Mets Merized Online http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:46:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 World Series Thread: Giants vs Royals, 8:00 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/world-series-thread-giants-vs-royals-800-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/world-series-thread-giants-vs-royals-800-pm.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:46:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168428 peavy ventura

San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals

Game 2: Wednesday, 8:00 PM ET on FOX

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

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

Giants:

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

Royals:

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

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

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I’ll Take “Worst Owners In Baseball” For $500, Alex… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/ill-take-worst-owners-in-baseball-for-500-alex.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/ill-take-worst-owners-in-baseball-for-500-alex.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:41:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168416 alex trebek jeopardy

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

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

DING, DING, DING, DING, DING….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These facts are material and undeniable.

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Handicapping Trade Value and Odds Of Mets Pitchers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/handicapping-trade-value-and-odds-of-mets-pitchers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/handicapping-trade-value-and-odds-of-mets-pitchers.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:11:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168227 zack wheeler

To get something, you have to give something, but what the New York Mets don’t want to give up is their young pitching.  Understandable, but how long can they hold out?

The Mets say they won’t deal Matt Harvey, but remember there is no such thing as an untouchable. What if some team, in the words of Don Corleone, make them “an offer they can’t refuse.’’

Let’s take a look at the Mets’ young arms in relation to their trade value and odds they could be dealt.

MATT HARVEY (75:1) Everybody wants him and that’s a given. However, coming off Tommy John surgery there might be a twinge of reluctance of making a big offer although the odds of recovery are good. They might get more if Harvey rebounds with a good season, which would undoubtedly spike his value. Also a consideration is that he may eventually bolt when given the chance considering his sometimes rocky relationship with management. If he continues to perform well and the Mets don’t sign him to a long term contract, his salary would increase dramatically through arbitration. Sometime in that process, if they can’t get a long term deal done, they might seriously think of trading him off before he leaves as a free agent to the Bronx. But not this offseason.

ZACK WHEELER (50:1) Some scouts say his stuff is better than Harvey’s, but Zack Wheeler doesn’t have nearly the poise or knowledge of pitching. Harvey is way ahead in those areas. Wheeler is reminiscent of Nolan Ryan early in his career when he threw hard with no idea where the pitch would go. Wheeler tries too much for the strikeout, which elevates is pitch count and reduces his innings. His potential is so high that he’s worth waiting for, but conversely it is so attractive there will be takers. Another thing about Wheeler, and this also applies to Harvey and Jacob deGrom, is they are very affordable for the next 3-4 years. Mets would have to be overwhelmed.

JACOB deGROM (50:1) It would be a crime if he is not the Rookie of the Year. He’s closer to being where Harvey is than Wheeler. He’s got great stuff, an outstanding breaking ball, poise and a sense about what pitching is all about. He’s definitely more a pitcher than a thrower. Like Harvey in his first year, deGrom caught teams by surprise. It might be different in 2015. But, I like this guy and would be more disappointed if he were traded than Harvey or Wheeler.

NOAH SYNDERGAARD (25:1) Some scouts say Noah Syndergaard might be the best prospect of all, but we really won’t know what he is until he pitches at the major league level, which won’t be until June at the earliest. He’s got a terrific breaking ball, great stuff and by all accounts could be the real thing. We shall see, and I hope we see it in Flushing.

JON NIESE (10:1) He’s left-handed, throws hard, 27 and signed to a reasonable contract. That makes Jon Niese attractive to the Mets and other teams. What’s not to like? Well, there’s his injury history, inconsistency (only one winning season in seven years), and the bad habit of not being able to put away hitters and letting innings unravel. The argument is a change of scenery might help, but unlike the previous four mentioned his value has decreased. Good GMs don’t typically sell low.

RAFAEL MONTERO (5:1) He has loads of potential, but other teams also see that in him. Rafael Montero is a lot like Jenrry Mejia in that the Mets haven’t found a definitive role for him. Starter or reliever? He could be in the rotation until Syndergaard is ready and if Niese were traded. But, on Opening Day I see him either in the bullpen or Triple-A.

DILLON GEE (3:1) He’s rated no higher than a fifth starter and could be bumped to the bullpen when Syndergaard is ready. Too bad. Gee doesn’t have great stuff, but is mentally tough – until he gets to Philadelphia – and shows a lot of poise. He’s somebody that could get the Mets something at the deadline as he can also work out of the bullpen in long relief. There’s things a contender could like about him. Question is, will the Mets be such a contender? The Mets could have traded him numerous times, but there were no serious takers. That says something.

BARTOLO COLON (2:1) At 41, he threw over 200 innings and won 15 games. Was it all him, or did the move to the National League and spacious Citi Field have something to do with that? Colon will get $11 million in 2015, of which half of that will be gone by the trade deadline. If the Mets are in it, they’d be wise to keep him, but if he’s pitching well he could bring something in return in the right package. He’s likely being shopped, but nobody will offer anything until they explore the free-agent market.

