Saturday, November 19, 2005

Catcher

Please, anybody but Bengie Molina. Allow me to quote a Hardball Times article from October:
I'm not sure Bengie's even a good defensive catcher at this point. His throwing has deteriorated -- from 36 of 81 base-stealers (44%) in 2003, to 18/69 (26%) in 2004, to 20/64 (31%) this year; even while his barely younger brother has been improving from 28% to 49% to 53%. And more noticeable on a day-to-day basis is Bengie's increasingly desperate habit of jabbing with his glove at pitches in the dirt, instead of trying to move his fat body in the way.

He led MLB with 10 passed balls this year to Jose Molina's three, but that doesn't begin to tell the story, since official scorers rarely even call passed balls anymore. The real action is in wild pitches: John Lackey -- he of just 71 BB in 209 innings pitched -- ranked third in all of baseball with 18 wild pitches this year; reliever Scot Shields came in seventh with 12 (and K-Rod had eight, and Esteban "I'm Not Even on the Playoff Roster" Yan uncorked five, etc.).
In a more recent Hardball Times article, David Gassko estimates that Molina's blocking, or lack of it, is the worst in baseball. Also notable is that he does not appear with his brothers in the top 10 of throwing out baserunners. Molina's defense is not a positive, it's a negative.

And if his defense isn't good, then there is no reason to want Bengie Molina. He's fat and slow, over 30, and doesn't hit.

Player A: .277/.303/.395
Player B: .273/.309/.397

Player A is Jose Reyes. Player B is Molina. The difference between the two? One is young and improving, can steal 60 bases, and plays for peanuts. The other is a 31 year old catcher, one of the slowest players you'll ever see, and figures to make upwards of $6 million a year. I love Jose Reyes, but his hitting prowess leaves a lot to be desired. As does Molina's except he has none of the other redeeming attributes. Just say no, Omar. Just say no.

Here are some available catchers who do satisfy my requirement of not being Bengie Molina:

Kenji Johjima
All but gone to the Mariners, cancelled his trip to New York. Seattle has upped their offer 2/$12m, which is more than I would have been willing to spend on him anyway.

Pudge Rodriguez
My first reaction to this was HELL NO. Then I started thinking about it. If Detroit is willing to eat part of his contract and/or take Matsui off our hands, I-Rod may very well be the safest option. Even with that minisicule OBP of .290 last year, he still managed to put up a higher EqA than either Molina or Hernandez's career average. He's still an elite defensive catcher, figures to bounce back a bit offensively and is only signed through 2007. Just in time to get Brian Schneider.

Ramon Hernandez
Was rumored to be asking for Varitek money, but that clearly ain't happening. He's average to above average defensively. Offensively, he's good and it's not entirely unreasonable to believe his best year(s) could be in front of him. It's going to take a 4-year deal, through age 33, and while that has some inherent risk, it's after that age where I'd start to anticipate very steep decline. At 4 years, $28 million, Hernandez would be my first choice for catcher.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Benson --> Burnett



The Mets rotation last year, Kaz Ishii and all, managed to be among the better ones in the NL. So there's a "don't fix what ain't broken" argument to be made here. But let's face it, Pedro can't be expected to give a repeat performance and Jae Seo isn't going to have a 2.59 ERA again either. The Mets lack a true #2 starter to back up Pedro. A.J. Burnett is that man.

Burnett will be looking for at least the contract Carl Pavano got last year (4/40m) and after his performance and antics in September, that's probably all he'll get. Some would say $10 million a season is a lot to pay for a marginal upgrade in the rotation. They're right. It's too much actually. That's why the Mets need to trade the overpaid Kris Benson first. After getting burned Pavano, the Yankees might not be interested in another free agent pitcher from Florida. But they do need pitching and Kris Benson has now pitched in New York and had some degree of success. Cashman values that. Get Burnett locked up, then send Benson crosstown for a bag of balls.

I said $10 million was too much to pay for a marginal upgrade in the rotation. But $2.5 million isn't.


The two pitchers:
A.J. Burnett
Kris Benson

Particularly interesting is the ^xFIP column. That's a predictive stat ala DIPS.

Back

Hmm, I forgot I had a blog.

