Mets Merized Online » 2012 http://metsmerizedonline.com Tue, 02 Feb 2016 15:20:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.12 Mets Back Among Top 15 MLB Payrolls http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-back-among-top-15-mlb-payrolls.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-back-among-top-15-mlb-payrolls.html/#comments Fri, 29 Jan 2016 02:06:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=205264 wilpon pepsi mets

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Mets payroll – which he calculates to be $134 million – currently ranks 13th in Major League Baseball. That puts them ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals.

It´s nice that ownership finally appears willing and able to sport a competitive payroll. Assuming the payroll is actually closer to the $139 million as calculated by Joe D. of Metsmerized Online for Opening Day, it will probably rank closer to 9th or 10th highest in MLB. Still, not what you´d expect from a NYC MLB franchise that just went to the World Series, but certainly not ridiculous anymore. Progress.

That said, this is still a very low risk payroll for ownership – even if the 2016 Mets have a disappointing season (an unlikely event) and fail to even contend for the playoffs deep into the season, let alone get there and advance.

Thanks to the national TV deal that kicked in back in 2014, each MLB franchise gets an additional $30 million per year in revenue that doesn’t cost them an extra cent. So, looking at the cost side, a $140 million payroll in 2016 basically equals a $110 million payroll for 2013 (when Mets opened the year at $93.6 million).

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Of course, attendance in 2016 figures to be somewhere in the 2.8 to 3.0 million range – up by well over 600,000 and compared to the 2012 through 2014 range. Even using conservative estimates that´s an extra $30 million in revenue right there. In reality, odds are that luxury seating sales are way up too, so the actual bump figures to be significantly higher.

Still, essentially, the Mets as an isolated entity figure to have roughly $60 million more in revenue (at the very least) compared to the 2013 or 2012 Mets which reportedly generated operating losses of $10 and $20 million with payrolls in the $95 million range. Do the math, and this pretty much is the “break-even” range for ownership.

And in case the Mets do make the playoffs again in 2016, they can generate a nice eight-figure profit again, which they reportedly did in 2015 and which they also managed to do in 2014 when payroll was at a 10-year-low of $85 million. Yet the extra TV money had already kicked in, which led to a reported operating profit of about $25 million – which fits right in with the reported losses in 2013 and 2012 if you do the math. And those profits can go right into ownership´s pockets.

And, most of all, SNY remains the group´s big cash cow. Reports had them generating an EBITDA of over $150 million last year. And that mainly due to getting the Mets local right at a bargain rate of $80 to $100 million below the actual market value. These profits entirely can be used for debt management or can be distributed among owners, assuming some money is left after debt and interest payments.

So, yes, on surface, Mets payroll finally looks fine again. Yet, digging deeper, this remains a rather conservative and low risk figure. SNY is basically a legal money-printing machine that can ultimately help ownership to restore its Mets related wealth – by keeping and not selling the team and the majority shares of SNY which are closely linked together. The Mets are relevant again and can afford to compete in their market which should appease even their harshest payroll critics over the years.

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Mets Could Forego Adding Reliever And Stick With What They Have In Bullpen http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-could-forego-adding-reliever-and-go-with-what-they-have-in-bullpen.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/01/mets-could-forego-adding-reliever-and-go-with-what-they-have-in-bullpen.html/#comments Mon, 11 Jan 2016 15:17:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=203917 jeurys familia

The New York Mets reportedly still have interest in relievers Antonio Bastardo and Tyler Clippard, but only if they are willing to accept a one-year deal which appears to be very unlikely.  On Thursday, GM Sandy Alderson clarified his approach and how he views the current relief market.

“Does it really improve the team to give a reliever a one or two year contract if we don’t believe he is better than what we have?” Alderson said.

If that sounded like the Mets might forego adding another reliever and instead head into the new season with the bullpen options they already have, a new report by Mike Puma of the New York Post pretty much substantiates that.

Puma is hearing that the Mets currently have no real target right now for the bullpen, and that at this point they are weighing whether what they already have equals what’s available.

Assuming this is true – and it’s still too early to make any declarative statements – the Mets essentially go into the 2016 season with the same bullpen they ended the World Series with minus Tyler Clippard.

During that five game series against the Royals, the Mets bullpen allowed 10 earned runs in 21.1 innings and blew all three save opportunities, leading to a disappointing World Series loss.

As currently constructed, the Mets will have Addison Reed in the setup role and Jeurys Familia reprising his role as the closer. Familia was dominating as the Mets closer last season and might be the only sure thing they have in the bullpen.

The Mets are gambling $6.5 million dollars that Reed will be the reliever that posted a 1.17 ERA in 15.1 innings for them last season and not the guy who had the 4.20 ERA in 40.2 innings with the D’Backs.

After that, the Mets will have Jerry Blevins in the lefty specialist role, Hansel Robles perhaps as the 7th inning guy, and Carlos Torres returns as the long reliever.

For the final two spots in the bullpen, take your pick out of Erik Goeddel, Sean Gilmartin, Logan VerrettBuddy Carlyle, Jim Henderson, Josh Smoker, Rafael Montero, Josh Edgin and Dario Alvarez.

The Mets would prefer to have Verrett and Montero start the season in the Triple-A rotation for Las Vegas as insurance and depth for the rotation. But whether that happens will depend on on how things go for the bullpen during Spring Training.

I would love to see the Mets make a strong push for right-handed reliever Matt Albers who won’t cost as much as Bastardo and Clippard and has been very effective and consistent since 2012 when he’s not on the DL,

Albers, 32, went 2-0 with a 1.21 ERA in 30 appearances for the Chicago White Sox in 2015. He missed three months of the season with a broken pinkie on his right hand, however, he did not allow an earned run after July 31 – his last 22 1/3 innings, 20 appearances.

But here’s my question for all of you. If we do fail to add a late inning reliever between now and Opening Day, are you confident going into next season with the same cast of relievers we had last season?

(Updated 1/11)

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Featured Article: Becerra, Rivera, Bowman Are Potential Rule 5 Selections http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/featured-article-becerra-rivera-bowman-are-potential-rule-5-selections.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/12/featured-article-becerra-rivera-bowman-are-potential-rule-5-selections.html/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2015 14:34:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200963 wuilmer becerra

J.J. Cooper of Baseball America put together a list of players he believes could potentially get selected in next month’s Rule 5 Draft. Among them he includes three Mets prospects who could be at risk.

