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Is Jones More Attractive Option?

By Mike Silva ~ January 3rd, 2009. Filed under: Mike Silva.

Call it heresy or hypocrisy on my part, but could Andruw Jones be an attractive option for the Mets with a restructured contract? Hearing reports that his new salary for 2009 will be around $5 million dollars, it might make sense to revisit the Castillo-Jones swap reported earlier in the week. This swap on the surface doesn’t make much sense for on the field improvement, but importing Jones may give the Mets flexibility to sign another, arguably much needed, offensive player in Orlando Hudson. It could also improve the bench as well.

It’s safe to say, despite the petition, that Manny Ramirez is not headed to Queens. The Wilpon’s don’t have the stomach, plus it is against their “nice guy” disposition to go against the grain. That’s too bad, but it still leaves an offense that could potentially be weak in the bottom three. How does Tatis, Schneider, and Castillo make you feel in any given inning? Add in the pitcher and now you have approximately six of nine innings which you feel confident your team can score. I have no problem living with Schneider’s bat and a Tatis/Murphy platoon, but I think upgrading at second base is necessary now that Ramirez seems to be out of the picture.

Jones is coming off a worse year then Castillo (.158, 3 homers, 14 RBI). You might be trading one knee problem for another. However, if you had to choose, who would you place a bet on coming back first: Jones or Castillo? Let’s not forget Jones is 31, hit over forty homers just two years ago, and is a great defender. He could spell Beltran in center, and provide a stellar outfield when you combine him with Church and Carlos.

This contract restructuring almost smells of a potential deal with the Mets. Send Castillo, his six million owed in 2009, and take back Jones and the five million. Then you settle on a fair deal on how much of the deferred money and Castillo’s remaining twelve million each side picks up.
I want to reiterate that Andruw Jones is not an attractive option just solely as an offensive addition. The only way I do something like this is if Orlando Hudson is attached with the deal. As Joe Demayo pointed out, having Dan Murphy and Tatis as your number one and two substitutes doesn’t make for a bad bench. If Jones disappoints, you simply release, or try to trade him. Remember, you owe Castillo this money regardless so you’re not taking on salary you are redistributing it in a different way.

If Jones leads to the signing of Hudson, and an improved bench, you might have to consider the proposal.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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10 Responses to Is Jones More Attractive Option?

  1. paul

    so if jones doesn’t turn out to be great and we can just “simply release,” why don’t we just “simply release” castillo and sign hudson, avoiding the headache of having a slow, fat, possibly PED using andruw on our team? besides, castillo is much more valuable in terms of being a better defender than hudson, switch hitting, and faster besides being a great career on base guy. all these calls to dump castillo are sounding very similar to what we heard about a guy named delgado last year. the biggest mistake the mets as an organization made was not going after texeira, trading delgado to the angels and locking up the 1b position for years to come. after delgado, there is no one (and please don’t mention daniel murphy: i’ve seen him play at AA and he’s the worst defender i’ve ever seen in my life; if there’s one guy we should trade now who would sell high it is him).

  2. Paul

    Mets made it quite clear that based on the contracts coming off and factoring in existing automatic raises they’d have $26M to play with and stay stay at last year’s budget. While they claim they won’t go higher, for the right deals, I suspect there’s some wiggle-room so let’s say $30M, maybe $32M. Well you’ve brought in K-Rod who’s contract is more backloaded but still about $9M in ’09. And Putz makes about $4M more than the guys we traded for him. So that’s $13M. They saved about $2M on the Schoenweiss deal so there’s just enough money for a good pitcher like Lowe or Perez and a little bench tweaking. Period. Mets are not going anywhere near the luxury tax cap for ’09 and it’s not about them having the money. Obviously they’re going to sell out most games in ’09 if they’re reasonably competitive but that’s only about 3.5M since the stadium is smaller (very stupid move by the way). And sure ticket prices are higher but there is a mortgage payment to make so don’t expect miracles.

    This internal cap (figures to be between 143M and 147M) is really what’s behind the no Manny situation. Manny already has $45M or more over 2 years on the table. He’s not taking a one year deal and he’s not taking less than $22M from us which blows the budget out of the water and that’s without importing a pitcher so then the Mets would have to trade more of what few prospects they have to bring in a suitable starter but since they’d have no salary room, it would have to be a good YOUNG CHEAP starter which would be even more costly in prospects.

