Mets Merized Online » Joe D Thu, 30 Oct 2014 06:19:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 San Francisco Giants Are World Series Champs, Bumgarner Named MVP Thu, 30 Oct 2014 05:53:00 +0000 posey bumgarner

Congratulations to the 2014 World Series Champions San Francisco Giants, who defeated the Kansas City Royals with a 3-2 win in Game 7 on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Giants are the first National League team to win three World Series in five years in 68 years.

Madison Bumgarner was named the World Series MVP. The 25-year-old lefty tossed five scoreless innings in relief in Game 7 on just two days rest. He allowed only one run in 21 innings over his three games pitched in the series, including a shutout in Game 5 in San Francisco.

It was a heck of a series, hopefully it will be us in the near future.

manager Bruce Bochy

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Report: Joe Maddon To Manage The Cubs Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:17:56 +0000 joe maddon

Only five days after opting out of his contract with Tampa Bay, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that Joe Maddon will become the new manager of the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs and agent Alan Nero denied that a deal is done, but people familiar with the dealings say that it is certain to be completed in coming days, and that Maddon would indeed be the next Cubs manager.

Maddon will replace Rick Renteria, who had been serving as manager and had two years remaining on the three-year pact he signed with Chicago last offseason.

The Cubs get themselves one of the most respected managers in Major League Baseball and at a time when they are at the brink of contention as they’ve constructed a core of such young stars as Anthony RizzoStarlin CastroJorge SolerKris BryantJavier Baez and Jake Arrieta among others.

President of baseball operations Theo Epstein is also reportedly ready to back up that core with the money and resources necessary to pursue Jon Lester or Max Scherzer to headline their rotation next season.

October 26

After opting out from his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, we now know that Joe Maddon is the hottest commodity on the baseball market, with as many as 5-6 organizations expressing serious interest in the highly regarded manager. Not surprising.

But what I did find very surprising was how quick the Mets were to say they had no interest in Maddon who is considered by most as one of the most brilliant managers in the game. 

Within minutes of the announcement, Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson both shot down any interest in Maddon.

“No — we are not changing managers,” Jeff Wilpon emphatically exclaimed.

And Sandy Alderson quickly followed that up, “Terry Collins is our manager. Period.”

If the Mets’ priority is truly about adding the best people available to their ranks as they always boldly tout, you would think a supreme baseball man like Maddon would give them some pause – even if it was only for appearance’s sake.

I understand the whole undying loyalty to Terry Collins POV – even if it is dreadfully misplaced. But here’s a manager that could easily add 6-8 games to your win column and you don’t even deliberate it for 15 minutes? It’s not like Collins couldn’t be reassigned to another useful role.

Very peculiar and telling at just how fast they reacted on this. They’ve never made a decision this quickly in their four-plus years into this plan.

mmo footer

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Mets Arbitration Predictions, 40 Man Roster Considerations Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:34:46 +0000 MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets

MLB Trade Rumors posted their projected arbitration awards for nine eligible Mets players.

Arbitration Eligible Salary Projections

That totals $30.5 million in arbitration eligible players. They project that Buddy CarlyleRuben Tejada and Eric Young Jr. will be non-tendered this winter. If that happens each will become a free agent and be able to sign with a new team or re-sign with the Mets for less money. Everyone but Parnell, who will likely earn the same salary after spending the season on the disabled list, is getting a sizable raise with Murphy topping the list.

One important date to note, and one that will have significant bearing on who gets tendered or not, is November 20. On that day, the Mets have to lock in their 40 man roster and try to protect what prospects they can from the Rule 5 Draft.

The Mets will have to add Matt Harvey and Bobby Parnell to the 40 man roster and reinstate them from the 60 day disabled list. That won’t be a problem as they’ll simply replace Daisuke Matsuzaka and Bobby Abreu.

However, Noah Syndergaard will certainly need to be added to the 40, while pitchers Cory Mazzoni, Logan Verrett and Akeel Morris will get heavy consideration too. Among hitting prospects, T.J. RiveraDaniel Muno, and Dustin Lawley are just a few names the Mets may have to consider.

