Tag:Mets
Posted on: February 16, 2012 5:50 pm
 

Video: Carter's children accept award

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Just last month, Gary Carter was scheduled to the receive the Baseball Writer's Association of America's New York chapter Milton and Arthur Richman "You Gotta Have Heart" Award, but was unable to receive it in person. Instead, his three children accept the award.

Here's the video from the event:



Carter's son, D.J., read a speech his father wrote:
"I'll always have a special place in my heart for the people and the city of New York. I have nothing but fond memories of my time here in New York, highlighted, of course, with the World Series championship in 1986. I still remember the feeling of riding in the World Series parade with over one million people lining the streets to celebrate our championship. The fans were always supportive of me on the baseball field and have continued to support me and my family since my diagnosis of brain cancer in May of 2011.

"It is with honor that I accept this award. I want to wish all of you the very, very best in the future and hope the Mets will win many more World Series championships."
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Posted on: February 16, 2012 5:06 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 6:38 pm
 

Hall of Famer Gary Carter, 57, dies



By C. Trent Rosecrans


Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter died on Thursday, his daughter wrote on Thursday. Carter was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, last May.

On a website to update Carter's health, his daughter, Kimmy Carter Bloemers, wrote:
It has been exactly 4 weeks since the last journal and that decision was made as a family. I am deeply saddened to tell you all that my precious dad went to be with Jesus today at 4:10 pm. This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to write in my entire life but I wanted you all to know.

He is in heaven and has reunited with his mom and dad. I believe with all my heart that dad had a STANDING OVATION as he walked through the gates of heaven to be with Jesus.

Thank you all for loving my dad and my entire family. I will still share with you all the last four weeks with my dad because they were incredibly special.

I am thankful that many years ago, my dad accepted Jesus Christ to be his personal Savior because I know He is now in NO pain and is the most beautiful angel. He is now in God's Hall of Fame.

We praise you, Jesus and thank you for giving my dad to us for 57 years.
Carter, 57, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003. An 11-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Carter played parts of 19 seasons with the Expos, Mets, Giants and Dodgers. He was the first player to be enshrined in Cooperstown wearing an Expos cap on his plaque.

A career .262/.335/.439 hitter, Carter hit 324 homers in his career and led the National League with 106 RBI in 1984, his last in Montreal. In his second year with the Mets, he helped lead the team to its second World Series title. Carter finished third in National League MVP voting in 1986 and his two-out 10th-inning single in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series helped start the Mets' come-from-behind victory.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:05 pm
 

Edgardo Alfonzo: Mets' 'legend?'

By Matt Snyder

The New York Mets announced Wednesday that, in honor of the franchise's 50th anniversary, they will have five different bobblehead giveaways this summer at Citi Field. Each bobblehead will be of a Mets legend, one from each decade of the franchise's existence. The first 25,000 fans for each game will get their bobblehead.

Tom Seaver will represent the '60s, with the giveaway being on April 22. Rusty Staub represents the '70s on May 26. Keith Hernandez is the '80s guy on June 17 while Mike Piazza is the representative for the 2000s on August 25.

You'll note I left out the 1990s. It's Edgardo Alfonzo (July 21). I was left scratching my head a bit about this. Yes, Alfonzo was a good player -- in fact, he was an All-Star in 2000 and had great years in 1999 and 2002. But he's the Mets' "legend" for the 1990s whole decade? Really?

Alfonzo played five seasons for the Mets in the '90s, putting together a .290/.356/.429 line, good for a 106 OPS-plus. He hit 62 homers (an average of 15 per 162 games) while averaging 73 runs and 68 RBI per season. He was versatile defensively. All-around, a good player, but certainly not a legend.

Now, please don't misconstrue this as a huge complaint. I don't care who the Mets give away as a bobblehead and I'm not a Mets fan. I'm just wondering if Mets fans think of the '90s and the first player that comes to mind is Alfonzo. I combed through a few of the rosters, because I don't think I should make any kind of statement without having an alternative option, and I came up with a pretty good name: John Franco. He was the closer for nearly the entire decade. He racked up 276 saves in his Mets' career, 268 of which came in the 90s, when he had a 2.81 ERA.

