>A Bengie Molina? You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid.

>

It looks like SI’s Jon Heyman found a copy of the Mets’ Christmas list:

“SI.com learned that the Mets’ hierarchy voted on their Plans A, B and C at the Winter Meetings and that Plan A was [Jason] Bay and catcher Bengie Molina, Plan B was John Lackey and Molina and Plan C was Roy Halladay and Molina.”

First, using the word “learned” without any citing any source makes it sound like Jon Heyman just hacked into Omar Minaya’s email account and “learned” everything that way. This is, of course, entirely plausible because I don’t imagine Omar’s password is anything more complicated than “Expos”, “beisbol” or just “password.”

Second, can someone write a letter to the Mets and let them know that Matt Holliday is a free agent? Maybe also throw in an explanation letting them know that means anyone can sign him. I’d do it myself but I’m a little bit swamped right now before the Holliday (see what I did there? That’s his name.)

Now, to make it easier to understand why the Mets wish list is all kinds of backwards, I’ll rephrase it in the form of an actual Christmas list.

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good boy this year. Here is what I would like for Christmas, in order of my preference.

A. Luke Skywalker action figure and a lump of coal. If you can’t bring me that then
B. Mark Hamill, dressed up as Luke Skywalker, and a lump of coal. But if that is also too hard, Santa, then I would like you to bring me

C. The entire cast of the original Star Wars, in their costumes, to reenact the whole trilogy scene by scene in my backyard – minus any part with Ewoks – while George Lucas is tied to chair and forced to watch this on repeat. Oh yeah, and I want that lump of coal.

So Santa, just to be clear, I want the action figure most, but if not that then Mark Hamill will be acceptable. If you can’t bring me either of those, then maybe the entire cast of Star Wars. Maybe. But I want the Luke Skywalker action figure first and foremost.

Sincerely,
Omar Minaya

If Heyman’s report is accurate, then it shows how wacky the Mets thinking is. The list doesn’t make any sense; it’s certainly not in talent order and Bengie Molina* is in every plan. Anyway, if the Mets’ goal is to win in 2010 at all costs then Halladay should have been option A. However, if the Mets’ goal is to win this year and win every year, than signing J-Bay (or better yet, free agent Matt Holliday) or Lackey allows them hang on to their farm system all while improving the 2010 team. Signing J-Bay or Lackey would have cost only money, whereas Halladay costs money, prospects, and the monthly hecatomb Halladay sacrifices to the Sun god who provides him with his pitching powers. But again, if the Mets are still in “win now, win every year” mode, Halladay shouldn’t have been an option at all because he would have depleted the farm system, as well as the Mets’ cattle farm with all those sacrifices.

*For review, Bengie Molina is a lump of coal because: He makes too many outs – .285 OBP, second lowest in the majors – and his power comes from excessively lofting the ball and not from making solid contact. Molina’s fly ball rate has risen and his line drive rate has fallen every year since 2006. He doesn’t really have any power to speak of, he just hits so many fly balls that some are bound to escape the park – he was third in the majors with a 52.5% fly ball rate. The only players that make lofting work are people with manly men power like Carlos Pena. Sadly, Bengie Molina might be the best of the remaining free agent catchers**, but that doesn’t mean the Mets should give him anything more than a one year deal. Josh Thole is hanging around in AAA and a certain batting champion catcher becomes a free agent after 2010. Yes, I am going to start banging the Joe Mauer drum now.  

**Which is sort of like being the funniest person in the current cast of SNL. Not a lot of glory there, Bill Hader.

The order of this list can lead to only one conclusion: The Mets just want to make a splash, and they don’t care with whom. Or they just don’t have enough cows. Either one. Bay is the most cost effective splash in terms of costing no prospects and just dollar dollar bills, followed by Lackey and then Halladay. The list only makes some semblance of sense if was put together by that “logic”, or if the list is just in alphabetical order by first name. Are the Mets really making Bay their first target just because they think he’ll sign quicker than Holliday? Jon Heyman thinks so: “Mets believe Bay would be a better and quicker deal for them.”

Big splashes sell tickets for baseball games – as well as tickets for shows at Sea World – but splashes don’t necessarily make winning teams. Johan Santana and Frankie Rodriguez/JJ Putz* were big splashes, but the Met teams around them still were not good. This reported list makes me worry that the Mets are more concerned with making cannonballs in the deep end than putting together a quality team, both in 2010 or in the future.

*Mariner’s GM Jack Zduriencik, who has replaced Theo Epstein as my GM crush, traded an injured closer, a middle reliever, and an outfielder with no baseball skill set and got back the awesome Franklin Gutierrez (5.9 WAR and the best UZR in the majors last year by anyone at any position), the beloved Endy Chavez and five other players in his first trade as GM. Also, Carlos Silva for Milton Bradley. I want a poster of Jack Z on my wall – oh, nevermind, just did a Google image search for him. Cancel the poster, that is one shiny man.

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