Wuilmer Becerra, OF, Mets (21): It’s hard to see how a team could keep Becerra on the big league roster all year, as he’s a still somewhat raw outfielder who played all year at low Class A Savannah. But Becerra, the Mets’ No. 10 prospect, has a chance for five average tools with a chance for above-average power. He cites Odubel Herrera as one layer who was selected last year and won an everyday job as a center fielder for the Phillies.

I wrote about the decision to leave Becerra exposed on Saturday. All he did this season was show why scouts are so high on him while emerging as one of the organization’s top position prospects. Blessed with a powerful throwing arm, the right fielder batted .290 last season with a .342 on-base percentage and .423 slugging while playing at the cavernous Grayson Stadium – the toughest hitting environment in minor league baseball.

In 118 games for Single-A Savannah, Becerra stroked 27 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, scoring 67 runs, driving in 68 and stealing 16 bases in his breakthrough season as a pro.

T.J. Rivera, 2B, Mets (27): He’s not a particularly sexy pick but Rivera always hits. He has hit .338 combined over the past two years at Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas and he has a career .318 batting average. Combine that with defensive versatility—he’s stretched at shortstop but he can play anywhere in the infield—he’s worth looking at as a potentially inexpensive utility infielder.

Matthew Bowman, RHP, Mets (24): There’s not much to like about Bowman’s 5.53 ERA and his .321 average against. But Bowman has a long track record of success before last year. He throws strikes with four average or fringe-average offerings. He cites Logan Verrett and Sean Gilmartin as pitchers who were picked last year because they can locate with fringe-average to average stuff.

Remember, anyone taken in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft must be kept on the major league roster for all of the 2016 season or be offered back to their original club.

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Kelly Johnson: You Hit Or You Sit? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/kelly-johnson-you-hit-or-you-sit.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/kelly-johnson-you-hit-or-you-sit.html/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 16:30:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=190034 kelly Johnson

By now most of you have heard all about Terry Collins and his mantra of “either you hit or you sit,” and I don’t think there’s anyone among us who doesn’t applaud this.

But as I said at the time, I wonder if Collins will really stick to it, especially knowing his affinity for giving MLB veterans an extra-long leash even when they are severely underperforming.

Kelly Johnson seems to be getting the lion’s share of playing time between himself and Wilmer Flores. But when I look at what he’s done since joining the Mets, I wonder if Johnson merits all the starts he’s been getting.

Since July 25, Johnson has started 10 games while Flores has started just seven.

Johnson is hitless in his last nine at-bats, and overall he is batting .158 with a .463 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Mets.

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In that same span, Flores is batting .290 with a .796 OPS in 32 plate appearances.

While the trade for Johnson and Juan Uribe from Atlanta was a big and bold move for the Mets, it’s easy to forget that Johnson is just a .231 hitter since 2012. Certainly a nice addition to the bench, but definitely not the near-everyday player Collins thinks he is at this stage of his career.

I get the whole lefty/righty thing between Johnson and Flores, but I think it’s way too early at 24 to relegate Flores to a platoon player. Sorry I’m not buying that.

And given Wilmer’s significant improvement offensively since the switch to his more natural second base (.303/.327/.505) I want to see more of him not less.

Anyway, all I’m saying is if this is really a “you hit and you play” kind of a team, then Flores should be playing more and Johnson should be playing less.

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Was Sunday’s Game the Biggest in Citi Field History? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/was-sundays-game-the-biggest-in-citi-field-history.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/was-sundays-game-the-biggest-in-citi-field-history.html/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:00:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189374 fans crowd shot Citi Field

If you were at Citi Field on Sunday night, or perhaps even just watching the game on TV, you may have been a bit confused. The calendar might have read August 2nd, but it sure felt a lot like mid-October in Queens.

Since Citi Field’s inaugural season in 2009, there have been a few note-worthy games that have taken place there, but perhaps none bigger than the one on Sunday night. Most of those previous note-worthy games were for the most part for an individual, but not for the whole team.

There was R.A. Dickey’s 20th victory of the 2012 season, which took an otherwise sub-par season and turned it into a fun last couple Dickey starts that gave Mets fans some reason to cheer. A year prior to that on the final day of the 2011 season, Jose Reyes became the first Met ever to win the NL batting title.

johan santana no-hitterOh yes, and let us not forget about that one magical night on June 1, 2012 when Johan Santana gave the Mets organization and fans something it’s never had before, a no-hitter.

There was just something special about last night, the atmosphere, the electricity, the literal rocking of Citi Field that would send chills through the body of any Mets fan.  Or maybe it was the fact that last night, on a national stage, the Mets felt like America’s team, the underdog who finally resurrected himself from the grave.

You could make the claim the energy from the crowd was carried over from the Mets thrilling win on Saturday night, but the third inning last night, was one that could not have been scripted any better. It started out with a Kevin Plawecki walk, which was followed up by a sacrifice bunt by Noah Syndergaard. Tejada then hit a rope right back to the pitcher Zimmermann, leaving them with two outs and a man on second.

Now stop right there. At this point if you’re a Mets fan, even though Curtis Granderson has been very solid, you’re probably thinking he rolls over to second, and they leave Plawecki stranded, inning over. Instead what ensued next was something most Mets fans couldn’t have even dreamt about.  Granderson deposited one over the right field wall to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Then, on the very next pitch, before the Citi Field crowd could even sit down, Daniel Murphy hits a home run into the Pepsi Porch, further than I can remember him ever hitting one.

After Cespedes got his first hit as a Met, and before the fans could climb down from Cloud 9, Lucas Duda continued his torrent stretch by hitting one a mile high and off the RF foul pole that blew the top off of Citi Field.  How about that for a third inning?

It was obvious that there was a different feel to last night. Something that I think is not only good for the Mets and their fan base, but also something that is good for the game of baseball. Before the game even started, Dan Shulman of ESPN commented on how much it felt like a playoff game. I can’t remember the last time there was a Mets game played at Citi Field in August that felt like a playoff game.

So I ask Mets fans, would you put last night’s game at the top of the list of games ever played at Citi Field? I myself believe it was, and hopefully there will be many more to come. It may still be summertime, but it sure felt like October baseball in Queens last night.

