Next in our Offseason In Review series, the Mets.
Major League Signings
- Jason Bay, LF: four years, $66MM. Includes $17MM club option for 2014 with a $3MM buyout. Can vest based on plate appearances.
- Ryota Igarashi, RP: two years, $3MM.
- Alex Cora, IF: one year, $2MM. Includes $2MM vesting option for 2011.
- Kelvim Escobar, RP: one year, $1.25MM.
- Fernando Tatis, 1B: one year, $800K (estimated).
- Henry Blanco, C: one year, $750K.
- Chris Coste, C: one year, $650K.
- Rod Barajas, C: one year, $500K.
- Clint Everts, P: one year, $400K.
- Total spend: $75.35MM.
Notable Minor League Signings
- Kiko Calero, Hisanori Takahashi, Josh Fogg, Mike Jacobs, Frank Catalanotto, R.A. Dickey, Shawn Riggans, Russ Adams, Jolbert Cabrera, Luis Hernandez, Mike Hessman, Bobby Livingston, Elmer Dessens
Trades and Claims
- Sold Rule 5 pick P Carlos Monasterios to Dodgers
- Claimed RP Jay Marshall off waivers from Athletics
- Acquired CF Gary Matthews Jr. and $21.5MM from the Angels for RP Brian Stokes
- Claimed CF Jason Pridie off waivers from Twins
- Gary Sheffield, Brian Schneider, Jeremy Reed, Cory Sullivan, Carlos Delgado, Wilson Valdez, Tim Redding, Brian Stokes, J.J. Putz, Ken Takahashi, Lance Broadway
The Mets came into the offseason with needs at left field, first base, catcher, the rotation, and the bullpen. GM Omar Minaya's approach: one big move and tons of little ones.
Bay was the major expenditure; his option has a decent shot of vesting and turning this into a five-year, $80MM deal. The Mets also surrendered the #57 overall draft pick. Should the Mets be praised for giving Bay three fewer years than Matt Holliday, at about $643K less per year? Or did both teams overcommit, given an apparent lack of comparable offers? Perhaps in both cases, the Mets and Cardinals feared that their targeted sluggers would could sign short-term deals elsewhere and they'd be left with nothing.
Though I initially liked the Escobar signing, it's already looking like a waste of $1.25MM. In hindsight, he deserved a minor league deal. I still like Minaya's approach to the bullpen with the low-risk signings of Igarashi, Calero, and others.
Minaya committed $1.9MM to catchers Barajas, Blanco, and Coste, which at least looks good compared to the $6MM deals given to Ivan Rodriguez and Jason Kendall. The Mets are probably lucky that Bengie Molina didn't take their one-year, $5.5MM proposal, but they deserve faint praise for not offering a second year.
It looks like Daniel Murphy (.274/.328/.429 projection) has the inside track on the Mets' first base job, with Jacobs in camp as a backup plan. Minaya never seemed too keen on tossing $2MM at flawed but more interesting bats like Troy Glaus and Russell Branyan, nor did he make a play in the $6MM range for Nick Johnson or Adam LaRoche.
With all the uncertainty in the Mets' rotation, I expected them to sign two starters to big league deals. Instead, they added a couple of fifth starter candidates on minor league pacts in Takahashi and Fogg. I don't blame the Mets for not topping Oakland's $10MM offer to Ben Sheets, but they could've been more aggressive on Joel Pineiro or Jon Garland. The Mets have a probable rotation of Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Jon Niese – and I have no idea how they'll perform or how many innings they'll provide.
The Mets are comparable to their division rival Marlins, aside from the $80MM payroll difference. The teams project to have similar offenses, granting full health for both clubs (though I downgraded Carlos Beltran's projection slightly for the month-plus of Angel Pagan we'll see). Both clubs also have unpredictable rotations. I won't rule out the Marlins and Mets as contenders, but the Braves and Phillies have fewer question marks.