Mets Merized Online http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 18 Dec 2014 02:23:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Wil Myers Dealt to San Diego in Blockbuster Three-Team Trade http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/wil-myers-dealt-to-san-diego-in-blockbuster-three-team-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/wil-myers-dealt-to-san-diego-in-blockbuster-three-team-trade.html/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 01:23:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171997 wil myers

Jim Bowden of ESPN is reporting that the Padres, Rays and Nationals have just agreed to a massive three team trade. The trade includes eleven players with Wil Myers being the centerpiece.

Myers heads to San Diego along with minor league pitchers, Gerardo Reyes and Jose Castillo. Myers was formerly rated as one of the top prospects in MLB. He won the Rookie of the Year in 2013, hitting .293 with 13 home runs in 88 games. However, Myers battled with injuries this season and his average dropped down to .222.

Myers is the second significant addition to the Padres outfield this winter. Last week, the Padres acquired star outfielder Matt Kemp from the Dodgers. The acquisitions of both Myers and Kemp will bring in some much needed firepower to the Padres lineup, which finished last in the majors in runs scored this season.

The Rays will receive a total of five players in return. They acquired Rene Rivera, Burch Smith and Jake Bauers from the Padres. They will also receive prospects Steven Souza and Travis Ott from Washington.

The Nationals will acquire pitching prospect Joe Ross and shortstop Trea Turner as a player to be named later. Turner was selected just three picks after Mets first rounder, Michael Conforto in this years draft. Turner has excellent speed, and he impressed during his first professional season with a .323 average in Single-A.

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Latest SS News: Mets Interested In Asdrubal, M’s Miller Back On Radar? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/latest-ss-news-mets-interested-in-asdrubal-ms-miller-back-on-radar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/latest-ss-news-mets-interested-in-asdrubal-ms-miller-back-on-radar.html/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:40:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171989 MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals

Here’s the latest on the shortstop front and how it pertains to Mets.

First, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says the Mets are among a few teams showing interest in free agent infielder Asdrubal Cabrera. That’s the same Asdrubal Cabrera who has a few three-year offers and is holding out for a four-year deal. The Giants, A’s, Cardinals and Twins are among the other teams that are interested in him either as a shortstop or as second or third baseman.

Asdrubal, 29, batted .229/.312/.389 with five home runs for the Nationals, and .241 with 14 home runs and a .694 OPS overall this season between the Nats and Indians.

With the Mariners trading for outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs today, Seattle may be tempted to deal shortstop Brad Miller who they were intending to play in the outfield.

Sandy Alderson reportedly discussed both Miller and shortstop Chris Taylor with the M’s this winter, but then backed off because of the price. Also, as of Monday the M’s maintain they have no desire to move Miller or Taylor.

Speaking with reporters at the Winter Meetings, Alderson shifted gears said it’s more likely the Mets acquire a shortstop upgrade via free agency and not via trade.

I’m sorry, but the thought of trading Rafael Montero plus one of Niese or Gee for Miller – as some are suggesting – is absolutely insane. Especially for a player that won’t even stick at short long term and hasn’t looked so good offensively in a small sampling.

As for Cabrera, these frequent rumors that the Mets are interested in him have popped up before and then vigorously denied.

Yesterday, Alderson confirmed again that there is a “very high” probability Wilmer Flores is the Opening Day shortstop.

“The probability of  Flores as the Opening Day shortstop remains about the same, but I think it’s very high.”

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Mejia Not Upset About Collins Calling Parnell Team’s Closer http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mejia-not-upset-about-collins-calling-parnell-teams-closer.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mejia-not-upset-about-collins-calling-parnell-teams-closer.html/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:10:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171980 jenry mejia

Jenrry Mejia is well aware of what Terry Collins said in San Diego when he proclaimed Bobby Parnell the Mets closer as soon as he is ready to return sometime around May. Collins matter of factly said Parnell was the Mets incumbent closer and also added that Mejia, Familia and Black would all get to close games this Spring.

Mejia said he was not upset about Collins’ comments despite his belief that he did everything that has been asked of him. He took the high road.

“Whatever job they give to me I’m gonna be there to help my team,” Mejia said. “I can throw seventh inning, eighth inning, ninth inning whatever. I got to be ready to play the game that’s all.”

Mejia saved 28 games last season and ranked second in the NL with 22 second half saves. He was reluctant to be moved out of the rotation and into the bullpen after failed attempts to close by Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth to begin the season.

But by early June, Mejia took hold of the closer role and never looked back, posting a 2.72 ERA in 56 relief appearances.

“Mentally, it’s same thing, come here and do my job,” Mejia said. “I feel happy to see Bobby Parnell getting ready, because we are going to have a strong bullpen with Parnell, Familia, Black and everybody.”

Mejia and Jeurys Familia both had surgery to repair a sports hernia in the offseason and are feeling great and have already begun working out . They are both expected to be ready to go come spring training.

Here’s video of Mejia and Familia from Ed “Rusty” Marcus who covered the Mets holiday party yesterday.

 

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Baseball America: Thor, Matz Leads Mets Top 10 Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/baseball-america-thor-leads-mets-top-10-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/baseball-america-thor-leads-mets-top-10-prospects.html/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:32:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171973 noah syndergaard

Baseball America released their Mets Top 10 Prospects today and they project a bright future for the Mets.

All seven of the Mets’ domestic affiliates finished at .500 or better in 2014, giving New York a cumulative .568 winning percentage that led all organizations. They point out that the system has finally begun to see some position players move up to the higher levels and closer to an MLB debut.

Here are the top ten:

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP – Not only did the Mets neglect to call up Syndergaard in 2014, as they had Zack Wheeler in 2013 and Matt Harvey in 2012, they bypassed him entirely to call up Las Vegas rotation-mates Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero during the first half of the season. That won’t be the case in 2015, not after Syndergaard joined the 40-man roster in November. He threw a career-high 133 innings in 2014 and could be good for 150 or more in New York this year. Syndergaard profiles as a No. 2 starter with two plus pitches, an average third and at least average control.

2. Steven Matz, LHP – Matz throws with the kind of velocity (93-95 mph), looseness and direction to the plate that makes scouts drool. He can rear back for 98 mph when he needs it, earning him double-plus grades for his fastball. Matz throws a plus changeup in the mid-80s that features plus sinking action and impressive separation from his fastball. Matz profiles as high as a No. 2 starter in a rotation because he throws two plus pitches, an average third and has average control. He could begin 2015 at Triple-A Las Vegas and supply lefty balance to the Mets rotation in the second half.

