Mets Links- Spring Training, Wilpon, K-Rod, Reyes

Donald Trump in February 2009
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Fred Wilpon arrived in Port St. Lucie today and defiantly told reporters that his family will be vindicated. He spoke to reporters at length about the Madoff trustee lawsuit against him and said that he’s done nothing wrong and the Mets won’t be affected by the suit. It’s the same thing he told reporters at his press conference a couple of weeks ago.

Here are the stories that are in the news from PSL:

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Mets Non-Tender Maine, Green, Carter

NEW YORK - MAY 09:  John Maine #33 of the New ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The Mets finally cut John Maine loose. They did it a year too late but as long as they got it done, that’s what counts. It’s been a downhill slide for Maine since his breakout 2007 season with 15 wins. Injuries and difficulty coping with them took its toll on Maine leading to him coming off surgery (again) but this time without a contract. I’m sure some team will offer him a minor league deal to see if he can recover but I doubt that it will be the Mets.

Here are Maine’s career stats through 2010:

2004 23 BAL AL 0 1 .000 9.82 1 1 0 0 0 0 3.2 7 4 4 1 3 1 19 51 2.727
2005 24 BAL AL 2 3 .400 6.30 10 8 1 0 0 0 40.0 39 30 28 8 24 24 184 69 1.575
2006 25 NYM NL 6 5 .545 3.60 16 15 1 1 1 0 90.0 69 40 36 15 33 71 365 122 1.133
2007 26 NYM NL 15 10 .600 3.91 32 32 0 1 1 0 191.0 168 90 83 23 75 180 810 110 1.272
2008 27 NYM NL 10 8 .556 4.18 25 25 0 0 0 0 140.0 122 70 65 16 67 122 608 101 1.350
2009 28 NYM NL 7 6 .538 4.43 15 15 0 0 0 0 81.1 67 42 40 8 38 55 349 92 1.291
2010 29 NYM NL 1 3 .250 6.13 9 9 0 0 0 0 39.2 47 29 27 8 25 39 190 64 1.815
7 Seasons 41 36 .532 4.35 108 105 2 2 2 0 585.2 519 305 283 79 265 492 2525 98 1.339
162 Game Avg. 13 11 .532 4.35 34 34 1 1 1 0 187 166 97 90 25 85 157 806 98 1.339
NYM (5 yrs) 39 32 .549 4.17 97 96 1 2 2 0 542.0 473 271 251 70 238 467 2322 102 1.312
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 12/3/2010.

The Mets also chose to non-tender Sean Green and Chris Carter. Green only made it into 11 games last year after having cracked ribs. He claimed the injury was because the Mets were trying to convert him to a submarine style from his usual sidearm delivery. Who knows if that’s really the case? But it just didn’t make sense to bring him back. Relievers are so up and down from year to year.

Carter was such a likable player in 2010 for the Mets. He’s the kind of guy that everyone roots for, including me. He was the super Joe McEwing of 2010. It’s too bad he didn’t have the talent to stick on the roster. Carter was an absolute butcher in the field. I could see him getting a shot with an American League team as a designated hitter. I hope it works out for him. I’d be thrilled to see him back in the big leagues and playing successfully at some point.

2010 Mets – We Believe in Comebacks!

New York Mets Omar Minaya reacts while sitting upstairs in a game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field in New York City on July 30, 2009. The Mets defeated the Rockies 7-0. (UPI Photo/John Angelillo) Photo via Newscom you? Because I don’t buy it at all.

You can recycle that ad campaign for next year because it doesn’t look like the Mets will be coming back this year. The season is starting to slip away fast and this will be the third year in a row that the Mets, who again have one of the highest payrolls and the some of the best talent in the league, will just choke it all away.

On my very first article for the Mets Report I predicted that the Mets were no better than a 4th place team. The Mets are now ½ game out of fourth and it looks like my prediction may come true.

Despite the fact that I didn’t predict the wonderful additions of Ike Davis and Angel Pagan as true everyday players, which should have made them wild card contenders this year, I did get the feeling that with Omar Minaya in charge the Mets would make an early run and then drop out of the race yet again. Continue reading “2010 Mets – We Believe in Comebacks!”

John Maine Surgery Ends 2010 Season, Mets Career

NEW YORK - MAY 09:  John Maine #33 of the New ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The beat reporters are all writing that John Maine had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder yesterday and is done for the season. His career with the Mets is done as well. It’s a virtual lock that the Mets will non-tender Maine after this season. He has absolutely no value to the organization anymore, especially being arbitration eligible.

Maine’s career with the Mets started with such promise after being acquired from Baltimore in the Kris Benson deal in 2005. The highlight of his Mets career was his 2007 season going 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA.