Anyway, it's not a big deal, but I'm curious, Mets fans: Would you rather have a Franco or Alfonzo bobblehead?

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:05 pm
 

Edgardo Alfonzo: Mets' 'legend?'

By Matt Snyder

The New York Mets announced Wednesday that, in honor of the franchise's 50th anniversary, they will have five different bobblehead giveaways this summer at Citi Field. Each bobblehead will be of a Mets legend, one from each decade of the franchise's existence. The first 25,000 fans for each game will get their bobblehead.

Tom Seaver will represent the '60s, with the giveaway being on April 22. Rusty Staub represents the '70s on May 26. Keith Hernandez is the '80s guy on June 17 while Mike Piazza is the representative for the 2000s on August 25.

You'll note I left out the 1990s. It's Edgardo Alfonzo (July 21). I was left scratching my head a bit about this. Yes, Alfonzo was a good player -- in fact, he was an All-Star in 2000 and had great years in 1999 and 2002. But he's the Mets' "legend" for the 1990s whole decade? Really?

Alfonzo played five seasons for the Mets in the '90s, putting together a .290/.356/.429 line, good for a 106 OPS-plus. He hit 62 homers (an average of 15 per 162 games) while averaging 73 runs and 68 RBI per season. He was versatile defensively. All-around, a good player, but certainly not a legend.

Now, please don't misconstrue this as a huge complaint. I don't care who the Mets give away as a bobblehead and I'm not a Mets fan. I'm just wondering if Mets fans think of the '90s and the first player that comes to mind is Alfonzo. I combed through a few of the rosters, because I don't think I should make any kind of statement without having an alternative option, and I came up with a pretty good name: John Franco. He was the closer for nearly the entire decade. He racked up 276 saves in his Mets' career, 268 of which came in the 90s, when he had a 2.81 ERA.

Anyway, it's not a big deal, but I'm curious, Mets fans: Would you rather have a Franco or Alfonzo bobblehead?

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Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:44 am
 

Spring position battles: National League East



By C. Trent Rosecrans


We finish our look at spring training's position battles with the National League East, home of some of the most intriguing teams in the game -- and the Mets.

Previous spring position battles: AL West | NL West | AL Central | NL Central | AL East

Atlanta Braves
Fifth starter: Mike Minor vs. Randall Delgado vs. Julio Teheran

There's not a team in baseball that wouldn't drool over having to make this decision. The three are expected to be the keystone to the rotation in the future, but Minor's still the oldest of the bunch having just celebrated his 24th birthday the day after Christmas and therefore expected to be the first to make an impact in the majors. Delgado turned 22 on Thursday and Teheran celebrated his 21st birthday last month. The left-handed Minor made 15 starts last season for the Braves, going 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA. Meanwhile, Delgado dazzled in his seven starts, going 1-1 with a 2.83. Teheran didn't live up to the expectations many had for him -- but he was just 20 and made only three starts. He'll be fine. More than fine.

Miami Marlins
Center field: Emilio Bonifacio vs. Chris Coghlan vs. Yoenis Cespedes?

This is up in the air until Cespedes makes his decision, although it seems more and more like he'll be a Marlin. There's no question the Marlins want him and there's no question they want him in center field. If he does sign with Miami, the team will have to see how ready the 26-year-old is for the big leagues. He may not start in Miami, but the goal would be to have him there for the long-haul. Bonifacio is coming off a career-best .296/.360/.393 season with 40 stolen bases, but he was aided by a .372 batting average on balls in play -- something that will likely drop, but should still be high because of his speed. He also increased his walk rate, which helped as well. Coghlan won the 2009 Rookie of the Year, but a knee injury in 2010 has hampered him since his first season. He hit just .230/.296/.368 with five home runs and seven stolen bases in 298 plate appearances last season and his future is up in the air.

