Scott Podsednik, Dayton Moore, and The Contest

One might be tempted to see the Royals’ signing of outfielder Scott Podsednik as a move to steal the headlines in the wake of cross-state rival St. Louis’ big Matt Holliday contract earlier this week. Or maybe they just wanted to sneak in the bad news on Friday. Close observers, however, know better. This is all part of The Contest.

I’m not exactly sure what the goal of The Contest is: to put together a team that might contend in 2005, get fired, or to shatter the blogosphere’s Universal Snark-O-Meter in one fell blow, but it’s been apparent for some time now that Royals General Manager Dayton Moore and his Mets counterpart Omar Minaya have been involved in some sort of bizarre rivalry for at least the last year. It’s been a real back-and-forth (forgive the shaky chronology):

* Dayton acquires Mike Jacobs, Kyle Farnsworth, Horacio Ramirez, and Willie Bloomquist as part of a misguided attempt to contend.

* Omar responds by giving Oliver Perez three years and $36 million (aka, “The Jose Guillen Special”).

* The same week that the Royals trade prospects for Yuniesky Betancourt, the Mets trade Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur (the latter must really have burned Dayton up inside).

* Omar accuses a reporter critical of a fired Mets official of gunning for a job with the Mets.

* In the midst of a near 100-loss season, Dayton lectures Royals fans on their lust for instant gratification and admonishes them to “trust the process.”

* Dayton understandably allows two below-average catchers to walk (Miguel Olivo and John Buck), but then signs Zombie Jason Kendall for more than either Olivo or Buck get on the open market.

* Omar, bidding against himself, manages to overpay Jason Bay by at least $15-$20 million.

It was obviously Dayton’s time to shine. And shine he did.

The terms of the deal haven’t been made public yet (to my knowledge). But what kind of player is the 34-year-old Podsednik at this point?

CHONE has Podsednik projected for a context-neutral .271/.333/.367, 9 runs below average per 150 games. My own projection is .269/.324/.384, -8/150. Defensively, CHONE’s TotalZone projection is +4 in left field (Podsednik’s primary position the last few seasons) per 150 games. Jeff Zimmerman has him at -2. My projection includes basestealing (in short: he steals a lot, but gets caught too much to be worth it), but as far as his baserunning goes otherwise, he’s average at best at this point.

Per 150 games (which Podsednik hasn’t played since 2004): let’s call it +1 defense, -7 prorated positional adjustment for left field, -9 offense + 20 replacement level = 0.5 WAR player. Fans have so far projected Podsednik at 0.2 WAR for 2010.

I haven’t seen the terms of the deal yet. I’ve heard rumors or one year, one million dollars, and even at $3.5 million per marginal win, at 0.5 WAR, that’s sort of reasonable… sounding.

Except that it’s still a terrible decision. Let’s put it this way: the Royals aren’t exactly at a point at which they should be spending more for a marginal win — they are one of the worst teams in the American League. It’s a slight bargain at best, and assuming (perhaps foolishly) that Moore didn’t spring for more than one year, a player with this sort of projection needs to have some upside, and Podsednik is 34 years old.

Moreover, what does this mean in relation to opportunity cost? Podsednik is 34 years old and his primary position the last few years is left field. Of course, one of the few above-average position players the Royals have is their current left fielder David DeJesus, probably a 2.5-3.0 WAR player in 2010. DeJesus is good enough defensively that he could probably be at least adequate in center (certainly better than Podsednik), but his arm (despite 2009′s impressive statistical showing in left) won’t play in right. Podsednik doesn’t have the arm for right, either… which leaves center field, something Dayton Moore has repeatedly hinted at with his talk of “speedy center fielder” (roles!) all offseason.

Leaving aside the reality that Podsednik is at best barely above average defensively in left field, thus implying a disaster in center field (where he last played full-time in 2004), the Royals already have two center fielders on the roster. One is the recently signed replacement-level Brian Anderson (Moore is apparently adding former White Sox to his palette of former Braves and Mariners). Anderson, at least, is young-ish enough to have some upside, although why Moore felt he had to give Anderson a major-league deal worth $0.7M with performance incentives is beyond me. Even worse, the Royals have Mitch Maier. Maier is nothing special — he’s probably a good fourth outfielder at best — a 1.0-1.5 WAR player. But he’s 28, at the minimum, and the Royals aren’t contending (even for .500) in 2010: this is the year to play Maier and see what he’s got and save a bit of cash. But Dayton has other ideas.

Even if Maier wasn’t around, Podsednik isn’t close to good enough to be an Iwamura-type “let’s at least have someone respectable out there” — in that case, there are still far superior players like FanGraphs-favorites Ryan Church and Gabe Gross available, and the market shows that superior players to Podsednik, such as Langerhans, are going for less than Brian Anderson money.

I could go on, but you get the picture: this deal makes no sense… unless you know about The Contest.

Your move, Omar.

[Update: As pointed out in the comments, I completely negleted to factor in Dayton's brilliant 'banning' of Rany Jazayerli for criticizing the Royals' medical staff. I apologize for the embarrassing oversight on my part. This really puts Omar behind... how many years and millions to Bengie Molina is it going to take for him to catch up?]




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Matt Klaassen reads and writes obituaries in the Greater Toronto Area. If you can't get enough of him, follow him on Twitter.

183 Responses to “Scott Podsednik, Dayton Moore, and The Contest”

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  1. Mike Ketchen says:

    I can safely say I have read over 90% of the post here. This is by far the most I have ever laughed at one. Keep up the great work, heres hoping Omar really does try and one up him.

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  2. The Hit Dog says:

    Trust the Contest.

    +22 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. John says:

    Hilarious.

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  4. Ben F says:

    “we’re going to focus on players who can get on base”
    Signs Scott Podsednik
    “we’re going to focus on 0-3 year players with more years of team control”
    Signs Scott Podsednik
    “we’re going to improve the defense”
    Signs Scott Podsednik

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    • Bannister19 says:

      @BenF
      First, Scott Podsednick just came off a year where he had a 350+ OBP (not even his career year). In three of his five full seasons he has managed an OBP of 350 or more. Compare that to Mitch Maier’s 330 OBP. 350 is actually above avearge. Only 40 players in the AL hit 350 or more last year.

      Second, why don’t you mention all the young, non-arbitration eligible players Royals signed this off season to MiLB contracts, not including those MLB ones of players like Chris Getz and Josh Fields.

      Third, why don’t you also mention, in comparing OBP, Jason Kendall to Miguel Olivo. Or in comparing defense, Jason Kendall to Miguel Olivo and Chris Getz to Alberto Callapso.

      If you’re going to bash on Dayton Moore, at least make it reasonable.

      Nevertheless, this was an amusing article.

      Oh, also
      @The A Team

      Dayton Moore’s job is not to play clubhouse security. Rany being ”banned” has nothing to do with the General Manager of the team. Take the bullshit elsewhere.

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  5. The A Team says:

    I was hoping that:

    * Omar accuses a reporter critical of a fired Mets official of gunning for a job with the Mets.

    would be juxtaposed somehow with:

    * Moore bans saberist Rany Jazayerli for criticizing his medical staff

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  6. The A Team says:

    As a Phillies fan and Mets hater, I have been following the contest since it began and can only say that it pleases me greatly.

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  7. Previously, I pointed out (check the name link) that the Orioles have been a graveyard for washed up Cubs players in recent years. Kansas City is looking to be the White Sox equivalent (Moore has made more trades with Kenny Williams (now 5) than any other GM during his brief reign as GM of the Royals). According to MLBTradeRumors, the Royals are close to signing “a speedy outfielder” who is speculated to be Scott Podsednik. That would put the following ex-White Sox on the 25-man roster since Moore took over as GM in 2006:

    C-Miguel Olivo
    1B-Ross Gload
    2B-Chris Getz
    3B-Josh Fields
    INF-Tony Graffanino
    OF-Scott Podsednik
    SP-Kip Wells
    RP-Horacio Ramirez
    RP-David Riske

    From this list, I see a bunch of utility players and DFA candidates. Is it possible to build a 25-man roster of White Sox-turned-Royals players since 2002? We’ve already got an infield.

