Mets Merized Online » Satish Ram http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:43:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 Mets Have Inquired About Johan Santana http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-have-inquired-about-johan-santana.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mets-have-inquired-about-johan-santana.html/#comments Sun, 08 Dec 2013 19:07:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134841 johan santana spring

Jorge Castillo of the Star Ledger reported that the Mets, along with a few other teams, have inquired about Johan Santana. Last week, Santana’s agent Chris Leible tweeted out that Johan is throwing from 150 feet out without any pain right now. Remember, he missed the entire 2013 season and has not pitched since August of 2012.

Santana’s career stats with the Mets were pretty solid, with a 3.18 ERA over 717.0 innings pitched. He compiled a 46-34 record over that span of four years in Flushing.

I do not particularly mind the Mets going after a guy like Santana or Roy Halladay at this point to fill out the rotation. If the gamble works out, the Mets get the low-cost style player that they’re looking for anyway, and if not, they won’t have to pitch too long before being overtaken by a young arm like Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard.

The Met’s rotation currently involves Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee while Jenrry Mejia could sneak his way in as well.

mmo

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Did The Mets Make A Mistake By Not Pursuing Michael Choice? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/did-the-mets-make-a-mistake-by-not-pursuing-michael-choice.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/did-the-mets-make-a-mistake-by-not-pursuing-michael-choice.html/#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 13:34:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134466 michaelchoice

Yesterday, as reported by Steve Adams on MLBTR, the Athletics acquired Craig Gentry and Josh Lindblom from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Michael Choice and Chris Bostick.

Gentry is one of the top defensive outfielders in the MLB, but struggles offensively against right-handed pitching. As Steve Adams notes, “Gentry has thrived against left-handed pitching throughout his career, compiling a solid .288/.376/.399 slash line. He’s serviceable against right-handed pitchers as well, though his OBP (.334) and slugging (.335) are significantly lower against same-handed pitching.” The A’s are planning to use Lindblom as a starter, according to Jeff Passan, and was a fly-ball pitcher as a reliever, with a 3.82 ERA in 132.0 MLB innings with three different teams. That tendency will play out better in Oakland.

Chris Bostick is not a name I was familiar with — but he was Oakland’s 20th ranked prospect, a second baseman, with some pop. He banged out 14 home runs with a .282/.354/.452 line in 2013.

The big name in this trade, however, has to be Michael Choice for me — and if he was available for so little, I’m a little surprised the Mets didn’t go after him. Choice looks like he’ll be a solid player in the MLB as a corner outfielder, as a real power threat. He has a mature approach at the plate, and although he does strike out often, he draws walks and demonstrates enough selection at the plate. Choice’s best year was in 2010, in Single-A Advanced ball, where he hit 30 home runs with a .285/.376/.542 slash line in 542 plate appearances. He also hit 28 doubles, and posted a 61:134 BB:K ratio. He was called up the Athletics to make his debut last year, and at the time, he was batting .302/.390/.445 in Triple-A Sacramento with 14 home runs.

If we were going by direct comparisons, a package from the Mets would have had to include Juan Lagares and perhaps Jacob DeGrom. However, since I’m not interested in Chris Bostick, I wonder if the Mets could have put together a similar package to acquire Choice centered around the young pitching that we have… it just gets me thinking is all.

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Sherman: Mets Are Out On Furcal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/sherman-mets-are-out-on-furcal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/sherman-mets-are-out-on-furcal.html/#comments Sat, 30 Nov 2013 22:48:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134155 Rafael+Furcal+New+York+Mets+v+St+Louis+Cardinals+d3Es_UBF9nel

Update 7:00 PM

Well, so much for that, huh? According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, a Mets executive has told him that Furcal is no longer an option. The Mets are apparently concerned with his health. Furcal was supposed to start throwing this week.

With Jhonny Peralta signed, Stephen Drew too expensive, and now Furcal being ruled out… get used to Ruben Tejada?

Original Post

Rafael Furcal told Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that the Mets are among a few teams that have shown interest in his services for next season. Furcal also lists the Red Sox, Marlins, Nationals, Pirates, and Rockies as teams who have contacted him. He noted that the teams have shown varying degrees of interest.

He also indicated that his determining factors for choosing a landing spot would be playing for a contender and playing time overall. He explained that he would be willing to split time between second base and shortstop, but at this stage in his career, it makes sense that he would want to play for a contender. He said that at this point, he does not “play for money” so it does seem like he won’t be an expensive pick-up.

However, considering the Mets state of affairs, there might be more appealing teams for Furcal to sign on with. He is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and will be re-evaluated in two weeks to see if he can increase his rehab workload.

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MMO Rising Stars: Gabe Ynoa Is The Next Rafael Montero http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mmo-rising-stars-gabe-ynoa-is-the-next-rafael-montero.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mmo-rising-stars-gabe-ynoa-is-the-next-rafael-montero.html/#comments Thu, 28 Nov 2013 15:33:25 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133974 gabriel ynoa

We all fall in love with certain prospects, and you all know that Gabriel Ynoa is that guy for me. I haven’t spoken about him in a little while, so I figured it was time, right?

