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Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ?

Posted: 11/2/2012 10:18 AM

Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 


When reading about the general fan mood today and the growing impatience and pressure on Sandy Alderson & Co. to deliver in spite of almost no existing financial flexibility, I wondered how the Mets fanbase in today´s hyperactive media environment would have felt if these were the early 1980s with the moves Frank Cashen had made during the first few years of his tenure. So, let´s take a time machine to 30 years ago.

 

Like Alderson, Cashen didn´t promise an instant winner but rather offered a longterm vision of turning / rebuilding the franchise into a sustainable winner when he took over, stating it could well take four or five years. Alderson has been far more vague, never mentioning the “R-word” but looking to be “competitive” while building and regaining payroll control & flexibility - possibly to avoid further declines in ticket sales & merchandising, considering his owners were fighting to avoid an insolvency.

Now, back in time:

While the game has changed quite a bit since then with payrolls 10 times higher than back in the early 80s, generally fewer trades today but more free agents and a lot more knowledge & transparency about the game today vs. back then, there are significant similarities even with somewhat different circumstances.

 

When Cashen took over early in 1980, too late to really have an impact on that season, the franchise had already hit rock bottom. The farm system was shallow. The major league roster had little beyond Lee Mazzili and young SP phenom Tim Leary. The fanbase had lost interest. New York was a “Yankee” city with the 1978 World Champs, major free agent signings like Reggie Jackson or later Dave Winfield and a strong & entertaining veteran team in place that ended up going to the 1981 World Series as well. The Mets had basically become a laughingstock and an afterthought - somewhat similar to today.

 

While Cashen´s main goal was laying a foundation of a longterm winner by growing a deep farm system (like Alderson), he also worked on making the major league roster more competitive.In his first off-season as GM, he made trades for slugger Dave Kingman, parting with solid OF Steve Henderson and also acquired former CY Young winner Randy Jones, coming off a down year & injuries to anchor the rotation. Those trades turned out to be major flops and the Mets after a solid first half, collapsed to a 41-62 record in the strike shortened 1981 season.

In early 1982, he made his biggest trade thus far, trading a couple of 2nd tier prospects and fringe major leaguers for former Big Red machine slugger George Foster who later signed a 5-year, 10 million $ contract extension.

A couple of months later, he traded fan favorite Lee Mazzili to Texas for a couple of pitching prospects Ron Darling & Walt Terrell. The 1982 Mets went 65-97.

Imagine this had happened in today´s day & age.

Sure, some promising prospects were growing on the farm – but who knew whether Darryl Strawberry, Billy Beane, Len Dykstra, Doc Gooden, Floyd Youmans, Randy Myers, Jeff Bittiger and others were ever going to become useful major leaguers.

However, Cashen after almost 3 years on the job and two full off-seasons and actually fresh money to spend thanks to the new ownership had utterly failed in his goal to turn the Mets into a competitive team, losing 97 games in 1982. His three biggest “name” acquisitions Kingman, Jones and Foster hadn´t produced while he had traded the fan favorite for prospects.
The "blogosphere" would be ballistic, full of “same old Mets” stories, Cashen being a dinosaur who only was able to do well in the late 1960s as the architect of the Baltimore Orioles in a different era prior to free agency, criticizing him for his failure to improve the Mets shortterm, listing ill-fated moves for Kingman, Foster and Jones most notably and some still being upset he let Mazzili go for unknown prospects.

 

30 years later, Alderson & Co. have added to the farm system. Trading Beltran for Zack Wheeler, getting Michael Fulmer as an extra pick for not re-signing Feliciano, getting C Kevin Plawecki and SS/3b Matt Reynolds as compensation for not-resigning Jose Reyes and not trading a single prospect in the two years on the job so far, finally going overslot multiple times in the 2011 draft, signing the most expensive Int. FA in franchise history in Amed German Rosario and teaching hitters up & down all levels a certain organizational philosophy while going with mostly 6-man rotations in the minors, somehow avoiding serious injuries in 2012.


Meanwhile, he hasn´t made moves as significant as Cashen´s at the major league level in terms of adding to the team. There has been no George Foster type trade yet. The more notable shortterm moves like trading Pagan for Torres / Ramirez and signing F.Francisco to a 2-year deal haven´t worked out at all, in FF´case yet. A couple of small scale moves (Hairston, Capuano, Byrdak, C.Young, Baxter and Cedeno) have been alright, others (Carrasco, Paulino, Emaus or Beato for example) haven´t, though none of the moves figure to have any consequences for the longterm well-being or not of the franchise. Cashen did trade future star closer Jeff Reardon for OF Ellis Valentine in 1981 - which fortunately didn´t really hurt too much in retrospect.

