Mets Merized Online » Alex Rodriguez Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:47:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 MLB, MLBPA Announce Changes to Joint Drug Agreement Fri, 28 Mar 2014 20:20:38 +0000 (Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports)

Major League Baseball and the players association announced changes today to their Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment program, lengthening suspensions for players caught across the board, likely in response to the PR nightmare the league experienced last summer.

Some of the notable changes are as follows:

  • First time offenders will now be suspended for 80 games as opposed to 50.
  • Second time offenders will now sit out an entire 162 games, and will not be paid at all for an entire 183 day league year. This is up from 100 games.
  • Players caught even just once will be subjected to extra testing for the rest of their careers.
  • Players testing positive will no longer be allowed to play in the postseason in that season.
  • Players will now have access to particular supplements that will not cause positive tests. These supplements will be supplied by teams.

Third time offenders will still be permanently banned from baseball.

All of this comes after a disastrous round of suspensions last season, which included Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and Jhonny Peralta. Peralta’s situation was especially controversial as he was, after he served his suspension, allowed to return to his team for postseason play. Under the new rules, this type of situation can’t happen again.

League drug policies have come under intense scrutiny over the past year, with many critics saying the punishments aren’t harsh enough. Before today, the league and union hadn’t updated their drug policies since 2006, and players like Ryan Braun (and presumably others) have evaded the system. This still may not be enough to stop drug use completely (only a lifetime ban for first time use can do that), but it may deter drug use at least a little bit more, and every little bit helps.

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A Little Advice for A-Rod Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:00:55 +0000 alex rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez Plans To Appeal Arbitrator’s Decision

A-Rod, I have a little bit of unsolicited advice.

Just say, “My bad.”

You see, the American public is very forgiving. Fess up, take your medicine, and we’ll eventually come back around. Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it – so what have we learned from history?

Jason Giambi said “My bad.” He took his boos and eventually, we stopped caring he was tied up in the BALCO scandal and he was even being considered for the Rockies manager position last year before he decided to keep on playing.

Barry Bonds did not say “My bad.” Look at him.

Andy Pettitte said, “My bad.” He was given a hero’s welcome.

Roger Clemens did not say “My bad.” He’s getting the Bonds treatment.

Mark McGwire did not say “My bad,” at first. He didn’t want to talk about the past. Then he fessed up, said “My bad,” and now he’s been welcomed back into baseball and is coaching in a Major League dugout. He won’t get into the Hall of Fame, but he’s not being run up a flagpole, either.

Rafael Palmeiro wagged his finger in front of Congress, then he got caught. He never said, “My bad.” We still don’t like him.

Ryan Braun stood at a podium, said he didn’t do it, threw a poor guy under a bus, stomped on him a little bit and smiled for the cameras. Then he got caught again, said “My bad,” a bunch of times and he’ll get booed for a while, but eventually even what he did will all be water under the bridge for him, too.

You see, Alex – we’re not naive. We know that players are taking banned substances. Players have been cheating in some way, shape, or form since the game was first played. We know there are guys on all of our favorite teams that are taking stuff that haven’t been caught yet. Heck, two Mets were caught in the same scandal you were. We just signed another one this offseason. Bartolo Colon said “My bad,” and he got a two year contract. Jhonny Peralta said “My bad” and he got $53 million this offseason.

We know guys are cheating. That doesn’t make it right. It still makes it wrong. I don’t like that it’s in the game, but if you’re going to get caught, just fess up to it, take your punishment, and move on with life.

What we really, really, really don’t like is being lied to and treated like we’re stupid. That’s what we don’t like about Barry. That’s what we don’t like about Roger. That’s what we don’t like about Rafael. That’s what we don’t like about you.

So do yourself a favor. Stop acting indignant and making a federal case out of it. Just take your lumps, take your suspension, collect the millions more you’re still going to make, and stop paying the lawyers. Take out a full page ad in the Daily News with your picture that just says, “My bad.”


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MLB: Drug Dealers Welcome Mon, 13 Jan 2014 18:06:19 +0000 bosch 60 minutes

Last night, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Anthony Bosch, founder of former South Florida anti-aging clinic Biogenesis.

During the interview (which I admittedly chose not to watch), I have read that Bosch admitted to injecting Rodriguez with PED, an allegation that conveniently came to fruition after Major League Baseball apparently took over paying for Bosch’s legal fees.

Now, I want to stop right there.

Put your anger toward Alex Rodriguez to the side. He’s a baseball player, a very unlikable baseball player who also happens to play for a team many people reading this despise.

But Anthony Bosch is a drug dealer. This is an undisputed fact. He didn’t just deal drugs to Alex Rodriguez or the other few names who were suspended last season. According to the same whistle blower Porter Fischer – Bosch was working with athletes from the NBA, NCAA, Tennis, MMA, boxing, soccer to name a few. He wasn’t MLB’s problem – he was a problem for every major athletic organization in this country – and Major League Baseball is now supporting him.