    If you make this a revolving door system and include the crap Kenny Williams has taken from the Royals, you could also add the following players to our hypothetical team:

    3B-Mark Teahen
    CL-Mike MacDougal
    CL-Octavio Dotel
    INF-Andy Sisco
    RP-D.J. Carrasco

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    • eitheror says:

      Former White Sox are second to anyone who has talked to anyone who has received a check from Ted Turner. And Bill Bavasi’s scraps.

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    • I forgot about OF Brian Anderson. Him too

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    • JoeyO says:

      Kenny “landed” Jimmy Gobble and Paul Phillips from the Royals as well.

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      • haha. this 25 man roster is really shaping up!

        Here’s the Royals-White Sox junk swap roster

        C-Miguel Olivo
        C-Paul Phillips
        1B-Ross Gload
        2B-Chris Getz
        SS-Tony Graffanino
        3B-Mark Teahen
        INF-Josh Fields
        INF-Andy Sisco
        OF-Scott Podsednik
        OF-Brian Anderson
        SP-Kip Wells
        RP-Horacio Ramirez
        RP-David Riske
        RP-Mike MacDougal
        RP-D.J. Carrasco
        RP-Jimmy Gobble
        CL-Octavio Dotel

        We still need 4 SP, 3 more OF and a DH.

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      • JoeyO says:

        Well, I think I finished this off for us.

        First Andrew Sisco is a reliever, not an IF. So he needs to move to the Pen. Good thing too, he is the only leftie we have in the pen after some tweaking. Do have 3 in the rotation though.

        Anyway, Kenny signed Super Utility guy Fernando Cortez for the minors in 2008 after he spent 2007 with Moore, so I guess he can fill the vacated bench role.

        Kenny also signed Ryan Braun for the minors last season, so that’s one more BP arm, maybe pushing maybe Gobble into the rotation. Horacio Ramirez should then go to the rotation to fill one of its other spots too as these are hard to fill. Williams had Nomo in the minors in 2006, and he had those 3 games for Moore in 08 – Mirco amount of time for both clubs, but we need these guys hahaha. Then Moore signed on-time Kenny pitcher Heath Phillips for the minors last season, and he can fill the last starter spot I guess since he is a starter in the minors.

        For the rest it looks like we might need to use minor leaguers though. Onetime Brave Ken Ray was in the minor league system for the Sox in 04 and Royals in 07, he is probably a good candidate to fill the last BP spot. We can plug Cory Aldridge (Chi AA 06-07, KC AA/AAA 08-09) into one of the OF spots I guess. If we move Teahen to the OF where he probably belongs anyway, we can use one-time Indian top-prospect Corey Smith in the other IF spot too – he spent 06 in AA for Kenny and 09 in AA for Moore. And I cant find another OF, but Travis Dawkins is a super-utility guy who played for both the Royals and Sox Triple-A clubs last season.

        Oh, and found one more player as well. One-time DBack and Astro Steve Randolph pitched in the minors for Kenny in 06 and Moore in 09, so he can be our 26th man for the pitching staff. He can start or relieve and even has 155 ML innings.

        So we are left looking at

        C-Miguel Olivo
        1B-Ross Gload
        2B-Chris Getz
        SS-Tony Graffanino
        3B-Josh Fields
        LF-Scott Podsednik
        CF-Brian Anderson
        RF-Mark Teahen

        C-Paul Phillips
        IF-Corey Smith
        IF/OF-Travis Dawkins
        IF/OF-Fernando Cortez
        OF-Cory Aldridge

        RHP-Kip Wells
        LHP-Horacio Ramirez
        RHP-Hideo Nomo
        LHP-Jimmy Gobble
        LHP-Heath Phillips

        RP-Ryan Braun
        RP-Ken Ray
        RP-David Riske
        LP-Andy Sisco
        RP-D.J. Carrasco
        RP-Mike MacDougal
        CL-Octavio Dotel

        Emergency pitching replacement
        LHP-Steve Randolph

        Our Lineup might be the biggest collection of wOBA immune players you can find (Mark Teahen, one of the worst regulars in the game the last three years, is going to have to be our cleanup hitter!) Meanwhile our Bench has almost no experience, one of those no-experience bench guys will be forced to be the DH and our Rotation is beyond questionable. But on the plus side, our pen might not be that bad really so if we ever had a lead they might actually be able to protect it. Not that I think we should seriously expect to get many leads, but you never know!

        It is funny that we are able to build a 26-man roster between the two GMs though. Moore has barley had control four seasons, so we arent working with a lot of time here. And its possibly funnier that they are all trash players outside a couple guys in the pen. But I guess it should be expected with two GMs like Kenny and Moore.

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      • AInquisition says:

        Does Jermaine Dye qualify?

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      • It truly is pathetic. Moore, Williams are just bad GMs.

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  8. johng says:

    It’s obvoius what Moore’s doing. Around June 24th, when Juan Pierre has frustrated everybody in the organization down to the grounds crew, Kenny Williams will trade Jayson Nix and Jack Egbert for Podsednik, who will stink it up for the WSox slightly less than Pierre did.

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  9. Omar Minaya says:

    I’ll take Depleting the Farm System for $50 million!

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  10. johng says:

    Just data trolling:

    Jimmy Gobble
    Horatio Ramirez
    David Riske

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  11. alexperez84 says:

    Matt im new here but why all the hate for omar minaya. Hes not nearly as bad as moore. i know omar gave perez 3/36 but its not like the contract is hampering the mets for years to come and they cant make additions because of it. If perez has a bad year again then maybe ill concede to you but please tell me one GM who hasnt had a bad signing ever let alone in the past 3 years.

    -24 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DavidCEisen says:

      Perez, Putz, K-Rod, Bay, Delgado, ect, ect…

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    • Fred Wilopn says:

      Luis Castillo’s knees say hi

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    • BX says:

      The Putz trade – when you give up that much for ANY reliever, you know its going to be bad.

      K-Rod, Perez, Bay, Cora (2MM to sub replacement infielder = bad), Francoeur (and then offering him arbitration, knowing he’s going to get a raise from his 3MM salary AND you could get someone way better on the open market for cheaper), Castillo, Redding, building a very top heavy team with zero depth

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      • vivaelpujols says:

        What did the Met’s give up for Putz? Endy Chavez and Mike Carp?

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      • CMC_Stags says:

        The New York Mets tonight acquired All-Star righthanded reliever J.J. Putz, righthanded pitcher Sean Green, and outfielder Jeremy Reed from the Seattle Mariners in a three-team trade involving 12 players. The Mets sent righthanded pitcher Aaron Heilman, outfielder Endy Chavez, lefthanded pitcher Jason Vargas, minor league infielder/outfielder Mike Carp, minor league outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, and minor league righthanded pitcher Maikel Cleto to the Mariners. In the transactions, the Cleveland Indians received righthanded pitcher Joe Smith from the Mets and minor league infielder Luis Valbuena from Seattle. The Mariners will also receive outfielder Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians.

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  12. alexperez84 says:

    Overpaying by jason bay? how did you come to that? At least 20 million? This is the same team S.I picked to win the world series except your replacing Bay with delgado. The guy led all outfielders in home runs and rbi.

    -40 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DavidCEisen says:

      oh boy…

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    • KaminaAyato says:

      And I’m sure I won’t be the first to say that using HR and RBI to make your case will get you nowhere here.

      If you’re new here, you may want to keep in mind the context of the readers who come here on a regular basis. Traditional counting stats such as those carry no weight.

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      • wobatus says:

        HRs carry a lot of weight here (insofar as they effect his wOBA), but his UZR is heavy to carry. But I do think his UZR in Fenway undersells him. His ratings under other fielding systems are better (Dewan and Total Zone).

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    • Alon says:

      So how did the mets do last year?

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      • NBarnes says:

        Don’t you think that that’s a little cold, Alon? I mean, really.

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      • Alon says:

        “This is the same team S.I picked to win the world series except your replacing Bay with delgado.”

        Choosing to use a magazine’s pre-season choice for the World Series as opposed to using their actual season record (and performance) is a hideously sloppy way of proving a point.

        I’ll concede it was probably more assholish than warranted. Apologies.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        Whenever a team is demolished with injuries, you can’t hold that against them. Can you?