3. Brandon Nimmo, OF – Nimmo has added muscle since signing, steadily increasing his power output with experience. While he is more of a gap hitter now, scouts project him to develop above-average power because of his advanced hitting approach and strong lefthanded swing. He will hit for average with his all-fields approach, frequency of hard contact and willingness to attack first-pitch fastballs.

4. Dilson Herrera, 2B – Short and compact, Herrera incorporates his hands and lower half adeptly in his swing, projecting to hit for a high average with frequent hard contact, a middle-field approach and bat speed to spare. He ranked fourth in the minors with 169 hits in 2014, thanks to a quick, repeatable swing. The Mets love Herrera’s makeup and work ethic, which factored in their decision to call him up in August, though he probably will begin 2015 at Triple-A Las Vegas while he waits for regular at-bats in New York.

5. Kevin Plawecki, C – Plawecki has hit .307/.379/.453 in full-season ball the past two seasons, with strikeouts just 11 percent of the time. That sort of bat control speaks to his strong hands, all-fields approach and ability to handle varied pitch types, which will allow him to hit for average in the big leagues. While he’s more of a gap hitter, he can pull the ball for power and will reach double digits for home runs. While he doesn’t offer the power-and-arm strength profile that teams favor from catchers today, Plawecki has feel to hit, on-base ability, moderate power and the defensive chops to play every day. Mets rookie Travis d’Arnaud hit well in 2014, but his defensive struggles could one day create an opportunity for Plawecki to start.

6. Amed Rosario, SS

7. Michael Conforto, OF

8. Rafael Montero, RHP

9. Marcos Molina, RHP

10. Gavin Cecchini, SS

BA says the signing of Michael Cuddyer indicates that Sandy Alderson believes the rebuilding phase is over and that it’s time for the team’s streak of six losing seasons to end.

“Pitching and defense have brought the Mets to the cusp of contention. While seven NL clubs allowed fewer runs than New York in 2014, Mets pitchers allowed 3.81 runs per game, the franchise’s lowest rate since 1990. They didn’t rely on soft stuff and chicanery either, not with a strikeout rate of 8.0 per nine innings that ranked third in the league.”

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Alderson Explains Why He Targeted Mayberry Jr. http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/alderson-explains-why-he-targeted-mayberry-jr.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/alderson-explains-why-he-targeted-mayberry-jr.html/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:32:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171968 john-mayberry-

At the Mets holiday party on Tuesday, general manager Sandy Alderson explained why he targeted John Mayberry Jr. for the team. With the quotes courtesy of ESPN’s Adam Rubin, here’s what he said.

“We weren’t very good against left-handed pitching last year,” Alderson said. “I think we had one of the lowest OPS numbers in the National League, if not the entire game.”

“Signing Michael Cuddyer was part of addressing that problem. Mayberry? Similar motivation. We need somebody potentially to play against left-handed pitching, to come off the bench against left-handed [relief] pitching, and just help us be a little more balanced in that way. And he was prepared to accept the role, which is a big part of it. So we’re happy to have him. He has an excellent record against lefties over his career.”

Rubin points out the Mets had a .633 OPS against left-handed pitching last season, second-worst in the majors.

Mayberry, 31, has a .269/.324/.533 slash with 30 homers in 490 career at-bats against LHP, mostly compiled at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

He signed a one-year deal with the Mets which is worth a guaranteed $1.45 million.

Mayberry has performance bonuses built into his contract that total an additional $500,000 based on plate appearances.

He will earn $50,000 each for 200 plate appearances, and each additional 50 through 450, and $100,000 apiece for 500 and 550.

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Matt Harvey Could Be Held Back Until Home Opener At Citi http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/matt-harvey-could-be-held-back-until-home-opener-at-citi.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/matt-harvey-could-be-held-back-until-home-opener-at-citi.html/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:05:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171965 matt harvey

Mets manager Terry Collins told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post that he is looking at Matt Harvey like Bruce Bochy looks at Madison Bumgarner.

“He’s got the competitiveness of a stinkin’ bear. Matt and I just met a couple of days ago in New York and talked about how important it is for him to understand that we’ve got to be careful.”

Collins said the Mets are now considering a plan in which Harvey is held back at the start of the season, perhaps until the home opener at Citi Field on April 13.

He expects Harvey to be shut down for a few weeks in the summer as GM Sandy Alderson also mentioned as well during the Winter Meetings.

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Collins Still Talking Playoffs In ’15, Shares A Mets Lineup Preview http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/collins-still-talking-playoffs-in-15-shares-a-mets-lineup-preview.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/collins-still-talking-playoffs-in-15-shares-a-mets-lineup-preview.html/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:53:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171962 terry collins

Kevin Kernan of the New York Post spoke to Mets manager Terry Collins who continues to say the Mets are heading for the playoffs in 2015.

“I really like our team. I am so excited. There were always big missing pieces in the past. Now there’s not. We’re not going to put a number on it, but we’re going to win. I don’t think that there is any question that we should be playing in October next year.’’

Collins told Kernan that he will likely go with this lineup to begin the season:

  1. Juan Lagares
  2. Curtis Granderson
  3. David Wright
  4. Lucas Duda
  5. Michael Cuddyer
  6. Daniel Murphy
  7. Travis d’Arnaud
  8. Wilmer Flores

Look for Cuddyer to play right, where he is most comfortable, and Granderson to move to left. Against certain lefties, Cuddyer will shift to first, with John Mayberry Jr. in right.

He also went onto say that all of this needs David Wright to really work, whom he looks at as the difference maker.

“Sure, everybody could use another bat, but the bat we need is No. 5,’’ Collins said of Wright, who is returning from a shoulder injury and will start hitting next month. “Cuddyer is a great signing, but believe me, when David gets healthy, that’s the difference. If he has a bounce-back year and does what he has done in the past, our lineup is completely different. That takes a lot of heat off the other guys.’’

Starting pitching is still the key and the return of Matt Harvey, and the rebuilt young bullpen, have Collins most excited.

“Every night, we’ve got somebody who can compete on that mound,’’ Collins said. “When you’ve got guys who night after night compete, you don’t go into big losing streaks. It’s tough to beat those kind of guys every night.”

