One For The Ages

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by Ed Tsunoda on January 23, 2011

As the Mets make their final couple of roster moves preparing to start spring training camp next month, the first offseason for the new Sandy Alderson led front office has given us some insight as to how the “new” Mets are going to differ from the Mets of the past few years as constructed by Omar Minaya. One of the first things that jumps out at you is the ages of the guys brought in this year so far.

Sure, the big news story seems to be that the Mets haven’t spent big money on any top tier players and that they’re under budget constraints, but the real item of note is that the complimentary role player/minor league invite/depth guys are comprised of a wholly different category of player than they have been in the recent past.  Of the 19 players that made the NYFS Forums Master Acquisition List, 13 are 30 or younger, and only 2 are over 35. And those two include a veteran catcher to help catch innings in spring training who has no real shot at the big league roster, and a MnL deal for a situational lefty:

C Raul Chavez (37)
LHP Tim Byrdak (37)
RHP DJ Carrasco (33)
SP Chris Capuano (33)
OF Willie Harris (32)
SP Chris Young (31)
RP Taylor Buchholz (30)
OF Scott Hairston (30)
RHP Blaine Boyer (29)
C Ronny Paulino (29)
RHP Boof Bonser (29)
LHP Taylor Tankersley (27)
SS Chin-lung Hu (27)
RHP Richard (Ricky) Brooks (26)
OF Quintin Berry (26)
C Dusty Ryan (26)
IF Brad Emaus (25)
RHP Pedro Beato (24)
RHP Ronny Morla (22)

Contrast that to some of the role player/depth guys/reclamation projects of the Minaya era:

Frank Catalanotto (36)
RA Dickey (35)
Hisanori Takahashi (35)
Elmer Dessens (39)
Henry Blanco (38)
Gary Matthews (35)
Fernando Tatis (35)
Alex Cora (34)
Rod Barajas (34)
Gary Sheffield (40)
Ramon Martinez (35)
Marlon Anderson (34)
Emil Brown (34)
Damion Easley (37)
Raul Casanova (35)
Moises Alou (40)
Trot Nixon (34)
Brady Clark (35)
Livan Hernandez (34)
Ricardo Rincon (38)
Nelson Figueroa (34)
Jose Valentin (36)
Julio Franco (47)
Jeff Conine (41)
Orlando Hernandez (40)

Every single one of those guys is older than the oldest of this years crop of offseason add-ons.  And, that’s not to say Omar Minaya never brought in a guy under 35, he did. or that guys who came in who were over 35 never worked out, they sometimes did (I’m looking at you RA Dickey and Jose Valentin). But, there is clearly a core difference between the Minaya regime and the Alderson group on how you identify guys you bring in to camp for a look as a role player. One year deals for guys 33 or younger, versus two year deals for guys over 35.

The differential gets even more stark if you cut the list down to the guys who have a reasonable shot at sticking this year:

RHP DJ Carrasco (33)
SP Chris Capuano (33)
OF Willie Harris (32)
SP Chris Young (31)
RP Taylor Buchholz (30)
OF Scott Hairston (30)
C Ronny Paulino (29)
LHP Taylor Tankersley (27)
SS Chin-lung Hu (27)
IF Brad Emaus (25)
RHP Pedro Beato (24)

More than half of them are 30 or under, and no one over 33. Of course, it remains to be seen if it translates to better percentages of guys working out well when they take the field. However, odds are pretty good that you have a better chance of the current crop of guys having some of their best seasons ahead of them, not behind them. And that will be a welcome change. Maybe even one for the ages.

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