The Mets honored him as this season’s Pitcher of the Year after he won 15 games to the tune of a 2.72 ERA. Although I would never discredit Steven Matz’s excellent work, Ynoa was certainly an integral part of Savannah’s run to the playoffs and subsequent championship win. He won two games in the playoffs, and allowed just two runs over 14.2 IP.

Now, I’m aware that Ynoa isn’t exactly billed as the best pitcher in the system, but it was nice to hear DePodesta talk him up a little. Here’s what he had to say:

“We think he’s the next Rafael Montero in our organization,” DePodesta said of the 20-year-old. “You hear the term ‘projectable lefty’ often. You don’t hear the ‘projectable right-hander’ often, but that’s what Ynoa is. When he first came over from the Dominican Summer League and pitched in the Gulf Coast League in 2011, [he had a] very clean delivery, good tempo and was mainly at 87-89 mph, but had a good year because he’s a good strike thrower. He was only 17, 18 at the time.

“He goes to Brooklyn [in 2012] and the velocity is more like 88-91 mph and occasionally touched 93 mph. He had a dominant year in Brooklyn. This year it was 90-94 mph and touching 95 mph. He’s still a very young guy — we’re very excited to see the continued development because of the great delivery and athleticism. He’s a guy who has a chance to move quickly if he keeps this up.”

Now that is some high praise right there! I can reference this the next time that I have a Ynoa love-fest. First off, projectable righty is an excellent way to describe him and perhaps why I feel so confident in him. His velocity has increased since he joined the Mets as a teenager and he has demonstrated excellent command. The next Montero? You can probably bet on it. :D

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Joe Smith Signs With Angels For Three Years http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/joe-smith-signs-with-angels-for-three-years.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/joe-smith-signs-with-angels-for-three-years.html/#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 03:08:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132582 joe smith

Update 11/23 at 9:45 PM

Free agent reliever Joe Smith just signed with the Los Angeles Angels on a 3-year deal worth a little more than $15 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Read my thoughts on Joe Smith from an earlier post below…

Original Post

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the Indians were not expected to retain Joe Smith.

Smith, as most of you know, is an ex-Met who was traded away in the J.J. Putz deal. Smith has developed into one of the premier relievers in the American League over the last few years, with a 2.42 ERA in 197.0 innings over his last three seasons. He has also finished 45 games for the Indians and allowed just ten home runs. Right-handers have a career batting average of just .218 against him — while lefties are only faring a little better at .248.

He’s seeking a three-year deal worth about $15 MM and considering he’s just 29, he seems like a reliever that I would take a gamble on.

Here’s the added benefit to that, however — Smith is basically a constant at this point, so you have some margin of error with Jeurys Familia/Jeff Walters/Jack Leathersich/Vic Black.

In the present scenario, as much as I think they’ll all succeed, this would put the Mets in a scenario where they do not HAVE to succeed, and then one of them could be used a trade chip for a big deal down the line.

What do you all think?

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Staying Healthy Has LHP Steven Matz Back On The Top Prospect Radar http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/staying-healthy-has-lhp-steven-matz-back-on-the-top-prospect-radar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/staying-healthy-has-lhp-steven-matz-back-on-the-top-prospect-radar.html/#comments Sat, 23 Nov 2013 20:20:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133565 steven matz

How many times do we see solid prospects fizzle out due to injury? Experts say that it happens much more with pitchers than with any other position. Scouts try to project a pitcher’s long term health, but it always feels like a gamble with the draft regardless these days. Freak injuries, lack of conditioning, and pure bad luck can all turn a potential star into a career minor leaguer. I guess that’s I’m most happy to see Steven Matz succeed and overcome his own flirtation with injury. His is an inspiring story of a young pitcher who has missed far too much time with arm injuries, but who has come roaring back and is still throwing hard, oozing with that top of the rotation potential.

Before last year, Matz only pitched in six professional games after a Tommy John surgery in 2010. However, he was spectacular in 2013, posting a sterling 2.62 ERA in 106.1 innings pitched for Savannah this season. He struck out 122 over that span. He also made two post-season starts, where he did not allow a run in either contest. It was easy to see how excited Paul DePodesta was about Matz’s strong season:

“I think we were just so happy for Steven,” DePodesta said. “He’s put in so much work and so much time and all the rehab … and had gotten to a point where he could pitch a full season. He had a terrific year, his ERA was great and he struck out a ton of a guys. He has a plus changeup to go with his fastball.

“The thing we were happiest about was his 21 regular-season starts. Just the fact that he was able to take the ball that many times and have no injuries. He’s always had the stuff, it was just a matter of him being healthy.”

Matz jumped right back into the mix of our Top 10 Mets Prospects after his amazing comeback in 2013, and he could work his way up to being our top prospect by the end of 2014 if he turns in another season like he did last year.

Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero will be in the majors by then after they both make their MLB debuts this upcoming season, so Matz is in store for a big jump once they move on. He’s always an entertaining pitcher to watch, so I’m looking forward to seeing him dominate again.

