Mets Merized Online » Joe D Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:20:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Didn’t Bid On Korean SS Jung-Ho Kang (Shocker) Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:02:34 +0000 jung-ho kang

The Mets did not submit a bid on Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

No surprise here…

December 18

A team source told Marc Carig of Newsday, that while the Mets have some interest in free agents Stephen Drew and Everth Cabrera, it’s only limited to them agreeing to “low-risk, one-year” deals.

Also, the Mets have serious concerns about whether Asdrubal Cabrera can still handle the defensive demands of shortstop, making it even more unlikely anything will happen with him.

For the same reason, the Mets have all but eliminated any chance they will bid on Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang.

Incidentally, Kang’s agent reportedly told one Korean news outlet that he is seeking a four-year deal worth $5 million per year, or a three-year contract for $5.5 million per season, or a two-year deal valued at $6 million per season, for his client. That’s much less than what was initially reported.

In other words, there’s a strong possibility that a team can sign Kang for a two-year deal at $15 million total including the posting bid.

December 17 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the Mets are among a few teams showing interest in free agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera. That’s the same Asdrubal Cabrera who has a few three-year offers and is holding out for a four-year deal. The Giants, A’s, Cardinals and Twins are among the other teams that are interested in him either as a shortstop or as second or third baseman.

Asdrubal, 29, batted .229/.312/.389 with five home runs for the Nationals, and .241 with 14 home runs and a .694 OPS overall this season between the Nats and Indians.

With the Mariners trading for outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs today, Seattle may be tempted to deal shortstop Brad Miller who they were intending to play in the outfield.

Sandy Alderson reportedly discussed both Miller and shortstop Chris Taylor with the M’s this winter, but then backed off because of the price. Also, as of Monday the M’s maintain they have no desire to move Miller or Taylor.

Speaking with reporters at the Winter Meetings, Alderson shifted gears said it’s more likely the Mets acquire a shortstop upgrade via free agency and not via trade.

I’m sorry, but the thought of trading Rafael Montero plus one of Niese or Gee for Miller – as some are suggesting – is absolutely insane. Especially for a player that won’t even stick at short long term and hasn’t looked so good offensively in a small sampling.

As for Cabrera, these frequent rumors that the Mets are interested in him have popped up before and then vigorously denied.

Yesterday, Alderson confirmed again that there is a “very high” probability Wilmer Flores is the Opening Day shortstop.

“The probability of  Flores as the Opening Day shortstop remains about the same, but I think it’s very high.”


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Marlins Reel In Martin Prado In 5-Player Swap With Yankees Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:19:28 +0000 Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies

The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps to the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, first baseman Garrett Jones and prospect Domingo German. The Marlins will also receive about $6 million in cash in the deal.

Miami continues to add more major league pieces after already adding Mat Latos, Dee Gordon and Michael Morse in other moves this offseason.

Prado, 31, can play all four infield positions and in the outfield. He hit .282/.321/.412 last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Yankees, and the former All-Star is a .291 lifetime hitter. He’s lauded as a team leader and great clubhouse presence.

Phelps, 28, threw 113 innings, split between starting and relieving, and recorded a 4.38 ERA and 1.42 WHIP for the Yankees. He struck out 92.

Jones, 33, hit .246/.309/.411 in 496 at-bats last season, predominantly playing first base.

Eovaldi, who turns 25 in February, went 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA last season for the Marlins.

Wow, the Hot Stove is really cooking today…

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Mets Trade RHP Gonzalez Germen To Yankees For Cash Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:55:10 +0000 Gonzalez - Germen

The Mets have traded reliever Gonzalez Germen to the New York Yankees for cash, the team announced.

It’s the first trade between these two teams since 2004 when Felix Heredia was swapped for Mike Stanton.

Germen, 27, had a 4.75 ERA in 25 relief appearances for the Mets in 2014 with a 1.45 WHIP in 30 1/3 innings. He was designated for assignment when the Mets added Mayberry to the roster on Monday.

The cash should help the Mets bolster their roster, I mean piggy bank.

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Latest On The “Very Unlikely” Mets Blockbuster Deal For Troy Tulowitzki Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:32:21 +0000 tulowitzki

“The Mets and Rockies have been quietly discussing a potential Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster for weeks,” writes Jon Heyman. “Though it isn’t known yet whether New York will have a decent chance to complete such a deal.”

Mets pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard is said to be the centerpiece of the discussions that also includes a package of other young prospects.

“There’s said to have been a bit of progress in talks with the Mets over the winter, but people with knowledge of the discussions suggest there’s still a long way to go and that the financial part of such a major transaction isn’t close to being settled, irrespective of whether a player package can be agreed upon. One person characterized the chances for a deal as still “slim” while allowing that discussions are still ongoing.”

Kenny Rosenthal threw his two logs into this fire saying,Colorado isn’t interested in shortstops Ruben Tejada or Wilmer Flores, and puts the chances of any deal at less than 10 percent.

I just can’t believe there’s any legitimacy to any possibility the Mets deal Syndergaard, Dilson Herrera or Michael Conforto, plus Kevin Plawecki and maybe more, essentially wiping out five years of rebuilding the minors.

