Monday, November 22, 2004

Roster Shenanigans

A while ago, I wrote about the importance of a roster spot. What I didn't talk about was the now impending Rule V Draft which will take place December 13th at the Winter Meetings.

For those of you unfamiliar with the RVD, Baseball America has all you need to know:

The Rule 5 draft takes place every year during the Winter Meetings. Players who are not on a 40-man roster and have more than three years of minor league service (four years if they signed when they were younger than 19 on the June 5 immediately prior to their signing) are eligible to be selected in the major league phase of the draft. In order for a team to make a selection, it must have an opening on its 40-man roster. Teams must pay $50,000 to select a player in the draft, payable to the team which loses the player.

Players selected must remain on the selecting team's 25-man major league roster throughout the next season or be offered back to the team from which they were drafted (for $25,000).

Got that? Basically if three Rule V Drafts have passed since a player signed, that player is exposed. Last year, the Mets lost two players in the major league portion of the draft, righthander DJ Mattox to the Reds and lefty Lenny DiNardo to the Red Sox. They did, however, get some revenge on Cincy by stealing away Eric Valent in the AAA phase.

Now neither of the players lost last year would have contributed much. Maddox ended up having Tommy John surgery and DiNardo had a variety of arm problems (although I suspect many of these were exaggerated so that the Red Sox could keep him on the DL and not have to return him).

That's not the point however. The point is that neither of these players needed to be lost. Wouldn't you have rather had anyone in the place of John Franco last year, especially a 25 year old, 6-4 lefty? This year, unless something changes, the Mets stand to lose two more young lefties, Blake McGinley, who you may not have heard of but who has some staunch defenders in the community, and Royce Ring, who you have certainly about before. Both are not currently on the 40 man roster and both are not likely to make it.

Previously I argued that since the Mets are not likely to contend this year, they should simply release Mike Stanton and eat his salary. Why? Simply because I believe that the roster spot they free up will be worth more than whatever Stanton gives them in a .500 year.

In 2006, do you think the Mets will be looking back at 2005, thanking their lucky stars they kept Mike Stanton? Do you think Stanton will have been a key component of a bullpen that carried the Mets into the playoffs? Or perhaps do you think the Mets will be looking at Ring and McGinley pitching in other organizations as they look to find a lefty reliever to take Mike Stanton's place?

I think it's going to be the latter. And I think the Mets are going to seriously regret this down the road.


At 2:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand where you are coming from and I agree to an extent, but even though these two players might be put out there, it doesn't mean someone will take them. I can see maybe McGinley going and I would hate that but is he really someone that is worth cutting another player who makes $4 million? Is Blake McGinley worth that much or will he ever be worth that much?
In my opinion, he isn't and if Stanton is used right, he can be a great reliever for us.

At 8:55 AM, Blogger sheamookie said...

Soler would not be eligible for this draft even though he is a foreign free agent pickup?

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Johnny New York said...

The final numbers say that Mike Stanton had an effective year for the Mets last year (3.16 ERA, 6.78 k/9, .237 baa) but any true Mets fan knows that the numbers, in this case anyway, lie. There is no point in paying a middle reliever $4 million a year, just ask the Atlanta Braves. It is time for the Mets to learn how to develop their own middle relievers instead of trolling the free agent market for other teams' high priced castoffs (i.e. Stanton, Weathers, Cook, Wendell). There is no reason that Royce Ring and Blake McGinley, if used properly cannot be effective major league middle relievers. They have proven to be capable minor leaguers and I would rather take a shot at seeing how they develop in what will, contrary to what Fred & Co. will try and sell us, be a transitional year. It is better to make new mistakes than to keep repeating the mistakes of the past.


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