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Press Release: Mets Announce Yoenis Cespedes Deal http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/press-release-mets-announce-yoenis-cespedes-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/press-release-mets-announce-yoenis-cespedes-deal.html/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 23:30:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189026 PI-MLB-Milwaukee-Brewers-Tigers-2-052015.vadapt.620.high.0

The New York Mets today announced that the club has acquired All-Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for minor league righthanded pitchers Luis Cessa and Michael Fulmer.

Cespedes will wear #52 and Carlos Torres will switch to #72.

Born in Campechuela, Granma, Cuba, Cespedes will become the 11th Cuban-born player to play for the Mets. The others are Rey Ordonez, Orlando Hernandez, Livan Hernandez, Raul Valdes, Jorge Toca, Eli Marrero, Chico Fernandez, Jose Cardenal, Ed Bauta, and Alay Soler.

Cespedes, 29, was hitting .293 (118-403) with 18 home runs and 61 RBI in 102 games this season with the Tigers. He has 48 total extra-base hits, which rank third among outfielders in major league baseball this season behind the Nationals’ Bryce Harper (54) and the Angels’ Mike Trout (51).

Cespedes is first in defensive runs saved for leftfielders this season with 11. Cespedes has also registered nine outfield assists this season, which is currently tied for fifth-most in the American League. Since his debut in 2012, Cespedes has 44 outfield assists, which is second in the AL in that stretch behind Kansas City’s Alex Gordon, who has 45.

Last season, Cespedes began the season with Oakland but finished the 2014 season with Boston after a mid-season trade. He set career-highs in hits (156), doubles (36), triples (six), RBI (100), extra-base hits (64) and total bases (270) during his All-Star campaign.

In 2013, Cespedes participated and won in the Home Run Derby at Citi Field as part of the All-Star festivities with 32 total home runs. He then won the Home Run Derby in 2014 and joined Ken Griffey, Jr. as the only players in major league history to win back-to-back Home Run Derby titles.

During his 2012 rookie season, Cespedes finished second in the A.L. Rookie of the Year vote after ranking second among American League rookies for runs scored (70), hits (142), doubles (25), home runs (23), walks (43) extra-base hits (53), total bases (246) and multi-hit games (40). In that same campaign, Cespedes won the American League Rookie of the Month award for September when he batted .266 (29-109) with 18 runs scored, five doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 19 RBI in 28 games.

In 518 career games, Cespedes has 110 doubles, 17 triples, 89 home runs and 323 RBI. He was originally signed as an international free agent on March 3, 2012.

Cessa, 23, was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 and was currently pitching for Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. Cessa was 0-3 with an 8.51 ERA in five games with the 51s following a 7-4 mark with a 2.56 ERA in 13 starts for Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League to open the season.

Fulmer, 22, was originally selected in the supplemental round of the 2011 draft out of Deer Creek (OK) High School. He was currently pitching for Binghamton with a 6-2 record and a 1.88 ERA in 15 starts for the BMets. He made one start to open the year with St. Lucie (A) of the Florida State League before being promoted to Binghamton.

Cespedes is the fourth player the Mets have acquired in the last week, joining infielders Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson (acquired from Atlanta) and RHP Tyler Clippard, who was acquired from Oakland.

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Our Baseball Maverick Is Under Fire, Can He Revive Mets Season? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/our-baseball-maverick-is-under-fire-can-he-revive-mets-season.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/our-baseball-maverick-is-under-fire-can-he-revive-mets-season.html/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 14:05:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=186135 Sandy-Alderson

I wanted to address some of what’s been written about Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and the Panic City Mets.

Joel Sherman – While upper management has insisted the dollars are there, executives from other teams say their Mets counterparts tell them that the budget is either tight or non-existent. Is that gamesmanship by the Mets to try to get competitors to lower demands or honesty? Because if it is honesty, that means the Mets brass is lying to their fan base through the New York media by saying they can spend.

Joe D. – This has been an issue for years now. It was back in 2012 that Fred Wilpon came to Spring Training in Port St. Lucie and proclaimed the financial problems were in the rearview mirror and that Sandy Alderson had no limits and could sign anyone he wanted. It wasn’t true back then and it’s still not true today. Unfortunately you still have too many writers and bloggers who twist and turn over Alderson, Collins, and the team in general, that shouldn’t be taken seriously because they’re either oblivious, willfully ignorant, or in cahoots with the Wilpons or MLB.  At this point, you have to be an ass-hat if you don’t know how negatively team ownership impacts this team.

Mike Vaccaro - Day after day, week after week, the Wilpons and their chief henchman, Alderson, have allowed the good will of a hot start and the patience of a fiercely loyal fan base and the daily magnificence of their pitching staff to disintegrate to the point where there’s no longer rage as much as resignation – to another lousy season, another year when a little aggression and a little imagination might have made a difference.

Joe D.  - While the team has played some awful baseball that has included way too many heartbreaking losses and punches in the gut, I disagree that team brass is already resigned to another losing season. It may very well turn out that Vaccaro is right, but I need to see what happens between now and the July 31 trade deadline before I throw Alderson completely under the bus. It’s still early and I don’t see many teams proclaiming themselves sellers yet. That’s not to say Alderson doesn’t deserve some blame. The $125 million he has had to spend has been largely wasted on the likes of Francisco, C. Young, Cuddyer, and aside from two hot weeks in two seasons, Granderson too. And he has yet to pull off one trade, that didn’t backfire, to acquire a top MLB offensive player. He’s been living off the good vibes of three smart dumps for prospects, while riding the coattails of Harvey, DeGrom, Familia and Matz, three of whom should be All Stars this year and neither of them his doing.

Joel Sherman – We have seen this con with this organization before. It often comes up when the Mets leak that they are monitoring a player in free agency, then the player signs elsewhere and they criticize how much the player was paid. It is all misdirection. “Monitor” is a fake-out to try to gain points from their fans for actively pursuing someone they had no intentions of signing and then the overpay is to shift blame to a greedy player rather than a parsimonious organization.

Joe D. – It’s amazing that you still have some Mets media and sites that are used as propaganda machines for the Wilpons. They’ll post rumors that the Mets are after Ryan Braun, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gomez, etc. for weeks on end and never include the quotes from opposing GMs who laugh and say they haven’t spoken to the Mets in months, or that it’s a complete web-created fabrication. The problem I have with what Sherman says here is not that it’s not true, it’s a completely accurate description of business as usual for the Mets. My issue with this is that Sherman is a huge part of the problem and he’s like the pot calling the kettle black.