 

Of course, Cashen´s shortterm moves also had little impact on the longterm success.

The Mazzili deal was his best through 1982 in retrospect, though drafting Gooden, Strawberry, McDowell, Dykstra & Co., plus trading for Darling & Terrell was a key for the 1984 & beyond success.

In 1983, he added Hernandez for Neil Allen (more of a dump by STL). He then started to use some of the depth of young talent he had inherited or procured himself in trades for key future pieces such as Sid Fernandez (1983), Ray Knight (1983), Howard Johnson & Gary Carter (late 1984) and Bob Ojeda (late 1985) for the 1986 World Series run and a couple of  years beyond. Of course, he also continued making a bad trade here or there such as giving away future ace Mike Scott (for PH Danny Heep), solid SP Tim Leary & middle infielder Jose Oquendo (for essentially nothing) or trading for SP Bruce Berenyi who failed to live up to expectations.

Still, the keys to the success were patience in the first 3 to 4 years of his tenure to build a deep farm system and then aggressively trading for missing pieces, avoiding trading away any of that prospect depth initially until the time was right to make major moves and most of all not falling for the “quick fix” in spite of little success at the major league level.

 

Now, Alderson´s task has been tougher in terms of an utter lack of financial flexibility compared to other teams and also Cashen back then but easier in terms of inheriting a better farm system overall – thanks to the rebuild basically starting half a year before his arrival, with a very promising 2010 draft and also a productive 2007 IFA signing period – and a couple of better pieces on the major league team, most notably Wright, Dickey and since departed Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes. Imho, Wright can basically serve as the Keith Hernandez of future Mets winners compared to the 1980s version. Matt Harvey and / or Zach Wheeler may well become the Gooden & Darling of this generation, albeit more in combination and not individually as both probably won´t reach Gooden´s lofty highs but quite possibly could exceed Darling´s, with Jon Niese being an earlier and more refined version of Sid Fernandez that pitches more like Bob Ojeda.

What´s still missing is the next “Darryl Strawberry” and also further moves for the next Ray Knight, Gary Carter and Bob Ojeda.  

Maybe Ike Davis will be this generation´s Hubie Brooks, i.e. a quality young player who has to be sacrificed to land a superstar. Maybe Dillon Gee is this generation´s Walt Terrell who´ll eventualy be moved for a young bat with lots of depth on the farm behind him.

Right now,. I believe we´re at a similar stage to 1982 or – in an optimistic case - 1983. Expectations entering 1984 were rather modest too, if I remember correctly with nobody expecting a .500 season, let alone 90 wins.


Still, by 2014, the Mets should have a plethora of young & highly promising pitching ready for success in the majors, with multiple fall back options too – like in the early to mid 80s when not every promising prospects became a star either (Billy Beane, Reggie Jefferson, Floyd Youmans, Calvin Schiraldi, Shawn Abner, etc.).

 

However, the approach today vs. back then has been quite similar. Try to smear lipstick on a pig shortterm to try to sell tickets and gradually build for something serious longterm.  The process is far from complete. Of course, there are no guarantees it´ll work. While I believe that the team will become more & more competitive as the young pitching establishes itself, it will take several more years to complete the process. Maybe 80+ wins in 2013, 85 to 90 wins in 2014 and then hopefully 90+ wins from 2015 on & beyond. Considering that by this time next year, the Mets will finally have huge payroll flexibility and hopefully an even deeper & more advanced farm system in place, plus the first wave of young pitching (Harvey, Wheeler, Mejia. Familia, Edgin, McHugh, Carson, Gorski & Co.) in the majors, bold moves can be made, starting next winter.

For this winter, it´ll probably be more of the same. Other teams spending tons of money on more or less qualified free agents or making blockbuster trades – especially with the higher luxury tax effects not kicking in until 2014. The Mets not signing one of the top 30 free agents on the market and coming home with unspectacular 3rd tier solutions.

But, a turnaround can come in a hurry if a team strength suddenly opens. And the Mets certainly have potential for that with their young pitching, combined with a few pieces that are already in place.