“I can see Zack watching deGrom and Harvey, saying, ‘I can do that. Matter of fact I might be able to do better than they do.’ So now he steps up. This kid has grown up.’’

Kernan points out that or the first time in his five years as Mets manager, Collins is finally thinking big.

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Syndergaard and Matz Top Sickels’ Mets Top 20 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/syndergaard-and-matz-top-sickels-mets-top-20.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/syndergaard-and-matz-top-sickels-mets-top-20.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 20:29:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171940 steve matz

Here are the New York Mets Top 20 Prospects for 2015 as comprised by John Sickels of Minor League Ball.

1. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Grade A-: Age 22, 4.60 ERA with 145/43 K/BB in 133 innings in Triple-A, 154 hits. I don’t think there is anything wrong with Syndergaard that getting out of the PCL/Las Vegas won’t cure. Velocity continues to increase, curve continues to improve, just needs to prove that minor health issues aren’t precursor to anything major.

2. Steven Matz, LHP, Grade B+: Age 23, 2.24 ERA with 131/35 K/BB in 141 innings between High-A and Double-A. Great story on Tommy John recovery, power lefty arm with good command, fastball well into the 90s now. Terrific complement to Syndergaard.

3. Dilson Herrera, 2B, Grade B+: Age 20. He’s just 20. Hit .323/.379/.479 with 13 homers, 23 steals, 47/96 BB/K in 524 at-bats in High-A/Double-A. His reputation is growing but if anything he may still be under-estimated.

4. Brandon Nimmo, OF, Grade B/Borderline B+: Age 21, hit .322/.448/.458 in High-A but just .238/.339/.396 in Double-A. I love Nimmo’s on-base abilities and overall approach, but I am hesitant to go full-bore B+ or higher at this time due to serious platoon split problems. For now I have Herrera ahead, which is likely a minority view. That should be seen as praise for Herrera, not any disrespect towards Nimmo, who is one of my favorite prospects.

5. Kevin Plawecki, C, Grade B: Age 23, hit .309/.365/.460 between Double-A and Triple-A. Just a solid all-around prospect, not deadly against base runners but otherwise very skilled on defense, not a big home run hitter but should maintain solid average and OBP with gap power. Great backup for Travis d’Arnaud, can start if necessary. He would also make attractive trade bait.

6. Rafael Montero, RHP, Grade B

7. Michael Conforto, OF, Grade B

8. Marcos Molina, RHP, Grade B-

9. Amed Rosario, SS, Grade B-/Borderline B

10. Jhoan Urena, 3B, Grade B-

11. Gavin Cecchini, SS, Grade C+

12. Dominic Smith, 1B, Grade C+

13. Cory Mazzoni, RHP, Grade C+

14. Robert Whalen, RHP, Grade C+

15. L.J. Mazzilli, 2B, Grade C+

16. Cesar Puello, OF, Grade C+

17. Wuilmer Becerra, OF, Grade C+

18. Jack Leathersich, LHP, Grade C+

19. Gabriel Ynoa, RHP, Grade C+

20. Casey Meisner, RHP, Grade C+

Here are some comments on the overall system, which he’s extremely high on.

“The big strength is pitching. Noah Syndergaard is one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Steven Matz is another Top 50 pitching prospect and his success is a testament to the efforts of the rehab staff, coaches, and his own work ethic in coming back from a difficult Tommy John recovery.”

Rafael Montero still looks like a solid prospect to me, and there is a large group of Grade C+ types who could be fourth/fifth starters or sound relief options. The Mets have done a particularly good job discovering solid arms for reasonable bonuses in Latin America, but they’ve found talent at the college and high school levels as well.”

“The lower level pitcher with the greatest potential is Marcos Molina, who took a giant step forward and dominated the New York-Penn League in ’14. We need to see how he responds to a larger workload, but he could top this list next year.”

Sickels believes the position players could look even better if Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini can live up to their first-round draft status. “Perhaps that won’t happen,” he says. “But Latin American products Amed Rosario and Jhoan Urena will transition to full season ball in 2015 and provide more depth should the early North American draftees fail.L.J. Mazzilli and Matt Reynolds provide up-the-middle depth possibilities from the college ranks. Even enigmatic Cesar Puello could still turn into an interesting player.”

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Featured Post: Terry Collins, The Sum Of All Fears http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/featured-post-terry-collins-the-sum-of-all-fears.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/featured-post-terry-collins-the-sum-of-all-fears.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 20:25:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171717 bartolo colon terry collins

Pythagorean Win Percentage is an interesting formula. It’s transparent and supremely logical as metrics go. A close cousin to the Pythagorean Theorem, it is essentially a means to predict how many wins a team should accumulate by calculating runs scored squared over runs scored squared plus runs allowed squared.

In 2014 the Mets’ Pythagorean Win% was .5088. When multiplied by 162 you get the number of games the Mets should have won, 82.4. Last year’s Mets should have had a winning record if you go by how many runs they scored and how many they allowed. They were in fact the only team with a positive run differential (+11) that did not have a winning record. They fell just behind the Cardinals in win% and were 14th in baseball in runs allowed per game (right behind the Dodgers) at 3.81. The only teams with positive run differentials who did not make the playoffs were Toronto, Cleveland, and Seattle, who were a combined 24 games over .500. The Mets were the only team in the National League with a positive run differential who did not make the playoffs.

According to these measures the Mets should have been on the cusp of contention, especially considering that most basic of performance indicators, runs scored vs. runs allowed. And yet they weren’t, they finished 17 games back and 4 games under .500. They were, in a sense, the opposite of the 2013 Orioles who won a ton of one-run games while occasionally getting blown out. The Mets lost a bunch of close contests while winning their share of blow-outs. In 2014, the Mets scored 3.88 runs per game while allowing 3.81 runs, that is a recipe for a winning record, or, it should be … only it wasn’t.

Why?

If you look at BaseRuns, which is the number of runs a team should have scored given their component offensive statistics, the Mets in 2014 should have scored 3.77 runs per game while allowing 4.03 runs with a -43 RDif, which is pretty awful. So you can certainly put some of the blame for the Mets record on the offense, but in the end, there’s no way around that bottom line +11 run differential which unlike numerical hypotheticals, actually occurred.