Let that sink in for just a second. This isn’t the first time Bosch’s name came up with regards to PED. In 2009, his father, Pedro Bosch was named as a supplier to the then recently suspended Manny Ramirez.

So Major League Baseball’s idea to clean up the sport and stop their players from taking banned substances is NOT to help authorities go after those SUPPLYING the drugs to their players – it’s to go after the players using the drugs in an attempt to scare everybody else from ever trying it.

You know who you aren’t scaring?

Drug dealers.


Because you’re paying their legal fees.

The next drug dealer that gets caught isn’t going to go down, they are going to turn over. They are the problem in real life, outside the scope of Major League Baseball.

When you’re trying to clean up a drug problem, explain to me how it makes sense to go after the user and not the dealer?

In what warped universe am I supposed to listen to a drug dealer, a slimy slithering (you like that?) drug dealer and think “he must be telling the truth!”

Now let’s get back to Rodriguez.

To our knowledge, he has failed one test for banned PED substances and that was during the 2003 survey test.

So this leads me to my next point. If Major League Baseball wants me the avid baseball fan to believe they are cleaning up the game with their great drug testing program – then you cannot at the same time be going after a guy who DIDN’T FAIL A TEST!


Because if you’re telling me Rodriguez was taking a banned substance, then you’re simultaneously telling me your testing program DOES NOT WORK!

This entire case to me, sums up what is wrong with the sport of baseball as far up as Bud Selig and as far down as the writers who vote on the Hall of Fame candidacy.

If Major League Baseball has the right to ASSUME a player is guilty and go to great lengths (somewhat illegal lengths) to prove it, then how can we hold even the writers accountable for ASSUMING a player like say Mike Piazza took PED when there is no actual evidence to support it?

The last point I will make it to the MLB Players Union. You know, for years I have heard that they have the strongest union in the country if not the world. Where are they right now? If you want players like Piazza, Biggio, Bagwell for example to get the respect they deserve – then where is the union to stand up and tell the public and the writers who vote that assuming guilt with no evidence is not how we fix this problem?

Where is the union while one of their members is being subject to a witch hunt? Where is the union to stand up and point to the owners and the Commissioner for funding a drug dealer in an effort to rid the game of 1 baseball player?

This isn’t about whether Rodriguez is innocent or not – it’s about the great lengths Major League Baseball is taking in an effort to rid the game of a player, not rid the world of a drug dealer. If Rodriguez is guilty, the correct process should be in place to ensure he is found guilty. The word of a drug dealer is not or should not be the “correct process.”

Baseball wants us to assume players like Biggio, Piazza, Bagwell and now Rodriguez are guilty. If we assume former players were guilty with no evidence – it makes the entire PED problem of the past fall squarely on their shoulders – rather than sharing it between them, the league, the writers and yes, even us fans.

If we assume Rodriguez is currently guilty without credible evidence, it assumes that a person’s rights as a citizen of this country do not exist while in the confines of being a baseball player.

And you know what happens when you assume…don’t you Bud?


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A-Rod Suspended For 2014 Season, Plans To Appeal Sat, 11 Jan 2014 18:57:25 +0000 alex rodriguez

Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz  has decided to reduce Alex Rodriguez‘s suspension to 162 regular season games as well as the entire postseason, costing the disgraced Yankees star the majority of his $25 million salary for the 2014 season.

Horowitz’s decision to not uphold the full 211-game ban that came down in August was expected, however the ruling to ban Rodriguez for the entirety of next season remains as the largest performance enhancing drugs-related suspension in baseball history.

In a lengthy statement, Rodriguez stated that he intends to continue to fight the ban by seeking an injunction from a federal court.

“The number of games sadly comes as no surprise, as the deck has been stacked against me from day one. This is one man’s decision, that was not put before a fair and impartial jury, does not involve me having failed a single drug test, is at odds with the facts and is inconsistent with the terms of the Joint Drug Agreement and the Basic Agreement, and relies on testimony and documents that would never have been allowed in any court in the United States because they are false and wholly unreliable.”

“This injustice is MLB’s first step toward abolishing guaranteed contracts in the 2016 bargaining round, instituting lifetime bans for single violations of drug policy, and further insulating its corrupt investigative program from any variety defense by accused players, or any variety of objective review.”

“I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court,” he said. “I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by MLB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension.”

“No player should have to go through what I have been dealing with, and I am exhausting all options to ensure not only that I get justice, but that players’ contracts and rights are protected through the next round of bargaining, and that the MLB investigation and arbitration process cannot be used against others in the future the way it is currently being used to unjustly punish me.”