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Posted: 11/2/2012 10:33 AM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 


Good analysis. That seems like so long ago. I remember how the fans vilified Foster because they thought he wasn't trying. I remember being so disappointed in Berenyi; liked the deal at the time. Also remember times when Kingman and/or Mazzilli was all they had, and like a lot of fans I loved Hubie Brooks. Tough years.
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Posted: 11/2/2012 10:45 AM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



danfran wrote: Good analysis. That seems like so long ago. I remember how the fans vilified Foster because they thought he wasn't trying. I remember being so disappointed in Berenyi; liked the deal at the time. Also remember times when Kingman and/or Mazzilli was all they had, and like a lot of fans I loved Hubie Brooks. Tough years.
Hubie was one of my favs as well.  I remember being shocked about George Foster's performance after the Mets got him.  He had been this fearsome slugger for the Reds but as soon as the Mets got him he looked small and unathletic.  I was especially shocked at what a poor OFer he was.

I think there are two main differences between Cashen and Alderson.  First, Cashen came in after an even longer stretch of horrible team performance.  The Mets had been a joke for years and they were already near rock bottom and almost totally devoid of talent when Cashen came on the scene.  Alderson, on the other hand took over a team with an interesting core of players (Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Santana) so fans weren't willing to accept 100 loss seasons.  It didn't feel like a team that needed to be dismantled entirely.  Secondly, Cashen was more forthright about his process and how long it was going to take.  I am still basically an Alderson supporter but his lack of transparency has nearly ruined his credibility with me.  I DO blame the Wilpons more than I blame Sandy but he hoes deserve considerable blame as well for the current mood and lack of trust of the fans.

Last edited 11/2/2012 10:46 AM by MookieLJL

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Posted: 11/2/2012 11:51 AM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



MookieLJL wrote:
danfran wrote: Good analysis. That seems like so long ago. I remember how the fans vilified Foster because they thought he wasn't trying. I remember being so disappointed in Berenyi; liked the deal at the time. Also remember times when Kingman and/or Mazzilli was all they had, and like a lot of fans I loved Hubie Brooks. Tough years.
Hubie was one of my favs as well.  I remember being shocked about George Foster's performance after the Mets got him.  He had been this fearsome slugger for the Reds but as soon as the Mets got him he looked small and unathletic.  I was especially shocked at what a poor OFer he was.

I think there are two main differences between Cashen and Alderson.  First, Cashen came in after an even longer stretch of horrible team performance.  The Mets had been a joke for years and they were already near rock bottom and almost totally devoid of talent when Cashen came on the scene.  Alderson, on the other hand took over a team with an interesting core of players (Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Santana) so fans weren't willing to accept 100 loss seasons.  It didn't feel like a team that needed to be dismantled entirely.  Secondly, Cashen was more forthright about his process and how long it was going to take.  I am still basically an Alderson supporter but his lack of transparency has nearly ruined his credibility with me.  I DO blame the Wilpons more than I blame Sandy but he hoes deserve considerable blame as well for the current mood and lack of trust of the fans.
Alderson has been a lot more vague & "corporate" like. However, at least part of the reason for that is that he can´t throw his owners under the bus. Imagine you´re working for a company under immense financial pressure - you can´t tell your customers how upset you are about your bosses inability to spend and the budget being tighter than initially promised.

Remember how the projected 2012 payroll dropped from Alderson´s 115 million or so expectation during the first half of 2011 to just under 100 million within the 2nd half of 2011. Besides hamstring issues serving as a reminder of the risks attached to him, that - imho - was a big reason why Jose Reyes isn´t a Met anymore.

If not for the Wilpons´ disastrous financial situation in recent years, I´m pretty sure, Alderson would have been more outspoken about his ideas. It´s also interesting that after a lot of initial openness, chats with major bloggers, etc., the current FO has been extremely tight-lipped and less accessible over the past several months.
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Posted: 11/2/2012 2:55 PM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



DrDooby wrote:
MookieLJL wrote:
danfran wrote: Good analysis. That seems like so long ago. I remember how the fans vilified Foster because they thought he wasn't trying. I remember being so disappointed in Berenyi; liked the deal at the time. Also remember times when Kingman and/or Mazzilli was all they had, and like a lot of fans I loved Hubie Brooks. Tough years.
Hubie was one of my favs as well.  I remember being shocked about George Foster's performance after the Mets got him.  He had been this fearsome slugger for the Reds but as soon as the Mets got him he looked small and unathletic.  I was especially shocked at what a poor OFer he was.

I think there are two main differences between Cashen and Alderson.  First, Cashen came in after an even longer stretch of horrible team performance.  The Mets had been a joke for years and they were already near rock bottom and almost totally devoid of talent when Cashen came on the scene.  Alderson, on the other hand took over a team with an interesting core of players (Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Santana) so fans weren't willing to accept 100 loss seasons.  It didn't feel like a team that needed to be dismantled entirely.  Secondly, Cashen was more forthright about his process and how long it was going to take.  I am still basically an Alderson supporter but his lack of transparency has nearly ruined his credibility with me.  I DO blame the Wilpons more than I blame Sandy but he hoes deserve considerable blame as well for the current mood and lack of trust of the fans.
Alderson has been a lot more vague & "corporate" like. However, at least part of the reason for that is that he can´t throw his owners under the bus. Imagine you´re working for a company under immense financial pressure - you can´t tell your customers how upset you are about your bosses inability to spend and the budget being tighter than initially promised.