    The only way I see Hudson coming for say $10M a year is even they not only trade Castillo for a bad contract like Andruw Jones BUT also find a way to clear more salary. I do expect the Mets to go to $14M a year on Lowe before turning their attention elsewhere but don’t make too many assumptions about how much they’ll spend. You’d be wrong.

  3. Old Timer

    And why would the Dodgers do this? They’re so desperate to get rid of Jones they came up with this restructuring. Yet they’ve turned down the Castillo deal. Why do they take Castillo off our hands?

  4. Vern

    Both teams have players with bad contracts.
    Both teams are trying to sign free agents that have expensive players with a bad contracts blocking the way. The Mets are trying to sign Orlando Hudson for second base but have Luis Castillo with a bad contract blocking the way. The Dodgers want to sign Manny Ramirez, but their outfield is full , partially with Andruw Jones with a bad contract blocking the way.

    It may make financial sense for both teams to just eat their respective bad contracts. It may make sense to saddle the other team with their bad contracts. For the Dodgers, to dump Jones on the Mets and sign Ramirez; for the Mets, to dump Castillo on the Dodgers and sign Hudson.

    The 2008 secondbaseman for the Dodgers (Jeff Kemp) is a free agent and his 2009 replacement is in doubt. The 2008 leftfielder for the the Mets (Moises Alou) is a free agent and and his 2009 replacement is in doubt. A change of scenery may be good for both players; the departure of underpreforming players may be good for both teams (see Scott Schoeneweis).

  5. DG

    Better idea: buy out Castillo in the same manner Jones has just been bought out. Then sign Hudson!

  6. Dave

    Are you CRAZY DG! Then we’ll have a Bobby Bo deal. Who is back on the Mets payroll come 2011!!!

  7. Dave

    I would do the Castillo for Jones in a minute. Jones still has more upside then an unwanted Castillo.

    But like Mike Silva wrote I only do the deal if Minaya knows he can sign Hudson. Who I really don’t think would be much of an upgrade over a HEALTHY Castillo. IMO Hudson would be a Castillo deal part II

  8. DG

    If the Mets worry is the $6 million owed Castillo in 09 (and on), and if that’s what’s keeping them from signing a better second baseman, then, yes. The Mets can afford to defer salary. That’s what they did with Bonilla. You’ve got to remember that Bonilla’s departure was addition by subtraction. Sound familiar?

  9. Vern

    Andruw Jones is as beloved in Los Angeles as Luis Castillo is in Queens. Both players desperately need a change of venue. Both teams want to clear the way of a player that is blocking the way to signing a desired free agent. Finding a new home for Andruw Jones clears the way for the Dodgers to sign Manny Ramirez; finding a new home Luis Castillo clears the way for the Mets to sign Orlando Hudson.

    Jeff Kent was the Dodger 2B-man in 2008, is a free agent now, and is likely to retire; Moises Alou was the Met starting leftfielder in 2008, is a free agent now, and is likely to retire. The trading of a secondbase man from the Mets to the Dodgers and an outfielder for the Dodgers to the Mets makes some kind of sense.

    Met fans vilified Aaron Heilman in 2008 and he has a new team in Seatle; Met fans vilified Scott Schoeneweis in 2008 and he has a new team in Arizona. Met fans have similar sentiments about Luis Castillo. Such trades, by themselves, are believed to be addition by subtraction.

    If the Mets think that Jones can have a rebound year in 2009, this might be considered addition by addition for them as well; If the Dodgers think that Castillo can have a rebound year under Torre in 2009, this might be considered addition by addition for them as well.

    It makes sence for the two teams to either both waive their player OR to trade one player for the other. Their contracts are about the same (now). The risk is about the same. If both players rebound, great. If both players flop, the teams are left with their respective contingencies (a platoon of Tatis and Murphy for the Mets) in case one forgot. It’s up to the GM’s to make the decision.

  10. doctaK

    Blake DeWitt is the Dodgers 2B. They have no need for Luis Castillo.

    Andruw Jones is done. Stay away.

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