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Letting LaTroy Hawkins Go Shows Mets’ Faith In Vic Black http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/letting-latroy-hawkins-go-shows-mets-faith-in-vic-black.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/letting-latroy-hawkins-go-shows-mets-faith-in-vic-black.html/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 13:00:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133346 vic blackAs you’ve no doubt heard by now, LaTroy Hawkins signed with the Colorado Rockies for $2.25 MM earlier in the week — and according to reports, the Mets low-balled him.

While I can understand not wanting to invest in a player of his age, the fact that the Mets didn’t match $2.25 million is somewhat telling.

Of course, he has almost no opportunity to close here anymore considering Bobby Parnell should return healthy, so it makes sense that he wanted to test the market and find a better situation.

The end result of letting him go, however, is an expanded role for the young fireballer Vic Black. Sandy Alderson stated in an interview Tuesday, that Black would close if Parnell was not healthy to begin the season. That’s quite the rave by our GM.

However, this is not exactly a big surprise, considering Black has been considered to have the potential to be a dominant reliever for a while now.

The Marlon Byrd deal may end up turning out to be quite a steal for the Mets, considering they acquired a prospect who likely falls in their Top 10 (Dilson Herrera) and a shutdown reliever in Vic Black, who seemingly has a floor of being a solid middle reliever and a ceiling at the top of the food chain.

Black’s power fastball and sharp slider will find a much welcomed home in a Mets bullpen that could be their strongest area next season.

The bottom line is that the Mets do not have to worry too much about letting LaTroy Hawkins go — they’ve got options and in Black they have an extremely good one.

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Alderson: We’re Going To Spend More Money Than In Recent Years http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/alderson-on-espn-fm-were-going-to-spend-more-money-than-in-recent-years.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/alderson-on-espn-fm-were-going-to-spend-more-money-than-in-recent-years.html/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 18:57:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133038 sandy alderson

Mets GM Sandy Alderson was on ESPN FM Radio for a brief interview earlier today. Here’s a little recap for you…

Alderson again said he’s looking at his “shortstop situation,” as well as all three outfield positions. Mike Lupica told Alderson that he understands it’s a marathon not a sprint — but it’s starting to feel like a Walking Tour of America. Alderson responded that it was neither of the two, but “maybe an 800.”

When asked about how the fanbase is reacting to the club’s spending and the potential of the payroll actually going down:

“No fan is probably ever going to be satisfied with what his or her team is spending on players. It’s kind of too bad that the measure of commitment, the measure of loyalty to the fan base, is measured in dollar signs. That be as it may, we’re going to spend more money this year than we’ve spent in recent years, just in terms of what we have to spend. You know, last year we only spent about $5 million on free agents (Shaun Marcum and Brandon Lyon). So this is going to be a new day. We have it to spend. We have to spend it wisely. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

In reference to the Mets emulating the Red Sox model, Alderson had this to say:

“Look, I referred to the fact that we spent $5 million on free agents last year. They spent close to $70 million just for last year. I just want to make sure we understand the ‘Red Sox model’ is not inexpensive…In some ways, they were similar to the Mets probably in the sense that they got burned by some big contracts, decided not to go that route, decided to protect their draft picks and ended up signing players with the resources they had in what you might loosely define in the mid-range, but in actuality Stephen Drew [was signed] at $9.5 million …At some point the same thing doesn’t necessarily work over the succeeding period of time and you’ve got to come up with a different concept.”

This interview bothered me, but it’s becoming par for the course with Alderson. I’m slowly growing more and more aggravated with his smug tone. His commentary on the Red Sox model basically reeked of the idea that the Mets aren’t even going to come close to doing that this offseason. And if your only benchmark is spending more than $5 MM this year on free agents… well. That really isn’t much of a big promise to fulfill, even though he’s not exactly a man with a great track record.

And before I let this go, I want to zero in on something he said specifically. “It’s kind of too bad that the measure of commitment, the measure of loyalty to the fan base, is measured in dollar signs.” Excuse me? The measure of commitment is based on creating a god damn winning product. I don’t care if the productive players acquired are being paid $2 million or $12 million, honestly. I want to see this team win again consistently. The front office seems more interested in acquiring bargain players, anyway.

I’m not saying we should just spend for the sake of it — and honestly, I don’t think anybody is anymore. But there are quality players out there (Jhonny Peralta, Jacoby Ellsbury, Masahiro Tanaka, Stephen Drew, Nelson Cruz) that could actually improve the team and all we get are excuses as to why we aren’t signing them. Sorry if I sound bitter, but I get the feeling we’re in for a lot of disappointment in the next few months.

