Mets Merized Online » Alex Rios Thu, 04 Feb 2016 01:11:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Harvey Wasn’t Very Sharp, Royals Wore Him Down Wed, 28 Oct 2015 12:00:03 +0000 matt harvey

Even though Matt Harvey didn’t have his best stuff last night, he battled for six innings and kept the team in the game. He allowed three runs and five hits while striking out only two batters.

His night started out on a bad note with a homerun to Alcides Escobar on the first pitch of the game, but he quickly settled down and limited the damage. He escaped a jam in the second inning with two runners on, and he even had one stretch where he retired 11 constitutive batters.

However, he appeared to wear down in the 6th inning and gave up the Mets 3-1 lead after yielding two more runs. Terry Collins decided to not let him pitch into the 7th inning despite throwing just 80 pitches.

“I thought when we started the game, he wasn’t real sharp,” Collins said. “His command was off a little bit. As we’ve seen, he had to work so hard to get out of the first couple innings that late in the game, his ball started coming up, and that’s when I thought he was done.”

It wasn’t the dominating type of outing we are used to seeing from Harvey, but it was still a quality performance especially considering the strength of the Royals lineup.

“The scouting report doesn’t lie, what they’re good at, that’s what they do,” Harvey said. “I didn’t throw great. I didn’t have my good stuff. If I kept the two runs off the board in the sixth it might have been a different ball game.”

“I was more upset than anything I couldn’t hold the lead,” Harvey said. He’ll look to rebound and have better results in his next start, which will likely be in Game 5 at Citi Field.

2015 world series logo banner

]]> 0
Alex Rios Dumps Agent, Hires Scott Boras Sat, 01 Nov 2014 16:26:18 +0000 alex rios

Updated November 1

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that free agent outfielder Alex Rios has parted ways with the Kinzer Management Group.and has hired Scott Boras to be his new agent.

The Rangers officially declined Rios’ team option before the switch as the 33-year old outfielder tests free agency for the first time in his career. Rios is projected to get a one year deal for around $7-8 million dollars this offseason.

Several teams have already expressed interest in Rios, but the Mets are not one of them reports Mike Vorkunov of

“The Mets have long been assumed to be looking to upgrade a corner outfield position this offseason and have been reportedly linked with several free agent outfielders. One outfielder on the market who could fit the profile is Alex Rios. The Rangers declined an option on him this month, making him a free agent.”

Rios had a precipitous drop in power this season, hitting just four home runs after averaging 15 homers and 32 doubles in his 11 year career.

Agent Paul Kinzer, who represents Rios, told The Dallas Morning News that the drop in production was due to injuries and that he played hurt during the second half of the season. He did not play after Sept. 4 because of a thumb injury. He also dealt with an ankle injury throughout the second half.

“His numbers were down because of the injuries. He stayed in the lineup and tried to do all he could because of what was happening with the team.”

October 28

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors profiled free-agent Alex Rios, concluding that the 11 year veteran would earn $8.5 million on a one year deal. As we’ve seen from Sandy Alderson, he always prefers short-term contracts over lengthy, multi-year deals. Rios will be on the market and could make a let of sense until players like Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto arrive in 2016 and beyond.

Rios batted .280/.311/.398/.709 in 492 at-bats this season, hitting only four home runs in 131 games. However, he has been a very consistent player over the course of his career, hitting .278/.323/.439/.762 and averaging 17 home runs and 78 RBI. Coming off such a down year is unfortunate for Rios who is in the final year of the seven-year, $70 million contract he signed in 2008.

Chris Young was a one year fiasco and was in a similar position. He was floundering as a player after being highly touted early in his career. The difference is that Rios has a proven track record. His career numbers blow Young’s out of the water. You have to believe that one bad signing that didn’t work out, won’t make Alderson gun shy moving forward.

If the goal is to build from within and wait for Nimmo or Conforto to break through in the bigs, then Rios on a one year deal could make a lot of sense. He’ll be a veteran leader in the clubhouse, hopefully providing a little bit of power to go along with a resurgent David Wright and Curtis Granderson.

Rios alone isn’t the answer, but at one year and $8.5 million he might be too good to pass up for the bargain hunting Sandy Alderson.

mmo footer

]]> 0
Cuddyer Among Some Good Outfield Options For Mets Wed, 23 Oct 2013 15:55:47 +0000 michael-cuddyer-rockies

Could Michael Cuddyer join his best friend David Wright in Flushing?

As we continue our quest for a winning team, we look at acquiring an outfielder.  To begin with, it sounds easier than it really is.  In July, teams traded their players – Alex Rios, Michael Morse, Justin Maxwell – because their chances of competing were slim.  So, you trade today for a shot at tomorrow, theoretically.

However, trading a star player is not easy.  Remember the Keith Hernandez trade?  People were shocked that St. Louis would trade away a player of that caliber.  Teams have difficulty not only in matching up, but most teams take the fan base reaction into account when subtracting from the major league product.

While looking for a trade, it was taken into consideration that a team would not trade unless they:

  1. Improved their overall product
  2. Had quality depth to replace what was subtracted
  3. Want to improve one area more than they are weakening another

What teams have excess outfielders, and who are they?

- Kansas City Royals: Lorenzo Cain and Justin Maxwell

- Colorado Rockies: Michael Cuddyer

- Cleveland Indians: Drew Stubbs

- Milwaukee Brewers: Norichika Aoki

- Oakland A’s:  Steve Smith

- Los Angeles Dodgers:  Andre Ethier

- Los Angeles Angels: Peter Bourjos or Mark Trumbo

Notice, no Carlos Gonzalez, no Matt Kemp, no Ryan Braun. The reason is that those players aren’t easy to replace.

