Olney On Mets, Young, Figgins

The fallout continues from the Mets' announcement on Friday that a portion of the team is up for sale, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Here's Olney's take, as well as some other items of note …

  • The Madoff scandal could prove to be a turning point in Mets history if it leads to a change in the team's ownership. The financial implications go a long way toward explaining why the Mets' baseball-operations staff has been on a shorter payroll leash since the signing of Jason Bay, and one has to wonder how long the Mets will be operating in that mode as the legal process plays out. To that end, signing a big-ticket free agent like Albert Pujols in the near future would be difficult. Finally, was new GM Sandy Alderson aware of the Mets' financial standing when he took the job?
  • Rangers president Nolan Ryan and manager Ron Washington are on record as saying that Michael Young will be with Texas on Opening Day, as Young is well-liked by the organization and will be useful in the super utility role. Both the Rangers and Rockies say that trade talks regarding Young have not been rekindled.
  • The Athletics' rumored pursuit of Chone Figgins makes sense if you consider that he fits Oakland's preference for acquiring players who are fast and defensively sound. To boot, Figgins would cost the A's only about 60 percent of what they were willing to spend on free-agent Adrian Beltre, who signed with the rival Rangers. Olney interprets Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik's comment that Figgins is the Mariners' third baseman as a, "no comment."

39 Responses to Olney On Mets, Young, Figgins Leave a Reply

  1. jtrizzy5 5 years ago

    Sandy was quite aware of the situation when he accepted the positon, I believe thats why Selig encouraged the move so strongly. The wilppns financial situation shouldnt affect the Mets organization that much. If anything it will train the team to run in a more effcient manner instead of wasting money.

    The Mets may be strapped for cash right now, but they can comfortable sit inthe top ten payrolls in baseball. Just remembert his team still plays in the Mecca of the United States and is very capable of generating a substantial revenue stream in this city. Now they have proper management running the team, I expect to see better results in this area.

  2. redsox4120 5 years ago

    I’d be pissed at the Rangers organization if I were Michael Young

  3. METfan201 5 years ago

    If the mets signed puljos i might do a backflip !

    • mwagner26 5 years ago

      That’s like saying the Mariners have a chance at signing him. Pujols is going to be a Cardinal for the rest of his career. They’ll work out something.

    • I’m a huge Mets fan as well! We have zero hope this year and even less hope to sign Pujols!

  4. Wonder if Jason Bay could be shopped by the Mets at some point, to clear his salary, or most of it. I imagine there would be some interest if the Mets would eat part of the salary. Compared to the contracts given out this off-season, Bay’s contract is pretty reasonable, providing he bounces back from last season.

    • Vernon Wells just got traded; anything is possible.

    • mistermet 5 years ago

      I don’t know if I’d call Bay’s deal reasonable as it’s pretty heavily backloaded, but there is probably some team that’d be interested (albeit not right now since he’s a question mark coming off the concussion). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alderson try to drum up interest at the trade deadline. We’ll just have to nix the Angels off that list unfortunately, since it looks as if they’ve already hit their overpaid mediocre OFer quota for the year.

    • LordD99 5 years ago

      If he has a bounceback year, which I think he will, then he does become a better trade candidate. He’ll only have two guaranteed years left on his contract, so if he can bring back his power game in 2011, then the Mets could look to move him.

      • j6takish 5 years ago

        Jason bay has had a pretty consistent track record and 2010 appears to be an outlier. I wouldn’t shop him quite yet

        • mistermet 5 years ago

          Ehh for the money he’s making, I’d definitely look into it considering he’s into his 30’s already. He’s already a poor fielding outfielder. He’s going to be pretty terrible in LF in 2-3 years, especially if he loses a step in the field, not to mention if his bat declines. Just to get out of some of that monetary commitment would be a good move for the Mets’ future. I personally think Lucas Duda could come in and give you at the least, an .800 OPS in LF and be a heck of a lot cheaper.

          • Yipp ud dee doo dah in LF? What makes you think he could do anything? He played meaningless games late in the year last year. Not only that but he isn’t even in the top 5 of the best prospects in the Mets pethetic minor league system? As bad as Bay is, keep him on the team and hopefully he bounces back so we could trade him. Another awful contract by the Mets. WOuld have been better if Citifield resembled the hitter friendly Fenway Park.

    • According to Cots, Bay is owed $16M a year from 2011-2013, plus a team option for 2014. It’s not cheap in terms of AAV, but the length is pretty fair. Let’s say after 2011, if Bay bounces back, a team would only be trading for 2 years and $32M, which wouldn’t be bad at all.

      As a Jays fan, I think I’d be more confident even with Bay at 3/$48 than giving Jose Bautista five years or whatever he’ll want.

  5. marvelousmarvin 5 years ago

    If those questions were really out of Buster Olney’s mouth, then he’s an imbicile. $145M is a tight leash? He sounds like on of the adolescent posters on the Mets board. Asking if Alderson knew about the finances? Is Alderson a lackey, an amateur? Signing anyone to a $30M per year 8 year deal is going to be difficult. Like I said, an imbicile.

    • PennMariner 5 years ago


    • adropofvenom 5 years ago

      It is kind of amusing that people can’t comprehend the idea that the Mets had a quiet offseason because they had 130 million plus in payroll committed before they made a single move, most of which was tied up in rather immovable contracts.

