Mets Merized Online » Joe D http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 23 Nov 2014 19:26:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Rays Sign Allan Dykstra To Minor League Contract http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/rays-sign-allan-dykstra-to-minor-league-contract.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/rays-sign-allan-dykstra-to-minor-league-contract.html/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 15:36:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170610 Dykstra

The Tampa Bay Rays signed minor league free agent Allan Dykstra to a minor league contract on Saturday.

Originally a first round pick for the San Diego Padres in 2007, the Mets acquired him in 2011 for minor league reliever Eddie Kunz.

Dykstra spent four seasons with the Mets and always maintained an on-base percentage north of .400 at every level. Last season he batted .280/.426./504 for Triple-A Las Vegas where he made the Pacific Coast League All-Star team.

I was surprised he never got a cup of coffee with the Mets, considering how often the front office and player development people praised his approach at the plate.

“I was in San Diego when he was drafted,” said Sandy Alderson last season. “A couple of us were involved in trading for him from San Diego to bring him here. He has had a great season, and he has approached the game, offensively, the way the organization hopes to approach the game at the major-league level.”

Dykstra, 27, played mostly first base and should get an opportunity to win a job on the bench this Spring for the Rays.

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Mets Want To Acquire A Lefty Reliever Sooner Rather Than Later http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-want-to-acquire-a-lefty-reliever-sooner-rather-than-later.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-want-to-acquire-a-lefty-reliever-sooner-rather-than-later.html/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 13:47:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170566 MLB: San Diego Padres at Seattle Mariners

The Mets expect to sign or trade for a left-handed reliever by the end of the Winter Meetings, a team source told Mike Puma of the New York Post.

With Josh Edgin already assured of a bullpen role, the Mets are looking for a second lefty to pair with him next season. Reportedly, they are targeting a low cost reliever on a one-year deal and Puma named Phil Coke, Joe Beimel and Craig Breslow as likely options.

Beimel, 37, has been on the Mets radar in the past. Last season, he went 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 56 appearances for the Mariners. Of the three, I think he’d be the best option.

Adam Rubin also reported that the Mets could consider re-signing Dana Eveland if his elbow proves healthy. Eveland, 31, had a 2.63 ERA in 30 relief appearances for the Mets, striking out 27 and walking six in 27.1 innings pitched. He was released in October to make room on the 40-man roster after being shutdown in September with inflammation in his elbow.

On Thursday, the Mets added Jack Leathersich to the 40 man roster and he is expected to compete for a job in the bullpen this Spring.

There’s always the possibility that the Mets trade for a left-handed reliever as they look to move one of Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese and Dillon Gee.

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Braves Shopping Right-Handed Slugger Justin Upton http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/braves-shopping-right-handed-slugger-justin-upton.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/braves-shopping-right-handed-slugger-justin-upton.html/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 12:00:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170552 justin-upton

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Braves are “very much shopping” outfielder Justin Upton and are looking for “a higher return” than they received for Jason Heyward, who they traded to St. Louis earlier this week.

In exchange for Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden, Atlanta received 24-year old righthander Shelby Miller plus right-handed pitching prospect Tyrell Jenkins.

Upton is a free agent after the 2015 season and is due $14.5 million. What makes him more valuable than Heyward whom he out-homered 29 to 11. Sherman also points out that the only right-handed hitter who had more homers than Upton in the National League was Giancarlo Stanton.

Interest in Upton is described as as significant with the Astros, Mariners and Rangers among interested teams.

MLB Trade Rumors likes what the Braves are trying to do, moving Heyward and Upton for top shelf young pitching and then signing Cuban slugger Yasmani Tomas to pair with Evan Gattis and give the Braves a pair of powerful right-handed bats to surround Freddie Freeman.

I strongly doubt that Sandy Alderson will look into Upton, who turned 27 in August, despite reported interest back when he was being shopped by the D’backs. The cost in prospects would be beyond what he’d be willing to move, plus they already made their big outfield move by signing Michael Cuddyer for $21 million.

The Mets could still be in the market for a right-handed hitting corner outfielder, but at a much smaller scale such as for free-agents Jonny Gomes or Ryan Ludwick. That would allow the team the flexibility to shift Cuddyer to first base against tough lefties in place of Lucas Duda.

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Latest On SS Alexei Ramirez: White Sox GM Not Pursuing A Trade http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/latest-on-ss-alexei-ramirez-white-sox-gm-not-pursuing-a-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/latest-on-ss-alexei-ramirez-white-sox-gm-not-pursuing-a-trade.html/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:33:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169480 alexei ramirez

The Los Angeles Dodgers are are aggressively pursuing White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez in trade talks, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.