        If any really good teams suffers major injuries to 3-5 (or more) key players, tehy are going to underperform significantly.

        I would think that goes without saying.

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      • vivaelpujols says:

        And injuries, CC, are predictive. Meaning if a player has an injury next year, he’s more likely to be injured and suffer decreased performance the next year. Plus, didn’t Dave just have an article on “2009 is not static”?

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        VEL,

        I’m not sure I am following. The Mets had ELEVEN (11!) players on the DL at the SAME time.

        Beltran – 3 months
        Delgado – 4.5 months
        Maine = 4 months
        FMartinez – 3.5 months
        RMartinez – 4 months
        Niese – 2 months
        Putz – 3 months
        Reyes – 4.5 months
        Wagner – 1.5 months
        Wright – 1 month

        I understand that injuries can be somewhat predicted (especially by past history and/or age), and even somewhat prepared for … but NOT to the degree that NYM experienced in 2009.

        Losing their 2 best players for the rest of the season shortly before the halfway point of the season is decimating. Am I to believe they should have known that was going to happen and/or had ‘back-ups’ that could halfway fill that void?

        Where are all these teams that have guys in AAA that can come up and replace the stars of the franchise? Seriously. If a GM was keeping guys that could “reasonably replace stars” in an MLB lineup, I’d ask why those guys aren’t in MLB playing a secondary/similar position?

        The Mets were also unfortunate enough to play in a division that featured 3 teams with 85+ wins. I don;t see many reasons why NYM and PHL shouldn’t be a 1-2 battle for the NLE all season long in 2010.

        FWIW, Pagan, Tatis, Frenchy, etc had decent seasons as replacement for the stars. It’s just that none of them (nor are there veterans in AAA anywhere) that could replace Reyes and Beltran enough for ANY team to “keep it going” for 4 to 4.5 months. If they could, then stars are vastly over-rated (and I do not think they are).

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      • WY says:

        I think what VEP meant is that if all these players were injured last year, we shouldn’t expect them (all) to magically return to pre-2009 performance levels. I think the Mets are still a mess, personally.

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      • CircleChange11 says:

        I think what VEP meant is that if all these players were injured last year, we shouldn’t expect them (all) to magically return to pre-2009 performance levels. I think the Mets are still a mess, personally.

        That makes sense.

        I don’t think the Mets are counting heavily on many of those guys other than Wright, Reyes, Beltran, and Maine. To expect a big drop off on any of those guys would be uneccesary pessimism (IMO).

        I think the bigger concern with the Mets is pitching.

        Reyes, Beltran, Wright, and Bay is a darn fine top of the order … even if Reyes and Beltran are not as good as they used to be (I don’t see why they ‘couldn’t’ be). I also don;t think Bay’s OF defense is going to be as ‘Adam Dunn’ as some seems to be (gleefuly) predicting.

        The obstacle for the Mets is in the pitching staff. Johan may never have one of those “Johan Years” that he had with the Mets, and the BP was poor. NYM likely need Santana to balance out Halladay (good luck), but PHL’s rotation and BP is ‘question-marky’ as well.

        I’ve never really been one of those “top of the world” or “jump off the bridge” type of fans. Bipolarism in fandom should be relegated to the NFL. *grin*

        The Mets roster looks fine compared to the other teams that will be in WC/playoff contention. There may be more “let’s see how they look in Apr/May” factor than some of the other teams (COL, for example), but the talent level should be “right there”.

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  13. alexperez84 says:

    Home runs dont count? We are talking baseball right.

    -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DavidCEisen says:

      HRs count, but are hardly the be all and end all of offensive production. Bay finished tied for second among outfielders in home runs, and Franklin Gutierrez finished the year with 18–however Gutierrez was a much better (total) player last season.

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      • johng says:

        You see, Alex, you will get much further namedropping some obscure AA 5th infielder who, through some arcane formula, produces a number that is either higher or lower than the average. You can then condescend to the rest of all baseball “fans” and proclaim your superiority.

        Can somebody remind me, how many World Series has baseball’s first MBA, Billy Beane, GMed over?

        -55 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Hit Dog says:

        OMG u r totally rite. B-ball is measured with 1 word – the WIN.

        Honestly, can 1 person on this “site” even tell me wat “RBI” (!?!?!?) even STANDS for?? From now on, EVERYBODY – position player and pitcher – only gets 2 stats – W AND L. If ur team wins the world series, u r batting 1000. If not – try again next yr! sorry zach greinke, you suck!

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      • Jason B says:

        Dude u r so rite. Jack Morris, now there’s a winner! He won game 7 in a World Series for God’s sake. I don’t care if he went 153-241 during the rest of his career, he is a freakin GAMER.

        Chucky Knoblauch too, dude has some series World Series bling. And man, he was as scrappy as the day is long. There’s a Hall of Famer if I ever saw one.

        For my money, there’s not a better baseball player today than Ryan Howard. Just look at those HR and RBI totals!!!1!1 Tell me that’s a fluke.

        You know who else is pretty good. Bob Wickman. He racked up some serious SAVES back in the day. It wasn’t always pretty, and his ERA may have been like 6, but he got the job done when you gave him a 3-run lead. That’s what a closer is supposed to do. Who cares that his fastball topped out at 82 and my kid brother could protect 94% of 3-run leads. Details, details…

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. Dayton Moore says:

    Hey, I’m trying, guys.

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  15. alexperez84 says:

    I understand rbi depends on where u hit and who hits before you but if you hit 4th or 5th which is where bay will hit he will have a monster year. If omar overpaaid for bay fine but to say he overpaid by 20 million is ridiculous. Its a cheap shot. How about mozeliak the guy is st louis. i dont think i spelled his name right but he just gave holliday 100 million when no one else was bidding. At least omar had to think that the cardinals would make a play for bay if holliday wouldnt budge.

    -15 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Michael says:

      It doesn’t matter where he hits in the lineup. Bay’s a good hitter. He’s just a bad defender; so bad, in fact, that it really saps into his hitting. That’s why Matt mentions that he got overpaid by a lot, which is a pretty fair statement.

      Holliday on the other hand is a better hitter and at the very least an equal defender (depends on who you ask and how you weigh the defensive stats). He has a significantly better chance of matching the value of his contract than Bay does, though Holliday has the disadvantage of more years (something Matt also talked about in a previous article as being a potential problem().

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      • nmh says:

        Someone needs to tell Tim Dierkes to stop posting FanGraphs links on Trade Rumors. Wait, was that a nerdy baseball burn?

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    • justin says:

      What happened to David Wright in the new stadium? Think it will treat Bay just as nicely?

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      • LeiterWagnerFasterStronger says:

        What happened to Wright was actually much, much odder than “Citifield ate up his power” (one year of data’s a little early to make conclusions, but CF actually seemed to surrender slightly more HRs to right-handers compared to the average major-league park). He actually kind of lost power across the board, while posting a way-high BABIP and striking out almost 25% more than he normally does. You can argue that misguided swing adjustments might have aided last year’s blackout, but it’s tough to say that the stadium’s actual physical dimensions did much to depress his power.

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  16. I didn’t realize there was a contest happening, at least my Mets are winning something.

    And to the fellow Mets fan who hasn’t been to fangraphs before we overpayed… alot. We paid for home runs and bad defense when we have a home park that doesn’t allow home runs and requires great defensive range. Not that the deal is even good if it was in Yankee stadium, but its just worse in Citi Field.

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    • LeiterWagnerFasterStronger says:

      As I said above… look at the HR numbers/Hittracker stuff closer. CF actually gave a slight BOOST to RH power last year. Rumors of its being Petco East are a product of the same writers that just voted in Dawson over about 7 other more deserving HOF candidates… they’re based on feel, look and what-we-think-it-is, rather than fact.

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  17. alexperez84 says:

    Franklin gut wasnt even a free agent this off season so who cares about him. The mets dont need a CF theyve got that handled. If my team needed slugger and they went out and gor franklin instead of bay id be pissed even if he could play defense 10X better. Theres a place for defense and offense in this game you cant just win with one.

    -26 Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. alexperez84 says:

    Mets didnt overpay by 20 million. I know how big citifield is and i wish that jason bay could play better d but sometimes you have to look past that. Manny doesnt have the best glove but look what hes doing with the dodgers. Took them to the playoffs twice. the dodgers are paying him 20 million a year.