I’d love to see Tulo at shortstop for the Mets, but I don’t see them overcoming the $118 million remaining on his contract, ignoring any health risks, and tearing down Rome to do it. It just sounds so unlike Sandy Alderson to do something like this.

Still this is a great way for the Wilpons to stir up some excitement and spread some holiday cheer and positive buzz on the day that Korean SS bidding ends and we learn the Mets placed no bid. I detest smoke and mirrors shit like this, that creates false hope and ultimately leads to the boulevard of broken dreams.

But just for shits and giggles, raise your hand if you would trade a sizable chunk of the top prospects in our minor league system for Tulo.

How many of you sign up for that?

December 18

While the Colorado Rockies continue to talk to teams about dealing Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports says that no deal is imminent.

Andy Martino of the Daily News reported last week that the Rockies approached the Mets to gauge their interest in discussing a deal for their all-star shortstop. However the conversation didn’t go anywhere as team sources said any deal sending Tulowitzki to the Mets is “not happening.”

This isn’t the first time the Rockies approached the Mets who they view as a match. They have long liked Noah Syndergaard as well as Jacob deGrom, and have previously scouted Kevin Plawecki.

Apparently the Rockies want the Mets to take on the entire $115 million owed to Tulo over the next seven years which makes any potential deal with the Mets unlikely.  In addition to the sizable risk in taking on that contract, there’s also the uncertainty of how and when Tulowitzki returns from hip surgery.

The Mets would likely have to give up deGrom plus Syndergaard and a third piece like a Matt Reynolds.

The Rockies will not discount Tulo and most baseball insiders don’t believe he’ll get dealt this offseason. Instead they’ll revisit his market at the next trade deadline when they hope he’s healthy again and still producing at an All Star level.

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Reality Check: Mets Offseason Is Essentially Over Fri, 19 Dec 2014 14:00:49 +0000 The more I think about it, the more I believe there won’t be any further significant additions coming this offseason. I base this on the current lay of the land and some things that have recently come to my attention. Let’s review where we are:

Trading A Starting Pitcher

dillon geeWhile it remains likely that Alderson will deal Dillon Gee at some point, more and more it’s beginning to feel that this will drag on for a few more weeks.

“Between the Winter Meetings and the holidays, not a lot happens,” said Alderson on Tuesday. “I’d say activity will pick up significantly in January. We’ve had some conversations, but not many since the Winter Meetings.”

Additionally, none of the offers including one from Minnesota and another from Colorado have impressed the Mets.

It’s beginning to look like a super-solid B prospect might be a best case scenario for Gee. That and the salary relief that will bring payroll close to $90 million.

One thing now seems abundantly clear, Gee isn’t bringing back any significant major leaguer – and you know what? I don’t think they’re too bothered by that because major leaguers cost more money.

Second Lefty Reliever

Mets relief pitcher Scott RiceOn Tuesday, Alderson also said that picking up Scott Rice and Sean Gilmartin meant that no lefty reliever would be signed to a major league deal.

“I’d rather see the competition for that second lefty spot between what we have now, and if it doesn’t work out, we’ll go with six righties in the ‘pen.”

Maybe they bring in one more LHP on a minor league deal just to make the competition more interesting, but don’t count on it.

The Mets pursued and talked to a half dozen of the best available free agent left-handers and never got past the “Hi, this is Sandy Alderson” stage.

Initially categorized as one of his top offseason goals in October, in the end they roll the dice on a minor league deal and Rule 5 selection. It’s another glaring example that they are still being held back by money.

Right-handed Bench Bat

Philadelphia Phillies  v Atlanta BravesJohn Mayberry Jr. is the righty bat they were looking for and his addition pretty much completes the bench for the Mets.

The Mets didn’t want to bring back Eric Young Jr. for $1.8 million, so they swap some speed for power and save almost half a million dollars in the process. Always something at the forefront of any decisions.

Between Mayberry and Michael Cuddyer the Mets hope to improve on the worst OPS in the majors vs LHP in 2014. I’m certain they made some big strides with these two in that area.

What About Shortstop?

wilmer-floresEverything continues to point to Wilmer Flores as the Opening Day shortstop, which was my predicted outcome all along. Forget free agency, this team is still shackled by financial constraints. They’re interested in everybody, and yet sign nobody.

They don’t have the dollars to pursue any significant upgrades, and they are so fearful of trading young pitching to get something done. Mostly because they can’t afford to trade the wrong pitcher and then have it blow up in their faces.

Just as we saw with lefty relievers, the Mets were initially interest in many of the top available shortstops in free agency and trade. One by one they investigated and kicked the tires as the market was shrinking by 2-3 shortstops a week.

Now they’re down to the bottom of the barrel hoping they can snare 2014 bust Stephen Drew on some deeply discounted one-year deal that had his agent Scott Boras mocking them two weeks ago.

It’s a far cry from October when they were tossing around names like Troy Tulowitzki, Addison Russell, Chris Owings and Starlin Castro. Again, interested in everybody, acquiring nobody.

Final Thoughts

Mets CubsIn my heart of hearts, I believe the Mets’ offseason is essentially over. Nobody wanted to be more wrong than me when I said, “Enjoy this Michael Cuddyer signing, he may just be the extent of the entire Mets offseason.”

