Organizational Rankings: #5

As we finish out the top eight, all of the remaining clubs earn an overall grade of A-, A, or A+. These eight franchises have separated themselves from the rest of the pack – there’s probably a bigger gap between #8 and #9 than between #8 and #4, for instance. If you root for any of the upcoming teams, you should be very pleased. The future looks bright for all the upcoming franchises.

Rankings So Far

#30: Washington Nationals
#29: Florida Marlins
#28: Houston Astros
#27: Kansas City Royals
#26: Pittsburgh Pirates
#25: San Diego Padres
#24: Cincinnati Reds
#23: Colorado Rockies
#22: Detroit Tigers
#21: St. Louis Cardinals
#20: Toronto Blue Jays
#19: San Francisco Giants
#18: Minnesota Twins
#17: Chicago White Sox
#16: Baltimore Orioles
#15: Seattle Mariners
#14: Philadelphia Phillies
#13: Los Angeles Dodgers
#12: Texas Rangers
#11: Oakland Athletics
#10: Los Angeles Angels
#9: Arizona Diamondbacks
#8: Atlanta Braves
#7: Chicago Cubs
#6: Milwaukee Brewers

#5: New York Mets

Ownership: A-

The Wilpons have certainly not been afraid to spend money since taking over ownership in 2002. They’ve also managed to get Shea Stadium replaced, which should only add to the significant revenues they already enjoy. Thanks to the New York media market, the Mets should be one of the best capitalized teams in baseball going forward. Even the Wilpon’s meddling can’t overcome the financial advantage the team enjoys.

Front Office: C

Omar Minaya is a pretty good scout. He does a good job of identifying young players who can contribute at the major league level. However, he’s just not good at the valuation aspect of the GM job – trying to figure out how much to pay for different skills, finding inefficiencies in the market, and putting together a roster that maximizes the assets he has. The Oliver Perez signing, the K-Rod signing, the J.J. Putz trade are all examples of identifying players who could help his team but not understanding how much those players should cost, given the availability of alternatives in the market. When handed a payroll large enough to give him the ability to overpay, he can build a contending roster, but most GMs in baseball could do more with the same resources. There are smart people working for the Mets, but they have the wrong guy in charge, and that’s a problem.

Major League Talent: A-

Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Johan Santana are all among the elite players in the game. It’s hard to imagine a team with those four not contending for the World Series, honestly. The supporting cast leaves you wanting, however. Ryan Church is solid when healthy, but that’s not often. Mike Pelfrey and John Maine have talent, but as the #3 and #4 starters on a contender? Carlos Delgado has held off decline, but for how much longer? Just a lot of questions surround the non-elite part of the roster. However, the big four are so good that they make up for a lot of issues, and there’s enough talent in the supporting cast to imagine this team winning a World Series if enough things go right.

Minor League Talent:: B-

Is Fernando Martinez the next Hanley Ramirez or Ruben Rivera? His aggressive promotion schedule makes his performances tough to judge in proper context, but most still believe in his physical abilities. Jon Niese is a good but not great pitching prospect, and Wilmer Flores and Jefry Marte are high upside guys that aren’t anywhere close to the majors. So, while there’s talent, there’s not a lot of upper level depth, and there aren’t any guys on the system who don’t have a real question mark that needs to be answered. The Mets will have to get by with what they have for a little while, but there are valuable assets in the system, so if they need to make a few more big trades, they can.

Overall: A-

Thanks to a roster that should be favored to make the playoffs for the next few years and a stream of revenue that allows the GM to cover his mistakes, the Mets are in a good position to win for a while despite a front office that could use some improvement. There are wasted opportunities in Queens that are keeping the Mets from being up with the cream of the crop, but they have enough current advantages to give them quite a bit of margin for error. They need every bit of that wiggle room, but this team is too talented to keep getting shut out of October baseball for much longer.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


103 Responses to “Organizational Rankings: #5”

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  1. Wally says:

    Again, another ranking I DO agree with. In my own rankings this is exactly were I had them too.

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  2. EDUB says:

    Im not the biggest Omar supprter, but Putz and K-Rod have to be considered steals IMO. K rod was looking for 5 yrs 70 mil. He got Putz for peanuts and he was able to land Johan without giving up Pelfrey or Fernando Martinez. Its the ‘fill-in” guys where he has no clue and the Castillo contract is HORRENDOUS.

    Perez i agree on. He overpaid for him, but with what was left on the market and the big holes in the rotation he had his hands tied. He wanted Lowe, but 4 years and 60 Mil is tough to beat.

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    • Gina says:

      K-rod was looking for 5 yrs and 70 million but who was going to give him that in this market? The market completely collapsed.

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      • EDUB says:

        Exactly, instead of giving it to him he played it cool and patiently until K rod came down. He realized that all the big market teams were set at closer and got him for a reasonable price. I think the Krod contract was a big bargain.

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      • Victor says:

        If they signed someone like Fuentes instead of K-Rod, then they probably could have signed Lowe instead of Ollie Perez.

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      • big baby says:

        Except Fuentes isn’t as good as K-Rod, lost his closer’s job as recently as 2 season’s ago, and is older.

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      • Conballs says:

        Fuentes also threw in Colorado where recovery time takes longer and is also a much more difficult place to pitch in. If Mets signed Fuentes, especially with Putz, you gotta like that with Lowe better than what they got now.

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      • big baby says:

        Omar likes Oliver. The scout in Omar most definitely sees something, and I don’t think you can really begrudge him that. I’m curious to see how Derek Lowe fares moving from the NL West. The NL West had 3 monster pitcher’s parks, and then the 2 hitter’s parks were inhabited by teams who were amazingly pathetic against RHP. There was 1 legitimate lefty power bat in the entire division.

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      • marcello says:

        big baby,

        LA and SF no longer play like pitchers parks. SF is a bit of a hitters park now and LA is about neutral.

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      • Fresh Hops says:

        @big baby:

        Yeah, K-Rod is better than Fuentes. But Lowe is much better than Perez. The fact is, just look at the win values of relief pitchers, the best closers aren’t worth much more than average closers in terms of wins. The win difference between Fuentes and Rodriguez is smaller than 1 game. Lowe is two wins better than Perez.

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      • big baby says:

        I have my reservations about Lowe, and have no real qualms with Omar not offering him a 4 year 60 million dollar deal, and choosing instead to pay Ollie through his prime, while saving a year and 20+ million less.