The Mets were not very good in one run games at 26 W and 29 L. Both the Mets and the Braves had similar difficulties in this sense, both plagued by ineffective offensive output, both struggled in 1 run games … But the picture that emerges for the Mets is that of a team that couldn’t consistently win the close ones and which featured a “feast or famine” attack.

Why were the Mets able to score on some nights and not on others? You’d presume that at some point an objective analysis of matchups would have taken place by our sabermetrically gifted front office right? Lineups that sometimes clicked and sometimes did not would certainly be suspect. Lineups that flew in the face of the notion that you play the hot hand were the norm more often than not. All the while the Mets were routinely stifled in the late innings, only occasionally mounting a come-from-behind victory. Surely some of this has to fall on the shoulders of the manager does it not? He does make up the lineup card? He decides who will pinch-hit? It was Terry Collins who managed the bullpen and decided who to bring in as a late inning replacement with one of his patented clockwork double switches?

terry collins tossed

The Mets’ performance in the late innings and in close contests essentially negated a formula that should have produced a winning record, yet Terry Collins eludes any responsibility for his peculiar brand of late inning permutations and his oddly predictable substitutions.

You might say the Mets were bad in the clutch but you’d be wrong … the Mets actually had pretty decent clutch metrics. All signs point to a poorly managed club that should have won a bunch more games given their talent and performance levels … and, sadly, those of us who followed the team closely know the frustration of this failure well.

The good news is that the Mets, with even marginal improvements in their ability to score runs, should win more games. Wright and Granderson are almost bound to improve on their 2014 numbers given career norms, and the addition of Cuddyer should bring up run totals in the aggregate.

It shouldn’t take much to vault this team into contention. But when you consider how last year’s team was arguably on the cusp of contention itself, sunk by suspect managerial choices and poorly conceived lineups, you have to wonder how much these less than overwhelming improvements will factor in the grand scheme. At times it was hard to watch the workings of a manager who went beyond the ineffectual and actually appeared to inhibit any kind of rhythm or momentum with his mind boggling playing time allocations.

In Scott Gray’s biography, The Mind of Bill James, How a Complete Outsider Changed Baseball, Gray notes that there are two recurring motifs in James’ abstracts:

“That poorly run organizations leave promising young players on the bench in favor of established mediocrities and, ‘tend to project their weaknesses onto their best players, and ultimately will dwell not on what the player can do, but on what he can’t.’”

I haven’t come across a quote that better illustrates the failure and frustration of a 2014 Mets team that could have been, should have been, more than the sum of its weaknesses.

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Alderson: Very High Probability Wilmer Flores Is Opening Day Shortstop http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/alderson-very-high-probability-wilmer-flores-is-opening-day-shortstop.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/alderson-very-high-probability-wilmer-flores-is-opening-day-shortstop.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:11:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171711 Foto de Wilmer - Flores

A quick update live from Citi Field:

Sandy Alderson confirmed once again that there is a “very high” probability Wilmer Flores is the Opening Day shortstop.

“I don’t think the Jed Lowrie signing increases the probability, because we weren’t really in on Lowrie,” Alderson said.

“To that extent the probability of Wilmer Flores as the Opening Day shortstop remains about the same, but I think it’s very high.”

Surveying The Mets SS Landscape

The starting shortstop role for the NY Mets will be resolved once and for all, although not until mid 2015 when it makes more sense to execute a move. There are too many moving variables this winter and not enough willingness from trade suitors to entertain the Mets’ offers, or vice versa.  The team has internal options at shortstop, with high offensive ceilings, but the jury is still out on whether any of them have the range to stick at the position defensively. So what can change between now and the end of the July trade deadline that gives the Mets another opportunity to seek an upgrade?

First, free agency is an option for the Mets, but I’m not buying this as the route Sandy Alderson is going to take.  Players like Jed Lowrie and Stephen Drew were once incredible defenders at their position, with moderate to above average pop in their bats, but they’re at an age where even their defense starts to become unreliable.  Making anything other than a one year offer seems to go against what the organization is aiming for, a younger core of players under team friendly contracts, but anything is possible so I won’t eliminate this entirely.

In reality, another three and half months of baseball should be enough time to make a final decision on Wilmer Flores at shortstop.  Regardless if he plays well there or not, I think Flores will be moved to second base permanently the moment Daniel Murphy is traded, which I also believe is imminent.  Teams like the Giants, who have checked in on Murphy, may feel inclined to test their internal options at second and third base to start the season.  However, their last ditch efforts may prove fruitless in the middle of a playoff race, which sends Murphy’s value upward.  This creates potential for a return of high end prospects, or it could also be the catalyst in a three way trade that lands the Mets a bona fide shortstop.

The trade market will be much more defined by July as well.  Troy Tulowitzki will always be a long shot, but the Yankees acquiring Didi Gregorius means the most aggressive suitor is out of the equation.  There are other teams that are hungry for Tulo, but everyone will want to see how the superstar returns from hip surgery before entertaining any calls from the Rockies’ front office.  If he returns to the player he was in the first half of 2014 though, it’d be hard not to pick up the phone, especially if it’s ringing. A battery combo of Noah Syndergaard and Kevin Plawecki is likely where the conversation starts, but adding his first half performance of 2014 to a Mets team on pace for 85-86 wins, immediately vaults them to the top of the NL East.

Chris+Taylor

The two Settle Mariners shortstops, Brad Miller and Chris Taylor, have consistently been mentioned in talks with the Mets, but so far nothing serious has manifested.  One of those two players will own the M’s starting shortstop position out of spring training, but I imagine even the slightest lag in performance will make way for the one that’s on the bench.  Miller’s offensive upside is said to be high, but the jury is still out on whether his defense can stick at short and he struggled at the plate last season, eventually making way for Taylor.

The latter was not ranked as highly as Miller within the organization, but he took advantage of an early call up and hit .287, played outstanding defense and flashed above average speed on the base paths with five steals in 47 games.  Both players had abnormally skewed BABIP’s, which is never concrete in small sample sizes, but undoubtedly factored into the Steamer projections that show both Miller and Taylor having similar seasons in 2015.

Taylor’s BABIP was outrageously above the league average of around .300 in 2014, but his career BABIP in the minors is consistently high, so it could be indicative of how well he hits the ball.  Then again, Miller simply needs to reach the potential he’s been tabbed with in order to be back in competition with Taylor and his BABIP suggests he’ll improve on last year’s campaign significantly.  If that’s the case for these two offensively, it seems more logical to seek out the player with better defense.