Remember how the projected 2012 payroll dropped from Alderson´s 115 million or so expectation during the first half of 2011 to just under 100 million within the 2nd half of 2011. Besides hamstring issues serving as a reminder of the risks attached to him, that - imho - was a big reason why Jose Reyes isn´t a Met anymore.

If not for the Wilpons´ disastrous financial situation in recent years, I´m pretty sure, Alderson would have been more outspoken about his ideas. It´s also interesting that after a lot of initial openness, chats with major bloggers, etc., the current FO has been extremely tight-lipped and less accessible over the past several months.
Per the bolded, I've noticed this a lot too. When he first took office, he seemed a lot more open about his ideas (sounds dumb, but he spoke the way he did in the book 'Moneyball,'). I feel like now we have a GM who dances around anything finance related, roster moves, etc.


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Posted: 11/2/2012 3:06 PM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



DrDooby wrote:
MookieLJL wrote:
danfran wrote: Good analysis. That seems like so long ago. I remember how the fans vilified Foster because they thought he wasn't trying. I remember being so disappointed in Berenyi; liked the deal at the time. Also remember times when Kingman and/or Mazzilli was all they had, and like a lot of fans I loved Hubie Brooks. Tough years.
Hubie was one of my favs as well.  I remember being shocked about George Foster's performance after the Mets got him.  He had been this fearsome slugger for the Reds but as soon as the Mets got him he looked small and unathletic.  I was especially shocked at what a poor OFer he was.

I think there are two main differences between Cashen and Alderson.  First, Cashen came in after an even longer stretch of horrible team performance.  The Mets had been a joke for years and they were already near rock bottom and almost totally devoid of talent when Cashen came on the scene.  Alderson, on the other hand took over a team with an interesting core of players (Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Santana) so fans weren't willing to accept 100 loss seasons.  It didn't feel like a team that needed to be dismantled entirely.  Secondly, Cashen was more forthright about his process and how long it was going to take.  I am still basically an Alderson supporter but his lack of transparency has nearly ruined his credibility with me.  I DO blame the Wilpons more than I blame Sandy but he hoes deserve considerable blame as well for the current mood and lack of trust of the fans.
Alderson has been a lot more vague & "corporate" like. However, at least part of the reason for that is that he can´t throw his owners under the bus. Imagine you´re working for a company under immense financial pressure - you can´t tell your customers how upset you are about your bosses inability to spend and the budget being tighter than initially promised.

Remember how the projected 2012 payroll dropped from Alderson´s 115 million or so expectation during the first half of 2011 to just under 100 million within the 2nd half of 2011. Besides hamstring issues serving as a reminder of the risks attached to him, that - imho - was a big reason why Jose Reyes isn´t a Met anymore.

If not for the Wilpons´ disastrous financial situation in recent years, I´m pretty sure, Alderson would have been more outspoken about his ideas. It´s also interesting that after a lot of initial openness, chats with major bloggers, etc., the current FO has been extremely tight-lipped and less accessible over the past several months.
I understand that he can't express his displeasure with his bosses for the bolded part, but why can't he state the facts without his feelings attached? Why can't he just say that they are budget constrained and that it has precluded him from making certain moves that would have benefited the team. Instead of just saying that, he makes snide remarks about how maybe he should have brought a box of chocolates to a certain player to show he was serious about pursuing him, when we all know he couldn't have signed him if he wanted. 

I think there is a fine line between not throwing your bosses under the bus and flat out lying... and I think Sandy has crossed that line. That isn't to say I don't blame the Wilpons more for this mess than Sandy...but he isn't an innocent party. 

Dooby, you said it in your OP...Cashen stated it could take 4 or 5 years to turn it around. I would love to hear Sandy have said that. I can't stand that he puts on a facade and goes into the season preaching that the team can win it all, pointing out the exceptions to the norm (last years DBacks) in his defense.
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Posted: 11/2/2012 4:30 PM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 


I'm thinking that the "same as last year" budget is going to destroy the fan base this year, especially if either Wright or Dickie are gone. Did you see how the GDT died at the end of last season. The stands were empty... No one cared except for RA starts.