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Mets Have Shown Interest In Hughes, But Not Entertaining Idea Of Kazmir http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-have-shown-interest-in-hughes-but-not-entertaining-idea-of-kazmir.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-have-shown-interest-in-hughes-but-not-entertaining-idea-of-kazmir.html/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 18:04:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132815 Phil Hughes

Here are two different pieces of news from yesterday, both involving the Mets interest in the pitching market…

  • According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the Mets are not seriously considering a reunion with former first round pick Scott Kazmir. Kazmir, who is coming off a solid season with the Indians, is looking to after a multi-year deal and the Indians are unwilling to give him one. It’s likely the Mets will be hesistant as well, so I wouldn’t expect anything on that front. Kazmir went 10-9 last year with a 4.04 ERA in 158.0 innings pitched. He struck out 162 batters over that span.
  • On the flip side, the Mets have shown interest in Phil Hughes, according to Andy Martino of the Daily News. His source stated that there was “some level of interest” and not nearly as much as in Curtis Granderson. If I had to venture a guess, I would not expect anything much on that front either. It seems like the Mets are just sending out feelers in every direction, as Alderson does every offseason. Hughes isn’t exactly the most desirable free agent out there this winter as well, as even though he’s enjoyed some success in the past, he’s coming off a season where he went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA. He surrendered 24 home runs in 145.2 innings pitched.

We’ll keep you updated…

 

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Ricciardi On Losing Draft Pick: I Don’t Know If We’ll Be Involved With Those Types Of Guys http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/ricciardi-on-losing-draft-pick-i-dont-know-if-well-be-involved-with-those-types-of-guys.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/ricciardi-on-losing-draft-pick-i-dont-know-if-well-be-involved-with-those-types-of-guys.html/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 14:21:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132793 ricciardi

Steve Adams of MLBTR had a chance to talk to J.P.Ricciardi, Sandy Alderson’s special assistant. He gave some interesting quotes, noting that the Mets were more focused in adding offensive players and that they are confident about where team stands o pitching.

“I think the one thing in our favor right now is our pitching in our organization is getting closer to being big-league ready, so that makes us say that we might have some in-house options.”

“So maybe we wouldn’t even be as inclined to go out and look at that market…we have a lot of holes in our lineup,” said Ricciardi.

Adams said that JP felt that the Mets were committed to Travis d’Arnaud at catcher, but he was less committed to Juan Lagares — although he stated that Lagares is certainly the center fielder right now.

He also went on to say that it was unlikely the Mets would surrender more than one draft pick:

“I don’t know if we’ll be that involved with those type of guys. Like I said, it has to be the right guy for us to even do one, so I can’t really sit here and tell you that we’re probably thinking about doing two.”

He also didn’t state any specific position where they were trying to improve, as Adams states here…”Asked if he had a preference toward right or left handed batters or corner outfielders versus shortstops, Ricciardi simply replied, ‘I would say ‘bats. We need to improve our offense.”

This doesn’t seem like anything shocking, although I’m personally biased towards keeping Juan Lagares in center field if you can build a solid offense around him. If players that are horrible on defense but provide offensive talent can be tolerated, the reverse could be done at a premium position for defense.

His quote about the draft picks also worried me — “…it has to be the right guy for us to even do one.” That sounds like a built-in excuse — and a lot like the words we heard coming out of the Mets last offseason.

Plus I want to prove Joe D. wrong as he’s drilled into my head that the Mets going after any of those 13 players who refused qualifying offers was the stuff of legends and fairy tales.

Buckle up, fans… it’s going to be a long ride.

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Phillies Could Be On The Verge Of Landing Jose Bautista http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/phillies-could-be-on-the-verge-of-landing-jose-bautista.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/phillies-could-be-on-the-verge-of-landing-jose-bautista.html/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 04:33:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132819 Jose-Bautista
Howard Eskin of FOX 29 TV is reporting that the Phillies are on the verge of acquiring Jose Bautista from the Toronto Blue Jays. The deal could include Domonic Brown.

Bautista is under contract for two more years at $14 million each, with a team option for $14 million in 2016. He mashed 28 home runs for Toronto in 2013 with a .259 average.

The Phillies are struggling to fend off the curse of old age — and although Bautista won’t turn the clock back any, he will serve as a force in a line-up that just added Marlon Byrd this morning.

I’m not sure if I’d agree with giving up Domonic Brown here, but the Phillies could be capitalizing on the hype off his 2013 season, where he batted .272/.324/.494 over 496 at-bats with 27 home runs and 83 RBI.

We’ll see how this plays out…

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Mets Interested In Outfielder Chris Young http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-interested-in-outfielder-chris-young.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-interested-in-outfielder-chris-young.html/#comments Tue, 12 Nov 2013 19:33:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132783 130504124516-chris-young-dl-athletics-single-image-cut

Marc Carig tweeted out that a source tells him the Mets have shown interest in the outfielder Chris Young. Young, who turned 30 in September, hit just .200/.280/.379 with 12 homers and 10 steals in 2013 after coming over from the D-Backs in the three-team deal that sent Heath Bell and Cliff Pennington to Arizona and prospects to the Marlins. He had his $11 MM option declined earlier this offseason.

Young has never hit more than .257 over a full season of baseball, but he has posted three seasons of 20+ steals and four seasons of 20+ home runs. He’s totaled three 20/20 seasons overall. He does play a pretty good center field defensively, however, and has a solid arm. Considering his high strikeout total and the fact that he isn’t too patient at the plate, I’m a little surprised to hear of this news. He is, however, likely to be a bargain outfielder for a team willing to take a flier on him.

