Mets Merized Online » Joe D Fri, 02 Dec 2016 18:00:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MLB Owners and Players Union Agree On New CBA Thu, 01 Dec 2016 01:54:38 +0000 manfred-rob

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, MLB Owners and the MLB Players Association have agreed on a new collective-bargaining agreement that will run for five years.

This is great news as they were able to avoid any work stoppage, lockout or disruption of the Winter Meetings.

We’ll have all the details once the new CBA is posted.


Original Report – Nov. 29

MLB Owners and the MLB Players Association continue to negotiate around the clock in Dallas, TX as the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on Thursday, December 1.

However, if sufficient progress on the new CBA is not made in the next few days, MLB Owners will not send any of their front office contingencies to participate in the upcoming Baseball Winter Meetings, according to a report from Buster Olney of

The MLB Winter Meetings are scheduled to begin on Dec. 5 in Washington D.C. and run through Dec. 8.

While the Players Union say they are willing to continue operating under the old agreement until a new one is worked out, Team Owners have already threatened a lockout which would not only shutdown the hot stove season, but potentially interrupt Spring Training and the start of the regular season as well.

The lag in trades and signings this offseason can be attributed to most teams being unwilling to vigorously attack their offseason goals until they know what the new Luxury Tax threshold will be.

Other things at stake are the possibility of an International Draft and eliminating the current Qualifying Offer System. But the biggest issue as always is dividing up the record revenues as the players want a bigger piece of that pie.

Meanwhile, until something can be worked out, the biggest free agents on the market may have to wait before they can start agreeing to their new multi-year deals. That includes Yoenis Cespedes who is expected to re-sign with the Mets once this CBA is finally worked out according to one person I spoke to with knowledge of the situation… If not sooner. (woo hoo!)

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Mets To Hold Yoenis Cespedes Press Conference At 5 PM Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:05:46 +0000 yoenis-cespedes

The re-signing of Yoenis Cespedes is official. Rejoice.

There will be a press conference today at 5 PM ET at Citi Field to re-introduce him.

Original Report – Nov 29

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the Mets have reached an agreement with free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. The deal is for four years and $110 million dollars, a little lower than my $115 million prediction.

Rosenthal adds that this is the largest free agent deal in team history and the $27.5 million average annual value would match A-Rod for seventh-highest in MLB history and is the highest for an outfielder on a multi-year deal.

Readers of this site shouldn’t be too surprised as I’ve been writing that Cespedes would sign with the Mets before the Winter Meetings for two weeks and that it would be a four year deal.

I was told a couple of weeks ago by two sources that the Mets and Cespedes were getting very close to finalizing a deal and all that other stuff about the Nationals, Dodgers, Yankees and Giants was all “background noise.”

Cespedes has made it well known that his true desire was to stay with the Mets and just yesterday I said it would take a big overpay to pry him away from the Mets at this point..

So here are the numbers… The deal breaks down as $22.5M, $29M, $29M and $29.5M over the next four years and Cespedes gets a full no trade clause.

Welcome back, Yo….

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Blue Jays Making A Push For Jay Bruce Wed, 30 Nov 2016 01:06:41 +0000 jay-bruce

The Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams making a push for New York Mets outfielder Jay Bruce, sources tell Jerry Crasnick of  ”They’re in serious need of corner outfield help.”

With Yoenis Cespedes now signed, sealed and delivered, it was only a matter of time until suitors for Jay Bruce started to emerge. The Mets have more outfielders than they can shake a stick at and if the Mets can flip Bruce for a quality reliever it’s a huge win for the team. Not only they do fill a vital spot in the bullpen, but they free up some money for other needs.

Bruce, 29, was traded to the Mets from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline last August for prospects Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell. However, he struggled mightily for the Amazins before coming to life during the last week of the season, a case of too little too late.

Leading the NL in RBIs at the time he was acquired, Bruce batted just .219/.294/.391 with the Mets with only eight home runs and 19 RBIs in 187 plate appearances. He’s owed $13 million next season after which he becomes a free agent.

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Tigers To Shop J.D. Martinez At Winter Meetings Tue, 29 Nov 2016 16:43:55 +0000 J.D. martinez

According to a report by John Perrotto of FanRag, the Detroit Tigers are expected to shop outfielder J.D. Martinez at the Winter Meetings next week. He’s one of several high priced veterans the team is looking to deal as they seek to get younger while shedding some payroll.

Martinez, 29, batted .307/.373/.535 this past season for the Tigers with 35 doubles, 22 home runs and 68 RBI with a 144 OPS+ in 517 plate appearances.

In three seasons with Detroit, Martinez has averaged 33 doubles, 27 homers and 82 RBI while batting .299 and producing a .898 OPS.

A former All Star and Silver Slugger in right field, Martinez will earn $11.75 million in 2017 and is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

“You’re not going to get a ton for a guy with one year of control but he’s a right-handed hitter who can pop you 30 home run and that’s a valuable commodity,” a scout from an AL team said. “He’s one guy they should be able to get something for.”

With a scarcity of right-handed power bats available in free agency after Yoenis Cespedes and Edwin Encarnacion, Martinez could prove to be a very attractive option for many teams.

According to Jon Heyman, the Mets could be one of those teams if they fail to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes. But don’t count on that…

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Where Do Things Stand With Yoenis Cespedes? Mon, 28 Nov 2016 16:00:15 +0000 yoenis-cespedes

Good morning everyone and I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend. I’ve had my fill of turkey, pumpkin pie and football, and I’m ready to get back to talking and writing about our New York Mets.

For most Met fans, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind right now and it continues to be the status of the ongoing Yoenis Cespedes negotiations. What’s going on, where do things stand with the Mets, are there any teams we have to worry about? I’m going to tackle those questions and a few more as we try to wrap our hands around this continuing saga.

What’s the Latest?