The Dodgers certainly have outfielders to move in any trade but have high a price tag on Matt Kemp, Nightengale adds.

As for the Mets, ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin believes that the Mets and White Sox have yet to have any conversations about Ramirez, disputing an earlier report by Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago.

Adding to the mixed messages is White Sox GM Rick Hahn, who doesn’t sound very motivated in trading Ramirez unless a team was willing to overpay. “It’s certainly not something we’re pursuing on our end.”

November 18

Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reported last week, that the White Sox have heard from numerous major league clubs about the availability of shortstop Alexei Ramirez, and the Mets, Yankees and Dodgers are among the teams that have checked in.

Levine added that the Mets have been “the most aggressive in their pursuit of a shortstop over the past 12 months.”

“General manager Sandy Alderson has had his top scouts looking at shortstops such as Ramirez, the Cubs’ Starlin Castro and free agents Asdrubal Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez extensively this past season. The Mets also have exactly what the White Sox are looking for if they agree to move Ramirez.”

The White Sox covet right-handed power pitchers and Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero are reportedly at the top of that list, says Levine.

Ramirez, 33, is owed $10 million in both 2015 and 2016 (club option) and batted .273/.305/.408 last season. In 158 games he hit 15 home runs with 74 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. He leads all American League shortstops in base hits and RBIs since 2009.

(Updated 11/18)

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Braves Enter Yasmani Tomas Sweepstakes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/braves-enter-yasmani-tomas-sweepstakes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/braves-enter-yasmani-tomas-sweepstakes.html/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:51:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168409 yasmani tomas cuba

The Atlanta Braves have jumped into the mix for 24-year-old Cuban free agent Yasmani Tomas, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. He is scheduled to hold a private workout for Braves scouts and officials in the coming days

Heyman says that the Braves could qualify as a surprise team and that they recently made room in the outfield by trading Jason Heyward. New Braves president of baseball operations John Hart has long loved power hitters, as folks may recall from his Cleveland and Texas days, adds Heyman.

The Padres have also ramped up interest in Tomas, while the Phillies have backed off until they can clear enough room on their payroll to sign him. Only a week ago, several reports suggested that a deal was imminent.

November 13

Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas is flying to the United States on Friday to meet with his agent, Jay Alou Jr., reports Jorge Arangure of Vice Sports, who believes a deal now appears imminent and could come as soon as this weekend. He adds that Alou is still planning to meet with four GMs in the next two days as the very active pursuit for Tomas comes to its conclusion.

Peter Gammons of MLB Network also reported that the San Francisco Giants are being urged by special assistant Felipe Alou to sign Tomas as a third baseman. The Phillies are still in the hunt and are trying to clear some money to get a deal done. The Royals are also considered to be in the picture.

November 9

Joel Sherman of the New York Post makes the case that the Mets should sign Cuban slugger Yasmani Tomas.

Sherman says that signing Tomas would instantly energize the fan base and would show that ownership is indeed willing to spend when the time is right.

The Mets have been asking their fans to be patient for four years while a slew of prized young arms worked their way to the majors. That time is now.

He also points out that while Tomas could be a risk, it’s a risk worth taking given that the recent track record of righty Cuban power hitters — Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu — has been excellent. One scout who watched his workout likened Tomas to Albert Belle.

If it were possible to sign him, and I’m not saying it is, an added benefit would be pulling the rug out from under the Phillies who are the favorites to sign Tomas.

So what do you think, should the Mets sign him?

November 5

Confirming what has been a growing buzz, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is hearing from more and more sources that the Philadelphia Phillies are still extremely interested in signing free-agent Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas.

The Phillies sent one of the larger contingents to see Tomas during his first showcase, and they were the first MLB team to have him attend a private workout.

It seems pretty clear that given his young age and the state of the team, the Phillies are looking at his 70 rated power and seeing Tomas as not only a youth infusion but potentially a 30 homer bat as well. And after years and years of a sold out ballpark, they’ve got the money to spend.

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

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 top that.

“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.

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Andrew Miller Has Multiple Offers, Mets Have “No Shot” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/andrew-miller-has-multiple-offers-mets-have-no-shot.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/andrew-miller-has-multiple-offers-mets-have-no-shot.html/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:26:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170541 miller andrew

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports is reporting that reliever Andrew Miller has multiple three-year offers already in hand, making it increasingly likely that he will end up with a four-year deal.

Additionally, Morosi states that Miller’s current offers would give him the highest annual value ever for a reliever without closing experience. The high water mark is currently at $6 million.