        And there is a difference between any old closer and a closer with cajones. I know we live in an age where clutch doesn’t exist, but having seen Armando Benitez and Billmando Wagnitez, if I have to pay a premium for a closer with a pair of balls that won’t show up in WAR, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

        Name me a GM who has made the same killing Omar has in the trade market. LoDuca, Delgado, Sanchez, Ollie, Maine, Johan, Putz. Only bad trades was Heath Bell, who was out of options, Matt Lindstrom who was a 27 year old struggling in AA, and Lastings Milledge, who the Almighty Wilpons wanted gone.

        Speaking of these benevolent Wilpons and their A- rating, I like how every one is dumping the Mets reluctance to spend on the draft at Minaya’s feet instead of the Wilpons, when it is well documented that they are against over-slotting. Or even approaching the luxury tax, even if the investment would be returned in a championship.

        And look at some of the huge FA bungles of big market teams the last few years: Pavano, Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre, Jason Schmidt, Kei Igawa, Johnny Damon, JD Drew, Julio Lugo, Fukudome, and so on and so forth.

        And then look at how he got Carlos Beltran and how that contract looks today.

        Is that enough evidence?

        Maybe I should bring up how he’s in the process of retooling the farm system and dominates the Latin America market. The same farm system that is perennially slept on, which out of nowhere produced a viable corner outfielder in Dan Murphy, a useful bench bat in Nick Evans, a promising bullpen arm in Bobby Parnell, and…. enough prospects to get both Johan Santana and JJ Putz.

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      • Gina says:

        Omar doesn’t dominate the Latin market by any means. There are a few teams way ahead of us in bringing in international free agents from the latin market. And he’s been the gm for what 3-4 years? He shouldn’t still be in the proccess of retooling the farm system, although I agree a lot of the blame falls on the Wilpons for not being willing to spend but that doesn’t excuse the poor drafting strategies the front office has exhibited.

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      • big baby says:

        Poor drafting strategies? It’s hard to simultaneously build a farm system and a contending team. Every time you sign a free agent, you forfeit the opportunity to add a very good prospect into your farm system. Considering when he got here the farm was almost bereft, he isn’t allowed to overslot, he’s used many of his chips (wisely) to acquire Johan Santana and JJ Putz, and most prospect sites concede that the Mets’ system should be at least in the top half of baseball, color me unconvinced that he hasn’t done a good job with the farm.

        And with Marte, Flores and Martinez, it takes some degree of hubris to challenge that Omar doesn’t get his swerve on in Latin America.

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      • Gina says:

        Doing well in latin american isn’t the same as dominating. Multiple teams have big name latin signings, and multiple teams have big name latin prospects who are MUCH closer than Marte and Flores. We do a good, maybe even awesome job in latin America. We don’t come anywhere near dominating it.

        And sacrificing first round picks isn’t an excuse for continually targeting low upside reliever type pitchers in early rounds of the draft.

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      • big baby says:

        continually? or once? Omar messed up with Kunz. I’m sure he’d be the first one to tell you that. Omar just had a great draft. And there are more than the big 3 from Latin America.

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    • Omar says:

      Yeah, he still overpaid K-Rod. To quote the greatest beard on the net:

      62 saves are impressive, but more in a “wow, that’s crazy” way than a “wow, let’s spend $12+ million a year on a guy with a rather pedestrian WHIP and sharply declining K rates” kind of way.

      If the economy weren’t in a tailspin he would have gotten eaten alive by the K-Rod deal.

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    • vivaelpujols says:

      It is that he doesn’t really understand players’ worth. Derek Lowe is much more likely to be worth 60 million than Perez is to be worth 36. Also, his overvaluing of “proven” closers is never a good sign.

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  3. big baby says:

    I have a big problem with your assessment of Omar. Especially considering how little you backed it up.

    Dude is rebuilding the Mets farm system, correctly values prospects, got John Maine and Oliver Perez for PEANUTS, etc.

    He should already have a ring for the 06 team that was shorn of it’s set-up man having a career year and it’s top 2 pitchers.

    He goofed on Castillo. And sometimes overpays. Such is the life of a big market team.

    Omar is a B, 2nd tier GM.

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    • ThundaPC says:

      You provided less evidence than he did.

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      • big baby says:

        oh i forgot that this was my website and i was posting in the comments section.

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      • ThundaPC says:

        Ah, yes. Excellent excuse.

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      • big baby says:

        not to mention I don’t see how the burden of proof is on me when he cited Omar’s acquisition of Putz as an example of why he is a “C” GM and how he overpays. To try to paint that trade as anything other than riding a motorcycle through a flaming hoop while playing “Run To The Hills” with your teeth is insanity.

        Omar acquired acquired John Maine for nothing. He initially got Oliver Perez for nothing. He got Johan Santana for nothing. He’s done a phenomenal job finding players off the scrap heap: Valentin, Tatis, Endy Chavez.

        He’s had two awful signings: Schoeneweiss and Castillo. Castillo happened when the market for second basemen was Kaz Matsui, David Eckstein, and Castillo. And Omar panicked. Theo has never overpaid for a middle infielder before… Or JD Drew.

        But yes, when somebody calls Omar the wrong man for the Mets, and then uses the trade for Putz as evidence, I think the burden of proof falls more on his shoulders than on somebody posting in the comments section.

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      • big baby says:

        playing Run to the Hills with your teeth on the guitar*

        a flying V

        which is also on fire

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  4. Brian says:

    I agree with basically everything in the analysis, so I guess the fact that I disagree with where this ranks the team is immaterial. But I think Minaya’s inability to fill out a roster has been a big factor in explaining why the team didn’t win the last two years, and the current outfield situation suggests he hasn’t learned enough lessons from his failures. He does the big moves well enough, and the Putz deal might be especially great, but his inability to get the little things right is enough of a problem that it may be a significant roadblock for the Mets’ success.

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    • EDUB says:

      Agreed. And the fact that he succeeded with Putz and Krod only to stop short and not get Manny is frustrating. How much of that is on the Wilpons is up for debate, and i love Murphy but Manny is a division changer. I dont see us going deep into October this year.

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      • Brian says:

        I just wonder what the Plan B is at a number of positions. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of depth, esp. depth with upside, that can step in at the MLB level if the master plan goes awry.