It’s okay to come off your ledges, regardless of what you may have heard the Mets are clearly still the frontrunners to sign Cespedes and are in the proverbial driver’s seat. Over the last week, nothing’s really changed as everything continues to remain in a holding pattern until there’s more certainty regarding a new collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires on Thursday, December 1. More on that later.

Does Cespedes Have a 4-Year Deal In Hand?

No. Don’t believe everything you read. Cespedes does not have any offer that he’s mulling over and the so called rumor about that wasn’t even a legitimate rumor. The worst part about social media is how quickly fake news can run rampant aided by the media or bloggers giving it credence and undeserved relevancy by writing about it and repeating it. I warned you about that three weeks before with that bogus Yankees/Cespedes rumor that Brian Cashman finally gutted before the weekend. This 4-year deal is just another one of those false rumors being propagated by the same cast of players. You can all exhale now.


Are You Still Confident the Mets Will Re-Sign Cespedes?

Absolutely. The Mets have certain strategic advantages that no other teams have. These are just a few:

1. Relationships: Cespedes has forged many strong bonds and friendships with many of his teammates, team staff and people in the front office. Everyone wants him back and that makes Cespedes feel very good. Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera and Noah Syndergaard are three teammates he holds dear to and considers them brothers. There’s a lot of BS out there referring to Cespedes as a prima donna in the clubhouse or that he carries excess baggage, don’t believe a word of it. He is a beloved member of the team and is very well respected by the manager, coaches and players.

2. I Love New York: Cespedes feels at home in New York and he thrives in its limelight. He loves being the team’s star and how he’s treated by the fans and the media. He loves loves the city, the fine dining, and some of the best golf courses in the world. All those things are very important to him. This is home. Additionally, Cespedes owns a beautiful ranch and just purchased a new home in the St. Lucie area where the Mets spend two months every Spring. Location, location, location…

3. In The Zone: Cespedes has had his greatest run of success as a major leaguer batting in the middle of the Mets lineup. He’s achieved career highs across the board statistically including in slugging, home runs, wRC+, OPS and even his walk rate.

4. Unfinished Business: Don’t think for one minute that Cespedes isn’t bothered by his performance in last season’s Wild Card game and the World Series in 2015. This is a proud man and he’d like nothing better than to carry the Mets back into the postseason so that he can get another chance to deliver in the clutch on baseball’s grandest stage. This is a man who’s seeking some redemption and he already knows the Mets offer him a pathway back to the postseason.

What’s Different From Last Offseason?

There are some subtle differences like a weaker market that may bode well for Cespedes, but where it matters most, things are remarkably similar. Once again, Cespedes waits and waits for teams to do a mad scramble for his services and that is simply not the case. With all this talk of a five-year deal, I’ve seen no evidence that teams are willing to go that far for Cespedes. Zilch. Zero. None. So it raises the all important question that I ask of everyone who brings this up to me… Why should Sandy Alderson bid against himself?

Look, as long as teams are reluctant to commit to Cespedes for more than four years, the Mets are the odds-on favorites to sign him. For some reason most teams view Cespedes as a player who will not age well and there are some concerns about the quad injury that bothered him for most of the second half. So yeah, maybe five years poses a huge risk. Perhaps Cespedes gets $125 million for four years instead of $110, either way I’m confident it will be with the Mets.


Are the CBA Negotiations Slowing Things Down?

I have no doubt that the uncertainty regarding a new collective bargaining agreement has had a significant adverse effect on the hot stove season thus far. This is no different than in past negotiations, people have short memories I guess.

There’s a very good chance that the new CBA will eliminate the qualifying offer and draft pick compensation system. So in the case of Cespedes it makes a heck of a difference if a team will forfeit a first round pick or not. There’s also a possibility that the luxury tax threshold increases, which can impact whether a big market team will be in a position to sign a free agent looking for that huge $25 million per year mega deal.

The current CBA between the owners and player’s union expires on Dec. 1, but MLB commissioner Rob Manfred remains hopeful. ”We are in the midst of active negotiations and are committed to completing an agreement.”

What Other Teams Are Looking at Cespedes?

As I mentioned last week, the Dodgers, Giants, Nationals and Blue Jays are the teams most often connected to Cespedes, but of the four only San Francisco is the biggest threat in my opinion. The Giants are very motivated to add a big bat, have the money to spend, and they have an opening in left field.

The Dodgers have to cut payroll and are in danger of violating MLB’s rule on debt ratio. Reports say that after four years of new ownership that the team is hundreds of millions in debt and must cut payroll for the second consecutive year. There are even concerns that they may not be able to retain Justin Turner let alone go chasing after Yoenis Cespedes. The Blue Jays are still making a strong push to sign Edwin Encarnacion and word is Encarnacion wants to stay. As for the Nationals, I’m not so sure they are equipped to spend what it would take.

Here is what’s important to remember; just because a team is interested in Cespedes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Cespedes is interested in that team. It’s been widely reported that Cespedes prefers to remain on the East Coast. That doesn’t mean San Fran is out of the question, only that it may take a massive overpay like lets say five years, $160 million.

How and When Will This End?

Look, both the Mets and Cespedes have adamantly maintained that they want they want their relationship to continue and I believe both sides are very sincere. I still expect a deal to get done before the end of the Winter Meetings, which begin Sunday in Washington DC.

Sandy Alderson is a pragmatist and while he’s said he’d like to get a deal done by then, it is by no means a hard deadline or line in the sand as some are suggesting. So don’t worry is a deal isn’t reached by December 8. Sandy is not just going to end negotiations and move on to Plan B. He knows how important Cespedes is to the team more than me, you, and that other guy. Just be patient and I promise it will all work out in the end. I’m still going with our prediction of four years and $115 million dollars.

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Rule 5 Draft: Two Mets Prospects That Are Most At Risk Fri, 25 Nov 2016 17:00:35 +0000 philip-evans

Initially i was simply going to post this one excerpt from Baseball America, who projected the top players who could get picked in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.