Bottom line? Collins has borne the brunt of the incoming fire for years now while Alderson has been the Teflon Don, making wisecracks, alienating many, and doing his thing. He’s in the fifth year, said he expects 90 wins, and also asserted he’d be disappointed if this team failed to make the postseason. He said these things to the team’s top customers, the season ticket holders.

He even implored one ticket-holder who said he was dissatisfied with how he addressed the offense in the offseason to please withhold judgement until we get a chance to see the offense play this season.

Alderson has a lot of explaining to do. And so do the Wilpons.

That’s all for now, more later…

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Mets Postseason Odds Down to Season Low 28% http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-postseason-odds-down-to-season-low-28.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/mets-postseason-odds-down-to-season-low-28.html/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 17:30:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=185204 Mets bench

On April 27th, the Mets had a record of 15-5 and were eight games ahead of the Washington Nationals.

According to the Postseason Probabilities chart on mlb.com, the Mets had a 68% chance of making the postseason, which was their high water mark for the season.

After being swept by the Atlanta Braves, the Mets were at their season’s low with now just a 28% chance of making the postseason.

On April 27th, the only two teams who had a better postseason probability than the Mets were the Los Angeles Dodgers (94%) and the St. Louis Cardinals (71%). On June 20th, the Mets were trailing the Cardinals (97%), Dodgers (86%), Nationals (74%), Cubs (65%), Pirates (64%), and Giants (51%).

There is still plenty of season left to go, and with a 36-35 record, just 1.5 games behind the Nationals, the division and postseason is very much within reach.

However, six runs in the last five games, squandering outstanding performances from aces Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, and consistently poor defense isn’t going to cut it. The question is, who is going to step up?

Let’s be clear – the Mets are in a much better place than they’ve been for years. They’re just a big bat away from being very, very dangerous. Their postseason odds are at 28%. Where have they been on June 21 in recent years?

2014 – 3%
2013 – 1%
2012 – 24%

The Mets never reached above 16% during the 2014 campaign. That was their high water mark on April 30 when their record stood at 15-11.

The last time the Mets were above 28% was during the 2013 season when on April 8 they had a 5-2 record.

The 2012 team made it as high as 40% on July 3, when the team had a 44-37 record. They were sitting 3.5 games behind the Nationals in the East.  It’s hard to remember that the team was seven games above .500 that late in the season in recent years, but they were.

The Mets eventually ran out of gas in 2012 and finished with a 74-88 record, 24 full games behind the Nationals and 14 games out in the wildcard.

After the collapses in 2007 and 2008 and the freefall in 2012, is it really any surprise that all the fan enthusiasm over this season’s 15-5 start has already been replaced with gloom and the expectation of another deflating collapse and disappointing year?

It’s up to ownership and the front office to change the perception. Too often there’s been a lot of lip service and not nearly enough accompanying action.

The quick answer might be to pull the trigger on a trade, but who are we going to get to spark the offense and solidify the defense? The available options don’t seem to fit any of the Mets’ needs.

And nobody is interested in giving away one of our golden arms just to roll the dice on a one or two year rental.

The odds may not be in our favor right now, but we’re still very much in the hunt. The question is, what happens next?

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Plawecki to Catch Syndergaard on Monday http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/plawecki-to-catch-syndergaard-on-monday.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/06/plawecki-to-catch-syndergaard-on-monday.html/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 17:24:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=184476 noah syndergaard

On Monday the Mets will host their friends North of the Border to Citi Field for the first time in the history of the franchise. This series will have a lot of familiar faces for both sides.

The Mets will also be welcoming home fan favorite Jose Reyes who wore the blue and orange from 2003-2011 going through just about everything a player can from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. During his tenure in a Mets uniform. This won’t be the first visit back to Citi Field for Reyes who had a short stint with the division rival Miami Marlins in 2012.

Monday will also mark the return of R.A. Dickey who is making his first visit back to Citi Field since the Mets dealt him to Toronto after the 2012 campaign.

Dickey resurrected his career in Queens and had one of the best seasons ever for a Mets pitcher in 2012 when he won the NL CY Young going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA. I am still bitter to this day that Tony LaRussa didn’t let Dickey start the All Star Game that year in Kansas City.

The veteran knuckleballer hasn’t been the same since the Mets let him go. As memorable as that year was for Dickey, it was what the Mets received in return from Toronto that would have the biggest impact on the organization.

It was not only the best trade, but the best move in general, that Sandy Alderson has ever made during his tenure as Mets general manager. Alderson sent R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole, and Mike Nickeas to Toronto in exchange for John Buck, Wuilmer Becerra, Travis d’Arnaud, and Noah Syndergaard.

No one knew at the time but the Mets straight up ripped off the Jays in this deal. Dickey hasn’t won more than 14 games since the trade and is only 2-6 this year. The Mets will see Dickey on Thursday in the series finale in Toronto.

The four game series will be the first chance for d’Arnaud and Syndergaard to show the team that traded them away what they gave up. D’Arnaud had a big second half last season and looks to be building on that since coming off of the DL on Wednesday. The 26 year old backstop could evolve into an elite player at the big league level before all is said and done.

Syndergaard has shown signs of pure dominance in the minor leagues and now he’s establishing himself at the big league level. The hard-throwing righty will get the start in the series opener on Monday at Citi Field but with his recent struggles the Mets will give Syndergaard a familiar face behind the plate when Kevin Plawecki gets the start at catcher.

D’Arnaud has yet to catch Syndergaard at the big league level and that won’t change Monday as Terry Collins elected not to have that battery together against their former team.

Syndergaard will have a chip on his shoulder coming off of the worst outing of his career on Tuesday against the Giants, plus the fact that he is going up against the team that gave him away.

It’ll be no easy task though as the rookie will have to face the league’s best offense that features Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson. The Blue Jays come into Queens riding an 11-game winning streak and the Mets will most likely have to keep their hot bats going if they want to compete with the hottest team in baseball. This should be a fun series to watch.

