Free Agent Signings
Ramon Hernandez (C)
Josh Thole is projected to be our starting catcher some time in the future, but no matter how you look at it, next season is not going to be that time. According to the Cincinatti Enquirer, the Cincinatti Reds are very likely to opt-out of their current contract with Ramon Hernandez, because they are looking to cut costs- he would be paid $8.5 million dollars next season, according to it. Hernandez is coming off of a season in which injuries limited his playing time and effectiveness, so if he does become a free agent, he is not going to be offered outrageous deals by potential suitors. While he may be familiar with the Reds organization, the Mets can offer Hernandez, asides for more money, the ability to play during the post-season, something the Reds cannot do, barring an unforeseen Devil Ray-like run. A contract with a base of $2 million dollars with incentives bringing the contract up to as high as $4.5 million dollars over the span of a single season should be able to coax Hernandez, theoretically.
Salary Recap: $2 million - $4.5 million for one year
Matt Holliday (LF)
He's the biggest free agent around, and he’s going to be expensive, but, realistically, the Mets need him. His offense, obviously, is potent, and he can hit for average and for power. Citi Field is spacious, but as empirically evidenced, it doesn’t have as massive an effect on home runs as most believe, meaning that his HR numbers shouldn’t drastically fall upon signing with us. His biggest problem is his defense, and that’s more myth than anything else- his fielding is average, not below average. With Carlos Beltran in Center next to him, that should make up for the extra room he’ll have out there in Citi Field. His
WAR has been over 5.5 for the past three years, and there’s no reason to believe that it’ll be any lower next season, or the next few subsequent ones. A contract of the estimated $20 million dollars over five years is probably what it’ll take to land Holliday, and so be it.
Salary Recap: $20 million for six years
Wilson Valdez (INF)
Wilson Valdez is nothing special, but he'll be able to be picked up on the cheap, and he can play decent infield as a reserve player.
Salary Recap: $0.5 million for one year
Ben Sheets (SP)
Sheets is a high-risk/high-reward player, even when he is "healthy". Sheets is coming off of an injury that kept him out the entire 2009 season. When he’s on, he’s a guy that’s worth a WAR of around 4- and when he’s REALLY on, like in 2004, he was worth as much as 8! Even when he’s not on, such as in his injury shortened 2006 and 2007 seasons, he was still worth 4.0 and 2.2, respectively. As far as we know, the Mets and the Rangers seemed to be the only two teams who seemed interested in him during the winter/spring of 2008/2009, and I’ll take the liberty of assuming that no other clubs will be interested. The Rangers are probably not as interested in Sheets as they were this time last season, with Kevin Millwood being as effective as he was in 2009, and with Scott Feldman having a break-out season. Offering him a one-year contract worth $3 million dollars, with incentives bringing it as high as $8 million (similar to Mark Prior’s 2008 contract) could theoretically bring Sheets here.
Salary Recap: $2 million - $8 million for one year
Erik Bedard (SP)
Like Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard is a high-risk/high-reward player. He’s coming off of two consecutive seasons where injury has limited him to less than 100 innings, and over the course of his entire career, he’s never pitched more than 200 innings, so there’s definitely some red flags for health concerns. When he is healthy, he is fairly dominant, however- in 2007, he had a K/9 rate of 10.93, which was an Orioles record. Bedard is not expected to be able to pitch until sometime after Opening Day 2010, so if he was signed, he’d be appearing midseason. Barring him reinjuring himself, that is almost somewhat of a boon, however- should he return to the game in June or July, his appearance would be very much like a mid-season acquisition, and depending on need, it could also allow the team to trade away another one of our pitchers around the trading deadline for more desperate teams without compromising our pitching rotation. I would offer him a one-year contact worth $3 million with incentives bringing it as high as $7 million dollars.
Salary Recap: $3 million - $7 million for one year
R.A. Dickey (RP)
Dickey is basically a much crappier version of Tim Wakefield. Overall, he’s not that great of a pitcher, but he throws a knuckleball. Since coming back into the Majors with the knuckler, his ERA has dropped from 5.21 in 2008 to 4.62 in 2009. I wouldn’t expect his ERA to continue it’s downward trend, and I wholly expect him to be nothing special, if not bad. As a knuckleball pitcher, he brings a few things to the team: One, as a relief pitcher in the bullpen, he has the ability to make a lot of appearances, which taxes the rest of the pen less. Two, he has the ability to double as a long reliever/spot starter when necessary. Three, he is a knuckleball pitcher. I like knuckleball pitchers, and if anything, he brings a pitch that most of our rivals in the NL haven’t seen, since most haven’t faced Tim Wakefield. Because he’s nothing all that great, he shouldn’t be a very expensive pick-up. A one-year deal with about $0.5 million is what I’d estimate.
Salary Recap: $0.5 million for one year
Bob Howry (RP)
He’s not a major name out there, but Bob Howry’s stats have been remarkably consistent over the past couple of years. In the past six years, he’s had an ERA below the mid-3.00s five out of six times. In the past six years, he’s pitched around 65 innings out of the bullpen five out of six times. He walked more batters, and struck out less than is typical for him last year, but the projections show his K/9 to be 7.15/9 and his BB/9 to be 2.38/9, which is almost a full number improvement from last season. Consistent with what his last contract was, I’d give him a $2 million dollar contract for two years.
Salary Recap: $2 million for two years
1st Base: Nick Evans/Danny Murphy
2nd Base: Luis Castillo
3rd Base: David Wright
Shortstop: Jose Reyes
Catcher: Ramon Hernandez
Left Field: Matt Holliday
Center Field: Carlos Beltran
Right Field: Jeff Francoeur
Total 2010 Payroll:$139.7 to $151.7 million dollars
Carlos Beltran: $18.5 million
David Wright: $10 million
Matt Holliday: $20 million
Jose Reyes: $9 million
Jeff Francoeur: $4 million (Arbitration increase)
Angel Pagan: $1 million
Nick Evans: $0.4 million
Danny Murphy: $0.4 million
Luis Castillo: $6 million
Ramon Hernandez: $2 million - $4.5 million
Fernando Tatis: $1.5 million
Omir Santos: $0.4 million
Wilson Valdez: $0.5 million
Ben Sheets: $2 million - $8 million
Erik Bedard: $3 million - $7 million (*Begins season on DL*)
Johan Santana: $21 million
Oliver Perez: $12 million
John Maine: 2.8 million (Arbitration increase)
Mike Pelfrey: $5.3 million
Brian Stokes: $0.5 million
Pedro Feliciano: $1.6 million (Arbitration increase)
Adam Bostick: $0.4 million
Francisco Rodriguez: $11.5 million
Bobby Parnell: $0.4 million
R.A. Dickey: $0.5 million
Bob Howry: $2 million
Depending on incentives that are reached, we could possibly take on another $10 million +/- contract midseason. The return of Bedard, probably around June or July, allows us to trade a starting pitcher (in all likelihood, John Maine) to a team that might need an extra decent pitcher to make a playoff-run without shooting ourselves in the foot for the year). Thoughts? This is my first time "playing GM"...