But I was actually surprised that they listed Mets Double-A infield prospect Philip Evans among their “cream of the crop.”

That’s not to knock Evans who I think is a fine prospect, but I’m not sure that he’s ready to make the jump from Double-A and then stick for an entire season on a major league roster.

Here is what they had to say about him:

“Evans won the Eastern League batting title in 2016, hitting .335 for Binghamton. It was a surprising development as he was a career .236/.304/.310 hitter coming into the 2016 season. But Evans has a short, compact stroke with some pop, so his batting title didn’t look as flukish as one might believe.”

“He’s also hitting .333/.418/.521 in the Puerto Rican winter league giving scouts another good look. Evans was a full-time shortstop early in his career. He’s slid to second and third base more regularly as he moved up the ladder (and in deference to Amed Rosario) but he did play shortstop frequently this season and while he’s not good enough defensively to be an everyday shortstop, he is capable enough to contribute as a utility infielder.”

Not a bad assessment at all, but again, I just don’t see him making the jump right now. I would be shocked if a team selects him.


Now here’s the prospect that I genuinely believe we could lose, and quite frankly I’m surprised that BA left him off their list.

Paul Sewald was drafted by the Mets in the 10th round of the 2012 draft, and all he has done since that time is succeed at a very high level and probably more so than any other Mets pitching prospect in that same span.

The right-hander has worked his way through all five levels of the Mets minor league system since making his professional debut with the Short-A Brooklyn Cyclones and posting a 1.88 ERA, 0.98 WHIP while picking up four saves in four chances. The Mets knew early on that the plan would be to groom Sewald as late inning reliever and potential closer.

Sewald, 26, would go on to rack up some impressive numbers over the next four seasons, posting a 1.77 ERA for Low-A Savannah in 2013, a 1.92 ERA for High-A St. Lucie in 2014, a 1.73 ERA for Double-A Binghamton in 2015, and finally a 3.23 ERA in hitter friendly Las Vegas in 2016.

Along the way, Sewald racked up 66 saves with a 1.032 WHIP and a 10.7 K/9 rate in 194 appearances. While In Binghamton, he was named to the Eastern League All-Star roster but didn’t play because he participated in the Pan-Am games for Team USA.

With the status of Jeurys Familia still unknown and both he and Addison Reed in the throes of arbitration and due for some substantial salary increases, I would have thought that Sewald was a no-brainer to protect from the Rule-5 Draft on December 8th. And unlike Philip Evans, Sewald is clearly someone who can remain on an MLB roster all season long and should be able to become an asset for any team that selects him.

The Mets could have left Wuilmer Becerra unprotected instead, just as they did last Winter. While the 21-year old oozes with potential, there’s no way any team would carry him on an MLB roster for an entire season, especially with the highest level he’s achieved is High-A St. Lucie and having his season cut short due to season-ending surgery for a labrum tear in his shoulder.

Additionally, if the Mets had designated Rafael Montero for assignment and removed him from the 40 man roster, I’m pretty certain there wasn’t going to be a mad dash to scoop him up as teams have their own 40 man issues they have to deal with. And lets face it, Montero has seen his stock in trade plummet to non-prospect status.

Hopefully, Sandy Alderson’s calculated risk pays off and Sewald is still a member of the New York Mets organization on December 9… it would be areal shame to lose this effective control artist with the nasty slider and then having him pitch against us next season.

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Happy Thanksgiving Day From Everyone At MMO! Thu, 24 Nov 2016 11:00:58 +0000 Macys-Parade

On behalf of everyone at Metsmerized Online, we would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Have yourselves a wonderful day and make some great memories with your friends, families and loved ones.

Thanks to the New York Mets for another fun and exciting season, the second one in a row. Thanks to Sandy Alderson and his staff for making the Mets great again and I know that with a little luck that World Series championship will be ours next season.

Thanks to Terry Collins and his staff, and of course all the players that gave us everything they had this year and provided us with some amazing thrills and memories. The future is certainly bright and we look forward to an even better season in 2017.

Thanks to all of you – our readers. It’s such an enormous pleasure to share our opinions and interact with all of you each and every day. You are the greatest and most passionate baseball fans in the world and without you this site is nothing. Our passion for the Mets binds all of us together, and though we may not always agree on how to get there, we still all share one common goal and that is to see the Mets win another championship.

Finally, we are thankful for all of the brave men and women who continue to serve our country and defend our American way of life. Our thoughts are always with them and we honor their incredible courage and commitment to protecting our freedom and values.

It’s been an honor to serve you these last 12 years and we look forward to 12 more. Happy Thanksgiving Day, everyone!


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Latest On Cespedes: Yankees Are Out, Mets Still Favorites To Sign Him Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:03:51 +0000 yoenis-cespedes-550

As I had heard and reported several times over the past seven days, the New York Yankees have no intention of signing Yoenis Cespedes, sources recently told Christian Red of the Daily News.

One person I spoke to with knowledge of the situation, told me last Thursday that the Yankees had an “obligatory check-in” with the agents for Cespedes almost a month ago and that was the extent of their dialog. Most of the last two weeks of stories connecting the Yankees to Cespedes were untrue.

Meanwhile, despite what you are hearing or reading out there, I am still being told that the New York Mets are still the number one contender to sign Cespedes, and much of the other stuff being circulated as far as connections to the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants is just noise. There is nothing significant going on with those teams, and Cespedes has expressed a desire to stay on the East Coast.

The one team that has popped up other than the Mets have been the Washington Nationals, but they seem very reluctant to give Cespedes five years which bodes very well for Sandy Alderson and his staff who continue to maintain a “vigorous” dialog with Cespedes.

I’m not going to waste your time and mine with another 500 words about what Cespedes means to the Mets and how he’s had a powerful impact on the team’s offense. We all know what he’s capable of and why it’s so important to re-sign him. And more importantly, Sandy realizes this as well.