Here’s the problem:  the Mets, and every other team, want to hold onto their best players and only trade from excess.  That’s how the James Shields trade was made last year, that’s how the R.A. Dickey trade was made as well.

We want Kemp, but so does L.A, and they “can” afford his contract.  So, to the fans that think they want to dump the contract, for the Dodgers and their $225 million payroll, $21 million isn’t a problem.

We want CarGo.  OK, but how would Colorado replace him?  They would ask for Harvey/Wheeler and then some; proven player for proven player.  No thanks.

We, um I, want Braun.  Milwaukee would have to be very overwhelmed.  For those people that say the fans of Wisconsin want him out: time heals all wounds, and a nice hot streak can help quiet some of those disgruntled fans.

Before suggesting scenarios, the definition of a fair deal is one that neither side is in love with, but both are willing to do.

Also, the Mets want to hold onto their young pitching.  Therefore, what is left to use?  Daniel Murphy or Wilmer Flores?  Lucas Duda, Josh Satin, or Ike Davis? How many teams are breaking down the doors asking about them? Unless we want to give up some of our little quality, what can we expect to get?

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, TexasGusCC. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 22,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

]]> 0
Mets Get Some Offers On Byrd, Waiting To Hear Back On Counteroffers Wed, 31 Jul 2013 17:47:37 +0000 marlon byrd

7/31  Update

It’s been a very quiet deadline with the Jake Peavy to the Red Sox trade being the loudest shot fired in the last 48 hours. But things are picking up on the Marlon Byrd front, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

The Mets are suddenly getting hits on the veteran outfielder and they have apparently made counteroffers to some clubs and are now waiting to see if anyone budges.

The Pirates are believed to be among the teams interested in Byrd, says Sherman. But a Pirates beat writer said interest is lukewarm at best.

No one seems to be willing to meet the Mets’ asking price, reports Marc Carig of Newsday.

I expect him to still be a Met in two hours which is exactly how I felt two weeks ago…

7/30 Update

  • MLBTRMichael Young will only approve a trade back to the Texas according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  In contrast, Scott Miller of CBS Sports says Red Sox people believe Young would approve a trade there.  The Phillies checked in with Young over the weekend about the Rangers and Red Sox. If Young is being traded, Yankees people say it’s not to them, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
  • ESPN - The Dodgers and Angels are discussing a trade for second baseman Howie Kendrick, but talks are preliminary. The Angels are said to be listening to offers for Kendrick, Erick Aybar, and Alberto Callaspo, and are seeking high quality big league ready pitching in return.
  • Jon Heyman - Boston has been adamant about not including top prospects Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. in deals. But they have about 10 more top-line prospects, including pitchers Matt BarnesBrandon Workman, Henry Owens, Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa and many others. Boston also has done extremely well this year with its strategy to sign several mid-range players after unloading big-money contracts like Carl CrawfordJosh Beckett  and Adrian Gonzalez, and may not be so anxious to get back into the mega-market territory. Though it’s pretty clear they are talking to Philadelphia, the Red Sox also have some interest in third baseman Michael Young.
  • ESPN – The Cubs could move Kevin Gregg and Nate Schierholtz, but are extremely unlikely to trade lefty reliever James Russell and there’s just about zero chance of a Jeff Samardzija trade. Pitchers Ian Kennedy and J.J. Putz of the Diamondbacks and Kyle Farnsworth of the Rays are now available in trade.
  • CSN Chicago - Sounds like White Sox and Pirates are getting close on a deal for Alex Rios. Cash being worked on. Not sure if they can find a middle ground.
  • Joel Sherman - The price for Peavy remains a top 50 prospect in a three or four-player package, according to Sherman. He believes Peavy will be traded, ranking the most likely landing spots as the Cardinals, Red Sox, and A’s.
  • MLBTR – There are no current discussions between the Cardinals and White Sox on Peavy, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. And the D’Backs say they no longer have interest in Peavy with Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill soon returning, adds Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
  • Jon Heyman - The Red Sox are the biggest player in the Cliff Lee derby, sources told, but it remains uncertain how likely it is the Phillies star left-hander will be dealt. If there are other teams heavily involved in talks for Lee, they are doing it in an extremely stealthy manner. But considering the price tag (at least three top prospects) and salary ($70 million), it’s understandable the field would be limited.

More updates to come…

]]> 0
With Suspension Looming For Cruz, The Rangers Should Give Alderson A Call Wed, 31 Jul 2013 16:07:02 +0000 nelson-cruz-texas-rangersMajor League Baseball has reportedly informed the union of the 13 players they intend to suspend in the Biogenesis case, according to the Associated Press. Alex Rodriguez highlights the list of those expected to be punished, however a number of other prominent players face bans that could significantly impact the playoff hunt, forcing several potentially affected teams into a last-minute frenzy for insurance now a mere hours before the 4pm trade deadline.

One of those teams could be the Texas Rangers, who after losing Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Mike Napoli this winter, now stand to lose their All-Star outfielder for the remainder of the season in Nelson Cruz. Already fighting to remain in the Wild Card hunt, the loss of Cruz would prove to be a devastating blow to the Rangers’ chances.

With the Mets playoff hopes fading, even given their recent improvement in play, it would behoove them to seriously consider moving Marlon Byrd to replace Cruz at right field in Arlington, granted if the price is right.

The Tigers, in a similar situation as Texas, traded one of their top prospects in Avisail García last night in a three team deal that landed them shortstop Jose Iglesias. With a suspension lurking overhead for Jhonny Peralta, GM David Dombrowski decided to take no chances with his team in the thick of a pennant race.

With it seeming ever more likely that Nelson Cruz will miss significant time due to the Biogenesis scandal, the Rangers need to act fast. They have already shown their willingness to mortgage the future for the here-and-now, exemplified by the recent Matt Garza trade, and if the asking price on Alex Rios is too high, their next call should be Sandy Alderson regarding Marlon Byrd.

