Mets Merized Online Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:46:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 WOR to Rebroadcast Game 7 of 1986 World Series Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:46:00 +0000 jesse orosco 1986

According to Joe Curci of WOR, the Gary Thorne and Bob Murphy call of Game 7 from the 1986 World Series will be rebroadcast on 710 WOR next Thursday the 27th.

October 27th is the 30th anniversary of the Mets 8-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 7. The Mets famously battled back from being down 3 games to 2 in route to winning their second World Series title in franchise history.

You can also follow along with Game 7 and the games leading up to it by following @TodayIn86Mets on twitter.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
Mets Want To Bring Back Bartolo Colon Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:33:54 +0000 bartolo-colon

According to Jon Heyman of FanRags the Mets would like to keep the Major Leagues’ sexiest pitcher in New York for the 2017 season. 

Bartolo Colon, 43, surpassed everyone’s expectations in 2016, going 15-8 with a 3.43 ERA. He tossed 191.2 innings, striking out 128 and walking only 32.

In a year plagued with injuries, he was truly the stalwart the Mets rotation needed. However, going into 2017, the Mets should have seven good young pitchers ready to go, with Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman returning in addition to Zack Wheeler, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom coming back from surgery.

Despite the plethora of young arms, there is of course that saying “you can never have enough pitching.” Big Bart will probably be paid very well this offseason, as he has more than proven he can pitch effectively despite his age. Over the last three seasons with the Mets (since turning 40) he has won 44 games.

If Colon were to return to the Mets, though, he would probably have to accept a bullpen/spot start role.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]> 0
Should the Mets Bring Back Carlos Gomez? Fri, 21 Oct 2016 16:00:41 +0000 carlos gomez

Last year, the Mets quickly moved on from Yoenis Cespedes by agreeing to a one year deal with Alejandro De Aza so he could platoon with Juan Lagares in center field. At the time, the Mets had indicated they were willing to go two to three years for Cespedes, which was aligned with the Sandy Alderson concept of no second generation contracts. This was far short of the six year $132 million contract Cespedes was seeking in free agency.

Due to a number of circumstances, Cespedes never got the contract he wanted. This allowed the Mets a rare opportunity to sign a superstar caliber player on their own terms. Without Jason Heyward or Justin Upton on the free agent market, or really any star outfielders on the free agent market, it does not appear the stars will once again align for the Mets. If they want to retain Cespedes, they are going to have to offer him that big contract he wanted last offseason.

Aside from David Wright, this is not how the Mets do business. Other than Wright, no player entering their age 30+ season has received a five year plus contract offer. With the way the Wright contract has gone, it does not appear the Mets would be willing to change that policy. With that in mind, it appears as if Cespedes will be signing elsewhere this offseason leaving the Mets to once again try to figure out how best to build the team so it can return to the postseason.

One player that could be a potential fit is former Met Carlos Gomez. Ironically, Cespedes was only a Met because Gomez had a hip issue. If not for that, Gomez would be the player entering free agency with the Mets wondering how far they should go to re-sign him.

Cespedes Yoenis

Now, Gomez doesn’t appear to be an obvious fit at the moment. Even if Cespedes does not return, the Mets already have a lot of quality major league outfield depth. Heading into the season, the Mets have, Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson, Lagares, Brandon Nimmo, and possibly Jay Bruce. It’s going to require a lot of mixing and matching to make sure everyone gets enough playing time to be productive. Why add an outfielder to this mix to further complicate matters?

The easy answer is you want to make the team better, and Gomez does that.

After Gomez seemed lost in Houston, he was released, and he was rejuvenated with the Texas Rangers. In 33 games, Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with six doubles, eight homers, and 24 RBI. Naturally, many will note not to trust the small sample size. It’s a fair point, but why should you trust the small sample size of Gomez’s time in Houston where he hit .221/.277/.342 with 25 doubles, nine homers, and 42 RBI in 126 games? With that in mind, we should take a broader look at Gomez.

Over the last five seasons, Gomez was a .265/.326/.453 hitter who averaged 26 doubles, 18 homers, and 61 RBI. This is probably a good indication as to where his true talent level is at this point. Still, there is the possibility Gomez is capable of more. He has shown the capacity to hit over 20 homers a season, and he has shown the ability to draw walks.


Then there is the matter of defense. Gomez is still a solid defender despite possibly losing a step in center field. The former Gold Glover has averaged an 8.2 UZR and a 7 DRS in center field. When you couple that with Gomez having a much better bat than Lagares, you have a possible upgrade in center field. With Gomez having experience in both left and right field, the Mets can put out a phenomenal outfield defense late in games to help them protect leads. Keep in mind, that was one of the things the Mets did extremely well in 2015 when they went all the way to the World Series.

As for the rest of the outfield, a Gomez (or Cespedes) signing would force the Mets to put Nimmo in AAA for another season, which isn’t a bad thing for a developing player. Lagares would once again become the late inning defensive option. From there, it gets a little trickier with Bruce, Conforto, and Granderson. One could get traded, one could move to first base, and in the worst case scenario, the Conforto could start the year in AAA until someone gets injured, which as we have seen with the Mets, is likely.

Overall, we know the Mets are too left-handed in the outfield, and they need another right-handed bat. Ideally, that is Cespedes. However, in the event that Cespedes gets that massive contract the Mets aren’t likely to match, the player could be Gomez.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
Mets Bringing Back Reyes, Buying Out Niese Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:42:59 +0000 jose-reyes

The Mets have picked up the Major League minimum option for 2017 on infielder Jose Reyes according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Heyman also reports that the Mets will pay Jon Niese a $500,000 buyout instead of picking up his $10 million option for 2017.

Reyes signed a deal to return to the Mets on June 25th, just two days after the Colorado Rockies released the veteran. Reyes would go on to hit .267/.326/.443 with 13 doubles, four triples, eight home runs and nine stolen bases in eleven chances for the Mets in 2016.

After being traded by the Mets during the offseason to bring in second baseman Neil Walker, Niese was reacquired by the Mets on the August 1st trade deadline in a swap for Antonio Bastardo. Niese pitched eleven ugly innings for the Mets with a 11.45 ERA before suffering a torn meniscus that needed season ending surgery.

Both moves were seen as no-brainers heading into the offseason. Reyes will return as much needed insurance at third base for the health of David Wright. As well as someone who can give veteran Asdrubal Cabrera a break at shortstop.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer


]]> 0
Mets Jump 20 Spots in ESPN’s Ultimate Standings Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:30:22 +0000 cespedes-cabrera

For the past 13 years, ESPN has ranked all 122 sports franchises from best to worst according to fan votes. The Mets rose up 20 spots to 82nd overall and 21st in Major League baseball. Atop the list in baseball is the Kansas City Royals (9th overall) and on the bottom is the Oakland Athletics (115th overall).

The ranking is based on the eight categories you see below (1 is best, 122 worst):

Overall: 82
Title track: 67 (+8)
Ownership: 102 (+14)
Coaching: 99 (+4)
Players: 87 (+3)
Fan relations: 87 (+20)
Affordability: 91 (+15)
Stadium Experience: 66 (+3)
Bang for your buck: 46 (+33)
Change from 2015: +20

Not shocking to see that ownership gets the worst rating for the Mets. Bang for your buck saw the biggest change improving by 33 spots from 2015.