“I will continue to work hard to get back on the field and help the Yankees achieve the ultimate goal of winning another championship. I want to sincerely thank my family, all of my friends, and of course the fans and many of my fellow MLB players for the incredible support I received throughout this entire ordeal.”

The MLB Players’ Association released a statement saying they disagree with the decision but respect the process.

“The MLBPA strongly disagrees with the award issued today in the grievance of Alex Rodriguez, even despite the Arbitration Panel’s decision to reduce the duration of Mr. Rodriguez’s unprecedented 211-game suspension. We recognize that a final and binding decision has been reached, however, and we respect the collectively-bargained arbitration process which led to the decision. In accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the JDA, the Association will make no further comment regarding the decision.”

Fifteen players in all were suspended for connections to the Biogenesis scandal including Rodriguez. Twelve received 50-game bans, one received 100-games and Ryan Braun was slapped with a 65-game suspension. Rodriguez was the only player to appeal.

ESPN’s Wallace Matthews reports that even though Rodriguez is not allowed to play in 2014, he still plans to attend Spring Training and believes the Yankees can’t stop him from doing so.


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Robinson Cano: With All Due “Respect” Sat, 14 Dec 2013 17:51:12 +0000 Seattle-is-targeting-Robinson-Cano.-300x207Robinson Cano and Jay Z’’s orchestrated dinner with the New York Mets was clearly transparent, made even more so after his introductory press conference in Seattle. It was only an indicator of things to come from this childish man.

Bottom Line: Cano wanted to stay in New York, but at his price, and in the end his price is all that mattered to him. It is impossible to do business when you give nothing back in the negotiations. If you don’t give back they cease being negotiations.

Cano is a marvelously talented baseball player, but a flawed individual. He might be a five-tool player, but on the human level, none of his tools include discretion, loyalty, common sense or rational thinking. We do know Cano has streaks of arrogance, delusional thinking and greed in his persona. He also has an annoying sense of entitlement.“I didn’t feel respect. I didn’t get respect from them and I didn’t see any effort,’’ Cano said with a straight face when asked about the Yankees.

Being offered $175 million over seven years was plenty of respect countered Yankees president Randy Levine. Look, Levine and the Yankees don’t need anybody to fight their battles, but Cano was shown respect and his hissy fit needs to be addressed, because if nothing else it is a display of all that is wrong with today’s professional athlete.

From the outset, $300 million over ten years, was over the top, but it never hurts to ask because somebody might bite. However, when it became apparent Cano didn’t want to budge, you knew he wouldn’t stay in New York and the Yankees would be better off without him.

With Derek Jeter at the end of this career, and Alex Rodriguez in PED limbo, Jacoby Ellsbury will not be the difference. They need pitching and to shed some of its unproductive payroll – Mark Teixeira for one – and start rebuilding. The money earmarked Cano will be better invested elsewhere.

It was a business decision for Cano to state his negotiating objectives of money and years. It is also a business decision for the Yankees to say they no longer want to give ten-year contracts to players over 30 years old. Cano wants us to respect his business decision, yet he can’t respect the Yankees’ right to do the same. Just delusional and out of touch with reality is Cano.

I don’t begrudge Cano the right to have money as his motivation, but distasteful is his attitude. The only party showing a lack of respect in this issue is Cano, towards the Yankees, to the fans, and to his profession.

You made a choice, now live with it and don’t bash the Yankees on the way out. They didn’t criticize your choice; don’t criticize theirs.

Perhaps the greatest complaints people have about athletes is their disconnect from reality, their disregard about others, and when they don’t hustle. Cano violates our sensibilities by doing all three.

I believe a player is worth what his employer is willing to pay him. In that vein, Cano is worth $240 million to the Mariners. He’s just not worth $240 million to the Yankees, which is their right to determine.

Nobody has the right to say $240 million is too much, because who among you would turn it down?

But, we have the right to be irritated at Cano’s lack of touch with reality, which is insulting to those struggling to make ends meet or have been out of work.

“I was looking for a contract where I would just be able play and focus on the game and wouldn’t wonder when I’m 37, 38 would I have a job one day,’’ was what he tried to pass off as logic for his decision.


If at the end of the $175 million he would have gotten from the Yankees, if healthy and had he not worn out his welcome, he would have had another deal. Please don’t tell us after $175 million you’d be that insecure as to worry about your future. It is insulting to all those who buy tickets to watch you play or purchase your jersey.

Also insulting is your agent, Jay Z, who operating on your behalf, after accepting $240 million from Seattle went back to the Yankees with the request of $235 million over ten years.

It says you really don’t want to be in Seattle. How should they feel about that?

The Yankees are better off without him, which is something Seattle will find out eventually. At 3,000 miles away, it isn’t far away far enough.

