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Monday, February 16, 2009

Season Preview: New York Mets

2008 Record: 89-73  .549

Run differential: +84 (3rd)

2008 payroll: $138,293,378 

Last season the Mets were determined to put their epic collapse of 2006 behind them.  But it took them a little while to find their groove as they struggled to a 40-42 after the first three months.  But the Mets rebounded by going 18-8 in July.  They even went 11-7 vs the Phillies.  Unfortunately for Met fans going 13-12 in September and losing on the season’s final day allowed the Phillies to win the division and Milwaukee to squeak past them for the Wild Card.

Much scrutiny lay upon their bullpen’s inability to hold leads down the stretch so once the offseason began GM Omar Minaya decided do a complete overhaul it up by signing KRod and trading for JJ Putz and groundball machine Sean Green.  What Met fans should really be concerned about is the rest of the lineup.  Yes, the Mets finished 2nd in the NL in runs scored last year but a team with David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado should have a GREAT offense not a good one.  That speaks volumes for the lack of production the team gets from C, 2b, LF, and RF.  Considering the Mets did nothing to address these issues, fans shouldn’t be expecting this team to be much better than last season. 

Likely opening day roster:

Pos. Name Salary How Acquired
C Brian Schneider $4.9 M Acquired in trade w/ Was 11/30/07
C Ramon Castro $2.5 M Signed as FA 12/04. Resigned 11/16/2007
1b Carlos Delgado $12 M Acquired in trade w/ Fla 11/05. NYM picked up ‘09 option 10/08
2b Luis Castillo $6 M Acquired in trade w/ Min 7/30/07.  Resigned 11/19/2007
3b David Wright $7.5 M Drafted 2001 #38 overall.
SS José Reyes $5.75 M Signed as amateur FA 2000 from D.R.
LF Danny Murphy $.390 M Drafted 3rd rd 2006
CF Carlos Beltran $18.5 M Signed as FA 1/2005
RF Ryan Church $2.8 M Acquired in trade w/ Was 11/30/07
2b/of Marlon Anderson $2.2 M Acquired in trade w/ Was 8/06. Resigned 11/6/07
Inf Alex Cora $2.0 M Signed as FA 1/22/09
Of Jeremy Reed $.925 M Acquired in trade w/ Sea 12/10/08
Of Fernando Tatís $1.7 M Signed as FA 1/8/08. Resigned 10/30/08
SP Johan Santana $20 M Acquired in trade w/ Min 2/2/08
SP John Maine $2.6 M Drafted 6th rd 2002
SP Oliver Perez $12 M Acquired in trade w/ Pit 7/31/06. Resigned 2/2/09
SP Mike Pelfrey $5.25 M Drafted 2005 #9 overall
SP Tim Redding $2.25 M Signed as FA 1/9/09
Cl Francisco Rodríguez $11.5 M Signed as FA 12/9/08
Setup JJ Putz $5.0 M Acquired in trade w/ Sea 12/10/08
RP Pedrio Feliciano $1.61 M Signed as FA from Japan 12/05
RP Sean Green $.405 M Acquired in trade w/ Sea 12/10/08
RP Duaner Sanchez $1.69 M Acquired in trade w/ LA 1/4/06
RP Jonathon Niese $.390 M Drafted 7th rd 2005
RP Darren O’Day $.390 M Selected in Rule V draft 12/11/08

Say hello to: Francisco Rodriguez, JJ Putz, Sean Green, Connor Robertson, Jeremy Reed, Tim Redding, Alex Cora

Wave goodbye: Scott Schoenweis, Joe Smith, Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Jason Vargas, Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou

Rookies: Jonathon Niese, Danny Murphy

Potential breakout: Sean Green

Welcome to Earth: Fernando Tatis.  While I think he's a solid platoon player, don't expect a .299 EqA again

Non Roster Invitees to watch:  Livan Hernandez, Freddy Garcia, Tony Armas, Bobby Kielty, José Valentín

Strenghts: Defense up the middle. Three of the best young players in the NL

Weaknesses: Not a lot of offense at C, 2b, LF.  Ryan Church is a platoon player playing everyday.

Improvements: Bullpen!

Payroll obligations to former players: Scott Schoenweis ($1.6M)

Optimal batting lineup (position, name, bats, Avg/OBP/SLG, HR, SB, EqA)

SS Reyes B   .297/.358/.475  16, 56  .294

CF Beltran B  .284/.376/.500  27, 25, .307

3B Wright R  .302/.390/.534  33, 15, .320

1B Delgado L  .271/.353/.518  38, 1, .296

RF Church L  .276/.346/.439  12, 2, .274

LF Tatis/Murphy* R/L  .297/.369/.484  11, 3, .299

2B Castillo B  .245/.355/.305  3, 17, .257

C  Schneider R  .257/.339/.367  9, 0, .252

*Tatis stats only

Prediction: 1st place NL East

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