BOBBY PARNELL (30:1) I remember the day he hit triple digits on the radar gun at Fenway Park. But, it never happened for him as a starter. After some trial and error he won the closer role in 2013, but missed last season because of an injury. Should Mejia or Jeurys Familia win the closer role and Parnell proves healthy in spring training, maybe he gets dealt. But for now he’s not going anywhere.

JENRRY MEJIA (25:1) When the Mets were bouncing him from the bullpen to the rotation his value declined. Especially when it led to elbow surgery. Now, it was a sports hernia that cut his breakout season. Mejia showed he has the stuff to be a closer, especially since he’s learning how to pitch rather than just trying to blow heat past a hitter. There’s value here.

JEURYS FAMILIA (20:1) Had an outstanding rookie season and drew a lot of attention. Some believe he could be the closer of future, however some teams might think he could be a closer now. This is a tough one considering the fragile nature of constructing a bullpen. Of these three relievers, Parnell could be the most available, but also bring the least in return.

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Mets Won’t Be Players For Yasmani Tomas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-wont-be-players-for-yasmani-tomas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-wont-be-players-for-yasmani-tomas.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:44:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168409 yasmani tomas cuba

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mets and Ricciardi Could Have Extension Completed Within A Week http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-and-ricciardi-could-have-extension-completed-within-a-week.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-and-ricciardi-could-have-extension-completed-within-a-week.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:13:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168222 ricciardi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 19

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

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

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

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2014 Free Agent Review: The Long Term Deals (Part 1 of 3) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/2014-free-agent-review-the-long-term-deals-part-1-of-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/2014-free-agent-review-the-long-term-deals-part-1-of-3.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:35:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168251 robinson-cano

Baseball is a game that is constantly evolving and the team’s that successfully navigate the natural growth of the sport are identifying their strengths and maximizing the results.  The traditional format of growing pitching and buying bats is transitioning into an all organic format.  

The majority of playoff quality teams are rounding out their lineups of homegrown talent with one or two well chosen external pieces that hurdle the club to the top. There are exceptions to every rule for spending in the free agent market, but examining the results of last year’s class may provide some insight as to how the Mets should proceed this winter.

The type of signing that brings the most risk to reward ratio is a long term contract, ranging 7-10 years with over $100 million in guaranteed salary. In the first of five installments, let’s take a look at 2014’s long term free agent signings and identify which two contracts represent the best and worst deals inked over the long haul.

Long term signings are becoming a rarity in today’s game.  Most MLB teams hedge on their young talent with front loaded, team friendly deals, in order to maximize the return on their productivity. There are still exceptions, particularly for players in their prime who possess multiple plus tools. Last year’s headliners were Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo.

Cano, formerly of the New York Yankees, was signed to a 10 year, $240 million contract by the Seattle Mariners last offseason.  It’s ironic that there was ever a deal too rich for the Yankees’ blood, but the former Bomber transitioned to the West Coast nicely. His 14 home runs was nearly half his total from the previous season, but there’s little difference in his overall statistics aside from that.

His .314/.382/.836 slash line had a plus-minus margin of 0.00/(.001)/(.063) when compared to last year’s production in the Bronx. Critics may argue that the slugger was paid $24 million to do just that, hit home runs, but the majority of MLB teams would pay his contract if they could guarantee his 2014 numbers that included 187 hits, 82 RBI, 77 runs and a 1.108 OPS with runners in scoring position. Cano also stayed healthy all season and played gold glove caliber defense over a stretch of 157 games. His unique range and strong arm gave the Mariner’s an upgrade in run prevention, but the back end of his contract also holds less risk in the American League since the Mariners can transition him to a DH role later on past his prime.

Seattle made a bold decision when they agreed to pay Cano $24 million a year for 10 years, but the contract is a direct reflection of the impact that aggressive bidding has on the free agent market.  The team that signs a premium candidate is sacrificing payroll on the back end of the deal in order to secure high caliber production on the front end.  The Mariners found themselves in a position to contend with the addition of a top end player and felt that their window of opportunity to make the playoffs coincided with the prime years of Cano’s productivity.  Overall, Seattle missed the post-season, but the team improved their 2013 campaign by 16 wins, finishing at 87-75.  If they can get half that improvement heading into the 2015 season, they’ll be a lock for October baseball.

Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo was regarded for his high OBP and efficiency on the base paths, registering 107 runs scored in 2013 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.  In 2014, with the Texas Rangers, he played in 31 less games, registered 52 less hits, 49 less runs scored and drew 54 less walks.  His slash line had a plus-minus differential of (.043)/(.083)/(.171) compared to last year and his wRC+ dropped by 34% down to an even 100. That metric has a median focal point of 100, where every point above that number is a point above standard production.  So the Rangers were, by definition, paying $14 million for a league average player.

Choo could very well bounce back, but an interesting piece by FanGraphs points out that his .309 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) in 2014, was drastically lower than his .346 career mark that spans over eight years and 4,000 plate appearances.  While .309 is still above league average, he would have to make contact at an unrealistic rate in order to generate the same results he had in 2013.