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MMO Game Thread: Cardinals vs Mets, 1:10 PM http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-game-thread-cardinals-vs-mets-110-pm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/05/mmo-game-thread-cardinals-vs-mets-110-pm.html/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 14:45:35 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=182154 jacob deGrom

After consecutive sub-par performances by Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon, the New York Mets will turn to Jacob deGrom to try and preserve a split in the finale of their four game series against the St. Louis Cardinals this afternoon at Citi Field.

DeGrom (4-4, 3.21 ERA) will oppose Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia, who is making his season debut in the 1:10 PM matinee.

The Mets have been bounced from first place in the NL East and now trail the Washington Nationals by a game for the division lead. The Mets have lost seven of their past 10 games.

Mets Starting Lineup

  1. Juan Lagares – CF
  2. Wilmer Flores – SS
  3. Lucas Duda – 1B
  4. Michael Cuddyer – LF
  5. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  6. John Mayberry Jr. – RF
  7. Eric Campbell – 3B
  8. Kevin Plawecki – C
  9. Jacob deGrom – RHP

After taking the first game of the series, the Mets have been crushed by the Cardinals in the last two games as they lost yesterday by the score of 9-0. Honestly, nothing was really working for the Mets yesterday, but they still have a chance to split the series this afternoon.

Jacob deGrom is 4-4 over 8 games and 47.2 innings of work with an ERA of 3.21. He is coming off of a strong start against the Brewers allowing 1 ER over 6.0 innings while striking out 6. His numbers overall in May are comparable to his season numbers going 2-1 over 18.0 innings with a 3.00 ERA while striking out 20 batters.

His start against the Cardinals last year did not end well as he allowed 6 earned runs and 12 hits over 4.1 innings. The Cardinals have the following numbers against Jacob:

  • Heyward 3-6
  • Reynolds 0-6
  • Adams 2-3, 3B
  • Carpenter 0-3
  • Holliday 2-3
  • Peralta 2-3

The bats will try to remember how to hit against Jaime Garcia who is set to make his 2015 debut from the disabled list today. In an injury shortened season last year, he was 3-1 over 7 starts and 43.2 innings with a 4.12 ERA. 2013 was also a shortened season as he went 5-2 over 9 starts and 55.1 innings with a 3.58 ERA. His last “full” season was in 2012 where he made 20 starts over 121.2 innings where he went 7-7 with an ERA of 3.92.

He hasn’t faced the Mets since 2012 where he allowed one unearned run over 7.1 innings of work. The Mets have the following numbers against Garcia:

  • Mayberry 6-16, 4 2B
  • Tejada 2-4
  • Murphy 1-3

Let’s Go Mets!

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Mets Have Rumored Deal With Dominican SS Gregory Guerrero http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mets-have-rumored-deal-with-dominican-ss-gregory-guerrero.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/04/mets-have-rumored-deal-with-dominican-ss-gregory-guerrero.html/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:42:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=179153 gregory guerrero 2

According to Kiley McDaniel over at FanGraphs the Mets are rumored to have a deal in place with Dominican shortstop Gregory Guerrero for $1.8 million.

The $1.8 million would eclipse the Mets previous International bonus record of $1.75 million they gave to Amed Rosario back in 2012. The signing would leave the Mets with roughly $730,000 left in International bonus money. Due to his age, the Mets can’t officially sign Guerrero until he is eligible to sign in July.

Gregory is the nephew of former MLB All-Star Vladimir Guerrero and has been training in Vlad’s Academy in Don Gregorio, DR.

Guerrero has been compared to Brewers shortstop Gilbert Lara from last years International signing class and profiles as a power bat with speed.

“Lara has a good bit more juice in his bat and I think both eventually end up at third base, but Guerrero has looseness to his swing and above average bat speed and power projection, so he would profile fine there.”

The Mets are also believed to have a deal done for $1.25 million with Venezuelan SS Andres Gimenez (rumored to have been done last August or September according to McDaniel).

Those two deals would put the Mets over their pool, but still comfortably in the range where they could trade for enough money to cover the difference.

Here is a video of Guerrero taking some batting practice for a showcase:

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Johan Santana Signs With The Blue Jays http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/johan-santana-signs-with-the-blue-jays.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/johan-santana-signs-with-the-blue-jays.html/#comments Fri, 27 Feb 2015 04:32:04 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=175290 johan-santana

Former Mets’ ace Johan Santana will make another attempt to return to the major leagues this season. The Toronto Blue Jays announced today that they will sign Santana to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.

Santana missed the entire 2013 season recovering from shoulder surgery, and his comeback last year was derailed due to a torn Achilles.

While Santana’s tenure in New York was marred by injuries, he did provide the Mets with some outstanding moments. He finished third in the Cy Young voting in 2008 with a 16-7 record and a 2.53 ERA. He also threw the Mets first ever no-hitter during the 2012 season against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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]]> http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/johan-santana-signs-with-the-blue-jays.html/feed/ 0 Oakland A’s Acquire Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/oakland-as-acquire-ben-zobrist-and-yunel-escobar.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/01/oakland-as-acquire-ben-zobrist-and-yunel-escobar.html/#comments Sat, 10 Jan 2015 19:34:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172965 Sandy Alderson should not turn his back on my idea to trade for Ben Zobrist.

According to ESPN’s Keith Law, the Oakland Athletics have acquired infielder Ben Zobrist and shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Tampa Bay Rays for catcher John Jaso and a pair of minor league players.

The Rays also received top shortstop prospect Daniel Robertson and outfielder Boog Powell, according a source. The A’s are picking up the entire salaries owed to Zobrist who becomes the regular second baseman, and Escobar who takes over at shortstop.

Zobrist along with Escobar were mentioned often as possible targets for the Mets, but there was never any serious discussion between the two teams and most of the chatter was media speculation.

Zobrist batted .272 with 10 home runs and 52 RBIs last season, while Escobar batted .258 with seven homers.

I keep telling you guys… #TeamFlores

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Jon Niese: Damaged Goods or Different Goods? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jon-niese-damaged-goods-or-different-goods.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/jon-niese-damaged-goods-or-different-goods.html/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:02:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171103 jon niese

An MMO Fan Shot by Chris Malia (CJM)

Regarding fan opinion, Jon Niese is perhaps the most divisive player on the Mets. Scrolling through a comment thread about Niese, you can find opinions ranging from soft and overrated to gritty and extremely valuable. While value can be measured in terms of his stats and contract, his toughness or lack thereof is harder to determine. While heated arguments will produce opinions layered with stats and anecdotes, there is something yet to be explored regarding Jon Niese, happening beneath the surface of these stat and anecdote laden arguments. Jon Niese is evolving rapidly and substantially as a pitcher.