If I hear anything new or if something significant is reported elsewhere, I will update this post. I doubt anything will change over the next 48 hours but we could learn a lot more on Friday and heading into the weekend.

Honestly, this news on the Yankees reinforces my confidence in what I’ve been told about the Cespedes negotiations. I’ve been fortunate to have been receiving some accurate information thus far, so my hope is that the Mets will get something done before the Winter Meetings.

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Encarnacion Rejects Four Year, $80 Million Offer From Blue Jays Mon, 21 Nov 2016 22:51:58 +0000 edwin-encarnacion

According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays offered Edwin Encarnacion a four-year contract worth $80 million dollars earlier this offseason, but were turned down. Still, Heyman says that Toronto is still open to re-signing him despite signing Kendrys Morales a week ago.

“The Jays didn’t entice Encarnacion to make a quick decision to return with their offer, but their continuing interest suggests the deal they offered is likely still on the table, at the least.”

A three time All Star, Encarnacion has been one of the premier power hitters in the game for a while now. Since 2012, he hasn’t hit less than 34 home runs, and that year he only played in 128 games.

In those five seasons, he has hit .272/.367/.544 with 193 home runs, 553 RBI, and 27 stolen bases. The former Cincinnati Reds third baseman played 160 games for the Blue Jays in 2016, belting 42 home runs and leading the American League with 127 RBIs.

The question is does the Encarnacion want more dollars or a fifth year? There are only three premier right-handed power hitters in this free agent market, so in a market that is so often driven by scarcity and demand, perhaps there’s a fifth year out there for Encarnacion despite the fact he’ll be 34 next spring.

However, I’m guessing he’s looking for an average annual salary of $25 million which isn’t exactly out of the question for his production. The other thing could be that Yoenis Cespedes is the linchpin to this offseason for power hitters and they are waiting to see what he signs for.

The Red Sox, Yankees and the suddenly free spending Astros have all been connected to Encarnacion who mostly DH’ed last season.

Of course this news is going to bring on an onslaught of posts saying that Cespedes is as good as gone as far as the New York Mets are concerned. It’s horse shit of course and just a nice way to get a bump in traffic for 15 minutes.

I am still hearing from more than one baseball insider that Sandy Alderson and his front office are in close negotiations with Cespedes and his agents, as they look to get something done before the Winter Meetings.

And one person I spoke with says that talks have advanced to a level he described as “serious.” I still believe an announcement is very close.

Encarnacion turning down his offer from the Blue Jays will have little to no bearing on what the Mets and Cespedes will ultimately do.

And as for that Cespedes to the Yankees rumor that one site keeps perpetuating every single day, you can use it to wipe your ass with in case you run out of Charmin. There is no real buzz on that other than an obligatory check-in almost a month ago.

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Mets and Cespedes Deal Could Come Soon? Sun, 20 Nov 2016 03:51:59 +0000 USP MLB: MIAMI MARLINS AT NEW YORK METS S BBN USA NY

Things seem to be pointing towards a decision coming soon on who Yoenis Cespedes will sign with, according to one MLB insider I spoke with this evening, and most signs seem to be pointing to the New York Mets.

Apparently after Cespedes reached out to the Mets via text last week to express his desire to come back, it also included the caveat that he wants to agree to a deal sooner rather than later.

Of course that lines up perfectly with Sandy Alderson’s goal, who told reporters at the GM Meetings that he wants a decision before the end of the Winter Meetings early next month.

Another respected reporter, who accurately sourced that the Mets were on the verge of signing Cespedes last January before anyone else, is also hearing some buzz in the last 48 hours which seems to bode well for another Mets and Cespedes reunion.

Rich Mancuso of NY Sports Day spoke to a source that was able to confirm that the Mets are looking at a four-year deal and nothing beyond. “Three years for Cespedes has always been the assumption but the Mets realize the importance of Cespedes returning and his impact in the lineup.”

The same source also confirmed to him what my source told me which is that Cespedes is anxious to get a deal done.

What does all of this mean? Well I’m not in the prediction business, but I think we may be moving toward a big announcement that could come this weekend or early next week if not sooner.

I’ve stated all along that I have no doubt that Yoenis Cespedes would be in left field for the Mets on Opening Day in 2017, but now I’m feeling absolutely certain about it.


Further fueling my optimism was Jose Reyes posting a photo of himself and Yoenis Cespedes this evening on his Instagram account. I don’t believe in coincidences. Reyes has kept in daily contact with Cespedes and just a few days ago made a strong appeal to the Mets for him.

“Every team needs a player like Cespedes in the lineup,’’ Reyes said. “He’s a game-changer. I tried to talk to him to better convince him to coming back, but that is something I can’t control. Not only me, but every player on our ballclub wants him back.”

Cespedes, 31, batted .280 with a .354 on-base and .530 slugging with 31 home runs and 86 RBI in 2016, despite not starting in 36 games due to bothersome quad injury.

Sandy Alderson knows how vital it is to bring Cespedes back.  The team was 72-54 when Cespedes was in the starting lineup last season, and 15-21 when he was not.

Jon Heyman predicts that Cespedes will get a four-year deal worth $110 million, which is consistent with our MMO free agent predictions as well.

Stay tuned and keep your dial set to Metsmerized Online.

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Mets Minors: Arizona Fall League Season Recap Fri, 18 Nov 2016 13:30:21 +0000 tim tebow

The Arizona Fall League came to an end yesterday for Mets prospects as the Scottsdale Scorpions tied the Mesa Solar Sox at 6 and failed to make the playoffs.

Leading into the AFL season the big story was former NFL player Tim Tebow being a late add to the Scorpions roster as a Mets representative. Tebow’s fall league career got off to a rough start, going 4 for 32 with 12 strikeouts in his first nine games. He reached base safely in 9 of his last 11 games though to show some improvement.

