Friday, December 11, 2009

Quick Hits - 12/11/09

* What kind of blogger sits out the entire Winter Meetings without so much as a post?

* Mack says that Bengie Molina is going to be a Met today; Jack says that his soul is going to die a little if that happens. T-Bone swears that I told him some time ago that I would be all right with Molina on a one-year deal. I do not remember saying this, but I don't remember saying a lot of the things that come out of my mouth. Let me state for the record - Bengie Molina is not worth $6 million per year if the deal is one year, two years or 10 minutes long.

* Mets sign Clint Everts to a minor-league deal. Looking at his 2009 numbers and considering his pedigree, why did the Nationals even let him go?

* Loyal reader YD sends along this quote (although technically, I refer to him as MD): "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." - Babe Ruth.

Every time a Mets fan tells me that a team with David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana and Francisco Rodriguez can't possibly be THAT FAR away from being a playoff team, the Bambino's quote immediately leaps to mind.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Roster Move: Mets Sign Another Old Guy

Henry Blanco? Really? Who's next, Charles Johnson?

Look, Blanco's defensive skills may still be intact (he threw out 40 percent of base-stealers last year), and he may have also been a mentor to Geovany Soto during his breakout 2008 season. But there is just no rational explanation for doubling Blanco's salary after a season where he appeared in just 67 games and batted .232/.320/.382. If the Mets are going to give $1.5 million to the likes of Henry Blanco, then I don't want to hear another word about the Wilpons having financial concerns.

(Actually, this move signals everything I hate about the Mets right now - this organiation would rather give $1.5 million to a 37-year-old backup catcher then to pay over-slot for a first-round draft pick. It is the very definition of penny-wise and pound-foolish.)

This would seemingly signal the end of Omir Santos's career in New York - a move that I am hardly lamenting. Mets fans have a bad habit of thinking that a good three-week stretch from a player is an indicator of All-Star potential. Too many people drank the Kool-Aid with Santos, a career minor leaguer who would be lucky to bat over .200 if he gets 100 major league at-bats next season.

By the way, Mack from Mack's Mets points out that Chris Coste will be well received in Buffalo, which is where he's apparently ticketed to go now that Blanco is in the fold. He also predicts that Bengie Molina will be the next 35-and-over catcher signed by the Mets - a move that will push me into full-meltdown mode.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It Never Ends

Thanks, Jon Heyman.

If I need to tell you that signing a 35-year-old catcher who runs slower than I do and had a .285 OBP last year is a mistake, then you may have accidentally wandered over here from LOLCats. If the idea of spending $6 million on a "strong-armed" catcher that threw out only 23 percent of base-stealers in 2009 seems like a good one, than you may be Omar Minaya and/or his dog. (Only renowned noodle arms AJ Pierzynski and Jason Varitek allowed more runners to steal on them last year.)

But hey, the Giants didn't offer Molina arbitration, so the Mets can keep their second-round pick and toe the line on slot recommendations again next June!

Roster Moves: Mets Sign Old Guys

The first step in the rebuilding job is complete!

Alex Cora and Chris Coste have been brought into the fold and added to the 40-man roster, although Coste actually signed a minor-league deal last week. These moves, not surprisingly, were met mostly with derision in the Mets' blog kingdom. In a season where the Mets have so many holes to fill, you will forgive the fanbase by not being excited over a utility infielder and a second- or third-string catcher.

I have no problem with signing Coste - he hit reasonably well as a backup in Philadelphia for a few seasons, although the bottom dropped out of his offensive production when he was traded to the Astros last summer. I would've preferred the Mets make a run at Kelly Shoppach, who was traded to the Rays this week. That said, Tampa seems very unlikely to offer Dioner Navarro a contract now - I would love it if the Mets paired him with Santos and allowed Coste to mentor Josh Thole in Buffalo.

Cora is another story. It doesn't seem like a good idea to offer $2 million to a light-hitting backup infielder with a questionable glove and two damaged thumbs. Minaya's style as a general manager seems to include ranking the areas where he perceives the team has a need and then filling it as quickly as possible with the first available player who fits the bill. One can almost imagine Minaya scanning this list, seeing the phrase "utility infielder" and deciding that he needs to lock Cora up so he can move to the next task.

There are many problems with this approach, not the least of which is that Minaya rarely lets the market come to him. Was it really that important to lock down your utility infielder right now? Was the market for Cora so hot that Minaya stood to lose him if he wasn't offered a contract before December 1? Were there any younger, more athletic players in baseball who could've filled that role more cheaply?

Don't tell me that Cora's "leadership skills" were essential to a 70-win team that showed only a passing familiarity with how to play fundamental baseball, either. The Mets don't need leaders - they need good baseball players, and lots of them. Cora and Coste may play a supporting role, but they do not address what the Mets really need.