In 2009, the Mets and Phillies made two decisions which have been debated with fervor throughout baseball. The moves have helped to shape the current state and, quite possibly, the future of the NL East. As the NL East race continues to remain tight, these transactions find themselves subject to dissection.
Move #1: Phillies decline to pair Cliff Lee with Roy Halladay
In December of 2009, frightening reports were coming in all over the baseball world. The rival Phillies were putting together the right package to acquire the the dominant Halladay from Toronto. One of the most feared offenses in baseball would now have a rotation which would feature Doc Halladay and Lee. Lee was just off a run which included blanking the Yankees in Game 1 of the fall classic. Just as Mets fans were reaching for double shot of something strong, the final details of the deal came through. The deal was a three-way move which had the Phillies flipping Lee to Seattle to bring in their top pitching prospect in an attempt to replenish their farm system.
The deal had many Mets fans breathing a sigh of relief and likewise scratching their heads. There is no doubt that having Halladay in our division was a nightmare, but the idea that Ruben Amaro resisted the temptation to make the ’08 champs the outright favorite to grab another ring was startling. If the Phillies did not intend to sign Lee to an extension, they still had the ability to retain him through the season. They would also receive picks in the offseason for his signing elsewhere. The Phillies signed Doc to an extension and declined to keep Lee for the 2010 season. Amaro explained his reasoning for the three-way deal as not only preparing his team for 2010, but the future as well. Continue reading →
Forbes came out with their annual list of team values yesterday. The Mets are listed as the third most valuable team in the game behind the Yankees and Red Sox. That’s not a big surprise to any of us. What is interesting is that the Mets declined in value by 6% from last year, the only team in the top half of the league to do so.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Nick Migliore. Nick is a big-time Mets fan and frequent commenter here and on other Mets fan sites. It’s great to have him making a contribution that should add some diversity to the perspective on the Mets from other posts that are on this site. You can follow Nick on Twitter.
First and foremost, I’m glad to be part of The Mets Report! Thanks again to Dave Doyle for the opportunity to write for this site. I’m a huge Mets fan, and to give you a heads up about my writings, I tend to rely on more in-depth stats than just the standard ERA, win-loss records, batting average, etc. I hope everyone enjoys my contributions. If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop a comment below and I will do my best to reply.
Now, on topic: John Smoltz. Yes, he pitched to a 6.35 ERA and a lousy 3-8 record last year. Yes, he was extremely hittable (95 hits in 78 IP), and yes, he’s 42 years old and will turn 43 about a month and a half into the season. But I really think this guy can help the Mets in 2010. Why? I’ll try my best to explain. Continue reading →
Here’s the conference call with reporters to address the surgery that Johan Santana will have. Omar Minaya also gets into the Billy Wagner trade to the Red Sox, J.J. Putz‘ next rehab appearance being delayed, and Oliver Perez coming back to New York to have his knee examined.
As usual, Minaya stumbles and bumbles his way through the call. It’s bizarre that he doesn’t even remember that Santana had elbow problems during spring training that almost caused him to miss opening day. It’s also odd that Minaya hasn’t spoken to Santana yet about the injury and impending surgery.
After a lot of back and forth over the last few days about what conditions were required for Billy Wagner to waive his full no-trade clause, the Mets and Red Sox finally finished the deal right before the deadline today. The Mets will receive two minor league players in return for Wagner.
Wagner did fly with the team to Miami last night, so he’ll be turning around and heading to Boston where the Red Sox are playing the White Sox.
The reports were that Wagner wanted the Red Sox to guarantee that they wouldn’t pick up his $8 million option for next season and wouldn’t offer him salary arbitration either.
We don’t know all the details of the trade yet. More updates soon.
For a team near the bottom of the National League standings, the Mets sure have a lot going on right now. You would think that they would be playing out the string and cruising into 2010. Did you know? There are only five teams in the NL with a worse winning percentage than the Mets; Nationals, Pirates, Reds, D-Backs, and Padres.
Here’s the news:
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports writes that Billy Wagner will exercise his no-trade clause to block a move to the Red Sox. The deal must be completed by 1pm today.
Adam Bernacchio of The Ghost of Moonlight Graham writes about how several Mets players told the media that they expect Johan Santana to have season-ending elbow surgery
Nick Kapur of Ump Bump writes about how the Mets have mismanaged Johan Santana by allowing him to pitch injured for the last two months
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports writes about Gary Sheffield’s future. He wants to play next year and beyond in his pursuit of 3,000 hits. Sheffield needs 311 more hits to reach 3,000.
Jon Heyman of SI.com writes about Fred Wilpon’s vote of confidence for Omar Minaya and the Billy Wagner trade to the Red Sox scenario
Jon Boise of AOL Fanhouse writes that the Mets injuries this year may be evidence that God hates the Mets
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports writes that Omar Minaya will have a difficult time turning things around in 2010
The major news organizations are reporting that Mets closer Billy Wagner has some demands of the Red Sox before he’ll waive his no-trade clause to accept a deal sending him to Boston. He wants the Sox to guarantee that they won’t pick up his $8 million option for next season and that they won’t offer him contract arbitration.
If the Sox won’t agree to Wagner’s demands, the Mets could still let Wagner go without receiving any compensation except for not having to pay Wagner. The Mets should just let him go if they can’t work through these issues. Omar Minaya shouldn’t even have to think for a second about that.
“What has he done? Has he pitched this year?” Jonathan Papelbon told WEEI.com. “Is he ready to pitch or is he not? … I think our bullpen is good where we’re at right now. Don’t get me wrong. But I guess you could always make it better. It’s kind of like the [Eric] Gagne thing, I guess.”
The Mets have an opportunity to come out from under a total of $3.7 million of Billy Wagner‘s contract. The reports are that he was claimed on waivers by the Boston Red Sox. I’m sure the Mets were shocked that anyone would claim Wagner after coming off Tommy John surgery and only pitching in one game on Thursday night.
The Mets now have until Tuesday to: 1) work out a trade with the Red Sox 2) let Wagner go to the Red Sox for nothing 3) pull Wagner off waivers and keep him for the rest of this season. Of course, option 1 is ideal but it will depend highly on how much of Wagner’s remaining salary ($2.7 million) and next year’s option buyout ($1 million) that the Mets are willing to eat. It also depends on Wagner allowing a trade because he has a full no-trade clause in his contract. The reports are that he wouldn’t allow a trade back to the Phillies but would go to a contender.
The Mets should just let Wagner go for nothing and have the Red Sox pick up the rest of his contract. At this point, the Mets are bordering on becoming one of the worst teams that money can buy in the history of Major League Baseball at almost $2 million per win. The only worse team was the 2008 Seattle Mariners, and that cost almost everyone in the front office and the manager their jobs.
For the sake of his reputation and legacy, Omar Minaya needs to drawn down the Mets financial exposure as much as possible. He’s already responsible for one of the worst trades in MLB history and now he’s on the verge of spending the second most money per win in history. Minaya could very well become known as one of the worst general managers in baseball’s 140 year history.