Since we last spoke, the calendar turned to 2013, the fiscal cliff was averted, and Chris Young made a New Years resolution to respond to anybody who says "how's the weather up there" by peeing on their leg and saying "you tell me." I'm just happy that America hasn't been hurled off the fiscal cliff, because I think one of the consequences is that the Mets outfield would automatically default back to Jason Bay, Gary Matthews Jr., and Jeff Francoeur.
If there was any doubt … any doubt at all about what the Mets' plan for 2013 is going forward, Wednesday left little doubt. With the team still in need of an outfield ("what outfield?"), the team's only moves were to sign Collin Cowgill, and on Wednesday, Andrew Brown. Cowgill was one spare part. But when the Mets signed Brown, it signaled to me that the entire plan for the outfield was spare parts all along.
This isn't to say that Brown is a horrible signing, and it's not to say that I'd rather have a big free agent outfielder. Fact is, the big outfielders available either cost too much in money or draft choices, or have "bust" written all over them. And let's face it, when the Mets traded R.A. Dickey for the future, the 2013 conversion just became 4th and 13. Hence, punt. What better than a guy named Brown to come in an punt? (The Cleveland Browns were second in the AFC with 90 total punts this season, just one behind Jacksonville … and to the best of my knowledge, there are no outfielders named Jaguar, Jag, or Tebow.)
And people who watch Brown play actually have decent things to say about him:
"In losing Brown the Rockies lose their player who looks the most like a corner outfielder. If there is such a thing as a bruiser in baseball, I think Brown would fit the description. He thumps with the power you want from those spots, is athletic enough to make the plays he needs to make, and has a ridiculously strong arm. If there is a profile for right field in this continuously adaptable and hybridized league, Brown fits the profile. He was not necessarily spectacular in his 2012 stint with the Rockies, but he played well enough and showed the traits we expected him to show."
To go along with that whole "not necessarily spectacular" theme, Brown's small sample size from 2012 shows that he's much better against lefties than righties, and that he's another in the long line of players whose numbers were helped by Coors Field. Even his minor league power numbers seemed to be helped when he got to Colorado Springs. He could be serviceable … and at the very least it sounds like he doesn't need to roll the ball to the plate like Lucas Duda needs to. But it sounds like Brown's greatest service to the Mets will be to push Val Pascucci during batting practice. I just hope that whatever outfield the Mets do come up with won't cause me to hurl myself off a cliff. Or the Promenade.