Essentially they took the Chris Young money and used it to get Cuddyer. It’s hard to do anything with a bottom ten payroll and two thirds of it invested in four players.

I don’t often agree with anything Terry Collins says. But when he said the biggest bat the Mets get in 2015 is a hopefully healthy David Wright, he wasn’t kidding. Our two biggest additions next season are Wright and Harvey.

Anyway, that’s the way I see things right now. That’s not to say we can’t win 85 games and get into the postseason with a little luck. I was there in 1969 and 1973 so I know anything is possible. That’s what makes baseball such a great game.

I guess what I’m really saying is that if we had better owners – our offseason wouldn’t have ended two weeks before the Winter Meetings. If we had better owners  – the front office would have the additional financial flexibility to do the things they really want to do. We’re still walking on eggshells.

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Where’s the Boldness and Creativity? Fri, 19 Dec 2014 11:00:34 +0000 sandy-alderson-mlb-winter-meetings-850x560

John Harper of the Daily News wonders if Sandy Alderson could learn a few things from San Diego GM A.J. Preller, who took over a franchise with a similar losing history and a weak-hitting roster with depth in young pitching and transformed the team in about five minutes.

“I’m thinking the majority of Mets fans would have been willing to take some risk to add firepower to an offense that has been nothing short of anemic in recent years.”

Alderson, he says, moved quickly to sign Michael Cuddyer, who will be 36 next season, is injury-prone, and cost a first round draft pick.

“In any case, weren’t the trades the Padres made exactly the type of deals Alderson was expected to make at some point, utilizing his surplus of young pitching to obtain a big bat?”

“Instead it seems that Alderson at some point became more cautious about the idea of trading the likes of Noah Syndergaard, the type of high-end arm that other teams want if they’re giving up an impact hitter.”

It looks like the Matt Kemp deal finally became official. In the second half of the season he hit .309 with 17 home runs and a .971 OPS. The deal for Wil Myers is still pending physicals.

Harper says that for most of the last two years, people in the Mets’ front office have admitted that with payroll more of an issue than they expected, they were going to be “creative’’ in upgrading this team’s offense. He wonders where that creativity is and if we’ll ever get to see any of it.

He concludes that for the second offseason in a row Sandy Alderson preferred to hold onto all of his young, power pitchers rather than take the risk of making a trade for a potentially difference-making hitter.

Do you agree or disagree with Harper?


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Mejia Not Upset About Collins Calling Parnell Team’s Closer Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:10:41 +0000 jenry mejia

Jenrry Mejia is well aware of what Terry Collins said in San Diego when he proclaimed Bobby Parnell the Mets closer as soon as he is ready to return sometime around May. Collins matter of factly said Parnell was the Mets incumbent closer and also added that Mejia, Familia and Black would all get to close games this Spring.

Mejia said he was not upset about Collins’ comments despite his belief that he did everything that has been asked of him. He took the high road.

“Whatever job they give to me I’m gonna be there to help my team,” Mejia said. “I can throw seventh inning, eighth inning, ninth inning whatever. I got to be ready to play the game that’s all.”

Mejia saved 28 games last season and ranked second in the NL with 22 second half saves. He was reluctant to be moved out of the rotation and into the bullpen after failed attempts to close by Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth to begin the season.

But by early June, Mejia took hold of the closer role and never looked back, posting a 2.72 ERA in 56 relief appearances.

“Mentally, it’s same thing, come here and do my job,” Mejia said. “I feel happy to see Bobby Parnell getting ready, because we are going to have a strong bullpen with Parnell, Familia, Black and everybody.”

Mejia and Jeurys Familia both had surgery to repair a sports hernia in the offseason and are feeling great and have already begun working out . They are both expected to be ready to go come spring training.

Here’s video of Mejia and Familia from Ed “Rusty” Marcus who covered the Mets holiday party yesterday.


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Baseball America: Thor, Matz Leads Mets Top 10 Prospects Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:32:53 +0000 noah syndergaard

Baseball America released their Mets Top 10 Prospects today and they project a bright future for the Mets.

All seven of the Mets’ domestic affiliates finished at .500 or better in 2014, giving New York a cumulative .568 winning percentage that led all organizations. They point out that the system has finally begun to see some position players move up to the higher levels and closer to an MLB debut.

Here are the top ten:

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP – Not only did the Mets neglect to call up Syndergaard in 2014, as they had Zack Wheeler in 2013 and Matt Harvey in 2012, they bypassed him entirely to call up Las Vegas rotation-mates Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero during the first half of the season. That won’t be the case in 2015, not after Syndergaard joined the 40-man roster in November. He threw a career-high 133 innings in 2014 and could be good for 150 or more in New York this year. Syndergaard profiles as a No. 2 starter with two plus pitches, an average third and at least average control.

2. Steven Matz, LHP – Matz throws with the kind of velocity (93-95 mph), looseness and direction to the plate that makes scouts drool. He can rear back for 98 mph when he needs it, earning him double-plus grades for his fastball. Matz throws a plus changeup in the mid-80s that features plus sinking action and impressive separation from his fastball. Matz profiles as high as a No. 2 starter in a rotation because he throws two plus pitches, an average third and has average control. He could begin 2015 at Triple-A Las Vegas and supply lefty balance to the Mets rotation in the second half.

