Mets 2010 Trade Needs – Lilly, Carmona, Westbrook, Millwood

May 27, 2010 - Chicago, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES - epa02176040 Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Ted Lilly throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first innning of their Major League Baseball game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 27 May 2010. New York Mets need a starting pitcher if they are going to make a run for the playoffs down the stretch. Roy Oswalt now appears out of the questions as the Mets and Astros can’t come to terms on anything.

That leaves four options for the Mets of guys who have been tossed around baseball. The Indians are looking to trade right-handed pitcher Jake Westbrook. Westbrook makes no sense to me. The man is a mediocre pitcher at best. He is a Major Leaguer. I get it… But unless the Mets can magically get the Indians to throw in Kerry Wood at a halfway decent price, the move makes no sense.

Fausto Carmona is another name the Indians are throwing around. Carmona is only 26 years old and his ERA for the season stands at an impressive 3.64. Moving to the National League may help Carmona as well taking the DH away. The question with him is how he would handle the pressure of New York? Continue reading “Mets 2010 Trade Needs – Lilly, Carmona, Westbrook, Millwood”

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.

Johan Santana and Developing Young Pitchers

New York Mets Johan Santana (R) watches as Cleveland Indians Travis Hafner hits a pitch for a solo home run during the second inning of the Mets MLB inter-league baseball game in Cleveland, Ohio June 15, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL) fans are quickly realizing that the 2010 version of Johan Santana is not the same pitcher that the team traded a proverbial “bucket of balls” for back in 2008. After Santana and the Mets agreed to a 6-year, $137.5 million extension following the trade that winter, the left-handed ace went 16-7 with an ERA of 2.53. Santana had a Cy Young caliber season that year, he could have easily had 4-5 more wins, if not for a horrendous bullpen that ultimately led to that team’s demise.

Fast-forward to the present, and it is plain to see that Santana is performing like anything but an ace. Coming off an injury shortened season in 2009, the wear and tear on Santana’s elbow is certainly showing, especially coming off surgery. The 31-year-old’s velocity is down considerably, which lessens the effect of his signature out pitch, his change-up. Combine the drop in velocity of his fastball with poor location of seemingly all of his pitches recently, and you have the make-up of a very hittable and predictable Major League pitcher.

With Santana’s 2010 campaign so far in mind, it reminds us of the importance of developing young pitchers within the organization (a big-market organization, at that), so the need for acquiring high end starting pitchers down the road isn’t as great. Continue reading “Johan Santana and Developing Young Pitchers”

Forget Cliff Lee, Mets Need Roy Oswalt

May 26, 2010- Milwaukee, WI. Miller Park..Houston Astros starting pitcher Roy Oswalt pitched for 8 scoreless innings giving up only 4 hits to the Milwaukee Brewers..Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Houston Astros 0-5..Mike McGinnis / CSM. know by now that there are two pretty appetizing starting pitching options on the Mets’ radar right now.

Those two, obviously, are Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt. Both are outstanding pitchers on underachieving teams that are trying to dump them in order to clear payroll or to acquire young talent.

But which one is better for the Mets, both for now and down the road?

If this Mets team was a World Series or bust team, the decision would be pretty apparent: Cliff Lee. He’s comparable to Johan Santana in how he can dominate a game, and would add a third lefty to go along Santana and Jon Niese, in a division with lefty sluggers such as Chase Utley, Jason Heyward, and Ryan Howard. Add Mike Pelfrey to that mix, and you have a deadly starting rotation.

But right now, the Mets are not a World Series or bust team. They’re a team that has a legit shot at a postseason birth, both this year and in the years to come. Remember, outside of Rod Barajas, all the important cogs in this Mets lineup and starting rotation will still be here.

For a Mets team that could make some noise for a while, it makes more sense to go with a pitcher that gives the Mets more roster security. That pitcher is Roy Oswalt. Continue reading “Forget Cliff Lee, Mets Need Roy Oswalt”

Mets Must Pursue Roy Oswalt

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Dodgers Astros’ ace Roy Oswalt recently told management he wanted to be traded.

The Mets have lost three starting pitchers in the last two weeks, two to injury and one to… well, awfulness.

I’m not the only one who sees a fit here, right?

Oswalt’s W-L isn’t the best this season at 2-6, but that’s heavily influenced due to a terrible Houston team behind him. His ERA is 2.66 (career 3.21) and he has 60 strikeouts on the year, putting him on pace for 221.

Oswalt would be under the Mets’ control for the remainder of this season and next season, with a club option for 2012, so this move would be more than just a four-month rental. It would set our top three starting pitchers as Johan Santana, Oswalt, and Mike Pelfrey. Not sure there’s a better 1-2-3 in the majors. Continue reading “Mets Must Pursue Roy Oswalt”