The secret is out—the Mets are concerned about Niese’s health. Nobody should be surprised. What is surprising—however—is that nobody’s really picked up on how significantly Jon Niese’s shoulder has actually affected his throwing. Not his performance, just his throwing. Take a look at the pictures.

jon niese

All three of these pictures are screenshots of Niese throwing a fastball. The first picture is from 2010. Niese is delivering the ball almost directly over the top. The second picture is from 2012. You can see an obvious drop in arm slot as he’s gone to a more comfortable three-quarter release. The final picture is from 2014, and his arm slot has dropped even lower than in 2012. He seems to be getting closer and closer to a sidearm delivery.

Why is the arm slot dropping? His shoulder hurts. Obviously, anyone who’s played baseball or has been a fan of baseball understands that throwing over the top is unnatural. Three-quarter and sidearm deliveries put less stress on the arm, especially the shoulder. It’s not unusual to see pitchers’ arm slots drop as they age. Years and years of abuse will do that. When Pedro was with the Mets, his arm slot was significantly lower than it was during his glory years. In Niese’s case, we know with certainty that he’s dealt with shoulder issues. What we don’t know is whether the drop in arm slot has been implemented by Niese intentionally to try to preserve his shoulder’s health, or whether it’s been done because Niese simply can’t throw over the top without pain anymore. The reason behind the drop in arm slot—intentional or not—doesn’t have much bearing on the analysis to follow.

For Jon Niese, a drop in arm slot has forced him to change the way he pitches. When he came up, his most talked about weapon was the 12-6 curve. And it was a good pitch, unquestionably. However, the 12-6 curve relies on an over-the-top delivery. The over-the-top release allows the curve to have its sharp, off the table drop. Releasing the same pitch from the three-quarter slot will not produce as sharp a break. So if Niese is unable to produce the necessary over-the-top release, it stands to reason that he’d be less inclined to use his curveball and that his curveball would lose effectiveness. The numbers support that hypothesis. Here’s a look at his pitch selection from 2011 (his peak curve usage year) through 2014.

Fastball Curveball Cutter Changeup
2011 54.9 22.7 17.2 5.1
2012 49 19.4 27.8 3.8
2013 48.6 17.5 25.2 8.8
2014 49.6 16.9 24.2 9.2

The curveball column has been marked in bold. The data coincides with the drop in arm slot—Jon Niese has been using his curveball less and less over time, as usage has dropped nearly 6 percent since 2011. Jon Niese’s well documented shoulder issues seem likely to have caused this drop in arm slot, and subsequently a drop in curveball use.

Is it just pain that has caused Niese to use the curveball less? Earlier in the article, I mentioned 12-6 curveball effectiveness pertaining to arm slot. Not surprisingly, Niese’s effectiveness with the curve also appears to be waning. Here is a look at his groundball, line drive, and flyball rates using the curve from 2011 through 2014.

Groundball % Line Drive % Flyball %
2011 66.7 19.2 14.1
2012 63.4 16.1 20.5
2013 56.3 18.4 25.3
2014 46.3 28.8 25

In 2011, two thirds of the curveballs put in play against Jon Niese were hit on the ground. Groundball rate has dropped 20% over 4 years. What was once a pitch Niese could pretty safely throw for a groundball is now a pitch that results in line drives and flyballs over half the time. I/t doesn’t take a Sandy Alderson computer manipulation to understand that grounders are preferable to line drives and flyballs.

What we’re left with is a pitcher who has lost his most effective weapon—perhaps his only true weapon as a pitcher. Niese has been forced to evolve. When looking at the pitch selection table, we see that fastball and cutter use have remained pretty consistent. But neither pitch is particularly fear-inducing. Niese was previously a pitcher who could rely on his curveball’s effectiveness to throw batters off-balance. Without that pitch, he has begun to turn to the changeup as an off-speed offering. His changeup usage has jumped from 3.8% in 2012 to 9.2% in 2014. The problem is, his changeup has failed to be as effective as his curveball once was. In 2013, his curveball produced grounders at a 55.9% rate and in 2014, that rate dropped to 47.4%–over half his changeups put in play in 2014 resulted in line drives or flyballs. Jon Niese is still searching for a way to throw batters off-balance without his curve.

Where does Niese go from here? A quick glance at Niese’s arm-slot drop and his curveball usage makes one think Niese is damaged goods. I’m not so sure that’s a fair assessment. Niese’s 2014 season was by no means bad. It was actually good. He threw 187 innings with a 3.40 ERA and a 3.67 FIP. Those are fine numbers for a mid-rotation starter, especially one getting paid what Niese is receiving. Somehow Niese managed to remain effective as a starter in 2014 with both his off-speed offerings producing the most ineffective results in his career. I don’t want to delve too much into Niese’s psyche, but it’s not a stretch to believe that this forced evolution in his pitching style has made pitching games more mentally rigorous than it once was.

Jon Niese is battling his way through the fire right now. To be successful, he needs to be a different pitcher than he was when he first came up. From that perspective, his 2014 season could be looked at as promising, because he was able to pitch effectively while adapting to new tools. Instead of lingering on what could’ve been with Niese and his curveball, lamenting the fact that he’s now damaged goods, I think I prefer to look at Niese as different goods. He’s not the same pitcher he was, but he has the potential to be as effective or more effective as he adjusts.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader Chris Malia (CJM). 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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Mets Considering Re-Signing LHP Dana Eveland http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-considering-re-signing-lhp-dana-eveland.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-considering-re-signing-lhp-dana-eveland.html/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:32:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170424 dana-eveland-mlb-philadelphia-phillies-new-york-mets-850x560

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

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

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

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

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Cubs Acquire 2B Tommy La Stella From Braves, Leading To Lots Of Speculation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/cubs-acquire-2b-tommy-la-stella-from-braves-leading-to-lots-of-speculation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/cubs-acquire-2b-tommy-la-stella-from-braves-leading-to-lots-of-speculation.html/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 01:36:30 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170202 tommy lastella

The Cubs made a puzzling move today and traded RHP Arodys Vizcaino to the Braves for second baseman Tommy La Stella.