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Cafardo: Mets Could Be In Hunt For Kemp Or Ethier http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/cafardo-mets-could-be-in-hunt-for-kemp-or-ethier.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/cafardo-mets-could-be-in-hunt-for-kemp-or-ethier.html/#comments Mon, 11 Nov 2013 00:56:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132549 matt kemp

The Dodgers were apparently open to dealing any of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier — who are each under contract with some serious money attached to them. However, Jon Heyman wrote “…a Mets person suggested that trio isn’t at the forefront of their internal talks, at least at the moment.”

However, Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe thinks otherwise and wrote on Sunday that the Mets are in search of a big-name player and could be in the hunt for Kemp or Ethier. The Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and Blue Jays could also be interested.

The Mets have been linked to Ethier in the past as part of their pursuit of outfield help, but nothing really came from it. Kemp is owed $128 million over the next six years, Crawford $81.5 million over the next four, Ethier $69 million over the next four.

For what it’s worth, Andy Martino wrote a day or two ago that there was no chance that the Mets would move Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard for Ethier, though Martino speculates that the team could be more open to moving right-handed pitching prospect Rafael Montero.

Of course, the Mets are to have shown their most interest in Shin-Soo Choo, so we’ll see what happens on that front. Here’s the kicker, however — according to the same Heyman piece, the Mets view Robinson Cano as the only player worth $100 MM, but they won’t be in the running for him. Many other sources, including Anthony DiComo, have expressed their belief that the Mets will not be in running for players like Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury that will command large contracts.

For the Mets to even consider one of the trio from Los Angeles, the Dodgers would have to pay a solid chunk of any of those contracts. I’d probably stray away from both Ethier and Crawford for different reasons, and although I’d pursue Matt Kemp, I doubt his contract is one that ownership is willing to take on.

Not much to see here, unfortunately.

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Underrated RHP Logan Verrett Could Pitch His Way To Mets In 2014 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/underrated-rhp-logan-verrett-could-pitch-his-way-to-mets-in-2014.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/underrated-rhp-logan-verrett-could-pitch-his-way-to-mets-in-2014.html/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 14:41:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132170

Logan Verrett was tabbed as having the “Best Slider” in the Mets system by Baseball America last week in their annual “Best Tools” feature.

The 23-year old righty finished the 2013 season with a 4.25 ERA in 146.0 innings. He won 12 games and struck out 132 batters over that span and held opposing hitters to .249 batting average against him.

Verrett’s best month was in April when he led all Mets pitchers with a 4-0 record and a 2.48 ERA over 32.0 innings. Opposing players hit just .196 against him that month and he was absolutely dominant.

I find myself naturally appreciating guys like Verrett — who aren’t naturally gifted with a 98 MPH fastball, but still find ways to succeed. That’s the kind of stuff that makes pitching an art form — and ever so attractive to someone like me. Verrett’s repertoire consists of his fastballs (both a two-seam and four-seamer), a slider, curve and change-up. His command is solid, and he can throw any of his pitches for strikes in any count.

In an interview with our own XtreemIcon, Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez said this about Verrett:

“He’s aggressive with all his pitches. He’s not afraid of contact and as a starting pitcher, when you do that, you find yourself pitching deep into ballgames. He’s been able to pitch deep into games just because he goes after hitters. That’s what he does best. He goes after hitters and he puts it in play early.”

Teammate Jack Leathersich sees the same thing, and from a pitcher’s perspective, adds that Verrett’s deceptiveness also plays a part in his success. “He’s not a 95 [mph] guy, but his fastball jumps out of his hand. I feel like as a hitter, it would look harder than what it actually comes in at. His slider is very, very sharp and looks exactly like his fastball coming out of his hand. That’s kind of his bread and butter.

“He’s really polished,” continues Leathersich, “and that’s how he was in college in the Cape league when I saw him there. He’s pitching really well and giving us a chance to win every time he goes out there.”

With such a plethora of pitchers in our organization that all have the potential to succeed, we sometimes overlook arms like Verrett. I was glad to see him noted as having the best slider — he deserves it. He’ll take his talents to Triple-A Las Vegas next year and perhaps even see some time with the Mets out of the pen late in the year.

(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)

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Rangers Will Tender Qualifying Offer To Nelson Cruz http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/rangers-will-tender-qualifying-offer-to-nelson-cruz.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/rangers-will-tender-qualifying-offer-to-nelson-cruz.html/#comments Thu, 31 Oct 2013 04:48:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131939 nelson-cruz-texas-rangersEvan Grant of the Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Rangers have decided to tender a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer to Nelson Cruz, which he is expected to turn down in favor of a multi-year deal.

“It’s a relatively easy decision,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “We’d be happy to have him back on a one-year deal. And we’re not prohibited from continuing to talk to him while he sees what the market is. If he signs elsewhere, we get a draft pick that helps us as well.”

