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Wednesday Applesauce

Don't forget that the SBN 2008 Postseason Hub is an ideal landing spot for our coverage of this year's postseason action. All of the latest coverage from the remaining playoff teams can be found there, or directly at Over The Monster, DRays Bay, True Blue LA and The Good Phight.

Believe it or not, a lot of folks don't realize that we've got a whole network of baseball blogs, including one each for every big league team, one for minor league content, one for scouting and one for statistics-mongering. Most of them are as good or better than this site, so if you're looking for news or information on any other major league teams, go check out the SBN site first, ESPN and the other guys second.

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Here's a fun time-killer. Over at Beyond the Boxscore, Sky Kalkman provides a list of 31 (?) pairs of MLB players from 2008. For each pair, you're to guess whether:

  1. Player A was at least ten runs more valuable than player B
  2. Player B was at least ten runs more valuable than Player A
  3. The two players were roughly equivalent in value

Value in runs is based on Justin's TotalValue ratings, which are conveniently available in spreadsheet form for pitchers and position players. Don't cheat, though; see how many of the 31 you can get right.

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Dan Szymborski has started releasing his 2009 ZiPS projections over at Baseball Think Factory, and though he hasn't posted the Mets' projections yet, there are still a couple of neat features that have been posted lately. Both are related to minor league analysis

The first is a spreadsheet of 2008 minor league translations, which are major league equivalences of minor league data. In short: What this year's minor leaguers could reasonably have been expected to do were they to have played in the big leagues instead.

For instance, given his performance this past year in the minors, Fernando Martinez might've hit .231/.270/.342. Francisco Pena might've hit .211/.244/.295. Jon Niese might've posted a 4.50 ERA.

The other great feature is a list of 2008 minor league park factors, which were calculated using Jeff Sackmann's Minor League Splits. Minor league park factors are especially useful if you want to see whether a particular hitter's or pitcher's performance was artificially inflated/deflated by the environment he spent half of his playing time in. Here are the park factors for all of the Mets' affiliates this past season.

Park R H 2B HR BB K
Brooklyn (A-) 1.02 1.05 1.06 0.89 0.94 0.99
Savannah (A) 0.97 0.97 0.95 0.98 1.00 1.02
St. Lucie (A+) 1.02 1.00 1.02 1.02 0.98 0.97
Binghamton (AA) 1.07 1.05 1.03 1.09 1.03 0.98
New Orleans (AAA) 0.91 0.95 0.97 0.93 1.00 1.07

In other minor league news, Baseball America has revealed the 2009 amateur draft order, and the Mets are slated to pick 25th. Smart money is on that pick going to the Brewers, Dodgers, or some other team with a marquee free agent changing uniforms this winter.

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As JoshNY pointed out in this FanPost, the Mets are auctioning off memorabilia from the dismantling of Shea Stadium. Among the items are a turnstile, a locker from the visitor's locker room, the American flag from Shea's roof, and much more. No urinals, though maybe they'll add more stuff as the weeks go on.

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The free agent rumors are already swirling, and Lord Boras is letting teams know that, despite the fact that Manny Ramirez is firmly entrenched in this year's playoffs, his client is looking for five years and $85 million. That's about two years and $35 million too much if you ask me.

Interestingly, Ramirez's god awful defense in left improved substantially when he moved from Fenway's bizarro-world dimensions to those of the more traditionally-shaped Dodger Stadium. His RZR as a Red Sox was .817 this season; it was .895 with the Dodgers. That would have ranked him fourth out of nine qualified NL left fielders. Now, left field is usually where you stick your worst fielder who isn't already playing first base, but even adequate fielding coupled with Ramirez's bat is a mighty fine combination.

MLB has released their list of potential free agents of this coming offseason (or, the current offseason for 26 teams including the Mets). The Mets have 13 players who could become free agents (not including players not yet eligible for free agency who could theoretically be non-tendered), which is second in quantity to the Dodgers, who have 14 players on the list. Mets listed are:

  • Moises Alou
  • Tony Armas Jr.
  • Luis Ayala
  • Carlos Delgado (club option)
  • Damion Easley
  • Orlando Hernandez
  • Pedro Martinez
  • Ramon Martinez
  • Trot Nixon
  • Oliver Perez
  • Ricardo Rincon
  • Fernando Tatis
  • Matt Wise

How many of these guys stand even a 50/50 chance of coming back? Delgado. Maybe Tatis in a backup role. Ehh, that's probably it. Some of them could still return, but few are likely to do so.