His Mets career stats are below:

2006 25 NYM NL 6 5 .545 3.60 16 15 1 1 1 0 90.0 69 40 36 15 33 71 1.133
2007 26 NYM NL 15 10 .600 3.91 32 32 0 1 1 0 191.0 168 90 83 23 75 180 1.272
2008 27 NYM NL 10 8 .556 4.18 25 25 0 0 0 0 140.0 122 70 65 16 67 122 1.350
2009 28 NYM NL 7 6 .538 4.43 15 15 0 0 0 0 81.1 67 42 40 8 38 55 1.291
2010 29 NYM NL 1 3 .250 6.13 9 9 0 0 0 0 39.2 47 29 27 8 25 39 1.815
NYM (5 yrs) 39 32 .549 4.17 97 96 1 2 2 0 542.0 473 271 251 70 238 467 1.312
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/24/2010.

Mets’ Hisanori Takahashi Struggles, Keeps Rotation Spot

New York Mets starting pitcher Hisanori Takahashi takes a breather behind the mound before facing New York Yankees batter Jorge Posada with the bases loaded in the sixth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 18, 2010. He got Posada out to end the inning. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL) about a month ago you asked a Mets fan who was the most pleasant surprise this season, you’d have a lot of responses. R.A. Dickey. Ike Davis. Angel Pagan.

All very deserving names. Another name that would’ve been on that list is 35-year-old Japanese import Hisanori Takahashi.

He wasn’t untouchable coming out of the bullpen, but he was more than serviceable, posting a 3.12 ERA as a reliever. When John Maine and Oliver Perez had to be pulled from the rotation due to a combination of injuries and ineffectiveness, Takahashi was chosen to take one of the open spots in the rotation.

His first two starts were outstanding, against two of the best offensive teams in baseball. Against the Yankees in his first start, he shutout the Yankees for six innings. In his next start against NL East rival Philadelphia, he did the same. Continue reading “Mets’ Hisanori Takahashi Struggles, Keeps Rotation Spot”

Mets 2010 Second Half Begins on West Coast

Tim Lincecum
Image via Wikipedia

With the first half of the season now a thing of the past, the Mets will start their second half quest to the pennant on the West coast for 11 games. They’ll be in San Francisco for four, Arizona for three, and back to California for four against the Dodgers. Here are some keys to each series I’ll be paying close attention to.

San Francisco 7/15-7/18
Expect pitching, pitching, and more pitching… And also the return of Carlos Beltran. The Mets will be facing a formidable quartet of Giants pitchers in the spacious confines of AT&T Park. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are as good a 1-2 punch as there is in the league at the top of any rotation. With that said, I’m confident in the Mets starters not only because the Giant lineup is far from imposing, but because the rotation proved themselves to be stingy in the first half. I foresee a series where Jerry Manuel’s strategic make-up will be tested, and a lot of “small” ball being executed. Like all Met fans are, I’m anxious to see Beltran back on the field, but my expectations are low, seeing as how it took Jose Reyes so long to adjust to the speed of the Major Leagues upon his return in April.

Arizona 7/19-7/21
The Mets are going to have to bring the lumber to the desert when they take on the D-Back’s for a three game set. Although the big bats of Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds can change the tide of a game with one swing, The Arizona pitching staff is about as effective as John Daley after 12 cold ones on the 15th hole. They are worst in the NL in ERA and earned runs allowed. The Mets have proven to be capable of coming from behind this season, so the lineup should be able to touch up the D-Back bullpen in the later frames if they fall behind. In addition, the Mets historically play really well at Chase Field. I’m expecting an abundance of offensive output in this series from the Met lineup. We’ll also see two players who are attracting a lot of attention on the trade market in RHP Dan Haren and left-hand hitting 2B Kelly Johnson. Continue reading “Mets 2010 Second Half Begins on West Coast”

Report: Mets Financial Troubles Mounting

Bernard Madoff's mugshot
Image via Wikipedia

The New York Post is reporting that the Wilpon family’s financial situation is so precarious that they cannot add payroll through trades. The report states that adding a front line starting pitcher is the least of their problems. Their debt load is so heavy and attendance is down so much this season that if the trend continues for a season or two, they may be forced to sell the team.

It was almost one year ago that I wrote about the Madoff mess causing talk of the Mets being forced to sell the team. Now those rumors are back. You never really know exactly what the financial situation of the team is. But it’s not a good sign when the rumors of trouble are consistent and persistent.

The key points of the NY Post article are:

  • The team has nearly $700 million in debt
  • The Mets are losing about $10 million/year including depreciation and interest payments on the debt
  • Attendance is down 19% from 2009 and down 35% from 2008
  • SNY is profitable but is leveraged to roughly six times it’s earnings before interest
  • The Wilpon family refinanced about $375 million in loans and kept $75 million for themselves

The article has a little bit of information about the family’s investments in commercial real estate which has been in a down market for three years now. It doesn’t help that the Mets’ fortunes have been down for three years now either. And it won’t be easy to recover. The article states that one of the debt covenants prevents the team from increasing payroll. Taking on Roy Oswalt or Cliff Lee would be great this month. But the Mets can’t expect the Astros or Mariners to take back equal or more salary.

We may be stuck with the pitching staff as it stands now. Maybe John Maine or Oliver Perez will come back and start doing what seems unlikely to most of us. If not, we could be speculating on who will be buying the Mets in a couple of years. Hopefully, it won’t get to the point that the Rangers have this season.

Thanks to MLBTradeRumors for the link.