The deal becomes further complicated since, unlike Cano, Choo’s projected value stemmed entirely from his offensive production. His defense is not strong enough to offset his struggles at the plate, so his contract inherently carries more risk, gambling on a skill set that only contributes to one side of the ball. The Rangers appeared to have signed the albatross contract of 2014, especially when you consider that Choo’s deal increases to $21 million per year in the final two seasons.

Every free agent is signed with the intention of filling a void in a playoff team’s post-season narrative. There’s risk that comes with paying eight figures to an athlete on the wrong side of thirty, but Robinson Cano provided the type of output that kept Seattle in the playoff hunt all season.

Hypothetically, had the Mets signed Cano last offseason, it would have immediately upgraded the lineup. The Amazins’ had their own All-Star second baseman in Daniel Murphy, but Cano is an elite level talent compared to Murphy, whose defense negatively impacts is overall value.

The Mets found themselves on the outside looking in as the teams operating model discourages lengthy deals that are pricey and driven by a player’s past performance, not future.  Cano’s output would still be a welcomed addition to the Mets offense, but in retrospect, his deal now makes even less sense in Flushing since the emergence of Wilmer Flores and Dilson Herrera.  Both of those young players have a long road to travel before they reach a level similar to Cano’s, but their futures are bright and New York has other positions in need of attention.

Choo was considered by many baseball writers and experts as a great fit for the Mets last Winter, but it’s clear that New York dodged a bullet by passing on the former Reds standout.  The stadium in Arlington doesn’t have a suffocating effect on hitters, so it’s reasonable to assume that Choo’s drop off would have been exponentially worse in Citi Field.

jacoby-ellsbury

The Mets will almost certainly avoid any long term deals in the near future.  The only other long term deal (7-10 years) was the Yankees signing of Jacoby Ellsbury at seven years and $153 million. However, at a cost of around $500,000 through the next several years, Juan Lagares is clearly the better option in my opinion.

As a left-handed hitter in Yankee stadium, Ellsbury turned in 16 home runs, 70 RBI’s and 39 stolen bases.  Whether that production is worth $21 million per year is debatable, but unlike the Mets, many teams are willing to pay elite salaries for above average offense.  The orange and blue got to watch their own star grow in center while the biggest deals from 2014 played elsewhere.

Given the current needs of the team,  I believe the front office made the right decision by passing on these three players and this offseason, the results should be the same.  None of the free agent position players warrant a deal longer than 7 years, so the focus should be on shorter, more team friendly deals that can improve the team.  .

Up next, mid level contracts ranging anywhere from 4 to 6 years.  There were several names within this group that many believed the Mets should have pursued, so I’m expecting some heated debate on this one.

Lets! Go! Mets!

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David Wright vs. George Brett: The Royal Treatment http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/david-wright-vs-george-brett-the-royal-treatment.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/david-wright-vs-george-brett-the-royal-treatment.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:08:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168344 david wright

David Wright has taken a lot of knocks over the last several months and undeservedly so… He’s a player on the decline. He’s always getting hurt. He’s washed up.

There was another MLB star Third Baseman who is currently in the Hall of Fame that has a similar statistical profile to Wright through their age 31 seasons. Like our captain, this HOF player missed a lot of time during his age 30 season to the disabled list and played in only 123 games. He also missed 29 games while on the DL during his age 31 season, playing in just 104 games. In his age 30-31 seasons, this HOF Third Baseman played in just 227 games, compared to David’s 246.

This other Hall of Fame Third Baseman is George Brett. David has played 11 seasons, getting called up in 2004. Brett appeared in 12 MLB seasons through his age 31 season (including 13 games in August/September 1973 and the strike shortened 1981 season).

Wright vs. Brett through age 31 seasons:

                                        David Wright                             George Brett

Games Played                      1508                                          1462

Batting Average                     .298                                           .314

Base Hits                               1702                                          1783

Runs Scored                           907                                            894

OBP                                       .377                                           .368

Slugging                                 .494                                           .500

Doubles                                  375                                             362

Triples                                     26                                               103

Home Runs                            230                                              163

RBI                                         939                                              866

Stolen Bases                          191                                              131

All Star Games                        7                                                  9

Is Wright washed up? No. Did he have a very uncharacteristic season? Yes, he was hurt. Brett’s age 31 season also was below his career norms when he was recovering from an injury that kept him from starting the season on time. He only hit .284 with 107 hits.

David will be fine.

george brett

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Colby Rasmus, CF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-free-agent-profile-colby-rasmus-cf.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-free-agent-profile-colby-rasmus-cf.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:09:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168126 colby rasmus

Colby Rasmus

Position: Center Fielder 
Bats: Left, Throws: Left 
Age on Opening Day: 28

2014 Snapshot

After a very productive 2013 season, Rasmus fell off a cliff this year, seeing his numbers drop across the board. The 28 year-old posted a slash line of .225/.287/.448 with a .321 wOBA and 103 wRC+ with 18 home runs in 376 plate appearances. In almost every major fielding statistic, Rasmus went from solidly above average to solidly below average in center, compounding on an already lackluster year.