The Cubs also got Atlanta’s No. 4 international signing bonus slot and sent their Nos. 2, 3 and 4 international signing bonus slots to the Braves.

La Stella, 25, is strictly a second baseman and made his big-league debut this year with the Braves and batted .251/.328/.317 with 16 doubles, one homer and 31 RBI in 93 games. The 2011 eighth-rounder has a career batting line of .322/.407/.471 in four minor league seasons.

Vizcaino, 24, goes back to the Braves who traded him to the Cubs for LHP Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson during the 2012 trade deadline. He appeared in 5 games for the Cubs this past season, going 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA after missing 18 months due to Tommy John surgery.

The Cubs were already boasting a cadre of young infielders in Javier Baez (22), Starlin Castro (25), Addison Russell (21), Kris Bryant (23), and Arismendy Alcantara (24), so this begs the question: Is it possible that this is a prelude to a bigger trade that involves moving one of their prized prospects? Perhaps Starlin Castro?

The Chicago Tribune recently wrote that the Cubs could clear more financial space to acquire an impact starting pitcher by trading Castro, who has five years and $43 million left on his contract.

Conversely, with just Ramiro Pena and Philip Gosselin as the only second basemen on the Braves’ 40-man roster, could they be a potential landing spot for Daniel Murphy?

It does open up a lot of different possibilities for both those teams, and makes me wonder if this is just some posturing for something bigger and more significant still to come.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Andrew Miller, LHP http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-andrew-miller-lhp.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mmo-free-agent-profile-andrew-miller-lhp.html/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 13:10:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170034 andrew-miller-mlb-seattle-mariners-baltimore-orioles-590x900

Andrew Miller

Relief Pitcher

Bats: L  Throws: L

Age on Opening Day: 29

2014 Snapshot

Andrew Miller had a career year in 2014 between the Red Sox and Orioles. Through 42.1 innings in Boston, Miller held a 2.35 ERA before being dealt for minor league pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez during Boston’s massive fire sale before the trade deadline. Down the stretch for Baltimore, he was even more impressive, posting a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings. His strikeout, home run, and hit rates were all at career-bests. And at 29 years old, Miller has hit free agency at just the right time.

Pros

Miller strikes out an insane number of batters. This season, in 62.1 innings, he fanned 103 batters, equating to a 14.9 K/9 rate and a 42.6 strikeout percentage. Both of those numbers are second only to Aroldis Chapma among pitchers with 50 innings or more.

What was it? The numbers, albeit in a small sample size, point towards his slider. His slider was over 13 runs above average this season, far better than ever before. He has been able to use his low arm slot and deadly slider to his advantage, producing gems like this:

Miller-Jeter-1-091514

Yes, that’s not Miller striking out a power-hitting lefty, that’s Derek Jeter. While that may not be too impressive anymore, it highlights my point: Miller dominates righties, too. Righties hit just .145/.245/.202 against him, which was actually slightly worse than the .163/.206/.261 line lefties put up against him. Although his numbers overall favor Miller against lefties, he has actually reversed his platoon splits over the past two seasons. That doesn’t mean he will going forward, but it is something to consider.

Forget about the strikeouts for a minute and look at the number of baserunners allowed. Miller had a 0.802 WHIP this season, a career-best by far. Over the last three years, he has really improved in this manner, bringing his walks down to a (somewhat) manageable level, and limiting his hits allowed as well. He is running on all cylinders right now.

Cons

Miller’s track record of major success is relatively short. From 2006 through 2012, Miller owned a career 5.54 ERA and walked 5.4 batters per nine innings. Even as he started to turn his career around in 2012, he walked five batters per nine innings. That should be an area of concern for Sandy Alderson. He could easily regress back to his career averages.

His 4.8 hits per nine innings rate from last season is, without a doubt, unsustainable. You don’t see that very often, and you definitely don’t see is multiple years in a row.

As good as Miller is, his biggest weakness is the fact that he doesn’t really fit. Signing Miller would only muddle up the closer situation even more. Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, and Bobby Parnell can handle the late innings just fine. If the Mets are going to spend big money on a multi-year contract, it shouldn’t be for a relief pitcher. Maybe Miller would be a better fit if the team had more money.

Projected Contract

To give you a sense of what Miller is looking for, check out what Jason Mastrodonato wrote for MassLive the other day:

According to an industry source, Miller is seeking at least a four-year deal and isn’t listening to any other offers unless the average annual value is “astounding.”

I am assuming “astounding” is at least $12 to $15 million per year, which is ridiculous for Miller. Yes, he is 29, but he has also only been dominant for two seasons. That being said, he is arguably the top relief pitcher on the market, meaning there will be demand for him. He won’t get what he wants, but I see a four-year deal as almost a guarantee. I see Miller getting four years and $40 million.

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Sandy Alderson Fires Back At Scott Boras http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/sandy-alderson-fires-back-at-scott-boras.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/sandy-alderson-fires-back-at-scott-boras.html/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 15:53:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170005 sandy alderson

After agent Scott Boras continued his annual mocking of the new York Mets by saying these days the Mets are doing a little better and shopping in the “ready-foods section” a clear swipe at the Michael Cuddyer signing.

Boras has been very critical of the Mets as being the big market team with small market appetite, and often uses supermarket analogies to make his points. He has previously said the Mets were shopping in the “freezer section” in 2012 and the “fruits and nuts section” in 2013.

Having had enough, Sandy Alderson fired back today by wrapping up his final press conference of the GM Meetings with a zinger of his own.

“Boras has been shopping near the meat section. That’s where he gets his bullshit.”

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Dodgers Are Aggressively Shopping Kemp, Crawford and Ethier http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/dodgers-willing-to-eat-significant-dollars-to-move-kemp-crawford-or-ethier.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/dodgers-willing-to-eat-significant-dollars-to-move-kemp-crawford-or-ethier.html/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:19:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169701 Matt-Kemp

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported via Twitter on Sunday night, that the Los Angeles Dodgers are aggressively trying to move one of Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, or Matt Kemp. This comes as no surprise since Yasiel Puig has burst onto the scene and with super-prospect Joc Pederson ready to go.

The Dodgers are stuck with three starting caliber outfielders – when healthy – and the big question here is do any of these three fit in with what Sandy Alderson is trying to accomplish with the Mets and can we afford either of them?

