Mets Merized Online » 2013 Fri, 01 Aug 2014 15:00:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Show Us the Money?! Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:20:15 +0000 Ever since the end of the 2009 season, financial issues have been a critical if not overriding factor for the New York Mets and their decision making.

saul katz and fred wilpon

Whether it was the $140+ million major league payroll loaded with “toxic” contracts for a sub .500 mostly veteran team, the subsequent decline in attendance and related revenue, possible effects of the Madoff-Ponzi-scheme, including the claim filed by the administrator of the Madoff estate or some heavy leveraging of the Mets and related entities with all sorts of debt – it´s often been Finances first. And Baseball a very distant second.

Interestingly enough though, very little has been written or said about the Mets´ CURRENT financial situation. Basically, the claim/reporting – based on what transpired over the past few years – has been “they have no money” and it appears, fans, writers and the public believe and seemingly have accepted the Mets will be operating as a de-facto small-market team for a while.

That has led to discussion whether the Mets almost have to trade Bartolo Colon and Daniel Murphy for financial reasons leading up towards 2015 to possibly clear the roughly $20 million that duo will be making next year. Or whether the Mets even have the ability to think about taking on a significant contract such as that of Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez.

Shouldn’t we be discussing whether Noah Syndergaard or Rafael Montero (and Matt Harvey next year) are sufficient replacements for Colon or if and when Wilmer Flores, Matt Reynolds or Dilson Herrera can replace Daniel Murphy just fine at 2B going forward?

Shouldn’t the discussion be more about the pros and cons of parting with several promising young pieces in exchange for Tulo or CarGo than killing the debate with a “but they are too expensive anyway” comment?

METS FANS STRESSED SADHave the Mets themselves – successfully – lulled fans & media into a perception and belief that the payroll permanently has to be frozen in the $85 million range that it has hovered around for three years now?

And that a main concern right now should be that just keeping together the current roster minus free agents Chris Young, Dice-K and Bobby Abreu will probably cost over $90 million already? (Adam Rubin did the math a few days ago.)

Isn’t there some new evidence that the Mets currently are operating well below of what their “break even” ceiling actually is? Isn’t it time to reevaluate the situation? Books can and have been written about financial reorganizing or how the Mets got into this situation. But hasn’t the situation changed over the past couple of years ?

Leaving out the profits SNY – an entity majority owned by the Mets ownership group – has been earning, the explicitly stated financial goal for the Mets has been to “break even.” Something which it has failed to do for at least the past 4 years.

Operating losses - according to what´s been available via a google search or explicit statements by people who should know – were massive in 2010 and 2011 (Losses of $51 and $70 million reportedly) and a lot less severe over the past two years (23 million in 2012 and 10 million in 2013) as the major league payroll was cut by about $50 million. While instead of the dramatic decline in attendance (including premium seats) from 2009 through 2011, the Mets from 2012 through this season have merely experienced something between regression or stagnation at a very low level.

Unfortunately, there´s no detailed balance sheet for the Mets entity or “sister” companies such as SNY that are publicly available. But from what there is to gather, the financial picture is looking a lot better now than it has in recent past. The 2014 payroll, minus Ike Davis, for now projects to end up just around or even below $85 million and thus between $5-10 million less than it has been for the past couple of years.

The decline in attendance has apparently been stopped in 2014. And at least thus far, every loan due against the Mets has apparently been refinanced. Most of all though, the new National TV deal that kicked in for the 2014 season flushes in an extra $25-30 million – not subject to revenue sharing  for every MLB franchise. This is EXTRA revenue for the Mets that wasn´t there in 2013 or in previous years.

Do the math yourself: You save between $5-10 million on payroll, attendance related revenue at worst freezes at a low level or even improves slightly and you also get an extra $25-30 million in new revenue flushed into your operation. That’s a $30 to $35 million turnaround compared to 2013 and 2012 where the team – on average – reported losses of $16.5 million per year.

Mets CubsSo, assuming all other expenses (revenue sharing, travel, interest payments on debt, minor league operations, etc.) have remained about the same – and there is no indication of any significant change here between now and the past couple of years – this makes it seem probable the 2014 Mets figure to make an operating profit somewhere between $15 and $20 million if the payroll ends up close to its projection of $85 million. And in turn, the “break even” payroll would really be in the $100 to $105 million range for 2014.

Going forward, if the Mets happen to look like a more promising team in 2015 behind a full arsenal of high end young pitching and maybe the addition of another bat, attendance and revenue figure to rise, further lifting the payroll ceiling going forward.

Considering expected arbitration raises going forward, the injury to Matt Harvey and IP limits for various young arms, it’s actually understandable why the Mets didn’t already approach that payroll ceiling this year. But as it is, there’s really no reason why the 2015 payroll shouldn’t at least be in the $100 to 105 million range. And doesn’t that even make for some positive PR regarding ownership, showing their determination to field a winner?

Thus, trading Colon and / or Murphy should be BASEBALL decisions first and foremost. Just like acquiring a Tulowitzki or another high priced player should mainly be debated in terms of the young talent it’d take to make such a move instead of focusing on the annual salary. Sure, there’s no way the Mets will have a Top 5 in the majors payroll again – like they did on average from 1990 through 2011.

But it’s very likely, they’ll at least gravitate towards a “middle of the pack” payroll again rather sooner than later. Still, odd and tough to explain for a New York based franchise – but a lot better than finances being the overriding factor. So, show us the money!

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Five Mets Featured On MLB’s Midseason Top 100 Prospects Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:00:52 +0000 bryan green released its latest set of prospect rankings tonight, and the Mets have five prospects who made the cut.

Noah Syndergaard (13), Kevin Plawecki (67), Brandon Nimmo (68), Michael Conforto (86), and Dominic Smith (88) each made the overall top 100 list.