    -18 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jpdtrmpt72 says:

      you, sir, are either really clueless about the people who visit this website, or the best troll i have seen in a long time here.

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      • wobatus says:

        Maybe he does not know “the people” who visit the web site (perhaps he just started looking at the site himself), and I doubt he is trolling. Even if so, he is making some somewhat valid points. Bay may be a better fielder than his UZR suggests. There may be a Fenway factor (yes he was also bad in 2007 in Pitt, but he was hurt-prior to that he was decent). His total zone rating was actually positive, and under Dewan he was just slightly negative.

        If Bay was indeed a decent fielder last year (and yes, these stats don’t tell you everything, but Bay had 15 assists, zero errors, and made the second most putouts of any leftfielder in the league, so maybe he isn’t great, but it is hard to believe he is as bad as his UZR suggests, and since Dewan is in the middle on him as between his system, totalzone and UZR, that may be closer), his WAR would be well above the 3.5 he got.

        Suppose Franklin Gutierrez’s UZR slightly overstates his value this past year (unlikely, as he is consistently awesome it seems). Bay has had a 6+ WAR before. Gutierrez was 5.9 last year. If Bay was actually decent, Gutierrez slightly worse, they’d be close. And if Bay is really a 4-4.5 WAR guy, well, he isn’t being overpaid, at least not for next year or so.

        Further, Alex may be on to something, Gutierrez’s fielding would not be quite as valuable to the Mets (even if he was available), since it would entail moving their own good fielding CF to left field, where he would take a value hit on the position adjustment (although carlos has the knee issue). Although Gutierrez center, Beltran left may indeed be better than Beltran center, Bay in left. But at least it isn’t something to dismiss out of hand without going through the logical steps.

        But just standing alone, was bay overpaid by 20 million? Well, he seems to have had other offers around $60 million. Doesn’t mean he was worth that either. But he may not have been as overpaid as definitively as a lot of the fangraphers think.

        +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        wobatus, Beltran’s value would take an intrinsic hit in that his positional adjustment would be different, but the average out-making prowess left fielders are measured against is lower than that of CFs, generally-speaking that makes up for the value he loses in the adjustment. Beltran probably wouldn’t take the hit by moving over (and might stay a bit healthier if not in center every day).

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      Look the equation is simple, last year Bay was 33 runs above replacement offensively and 13 runs below–meaning he was 20 runs above replacement total. Which isn’t tremendous from a corner outfield position. Matt Holliday was a combined 41 runs above replacement when considering offense and defense.

      Manny also is not the reason the Dodgers made the playoffs the past two years. He’s not even in the top 5 reasons they have made it.

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      • alexperez84 says:

        Its been disputed by a lot of people that bay didnt get a fair reading because of the monster in fenway. a lot of balls that get hit for doubles easily become outs. Im not saying bay is great defensively but hes not horrible in the field. the mets needed a left fielder with power what they got was a left fielder with tremendous power. one who played in a media crazy town as well

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      • regfairfield says:

        Yep, the guy who was a four win player over two months in 2008 had nothing to do with them winning the division.

        Who the hell should the Mets have gotten if not Jason Bay? Pray Angel Pagan keeps it up. Run some shitty player like Gabe Gross out there who’s a bargain because he produces three million dollars of value but you only have to pay him one million?

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      • wobatus says:

        You are using his UZR as gospel, as if Bay definitively cost that many runs and Holliday saved that many. Bay’s Rtot was +7.9, Holliday’s -1.7. UZR may be a much better system, but it is not definitive.

        And Manny was a pretty good reason why the Dodgers won in 2008. They only won the division by 2 games. Manny had 6.5 WAR in 2008. He put up more than 1/3rd of that with the Dodgers, I’d imagine, since he OPS’d around 1.200 in a third of a season as opposed to about .900 with the Red Sox. Maybe the Dodgers would have gotten more than 1 WAR in those 50 games from somehwere else, but I don’t think so. Plus, and this doesn’t mean much necessarily, Andre Ethier was a much better hitter when Manny was around. Same was true this year, although they didn’t need manny to win this year. May be a coincidence, but just something to toss out there. You are right for 2009, but not for 2008, i think.

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    • Not David says:

      Learn to use the reply button, it’s there for a reason.

      Oh yeah, and read more, post less.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • 187 says:

        Looks like we have a homer leading this arguement. Go Mets Go! Woo Hoo!

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • alexperez84 says:

        Thanks i didnt see the reply button before. Ive been on the site for a long time but i never bothered to post. Its just when this guy matt says how bad minaya is i can say the same thing about ten other gm’s.

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      • Sandy Kazmir says:

        @ Alex

        Many GM’s are bad, not all of them have 9-digit payrolls at their exposure as well as what should be a gigantic stream of revenue. To have the second highest payroll in MLB last year and not have any sort of depth on the team is inexcusable. Good teams have good players a phone call away in AAA or on their bench. The Mets had neither and were exposed. I want to see you defend the trade for Francouer. The only stipulation is that you can’t say the words home run or RBI.

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      • Switzlebeegen says:

        Oooh, lemme try that.

        He’s younger than Church? I dunno.

        Fuck.

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      • LeiterWagnerFasterStronger says:

        He’s grittier! He’s smilier! He looks more like a Matt Groening character!

        (In all seriousness, he seems like a really decent guy, and I’m rooting for him to buck expectations– including mine– as long as he’s wearing blue-and-orange. But, yeah, I’m not exactly hopeful.)

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  19. Mike Ketchen says:

    Well, these comments are more then likely a result of the mass media pub fangraphs has been recieving lately. I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

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    • wobatus says:

      Regfairfield, I hear ya, but some folks thought nmaybe offer zilch to Molina, and use that money to sign Holliday, although that’s a longer contract, so might not be gerat either. i think a lot of people have good reason to prefer him even at that.

      I don’t think Bay deal is all that awful, either. It’s other deals and an accumulation of things.

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      • regfairfield says:

        But is giving eight years or 7/130ish to Holliday any better? Holliday is definitely the better player now, but those three extra years could end up being killers.

        I’m just not a huge fan of railing on a team for getting the second best player available for a position they desperately needed to fill, and suggesting giving two million to some defense first 1.5 win player like Gross or Langerhans as the alternate solution.

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  20. Pat says:

    It’s all part of “the plan”. I guess Dayton is trying to assemble a team of 35 year old replacement level players and Zach Greinke. Billy Butler is probably on the trade block, they can just replace him with Chad Tracy.

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  21. Sandy Kazmir says:

    About time someone dropped Gabe Gross’s name. Shocked is too strong of a word, but I’m pretty surprised that someone hasn’t signed him to a below-market deal to hit righties and provide outstanding defense. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a good guy to have in the clubhouse and knows how to take a walk.

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  22. Casper says:

    He also bakes the best brownies in the league – they’ll blow your mind.

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  23. Switzlebeegen says:

    Haha, Alex Perez is a master troll.

    -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. alexperez84 says:

    @Sandy ill defend francouer cause hes on the mets. I know how bad his time was in atlanta but he played well for the mets. If he can sustain that, that is another discussion. Nobody in baseball loses almost 70 homeruns and compete. give me a break. They lost delgado, reyes, beltran at the same time for 70% off the season. Go look at there WAR and tell me if a team goes onto the season counting on them and they get hurt you cant expect to compete

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    • Travis says:

      There is a reply button for a reason. You should try pressing it and see what happens. It’s like magic.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Derek says:

      You’re completely missing the point. Yes, the Mets were hit hard with injuries last year, but the point that was just made in the posts above is that Minaya has one of the highest payrolls in baseball, yet has built absolutely no organizational depth to prepare for situations like last year. Many teams are able to have decent replacements waiting in AAA when a starter goes down with an injury, but Minaya had such little depth that he spent all season relying on players like…well, Wilson Valdez.

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  25. CaseStreet says:

    Funny stuff.

    I say my boy Omar will give Bengie 3 years, Pineiro a Wolf contract, then bring in Delgado for $6M guaranteed and $8M in incentives.

    Try topping that!