New York Mets
Second base: Daniel Murphy vs. Justin Turner vs. Ronny Cedeno

Murphy's likely to get the nod, as long as he can field the position adequately. Murphy made the majority of his starts at first base last season, but with the return of Ike Davis, Murphy needs a home thanks to his .320/.362/.448 line. Turner hit .260/.334/.356 as the team's primary second baseman (71 starts), but is probably no more than a utility player in the long run. Cedeno was signed from the Pirates to back up Ruben Tejada at shortstop, but he could figure in the second base situation if worst comes to worst.

Philadelphia Phillies
Left field: John Mayberry Jr. vs. Domonic Brown vs. Laynce Nix

The job is probably Mayberry's to lose after hitting .273/.341/.513 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI last season. Brown, the team's former top prospect, struggled in his 56 games and 210 plate appearances with the Phillies last season, hitting .245/.333/.391 with five homers. Brown has the talent, but it has to actuate for him to earn more playing time. The left-handed Nix is a backup, but could add depth to the outfield with the absence of Ryan Howard at first base. A good fielder, Nix struggles against left-handed pitching, so he's not an everyday type player.

Washington Nationals
Center field: Rick Ankiel vs. Roger Bernadina vs. Bryce Harper

Well, Harper won't be in center field, but he's basically fighting for that spot. If he makes the team out of spring, he'll be in right and Jayson Werth will be in center. That still seems unlikely, as good as the 19-year-old is. Ankiel won a spring-training battle with Nyjer Morgan last year, leading to Morgan's trade to Milwaukee. The Nationals brought Ankiel back on a minor-league deal, but he's still probably the favorite. He hit .239/.296/.363 with nine home runs last season. Like Ankiel, Bernadina hits left-handed. Last year he put up a .243/.301/.362 line with seven home runs in 91 games and 50 starts in center field.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 7:53 am
Edited on: February 3, 2012 10:13 am
 

Baseball's worst contracts, Part III: Pitchers



By Matt Snyder


As we conclude the short series on overpaid players, we'll take a look at the man on the hill: The pitcher.

The interesting thing I found about pitchers is that not too many "long-term" contracts stood out like a sore thumb as being bad in terms of what is left on the current deal. A lot of the honorable mention types are for just one year, maybe two. This, I believe, illustrates the caution the overwhelming majority of teams exercise when coughing up long-term deals for pitchers.

That doesn't mean there are no guys on the list, however. We have a couple really good fits.

As a reminder, we're only talking about the contracts from now until the conclusion of the deal. Any money already banked doesn't count in this exercise.

Right-handed starters

Worst: John Lackey
Remaining contract: 3 years, $47.85 million

Ignore that Lackey is injured now and will miss all of the 2012 season. In fact, that actually helps the Red Sox here if last season was any indication. Lackey was brutal in '11, putting together a 6.41 ERA, 1.62 WHIP while leading the majors in earned runs and wild pitches. He allowed a whopping 203 hits in his 160 innings pitched and posted a negative WAR (Wins Above Replacement player). And when he's healthy again, he'll be 34.

Honorable Mention

A.J. Burnett, Yankees: He helped the Yankees win the World Series title in 2009, but was he really integral? He was bad in the ALCS and was terrible in one of his World Series starts after leading the league in walks and wild pitches during the regular season. Since then, Burnett is 21-26 with a 5.20 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. He's now the Yankees' fifth starter and will make $33 million for the next two seasons.

"Fausto Carmona," Indians: He may miss the season after being caught for identity fraud (his name is actually Roberto Hernandez Heredia). He's due $7 million this season.

Jake Peavy, White Sox: It's hard to not appreciate the way Peavy is an absolute bulldog on the hill, but he was 7-7 with a 4.92 ERA last season as he battled back from a severe injury and he's set to make $17 million in 2012.

Jake Westbrook, Cardinals: Twelve starts in 2010 got Westbrook a two-year deal with the Cardinals. He's going to make $8.5 million this season after a pretty bad 2011 campaign.

Carlos Zambrano, Cubs/Marlins: He'll make $19 million this year, but the Cubs are paying most of it so Big Z can pitch for the Marlins.

Derek Lowe, Braves/Indians: He'll make $15 million this year, but the Braves are paying most of it so Lowe can pitch for the Indians.