]]> 0
Trade Ideas: Marlon Byrd for Joe Nathan Mon, 29 Jul 2013 21:00:05 +0000 byrd hrAh, the trading deadline; my favorite time of year. It’s the midseason plot point where words like “blockbuster” are thrown around like clothes in a dryer and can change the fate of any team.

I don’t think a blockbuster is in the Mets’ near future. I do believe there are trades that can be made if Sandy Alderson decides to lift his backside from his chair and pull his hands out.

One idea I’ve been pondering is trading Marlon Byrd for Texas Rangers reliever Joe Nathan.nathan

Nathan, 38, has been reported on the trade block for the last few days now. In 44 games for the Rangers this season, he’s 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 44 strike outs and 11 walks.

It’s also been reported that the Rangers are looking for another right-handed power bat in the lineup. That’s been made all too obvious by their recent admissions that they would actually play Manny Ramirez. I’d like to think that Byrd is a step up for the Rangers from Ramirez.

Byrd also has some experience playing in Texas. He spent some of his best years there, including a career-best, 20-home-run-89-RBI season. Byrd hit .283 that year, which is right around the average he’s at now. The Rangers are familiar with Byrd. I would think they would rather plug him in than a deteriorating Ramirez. It’s a low-risk acquisition that also allows them to not have to eat up what remains of Alex Rios’ seven-year, $69.835 million contract, a player they also considered pursuing according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. Heyman also mentioned that the Rangers were looking at Byrd as a backup plan if a Rios deal fell through.

The beauty is that Byrd won’t have to play in the outfield every day in the American League. Byrd has played a great right field, which will only add to his current value, but we’ve seen the effects of playing every day on Byrd. Despite that, he’s still batting .281 with a career-high in slugging percentage (.513). That slugging, in part, comes from the 17 home runs, 17 doubles and three triples he’s already hit. He’s on pace to surpass his season-high home run total (20). With 59 RBIs to this point, he could also break that season-high RBI total (89).

What all this means is that Byrd would be a good addition to a Rangers lineup that is sure to be buyers at the deadline. Whether Byrd could net Nathan is another matter. I think the trade can benefit each team. The fear is that Nathan is an old reliever that may not last long enough to make an impact with the Mets in years to come. I’m not saying the Mets should pursue this trade with vigor, but it poses an interesting scenario for them before the deadline. It’s a longshot, but as we know, anything can happen at the trade deadline.

What do you think about trading Byrd to the Rangers for Nathan?

]]> 0
Flores Working Hard To Prove Doubters Wrong On Defense Thu, 18 Jul 2013 15:47:43 +0000 wilmer flores ready

So in yesterday’s MiLB Report, Adam Rubin noted that Wilmer Flores would miss the Triple-A All-Star game with an ankle injury — but the injury itself is considered to be minor. It’s bad timing for Flores, but his longterm health is more important than one exhibition game. One of the things that might have went by the boards in the report, however, was this…

After primarily playing second base with the 51s this season, four of Flores’ past seven starts in the field have come at first base. Terry Collins said he was not aware of any organizational directive to use Flores at first base, but added it makes sense since it is unlikely Daniel Murphy will be dislodged from second base at the major league level anytime soon.

Mets insiders have been highly critical of Flores’ range at second base and note he has difficulty getting back to his feet after diving. But Las Vegas observers do say Flores has worked hard and has shown at least moderately improved range as the season has progressed.

Well, this is interesting. I was very critical of Murphy’s defense when he was first slotted in at second base — and yet he’s improved to become an average second baseman, who flashes the leather with some above-average plays at times. There’s no question about Flores’ offensive talent, but rather only about what position he will play. If Murphy won’ be “dislodged” from second any time soon, it means the organization is losing faith in Ike Davis and has little faith in Josh Satin to move Flores to first. This is not a big shocker at this point, as Flores demonstrates higher offensive potential than Satin and Ike has been heavily slumping all year.

I will say that I believe this Flores saga will lead to a trade somehow. If Flores is called up to play first base alone and succeeds, we might see the Mets use him as a trade chip — while they could also dangle Murphy in a trade and slot Flores in at second. My colleague Teddy K. suggested that the Mets go after Alex Rios, which I think is a solid idea.

I guess it’s just food for thought this morning…

Thoughts From Joe D.

I spoke to a scout who has watched Flores extensively since he arrived to Binghamton last season. Last month he told me and I reported here on MMO, that these claims he can’t play second base adequately are unfounded and overrated.

He said, “aside from some limitation on range which continues to improve, he does everything you want defensively at second base.”

Three weeks ago, Sandy Alderson said pretty much the same thing. “He has soft hands, a strong arm and he can turn the double play. His range is no worse than Daniel Murphy‘s who we are quite happy with defensively.”

I’m tired of hearing non-baseball people knock Flores for his defense when the baseball people say the exact opposite.

Flores, 21, may go down as the number one offensive player this team has developed since David Wright and Jose Reyes when all is said and done.

And just like Miguel Cabrera at third base, nobody will be complaining about his defense anymore when he finally gets here and establishes himself. And you could say you heard it here first two years ago.

