Your 2011 Mets Manager

5 10 2010

Guessing who’ll become the next Mets manager is a tough ordeal. For one thing, it’s all but agreed among experts that the Mets won’t pick a manager until a general manager is in place. That GM, whoever it becomes, will likely have a heavy stake in who becomes manager.

But as an American League executive made clear to me yesterday, the Mets’ pick for general manager is contingent on which direction they want to go. Does Mets ownership want to hire a GM and manager who want to salvage the roster and make a playoff run now? Johan Santana will be 32 next Opening Day, which he won’t be available for given he’s coming off his second knee surgery in as many seasons. Carlos Beltran will turn 34 next April, which wouldn’t be a huge development if it weren’t for the fact he moved around center field this past season like he was 44. Jason Bay, he of the six homers in 95 games played this past season, will be 31 next season. Francisco Rodriguez will be 29 next season, but it’s an old 29. His fastball lost nearly two miles per hour vs. its velocity in 2009, according to data on fangraphs.com. Not all is lost in Mets land.

Jose Reyes is still just 27 and came back this year to hit .282 and swipe 30 bases. He’s not all the way back but this was likely his transition season from surgery; he could be ready for a big year in 2011. David Wright is also only 27. He returned to All-Star form this season by mashing 29 home runs, eliminating doubt created in 2009 that he lost his power. Of course, a rundown of Johan, Beltran, Bay, K-Rod, Reyes and Wright brings up one major problem. That crew of six players will cost the Mets approximately $83 million in salaries next season. (That’s assuming the Mets pick up their $11 million club option on Reyes, which is a move virtually guaranteed no matter who takes over as GM.) That’s a six-player number that is higher than 14 team payrolls from this season, including that of the NL Central champion Reds ($72.3M), the AL East champion Rays ($71.9M) and the NL West champion Rangers ($55.2M).

The other route to go is to trade a few key players, reel in some high-end prospects and rebuild for 2013-14. That’s probably not a realistic path given the pressure of playing in New York. The team has too many stars in-place, and has performed too poorly the past two seasons, to convince its fan base a rebuilding effort is needed. So, the general manager will likely try to sign some notable free agents and hope the new manager can spring this ballclub to life. Here’s an early look at who could lead them.

Click the link below to read the story:

Mets managerial candidates

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One response

5 10 2010
Tom Lorenzo

Bobby V. or bust!

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