Fan-wise this season will pick up where we ended off last season. That would be a financial disaster as well and I see a train wreck about to happen. To avert this, a $15-20 million increase in payroll is needed. Not a spending spree, but the ability to put $6 m into the BP. $6-10 m into the OF and $6 m for a catcher.

I'd really hate for this to be a totally lost season , but I can't see wanting to watch other than Harvey/Dickey starts once in a while...... Even watching them lose 0 - 2 games will get old fast.
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Posted: 11/2/2012 6:36 PM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



Damonbok wrote: I'm thinking that the "same as last year" budget is going to destroy the fan base this year, especially if either Wright or Dickie are gone. Did you see how the GDT died at the end of last season. The stands were empty... No one cared except for RA starts.

Fan-wise this season will pick up where we ended off last season. That would be a financial disaster as well and I see a train wreck about to happen. To avert this, a $15-20 million increase in payroll is needed. Not a spending spree, but the ability to put $6 m into the BP. $6-10 m into the OF and $6 m for a catcher.

I'd really hate for this to be a totally lost season , but I can't see wanting to watch other than Harvey/Dickey starts once in a while...... Even watching them lose 0 - 2 games will get old fast.
Totally correct, though I will be there for Harvey starts. There will however still be diehards, idiots like myself who continue to watch the games. I won't go though, not until I am not taken for granted by ownership.
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Posted: 11/3/2012 3:21 AM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



danfran wrote:
Damonbok wrote: I'm thinking that the "same as last year" budget is going to destroy the fan base this year, especially if either Wright or Dickie are gone. Did you see how the GDT died at the end of last season. The stands were empty... No one cared except for RA starts.

Fan-wise this season will pick up where we ended off last season. That would be a financial disaster as well and I see a train wreck about to happen. To avert this, a $15-20 million increase in payroll is needed. Not a spending spree, but the ability to put $6 m into the BP. $6-10 m into the OF and $6 m for a catcher.

I'd really hate for this to be a totally lost season , but I can't see wanting to watch other than Harvey/Dickey starts once in a while...... Even watching them lose 0 - 2 games will get old fast.
Totally correct, though I will be there for Harvey starts. There will however still be diehards, idiots like myself who continue to watch the games. I won't go though, not until I am not taken for granted by ownership.
It depends on the product on the field on opening day. Obviously if the highlight of the Mets´ off-season is signing C Miguel Olivo and otherwise bringing back the current roster minus Pelfrey and the free agents, obviously, the excitement entering 2013 will be at an all-time low - whether Wright & Dickey have been extended longterm or not.

Right now the projected payroll (without Pelfrey, Torres and the free agents but bringing back everyone else) is around 95 million $ including arbitration raises to those eligible. That leaves, 5 million, maybe 10 if we´re lucky available to add this off-season - or about as much as was available last winter and the winter before.

However, the key will either be making smart trades from positions of strength or further development of young players.
Unlike past years, the 2013 bullpen may finally be supplemented significantly from within with Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia imho being two prime candidates who could be very successful as high K total relievers. Add that to Francisco & Parnell coming back, Hefner in a long relief / spot starter role and basically you´re looking for two more relievers on 1-year deals, a "LOOGY" (you can get for 1 million $ or less and there always are a bunch of them available - I´d suggest former A´s & Twins closer Brian Fuentes who had a terrible 2012 season but should do well in this role or maybe even bringing back Pedro Feliciano) and another RH, maybe even Ramon Ramirez on a 1-year, 1 million $ deal. Ramirez was disappointing in 2012 but has a track record of being a quality setup reliever. He´s a prime bounceback candidate - so the Mets might as well take a chance on him to redeem himself on the cheap.
Whatever funds are there, probably need to go into the OF and a backup C - be it via trade or free agency.
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Posted: 11/3/2012 8:05 AM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



DrDooby wrote:
danfran wrote:
Damonbok wrote: I'm thinking that the "same as last year" budget is going to destroy the fan base this year, especially if either Wright or Dickie are gone. Did you see how the GDT died at the end of last season. The stands were empty... No one cared except for RA starts.

Fan-wise this season will pick up where we ended off last season. That would be a financial disaster as well and I see a train wreck about to happen. To avert this, a $15-20 million increase in payroll is needed. Not a spending spree, but the ability to put $6 m into the BP. $6-10 m into the OF and $6 m for a catcher.

