Tendering Contracts: Another Exercise in Rational Analysis

At last night’s non-tender deadline, the Mets offered contracts to Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey and Angel Pagan.  This makes sense, all three players have value above what they can be expected to earn in arbitration.

The Mets declined to offer arbitration or a contract to John Maine, Sean Green or Chris Carter.
John Maine’s career looks done.  Consider the following graph of his time with the Mets:

Sean Green was a replacement level pitcher in 2010.  His 3.86 ERA camoflaged a FIP of 5.76 and a WAR of -0.2.  There’s no sense rewarding that kind of arm in arbitration with good money.  This comes on the heels of a -0.1 WAR in 2009, in 69.2 innings, so it was hardly fluky.  He would have made well above the minimum MLB salary for roughly replacement level performance.

Acquired in the short-sited Billy Wagner trade of 2009, Chris Carter earned a great nickname, The Animal, and fans in New York for his intense style.  The unfortunate fact is that he’s not really a very valuable baseball player.  He had a .317 OBP and plays lousy defense.  Oh and a .389 slugging percentage.  And, had the Mets tendered him a contract, he would have been guaranteed 60% of last year’s salary, which would have been north of $200,000 or, a decent mid-round draft pick.  As in the Green case, there’s no sense in tying up money and a roster spot in a guy with talents so ordinary.

So far, so good from the Mets this off-season.

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