Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Baseball Bloggers Alliance

Metsrospectus is now a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. From the BBA website:

                 "The Baseball Bloggers Alliance was founded in 2009 with the purpose of encouraging collaboration and communication among bloggers from across baseball.  As a secondary goal, the Alliance also votes on various awards at different times in the year."

You can check out the website and the other members here .

Monday, January 30, 2012

Rick Ankiel numbers

Today we have been seeing some buzz around the Mets acquiring Rick Ankiel. The Mets have been looking for a left handed bench bat and Rick Ankiel is purportedly near the top of the list. This is a tough call for me, I actually really like Rick Ankiel, I think he is a fun player to watch, he appears to be a pretty gritty, hard worker and he has an awesome baseball story. That being said, his numbers make him a hard sell.

Offensively he is at best average and at worst a bit below, he appeared in 122 games in 2011 and hit .239/.296/.363, he also truck out 96 times in just 380 at bats, which mean he strikes out about 25% of the time. The big selling point of Ankiel has been his defense and powerful outfield arm, but unfortunately his defense has not blown me away either.

His career UZR is -3.1 which means he is worse defensively than an average bench player. His numbers last year provide some comfort but still not much. Below are his UZR numbers for each outfield position.


He has decent numbers in both left and center, however not high enough to discount for his bad bat. If a guy is going to play solely based on defense, I would prefer to see higher and more consistent defensive numbers than these.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gettin' to know Matt Tuiasosopo

I Make a lot of jokes about the guys the Mets have signed this off-season but Matt Tuiasosopo (I dare you to pronounce that properly) is simply so bad that no joke is funny enough to make this ok. I totally understand depth signings and I know guys like this get moved around all the time but I literally cant find a single reason the Mets have signed this guy.

His stats are truly atrocious, in the three seasons where he played Major League Ball he played in 71 games and in only of those three seasons did he crack the Mendoza line, in 2009 when he hit .227. His career slash line is: .176/.234/.306, that is just so bad. I believe his big selling point is that he can play almost any position, having seen time at 1B,2B,SS,3B and LF. The only problem being, he is bad at all of them, having never posted a positive or even zero UZR at any of these positions.Finally. his career WAR is -1.1, in three years his presence has lost his teams a little over a game. Why are we signing him? He is worse than any decent triple A player we could bring up.

Congratulations Ronny Cedeno, your off the hook for worst off season signing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In which I respond to Carlos Beltran

In an interview yesterday Carlos Beltran told Mets fan that he has gotten over the 2006 NLCS and that we should also forget it and move on. To this I reply...never! Never, Carlos, never ever, ever, ever in the history of ever will I ever move on and forget you striking out in the 2006 NLCS. Don't be a dick and suggest I do. It's not like Mets fans are fuming over it every minute of the day but it is a pretty big moment in Mets history and did precipitate what would go on to be a very bad time for the team that we are currently entering the worst portion of. Forgive me Carlos for not forgetting that we paid you a very large sum of money and that when you were needed most, you did nothing, literally. Look people strike out, I get it, it happens. But you should also be aware that you struck in a phenomenally bad style and in an incredibly important game and appreciate that people are going to be aware of that forever. So no Carlos, I shall not forget, or forgive...ever.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What if...the Mets and Phillies switched rotations?

Much like Uatu the Watcher I am a big fan of asking What if? questions, especially when it comes to baseball. Yesterday I wondered what would happen if the Mets and Phillies switched rotations. Perhaps this could happen in a world where Bud Selig ruled the MLB like a feudal warlord and was prone to meting out twisted punishments for his own amusement. I decided to run some numbers and see what would happen.

I did this using WAR. First I calculated the Mets team WAR which was 24.6 for position players and 7.7 for the starting rotation for a toal of 32.3. A replacement level team will win about 47 games so combined this gives the Mets a theoretical record of 79.3. Very close to their actual 2011 record.

Second I looked at the Phillies who had a team WAR of 47.5 (22.7 for positional, 24.8 for pitchers) which came out to a theoretical number of 94.5 wins, again relatively close to the their real record.

Now for the fun, lets switch the SP's.

With Halladay and the gang pitching for the Mets our team WAR becomes 96.4! Even better the Phillies now win only 77.4 games! The teams basically switch places. The Phillies are now in 4th place and the Mets are coasting into the playoffs. It really shows just how much the Phillies success is based so much on their starting rotation and just how hampered the Mets are by having a low end starting 5.