Remember that anyone selected in the Rule 5 Draft must remain on the new team’s 25 man roster all year or be returned to the original team. So the strategy is to try and protect those players who could help an MLB team right now.

Here is the full list of Rule 5 eligible players as comprised by Chris Walendin of TGP Mets.


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Vic Black Feels Great, Could Begin Throwing Next Week Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:23:10 +0000 vic black

Andrew Harts of spoke to Vic Black today, who told him that his arm and neck feel great. Black added that he expects to begin his off-season throwing program next week.

“I’m good to go,” Black told reporters at a team event in Staten Island.

Black had his season cut short in September due to a herniated disk that was causing neck pain and an unresponsive shoulder.

After struggling with control, Black failed to make the team out of Spring Training. However, he was eventually called up in May and despite a few hiccups, pitched very effectively out of the pen.

He finished the season with 41 appearances, posting a 2.60 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 34.2 innings pitched, striking out 32 and walking 19.


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Will Bartolo Colon Still Be With Mets In 2015? Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:10:07 +0000 bartolo colon

One of the questions I get asked a lot is whether I think Bartolo Colon will be traded this offseason. I still feel the same way now as I did before the trade deadline and believe Colon will be in the 2015 Opening Day rotation.

Back in July, I took issue with this prevailing notion that the Mets would trade Colon to anyone that would simply take his contract off their hands – even for no players in return. One site continued to push that narrative all through the waiver period that followed, but when all was said and done Bartolo was still a Met. Big surprise to them, not to me.

Sandy Alderson would never just give Colon away especially after giving the fan base quite the sell job after signing him for $20 million dollars and then trying to justify that second guaranteed year that no other team was willing to offer.

Simply giving him away at the time, would also have fanned the flames that the Mets were STILL in financial distress, something they’ve been trying desperately to extinguish, albeit quite unsuccessfully.

Colon and his remaining $11 million should be easier to move this offseason, but I’m still convinced the Mets will keep him.

For one, Sandy Alderson could get a lot  more in return by trading Jon Niese or Dillon Gee who other teams view more favorably than Colon – who still carries a lot of risk.

But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Sandy Alderson could keep Colon because he’s a workhorse who stabilizes the rotation, serves as a hedge against Matt Harvey not returning at full strength, and he provides and insurance against injuries and innings caps.

The Mets would still have to kick in some money to facilitate any deal for Colon, something they would be very reluctant to do. When Colon passed through waivers without so much as one claim, it showed that nobody was willing to take on Colon’s contract even if it would have cost them nothing in return.

So to answer the question, yes, Colon will still be with the Mets in 2015.


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How Should Mets Handle Duda’s Struggles Against LHP? Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:09:23 +0000 lucas duda

Coming off an incredible breakthrough season in 2014 that saw him hit 30 home runs while driving in 92 runs, Lucas Duda may participate in the MLB All-Star tour of Japan, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

While a final decision hasn’t been made yet, it’s quite an honor that Major League Baseball is looking at Duda to represent the best of the best for their team.

Duda prospered after the Mets traded Ike Davis and decided to stick with him as their regular first baseman. He posted an .830 OPS in 153 games and was one of the few bright spots for the Mets this season.

After he was finally moved up in the batting order, Duda stabilized the lineup from the cleanup spot and at times carried the team.

If there’s a knock on Duda, it’s that he needs to improve against lefties. He batted just .180 with two homers and a .516 OPS in 125 plate appearances against southpaws. But I’ll also point out he seemed to be improving in that regard during the final month of the season which included a clutch walk-off home run in the last series of the season off Astros lefty Tony Sipp.

On Sunday, I asked a few of our writers about Duda moving forward and here’s what they had to say:

Matt Balasis – He’s got to show he can do more against lefties, a .180 average just isn’t going to cut it. That being said he looked a little better as the year progressed and he needs to have the chance to be the everyday guy. Give him 6 weeks out of spring training and if he’s still under the Mendoza line pull the plug and platoon him.

Connor O’Brien – Duda is a really good hitter – against righties. As good as he is against RHP, he still shouldn’t be played against lefties. I don’t care what his final home run total is, a .180/.264/.252 line against lefties is unacceptable. Eric Campbell is already on the roster. Why not get more production out of first base if Campbell is already on the team anyway? Good overall numbers by Duda against righties should not force the Mets to just give up getting maximum production out of the position.