Miller, 29, had a career year in 2014 between the Red Sox and Orioles. Through 42.1 innings in Boston, Miller held a 2.35 ERA before being dealt for minor league pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. Down the stretch for Baltimore, he was even more impressive, posting a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings. His strikeout, home run, and hit rates were all at career-bests.

Several sources have indicated that Miller will not sign for less than four years, and isn’t listening to any other offers unless the average annual value is “astounding.”

The Red Sox and Blue Jays are among over a dozen teams that are interested in signing Miller, however the Mets are not in the mix.

Mike Puma of the New York Post reported that while the Mets are looking to add a lefty reliever at the Winter Meetings, there’s “no shot” they sign Miller.

Earlier this week, Sandy Alderson said there’s a possibility that pitching prospect Steven Matz can make his debut in 2015 as a left-handed reliever in the Mets bullpen. Read more here.

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ESPN Predicts Mets Trade For Seattle’s Brad Miller or Chris Taylor http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/espn-predicts-mets-trade-for-seattles-brad-miller-or-chris-taylor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/espn-predicts-mets-trade-for-seattles-brad-miller-or-chris-taylor.html/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:56:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169882 chris talor bat

Jim Bowden of ESPN.com predicts that the Mets and Mariners will eventually get together on a trade this offseason that will send one of infielders Brad Miller or Chris Taylor to New York in exchange for one of their back-end starters – namely Dillon Gee, Jon Niese or Bartolo Colon.

Last week, an MLB executive told Adam Rubin that the two teams matched up well for a trade. And while Sandy Alderson has spoken very positively about Wilmer Flores at shortstop, there’s still a sense that he’d prefer a better defender at the position.

Rubin also noted that the Mets would have no problem sacrificing another draft pick and signing another free agent if the price is right. That would mean waiting the market out through January and seeing which players have been shutout. I don’t see the Mets taking this route, but others do.

November 12

Adam Rubin tweeted that the Mets and Mariners matched up well for a trade, according to a front office person and an agent. These two teams have reportedly been a good match for some time now, and we’ve reportedly scouted them a few times and they’ve scouted us. So this is not entirely new.

But who do they have that we would want?

We can throw away the earlier Michael Saunders rumors from last week now that the Mets opted for Michael Cuddyer. And we can also forget Nick Franklin, who was traded to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline.

Shortstop Brad Miller has often been mentioned, but he regressed in 2014, batting just .228 with a .289 OBP while striking out 95 times in 367 at-bats. One player that is seldom mentioned is the other M’s shortstop Chris Taylor.

chris-taylor-Taylor has always been considered a better overall defensive shortstop than Brad Miller and Nick Franklin, and after he was promoted he dazzled in the field showing superior range, soft hands and an above average arm. Scouts initially tabbed Taylor as glove-only utility infielder because he had no plus tools on offense aside from some speed.

However, Taylor confounded the experts and hit his way to a major league debut last July, and eventually he wrestled the everyday shortstop job away from Miller.

A 5th round pick from the 2012 draft, he batted .287/.347/.346 in his first 151 plate appearances in the big leagues. He has no power to speak of, but the 23-year old is a grinder who gets good wood on the ball according to observers.

The latest buzz from the Mariners is that they will make a big push for free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez and that could make both Taylor and Miller expendable. The Mariners are desperate for a power bat and we can’t help them there, but they could be interested in a Niese or a Gee for the back of their rotation which is also a concern for them. It’s certainly worth looking into it.

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Mets’ 40 Man Roster After Additions and Subtractions http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-40-man-roster-after-additions-and-subtractions.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-40-man-roster-after-additions-and-subtractions.html/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 03:47:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170342 noah syndergaard

The Mets announced that right-handers Noah Syndergaard, Cory Mazzoni, Hansel Robles, Gabriel Ynoa and Akeel Morris plus lefty reliever Jack Leathersich have been added to the 40 man roster. Additionally, Jeff Walters, who underwent Tommy John surgery last June, was removed from the roster.