Below is a table with all the numbers:

Position Players WAR
Pitchers WAR
Team WAR
Mets (reality)
Mets (with PHL SP's)

Position Players WAR
Pitchers WAR
Team WAR
Phillies (reality)
Phillies (with NYM SP's)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Collins Managerial Stats

Last week my Bill James 2012 Handbook and Ron Shandler Baseball Forecaster arrived in the mail and since then I have pretty much been in sabr overload . Over the next few weeks I will post about any interesting Mets related finds I make while reading. Today I want to look at some managerial tactics stats from Bill James and how Terry Collins does when examined amongst NL averages.

In 2011 Collins used 312 pinch hitters and 18 pinch runners in comparison to other NL managers who used 245 and 27 respectively. One of my favorite new stats from the book is BOMB, this is a stat applied to managers when multiple runs are scored after an intentional walk is issued. In 2011 Collins issued 48 intentional BB of which 35 had a good outcome, 13 a bad outcome and 9 were Bombs.Collins came in below the NL average where the number of intentional BB was 57 with 39 good and 19 not good, he had the exact league average of bombs with 9.

The other thing I found interesting was in Collins use of pitchers he gave pitchers a quick hook 32 times and slow hook on 44 occasions (If a manager pulls the starter after fewer pitches and fewer runs than other managers, that's a quick hook. If he leaves him in after more pitches and more runs, that's a slow hook). He allowed a long outing by a starting pitcher only 23 times (long outing defined as more than 110 pitches). he also used 514 relievers , the NL average being 497.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Frank Francisco numbers

Last Friday Brian Kenney answered a question I submitted on Clubhouse Confidential regarding the best metrics to judge closers. He responded that he looks at K% BB% and a comparison of saves to blown saves. I decided to look at how the Mets projected new closer, Frank Francisco, looks within this lens. Below are his 2011 numbers with IP added for context.


As you can see his numbers are actually very good. Saves alone are low but are far too reliant on non pitching factors to make a decent judgement about pitching ability. His save to blown save ratio is fine, four is a pretty average for a closer if not on the low end. His K% is great and at the high end of the spectrum for closers with only really elite level guys much higher.. He is in the same range as Mariano Rivera, Brian Wilson and Ryan Madson. Same goes for his BB% which was in the good to very good range, similar to guys like Heath Bell, John Axford and K-Rod.

Doing this analysis actually made me feel better about having him on the team (but still mad at his salary) however while 2011 numbers all look great but the real concern with Frank Frank is his tendency to implode and occasionally throw chairs at fans. Through injuries and some poor play he has never been able to gain and keep a closers job. I do think their is a chance he could shine on a team like the Mets if he stays healthy. Often times Francisco has lost his closers job after only a few bad outings. On a team like the Mets with not many options he may get a lot more chances to pitch through his problems and put together good numbers over the course of a season. He certainly has the raw skills to do it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Clubhouse Confidential

Clubhouse Confidential is answering a question I sent in tonight. I am pretty excited, not only because this my favorite baseball show, but because I really do want an answer to this question. I asked what the best metric was to judge closers. Standard pitching stats never seem right because they are mostly based on full games and not one inning. I never liked saves because the criteria itself make it easy to get one. Can't wait to see what Brian Kenney has to say.

Dickey makes list of Bill James top pitchers duels of 2011


Today on Grantland Bill James released his list of 100 best pitchers duels of 2011. As you can imagine R.A. Dickey was on the list. He received two mentions, both pretty high up at numbers 13 and 29. The September 17th game againts the Braves was a lot of fun to watch, anyone who stopped watching Mets baseball in late September missed a classic Dickey gem. I have said it before and I will say it again for posterity, the first Mets no hitter will be thrown by R.A. Dickey.

You can read the write ups from James below:

    13. September 17, 2011, Mets in Atlanta, R. A. Dickey against Tim      Hudson

Scoreless duel until two were out in the bottom of the eighth. In the eighth inning Dickey walked the leadoff man, Jason Heyward, who moved to second on a bunt, to third on a groundout, and scored the game's only run on a single by Chipper Jones. Hudson and Kimbrel, four-hit shutout with 13 strikeouts. Atlanta 1, New York 0.
   29. September 24, Phillies in New York, Cole Hamels against R. A. Dickey
(Game 1 of a doubleheader.) Mets 2, Phillies 1.




