Mets David Wright Not a Golden Goose (Pt. 2)

Monday’s part one piece discussing the trade value of Mets third baseman David Wright using a rumored deal that he could head to Anaheim for Peter Bourjos-plus was met with mixed reactions as New York fans rushed to defend their white knight in the face of statistical analysis. In all, it proved to be an excellent conversation starter and segue into part two looking at the Mets continued need for young arms, even with the duo of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, as well as the financial freedom dealing Wright allows.

Few organizations boast two top pitching prospects the likes of former first round picks Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. As pitchers like Johan Santana and maybe Mike Pelfrey potentially move onto new organizations in the near future, it’s comforting to know the next wave isn’t far behind. Add Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia to the mix and the downside potential of the four young pitchers appears to be two starters and two back of the pen arms at a minimum.

Zack Wheeler Video After The Jump

However, the gap to what’s next in line is cavernous as it’s difficult to identify a single dependable starting pitcher from what’s left in the organization. Mark Cohoon, Chris “Family Night” Schwinden, Brandon Moore, Robert Carson, Kyle Allen, Collin McHugh, Darren Gorski, etc., are considered more bullpen or swing types at this point. Gorski had a fantastic 2011 season, but after scouting him a handful of times in 2010, I’d need to see him put together a second stellar season in 2012 for me to become a buyer.

Any of the three of Tyler Chatwood, Garrett Richards, or John Hellweg would split the middle and form second tier of Mets pitching prospects providing additional depth on the starting pitching side. It’s certainly not sexy, but definitely something the Mets organization could use.

Beyond discussing an Angels/Mets swap, the simple fact is dealing 15 million from the active roster and replacing it with a spread of minimum salaried pieces would allow the Mets to attempt to expunge Jason Bay from the current roster. At this point, fence or not, I’m ready to label the Bay signing a disaster and cut losses if possible. His 5-600 plate appearances would be better spread across a Nick Evans/Lucas Duda platoon in left field.

Like the Braves deal of Derek Lowe, I can envision a scenario where a team would be willing to take on a wins worth of salary and Bay and roll the dice. That would still leave the Mets eating 11 million or so per year over the next two, but a Bourjos or like player would still provide excess value even after the money paid for Bay.

Additionally, the four million or so saved after dealing Wright and Bay could then be shifted toward keeping Angel Pagan who is likely to play to his 2012 salary. If Pagan can return to previous defensive form at a corner, he may prove to be a steal.

A few years from now, baseball fans are likely to reflect on Omar Minaya’s legacy during his time as General Manager of the Mets and concede he was successful at building a bench and bullpen. And while the ability to develop piece players internally is often overlooked, an Arizona Diamondbacks week in review reveals a total of eight million spread across two light hitting utility infielders and a career backup catcher. To compare, Ruben Tejeda will make 10% of what the Diamondbacks signings will net over the next two years and produced only 0.2 less WAR than the threesome combined in 2011.

The Mets organization is in a position where they have a number of minimum salaried young players on the active roster and in the upper minor leagues who should provide excess value across a number of big league roles. Of course not all will wind up being viable starters, or even big leaguers in the long run, but this team will contend again when their young arms are ready to shoulder the load. Assessing the future and potentially signing those assets to long term deals at a pre-arbitration discount is the forward thinking play and best for the financial health of the organization as a whole.

Patience is key for the Mets as Minaya’s desperation to chase the wild card previously led to the Francisco Rodriguez and Jason Bay signings. Had the Mets stood firm and invested their resources more astutely, Jose Reyes might have already been extended and the idea of dealing David Wright would be a moot point. However, Alderson took the organization over in a period of transition due to no fault of his own. Fans seem to be looking back upon the Reyes/Wright years as the golden age of the Mets the same way Cardinals fans appreciate the work of Albert Pujols. One big difference though – Pujols has rings.



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Mike Newman is the Owner/Managing Editor ofROTOscouting, a subscription site focused on baseball scouting, baseball prospects and fantasy baseball. Follow me onTwitter. Likeus on Facebook.Subscribeto my YouTube Channel.