The one thing that remained through it all for Rasmus was his power. His 18 home runs in so few trips to the plate stick out, along with his .223 ISO, his second-highest mark ever. However, Rasmus watched his offensive numbers drop across the board from a fantastic .276/.338/.501 (129 wRC+) 2013 season. If we are in the game of comparisons, Rasmus is on the opposite track of Nick Markakis, who, although the rest of his numbers have gone up, his power numbers have dropped. In the middle tier of free agent outfielders, it may be a pick-your-poison scenario.

Pros

Rasmus has incredible upside. In 2013, he posted a 4.8 fWAR, the second four-win season of his career. He boasts solid and consistent power numbers, and, if healthy, is sure to hit 20 or more home runs in a Met uniform, even at Citi Field. According to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, Rasmus was in the upper tier with an average 401 foot “true distance” on his 18 home runs. I don’t have any doubt that his power would transfer, no matter what kind of season he is having.

Rasmus has also proven at times to be a solid defender, posting well above average fielding metrics before 2014. However, Rasmus’ numbers have been inconsistent in these metrics, leaving some uncertainty here.

Cons

Of course, if Rasmus were always at his upside, he would be way beyond the Mets’ price range. What makes players cheap is uncertainty, and there is a whole lot of it with Rasmus. While Rasmus has had two seasons with a 4.0 fWAR or higher, he also has three with a 1.0 fWAR or worse. He is, without a doubt, an enormous risk.

Rasmus is striking out at absurd rates. Last year, he struck out in a third of his plate appearances. And those offensive numbers last year were coupled with a normal BABIP. That’s not exactly a recipe for future success.

While the added power would be a nice addition to the lineup, the possibly dreadful On-Base Percentage and batting average would greatly eat away at the added value. That may still even equate to overall league average offense, but with uncertainty about Rasmus’ defense, any significant financial commitment will mean taking a big risk. Rasmus doesn’t seem like the type of player a penny-pinching team like the Mets can afford to gamble on. Not to mention he plays center field and has never regularly played a corner position in the majors…

Projected Contract

Unlike Markakis, Rasmus is coming off a down year, so he should be cheaper. With that being said, he is also younger and less likely to have a qualifying offer attached to him. With teams considering the horrible situation with BJ Upton, a similar player to Rasmus, and the stronger center field free agent class next year, demand won’t be too high. I predict that Rasmus will get two years and $24 million.

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Fielding Bible, Gold Glove Award In Sight For Lagares http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/fielding-bible-gold-glove-awards-in-sight-for-lagares.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/fielding-bible-gold-glove-awards-in-sight-for-lagares.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:00:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168378 juan lagares catch

Later this fall, Juan Lagares hopes to win his first Gold Glove in center field and according to BillJamesOnline.com‘s John Dewan, he will get it done. Dewan cast his ballot for the 2014 Fielding Bible Award earlier this week and chose Lagares. His 28 defensive runs saved were the most by center fielders. Here’s what he had to say about Lagares:

Entering 2014, there was some question of whether Juan Lagares’ impressive rookie season was something of a fluke. He saved 26 runs in 2013, second most among center fielders despite playing just 820 innings. Much of that success was the result of a position-leading 12 outfield kills, which is an unusually high total for a center fielder. Lagares emphatically answered any doubters with 28 Runs Saved in 945 innings this season. As expected, runners were less aggressive in attempting to take extra bases against him this season, which coupled with his five kills resulted in six Runs Saved with his arm. His range accounted for 22 more runs, 7 more than the closest center fielder to him.

No other Mets were projected to win a Fielding Bible Awards or a Gold Glove by Dewan. In the meantime, Lagares will have to sit and wait to find out just how many fielding awards he’ll take home in 2014.

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Mets To Formally Interview Kevin Long On Wednesday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-to-formally-interview-kevin-long-on-wednesday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mets-to-formally-interview-kevin-long-on-wednesday.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:12:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167893 Kevin long cage

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

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

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

October 15 – Who is Kevin Long

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

Long Is Very Confident

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

Long Is A Hard Worker

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

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

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

About the Home Run Drill

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

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

Long Goes Above and Beyond

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

Carlos Pena on Kevin Long

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

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

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Alderson’s Draft Picks Are Indication Of Long Term Plan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/aldersons-draft-picks-are-indication-of-long-term-plan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/aldersons-draft-picks-are-indication-of-long-term-plan.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:31:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168341 brandon nimmoThe hardest thing about building a winning team is the anticipation. Before 1996, there were no guarantees that Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and the rest of a very young Yankees team would prosper at the same time, if at all. The same can be said about the 1986 Mets. Frank Cashen took Darryl Strawberry with the #1 overall pick in the 1980 draft. It happened to be the very first pick Cashen made in New York and it turned out pretty well.

Fast forward to 2011 when Sandy Alderson took over the Mets and selected Brandon Nimmo with the 13th overall pick in the draft. Like Strawberry, Nimmo was a high school outfielder with a ton of raw talent. It took Strawberry three years to reach the majors, debuting in 1983. Three years after that, they won the World Series. Now Alderson is hoping Nimmo is on the same track.