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dan Dekker and Harvey numbers.

Top Mets prospects Matt Harvey and outfielder Matt den Dekker were invited to Spring Training camp, leading to the inevitable discussion that one or both of them might be 2012 ready. Let's take a look at their numbers and see just how excited we should get. Analyzing both of these guys is great because in both cases using advanced metrics helped explain aberrant standard metrics.

First let's look at Harvey:


Matt actually has some pretty good numbers and is a definite candidate for a late 2012 call up. We can't get too excited yet because he hasn't seen any time in AAA which will be a major indicator of his skill, but his single and double A numbers look great. He totally outclassed the competition with the St. Lucie Mets striking out more than a batter per inning and maintaining a low ERA and FIP. At both levels he gives up a decent amount of hits which is something to be watched. Between A and AA he went up almost a full hit per 9 innings, if that trend continues it will be a concern. People might look to his AA ERA as an indication of worry but his FIP shows he pitched a lot better than his ERA indicates and is probably more the fault of his teammates than his pitching ability. Overall I believe that with a good season in AAA Matt Harvey could be a late 2012 call up, especially if he brings back the mustache.

On to Matt dan Dekker whose name is simply awesome.

Den Dekker

Matt number 2 also has some great numbers but might be a little farther off than Matt number 1. He put up a very good BA in single A ball but his BABIP shows he had an incredible amount of luck in that effort. When his BABIP fell back down to the baseline his BA also fell back down about 70 points. However he knocked 17 home runs and also stole 24 bases so he is showing great evidence of both speed and power. My assumption is that he has a lot of good raw tools and needs to work on refining his baseball skills before making an MLB debut, but when it happens, he could be very dangerous.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mike Pelfrey is overpaid.

Even though we knew it was coming I remain shocked an appalled at Mike Pelfrey's 5.65 million dollar contract. He got a raise! Really? That's almost a two million dollar raise, when was the last time you performed miserably and got rewarded with two million dollars? Sometimes I feel like the business of baseball is conducted in the bizzaro world.

However what really sent me into a tailspin was the news that David Price re-signed to the Rays for 4.35 million. In 2011 David price had an ERA of 3.49 and an xFIP of 3.32 he also struck out almost 9 guys per 9 innings. Price had elite level stuff last year and has had a great consisent career and he makes more than a million dollars less than Pelf? Pelf who had a 4.74 ERA and a 4.55 xFIP, with a k/9 of 4.88. He literally almost had a higher ERA than a k/9, is this even possible? How is this guy the 4th highest paid player on our team?

For the record, here are some guys who made roughly the same salary last year: Matt Garza (3.32 ERA), Jon Lester (3.47 ERA), and Joe Saunders (3.69 ERA). Three guys who are playing at an above average level who made huge contributions to their teams. The way the Mets value players is just totally backwards, I truly can't figure out a system that would reward him with the salary he received. At least the ridiculous amount of money that we are paying Santana and Bay this year were based on contracts that made some sense at the time and were for guys projected to play at an elite level. The Mets know what they are getting with Pelfrey and still elected to give him almost 6 million dollars. Next thing you know we will pay the same thing to a risky middle of the road reliever...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gettin' to know Ronny Cedeno

Hey that rhymed! Yes I know I am about ten days late on the Ronny Cedeno analysis but I will make up for it with extra bad news... Ronny Cedeno is not a good hitter or fielder and I don't believe he can secretly pitch, so my quick analysis is, we should get our 1.1 million dollars back.

Ronny is entering his age 29 season and has a career slash line of .249/.297.339. Last year he hit .256 and struck out 93 times, drew only 30 walks and stole 2 bags. The best he ever did was hit .300 for the Cubs in 2005 and at worst hit a Mendoza line shattering .167 in 59 games for the Mariners in 2009. For all that sub par offense he must be a good fielder. Right?

Sadly the answer here is also no. He has a career UZR of zero (and coincidentally a career WAR of zero, he basically doesn't exist), which means he doesn't save any more runs than the average replacement. Basically his job could be done for half the salary by anybody off the bench at the AAA level. He played most of his career at either 2B or SS, at 2b he posted a respectable 4.5 UZR but a negative 5.1 at SS, where the Mets might need him most.

