Forget Manny Machado, Sign Josh Donaldson

This headline is clickbait, there a ton of reasons to covet Manny Machado over virtually everyone else, but those are obvious, and less interesting to write about. Machado is awesome, he fits the Mets very well, and they should absolutely try to sign him. Alas, all 29 other teams are also aware of this guy, and the Mets could seriously pursue him and still not get him.

So what other infield help is there? Well, there’s Josh Donaldson.

The big risk with Donaldson is that he’ll be 33 and had a bad and injured season. You could read into that as the end of the line for him as a useful player, it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing. You definitely have to give him his physical, look at the underlying numbers, do your due diligence. If you find a red flag, balk, but if you don’t, he could be a huge addition.

Donaldson was a late bloomer, and floundered a bit his rookie year at age 26 in 2012, but after that he’s been among the best in baseball. Last season was hampered by injury, but he was traded to Cleveland and mashed much like he’s mashed in the past. It was a small 60 plate appearance sample, but all the peripheral stats seem to support him being much like himself.

He’s a great hitter, he’s got power, he walks a bunch, he makes a lot of solid contact. He’s not fast, but he’s not a base-clogger. He plays good defense. He’s not exclusively a pull-hitter, shifts don’t seem to hurt him too much. He’s a righty, which plays nicely with the Mets having a lot of lefties providing their power right now.

MLB Trade Rumors is predicting the Cardinals will sign him for $20 million, one year. That seems like a steal. Crowd-sourced predictions at Fangraphs have him signing for 3/58, which could still be a steal if Donaldson puts up even something less than his career line. If he’d simply stayed healthy and had an average year, he’d be getting mentioned with Manny Machado and Bryce Harper.

Steamer projections have him just a tick off his average, at 4.6 fWAR for 2019. Even if he continued to decline from there, getting 10 or so WAR from Donaldson over three years would be worth 60 million, easy.

Donaldson might want to try to have a healthy season and jump back into the fray, but Nolan Arenado will be a free agent next year and Donaldson would be a year older too. Perhaps Donaldson could be the right target while other teams are focused on Machado, and maybe Donaldson takes one option off the board for teams looking for shorter term 3B options, raising possible demand for a Todd Frazier trade.

Oh, and Donaldson’s twitter handle is BringerOfRain, which is cool.


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What I Expect From The Mets This Offseason

I listened to most of the interview with Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon yesterday on WFAN. I wish it had been with someone other than Mike Francesa who is very biased, and very amateurish, when it comes to the Mets. However Francesa is the guy that gets the ‘big’ guests due to reputation and seniority, so we have to deal with it. Here is a list of things I expect from the Mets going forward. Also a list of things Francesa should’ve asked. (He may have asked them at one point and I missed it, but not in the first hour.)

From 100409_Astros

I expect the Mets to be big players in the quest for a big power bat. Probably in left field, unless a doable trade comes along for a guy like Adrian Gonzalez, which seems unlikely. Matt Holliday seems to be the best choice, hopefully he doesn’t stay with the Cardinals.

They’re committed to spending on what they feel will improve the team to make it competitive next year. This is the most important piece of news. They made no mention of a budget, a cap on spending, or any number. This doesn’t mean there isn’t one, but it also suggests they are flexible to get the job done.

They’ve already been discussing and planning, but obviously until teams and players exercise options after the World Series, you can’t know what’s going to be available for sure.

“You’re lowering ticket prices for season ticket holders. Will those ticket prices come down for game day sales? Will there be less gold level games as was reported?” The Mets have not offered season ticket holders a percent discount for buying all 81 games in the past. To me, this suggests that Ceaser Club Bronze, and Metropolitan/Baseline Box seats will be cheaper. These are the two areas they mentioned, and are probably the most overprice in terms of the cost to quality ratio.

They intend to add more Mets stuff to Citi Field. More memorabilia, a Hall of Fame, and naming stuff after prominent Mets.

Medically they’ve adjusted how they’re going to get information, and how they’re going to release it. Their excuses were a little bit weak, but as long as they’re aware that that was the problem. It was true that they listened to the Dodgers (or was it the Giants?) doctor when Reyes hurt himself on the road trip. I remembered commenting on it, wondering why the Mets were letting the opposing team decide whether their shortstop was ready to play. The problem was in the decision making in that they were soft on the severity of the injury, figuring that Reyes would be okay to play soon, and that taking him out of the lineup for a cross country flight to New York wasn’t needed.

Another question Francesa didn’t ask, or didn’t ask for clarification on: “I just heard Reyes is having the surgery. Will he be ready for Opening Day, 100%? Will he be full strength, full speed?” Instead, Francesa praised the doctors and the hospital, and went on to ask about other things.

It gives me faith that at least Omar knows what needs to be done. I just hope he’s aware of the little things that need to be done and not overlooked. I like Cora, but am not necessarily sold on him being the answer. I think it might make more sense to have power off the bench. The Mets don’t need to build a 300 home run team, I think they just need the threat of power to help scare pitchers a little bit.

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Best 2009 Mets Acquisition

Without a doubt, the best acquisition the Mets made in 2009 was Citi Field. Given all the problems and the Mets going nowhere, the one new thing this year that helped sooth the pain and will continue to be there year after year is Citi Field.

From Citifield

The stadium was there for all 81 games is was schedule to host, which is more than most Mets can say. It’s a great place to watch a game, and my biggest regret is the season died too fast to really get a feel for how it handles the big game, and what that energy would feel like. There’s great standing room only spots, including the bridge out in center field. We got to keep the Home Run Apple; If only the whole ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ had worked for the Mets this year. Maybe that’s the problem. They certainly didn’t get the Apple to pop up every game.

From Citifield

Mobility and visibility are one of the big pluses of Citi Field. No matter where you are in Citi Field, you’re rarely a few steps from being able to see the field. It’s easy to get around the park as well. It has 360 degree mobility so that if you’re in the right field promenade you don’t have to circle the entire stadium to visit someone or something in left field reserved. You can do it without having to fight through crowded aisles or concourses, or puddles of water or vendors and janitors pushing pallets of trash or frozen burgers through the area. While it’s crowded, I have yet to encounter the type of gridlock that was prevalent at Shea Stadium. With the exception of the middle level club seats you can get to any part of the stadium with any ticket. I wish there were a center field exit to the Pepsi Porch, but I’ll live with it.

From Citifield

The food, beer and distractions available at Citi Field are great. I do agree that the focus should be on the game, but if I wanted to zone out and stare at the game, I could stay home too. I want to immerse myself in the stadium, the crowd, the beer and the food. I want to do it without missing the game, and Citi Field allows me to do this without missing whole innings, something that was common at Shea.

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