Here’s some of what the staff had to say about each of them:


Scouting grades: Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 60 | Overall: 65

Syndergaard is a classic power right-hander, and he uses his big frame to throw downhill and induce ground balls. His fastball regularly reaches 98 mph and runs inside on right-handed hitters. Syndergaard’s 12-to-6 curveball is his best secondary pitch, though his changeup has the potential to be a third plus pitch in his arsenal. He has excellent command and posted a 4.75 K-to-BB ratio in 2013.

Many expected Syndergaard to follow the path that Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler blazed and reach Queens early this summer. But some minor injuries and on-field struggles at Triple-A Las Vegas slowed down Syndergaard’s progress this season. He still profiles as a front-line starter and remains on track to make his Major League debut at a younger age than either Harvey or Wheeler.


Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 35 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 5

Plawecki has impressive bat control and a knack for making contact. His swing is built more for hitting line drives than for power, but his natural strength gives him a chance for more pop in the future.

Defensively, Plawecki is a good receiver and earns praise for his leadership skills. He has an average arm and his game calling is making strides. Plawecki’s play has alleviated pre-Draft concerns about his ability to stay behind the plate, and he now looks like he’ll be more than capable of being an everyday player in the big leagues.


Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

Despite his atypical background, Nimmo has a mature approach at the plate. He lines balls from gap to gap and he knows how to work a walk. Nimmo’s swing has a little length to it, and he has been prone to high strikeout totals early in his career.

Nimmo is a center fielder now, but his average speed may eventually force him to into an outfield corner. His game still needs refining, but Nimmo’s on-base skills and quick hands give him the potential to be a solid Major Leaguer in time.


Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

Conforto has athletic bloodlines, as his father Mike was a Penn State linebacker and his mother Tracie (Ruiz) won two gold medals in synchronized swimming at the 1984 Olympics. Conforto picked baseball, which proved to be a wise choice as he was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2013 and was drafted 10th overall a year later.

Conforto’s signature tool is his left-handed power, which could produce 25-plus homers on an annual basis once he gets to the Major Leagues. He doesn’t get cheated at the plate, taking a big uppercut hack that produces nice loft on his drives.


Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 50 | Field: 60 | Overall: 55

Smith has the potential to hit for both average and power. His hand-eye coordination and advanced pitch-recognition skills allow him to get on base often, while still driving balls.

Smith is a below-average runner, limiting him to first base. He has all the skills necessary to develop above-average defense at the position. Even if Smith’s defense does develop as expected, there will always be pressure on his bat. Scouts are confident he will provide enough offense to make him a solid Major Leaguer in time.

There were a few notable snubs on the Mets’ side, including Dilson Herrera, Steve Matz, and Rafael Montero. Remember, Montero pitched 20 innings for the Mets earlier this season, but did not lose his rookie eligibility, so he was still eligible for this list. Montero was ranked 85th going into the season. It’s interesting that Syndergaard’s struggles only cos him three spots on the list, but Montero’s knocked him off it completely.

Overall, however, this list includes four first-round picks by the Mets (all but one of Sandy Alderson’s first-round selections) and one trade acquisition.

If that doesn’t fire you up, perhaps this will. Along with’s new top 100 list, they also released an updated top 20 list for each team, and it includes three new draftees or acquisitions. Glancing over the top ten, you could make a case for almost all of them to be in the overall top 100 list. Here is the list:

  1. Noah Syndergaard
  2. Kevin Plawecki
  3. Brandon Nimmo
  4. Michael Conforto
  5. Dominic Smith
  6. Rafael Montero
  7. Amed Rosario
  8. Dilson Herrera
  9. Steve Matz
  10. Gavin Cecchini
  11. Milton Ramos
  12. Gabriel Ynoa
  13. Cesar Puello
  14. Cory Mazzoni
  15. Jack Leathersich
  16. Marcos Molina
  17. Blake Taylor
  18. Michael Fulmer
  19. Matt den Dekker
  20. Logan Verrett

And there you have it.

MetsMerizedOnline will be releasing its own official top 25 Mets prospects tomorrow morning. Stay tuned for that, and tons of other minor league analysis here and at

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Di-Jest: Wilpons Hatch Plan For Bogus Wright Retirement Tour Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:32:06 +0000 derek jeter david wright

The crack investigative unit here at MMO has uncovered a cynical plot developed by Jeff Wilpon with the approval of Papa Fred and Uncle (“Can I sell yet?”) Saul.

The younger Wilpon has become envious of what the Yankees, another team on the down slide, have done during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

Last year Mariano Rivera spent the entire season being praised and lavished with gifts. He was the highlighted story of the All-Star Game right down to garnering the save at the end. Just his presence packed Yankee Stadium home games and the Bombers’ away games. The money rolled in and people forgave the Yankees for being un-Yankee-like during the regular season.

Then we got to this season and the honoree, Mr. RE2PECT  (pardon me for a second while I barf), was Derek Jeter. Same deal as with Mo and topped off with a grooved batting practice pitch from Adam (I struck out Beltran looking, so suck it) Wainwright so that Jetes could open the All-Star game with a hit. More gifts and abounding love. More huge crowds and good will while the Yankees spin the turnstiles but have trouble staying over .500.

Since the Wilpons are foursquare against the notion of spending reasonable big-market sums on their ball club they have hit on the idea of having David Wright, the beloved captain, announce his retirement at season’s end. They’ll trump up some reason for the early exit.

Then in 2015 it will be David who will be the center of the baseball world.  He’ll surely be voted to start the Midsummer Classic even if he is hitting what Chris Young is hitting right now.

Attendance at Citi will perk up especially in the usual weak crowd-drawing times aka August and September. Even the Mets’ road attendance figures to increase as clubs sadly say farewell to the classy third baseman.

Surely a sellout crowd can be counted on in early September as they do David Wright Day in Flushing. The ball club will give David a luxury car as a gift since we all know that people who make $18 million a year can not afford to buy nice cars for themselves. David’s number 5 will be retired in perpetuity and the Mets will announce that they vow never to have another player named “Wright” on their 40 man roster. Nice touch.