Wilmer Flores

]]> 0
MMO Exclusive: Willie Randolph Likes What He Sees With Mets Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:00:45 +0000 Baseball all-star Willie Randolph, right, and Jared "The SUBWAY Guy"  ride the 7 train while giving out the new limited edition SUBWAY bag that encourages healthier lifestyles on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision for SUBWAY/AP Images)

Baseball all-star Willie Randolph, right, and Jared “The SUBWAY Guy” ride the 7 train while giving out the new limited edition SUBWAY bag(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision for SUBWAY/AP Images)

The guys over at IMG and Subway were kind enough to allow me to attend a Media Event through MetsMerized, where I got to meet Jared (“The Subway Guy”) and our former manager, Willie Randolph. Right off the bat, I took one look at Randolph and realized that he doesn’t seem to have aged at all — slap a Mets cap on the man and he looks the same as he did when we let him go ever so unceremoniously. Randolph presided over what was the most enjoyable time period of my Mets fandom to date, so I was very excited to meet him and talk to him a little.

CAM00371The whole event was coordinated to promote Subway’s new sandwich bag, which has an insulated pocket to ensure the ultimate sandwich quality… I could be a company man, huh? Randolph and Jared were working together to promote said creation, so they made any sandwiches that the media requested and stuck around for interviews. So yeah, I was lucky enough to get a sandwich made by Jared and Willie Randolph, who proceeded to sign my new Subway Bag. At this point, I was already pretty happy.

But luckily for me, my afternoon wasn’t over. I had the chance to talk to Randolph for a few minutes, and wouldn’t you know — he still follows the Mets religiously. There was a rush of people looking for interview time and photos, so I didn’t get to ask him too much, but I loved the answers he gave me.

SR: Mr. Randolph, it’s a pleasure to be able to talk to you. I think I speak for a lot of people, myself included, when I say that we really do miss you around the Mets. Do you still keep track of the Mets in any way?

WR: Oh yeah, I definitely do. David Wright is one of my favorite people, and I got to coach him in the WBC, which was great. And I’ve been looking at some of the talent they have — they’ve got some good young talent coming up. I love Matt Harvey and guys like Hefner who are coming into form, they’re really enjoyable to watch. I’m looking forward to seeing what Wheeler can do as he starts to develop, and I think they have a nice core coming together very soon. I was lucky enough to build a relationship with a guy like David, who I think can nurture some of these young players along.

SR: I’m really glad to hear that you still keep tabs on the Mets — can you tell me what you think about their future and what direction they’re headed in?

WR: Well, I think they’re headed in the right direction, but from year to year, you have be willing to make adjustments to your situation. Right now, their offense is lacking, and they could really do with a power hitting outfielder. Outside of that, the shortstop situation is something that needs to be remedied, and the catching situation could use a little clarity. You know, you make small steps towards the future. It’s not always the best way to get things done, but that’s what they have to do right now.

SR: Thanks a lot for your time, Mr. Randolph. Before I step away, outside of Yankee Stadium, what was your favorite ballpark to play in?

WR: Actually, I used to love the old ballpark in Baltimore — Memorial Stadium. It was an old-school stadium, but for some reason, I always felt like I hit really well when I played there.

Willie was absolutely a gentleman throughout the entire event — and it shocked me to hear how aware he was of our situation. That’s a real New Yorker right there… It’s also refreshing to hear a baseball man that I trust say that we’re headed in the right direction — and saying word-for-word that we need a power hitting outfielder should be a wake-up call to Alderson. Hell, Alex Rios maybe?

We could always use a guy like Willie Randolph around our team to help create a culture of winning again. I want to thank IMG, Subway, and Willie Randolph and Jared themselves for their time and the opportunity. 

Willie  Randolph, Jared Fogle

]]> 0
Harvey Tosses Nine Scoreless and K’s 12 In Dramatic 1-0 Walkoff Win For Amazins’ Wed, 08 May 2013 12:00:19 +0000 Look at that scoreboard and count all of them zeroes!

matt harvey

What an amazing game tonight by the ace of the staff Matt Harvey who tossed nine scoreless innings tonight as the Mets beat the Chicago White Sox by the score of 1-0 on a tenth inning walk-off double by pinch hitter Mike Baxter.

The Mets phenom took a perfect game into the seventh inning until Alex Rios hit a grounder deep in the hole to Ruben Tejada who turned fired to first, but not in time as Rios beat the throw by half a step. Damn it!

Still, it was just another dominating performance in what has been a season full of them for Matt Harvey. The young right-hander struck out a career high twelve batters on the night and was absolutely electric.

The Mets offense was silenced most of the night by White Sox starter and Newark, New Jersey native Hector Santiago who was matching zeroes with Harvey and going toe to toe with him.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the tenth that the Mets broke through after a walk by Ike Davis who was then sacrificed to second on a perfect bunt by the rookie, Juan Lagares.

Terry Collins called on Mike Baxter to pinch hit and he quickly laced the ball into the right field corner as Ike Davis raced home and scored the winning run.

mike baxter

It was one of those games that you were happy to not have missed and hopefully all of you were tuned in and as amped up as I was. This one gave me goosebumps!

The Mets wrap up their short two game series tomorrow evening at 7:10 PM with Jeremy Hefner on the mound.

]]> 0
MMO Mailbag: Twins Willing To Trade? Fri, 21 Dec 2012 16:00:25 +0000 With the Mets still on the hunt for an outfield, we received the following e-mail from Phil:

I can’t believe the Mets haven’t traded for Josh Willingham yet. After some injury issues he averaged .253/.350/.501 with 64 HRs the last two years. At worst, he’s slightly better defensively than Duda. I kept hearing the Twins would be looking for a #4 or 5 pitcher in return. Isn’t two years of Willingham worth a Dillon Gee? Or Familia + a mid-level arm? The Twins won 66 games last year so I doubt they’re too attached to a 33-year-old LF earning $14 mil through 2014. In Queens he’d ALMOST legitimize the Mets lineup. Should the Mets be as interested as I am?

