Thursday, December 29, 2005

Mets Sign Chad Bradford

The Mets inked former A's (and most recently, the Red Sox) reliever, Chad Bradford. to a one year deal for more then $1 million (financial terms haven't yet been disclosed). Bradford has a pretty unique delivery (submarine style) and his claim to fame is having an extensive write up in the book, Money Ball.

Bradford was shut down early in 2005 with back problems and he ended up logging only 23 1/3 innings. His numbers were solid though. He's never going to strike out a ton of batters, but he walked only four and allowed only a single homerun.

He'll be a good complement to Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman and this could look like a great pickup if he comes out and pitches like he did in 2002 and 2003.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Mets Sign Endy Chavez

I'm a little late with this news, but the Mets signed Endy Chavez to a one year deal. Not sure why we did this, other then to have a warm body with major league experience to back up Carlos Beltran. Chavez has a career .659 OPS and he's a pretty average fielder. Not sure if this is the precursor to another move or what, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how Chavez will fit in. At best he's a fifth outfielder and you'd think they'd have one of those in AAA at a bargain basement price.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mets Player Retrospective - Tom Seaver 1971

With great players, it's tough to seperate the great years from the career years because there's so many seasons that standout. 1971 is one of those seasons. Tom Seaver set career bests in strikeouts (289), complete games (21), ERA (1.76), strikeouts per nine innings (9.08), and strikeout to walk ratio (4.74). His strikeout and ERA total led the league, and his 20 wins was second to Fergunson Jenkins.

In what was somewhat of an injustice, Jenkins walked away with the Cy Young despite being outpitched in most categories by Seaver. Think Johan Santana/Bartolo Colon of 2005. Using Lee Sinin's Sabermetric Baseball Encyclopedia, Seaver set a career mark in support neutral win/loss with a 23-7 record. Jenkins mark was 24-13.

On thirteen different occasions in 1971, Seaver struck out ten batters. It also seemed like he gained strength as the season went on as his two best outings took place in September. On September 6, Seaver threw a two hit shutout and he struck out twelve. In his second to last start of the season, on September 26, Seaver threw a one hit shutout and struck out 10. His season best strikeout total came on August 11 when Seaver threw ten shutout innings and struck out fourteen (and didn't even get a decision).

Here's the numbers:

Wins 20
Losses 10
Games 35
Games Started 35
Complete Games 21
Innings Pitched 286 1/3
Hits 210
Runs 61
Earned Runs 56
Walks 61
Strikeouts 289
ERA 1.76
Runs Saved Above Average 48
Shutouts 4
H/9 6.60
BR/9 8.64
SO/9 9.08
BB/9 1.92
SO/BB 4.74
Neutral Wins 23
Neutral Losses 7

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Mets Sign Julio Franco

The Mets signed veteran first baseman Julio Franco to a two year $2.2 million contract. This gives the Mets a couple of things at a fair price. We get some insurance at first base, and we get a solid right handed pinch hitter. In addition, you get a veteran prescence in the dug out that'll basically give Willie Randolph a second bench coach.

The Mets also signed Jose Valentin to a one year, $900k deal. Here we get a left handed bat coming off of the bench, and Valentin can fill in just about anywhere.

So the Mets are filling in the back end of their 25 man roster with some solid veterans. Not a bad strategy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Quiet Winter Meetings

After three trades and a big free agent pickup, the Mets were pretty quiet at the winter meetings. They didn't land Manny Ramirez, although he's still in Boston. And I wouldn't mind them going after Miguel Tejada if talks about Ramirez break down.

Regardles, the Mets are way better then they were heading into last year. What I'm also hoping is that the pickup of Carlos Delgado takes some of the pressure off of Carlos Beltran and he can be the player we expected him to be. Probably the biggest reason the Mets didn't nab that wild card is because Carlos Beltran, for lack of a better word, stumbled. This was the first negative Runs Created Above Average (RCAA) season Beltran had since 2000, and this was after two monster years.

So while I hope the Mets aren't done wheeling and dealing, they've made some great progress so far.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

More Addition by Subtraction and the Mets Trade for Paul Lo Duca

It looks like Rafael Furcal is headed to the Dodgers, so once again one of the Mets primary competitors has a hole to fill. You've got the Phillies losing Jim Thome and Billy Wagner (to us), Furcal leaving the Braves, Esteban Loiaza leaving the Nationals and everyone leaving the Marlins (once again to us). In the meantime, we signed the best reliever available and we shored up one of our biggest weaknesses last year (first base) with a bona fide slugger. While all this is going on, the Mets continue to pop up in trade talks for Manny Ramirez.

The Mets traded Gabby Hernandez for Paul Lo Duca so we no longer need to pick up a catcher. I'm sort of luke warm to this deal because Lo Duca's been pretty much riding one great season. In 2001, he hit .320 and hit 25 homeruns. Since then, he's never hit more then 10 homeruns and he's usually hovered more in the .280 range. He's a pretty average fielding catcher.

Gabby Hernandez split time between A and high A in 2005. He was very effective at Hagerstown. In 18 starts and 92 2/3 innings, he had 99 strikeouts, a 6-1 record and a 2.43 ERA. When he was promoted, he was less then stellar. His ERA balooned to 5.74 and he was 2-5. In 42 1/3 innings, he had 32 strikeouts.

But, the trade fills a hole and it's one less thing to worry about. Now we can concentrate on luring Manny to town, and maybe lock up a starting pitcher (or two) to shore up the rotation. The winter meetings are this week, so it'll be interesting to see what happens with Ramirez.

Mets Eyeing Paul Lo Duca

According to Lee Sinin's Around the Majors, the Mets are close to making a deal with the Marlins for Paul Lo Duca, and they have outstanding offers to both Ramon Hernandez and Benji Molina. Tonight, I'm going to take a look and see which of three I'd rather have if given the choice.