The Mets were the second highest rated National League East team behind the Washington Nationals (7th in MLB, 34th overall). Followed by the Philadelphia Phillies (23rd in MLB, 88th overall), then the Miami Marlins (25th in MLB, 91st overall) and lastly the Atlanta Braves (28th in MLB, 104th overall).




]]> 0
Should the Mets Re-Sign Kelly Johnson? Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:23:21 +0000 kelly-johnson

For the second straight season the Mets had injuries that led to a shortage of viable options off the bench and found themselves needing to trade for the services of Kelly Johnson.

Johnson was surprisingly even better in his second stint with the Mets hitting .268/.328/.459 with eight doubles, nine home runs and 24 runs knocked in over 201 plate appearances. When the Mets traded Akeel Morris to the Atlanta Braves for Johnson he was struggling mightily with a .215 average and had just one home run.

The veteran utility guy played 26 games at second base, 21 at third base, nine in left field, two at first base and for the second straight year made one appearance at shortstop for the Mets. Although the range is limited he played a solid second and third base that helped deal with the injuries of Neil Walker, David Wright, and Wilmer Flores.

Johnson also had a flair for the dramatic with the Mets this season hitting four pinch hit home runs. Over the last two seasons he’s hit five pinch hit homers in 42 at bats in a Mets uniform.

With Walker possibly moving on and the questions surrounding the health of Wright it would be a good idea for the Mets to re-sign Johnson instead of having to trade for him later in the season.

The last two seasons the Mets have sorely missed a veteran infielder on the bench to start the season. Maybe 2017 will be the year that Kelly Johnson is on the Mets Opening Day roster.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
Good Fundies Episode 25: The 1st Annual Fundies Awards Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:01:29 +0000 thefundies

Roger and Brian hosted the first ever Fundies awards, celebrating the best and worst and everything in-between of the 2016 Mets season. They also interpreted Wilmer Flores’ enigmatic snapchat pics and talked about the playoffs and the upcoming World Series, which apparently, despite the lack of Mets involvement is still scheduled to take place. In the mailbag, they tried to find a place for eight potential starting pitchers in next year’s rotation. They apologize for their congestion and remind everybody it’s an honor just to be nominated.


iTunes  -  Stitcher  -  Twitter

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
Featured Post: Mets Should Follow Trend, Add Dominant Reliever Thu, 20 Oct 2016 20:30:15 +0000 wade davis

An offseason ago, the New York Mets had a chance to get involved in the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes. Despite the Cincinnati Reds trading Chapman away for an underwhelming package and despite the bullpen failing the Mets in the 2015 World Series, Sandy Alderson never seemed to seriously get involved. This offseason, the front office should avoid making a mistake like that again.

Let’s preface this discussion with a truth: the Mets have a good bullpen already. Addison Reed was perhaps the best setup man in the NL, while Jeurys Familia led the major league in saves. The middle relief had its ugly moments but was generally reliable this season for Terry Collins.

But all of those truths are related to the regular season, and adding another top-tier bullpen arm is more about the postseason than anything else. With a healthier pitching staff and lineup, the Mets will again be among the top teams in the National League. They should expect to be a playoff team, and therefore, they should build a team that will thrive in the postseason.

There are three main things that adding another top tier bullpen arm does:

1) It shortens the game

Let the 2015 Kansas City Royals and 2016 New York Yankees be your blueprint, but throw in a better starting rotation. Imagine only needing six innings from your All-Star caliber starter and then not missing a beat (or possibly getting better) with three dominant one-inning bullpen arms. It also allows you to bring in one of your guys into a tough spot in the 5th, 6th or 7th inning and still know you have two relief aces in your back pocket. If things get tougher for Mets’ opponents once the starter gets out of the game, then New York is going to pile up a lot of wins.

2) It provides Familia or Reed insurance

As great as Familia and Reed were in 2016, the Mets are one injury or one down year away from having a pretty dicey bullpen situation. So hedge your bets and create a situation where even if one pitcher struggles, the Mets still have two reliable relief arms to turn to. This is especially true for Familia, who has failed in big postseason spots on multiple occasions. If this turns into a trend, it will be important to have several other options to turn to.

3) It allows you to rest relievers and starters

Part of the reason Familia may have struggled in the postseason is that he’s overworked in the regular season. Reed was also less dominant at times in the second half. Having three options instead of two means that even in close games, Collins can give one of his top relievers a night off if he needs to. This will ensure those pitchers are a little more fresh come September and October. And it also allows the Mets to shorten the workload of their starters here and there. Pulling Syndergaard or deGrom after six innings is a lot easier when you don’t have to figure out the seventh in order to get to the eighth. A reliable third reliever will likely save each starter about 10 innings over the course of a season and will have them fresher for the postseason.

So here are a handful of guys the Mets should target in free agency and trades, excluding guys that will likely be out of their price range (ex: impending free agents Aroldis Chapman, Mark Melancon and Kenley Jansen):

1) Wade Davis: One year left on his deal and coming off an injury-riddled season, Davis could likely be had for less than he’s worth. If healthy, he’s one of the best bullpen arms in baseball. The Royals also appear interested in moving him.

2) Alex Colome: The Rays closer was among the best in baseball last season, as he posted a 1.91 ERA and 11.3 K/9. He’s not a free agent until 2021, but the Rays aren’t too close to contention and could be motivated to move him for the right package.

3) Tyler Thornburg: Basically the same deal as Colome — good closer, bad team and far from free agency (2020). Mets and Brewers had discussed plenty of deals in the past, so it might be easy to to revisit talks.

4) Kyle Barraclough/David Phelps: The Marlins are desperate for starting pitching, and the Mets have a lot of it. Both of these pitchers had over 100 K and a sub-3.00 ERA last season. Could a Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman be enough to lure one from Miami?

5) Brad Hand/Ryan Buchter: The Padres also had a couple of dominant late-inning options last season, and they have been shown in the past to be willing to deal guys like these. They’re also a team looking for starting pitching.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
What Should the Mets Do At Second Base? Thu, 20 Oct 2016 15:30:20 +0000 neil walker

One of the many questions that faces Sandy Alderson this offseason is who will be at second base for the New York Mets come Opening Day?

The Mets have a slew of good options they could go with at second. Neil Walker seems to be at the top of the list but is coming off back surgery and could become a free agent.

On paper, it would seem like a no-brainer to give a player coming off arguably the best offensive season of his career a qualifying offer. Walker posted a career best .823 OPS in 2016 while tying a career high with 23 home runs and played a solid defensive second base. However, Walker had back surgery surgery last month and the qualifying offer this year is up to $17.2 million. Making it a tough decision for the Mets front office on whether they should risk that much of their payroll on a 31 year old only two months removed from a major surgery.

Not only did Walker tie a career high in homers but he also posted a career high 9.2% walk rate. According to FanGraphs he was also the Mets most valuable position player this year with a 3.7 fWAR, above the 3.2 fWAR of Yoenis Cespedes.


In the absence of Walker came about the solid major league debut by 27 year old utility guy T.J. Rivera. In 113 plate appearances, Rivera hit .333/.345/.476 with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 16 runs driven in. That’s after hitting .324/.371/.434 during his minor league career with the Mets.