XtreemIcon – This is the first winter in Duda’s career he knows he’s the starter. While he can’t continue playing everyday hitting LHP the way he does, I think he deserves one offseason of being able to solely focus on improving against LHP because he doesn’t have to focus on winning a starting job. The Mets should give him three months into the season playing every day. If he’s still struggling against LHP, then get Campbell in there for now and next offseason look for a strict platoon partner if Campbell doesn’t grow capably into that role.

We’ll be hearing a lot more about Duda’s needed improvement against southpaws this offseason as both Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson pointed to it as an opportunity in their end of the season press conferences.


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Morning Grind: What Do The Royals Have That We Don’t? Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:07:43 +0000 royals hosmer

Rise and Grind everyone. This morning’s get up and go post comes from you. Again. I liked where this exchange started and where it was headed.


I still look at both of these teams and I am not impressed. What’s missing from us that they have? I just don’t get it.


It’s not what those teams have, it’s what they don’t have. The Wilpons.


Everything that makes a team greater than the sum of its parts.

Managers who are entrusted to manage.

GM’s who make bold moves for guys like Hunter Pence, Tim Hudson and James Shields.

Hitters who put the ball in play and create runs.

Middle infielders who play good defense.

Depth, Heart, Soul, and the Intangibles.

Fast Eddie

Even with all the intangibles that Coyote listed, I still say we could be the Kansas City Royals just two years from now if all goes well. I see some parallels forming with the Mets that will make us Royals-like.


We could be better than they are by next year.

Fast Eddie

I agree we “could” be as good as the Royals by next year, but that still doesn’t mean we make it to the World Series like they did which is why I gave two years as a realistic goal…


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World Series Thread: Giants vs. Royals, 8:00 PM (Game 6) Tue, 28 Oct 2014 04:58:54 +0000 peavy ventura

San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals

Tuesday 10/28, 8:00 PM ET at Kauffman Stadium

Jake Peavy (1-1, 3.68) vs. Yordano Ventura (0-0, 4.42)

With a 3-2 games lead, the Giants are just one win away from their third world championship in the last five years, but getting that final win on the road in Games 6 and 7 has proven more difficult that you might imagine.

The Giants could use a little length from Peavy. He never has lasted more than 5 2/3 innings in any of his eight postseason starts with San Diego, Boston and the Giants.

Ventura continues a busy postseason, making his fourth start and fifth appearance overall. He started Game 2 of the World Series, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-2 Royals win over the Giants.

The Royals have now fallen behind, 3-2, in all three of their World Series appearances. It led to a loss to the Phillies in 1980 and a win over the Cardinals in ’85.

The Giants have outscored the Royals 27-15 in the five games so far. There have been just four home runs hit in the World Series (two by each team). No home runs were hit in San Francisco. The last time that happened in three consecutive World Series games was in Games 1-3 of the 1948 Fall Classic between the Indians and the Boston Braves.


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MMO Mailbag: Will Mets Trade For Yoenis Cespedes? Sun, 26 Oct 2014 18:12:27 +0000 yoenis cespedes

Patrick G. asks…

I am sick and tired of hedging on young and available players who can help this team get over the hump and into the postseason. Yasiel Puig wasn’t major league ready. Wrong! Jose Abreu‘s power wouldn’t translate. Wrong! Starlin Castro doesn’t fit our approach. Wrong! The Mets and even the fans are LONG on excuses and short on answers. It looks like we have a prime opportunity to grab Yoenis Cespedes from the Red Sox and all you keep hearing is no way, costs too much, power won’t play at Citi, yada, yada, yada. How can you look at our MLB worst left field production since 2009 and still not do anything about it? Don’t you agree?

Joe D. replies…

The excuses are mostly cover for the fact that the Mets’ owners and front office lack the money, the resources, and the motivation to add the players you mention. To prevent any media or fan backlash, they typically leak negative information to the media or get the message delivered through their outlets, whether it’s true or not. It’s their way of trying to minimize fan outrage and apathy, and also subdue fan interest in particular players.