Cruz posted a .266/.327/.506 line with 27 homers in 456 PA this year and is currently 33 years old. It will be difficult for him to find a multi-year deal because of his recent steroid troubles — and if he does reject the qualifying offer as expected, he may find out the market is not as prosperous as he believes. Considering that the Mets have a protected pick and have no issue signing players that are trying to rebound off PED histories, he could be a potential target if the upper management feels like taking a chance on him.

I’m actually okay with Nelson Cruz on something like a two-year deal — but I think he will likely be a little too pricey for us even after everything. I personally think his best move would be to accept the qualifying offer, but I’m going off what MLBTR noted. That being said, all signs pointed to Tim Lincecum being a free agent, so we’ll see what unfolds with Cruz.

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Giants Ink Lincecum To A Two-Year, $35 Million Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/giants-ink-lincecum-to-a-two-year-35-million-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/giants-ink-lincecum-to-a-two-year-35-million-deal.html/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:53:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131399 tim lincecum

What a difference three days makes…

The Giants and right-hander Tim Lincecum agreed to a two-year, $35 million deal Tuesday, pending a physical. Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, was days away from becoming a free agent for the first time, but the Giants were able to get a deal done before that could happen.

Lincecum, 29, is 89-70 in seven seasons with the Giants with a 3.46 ERA. He was 10-14 last season with a 4.37 ERA and threw his first career no-hitter.

Talk about getting things done, the Giants locked up their two marquee free agents before they could hit the market. Right fielder Hunter Pence signed a five-year deal during the season’s final weekend.

Brian Sabean has two World Series to his credit in the last four years.

Original Post 10/19

In the world of interesting but unsurprising, Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that Tim Lincecum will likely test free agency this winter. The Giants have tried their best to keep him in San Francisco on a two-year deal, but it all seems to have gone for naught.

It is very likely Lincecum will get tendered a qualifying offer contract — $14.1 million — and he will decline it. Man, if my job had a qualifying offer of $14.1 million…

Once a dominant ace, “The Freak” has two Cy Young awards on his mantle from 2008 and 2009. He posted ERAs of 2.63 and 2.48 — and struck out over 250 batters in each of those seasons. However, his ERAs in 2012 and 2013 have been 5.17 and 4.37 respectively, a horrid comparison to the ace-quality performance he used to deliver.

A lot of this is likely related to his drop in fastball velocity, but man, it was such an abrupt shift for him. He also saw his HR rate spike even though AT&T Park ranked 30th and 28th in ’12/’13 for home runs given up, respectively. He worked out of the bullpen during the Giants’ 2012 post-season, and I think more than a few potential suitors might be looking at him as a back-end of the bullpen option. Hell, he could even close.

Seattle is the most likely landing spot. Remember, if Lincecum declines the qualifying offer, any team not in the first ten draft picks will have to surrender their first-round pick to sign him. I think that will go a long way in determining how interested teams really are in him — a team like Seattle has no reason to worry. There’s a definite fit there because it is his hometown and a pitcher’s park at that. Baggardly notes in his piece that the Mariners had a scout sent to his last start as well.

The Mets have had this weird draft pick pattern since Sandy’s been here… 13th in 2011, 12th in 2012, 11th in 2013, and 10th in 2014. With the 10th pick, they could sign a free agent that turned down a qualifying offer and have their pick protected —  but I doubt they’d shell out the money to sign Lincecum. I also think teams like the Yankees might stray away from him considering the loss of a draft pick. He’s not a guy that I would surrender a first-round pick for at this point in his career, anyway.

I would pay attention to this whole business of qualifying offers, however. If the Mets were actually to make some big free agent signing, this would hypothetically be the best year. Certain players will be more accessible to the Mets because of this new CBA. The Mets will, however, likely be more interested in guys like Johan Santana and Bronson Arroyo to fill out their rotation.

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Peralta Prefers To Stay With Tigers, But Return Is Unlikely http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/peralta-prefers-to-stay-with-tigers-but-return-is-unlikely.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/peralta-prefers-to-stay-with-tigers-but-return-is-unlikely.html/#comments Mon, 21 Oct 2013 03:57:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131030 MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers

Shortstop/outfielder Jhonny Peralta told John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press that he enjoys playing with the Tigers and would like to return next season.

“There’s a chance for sure, yeah, because I like the organization here. Do I want to be here? Yeah, I want to be here.”

In addition to a fine regular season for the Tigers, Peralta has continued his success at the plate in the postseason, batting .333 (11-for-33) with four doubles, a home run and six RBIs in ten games.

However, with highly regarded prospect Nick Castellanos expected to be in the Tigers’ outfield next season, and newly acquired Jose Iglesias at shortstop, it’s difficult to see the 32-year old Peralta fitting in with Detroit next season.

Last week, Matt Meyers of ESPN New York highlighted the case for Jhonny Peralta joining the Mets — a rather realistic option looking ahead to next season – and pointed out how badly we need an upgrade at shortstop:.