That is the good news with Rivera. The bad is that he swung at 44.1% of pitches out of the strike zone in the majors, the fifth highest mark in the majors last year with at least 100 plate appearances. The 44.1% set a new Mets team record (tracked since 2002), passing Rod Barajas‘ 43.8% from 2010. Rivera tied for the third lowest walk percentage in the majors this year at 2.7%, only A.J. Pierzynski and Gerardo Parra walked less often.

Did Rivera have a great first season with the Mets? Of course, but he’s highly unlikely to repeat having an OPS over .800 while barely walking and swinging at everything out of the zone.


The next option for the Mets 2017 second base job is prospect Gavin Cecchini who went 2 for 6 is in his big league cup of coffee this year. Cecchini struggled defensively for the second straight season at the shortstop position making 33 errors this year after 28 in 2015. He did end the season with a 18-game errorless streak at short.

Cecchini also started the transition to second, playing three of his final five minor league games of the year there. Cecchini is currently playing the Arizona Fall League where he’s played one game at second base and three at short. The value for Cecchini comes from the offensive side, in which he’s posted an OPS over .800 two years in a row while striking out only 110 times compared to 90 walks during that span.

The Mets also have Wilmer Flores who continues to get better as hitter, Asdrubal Cabrera who played almost exclusively second base for the Nationals in 2014, Jose Reyes who could become a super utility guy, and then there’s Kelly Johnson who they could look to re-sign.

What happens at second base hinges on many factors including if Cespedes comes back and whether the Mets decide to give Walker a qualifying offer (and his decision on that). If Cespedes returns they could decide to go the cheap route at second base with some combination of Rivera, Cecchini and Johnson.

Whichever the way the Mets decide to go they should have plenty of options on the bench in case the initial starter falters. Who do you think should be the Mets primary second baseman in 2017?

mets Always Believe footer

]]> 0
Tebow Picks Up Second AFL Hit, Molina Sharp Again Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:00:43 +0000 tim-tebow

The Scottsdale Scorpions fell to the Surprise Saguaros by a 2-1 score last night in Arizona Fall League action. It’s the Scorpions fourth straight loss as they drop to 2-6 on the season.

Mets prospect Marcos Molina got the start for the Scorpions and pitched three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, one walk and struck out one (Yoan Moncada swinging). He threw 35 pitches with 22 of them coming for strikes. This was the right-handers second start in the AFL coming off Tommy John surgery last year. He has allowed just one run in five innings.

Tim Tebow started in left field and batted eighth for the Scorpions. He went 1 for 4 with a line drive single to left field off Red Sox lefty prospect Trey Ball. He grounded out in his three other at-bats, but now has hits in back-to-back games. He is 2 for 20 with two walks and seven strikeouts in the AFL.

Mets relief prospect David Roseboom issued a walk and allowed a single in a scoreless eighth inning. He’s now thrown 3.1 scoreless innings this fall while allowing only one hit and striking out three.

In the Mexican Winter League action, Mets minor league catcher Xorge Carrillo went 1 for 4 in the Aguilas de Mexicali’s 2-1 win. He is 5 for 25 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored in seven winter league games.

Darwin Ramos gave up two runs on three hits and got only one out last night for the Navegantes del Magallanes in their 11-3 loss. The lower level pitching prospect has a 10.80 ERA in 3.1 innings but does have four strikeouts compared to one walk in Venzeulan Winter League action. He pitched the entire 2016 regular season with the Kingsport Mets.

The Dominican Winter League season gets underway tonight with the Aguilas Cibaenas playing the Gigantes del Cibao. Mets outfield prospect John Mora will be playing for the Cibaenas after a disappointing season with the St. Lucie Mets. Tonight he will face off against Phillies pitcher Alec Asher who gets the opening day nod for the Cibao.

mmn logo footer

]]> 0
Should Mets Make A Play For Miguel Cabrera? Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:30:38 +0000 miguel-cabrera-1

I’m not totally crazy, I promise. Why would the Tigers trade an 11-time All Star, 4-time AL Batting Champion, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years — Basically, a no-doubt first-ballot Hall of Famer? Well, I can’t speak for Tigers GM Al Avila. However, I can at least try and convince him, and you, to have an open mind.

Why would the Tigers trade him?

The first question that needs to be addressed is why in the world should the Tigers even consider trading Miguel Cabrera? Speaking to local reporters, Avila said, “We want to get younger. We want to get leaner. We want to run the organization without having to go over our means. We want to stay competitive, but at the same time, this organization has been working way above its means for some time.”

The exigence of the Tigers’ organization can benefit the Mets. Cabrera, who will celebrate his 34th birthday in April next year, has eight years left on his contract. He will be paid $28M in 2017, $30M annually through 2021, then $32M through 2023. He has options for 2024 and 2025, but they only vest if he finishes in the top 10 in MVP voting the year prior, but if they do vest, they include an $8M buyout. He fits the description of the aging, highly paid player the Tigers are looking to shed, but at the same time, he still has value. Why would the Tigers trade him and not some of their other huge contracts?

Let’s look at the other huge contracts the Tigers currently have. Justin Verlander, 33, has four years and $106M left on his contract. He had a great year this year (16-9, 3.04 ERA, 254 Ks), which is exactly why the Tigers won’t trade him yet. After him, Jordan Zimmermann, and Michael Fulmer, they don’t really have much of a starting rotation. Mike Pelfrey started 22 games for them last year, and that says a lot. They do have prospect Daniel Norris who saw some time in the Show this past season, but he is still relatively unproven.

The Tigers will probably be looking to add a starting pitcher this offseason, not trade one. This will probably mean they also retain Jordan Zimmermann, who is only 30 years old and is still under contract for 4 years and $92M. Another huge contract they have is Anibal Sanchez, who still has 2 years and $32.8M on his contract, however it would be very difficult for them to trade him because of his ineffectiveness. From 2015-16, he went 17-23 with a 5.42 ERA and a 1.369 WHIP.

I don’t see the Tigers trading outfielder J.D. Martinez, who is only 29 and is under contract for one year and $11.7M. 29 year-old outfielder Justin Upton still has 4 years and $88M on his contract, but again, he is young. Second baseman Ian Kinsler, 34, just had a phenomenal year, and they still owe him only 2 years and $21M. The only other huge contract they have is 37 year-old Victor Martinez (2 years, $36M), and the trade market for him would be limited to the American League because he can only DH.

So, that eliminates all of the Tigers’ huge contracts other than Miggy, the biggest of all. With those other big bats in their lineup, their offense would be just fine without his production. It seems like if they realistically want to unload a lot of money while bringing in a good haul in return, and remaining serious contenders, trading Miggy would be the way to go.

dominic smith swings

What would it take?

So, what would it take to bring him to New York? The Tigers have what is widely considered one of the worst farm systems in baseball. More specifically, they don’t have many if any first base prospects to replace Miggy. If the Mets put together a package with prospect Dominic Smith as the centerpiece, it might get their attention. Smith, 21, is a .296 career minor league hitter and had a phenomenal 2016 in Binghamton, slashing .302/.367/.457 with 14 home runs and 93 RBIs in 130 games.

Just Dominic Smith is obviously not even close to enough. As he might not be totally ready for the bigs, the Tigers might want a stop gap at first base. Enter Lucas Duda, who is only under contract for one more year and will be paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $8M. There has been speculation that Michael Conforto will try his hand at first base this coming spring, and Miggy or not, that would spell less playing time for Duda anyways.