Here is what the Mets 40 Man Roster looks like after all is sad and done:

Pitchers (23)

Dario Alvarez
Vic Black
Bartolo Colon
Jacob deGrom
Josh Edgin
Jeurys Familia
Dillon Gee
Gonzalez Germen
Erik Goeddel
Matt Harvey
Jack Leathersich
Steven Matz
Cory Mazzoni
Jenrry Mejia
Rafael Montero
Akeel Morris
Jon Niese
Bobby Parnell
Hansel Robles
Noah Syndergaard
Carlos Torres
Zack Wheeler
Gabriel Ynoa

Catchers (2)

Travis d’Arnaud
Anthony Recker

Infielders (8)

Eric Campbell
Lucas Duda
Wilmer Flores
Dilson Herrera
Daniel Murphy
Ruben Tejada
Wilfredo Tovar
David Wright

Outfielders (7)

Michael Cuddyer
Matt den Dekker
Curtis Granderson
Juan Lagares
Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Cesar Puello
Eric Young Jr.

The Rule 5 Draft will be held on December 11 during the Winter Meetings. If the Mets acquire any player with a major league contract between now and the draft, they’ll have to make room for him and remove a player the roster.

November 20

All MLB teams must decide by today which minor league players they will add to their 40-man rosters to protect them from this upcoming Rule 5 Draft to be conducted in December.

On Tuesday, Sandy Alderson told reporters that he expects to add 5-6 prospects to the 40-man roster and that it will be heavily dominated by right-handed pitchers.

Noah Syndergaard will head the list of players and right-handers Cory Mazzoni, Logan Verrett and Akeel Morris could all be protected as well. That leaves one or two more spots and I’m betting it will be two from a group that includes Gabe Ynoa, Jack Leathersich, T.J. RiveraDaniel Muno, and Dustin Lawley.

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.

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Wheeler Has A Chip On His Shoulder, Wants To Win With Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/wheeler-has-a-chip-on-his-shoulder-wants-to-win-with-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/wheeler-has-a-chip-on-his-shoulder-wants-to-win-with-mets.html/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 03:23:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170453 zack wheeler

While taking time out of his schedule to hand out packages of food to needy families for Thanksgiving today at Citi Field, Zack Wheeler was bursting with optimism about the Mets’ 2015 season.

“We’re going to win,” said the young righthander who also hopes he’ll be a part of the Mets renaissance.

“I’d rather not get traded but I’ve been through it before,” he said. “I know how it goes. I know it’s the business. So I’d rather not get traded and stay here because I know what’s about to happen here.”

“If you’re human you can only look at our staff and be like yeah they’re going to make it to the playoffs,” he said.

Wheeler couldn’t help thinking about how the San Francisco Giants traded him to the Mets and went on to win their third World Series in five years. After all, he was selected sixth overall by San Francisco and was supposed to be their future star.

“I came from the Giants. I saw it happen over there — a lot of homegrown talent, young guys coming up and stuff. They’ve won three World Series in five years. It sort of puts a bitter taste in my mouth.”

“Now I want to do it over here with these guys and show them a little bit. Obviously you look at them and you’re like, ‘Man, I could have won a World Series this year.’ But now it makes me want to work that much harder and do it over here with this group of guys.”

First Collins, then Sandy, now Wheeler… I think this playoffs talk is getting rather contagious… It’s good to hear Wheeler talk like this – he has a chip on his shoulder… Nothing wrong with that.

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Beltran’s Deal With Mets Was The Gift That Keeps On Giving http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/beltrans-deal-with-mets-was-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/beltrans-deal-with-mets-was-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving.html/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 02:51:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170491 tron carlos beltran

Paul Casella of Sports on Earth analyzed 15 years of data and ranked the top producing $100+ million dollar deals in baseball history. Coming in second was the seven year deal Carlos Beltran signed with the Mets in 2005. Casella considered every deal since 1999 when Kevin Brown became the first player to land a $100 million contract. Alex Rodriguez’ first 10-year mega deal with the Texas Rangers came in first.

2. Carlos Beltran, Mets (2005-11)
Contract details: Seven years, $119 million
Total/Projected WAR: 32.3
WAR/million: 0.27

Beltran was traded to the Giants during the final year of this deal, but that didn’t stop the Mets from getting their money’s worth. Not only did Beltran put up a .280/.369/.500 line to go with 149 home runs over his six and a half seasons with the Mets, but the return in that eventual trade was 2009 first-round pick Zack Wheeler.

In just his second year of the seven-year deal, Beltran racked up 41 homers and 116 RBIs, while helping the Mets come within a game of the 2006 World Series. He then exceeded 100 RBIs in each of the next two seasons, as well. That production is still paying off to this day as it ultimately helped the Mets bring in Wheeler, an integral part of the Mets’ highly-regarded starting rotation.

Always good to read something like this – it keeps the haters in check… Beltran was my favorite Met during his time with the team. It’s a shame he was so under-appreciated.