An interesting note from Cody Derespina of Newsday revolved around other high school players taken early in the draft.

“Since 1980, there have been 16 high school players drafted No. 1 overall. That list includes Strawberry, Ken Griffey Jr., Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Gonzalez and Joe Mauer. Of the 14 No. 1 picks out of high school from 1980-2011, only Brien Taylor, Matt Bush and Tim Beckham didn’t debut in the majors within three years. Bush and Taylor never even made it to the bigs.”

Nimmo being a 13th overall pick won’t fit into that group but it’s clear that the Mets have completely abandoned a win-now approach in favor of the win-long-term strategy. Mets’ vice president for player development and scouting Paul DePodesta, had this to say about building for the future.

“We’re not necessarily looking for quick fixes. We hopefully plan on being here for a while and really trying to do this right. We’re not going to take a guy just because he might be the quickest mover to the big leagues.”

Nimmo will enter his fifth season in the Mets minor league system this spring at the age of 22. As Derespina points out, three to four years isn’t all that long for a high school player to mature and Nimmo will take longer than that. Gavin Cecchini and Dominic Smith were other players who Alderson drafted out of high school and who are unlikely to debut anytime soon.

Derespina also notes that with Alderson’s contract extension in place, he’ll likely be around until 2017 and by then, Cecchini, Smith, Nimmo and 2014 first-rounder Michael Conforto could debut.footer

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Familia Replacing Mejia As The Mets Closer? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/familia-replacing-mejia-as-the-mets-closer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/familia-replacing-mejia-as-the-mets-closer.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:59:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168337 jeurys familia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nimmo and Mazzilli Off To Solid Starts In AFL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/nimmo-and-mazzilli-off-to-solid-starts-in-afl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/nimmo-and-mazzilli-off-to-solid-starts-in-afl.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:17:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168318 Jessica Quiroli of Minor League Ball is reviewing many of the prospects currently competing in this year’s Arizona Fall League. She had some interesting things to say about a pair of Mets prospects who have impressed her.

Brandon Nimmo

brandon nimmoBrandon Nimmo is that rare breed of focused aggression and intensity, mixed with patience and teachability. His story is legend at this point: with no high school baseball program in Wyoming, he played the showcase circuit. Scouts noticed and he was drafted in 1st round in 2011 He came to the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York Penn League as poised as a ten-year veteran. By the end of the season, however, the inexperience showed. Fatigue affected what was otherwise a highly successful debut.

He entered Spring Training in 2013 ten pounds heavier and talked about the noticeable difference in getting to balls in the outfield. He made the jump to Double-A Binghamton in 2014. He showcased more power, with a smooth swing path (it looked wobbly at times in 2012), and good hip rotation. He simply looked like a more solid version of the guy that played 69 games in Short-A ball in 2012. The selection to the fall league wasn’t a surprise.

Nimmo is the top outfield prospect in the organization, and one of the top outfield prospects in all the minor leagues. In tough fall league competition, he can work on developing more power and improve already very good plate approach. After the struggles with consistency that he exhibited down the stretch in his first professional season , he showed more ability to perform at the level he’s capable of in 2014. He ended the season hitting .278/.394/.426 in 127 games. He’s had a good fall league debut, hitting .393/.476/.571 in his first seven games.

L.J. Mazzilli

L.J._MazzilliSimilarly, Mets second base prospect L.J. Mazzilli is developing more power at the plate. His ability for gap-power was on display in 2013 with the Brooklyn Cyclones.And while Mazzilli has the same kind of professionalism and maturity as Nimmo, Mazzilli’s is all pedigree, as the son of former major leaguer Lee.

The younger Mazzilli also remained unfazed by the super-hype of his introduction to the New York media at Citi-Bank Field. That kind of laser-focus helped him adjust quickly to pro- ball. He exhibited rock-solid maturity off the field, and a consistent approach at the plate, also proving to be a strong defender with good speed. He hit .301/.361/.440 in 131 games between the Florida State and South Atlantic Leagues this year.

He spoke about his goals this off-season, working on strengthening and agility, with a focus on further improving his speed. Putting those elements together in fall league, and continuing that program through the winter, could lead to him seeing Double-A time in 2015. While not highly ranked in the system by some sources, he can play himself into a more valuable role with the Mets.

* * * * * * * *

I took a quick look at their stats this morning and both seem to be off to a solid start in Arizona where Nimmo is slashing at .323/.447/.419 in 31 at-bats, and Mazzilli is posting a .250/.400/.400 line in 20 at-bats.

Last night was only the sixth game for Mazzilli, who lined a triple into the gap and scored two runs during Scottsdale’s 7-3 victory over Glendale on Monday night. Nimmo added an RBI single in the game.

“I’m still trying to get in that groove offensively,” said Mazzilli after the game. “I feel I did well this year. I learned a lot in the first month-and-a-half of the season when I was struggling a little bit. I figured out what it takes for me to be the best I possibly can be, and I stuck with that plan and approach.”