There’s always the possibility that the Cubs and Mets come to a mutual agreement on the value of each others prospects and in that case, Starlin Castro would re-enter the discussions.  No matter how well the current All-Star is performing, prospects always carry hope for a higher ceiling and that’s exactly what Chicago sees in Javier Baez and Addison Russell.

Perhaps the middle to back end of their rotation falls apart at the same time that Baez, Russell and top prospect Kris Bryant are all looking for full time jobs as infielders.  In that scenario, a package of Jon Niese, representing a solid #3 starter and top catching prospect Kevin Plawecki may get a deal done.  I’m not advocating this, but if the Mets plan to retain all their elite pitching, regardless of almost any deal, this is one of a few scenarios where the Amazins’ could take advantage of a buyer’s market.  There’s a lot that needs to happen in order for this scenario to manifest, so it’s fair to dismiss these two clubs as future trade partners.  That being said, circumstances always have a way of changing down the road.

Lastly, Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang has been a name catching fire with the Mets over the last few days as MLB clubs get prepared to make a bid on the international free agent.  I question how serious the Mets are about getting involved because it’ll require some frivolous spending. The idea of ‘bidding’ does not fit into the Mets business model because it requires shoveling $2-$10 million just to have the right to sign the player. In all fairness, the Mets often get chastised for a lack of spending when the situation genuinely doesn’t warrant it, regardless of the dollar amount.  Yes, Kang is putting up big power numbers, but you have to question whether he’ll connect like that against American pitching.  As hot as this topic is right now, I just don’t see it happening, whether I’m right about his abilities or not.

It’s too early to confirm it, but common sense pegs Wilmer Flores as the opening day shortstop.  If that’s the case, the front office should monitor external options now and up to the July trade deadline and be prepared to vault the club past the 85-86 win club they’re currently set as.  Flores may run away with the job after the hard work he’s put into his fitness and conditioning this offseason.  If that’s the case, the conversation turns to retaining Daniel Murphy, or trading him to clear a path for top prospect Dilson Herrera.  If the shortstop position needs to be revisited, the team will have more clarity in July and in a better position to strike a deal that gets the club back to October baseball in 2015.

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Mets Unlikely To Sign A Second Lefty Reliever http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-unlikely-to-sign-a-second-lefty-reliever.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-unlikely-to-sign-a-second-lefty-reliever.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:59:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171566 Mets relief pitcher Scott Rice

Speaking to reporters at Citi Field today, GM Sandy Alderson pretty much validated what I suspected a few days ago and said it’s unlikely the Mets sign a second lefty.

“Right now, it’s sign a guy to a major league deal and eliminate all the competition, or sign some minor league deals and create some competition together with what we already have,” Alderson explained.

Alderson said he likes likes the potential competition between recently signed minor leaguer Scott Rice and Rule 5 selection Sean Gilmartin and if nothing comes of it, he’s perfectly OK going with six righties in the bullpen.

There’s a chance, as I mentioned below, that they’ll bring in another lefty on a minor league deal.

December 12

The New York Mets officially announced that they have signed LHP Scott Rice to a minor league contract which includes an invite to Spring Training, with big league team.

Rice, 33, had season-ending elbow surgery on July 23 after making 32 appearances and pitching to a 5.93 ERA and 1.976 WHIP.

He was removed from the 40-man roster in October, but the two sides remained in contact.

With the addition of left-hander Sean Gilmartin via Rule 5 on Thursday, he’ll need to be kept on the 25 man roster or the Mets will have to return him to his former team,

That pretty much gives him a leg up as the second lefty in the Mets bullpen unless he completely flops in Spring Training like Vic Black did last March.

The Mets did meet with at least six lefty relievers during the Winter Meetings including Craig Breslow, Phil Coke and Neal Cotts, but nothing came from any of those discussions and Sandy Alderson later confirmed that there was nothing imminent.

I believe the Mets will try and sign one more lefty reliever on a minor league deal and then have him, Rice and Gilmartin battle it out this Spring. In other words, don’t expect the Mets to sign a lefty reliever to a major league deal.

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Alderson Says Mets Unlikely To Bid On Korean SS Jung-Ho Kang http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/alderson-says-mets-unlikely-to-bid-on-korean-ss-jung-ho-kang.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/alderson-says-mets-unlikely-to-bid-on-korean-ss-jung-ho-kang.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:38:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171698 jung-ho kang

Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang posted on Monday, according to his agent, Alan Nero.

This morning at Citi Field, general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters the Mets were unlikely to bid on the 27 year old power hitting infielder.

The bidding for Lang is expected to be between $2-10 million dollars, with a contract ranging anywhere between $25 and $30 million for three years.

In addition to the Mets, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports the A’s, Giants, Cardinals, Padres, Yankees, Royals, Nationals and D-Backs have interest in Kang as a shortstop, second baseman or third baseman.

Keith Law of ESPN believes that Kang’s power can translate to the Majors, but his batting average will take a hit and be closer to .280.

December 12

One of the things we learned in San Diego this week was that the Mets are taking a real hard look at Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, or so they say. Sandy Alderson told reporters that he and his staff are considering placing a bid on Kang as soon as he’s posted and cleared by MLB.

When you couple that with something else Alderson said on Tuesday, it makes you wonder if there is more to this than the typical sound bytes we get whenever a new International phenom comes along.

When asked why the Mets have seemingly ignored the International market, the Mets GM responded, “We haven’t been in that category, but I expect we will be in that category soon.”

Obviously, what Sandy won’t tell you is that Fred and Jeff Wilpon have been unwilling to spend money like they once did when they were earning fictitious 15% earnings on all their investments. Back then they were willing to spend and even take risks because their monthly account statement were fatter.

But with Bernie Madoff behind bars and now faced with getting the same low interest rates as the rest of the country, and also trying to pay down incredible mounting debt, there’s no money to gamble and any risks are typically avoided.

Kang batted .354/.457/.733 clip with 39 home runs and 115 RBI in 116 games last season, and the 27-year old has played predominantly shortstop in Korea.

Alderson said that evaluating International free agents and trying to assess their ability to translate their talents at the major league level is quite the gamble and hard to gauge. And while many other teams are willing to spend $60-70 million to see if they struck gold, the Mets typically take on the role of bystanders.