Left-handed starters

Worst: Barry Zito
Remaining contract: 2 years, $39 million

Perhaps the worst news is there's actually a club option for 2014. Now, obviously the Giants won't pick that up, barring Zito becoming Tim Lincecum overnight, but there's a $7 million buyout if they don't pick up the option. So Zito will cost the Giants $47 million more, at the very least, before they can wash their hands of him. This actually has to be one of the worst contracts of all time. Zito is 43-61 with a 4.55 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and zero postseason innings pitched in his five seasons with the Giants.

Honorable Mention

Johan Santana, Mets: He was earning his deal pre-injury, so this one isn't really anyone's fault. Santana is due $49.5 million for the next two seasons, though, so that is rough.

Relievers

Worst: Rafael Soriano
Remaining contract: 2 years, $25 million

Soriano wasn't even the Yankees' best setup man last season (David Robertson was way better). Soriano was a stud in Tampa Bay in '10, so it's possible he's a great closer for the Yankees in 2013, if Mariano Rivera retires. But even when Soriano had a good second half last season, his numbers weren't awesome. And, again, we're talking about a non-closer making eight figures per season.

Honorable Mention

Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies: It will be interesting to see how Papelbon performs throughout this contract. He could very well earn his $50 million over the course of the next four years, but I'm wondering what the Phillies' front office thought when they saw that the Reds signed 2011 Philly closer Ryan Madson to a one-year, $8.5 million deal. I also wonder how this deal will feel if the Phillies can't find a way to lock up Cole Hamels long-term (he's a free agent next offseason). So this one has less to do with Papelbon and more to do with what the deal might end up costing the Phillies, because $50 million is an awful lot to give to a closer.

Brandon Lyon, Astros: Lyon will make $5.5 million this season. His 2011 season was cut short due to an injury, but he had an 11.48 ERA with as many blown saves as actual saves (four).



Part I: Infielders and catchers
Part II: Outfielders and designated hitters

Source for all figures was Cot's Baseball Contracts

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 7:43 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:55 am
 

Baseball's worst contracts, Part II: OF/DH



By Matt Snyder


As we continue our look at the most cumbersome contracts in baseball, today we'll look at outfielders and designated hitters. We covered the infield and catchers Wednesday and will look at pitchers Friday. As a reminder, we're looking at what is left on the contract, not what the player has been paid through the duration of the deal.

Left Field

Worst: Vernon Wells, Angels
Remaining contract: 3 years, $74 million

Man, this was a tough call because it's a crowded field (see below), but we'll go with Wells because the average annual value remaining on the contract is insane. He hit .218/.248/.412 last season and had a negative WAR, meaning a replacement-level player was better than a guy making over $25 million for the season. At age 33, he could certainly bounce back, but it's hard to see him all of a sudden becoming worth as much money as he's making.

Honorable Mention

Carl Crawford, Red Sox: There are six years and $128 million left on the deal, and I feel like many will argue that Crawford's remaining contract is worse than Wells'. I'm willing to give the 30-year-old Crawford a mulligan for his catastrophic first season in Boston. Next year at this time we'll know a lot more.

Alfonso Soriano, Cubs: Amazingly, he still has three years and $57 million left. Wow.

Jason Bay, Mets: In two seasons for the Mets, Bay has hit .251/.337/.386 (what an ugly slugging percentage for a supposed power hitter) with just 18 homers in 218 games. He still has two years and $36.25 million left, too, in addition to a $3 million buyout should the Mets not pick up his option year.

Center Field

Worst: Alex Rios, White Sox
Remaining Contract: 3 years, $38.5 million

While his teammate got much of the blame last year in terms of the White Sox's shortfall -- and you'll see him below -- Rios was pretty awful himself. He hit .227/.265/.348, which was good for a 65 OPS-plus (if you don't know what that is, trust me, it's embarrassingly bad). He actually posted a negative 1.5 WAR, meaning -- according to the stat -- that he single-handedly cost the White Sox a win and a half just by being in the lineup when he was. And now, thanks to that contract, he's untradeable.

Honorable Mention

Actually, I've got nothing here. Once one-time center fielders' contracts get too big they are usually shoved to the corners. The big-money guys here (Matt Kemp, Curtis Granderson, etc.) are fairly compensated.