In New York, there are too many apologists for your style and attitude. They say you’re entitled to take plays off, to jog down to first base because you’re usually in the line-up and you’re a good player. But, you don’t have that right. Cano has been given a gift of talent, but when you half-ass it to first base, you insult the fan and your profession. Not hustling is never justified.

They let you get away with it, and in the end it had to figure in the Yankees’ thinking. Deep down, they don’t want a dog to be the face of their franchise. You got a pass on that in New York, but they know how to boo in Seattle, and you’ll hear them soon enough.


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Yankees Sign Free Agent Brian McCann To Five-Year Deal Sun, 24 Nov 2013 00:08:15 +0000 Ken Rosenthal of  FOX Sports is reporting that the New York Yankees and free agent catcher Brian McCann have reached an agreement on a five year deal worth $85 million.

The deal also includes a vesting option for a sixth year and is pending a physical.

McCann cashes in on what has been a solid career and will net about $17 million a year if these numbers are official.

I wondered if this deal impacts their negotiations for free agent Robinson Cano, but these are the Yankees and they had about $60 million to spend and likely even more if Alex Rodriguez gets suspended as many believe he will.

The Texas Rangers were also said to be going hard after McCann which certainly figured in driving his value up.

This is a huge upgrade for the Yankees who have had terrible production from the catching spot last season with a .589 OPS.

Even with one arm, McCann batted .256/.336/.461 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI over 102 games this past season, and he’ll go into 2014 recovered and year removed from shoulder surgery. The 29 year old All Star catcher has accumulated a 12.6 bWAR over the last five seasons.


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Puma: Mets Dealing With Sticker Shock On Free Agents Wed, 20 Nov 2013 20:45:02 +0000 MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers

An interesting tweet from Mike Puma of the New York Post who said the Mets believed they could get Peralta on a two-year deal:

“Mets dealing with “sticker shock” on free agents. Thought they could get Peralta on a two-year deal, but he wants at least three years.”

On November 11 I actually used the same term to describe recent statements and actions by the Mets front office:

“My guess is that Sandy is suffering from sticker shock. I think it’s safe to say that as much as they wanted you to believe everything is now hunky-dory, it’s obviously not.”

Let me add that this does not mean they won’t still continue to pursue Peralta. I think they will.

However, this just shows how poorly they misjudged this year’s market and explains their hesitation in signing any free agents now and preferring to wait until late in the offseason instead.

Original Post 11/19

MLB Trade Rumors reported on Monday that the Yankees are expressing interest in Jhonny Peralta, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

Peralta would provide the Yankees with insurance should Alex Rodriguez miss significant time with a suspension or in the event of a Derek Jeter injury. He has extensive big league experience at both shortstop and third base.

The Mets met with the free-agent shortstop during the GM Meetings, but a team executive downplayed it saying he just happened to be in Orlando.

Today, Sandy Alderson revealed to reporters that he hasn’t had any contact with Peralta since a rumored meeting with him at the GM Meetings a week ago in Orlando, Fla.

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that Peralta’s agent is looking for “Big-Time Money” and far more than a three-year, $45 million contract.

The Mets want to add a shortstop from outside the organization. With Stephen Drew expected to be outside their price range, Peralta figured to be the top target in a limited pool of candidates at the position, writes Rubin.

Peralta, 31, was the second most productive player in the Tigers lineup prior to his 50 game suspension for violating major league baseball’s joint drug agreement. He batted .303/.358/457 this season and his strong first half earned him a spot on the All Star team.

An average season for Peralta would like .290 with 35 doubles, 15 home runs, 80 runs, and 80 RBIs.

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A’s Won’t Trade Jed Lowrie Who Was Atop Mets’ Wish List Fri, 15 Nov 2013 17:00:35 +0000 jed lowrie

If you thought when the Oakland A’s signed veteran infielder Nick Punto to a one-year deal that it would open the door for them to  trade shortstop Jed Lowrie, think again.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Lowrie, who was atop the Mets’ wish list of potentially available shortstops, is staying put and not going anywhere.

A’s assistant GM David Forst said in an email Wednesday: “Punto’s signing has nothing to do with Jed Lowrie. Jed is our starting shortstop.”

That echoed what GM Billy Beane told The Post the previous day, that “there is no such thing as a definitive ‘no’ in Oakland,” but that the A’s feel they can win the AL West for a third straight year in 2014 and have no plans to move pieces, such as Lowrie, vital to that effort.

Lowrie, 29, had his best season in 2013 batting .290/.344/.446 in 662 plate appearances for the A’s, and he is a free agent after the 2014 season.

He would have made a nice backup plan should the Mets’ attempts to sign Jhonny Peralta or Stephen Drew failed.