3. Brandon Nimmo, OF – Nimmo has added muscle since signing, steadily increasing his power output with experience. While he is more of a gap hitter now, scouts project him to develop above-average power because of his advanced hitting approach and strong lefthanded swing. He will hit for average with his all-fields approach, frequency of hard contact and willingness to attack first-pitch fastballs.

4. Dilson Herrera, 2B – Short and compact, Herrera incorporates his hands and lower half adeptly in his swing, projecting to hit for a high average with frequent hard contact, a middle-field approach and bat speed to spare. He ranked fourth in the minors with 169 hits in 2014, thanks to a quick, repeatable swing. The Mets love Herrera’s makeup and work ethic, which factored in their decision to call him up in August, though he probably will begin 2015 at Triple-A Las Vegas while he waits for regular at-bats in New York.

5. Kevin Plawecki, C – Plawecki has hit .307/.379/.453 in full-season ball the past two seasons, with strikeouts just 11 percent of the time. That sort of bat control speaks to his strong hands, all-fields approach and ability to handle varied pitch types, which will allow him to hit for average in the big leagues. While he’s more of a gap hitter, he can pull the ball for power and will reach double digits for home runs. While he doesn’t offer the power-and-arm strength profile that teams favor from catchers today, Plawecki has feel to hit, on-base ability, moderate power and the defensive chops to play every day. Mets rookie Travis d’Arnaud hit well in 2014, but his defensive struggles could one day create an opportunity for Plawecki to start.

6. Amed Rosario, SS

7. Michael Conforto, OF

8. Rafael Montero, RHP

9. Marcos Molina, RHP

10. Gavin Cecchini, SS

BA says the signing of Michael Cuddyer indicates that Sandy Alderson believes the rebuilding phase is over and that it’s time for the team’s streak of six losing seasons to end.

“Pitching and defense have brought the Mets to the cusp of contention. While seven NL clubs allowed fewer runs than New York in 2014, Mets pitchers allowed 3.81 runs per game, the franchise’s lowest rate since 1990. They didn’t rely on soft stuff and chicanery either, not with a strikeout rate of 8.0 per nine innings that ranked third in the league.”


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Alderson Explains Why He Targeted Mayberry Jr. Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:32:00 +0000 john-mayberry-

At the Mets holiday party on Tuesday, general manager Sandy Alderson explained why he targeted John Mayberry Jr. for the team. With the quotes courtesy of ESPN’s Adam Rubin, here’s what he said.

“We weren’t very good against left-handed pitching last year,” Alderson said. “I think we had one of the lowest OPS numbers in the National League, if not the entire game.”

“Signing Michael Cuddyer was part of addressing that problem. Mayberry? Similar motivation. We need somebody potentially to play against left-handed pitching, to come off the bench against left-handed [relief] pitching, and just help us be a little more balanced in that way. And he was prepared to accept the role, which is a big part of it. So we’re happy to have him. He has an excellent record against lefties over his career.”

Rubin points out the Mets had a .633 OPS against left-handed pitching last season, second-worst in the majors.

Mayberry, 31, has a .269/.324/.533 slash with 30 homers in 490 career at-bats against LHP, mostly compiled at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

He signed a one-year deal with the Mets which is worth a guaranteed $1.45 million.

Mayberry has performance bonuses built into his contract that total an additional $500,000 based on plate appearances.

He will earn $50,000 each for 200 plate appearances, and each additional 50 through 450, and $100,000 apiece for 500 and 550.

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Matt Harvey Could Be Held Back Until Home Opener At Citi Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:05:38 +0000 matt harvey

Mets manager Terry Collins told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post that he is looking at Matt Harvey like Bruce Bochy looks at Madison Bumgarner.

“He’s got the competitiveness of a stinkin’ bear. Matt and I just met a couple of days ago in New York and talked about how important it is for him to understand that we’ve got to be careful.”

Collins said the Mets are now considering a plan in which Harvey is held back at the start of the season, perhaps until the home opener at Citi Field on April 13.

He expects Harvey to be shut down for a few weeks in the summer as GM Sandy Alderson also mentioned as well during the Winter Meetings.


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Collins Still Talking Playoffs In ’15, Shares A Mets Lineup Preview Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:53:00 +0000 terry collins

Kevin Kernan of the New York Post spoke to Mets manager Terry Collins who continues to say the Mets are heading for the playoffs in 2015.

“I really like our team. I am so excited. There were always big missing pieces in the past. Now there’s not. We’re not going to put a number on it, but we’re going to win. I don’t think that there is any question that we should be playing in October next year.’’

Collins told Kernan that he will likely go with this lineup to begin the season:

  1. Juan Lagares
  2. Curtis Granderson
  3. David Wright
  4. Lucas Duda
  5. Michael Cuddyer
  6. Daniel Murphy
  7. Travis d’Arnaud
  8. Wilmer Flores

Look for Cuddyer to play right, where he is most comfortable, and Granderson to move to left. Against certain lefties, Cuddyer will shift to first, with John Mayberry Jr. in right.