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Did Mets Wait Too Long To Trade Niese? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/did-mets-wait-too-long-to-trade-niese.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/did-mets-wait-too-long-to-trade-niese.html/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:14:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170264 jon niese

Andy Martino of the Daily News wonders if the Mets blew it and waited too long to trade starting pitcher Jon Niese.

That there’s so little interest in him is a “striking contrast from two winters ago,” when many rivals were hotter for Niese than for the pitcher the Mets ultimately did move, R.A. Dickey, Martino writes.

“This winter, the Mets would argue that a talented, 28-year-old lefty with a team-friendly contract — $7, $9, $10, $11 million annually through 2018, with the final two years as club options — should bring value. And that might ultimately prove true, as the offseason progresses and trading partners lower their demands.”

“But as one official with a team who could be a fit with the Mets put it, ‘I think they underestimate the impact his injuries have had on perception. It’s not a team-friendly contract if he is on the D.L.’”

A team source told Mike Puma of the New York Post on Tuesday, “So far, very few inquiries from other teams about Colon, Niese and Gee, I was told. And “very few” might be overstating it.”

And when Arizona’s GM Dave Stewart was asked for his take on Niese, Dillon Gee, or Bartolo Colon, he bluntly replied:

“We don’t have any interest in those kind of guys. If we’re going to get something back for Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings, it’s going to be young, controllable pitching. Guys that aren’t making any money right now, who have a chance to grow within our organization.”

Martino concludes that despite Niese pitching 187 innings last year, teams are worried about a potential breakdown and that is the perception around baseball.

I think it’s still too early to worry… Everything may change in a month or two after Lester and Scherzer sign and the available pitching market shrinks.

(Updated 11/20)

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Mets Considering Re-Signing LHP Dana Eveland http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-considering-re-signing-lhp-dana-eveland.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-considering-re-signing-lhp-dana-eveland.html/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:32:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170424 dana-eveland-mlb-philadelphia-phillies-new-york-mets-850x560

Yesterday we learned the Mets were interested in bringing back right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle, which you can read here.

Today, Adam Rubin of ESPN NY reports that Sandy Alderson also has interest in re-signing left-hander Dana Eveland.

Eveland, 31, had a 2.63 ERA in 30 relief appearances for the Mets, striking out 27 and walking six in 27.1 innings pitched. Eveland had a career best 1.09 WHIP after last pitching in the majors in 2012. Over nine major league seasons his WHIP is 1.629 with a 5.27 ERA.

It’s not known how Eveland has progressed since after being shutdown with inflammation in his pitching elbow in early September and being subsequently released after the season. If healthy, he’s worth bringing back on a one year deal.

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Sandy Alderson Is Impressed With Wilmer Flores http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/sandy-alderson-is-impressed-with-wilmer-flores.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/sandy-alderson-is-impressed-with-wilmer-flores.html/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:02:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168999 wilmer flores

According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, Wilmer Flores is impressing Mets brass with how hard he’s working on his agility and fitness during the team’s off-season conditioning program in Port St. Lucie.

Sandy Alderson has been very outspoken about how pleased he is with Flores, and recently told Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com, “I’m one of those people that says put him out there and see what can happen, which is why we played him so much last year.”

“He did a nice job for us last year. Can he do that on a whole season basis? Offensively he got much better as time went on. I hope it works. I like Wilmer.”

While it’s widely reported that Alderson is monitoring the shortstop market and has checked in with some teams on the trade front, nothing appears imminent. But the Mets GM isn’t ruling out that Flores will be his Opening Day shortstop and says his defense is not a disqualifier.

“I think the issue has always been whether he can play defensively adequately or better,” Alderson said. “And a lot of us think he has the ability or the potential to do that.”

Last week, Sandy said Flores compared favorably to any shortstop that is currently available in free agency or trade.

“Wilmer at shortstop is one of those guys that doesn’t pass the eye test but if you start to look at his matrix a little bit you realize there’s maybe a little more there than we give him credit. And offensively there’s as much potential with him as probably anybody that’s available.”

Given the exorbitant demands from teams with shortstops to trade, I’d be shocked if Wilmer Flores was not the Opening Day shortstop.

November 12

While Sandy Alderson is prepared to engage a few teams to try and upgrade the shortstop position, he pretty much ruled out the possibility that the Mets would turn to free agency.

“We all know what’s available in the free-agent market. And there are a few teams that have middle infielders to trade,” Alderson said Wednesday at the GM Meetings. “But I’d say there are few of those clubs. So it may take us awhile to really figure out what’s available and what’s not and what fits and what doesn’t.”