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PED Users Are Good Options For Cost Conscious Teams Like The Mets Thu, 14 Nov 2013 16:27:56 +0000 nelson-cruz-texas-rangersThe 2013-2014 offseason features a deep class of quality talent ripe for the picking of any team willing to spend.

Based upon GM Sandy Alderson’s comments at year’s end as well as the Mets reported discussions, it appears clear that the major focus is to acquire at least two position players: a shortstop and an outfielder.

Conveniently enough, there are two free agents on the market capable of filling each of those positions with great success, and could very well come at significant discount.

The only issue; both of these candidates are fresh off of 50-game suspensions for their involvement with Biogenesis PED scandal.

Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz would be attractive additions to a New York lineup in desperate need of consistent production. Posting an OPS of .815 and .833 respectively in 2013 prior to serving their suspensions, the pair would provide a significant bolster to a squad that managed a team OPS figure of .672. The only Mets to eclipse those numbers put up by Peralta and Cruz were David Wright (.904) and Marlon Byrd (.848), who has since signed with the rival Philadelphia Phillies.

joel peraltaThe question is not their ability to perform, but rather whether fans would be comfortable rooting for one of or both of these confirmed PED-users if brought to Flushing; and we all know what the overwhelming response would be: So long as they can produce, the common fan no longer cares.

Have baseball fans become desensitized to steroid-usage in MLB? Ten years ago, those caught doping were ostracized by baseball. Fans instead of cheering, had the standard of not wanting a cheater on their favorite team.

In 2013, that seemed to change. Alex Rodriguez had a roaring ovation from the Bleacher Creatures upon his return. Mets fans were thrilled to have Marlon Byrd in right field everyday, who despite having a legitimate reason for his positive test, served a 50-game suspension in 2012. Cruz was welcomed back to an offensively starved Rangers lineup, being penciled into the lineup for Game 163 after serving his time. Peralta who was used over rookie phenom Jose Iglesias on multiple occasions this past postseason, was hailed as an October hero in Detroit; not exactly facing the same public scrutiny of the 1990s or early 2000s.

mike troutIn contrast, the players throughout the game were overwhelmingly vocal in condemning the actions of their co-workers, both opponents and teammates alike. They called for stricter penalties; Mike Trout went on Boomer and Carton calling for a one-and-done MLB policy, meaning a first time offender would receive a lifetime ban. Ryan Dempster struck Alex Rodriguez with a pitch under the lights of Fenway presumably for his ongoing debacle with MLB as well as for ratting out the likes of Ryan Braun and teammate-Francisco Cervelli to draw the spotlight off of himself.

The cultures of fan bases and players alike have gone in opposite directions.

The common fan is no longer bothered by their team adding a presumed-former PED user; in fact, the presumption that said user could come at a reduced cost makes them appealing.

With the front office looking to find solid major-league talent in a cost effective method, the aforementioned free agent pair–in particular Peralta–has piqued the interest of the organization. Mets fans appear to get that, and are more than open to have a former steroid user play for ‘their team’, if it means competitive baseball.

How times have changed.

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Xtreem Ideas: Mets Should Try Revolutionizing Free Agency This Winter Tue, 22 Oct 2013 00:56:06 +0000 Sounds so easy, don’t it? Just revolutionize a 40-year institution. Look, the bottom line is this: free agency is dying a slow death, anyway. Each year the class gets thinner and thinner because teams are locking up their young studs early and buying out their prime years so that the players that do eventually hit the market are all on the wrong side of 30 or middling, non-impact players, and usually both. The middling players are filler, and the occasional impact players on the wrong side of 30 are huge risks for most of the league to consider.

robinson-cano3-540x422Robinson Cano is a perfect example. He’s a top-three player in all of baseball and still in his prime, and his initial request of 10 years and $305 million will get his representatives laughed off the phone, but he’d likely end up signing something between teammates Mark Teixeira’s (8/180) and Alex Rodriguez’s (10/275) deals. I’d make a rough estimate at 8 years and $200 million dollars. Cano turns 31 next week and therefore would spend the bulk of the contract playing beyond age 34 than before it.

It’s apparent that the Mets hierarchy is adverse to such risks, and I applaud them for it. It’s clear that most of baseball is as well, which is why this conundrum exists to begin with. The biggest deals are going to the younger stars entering their prime, not the ones leaving it. But there are holes to fill and some supreme talent available.

According to Baseball Reference (who makes educated estimates on arbitration costs; Cot’s does not), the Mets will pay out $54.8 million to their players under guaranteed contracts and eligible for arbitration, as well as bought-out options and deferred payments. This of course includes arbitration players such as Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Greg Burke, Jordany Valdespin and other players whose return to the Mets is questionable. It’s safe to assume not everyone will return, so let’s round off committed payroll to $50 million for the sake of argument.