He also went onto say that all of this needs David Wright to really work, whom he looks at as the difference maker.

“Sure, everybody could use another bat, but the bat we need is No. 5,’’ Collins said of Wright, who is returning from a shoulder injury and will start hitting next month. “Cuddyer is a great signing, but believe me, when David gets healthy, that’s the difference. If he has a bounce-back year and does what he has done in the past, our lineup is completely different. That takes a lot of heat off the other guys.’’

Starting pitching is still the key and the return of Matt Harvey, and the rebuilt young bullpen, have Collins most excited.

“Every night, we’ve got somebody who can compete on that mound,’’ Collins said. “When you’ve got guys who night after night compete, you don’t go into big losing streaks. It’s tough to beat those kind of guys every night.”

“I can see Zack watching deGrom and Harvey, saying, ‘I can do that. Matter of fact I might be able to do better than they do.’ So now he steps up. This kid has grown up.’’

Kernan points out that or the first time in his five years as Mets manager, Collins is finally thinking big.


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Mets Unlikely To Sign A Second Lefty Reliever Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:59:09 +0000 Mets relief pitcher Scott Rice

Speaking to reporters at Citi Field today, GM Sandy Alderson pretty much validated what I suspected a few days ago and said it’s unlikely the Mets sign a second lefty.

“Right now, it’s sign a guy to a major league deal and eliminate all the competition, or sign some minor league deals and create some competition together with what we already have,” Alderson explained.

Alderson said he likes likes the potential competition between recently signed minor leaguer Scott Rice and Rule 5 selection Sean Gilmartin and if nothing comes of it, he’s perfectly OK going with six righties in the bullpen.

There’s a chance, as I mentioned below, that they’ll bring in another lefty on a minor league deal.

December 12

The New York Mets officially announced that they have signed LHP Scott Rice to a minor league contract which includes an invite to Spring Training, with big league team.

Rice, 33, had season-ending elbow surgery on July 23 after making 32 appearances and pitching to a 5.93 ERA and 1.976 WHIP.

He was removed from the 40-man roster in October, but the two sides remained in contact.

With the addition of left-hander Sean Gilmartin via Rule 5 on Thursday, he’ll need to be kept on the 25 man roster or the Mets will have to return him to his former team,

That pretty much gives him a leg up as the second lefty in the Mets bullpen unless he completely flops in Spring Training like Vic Black did last March.

The Mets did meet with at least six lefty relievers during the Winter Meetings including Craig Breslow, Phil Coke and Neal Cotts, but nothing came from any of those discussions and Sandy Alderson later confirmed that there was nothing imminent.

I believe the Mets will try and sign one more lefty reliever on a minor league deal and then have him, Rice and Gilmartin battle it out this Spring. In other words, don’t expect the Mets to sign a lefty reliever to a major league deal.


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Alderson Says Mets Unlikely To Bid On Korean SS Jung-Ho Kang Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:38:10 +0000 jung-ho kang

Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang posted on Monday, according to his agent, Alan Nero.

This morning at Citi Field, general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters the Mets were unlikely to bid on the 27 year old power hitting infielder.

The bidding for Lang is expected to be between $2-10 million dollars, with a contract ranging anywhere between $25 and $30 million for three years.

In addition to the Mets, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports the A’s, Giants, Cardinals, Padres, Yankees, Royals, Nationals and D-Backs have interest in Kang as a shortstop, second baseman or third baseman.

Keith Law of ESPN believes that Kang’s power can translate to the Majors, but his batting average will take a hit and be closer to .280.

December 12

One of the things we learned in San Diego this week was that the Mets are taking a real hard look at Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, or so they say. Sandy Alderson told reporters that he and his staff are considering placing a bid on Kang as soon as he’s posted and cleared by MLB.

When you couple that with something else Alderson said on Tuesday, it makes you wonder if there is more to this than the typical sound bytes we get whenever a new International phenom comes along.

When asked why the Mets have seemingly ignored the International market, the Mets GM responded, “We haven’t been in that category, but I expect we will be in that category soon.”

Obviously, what Sandy won’t tell you is that Fred and Jeff Wilpon have been unwilling to spend money like they once did when they were earning fictitious 15% earnings on all their investments. Back then they were willing to spend and even take risks because their monthly account statement were fatter.

But with Bernie Madoff behind bars and now faced with getting the same low interest rates as the rest of the country, and also trying to pay down incredible mounting debt, there’s no money to gamble and any risks are typically avoided.

Kang batted .354/.457/.733 clip with 39 home runs and 115 RBI in 116 games last season, and the 27-year old has played predominantly shortstop in Korea.

Alderson said that evaluating International free agents and trying to assess their ability to translate their talents at the major league level is quite the gamble and hard to gauge. And while many other teams are willing to spend $60-70 million to see if they struck gold, the Mets typically take on the role of bystanders.

But is there a new wrinkle here and are the Wilpons in a place where they may be willing to allow Alderson to exploit this market if he feels very strongly about a player like Kang?


The proof is in the pudding but it sounds to me like there’s some progress on this International front – albeit small.