I'd really hate for this to be a totally lost season , but I can't see wanting to watch other than Harvey/Dickey starts once in a while...... Even watching them lose 0 - 2 games will get old fast.
Totally correct, though I will be there for Harvey starts. There will however still be diehards, idiots like myself who continue to watch the games. I won't go though, not until I am not taken for granted by ownership.
It depends on the product on the field on opening day. Obviously if the highlight of the Mets´ off-season is signing C Miguel Olivo and otherwise bringing back the current roster minus Pelfrey and the free agents, obviously, the excitement entering 2013 will be at an all-time low - whether Wright & Dickey have been extended longterm or not.

Right now the projected payroll (without Pelfrey, Torres and the free agents but bringing back everyone else) is around 95 million $ including arbitration raises to those eligible. That leaves, 5 million, maybe 10 if we´re lucky available to add this off-season - or about as much as was available last winter and the winter before.

However, the key will either be making smart trades from positions of strength or further development of young players.
Unlike past years, the 2013 bullpen may finally be supplemented significantly from within with Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia imho being two prime candidates who could be very successful as high K total relievers. Add that to Francisco & Parnell coming back, Hefner in a long relief / spot starter role and basically you´re looking for two more relievers on 1-year deals, a "LOOGY" (you can get for 1 million $ or less and there always are a bunch of them available - I´d suggest former A´s & Twins closer Brian Fuentes who had a terrible 2012 season but should do well in this role or maybe even bringing back Pedro Feliciano) and another RH, maybe even Ramon Ramirez on a 1-year, 1 million $ deal. Ramirez was disappointing in 2012 but has a track record of being a quality setup reliever. He´s a prime bounceback candidate - so the Mets might as well take a chance on him to redeem himself on the cheap.
Whatever funds are there, probably need to go into the OF and a backup C - be it via trade or free agency.
You have restated the off-season policy and resulting minor moves possible as we understand them on this board, Dooby. I'm saying that that is not enough to have a winning season and more importantly may very well be a tipping point ushering on a further erosion of the fan base. This erosion will further depress revenues. On the other hand a modest payroll increase will create just enough buzz to keep the fans somewhat interested for another year.

I think we could be guilty of repeating our actions and expecting a different result (the definition of insanity.)
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Posted: 11/3/2012 8:53 AM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



Damonbok wrote:
DrDooby wrote:
danfran wrote:
Damonbok wrote: I'm thinking that the "same as last year" budget is going to destroy the fan base this year, especially if either Wright or Dickie are gone. Did you see how the GDT died at the end of last season. The stands were empty... No one cared except for RA starts.

Fan-wise this season will pick up where we ended off last season. That would be a financial disaster as well and I see a train wreck about to happen. To avert this, a $15-20 million increase in payroll is needed. Not a spending spree, but the ability to put $6 m into the BP. $6-10 m into the OF and $6 m for a catcher.

I'd really hate for this to be a totally lost season , but I can't see wanting to watch other than Harvey/Dickey starts once in a while...... Even watching them lose 0 - 2 games will get old fast.
Totally correct, though I will be there for Harvey starts. There will however still be diehards, idiots like myself who continue to watch the games. I won't go though, not until I am not taken for granted by ownership.
It depends on the product on the field on opening day. Obviously if the highlight of the Mets´ off-season is signing C Miguel Olivo and otherwise bringing back the current roster minus Pelfrey and the free agents, obviously, the excitement entering 2013 will be at an all-time low - whether Wright & Dickey have been extended longterm or not.

Right now the projected payroll (without Pelfrey, Torres and the free agents but bringing back everyone else) is around 95 million $ including arbitration raises to those eligible. That leaves, 5 million, maybe 10 if we´re lucky available to add this off-season - or about as much as was available last winter and the winter before.

However, the key will either be making smart trades from positions of strength or further development of young players.
Unlike past years, the 2013 bullpen may finally be supplemented significantly from within with Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia imho being two prime candidates who could be very successful as high K total relievers. Add that to Francisco & Parnell coming back, Hefner in a long relief / spot starter role and basically you´re looking for two more relievers on 1-year deals, a "LOOGY" (you can get for 1 million $ or less and there always are a bunch of them available - I´d suggest former A´s & Twins closer Brian Fuentes who had a terrible 2012 season but should do well in this role or maybe even bringing back Pedro Feliciano) and another RH, maybe even Ramon Ramirez on a 1-year, 1 million $ deal. Ramirez was disappointing in 2012 but has a track record of being a quality setup reliever. He´s a prime bounceback candidate - so the Mets might as well take a chance on him to redeem himself on the cheap.
Whatever funds are there, probably need to go into the OF and a backup C - be it via trade or free agency.
You have restated the off-season policy and resulting minor moves possible as we understand them on this board, Dooby. I'm saying that that is not enough to have a winning season and more importantly may very well be a tipping point ushering on a further erosion of the fan base. This erosion will further depress revenues. On the other hand a modest payroll increase will create just enough buzz to keep the fans somewhat interested for another year.