I don’t wish to get into a debate on just how much the Mets will spend over the winter. That’s not the point. The point is to come up with a way the Mets can sign free agents, but alleviate the overwhelming risks in doing so. Here’s the answer:

Overpay in money to keep the contract length shorter. Simple, right?

If Cano wants to have the highest AAV in baseball history, fine. Let him have it. Five years, $150 million. I’d even give him $175 million for five years. Is it that asinine? If he would get $25 million a year in a “normal” contract, wouldn’t you rather pay him an extra $5-$10 million a year to NOT have to pay him $25-$50 million over those final three least productive years? You could sell him on the idea that he’d get his $30 million a year and allay his issues with “pay cut” by pointing out he could still sign another contract at age 36. Signing Cano wouldn’t pigeon-hole the Mets into looking for a power bat from the left side in the outfield, because he would be their lefty power bat and allow them to simply find an outfielder, not necessarily an impact outfielder. He would also allow the Mets to shop Daniel Murphy in a package to bring back something to fill another hole.

Hiroki KurodaAnd they should do the same with Hiroki Kuroda, in my opinion the best free agent starting pitcher available. It’s been widely speculated that Kuroda will play for either the Yankees or the Dodgers, or go back to Japan. He made $15 million pitching in New York in 2013, so why not offer him $20 million to do the same in 2014. Kuroda might possibly be the best free agent fit for the Mets (with apologies to Cano and Shin-Soo Choo) because he would only sign for one year, which is exactly the length of time it would take Matt Harvey to return. He would also be the veteran presence the young pitching staff needs.

While that wouldn’t be a sacrifice at all for Kuroda, who wouldn’t have to move and get a handsome raise for not doing so, would Cano make that sacrifice? He has every right to look for every last cent he can get, and if he chooses not to leave $25-$50 million on the table and try for the longest, richest contract he can get, then good luck to him. But achieving his desire to have the highest AAV in MLB history and still signing another contract at age 36 to make up for the money he “lost” in the deal are inherent positives in taking that hypothetical deal from the Mets.

Suppose this all comes to fruition. That leaves the Mets with a manageable $100 million payroll. To put that in perspective, it would have ranked the Mets 15th in baseball if they sported that payroll in 2013 and would only be roughly $9 million more than their actual payroll. It’s likely Cano wouldn’t take that deal. It’s even less likely the Mets would spend $100 million in 2014. But it would get the Mets the best hitter and best pitcher available, fill a few holes, do it for a reasonable total payroll cost, and send one hell of a shockwave through Major League Baseball.

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Hits & Misses: Sobering Realities, Kendrys Morales, and Clutch Walks Wed, 09 Oct 2013 11:32:16 +0000 hal-steinbrenner1-540x361

Sometimes, reality can be such a damn bitch… I read Joel Sherman’s interview with Hal Steinbrenner, owner of the Yankees, in which he discusses the decision to get their payroll under $189 million. What really stood out at me was his response to whether this was a soft goal or a mandate.

“It is something to shoot for, but not at the expense of having a championship-caliber team,” Steinbrenner said. “It is not. It never has been and never will be. It has always been my contention you don’t need a $230 million payroll to field a championship-level team. We are going to get to under $189 million at some point. That is the goal: We believe you can win a championship at $189 million payroll because plenty of teams have.”

Sherman deduces that even at $189 million — as long as Alex Rodriguez remains suspended next year — there will be about $80 million for the Yankees to spend this offseason.

That’s enough he says, to keep Robinson Cano and add Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka, all-star catcher Brian McCann and a left side of the infield insurance policy such as Jhonny Peralta or Stephen Drew — and maybe even retain Curtis Granderson or Hiroki Kuroda, too.

Meanwhile back at Flushing, we’re quibbling over re-signing Daisuke Matsuzaka or splurging on Bronson Arroyo with our meager $20-25 million. Nauseating, to say the least…


For those of you who had your eye’s set on first baseman Kendrys Morales, forget about it. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told reporters that the team will definitely make a qualifying offer to the 30-year old switch-hitter. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports adds that Morales will most certainly reject that approximate $14 million dollar offer in search of a multi-year deal on the free agent market.

Morales hit 23 home runs this season and led the Mariners in hits (167), doubles (34), RBI (80), batting average (.277), extra base hits (57), batting average with runners in scoring position (.312) and game winning RBI (15).

He is represented by Scott Boras.

lucas duda

I got an email yesterday which asked me what my gut feeling was on who will be the Opening Day first baseman for the Mets next season.

Seriously, guys and gals, you need to send me more difficult questions, this one’s way too easy. The Mets first baseman next season will be none other than Lucas Duda – and you can put that one in the books.

He’s a front office darling and they will look past his .233 batting average and point to his .353 on-base. That’s over 100 points worth of walks which reminds me of one of the best Keith-isms of the 2013 season.