As for Cespedes, we’ve discussed him and dissected that possibility from every imaginable angle. But it always leads to the same ultimate and logical conclusion.

Let me summarize it for you this way…

1. Cespedes is certainly available and is in the final year of his contract which will pay him $10.2 million in 2015.

2. The buzz from Boston beat writers is that the Red Sox are looking for high end prospects and particularly MLB ready starting pitchers.

3. With Cespedes having recently switched agencies to Roc Nation Sports, the logical conclusion is that he won’t agree to any extension and is committed to free agency after next season.

Here’s whats working against the Mets acquiring Cespedes…

1. First and foremost payroll limitations. On several occasions, both ownership and Sandy Alderson himself have said there will be no spike in payroll for 2015. The team is already tasked with having to consider trading their only All Star last season just to clear room for expected raises. One of Dillon Gee or Jon Niese may also be moved, just so they can squeeze out some flexibility to fill a need.

2. Sandy Alderson has been reluctant to move young arms like Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom for an impact bat with three or more years of team control in the past. That means there’s zero chance he moves either of them for a one year rental.

3. Jon Heyman predicts that as many as 10 teams will have serious interest in Cespedes this Winter. When was the last time you saw the Mets engage in a bidding war let alone win one? Even recent signings like Chris Young, Bartolo Colon and Curtis Granderson all came without any real competition from other teams. Nobody wanted Colon for 2 years, Granderson for 4, and Young was just extraordinarily inexplicable.

4. In the extremely remote possibility that Cespedes would sign an extension, in what alternate universe will the Mets have the resources to add another $100 million dollar player when they already have David Wright and Curtis Granderson set to earn $36 million combined annually for the next three years? That would mean over $50 million and nearly two-thirds of the payroll concentrated on three players.

Bottom Line?

Don’t hold your breath on Cespedes and just learn to deal with the reality of the Mets financial conundrum. I don’t have a problem with Cespedes, but I live in the real world. I’m not buying any blog-sourced buzz that there’s any Mets interest in him anyway. Thanks for writing in.

ask mmo 2

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World Series Thread: Royals vs. Giants, 8:00 PM (Game 5) Sun, 26 Oct 2014 04:34:53 +0000 shields bumgarner

Kansas City Royals vs. San Francisco Giants

Sunday 10/26, 8:00 PM ET at AT&T Park

James Shields (0-1, 15.00) vs. Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 1.29)

This is the 44th time that the World Series has been tied 2-2. Of the previous 43, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the Series 28 times (65.1 percent), but interestingly, just four times in the last 11 occasions.

Shields’ postseason struggles continued in Game 1, as he gave up five runs on seven hits in three-plus innings. He has a 7.11 ERA in the playoffs, having allowed at least four runs while not making it through six in three of his four starts.

Bumgarner continued his World Series dominance and cemented his status as the ace of the postseason in Game 1, firing seven three-hit innings in the Giants’ 7-1 win. He struck out five and walked one, allowing one run on a Salvador Perez homer.

What’s important in Game 5 — for both clubs — is that these rotation horses live up to their billing. Because the bullpens have been counted upon quite a bit so far in this Series.

Hunter Pence has reached base safely in 17 consecutive postseason games, dating back to Game 2 of the 2012 World Series. He’s hitting .328 (21-for-64), with six doubles, a homer, seven walks and nine RBIs in that span.


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Jeurys Familia Underwent Successful Sports Hernia Surgery Sat, 25 Oct 2014 19:27:50 +0000 Jeurys - Familia

The New York Mets announced that right-handed reliever Jeurys Familia underwent successful surgery to repair a bilateral sport hernia on Friday in Philadelphia. He’ll be fine and fully recovered in 3-4 weeks.

After the team decided to convert him from a starter to a reliever, Familia delivered a breakthrough rookie season for the Mets in 2014 and became a force to be reckoned with out of the bullpen.

The 24-year old posted a 2.21 ERA and 1.17 WHIP while earning five saves in 76 appearances which ranked third in the majors.

In 77.1 innings pitched, this Mets workhorse allowed just 59 hits, walked 32, and struck out 73 batters, to become not only the Mets’ top reliever, but one of the best in the league as well.