I think we could be guilty of repeating our actions and expecting a different result (the definition of insanity.)
I read both posts, and agree with you both. While Dooby is probably correct on what they WILL do, they sure could raise fan enthusiasm with a surprise acquisition. That move could be a trade though. They could make a "lipstick on a pig" move too, which I don't want. There have been far too many of those already. Would love to see them get a quality OF bat.
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Posted: 11/3/2012 8:54 AM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 


I guess that one thing that helped Cashen was that signing draftees was a lot more certain than today and top talent wouldn't pass by them because of going over the slot. Although one of the biggest errors the Mets ever made was when they didn't sign Roger Clemens because Lou Gorman wouldn't give him that extra $5,000 Clemens wanted.

RIP WIC 2005-2008

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Posted: 11/3/2012 10:04 AM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



danfran wrote:
Damonbok wrote:
DrDooby wrote:
danfran wrote:
Damonbok wrote: I'm thinking that the "same as last year" budget is going to destroy the fan base this year, especially if either Wright or Dickie are gone. Did you see how the GDT died at the end of last season. The stands were empty... No one cared except for RA starts.

Fan-wise this season will pick up where we ended off last season. That would be a financial disaster as well and I see a train wreck about to happen. To avert this, a $15-20 million increase in payroll is needed. Not a spending spree, but the ability to put $6 m into the BP. $6-10 m into the OF and $6 m for a catcher.

I'd really hate for this to be a totally lost season , but I can't see wanting to watch other than Harvey/Dickey starts once in a while...... Even watching them lose 0 - 2 games will get old fast.
Totally correct, though I will be there for Harvey starts. There will however still be diehards, idiots like myself who continue to watch the games. I won't go though, not until I am not taken for granted by ownership.
It depends on the product on the field on opening day. Obviously if the highlight of the Mets´ off-season is signing C Miguel Olivo and otherwise bringing back the current roster minus Pelfrey and the free agents, obviously, the excitement entering 2013 will be at an all-time low - whether Wright & Dickey have been extended longterm or not.

Right now the projected payroll (without Pelfrey, Torres and the free agents but bringing back everyone else) is around 95 million $ including arbitration raises to those eligible. That leaves, 5 million, maybe 10 if we´re lucky available to add this off-season - or about as much as was available last winter and the winter before.

However, the key will either be making smart trades from positions of strength or further development of young players.
Unlike past years, the 2013 bullpen may finally be supplemented significantly from within with Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia imho being two prime candidates who could be very successful as high K total relievers. Add that to Francisco & Parnell coming back, Hefner in a long relief / spot starter role and basically you´re looking for two more relievers on 1-year deals, a "LOOGY" (you can get for 1 million $ or less and there always are a bunch of them available - I´d suggest former A´s & Twins closer Brian Fuentes who had a terrible 2012 season but should do well in this role or maybe even bringing back Pedro Feliciano) and another RH, maybe even Ramon Ramirez on a 1-year, 1 million $ deal. Ramirez was disappointing in 2012 but has a track record of being a quality setup reliever. He´s a prime bounceback candidate - so the Mets might as well take a chance on him to redeem himself on the cheap.
Whatever funds are there, probably need to go into the OF and a backup C - be it via trade or free agency.
You have restated the off-season policy and resulting minor moves possible as we understand them on this board, Dooby. I'm saying that that is not enough to have a winning season and more importantly may very well be a tipping point ushering on a further erosion of the fan base. This erosion will further depress revenues. On the other hand a modest payroll increase will create just enough buzz to keep the fans somewhat interested for another year.

I think we could be guilty of repeating our actions and expecting a different result (the definition of insanity.)
I read both posts, and agree with you both. While Dooby is probably correct on what they WILL do, they sure could raise fan enthusiasm with a surprise acquisition. That move could be a trade though. They could make a "lipstick on a pig" move too, which I don't want. There have been far too many of those already. Would love to see them get a quality OF bat.
If "lipstick on a pig" means signing a 15-20 million player, I'm with you. I do think a couple of $6 m guys who might fit into future plans is needed if you want anybody to watch. Did you notice that even Joe Petruccio quit posting on Sept 9? We can't come back with basically the same product an expect to retain any fans.
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Posted: 11/5/2012 12:20 PM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 


Very solid post on the history of Cashen and Alderson - how they are similar and different.  I think the Mets being at 1982 in 2013 is quite correct.  The farm system might not be great, but I think the team has better coaches on the farm.  And, better talent in the majors
.
And, the erosion of the fan base is why people feel you can't rebuild in NY.  But, this is better than slinging dollars and high priced talent that leaves the fans dissatisfied.  The fans will come back when the Mets begin winning.  Enough so that they are not hamstrung when signing FAs are needed.  Basically, you can build a winner spending maybe $70 million like the Giants, As, Nationals and Rays.  And, I chose them because the Mets have pitching on the farm that will allow them to rival these teams.  As limited as position talent looks for the Mets, it's better than the Giants, As and Rays have.  And, the position talent is much deeper.