Sandy is referring to the Mariners, Diamondbacks, Cubs and White Sox, who the Mets have reportedly checked in with in recent weeks. Most of those teams are looking for team-controlled young starting pitching, but the Mets would prefer to move Colon, Gee or Niese rather than give up one of their prized young arms and the odds that any deal gets done are not promising.

So while it may not be his first choice, Alderson said he has no problem if Wilmer Flores ends up being the Mets Opening Day shortstop.

“I know there are fans out there that don’t want to hear it, but if we had to go into the season with Flores as our shortstop, I’m certainly not in a panic mode at that point,” Alderson said. “Wilmer at shortstop is one of those guys that doesn’t pass the eye test. But if you start to look at his metrics a little bit, you realize there’s maybe a little more there than we give him credit. And, offensively, there’s as much potential with him as probably anybody that’s available.”

At the end of the season, Alderson praised how far Flores had come in the eyes of the organization. “Wilmer’s done a very nice job at shortstop and he’s made all the routine plays,” the GM said. “He’s got the arm, he turns the double play. He’s probably not Andrelton Simmons but not many are. So I think for a young guy who came in under a real microscope at that position I think he’s done an outstanding job.”

However, it’s what Flores can do offensively that makes him such a valuable asset.

“I think he’s beginning to show he can hit at this level to the same or similar level that he did in the minor leagues,” Alderson said. “He needs to be a little more selective at the plate, but he’s gradually ascending to that level. I think it’s largely a result of the playing time and getting comfortable. But for a young guy, he’s not fazed by much.”

Flores, 23, struggled with sporadic playing time after he was initially promoted. But once he was instilled as an everyday player he displayed his power potential, posting a .489 slugging percentage and .791 OPS in his last 96 plate appearances with 11 extra base hits including four home runs.

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Can Matz Be That Second Lefty In The Bullpen? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/can-matz-be-that-second-lefty-in-the-bullpen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/can-matz-be-that-second-lefty-in-the-bullpen.html/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:17:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170382 steve matz

Echoing what I wrote last Thursday and again this Monday, general manager Sandy Alderson said there’s a possibility that pitching prospect Steve Matz can make his debut in 2015 as a left-handed reliever in the Mets bullpen.

Alderson is very high on Matz, recently telling MMO, “”I would say Steven is probably one of the top handful of left-handed pitching prospects in the game right now.”

“He’s got an excellent fastball for a lefty, at 93, 94 mph. It can get a little bit higher than that. His breaking ball has gotten much better. And he threw some excellent changeups that night in Binghamton in that championship game.”

As for making his way to the majors as a reliever, Alderson said yesterday, “It might be a way for him to break in.”

Matz may also get the call when the Mets opt to skip a turn for Matt Harvey to conserve his innings. Along with Matz, Alderson said Noah Syndergaard and Cory Mazzoni were also options.

Given what Zach Duke (3 years, $15M) just signed for and the numbers being tossed around for Andrew Miller, it would behoove the Mets to explore Matz as that second lefty in the bullpen. If anyone can pull it off it’s him, and it’s only until we can open up a spot in the rotation for him..

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Alderson Wants To Trade A Starting Pitcher Before Spring Training http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/alderson-wants-to-trade-a-starting-pitcher-before-spring-training.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/alderson-wants-to-trade-a-starting-pitcher-before-spring-training.html/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:37:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170364 sandy alderson

Sandy Alderson expressed some urgency on Tuesday, regarding his attempts in trying to trade a starting pitcher sooner rather than later.

“I think we’d prefer to sort it out before spring training,” Alderson said on Tuesday. “Spring-training trades don’t happen frequently.”

Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, and Jon Niese are the three arms that Sandy prefers to deal, but the problem is that so far, nobody is even nibbling. At least two different beat reporters have learned from team sources that there’s been little to no interest in either of the three Mets veterans.

Maybe that will change at the Winter Meetings when the Mets will aggressively try to shop all three in hopes of not only opening a spot for returning Matt Harvey, but also to gain some salary relief and bring the payroll back under $100 million and closer to $90 million.

Colon is set to make $11 million, followed by Niese who will earn $7 million, and Gee heads to arbitration and is projected to earn $5 million in 2015.

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Mets Discussing Bringing Back Reliever Buddy Carlyle http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-discussing-bringing-back-reliever-buddy-carlyle.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-discussing-bringing-back-reliever-buddy-carlyle.html/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 12:56:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170366 buddy carlyle

Marc Carig of Newsday reports that the Mets have discussed bringing back reliever Buddy Carlyle, who was outrighted by the team two weeks ago.