But since David is somewhat young to pack it in the key to the hoax will be his announcement on the last day of the regular season (I would say the playoffs but these are the Mets we’re talking about) that he has been so humbled by the love of the fans and his teammates that he will be back in 2016 – and plans to honor the rest of his long-term contract.

So fellow Mets fans when you see David with a tear rolling down his cheek and his voice cracking announcing his retirement don’t buy it for a second.  You read it here first.

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Murphy Nominated for MLBPA Heart & Hustle Award Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:09:19 +0000 daniel murphy

Second baseman Daniel Murphy is the Mets nominee for the MLBPA Heart & Hustle Award, the league announced on Tuesday.

Created by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association in 2005, the Heart & Hustle Award is voted on by Alumni and active Major League players and is presented annually to an active player who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.

Each year 30 nominees are designated, one to represent each MB team. As the season draws to a close, fans, baseball alumni and active players will vote to select the final winner from the 30 team nominees.

This is the second consecutive year that Murphy was selected as the Mets’ designee. The award went to Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox in 2013.

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The Significance of Carlos Torres: The Man with the Rubber Arm Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:32:58 +0000 Carlos Torres has completely revamped his career and changed the complexion of the Mets bullpen since signing in 2013.

Carlos Torres has completely revamped his career and changed the complexion of the Mets bullpen since signing in 2013.

At 31 years old, Carlos Torres has established himself as the Mets most reliable workhorse out of the bullpen. Last night, Torres made his 42nd appearance of the season in the team’s 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He contributed one inning of scoreless relief, dropping his season’s ERA to 2.93.

In the early stages of the Sandy Alderson era, the team struggled to develop and construct a successful bullpen. After sending the daily headache that was K-Rod to Milwaukee in the summer of 2011, Alderson invested greatly in shoring up what was at the time, one of the team’s greatest flaws. In 2011, the Mets 4.33 bullpen ERA ranked 28th in the MLB with a matching 28th best .267 BAA.

In an attempt to bolster the pen, Alderson dealt Angel Pagan to the Giants for RHP Ramon Ramirez and OF Andres Torres. In 58 games for the Mets in 2012, Ramirez was 3-4 with 4.24 ERA. Additionally, Alderson signed closer Frank Francisco to an egregious 2 year, $12M contract. Considering 2013 a complete wash for the reliever, Francisco garnered only 23 saves for the Mets in 2012 while sporting a laughable 5.53 ERA. Somehow, someway the Mets 28th ranked bullpen managed to get worse, finishing with an ERA of 4.65. Only the Brewers, 4.66 ERA was worse.

However, since 2013 the Mets bullpen appears to be steadily improving. Last season, the Mets bullpen ranked 22nd in the MLB with a 3.98 ERA. This year, they are currently 9th with a team bullpen ERA of 3.25. In three years, the bullpen’s BAA has dropped from .267 to .240.

Certainly, much of the bullpen’s ascension from the depths of the league cellar have to do with the development of young arms such as Bobby Parnell, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia. However, perhaps no one has played a bigger role in the bullpen’s reversal than Carlos Torres.

Drafted in the 15th round of the 2004 MLB draft by the White Sox out of Kansas State University, Carlos Torres had an unremarkable career before signing with the Mets. In two years with Chicago and one year with Colorado, Torres sported a horrendous 6.06 career ERA. He even spent the 2011 season pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.

When Alderson signed Torres to a minimal deal prior to the 2013 season, the 30 year old was pitching for his baseball life.

Just three years ago, Torres was struggling to a 6.26 ERA for the Yomiuri Giants of the NPB in Japan.

Just three years ago, Torres was struggling to a 6.26 ERA for the Yomiuri Giants of the NPB in Japan.

In 2013 Torres proved versatile and effective for the ball club. Torres appeared in 33 games for the Mets and made 9 starts. He pitched to a 4-6 record with an ERA of 3.44.

This year, Carlos Torres has solidified himself as the Mets go to guy out of the bullpen. His 978 pitches thrown in relief are by far the most in the MLB this season. Adam Warren of the Yankees ranks second with 856. His 58.1 innings in relief also lead the league, ahead of Oakland’s Dan Otero (55.2 IP).

At 4-4 with a 2.93 ERA, Torres has done more than just eat up innings for the Mets. He has pitched effectively in a wide variety of scenarios, justifying his use in any and all circumstances. He has finished 12 games, collected 2 saves and is by far the team’s best option for long relief in a pinch. When Jon Niese went down with an injury last week, Torres threw 81 pitches and was back out on the mound two days later.

It is safe to say that Torres arrival in New York has been mutually beneficial. He has helped reshape the Mets beleaguered bullpen and in the process he has dropped his 6.06 career ERA to a far more respectable 4.32. Though he may be rolled out to the mound until his arm literally falls off, in the meantime his contributions to this team and his value to the bullpen are to be commended.

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MMO Prospect Pulse: LHP Dario Alvarez Continues To Shine Wed, 09 Jul 2014 04:38:18 +0000 dario alvarez

On Monday, left-hander Dario Alvarez was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week, the second time this season he’s copped that honor.

The 25-year-old Dominican native has not allowed an earned run in his last 22 innings pitched, spanning seven appearances.

For the season, Alvarez has posted a 0.87 ERA and 0.981 WHIP in 16 appearances which includes six starts.

Alvarez, who was initially signed by Philadelphia in 2007, has been nothing short of remarkable since the Mets signed him in 2013 on the advice of their Dominican scouts who spotted him playing Winter Ball in Venezuela.

He made 12 starts for Short-Season Brooklyn in 2013, going 2-4 with a 3.10 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 58 innings. But it was his work with pitching coach Marc Valdes last summer, that would transform Alvarez into the pitcher he is today.

Valdes worked with Alvarez on improving the consistency of his delivery without sacrificing any of his stuff or the deception of how he throws.

“That slider, it looks like it’s going to stay in one area, one zone, and then it just disappears. It cuts down hard and away to his glove side. When he stays behind it and gets on top of it, gets that elbow up, it’s pretty crisp.”