Familia was lethal against right-handed hitters who he held to a .134/.216/.161 batting line, and he’s thrust himself into the team’s closer conversation for the upcoming season.


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Featured Post: Cuddyer At Two Years Fits Sandy’s Plan Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:08:21 +0000 michael-cuddyer-rockies

Andy Martino of the Daily News sees free agent Michael Cuddyer as the exact sort of piece that fits the Mets offense and that people familiar with the Mets’ thinking say that they consider him attractive on a two-year deal.

With the Mets highly reluctant to trade any of their young pitchers this winter, coupled with a lack of money to add a more significant player, Cuddyer makes sense for them Martino says.

One executive said that it was hard to imagine Cuddyer getting more than two years, but free agency can be so unpredictable.

Cuddyer, who turns 36 years next Spring, played just 49 games in 2014 after being plagued by a shoulder fracture and two other DL stints for hamstring injuries. That could be a big concern for interested teams, especially at his age.

Since 2011, his final season with the Twins, Cuddyer has missed more than one-third of his team’s games.

All of that said, Cuddyer is a versatile player who could slot in at left, right and first base. When he was healthy he won a batting title in 2013 with a .331 average. He practically duplicated that average in 2014, hitting .332 with 10 homers in his limited playing time.

As Martino points out, two years of control at a rate that will not bust the Mets’ tight budget makes Cuddyer better than many other choices. He could get anywhere between $20-25 million for two years and as much as $30 million for three.

There are huge risks here, but this is what the Mets have become, always looking for value in flawed or advanced age players with injury concerns. In that regard, Cuddyer is the cream of the crop. 


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World Series Thread: Royals vs. Giants, 8:00 PM (Game 4) Sat, 25 Oct 2014 05:00:22 +0000 vargas vogelsong

Kansas City Royals vs. San Francisco Giants

Saturday 10/25, 8:00 PM ET at AT&T Park

Jason Vargas (11-10, 3.71) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (8-13, 4.00)

After a 3-2 victory in Game 3 on Friday night, the Royals have the upper hand with a 2 games to 1 series lead. The Giants, vying for their third championship in five seasons, need to win tonight or face the insurmountable odds of having to win three straight including two in KC.

Vargas held the O’s to one run in 5 1/3 innings on Oct. 15 in the ALCS. He earned the Game 4 win to lift the Royals to the World Series. Other than an exhibition game in 2010, Vargas has never pitched at AT&T Park in his nine-year career.

Typically a postseason force, Vogelsong struggled against St. Louis in the NLCS, lasting just three innings in Game 4. He entered that outing having allowed one run or fewer in five straight starts to begin his postseason career — an MLB record.

The Giants don’t want to fall in a 3-1 hole, as only four clubs in 47 tries have climbed out of it to win the World Series.

Since the New York Mets in 1969 (the start of divisional play), teams that win Game 3 in a World Series that was tied 1-1 have gone on to win the championship 16 of 19 times.


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Is Rafael Montero The One The Mets Trade? Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:31:47 +0000 Rafael - Montero

The Mets are highly reluctant to trade any of their young pitchers this winter, despite an urgent need to upgrade the offense, writes Andy Martino of the Daily News.

However it’s not impossible to imagine Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and to some extent Rafael Montero playing for different teams next year, he says.

This offseason will be filled with lots of Mets trade rumors and buzz, and unlike last year when Sandy Alderson suggested he would trade a young pitcher to acquire a bat and ultimately stood pat, I believe this time the Mets will actually go through with it.

That said, Martino writes that over the past 12 months, Wheeler went from sort of available, with some in the organization pushing hard to move him, to virtually untouchable. And as for deGrom, with the young righthander soon to be named the National League rookie of the year award, he isn’t going anywhere either.

That leaves Noah Syndergaard and Montero. Sure there’s Dillon Gee, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon. But nobody believes the Mets could get the kind of bat they need for one of them. Along with either Montero or Syndergaard, one of them might go to acquire that piece they’re looking for.

This should make for lots of interesting debate and conversation as the Hot Stove season begins to warm up. When all is said and done, I have a hunch that Montero and Gee will be the ones to go. I just hope it’s all worth it in the end.