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  5. Conballs says:

    Ok, so let’s review this. This ranking is largely, if not solely, based upon current major league talent and a new ballpark. I do agree their ranking should be high b/c of the margin of error they’re afforded, but let’s look on the 4 guys who this ranking is based upon and compare it to, oh, i don’t know, let’s say the #14 Phillies?

    Reyes-Rollins
    Wright-Utley
    Santana-Hamels
    Beltran-Howard

    Each team has a big 4, and the age differences seem to equal out among the players. Yes, I know a lot of people hate Howard and think he will break down, but let me assure you that won’t happen this year or next.

    Ok, so the Phillies have won the past 2 times and only have lost Burrell who was replaced with a good veteran hitter. The Phillies opened up the checkbook this year and looks prepared to field a competitive club for many years. The fan base is incredible, and so is the stadium. Of the two Manuels I’ll take Cholly any day of the week and twice on Sunday. The Mets finally sured up the bullpen, but it takes this org too long to realize stuff that should have been taken care of years ago. Both teams have terrible GMs. But the Phils have, hands down, a better supporting cast. So, at worst, these teams are even, but in my calculations Phillies are in a better position.

    I’m sorry, but if the Mets are 5th, the Phils are 4th. But really, I think the Mets are more like 13 and the Phils 12.

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    • big baby says:

      the phillies core is much older than the mets core.

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      • Steve says:

        Hamels 25, Howard 29, Rollins 30, Utley 30 averaged 28.5
        Wright 26, Reyes 26, Santana 30, Beltran 32 averaged 28.5

        The Phillies core is so old, and all the Phillies players are going to fall off the map at age 30. . . unlike Beltran who’s 32 and Delgado who’s 37 who are still producing.

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      • Matt H. says:

        and comparing Beltran to Howard? what are you in the BBWAA?

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      • Terminator X says:

        Howard’s stupidly overrated by the traditional media, but that doesn’t mean we have to stupidly underrate him here. He’s still a very good player, and honestly not so far off from Beltran that it’s ridiculous to compare the two. In 2006 Beltran put up a WAR of 7.2, while Howard went 6.9. 2007. Beltran again took a less than half-win advantage in 2007, 4.7 to 4.3. In 2008 Beltran stayed pretty consistant all-around with a 6.5, while Howard struggled to a 3.4.

        So what changed this year with Howard? For one, he started swinging more – going from a pretty consistant career average of ~25.6% O-swing and ~70.7% z-swing to 26.7% and 73.7% – swinging 104.3% more often at balls outside the zone and 104.2% more at balls insid the zone, nearly identical numbers, so it doesn’t appear he was losing strike-zone recognition, just swinging a little more across the board. He posted the highest O-contact of his career with 40.9% (which gut intuition tells me for his player type is is not a sustainable skill, but he has shown improvement in each of the last 2 season so who knows), and his z-contact and overall contact fell right between his 2006 and 2007 numbers (the 2007 numbers being the lower of the set). I don’t know exactly what to make of this, other than he’s swinging more, and connecting more. It would be a problem if that boosted O-contact% was inducing more weak grounders and bloopers, but as his batted ball data shows nothing really supports that:
        year LD% FB% GB%
        2006 21.9% 41.9% 36.2%
        2007 24.3% 31.5% 44.2%
        2008 22.3% 41.5% 36.2%

        2007 looks like the fluke here. And while he’ll certainly never match his 5.2% IFH% of 2006 and will probably continue to hover around 2%, that’s only a small handful of singles (3, maybe 4), and that’s offset by the idea that it’s very possible he’ll see his FB/HR regress (positively, that is) from 31.8% up more towards his career average of 34%. Not a huge movement, but it wouldn’t surprise me for that to fall around 33%, which would add 2 home runs on to last years total.

        And then there’s the go-to “did he just get unlucky?” stat, BABIP. And, true to form, given his consistancy in batted ball type, it appears he was unlucky, as far more of his batted balls found a fielder’s glvoe than normal. FAR more. He hit to the tune of a .289 BABIP last season, a huge distance below his lifetime .334 mark (he hit .363/.336 in 06/07). If we’re to believe in BABIP at all we have to think that his ’08 numbers were definitely hampered by bad luck (just as ’06 was likely boosted about an equal amount by good luck). Regress his BABIP to a reasonable .320 and he adds on 11 hits. Assuming those 11 hits follow his career percentages of non-HR hits (73.5% singles, 24.7% doubles, and 1.7% triples), that gives him 8 singles and 3 doubles, and raises his line from .251/.339/.543 to .269/.350/.566 – I’m not going to bother with wOBA calculations, but this is a definite boost.

        The first real thing that jumps out at me as a potential Howard-controlled problem is his BB% dropping from 15.7%/16.8% in 06/07 to 11.7% in 2008. THIS I do believe is likely a result of his increased swinging, and is the biggest indicator of a problem I can find so far. While the increased swinging doesn’t appear to be damaging his contact rate or batted ball type, it took away from his walks. Whether he actively decided to swing more, and the BB% decrease is a product of that, or if he’s losing his strike zone recognition and is thus swinging at more balls and drawing less walks, I don’t know. It seems unlikely however that he’s losing pitch-type recognition or losing significant bat speed, as that should (it seems to me) reflect itself in his contact percentage and batted-ball data as well. His K% was back in line with his career norm around 32% with a 32.6% mark, as compared to his extremely out-of-place 2007 37.6% mark. This correlates to the increased contact percentage I would imagine.

        One more thing that’s possible regarding his BABIP is that his increased swinging is, while it doesn’t register in batted ball percentages, inducing weaker hits in general. Instead of hard-hit grounders up the middle and towering-fly balls to the track, he’s not getting good contact with the ball and hitting more weak infield grounders and lazy, bloop flyballs that find gloves easier. This seems a very plausible scenario, and is why I’m waiting so desperately for hitFX, to answer these questions.