Overall, the 29-year old Tebow, slashed .194/.296/.242 in 62 at-bats that was spread out over 19 games. He had three doubles, six runs scored, two RBI, one stolen base, eight walks and struck out 20 times. He played 12 games in left field and two in right field.

As the Arizona Fall League came to a close, Mets GM Sandy Alderson spoke with ESPN on what was gained by having Tebow compete with the game’s top prospects.

“Look, there was a downside in the fact that everything gets graded in the Fall League,” Alderson said. “The upside is he needs game competition in order to develop those kind of baseball instincts and peripheral skills that are so important. We actually thought he could hold his own in the batter’s box. And I think he’s largely done that. His strikeout rate is not horrendous. He’s making decent contact and he’s getting better.”


The most intriguing storyline in the AFL, when it comes to Mets prospects, was how much time would Gavin Cecchini spend at second base and how would he look? Cecchini, 22, ended up playing just one game out of 16 at second. He made six errors in 12 games at shortstop and one in his lone game at second.

At the plate, Cecchini hit .295/.357/.459 in 61 at-bats over 16 games. He had 12 runs scored, five doubles, one triple, one home run, seven RBI and seven walks compared to only eight strikeouts.

MLB Prospect analyst Jim Callis spoke to Gavin Cecchini about what his goal was in the AFL.

“The more baseball you play, the more reps you get, the better you’re going to be,” Cecchini said. “Any time you get to play baseball, you get to work on the things you need to work on, and that’s all that matters.”

“I’m trying to work on everything. Whenever you start working on a certain aspect and think there’s no more room for improvement, that’s when the game bites you in the butt. You have to stay focused on what you need to work on. I’ve been happy with how the AFL has gone. I’ve made adjustments throughout.”

champ stuart

Mets prospect Champ Stuart lived up to his 80 grade speed hype with 12 stolen bases in the AFL, tying him for the league lead and was caught just once. Unfortunately, the other thing the 24-year old Stuart is known for is striking out and he did so 22 times in 70 fall league at-bats.

The right-handed hitting Stuart slashed .300/.329/.400 with 12 runs scored, four doubles, one home run, five RBI and only three walks. Stuart is first time eligible for the Rule 5 draft and would need to be added to the 40-man roster today to protect him from being taken.

Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline loves Champ Stuart‘s speed.

“Stuart has one tool that cannot be taught, speed, and his is top of the scale. He swiped 40 bases and reached Double-A for the first time this past season. Stuart is continuing to work on refining his approach — he struck out 168 times in 2016 — and needs to show he can get on base more consistently to use that speed. He, too, is Rule 5 Draft eligible this offseason, and was performing well over the first few weeks of the AFL.”

Lefty reliever David Roseboom had a great season as the Binghamton Mets closer in 2016 and that carried over into the fall league where he had a 0.79 ERA in 11.1 innings. In that span, he allowed one earned run on only four hits, walked eight and struck out 15. Left-handed hitters went 1 for 12 with seven strikeouts against the 24-year old.

David Roseboom caught the eye of MLB prospect guru Jonathan Mayo who scouted him last week in Scottsdale.

“Over the past two seasons, Roseboom has been one of the more effective relievers in the Mets’ system. In 2016, he saved 14 games and finished with a 1.87 ERA and a .170 batting average against. Roseboom has continued to throw well out of Scottsdale’s bullpen. The southpaw isn’t likely to be a closer in the future, but his splits (lefties hit just .141 against him in 2016) suggest the potential to at least be a lefty specialist.”

marcos molina

One of the best signs for the Mets was that right-handed prospect Marcos Molina was able to return to the mound after having Tommy John surgery in 2015. Molina, 21, pitched in seven games (two starts) and had a 3.78 ERA in 16.2 innings. He gave up seven earned runs on 16 hits, seven walks, and eight strikeouts.

The most important part is that Molina came out of the fall league healthy and was hitting 93/94 MPH with his fastball. He also made some changes to his mechanics, including lengthening his stride and improving his arm path, which should help prevent further injuries to his arm. Molina also has to be added to the 40-man roster today if the Mets choose to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

Right-handed starter Corey Oswalt went to the AFL to log more innings after missing time during the regular season because of an injury. He pitched fairly well, going 4-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He allowed ten earned runs on 25 hits, 11 walks, and 21 strikeouts in 27 innings. In one of his starts I was able to follow the 23-year old was consistently hitting 94 MPH with his fastball.

Matt Oberste was the MVP of the Eastern League All-Star game for the Binghamton Mets in 2016 but he wasn’t able to produce as well in the AFL. He went without a hit in his first seven starts (0 for 25), but was able to rebound to finish with a six-game hitting streak to end the season. In those final six games, he went 8 for 24 with four extra base hits and seven RBI.

The 25-year old Oberste finished the AFL season hitting .184/.208/.206 with three doubles, home run, eight RBI, and two walks compared to nine strikeouts. He played nine games at first base, played one in left field (first pro experience) and never played third where he finished the season for the B-Mets.

corey taylor

Last but certainly not least, is 23-year old reliever Corey Taylor who was the Mets lone representative who made the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars game. The right-hander was impressive for the Scorpions with a 1.93 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 14 innings. He picked up one save (had 20 in regular season for St. Lucie) and walked just one batter while striking out 17.

The 17 strikeouts are what sticks out for Taylor because he had only 45 in 53 innings for St. Lucie during the 2016 season. Part of the reason for the uptick in strikeouts could be an improvement with his slider in which Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser called a “bonafide out pitch“. Mix that in with a fastball that was hitting 96 MPH during the fall league and you have the makings of a very intriguing relief prospect.

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Astros Acquire Brian McCann From Yankees Thu, 17 Nov 2016 22:34:08 +0000 brian mccann

The Houston Astros have acquired catcher Brian McCann from the New York Yankees, bursting any hopes that that he would be acquired by the New York Mets. Aww shucks…

The Yankees have made trading McCann a top priority as phenom Gary Sanchez took over the catching position and hit the ground running in the second half.

