This is a guest post by frequent commenter and occasional ranter MetStatHead. The non-waiver trading deadline always brings out some strong feelings in fans and this season is no different. Here are four ways to fix the Mets.
This team is in need of an overhaul. It starts with the GM Omar Minaya. For years the Mets have forgone the MLB draft and used its resources in Latin America and Asia. The MLB draft produces many Major League ready players and prospects. The team consistently ranks in the bottom third of Minor League systems because of the lack of Major League ready talent. Take a look at the Washington Nationals, they have on their team a handful of drafted players that have pitched and played in college. These players know how to play the game and win. Often times these players are polished and need little work before they climb the ranks in the minors. The Nationals are a team to be admired.
I would like to see the Wilpons clean house. A new GM, coaching staff, and medical staff. Bring in some former Mets that have experienced winning, either with the Mets or with other teams. Bring in a big name coach if needed, but this management needs to be released.
Hold players accountable
The Mets spent $12 million dollars on Oliver Perez this year. Jeff Francoeur is making $5 million dollars and Jason Bay is getting $8.6 million this season. Now Oliver Perez is 0-4 with a 6.15 ERA and has given the Mets 2 quality starts in his 7 starts. Jeff Fancoeur is hitting .248 with an OBP of .299, he is currently taking away playing time from Angel Pagan (.304 and .360) because he is too expensive to sit on the bench. Jason Bay was the big free agent signing of the summer and is currently hitting .259 and has struck out 91 times. He has a paltry 6 home runs and is receiving $7 million more than Angel Pagan and $8.2 million more than Ike Davis (.249 BA, 14 HRs, 46 RBIs).
These three players are not pulling their weight. I haven’t even brought up Luis Castillo ($6.25 million) or Carlos Beltran ($19.4 million). The Mets have so few major league ready prospects that they have no one to replace the players or give them days off to work on things. The team has spent their money poorly and it will continue until there are some changes in the mentality of ownership.
Stop competing with the Yankees
The New York Yankees have the biggest team salary, $206 million. The team revenues ($441 million) are more than any other team in Major League Baseball and the team ownership is willing to overpay for talent at the expense of their fans. The Yankees are coming off another World Series title and are leading their division yet again.
The New York Mets have the 5th largest salary, $136 million. The team revenues ($268 million) are 60% of what the Yankees are making. The team ownership is willing to overpay for talent that is past its prime at the expense of their fans. The Mets haven’t won a World Series since 1986 and haven’t made the playoffs since 2006 and are currently 3rd in their division.
The Mets cannot possibly compare to the Yankees. They lack the history, the fan base, and the money to compete. Management needs to stop competing with the Yankees and carve out a niche of their own.
Embrace the new statistical metrics
For years the Mets have gone after talent based on numbers that really are of no use in the game anymore. Moneyball has changed the game and has created new metrics in which to value players. Some of the best GMs in the game use these stats to value their current team, prospects and possible trade targets. The Red Sox, Mariners, Angels, Athletics, and Rays are all using these new metrics to stay competitive. Other teams are slowly adopting these new metrics and are beginning to see the advantages. The Yankees, Nationals, Marlins, Blue Jays, Padres, and Giants have all gotten better using this tactic.
Team management has the money to get some of the best talent in the country, but they have failed. There have been many opportunities for the Mets to make moves to improve their minor league depth with talent that isn’t “sexy.” More and more teams have been holding on to prospects because of their talent and their future value. Talent evaluators are now looking at strikeout rates, flyball rates, walk rates, strike/walk rates, and more. Talent is no longer just a function of feel or sight. Many players are valued by the numbers they create.