First, I really like Willingham from the days he played in Florida. He’s not a spectacular player, just solid and consistent. Back in July, I even suggested that the Mets check in on Willingham. The problem there was they still had Jason Bay under contract.josh2

Willingham turns 34 this February, and will be making $7m in 2013 and 2014. Despite his age concerns, he had a pretty solid 2012 season. Target Field isn’t exactly known for being homerun friendly, yet he managed to hit 21 HR at home (35 in total).

The problem as I see it is you’re still stuck with figuring out what to do with Lucas Duda. I think we saw enough to know that Duda is not a right fielder, the problem is, neither is Willingham. Willingham is a below average fielder and came up as a 3B with Florida. He was moved to LF for a few reasons, none of them were because he’d be a good outfielder. Including the minor leagues, Willingham has played RF 39 times.

Now, I want to be clear. I think he’s a better hitter than Duda. However, I am not sure how much of a drastic difference he can bring the Mets in 2013 and 2014 compared to Duda. I say this because I don’t think you can put Duda and Willingham in the same outfield.

When the Phillies acquired Revere from Minnesota’s Jim Salisbury reported that the Phillies also tried to get Willingham in the deal but Minnesota wouldn’t make the move. So if a team desperate to win a championship in 2013 couldn’t get the right price for Willingham, what does that say about the Mets chances? That tells me that Minnesota isn’t looking to deal him right now.

The problem for the Mets with regards to the outfield is that next year’s free agent class is not too attractive. I like Hunter Pence, but is he the answer? I like Ellsbury, but he doesn’t solve the power needs in the lineup.

I’m not excited at all about the thought of possibly signing Scott Hairston to be an every day player. I think his numbers from last year prove he performed much better when he was not a starter. So if a free agent like Cody Ross is not brought to Citi Field, then I think the Mets need to look at 3 right fielders in the trade market.

Alex Rios – The right handed hitting White Sox outfielder is making $12.5m for the next two seasons with a 2015 team option. In 2012 he hit .304 with 25 HR, 91 RBI, and a .850 OPS. The problem with Rios is that he seems to go to the school of Mike Pelfrey when it comes to consistency. What I mean by that is, he has one very good year, followed by a stinker. 2012 good, 2011 stinker, 2010 good, 2009 stinker. He doesn’t play an amazing RF, but he plays an average RF.

Michael Cuddyer – Another right handed bat, Cuddyer is signed for $10.5m in 2013 and 2014. Cuddyer brings a little bit of versatility in the field. He’s by no means a good fielder, I’d say slightly below average. What he does do though is give the Mets an opportunity to play him at 1B on occasion or even at 2B or 3B if necessary. Cuddyer battled through injuries in the 2nd half of 2012. Most of his trouble stemmed from a strained oblique.

Justin Upton – I’ve been on the record more than a few time saying I am concerned that Upton’s offensive production is more a product of his friendly park than his own talent. His numbers since 2011 back me up. Or do they? 2011 was the first year that Upton’s name was seriously thrown out on the public trade market. 2011 was also the year the Arizona fans began to boo their starting RF. There have been claims that at times those boos turned into racial taunts – very inexcusable  However, I doubt every night he got booed there was racial overtones involved. So his reaction by saying he “doesn’t care” what the fans think really concerns me when you talk about playing for the Mets.

For my money though, Upton is the best bet based on the market and availability of corner OFs. I think you’d pay a similar price for somebody like Rios based on Chicago’s season expectations, so why not bump the offer up a bit and go for the bigger reward? Perhaps a change of scenery and playing with a childhood friend can help Upton reach his potential? Offering something like Flores, Havens, Familia and even Den Dekker perhaps? I’m not sure if that gets it done? I will say one thing, if this were to happen (and I don’t think it will) you’ll see a drastic change of tone from a lot of Mets fans when talking about the future of this ball club.

Moving Forward – The Mets are stuck in the outfield right now. This is why you’re going to see stories about the Mets kicking the tires on somebody like Grady Sizemore. The corner OF spots were once thought to be an easy find, but if you look around both the Mets, Phillies and even the Yankees are stuck with little to no power in the corner. Figuring this out will be a truly big task for the Mets over the next year.

I’m not sure what the answer is right now, but I am pretty sure it’s not trading for Willingham which would give the Mets two poor fielding left fielders – with one of them forced to play RF.

Thanks for the e-mail Phil, and keep em coming!

mmo mailbag

]]> 0
White Sox Get Alex Rios, Give Up Nothing In Return Mon, 10 Aug 2009 23:16:46 +0000 Brace yourself my friends…

According to the Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, the White Sox have acquired Alex Rios from the Blue Jays.

It’s a straight waiver claim, so the Blue Jays will receive nothing in return. Says Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi:

“This allows us to get out from under a contract and do more to address our club.”

ESPN is now confirming.

Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios has been claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox, sending him to a contending team and giving Toronto financial flexibility.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi announced the move Monday night, about 30 minutes before the Blue Jays were scheduled to play the New York Yankees. Rios was in the initial starting lineup when he learned the news.

Toronto did not receive any compensation for the two-time All-Star, who is batting .264 with 14 homers and 62 RBIs in 108 games.

Chicago began the night three games back of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

The 28-year-old Rios is owed about $60 million dollars over the next six years, which will take him through the 2014 season with a club option for 2015.

I think you all know my thoughts on Alex Rios, so I won’t go there. Needless to say, I am very disappointed. I guess this proves that the Mets and the Wilpons are flat broke.

UPDATE: Thanks to Amazin86er, for letting me know that waivers goes last to first per league, and not overall. So, the Mets couldn’t have claimed him unless he passed through the AL first. That said, in July I wrote that Rios could be had for a marginal player as the Blue Jays wanted to shed his contract. The Mets could have gotten him for nothing at the deadline and didn’t, so it’s clear that the money was an issue and will continue to be an issue from now on.