McCann, 32, batted .242/.335/.413 with 20 home runs in 492 plate appearances last season, but has hit at least 20 home runs for nine straight seasons. He has two years and $34 million left on his deal, which also has a $15 million team option.

The ‘Stros send a pair of pitching prospects, RHP Albert Abreu and RHP Jorge Guzman, to the Bombers in return for McCann and some cash considerations.

Not a bad move for our crosstown rivals who unload a bunch of unwanted salary and get themselves a top Astros prospect and a kid who throws 100+ mph with potential.

Meanwhile the Mets have done nothing as the Hot Stove Season just passes them by. Stop sitting on your hands, Sandy… :-)

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Alderson Weighs In On Cespedes, Conforto, Walker Thu, 17 Nov 2016 02:12:43 +0000 sandy-alderson

Mets GM Sandy Alderson was a guest on WOR 710 this evening, and he weighed in on a variety of topics with radio host Pete McCarthy.

Obviously, chief among everything was the team’s status with free agent Yoenis Cespedes. Here’s a basic rundown of what he had to say…

Right off the bat, it was surprising to learn that the Mets have had no direct contact with Cespedes who went into silence mode right after the wild card game ended. However, he recently reached out to the organization via text just to say that he still has a desire to return.

Alderson believes that the team is in a better position to sign Cespedes than they were last year at this time. While he hopes that both sides can get something done, free agency makes things a little bit more to predict this year compared to last for a variety of reasons including a less bloated market for sluggers and Cespedes is now more of a known factor as to what you can expect production wise.

“I think we’re gonna have to wait a while to see how this turns out. But I think he wants to be back.”

Sandy completely understands how important signing Cespedes is to Mets fans as the cries for Yo are nearly inescapable. He also wants to dispel the talk that his love of golf is an issue. It in fact is not an issue and he can play golf whenever he wants during his leisure time.

Sandy would like to have some resolution before the end of the Winter Meetings one way or another.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mike Puma of the NY Post reported that three other teams besides the Mets are in the market for Cespedes and that a deal could be done by early December. Some of the buzz out there has the Washington Nationals as one of those teams.

Sandy brought up the name of Jose Bautista when asked if the Mets had any fallback options should they fail to sign Cespedes. Last week it was reported that the Mets reached out to Bautista and that they have an open dialog.

I still believe that in the end, the Mets will do what it takes to re-sign Cespedes even if it means giving him the fifth year that he craves. A four year deal for Bautista would be an exponentially awful idea when compared to five years for Cespedes.

Additionally, Cespedes loves New York, the fans and his teammates. He has his ranch a stone’s throw away from the Mets spring training home in Port St. Lucie, he is treated like royalty by the staff, and he truly enjoys being the focal point of the Mets offense.

A few more things that Sandy discussed…

Even if Yoenis Cespedes comes back, Michael Conforto is going to have a bigger role next season and the plan is that he’ll be an everyday player against both right and left handed pitching. He’ll only sit against the toughest southpaws Sandy said.

That leads us to Jay Bruce who has left an extremely sour taste in Sandy’s mouth. You could really tell it was a sore subject and at one point he even used Bruce as evidence to dispel the myth of clutch hitting. Paraphrasing here… “What was he batting like .400 with RISP when we traded for him? How did that work out?” That was too funny. Bruce is as good as gone.

Sandy said Wright has put on some pounds, but is still not cleared for baseball activities. They are counting on him to play third base next season, but if it doesn’t work out that way, he is glad the infield has so much flexibility with Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores and even Asdrubal Cabrera who could play third if needed.

And speaking of flexibility, Sandy said that when Neil Walker called him to accept the qualifying offer, he said he would be willing to play all four infield positions and he’ll even play in the outfield if that’s what the team wants. Thanks, but no thanks Neil…

That’s all she wrote…

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Mets 2017 Roster Taking Shape, Payroll Currently At $124 Million Wed, 16 Nov 2016 14:31:37 +0000 collins alderson

Here we are almost four weeks before the Winter Meetings and we’re already getting a good sense of what the New York Mets will look like in 2017.

After seeing Neil Walker accept his one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer on Monday, it appears the Mets infield is pretty much locked in with Lucas Duda at first base, Walker at second, Asdrubal Cabrera returns at shortstop, and David Wright gives it another go at third base.

The Mets have already picked up the option on Jose Reyes, and Wilmer Flores heads into his first year of arbitration. There’s your starting infield and your two backups. For now, T.J. Rivera is likely looking at a return to Las Vegas where he will remain until needed.

Some have raised the possibility of a trade that could change the landscape of the infield in 2017, but I just don’t see it.

Who are we trading exactly? Lucas Duda has seen his value plummet to a four-year low. David Wright is going nowhere. Asdrubal Cabrera is coming off a career year and the Mets have no plans to move him off shortstop. And Neil Walker is now a $17.2 million dollar rental coming off back surgery.

Could the Mets move Flores perhaps? It’s possible, but after years of characterizing him as a part time player who is a defensive liability who can’t hit right-handed pitching, he’s a throw-in a deal at best, and the last thing the Mets need is to lose a key right-handed bat in their lefty-loaded lineup.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York has already done the math and he places the Mets current payroll at roughly $123,915,000. Of course, that figure does not include Yoenis Cespedes or any upgrades in the bullpen.

Here is how the 25 man roster looks right now including estimates for arbitration-eligible players. Rubin rounded off players not eligible for arbitration to $500,000 – just under the 2017 MLB minimum salary.

