The Not-So-Hot Stove, Drew, Davis and the Mets

An article by posted on January 3, 2014

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Baby, it’s cold outside… And if your name is Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew, Kendrys Morales, Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez, the hot stove isn’t providing any warmth these days.

All the big name free agents, especially those tied to draft pick compensation, are off the table, swimming in mega-deals, and smiling ear to ear. However, that’s not the case for the some of the riskier, mediocre options that are still flapping in the wind. Lets call them the Fab Five…

There are plenty of teams that like the five remaining draft-pick-guys, but it’s quite obvious that nobody loves them. Cruz and Morales want a lot more than they are probably worth and come with sizable risk, but throw in the sacrificial draft pick and they’ve become persona non grata.

For a very intensive look into this phenomenon, I urge you to read this article by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports who sizes up the situation quite well. Regarding the market for the Fab Five, Passan sums it up like this:

“Of the teams with protected draft picks, Houston and Miami aren’t likely to go anywhere near the five, the Chicago White Sox and Cubs are very unlikely to do the same, Minnesota is focusing on non-compensation starters, Philadelphia and Colorado may be tapped financially, and the Mets aren’t inclined to go after Drew or Morales, even if both are a fit. Which leaves the Mariners, who will almost certainly sign a pitcher – though it could be Masahiro Tanaka – and the Blue Jays, who aren’t the sort to make a huge splash.”

Regarding Nelson Cruz in particular, Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs takes it one step further and writes this:

“It’s almost impossible to see Cruz getting his money. There’s simply no need for that sort of desperation. It’s also almost impossible to see Cruz signing as a significant upgrade to a team. The fact of the matter is that, right-handed power be damned, Cruz isn’t particularly valuable, and every team has guys projected to be worth at least about a win or so. So when Cruz does sign, it’ll either be for very little money, or it’ll be a questionable move for a modest upgrade or a non-upgrade. There’s not a single team in baseball right now that ought to see Nelson Cruz as a difference-maker. Because, quite simply, Nelson Cruz isn’t a difference-maker. He’s a half-decent aging outfielder who’s going to cost millions and a draft pick. You won’t find many bigger gaps between name value and real value. “

When the offseason first began, I actually thought Cruz would be a player the Mets could roll the dice on because of his power. However, as time went on and you started to hear and read about some of his contract demands, I quickly soured on him. Turning down that $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Rangers may be something Cruz will regret for a very long time.

As for the Mets, it’s still kind of quiet. We’re all waiting around to see who this bat the O’s are rumored to be trading for actually is. Some college kid from West Virginia (who loves Netflix and a girl named Mariah), created some buzz last night when he tweeted that a source told him it was Ike that the Orioles were trading for.

But you know what I always say about these blog and twitter generated rumors… They are almost always wrong and always smell more like a cheap attention-grab by someone who wants and needs attention. So until something from a true reliable source pops up, it’s pretty much dead out there today.

The fact is I’m really hoping we do deal Ike because once the Mets clear his $4 million off the books, I’m thinking we’ll see a domino effect that will include a plethora of small minor league deals as well as one more significant addition for the Amazins. There’s still some work to be done…

Anyway, all of you have a great day and try to stay warm… We have some great original articles coming up later today…

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About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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