Kang is expected to be posted next week and we’ll know for sure if the Mets are in fact turning a corner if they indeed do place a bid, especially given their stated desire to address shortstop.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be the winning bid, but any bid would be a sign of progress. We’ll see.


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Something Fishy Is Going On In Miami Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:34:59 +0000 Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins

While most in baseball still shudder at the thought of that monstrous $325 million deal that Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins, it’s not as outrageous as it seems on the surface when you consider what Miami owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson told Pirates president Frank Coonelly recently.

“They thought it was a great deal. I just couldn’t get my head around the $325 million. They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.’”

What’s going on in Miami lately? When the Marlins promised Stanton that they would continue to build a team around him that was supposed to be a pile of BS intended only to get Stanton to sign on the dotted line, right? Apparently not.

The Marlins have been wheeling and dealing ever since locking in their right fielder and have since added speedster Dee Gordon and some right-handed power in Michael Morse to an already talent laden lineup that potentially looks like this:

  1. Dee Gordon (2B)
  2. Christian Yelich (LF)
  3. Giancarlo Stanton (RF)
  4. Michael Morse (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (3B)
  6. Marcell Ozuna (CF)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C)
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria (SS)

Apparently they’re still not done as rumors circulate that they are shopping starting pitcher Dan Haren – who they obtained in the Gordon trade – to a West Coast team for another arm to bolster their bullpen.

The Marlins improved by 15 games in 2014 and are hungry for more according to president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

“When you lose 100 games, you’ve got a lot of work to do,”  said. “We made a lot of strides in 2014, but as we’ve said, we still have more to do and further to go, because we still aren’t playing into October, and that’s the ultimate goal. We wanted to continue to build upon the assets that we have.”

“We feel like we’ve got good, young players, and we want to surround them with players who give us the opportunity to win games,” Hill said. “I think we’re on our way into doing that. We’re trying to make our club better and address needs we’ve identified to help us improve.”

The Marlins are how focused on keeping their young core intact and have already reached out to right-hander Jose Fernandez, left fielder Christian Yelich, center fielder Marcell Ozuna and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria about long-term deals.

The Marlins are definitely a team to watch in 2015 as they are now viewed as legitimate contenders for at least a Wild Card. The scary part is that most baseball experts believe that Stanton, Yelich and Ozuna haven’t even scratched the surface of their vast potential.

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Are Mets Overvaluing Dillon Gee? Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:04:27 +0000 dillon gee

It’s no secret that Sandy Alderson is working hard to trade right-hander Dillon Gee who has produced a 3.91 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 103 starts over five seasons with the Mets.

The now 28-year old veteran is taking it all in stride and told MLB Network that while it’s been difficult at times, he understands it’s the nature of the business.

“I can almost guarantee you it’s tougher for my wife and my mom,” Gee said. “I’m not going to lie. It’s hard, especially because I’m on Twitter, so I see stuff a lot. But I’m the type — I’m going to put it away until something actually happens, because that’s the only way I can deal with it.”

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little exciting to know that there are other teams that are asking about me…Yeah, it’s a little bittersweet because you’re leaving the team and your friends, and really the Mets have been like a family to me.”

There was a lot of buzz surrounding Gee during the Winter Meetings with some reports having the Colorado Rockies “definitely” interested, and the Mets also had something cooking with the Texas Rangers until they suddenly backed off.

They even turned down an even swap for Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. Escobar batted .275 with 35 doubles, six home runs and 52 runs scored last season for Minnesota in 465 plate appearances.

An MLB source told the Daily News that Sandy Alderson is overvaluing Gee.

Gee is expected to earn about $5-6 million in his second year of arbitration and is under team control through the 2016 season.

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Mets Announce John Mayberry Signing, DFA Gonzalez Germen Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:40:22 +0000 Philadelphia Phillies  v Atlanta Braves

As was widely expected, to make room on the 40-man roster for outfielder John Mayberry Jr. the Mets have designated right-hander Gonzalez Germen for assignment.

Germen spent parts of two seasons in the Mets’ bullpen, posting a combined 4.31 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 65 innings.

December 12

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York confirms that the Mets have signed free agent outfielder John Mayberry Jr. as first reported by Jon Heyman. Boom.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post reports that the one-year deal is worth $1.45 million dollars. He can earn an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $50,000 each for 200 and each additional 50 through 450, and $100,000 apiece for 500 and 550.

The deal has yet to be confirmed by the Mets, but I’m betting an email from Media Relations is on the way as soon as Mayberry passes physical.

“Mayberry, who turns 31 later this month, is expected to start in the outfield against left-handed pitching, allowing Terry Collins to use Michael Cuddyer at first base over Lucas Duda if the manager chooses,” writes Rubin.

Mayberry was acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 31 and hit .208 with one homer and two RBIs in 15 games with the Blue Jays.

Combined with the Phillies and Blue Jays, Mayberry batted .212 with a .310 on-base and .425 slugging percentage.

However against left-handed pitching he posted a .913 OPS in 82 plate appearances last season and has an .857 OPS against them for his career.