Starting Rotation

1. Jacob deGrom $4.225M

2. Matt Harvey $5.325M

3. Steven Matz

4. Noah Syndergaard

5. Zack Wheeler $1.0M


6. Jeurys Familia $7.375M

7. Addison Reed $7.9M

8. Josh Edgin $725K

9. Hansel Robles

10. Josh Smoker

11. Seth Lugo

12. Erik Goeddel


13. Travis d’Arnaud $1.9M

14. Lucas Duda $7.315M

15. Neil Walker $17.2M

16. David Wright $20M

17. Asdrubal Cabrera $8.25M

18. Michael Conforto

19. Curtis Granderson $15M

20. Jay Bruce $13M


21. Wilmer Flores $2.9M

22. Rene Rivera $2.3M

23. Jose Reyes

24. Juan Lagares $4.5M

25. Brandon Nimmo

One thing to keep an eye on is if the Mets end up dealing Jay Bruce at the Winter Meetings. Some writers say it all hinges on whether the Mets bring back Yoenis Cespedes, I say the two are mutually exclusive.

Even if the Mets fail to bring back Cespedes, I can still see the team parlaying Bruce to bring back a significant bullpen upgrade and freeing up money to sign a right-handed power bat via free agency or trade.

I just can’t envision the Mets going into a new season with three left-handed, all or nothing hitters in the outfield.

Rubin projects Wheeler as one of the five starters. Two things… One, I’m not so sure Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo will be left out of the equation for fifth starter. Two, I can’t see all four starting pitchers returning from surgery to be ready for the Opening Day roster without any hiccups. After all, these are the Mets we are talking about.

Anyway, those are a few of my thoughts, and I look forward to reading yours.

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Corey Seager and Michael Fulmer Win Rookie of the Year Honors Tue, 15 Nov 2016 04:58:24 +0000 seager corey

Major League Baseball announced their 2016 Rookie of the Year Award winners on Monday. Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager won in the National League and Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer took the honors in the American League.

Seager, 22, batted .308/.365/.512 with 40 doubles, 26 homers, 72 RBI and 105 runs scored. His 6.1 WAR was the fourth-best in the NL.

Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda and the Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner finished second and third in the voting, and Mets left-hander Steven Matz received one third place vote.

michael fulmer

Fulmer, 23, won 11 games and posted a  3.06 ERA and 1.119 WHIP 159 innings pitched for the Tigers, striking out 132 batters while walking 42.

Detroit acquired Fulmer, the 44th overall pick by the New York Mets in the 2011 draft, at the 2015 trade deadline in the deal that sent Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets.

Catcher Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees and center fielder Tyler Naquin of the Cleveland Indians finished second and third respectively.

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Neil Walker Accepts Mets’ $17.2 Million Qualifying Offer Mon, 14 Nov 2016 22:02:06 +0000 neil-walker-2

According to Joel Sherman on Twitter, Neil Walker has accepted the Mets $17.2 million qualifying offer.

Walker will clearly be the everyday second baseman next season which pretty much leaves Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera, David Wright, and Jose Reyes jockeying for playing time at third base or backing up at all four infield positions.

Terry Collins has himself a very strong infield bench and the ability to shape his starting lineup depending on each games’ matchup.

With this signing, it seems the Mets infield is fairly set for 2017. I’d expect any further acquisitions this offseason to bolster either the bullpen or the outfield.

Original Post – Nov 13

The New York Mets officially extended a qualifying offer to Neil Walker last week, and he has until 5:00 PM on Monday to either accept or reject the $17.2 million dollar one-year deal.

According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, the two sides have yet to engage in any substantive discussions about a multi-year extension that would keep Walker off the free agent market.

Last week at the GM Meetings, Sandy Alderson told reporters that there was some debate in the front office about tendering Walker the QO and whether or not he would accept it.

“I think there was some deliberation with regard to a qualifying offer for Neil,” Alderson said. “In the end, we decided that we very definitely wanted to make the offer. We’d love to have him back, and felt it was the appropriate thing to do. And we understand there’s a possibility he may accept it. We’re not unaware of that possibility.”

Walker, 31, is one of ten players to receive a QO this offseason, and he could be one of the only players that may accept it.

The former Pirate and Pittsburgh native is coming off back surgery that ended his season prematurely in 2016, though when healthy he had a couple of very productive months in April and August sandwiching a few months that were not nearly as productive.

Overall. Walker batted .282/.347/.476 for the Mets with a career high 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 113 games played.

Alderson said he understood the risk with Walker’s back, but that he was comfortable with the decision to go forward with the QO.

“The more time that passes, the more comfortable one can become — or uncomfortable, I guess, if things go the other direction,” Alderson said.

“But certainly with the passage of time you have a little more information in terms of post-surgery issues. So at this point, I think, we felt comfortable assessing the risk that exists.”

My gut feeling is that Walker will play it safe and accept the qualifying offer, but we’ll know for sure later today.

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Blue Jays Discussing Jay Bruce Deal With Mets Mon, 14 Nov 2016 01:36:08 +0000 jay bruce 2

According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden while a guest on MLB Network, the Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly discussing a deal for outfielder Jay Bruce with the New York Mets.

No other particulars were mentioned and there was no indication of how far along any discussions were, but interesting to hear nonetheless.

At last week’s GM meetings in Arizona, Sandy Alderson acknowledged that teams had expressed interest in outfielders Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson.  ”I think people are aware that we are left handed. I won’t be any more specific than that.”

Toronto tried to acquire Bruce last offseason but negotiations with the Cincinnati Reds broke down at the end.

I had a conversation with one of my writers this morning as to what kind of value we can get back for a Bruce in a trade. And the short answer is probably a little less than what it cost us to acquire him. Perhaps a team’s 5th to 10th ranked prospect, or on the major league level a solid reliever with at least two years of control.

Given his less than average defense in right or left field, Bruce would be an ideal candidate for a switch to the junior circuit. He is even more ideal for a team like the Jays who have lost some significant power with the departures of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.

Still, the Mets won’t deal Bruce until they get some resolution on whether they can re-sign Yoenis Cespedes. If they do, they will double back with the Jays or any other team that expressed interest in Bruce.