Man, was I wrong about J.D. Drew and Matt Clement. Actually, come to think of it, I'd probably still trade Benson for Clement. But I was really, really off base on Drew last winter.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Predictions

ss Jose Reyes .293/.335/.415
2b Kazuo Matsui .286/.341/.440
cf Carlos Beltran .277/.385/.550
c Mike Piazza .275/.380/.495
3b David Wright .310/.375/.525
lf Cliff Floyd .265/.358/.490
cf Mike Cameron .246/.335/.468
1b Doug Mientkiewicz .257/.345/.391

Pedro Martinez 2.90 ERA
Tom Glavine 4.05 ERA
Kris Benson 3.46 ERA
Steve Trachsel 4.02 ERA
Victor Zambrano 4.29 ERA

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Getting some thoughts down

As the whole point of this blog is for me to be able to look back and see my feelings on moves as they happened, I would be remiss if I did not talk about the Pedro signing. (If you're reading this... wow, I never expected to have a reader!)

I guess I've neglected to comment this long because I don't have strong feelings about the move. As today's New York Times article by Andrew Zimbalist points out, the added revenue from Pedro lessens the blow of overpaying. I don't buy into Omar's idea of drawing future players, or even current players, to the Mets because of Pedro Martinez. But Pedro was the only pitcher on the free agent market with the "putting people in the seats" factor. Considering what the Jon Liebers and Jaret Wrights of the world are going to be paid, maybe this could even be considered underpaying. I expect that in the National League, in Shea Stadium, and with something to prove, Pedro will have a very good year. Sub-3 ERA is a possibility. How he pitches in 2007 and 2008 is really going to determine the quality of this aquisition. And that is something I really can't predict.

Pedro's attitude is a concern for me. If the Mets are winning, not a problem. I think he'll get along well with Jose Reyes (who doesn't?). Reyes + living in NY + winning = happy Pedro. Reyes + living in NY - losing = ? Pedro. Attitude and health are much more worrisome in my mind than declining velocity. Good luck Willie Randolph.


Assorted Other Notes
- Matt Clement got $25.5 million over 3 years from Boston, or $1 million more per season than Kris Benson. Can't say I'm shocked, but still disappointed. Martinez, Glavine, Clement, Trachsel, Zambrano would have been freakin' awesome.
- Mets raise the offer to Alou... ugh.
- Mets still interested in Sosa... ugh.
- Felix Heredia still on the team... ugh.
- Braves make one good trade for Hudson, and one stupid trade for Kolb. They gave up flamethrowing Capellan for a closer with questionable health who has never pitched 60 innings. Question: Why not just make Capellan the closer?
- Cards get Mulder. Damn. I love Mulder. Beane did get a nice package (Barton fits their philosophy perfectly), but that move signifies to me that their owner wants the payroll down. Man, I wish Beane would just get sick of that job and quit. Preferably at a time during which the Mets GM job is open. But while they're cutting payroll, let's get Bradford.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Cool site

According to this, some Mets deserved a raise. They were: (in order of most underpaid to least)
- Mike Cameron
- Braden Looper
- Shane Spencer
- David Wright
- Orber Moreno
- Mike Stanton
- Vance Wilson
- Kaz Matsui
- Jose Reyes
- Cliff Floyd
- Victor Diaz
- Ty Wigginton

Unfortunately, some Mets have some cash in their bank accounts that they didn't quite earn. They are: (again, most overpaid to least)
- Mike Piazza
- Jason Phillips
- Jae Seo
- Al Leiter
- Steve Trachsel
- Tom Glavine
- Eric Valent

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Matsui tidbit

By measuring the average change in 6 statistical categories (H, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, SO) between the first and second seasons in the U.S. of Ichiro and Hideki Matsui, and applying that to Kaz, I got:

.259/.354/.419/.774, 37 2B, 3 3B, 18 HR, 87 BB, 148 SO assuming 700 plate appearances

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Bad Contracts

This is a running list of bad contracts given out in the 2004-2005 offseason.

Kris Benson/NYM/3/$22.5
Troy Glaus/ARZ/4/$45
Cristian Guzman/WAS/4/$16.8
Jon Lieber/PHI/3/$21
Damian Miller/MIL/3/$8.5
Bob Wickman/CLE/1/$2.75
Jaret Wright/NYY/3/$21
Mike Matheny/SF/3/$10.5
Jose Valentin/LA/1/$3.5
Orlando Cabrera/ANA/4/$32