        In conclusion, I suppose it depends upon why you believe he underperformed last year. Best case scenario was the increase in swinging was a conscious decision, and he scales it back this year and returns to the 5+ WAR area as the BB’s return and his batted ball luck improves. Middle case scenario is that he’s simply losing judgement of what’s a strike and what’s a ball, but still has the ability to recognize the pitch type and drive the ball just as authoritatively as before, and just suffered bad luck. This would mean the BB% is likely to stay down, but the singles and doubles should come back, and he bumps back up to the 4-5 WAR area. Worst case scenario is that he’s losing his bat speed and is swinging more because he’s having to start earlier and “guess” the pitcher. As far as I can tell though this should manifest itself in an increase in K% and a decrease in contact%, neither of which were observed in 2008, and in fact the opposites were true as both increased over 2007. It’s possible that he simply “guessed right” alot (emphasis on “alot”), and if this is the case then scouts and managers should figure it out pretty quickly (bat speed is the type of thing old-school scouting types pick up on quickly, and if I can figure this out then I’m sure the new-school stats types have know it for months now) and start mixing in more offspeed and bendy stuff, in which case he’s just at the beginning of a long, painful decline. I can’t find anything in the stats to suggest that’s the case though, and I’m more apt to believe one of the first two.

        While they’re not as close in talent as Reyes/Rollins, it’s far from absurd to compare Howard to Beltran. Everone but Oliver predicts the walks start to come back, and James/Chone/ZiPS project his 2009 wOBA to fall right in the middle of his 2006 and 2007 numbers, while Oliver and (the strictly mathematical) Marcel project his wOBA to fall in the middle of his 2007 and 2008 numbers. While I would take Beltran over Howard, it’s far from asinine to think that Howard’s WAR could, once again, be within .5 of Beltran’s (or perhaps even better than). He’s no MVP like the BBWAA would have you believe, but he’s still a very, very good player, and Beltran is not so far out of his league to make the comparison ridiculous.

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    • Gina says:

      Yeah the thing I don’t understand about the cubs and mets ranking is why they would be considered so far ahead of teams, the Phillies being the prime example.

      Although the age difference in the big 4 of each team definitely doesn’t equal out. Howard, Utley and Rollins are all 30+ Where as Wright and Reyes are still in their mid 20s. But I don’t see how that’s enough to justify one team being an elite top 5 team and being ranked as basically average.

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      • Conballs says:

        Yes, you’re right Rollins, Utley and Howard are all 30, but i don’t see the huge issue. When Utley starts regressing, please point me to the stats, because he didn’t play healthy last year. So, I think a healthy season will outweigh a year’s worth of regression, so expect a better year from Utley. Howard had some bad luck, if he gets a little more consistent this year, count on the same production with maybe a bit higher average, probably not much. Rollins stole 47 of 50 bases in a injury-shortened season. So a regression could see him steal around the same with a bump in power. And Hamels is 6 years younger than Santana, and already as good.

        So, I guess if we’re looking 5 years down the road then the Mets could be looked at in a better light, but if we’re looking at this year, next and the next, I think my arguments hold plenty of water.

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    • Brian says:

      I assume Dave appreciates the role of C.R.E.A.M. in baseball, and so the fact that the Mets are well-positioned to print money (new stadium, their own TV channel, New York City) in turn should give them a significant advantage over teams with as much talent but less greenbacks behind them.

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      • Gina says:

        The thing is spending doesn’t seem to have increased because of the new stadium. The payroll is basically the same as it was last year and based on comments from Omar/the Wilpons it doesn’t look like there’s any plans to increase it majorly in the future or drop money on big name free agents. Not to mention there don’t seem to be that many big name free agents hitting the market at ages that would make spending that kind of money make sense. I mean we apparently weren’t even wiling to pay 5 million for Abreu this off-season.

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      • evan79 says:

        The problem with Omar is that he doesn’t fully take advantage of the Mets advantage in this area. He should be drafting high ceiling players that drop because of their high asking price. Sticking with the slot system is killing them. In addition, the point that Dave rightly made about Omar not correctly valuing players also drastically takes away from the Mets ability to maximize their advantage in revenues.

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      • big baby says:

        the wilpons don’t let omar “overslot.” they also don’t let him spend as much as people claim.

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      • Omar says:

        I hope Dave appreciates the role of Wu-Tang in baseball too.

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    • Teej says:

      Rollins and Utley are headed into their age 30 seasons. Reyes and Wright, age 26. And while Beltran is older than Howard, I’d expect him to be an effective major leaguer longer than Howard. Hamels is good, of course, but he’s no Johan. And pitchers don’t age like hitters, so who knows when Johan will begin to decline.

      If you’re comparing each team’s core and looking a few years forward, I’ll take the Mets. Even though I have a massive mancrush on Utley.

      Also, Burrell was replaced with an older, considerably worse hitter. The Phillies might be a better team in 2009 (I don’t think so, but it’s definitely possible), but I’ll take the Mets for the next half-decade.

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      • don says:

        Johan had a bad year (by his very high standards) last year – lost more than 1K/9 from his career average while moving from the AL to the NL. His ERA was a whole point lower than his FIP which masked this, and it’s possible it was a fluke, but it’s also possible his decline has begun.

        Wright is amazing – he’s clearly one of the best players in the game. Reyes is very, very, good but seems to never quite live up to his potential.

        I might take the Phillies core over the next 2 years, but it’s close and maybe I’m just a homer. What’s left of their respective cores 4-5 years from now clearly favors the Mets, but who knows who may come along in that time frame. Outside the core though, I think some regression in bullpen luck favors the Mets a lot and they should win the division this year.

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    • Sammy says:

      The Ibanez contract was by far the worst signing of the off season and I don’t think it’s really very close. I mean, have you seen his UZR? After Grady, Beltran is the best center fielder in the game; Howard is a nice bat, but he plays first and was actually only worth half a win more than Delgado over the course of the last season. Then you have to account for the discrepancies in age and budget (don’t forget all the extra revenue that should be coming with the new stadium).

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      • Gina says:

        I don’t think the contract itself was bad. It was the entire sequence of events. Not offering Burrel arbitration and then turning around and committing even more money to a player who’s a downgrade in basically every sense, including being left handed which is something they don’t need, + giving up a first round draft pick just made absolutely no sense.

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      • Sammy says:

        Gina,
        Yeah, all of the above. But $30/3 in this market? For Ibanez’ age 37-40 seasons? Considering what Burrell signed for in Tampa? That contract stinks to high heaven.

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      • Wally says:

        That’s retarded.

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      • Benne says:

        What Gina said. The contract, by itself, is bad. The contract, in the context of one of the most deflated FA markets we’ve ever seen, is horrendous.

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      • Conballs says:

        Ibanez signed well before any of you knew where this market was heading. Yes, we all knew it was a bad deal. But calling it horrendous is complete hindsight.