]]> 0
Alex Rios Claimed On Waivers Fri, 07 Aug 2009 22:26:38 +0000 Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that a waiver claim has been placed on Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Alex Rios by an unknown team..

The 28-year-old Rios is batting .261 with 12 homers and 58 RBIs this season. He has a hefty contract that is paying him $5.9 million this season, $9.7 million in 2010, $12 million in 2011, $12 million in 2012, $12.5 million in 2013 and $12.5 million in 2014.

Once a player is claimed on waivers, they have on of three options.

• They could work out a trade with the team that claimed him.

• They could pull him back from waivers, and keep him for themselves the rest of this season.

• They could simply allow the team that claimed him to take him, at no cost.

The early speculation was that either the Red Sox, Giants or Mets were the mystery team, but according to Joel Sherman via his Twitter account, the Mets are not involved whatsoever.

A high-ranking Mets official assured me it was not them.

I didn’t think the Mets would be interested simply because it would have made too much sense for them. In case you haven’t noticed, common sense hasn’t exactly been one of the Mets’ strongest suits this season.

Too bad…

The Blue Jays have until Tuesday to decide which way they want to go.

Joe D. wrote extensively about Rios back on July 3rd when the Mets still had a fighting chance. He writes,

The Blue Jays are strapped for cash and at the same time the team wants to make an offer to their ace pitcher Roy Halladay who wants to finish his career in Toronto. Rios has a huge contract that they need to unload, and it’s for that reason that he wouldn’t cost much in the way of prospects or players in return.

In his last three full seasons, Rios has hit .296 with 56 homers, 245 RBI, 64 stolen bases, 273 runs scored, 123 doubles, and 21 triples.

Currently he is batting .260 with 19 doubles, 9 homers, 37 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases. He is just 28 years old.

How can anyone say that this one bat would not make a difference?

Plus, he wouldn’t be a rental player as he is signed through 2014 at an average of $12 million dollars annually. He will only be 33 in the final year of that contract, and there is an option for 2015. 

He can play rightfield, and also plays a solid centerfield and can give Beltran’s knee a rest when needed to keep him fresh for the stretch run. 

Alex Rios’ career numbers are actually quite similar to Beltran’s numbers before he was traded to the Astros.

All I’m trying to impress on you is to forget that notion that one trade is not going to help. One player has made the difference plenty of times in baseball, and this could be another one of those times.

Let’s not gamble on the unpredictable returns of Reyes, Beltran and Delgado, and hope we are still in what has now become a four team race in the NL East.

Let’s do the right thing and give these fightin’ Mets a chance now… while they still have an opportunity to take this division in July.

We have fought too hard, and endured too much to just leave our play-off hopes to the slim chance that more reinforcements will arrive in time.

]]> 0
To Buy Or Not To Buy: That Is The Question Wed, 22 Jul 2009 10:00:10 +0000 Welcome, class.  Today we will discuss whether the Mets should become buyers or sellers at next week’s trade deadline.  We will consider every option before making our final decision.  We will look at the standings in the National League East and the Wild Card race and we will look at which players might be made available for trading purposes.  We will also look at which players the Mets might be willing to part with should they decide to be buyers.  Now, if you’ll all take your seats, we can begin our discussion.

With a 44-49 record, the Mets are in fourth place in the National League East, a full 10 games behind the first place Phillies and within striking distance of the Braves and Marlins.  While they are closer to the Wild Card lead than the division lead, trailing the Rockies by 6½ games, the Mets have to pass eight teams to wrest the lead away from Colorado.  This puts them in a precarious situation, where they’re not officially out of it, but they also know the road to the 2009 playoffs is covered with plenty of potholes and detours that could very well cause the Mets to miss the boat, regardless of what they do.

There appeared to be some discussion about Roy Halladay, although no names were actually bandied about.  I don’t think acquiring Halladay would make much sense for the 2009 season.  Halladay will probably make no more than 13 or 14 starts between now and the end of the season.  He is an excellent pitcher, but no one would expect him to go 13-0 or 14-0 in those starts.  Assuming two or three no-decisions, at best he’d go 10-2.  By himself, he would not be enough to push the Mets past the Phillies, meaning they’d also have to get more players in the deal or in a separate deal.  That would surely deplete the farm system of all its talent.  The Mets would be better off showcasing Jon Niese in the majors for the rest of the season and hope he continues his strong pitching with the big club.  Then, if Halladay hasn’t signed a long-term deal with whichever team he winds up with, Niese would become more attractive in a deal and the Mets might not need to part with four or five prospects to get him before the start of the 2010 season.

The list of pitchers who can file for free agency after the 2009 season does not have many top starters.  Some pitchers, like Josh Beckett and Cliff Lee, have reasonable club options for 2010.  Cliff Lee is an intriguing pitcher.  He is currently pitching for the underachieving Cleveland Indians.  As with Halladay, the Mets might have to part with a number of prospects to acquire him.  The Mets would be better off waiting until the offseason if they want to become serious players for Cliff Lee.

If the Mets think they have any chance of making one last run in 2009, they should focus more on hitters than pitchers.  With the way the Phillies are playing, it is clear that the Mets cannot wait for their hitters to return from the disabled list.  Although they are good players, the Angel Pagans and the Daniel Murphys and the Alex Coras are not going to lead any team into the postseason alone.  They need players who can drive the ball for extra base hits.  It’s clear the Mets are not a home run hitting team, but the team they’re putting on the field now isn’t even an extra base hitting team.  The Mets might hit for average, but when that average is boosted by a string of singles, it’s going to take three hits per inning to score just one run.  That’s not going to help any team contend.  Just to throw some names out there, perhaps an Adam Dunn or an Alex Rios could be acquired.  They won’t cost the Mets the farm system and can help the team beyond 2009.