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Mets Want To Bring Back Jerry Blevins Fri, 11 Nov 2016 18:25:14 +0000 jerry-blevins-mets-win

On Twitter, Adam Rubin of ESPN said the Mets want to bring back veteran lefty reliever Jerry Blevins.

He goes on to say that the Mets will “slow-play” his market, so as to see what other spending the Mets do in the meantime.

Originally signed as a lefty specialist, Blevins, 33, was far more successful against right-handed batters in 2016, holding them to a .182/.266/.345 slash line and striking out 17 in 55 at bats. Conversely, lefties slashed .255/.313/.324 off him in 102 at bats.

Original Report – Nov 2

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that the Mets would like to retain pending free agent lefty reliever Jerry Blevins, but they expect him to get a sizable multiyear offer elsewhere which Rubin believes will price the Mets out.

Blevins, 33, had himself a solid season overall but tired a little at the end after appearing in a career high 73 games for the Mets.

In 42 innings pitched, he finished with a solid 2.79 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while striking out 52 and walking 15, three of them intentional.

Blevins has held left-handed batters to a .214 average and .266 OBP in his career, but had a mild case of reverse splits last season.

Other left-handed relievers the Mets have on the 40-man roster are Josh EdginSean Gilmartin, and Josh Smoker.

Options available in free agency include Brett Cecil (30), Felix Doubront (29), Mike Dunn (32), Dana Eveland (33), J.P. Howell (34), Kyle Lobstein (27), Boone Logan (32), Javier Lopez (39), Marc Rzepczynski (31), Matt Thornton (40) and Travis Wood (30).

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Good Fundies Episode 26: Rumble Pony Up Fri, 11 Nov 2016 04:11:53 +0000 XXX VINTAGE-CARNIVAL-RIDES-RD536.JPG A  ENT USA NY

Brian and Roger returned to talk about that crazy World Series and how Cleveland can’t handle winning. They also started the hot stove speculation on where Yoenis Cespedes will end up and how the team should approach their 2017 bullpen.

We applauded Binghamton for naming the Mets’ Double-A squad the Rumble Ponies, and wondered if the Mets should just go ahead and rename themselves the Rumble Ponies too.

The boys also dipped into the mailbag, realized how much Noah Syndergaard was robbed of a Cy Young nomination, touched on that recent election, and recounted that time Roger thought it was Usher when in fact it really was Usher.

iTunes  –  Stitcher  –  Twitter

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Sandy Alderson Weighs In On Cespedes, Walker, Wright, Familia Tue, 08 Nov 2016 02:01:47 +0000 sandy-alderson-mlb-winter-meetings-850x560

At the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona tonight, New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson discussed a variety of topics with the media on how the team will proceed this offseason as they seek to revamp the roster for the 2017 season.

The Mets are still interested in bringing back Yoenis Cespedes and spoke with his representatives 7-10 days ago.

Alderson said the Mets don’t have any absolute parameters on what they are willing to offer, but added if he didn’t have the resources to sign him to a longterm deal he wouldn’t have engaged his agents.

Unlike last offseason when the Mets signed Cespedes on January 26, Alderson would prefer to get something agreed upon sooner rather than later, hopefully during the winter meetings. But he also understands that it is not entirely under his control.

* * * * * * * * *

– Sandy Alderson said he has not yet spoken with Neil Walker or his representatives despite offering him a one-year qualifying offer. He says he’ll be very comfortable should Walker accept the qualifying offer and that he would love to have him back.

– Not surprisingly, Sandy told reporters he was very disappointed and shocked when he heard the news that closer Jeurys Familia was arrested for suspicion of domestic violence. He admitted that the team was already looking to improve the bullpen this offseason even before before Familia was arrested. Read more here.

– Third baseman David Wright is confident that he will return next season after missing most of the 2016 season with a herniated disc in his neck in addition to dealing with his spinal stenosis condition.

– Don’t look for the Mets to upgrade at catcher this offseason. Alderson said the Mets will stay in-house and hope to get better production out of catchers Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki next season.

We’ll go more in depth on some of this tomorrow morning.

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GM Meetings: Sandy Alderson Sets Sights On 2017 Season Mon, 07 Nov 2016 11:04:00 +0000 sandy alderson

The General Managers Meetings officially begins on Monday, November 7 in Scottsdale, Arizona and will last through Thursday, November 10.

All 30 MLB general managers will meet and discuss a variety of baseball issues like the new CBA, participate in various workshops and make presentations, and then elect the 2016 MLB Executive of the Year. But of course that is merely the backdrop.

The GM Meetings have evolved into a staging ground for all of the wheeling and dealing that is to come this winter. It’s the official start of the Hot Stove season and more and more trades and signings come out of it with each passing year.

We have seen more and more deals taking place at the GM meetings over the last few years. Last year we saw the Braves deal Andrelton Simmons during the GM meetings, and lets not forget that in 2014, Sandy Alderson signed free agent Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal during the GM Meetings.

My guess is that this year, Sandy will be spending a great deal of his time trying to gauge the market for an upgrade at catcher, acquiring a top shelf reliever to bolster the bullpen, and maybe even take a peak at the center field and second base markets.

Whatever happens, it should be an interesting four days filled with lots of rumors, actual trades, and even some early free agent signings. We’re looking forward to covering all the action for you on MMO.

Important Dates:

Nov 7 – Teams extend qualifying offers to their eligible free agent players.

Nov 8 – Free Agency officially begins and players can negotiate with all 30 MLB teams.

Nov 14 – Free agents must inform their teams if they are accepting or declining their qualifying offer.

Nov 18 – Teams must finalize their 40 man roster for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.

Dec 1 – The current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires.

Dec 2 – Teams must non-tender or offer arbitration to their eligible players.

Dec 5 – Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland through Dec 8.

Dec 8 – Rule 5 Draft

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