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Nick Markakis, RF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-free-agent-profile-nick-markakis-rf.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-free-agent-profile-nick-markakis-rf.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 11:00:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168121 MLB: JUL 20 Rays at Orioles

Nick Markakis

Position: Right Fielder
Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Age on Opening Day: 31

2014 Snapshot

While Nick Markakis didn’t return to his old self this year, he did bounce back significantly from a sub-replacement level season in 2013. He had solid seasons on both offense and defense, improving his wRC+ from 88 to 106 while improving most of his defensive metrics by a few runs as well.

His final line on the year was .276/.342/.386 with 14 home runs, 27 doubles, and a triple in 710 plate appearances. He ended the season with a 2.5 fWAR and a 2.1 rWAR.

Pros

As Joel Sherman of the New York Post pointed out, Markakis would make a solid leadoff hitter. Among right fielders, Markakis ranked ninth in On-Base Percentage last year with a .342 mark. Over the past few years, he has consistently walked in eight to nine percent of his trips to the plate, and owns a career 9.3 walk percentage. As a team, the Mets batted .235/.308/.333 in the leadoff spot this season, making Markakis a clear upgrade in this spot.

Assuming Curtis Granderson would move to left field, Markakis represents a clear upgrade in the outfield as well. Mets left fielders hit just .219/.306/.309, giving them an OPS 38 percent worse than league average this season. Markakis is already to be a league average hitter, and could definitely be even more productive than that. On top of all this, he’s just 30 years old.

Cons

While Markakis would definitely add to the Mets outfield, is he really the right fit? Probably not. Markakis is certainly a nice leadoff option, but the Mets already have a carbon copy of him at second base: Daniel Murphy. In fact, Daniel Murphy is slightly better than Markakis, and at a position where hitting is harder to come by The leadoff problem is more a problem of lineup management than personnel. If Terry Collins would just bat Murphy (107 OPS+ over last three year vs. Markakis’ 105), the leadoff problem would be solved. (Of course, the Mets could certainly decide to trade Murphy for a bigger bat this winter, in which case there would be a need for a leadoff hitter.)

Put lineup position aside for a minute and look at Markakis as a player. While his walk rate may make him an attractive leadoff hitter, he doesn’t have much else going for him. Over the last three years, Markakis has a mediocre 4.1 fWAR over 419 games. His fielding numbers have been dreadful almost his entire career, regularly playing ten or more runs below average. That greatly detracts from his value. Also, while he gets on base, he is doing so with less quality than he used to, with his power numbers dropping dramatically from early in his career. If the Nick Markakis of five years ago was available — the one who regularly had an ISO in the .160 to .190 range — then I would say he is a perfect fit for the Mets. However, the Mets need to add as much power as possible to their lineup, even in a leadoff hitter. So while Markakis may get on base at a decent clip (although it isn’t even that great), he is only a middle-of-the-road player that isn’t going to have a huge impact on the Mets if they were to sign him.

Projected Contract

Markakis is only 30 years old, which means he will be seeking, at absolute minimum, a three-year deal, and will be fighting like crazy to get a fourth or fifth year. As one of the younger options in a sea of mid-30s outfielders, Markakis will be helped by his age. Plus, with Yasmani Tomas and Nelson Cruz looking to sign monster contracts, Markakis and his main competition Melky Cabrera, will be vying for spots on teams with money but unable or unwilling to make a huge splash. Ironically, because only a few young, mid-range options exist this winter, teams may have to pay upwards of $50 million to ink either of them. Assuming the Orioles don’t take the big risk of giving Markakis a qualifying offer. Projection: 4 years, $44 million

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Beltran Could Have Altered Fate For World Series Teams http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/beltran-could-have-altered-destiny-for-world-series.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/beltran-could-have-altered-destiny-for-world-series.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:11:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168353 beltran

The trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants for Zack Wheeler set off a chain of events that could have impacted the fates of both the Giants and Royals.

Beltran went on to sign with the Cardinals during the following offseason and then signed a three-year deal with the Yankees before the 2014 season. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, teams were convinced that Beltran would land with the Royals, the team that he came up with a decade earlier.

“When it happened, I cried. Because I was emotional,” Beltran told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com back in 2012.

“I signed with the Royals, I came up with the Royals, I had many years in that organization. But at the end of the day, those types of moments make you stronger as a person and make you understand a little more the game of baseball and how things happen. Baseball is a business, big business.”

How different would the playoff landscape look right now if that had been the case?

Wheeler could be getting ready to pitch game three or four for the Giants while Beltran would undoubtedly be one of the best hitters on the opposing team.

Obviously the trade has nothing to do with either players path. If Beltran wasn’t traded to the Giants, it doesn’t mean he would have been any more likely to end up in Kansas City years later. Still, the connection between the two players exists.

Beltran’s homecoming was thwarted by the three-year deal the Yankees offered him and Wheeler will be a part of the Mets stellar rotation for years to come.

It’s clear now that the Mets won that trade, as the Giants failed to make the playoffs in 2011, losing Beltran to free-agency the year after, while the Mets will end up getting seven years of service from Wheeler. Both could have been playing in the World Series this year had their paths been different.