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I’ll Take “Worst Owners In Baseball” For $500, Alex… Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:41:40 +0000 alex trebek jeopardy

Alex – The answer is… Because the Wilpons had no money after becoming embroiled in a second Ponzi Scheme with arch criminal Bernie Madoff.

Joe D. – Why didn’t the Mets sign Jose Reyes?


It looks like I missed out on all the fun this morning where various Mets Twitter celebs battled over why we didn’t sign Jose Reyes or why we don’t try and get him back.

jose-reyesWe can debate the pros and cons of bringing Jose Reyes back all we want, but the fact is the Blue Jays have no intentions of trading him. But that’s not the point of this post anyway.

As to why we didn’t sign him, Matt Cerrone lays out his case on MetsBlog and concludes:

“My understanding is that Sandy Alderson simply didn’t want to be paying $22 million a year to Reyes when, in his mid 30s, Jose’s legs and body would not likely be able to do the things that made him great on the Mets.”

I’m sorry, Matt, but that’s not even close to why we didn’t sign Reyes. You are asserting that if Alderson did want to sign him he could have. That’s undeniably wrong and misses the mark completely.

The Mets didn’t sign Reyes because the financial state of the team was in such distress that they could not afford him.

When the truth finally came out Sandy Alderson himself admitted that the Mets never even made him an offer.

Additionally, they didn’t even bother negotiating with Reyes when they had their exclusive window and long before the Miami Marlins were even allowed to mention his name and enter the picture.

This had nothing to do with Alderson and not wanting to invest big dollars on a player whose game relied mostly on his speed.

This was all about the Wilpons and Saul Katz putting their own franchise in a dangerously precarious position due to their utter incompetence and open-eyed involvement with the notorious criminal Bernie Madoff.

The Wilpons were still teetering on bankruptcy that offseason, and there was never any chance that Jose Reyes was getting signed at the time.

In fact, David Wright would not have been signed to that exorbitant $138 million dollar deal either had his free agency come at the same time as Reyes. This was never an either-or situation.

These facts are material and undeniable.


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Mets Won’t Be Players For Yasmani Tomas Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:44:10 +0000 yasmani tomas cuba

Here is the latest on Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas as reported by Andy Martino of the Daily News.

Tomas has been linked to with varying degrees of seriousness to the Dodgers, Padres, Phillies, Twins, Rangers, Giants and Tigers.

Martino says that people involved in the process now identify the Phillies as strong contenders for Tomas, and the Padres and Dodgers as far less likely. “And don’t count out the Tigers,” one source said.

The Yankees and Mets are not expected to be players for Tomas, league insiders say — the former due to a glut of outfielders (which assumes that Carlos Beltran can still contribute), and the latter because when was the last time the Mets gave $100 million to someone not named David Wright?

I’m reading and hearing the same things about the Phillies potentially ending up the winner in the Yasmani Tomas sweepstakes. Martino adds more on that:

“He makes a lot of sense for Philadelphia,” said one rival executive, noting that that the Phillies have money, a thin farm system, and a desire to reverse their fortunes as quickly as possible. Plus, people around the game took note when GM Ruben Amaro Jr. flew to the Dominican Republic to personally scout Tomas.

It was interesting to note that multiple executives with teams interested in Tomas say that, if he were a free agent, he would be a $15 million per year player, making a 5-year, $75 million contract for 23-year-old reasonable.

However, because he is not attached to a draft pick, and will be the subject of a bidding war, Tomas could easily end up with a $100 million deal, executives told Martino.

“Tomas’ best attribute is his power, a trait that is in short supply in today’s game. Only 14 players hit 30 or more home runs in 2013, and fewer might reach that threshold this year.  Tomas has 70 raw power on the 20-80 scale,” wrote Baseball America’s Ben Badler, “So he profiles as one of those rare 30+ home run bats.”

I don’t like this year’s free agent class one bit, but Tomas is someone that the Mets should be looking at. And by looking I mean more than just a passing glance. The experts endorse him, scouts are impressed, and executives and GMs are in hot pursuit. That’s quite telling.

