Friday, October 19, 2012

Advocating an upopular opinion

Time for hot stove to begin (for Mets fans it just begins a little earlier). Here's how I see the Mets situation, and none of this will be news. The Mets need 3 OFs and a catcher, not necessarily in that order of priority. The Mets also have payroll commitments of anywhere from $75 to $85 million (factoring in arbitration and expected increases of select player salaries). The total payroll is projected to be around $95-$100 million, leaving roughly $15 million to spend on player acquisitions. Yes, the trade market offers some options, and by the way, talk of Peter Bourjos's availability has me giddy. I'd love to add his speed in CF, and though he's struggled at the plate, I'm willing to be patient while he learns. But I digress. It's simple, there are many holes and little money. And don't be fooled by the talk of "it doesn't matter how much you spend....", you need money to compete. So, I offer the following.

The Mets need to decide what to do with RA Dickey. They can choose to not exercise his option and let him walk, which would be insane. They could exercise his option and trade him, or sign him to an extension. The knee-jerk reaction is to sign the 20-game winner to an extension, and baseball "people" say that RA's value is roughly $12-$15 million per year for 3 years. Let's say the Mets sign RA to an extension, at $13 million per year for 3 years. That means they're signing a 38-year-old (as of 10/29) and will be paying him $13 million at age 41 (almost) in 2015. It also means that RA would have a raise from $4.2 million to $13 million, sucking up about half of the budget the team has to fill other holes (and that's not counting a potential raise for Wright).

Option 2-exercise the option and trade him. I don't like this option, since I don't see a lot coming back for a 38-year-old who would have to be signed after next season for what would likely be a significant raise. So, I suggest that the Mets exercise the option, allow RA to work for $5 million next year, and then let him walk. This means that less than $1 million of the available budget will go to RA, leaving some money to fill other holes. It also means that RA would be walking at 39, after next season. Knuckleball or not, I have to believe that his production will begin to decrease rapidly at age 39. I like RA. I think that exercising the option would be a crappy thing to do to him after he gave the Mets one of their few bright spots this year. But we all know that baseball is a business. The 2013 Mets, with Swiss cheese holes and little money, know that more than anyone. My position may not be popular or nice, but I think it's the right one when you look at the reality of the Mets situation.

Has anything interesting happened this post season? Oh yeah, not only did the Yankees lose, they absolutely imploded and embarrassed themselves on and off the field. Life is good these days!

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