Congratulations community! You have just collectively sign Matt Holliday to a 5-year, $100 million deal! The harsh competition with the Orioles to lock up this baby paid off. You still have about $15 million in the bank to fill in other positions with! Out of the 70 votes, Holliday netted 34 of them, while far away in second but still with a strong showing was B.J. Upton, with 13.
So, now what? Now, we move on to Right Field. My original plan was to do the outfield positions together, but found it quite impossible to organize. So let's view our options for right field.
The first option is rather obvious. It's to go with what we already have in right with Jeff Francoeur. Francoeur had a salary of $3.4 million last year and it's likely to rise to $3.7-$3.8 this year. Pagan cost about $0.5 million last year and should remain at that number. So let's look at what we are getting for the money. The disadvantages of Francoeur are quite apparent. He swings at everything in front of his face. Lore tells that one time Jeff Francoeur went to a fancy Italian restaurant, and ordered the salad. When the waiter was moving to put it down, Francoeur took a bat and swung at it as it crossed his face. This approach has led him wOBAs of .337, .286 and and .313 over the past three years, which is wabout as well if not worse than Murphy's 2009. What's worse is that Francoeur has been a below average fielder for the past two seasons, with UZRs of -4.7 and -7.8 in 2008 and 2009 respectively. However, there IS a reason to keep him, and that's the fact hat he is 25 and with the Mets hit for a .311/.338/.498 line, and that certainly is useful. If Francoeur can keep this production up, he is worth it. If not.... **shudders**
All of the other options include trading or non-tendering Jeff Francoeur. A possible trade candidate would be the KC Royals, who are likely getting rid of Mark Teahen and don't give a rats-ass about OBP, wOBA or UZR.
These options include:
Simply starting Angel Pagan in right. Pagan is a brilliant defensive right fielder who has a career 18.7 UZR/150 at the position in 278.2 innings. Pagan has also been improving every year at the plate, which is most evident this year with his .358 wOBA. In his time (88 games) Pagan has stolen 14 bases and proven time and time again that he is a worthy outfielder. He finished 2009 with 376 PAs and a 2.3 WAR, which kicks the crap out of a lot of 2009 Mets. His dollar value for this years performance is measured over at Fangraphs at $10.6 million this year. The downsie of starting Pagan is that he has never been a full-time regular before, but more positives include his low cost and that he's still only 29.
For those more interested in bulking up our lineup, options include Mark DeRosa and B.J. Upton (more info on them in the left field post).
Another more costly option would be Andruw Jones. Jones spent little time in the field in his 2009 term with the Rangers, but this was totally unjustified. In his limited time as a corner outfielder in Texas he performed quite well, and there is no reason to doubt that he could have a UZR of at least 20 in right. This is very attractive, as is his pop (.246 ISO in 2009, holla!). Downsides of Jones include that his contract could be $5 million per year or more. He should settle for nothing less considering he was making $14 million a year pretty much every year before, and that he has shown that he is still capable, if not as much as before. He is not young like Upton, but then again he is only a free agent.
On the FA market as well is Marlon Byrd. Byrd will likely cost $5-6 million per year after coming off of a season with 20 HR and a .280 BA. He'll be 32 come April 2010 and may look for 2-3 years. Byrd is a decent centerfielder but is great in the corners, with a career UZR/150 of 10.9 in left and 12.3 in right. Byrd over the past three years has posted wOBA's of .350, .370 and .345. His WARs have been 2.5, 3.5 and 2.3 in 2007 through 2009, respectively.
Jeremy Hermida is another option, he would likely be less costly but he is a miserable outfielder. He could be non-tendered by the Marlins. Hermida is known to have some very good skills and tools, and if he can put them together he could be a weapon in the lineup. Of course, if he isn't he's worth squat. We'll put his predicted contract at $2.5 million.
Available through trade is Milton Bradley, who is signed through the next two years. If traded the team receiving him will likely pay around $10 million over the next two years for him, and he may cost very little in a trade. The downside of Bradley is that he is injury prone and has a famous temper. The upside is that he is a good defender in right and center field, and has had WARs over 2 in every year from 2003 to 2009, with a 1.8 WAR in 2009. in 2008 it was 4.5, in 2003 it was 4.8. He is also an interesting option.
At this point, acquiring another player pretty much guarantees that the Mets are not in the running for John Lackey, so for all those who want Lackey keep that in mind. In fact, at this point it seems that any budget under $18 million won't be enough to land Lackey, and any budget under $15 million would definitely restrict us from landing Halladay in a trade.