For a reliever who hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2011, the 36-year old righthander stepped right into the Mets bullpen and delivered the best performance of his career.

In 27 appearances, Carlyle posted a pristine 1.45 ERA with an equally impressive 0.904 WHIP to match, both career bests.

General manager Sandy Alderson commended Carlyle at the end of the season while discussing the second half success of the bullpen.

“The bullpen has come around,” Alderson said.”I can’t say enough, not only about Familia and Mejia but all the other guys who performed so well in the bullpen this year including guys like Buddy Carlyle.”

Carlye came on strong during the final two months of the season, using a four-seamer, sinker, and cutter with great effectiveness and posting a 8.1 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 31.0 innings pitched. He’s definitely someone worth bringing back.

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Foo Fighters To Perform At Citi Field On July 16 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/foo-fighters-to-perform-at-citi-field-on-july-16.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/foo-fighters-to-perform-at-citi-field-on-july-16.html/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:58:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170346 foo fighters david grohl

The New York Mets and Live Nation today announced that multi-platinum and Grammy Award-winning American rockers Foo Fighters will perform at Citi Field on Thursday, July 16.

Tickets go on sale this Saturday, November 22 in a five-hour presale from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. exclusively at the Citi Field Box Office adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Tickets go on sale to the general public Friday, December 5 at 10:00 a.m. online at Mets.com/Foos and by phone at 718-507-TIXX. Mets Season Ticket Holders will have access to a special online presale beginning Monday, December 1.

Fresh off of last week’s release of “Sonic Highways” — the band’s critically acclaimed eighth studio album on RCA Records — and their performance at the Veteran’s Day Concert for Valor in front of more than 800,000 on the Mall in Washington, D.C., Foo Fighters next month will embark on a worldwide tour.

In the interim, “Sonic Highways,” the American TV documentary series about the history of American music airs Fridays on HBO. The show about New York City’s musical history airs December 5 – the same date when tickets go on sale to the general public for the band’s July 16 performance at Citi Field.

Foo Fighters will become the latest in a lineup of legendary artists to perform at the home of the Mets, including The Beatles, Who, Police, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Dave Matthews Band.

Over the course of the band’s career, Foo Fighters have sold more than 11 million records in the United States and four of its albums have won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Album.

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Syndergaard Early Favorite For 2015 Rookie of the Year http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/syndergaard-early-favorite-for-2015-rookie-of-the-year.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/syndergaard-early-favorite-for-2015-rookie-of-the-year.html/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:50:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168863 noah syndergaard - las vegas 51s

Jim Callis of MLB.com, predicts that Mets righthander Noah Syndergaard will win next year’s NL Rookie of the Year award, following the same path as RHP Jacob deGrom.

“He doesn’t have as clear a path to a regular big league role…at least not at the moment, but Syndergaard should claim a spot in the Mets’ rotation even with Matt Harvey returning from Tommy John surgery. New York could trade some pitching for some needed offensive help, and Syndergaard is too talented to send back to Triple-A for a second season.”

“Unlike most young pitchers his size, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Syndergaard repeats his delivery easily. That gives him better command than most 22-year-olds, enhancing his premium stuff. Syndergaard regularly pitches at 95-97 mph with his fastball and can crank it up into triple digits, and the run and sink on his heater make it even more effective.”

Syndergaard will have plenty of competition in 2015 when one of the most talented rookie classes in years is set to debut.

Third baseman Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs is predicted by many to be a top contender, but Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler, Marlins starting pitcher Andrew Heaney, and Braves second baseman Jose Peraza should all be in the mix as well.

Last week, Baseball America ranked Syndergaard as the 5th best prospect in the Pacific Coast League and wrote:

Managers and scouts held mixed opinions on the physical Syndergaard, based on his performance at Las Vegas’ notoriously hitter-friendly Cashman Field. He led the PCL in strikeouts but took his lumps as well. One rival manager called Syndergaard a “good prospect, but not an accomplished pitcher right now,” while a scout from a rival organization called him “probably the best pitcher in the PCL, prospect-wise.”

Syndergaard touched 100 mph this season and pitched at 95-97 with heavy run and sinking action on his fastball, BA wrote. He adds to that a deceptive changeup for which he has feel and a curveball that flashes average. He was slowed in 2014 by injuries to his right forearm and left shoulder.

The only thing standing in Syndergaard’s way to the majors is a glut of seven starting pitchers to fill five spots in the Mets rotation. Sandy Alderson will try to chisel that number down this offseason, but Syndergaard is slated to begin the season in Triple-A regardless to work on his consistency.