        Besides, Burrell crushing the ball when the Phils are in the lead doesn’t help as much as knowing a guy can come up with a 2-out productive hit at any time during the season.

        For what’s WAR is worth, I guarantee Sosa didn’t help to win as many games as his WAR may have indicated back in the day.

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    • JI says:

      Beltran is on a different planet than Howard

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      • vivaelpujols says:

        meh… Beltran has more consistent skills (defense, steals) and he is automatically about 13 runs better simply because of position, but when Howard is at his best, they are comparable. In 06 and 07, they were seperated by last than 5 runs.

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    • marcello says:

      Reyes-Rollins
      Wright-Utley
      Santana-Hamels
      Beltran-Howard

      One of these is not like the others.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mrbmc says:

        Yes. Beltran is 2x the player Howard is.

        Just to be clear. Here are the win values from this site:
        Reyes ($26.1) -Rollins ($24.1)
        Wright ($33.3)-Utley ($35.8)
        Santana ($21.4) -Hamels (20.6)
        Beltran ($29.4) -Howard ($15.1)

        Mets ($110.2) – Phils ($95.6)

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • vivaelpujols says:

        You are using last years numbers only.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • mattymatty says:

      “Yes, I know a lot of people hate Howard and think he will break down, but let me assure you that won’t happen this year or next.”

      I absolutely hate statements like this. How are you going to assure me that Howard won’t break down this year or next year? You aren’t, because you don’t know. I don’t have a problem with most of your analysis – I don’t agree with it – but I don’t have a problem with it. But you can skip the assurances, because you don’t know any more than anyone else.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Conballs says:

        What would make you think otherwise? I mean, not counting injuries, but what would make you think he is breaking down? Just look at Terminator’s analysis. His bat speed isn’t slowing. His pitch recognition is probably not worsening. He’s dropped weight and is an extremely athletic individual. I see comparisons to Mo Vaughn and the difference in agility and pure athleticism are nowhere near each other. The reason Howard rates as an average field, and not below, is because he makes amazing defensive plays, and then botches the routine. And even Mo didn’t break down until he was 34/35.

        So why would someone think otherwise? Tell me what evidence there is supporting Howard breaking down this year or next. I guess that’s a better way to phrase it. Being on this site we all know we can’t guarantee anything, so understand the context.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Gina says:

    Also i understand that revenue and money plays a big part but looking at some of the upcoming free agent classes how much is that really going to matter?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Omar says:

      There’s also the ability to drop coin in the draft (not that the Mets have done that in recent years) and spend a ton in international free-agency. Also, with some of the upcomming FAs (Holliday and Lackey) that the Mets could definitely use them…not to mention the ability to bring back Wright and Reyes when they get ready to hit free agency…that and Grady and Mauer aren’t too far off.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Gina says:

        But the point is the mets dont take advantage of most of those abilities. And outside of Holliday and Lackey, who’s going to be 32 and likely not worth the contract he’ll end up signing what other big names are there really that would fill holes.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Omar says:

      Also the ability to take on big contracts in a trade is a plus for the Mets too.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. BD says:

    I don’t get why the Mets are ranked higher than the Brewers, where the Brewers’ scores are A-, A-, A-, and B-, and the Mets’ scores are A-, A-, B-, and C.

    -22 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steven says:

      I would presume that the Mets’ extremely high capitalization overcomes their problems with the front office or ownership meddling, in conjunction with their core of players.

      +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Steve says:

      It makes no sense at all, but look at the overall list. There have been so many inconsistencies throughout, so it’s par for the course in my mind IMO.

      -19 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JI says:

      If only someone had addressed this a few dozen times we could have avoided this.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nacho says:

        Its only really been addressed so far to say things aren’t weighted evenly. That doesn’t really explain Dave’s method of coming up with the final grade in any way what so ever. So far we’ve seen fantastic MLB rosters carry a team, FOs carry a team, ownerships carry a team, ownerships destory a team, and FOs destory a team. If one thing has been consistant its that the minor league systems don’t count for much.

        I realize the interdependence of all the factors involved is very high, making coming up with a singular system difficult, but a little more explaination of the system would go a long way.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Mark R says:

    I think Dave made it pretty clear that he thinks Omar is a better GM than Ruben Amaro. That coupled with the significant cash advantage the Mets have over the Phils should make it pretty clear why one is ranked so much higher than the other. We don’t even need to talk about the players.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. Omar says:

    I hate the Mets, but he’s totally underrating Mike Pelfrey. At age 24 he pitched 200 innings at a 3.96 FIP, he has great ground ball rates and heavy sinker…he’s Chien Ming Wang. If anything he’s a stud number two pitcher, and has a chance of being a fringe ace. That being said he might be overrating Jose Reyes a touch. Averageish defensive SS with a 110 wOBA+ (by contrast, his Yankee counterpart had a 109 wOBA+ in a down year where many felt that he was falling off a cliff). He gets overrated by counting stats because of all the PAs he racks up as a leadoff hitter, he’s still a great player to have for the franchise, but he’s still overrated.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Teej says:

      He gets overrated by counting stats because of all the PAs he racks up as a leadoff hitter, he’s still a great player to have for the franchise, but he’s still overrated.

      Staying healthy is usually a repeatable skill. Reyes plays every day, plays an above-average shortstop, gets on base and slugs .450. I hardly even heard his name last year, when he was a 5-win player for the third year in a row. He didn’t even make the All-Star Game despite being more than worthy. Gotta say, I think he’s underrated at this point.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Typical Idiot Fan says:

        Which is weird. Reyes got off to a bad start or two after being overhyped by the New York media and fans started to hate him. Now that he’s good, nobody cares.

        Maybe they just got used to hating him.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Benne says:

        I’ve witnessed the same thing with Carlos Beltran, at least on other forums. He had that one bad year in New York (which wasn’t actually bad, per se, but definitely wasn’t up to Beltran’s usual status) and the media was quick to label him a “bust” despite the fact he’s been pretty damn good and worth his big contract so far.

        And Adrian Beltre as well, but you already knew that.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Omar says:

        Yeah he stays healthy but he gets into the upper 700s of PAs (which is more than staying healthy), that’ll effect the VORP etc that he consistently scores highly in. I’m not saying he’s bad, just overrated in the SABR community. Overrated =/= bad though.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mike says:

      Omar you realize Pelfrey is no where near the ground ball pitcher Wang is? That’s a terrible comparison.