Duda, who hit 57 home runs in 2014-15 but missed most of last season with an injury, could be attractive to the Tigers. All of their starters are right handed (except switch-hitter Victor Martinez), so having Duda’s lefty bat in the lineup would be beneficial to them. He’s only under contract for one year, so he would be a Tiger until Dominic Smith, also a lefty, is ready, either after the 2017 season or, perhaps, at the trade deadline.

Like I mentioned earlier, the Tigers would be in the market for a young starting pitcher. Barring any setbacks, the Mets should come into the spring with a bunch of young healthy starters including Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman. Many fans, including myself, also would love to see Bartolo Colon return to the Mets for 2017. There’s a saying that you can never have enough pitching, however there’s also a saying that you deal from your strengths.

The Mets would certainly love to avoid trading Thor, deGrom, or Matz. Wheeler’s trade value is greatly diminished right now, and Harvey’s is practically non-existent. However, adding 26 year-old Seth Lugo (5-2, 2.67 ERA) or 23 year-old Robert Gsellman (4-2, 2.42 ERA) to the trade package would peak the Tigers’ interest a little more. They both showed that they can be very effective at the Major League level, especially during a Wild Card race. The Tigers have a strong top of their rotation as I mentioned earlier, with Verlander, Zimmermann, Fulmer, and maybe young Daniel Norris, however the fifth spot in that rotation could use a serious upgrade. Again, Mike Pelfrey? Really?

So far, we have a package including Dominic Smith, Lucas Duda, and either Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman. If the Mets were to take on Miggy’s entire contract, the Tigers might ask for less in return because, as Al Avila said, they’re spending too much money. That being said, however, I still don’t think those three players will be enough.

The Tigers could also be in the market for a catcher. Their catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia and James McCann hit .171 and .221 respectively in 2016. Travis d’Arnaud, who made only $542k in 2016 and is not in line for a major pay raise, would sweeten the deal some more. While he has seemingly underperformed, his current numbers are better than the Tigers’ 2016 catchers, and his potential would make him more attractive to the Tigers.

So, to recap, the Tigers get Lucas Duda, Dominic Smith, Travis d’Arnaud, Seth Lugo / Robert Gsellman, and most likely a mix of some other prospects. In return, the Mets get Miguel Cabrera and take on most if not all of his contract, and possibly some low-level prospects. This frees up $20M for the Tigers in 2017 and $30M from 2018-2020 While bolstering their farm system some.


Why would the Mets want to do this?

The dude can hit. Like, he’s really good. If you don’t know just how good he is, let me try and articulate it. He is an 11-time All Star and 6-time Silver Slugger. He is a 4-time batting champion and has hit over .300 in all 13 of his full seasons except 2008 when he hit .292. Since 2004, he has averaged 187 hits, 33 home runs, and 115 RBIs a season. He is a career .321/.399/.563 hitter, good for a career .961 OPS, with 446 home runs. In 2012, he hit .330 with 44 home runs and 139 RBIs, winning the first Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. The list goes on and on.

He would make a fantastic addition to the Mets lineup, or any lineup for that matter. He would provide the consistent offense the Mets need while deepening the lineup. Assuming Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce return, the top of the Mets lineup would be quite formidable with Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera at the top with Miggy, Yo, and Bruce behind them. Without considering the financial aspect, the reasons for trading for Miguel Cabrera are obvious. Unfortunately, though, consider the financials we must.

As was stated already, Miggy has 8 years and $212M remaining on his contract. The Mets have been increasing their payroll each season in recent years, so it is logical to assume they could add his contract. If they were to trade Duda and d’Arnaud in this deal, the Mets would “only” be adding $20M for 2017. To relieve that, they could trade Jay Bruce, who is in line to make $13M, assuming the Mets pick up his 2017 option.

The money would obviously be there if Yoenis Cespedes walks and the Mets don’t resign him, however if the Mets were to tell him that he could be hitting behind Miguel Cabrera, that would be an attractive prospect to him. There would be many times that other teams pitch around Cabrera to pitch to Cespedes, creating a lot of RBI opportunities for him.

As for 2018-2020, that’s a different story. 2017 is the last season Curtis Granderson is under contract, so after next year, the $15M he’s being paid will finally be off the books. Asdrubal Cabrera will be paid $8.25M in 2017 and has a $8.5M option for 2018, but that has a $2M buyout. By then, the Mets could have a cheaper option for shortstop, possibly Matt Reynolds or Gavin Cecchini.

As a Mets fan, I don’t like confronting this possibility, but there is also the possibility that David Wright‘s injuries become too much to play through, forcing his retirement. From 2017-20, he is slated to make $20M, $20M, $15M, and $12M. If he opts to retire before the completion of that contract, that would free up a lot of money.

That addresses a bunch of money coming off the books, but there will also be a lot of money coming onto them. The Mets have a lot of home grown pitchers that will eventually have to get paid a lot of money, some sooner than others. Jacob deGrom should see a significant pay raise this year, with Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler eventually following suit. However, we’re talking about a long period of time and pitchers with vast injury histories and major trade value, it’s tough to say exactly what will happen.

Obviously $30M a season is a ton of money. However, Miguel Cabrera is an incredibly durable and consistent hitter who is also widely known to be a fantastic clubhouse personality. Having him around would almost certainly help the development of the Mets’ young hitters, as well as bolster the lineup on a daily basis.

Now, I’m not saying this should happen, per se. However, the fact remains that the Mets want to win now, and the Tigers need to cut commitments. 2015 saw a great deadline deal that worked out very well for both of these teams, when Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Fulmer were swapped. This trade would bring a hitter to New York who would immediately go down as one of the best to ever wear the orange and blue, right up there with Mike Piazza and Willie Mays. Would I do this if I were the Mets GM? Probably not. Will it happen? Probably not — But it’s fun to think about.

Follow me on Twitter @LBarer32

you gotta believe footer

]]> 0
The Best Last Plane Ride Ever Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:00:03 +0000 1986 Mets Parade: That's a Roger...

James Blagden is an awesome illustrator and baseball fan.  He takes real accounts of events that occurred in baseball history (example: Dock Ellis talking about throwing a no-hitter while on LSD) and animates it with the narration being heard in the background.  He used his unique talent to capture the flight back to New York after the Mets beat the Houston Astros in six games in the 1986 National League Championship Series.

The series against the Red Sox was so historic that some forget what an extraordinary series the Mets played against the Astros and their world class baseball scuffer extraordinaire Mike Scott.

To make matters worse, Scott had been a Met, a mediocre pitcher from 1979 to 1982 compiling a 14-27 record.  The Mets traded him to the Astros, and mastering the art of scuffing the baseball he went 18-10 with a league leading 2.22 ERA.  He also beat the Mets twice in the series, by scores of 3-1 and 1-0. He actually won the MVP of the NLCS despite the Mets winning the series.

On October 15, 1986 the Mets were leading the series 3-2 but with Mike Scott looming in Game 7, we were trailing the Astros 3-0 in the ninth.  We scored three that inning to tie it then went ahead in the 14th – only to see the freaking Astros tie it.  We came back again and scored three runs in the 16th, but the Astros wouldn’t go quietly. They scored two runs in the bottom of the inning until their luck finally ran out. Jesse Orosco would strike out Kevin Bass with the tying run in scoring position to put us in position for our showdown against the Boston Red Sox.

