Friday, November 27, 2015

Mets Roster Evaluation

The Mets are ready. After a long, painful teardown and a frustrating rebuild, the 2015 Mets made the World Series, and could have been champions with a little bit better play.
2016 is the year the Mets make the transition from building to winning. They are on the correct side of the win curve to start to add players who can provide a couple of wins that will push the Mets over the top from playoff contender to World Series champion.
But the Mets must also remember they have a fantastic young core, and they should make moves designed to help the team this season -- and beyond -- without blocking young players and the contributions they can make.
I'll go through player by player with some comments:

Yoenis Cespedes:
Cannot be resigned. Had the best six weeks of his life then went ice cold and really hurt us in the World Series. Brain fart at end of Game 4 has been overlooked, but cost the Mets a decent chance to get back in that game. Look at his WAR season-by-season over four years in the majors: 2.9, 2.4, 3.3, 6.7. Weight runs created plus (100 is league average): 136, 102, 109, 135. He's a good hitter, great leftfielder, average centerfielder.
And again everything has to be looked at through the scope of what else can be done. Cespedes + Conforto with Lagares on the bench or Conforto and Lagares and $100M+, which scenario makes the Mets better.

Daniel Murphy:
I wouldn't hate resigning him but I think they have to let him walk. You cannot pay him based on the playoffs, because odds are he will never hit like that again. But he is a good hitter, a useful player and could still be valuable for three years around $40m.

Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard & Matt Harvey:
Should not be traded under any circumstances.

Steven Matz:
I wouldn't trade but could see including him in the right deal.

Zach Wheeler:
I would not trade him coming off and injury and not ready to pitch until mid-season. No team in their right mind would give anything close to full value.

Lucas Duda:
I know he's frustrating. I know he played poorly in the playoffs and blew a key play. I agree there are better first basemen out there, but here's the problem: think about what you would need to give up in players and money to get a first baseman significantly better than Duda. Would the team be better off with just that one player or with Duda and whatever else had to be given up. I know it's abstract but let's try this. He's been a 3 win player each of the past two seasons. That's about average for a first baseman. When you get to 4+ WAR, you're getting into very good players who are very difficult to acquire. For better or worse, keeping Duda is the Mets best option.

Wilmer Flores:
Similar story here. Whichever position they elect to put Flores at he'll be league average or so. And think about how hard and expensive it is to get a shortstop above league average. As far as defense, according to the advanced stats he is better at second, but has great range for a shortstop. I would like to keep Flores and hope he continues to improve at the plate and in the field.

Ruben Tejada:
Should be a backup infielder. Sad he went out that way, but he just isn't good enough on offense and his defense is decent, barely above average.

David Wright:
He spent a lot of years suffering on lousy teams and he deserves to revel in glory now that the team has turned the corner. Let's hope his health will allow him to be a valuable contributor.

Travis d'Arnaud:
A budding superstar. He had the 6th-highest WAR among catchers in 2015. And he only played 67 games. If he plays a full schedule of 130 games, he could easily become the clear #2 to Buster Posey. I know that's a big if, but I think he's the Mets surest thing offensively going into 2016.

Kevin Plawecki:
He has potential. A backup catcher is important, especially behind d'Arnaud, but he is someone I would be willing to trade if a good reliever could be had.

Juan Lagares:
I love him. My favorite player on the Mets. He had a bad year. He looked a little heavy, a little slow and probably injured. And his defense and his hitting suffered. But in 2014, he was league average offensively and legendary on defense which translated into a 4.0 WAR, which is better than Yoenis Cespedes had in any of his first three full seasons in the majors. I think Lagares deserves another year to prove which player he truly is.

Michael Conforto:
Very promising young player. Should be a cornerstone of the Mets for years to come. The Mets should put him in left field and leave him alone.

Curtis Granderson:
1.6 WAR in 2013. 1.2 WAR in 2014. 5.1 WAR in 2015. Which Granderson will we get? If he continues to reach base and hit the way he did in 2015 he should be batting in the middle of the order.

Jeurys Familia:
Charged with 3 blown saves in the World Series but really only one was his fault. Great closer, unlikely to face those issues again.

Hansel Robles:
I like his arm. He needs to mature and not get rattled so easily.

Jerry Blevins:
I hope the Mets can bring him back.

Tyler Clippard:
I never want to see him in a Mets uniform again.

Addison Reed:
He's not terrible but I think the Mets can find better options.

Jon Niese:
Trade him if anyone is interested, if not, use him as 5th starter until Wheeler is healthy.

Bartolo Colon:
It was fun while it lasted, but it's time to move on.

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