It’s hard to overstate how bad the Mets’ shortstops were this year, they “hit” .232/.296/.302 and were worth -0.1 wins above replacement, according to FanGraphs.

Peralta, on the other hand, hit .303/.358/.457 for the Tigers this year and was worth 3.6 WAR, per FanGraphs, which ranked sixth in all of baseball despite serving a 50-game suspension for his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal.

Peralta really outclassed our crew of shortshops offensively — and although he’s not the best defensive shortstop, he can pass at the position.

It’s fun to think big with names like Jose Reyes or Troy Tulowitzki, but the more likely options will be Peralta or Stephen Drew.

This organization doesn’t seem to mind looking into guys with past PED suspensions, considering that they signed Marlon Byrd last year. The interesting thing about coming off a suspension for PEDs is that it usually drives down a player’s price, as Meyers mentions, which is right into the range that Sandy Alderson likes to shop in.

Peralta has had a pretty solid career — with four different seasons of 20+ home runs and two all-star appearances. He could definitely add some much needed pop to our lineup for 2014.

(Updated)

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Wally Backman Is Expected To Remain Within The Mets Organization http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/wally-backman-is-expected-to-remain-within-the-mets-organization.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/wally-backman-is-expected-to-remain-within-the-mets-organization.html/#comments Sat, 19 Oct 2013 21:11:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131422 backmanTake this as you will — but Adam Rubin is reporting that Wally Backman will likely be staying with the Mets organization for 2014.

According to Rubin, no teams have asked the Mets for permission to speak to Wally Backman for a managerial vacancy — so the Mets believe he will stay with them in 2014. The Mets have retained their entire staff from 2013, leaving no room for Backman to be promoted. This means he would be retained as the Las Vegas 51s manager for next year, if he does stay.

Rubin says his source doesn’t guarantee Backman’s return, however, as a new manager may seek him out for a bench coaching job going into next year. Backman led the 51s to an 81-63 record last year, where they won their Pacific Coast League Division title but exited the playoffs in the first round.

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Mets Organizational Depth Chart: Dominic Smith Headlines A Solid Group At 1B http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mets-organizational-depth-chart-dominic-smith-headlines-a-solid-group-at-1b.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/mets-organizational-depth-chart-dominic-smith-headlines-a-solid-group-at-1b.html/#comments Thu, 17 Oct 2013 18:53:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131308 dominic smith

Welcome to the second installment of our offseason Mets Organizational Depth Chart. Each week, we’ll take a look at the top players at each position in the Mets organization. We hope to provide fans with some insight as to what the Mets currently have at the major-league level on a position by position basis. We’ll also introduce some players you can expect to hear about from the Mets minor-leagues in the coming years.

The second part of this series will take us to first base.

MLB

Lucas Duda/Josh Satin/Ike Davis

Normally, I’d write up each player on their own — but it almost feels like we need to combine their respective talents to get a solid major league player. Duda is the most patient of the group — while Satin makes the most contact and Ike is probably the best fielder/has the most raw power. At different times, each of them has demonstrated the ability to play at a high level — but sustaining it for a long period of time is the problem. Davis frustrates me the most — you don’t hit 32 home runs by accident. I always thought he would be the star out of the group, but he failed to find himself last year. With the Mets unlikely to give Jose Abreu a serious offer, these are the names you’ll have to look forward to — and the few guys that are close in the minor league group.

On the Farm

1. Dominic Smith

Who else but Dominic Smith? Our first-round pick in 2013, Dominic Smith has the potential to turn into quite the young hitter down the line. He’s certainly not a liability on defense, considering he was once a corner outfielder, so he’ll turn into an asset at 1B defensively with a strong arm. He possesses a mature approach at the plate and could find himself moving through the system quickly, as he already made his way to Kingsport.

He started this year off slow in the GCL as he was adjusting to facing more left-handed pitching — and pitchers that used more breaking balls. However, he turned it on as the year went along, dominating August with a .372/.443/.526 slash and a 23.9% LD Rate and 12.5% Strikeout Rate (29-for-78). If I had to project him down the line, I often say he’ll turn into Todd Helton without the benefit of Coors Field — so perhaps a .280 hitter with 25-30 home runs. He could turn out to be the best first baseman the Mets have drafted in a while.

ETA: 2017

2. Allan Dykstra

Dykstra will likely play this year out in Las Vegas with the potential for a call-up looming through most of said year. The Mets are not strong at first base — and some are itching to see what Dykstra can do at the MLB level. Acquired in a trade for Eddie Kunz, he turned it on this year with a .274/.436/.503 slash — meaning he got on base almost 44% of the time. He cranked 21 long balls in just 489 plate appearances as well, and walked 102 times, which is pretty damn impressive. Dykstra likely won’t hit for a high average at the MLB level — because he strikes out too much —  but could maybe crack about 10-15 home runs with a high OBP — which would seemingly fit the organizational philosophy.

ETA: 2014 (Sept.)

