And now, the dramatic conclusion of the epic, award-winning series that began last week.
January 22, 2009
Signed Freddy Garcia to a minor league contract. Garcia was competing for the fifth starter/long man role in Spring Training, but he was first terrible and then hurt (or maybe it was the other way around). Upon his return, he stunk in two starts for Buffalo before being waived and picked up by the White Sox where he posted a 2.90 tRA in 56 innings. That should be enough to get him a Major League deal in 2010, maybe even from the Mets!
January 23, 2009
Signed Rob Mackowiak to a minor league contract. Appeared in two games with Triple-A Buffalo and zero with the Mets. He was pretty solid on a fantasy team I had five or six years ago, but has never really been an above average player and could be done as a big leaguer at age 33.
February 2, 2009
Signed Oliver Perez for three years/$36 million. Analysis here. A day that will live in infamy, as the Mets offered three more years and thirty-six million more dollars than anyone else to secure the rights to one of the least dependable -- but most mature! -- pitchers in baseball. Perez's 6.94 tRA, -0.7 WAR and 1.92 WHIP would have been vindication enough, but he topped that off by spending three-fifths of the season on the disabled list. Given his negative win value, perhaps that was actually for the best. At roughly $4.5 million per win, Perez would have to be worth 8-9 wins over the next two seasons to justify his contract.
February 5, 2009
Signed Elmer Dessens to a minor league contract. Dessens should never have seen the light of day, but with injuries and ineptitude swallowing the Mets' 2009 season, Dessens managed to appear in 28 games in relief, showing decent control and a proclivity for groundballs (yet he still allowed five homeruns in 32.2 innings). He wasn't the worst pitcher the Mets had, and was probably quite a bit better than expected, but more playing time should expose him as a below-average reliever.
February 11, 2009
Signed Jose Valentin to a minor league deal. Didn't play a professional game in 2009. Maybe check the Ground Round?
February 13, 2009
Signed Ramon Martinez to a minor league deal. Hit .167/.182/.214 in 44 plate appearances with the Mets. Had a -2.6 UZR at shortstop in limited action.
February 14, 2009
Signed Livan Hernandez to a minor league deal. A longshot to make the club, Hernandez out-pitched Freddy Garcia in Spring Training and joined the Mets in the season's second week. Apart from a few good starts against the Nationals, Hernandez was mostly pretty bad, even for a fifth starter. He also loved donuts.
February 27, 2009
Signed Ron Villone to a minor league deal. Villone never pitched for the Mets and was nothing special after Washington picked him up. He's from Englewood, NJ, for whatever that's worth.
March 10, 2009
Released Duaner Sanchez. This move seemed smart at the time, looked dumb when Filthy shut down the Mets in the opening series at Citi Field, but went back to looking smart when the Padres likewise released Sanchez after running up a 9.00 ERA and 2.36 WHIP in 11 innings.
March 14, 2009
Claimed Fernando Nieve off waivers from Houston. Some Nieve analysis here. Not a bad gamble. Nieve was only 26 and throws in the mid-nineties, and managed a 2.95 ERA in seven starts with the Mets. Unfortunately, he walked too many and struck out too few to believe his low runs allowed rate is at all sustainable.
March 30, 2009
Signed Ken Takahashi to a minor league contract. Some analysis of one of his appearances here. Tak wasn't terrible, and was fairly dominant against righties in limited action. He was released yesterday, so, smell you later, Tak.
April 5, 2009
Signed Gary Sheffield as a free agent. The Mets paid Sheffield the league minimum (actually, a prorated portion of the league minimum) while the Tigers picked up the rest of his $14 million salary. Sheffield was worth 1.8 WAR offensively, though his defense in leftfield was woeful. UZR has him at -11.1, though it's not clear how much that is affected by the fact that UZR is still using Shea Stadium's dimensions. If that mark holds, Sheffield's overall value, including defensive adjustments, was barely above replacement (0.2 WAR). He could still be a useful designated hitter somewhere.
April 11, 2009
Released Marlon Anderson. Boo to the yah. Anderson was decent as a pinch hitter with the Mets in 2005, remarkable in 77 plate appearances after they claimed him from the Dodgers in 2007, but all kinds of terrible in 2008 and made four hapless pinch hitting appearances in 2009 before mercifully getting the heave-ho.
April 25, 2009
Signed Mike Lamb to a minor league contract. Played almost a full season in Triple-A and didn't hit a lick.
May 30, 2009
Traded Ramon Castro to the White Sox for Lance Broadway. Trade analysis here and discussion here; Castro's greatest hits here. I always liked Ramon; he had more pop than can usually be expected from a catcher, and he was big and huggable. He was also oft-injured and rumored to be difficult to deal with. He hit .184/.262/.382 with the White Sox (he also caught Mark Buerhle's perfect game). Broadway was terrible in Triple-A and with the Mets; his greatness may not extend beyond his naturally porn star-ish name.
June 5, 2009
Claimed Pat Misch off waivers from the Giants. His 4.12 ERA in 22 appearances -- including seven starts -- isn't supported by his peripherals, as Misch struck out just 3.5 batters per nine innings while walking 2.9 and allowing 1.4 homeruns. Could be worth an emergency start, but if he makes 22 appearances again the Mets are in trouble.
July 10, 2009
Traded Ryan Church to the Braves for Jeff Francoeur. Trade coverage here, here, here, here, and here. To his credit, Francoeur was worth around 1.6 WAR with his bat after the trade (his defense dragged that down a bit); Church was worth around half that in half the playing time with the Braves. 2010 is Francoeur's final year of arbitration eligibility, though there's always the (horrifying) possibility of the Mets signing him to a multi-year deal. I genuinely want Francoeur to succeed and he seems like a nice enough guy, I just find it hard to believe that he will ever be even an average big leaguer given his steadfast refusal to use the strike zone to his advantage.
August 6, 2009
Traded Greg Veloz to the Nationals for Anderson Hernandez. Hernandez is a replacement-level shorstop and slightly better than that as a second-baseman (the difference owing to his above-average defense at second). He can't hit and probably never will, though it's not as if Veloz is anything to write home about.
August 25, 2009
Traded Billy Wagner to the Red Sox for Chris Carter and Eddie Lora. More here. The Mets cleared around $4 million and picked up a couple of warm bodies. Carter could be useful against righties.