It’s the bottom of the eighth, two outs and runners on first and third. The Mets are down by one run and Lucas Duda comes up with a chance to break the game open for the Amazins. Instead, he draws a walk to load the bases. But before Mike Baxter pops up to end the inning, Hernandez says, “Another clutch walk by Lucas Duda… Sigh…”

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MMO Interviews Power-Hitting Prospect Aderlin Rodriguez Tue, 08 Oct 2013 14:22:08 +0000 Aderlin Rodriguez had a solid season in 2012, leading the organization in Batting

When looking back on the 2013 season in which the St. Lucie Mets were able to enjoy, its no wonder why they remained in contention most of the second half.  The team was made up of real good ball players, and if not for some injuries to key pitchers down the stretch, they may have stormed into the playoffs and taken it all.

I had the privilege of interviewing a few of their players like second basemen T.J. Rivera back in August and most recently, FSL Player of the Year Dustin Lawley, who both gave the Mets fans some real good insights into who they are and what they expect of their future.

This past week, I chatted with another one of the teams talented hitters, third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez. Aderlin, who has enjoyed a very good minor league career, was signed by the Mets in 2009 out of his native country of the Dominican Republic.

At the age of 17, his first stop was with the Gulf Coast Mets. In 17 games he batted .290.  In 2010, he batted .300 with 23 doubles, 14 home runs, and 59 runs batted in between Kingsport and Savannah. He remained with Single-A Savannah the following season and even though his average dropped below .300, his power numbers improved and in 131 games, he hit 23 doubles, 17 home runs and 78 runs batted in.

In 2012, he spent time between Savannah and St. Lucie and in 125 games he batted .263 with 26 doubles, 24 home runs, and 83 runs batted in. Due to a bone bruise and a sprain in his right wrist, he miss all of the second half this season and played in only 62 games with St. Lucie, hitting .260 with 9 home runs and 41 runs batted in.  But he has since recovered and is looking forward to playing at the Arizona Fall League and working on developing his game and taking it to another level.

This interview was originally conducted in Spanish, but I translated it for publication on MMO. Enjoy…

Aderlin Rodriguez

David – Is there anything about you that the Mets fans do not know, that you would like to share? Any hobbies or interests outside of baseball?

Aderlin - Well, when I am in the off-season, I like very much to spend time mainly with my family, go to church to give thanks to God for everything, and I like to go with my childhood friends to the baseball stadium and watch the younger players who are fighting for an opportunity to sign like I did.

David – What is your favorite food dish when you go home? Have you enjoyed any Spanish food while playing in the different cities?

Aderlin - My favorite food is rice with black beans and pork. And sometimes in some cities we are going to play in,  we find Latino restaurants and I enjoy eating my favorite dishes.

David – When the off-season arrives, what do you look forward to doing the most? Family time, friend’s time, or just rest?

Aderlin - Church first, family and then friends.

David – You recently got married, how did you meet your wife and is she a fan of baseball?

Aderlin - I met my wife through my brother; she is his wife’s cousin, and yes she likes baseball.

David – How old were you when the Mets signed you, and where did you play prior to playing professional baseball?

Aderlin - I was 16 years and 7 months when the Mets signed me.  I started to play baseball when I was 5 years old in a small playground close to where I lived and the team was called Luis Sports League.

David – Who was your favorite player growing up and did you model your game after him?

Aderlin - When I was growing up my favorite baseball player was Alex Rodriguez, but I never tried to do what he did, I like to have my own style.

David – Was it an easy transition for you to be able to adapt to living in the United States compared to living in Dominican Republic? Was it a culture shock?

Aderlin - The truth is at first it was very difficult because when I arrived in the states, I didn’t know any English, and I couldn’t communicate well. Also the culture was different, the food was the same, but with time little by little I started to adapt and I’m still getting better at adapting to living here.

David – When you signed with the Mets, who was the first person you told?

Aderlin - The first person I told was my mother.

David – How did your parents feel with you leaving home at such a young age to play professional baseball?

Aderlin - Well the truth is, it was hard for my mother because we were never separated before. We have always been together as a family and she still is a little sad. But at the same time she understands the path that I decided to take and its what I like to do.

David – Do you sometimes get home sick and what do you miss the most? 

Aderlin - Well the truth is the most I miss is my mother, my sister, my wife and going out with my friends that I know from my childhood, but I try my best not to think about it.

David – What was your experience playing baseball in your first full season of pro ball?

Aderlin - It was a very good experience, because for the first time I did not have a season like I expected. But I felt that I matured as a baseball player and also a person and I learned to make adjustments much faster. I kept following the instructions of my coaches more and more, but it was an incredible experience.

David – You have played 1B and 3B in your pro career, which one are you most confident playing?