      Pelfrey GB/FB – 1.68, GB% 49.6%
      Wang GB/FB 2.77, GB% 60.5%

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Omar says:

        Yeah, this was Pelfrey’s second season in baseball…I’m guessing he’ll improve that sinker a bit. Besides, whose a better comparison? He’s not the pitcher that Webb is, and I don’t see a whole lot of D-Lowe in him.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mattymatty says:

        Who is a better comparison? How about someone with more similar ground ball/fly ball rates?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. coreyjro says:

    Something I’d like to see in future rankings, and I’m sure this has probably been brought up before, but separating the ownership and the market probably makes sense at some point. The ownership’s willingness to re-invest is their choice, but being in a better market helps those decisions. The Yankees have the best market in baseball, which leads to monstrous TV contracts. It appears the ownership is getting credit for the market in these rankings.

    +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Jamie says:

    i don’t know how the mets rank so much higher over the phillies.

    phils have a better bullpen and will last for at least 3 more years.
    the 1-9 are about even with MAYBE a slight edge to the phils.
    pitching is about even.

    the kicker is i believe that the phils top 10 prospects are way better than the mets top 10 prospects. they have depth coming up through the system that can step in now or 1 year and i don’t think the mets are even close to that.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mark R says:

      I said this above, but let me try again: the Mets are better capitalized and have a better front office (in my and Dave’s opinion). They may have a weaker farm system and their major league club may not be clearly better (though many projection systems think so), but they have structural advantages that make them better able to compete going forward. That’s the point of this exercise.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jamie says:

        its not like the phillies don’t spend money. payroll is over 120 million. and i’d say they’ve graduated more homegrown talent with the current FO than the mets have.

        i don’t see how that makes the mets a top 5 club and the phillies just an average club.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mark R says:

        I don’t think you’re way off base or anything, but I think the Mets are in a position to spend alongside any other team in the NL, while the Phillies aren’t. For now the payroll gap isn’t huge, but if the Dodgers, say, decide to go nuts, Philly will get left behind.

        And as to the FO, Amaro just took over in the fall. No talent has been graduated under his watch (though he was certainly part of the Gillick regime). The moves he’s made thus far should call his competence into serious question. So again, advantage Mets.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. brian recca says:

    First off I would like to say I am NOT a Mets fan
    I don’t know about the Omar ranking.You have to remember how bad the Mets were before he came in. The previous three seasons were absolutely atrocious. 75 wins in ’02, 66 wins in ’03, 71 wins in ’04. The offseason of 2004 Minaya signed Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez. Not only did this give them big name players on both offense and pitching but it also made the Latin Americans more aware of the Mets. In that one season he was able to turn them into an above .500 team. The next year they brought in Billy Wagner and Carlos Delgado along with Paul LoDuca, cutting ties with Mike Piazza. Not only did he bring in these big name players, he was able to acquire role players like Endy Chavey, Jose Valentin (how the hell did that work out?), and Julio Franco. They strengthened the bullpen considerably getting Duaner Sanchez and the great Chad Bradford.That year he brought them to the playoffs and nearly the World Series. The past two years were not what was expected but still Johan Santana, Oliver Perez, John Maine. There is a third/ fifths of our rotation right there.

    He has many faults for sure. Brian Bannister, Luis Castillo, Heath Bell, and possibly Moises Alou. Every GM makes mistakes, look at Theo Epstein’s J.D. Drew and Julio Lugo deals. I believe Minaya’s good deals outweigh his bad ones. I would probably give him a B- to a B.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Omar says:

      What was wrong with Theo’s JD Drew deal? If anything trading the second best player in baseball and trading anything of value for Eric Gagne were the mistakes.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bill says:

        I have a very difficult time criticizing Epstein for the Hanely Ramirez deal. Beckett has been excellent. They do not win the ’07 series without him. Hanely was a very good prospect, but they had no reason to believe he would be as good as he has been. Beckett was much more of a sure thing. They knew they were getting a top notch pitcher. We have to judge GM’s based upon the reasoning used at the time of the move. Boston was built to win at that time. They had Manny and Papi at or around their prime. They did not believe that Hanely would be ready to contribute at that time. They did believe that Beckett was ready to contribute at that time. It is unfair to judge a GM by the results of a trade when there are so many factors out of his control. They need to be judged by the thinking that went into the trade. But, even in hindsight Boston did okay in the trade. They received a perennial ace, a solid every day third baseman, and won a world championship. Losing Hanely hurt, but World Series flags fly forever. Epstien has made bad moves – the Mirabelli release and trade thing was awful and he completely misjudged Gagne – but I can’t condemn the HanRam trade. .

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Nate says:

        Yeah. The Hanley Ramirez deal made sense at the time, and it still does even now. Hanley wasn’t projected to being NEARLY as good as he is now.

        The JD Drew deal also isn’t so bad. A great fielding RF (UZR/150 over 5 for his career) with a career wOBA over .380? The improvement over Nixon was quite clear. 2007 should probably be considered a simple down year. It’s the injuries that should be the main concern.

        And Gagne, too, at the time made sense.

        However, I really can’t see any defense for the Julio Lugo deal, as well as the Mirabelli stuff. I thought the Crisp deal was boneheaded but neither impact player (Crisp and Marte) wound up being worth much. He’s probably really kicking himself for losing Shoppach, though.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • mattymatty says:

        Theo Epstein wasn’t the GM at the time of the Hanley Ramirez deal. He was on his hiatus via gorilla suit. The Ramirez deal was consummated by the place holders in the Red Sox GM suite. I’ve since read (I can’t remember where, I’m sorry) that Epstein was opposed to the deal at the time.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • big baby says:

        Calling JD Drew a “great” fielding RF is a blatant overstatement. Not to mention using career stats to talk about who is no longer in the prime of his career, is an injury risk (played less than 110 games in 08), and was still given an inflated contract.

        In 07 Drew had a sub .800 OPS and missed 20 games.
        In 08 Drew only played 110 games.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Nate says:

    Even in ’07 Drew still had a .373 OBP (and was healthy). He was actually worth more than he was paid in ’08 despite only playing that many games ($17.8M vs. $14M). He’ll likely regress closer to a .280-.290 EqA level in his later years and become overpaid, but the Red Sox and Epstein can afford to make that mistake. He was still a great improvement over Trot Nixon. Statistically at the time the signing made sense and despite health concerns he projects favorably for the rest of his deal through PECOTA and such.