But is there a new wrinkle here and are the Wilpons in a place where they may be willing to allow Alderson to exploit this market if he feels very strongly about a player like Kang?

Possibly.

The proof is in the pudding but it sounds to me like there’s some progress on this International front – albeit small.

Kang is expected to be posted next week and we’ll know for sure if the Mets are in fact turning a corner if they indeed do place a bid, especially given their stated desire to address shortstop.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be the winning bid, but any bid would be a sign of progress. We’ll see.

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Something Fishy Is Going On In Miami http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/something-fishy-is-going-on-in-miami.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/something-fishy-is-going-on-in-miami.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:34:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171915 Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins

While most in baseball still shudder at the thought of that monstrous $325 million deal that Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins, it’s not as outrageous as it seems on the surface when you consider what Miami owner Jeffrey Loria and president David Samson told Pirates president Frank Coonelly recently.

“They thought it was a great deal. I just couldn’t get my head around the $325 million. They said to me, ‘You don’t understand. (Stanton) has an out clause after six years. Those first six years are only going to cost $107 million. After that, he’ll leave and play for somebody else. So, it’s not really $325 million.’”

What’s going on in Miami lately? When the Marlins promised Stanton that they would continue to build a team around him that was supposed to be a pile of BS intended only to get Stanton to sign on the dotted line, right? Apparently not.

The Marlins have been wheeling and dealing ever since locking in their right fielder and have since added speedster Dee Gordon and some right-handed power in Michael Morse to an already talent laden lineup that potentially looks like this:

  1. Dee Gordon (2B)
  2. Christian Yelich (LF)
  3. Giancarlo Stanton (RF)
  4. Michael Morse (1B)
  5. Casey McGehee (3B)
  6. Marcell Ozuna (CF)
  7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C)
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria (SS)

Apparently they’re still not done as rumors circulate that they are shopping starting pitcher Dan Haren – who they obtained in the Gordon trade – to a West Coast team for another arm to bolster their bullpen.

The Marlins improved by 15 games in 2014 and are hungry for more according to president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

“When you lose 100 games, you’ve got a lot of work to do,”  said. “We made a lot of strides in 2014, but as we’ve said, we still have more to do and further to go, because we still aren’t playing into October, and that’s the ultimate goal. We wanted to continue to build upon the assets that we have.”

“We feel like we’ve got good, young players, and we want to surround them with players who give us the opportunity to win games,” Hill said. “I think we’re on our way into doing that. We’re trying to make our club better and address needs we’ve identified to help us improve.”

The Marlins are how focused on keeping their young core intact and have already reached out to right-hander Jose Fernandez, left fielder Christian Yelich, center fielder Marcell Ozuna and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria about long-term deals.

The Marlins are definitely a team to watch in 2015 as they are now viewed as legitimate contenders for at least a Wild Card. The scary part is that most baseball experts believe that Stanton, Yelich and Ozuna haven’t even scratched the surface of their vast potential.

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Marlins To Sign Michael Morse http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/marlins-to-sign-michael-morse.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/marlins-to-sign-michael-morse.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 15:14:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171917 Michael+Morse

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Marlins and Michael Morse have agreed to terms on a two year deal.

Morse, 32, spent last season with the world champion San Francisco Giants and batted .279 with a .336 on-base and .475 slugging, with 16 home runs, 61 RBI and a .348 BABIP.

In his ten year career, Morse is a .281/.335/.473 hitter, and will join a Marlins team that has already added a lot of talent this winter, including Dee Gordon, Mat Latos and Dan Haren.

Morse primarily played outfield in years past, but it is believed that the Marlins plan is to move him to first base, a much more suitable position for Morse.

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Are Mets Overvaluing Dillon Gee? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/are-mets-overvaluing-dillon-gee.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/are-mets-overvaluing-dillon-gee.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 14:04:27 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171910 dillon gee

It’s no secret that Sandy Alderson is working hard to trade right-hander Dillon Gee who has produced a 3.91 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 103 starts over five seasons with the Mets.

The now 28-year old veteran is taking it all in stride and told MLB Network that while it’s been difficult at times, he understands it’s the nature of the business.

“I can almost guarantee you it’s tougher for my wife and my mom,” Gee said. “I’m not going to lie. It’s hard, especially because I’m on Twitter, so I see stuff a lot. But I’m the type — I’m going to put it away until something actually happens, because that’s the only way I can deal with it.”

“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little exciting to know that there are other teams that are asking about me…Yeah, it’s a little bittersweet because you’re leaving the team and your friends, and really the Mets have been like a family to me.”

There was a lot of buzz surrounding Gee during the Winter Meetings with some reports having the Colorado Rockies “definitely” interested, and the Mets also had something cooking with the Texas Rangers until they suddenly backed off.

They even turned down an even swap for Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. Escobar batted .275 with 35 doubles, six home runs and 52 runs scored last season for Minnesota in 465 plate appearances.

An MLB source told the Daily News that Sandy Alderson is overvaluing Gee.

Gee is expected to earn about $5-6 million in his second year of arbitration and is under team control through the 2016 season.

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Hot Stove: Royals Sign Alex Rios, Yankees Sign Chase Headley http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/hot-stove-royals-sign-alex-rios-yankees-sign-chase-headley.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/hot-stove-royals-sign-alex-rios-yankees-sign-chase-headley.html/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 03:33:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171900 alex rios

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Kansas City Royals and outfielder Alex Rios have agreed to terms on a one-year, $11 million deal.

Rios, 33, spent last season with the Texas Rangers, hitting at a .280/.311/.398 clip, with 30 doubles, 8 triples and 4 home runs. He tallied 54 runs batted in while scoring 54 runs and stealing 17 bases.

For his career, Rios is a .278/.323/.439 hitter. He will likely take Nori Aoki‘s spot in the Royals outfield.

He was considered an option for the Mets before they signed Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million contract early in the offseason

chase headley

The Yankees also made a free agent acquisition today, as they agreed to terms on a four-year, $52 million deal with Chase Headley.

Headley, 30, was acquired by the Yankees mid last season from the Padres in exchange for Yangervis Solarte and RHP Rafael De Paula.

Last season between his time with San Diego and the Yankees, Headley had a slash line of .243/.328/.372.

Headley can also earn up to $8 million in incentives.

