Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Mike Stanton And The Success Cycle

In the comments from my last post, Andrew makes a fair point:

I've got to admit I'm not entirely sold on your Stanton situation. I just put up an article about the bullpen over at my blog, so I was forced to take a hard look at Stanton and the bullpen options the Mets face, and I think Stanton could serve more of a purpose then to be cut and paid. Stanton's aging, but his numbers dictate that he's still got some gas in the tank. Howe simply liked to work the guy a lot, for whatever strange Art Howe reason he had -- and he had plenty. If Willie can use Stanton a lot more sparingly, and not have him in every pressure situation the Mets face, I think Stanton could be a lot better then a young arm that has a lot better chance of failing miserably.

I think I tried to cut too much out of my post and I guess I should have clarified this. You're right in that looking at his numbers Stanton did have some value to the Mets last year and he was certainly overworked thanks to the Senator (among other things) and Art Howe. However, the other thing to take into consideration is next year vs. the long term.

More than likely, the Mets are a .500 team next year, even if everything breaks right for them and they don't do something stupid like trading for Sammy Sosa. We know that Stanton will be gone after next year and certainly won't be in their long term plans. Therefore, taking this into account, having Stanton take up a roster spot for an entire season when they aren't likely to make the playoffs seems like a waste. If a youngster (or youngsters) takes the spot and fails, the Mets will at least know they can't fill the spot within the organization and can address it next year.

When the Mets signed Stanton, they had assumed that they were in the condending phase of The Success Cycle, a poor evaluation to be sure. Now, two thirds of the way into his contract, it's obvious that they're in rebuilding mode (or should be). I would argue that for any team in this stage of the cycle, any roster spot taken up by a player who will not be of long term value to the club will actually hinder their progression through the cycle.

Furthermore, as a general rule for a non-contending team, if a player does not fit into their long term plans he should be released and the spot should be given to a player that at least has the possibility of fitting into those plans. Otherwise, the spot will simply have to be filled the following year anyway and no information will be gained as to whether they can fill it through their system. This could save the team money in the long run as well, given how inexpensive young players are at the start of their careers.

It's easy for me to say this because I haven't spent $4 million dollars on a 38 year old relief pitcher. However I still think that the roster spot is worth more than that and, should some of their young talent succeed, they can actually save even more money later in the success cycle.

1 Comments:

At 1:00 PM, Blogger a2d said...

Well, now I can't help but agree. Although I don't see Omar cutting a solid (by industry standards) lefty middle reliever that's owed four million dollars, but the point you make is a good one, if the Mets want to compete, they need to see what they've got. If Minaya can make any kind of deal (with the Yankees, perhaps?) for him I wouldn't be upset.

 

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