Some people might not like Dunn because of his high strikeout total.  He does strike out quite a bit, but doesn’t it seem like more Met rallies have been killed by double plays than strikeouts?  All year, the Mets have been at or near the top of the league in fewest strikeouts, even with David Wright racking up all those frequent whiffer miles.  Dunn is much more of a fly ball hitter than ground ball hitter, so there’s less of a chance for him to end a rally with a double play ball.  Although I never want to see a Mets player strike out, I’ll always take a strikeout over an inning-ending double play.

Alex Rios is another player who can drive the ball into gaps, as evidenced by his 22 doubles, two triples and 10 HR this season.  As a bonus, he has been gifted with excellent speed and can beat out more than his share of potential double play grounders.

Both Dunn and Rios are playing for teams that are no longer in contention.  They will not be dealt for a bag of marbles, but the Mets won’t have to empty out their farm system for them either.  As each day passes and the Mets continue to watch the Phillies and Rockies put up Ws, their playoff hopes are becoming more bleak.  Even if the Mets continue to lose ground before the trade deadline, they don’t have to be sellers.  However, if they are going to be buyers, it’ll have to be for players who will help them for more than just the remainder of the 2009 season.  Otherwise, there’s no point in being either a buyer or a seller.  Class dismissed!

]]> 0
Mark Teahen Is Good To Go Mon, 20 Jul 2009 13:53:24 +0000 Since the season started and we got socked with all these injuries, I really haven’t sounded the alarm as far as trades go. I don’t really subscribe to the notion of trading prospects for rental players.

The only player I had any interest in acquiring, and one that I devoted an entire blog to, has been Alex Rios. I like Rios because he is young, talented, filled a big need for us, and most importantly, he was under contract for another five seasons.

I just took a good look at some of the players rumored to be available on sites like ESPN and MLBTR, and I gotta tell ya, I’m now willing add Mark Teahen’s name right along side that of Alex Rios as far as guys I’d like to see the Mets go after.

Teahen is a former first round pick of the Oakland A’s and was traded to the Royals as part of that blockbuster 3-team trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the Houston Astros.

Last month, Peter Gammons wrote that the Mets were one of several teams that were interested in Royals infielder Mark Teahen.

The 27–year-old Teahen is hitting .299 with a .355 OBP, 9 HR, 35 RBI, 42 R, and 20 doubles in 88 games for the Royals. He is not your prototypical power hitter, but can spray the ball to all fields, has a good line drive swing that may work well in Citi Field, will hit plenty of doubles, and probably hit 15-20 homers a season.

Defensively, he has played mostly third base, but has also filled in at first, second and right field. His versatility would be perfect for the Mets right now. He has made seven errors all season,

Teahen is eligible for arbitration for the next two seasons, after which he can become a free agent. Already earning in excess of $3 million dollars, most don’t believe the Royals will keep him around and pay him the $4 – $5 million plus he is expected to get next season in arbitration.

The Royals have been rumored to be shopping Teahen since last off season, and he is not expected to command the type of prospects you would have to give up for Matt Holliday.

Obviously, Teahen wouldn’t be a cure-all for the Mets. Nobody out there is. Teahen can give the Mets a young, solid everyday player, who can play a number of positions, and give the Mets some more offense.

Teahen is the type of player that the Mets need to target going forward. The problem with the Mets is that they either have all star caliber players or below average players. That’s not how you build a team. Omar has a bad habit of targeting the biggest star he could get each off season to fill whatever hole he needs to fill at the time.

He ignores solid players like Randy Wolf, Orlando Hudson, Bobby Abreu and a host of others because they don’t have that star appeal.

I was encouraged by Omar’s trade for Jeff Francoeur who seems to be the only Met driving in runs since his acquisition. It reminded me of the Xavier Nady trade which I also liked a lot. Mark Teahen is another one of those young players who can grow with a team and get better with age.

For now though, Teahen would give the Mets some instant needed relief at a reasonable price, and he would be under the Mets control for 2 1/2 more seasons.

]]> 0
Roy Halladay, Alex Rios And The Mets Thu, 09 Jul 2009 20:27:47 +0000

On Monday, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that Blue Jays GM, J.P. Ricciardi is willing to listening to offers for the ace of their rotation, RHP Roy Halladay. Needless to say, before long the blogosphere was buzzing with all sorts of hypothetical trades. As one of our readers wrote, when someone like Halladay comes along you don’t think about it, you go out and get him.

Ken Davidoff of Newsday, spoke to the Blue Jays GM and confirmed what Rosenthal first reported.

“Halladay is signed through next year, and there’s very little chance that he’ll stick with the Jays after that. Toronto is not going to make the playoffs this year. So, he’ll listen to offers.”

Obviously, besides the Mets at least a dozen other teams have interest in Halladay. The Blue Jays reportedly want at least three top prospects according to several reports. Matt Cerrone guessed it could take Fernando Martinez, Wilmer Flores and Brad Holt.

Toronto will not trade him within his division, so the Red Sox and Yankees are out, but the Phillies are already in contact with Ricciardi.

Last week the Blue Jays also hinted that they would trade both Alex Rios and Vernon Wells, so that they could free up money to sign Halladay, so something must have transpired for the Blue Jays to shift their position so quickly.

Last week I wrote extensively about how the Mets should go after Alex Rios.

In his last three full seasons, Rios has hit .296 with 56 homers, 245 RBI, 64 stolen bases, 273 runs scored, 123 doubles, and 21 triples.

Currently he is batting .260 with 19 doubles, 10 homers, 46 RBI, 41 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases. He is just 28 years old.

How can anyone say that this one bat would not make a difference?

Plus, he wouldn’t be a rental player as he is signed through 2014 at an average of $12 million dollars annually. He will only be 33 in the final year of that contract, and there is an option for 2015. 