“He’s a little better than he was last year,” Valdes said. “He’s made some strides mechanically.”

The results are hard to argue with, Alvarez has worked out of the bullpen and the rotation for the Sand Gnats, but his effectiveness has been a constant in both roles.

In 52.0 overall innings, he’s allowed just 38 hits and 12 walks while striking out 86 batters – that’s the second most among all Mets minor leaguers. His 14.9 strikeout per nine-innings rate is among the best in the league and he does that while maintaining an impressive 2.2 walk rate.

Look for Alvarez to make his way to Advanced-A St. Lucie any day now.

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Should The Mets Move Daniel Murphy? Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:09:52 +0000 daniel murphy

I have been listening to sports radio, reading Mets Twitter, and reading articles for the past couple days as the trade deadline gets closer and closer. I keep hearing the same notion expressed by Mets fans– if the Mets trade Murphy, it indicates an unwillingness to pay good players money to keep them in New York. ‘Cheap’, ‘small-market-team’ and ‘hopeless’ are some of the words and phrases I have heard to describe the Wilpons and their goals as an ownership.

I have thought a lot about what I would want the Mets to do with Murphy. My initial thought correlates to the strong opinion of Mets fans that seems to be that they should re-sign him. Murphy is a great pure hitter. He seems to hit around .300 every year and is a great clubhouse guy. His fielding leaves a bit to be desired, but he has improved some since his earlier days.

The Mets have a couple young players that are possibilities for filling the void at second if the Mets do trade Murphy. Dilson Herrera, a pure second basemen with some pop who came over in the Marlon Byrd trade, was just recently promoted to Double-A Binghamton where he is hitting .313 with two home runs in his brief stint there thus far. Herrera is strong defensively and has some pop at the plate to go along with his ability to hit for a high average so far in his minor league career. It is also important to note that Herrera is producing at such a high level in the Eastern League while being almost five-years younger than the league average. Sure, he has only played 15 games there so far, but it’s definitely worth noting.

The next guy who could fill the void is Matt Reynolds, a 2012 draft pick who was recently promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. The 23-year old batted .355 in Double-A before his promotion, and is off to a .373/.415/.542 clip through 17 games in the PCL. Reynolds is another pure middle infielder who has split time since 2012 between shortstop and second base. Reynolds seems to project as a similar player to Murphy, someone who won’t hit for much power but can hit for a consistent average. I would imagine he is a better defender then Murphy at second base as well. Reynolds will probably earn a call-up this September and is a legitimate contender to be the Mets’ second basemen in 2015 and beyond.

The last guy I will mention is Wilmer Flores because I’m not convinced we’ve seen all that he can do. Flores has produced at every level of the minor leagues, hitting for average and power. He has been in the Mets organization since signing at the age of 16 out of Venezuela. Yeah, yeah I know about Flores’ defensive woes. From what I hear (not seen), Flores is lucky to be as good defensively as Murphy is right now. As I said, I haven’t seen this absolutely horrendous defense yet but people smarter than me have made that hypothesis. I believe that a player cannot develop fully (in most cases) unless they are given a steady role in the starting lineup.

I think everyone knows that Tejada is not the future and I agree. Tejada is what he is and I don’t dislike him at all. He has filled a void since Jose Reyes left for Miami. I believe Flores should have been given a steady and consistent role in the lineup. A player can’t concentrate on his offensive production when he is to busy worrying whether his name will make the lineup card each day. Flores is another candidate for playing second if Murphy is traded.

Although we haven’t seen it yet in the majors, Flores is definitely a talented hitter nonetheless. At just 22-years old, I am not writing him off offensively. Flores would be less of a liability defensively playing second as opposed to shortstop. I think he is a guy to consider handing the reigns to, especially if Murphy is traded this season before Reynolds or Herrera are truly ready for big-league duty.

After considering the homegrown replacements the Mets have for Murphy, I have concluded that I wouldn’t mind if Murphy is traded. I love the guy and everything he has done for the Mets, but I do believe that $11-$13 million a year could be better spent elsewhere and on someone who will plate more runs.

I’m sure there are plenty of people here that disagree with me, but that’s what makes the world turn.

Kirk’s thoughts:

I agree with you, Avery, on many of the points you’ve made. I think we have the internal talent to step in and hold down the fort at second base in what appears to be a lost season anyway. Flores could get the first crack, as I think he’s earned an extended look in the lineup without having to look over his shoulder. Further down the pike are players like Reynolds and Herrera who could prove to be at least solid-average regulars at the keystone spot.

I don’t think trading Murphy would be the organization’s way of indicating that they aren’t willing to spend, I think it would be a smart baseball move for the future. Murphy has arguably been our best offensive player over the past two seasons, and I think we need to capitalize on that by selling him off in the right deal. He’s nearing 30 and is about to command a long term deal. A team like the Orioles could really use his bat, and I think they make a good trading partner. Alderson could obviously shoot for the moon and ask for a Dylan Bundy or Hunter Harvey and see what kind of response he gets. He could also ask about Kevin Gausman– a guy I like who the Orioles don’t seem to value based on the way they’ve yo-yo’ed him between the majors and Triple-A this season. Obviously it has to be the right deal. I’m not looking to give Murph away. I’m simply trying to find a way to continue to stockpile assets that could eventually lead to trading for the big power bat(s) we really need.

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

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Should Mets and Cubs Swap Struggling Stud Prospects? Sat, 05 Jul 2014 18:44:57 +0000 javier baez 2

Javier Baez came into 2014 ranked the sixth best prospect in baseball by

As you probably already know, the Cubs and A’s pulled off a blockbuster trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland in return for a package of young players highlighted by shortstop Addison Russell.