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  26. Basil Ganglia says:

    How many people remember the time, hot quite one year ago, when Dave Cameron ranked the Royals organization #27 out of 30.

    … and much hilarity ensued???

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    • joser says:

      Yeah, those “Royals have an outside shot at the playoffs” and “The Royals are clearly moving in the right direction” folks have been strangely silent lately (in fact, when I read somebody comment last year “But the Royals need a shortstop, and Yuniesky Betancourt is one” I almost felt sorry for them — it can’t be easy having your illusions crushed so cruelly). But that linked thread was actually after an even better earlier one, though I can’t find it now.

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  27. ThundaPC says:

    Ah, this is the ol’ Bill Bavasi Memorial Roster Construction contest.

    The winning GM must construct the roster filled with the grittiest players and players with the most “mental makeup.” GMs get big points for acquiring veteran players. The more the merrier.

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  28. Chuck says:

    All this piling on Dayton is getting ridiculous. The man had a bad year – give him a break. The Podsednik signing is not worth making this big a deal about. And if it means less time in the outfield for Jose Guillen, that is a good thing. And Dayton already pulled one of the biggest heists off Minaya a couple years ago when he traded convicted murderer Ambiorix Burgos for Brian Bannister.

    -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • brownra2 says:

      So, your arguments that Dayton Moore is being judged too harshly revolve around (1) its a good move to pick up an outfielder who can relegate another outfielder that he signed to a 3-year/$36M contract to the bench, and (2) correctly guessing that Burgos would run people over with his SUV at some point in the future?

      Methinks you undermine your own argument about laying off of Moore.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • yes, it’s too bad Baird stuck him with that Guillen contract.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Basil Ganglia says:

      Yeah – he was nails on that Jacobs deal, wasn’t he? Kind of made up for it by flushing the worst SS in the league – and replacing him with the second worst SS in the league.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. BX says:

    Somewhere, Brian Sabean is cursing this move.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Chuck says:

    I’m not saying he has not made some bad moves (the Guillen signing one of the worst). I’m saying that contrary to public opinion, he has done some very good things as well (signing Greinke to an extension last year). Does anyone remember how bad the royals organization and farm system had become before Dayton took over? This is only his 3rd year on the job taking over an organization that was worse than expansion level. He made some bad mistakes last year, but continues to do a good job of building the farm system that is the only chance the Royals have of becoming a contender again.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Basil Ganglia says:

      Bill Bavasi also made some good moves.

      Every GM makes some good moves and some bad moves. What differentiates GMs is the balance between those two.

      Just because there are some thing Moore has done that worked out OK it does not follow that he is a good GM. He has too many bad moves in his portfolio.

      John Cleese noted one time that every organization makes mistakes. In fact, to be successful an organization must allow mistakes to be made. But good organizations are also able to differentiate between decisions that have a reasonable chance of working out, and accept that some of those decisions will fail, versus decisions that have no chance of working.

      Moore gets roundly and deservedly criticized because he repeatedly makes considered decisions in critical areas that have little to no chance of working out.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Chuck says:

        Dayton has made some bad decisions, there is no doubt. But the Royals organization as a whole is still much better than when he took over.

        The point is that 3 years is not enough time to judge the man especially considering the situation he took over. There is still time for him to learn from mistakes and get better.

        Dan O’Dowd also made many bad decisions in critical areas in his first years on the job and is now considered one of baseball’s best executives based in part on building a strong farm system. I’m not saying Moore is going to have O’Dowd’s success, but it’s also too early to say he won’t.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. JoeyO says:

    “I’m not exactly sure what the goal of The Contest is”

    Lowest team OBP in the history of the game? I think that is what Moore is going for at least.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • joser says:

      That’s part of the game — figuring out the Victory Conditions.

      In Minaya’s case, I think it’s “get fired.”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeyO says:

        Ahhh, okay. Then I think Omar’s gameplan notebook reads “spend the most for the least” – and continually holding multi-month biding wars with yourself for players is one of his favorite strategies. Ignoring the bench and depth is another important part of this plan.

        Oh, butI dont think he actually came up with this strategy himself. He must have xeroxed it from Hendry’s notebook when Jimmy was making one of his countless trips to the buffet bar. And dont be mistaken, Hendry is very much alive in this anti-GMing game some of the clubs clearly have going on!

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  32. JoeyO says:

    “[Update: As pointed out in the comments, I completely negleted to factor in Dayton's brilliant 'banning' of Rany Jazayerli for criticizing the Royals' medical staff. I apologize for the embarrassing oversight on my part. This really puts Omar behind... how many years and millions to Bengie Molina is it going to take for him to catch up?]”

    Let’s not forget that the Mets front office apparently stated they liked Bays defense over Holliday’s because Bay was “once a center fielder”.

    That has to close the Rany banning gap quite a bit right there!

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  33. Charlie says:

    This site is really going down hill. What does Dayton Moore’s signing of Podsednik have to do with Omar Minaya? The cheap shots come off more as a failed attempt at creativity and humour than any type of statistical analysis.

    Obviously, Minaya has deficiencies, namely in making the smaller moves and filling out the bench with higher upside players. I don’t think the blame lies solely on his shoulders here. Bernazard was horrible even beyond the tirades and Wilpon’s refusal to go overslot has hurt this franchise for a while.

    Francour turned 26 today and already has a .337 wOBA season under his belt, where he also had a 17.1 UZR. I also think the sabermetric community is a bit behind in quantifying how a players position within the batting order effects their runs created. Francoeur will be batting most likely 7th, the perfect spot for someone with a low OBP. Church is 31 and has never played a full season of ball, one season of 144. Part of that has the Mets medical staff to blame, but we were already seeing a decline in his play to go along with concerns of how the concussions would effect his health going forward. Throw in some bigoted comments and the fact that Jerry hated the guy, but I guess those don’t show in UZR so they’re meaningless.

    I’m also more than a bit surprised at the whole approach the site has taken recently that market value for what we say is a win is x, this team is paying y which is greater than x, therefore the team is overpaying by y-x. Seems extremely simple minded. There’s been mention by some of the authors on this site of the ‘value of a win’ curve, and some are really underestimating where the Mets are on that curve right now. Adding a 4 WAR player is huge for a team that averaged 91.3 wins over 2006-2008, just opened a new stadium with a HORRIBLE year, and competes with the World Series Champion Yankees for the fans of the largest market in the country. I think a lot of people are forgetting that it was widely reported when the mets made their offer of 66/4 that the Sox had an offer of 60/4. The Angels and, yes, everyone’s beloved Mariners were also rumored to be in on the bidding, so the notion that the Mets bid against themselves is just plain false. Obviously his contract looks better in 2010-11 than 2012-13/4, but the Mets have a TON of money coming off the books in 2012.

    Minaya is far from perfect, the Castillo contract was horrible and the Perez one didn’t look as bad at the time (go back and look at the other options), but the constant bashing has just become obnoxious.

    What I’ve always loved about this site was the desire of the communitty of readers and writers to learn, discuss and discover “new baseball knowledge”. But lately its been turning into a bunch of holier than thou posts by people who just decided the Big FraGu is their favorite player ever.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeyO says:

      “Francour turned 26 today and already has a .337 wOBA season under his belt”

      You mean Francoeur was league average one season before he turned 26? And one league average wOBA in 4 tries prior to 26 is a good thing now?

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      • Charlie says:

        I think my post got a little off topic, but my point was that trading Ryan Church for Jeff Francoeur is far from a disaster move, its one that has its pros and its cons – I completely understand why some would not make the trade, but is in no way comparable to the trade for Yuniesky Betancourt. That is the point that author is making and it is beyond absurd, and is made just for the purpose to bashing Minaya at any possible opportunity.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • JoeyO says:

        Fair enough.

        But we still end up with this problem though – its much easier to find league average bats for the OF then it is for Short. That is why there is the +15 run differential in the positional adjustments from RF to Short. Sure, Betancourt has the lowest wOBA for all 2B/SS the last three seasons, but Francouer has the lowest wOBA of all OF just the same. (well, tied with Melky Cabrera)

        Overall, the positional difficulty leads to this
        Francoeur, +36 Runs overall the last 4 seasons, average of 9 per season
        Betancourt, +15.1 Runs overall the last 4 seasons, average of 3.8 per season

        So, despite how horrible Betancourt is with both the bat and glove, Francoeur has only been +20.9 Runs better over a 4 year span.