Right Field

Worst: Jayson Werth, Nationals
Remaining contract: 6 years, $116 million

Very easy choice. I fully expect a bounce-back season from Werth this year, as several things didn't go his way last season. That being said, the Nationals are paying Werth like he's a superstar all the way until the season in which he turns 38. He wasn't even a superstar his last year in Philadelphia, when he was 31.

Honorable Mention

Nick Markakis, Orioles: There's a reason you only hear about other teams asking for Adam Jones in a trade and not Markakis. The latter is due $43.05 million over the next three seasons while he hit .284 with 15 homers and 73 RBI last season. You need more offense than that from a corner outfielder in order to pay him almost $15 million a year.

Designated Hitter

Worst: Adam Dunn, White Sox.
Remaining contract: 3 years, $44 million

Another easy one. Like Werth, I also expect Dunn to bounce back, but there's no way he can be good enough to earn his full contract over the next three years, especially considering how bad he was last season. He was historically awful with the bat -- there's really no need to rehash the gruesome details at this point -- and that's all he does. And if he does field, his value actually decreases because he's such a butcher with the glove.

Honorable Mention

Travis Hafner, Indians: Nitpicky here, but Pronk will make $13 million this season. He's only averaged 91 games per year the past four seasons. No one else really warrants mention, because Big Papi, for example, is still worth the big bucks.

On the Other Hand ...

Justin Upton, Diamondbacks: Thanks to an early Longoria-type extension, Upton is set to make $46.109 million over the next four seasons. He made just under $4.5 million last season, when he finished fourth in a crowded NL MVP field. Since Upton is only 24, the D-Backs will have to pony up again -- and probably in huge fashion -- to lock him up through his prime, but for now this is a very team-friendly contract.

Special Cases

Bobby Bonilla, Mets: This is both hilarious and sad at the same time. When the Mets bought out Bonilla's $5.9 million contract in 2000, they agreed to repay him with interest starting 11 years later. Beginning July 1, 2011, the Mets are paying Bonilla an annual salary of roughly $1.2 million until 2035. Or around $35 million in all. In 2012, the Mets will pay Bonilla more than the following regulars/rotation members: Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee.

Manny Ramirez, Dodgers: We'll ignore that the Red Sox are paying Manny B. Manny $2 million per year until he's 54 because he helped bring them two World Series titles. But the Dodgers are paying Ramirez $8.33 million in 2012 and 2013. Assuming Clayton Kershaw gets more in arbitration, that means Manny will be the Dodgers' sixth highest-paid player this season. Of course, Frank McCourt is still going to make a billion dollar profit, so ...


Part I: Infielders and catchers
Part III: Pitchers, coming Friday

Source for all figures was Cot's Baseball Contracts

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:59 am
Edited on: January 28, 2012 12:03 pm
 

Mets headed for dubious payroll record in 2012

By Matt Snyder

After losing upwards of $70 million last season, the Mets are set to drastically lower payroll in 2012. We knew that. But an ESPN.com report from Friday noted just how severe the drop will be. In fact, it's likely to be historic. With a payroll ESPN.com projected at $90.7 million for the coming season, it would represent a drop of $52.1 million -- reportedly the largest payroll drop in MLB history.

The previous "record" was held by the Texas Rangers' drop from 2003 to 2004, when they shed the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez from the payroll. In all, the Rangers slashed $48.4 million in player salaries, but the Mets are poised to blow past that. These Mets have shed the contracts of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez, among others, from the opening-day payroll of 2011.

As long as Fred Wilpon's ownership group is in charge, the Mets will continue to find ways to generate any kind of revenue they can while also trying to not alienate their fan base -- as they wish to remain owners of the club. They have lowered ticket prices for the 2012 season, but will that keep the turnstiles moving frequently enough to turn a profit for the season? The NL East appears loaded, as the Nationals are up and coming while the Marlins just went on a winter spending spree. We know how good the Braves and Phillies are. Slashing payroll in record fashion is hardly the best way to convince your fans the team is trying to field a winner in one of the best divisions in the majors. 

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Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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