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

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 Joe D 7834 Articles
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, '00 and '15, 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.
  • Charley’s Twin

    Why doesn’t Jeff Wilpon just take out a payday loan? It would give us more leverage in an Ike deal, since everyone knows we’re desperate to dump the contract

  • Biggle Boy

    For what it’s worth, Jim Duquette said yesterday, on SNY Mets Hot Stove, that the deal with the Orioles for Ike may be for Zack Britton, their 26 years old lefty starter. Britton had very good AA and AAA stats until 2011.

    Since then, Britton has been underwhelming (ERA @5.00) and with some injuries. Not impressive trade bait for Davis but, hey, that may be all we can get for a guy like Ike – who has been fairly unimpressive and injured, himself.

  • I don’t mind Sandy shooting for the moon with Ike. Any good GM would do the same thing. But at some point you have to make a decision to step down gradually to make a deal happen. Especially when it seems that this Ike decision is holding other things up.

  • tacknaf

    The Mets should really step up and sign Drew. I really don’t want to see Tejada in there to start the year. Trade Ike and put that money towards Drew’s contract. There’s no way he’s getting a ton of money at this point; you have to assume he’s affordable.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    id rather keep ike than get britton, bad era, bad whip bad kp9, we don’t need that.

  • Biggle Boy

    Understandable. But each of them has an attribute that make them somewhat attractive. Ike has had power and Britton is a lefty pitcher.

  • BehindTheBag

    So we trade a hyped guy who has had a good short season in 2011 and 32 homers in 2012…for a guy who has never done anything in MLB? To save about 2-3M?

    Hope we can do better than that. If we could get Eduardo Rodriguez – make the deal. If all we can get is Britton – pass and keep Ike.

  • Biggle Boy

    “Hope we can do better than that.” Me, too.

  • Sarun923

    Pitchers like Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, as well as Matt Garza, are being held because of Tanaka. Once Tanaka signs, all three of those pitcher should come off the table quickly.

  • TexasGusCC

    I would rather put Davis in Vegas than get a pitcher I won’t use. If Britton wasn’t a lefty, Alderson wouldn’t care. I’m glad they are breaking up the logjam at first, and it’s hard to expect any team to pony up a valuable piece, but Davis is more valuable to keep right now than trade.

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    I much prefer a guy who has has success in MLB then a bad lefty pitcher who cant get out of AAA

  • MLBGM Fire TC

    “Davis is more valuable to keep right now than trade” yea at least for britton.

  • Biggle Boy

    Likewise. I’m just sayin’ that Ike’s spotty success in MLB may not be able to bring back much, anyway.

  • rwdavis22461

    if Murphy is moved to first and EY and Flores goes to second fine but i do not want Duda replacing Ike. Sure Duda will hit more hrs then Murphy but thats all . He is horrible other then hitting a occassional hr. I do not want to see Lucas as a full time firstbase man.

  • rwdavis22461

    there is no log jam. Ike is the only real first baseman. Satin is a utilty guy. Duda is a bench warmer failed OF and Murphy right now is our second baseman. So what log jam.

  • Alex

    I don’t know how much Drew will improve the team, especially for the money and the added draft pick. I want Kendrys Morales. A middle of the line up guy, who was about to become a super star until he broke his leg. He seems on the verge of getting back his form.

  • HillsideAve

    It’s not really a ‘logjam’ (that’s Jeffy’s description). Right now we have 3 AAAA first basemen. You can’t assume Ike is anything more than that right now, although he is the best of the 3.
    Ike doesn’t have any options left, so Vegas is not the place for him. Duda has an option left. Unless Satin tanks, he’s this year’s Turner. If the Mets want to get Flores some reps at 1B, it should be in Vegas. Sandy is playing poker right now with Ike, as he should. But I would be shocked if he were in a Met uniform for opening day.