        And when you are talking about an average of like a 5 run yearly difference in players, you are really talking about two guys who hold similar value overall.

        Of course Omar didnt give up as much for his horrible player. But since an outfielder only slightly above replacement level most seasons is pretty easy to find, giving up anything is foolish. Lastly, Francouer costs a pretty penny as well so it isnt like he traded for a minimum salary slightly above replacement level player here.

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    • Paul Zummo says:

      Great post, Charlie. I don’t think any sane Mets fan can totally defend Omar Minaya, and he has made a slew of bad moves particularly in filling in the roster after the elite 4. However, I don’t think he’s done anything particularly egregious this off-season. Obviously Matt Holiday is a superior player to Bay, but considering the relative merits of their contracts, the Mets are not getting squeezed as badly as people are making out.

      On the other hand, if he gives two+ years to Bengie Molina . . .

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Sandy Kazmir says:

      I decided years ago that the Big FraGu was my favorite player. Thinking Oliver Perez is a good pitcher is just as bad as paying him to prove it. When you play in a cavernous stadium, wouldn’t it make more sense to build around pitching and defense? There is no process other than appeasing the fans in the short term.

      It’s like when the Bills signed TO. Fans were loving the move, but anybody with a brain could see that a team with a terrible offensive line and a stable of noodle armed QB’s are more than a WR away from competing. For a team that was racked by injuries to not focus on upgrading depth in the immediately following offseason screams of “don’t get fooled again” logic. To not upgrade a pitching staff that is a disaster will prove more foolish than giving a guy that can’t hit a breaking ball too much money 4 years from now.

      The process is fundamentally flawed and no amount of gorilla glue is going to help. Fall back on, yeah but two years ago we were this and all those guys are coming back, but that was two years ago. I wish the Mets the best, but if they didn’t have the mindset of pleasing the fans on the brain, they would be in a much better position moving forward.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • eitheror says:

      “the Perez one didn’t look as bad at the time (go back and look at the other options), but the constant bashing has just become obnoxious.”

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/mets-left-out-of-bargain-shopping

      Trading for Francouer was stupid for no other reason then you could have just signed him in the offseason. The Braves were not going to tender him a contract.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • alexperez84 says:

        They traded for francouer for a change of scenery. francouer played great the two months he was here.I have no doubt in my mind though if he doesnt keep it up this following season the mets will replace him.

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    • Jarrett says:

      “Francoeur will be batting most likely 7th, the perfect spot for someone with a low OBP.”

      I disagree. The perfect spot for someone with a low OBP is AAA.

      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • WY says:

        But most teams have at least one player with a relatively low OBP, and players like Crede and Beltre are worth having in the lineup despite poor OBPs. Not every team can be the Yankees.

        Besides, if there are going to be major league players with above-average OBPs, then there are also going to be major league players with below-average OBPs. You have to put the latter players somewhere in the lineup.

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      • JoeyO says:

        WY,

        But if you are going to have a below average OBP guy, shouldnt he at least be an above average ISO guy or play fantastic D at a premium position?

        Below average OBP + Below average ISO + Fair defense from non-premium position = AAA, Japan or Independent League

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      • WY says:

        I wasn’t referring to any of that other stuff, just Jarrett’s comment about OBP and AAA.

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    • jpdtrmpt72 says:

      you’re argument can be summed up like this;

      Yeah, he’s made a buch of mistakes, but, he’s also. . . I can’t believe that you guys are getting all holier than thou on him!

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  34. Jack says:

    lol, bring on the homers!! We have a homer talking about homers. ‘DOH

    Omar Minaya is one of the worst GMs out there. And yes, he did overpay for Bay, because Bay can’t play defense, hit for a high average, and has shoulder issues. His main calling card is power, which won’t be enhanced by Citi Field. He’s also going to get older as the contract goes on.

    Its not on the Perez level, but its a bad contract. People are calling it a bad contract now, so 2 years down the road these same Mets fans don’t come proclaiming that hindsight is 20/20 and that everyone liked the deal when it was made.

    Saying this, Dayton Moore is worse. But Omar isn’t all that far off.

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    • LeiterWagnerFasterStronger says:

      Bay plays slightly below-average defense– mostly because of range issues.

      He doesn’t hit .300, no, but he gets on base at a .380 clip and wOBAs .390-.400.

      CitiField, if you’re not going based on wives’ tales, is slightly larger than average in the gaps… it doesn’t KILL right-handed power.

      It’s an overpay, yes… the Mets have a brand-new stadium and above-average ticket sales numbers even in down years, not to mention ownership of a regional network. The Lackey deal was also an overpay, as was Holliday (in commitment, if not AAV). Which team of the 3 do you think will feel the sting more?

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  35. Paul says:

    The Pods signing was atrocious. I just have one request for the FG crowd in the interests of fairness. Stop covering Rany’s ass for what he did. Dayton may have over-reacted, but Rany, a physician, called for the firing of the trainer who had been with the team for 15 years. Not the team doctor, who has been with the team for 30 YEARS! or his entire staff of over 10 other physicians who work with the team. Rany’s calling for Schwartz’s head was misguided at best. It would be like calling for Rany’s records clerk to be fired because he missed a melanoma. That so many have been covering him by mischaracterizing what happened is a shame.

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    • The funny thing is, Pods and Juan Pierre are largely the same player (though pierre is the better defender)

      Scotty Pods is a career .720 OPS hitter. Juan Pierre’s career OPS? .720.

      Scotty Pods is 33 years old. Juan Pierre? 32 years old.

      Scotty Pods had the 39th weakest arm (-2.1 runs) in the OF amongst all OFs given 400+ PAs. Juan Pierre’s ranking? 41st to last (-1.9 runs).

      Scotty Pods’ career speed score? 7.1. Juan Pierre? 7.3.

      On that same topic, Scotty Pods has a career stolen base success rate of 76.7% (286/373). Juan Pierre? 74.8% (459/614).

      Taken from
      http://gameofinches.blogspot.com/2009/12/white-sox-trade-acquire-juan-pierrewhy.html

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  36. smile_mmmm says:

    OK, where do I start?

    First, MLB Park Factors seem to suggest that Citi Field, while being more pitcher friendly in terms of runs scored, is actually slightly hitter-friendly in terms of home runs. Sure Park Factors are just numbers, but it has to dispel some of the belief that Citi Field eats up home runs.

    Second, I think Jason Bay is a decent player who hits for power, but not for average. While his defense in Citi Field is a big question mark, his offense is probably enough to merit a good portion of his contract. That said, I agree that the Mets slightly overpaid Bay by having an option that, by all accounts, easily vests. If it were a 4-year deal without the option, I’d say good deal, except…

    …What the Mets need is pitching. I mean, who do you slot behind Santana. You could probably slot Pelfrey since he got 10 wins, except that he sported an ERA above 5. You could argue for Maine, but he also boasts a healthy 4.43 ERA. Looking at last year’s performances, Fernando Nieve seem to be the next best pitcher, except the sample size for his stats is small and, guess what, he was also injured. What about starters numbers 3 to 5?

    The Jason Bay signing does not address what the Mets currently need. Minaya would have been better off throwing his money at John Lackey. Right now, the only sensible moves for Minaya is to sign 2 to 3 pitchers with a lot of upside to shore up his rotation. It’s not as if he doesn’t have the money to work with – this Jason Bay signing just proves that he just doesn’t know how to use it.

    ASIDE: I chuckle at the fact that the Mets seem to have their own version of Bosox fanboy DirtyWater.

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    • alexperez84 says:

      What did lackey sign for last month? 85 Million? I dont think so. we will get a better picture of what pelfrey really is this year. there was a lot of talk because of the amount of innings he threw that he might have a down year. Ive seen pelfrey pitch many times and he has really good stuff. after the all star break in 07 he was phenomenal for the mets. Is he gunna be that way this year, i dont know but i what i do know is that he is capable of it.now next year is when i believe the mets will go and find themselves a no2 if pelfrey doesnt pitch to his potential. there are plenty of great arms hitting FA next year

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  37. Scott Podsednik's fleet feet says:

    From ESPN:
    According to a source, Podsednik will make $1.75 million in 2010 with incentives that could increase his pay to about $2 million. The deal includes a $2 million option for 2011, the source said, with incentives that could earn him an additional $300,000.