It was a game for the ages, and James Blagden captured several Mets—Daryl Strawberry, Kevin Mitchell, Lenny Dykstra, and Dwight Gooden, discussing the ensuing celebration.  It started in the locker room, poured into the team bus, and settled onto an airplane which would never be flyable again.


That was not a PG team and this is not a video to share with the young kids.  Kevin Mitchell starts it with a laugh as he says, “I don’t think this incident would have happened if it wasn’t for the hard liquor.”

Mr. Blagden captures with streaming animation and sound effects the story as told by those Mets.  So many tales have been told about that Met team, but this really captures the anarchy, fun and rebelliousness of the team and its manager.

Some of the details are fantastic—listening to Doc and Darryl and Nails explain that the plane was split between the brass and the players, with the ‘milk section’ in between, the players that didn’t drink. That entire section was made up of…Mookie Wilson.

The back of the plane?  Whether it was Roger McDowell making a salad (and eating it) off passed out Barry Lyons’ bald head; or the back row of the plane, nicknamed ‘the scum bunch’, which consisted of Danny Heep (who, ironically, we got in the Mike Scott trade), Doug Sisk and Jesse Orosco creating complete anarchy; to the food fight that led to over $100,000 worth of damage to the plane, this was a group that was very resistant to the idea of authority. (And I didn’t mention what they said the wives were doing on the plane…as mentioned, this video is not for the little kids).

And when a furious Frank Cashen handed Davey Johnson a bill for the damage the next day?  Kevin Mitchell reports he was slinking in his locker, only peeking out to see Davey rip up the bill and growl, “You pay it.  They earned it.”

It has been a long 30 years since we Mets fans have been able to celebrate like we did in 1986.  Many of us hoped this would be the year we recaptured the magic.  Without leaning on excuses, certainly injuries and some steps back from our young players kept that from happening.  Maybe 2017 is the year we regain the magic.  Until then check out James Blagden’s great short video “The Best Last Plane Ride Ever” and remember one of the most successful and wildest teams in baseball history.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
Jerry Grote: The Man Behind the Mask Wed, 19 Oct 2016 19:13:04 +0000 jerry grote

On this date in 1965, the Mets acquired catcher Jerry Grote from the Houston Astros for a player to be named later (Tom Parsons) and cash. Grote would become a mainstay behind the plate for 12 seasons with the Mets, helping to nurture a young pitching staff to great heights and guiding the team to two World Series including The Miracle in 1969. A two-time All Star and one of the best defensive catchers in his era, enjoy this wonderful piece on Jerry Grote by John Strubel. – Joe D.

* * * * * * * * * 

Winning was Jerry Grote’s bliss. In fact, his most joyous moment on the diamond was captured on film when teammate Jerry Koosman leaped into his arms after the final out of the 1969 World Series.

In 1976, Bob Myrick found out the hard way how Grote felt about losing when the Mets rookie pitcher beat his catcher in a game of Backgammon, causing Grote to explode, sending the board and its pieces across the room with a single swing of the arm.

“I just sat there staring at him – hard,” remembered Myrick. “He got up and picked up all the pieces, and we never had a cross word. He was a perfectionist.”

Grote’s desire to win led to unparalleled intensity on the field. During his 12-year career in New York, teammates labeled Grote surly, irascible, testy and moody. Then, there’s Koosman’s description: “If you looked up red-ass the dictionary, his picture would be in there. Jerry was the guy you wanted on your side, because he’d fight you tooth and nail ‘til death to win a ball game.”

Grote played with an anger and intensity that was, at times, intimidating to opponents, umpires, the media and teammates alike.

“When I came up I was scared to death of him,” said Jon Matlack, winner of the 1972 Rookie of the Year award. “If you bounced a curveball in the dirt, he’d get mad. I worried about him more than the hitter.”

“He could be trouble if you didn’t do what he said,” added former Met Craig Swan. “He wanted you to throw the pitches he called. He made it very simple. I would shake him off now and then, and he would shake his head back at me. If a guy hit a home run off of me, he wouldn’t let me hear the end of it.”

jerry grote catcher

Grote had a special way of letting his pitchers know he wasn’t pleased with a pitch. “Jerry had such a great arm. He could throw with great control and handcuff you in front of your belt buckle,” remembers Koosman.

Grote would get incensed when Jim McAndrew was on the mound. “McAndrew would never challenge hitters according to where Grote wanted the ball; so Grote kept firing it back and handcuffing him in front of the belt buckle, and we would laugh, because we knew what Grote was doing,” said Koosman.

The tactic didn’t go over so well when Koosman pitched. During a game when Koosman was struggling to find his control, Grote began firing the ball at his pitcher’s belt buckle. Koosman called Grote to the mound.

“I told him, ‘If you throw the ball back at me like that one more time I am going to break your f—ing neck,’” Koosman told Peter Golenbeck in Amazin’. “I turned around and walked back to the mound, and he never threw it back at me again. We had great respect for each other after that.”

He took his frustration out on umpires too. Retired umpire Bruce Froemming claims Grote intentionally let a fastball get by him, nearly striking Froemming in the throat. Because they had spent the three previous innings in a non-stop argument, Froemming accused Grote of intentionally moving aside in hope that the pitch would hit the umpire.

“Are you going to throw me out?” snapped Grote.

“He made no attempt to stop that pitch,” Froemming thought. The home plate umpire fumed but realized he had no grounds to toss Grote from the game.

National League umpires were well aware of Grote, and his on-field demeanor. In fact, in 1975, the league was discussing physical contact between catchers and umpires. Jerry Crawford was queried about his unique style of resting a hand between a catcher’s hip and rib cage and he said, “I ask the catcher if it bothers him, and only Jerry Grote has complained.”

“The writers never respected Grote, but they guys who played with him could barely stand him,” said Ron Swoboda. “He was a red-ass Texan who loved to f— with people but who didn’t like anyone to f— with him. It was a one-way street. Grote is Grote, and we would not have been as good without him behind home plate.”

“Grote had a red-ass with the media, but he didn’t care,” added Koosman. “All he cared about was what he did on the field. If you didn’t get your story from what he did out there, you either talked to him nicely or he wasn’t going to give you any more story.”

Grote did not return calls or respond to multiple email requests for an interview for this story.

This is who Jerry Grote is – and the Mets knew it from the day they traded for him for a player to be named later in October 1965.

Grote Ryan

“When we got him, I don’t think anyone else had that big of an opinion of him,” said Bing Devine. “Jerry was withdrawn and had a negative personality, but he knew how to catch a ball game and how to handle pitchers, and maybe that very thing helped him to deal with the pitching staff. He was great. I know he surpassed our expectations.”

He was exactly what the Mets needed to manage a young, extremely talented pitching staff, but he was clearly a handful to manage too.

“If he ever learns to control himself, he might become the best catcher in baseball,” former Mets manager Wes Westrum told the media during Grote’s first season in New York.

Then, in 1968, Gil Hodges arrived. After being briefed on the Mets roster, Hodges said he “did not like some of the things I heard about Jerry. He had a habit of getting into too many arguments with umpires and getting on some of the older players on the club.”

Hodges, known for his firm, but fair, demeanor, took Grote into his office for an attitude adjustment. The Mets manager realized the importance of Grote’s talents and how it would affect the pitching staff. Hodges made his expectations clear.