    And how is calling him a good RF an overstatement? Health will always be a concern, but he had a UZR/150 over 10 in RF just last year. With a minimum of 800 Innings, only Randy Winn, Fukudome, and Rios were better. I’d agree if he had a declining trend, but ’08 combined with his career numbers suggest otherwise.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. paul zummo says:

    Late to the party, but I generally agree with the evaluation. Others have already pointed out why the Omar evaluation might be a bit harsh, so I won’t get too deeply into repeats here. The only argument against the Putz deal is that perhaps he could have landed a better return from that package of players, though I don’t think so. And while I am not sure what the ratio of praise for Omar and blame to the MN front office should be, but he did acquire the best pitcher in baseball for B and C level talent. Some of the relievers he gave up, especially Bell, turned out to be bad deals, though I don’t really cry too much about losing Bannister.

    But again, there’s not really not much to argue with otherwise.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. brian recca says:

    I’d say even with the Krod and Putz signings there bullpen is still weak especially without Duaner Sanchez. Minaya should have signed either a 2nd left handed reliever (Rhodes, Beimel, D. Reyes) or either Russ Springer or Brandon Lyon.

    As far as the Han Ram deal goes, I think that trade is actually one of the few FAIR TRADES that we have seen in baseball. I think I may have characterized the J.D. Drew deal unfairly. My concern was that they gave an injury prone player a 5 year $14 mil deal. However I saw noticed that in the contract it states: Boston may opt out of either of final 2 seasons if Drew:

    * spends 35 days on the disabled list in either 2009 or 2010 with injury related to pre-existing right shoulder condition, or
    * finishes 2009 or 2010 season on the disabled list and cannot play outfield the following season.

    Pretty good deal actually.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. RexS says:

    I really disagree with this ranking. The Mets’ chances of competing this year are good, but there are so many things that could go wrong with this team that it could easily win 83 games this year. There is a significant chance in 2009 of regression from any of Pelfrey, Tatis, Murphy, Church, and Delgado, any combination of whom could turn out average to marginal performances. And if Castillo continues to plummet and Maine continues to be inconsistent and unhealthy, you’re looking at a team with four monsters and a lot of below-average filler that will be wrestling with .500 all year. The Braves rotation is deeper and their lineup has good upside when you factor in their blue-chippers. And the Phillies have a good-enough rotation (I actually like the Mets’ better), but the main difference between the Mets and the Phillies is that the Phillies stand to have less holes in the lineup (although Pedro Feliz and Carlos Ruiz don’t scare anyone and Ryan Howard is increasingly becoming a paper tiger). I’m actually more afraid of the Braves than the Phillies this year.

    As for 2010 and beyond every Met farmhand comes with significant questions (all farmhands do, but the Mets’ system is particularly risk-loaded, the only redeeming feature is that there is a lot of upside there too). The best case scenario is that Fernando! and Brad Holt turn out to be 4 win players in 2011 and Nick Evans and Jon Niese can knock out 3 wins apiece, with either Reese Havens, Daniel Murphy, or even Ike Davis (who is an excellent defensive first baseman) being able to fill 2nd base well enough. That would be four players giving you 5 wins on average (conservatively) and the rest of the group giving you 3-4 (including Holt, Pelfrey, Maine, and Niese) and a rocking bullpen. But all these guys are so risk-loaded that it’s unlikely that this best-case scenario realizes itself. And Marte and Flores are eons away. The Braves on the other hand are poised to become monsters down the road, and the Phillies–oddly enough, the Phillies prospects down the line are arguably worse than the Mets. Their superstars are older than ours and their farm has better safety but less upside.

    As for the ownership, Wilpon spends, but spends poorly and gets involved where he shouldn’t. There is good reason to believe that he forced the Lastings Milledge trade. He gave Minaya an undeserved extension, and he rarely goes over slot in the draft, and make other penny-wise pound-foolish decisions. He’s a B- at best.

    I would give the Mets a solid B, and I think even the Marlins, Braves, and even Reds chances are good enough this year and better for the future to be ranked ahead.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. nails says:

    How is it that Cashman is an “adept trader” and Minaya isn’t? Seo for Sanchez, Benson for Maine and Julio, who turned into Duque, Jacobs for Delgado, nothing for LoDuca, the Santana trade, and now Putz, which will probably turn into an excellent deal for the Mets. Are you a Milledge fan who thinks he’s the next Gary Sheffield?

    And this: “trying to figure out how much to pay for different skills, finding inefficiencies in the market, and putting together a roster that maximizes the assets he has..”

    How does that not apply to Cashman as well? C- for Minaya, and then a B+ the next day for Cashman….you need to stick to the West Coast.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. MG says:

    Minaya has made some good trades and bad trades like most GMs. The reality is the Minaya has spent very big dollars on FA players including Pedro, Delgado, Beltran, and Wagner and the Mets have largely zilch to show for in 4 years (1 NL East title). A team that has annually been in the top 3 or 4 in spending since Minaya arrived should have more hardware to show for it.

    Plus, it is like Minaya has had to deal with another dominant franchise either in the NL East. The Braves’ dominant run ended and they have become a middle-of-the pack franchise. As for the Phils, I am a life-long Phils’ fan but they have only been a good/very good team the last few years.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. MG says:

    My favorite part about the Mets’ fans though is how they whine/complain that the Wilpons don’t spend enough money even though the team has been in the top 3 or 4 in spending the past 4 years, act like every decent Mets’ prospect is a future All-Star, or that their franchise anywhere near on par with the Yanks.

    Reality is this is a team that has spent uddles of money but hasn’t won a WS since ’86 and only has won a whopping 4 NL East titles over the past 35 years.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Conballs says:

      And… wait, nope, that pretty much sums it up. You can’t quantify chemistry, and chemistry helps winning tremendously. (quoted directly from Jim Duquette this morning). Though there’s no metric for it, which team do you think has the better chemistry, Mets or Phillies? There’s only one right answer, it’s not even close, and everyone knows it, and those who disagree are merely kidding themselves.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • MPC says:

        Yeah, quote Jim Duquette. He was a GREAT GM. With such brilliant moves as trading Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, how can you argue with what he says?

