What do you get your favorite MLB player with an eight-figure contract?  Here I give them what they really need!

With Christmas just being a few days away, I thought it would be a good time to give the key players on the Mets a little gift.

David Wright – The return of his defensive range.  UZR showed him with an RngR of -9.7 last year while plus/minus showed him at -6 to his right and -2 to his left.

Carlos Beltran – Good health with his knee to allow him to play 150 games.

Angel Pagan – People to believe in him.  The Mets want to sign an OF to put Pagan to the bench.  There is no shame in backing up Matt Holliday or Jason Bay but hopefully the Mets won’t hesitate to put Pagan in if Francoeur fails to put up a .340 BABIP and becomes replacement level again.

Luis Castillo – Lots of off-speed pitches.  It looks like he can no longer handle good fastballs at all.

Jose Reyes – A single-digit IFFB%, which he has not had since 2005.  It’s frustrating to see him swing at the first pitch only to pop it up so often.

Daniel Murphy – Playing time during the season at second base.  Castillo is awful defensively – how much worse could Murphy be?  Since Murphy is likely to put up an OPS 75 points higher, I find it unfathomable that his defense would be so bad compared to Castillo’s to negate his offensive advantage.

Jeff Francoeur – A one-year contract.  It seems like he is a good guy, one whose teammates appreciated him just as much in New York as they did in Atlanta.  I just don’t want to see a multi-year deal and then have the fan base view him as an albatross, much like they do with Castillo.

Josh Thole – Help with his PB issues.  Everyone says that Thole is a work-in-progress on defense and this is the one area where it is noticeable in the statistics.  I still believe people are overstating his defensive problems and that we should focus on what he can do, rather than what he (allegedly) can’t.

Alex Cora – Half the playing time he had last year.  Cora is a perfectly acceptable backup infielder; let’s not have him be a full-time player again this season.

Henry Blanco – To not have to back up Bengie Molina, a catcher he is likely to out-perform once you factor in defense.

Johan Santana – Better luck with his changeup.

John Maine – The ability to throw his slider 20% of the time, like he did in 2007.

Oliver Perez – Faith to trust his stuff and throw strikes.  I know no one else believes in Perez right now, but I do.  I see a 13-win season and a 4.00 ERA for him this season.

Mike Pelfrey – As many starts in Citi Field as the Mets can manage.  Pelfrey had a 6.72 ERA in road starts last year.

Francisco Rodriguez – His career average LOB%.  Prior to last season, Rodriguez’ lowest strand rate was 77.9 percent.  Last year it was 69.8 percent.  His lifetime mark is 80.4 percent.

Bobby Parnell – The peace of mind to be happy as a reliever.  You can carve out a nice career in the majors as a set-up man and make a ton of money.  Scot Shields has made over $16 million dollars in his career and is still going strong.

Fernando Nieve – A full season in the bullpen.  I like having you on the team but there’s simply no way you can post a 2.95 ERA again with a 1.50 WHIP and a 1.21 K/BB ratio.

Pedro Feliciano – More appearances against Ryan Howard (.408 lifetime OPS) and fewer against Chase Utley (.909 lifetime OPS).

Brian Stokes – A chance to pitch on a regular basis and not have to go over a week without any game action.

Jon Niese – The patience to start the year in Triple-A Buffalo and not get discouraged.  With the injury/implosion risks in the rotation, he should still get 12+ starts in the majors in 2010.  Hopefully he shows enough to send one of the current starters to the bullpen for 2011.

Ryota Igarashi – The ability to throw somewhat close to scouting reports which had him in the mid to upper 90s.

Jerry Manuel – Courage to do the right thing, put young players in a position to succeed and not play someone just because they make more money than a better player.

Omar Minaya – The good sense not to bid against himself for either Jason Bay or (especially) Bengie Molina.  Also the knowledge that one impact player (Matt Holliday) is better than 3-to-4 veterans with name value to cover alleged holes.  Adding Molina, Joel Pineiro and Orlando Hudson does nothing to push the club towards contention, either in 2010 or in the future, and is definitely not the way to go.

Advertisements