English: pitching at Miller Park, , Wisconsin, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Mets finally signed a Major League free agent today by signing right-handed starter Shaun Marcum.He signed a one year deal but haven’t seen how much he’ll be paid this season. It’s a solid minimal risk signing but should be a huge step down from Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey in the rotation.
Marcum’s been in the league for seven years with Toronto and Milwaukee. He’s known as an excellent fielder and solid starter when healthy. He missed a few weeks last year with a bad elbow so he only made 21 starts. The 31 year old has a career record of 57-36 with a 3.76 ERA. Very solid numbers.
If Marcum can stay healthy, the deal will look good. If not, Zack Wheeler could make his Major League debut sooner than we might have thought.
R.A. Dickey agreed to a 2-year/$25 million contract extension with the Toronto Blue Jays today that completed the trade with the Mets for the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner. The Jays will also get catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. In return, the Mets get top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, minor league pitcher Noah Snydergaard, catcher John Buck, and minor league outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.
The trade seems like a good deal for the Mets with d’Arnaud being listed as a top 20 prospect in all of baseball. It further cements the Mets rebuilding effort and willingness to concede the 2013 season to be a fifth straight losing season. The only thing holding the Mets back from a complete overhaul is Johan Santana and his massive contract. The Mets tried to talk Santana trades at the winter meetings but no teams had any interest.
Time will tell if this trade works out for the Mets. We won’t know for sure for a few seasons. If d’Arnaud turns out to be suspect instead of a prospect, Sandy Alderson will have made one of the worst moves in Mets history. But if d’Arnaud turns into the next Buster Posey the Mets will have done rather well for a 38 year old knuckleballer.
Multiple media sources are reporting that 2012 Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey is on the verge of being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Reportedly, the Mets will receive top prospects including catcher Travis d’Arnaud and outfielder Anthony Gose.
The Blue Jays have already improved with some major acquisitions this offseason. They made a blockbuster trade with the Marlins acquiring Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle. They also signed free agent Melky Cabrera. Acquiring Dickey puts them in the top tier of American League teams heading into the 2013 season.
The Mets will acquire some sorely needed catching and outfield help. Both d’Arnaud and Gose are considered high potential prospects which is what the Mets have been after since the season ended. And with contract extension talks stalled with Dickey, the Mets are clearly ready to head in another direction.
English: Citi Field during the day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Surprise!!! Attendance at Citi Field was down again. Home attendance has been dropping steadily since the Mets moved into Citi Field in 2009. They went from 3.1 million tickets sold to 2.5 (2010), to 2.3 (2011), and now bottoming out at 2.2 million.
If you’ve been to a game this year, you know that they didn’t have the 27,000+ average tickets sold in the park. It was a ghost town unless R.A. Dickey or Johan Santana were pitching.
33% of the available tickets went unsold this year despite the team’s aggressive marketing tactics (you know what I mean if you’re on their email list). And they reduced ticket prices this season… Again.
Maybe the Wilpons and Sandy Alderson might start to get the idea that they need to win some games to sell tickets. That would be a novel idea.
Here’s a video I did with Kerel Cooper of On The Black this Labor Day weekend. In this video we talk about the Mets streaky season, trading David Wright and R.A. Dickey, and Dickey as a Cy Young Award candidate.
David Wright wearing the Mets’ alternate colors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to NY Post columnist Joel Sherman, the Mets should trade David Wright and R.A. Dickey in the offseason for prospects. He contends that they need a full-blown rebuilding mode to become competitive again. As terrible as it sounds, it may be the smartest and most painful way for the Mets to move forward.
We all know that the Mets aren’t anywhere close to seriously competing with the likes of the Reds, Nationals, and the upper echelon of the National League. And it’s laughable to think that they’re close to the Rangers, Yankees, or Angels in the American League.
The Mets are in a no-man’s land of talent. They’re not bad enough to be cellar dwellers in the league like the Cubs but they’re not good enough to make the playoffs.
My guess is that the Mets don’t go the route of a full-blown re-tooling because they’re afraid of an empty Citi Field for the next two years. They’ll go the same route that they did this year: a slight rebuilding mode while trying to finish in third or fourth place in the division that keeps a portion of Citi Field seats filled.
Currently, the Mets are 17 in MLB in attendance while selling 72.3% of available tickets. That’s why they won’t trade Wright and Dickey. Mets ownership can’t take a lower attendance number because of the debt burden against the team.
I haven’t had the chance to chat with Kerel Cooper of On The Black much this year. But we finally got to talk about the state of the Mets at mid-season. The biggest issues facing the team during their surprising early season success was on the agenda.
We talked about the Mets great starting pitching, miserable bullpen, Jason Bay, and the pleasant surprise that the Mets are actually in the playoff race in July. I thought they would be looking forward to 2013 by July.
R.A. Dickey has a new book coming out this week called “Wherever I Wind Up”. Some excerpts hit the Internet today to generate buzz for the book. The two revelations that came out today were:
Dickey found a syringe on the locker room floor when he played for Texas in 2001. He suspected steroids but didn’t know for sure.
Dickey was sexually abused as a child.
There have been several professional athletes in recent years that have publicly discussed being sexually abused as children. It’s incredibly courageous to come out publicly with such a painful memory.
It sounds like the book is going to be a good read. And Dickey is a real literary type from all accounts so I’m sure the book is well written and insightful.
Here’s some video of Dickey talking about the book to the media today.