I admit it. I'm a draftaholic. Whether it's one of my two Strat-O-Matic leagues or watching the NFL divvy up players or even the NBA - I just get off on that stuff.
And in the case of those drafts there are often people who deign to judge how everyone did.
Over the last 10 days the Mets and all the other major league teams have moved a lot of players around via releases, trades, and free agent signings. I thought I'd take a shot at grading the Mets' moves. As you'll see I have done away with the standard A to F grading system but this system does work for me.
SIGNING CHRIS YOUNG TO A 1 YR, $7 MILLION CONTRACT
The only good thing about this deal is that it showed that the Mets had some money to spend. That's a start. The next step is to spend it wisely.
I'm not a fan of this player because I think his skill set (remember that term?) is ever so limited. When he's healthy he is a competent power hitter vs left handed pitchers. He is also a good fielder. Kudos for that but not 7 million of them. He's never done particularly well against righties and - tada - that's like 75% of the baseball pitching species.
But wait. There's more. Let's say that I am wrong about this player and he swoops in and goes all Marlon Byrd for us, that'd be great, right? Not really because by having no option on his services even if he surprises and gives the Mets $7 million of baseball playing value in 2014 he'll be a goner in 2015 when Matt Harvey is back and we're ready to be a serious factor in the NL East. A big year means a $10 to $15 million a year contract for two or more years. Are the Wilpons going there with this guy? Not bloody likely.
SIGNING CURTIS GRANDERSON TO A 4 YR, $60 MILLION CONTRACT
grade: worth the gamble
I know there are parallels between Grandy and Jason Bay. Except for the Carlos Beltran one almost all the other Mets' forays into the long-term big money deals have been clunkers. I definitely could see this one also not working out. All that being said if Grandy can come in and hit maybe 25 HRs put up an OPS between 800 and 850, play reasonable LF defense (that's where I'd put him) and do it for two or three of those four years then I think the Mets have moved the bar in the right direction. There are always plenty of things to blame the Wilpons and Alderson for but I won't stab them for this signing. You got to be in it to win it.
SIGNING BARTOLO COLON TO A 2 YR, $20 MILLION CONTRACT
grade: yeah baby
This is a controversial one. The naysayers point to an overweight guy over 40 years old (hey, that's me!). But deeper analysis shows a guy who can give the team quality innings - think Shaun Marcum or Chris Young (the pitcher) but one who has a shot to not be on the DL in May. Considering all the Mike Pelfrey types (though mercifully not the actual Mike Pelfrey) the team was considering on one year deals I think this is a reasonable opportunity to solidity the rotation until reinforcements like Syndegaard and Montero show up. Bravo Sandy. I like how on Tuesday you implied that the checkbook was about closed and then bammo - this signing.
and on a far lesser scale
JUSTIN TURNER NON TENDERED
If this was just that the guy is a marginal major leaguer - which he is - then there'd be nothing to write about. But the Mets, being the masters of PR that they are, have to make sure they hit a player with the door on the way out. The leaks are that Justin was not enough of a hustler for their delicate palate.
I had my issues with Turner too based on his insipid pie throwing but I always felt he seemed to give what little he had on the ballfield. I'm fine with tossing him thinking you can get the same level of competence for fewer dollars but is it really necessary to justify it the way the team did? I think not.
JEREMY HEFNER NON TENDERED AND THEN BROUGHT BACK ON A MINOR LEAGUE CONTRACT
I suspect this was procedural and that Hef was told that this was the team's plan. I don't know what it means for 2015 when theoretically Hef will be returning from his Tommy John surgery. If it means that he'll be with the Mets as a swingman then that's cool. But if it only means that the Mets get to rehab the guy only to watch him fly to some other team then that's a downer.
IKE IN LIMBO
grade: to be determined if we ever get rid of this guy
One thing every Mets fan expected was that Ike Davis was getting traded at the Winter Meetings. No way in heck that he'd still be a Met on Friday. But like flypaper stuck to the bottom of your shoe you keep kicking and flailing and it's still there. I like Sandy's line about not being in the business of giving away players. I'd also love to see what offers -if any - he has received. If Tampa Bay actually offers Matt Joyce for him I would hope that Sandy would jump on that because if you've read up to here you know that Chris Young (back to the outfielder, not the pitcher, again) can not hit righties. Joyce can.
MURPHY STILL A MET
This looks like R.A. Dickey redux. Remember last year when the Mets decided that paying the Cy Young Award winner $5 million for the following season would be a payroll buster? Somehow they got a bunch of good prospects for him and the bonus kicker was dumping Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas in the process, a win-win-win-win deal. So now for a couple of days Murph is out there and while Sandy doesn't care to pay him the $5 million he'll get in arbitration he still has the chutzpah to ask other teams for their top prospects. Fool me once....
I for one want Murphy at 2B if the only alternative you are giving me is (shrug) Eric Young Jr.
Larry writes a humor column for us at The Real Dirty Mets Blog once or more per week. You can follow Larry on Twitter at @dr4sight. There he comments on the teams that drive him crazy: the Mets, both NY football teams, the NY Rangers, and the Knicks.