“I hesitate to imagine where the New York Mets would have been the last few years without Jerry,” Hodges told Sports illustrated in 1971. “He is invaluable to us. He is intent and intense and he fights to get everything he can.”

Grote batted .256 in his 12 seasons in New York. He is a two-time All-Star (1968 and 1974). In 1969, Grote threw out 56% of baserunners. He ranks third on the Mets all-time list for games played (1235), 11th in hits (994), 15th in doubles and total bases (1413).

Grote fractured his wrist after getting hit by a pitch in May 1973. The Mets recorded three shutouts the first month with Grote behind the plate, four more shutouts over the next two months (May 12-August 11) without Grote behind the plate and eight more shutouts over the final six weeks of the season with Grote managing the staff. Grote caught every inning of every playoff and World Series game in 1969 and 1973. Here’s a statistic for you: In the 20 post season games between ’69 and ’73, the Mets used 45 pitchers and one catcher. Those were the only two post season appearances the Mets made during Grote’s 12 years in New York.

“One of the advantages of playing for New York is that the big crowds at Shea Stadium help you tremendously,” Grote said in a 1971 interview with Sports Illustrated. “They make you want to give 115% all the time. In other places it cannot be the same for the players. Like in Houston, nobody seems to applaud unless the hands on the scoreboard start to clap. Once those hands stop, so do all the others. Real enthusiasm.”

Grote loved playing in New York, and New York loved his gritty style.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
Should Mets Re-Sign Jerry Blevins? Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:56:00 +0000 jerry blevins

One of the resounding themes from the 2016 season has been how incredible it was the Mets made it back to the postseason despite Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz needing season ending surgeries. However, that didn’t mean the Mets didn’t have good pitching that led them back to the postseason.

In addition to Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon, the Mets had a terrific bullpen that helped them maintain leads when the Mets weren’t getting hits with runners in scoring position, and they helped buttress the young starting pitching that couldn’t go quite as deep into games. While it is imperative the Mets starters come back healthy next season, it is equally as imperative that the Mets bullpen return in tact next year.

This means the Mets need to re-sign Jerry Blevins.

Coming into the 2016 season, Blevins had a reputation of only being a LOOGY. It was with good reason. During his career, Blevins has limited left-handed batters to a .214/.266/.322 batting line whereas right-handed batters have been a more robust .243/.332/.387 against him. In 2016, that began to change.

In Blevins 73 appearances with the Mets, he was actually better against right-handed batters than he was against left-handed batters. Blevins would face right-handed batters 65 times, and he would limit them to a .182/.266/.345 batting line. Granted, it is a small sample size, but there were some things Blevins did to induce those results. First, he scrapped his cutter, which was not an effective pitch for him at all against right-handed pitching. In turn, he used his curveball and changeups at a higher rate, which led to a higher strikeout rate and fewer line drives.

What this meant was the despite your prototypical lefty specialist, you could trust Blevins to pitch a right-handed batter between two left-handed batters. It took some of the hand wringing out of which batter should you deploy your weapon. It also allowed you to rest some bullpen arms because you knew you could trust your LOOGY to actually go out and throw an inning.

Despite Blevins’ remarkable turn-around against right-handed batters, he is still a LOOGY, and as a such it’s his job to get the big left-handed batter out in a big moment in the game. For his career, Blevins has been terrific in those situations:

  • .228 batting average against with RISP
  • .226 batting average against in late and close games
  • .218 batting average against in high leverage situations
  • .220 batting average against in innings from the seventh inning on

* late and close and high leverage situations are as defined by Baseball Reference

We saw this in action when time and again, Blevins limited the damage in games. Overall, Blevins only allowed 14.5% of inherited runners to score this season, which was the best on the team (40 IP minimum). That number is all the more impressive when you consider he inherited more runners than anyone on the Mets staff.

In fact, Blevins inherited the second most runners in all of baseball this past year. Out of the pitchers that inherited over 50 batters in 2016, Blevins had the third best rate in preventing runners to score. It should come as no surprise then that he stranded the second most batters in the major leagues.

Overall, when you have a pitcher who gets lefties out, is improving better against right-handed batters, and is at his best in high leverage situations, that is a guy you need to keep in your bullpen.

There is an other important reason to keep Blevins. The Mets don’t have another option. At one point, Josh Edgin was considered to be the LOOGY of the future. Unfortunately, he needed Tommy John surgery before the 2015 season (which ironically was part of the reason the Mets traded Matt den Dekker to obtain him). Edgin was able to pitch this season, but he has not fully regained his velocity.

The other notable option is Josh Smoker. However, Smoker is a lefty with reverse splits. Effectively speaking, Smoker is a guy you bring in for the big strikeout, but he is not the guy you bring in to get the big left-handed batter out.

With the Mets having little to no internal options, and with Blevins being an effective LOOGY in his career, the Mets should make it a priority to re-sign him in the offseason. Fortunately for the Mets, Blevins has said he would like to return.

Get-MetsMerized-Orange Footer

]]> 0
Few Things Shock Me In Baseball… Then There’s Justin Turner Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:13:18 +0000 justin-turner

Few things surprise me in baseball, mostly because in my 40 years of watching the game I’ve learned that almost everyday something happens that has never happened before. Baseball is a sport that loves its records and everyday it seems new ones are set and old ones are broken.

Nothing is ever what it seems. A team can win 105 games in a season and then get knocked off by a wild card team that won 88 games that goes on to win the World Series. Yes, few things surprise me in baseball… And then there’s Justin Turner.

From ESPN New York: A Mets official finally offered a reason for Justin Turner’s non-tender. He said that Turner’s propensity for not running hard irked the front office, which had finally seen enough. Turner, arbitration-eligible, likely was due to make less than $1 million in 2014.

When I first reported on that three years ago I remember being both stunned and angry.

Stunned because anyone who has ever seen Justin Turner play would never accuse him of being lazy and not running hard.

Angry because I knew the Wilpons were up to their old tricks, and putting down a player on his way out no matter how good he was or how beloved he was by the fans. The practice has been a hallmark of theirs since assuming full control of the team.

justin turner

Let’s be honest. Justin Turner was no great shakes during his time with the Mets, posting a cumulative line of .265/.326/.370 during his four years with New York.

But he did have his good points.

1. For one, he was the most versatile player the Mets have had over the last 10 years. In 2013, he played all four infield positions as well as logging time in left field.

2. It’s amazing how many hits that tied the game or put the Mets in front he had, particularly for a part-time player. He seemed to possess that clutch gene. To this day, I still don’t know how Baseball Reference calculates leverage, but regardless check this out:

High Leverage:  .318 BA, .856 OPS
Med Leverage:   .283 BA, .800 OPS
Low Leverage:   .265 BA, .747 OPS

3. There were signs Turner was improving and evolving as a hitter. In 2013, his last with the Mets, Turner posted his highest batting average (.280) as a Met and for the first time in his career he had an OPS+ of 100 after posting a 94 in 2011 and 97 in 2012.

4. His enthusiasm and big smile was infectious. Before Nimmo there was Turner. He was a positive influence in the club house, and he had the best relationship with fans on social media as I’ve ever seen before and the fans loved him. He’d make a routine of mingling with fans and signing autographs before each and every home game.