Adding Russell to the fold has created a potential glut of infield prospects for Chicago to go with some impressive young players on the infield currently at the big league level. The Cubs stockpile of infield prospects now includes Russell, shortstop Javier Baez, third basemen Kris Bryant, second basemen Arismendy Alcantara, and the fourth overall pick in 2014 Kyle Schwarber who could end up at first basemen.

The easy assumption to make for the Cubs would be to trade off Starlin Castro, who has had an up and down tenure for the Cubs, and often comes under fire for lack of hustle. That’s an avenue the Mets could and should pursue as pointed out by our own Joe D., but as Tom Hardy told Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Inception: “You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling”.

I think Sandy Alderson should dream bigger, something he’s been accused of failing to do in his time with the Mets.

Maybe the pitching hungry Cubs would be interested in swapping Baez for Noah Syndergaard. Perhaps Castro would cost less in terms of players heading to Chicago, but we sorta already know what he is, right? Plus we know how players who have a perceived lack of hustle usually work out in New York.

It’s no secret that things haven’t gone exactly as planned for Syndergaard in 2014. He’s struggled with injury, the PCL, and with his own development. In 72.2 innings for Las Vegas the 6’5 right-hander has a 5.70 ERA. However there are still positives. The stuff is still there. He’s striking out over a batter per inning and his 2.85 BB/9 is respectable. It appears that while Syndergaard hasn’t been great, he’s been a little unlucky. His .380 BABIP and 4.19 FIP would back that up. So maybe that’s enough to get the Cubs to part with Baez, who hasn’t been without his own struggles in 2014.

Coming off a 2013 that saw the stocky shortstop with a lightening-quick bat mash 37 homers, Baez came into 2014 as one of the top handful of prospects in all of baseball. However in 2014 some of the things that scouts questioned before 2013 came to fruition. Baez, who has a lot of swing and miss in his bat, was able to hit .294 in 2013 despite striking out in 28.8% of his at-bats. So far in 2014 in he’s struck out in 32.5% of his at-bats and it’s caused his batting average to plummet to .241. He’s still managed to slug 12 longballs and has shown signs of life lately, hitting .275 in June.

I think this is an interesting debate. Perhaps there would be additional pieces needed to make the deal work. But it’s a starting point.

Trade the potential stud pitcher for the potential stud hitter we so desperately need?

(Photo credits: Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun, Ken Inness/

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Astros Release Statement On Leaked Information Mon, 30 Jun 2014 22:23:27 +0000 Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy

6:00 PM

Below is the official statement issued by the Houston Astros.

Last month, we were made aware that proprietary information held on Astros’ servers and in Astros’ applications had been illegally obtained. Upon learning of the security breach, we immediately notified MLB security who, in turn, notified the FBI.  Since that time, we have been working closely with MLB security and the FBI to the determine the party, or parties, responsible.  This information was illegally obtained and published, and we intend to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent.

“It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that an outside source has illegally obtained confidential information.  While it does appear that some of the content released was based on trade conversations, a portion of the material was embellished or completely fabricated.” 

2:45 PM

Adam Rubin of ESPN adds to the report that there were talks during the Spring regarding Ike Davis.  Apparently the Mets were approached by the Astros who inquired about a Davis for Lucas Harrell and Alex Sogard deal that the Mets rejected.

2:39 PM

Over the last hour or so, Twitter has essentially blown up in reference to a leak on the site “Deadspin” regarding discussions the Houston Astros have had with other teams about possible trades.  It covers a span of over 10 months with some real interesting information on it.

The first New York entry is from Nov. 8, 2013, recapping a reported conversation between Astros assistant GM David Stearns and Mets assistant GM John Ricco.

“[Ricco] said that they have some pressure to get better next year but have some payroll flexibility to help them do that,” the entry states. “They are looking for corner OF help, a veteran starter, and a little bullpen help. Overall they’re looking to incrementally upgrade where they can.”

One entry that is dated December 16, 2013 shows dialogue between Paul DePodesta and Jeff Luchnow speaking of the inclusion of Jonathan Villar in a trade involving Daniel Murphy.

There isn’t much more to it other than that, or who else might be asked for in a deal, but it is interesting to see the inner-workings of a General Manager.  The rest of the article can be read by clicking here.

Murphy is having himself a good season making it almost certain that he doesn’t remain with the Mets by end of the 2015 season, unless a long-term extension can be agreed upon.

Villar is struggling in 2014, batting just .200 with six home runs and 22 RBI.

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Colon Mows Down His Old Mates To Earn Victory Wed, 25 Jun 2014 16:00:08 +0000 bartolo colon

Bartolo Colon, who pitched for the Oakland A’s in 2013, started Tuesday’s game looking for his eighth win of the season with an opportunity to defeat his old team for his new team.

Colon had a shaky first inning as he allowed a two out single by Brandon Moss, followed by an RBI double by Yoenis Cespedes to put the A’s up early 1-0. But from the second inning on, Colon would be get stingy and not allow an extra base hit the rest of the way, en route to a 10-1 Mets win.

“I felt very good thank God and all my pitches were working which was the most important part for me,” Colon said after the game through an interpreter.

Colon understood how important this win was for the Mets, even more so who it was against, “The win feels really good because its against a team like the Oakland A’s, which for me is the number one team right now.”

In the first inning today [Tuesday] he gives up a run, and he is like ‘I’m just going to keep pitching my game and make them adjust’, and he gets outs.” said Terry Collins. “He is a great example for our young guys to follow.”

Colon even joined the Mets offense in the hit parade with a single of his own, “I feel good at the plate, and have gotten a lot more confident, so that’s the most important part,” says Colon.

Colon’s final line of the game, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K’s and 1 for 2 at the plate with a sac bunt.

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Nimmo, Matz, Herrera, Rivera And Fontanez To Bingo, Reynolds To Vegas Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:59:03 +0000 MiLB: April 28 - St. Lucie Mets at Tampa Yankees

Updated 9:00 AM

Adam Rubin of ESPN is now reporting that Matt Reynolds has been promoted to Las Vegas making it six moves in under 24 hours.  Reynolds was batting .355 so far this season for Binghamton, with a home run and 21 RBI.