What’s also quite telling is that the lack of interest by the Mets probably best illustrates that payroll is not rising anytime soon. The more Sandy, Fred, and Jeff keep saying that there are no financial limitations to the team’s payroll, the more their actions scream otherwise.


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Mets and Ricciardi Could Have Extension Completed Within A Week Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:13:07 +0000 ricciardi

Andy Martino of the Daily News reports that the Mets and J.P. Ricciardi could have a new extension wrapped up within a week.

The Mets, who extended Sandy Alderson in September, could wrap up a new deal for assistant GM J.P. Ricciardi within week, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. Ricciardi, a respected baseball man who oversees the pro scouting department and advises Alderson, arrived with the GM in late 2010.

That’s the first confirmation of what Nick Cafardo originally reported.

Ricciardi is under contract until the end of the 2015 season, so that they would seek to extend him now as opposed to later is quite telling to me.

First of all, Ricciardi and Sandy Alderson have been joined at the hip for three decades, and any GM should be able to choose his own assistants. But adding to that, I see Ricciardi as the heir apparent to Alderson once Sandy steps down or retires at the end of his newly signed contract.

I’ve been told that Ricciardi has worked very hard on polishing his image that was heavily tarnished during his tenure as the GM of the Toronto Blue Jays. He dealt with many trust issues with management, the players and the fans.

Ricciardi received heavy criticism for the mega deals he gave to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. Sports Illustrated tabbed the Wells deal as one of the worst contracts in MLB history. 

People change and I’m sure that in retrospect Ricciardi wishes he could have handled some things much better than he did, especially the B.J. Ryan and Adam Dunn incidents. Nobody’s offered Ricciardi a GM position since then and he seems better suited to being a second wheel rather than a head honcho. 

October 19

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Mets are working on an extension deal to keep J.P. Ricciardi as a special assistant to general manager Sandy Alderson. The two worked together for 12 years with the Oakland Athletics.

Prior to joining the Mets, Ricciardi previously served as Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001 until he was fired in 2009 and replaced by Alex Anthopoulos.

Ricciardi is considered by most to be the heir apparent to Alderson once he retires or steps down.


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World Series Thread: Giants vs Royals, 8:00 PM Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:46:33 +0000 peavy ventura

San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals

Game 2: Wednesday, 8:00 PM ET on FOX

Jake Peavy (1-0, 1.86) vs. Yordano Ventura (0-0, 4.85)

Here are the lineups for Game 2 of the World Series in Kansas City:


  1. CF Gregor Blanco
  2. 2B Joe Panik
  3. C Buster Posey
  4. 3B Pablo Sandoval
  5. RF Hunter Pence
  6. 1B Brandon Belt
  7. DH Michael Morse
  8. LF Travis Ishikawa
  9. SS Brandon Crawford


  1. SS Alcides Escobar
  2. RF Norichika Aoki
  3. CF Lorenzo Cain
  4. 1B Eric Hosmer
  5. DH Billy Butler
  6. LF Alex Gordon
  7. C Salvador Perez
  8. 2B Omar Infante
  9. 3B Mike Moustakas

Giants right-hander Jake Peavy gets the ball as San Francisco tries to take a 2-0 Series lead against the Royals in Kansas City. Rookie righty Yordano Ventura will try to gain the Royals a split at home with first pitch at 8:07 PM.

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Mets To Formally Interview Kevin Long On Wednesday Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:12:52 +0000 Kevin long cage

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Mets will formally interview former Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long on Wednesday, for the vacant hitting coach position created when Lamar Johnson was relieved of his duties.

Long was the hitting coach for the Yankees for seven seasons before being fired by Brian Cashman two weeks ago.

In addition to the Mets, he is drawing interest from the Blue Jays, brewers, Pirates, D’Backs  and Braves.

October 15 – Who is Kevin Long

With all the talk about the Mets considering Kevin Long to fill the Mets vacant hitting coach position, I decided to spend an hour researching him and learning what this former Yankee is all about. I learned some things along the way and thought I’d share some of them with you.