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World Series Game Thread: Giants vs Royals, 8:07 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/world-series-game-thread-giants-vs-royals-807-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/world-series-game-thread-giants-vs-royals-807-pm.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 04:00:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168368 Courtesy of CBS

Courtesy of CBS

Game 1

San Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 8:07 PM, FOX

Madison Bumgarner (2-1, 1.42 ERA, 31.2 IP) vs. James Shields (1-0, 5.63 ERA, 16 IP)

The World Series kicks off tonight at 8:07 PM in Kansas City, Missouri. Madison Bumgarner will face off against “Big Game” James Shields. These two pitchers have been going in different directions during the postseason. While Bumgarner has set the standard for dominance in the postseason, Shields has struggled mightily.

Bumgarner set an all-time playoff record by throwing 26 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road and was named the NLCS MVP. He has been nothing short of brilliant, throwing nearly double the number of innings compared to any other pitcher this postseason. The Cardinals Adam Wainwright threw the second most innings with 16, 15.2 less than Bumgarner.

Sheilds hasn’t had nearly the same postseason. Known for pitching in big spots, he’s come up short for the Royals in multiple situations and will now pitch for the second time in the World Series. He started game two of the 2008 World Series against the Phillies, picking up the win.

28 years, 11 months and 25 days after the last World Series game at Kaufman Stadium, the Royals will try to continue their incredible run through October while the Giants look to win their third World Series in five years.mmo footer

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(Updated) Mets Can Learn A Lesson From The Royals? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/updated-mets-can-learn-a-lesson-from-the-royals.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/updated-mets-can-learn-a-lesson-from-the-royals.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:32:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168109 James shields

Winning now over winning later. Whether or not that’s the mentality of Kansas City Royals General Manager Dayton Moore or not, it clearly had a lot to do with the trade that sent top prospect Wil Myers, Patrick Leonard, Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi to the Rays for pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis back in 2012.

Myers hasn’t had a great start to his major league career. With the Rays for parts of 2013 and 2014, he’s managed to hit just .258/.324/.400/.724 with 19 home runs and 88 RBI’s in 660 at-bats. Obviously no one is ready to judge Myers yet. He’ll be 24 years old on Opening Day 2015 and has a long road ahead. But as Andy Martino of the Daily News points out, even if he turns into a Barry Bonds/Rickey Henderson/Babe Ruth hybrid, the Royals still made the right move.

Shields has become the ace of a staff that now finds itself in the World Series. Wouldn’t you know it, Shields will be taking the ball in game one against the San Francisco Giants tomorrow night.

This offseason, you can look at the Mets situation as being very similar to that of the Royals a few years ago. They are very close to be a winning team and Sandy Alderson will be in position to make trades before the 2015 season as they look to reach 80+ wins. Sure Myers was and still remains a fantastic prospect, but sometimes you have to pull the trigger in order to win in the moment, even if the deal isn’t perfect.

What the Royals showed us is that sometimes it takes a win now over a win later mentality.

Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland reflected on Dayton’s move.

“It was a gutsy move by Dayton and his staff. He took a lot of heat for it, but here we are two years later and we’re going to the World Series. A lot of times people in this game pass judgement too soon. A gutsy move by him. If he doesn’t make that move, we’re probably not here talking right now.”

The Mets are now in a position to trade for talent with their stockpile of prospects. Shields was never the best, but he’s exactly what the Royals needed to push them over the top. Somehow Moore knew exactly what was missing. Now we hold our breath and hope that Alderson knows what’s missing from the Mets as well.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Not so sure that I agree here. By now you all know my feelings on the annual “Mets should follow this model or that model.” I detest that kind of thinking because it’s shallow and because every team deals with differing geographical, internal, and financial considerations that make all 30 teams unique. Andy Martino should be smart enough to know this.

But in this particular instance with Kansas City, I see nothing here, but a Cinderella story that turns into a pumpkin in 2015 when they won’t be able to keep all these players together because of limited payroll flexibility.

Dayton Moore saw a limited window of opportunity to go for it and he rolled the dice. Good for him, I hope it pays off.

But the Mets are trying to build something entirely different in Flushing. Something bigger, better, brighter, based mostly on player development, and most importantly something lasting too.

As for Alderson, if he gets an offer that lands us a true difference maker and it requires a young arm, I have no problem with it.

But it’s on a case by case individual basis. No blank checks and it depends on who we get and who we give up. I certainly would never give up four players including two of my top three prospects for two years of a pitcher like James Shields. Or in contemporary context, Yoenis Cespedes or Jose Bautista.

As for Martino saying the Royals won the trade no matter what happens in the future? The guy’s insane in the membrane.

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Hitting Coach Update: Yankees Tell Magadan He Didn’t Get The Job http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/hitting-coach-update-yankees-tell-magadan-he-didnt-get-the-job.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/hitting-coach-update-yankees-tell-magadan-he-didnt-get-the-job.html/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:04:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=167977 dave magadan

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, reports that Dave Magadan, who was a finalist for the Yankees’ hitting coach job, was informed he did not get the position and that the Yankees and are looking elsewhere.