Overall this has been another in a series of pointless and overly expensive 2012 off season Mets signings. I know a million dollars does not seem like much in modern baseball parlance but it's a lot to pay a guy for not doing his job well. Especially considering we could get another player to give the same production for half the money, it's basic economics. Welcome to the 2012 Mets Ronny, it's gonna be a year.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thoughts on "Wilpons Folly" by Howard Megdal

Mets fans have been following the teams financial issues with a large degree of confusion and misinformation for the past few years. Often times it has been to a lack of information, piecemeal reporting or by design of the the team itself issuing confusing or false information. Howard Megdal's new e-book "Wilpons Folly: The story of a man his fortune and the New York Mets" does a great job of telling the story in full and painting the clearest picture of the situation I have yet seen.

Megdal take us through the court documents, transcripts and background information ranging from the uncovering of the Madoff scandal in 2008, the failed Einhorn purchase to the present day dealings with Irving Picard. For fans like me who have been following this story for years it provides not only a useful refresher on the issues but fills in numerous gaps and brings to light portions of the story that were never totally clear. When the book came out last month it was disregarded by the Mets organization, which is not surprising considering the book portrays the Mets ownership as negligent, lacking foresight and common sense and worst of all- men whose hubris routinely lead them away from the right choices and solutions at each turn of the scandal.

In the end Mr. Megdal offers a solution, which I found downright brilliant. He proposes the ownership turn the team over the Madoff victims trustee as an investment vehicle to pay back the fictitious profits made by the Wilpons and stolen from the victims. It is a brilliant idea that manages to give everybody involved what they want and make Mets baseball exciting and viable again. After reading a book about a financial scandal it would seem impossible the author could make you feel good but the proposed solution is so exciting I felt hopeful that, if ever adopted, the team I love so much might finally be on the right path.

Wilpons Folly is Howard Megdal's second book about the Mets. His first was "Taking the Field" about his grassroots campaign to be named Mets GM. While it is often a humorous book it shares something with Wilpons Folly, Megdal routinely proposes common sense, intelligent solutions to the Mets problems. After reading both books, I found myself wishing that the Mets would take note and implement some of these ideas.

The book is available as an e-book from the amazon kindle store and for apple users like me can be read on the iPhone/Pad using the free kindle app

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mets sign acclaimed author to AAA contract.

This is day old news but I am just getting around to giving some thought to the Mets bringing back Miguel Batista to a AAA deal. Let's start with something you probably don't know about Miguel, he is a published author. He has written a book of poetry entitled "Sentimientos en Blanco y Negro" and a thriller called "Ante Los Ojos De La Ley". He is also a philosophy buff and his middle name is Descartes (this is seriously all true, you can't make up Batista facts like this). Doing the research for this post actually made me kind of like Batista, whereas he was previously just another low end pitcher, in reality he is kind of a cool Dominican R.A. Dickey.

On the baseball end of things, he is entering his age 40 season and playing for his 8th club (look out Octavio Dotel!). He had a few good years, most notably his 2003 campaign with the Diamondbacks where he posted a 3.49 ERA, 10 wins and a WAR over 4.5. Last year he started 4 games for the Mets and picked up 2 wins with a 2.64 ERA and a shutout. He also played for the Cardinals where he started one game, threw some relief and posted a 4.6 ERA.

To be honest, his numbers are pretty decent for a forty year old guy but he probably won't be able to contribute much. He hasn't posted a positive WAR since 2007, which makes you wonder how you keeps getting playing time with all these teams. Batista should provide some decent AAA depth and if he starts to show any flashes of his former self, he can be a useful late season call up, until then, I will be searching for an english translation of his novel.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mets Finances 101

Now that the 40 man roster appears to be complete ESPN.com released their projection of the Mets projected lineup and payroll. It looks like we will be right around 90 Million dollars, down from 118 last year. It's been awhile since the Mets have been below 100 mil, many people will be pointing towards the Madoff scandal as the reason for this but realistically its more a result of the overall negative direction of the team. Here are some quick thoughts.

How does 90 million compare to other teams?

In 2011 a 90 Million dollar salary would have been 15th in MLB, right in the middle. Just below the Rangers (92 million) and just above the Braves (87 Million). So certainly 90 million, if used smartly is more than enough to be a playoff and potentially world series team. It is about double what both the Rays (41 million) and the Diamondbacks (53 million) spent and both made the playoffs.