So exit Justin Turner and enter Eric Campbell. Life goes on… Except for the fact I can’t stop gawking at all the never-ending Justin Turner highlight videos on MLB Network and ESPN, and then coming across an article today entitled: The Cardinals Should Bid Big On Justin Turner.

That kind of summed it all up for me.

And truth be told, who would you rather have at third base for the Mets next season, Justin Turner or any of our current options?

Let me see… 34 doubles, 27 home runs, 90 RBI, a 5.6 fWAR which is almost double that of Yoenis Cespedes, yeah, that’s a tough decision.

As for that Cardinals article, he’s in for some bad news as I don’t see Turner going anywhere. Pretty sure the Dodgers will re-sign him.

Anyway – like I said – few things shock me in baseball these days. But what Justin Turner has become is an absolute mind-blower. Never in my wildest dreams did I see this coming. Good for him, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
10 Years Since Endy Made The Catch Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:39:59 +0000 endy_chavez_catch

Ten year ago today, Endy Chavez made an unbelievable catch that will always be remembered as one of the best in Mets history and in Major League Baseball postseason history.

Leaping as high as he could over the fence in left field to rob Scott Rolen of a go-ahead home run and then having the presence of mind to throw into the infield to double off Jim Edmonds at first base to end the inning.

Unfortunately, Game Seven of the 2006 National League Championship Series will be remembered for the Mets failed opportunities in the sixth and ninth innings. AS well as Yadier Molina hitting a two-run homer off Aaron Heilman in the top of the ninth that gave the Cardinals a 3-1 win to secure a spot in the World Series.

It was the culmination of a great season for Chavez who had a career year at the plate with his .306/.348/.431 slash line during the 2006 regular season. He would go on to play two more seasons for the Mets as an outfield reserve before being traded to the Seattle Mariners.

After a season in the minors in 2010, Chavez returned to the big leagues with the Texas Rangers in 2011 to hit .301/.323/.426 in 274 plate appearances.

He struggled for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 before playing his final two seasons in the majors with the Mariners. Chavez resurfaced with the Bridgeport BlueFish this year where he hit .345 and won the Atlantic League batting title.

No matter what Chavez did in the ten years since The Catch, he will always have a special place in the hearts of Mets fans.

]]> 0
Trade Bruce For The Right Reasons Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:55:52 +0000 jay bruce

Jon Heyman recently reported that a rival executive thinks the Mets might consider trading Jay Bruce once they pick up his 13 million dollar contract option after the season. This news really isn’t all that shocking. Mets fans have been speculating for months that this might be a possibility depending on the outcome of the Yoenis Cespedes contract situation.

I want to make one thing clear though. A trade of Bruce for a pitcher or position player that improves the major league roster is completely acceptable. A trade of Bruce for a prospect that improves the overall depth in our farm system is also acceptable provided that the Mets make corresponding moves to enhance the quality of the major league roster in significant ways. But the Mets cannot trade Bruce if they are purely being motivated by financial reasons and plan to just hand the job to Michael Conforto.

I refuse to accept the narrative that many fans are citing which is “the Mets can use the Jay Bruce money to pay for Yoenis Cespedes“. The focus of the offseason should be on improving the overall roster relative to last season in an effort to win a championship. I realize every team has payroll limits, but I don’t want those limits to be the running theme that dominates the Mets offseason headlines. And so far, it has already been headline news in the form of the Cespedes opt-out discussion and the Neil Walker qualifying offer debate.

The NLCS matchup should be an eye opener for the Mets. The Cubs and Dodgers have incredibly talented farm systems and had arguably the deepest preseason major league rosters. But it’s no coincidence that they were the highest spending teams in the NL at the end of the season.

MLB: Chicago Cubs-Spring Training Media Day

The Cubs “won” the 2015/16 offseason when they signed Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, and John Lackey and now they have a great chance to win the World Series. When the Cubs retained Dexter Fowler their organization didn’t worry about finding enough playing time for Kyle Schwarber, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, and Jorge Soler. And the Mets shouldn’t worry either if they wind up retaining Bruce and Conforto.

The Dodgers brought in a plethora of starting pitchers Scott Kazmir (3 years $48 million), Kenta Maeda (8 years $25 million), Brett Anderson (accepted $15.8 million qualifying offer) before the season started to replace Zack Greinke, and they certainly made use of their starting pitching depth over the course of the year. They re-signed second basemen Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley and turned the former into a utility player. Despite having the most regular season injuries in recorded baseball history, the Dodgers were able to survive, win the NL West, and make a deep playoff run because of their unrivaled depth.

Spending big money on payroll doesn’t always equate to success in baseball. But in 2016, the NL teams that flexed their financial muscle in the offseason and assembled deep rosters made it to the NLCS. That can’t be ignored.

Please don’t read this post and confuse me for a member of the Jay Bruce fan club. I don’t think Bruce has to be on the 2017 team for the Mets to have success. And I certainly don’t want the Mets to spend money for the sake of spending money or to “make a splash”. But the days of the Mets making a purely financially motivated roster decision should be over.

They appeared to be over last offseason when the Mets raised payroll and retained Cespedes. But the Mets must continue on that track if they want to win it all. Otherwise they will be at a real disadvantage when trying to overtake the Dodgers and Cubs going forward. Because those teams certainly aren’t going to stop spending like big market clubs any time soon.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
Tebow Picks Up His First AFL Hit on Tuesday Wed, 19 Oct 2016 00:35:32 +0000 tim-tebow

Mets outfielder Tim Tebow finally picked up his first hit in the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday night, going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts while hitting into a double play. Tebow stroked a single to left field and is now 1-for-16 in five AFL games with eight strikeouts.

It was the first time Tebow hit a ball to the left side of the field after hitting everything else down the first base line.

Tebow, 29, has been getting some poor reviews from scouts who have said his swing is too long to catch up to anything over 90 mph and that he has very poor pitch recognition.

As a defender, Tebow has displayed poor instincts, runs bad routes, and has below average foot speed and arm strength.

Prospect Analyst Keith Law went to Arizona to scout Tebow and didn’t mince any words on an ESPN Insider article in which he completely obliterates him and the Mets for sending Tebow to the Arizona Fall League.

“Tebow the baseball player is not a baseball player; he’s a washed-up quarterback who has size and nothing else. His swing is long, and he wields the bat like someone who hasn’t played the sport in more than a decade, which he hasn’t.”

Law, calls Tebow the only hitter he’s ever seen in the AFL who can’t square up a below-average fastball.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
The Window to Re-Sign Cespedes is Closing Tue, 18 Oct 2016 18:08:18 +0000 mets-win-cespedes

Back in the 1998 offseason, neither the Mets nor Mike Piazza were messing around. Before the end of the World Series, which is the time players could file for free agency, the Mets made the 30 year old Piazza the highest paid player in the sport by giving him a seven year, $91 million contract. The rest, as you know, is history. Piazza would become a beloved Met as he slugged his way into the record books, into our hearts, and into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

This is the stage the Mets and Yoenis Cespedes are at right now.

Cespedes, who turns 31 today, has until three days following the end of the World Series to opt out of the remaining two years of his contract. Given the terrific yet injury plagued season Cespedes just had, he is widely expected to opt out and seek a much more lucrative deal in the free agent market.

Unlike last season where players like Justin Upton and Jason Heyward were on the open market, Cespedes stands alone as the top free agent target for any team that needs to add an outfielder with star quality and not on the wrong side of 32.