Wednesday 10:00 PM

Adam Rubin of ESPN reported that five St. Lucie Mets are being promoted to Double-A Binghamton. The Mets were eliminated from claiming a postseason birth at the conclusion of the first half of the season, prompting the organization to make the move.

Heading to Binghamton are Brandon NimmoSteven MatzDilson HerreraT.J. Rivera, and Randy Fontanez.

Each player had a hand in St. Lucie’s success in the first half of the season.

Nimmo was batting .322 but had a robust on base percentage of .448 which led the Florida State League.  Rivera was second in the league in batting average finishing the first half at .341, and had 47 RBI which was four fewer than his entire offensive output in 2013.  Herrera was no slouch batting .307 with three home runs and 23 RBI.

Matz was 4-4 with an ERA of 2.21 in 12 starts this season.  He had 62 strikeouts and 66 hits in 69.1 innings pitched.  Fontanez recorded 10 saves for St. Lucie and had an ERA of 2.56.

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All Well In Hefner’s Return To Mound Tue, 10 Jun 2014 17:17:03 +0000 jeremy hefner

Update 1:00PM

According to ESPN‘s Adam Rubin, Jeremy Hefner tossed 15 pitches from the mound as scheduled on Tuesday morning. His next step in his road to recovery will come on Saturday when he is slated to throw 20 pitches.

Afterwards, Jeremy tweeted out his thoughts:


June 9- Mets pitcher Jeremy Hefner appears ready to take the next step in his road back from Tommy John surgery.

According to ESPN‘s Adam Rubin, Hefner will soon throw 15 pitches from the mound in Port St. Lucie. This will mark the first time he’s throwing from the mound since having surgery on August 28th.

The 28-year old right-hander posted a 4.34 ERA in 130.2 innings in 2013 for the Mets before sustaining the injury.

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RHP Kozikowski Is Likely The PTBNL In Davis Trade Mon, 09 Jun 2014 18:17:08 +0000 Neil - Kozikowski

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reminds us that the player to be named later in the Ike Davis trade with the Pirates will not be announced immediately after the draft.

The PTBNL cannot be announced until a year after he signed his first pro contract, not a year after he was drafted.

If it does turn out to be Connecticut prep right-hander Neil Kozikowski, which has been widely speculated, he signed June 21. So the Mets would have to wait until the one-year anniversary to receive him. Kozikowski was selected in the eighth round and signed for an over slot $425,000 in 2013. 

John Harper of the Daily News also believes that the PTBN is 19-year-old Kozikowski, whom the Pirates drafted in the eighth round of the 2013 draft.

I spoke to John Dreker of Pirates Prospects and he too picks Kozikowski as the player the Pirates will most likely trade.

Kozikowski throws his fastball in the high 80’s and also has a slider, changeup and cutter in his arsenal.

“The right-hander wasn’t on the radar in any top draft prospects rankings, but seems like the type of projectable arm the Pirates love. He’s 6′ 4″, 180 pounds, and throws 86-88 MPH but has touched 92. He throws from a 3/4 arm slot, and has a projectable frame, which could give him added velocity in the future. He also has a good changeup, a solid slider, and a cutter.”

He’s in extended spring training and was expected to be assigned to short-season Jamestown in the New York-Penn League.

Last season in his first taste of pro ball, Kozikowski posted a 2.63 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 24 innings pitched.

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Bring Out The Tiger In Granderson Thu, 05 Jun 2014 03:05:56 +0000 curtis granderson

Tuesday night’s game really got me thinking about the future of Curtis Granderson. He played exactly how I would like to see him play moving forward. He had three hits, all of which were singles and also stole a base.

The amount of pressure on Granderson’s shoulders goes beyond the $60 million dollar contract he signed with the Mets this offseason – the offseason fans had been anticipating for years. It was the Winter the Mets would finally cleared enough cap room thanks to expiring contracts from Jason Bay and Johan Santana among others.

The Mets were a team desperate for a power hitter to protect David Wright, and Granderson seemed the answer to GM Sandy Alderson. Grandy’s two 40+ homerun seasons for the Yankees and one lost season due to injury set him up for a nice payday and the Mets made him their centerpiece of the offseason.

I believe that Granderson’s success on the Mets hinges not on his ability to try and duplicate a similar level of production he had with Yankees, but instead produce as he did with the Detroit Tigers earlier in his career.

Anyone who thinks Granderson is going to hit 30, let alone 40 homeruns while playing half of his games at Citi Field is not thinking this through. Granderson’s career line on the Tigers was .272/.344/.484 compared to his .245/.335/.495 clip on the Yankees. He averaged around 22 homeruns per season with the Tigers as opposed to his 40+ with the Yankees. However, he also hit for a higher batting average and used his speed to generate 25-35 doubles, 10-12 triples, and 15-20 stolen bases per season. He was a catalyst.

I believe that the Mets need to move Granderson out of the four-hole in the lineup and stop putting any added pressure on him to pull everything and hit home runs. It works against his offensive aptitude and doesn’t allow him to better utilize the potential that Citi Field can afford him. The wide gaps and characteristics of Citi Field seem perfectly suited for the type of player Granderson once was in Detroit; spraying doubles and triples, utilizing his above average speed, hitting for a higher average, and still clubbing 20 homeruns.

Lucas Duda, whether he is the future for the Mets or not, is a projected power hitter. While he is on the team and playing everyday, he should be batting fourth. He leads the team in home runs anyway, and I wouldn’t mind moving Granderson to the six-hole for a while until he can straighten out his swing and revert back to his pre-Yankees form.

Granderson is here for the long-term and it might be best for all parties involved if Granderson embraced his former self and stop thinking of himself as the 40-home run hitter he once was and the Mets thought they were getting.

Of course, the Mets still need to add another bat in their lineup, whether it be a corner outfielder, shortstop, or first basemen. But for now, batting Duda fourth and moving Granderson down the lineup can be a positive for Curtis’ long-term production.