Presented By Diehards

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Armed and Dangerous: Mets Pitchers Are Drawing Attention Fri, 12 Dec 2014 11:00:26 +0000 jacob degrom

It’s amazing how you can ask a dozen different Met fans about the state of the team and you get a dozen different answers ranging from the worst imaginable doom and gloom forecast to an incredibly bright future filled with perennial pennant runs.

I bring that up because after years of being so down on this team, I’ve really started feeling good about them again. That’s mainly because of what I see with our pitching. Matt Harvey was the first to tug on my heart strings in 2013, but watching Jacob deGrom this past season and seeing Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia emerge as weapons in the bullpen pushed me over the edge. I now look at what we have and what’s yet to come in Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard and I can hardly contain my excitement.

Sure we have issues that need to be resolved, but as Gil Hodges once said, as long as you have the pitching everything else is small potatoes. He was talking about Seaver, Koosman, Ryan and Gentry, and call me crazy but I feel we have a similar quartet in Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler and Thor. I’m convinced we are finally on the upswing.

New York Mets Matt Harvey

Mike Puma of The Post, spoke to several baseball people, rival team executives, and MLB managers who all believe the Mets have the arms to make some noise this season.

“They are legitimate,” one official said, referring to the Mets. “They are right there with the Marlins for the No. 2 team in the division. [General manager] Sandy Alderson talked about 90 wins last season, they are not that, but right now maybe they are an 85-86 win team and that lets you hang around until you can maybe make a trade that gets you there.”

“From what I have seen, the Mets have moved the bar and they should be a team that expects to go ahead and have impact,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

That assessment comes based on the Mets’ pitching more than on a lineup that averaged 3.88 runs last season.

“The magic number for everybody is about four runs,” Hurdle said. “You find a way to get four, and they’ve got the pitching I believe that every time they go out there they’ve got somebody who is going to have a chance to win. So I think it’s going to be an exciting time for them.”

jenry mejia

An AL executive who has scouted the Mets said the team probably doesn’t need to make a move at shortstop, given the lack of available talent at the position.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is putting the Mets in the mix to compete for the NL East title.

“Their pitching and they went out and got Cuddyer, along with having [Juan] Lagares in center, and with a healthy David Wright, that’s a pretty good lineup,” Gonzalez said.

If pitching truly wins championships, we appear to be very well positioned for the short and long haul in that department, and not just with our starting rotation but with our bullpen too. Our stable of young power pitchers is now the envy of all baseball and we may be witnessing the evolution of a great Mets run of baseball that could begin as soon as this season.

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Summarizing and Grading the Mets’ Winter Meetings Fri, 12 Dec 2014 02:19:36 +0000 sandy alderson

Sandy Alderson said on Wednesday that while there’s been no trades made at the Winter Meetings, he and his staff have had many conversations with various teams about a number of different opportunities. He reiterated that this afternoon before he and his staff departed the Winter Meetings and headed back to New York.

Alderson maintains that his primary focus continues to be acquiring a shortstop but admitted that finding a good fit could last well into January, and even then the Mets could just as well decide to roll with Wilmer Flores.

The trade market for shortstops has completely dried up and it’s difficult to argue that the reaming few free agents are as good offensively as Flores.

“At shortstop we have to be realistic,” Alderson said. “There just aren’t a lot of options or attractive options. So the idea of waiting is nice, but I think you have to be realistic about what we’re waiting for. Options are limited. ”

Alderson regretted taking such a huge hit in the Rule 5 Draft. “We’re a little leaner as an organization than we were a few minutes ago,” he said.

The biggest losses were Logan Verrett and New York native Cam Maron who was a big MMO favorite. But the alternative would have been losing Akeel Morris whom the Mets wisely protected as I predicted they would despite being in Single-A. That would have been a greater loss in my opinion.

The Mets came into San Diego looking for a left-handed reliever and go home with Sean Gilmartin who we highlighted on MMO as one of our most wanted players, and they signed Scott Rice back to a minor league deal as a fallback option. Consider Gilmartin your second lefty and trust us, he’s an excellent crossover reliever. On this front, mission accomplished.

Then there’s the search for a right-handed bat for the bench.Pencil in John Mayberry Jr. who the Mets signed to a $1.45 million deal. If the goal was acquiring a hitter who can mash left-handed pitching, the Mets got one in Mayberry. He’s a fine addition to the bench.

“The reason we’ve been looking for a right-handed bat is to try to be more effective against left-handed pitching,” Alderson said. “It would give us another option, if we had a solid right-handed bat, and a guy who could come off the bench as well.”

Trading a starting pitcher has been a real grind for Alderson. Despite lots of conversations over the last few days, nothing ever materialized. “We’ll see what develops over the next few days, couple of weeks,” Alderson said as he left.

It’s really all about Dillon Gee. Just when it appeared the Mets were closing in on a deal with the Rangers they suddenly pulled back and went in another direction.

“We’ve been having conversations that I think have been independent of Lester,” general manager Sandy Alderson said. “I don’t really think Lester has impacted any of our discussions.”

“We’ll see what develops over the next few days, couple of weeks. It’s a long time between now and spring training. We anticipated a crowded market.”

The Mets have made it known that Gee is available, while Niese and Colon were to a much lesser degree. Noah Syndergaard was off limits and teams got that message loud and clear.