Who are the Mets highest paid players?

I am sad to report that Mets top 5 highest paid players in order are:

Johan Santana 24 million
Jason Bay 16 million
David Wright 15 million
Frank Francisco 5.5 million
Mike Pelfrey 5.5 million

About 45% percent of our salary is taken up solely by Jason Bay and Johan Santana, in terms of salary, they are equal to about one Tampa Bay Rays. When you throw D Wright in there, the total is about 61% of the entire teams salary on three guys. One who has been consistently bad and another who hasn't played since 2010. When I say I am looking forward to getting rid of the last remnants of the Minaya regime, this is what I am talking about. Freeing up 40 million dollars we are wasting on Bay and Santana and allocating that to a few guys who could make a long term impact.

How much bang are the Mets getting for their buck?

The answer is not so much. The standard used is a team should pay around 5 million dollars per win, using 2011 WAR to judge wins, the Mets don't look so hot. Bay who is getting 16 million dollars this year, posted 0.7 WAR in 2011, according to the 5 million dollar per win standard, he should be posting a WAR just over 3 this year, something he has not done since 2009. Johan should be due a WAR over just under 5, something he hasn't done since his first season with Mets in 2008.

Who had the best value? why R.A. Dickey of course. R.A. posted a 2.8 WAR last year and is due just 4.25 million dollars, based on this standard he should be due just under 15 million.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

R.A. Dickey: Pitcher/Poet

R.A. Dickey is 4000 feet from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro according to his blog entry for the NY Times. Dickey had a great few lines remarking about the beauty of the land from near the summit:
"Being exposed to such majesty is humbling and begs me to contemplate how finite I really am.
I think, at the very least, each member of our party is motivated to gratitude."

Damn. As if having a bad ass knuckleball wasn't enough...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Requiem for an F-Mart.

Remember when we could have acquired Roy Haladay for a deal built around Fernando Martinez? Man those were the days. The Mets signed F- mart when he was sixteen and not at age 23 have cast him off in to the nether world of the waiver wire. I would like to get mad and say we should have traded him but no one could have seen this coming, I mean a 23 year old with riddled with injuries and arthritis is not exactly something you predict. Most of the deal cames at a time when the Mets were making a lot of "win now" signings and holding onto to F-Mart and Mejia became Omar Minaya's only real investment in the future (now that we are living in that future and both of those guys bombed, I kind of wish we had held back ore prospects).

Fernando came up and down to the show playing a total 47 games and putting up .183/.250/.290 with an amazingly unlucky bat, posting a .212 BABIP. While he was well below the Mendoza line in hitting he was only a little below average defensively, coming in with a -.9 UZR, about a run worse than the average triple A call up. He showed occasional flashed of brilliance in the minors, but never enough to meet the loft expectations he was awarded.

How do I feel about this? Bad for F-Mart certainly, but he is only 23, perhaps if he can stay healthy he can put together a productive season. Mostly I am happy to see him go. Every time we lose another piece of the Minaya years I feel like we are shedding the shackles of the mid 2000's and moving ever closer to a new Mets team with fresh expectations and a brighter future.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reactions to the NY Magazine Piece.

Today NY Magazine ran a piece in its workplace confidential section written by "A Met", you can read the article here. A lot will be made of who wrote this article, personally it sounds like a low level employee and not a player or executive, the analysis is pretty pedestrian and does not seem indicative of someone familiar with the running of the team or the corporate culture.

Frankly my bigger issue is with the truth of the piece. I think it is way off base. A lot of people are blaming the Madoff scandal for the current state of the team, which I disagree with. The Mets are in the position they are in now because of the way Omar Minaya ran the team and the teams consistently poor play. The Mets are in financial straits because of long bloated contracts given to K-Rod, Beltran, Reyes, Wright, Johan and Ollie Perez. It's also in bad shape because the team has suffered multiple losing seasons and failed to make the playoffs in several years when it should have. No one coming to see the team is just as big a burden as the Madoff issue.My point is this: if the Madoff scandal had never happened, we would probably been in the same position we are. On field success would have been no better, our payroll would not much be higher and we still would not have offered Reyes the ridiculous contract he got from Miami. The Madoff scandal will be the ultimate undoing of the Wilpons, but the undoing of the Mets lies solely with Omar and the Mets themselves.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gettin' to know Omar Quintanilla

Today the Mets signed free agent middle infielder Omar Quintanilla. As per usual, I am not quite sure why based on his stats but I assume the front office knows something I don't. He was a first round draft pick in 2003 by the A's. Both the A's and the current Mets front office have a good eye for hidden talent so I am assuming this guy has something going for him that the numbers don't show. Just for comedy sake, let's take a look at his numbers.