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Is Bartolo Colon Finding His Groove? Thu, 29 May 2014 19:06:03 +0000 bartolo colon

Bartolo Colon took the mound yesterday afternoon at Citi Field to face the Pittsburgh Pirates, and struck out nine (including the 2,000th of his career), while scattering five hits and only allowing one walk over 7 and 1/3rd’s innings, earning the win.

Colon’s season thus far has been a mixed bag. There have been some outings this season where Colon has looked absolutely dominant, and then there are others where he just hasn’t fooled anybody up there.

However, Colon’s last two outings combined look like this: 15.1 innings pitched, two earned runs allowed, fourteen strikeouts, and only two walks.

This leads to the question: “Is Bartolo Colon finding his groove?” And the answer could most certainly be “yes.”

Last season in Oakland, Colon went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA over 190.1 innings pitched, which earned him a two-year, $20 million dollar deal with the Mets this offseason.

This deal was widely criticized by fans – myself included – because it definitely seemed like an overpay for a 41-year old coming off what could definitely have been a fluky season.

However, the optimism in me thought that if everything broke right, and Colon had a similar season to his 2013 campaign in Oakland, we could flip him for a decent return before next season when Matt Harvey will return, and we will have a surplus of young arms competing for a spot on the team.

Right now, I’m not worried about that, though. If Colon can give us even half of what he did in Oakland, and keeps us in the game every time he pitches, I would be more than happy.

Let’s see what happens. Colon has had two solid outings in a row. Let’s see if he can keep it up when he pitches next in Philadelphia on Monday.


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Shortstop Prospect Amed Rosario Assigned To Savannah Tue, 27 May 2014 19:16:31 +0000 Germán-Ahmed-Rosario

Mets top shortstop prospect Amed Rosario was recently assigned to and now on the Single-A Savannah roster after tearing it up against competition during extended Spring Training in Port St. Lucie, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Rubin adds that it is a planned small stop for the extremely talented shortstop, and he will be starting the 2014 season in Brooklyn on June 13th.

But for now, he will back up Gavin Cecchini in Savannah, as well as play other positions, likely the outfield, due to Champ Stuart going to the DL. Stuart replaced Jared King, who also went to the DL the week before so the team needed fresh bodies.

Rosario was signed in 2012 to a club-record $1.75 million dollar contract as a 16-year old. He has a boatload of talent, possibly developing into an incredible 5-tool shortstop with a large potential especially for power.

He was named by Baseball America as the top prospect of the Appalachian league in 2013, as well as ranking #7 in their top Mets prospects. Rosario is also ranked the Mets #6 prospect on


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ESPN: Management is Ruining the Mets Tue, 27 May 2014 16:33:11 +0000 terry collins sandy alderson

In an article for ESPN Insider (subscription required), Paul Swydan writes that Mets management is ruining the Mets. Among some of his arguments was his view on how Sandy Alderson has handled the team’s still unresolved first base situation, which he believes was the most telling sign that things were going to be bad this season.

The problems started at first base. Despite the fact the team has been watching Ike Davis play baseball for more than half a decade — with most of that time coming in Queens, N.Y. — they needed to wait through spring training and into the first three weeks of the season before finally deciding to trade him.

In theory, you could suppose that the Mets were holding out for a better return in exchange for Davis, but instead they took a 25-year-old relief pitcher in Zack Thornton — who wasn’t even deemed good enough to be selected in a now-diluted Rule 5 draft last winter — and a player to be named later, who will likely be a second-tier prospect from the 2013 draft. Given that the team was trying to trade Davis all offseason, that’s a pretty paltry return.

The salt in the wound is that the Mets may have chosen the wrong first baseman to trade…Given how much time the team took to make the decision, you would hope they would have gotten it right, and so far, it does not appear that they have. 

Entering Monday’s game, Davis was batting .303 in 32 games with a .395 on-base and .824 OPS in 115 plate appearances.

I’m still shocked at how the front office thought it was a good idea to come back with the same exact infield they spent months publicly denigrating as soon as last season ended.

To hear all the negative things they said about Davis, Duda and Ruben Tejada from September through January, and then have the same front office roll into Port St. Lucie in February singing their praises, was kind of tough to digest.


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Time To Pull Plug On Chris Young Experiment Thu, 22 May 2014 13:00:52 +0000 chris young

Guaranteed playing time or not, the Mets commitment to Chris Young should not last too much longer given his recent struggles. At some point the Mets will have to pull the plug on Young and start giving his playing time to more worthy and productive players.

For some odd reason manager Terry Collins decided to put the slumping CY in the cleanup spot during Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to the Dodgers. Young went 0-for-3 with a rally killing double-play in one of those at-bats and a runner stranded in scoring position in another.

Many people, including myself, were unhappy with the Chris Young signing and would of preferred the Mets go after a more proven power bat, such as a Nelson Cruz, who ended up signing a nearly identical contract with the Orioles very late in free agency. Or the money could have been better utilized to fill another need like shortstop.

The Mets came into the season with a logjam of four starting outfielders in CY, Eric Young Jr., Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares, three of whom could play center field. It appeared that the organization had no trust in the up-and-coming Lagares despite his breakthrough defensive season in 2013 and a phenomenal offensive showing in Winter Ball.

However, an early stint on the disabled list for Chris Young changed everything. Lagares stepped in, got a chance to play everyday, and wowed everyone with an electrifying start to the season both in the field and more importantly at the plate as well.

By the time Chris Young returned from the DL, Terry Collins was unwilling to keep Lagares as the everyday center fielder and announced a 4-man outfield rotation that would give everyone equal playing time. However that almost led to a revolt when at one point Collins benched Lagares for three straight games and four of five, prompting outrage from the ticket-buying fans and harsh criticism from writers and analysts.

The situation is still unresolved to this day and Collins is under the microscope before each game as to which three outfielders gets to be in the starting lineup. It’s a tenuous situation.