Long Is Very Confident

“If you’re going to fix somebody’s swing, you better know what you’re doing because you’re putting your name and reputation on the line. One of the criticisms I heard was how I could teach this caliber of player when I never played at this level. That doesn’t matter. It matters what kind of educator and teacher I am that I can get these guys to compete at an optimal level.”

Long Is A Hard Worker

“There’s always three things that I think are going to put you above anybody else as a coach. First of all, work ethic. No one is going to outwork me. No one is going to put in more time. That’s number one because the players see that.

Number two is knowledge. I’ve got to be very knowledgeable about what I do. Drill work, what adjustments I make with these guys… I have to know what makes good hitters good. I’ve done my homework. I’ve studied. I’ve taken Barry Bonds’ swing and broken it down into the finest details. And that’s how I started with my philosophy.

The third part—and if you don’t have this, you might as well pack it in as a hitting coach— is you’d better be personable. You’d better have people skills.”

About the Home Run Drill

“You never know if it’s going to catch on,” Long said. “You’re trying to help players become as consistent as possible. When you see guys have a lot of success with a certain drill, you keep it around. And it’s just one of those drills where I’ve seen numerous people throughout my career get better and better with it.”

The drill is intended to build muscle memory and teach players to consistently pull the ball for power.

Long Goes Above and Beyond

“I went to the Dominican Republic to work with Robinson Cano. Did the Yankees pay for that? Did Robinson Cano pay for that? You know who paid for that? Kevin Long paid for that….It wasn’t the Yankees saying go. I went in order for me to be a good instructor. You know what Robinson Cano thinks of me? He thinks I’m the greatest guy in the world…And as I do that, and as we go through a season where there’s struggles and this and that, he now feels he can lean on me, and we can lean on each other and that part can get you over the hump.”

Carlos Pena on Kevin Long

“You can know it all, but if you don’t know how to share it with your players, then the knowledge is lost. His strength is not actually all he knows, but how he teaches, how he can relate to a single player and make the player comfortable and confident and make the player trust him. Regardless of the stage or the level of the hitter, they start to feel they are the best in the world without ever even realizing it.”

Hope you enjoyed this and that you learned a little bit more about Kevin Long that you didn’t know already. These quotes were courtesy of ESPN, the New York Times, Hardball Magazine and Fox Sports.


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Familia Replacing Mejia As The Mets Closer? Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:59:46 +0000 jeurys familia

Mike Vorkunov of ponders if the Mets should just go with Jeurys Familia as the team’s closer next season.

He argues that as as impressive as Jenrry Mejia was last season in his first stint as closer, Familia was far more consistent than him.

“While Mejia’s saves could sometimes feel like he was walking a tight-rope (A 1.50 WHIP in save situations), Familia was more stable. So it’s worth asking: Should Familia be the closer next season?”

I love Familia and before the season I predicted that he would be one of the most valuable arms in our bullpen. He finished the season with a pristine 2.21 ERA and he became our eighth inning setup man, a job he did very well.

I just don’t understand why we have to screw around with something that we finally fixed. After five years of struggling with an awful bullpen – including three doomed attempts to revamp the bullpen by Sandy Alderson – we ended the season with an incredibly strong and with a very bright outlook. Roles were set and established and several relievers shined.

Everyone seems to be on a mission to usurp Mejia from the closer role, be it for Bobby Parnell who may or may not be ready by Opening Day, and even doing something as drastic as not naming a closer at all and simply going with a committee as was asserted on MetsBlog last week.

Just when we seem to finally have everything set and looking good, give me one good reason why we should blow all that up on some whim?

Who can ensure me that Familia would be just as effective closing games as he was as a setup man? There’s an incredible amount of pressure to come out with the game on the line and secure those final three outs. It takes a special swagger. You not only need the stuff you need the mindset.

While not perfect, and let’s face it who is, Mejia quickly took to his new role as closer and ran with it. As a reliever, he posted a 2.72 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 56.1 innings and he saved 28 games. Only the Marlins’ Steve Cishek saved more games in the second half last season than Mejia who had 18 to his 19.

We’ve all seen how big a role confidence plays in the performance of Familia and Mejia over the years. How do you think that plays out if you yank Mejia out of the closer role after he thrived in it? Don’t we have enough issues on this team without having to manufacture some new ones?


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