Omar is entering his age 30 season and did a 50 game suspension last year for testing positive for a PED. In 2011 he went 1 for 22, in case you are wondering that is a BA of .045 and an an OPS plus of -55. I have actually never seen a negative of OPS + so he has that going for him. He has never played a full season, the closest he came was 81 games in 2008 where he posted a .238 BA and played a serviceable if not above average defense at 2b (UZR 1.1). His career WAR is -.04 which is, you know, not promising.

However I will say about young Omar what I say about every low end guy the Mets sign. R.A. Dickey was once a laughably bad signing that no one thought would ever make the team and look how good that turned out...

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Answers to the DiComo Questions.

In a post on MLB.com Anthony DiComo asked and answered 10 key questions about the 2012 Mets. Matt Cerrone reposted and answered the questions himself on Metsblog and I thought I would do the same.

10. Can Daniel Murphy play adequately at second base? In 2011 Dan played 168.1 innings at 2nd base and posted a 1.8 Ultimate Zone Rating, which means his defense was good for stopping about 2 runs more than the average replacement guy. So the answer here is yes. Murph makes himself look worse defensively than he really is because he he tends to make some fantastic blunders like dropping an easily catchable fly ball or ruining a double play, he also doesn't look very defensive. But thats the key to valuing a ball player wrong, over examining a few big mistakes and overlooking a body of decent work. With his offensive production being so good he would be worth playing even with atrocious defense, the fact that he is pretty good makes him all the more attractive.

9. Will the new fences make a difference? No, they won't. It's a pretty meaningless change that I have addressed a few times in the past. The only thing it could potentially do is give Wright and Bay one less than thing to blame their lack of production on.

8. Can Ruben Tejada effectively replace Reyes? Of course not, does anything think he can? Reyes won a batting title last year, Tejada has never played a full season. I seriously hope no one thinks this kid is here to replace Reyes. Tejada is a great player but with expectations like that he is going to dissapoint. He hit .284/.360/.385 last year, if he puts up those numbers again, I will be perfectly happy. If you are looking for him to bat .330 and steal 50 bags, prepare to be let down.

7. How will Ike Davis bounce back from injury? No one knows. Some people will say they do, but no one knows what Ike will be like. Ike had a brilliant rookie season but has never played a full year and is coming back from a pretty serious, season ending injury. I like Ike as much as anyone but we have to admit he is a bit of a wildcard, give me one full healthy season and I will have a bit more faith.

6. Are Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jeurys Familia on the fast track? I hope not. I will admit I am woefully under informed on the goings on of the Mets minor league system but the idea of fast tracking ANYONE makes me scared. When has that ever worked out for a team? Didn't we learn our lesson with Jenry Mejia? Let them stay in the minors until they are good and ready and then let them play. If that means we have to wait 3 more years for our 3 baby aces then I am fine with that.

5. Will the Mets remain intact as currently constructed? No. Of course they won't. These guys couldn't win in 2007-2008 when we had everything going for us, you think they are going to win now when they are the fragments that team? Getting rid of Reyes, Ollie, Castillo, Beltran and K- Rod were the start, now let's move Johan and Wright and let the healing begin. Get some decent prospects from these two that can help us in the long run and let's see what a new Mets team can do.

4. Could the Mets really trade away Wright? Let's hope so, see above.

3. Will Johan Santana be an effective pitcher again? The short answer is yes, if you have reasonable expectations, the long answer can be found in a previous post I did here.

2. How will the Bernard Madoff situation affect the Mets? You mean besides losing the team an astronomical amount of money and make us the laughing stock of baseball? I think the legacy of the Madoff situation is that it will ultimately force the Wilpons into selling the team and get our squad new owners for the first time in over 30 years.

1. Are the Mets truly in rebuilding mode? Of course they are, was this ever in question? I think people need to realize their is a difference between giving up on a season and knowing when you probably can't win. The NL East is an incredibly tough division now and the Mets are about half a baseball team. They will field as competitive a squad as they can in 2012 but looking towards to the future is the logical move.