        Chemistry on a baseball team = meaningless.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • MPC says:

      Who acts like every decent mets prospect is a future all star? No one. Stop making things up.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Sam says:

    Perhaps this is just my lack of objectivity shining through (being a life-long Braves fan), but i feel as though the Mets are a bit too high on this list. They consistently over pay for aging talent (Delgado, Pedro, Wagner, etc) and i think the pressure of trying to live up to the Yankees often leads them to overvaluing glamour positions, by signing not one, but two closers to exorbitant contracts. I just find it hard to believe that a couple of guys who pitch no more than one inning at a time, and generally only when you’re already winning anyway can justify such enormous contracts. I personally think the idea of a “closer” is extremely overrated and a marketing tool more than anything. The Braves one 14 division titles without ever paying a relief pitcher anywhere near K-Rod money and the abominable John Smoltz (and perhaps briefly John Rocker) were the only truly dominant relievers they had during the entire stretch, but they always found a way to win.

    Also, i think Jose Reyes is one of the most overrated players in baseball. He is an above average ballplayer for sure, but if he didn’t play in New York far less people would consider him elite.

    Again, this might be the homer in me shining through, but i think the Mets may very well finish fourth in the NL East this year. The Phillies are hands down the best team, but the Braves and especially the Marlins, are going to surprise a lot of people. Bobby Cox knows baseball, and he said in an article a few weeks ago that he thinks the Marlins have the best rotation in the division. While no one has ever heard of any of their players sans Ramirez, they’ve got a good, young ballclub down their that could really turn some heads.

    And lastly, i know this won’t sit well with the sabermetrics guys, but the Mets just aren’t winners. They are seemingly very lacking in those intangibles that the great ones have. They’ve got a great bunch of superstars, but i think that’s just the problem, too many chiefs and not enough Indians. This core of players has been together for several years now and they have had two consecutive late season epic collapses (which i enjoyed quite a bit). The Mets were just awful down the stretch and you’ll never convince me that K-Rod and Putz would have made that big of a difference. And even in 2006 (the one time they’ve made the playoffs since they’re defeat in the Subway Series way back in 2000, and the only time they’ve one the division since the Braves joined the NL East) they lost to the Cardinals, who while they did wind up winning the World Series, were huge underdogs to the Mets and only won 83 games in the regular season.

    In closing, i’m pretty sure the Mets of ’01-’04 (You remember, that star-studded team of Mike Piazza, Roberto Alomar, Roger Cedeno, Jeromy Burnitz, the very beginnings of Reyes and Wright, and who could forget the incomparable Mo Vaughn) were often picked to beat the Braves by the pre-season pundits, and i think we all remember how that turned out. As long as the Mets keep overpaying for guys the Yankees don’t want in the same way they’ve been doing for the past twenty years, this division belongs to anyone but them.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Ryan says:

      The Mets 2007 late season collapse was epic. I’m getting kind of tired of hearing that the 2008 “collapse” was just as epic or, by some people’s standards, even more epic. The Mets never had the type of lead during the ’08 season that they carried very late into the ’07 season.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Lunkwill Fook says:

      You are a homer.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Anthony says:

      Might try proofreading rather than spell checker as you have lots of erroneous words.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. RexS says:

    Well, the Braves homer is overstating his case. It is very possible, though unlikely, that the Mets will finish fourth in their division and their organization has sucked for as long as he says it has, and for those very reasons. He is wrong when he says that K-Rod and Putz would not have made a difference in 2008. He is as wrong as it is possible to be wrong. The Mets blew countless multiple-run leads from the 8th inning forward which would not have happened with those two. The Mets win the NL East by 3 games with those 2 relievers.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. RexS says:

    Also, to talk about Reyes being overrated is stupid enough to offset all the good points the Braves fan made. Reyes was the 2nd best SS in *baseball* in 2008, and if he and Hanley return to their typical defensive performance levels, he’ll have a good chance to be the best next year and every year for the next 7 years. The guy across the river, Super Terrific Derrick (STD), is the most overrated player in baseball and has been for a decade. Reyes came close to doubling his total value and might pull it off this year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Sam says:

    Reyes is a career .287 hitter with a .336 OBP, this of course is a bit misleading because that includes some not quite ready for the big leagues stats from his first two years. He’s currently about .290 avg, .350 OBP kind of guy, which is almost identical to the lifetime stats of Rafael Furcal, who no one has ever considered anything close to “elite”, depsite his putting up those numbers more consistently over a longer period of time, even in the first few years of his career.

    Reyes is an elite fielder and base stealer, i’m not arguing that, and as i said before, he is an above average ballplayer all around, but his hitting just hasn’t been impressive enough to warrant the media attention and star treatment he receives. And if he played in Atlanta, San Francisco, St. Louis, or just about anywhere else outside of the Big Apple, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. Anthony says:

    Maybe I didn’t read the fine print with determining overall grades, but explain this to me:

    Mets: A-, C, A-, B-=A-
    Phillies: A, C, B+, B-=B-

    Doesn’t seem to add up to me. Two grades are exactly the same and the Phillies A in ownership makes up for the B+ in Major League Talent.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. RexS says:

    Reyes was the 2nd best SS all-round in baseball in 2008 and 2006. This isn’t my opinion, this is in WARP stats used on this web-site. And it was a down year defensively. He is actually only an above-average to good fielder. His value is offensive, specifically a .290/.355/.455 hitter who is good at short and steals 50 bases. The only SS who put up offensive numbers better than those was Hanley. Even Jeter didn’t sniff it, nor did Rollins, or Renteria, or anyone else.

    Reyes is an elite player. Period. You can feel free to deny this fact. You can also talk about how Albert Pujols is a 2nd-tier guy if you like. Whatever floats your boat.

    BTW, I’m well aware that Pujols > Reyes.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. stolehome says:

    Too many of you guys are bean-counters. What is special about Reyes is who he is.
    He is the life of the team. His enthusiasm and joy of life excites and ignites the team. When he is hurt or slumping the team feels much flatter. His relationship with the team is great. But his relationship with the fans is a two-way love affair.
    And both he and Wright are still learning and growing.

    Two comments about your scoring.
    1. What about the Field Manager? Isn’t he THE most important man on the field?
    The difference between Willie and Jerry is night and day. Mostly the same cast but this Spring was so different then the last one. Isn’t Cox or Larussa worth a lot to their franchises?
    2. What about the fans.
    Putz just compared Seattle and Mets fans as far as their knowledge goes. I think Ny fans will say applaud good defense more then other fans.Phillies and Boston also seem to have great fans.

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