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Offseason In Review: New York Mets

Next in our Offseason In Review series, the Mets.

Major League Signings

Notable Minor League Signings

Trades and Claims

Notable Losses

Summary

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.








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