3. Jayce Boyd

Boyd owned Savannah last year — in fact, at the time of his promotion to St. Lucie, he was slashing .361/.441/.494. He finished the season batting .330/.410/.461 across both levels with nine home runs in 529 plate appearances. Dykstra’s got more pop in his bat than Boyd, but Boyd makes more contact and strikes out considerably less — which explains why he has some appeal. A polished hitter through and through, Boyd could find himself moving through the system quickly and on an MLB bench. He’s got a sweet swing and when you make contact as often as he does, they’ll find a job for you somewhere.

ETA: 2015

4. Matthew Oberste

Oberste was a guy that I liked coming out of the 2013 draft — I thought he could be a sleeper pick out of that group. He still has the tools to be a solid player someday — and oddly enough, he compares well to Jayce Boyd. Boyd is the better fielder of the two, but Oberste also makes solid contact without much in the home run column. There’s a really small chance he could start hitting for some power, but it’s hard to say. I think he’s got a good swing speed-wise, but mechanically his stride is long and will leave him prone to striking out a lot. He struggled to make contact this year with just a .208 average, three home runs, and 56 strikeouts in 273 plate appearances. I’m never one to give up on a player after their first year in the pros — especially short-season — so let’s see what happens.

ETA: 2018 

5. Eric Campbell

Campbell will probably see some time with the MLB team as a bench player this season. A right-handed semi-utility bat, Campbell can play both corner infield and outfield positions in a pinch, although he seems most comfortable at first base. After injuries and some struggles in the Minors, Campbell will find himself at age-27 at the start of next season without much behind his name. He’s a good potential bench player, since he has pop in his bat (25 doubles in both ’12 and ’13) and a career average of .279. At his age, Campbell’s no longer a prospect, but with the Mets status at first base, anything is possible.

ETA:  2014

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Montero Is More Expendable and Less Valuable? Says Who? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/montero-is-more-expendable-and-less-valuable-says-who.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/montero-is-more-expendable-and-less-valuable-says-who.html/#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 14:59:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131198 Updated Post 10/16

MetsBlog drew an interesting conclusion regarding Rafael Montero after speaking to several Mets insiders:

The jury is still out on Montero’s place on a 25-man roster, which is probably why he is more expendable, but also less valuable.

First, let me make clear that Rafael Montero has yet to be added to the 40-man roster which renders any discussion about his place on a 25-man roster rather moot.

Secondly, the Mets already have a 40-man roster crunch which has been discussed on MMO ad nauseum for the last three months. They don’t have to add Montero, or Noah Syndergaard for that matter, to the 40-man roster like they do some other prospects that will need to be protected from Rule 5.

Additionally, Sandy Alderson made it crystal clear that he will not start next season with either Montero or Syndergaard (who only played a third of a season in Double-A) when the Mets break camp next Spring. This has nothing to do with how the team feels about these two pitchers, it’s more an issue of maintaining an additional year of team control. Of the two, Montero appears to be the one who is closer to major league ready, while Syndergaard will have to brave the sand storm in Las Vegas before he even becomes a consideration.

Finally, I don’t know who these Mets insiders are that continually bash their own prospects and kill their trade value in the process, but I’d love to stuff a sock down their throats (assuming these are really Mets insiders). This is the second instance of Mets prospect bashing in the last two days from Mets insiders; it was Cesar Puello on Monday and now Montero today.

Look, we all love Montero and Syndergaard, and like most fans we can’t wait to see them succeed at the major league level. But let’s stop speculating on which pitcher is better and who we should trade or not trade. The only test that matters is the one that Matt Harvey passed with flying colors in the major leagues. But before Montero or Syndergaard can take that test, they’ll have to make it here first.

That’s not happening for either of them before May of next year at the absolute earliest.

Original Post 10/14

In stark contrast to the Puello news from earlier, it looks like Rafael MonteroWilmer Flores, and Zack Wheeler have each cracked the PCL Top 20 Prospects on Baseball America. Wheeler came in ranked at #4, Flores at #15, and Montero at #18.

There’s no hiding that most scouts were high on Zack Wheeler, and so were the other managers in the PCL as well. Wheeler got off to a slow start with the 51s but righted himself in a hurry, displaying a 94-98 mph fastball that league managers voted the best in the PCL. What impressed managers as much, were his smarts out on the mound. Wheeler really turned it on down the stretch for the Mets in 2013, so I think he might pan out to be a top of the line pitcher for years to come.

Flores was listed at 2B/1B, which is testament to how they feel about him defensively. As always, his arm grades out well considering all things — and his claim to fame is his offensive ability. Flores can hit, and he’ll likely get a chance to do just that in 2014. The best place to play him still remains second base — where his bat is well above-average and his range is… well, you can live with him at second base if you’ve got a good shortstop.

It feels like it’s been a while since I wrote about Montero, which is disappointing. He was so fun to cover throughout the year — especially through his dominant stretch in Binghamton. He’s a talented young pitcher, and even though some scouts grade him out to be a back-end of the rotation starter, the consensus is that he’ll crack the MLB rotation at some time in 2014.  He turns 23 in October, and I think he’s got top-of-the-rotation upside.

(Photo Credit: Gordon Donovan)

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