    Now that’s a nice raise from 500k last year. Well done Mr Moore

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  38. Aaron says:

    Every time Dayton Moore makes a move, I think Theo should get a raise. As a Red Sox fan, I shudder to think of what might have been. They nearly hired Moore during the hiatus.

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  39. ribman says:

    Appropriate post but wrong time. I am far from a Dayton Moore defender and I reguarly scream into my pillow but this one isn’t that big of a deal It’s a 1 year contract 1.75 mil with a 2 mil club option for year 2. I wish we had more of these contracts instead of Guillen-Betancourt-farnsworth et all but this one really??? is it that asanine of a move for a team looking at Brian Anderson or Mitch Maier in CF this year. I’m not debating if Pods sucks or not but for a team with no OF depth this isn’t that bad a play. I prefer Pods to our other choice Randy Winn who is deteriorating much faster. A 1 year deal isn’t a big deal and hopefullyDavid Lough or Parraz can push through by AS break. Cmon quit piling on because it’s easy.

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    • Bob R. says:

      I don’t think the argument is whether Podsednik is worth the money, but whether he is worth it to the Royals. My criticism of Moore is that he seems to have no idea where the Royals are in the success cycle. Sure they have to play someone in CF, but Podsednik is neither a legitimate center fielder now nor is he someone you hope will get better when the Royals are ready to contend. Better to give Maier a chance there; at least he is younger. So Moore is running in place. It’s not Guillen or Farnsworth bad, but it reeks of the same misjudgment. Signing free agents in the desperate hope you hit the jackpot rather than following a consistent and logical plan to build a contender.

      Podsednik would make sense to a team in contention or looking to add depth to a team on the cusp of contention. It is not so much affordability as purpose.

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    • petejohn says:

      See the problem is that when you toss $1.5M at one guy, $4M at another one, $2.6M at a third (I’m just tossing numbers out there), you’ve spent $8.1M on a bunch of crappy players (who will play more than necessary b/c it’s a bad team). You haven’t put that money to any good use, you’ve just tossed it at crappy players and said “Eh, we’re not paying player X much b/c it’s not that big of a deal.” Teams w/ small budgets cannot afford to do things like this at all.

      On top of that, this move further illustrates that Moore really has no clear plan for how to assemble his professional baseball team’s roster. He’s overpaying for a kind of useless catcher with no real skills of any kind, has added a couple of crappy OFers with guaranteed pro money instead of a minor league deal or something like that, and traded for a few failed Sox prospects. He’s built a team that could MAYBE score 650 runs and just keeps tacking on crappy players just cuz.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  40. chuckb says:

    Ed Wade just phoned and announced that he was still in this thing! He signed Brett Myers today and gave him $5 million out of some ridiculous notion that his team will be competitive next year. Oh yeah, and Myers is an ex-Phillie! How did he not sign Placido Polanco to a 3 year, $18 M contract? Oh yeah, b/c Ruben Amaro beat him to it!!

    So Wade has spent, just in the last month or so, about $28 million on Brandon Lyon, Pedro Feliz, and Brett Myers in a quest to finish fourth! Nice job, Ed!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeyO says:

      plus whatever he has to pay Lindstom.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bob R. says:

      Precisely and unjustified for the same reason that signing Lyon was or Moore’s signing of Podsednik was. The Astros are not legitimate contenders in 2010, and signing relief pitchers will not make them one. It is a futile flailing about.

      The only argument for signing Myers is that perhaps
      Wade thinks he is still young enough to return to his 2006 form and so become a regular in the rotation for a while-and that he can then extend his Astros’ contract.

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    • Aaron says:

      I actually think Ed Wade is worse than Omar.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  41. Jeremy says:

    I’d love to read about what qualities a good GM requires.

    Here’s a start: It seems like being a good negotiator is the very thing that makes a GM a good/great GM (Free Agents and Trades). Secondly, evaluating player ability. Third, handling the media and fans.

    Moore at least, is a poor negotiator. He has been fair at predicting pitchers, and horrible at predicting position players. The question might be, is this something that can be improved? Every year he has made fewer horrible decisions. His decisions this off-season have been bad, but not expensive.

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  42. Jeff says:

    Maybe this post belongs in the last article about Franklin Gut. , but I think there is too much value being placed on URZ when evaluatiing a players worth..

    I understand that run prevention is just as important as run prodution, and that Franklin Gut’s run prevention is worth just as much as runs scored by a guy like Bay, but to me finding someone who can hit like Bay is much harder than finding a good fielder..

    Couldnt teams find guys in AAA for the leauge minimum that cant hit but field as good as Franklin??? Finding guys that hit like bay is alot harder…

    So I cant understand why paying Franklin G for his defense is such a bargin, when you might find someone for the league minimum who could produce a close result… but you could never find a guy that hits as good as Bay in AAA… Sure his defense brings his value down ALOT…

    Basically I dont think runs above replacment that come from defense should be monitarily valued as much as runs above replacement for hitting…

    Sure they are both equal when it comes to helping your team win, but $$$ wise they should NOT be valued the same IMO!!!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • eitheror says:

      If I may summarize your point, “I understand a run scored is similar in value to a run saved, but I don’t think they should be compensated as such.”

      Yeah, you are also completing missing the point of replacement level.

      It seems like it just doesn’t feel right to you so you have to figure out a way to make it work. Sorry, sometimes everything you’ve been told is wrong.

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    • alexperez84 says:

      Well said jeff.One thing i read A LOT is he’ll be in the majors because of hit bat.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  43. Jeremy says:

    @Jeff

    A win is a win. The market value of offense over defense just means the market is over-valuing offense over defense.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jeff says:

      I understand that when it comes to winning baseball games, that a run saved is EXACTALLY equal in value to a run scored…

      But when using a $$$ value per WAR, like we do on this site, it seams to me that RAR from hitting should be more valuable than RAR from defense…

      Lets say a team has a hole at 3B. There is a player on the market that is a 3 WAR player. Most of his WAR comes from defense not offense.
      Accordingly this site would value him around $13 million right? (thats assuming a win at around $4.3 mil)

      But to me a bunch of guys like that would be available in the minor leauges at almost no cost. Players with good defense and no bat abound in the minor leauges…

      Now if this same player on the market got most of his WAR from offense instead of defense, it would be harder to find someone like him in the minor leauges…

      Finding a guy with replacement level offense but GREAT defense for the leauge minimum would be hard but not that hard…

      Finding a player with GREAT offense but replacement level (below average) defense, for the league minimum would be almost impossible.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jeff says:

        One more thing… I understand that the Key to all this is finding players that have the great defense plus have atleast a league average bat, and that those are hard to find… But I am sure you can find tons of guys with below aveage/replacement level bats that have great defense…. thier defense would make them above average players…. But why pay market value for something a GM should be able to find in almost any minor leaue system…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Michael says:

        You’re right in this respect: currently we consider replacement level as -20 runs / 600 PA on offense and average (+0 runs) on defense. In that regard, it is indeed more difficult ot find average offense than to find average defense.

        However, a run is a run, as you mention. Because a run/win is a run/win, it does not matter which value you are getting more out of. For example:

        Player A: +25 runs offense, -8 runs defense, +17 RAA
        Player B: +12 runs offense, +6 runs defense, +18 RAA

        Player A and Player B, assuming equal playing time (which it turns out they did not have, but bare with me on the example), should be worth the same in the open market if everything is valued equally. It shouldn’t matter that A’s value (Mark Reynolds, btw) came mostly on offense, because he took some away on defense. It shouldn’t matter that B’s value (Scott Rolen) was evenly distributed.

        Having said that, if there was an undervalued performance indicator (runs of a certain type were undervalued by the market) then resources could be better allocated to that (aka what the smart teams supposedly look to do).

