The exercise was to visit Cot’s Baseball Contracts
website, take a look at each position need, and determine who’s worth
spending time and energy on.  The assumption here is that
everyone who’s on the Mets’ case for having deep pockets and a shallow
farm pool are correct, and that it would be better to spend money than
trade prospects.

Better Know A First Baseman: Chad Tracy

There should be a term of art for guys like Tracy in the off-season.  Something like “ripcord.”

Tracy has been regressing since 2006, when he was off his career high for homers but managed an slight increase in doubles and, as one thing follows the other, RBIs.

How bad was Chad Tracy last year?  He managed a .695 OPS: that’s a .306 OBP and a heart-stopping .389 SLG.  He was part of a merry go-round last year that included Josh Whitesell and Tony Clark–and I lost track of Tony Clark when I started making my own lunches (that includes his stint with the Mets in 2003).  He stole one base in 2009, upping his career total to ELEVEN.  Delgado managed to steal three when he was 29.

The Mets have no business picking up this Chad Tracy.

However, Tracy’s three years removed from a full year’s workload.  He’s spent his entire playing career in Arizona.  And at his worst, he’s still good for more runs than Nomar Garciaparra.

He’s a ripcord guy.  If the Mets lock in a star left-fielder and manage to pick up another stud pitcher, yet botch the first-base need and find Daniel Murphy’s decided to drop baseball for champion figure skating (there’s an image), you see about what it would take to give Tracy a shot.

He’s younger than most.  He’ll definitely be cheaper than most, not just because it’ll only cost cash to get him, but because he screwed the pooch so magnificently on $4.75 million this year.  Additionally, he’s been what I’m sure can be more craftily described as “not injury-averse”; most recently, he was hampered by a right oblique strain.  Fan-tastic.  I’ve heard that before.

Maybe he needs a change of scenery.  Maybe he needs a wee dose of the HoJo.  Maybe he needs a team to need him. 

Maybe none of these things should matter to a team with a giant payroll, abused fan base, and tortured expectations.

But the man plays third and left, and once upon a time, he was more than serviceable.  If the above ripcord scenario happens, and if he plays any sort of winter ball or is willing to come in for just a look in February and March, I say the Mets check to see if payment due exceeds accounts received.

Yes, I’m closing with a Janis Ian reference.  I’m married; I don’t gotta prove nothin’.

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