Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Fun with Leverage

My overall feelings about the deal were very similar to Wally’s at first there was some anger and frustration, and then that slowly subsided, because I realized this trade isn’t actually killing the Mets.
The trade does sound alarms about the overall long-term plan of the team. Those alarms ringing basically signifying “we have no long term plan, we don’t know what the f we are doing.”
My view of the goal of this season was to build respectability with a possible outside shot at the playoffs, but for me that would’ve been gravy. I will gladly take an 86 win season from this Mets team, especially if it meant that Wright, Reyes, Matsui were all healthy and growing as major leaguers, and Beltran continued to establish himself as a superstar. Lay the groundwork, wait for Petit, Milledge, Humber to join the party and in a year or two the Mets will be ready for a long run of good times.
This move clearly signifies a win now attitude from management. While this move isn’t particularly detrimental to the team (like say trading away the best young lefty prospect in baseball, but who would do that?). I believe Phillips to be more like the player of 2003 than 2004, but that’s my opinion and the Mets clearly felt otherwise. As a backup catcher Ramon Castro is not a significant downgrade from Phillips because there will only be so many at bats for a backup catcher.
However, where I believe this really hurts the Mets is the 2006 season and beyond. With Piazza’s contract expiring and the Mets organization dry at MLB ready catching prospects (thanks Kris Benson!) the Mets are going to be stuck with Ramon Castro as their starting catcher as they are supposed to start their run of dominance.
Phillips could have at least bought them a season and played a league average catcher while they either waited for a prospect to develop or better ones to hit the market (I think Ramon Hernandez is the big name on FA catcher list for next year).
Regardless, holding onto Phillips whether or not they planned on using him, gives the Mets leverage in solving their long term catching situation. This “leverage” term is clearly something that Omar is still struggling to grasp. Additionally, Phillips makes peanuts, and it is invaluable to have a few good starters who make nothing.
While the immediate downsides of this trade are minimal, and hey, I guess it’s possible that Ishii reverts back to form (I’m not holding my breath) it signals that the new management still doesn’t get it. They are still stuck in this indecisive limbo position of waiting or deciding to go for it, and as a result will ensure themselves a long run of expensive mediocrity.
One last note, Similar to last year’s deals, this deal makes me question the Met’s organizations ability to realistically, and objectively judge the talent on this team. As a fan it is easy to overrate or be overly optimistic about players that you have a certain affinity for. As a fan it’s expected, except for those of a few teams, that you approach every season with optimism and excitement. As a GM or Owner it is simply unacceptable to approach players or expected team performance with anything other than objective analysis. So sadly, and I don’t know which is more sad, either they don’t realize this or their objective analysis is just really poor.
Bernard please do not deny your real name "Bernardo". Your blog fans have a right to know who you really are. I am sure you have failed to tell them about your Mets gear - such as your Mets bright blue and orange leather jacket, gold chain with the large Mets emblum, your Mets symbol earrings in both ears, Mets pinky ring, Mets symbol shaved in the back of your head and lets not forget the Mets symbol in your gold tooth. For all you men out there that might read this (that is if Bernard"o" decides to post this) please note that only Bernardo can pull off the above Mets "accessories" as for the rest of you please leave the above at home - the ladies do not like it. If you feel so compelled a Mets t-shirt and baseball cap are fine.
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