So all in all, the Mets got to check a couple of items off their to-do list. “It’s nice to get one or two scratched off the list. I think we’re comfortable that we’ll be doing something else in the future.”

Winter Meetings Grade: I give Alderson and company a solid B- for what they were able to accomplish. Of course, keep in mind that my expectations are different than yours. As I said going into San Diego, the Mets already made their big move when they signed Cuddyer, and that I also predicted Flores would be at shortstop come Opening Day.

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MMO Fan Shot: Why I Love The Mets Thu, 11 Dec 2014 20:15:54 +0000 Last year at this time, we ran our annual MMO Fan Shot Contest. Contestants were urged to submit a Fan Shot, the theme of which was, “Why I Love The Mets.” We gave away Amazon Gift Cards to the runners up and the grand prize winner won a brand new Kindle Fire HD Tablet. We’ll soon be rolling out details for our 2014 Fan Shot Contest, but before we do here is last year’s winning entry.

john franco

Why I Love The Mets

By Steven Colasanto

I love the Mets so much and I owe it all to my dad, but not in the way you would think. After he died tragically in 1996, I was devastated and wasn’t really handling it as well as my older brothers and sisters. I was named after him, and everyone always called me Stevie instead of Steven. I hated baseball growing up and I wasn’t a big sports kid at the time. I was addicted to video games and no matter how hard my dad tried to get me to go out with him and have a catch, I always found some way to get out of it. Today, I beat myself up over it whenever I think about it.

He was a huge Mets fan and would always talk about them. My dad would never miss a game, even when my oldest sister got married. The catering hall had a bar with a TV and he’d keep going back there to watch the action to the dismay of my mom. When the game was on at home, we all knew never to disturb him, I mean he was totally addicted to the Mets. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident while driving home from work less than five miles from home. It was raining and a witness said he swerved to avoid hitting a dog and lost control of his vehicle.

About a year after his death I was home alone and had gotten into a big argument with my girlfriend that day. I was still upset and turned on the TV to get my mind off of it. It was the third or fourth inning of a Mets game and they were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead of changing the channel as I would normally do, I kept watching. It was weird, but I felt like my father was sitting there with me. It felt good and I just kept watching. All that you could hear in my house was the game, and it was a good one. It drew me in. During a break in between innings, I grabbed a Coke and hurried back to watch as the Mets were three outs away from winning the game as they headed into the top of the ninth ahead 9-7. I couldn’t believe how exciting this all was to me. I grabbed the remote and raised the volume to watch the end.

But then the unthinkable happened. The Pirates came roaring back with two runs to tie the game. I don’t know why, but I moaned something inaudible in frustration as the tying run crossed the plate. I didn’t know who John Franco was at the time, a Met I’d grow to love, but at that moment I started yelling at my TV and cursed this poor guy out. The Mets didn’t score in the bottom half of the inning and so it was onto the tenth, further adding to my anxiety.

At this point I was totally engrossed in this game. I wanted to to see the Mets win. I wanted so desperately to see them come back and beat these Pirates for my dad. And wouldn’t you know it, I was going to experience my first ever Mets miracle – my first taste of Mets magic.

In the bottom of the tenth, Carl Everett hit a three-run shot that just cleared the top of the fence to beat the Bucs 12-9. I jumped up and yelled “yes!!!” at the top of my lungs just as my mother was just coming home. “What are you screaming about and why is the TV so loud!”

“The Mets won! The Mets won!” I said. “You should have seen it, mom!”

“Since when did you become a Mets fan,” my mom asked. I thought about it and said, “just now.” That was the first day of my Mets journey.

My dad left behind a huge collection of books on the Mets for me to catch up on all their history. He also left me his Mets baseball card collection which was now all mine. One day, while going through some of the cards and reading the backs, I discovered a note from him in one of the boxes of cards. It said, Dear Stevie, I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as I have. Love, Dad. I was so shocked that this note from my dad was sitting in one of those old boxes for all this time.

He was probably waiting to give them to me, if I had only gone out and played that game of catch with him. So this is why I love the Mets. They are a bridge to my dad who I miss so much. But also because they taught me how to believe in miracles. I love this team.

Lets Go Mets!

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Red Sox Deal Cespedes To Detroit For Porcello Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:57:02 +0000 yoenis cespedes

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Red Sox have traded Yoenis Cespedes and two other players to the Tigers for Rick Porcello and a minor leaguer.

Porcello gives the Red Sox the starter they’ve been looking for. The 26 year old went 15-13 last season with a 3.43 ERA and 1.23 WHIP  in 204.2 innings with 129 strikeouts and 41 walks.

The Red Sox also acquired left-hander Wade Miley from the Arizona Diamondbacks for pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster last night.

Once considered a potential prime trading partner for Mets starting pitchers, their rotation is now complete.

Cespedes, 29, gives the Tigers another big bat in the middle of their lineup that already includes Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and J.D. Martinez. He batted .260 last season with 36 doubles, 22 home runs and 100 RBI in what was a down season for him.

The Mets were linked to Cespedes early in the offseason, but later said they were never interested in him.


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