        Finally, we should also probably consider the spread of offense vs. defense in MLB. For offense, players in the +10 – +20 range are not surprising to find. Meanwhile, players in the extreme negative in batting are mostly weeded out of the pool of MLB players. Last year, the spread among qualifying players for offense (park adjusted) was -24 runs (Yuni Betancourt) to +72 (Pujols). The worst fielder in baseball last year was Adam Dunn (-47 including position) while the best was Gutierrez (+31 including position). I’d be willing to bet (though I haven’t done the research) that the spread is smaller for defense than it is for offense.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe R says:

        And Michael, last year was an extreme case of defensive good and badness. From what I’ve seen, the normal difference between best to worst is about 60 runs.

        And Jeff, if a guy had a premium glove / weak bat in the minors like, say, Adam Everett, then he wouldn’t be in the minors. He would be in the majors. Adam Everett is better than a minor leaguer; you can’t just call a guy up from AAA and expect the same value.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Joe R says:

        Let me amend that, guys who don’t provide value ALMOST always get weeded out eventually.

        Sometimes you end up with guys like this getting 4000 PA’s.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  44. Jon Stieglitz says:

    hilarious. but we’re talking about KC, who cares?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  45. DW0304 says:

    This article could have been downsized to 3 words, in the interest of article efficiency.

    Scott Podsednik, Dayton Moore, and The Contest
    by Matt Klaassen – January 8, 2010

    Dayton Moore, LOL.

    (end)

    +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  46. West says:

    As a White Sox fan, I’m upset that Scott Podsednik is seen as the reason they won the World Series. People seem to ignore the 200+ home runs and the historically great defense they played and glorified Scott’s .700 OPS because of his ability to steal bases and “distract pitchers” so Tadahito Iguchi could conquer the MLB…….. But he did have a .948 OPS in the playoffs and that’s all anyone remembers.(even though no one outside of Houston or Chicago watched)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  47. Ummm says:

    “Omar, bidding against himself, manages to overpay Jason Bay by at least $15-$20 million.”

    This is somewhat irresponsible writing, we can conjecture that there were no other bidders, but my gut tells me that the Royals were within at least a million or two of the Mets off…

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  48. jirish says:

    I have no time to read through all of these comments, but all I want to say is that I am amazed that either one of these GM’s are still employed. They have made so many bad moves, and I mean really bad moves, that they deserve to be let go.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  49. Scott says:

    There have been a whole helluva lotta comments on this one so someone might’ve already mentioned this. But in terms of the contest, we have to give Omar credit on turning Billy Wagner into Chris Carter and whoever ended up as the other PTBNL, instead of banking on the two high draft picks. Omar’s doing the little things to mess up, not just the Oliver Perez-sized things.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • David says:

      In terms of value, that’s a fair trade for both sides. When calculating the value, you have to remember that the chance that Omar would sign each of those draft picks is almost zero, so they have almost no value whatsoever.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin S. says:

        The Mets typically stick to slot, so the picks they would have taken likely aren’t as valuable as the ones the Sox will, but does Omar have a history of not signing his top picks at all? If so, I’m unaware of it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • hk says:

      Scott,

      That is a little revisionist in thinking. First of all, when Omar had to decide whether or not to trade Wags, Wags had only had 2 post-TJ surgery outings. If Wags had reinjured himself, Omar would not have been in position to offer arb. Secondly, Omar saved his team about $2.6M ($1.6M for 1/6 of Wags’ contract plus $1M for not being on the hook to decline the option) by trading Wags when he did. Omar has made many blunders in his tenure, but trading Wags when he did and at a minimum saving $2.6M doesn’t seem to qualify as a Contest entry.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Scott says:

        Ok. ok, valid. I’ll be the first to admit a significant degree of bias against Omar. As a Braves fan it’s easy to find fault in damn near anything the Mets do. But you’re right, the Wagner move had it’s upside for them. In fact, to eat my own words a little more, I’ve seen the value saved placed as high as $3.3M. I tried to find a link but couldn’t.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  50. KHAZAD says:

    The worst part of Dayton Moore is that his bad moves are predictable at this point. On Royals Review they have been predicting this move since the end of the season. I laughed at the idea, which just shows my naivete.

    The Royals had the unsavory prospect of playing Mitch Maier, (as you said a 4th outfielder at best) in center. Their response was to spend a couple of million for two guys that are worse. (To give them “options”).

    They had two below average catchers. They let them both go and signed someone older and worse for more money.

    They let Mike Jacobs go (mercifully) and then traded for his other handed clone (Josh Fields)

    I cannot see any way they are not an even worse team in 2010.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The A Team says:

      Zack Greinke becomes a 13 WAR pitcher.

      Maybe I don’t follow the Royals closely enough, but is there any reason that Joakim Soria hasn’t been tried as an SP? He has 4 nasty pitches.

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  51. chrisvec says:

    For sure, Jim Hendry, JP Riccardi, Brian Sabean…none of these guys have done anything to handicap their clubs — that’s why we’ve talked about how great the Cubs, Blue Jays, and Giants have been all these years. Damn you Minaya for trying to build a contender, damn you for letting everyone get injured!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  52. Keith says:

    I am so tired of people taking shots at the Royals for their signings. Yes, Podsednik is not going to turn this team around but as the story above pointed out the Royals don’t have many other in-house options. I’d much rather have Podsednik and his .340 career OBP than Ankiel who had one decent year and Winn who is older and came off a bad year.

    Same goes with the Kendall signing. Yes a two year deal isn’t great for an over the hill catcher but I’d rather see him behind the plate than Miguel Olivo who can hit bombs but struck out so many times he gave the fans in Kaufman a great breeze four times a game and couldn’t catch my sister. Again, the Royals have ZERO options at catcher for the next couple of years.

    I’m a Royals fan and at this point I realize what we are and who we can attract. We either go the route of signing more Gil Meche/Jose Guillen type players and sign them to long term deals that turn into an albatross around the Royals neck or we wait for what appears to be a ton of talent going into Double A and High A in 2010. My only hope is that Dayton Moore signs Billy Butler to a long term deal ala what he conceived with Greinke last year.

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    • Neil says:

      Why not just go with guys from the AAA club for cheaper, then?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JoeR43 says:

      No one thinks contracts like Podsednik’s and Kendall’s are team killing. But a team in the process of rebuilding have no reason to offer veteran premium contracts.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The A Team says:

        Especially to guys with zero upside. At least if you’re employing Buck instead Kendall there’s the tiny chance he breaks out enough to snag you a Kelly Shoppach-like return. That chance is very small, 5% is probably overstating by a lot, but at least it exists. Meanwhile you should be getting an identical talent level catcher for the same dollars.

        That decision in particular just makes no sense. I’m beginning to suspect that there is no process…

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • 3rd Period Points says:

      As a Royals fan, I am not at all tired of people taking shots at Dayton Moore. The more the merrier, I say. Dayton Moore should be lobotomized, institutionalized, chemically sterilized. I mean that in a good Christian way, of course.

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  53. Keith says:

    Well, that I can agree with on one of the two contracts. Podsednik signed a one year deal for $1.65 million with a club option while it would have been better to get Kendall for just one year. Heck, Olivo and Buck both signed one year deals. I just don’t want to see them go sign a Doug Davis type FA for four years.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  54. The A Team says:

    Mark: You’re all primed for the follow up article. I have the title prepared for you.

    “Brian Sabean joins The Contest”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  55. The A Team says:

    The Contest continues!

    “Omar claims to be unaware of All-Star CF’s surgery, threatens legal actions”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  56. dsm says:

    New move for the contest: Mets trade for Gary Matthews!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • SteveM says:

      You beat me to it, dsm. GMJ could have been had for a pack of cigarettes, but Omar decides to give the Angels a more than servicable, young-ish pitcher, in exchange for an older, less than replacement level player with a questionable attitude at best and diminishing skills. I don’t care what portion of his laughable salary the Mets stuck to the Angels, is this player AT ANY COST better than Cory Sullivan??? No, not even close. Sullivan’s younger, and better defender, and is not disgruntled to be part of the supporting cast.

      Omar takes the lead!!!

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  57. aj says:

    Now KC is going to make Farnsworth a starter. Brilliant!

    Your move, Omar.

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  58. Anon says:

    Omar just signed his 6th catcher. Checkmate.

    I think….

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  59. phoenix2042 says:

    let’s take a look at the score post 2010 now: bay and perez looked pretty good eh?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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