That makes Magadan the frontrunner for Oakland’s open hitting coach job, Slusser says, particularly with Chili Davis having accepted the Red Sox position and leaving the A’s with the vacancy. Magadan told Slusser he has “had some conversations” with A’s general manager Billy Beane.

The Mets also have talked to Magadan, but as I pointed out last week and you can read below, there’s no chance of that happening given the history between Magadan and Alderson.

Kevin Long is still a possibility, but since last week several more teams have joined the hunt for his services including the Braves, Blue Jays, Brewers, Pirates and Diamondbacks.

October 16

According to what Dave Magadan told NJ.com, he got the sense that neither the Yankees or Mets are in any rush to fill their vacant hitting coach positions. ”I don’t think either one of them is in a huge hurry to make any choices.”

George King and Joel Sherman of the New York Post, first reported that the former Met had been contacted by the Mets, telling them that talks were very preliminary.

This evening a reader emailed me to say that Magadan and Sandy Alderson actually have a history, and not particularly a good one. Sandy fired Magadan when the two were together in San Diego.

After a stint as the Padres’ minor league hitting instructor, Magadan was promoted to the big-league staff a year later as hitting coach for manager Bruce Bochy.

“I’d met with Sandy two weeks before, and he was like, ‘You’re doing a great job. Whatever you need — videotape, whatever it is you need that you feel will enhance what you want to do — let us know, we’ll get it for you.’

“Two weeks later, I was driving home…I don’t even remember what I said. I was in such shock.”

Manager Bruce Bochy was upset and angered by the move. He stormed into the team clubhouse to tell his players that Magadan had just been fired and that he had no part in the decision. That didn’t sit well with team brass.

After being granted permission to look for another opportunity, Bochy left the Padres with one year remaining on his contract to become the manager of the San Francisco Giants.

At the time Magadan was fired, the Padres, played in pitching-friendly Petco Park, were just one game out of first place in the NL West.

Merv Rettenmund replaced Magadan as the Padres hitting coach, but he too was fired mid-season just under a year later. Wally Joyner took over as the new hitting coach, but resigned 14 months later citing a difference in hitting philosophy with Sandy Alderson.

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(Updated) Red Sox Likely Trading Yoenis Cespedes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/updated-red-sox-likely-trading-yoenis-cespedes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/updated-red-sox-likely-trading-yoenis-cespedes.html/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:23:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168271 yoenis cespedes

Updated at 1:00 PM

MLBTR reports that  Yoenis Cespedes has switched agencies and is now being represented by Roc Nation Sports.  Cespedes had previously been represented by Adam Katz of WMG.

As I said, there’s little chance that Cespedes signs an extension with any team and rest assured he’ll be a free agent after the 2015 season.

Original Post 10:00 AM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears that the Red Sox will likely make Yoenis Cespedes available this offseason.

Cespedes is in the final year of his deal and will earn $10.2 million in 2015. He appears intent on becoming a free agent and was standoffish on engaging in long-term talks with the Red Sox.

Cafardo adds that Cespedes has no desire to play right field or work on his defense, which is likely fueling Boston’s desire to deal him, especially with a glut of outfielders and Mookie Betts close to an everyday outfield job.

cespedes stats

Hey, I don’t have a problem with Cespedes, but I live in the real world. I’m not buying the buzz that there’s any Mets interest here, especially when you consider the prospects we’d have to give up for what’s essentially a one-year rental.

And in the extremely remote possibility that Cespedes would sign an extension, in what alternate universe will the Mets have the resources to add another $100 million dollar player when they already have David Wright and Curtis Granderson set to earn $36 million combined annually for the next three years?

I just don’t see it.

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Jacob deGrom Named Sporting News Rookie Of The Year http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/jacob-degrom-named-sporting-news-rookie-of-the-year.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/jacob-degrom-named-sporting-news-rookie-of-the-year.html/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:22:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168279 jacob degrom

Mets rookie starting pitcher Jacob deGrom is considered the heavy favorite to win the 2014 NL Rookie Of the Year award. This was further verified today when the Sporting News announced the results of their annual player’s poll which is released prior to the official award.

I’ll give you the skinny on deGrom’s season, but most of you know the numbers by now.

DeGrom had 22 starts for the Mets this season and pitched 140 1/3 innings to the tune of a 2.69 ERA. Among all starting pitchers with at least 100 innings of work, deGrom ranked 15th in strikeouts per nine innings (9.24) and xFIP (3.03).

“I’m very honored to receive this prestigious award,” deGrom told the Sporting News.

“My teammates were a huge reason for my success. Individual honors are nice but what excites me the most is looking forward to next year and helping the Mets reach the postseason.”

As the Sporting News notes, deGrom was pitching lights out over his last few starts and ended the season on an upward trend. This not only bodes well for next year’s expectations, but also makes the 26 year old Florida native a clear frontrunner for the official award which is announced on November 10th by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Lets! Go! Mets!

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