Its been a crazy morning in Mets land. First the euphoria that the Mets didn't wait until the New Year to make a major league addition, then the head scratching moment when we learned that Sandy Alderson allocated a whopping $7.25 million to that acquisition, Chris Young. Now we have to wrap our heads around it.
I'll admit when I look at the deal by its lonesome it doesn't make much sense. Young doesn't fit the Sandy Alderson mold that we often talk about. He strikes out a lot and doesn't get on base particularly well overall. He also doesn't necessarily fill the power void that Alderson himself has talked about this winter. So why him?
When the deal broke I assumed the goal was to have Young serve in a platoon. He is significantly more effective against left-handed pitching (BA .262 vs. .225 & OBP .363 vs. .295). I mean those numbers, when combined with the power potential he does have, would make him a decent fit against lefties in 2014. But the contract is so expensive I question whether Alderson envisions him as an every day guy.
This is exactly why I'm waiting to pass judgement on this move. Hear me out...
I've read projections that say Ike Davis is set to make about $1 million more than Matt Joyce is through arbitration next season. As a rumored trade, lets pretend for a minute that Joyce is acquired. He too has decent power potential, plus his effectiveness versus right-handed pitching (BA .260 vs. .194 & OBP .354 vs. .270) makes him an ideal platoon mate for Young in left field.
What does that get you? Well, if you look at their career numbers it would probably look like a total stat line of around .260/20/75. That's a 17 point increase in batting average, six additional home runs and 24 more runs batted in than the Mets got from left field last season. That a pretty decent upgrade, which at that point comes at a discount. If the Mets were to pull off that trade for Joyce, saving about $1 million in the process, they've now obtained that upgraded left field production for a total cost of roughly $6.25 million. Find one player who you can sign for just $6.25 million that can give you that kind of yield...
I know a lot has to happen for all of that to work out. I'm not saying it will. I'm not saying I even think its likely, but it remains possible. The Chris Young deal by itself simply doesn't make sense to me. So rather than panic, I'm going to wait. If March 31st comes along and Young is your every day left fielder, you have every reason to be upset. But until then.. I'm going to wait before I assume the worst.
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