He can play rightfield, and also plays a solid centerfield and can give Beltran’s knee a rest when needed to keep him fresh for the stretch run. 

As for Roy Halladay, a 1-2 punch of Halladay and Johan Santana would be the most lethal in baseball. It would certainly give the Mets the edge in any short series in the post season. He would certainly be a difference maker. The question is are we willing to give up F-Mart, Brad Holt (or Bobby Parnell), and Wilmer Flores to acquire him.

I’ve seen enough of F-Mart to know that while he might be an above average player in five years, the Mets are a “win-now” team. By the time F-Mart or Wilmer Flores are ready, Carlos Beltran and K-Rod will be gone, Johan will be on the downside of his career, Reyes would be a free agent, you get the picture.

Do you want to win now, while Wright, Beltran, Johan, K-Rod and Reyes are in their prime?

Or do you want to keep F-Mart and company and wait a few years for another golden opportunity to present itself?

The Mets would be lucky if just one of those prospects actually made it, let alone all three.

Can you recall the four top prospects we gave up for Johan?

Surely you haven’t forgotten our former top ten prospects Deolis Guerra (4.63 in AA), Philip Humber (6.69 ERA in AAA), Kevin Mulvey (4.17 ERA, 1.51 WHIP in AAA) and Carlos Gomez who is batting .218 for the Twins…

]]> 0
Can The Mets Hold Down The Fort Until More Troops Arrive? Fri, 03 Jul 2009 23:49:49 +0000 To begin, let me first commend the Mets on the remarkable fight and resiliency they displayed yesterday at PNC Park where they beat the Pirates 9-8 in ten innings. I thought they showed remarkable courage and fight under some intense adversity.

These days, the Mets are not only faced with the challenge of battling the opposing team, but also must contend with the ghosts of two collapses, a media that loves to pour on the heat, and a fan base that has become far too impatient and angry. That’s a lot of things they have to overcome each time they take the field, and yet they manage to do it with a team comprised mostly of backups, aging veterans, and players that were called up from the minors long before they were major league ready.

And despite these overwhelming odds, the Mets find themselves just one game out of first place as they begin a crucial three game series against their latest arch rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Don’t expect the Mets to get much brotherly love in this city, unless we can get as many Mets fans to attend these games, as there were Phillies fans the last time these two teams met at Citi Field. The Phillies took two of three back then.

As much as I love the incredible toughness this team has shown, I have doubts as to whether they can continue to stay afloat in this race without some help. The brave souls who defended the Alamo showed amazing toughness and heart too, but that wasn’t enough for them to hold down the fort. By the time the reinforcements showed up, it was unfortunately too late.

I find that the Mets are in that same situation, and it’s not just the Phillies that worry me, it’s the suddenly resurgent Braves and the always pesky Marlins that the Mets must overcome as well.

The Mets need some help now. That silly, and in my opinion ignorant, argument that one trade isn’t going to help the Mets does not hold water with me.

The addition of a big bat in this lineup would make a big difference. It made a difference for the Dodgers(Ramirez) last year, it made a difference for the Astros in 2004 (Beltran), and it made a difference for the Mets when they traded for Donn Clendenon who helped them win the division and then hit three big homers in four games in the 1969 World Series.

One bat will also allow the rest of the team to breathe easier, especially David Wright who has taken the world upon his shoulders at 26-years old.

Andrew Marchand of 1050 ESPN writes,

An MLB executive familiar with the Mets’ thinking tells me that the Mets have no plans to make any major trades right now. They feel as if they will improve themselves before the July 31st trading deadline more than anyone in baseball. By then, the Mets think that Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, John Maine and Oliver Perez could be back. In August, Carlos Delgado could return.

The Mets might actually believe that all these players will return sometime this month, but what if they’re wrong? It’s no secret they the Mets have a terrible track record when it comes to forecasting an injured players return.from the disabled list.

Would it be that terrible to go out and get a guy like outfielder Alex Rios who is on the block and seems to be perfectly suited for a park like CitiField?

The Blue Jays are strapped for cash and at the same time the team wants to make an offer to their ace pitcher Roy Halladay who wants to finish his career in Toronto. Rios has a huge contract that they need to unload, and it’s for that reason that he wouldn’t cost much in the way of prospects or players in return.

In his last three full seasons, Rios has hit .296 with 56 homers, 245 RBI, 64 stolen bases, 273 runs scored, 123 doubles, and 21 triples.

Currently he is batting .260 with 19 doubles, 9 homers, 37 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases. He is just 28 years old.

How can anyone say that this one bat would not make a difference?

Plus, he wouldn’t be a rental player as he is signed through 2014 at an average of $12 million dollars annually. He will only be 33 in the final year of that contract, and there is an option for 2015. 

He can play rightfield, and also plays a solid centerfield and can give Beltran’s knee a rest when needed to keep him fresh for the stretch run. 

Alex Rios’ career numbers are actually quite similar to Beltran’s numbers before he was traded to the Astros.

When Carlos Beltran does come back, we can simply slide Rios over to leftfield so that we can use Sheffield off the bench or platoon him with Ryan Church in right field.

All I’m trying to impress on you is to forget that notion that one trade is not going to help. One player has made the difference plenty of times in baseball, and this could be another one of those times.

Let’s not gamble on the unpredictable returns of Reyes, Beltran and Delgado, and hope we are still in what has now become a four team race in the NL East.

Let’s do the right thing and give these fightin’ Mets a chance now… while they still have an opportunity to take this division in July.

We have fought too hard, and endured too much to just leave our play-off hopes to the slim chance that more reinforcements will arrive in time.

Hey Omar… Remember the Alamo!

]]> 0