  6. LordD99 5 years ago

    The Mets have a lot of money coming off the books after 2011, and if they actually bring in a minority investor/limited partner, as they suggested yesterday, than they can certainly enter the Pujols bidding. Perhaps this would be a good way for Mark Cuban to get his foot in the door of MLB. He becomes a limited partner in the Mets, and if the Wilpons one day are forced to sell, he’d probably be first in line to take over the franchise.

    • ea19 5 years ago

      MLB does not want Cuban to be a team owner in their league!!!

  7. MadmanTX 5 years ago

    A lot of Rangers fans chastised Nolan in the local press for making that statement about MY. You like the sense of loyalty, but a businessman has to be more pragmatic. If someone offers you a hell of a deal, like their ace pitcher, for MY…why would you tell them no? There’s loyalty and there’s winning. I think the fans will get over loyalty and prefer winning.

    • and of course they would say yes. the point is were NOT getting deals.. were trying to create a deal in order to move about 10mill of his 15.5 mill hes making. were looking at getting a prospect or two in return, not a blue chip either. but that 10mill a year over the next 3 years can be split up to help sign Wilson/Hamilton/Cruz.

      now do you want to move your franchise player, even if he is diminishing?

  8. How about you guys stop posting links to sites where I have to sign up for something? Nothing is more frustrating than following a link only to see that the article is not available unless I “join” the site.

  9. optionn 5 years ago

    The Wilpons have to be hurting for money pretty bad to be making it public that a chunk of the team is for sale. How much exposure do they with the Madoff matter? I would simply cut payroll if I was them. Beltran, Oliver and all those unproductive contracts come off the books soon.

    • adropofvenom 5 years ago

      Making it public is textbook PR, get in front of the story so you can put your own spin on it. Rather then have the story come out 3 weeks from now that the Wilpons “are trying to sell the team”, or whatever sensationalized headline the media would’ve came up with. Of course, the Wilpons doing the textbook PR move is a change from their normal ways of doing business. Sandy must really be having an effect over there 😉

    • the Mets are a very conservative organization. For the Wilpon financial problems to come out and mention that they are looking for a partnership means that there is a huge problem. Since the Wilpon was essentially a winner in the Madoff Ponzi scheme and is getting sued, I hope he loses everything he has. If Freddie Coupon needs to sell the team, perhaps at some point we could win a championship? I also have the most confidence I’ve had in the Mets front office structure since the mid 80″s

  10. jakec77 5 years ago

    What exactly is the Mets “financial standing”? Last I checked, they still spend as much as anyone, other than the Yankees. Come next off season, if they still don’t spend any money as Beltran, Perez, et al come off the books, then I’ll be worried. For now, the Mets problems have nothing to do with finances.

    This is a nothing story getting a lot of play in New York because it’s still a week away from the Superbowl. If the Wilpons sell 1/4 of the team, they will still own twice as much of the Mets as the Steinbrenners own of the Yankees.

  11. RepOak 5 years ago

    I would still keep Kouz over figgins, I think kouz will have a better year. He has something to prove and with these new bats coming into the lineup he wouldn’t be as pressured as he was last season hitting 3rd or cleanup. He would be more in a 6th or 7th spot.

  12. I wish the Mets could trade Castillo for Figgins. I’d be happy to trade in Daniel Murphy as well. Big question going into the season for the Mets is who is better defensively at 2b? Daniel Murphy or Luis Castillo? I’d have to actually probably vote for myself and I’m a lefty!

  13. ZoinksScoob 5 years ago

    FYI, just came from the Mariners’ annual FanFest, and up front and center was Chone Figgins. Someone asked him a question, using the phrase “if you’re still here”, and Chone’s answer was “I will be playing 3B in Seattle this year.” Oakland is on his partial no-trade list, so I think that answers that question pretty definitively. That’s not to say he still couldn’t be traded, but the Figgins/Kouz deal looks to be a non-starter.

    • Maybe the A’s and Mariners couldn’t agree on other potential pieces of the deal–possibly the pitching that the Mariners would want in a deal.

  14. Hoosierdaddy92 5 years ago

    I don’t understand why the A’s would want Chone Figgins so bad. Base-stealing goes against the Moneyball philosophy. Is Figgins defense that much better that Kevin Kouzmanoff? Perhaps strictly for OBP?

  15. lol yea for sure. he should be staying after hours cleaning the front office as well.

  16. redsox4120 5 years ago

    No one who plays in the MLB should be pissed money wise. I’m saying that he’s a player that deserves to start everyday, that’s why I’d be pissed

  17. RangerNation 5 years ago

    He will start everyday…either at DH, first base, or somewhere else he’s needed in the infield.

  18. MadmanTX 5 years ago

    How does a mediocre fielder deserve to play a position everyday if there is a better player available to play said position? Beltre is better at 3B, Andrus is better at SS, Kinsler is better at 2B and (likely) Moreland and even Davis would be better at 1B. Can MY hit better than all those guys…maybe some of them…which is why he gets to DH.

    Some teams play guys with diminishing skills just because they are “fan favorities”. I would rather see production at those positions than root for some past-his-prime guy out of some sense of nostalgia.

  19. johnsilver 5 years ago

    A 16M version of Jed Lowrie?

  20. PennMariner 5 years ago

    And the Cubs, who actually had a higher 2010 payroll than the Phillies.

  21. jakec77 5 years ago

    Phillies and Cubs have payrolls around $140 million, basically the same as the Mets. I said the Mets spend as much as everyone else, not more.

    Red Sox- okay, they are about $20 million more this season, after signing Crawford; not sure where they end up after Gonzalez gets his extension. So, two teams spending more.

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