I thought that this might be entertaining. Some players need no further comment as to their placement, with others I offer my opinion. All the players that have made the big club this season and their status, as I see it, for 2012.
Johan Santana, Not going anywhere with his contract and unknown status.
Jason Bay, Contract and he hasn’t played up to it.
David Wright Still has a reasonable contract and club control. He is, even with the offensive fall off an upper echelon third baseman and has age on his side.
Jose Reyes, Extraordinary ability when healthy and one of the top players in the game at those times. What looked like a 140 million dollar, 7 year deal has likely dialed down into a 5-6 year 90-100 M contract. The Mets have to do what it takes and that may mean going beyond their comfort zone to ink Reyes. The NL East is the toughest division in the NL and arguably in baseball. The two teams in front of us have a balance of excellent pitching and hitting, with the Braves also adding quality young players like Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman. The Nationals will become that constant threat sooner than later with Stephen Strasburg on the mend and Bryce Harper working his way up, add in others like Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, Jordan Zimmermann, rookie 2nd baseman Espinosa and Michael Morse. As reprehensible as I consider Jeff Loria the Marlins periodically put together unsustainable winners. With their pitching and a new stadium opening next season, they could be willing to spend some to produce a winner.
Reyes’ ability to drive this team and to draw fans is financially why the Wilpons will sign him.
Daniel Murphy, baseballs Philip Nolan. There is an account of Murphy being asked by a journalist as to what was his position? Murphy responded “I hit third”. Murphy is currently hitting .320 and fourth in the NL but will fall short of being listed among league leaders as he doesn’t have enough PAs. Not long ago I suggested that Murphy be groomed as a catcher. Jade reminded me of the hits on both knees and common sense filled in the rest of the blanks on what was wishful thinking. Murphy has been in a learning curve going back to PSL 2009 when he was the new LF’r. He will be 27 at the start of next season and perhaps revisiting the OF would be a wise move. As the line up card would look next year Murphy would be on the bench. The ability to play an adequate OF added to his resume of his more than adequate play at 1st and 3rd, and his ability to play 2nd<sup> </sup> enhance his opportunities to do what he does best, step in to the batters box. Murphy is not a free agent until 2015, but I can imagine the number of phone calls that Alderson will get over the next 3 years from all 29 other teams that will include the name Daniel Murphy.
Josh Thole is included as a keeper more of by way of backing into it as opposed to earning it. Thole has not shown much improvement in his game offensively or defensively. Essentially he is here because options are poor or expensive and he is young and inexpensive.
Mike Pelfrey, probably next to Reyes there has been more words written on this board about Pelfrey than the next two players. Pelfrey is a keeper because he will be a reasonable 5-5.5 M. There are no better options. He will give us 200 innings. Slotted middle- back in the rotation he will possibly find a psychological comfort zone and exceed expectations.
ON THE BUBBLE
R.A. Dickey, despite turning 37 I think that the Mets will make an effort to resign Dickey in the off season, but may have to contend with other clubs. The 5-11 record belies the 3.75 ERA and 1.28 whip.
Angel Pagan, The Pagan of 2010 was a sure handed player that was offensively having his best season, the criticisms regarding his instincts and focus were forgotten and he became a fan favorite. This year is raising doubts that last year was an indicater that Pagan had taken the step up to full time player. His errors are next to worse in the league and his offensive game has regressed. Pagan is 30 and is arbitration eligible, at 3.5 M this year he would likely ask for and get an increase of 4.5 to 5 M. The Mets have to question if he is still a starting CF or would they be offering arbitration to a 4th OF’r. The free agent market doesn’t present great options either.
Ronny Paulino will be 31 early next season, he is still arbitration eligible for 2012 and coming off a 1.3 M contract could be a solid candidate for an offer from the Mets.
Ruben Tejada is either going to be on the bench or will continue with Buffalo
Lucas Duda also has a chance to make the club in a bench role.