Other moves from around baseball today also have the Cubs signing reliever Jason Motte to a one-year, 2.5 million deal, and the Dodgers signing LHP Brett Anderson to a one-year, $10 million deal.

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Astros and SS Jed Lowrie Agree on 3-Year Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/astros-and-ss-jed-lowrie-agree-on-3-year-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/astros-and-ss-jed-lowrie-agree-on-3-year-deal.html/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:15:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171541 jed lowrie

Jed Lowrie has agreed to a a three-year deal with the Houston Astros, the team announced this afternoon.

The deal, which is worth $23 million guaranteed according to the Houston Chronicle, runs through 2017 and includes a club option for 2018 that could boost the total value to $28 million.

The Mets were hoping that Lowrie or Stephen Drew would be hanging around in January and that maybe one of them would sign a discounted one year deal.

December 13

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, free agent Jed Lowrie is engaged in talks with multiple teams. Lowrie has a career .261 average and .741 OPS,  but he struggled this year hitting  just .249 with six home runs.

Reportedly, Lowrie is looking for a three-year deal and is being courted by Houston, while the Mets and San Francisco are also interested among other teams.

Mike Vorkunov of NJ.com is also reporting that Stephen Drew‘s agent, Scott Boras, believes that his client could sign in the near future. When asked if he had any discussions with Sandy Alderson, Boras responded that they had a nice chat about him over fruits and nuts.

Drew was solid for Boston in 2013, but he also struggled to produce this season.  In 85 games for the Red Sox and Yankees, Drew batted .162 with four home runs.

Many considered Lowrie and Drew as fallback options for the Mets. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reported yesterday that the Mets liked both players more than free agent Asdrubal Cabrera. However things are tightening up so quickly that even Cabrera may become a key target if Drew and Lowrie are off the board.

Sandy Alderson said Wednesday that he no longer believes the team will trade for a shortstop, but rather sign one on the few remaining free agents. But reporters noted that he would prefer to wait as long as January to address the shortstop position in the hopes he can get one of them on a discounted one year deal.

Former Mets trade targets Brad Miller and Chris Taylor of the Mariner’s are now being pursued by the Nationals.

The Mets are considering bidding on Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, but at the same time Alderson said he preferred someone proven.

Joe D. speculated last month that the Mets were underestimating and miscalculating the shortstop market. He said the odds were that the front office would be in store for some major sticker shock and that in the end they’ll do nothing and he predicted Wilmer Flores will be the Opening Day shortstop. These last few days seem to have the Mets heading in that direction.

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Mets Announce John Mayberry Signing, DFA Gonzalez Germen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-officially-announce-mayberry-signing-dfa-germen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-officially-announce-mayberry-signing-dfa-germen.html/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:40:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171138 Philadelphia Phillies  v Atlanta Braves

As was widely expected, to make room on the 40-man roster for outfielder John Mayberry Jr. the Mets have designated right-hander Gonzalez Germen for assignment.

Germen spent parts of two seasons in the Mets’ bullpen, posting a combined 4.31 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 65 innings.

December 12

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York confirms that the Mets have signed free agent outfielder John Mayberry Jr. as first reported by Jon Heyman. Boom.

Joel Sherman of the NY Post reports that the one-year deal is worth $1.45 million dollars. He can earn an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $50,000 each for 200 and each additional 50 through 450, and $100,000 apiece for 500 and 550.

The deal has yet to be confirmed by the Mets, but I’m betting an email from Media Relations is on the way as soon as Mayberry passes physical.

“Mayberry, who turns 31 later this month, is expected to start in the outfield against left-handed pitching, allowing Terry Collins to use Michael Cuddyer at first base over Lucas Duda if the manager chooses,” writes Rubin.

Mayberry was acquired from Philadelphia on Aug. 31 and hit .208 with one homer and two RBIs in 15 games with the Blue Jays.

Combined with the Phillies and Blue Jays, Mayberry batted .212 with a .310 on-base and .425 slugging percentage.

However against left-handed pitching he posted a .913 OPS in 82 plate appearances last season and has an .857 OPS against them for his career.

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Featured Post: Can Mets Win With Wright As Their Top Hitter? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/featured-post-can-mets-win-with-wright-as-their-top-hitter.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/featured-post-can-mets-win-with-wright-as-their-top-hitter.html/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:17:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171550 david wright

I’ve been having this internal debate with myself over the past few months. With so much riding on 2015, the Mets have put a huge burden on several players. While a lot will be expected of the returning Matt Harvey and the elite stable of pitchers that follow him in the rotation, so much more rides on the bats of Curtis Granderson and David Wright.

Granderson has morphed into a veteran presence in the lineup. As we saw last year and as Yankees fans saw for a few years, Granderson has pop and is going to strikeout a ton. He’s not a high average hitter and while he’s extremely important in the Mets lineup, there’s no question about who the best hitter is. The team captain, #5 David Wright will have the weight of the world on his shoulders in 2015 and I’m just not sure he can handle it.

In 2008, the last year the Mets finished above .500, Wright did lead the team in batting average, but he was bracketed on all sides. He had Jose Reyes slashing .297/.358/.475/.833 ahead of him while the middle of the lineup featured 38 home runs from Carlos Delgado and 27 from Carlos Beltran. That year, Wright hit .302/.390/.534/.924 with 33 home runs. It remains his career best year for home runs and RBIs.

mlb_g_reyes_wright1x_600

2015 has a very different tone. In 2008 Wright was surrounded by All-Star caliber talent. In 2015 he will be the guy with a lot of really good support. Granderson and Michael Cuddyer will provide some sparks in the middle of the lineup while the burden of pure power lies with Lucas Duda. None of those three, Duda, Granderson or Cuddyer compare in any way to the talents of Beltran, Delgado and Reyes. Currently Wright is the best hitter on the team and I’m not sure that’s a recipe for success.

For months, I’ve been pushing for a strong pursuit of Troy Tulowitzki. It’s clear now that the Mets will not be obtaining the All-Star shortstop but my reasons for wanting him aren’t all about his immense talent. Wright is a great player by today’s standards and heading into 2015 there won’t be more than 20 to 30 hitters projected above him. It’s difficult to find a complimentary piece for Wright that is actually a better hitter than him. Unfortunately, I believe that’s what the Mets needed and what they won’t find now.

