strong preference for durable players, Nomar provides a lot more upside than the likes of Easley, Marlon Anderson (who unfortunately is signed for 2009) and Jose Valentin.
9. Obviously the Mets will sign an outfielder to replace the departed Moises Alou. Endy Chavez is clearly not a favorite of Jerry Manuel, and Nick Evans does not appear ready for the majors. The Mets will presumably acquire at least one solid outfielder via trade or free agency.
Coming up: The pitching staff.