Friday, October 30, 2015

Mets vs. Marlins -- a Sad Comparison

     They both used to be losers in the NL East. Now one of them is still a loser …
      During the post-season, I've been gathering data. 
     Of the top eight batters and four starters:
     The Mets have built their team like this: 7 from drafts, one from the amateur free agent (meaning basically smart draft option), three trades and one free agent.
      The Marlins have six from the draft (one being Rule 5: Bour), five from trades and 1 amateur free agent.
       I was expecting that I'd see the Mets with a lot more draft picks, but now let's break it down.
       First of all, what didn't we see? The Marlins wasted money on two free agents – Salty at catcher and Morse at 1B – that weren't part of the end-of-year roster I'm using for this comparison.
       What's more, the Marlins dumped two young pitchers – Andrew Heaney, 24, who ended up in Anaheim 6-4 3.49, and Anthony DeSclafani, 25, with the Reds 9-13 4.05.For these two young two young pitchers we got two old pitchers – now gone – and Dee Gordon, an All-Star second baseman.
      The rumblings were that DeSclafani and Heaney in brief appearances with Marlins in 2014 hadn't been as good as hoped, and so they were better off dumped. So ...maybe the drafting folks weren't as good as they should have been.
      As the Marlins give away young pitchers, what did the Mets do? They dumped a successful older pitcher, Dickey, and picked up a super young pitcher, Syndergaard, as well as a young starting catcher, d'Arneau.
      And this year, in a last-minute deal that sent Mets prospects soaring, they obtained Yoenis Cespedes from the Tigers for two young pitching prospects. Imagine: They have four young fabulous pitchers in their rotation and they still had so much depth in the farm system that they could give up two more pitchers for a (temporary?) super-star.
     Another contrast that with the Marlins: Two young pitchers Eovaldi (14-3, 4.03) and German (injured), a super prospect in minors, were traded for Prado.
      Free agents: The Mets picked up Granderson, a great addition; the Marlins picked up guys like Salty who didn't even make it to the end of the season.
      Quality drafting: Mets pitchers Harvey, deGrom and Matz. Marlins drafted pitchers: Fernandez, Koehler. Think Mets would trade one of those guys for Koehler, who's in the mix only because the Marlins dumped other pitchers? 
      Marlins management could say the team would have done better if Stanton wasn't injured, but in fact their play improved in last part of season without him. AND Wright, the Met's traditional star, missed a lot of the season with a gimpy back.

                       "Show Me the Money" 

    So let's look at the money. At start of season, the Mets were spending $101 million on payroll versus Marlins $68 million.
    The Marlins have less to spend because they get less money from fans. The Mets TV contract must be a ton larger than the Marlins (nothing can be done about that). The Mets had attendance of 2.6 milion in 2015, compared to 1.7 million for the Marlins. This translates into less money.
     How much less. On the web, you'll see that the average Met ticket price is $25.30 versus the Marlins $28.96.
     But I'm thinking that this must be list price – the way that hospitals have list prices that nobody pays.
     In fact, I myself attended eight games at an average cost of $12.50, because half the games I got in free as an old fart. I'll bet the Mets don't give old farts free admission.

                 Loudly Ticking Time Bomb: Stanton

      Now, let's get to the worst part. There's a loudly ticking time bomb. The Marlins – and Stanton – agreed to backload the $325 million contract. This year, he was paid a mere $6.5 million – with the idea that front office would have enough money to start building a winner, drawing fans to the ballpark, creating more revenue, for better ball players, etc.
        So by going after Latos and Morse et al, they've basically blown a year.
       Next year, Stanton costs $9 million, according a Forbes report. In 2017, it's $14.5 million and by 2018, it's up to $25 million.
      The clock is certainly ticking on building a winner. Forbes noted earlier this year: Of the past 46 major league playoff teams, only nine spent more than 17 percent of their payroll on a single player. Stanton will currently eclipse those percentages.”
    You do the math.

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