The only difference between small market and big market teams is that it's easier to keep talent than the Giants, As and Rays have.  The Mets will be able to re-sign players like Harvey who's gonna cost a pretty penny.
"Friend Romans & Country Men Lend Me an Ear"  Hannibal Lecture in Florence.  Recipe from the Grand Dictionaire de Cuisine, (1873), Alexandre Dumas.
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Posted: 11/5/2012 12:30 PM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 



Alexandre62 wrote: Very solid post on the history of Cashen and Alderson - how they are similar and different.  I think the Mets being at 1982 in 2013 is quite correct.  The farm system might not be great, but I think the team has better coaches on the farm.  And, better talent in the majors
.
And, the erosion of the fan base is why people feel you can't rebuild in NY.  But, this is better than slinging dollars and high priced talent that leaves the fans dissatisfied.  The fans will come back when the Mets begin winning.  Enough so that they are not hamstrung when signing FAs are needed.  Basically, you can build a winner spending maybe $70 million like the Giants, As, Nationals and Rays.  And, I chose them because the Mets have pitching on the farm that will allow them to rival these teams.  As limited as position talent looks for the Mets, it's better than the Giants, As and Rays have.  And, the position talent is much deeper.

The only difference between small market and big market teams is that it's easier to keep talent than the Giants, As and Rays have.  The Mets will be able to re-sign players like Harvey who's gonna cost a pretty penny.
Yes. Basically what needed to happen here is payroll aligning with revenue again.

And if the team wins, revenue will rise, allowing for a much higher payroll - even with owners who are seemingly unable or unwilling to spend.
So, while revenue may only allow a 100 million budget in 2013, based on 75-win seasons & expectations, it is bound to rise back to the 130 to 140 million range easily if the Mets come up with a 90-game winner again and even higher if the Mets consistently win 90+ and reach the playoffs. Look at the Phillies for example with an easy 170 million payroll right now - even if the end of that cycle is near in all likelihood. They had a great 5-year run from 2007 through 2011 and now have entered the twilight due to subpar drafting over the past few years and trading away a bunch of prospects for quick fixes. 

Yet, their stadium has been packed for years - and once attendance will start declining with their several veterans and win totals, so will their budget eventually.

Due to a generally shortterm oriented approach over the past 20+ years, the Mets have been unable to build a sustainable winner for stretches that go beyond 3 seasons at a time, unfortunately after the 1980s juggernaut which would have been in the playoffs under the current format 6 out of 7 seasons in the 1980s & 1990.
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Posted: 11/5/2012 2:56 PM

RE: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and 


and what's the common denominartor over the past 20+ years? FRED WILPON. Until he goes, I don't like the chances of sustainable success. I just can't get comfortable with the thought that Alderson will be here long.
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Posted: 11/6/2012 10:11 AM

RE: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and 


Let's not act like the Giants are a small market.  SF is the sixth largest city in the U.S.  They had a $131M payroll this season including $19M to Barry Zito, $18M to Tim Lincecum, and $15M to Matt Cain.  They seem to be a very misunderstood team/market.
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Posted: 11/6/2012 11:07 AM

Re: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and ahead ? 


Just a note here. Do we know how much the budget will increase with the revenues from the recently signed TV contracts? And when will that money kick in?

Later
"You spend a good part of your life gripping the baseball, and in the end it turns out it was the other way around all the time." Jim Bouton
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Posted: 11/6/2012 11:22 AM

RE: Rebuilding the Mets: Then & now. A look back and 


I read that the new deal works out $1.2B per year, which is $40M per team. The previous deals paid each team about $24M, so that is an extra $16M to spend -- granted if you hand every GM an extra $16M without increasing the talent pool, that means that the cost per win is bound to take a decent jump.

Once you account for the other 29 teams having an extra $464M to spend as well, the Mets may not actually have much more buying power with $21-$26M to spend than they did before the deal... The best use of that money may be on players who cannot negotiate with any other teams [ie Wright, Dickey, Ike, Tejada-- and do it before that money dumps onthe market inflating free agent values]
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