Rosenthal pointed out that depending on the return in trade, the Dodgers are very willing to eat a “significant” part of any of their contracts:

  • Kemp: $21 million in 2015; $21.5 million per season in years 2016-2019.
  • Crawford: $20.5 million in 2015; $20.75 million in 2016 and $21 million in 2017.
  • Ethier: $18 million in 2015; $18 million in 2016, $17.5 million in 2017, $17.5 million team option in 2018 with a $2.5 million buyout.

The most attractive player to the Mets out of that bunch would be Matt Kemp. Besides shortstop, a right-handed hitting outfielder with power and the ability to drive in runs is near the top of the Mets wish list this offseason. The biggest knock against Kemp is his lack of time on the field due to injuries. Before 2014, Kemp played 73 and 106 games in 2013 and 2012 respectively. Last season, Kemp batted .287/.346/.506 while hitting 25 home runs and driving in 89 runs in 150 games. That type of production is exactly what the Mets are looking for.

The big question mark is whether or not the Wilpons will be willing to dish out the coin needed to pay Kemp for four more seasons. The Dodgers would be willing to eat part of the contract depending on the value they get in return. The Mets would be smart to make a move for Kemp, giving the Dodgers a decent return centered around one of the Mets top pitching prospects. Obviously, he can probably be had easier if the Mets were willing to pay him most of the money he is due, but we all know that isn’t in the cards.

Some people have argued that Kemp is not the right player to go after, but rather Carl Crawford. The 33-year old Crawford played in 105 games last year for the Dodgers, putting up a .300/.339/.429 slash line while stealing 23 bases. The year before that, he played 116 games while being slightly less productive offensively. In 2012, Crawford only played in 31 games. He is a career .292 hitter. His gold glove caliber defense, as well as his near league leading stolen bases numbers are probably behind him now. But he still projects as a pure leadoff hitter, something the Mets haven’t had since Jose Reyes. While the Mets are more in need of a right-handed hitting outfielder with power, Crawford is an interesting consideration. Alderson will probably look the other way on him though. Why trade for Crawford when one might be able to get similar production from either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker?

Outside of Giancarlo Stanton, there is no ‘perfect fit’. Every potential player is going to have their flaws, whether they’re injury prone, not young enough, overpriced, etc. At some point, the Mets need to bite the bullet and make a move.  I think Kemp is a viable option for us in the right circumstances.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Let’s start with Ethier. As I discussed tonight on Twitter, he’s 32, in decline, and bats left-handed. I would argue that given 500 at-bats, Matt den Dekker would likely outperform him across the board offensively and defensively.

As for Crawford, he’s simply not a good fit. He’s even older at 33 and hasn’t played more than 130 games in a season in four years, and as a leadoff hitter is his .339 on-base percentage really worth breaking the bank for?

Kemp is the one that stands apart and makes the most sense for the Mets. But if the Dodgers are eating a big portion of his salary to get a bigger return, then you’re talking about giving up either Jacob deGrom or Zack Wheeler plus Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki. Still interested?

Of course if money were not an object we’d probably be able to swap Jon Niese, Daniel Murphy and Carlos Torres for Kemp… And how huge would that be?

But with Jeff Wilpon running the show and calling the shots, the only option the Mets will consider is the one that has the Dodgers eating $50 million dollars and that means a huge cost in players.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Yasmani Tomas, RF/LF http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-free-agent-profile-yasmani-tomas-rflf.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/mmo-free-agent-profile-yasmani-tomas-rflf.html/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:39:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168433 yasmani tomas

Yasmani Tomas

Position: Right/Left Field
Bats: Right, Throws: Right 
Age on Opening Day: 24

2014 Snapshot

Compared to his 2012 and 2013 seasons, Tomas’ 2014 season saw a big drop in production in the Serie Nacional, the main baseball league in Cuba. In 68 games last season (seasons are significantly shorter in Cuba), Tomas hit .286/.343/.444 with six home runs, 16 doubles, and two triples. That’s solid, but nothing compared to his 2013 season in which he hit .289/.364/.538 with 15 home runs, 18 doubles, and three triples in 81 games. His 2012 season was even better than that, posting an OPS 20 points higher.

Pros

The most attractive quality for Tomas is his potential. At 24, he has already proven he is a star in the Cuban league, a league that is certainly nothing to scoff at. The successes of recent Cuban players is a sign of the strength of play there, and has people more confident in Tomas’ ability to hit in the majors.

With Tomas, and international players in general, the more certainty, the higher the price is. With more players from Cuba playing well in the U.S. right now, that adds some certainty that more will succeed in the future. There is definitely more certainty with Cuban players now than a few years ago, which is both a good and a bad thing. While it probably means Tomas will at least be a decent player, it also probably takes him out of Sandy Alderson’s price range.

Putting that aside, Tomas is the equivalent of a rookie who has just had a great first season. He’s young and there is still some question as to whether he can stick, but the tools are obviously there. Some scouts have said Tomas will be a slugger, regularly competing for the league lead in home runs. If that holds true, he is a perfect fit for the Mets, who need exactly that: a middle-of-the order bat who also plays a corner outfield position.

Cons

International players are risky.

Logically, if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, you would probably want to spend it on things that have a higher degree of certainty. Otherwise, you could blow everything on one acquisition. That is what Sandy Alderson has stuck to and is what all but completely eliminates the Mets from signing Tomas.

According to Ben Badler, Tomas has also shown some swing-and-miss tendencies, struggling against good breaking pitches. That could make him a high-risk signing.

Overall, I’d say the Mets have absolutely no chance of getting Tomas, but by some chance the Wilpons finally decide to spend money like real New York owners, Tomas shouldn’t be considered an automatic, sign-at-any-cost target. There is so much uncertainty surrounding him that it could get ugly pretty quickly.

Projected Contract

Due to the fact that Tomas can be had without having to give up a draft pick or any bonus pool money, there is a big incentive for teams to bid wildly on him. So man teams expressed initial interest in him, and I think enough will have serious interest to really drive up the price. Someone is going to get really desperate, seeing this as a chance to get an immediate star for no prospects and no draft picks. Jose Abreu got $68 million last year and Rusney Castillo got $72.5 million this year. The price is only going up, which is why I am predicting 7 years, $120 million for Tomas.

Previous MMO Free Agent Profiles

Colby Rasmus, OF

Nick Markakis, RF

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