Monday, February 22, 2010

2010 Team Analysis: New York Mets

New York Mets:

2009 Record: 70-92

General Manager: Omar Minaya

Manager: Jerry Manuel

Organizational Philosophy: according to the recent 2010 Baseball Prospectus, the lone bright spot of last season was the opening of Citi Field and the revenue it helped generate.  Money, obviously, is not an issue when it comes to baseball in New York but what has become an issue for this team is having an efficient front office along with a structured plan of action that is relayed and understood from top to bottom.

Current GM Omar Minaya has been a long respected scout and talent evaluator.  However, his ability to manage a team of baseball operation professionals and surround himself with smart staff all heading to a defined goal is not one of his strong suits and that is fast becoming a problem.  Last season was a disaster for key members of their team: David Wright's power outage was widely publicized and debated over but major injuries to Jose Reyes (hamstring), Carlos Delgado (hip), Carlos Beltran (knee) and Johan Santana (elbow) brought light to the fact this team had no depth.  It's hard to rely on Jeff Francouer, Daniel Murphy and Oliver Perez along with replacements not fit to be on an MLB club.  The Johan Santana trade in '08 helped to gut a farm system, we learned, that wasn't all that deep to begin with.

When discussing their overall "organizational philosophy" the Mets tend to speak in vague terms.  Hitting, pitching and cultivating young players is good they say but their approach to player development has been very questionable.  Since Minaya has been the GM, the amateur draft has become an event where aggressiveness and imagination is usually left behind.  Most picks have been conservative selections or marred by their refusal to go anywhere near a player who may demand money above slot.  Another disturbing trend involves recently fired Director of Player Development, Tony Benazard, and his preference for rushing young talent through the minors.  Minaya is signed on as GM until 2012 (with two club option years), I'm sure it's a little late in the game to expect a mass restructuring of personnel and a commitment to focus on player development.  Sure, the Mets have some intriguing players in the pipeline: OF Fernando Martinez, 1B Ike Davis, SS Wilmer Flores and RHP Jenrry Meija but something tells me the Mets front office is more focused on winning now (see Jason Bay's recent 4 years/$66 million dollare contract along with the acquisition of Gary Matthews Jr., which the Angels do pay $21 million of the $23.5 million remaining) rather than later.

2010 Commitments:

Starting Rotation:

Johan Santana ($21M)
Mike Pelfrey ($500K)
John Maine ($3.3M)
Oliver Perez ($12M)
Fernando Nieve ($415K)
Jon Niese ($400K)


Francisco Rodriguez ($12.1M)
Kelvim Escobar ($1.25M)
Sean Green ($975K)
Pedro Feliciano ($2.9M)
Nelson Figueroa ($550K)
Bobby Parnell ($400K)
Ryota Igarashi ($1.25M)
Pat Misch ($400K)
Eddie Kunz ($400K)

Some early reports from camp are glowing about Jenrry Meija

On the field:

C: Rod Barajas ($1M)
C: Henry Blanco ($750K)
1B: Daniel Murphy ($400K)
2B: Luis Castillo ($6.2M)
SS: Jose Reyes ($9.3M)
3B: David Wright ($10.2M)
LF: Jason Bay ($8.6M)
CF: Carlos Beltran ($20M)
RF: Jeff Francoeur ($5M)
OF: Gary Matthews Jr. ($11.9M)

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