Sandy Alderson did everything in his power to enforce Wright’s spot in the lineup. Bringing in Cuddyer might not produce a ton more runs but having a childhood friend of Wright’s there can only help him mentally. He’ll be able to lean on him when things are going bad and celebrate with him when things turn around. It’s odd to sign a player to help another but I think the Cuddyer signing was more about Wright than filling the void in left field.

In order for the Mets to win, I’m not sure Wright can be the centerpiece. I believe he needs to be the second best hitter on the team and the options for that number one spot have all but dried up. I hope I’m wrong. I hope Wright has a magical season and turns his career and the direction of the Mets around. I’m just not sure he’s up for the task right now.

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MMO Fan Shot: All I Want For Christmas Is My Tulowitzki http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mmo-fan-shot-all-i-want-for-christmas-is-my-tulowitzki.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mmo-fan-shot-all-i-want-for-christmas-is-my-tulowitzki.html/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 15:12:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171675 tulowitzki

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported this weekend that one of the worst kept secrets in the game is just how badly Troy Tulowitzki wants out of Colorado, and how he might get what he wishes for.

An MMO Fan Shot by Steve Surdez

The Winter Meetings have been a major disappointment thus far. Scott Rice? Really? This is New York, right? One of the biggest markets in the world?

The Cincinnati Reds have a payroll hovering around $120 million. Cincinnati! It seems we Mets fans are stuck in an unending nightmare. We are so close, but the faster we try to run, the slower we move, and we just can’t grasp that brass ring.

We Mets fans have been waiting…and waiting…and waiting. And it’s time to move, to take a risk and to trade for Troy Tulowitzki. This is our time to be bold and to retake New York from the Yankees and give the loyal Mets fan-base a fighting chance and a real reason to believe that 2015 will be the year our beloved Mets return to the playoffs.

Yes, yes, I know all of the risks, and I’m sure all Mets fans have run them through their minds a million times so far this winter—injury history, the rarefied air of Colorado, no way to judge how he has recovered from his most recent hip surgery, that Yankees-Jeter thing. But picture this lineup:

  1. Juan Lagares
  2. Daniel Murphy
  3. Troy Tulowitzki
  4. Lucas Duda
  5. David Wright
  6. Curtis Granderson
  7. Michael Cuddyer
  8. Kevin Plawecki

You keep Flores and bring him in to spell Wright, Tulo and Murphy and to be a big right-handed bat off the bench. If you really believe, as Sandy Alderson does, that Flores can be good, keep him as a super-utility player—this scenario will give him 350 to 400 at bats, minimum.

That lineup is the real deal and far superior to any of the the lineups that the Giants or Royals ran out there every day. How’d that turn out for them? I’d venture to say the Mets bullpen and pitching is right there with those two teams. A reasonably productive Tulo undeniably puts the Mets on every baseball pundit’s World Series contender list.

troy-tulowitzki-colorado-rockies

Now, what do you give up in talent and treasure? Let’s say the Rockies take back $14 million, so the Wilpons are on the hook for a cool and even $100 million over six years, or an AAV of $16 million or so a year, which, given today’s market is not that insane for a player of Tulo’s talent, even with the concerns about injuries and durability. We are paying Granderson $15 million a year to hit .220 and barely crack the 20 home run plateau. And, guess what, he’s three years older than Tulo.

A trade might have the Mets giving up Travis d’Arnaud, Rafael Montero, Jon Niese and Jacob deGrom. Since the Rockies are not paying a significant portion of his salary moving forward, they don’t get to choose between Harvey, Wheeler and deGrom, but they do get an every day catcher, a young top of the rotation righthander and a a solid lefty starter, plus a nice but not great future bullpen arm or back of the rotation starter.

Tulo immediately adds the potent bat this team is lacking and behind the plate we gain better defense in Plawecki and more consistent contact and plate discipline.

That leaves us with a rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Gee and Colon with Matz waiting in the wings as your lefty rotation piece. What you’re really banking on here is that Thor is every bit as good as he’s been advertised and that hard-throwing righty can step in and hit the ground running like Harvey and deGrom before him. After all, scouts swear Syndergaard has the most lethal arsenal of the three.

And what if Tulo tanks? Then he tanks. For goodness sake we are a team that owns its own cable network in the largest sports market in the world, and whose ownership is on the verge of building and completing an $8 billion dollar cash-dynamo in Willets Point.

Tulo and the Mets -- a match made in heaven?

And what if he is terrific and does what he’s been doing his entire career, delivering a .295, 30 HR, and 100 RBI seasons at shortstop with excellent defense? You just can’t find that anymore. A string of 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 WAR seasons? Are you kidding me? Sign me up.

And what if he’s mediocre? A..275-18-80 season far exceeds anything else out there, including Flores, all free agent options and trade possibilities, including Starlin Castro.

And what if he never plays more than 50 games a year and is done in two? Well, we pick ourselves back up, hope that Cecchini or Rosario is a stud, and move forward. Just like we always do as Mets fans.

Wilpons: Take on the money.

Alderson: Give up some of that hard to let-go-of talent.

Number-Crunchers: Go with your gut, not your algorithms. We will not win a World Series playing it safe or by data analysis alone.

I hate to see deGrom go as much as anyone, but is it any guarantee that he won’t regress and become less spectacular and more like the 3 or 4 starter his ceiling was projected to be? There are no guarantees in baseball.

There just simply has got to be a way Alderson and his number-crunchers can make this happen after doing their due diligence and ensuring that Tulo is healthy. Alderson needs to make the argument to the Wilpons that if Tulo works out, the rewards of increased attendance, merchandise sales and overall revenue will be huge.

The Wilpons, of all people, should understand this is a good risk with tremendous upside across the board for the Mets brand. No risk, no reward, as they say.

I am becoming more and more convinced that acquiring Tulo could have the same impact as when the Mets added Gary Carter and Mike Piazza.

Forget the calculated risk. This team’s brass over-think everything too damn much. Go with a gut feel. Roll the dice. Trade for Tulo. And help my two young boys stop wondering why their dad always roots for a hopeless and hapless team.

Give them a real chance to enjoy what the 86’ Mets gave me—an undying loyalty for a team that breaks my heart every year. Quell this growing distaste for an ownership and front office that seems to forget that even the most loyal Mets fans—like me—have a breaking point.

Put Tulo under my kids’ tree. Make this the best Christmas ever.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Steve Surdez. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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