Signs of Progress Within The New York Mets

Very interesting news coming from the Mets yesterday and today. First the team seems to be on the verge of locking up Jon Niese for the next 5 years, that will reward the lefty pitcher during his arbitration eligible years and buy back a year of his free agency eligibility.  This quite a progressive and proactive move by the Mets front office, something not seen in these parts in many ,many years.

Some reports have the deal at 5 years and $28mil, the 5 years is a big commitment to a pitcher who has suffered from fatigue and injury issues in his brief major league career but it speaks to the high esteem the front office holds Neise in.

During the winter there were rumbles that the Mets put Niese’ name out on the trade market (at the same time Billy Beane made it known that Gio Gonzalez was available in trade and of course the deal was made with the Nationals) that wasn’t an indication that the Mets were looking to rid themselves of the young lefty as some Mets fans jumped to that conclusion, it was more to see what was out there in trade for his valuable services as the Mets front office is trying very hard to add depth to the farm system.

Tying up Niese seems like a smart move by Sandy Alderson. As we see in this column by Mark Simon of ESPN, Niese put up some very impressive numbers involving K/9IP, BB/9IP and HR/9IP, add to that he is 25 years old and left-handed,  it’s hard for even the most jaded Mets fan to go against the front office in this move.   

Seems like the verbal kick in the ass that Mike Peflrey received last week when it was reported the club discussed however informally about giving Big Pelf his release,  has now made its way to Jason Bay as Mike Puma reports there has been some talk about Bay becoming a platoon player if he continues to struggle at the plate.  This should show Mets fans that last year’s getting to know segment of Sandy Alderson’ reign as Mets baseball boss is over and now we are entering the “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” phase of rebuilding the Mets.

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TEJEDA AND PITCHING IS THE METS WAY TO GO

Six pitchers to win a nine inning baseball game, welcome to the next re-invention of baseball, courtesy of The Genius.  The biggest impression I have of the post season is that we are now going from having a setup man and closer as your main relievers to having to have at least seven pitchers who can come out of your pen, game in game out.  Before the post season even started, Sandy Alderson made it known that rebuilding his bullpen would be job one.  

The story of Game one changes dramatically if Allen Craig does not come through with that huge pinch hit single to put the Cards ahead 3-2. The second guessers and LaRussa haters (I raise my hand) would have been out in full force. Just goes to show the difference between a genius and an asshole in baseball is a fair ball.

There was a terrific column by Adam Rubin on ESPNNY.com on how the readiness of Ruben Tejada could soften the blow of Jose Reyes leaving for greener (backs) pastures. Rubin quotes Mark Simon, ESPN’s numbers cruncher with stats that show me the Mets would be better off with Reyes leaving and Tejada taking over shortstop and using the money saved on pitching. Defensively you really don’t lose much with Tejeda (according to the metrics the Mets would gain with Tejeda at shortstop) it’s on offense where you lose the most.

“If you look at it from a WAR [wins above replacement] perspective, Reyes was a 6.2 last year via Fangraphs. Tejada was a 1.8,” Simon said. “The question would be: What is Tejada at his best … maybe a 3-WAR player? So there is a drop-off.”

You’d think that a healthy Ike Davis, David Wright (if he’s not dealt) with the fences of Citi Field lower and closers (and painted blue I hope),and a rejuvenated Jason Bay (a guy can dream can’t he) would make up for the offensive slack lost by the dearly departed Reyes   

I think this quote from an NL scout sums it up:

  Said one National League scout: “Tejada is ready to play every day. Save the money and go get some pitching. You’re not winning anything in 2012 anyway. Find out if the kid can do it. He really has improved with the bat and gotten physically stronger. He’s going to need a backup, though, in case he gets hurt or needs a day off”

As Mets fans, we need to root for three more Redbird wins in a row so we can get our off season started, the suspense is killing me.

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