  • Charley’s Twin


  • Agee’s Catch

    I’d rather get anything for him rather than simply cutting him and still having to pay him about 600K

  • HillsideAve

    Sandy is pretty good at the stare-down, so I expect he’ll squeeze the best deal possible out of Ike, and he should not be in a hurry. They are choking on his $4M, so I expect that by the end of ST at the latest, they will get out from under that.
    In any case, I don’t think they can bet on Davis any more as long as there’s a reasonable way out. And there is, but it means finding a real lead-off hitter that can play SS. If Alderson manages to do that, than Duda/Satin at 1B is palatable. Have Flores in the wings playing everyday in Vegas.

    These Mets can’t look at the 1B situation in a vacuum, as the line-up dynamic is key to putting our RBI guys to good use. We have to acquire some high OBP talent for the top of the order. I’d like to think that we’re not done making moves yet…..

  • mad met

    How are they choking on 4 mil ..they are still like 12 mil less then they were last year…thats without spending more than last year ..what the hell is going on..i thought this was the year they could spend .why is 4 mil holding other deals up.

  • mr. belvedere

    Ike still has options I’m pretty sure

  • Bail4Nails

    Anyone else think Sandy is just waiting out the Tanaka deal? Once he goes, then go all the other FA pitchers left on the market. We know SEA and ARI are trying to get a pitcher. If they don’t get one of the free agents, we can trade with them for a shortstop. As for Drew, he’s not going anywhere (either NY or Boston, for cheap), so what’s the rush. If Sandy doesn’t see a trade he likes, can’t he just up the 2 year offer to Drew as a fallback?
    Right now, I’m not too concerned about first base, as long as we get a good SS/leadoff hitter. If we have to wait it out, so be it.

  • tacknaf

    Where does he play though? The Mets already have two underperforming first basemen. And he hasn’t played over 55 games at first since 2009. There are serious questions about his being able to play a full season there. If the NL had a DH, maybe. Drew is more of an upgrade over Tejada than Morales is over Duda/Ike/Satin (if he is one at all)

  • HillsideAve

    I stand corrected. tpgMets tells me that Ike has 2 options left, contrary to the other lousy sources I was relying on. Thank you.

  • Alex

    1st base is an obvious need. Duda is nice off the bench at 1st base and Corner outfield. Satin can also play 3rd and bats righty. Ike needs seasoning, it would be nice if he wasn’t traded when his value is so low. We need a starting middle of the line up, first baseman! . Look at Kendrys from 2009 until he got hurt in 2010. Unreal! 300 batting average and over 100 RBI per year pace.

  • Ales

    Drew is not worth the money. You could get a prospect or Barnes from the pirates who can give you similar stats. I could live with tejada (2012) if I had too, if I had Morales.

  • vigouge

    He can’t play the field everyday.

  • Alex

    I heard smoak was better defensively and the wanted to protect him making DH a convenient option, but he can play every day. If he needs a rest, the Mets have a lot of back up options.

  • Run Support Group

    Well the the thing about Britton is he’s very similar to Davis. He was also a top prospect whose struggled so far. I think a move out of the AL East and Camden yards can help him.

  • Mike

    Trade Murphy, he’s gonna make more than Ike this yr and w/that freed money we can sign Drew. Murphy is an overrated player and is a free agent after 15. He’s not signing an extension because he’s a low Obp guy. We also have two legit 2nd base options in EY2 and Flores. Whose our backup 1st option? Duda? Satin?? Please.

  • pastline63

    I agree, there could be a big move in the works that will hinge on trading deadline this summer. Best scenario Ike stops hitting the snooze alarm-wakes up and hits as to his full potential making everything moot.

  • Pike Miazza

    “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.”
    You know you can replace the name “Cruz” with “Chris Young” and it would show what a bad signing we made for $7.2M !!

  • Pike Miazza

    How bout if the Wilpons fool everybody and last minute bid on Tanaka ?!
    Would that be the $hit ?!?!

  • Run Support Group

    2 things

    1: Cruz will sign for a discount, but he won’t be signing for 7.25 million
    2. Cruz isn’t really that good. He’s terrible defensively, and his only asset is his power, which could easily dry up in Citi. He also gets hurt often.

  • Run Support Group

    We don’t need Tanaka