There have been conflicting reports about Cespedes’ desire to remain with the Mets. However, if the last year and a half have been any indication, Cespedes has enjoyed his time in Flushing, and he has blossomed in the limelight of New York.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets

Cespedes has worked extensively with hitting coach Kevin Long to improve his approach at the plate, getting on base more. and hitting for more power.

“We’re trying to close the gap for Yoenis, between great and dangerous, so that he’s both,” Long said last Spring. “What he’s capable of doing to pitches in the strike zone is downright lethal, but the idea is get him to swing at only strikes.”

The results have led to consecutive seasons of career-high power numbers. In addition to a clubhouse that idolizes him, Cespedes also has a fan base that adores him and plead for him to stay with the Mets.

The Mets have also greatly benefited from Cespedes’ duration in New York. Cespedes and Piazza are the only two superstars who have led the Mets to consecutive postseason appearances. The fans’ love of Cespedes helps increase the gate and merchandise sales. More importantly, Cespedes’ presence in the lineup and the Mets outfield give the team the best possible chance to win a World Series.

Given that, the time between the end of the Wild Card Game and the end of the World Series should be spent with the Mets and Cespedes’ agents, Roc Nation, trying to reach an agreement to keep Cespedes in New York where he belongs.

If a deal is not reached it means one of three things: (1) Cespedes wanted to hit the free agent market; (2) the Mets are not willing to pay what it takes to keep Cespedes; or (3) both sides failed to put forth their best efforts to get a deal done. If any of these are the case, it is a shame, and it could be a decision both sides will rue for years to come.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
Harper: Mets Need Kenley Jansen To Keep Up With Cubs Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:09:49 +0000 kenley-jansen

John Harper of the Daily News makes his case for the Mets signing free-agent closer Kenley Jansen this offseason.

“If the Mets want to take a huge step toward re-claiming that supremacy next year and beyond, they should make a big splash this off-season by signing Kenley Jansen,” writes Harper who argues that adding Jansen will put the Mets on par with the Chicago Cubs as one of the top two contenders in the league.

I always laugh when I see all these writers and bloggers use that line “make a big splash” as the crux of what the Mets should do in the offseason. It dulls any other reasoning for the move and it ends up making for a shallow and poorly conceived argument.

The primary goal for the Mets is to allocate their resources effectively while addressing the team’s needs and upgrading where necessary. And while Jansen would certainly bolster the bullpen significantly, is it the best use of our payroll dollars with Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia already set to earn roughly $20 million in arbitration?

The answer is a resounding no.

With Jansen projected to net himself a 4-5 year deal worth $60-75 million dollars, I think there’s way too many land mines when you spend that kind of money on a reliever.

Obviously, there’s a lot of risk when you dole out a 4 or 5 year deal to any pitcher, but adding Jansen also adds a different set of problems. How will instilling Jansen as your closer effect Familia and will it lead to the Papelbon affect?

We already know that Familia is a player who thrives when his confidence is high, but how does he handle being demoted to a setup role after he led the league in saves in a historic season?

The flip side to that is why would Jansen sign with a team that plans to use him in a setup role after a brilliant career that has made him one one of the top closers in baseball?


In 71 appearances for the Dodgers this past season, Jansen saved 47 games with a 1.83 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, and a whopping 104 strikeouts in 68.2 innings.

Jansen, 29, has delivered five consecutive stellar seasons and has put up some eye-popping numbers along the way to 189 saves.

But this isn’t about Jansen as much as it is about potentially usurping the best setup man and closer combination in the game with Reed and Familia. Do we really want to mess with that?

What the Mets need in the bullpen is a reliable reliever who could be a bridge to our current shutdown dynamic duo. That’s something that is much more feasible and will efficiently upgrade the pen without expending an inordinate amount of your budgeted payroll dollars.

Lets not be the team that gives Jansen that 5-year, $75 million contract. Instead, lets utilize our resources in addressing some of the team’s real needs and not throw huge dollars in fixing something that isn’t broke.

Sorry John Harper, try again. This isn’t the “big splash” that makes the Mets the best team in the league as you attest. Rather it’s an odd move that does nothing to address some of the real issues facing this team.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0
MLB Exec Thinks Mets Could Deal Jay Bruce Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:00:41 +0000 jay-bruce

There’s absolutely no question that the New York Mets will exercise the $13 million dollar option on outfielder Jay Bruce as soon as the World Series comes to an end. That much is clear. What isn’t so clear is what happens next.

Clearly, Bruce had a rough go of it in New York, a city he hoped the Reds wouldn’t trade him to. “Yes, New York wasn’t on my list initially. Definitely I wasn’t as comfortable with New York as I was the other places, but I’m happy to be here.”

One look at his numbers before and after the trade, and you can see why so many Mets fans get squeamish at the mere mention of his name. And yes, Bruce finished the season strong, but we’re talking about eight games, and it happened right after he was embarrassed by Terry Collins who pinch hit Eric Campbell for him in a huge spot.

Over the final eight games of the season, Bruce batted .480 (12-for-25) with four homers and eight RBIs. However, in his 42 games before that hot streak, he batted .174/.252/.285 with four homers, 11 RBI a team worst .536 OPS in that span.

So if you’re Sandy Alderson do you bank on Bruce as your everyday right fielder next season, or do you trade him and try to recoup as much value as you can from a team looking to add some power?

According to Jon Heyman of Knuckleball, a rival executive thinks that picking up that option on Bruce could be precursor to a trade this offseason.

Yesterday, I wrote that if the Mets were to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, it would likely mean that Michael Conforto starts the season in Triple-A. There’s no way the Mets will stunt his development by having him languish on the bench as a fifth outfielder. That’s no way to treat a first-round talent who has flashed some exciting potential in a few short spurts over parts of two seasons. The Mets are still very high on him.

yoenis cespedes michael conforto

But – and that’s a big but – if the Mets were to deal Bruce it changes everything. You could pencil Conforto in as your right fielder, with Cespedes in left field and a platoon of Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares in center. It may even open up the fifth outfielder spot for Brandon Nimmo – who many scouts view as a highly productive part-time player anyway. Everything fits neatly into a tidy configuration with Jay Bruce out of the picture.

While I won’t cry you a river if the Mets were to hang onto Bruce and Conforto would have to wait another year to take over in right field, it would be a little scary to gamble on which Jay Bruce the Mets will get in 2017.

Look, we have never hesitated to hand precious rotation spots to our many talented pitching prospects over the last three years, and injuries aside, they’ve all been phenomenal. Maybe it’s time to start putting our confidence in some of the team’s top hitting prospects. Let Michael Conforto get a full shot as an everyday player – and that means leaving him in there against left-handed pitchers who he annihilated in the Minors.

I’d love to see Sandy Alderson show up at the Winter Meetings with Jay Bruce on the block and a half-dozen or more teams all competing for his power bat. I see this as an excellent opportunity for the team to recoup some value and perhaps swing themselves a solid reliever for the pen and a prospect we can stow away for the future.

Anyway, that/s what I’m thinking we should do and I look forward to reading your thoughts on trading Bruce or keeping him.

By the way, Mathew Brownstein wrote a nice piece last week that highlights some of the potential trade targets for Bruce. You can check it out here.

get metsmerized footer

]]> 0