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It All Still Hinges On Wright and Granderson http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/it-all-still-hinges-on-wright-and-granderson.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/it-all-still-hinges-on-wright-and-granderson.html/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 01:34:56 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170200 terry-collins

Manager Terry Collins says “2015 is gonna be the year,” and that the Mets are “gonna be in the mix to play in October.”

“We’ve been preaching patience for four years, and it’s time to step up,” said Collins on Thursday while volunteering at a food bank in Queens. “We’ve got Matt coming back, Michael Cuddyer coming in. We’re gonna be a different team. We should be playing in October.”

I hope Collins is right, but there’s so much the Mets need to go right for that to happen and the top two items on that list are big rebound seasons from Curtis Granderson, 34, and David Wright, 32.

It reminded me of a conversation I transcribed between Gary Cohen and Ron Darling during a Mets broadcast, last September.

Gary Cohen: Granderson missed most of last year and hasn’t had a great year. But I don’t understand how you simply assume he’ll rebound next season. I mean how do you do that as an organization? How do you just go with these assumptions going forward?

Ron Darling: I don’t know. It’s a very relevant question but I don’t have a good answer for you. I think it’s almost impossible to make that assumption.

Cohen:  They can spout all these advanced stats based on age and performance and all the Pecota predictions and what have you, but they don’t give you any answers whatsoever, and lets face it, all of it only amounts to an educated guess.

Darling: That’s absolutely right.

Cohen: So are they just gonna act on that and simply hope things get better without any contingency plan to do X, Y, or Z? Are they just going to tell us, ‘of course he’s gonna bounce back why wouldn’t he?’

Darling: They really have no other options. There are only two things they can do here. First, you act on optimism and you hope that both these guys, Granderson and Wright, return to form. And secondly, and most importantly, financially the Mets are stuck in a place where they have to perform. They just have to. There’s nothing else you can do.

Cohen: I understand that. You can’t trade them… You can’t trade them… You have to play them. So no matter what, these two have to be in the lineup no matter what regardless if they are good or bad.

Darling: Exactly. There is no Plan B. There’s no Plan B for the Mets now that they’ve decided to have that much money invested in two players. This is it. When the Mets made the decision to give those two players those kind of longterm contracts, essentially they made both Granderson and Wright their core players. Guess what, now they have to live or die with those core players.

Gary and Ron raised a lot of interesting points but the takeaway here is that with Wright and Grandy swallowing up 40% of the projected payroll, both players will need to produce and produce big for the Mets to have a real shot in 2015.

The addition of Michael Cuddyer makes the team better, but that gets negated if it’s coupled with the loss of Daniel Murphy.

The Mets will certainly have the pitching, nobody disputes that. But they will need an offense that can complement it and minimize all those one-run losses they endured in 2014.

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The Franchise Turns 70 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/the-franchise-turns-70.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/the-franchise-turns-70.html/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:32:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170236 tom seaver bw

James Rosen of the New York Post, penned a worthy piece that reminds us of the remarkable career and the greatness of Mets icon Tom Seaver who turns 70 today.

“His very motion was a thing of beauty: the high leg kick, the deep rearing back of his right arm, his right knee, perpetually dirtied, dragging along the mound as he lowered himself for maximum thrust, his face, even in the extremis of competition, a study in symmetrical perfection as he bit his lower lip and bore down.”

“When he ended innings with another strikeout, he never showboated with fist pumps or other unseemly displays. Rather, he walked calmly to the dugout, head down — as if in deep contemplation of the physical mechanics of pitching he so often spoke of, with the erudition that made him, in the sportswriters’ estimation, the Thinking Man’s Pitcher.”

Seaver epitomized what grace and class was in every aspect of his life both on and off the field. I always thought it was a real shame that there is no statue honoring him at our home park, after all he is The Franchise.

Seaver recently said that the Mets have never approached him about erecting a statue or monument in his honor.

“I understand that I’m a part of the history of the game of baseball, it is going to be what it is,” Seaver said, when asked about his legacy. “The wonderful thing are the memories that I have about the game, and I loved it.”

We are nearing 25 years since Seaver was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Wouldn’t it be something if we could mark that anniversary with a magnificent statue erected in his honor?

The Mets owners should make this happen, however as I see it, there’s just one obstacle standing in the way… The Mets owners.

Enjoy this video of a futuristic Tom Seaver unleashing an explosive fastball to home plate at Citi Field. It’s pitcher versus batter as a high powered windup unleashes a sci-fi fastball in this thrilling one minute short created exclusively for the New York Mets last season.

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