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MC
Guest
MC

Hmm…I don’t think Minaya made the choices that he made because he was chasing the wildcard, or anything else for that matter. I think they were just bad decisions-no terrible decisions. All teams want to win; that’s no excuse to overpay for players just because you “can” by virtue of being in a big market. Turns out the Mets couldn’t even afford those players in light of their recent financial turmoil.

But I think, depending on the type of players received for Wright, if he’s traded, that the Mets could actually be a competitive team in 2012.

Essentially a lineup of Pagan(CF), Murphy(2B), Davis(1B), Duda(RF) etc. is a reasonably solid core. In addition with Santana, Dickey-if they could sign a solid #3 starter, and Niese, you have a serviceable, reasonably good rotation.

My point is this team is not eons away from contention, but the holes have to be filled sensibly, while simultaneously improving the farm system.

It’s funny though-I’m not a Met fan, but I hardly view the Reyes/Wright era as a “golden era”. Instead I view it as the failed Minaya era and also as the “ownership meddles too much era”. Take 2004 for instance where the Mets traded Kazmir for some magic beans. The bad contracts, the underinvested farm system. No no no if I were a Met fan I would be breathing a sigh of relief that the front office is willing to make the “unpopular” though long-term beneficial choices. Those are always the decisions that are most fun to be a part of as a fan.

VCarver
Guest
VCarver

Apart from 2004 when Duquette was interim GM (not Omar), the Mets owners have not really meddled in baseball decisions. Omar had full reign until about 2009 when he killed his own career by calling out Rubin in a press conference.

The owners problem was hiring Omar in the first place. Not in meddling.

MC
Guest
MC

Omar was terrible, as I said, but there is no way you could possibly know the extent of ownership’s involvement unless you were in that room with them, which I assume you were not. I don’t remember the exact events as it’s been awhile, but I do remember reading that ownership was pushing for such and such deal(s) to be made because it’s “New York”, as if silly decisions can be made there but nowhere else.

Surely that takes nothing away from Omar’s assembling a 140M team that basically finished in last place. What a joke, but then again the Mets have been a somewhat disappointing, considering their financial resources, for most of their existence, just a fact. Sandy has done a great job so far IMO which, like I said, as a Met fan (which I’m not) I would be much relieved to see this new era arrive. As a Met fan I would hope that the Wilpons don’t just on Sandy’s back if he trades Wright or lets Reyes go. Personally I think it will be very difficult for the Wilpons to bite their tongues. But who knows, this is all conjecture.

MC
Guest
MC

*jump*, not just on Sandy’s back. Sorry about that.

VCarver
Guest
VCarver

“….but there is no way you could possibly know the extent of ownership’s involvement unless you were in that room with them.”

Then how would YOU know? You were not in the room either.

Sorry, but I AM a Mets fan who has followed the team closely. I read news reports surrounding the team more extensively than you. And I am telling you, apart from isolated incidences or periods of time where their GM was on thin ice already — like the Kazmir trade, when Omar wasn’t even the GM — the Wilpons have not meddled in baseball decisions. Nor have past GMs ever accused the Wilpons of meddling. Allegations that they have by outside people have never been substantiated.

What Omar did he essentially did on his own volition or with the advice of his own people he hired. The Wilpons’ problem during this time was being stupid enough to entrust Omar with their franchise. And then to extend him even after there were apparent problems.

MC
Guest
MC

@VCarver…holy cow you are the stereotypical Met fan…

I NEVER SAID I knew management’s involvement; I said this is all “conjecture”…I am merely presenting my opinion on the matter.

Jeez..I don’t really know what happened and NEITHER DO YOU…I don’t know why you keep trying to convince me of this, we remain with our own opinions.

Whatever…what do you want me to say? Give Reyes 10/$300, give Wright 15/$450, sign Pujols and Buerhle to whatever they want, great.

The one thing I guess we can agree on is that Alderson should’ve gotten a better haul for Reyes than 2 draft picks. Anyway whatever no one’s opinion matters except the NY Post. Just kidding, chillax.

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