Granderson is almost a given to be starting everyday because of the Mets’ $60 million dollar commitment to him for the next four years. Lagares continues be the team’s best hitter and with three more hits on Tuesday is now slashing at a .315/.361/.472 for the season. Obviously, his glove has shined and only adds to his value as an everyday centerfielder. Terry Collins has taken a liking to Eric Young Jr., who he says gives the Mets a pure leadoff hitter who can wreak havoc on the base paths. EY has a low .202 batting average and his .311 on-base is hardly leadoff-worthy, however his ability to reach base in the first inning makes him additionally attractive to Collins. EY has a .394 OBP in the first inning of games this year has it proved helpful to get the Mets on the scoreboard early.

Chris Young should be the odd man out at this point. He is producing at a .206/.272/.360 clip this season with only three home runs and 11 RBI.

Sandy Alderson brought in Young this winter in the hopes of him revitalizing his career and bringing some power to Citi Field. Sandy believed that Young’s struggles were attributed to being platooned while in Oakland where he batted .200/.280/.379.

So he gambled $7.5 million that with regular playing time Young would flourish. Sandy was wrong. Perhaps he should have looked at Young’s career righthanded splits, then he would have seen why Billy Beane eventually placed him in a platoon role.

Alderson knew this was a risky signing this winter. If he produced, Alderson looks like a genius but this hasn’t been the case. The Mets preach that they want to win now, and if that’s true Chris Young should be heading to the bench no matter how much playing time he was promised.

The Mets need to stop this four-way outfielder rotation. For now, Granderson and Lagares need to play everyday. If Collins wants to maintain his fixation on EY, then it should be at the expense of Chris Young and not the other two.


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Murphy Among The Elite At Second Base Wed, 14 May 2014 17:04:40 +0000 daniel murphy

Daniel Murphy continued his offensive onslaught on Tuesday night, blasting a three-run homer to help defeat the Yankees 12-7 in the Bronx. He is now batting .320 after a productive two nights at Yankee Stadium.

“He’s gotten hot, and when he gets hot, he is a good hitter,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He’s got power, he’ll hit to all fields.”

As I wrote yesterday, Murphy is currently among the elite at second base and his .840 on-base plus slugging is bested only by the Phillies’ Chase Utley.

After dabbling with Murphy in the cleanup spot last month, Collins has kept Murphy in the two-spot since April 29 and the Irish Hammer has responded.

“I’m seeing the ball pretty well, not trying to do too much,” said Murphy. “And I don’t think it’s an accident that I get more pitches to hit with as well as David’s swinging the bat.”

Lets get that extension paperwork started…

May 13

Second baseman Daniel Murphy was the first one to embrace Ruben Tejada after Sunday’s 5-4 comeback win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

“We just needed a win,’’ said Murphy, who blasted a huge two-run homer in the ninth to bring the Mets within one.

After a solid campaign in 2013, Murphy is well on his way to even bigger things in 2014 and has already amassed a 1.4 fWAR for the season.

With another three hits in yesterday’s contest, Murphy has raised his average to .317, which ranks third among all second basemen in the majors behind Chase Utley and Dee Gordon.

Murphy leads the Mets in almost every offensive categories including hits (46), doubles (12), runs (25), and On-Base Percentage(.367). His .822 OPS is also tops on the team and third best among all MLB second basemen.

Remarkably, Murphy has just 19 strikeouts representing a 12.0 strikeout percentage to lead all the regulars on the team – most of them who strikeout more than twice as much.

What is most surprising about Murphy is the job he’s done defensively at second base. While he’ll never win a gold glove at the position, his range, glove work and instincts at second base have improved so much, it’s no longer the concern it used to be and I’d go as far as saying he’s transformed himself into an average defender.

Back in February, Murphy told reporters that he was open to signing a contract extension with the Mets, however nothing seems to be in the works at this time.

Murph has been on tear of late, batting .375/.444/.648 in his last 11 games with two homers, a triple and seven doubles in 54 plate appearances. 

He has become such an integral part of this team and a leader in the Mets clubhouse. I couldn’t imagine this team without him.

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Mets Promote Eric Campbell, Expected To Start At First Base Tonight Sat, 10 May 2014 13:46:09 +0000 eric campbell

9:20 AM

Terry Collins told reporters he expects Lucas Duda to be unavailable again on Saturday as he continues to recover from a bad case of food poisoning that required hospitalization on Friday.

This means that Eric Campbell could make his major-league debut against the Phillies tonight at first base.

12:30 AM

The New York Mets have announced that Eric Campbell will join the Mets in time for Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.  No corresponding rule was announced, but Adam Rubin says that the likely target headed for AAA will be Josh Satin.

Campbell will need to be added to the 40-Man Roster, but the Mets have an open spot created when they designated Omar Quintanilla for assignment.

Campbell, 27, had a slash-line of .353/.442/.525 in Triple-A Las Vegas this season. After a very impressive Spring and an equally impressive start to his season in Las Vegas, Campbell definitely warrants a call-up.

Satin, 29, will be the man likely headed to Vegas. After a solid campaign in 2013, Satin has gotten off to a dreadful start in 2014, only recording a meager 3 hits in 23 at bats.

Last week, Joe D. wrote the following:

In addition to just a bigger bat, another advantage Campbell has over Satin is his versatility. Predominantly used as a first baseman this season, Campbell has also logged eight games at second base, played all three outfield positions, and had a few starts at third.

Campbell is red-hot right now, going 16-for-44, with a home run and 10 RBI while slashing at .364/.451/.974 in his last ten games.

I would imagine that Satin is currently on a very short leash and unless he breaks out of his funk soon, the Mets could have Campbell ready to join the team in the next 4-7 days.

Well, I’m sure it’s not the last move the Mets are going to be making in the near future. They need to do something, anything to jump start this offense and get back on track and save this season before it’s too late.

We wish you the best and congratulate you on your call-up, Mr. Campbell. Godspeed!

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