Aderlin - I feel much better playing third base, its the position that I played the longest, but I learned first base also.

David – Which part of your game do you think improved the most from 2012? What part do you feel you need to work on?

Aderlin – It was my defense that I feel that I made the most improvement on and my plate discipline. I learned to narrow the batting zone more.

David – What do you do each off-season to get ready for the regular season? Do you have a regular workout routine or do you follow the Mets workout regimen?

Aderlin - The Mets always give me a workout plan and I combine it with a more physical workout of my own.

David – Is there anything in your approach to the game that you feel you need to improve on?

Aderlin - In my game I think I should keep working on all aspects of the game defensively and offensively. Also understanding the mental part of the game and recognizing situations when I need to be more aggressive or when I should be more passive.

David – Is there a Mets coach or manager that has helped you in your development and growth?

Aderlin - Most of the coaches and managers that I had, have helped me to be a better baseball player and better person within and off the field also.

David – What teammate has impressed you the most this season, and who should Mets fans be most excited about seeing in the future?

Aderlin - T.J. Rivera and wait until they see me. I am not just a good baseball player, but a good citizen.

David – Your power number went down some from 2012 to 2013, what do you feel was the reason for the decline?

Aderlin - First of all, God has control over everything, another thing was I lost a lot of time with injuries, and it was something I could not control. But like I said only God knows why he allows things to happen, but the injury was what affected me the most.

David – Moving forward, what stands between you and the big leagues? What do you specifically need to work on as a player, and improve upon, in order to be ready to compete on the big stage?

Aderlin - First only God knows how far away the big leagues are for me, I would like it to be as soon as possible. I am working towards that, but that is a decision that is not in my hands, its first in God’s hands and then in the hands of the Mets. As far as I am concerned, I need to be more consistent defensively and also offensively. Then we will see when the time comes, and with God’s help that I will be able to compete in the major Leagues.

David – How will you prepare over the winter, can you describe your workout regimen? What do you hope to work on while playing in the Arizona Fall League?

Aderlin - I just try to put my body in the best position in order to give the best of me on the field. In the Arizona Fall League, I hope to continue improving the consistency of my game and to be more patient. I want to learn as much as possible from the coaches they have there.

David – Do you want to share anything with the Mets fans?

Aderlin - Only to say, I hope to soon be able help the big team win a World Series.

* * * * * * * *

Having the opportunity to share Aderlin’s story has been a privilege and in the future the Mets fans will be able to witness not just a very good ball player, but a player with a great attitude about the game and life itself.  As with many other international ball players, Aderlin was signed by the Mets at a young age and he left his home to pursue a journey that he hopes will lead him to eventually becoming a major league ball player one day. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to share Aderlin’s story with the Mets fans.

(Photo Credit: NJ Baseball)

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David Wright Nominated For Hank Aaron Award Mon, 07 Oct 2013 17:52:11 +0000 david wright

The New York Mets, Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media today announced that David Wright was named the club’s nominee for the 2013 Hank Aaron Award.  Fans can vote exclusively online at and

Wright, who was named to his seventh All-Star team (fifth as starter), led the Mets with a .307 batting average.  The third baseman hit 18 home runs with 58 runs batted in, despite missing six weeks with a right hamstring injury.  Wright homered in three straight games twice, and also passed Mike Piazza to move in to second on the Mets all-time home run list with 222. On June 23rd, Wright collected four extra base hits (two doubles, one triple and one home run) to tie the franchise record. Wright was named the fourth captain in club history by his teammates in March.

For the fourth straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.

The Hall of Fame panel led by Aaron includes some of the greatest offensive players of all-time –Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Eddie Murray and Robin Yount.  These Hall of Famers – who combined for 15,581 hits, 6,902 RBI and 1,334 home runs – have all been personally selected by Hank Aaron to lend their expertise to select the best offensive performer in each League.

Through October 10, fans will have the opportunity to select one American League and one National League winner from a list comprising of one finalist per Club. The winners of the 2013 Hank Aaron Award will be announced during the 2013 World Series.

“It is a great honor that Major League Baseball recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each League with an award in my name,” said Hank Aaron. “The game is full of so many talented players today that I am thankful my fellow Hall of Famers and the fans assist in selecting the much deserving winners.”

Past winners of the Hank Aaron Award include: Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012), Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011), Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Rodriguez and Pujols (2003); Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.

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ESPN: Mets Are Team Of The Future In New York Thu, 22 Aug 2013 03:18:19 +0000 the future

Wheeler, d’Arnaud, Flores, Lagares, and Harvey take a group photo on flight to NY

The Mets are finally getting recognition as a team on the rise in 2013. Yesterday, you heard Mike Francesa on WFAN say that the Mets are “emerging from the abyss”; coming a long way from just three months ago from when he bluntly labeled them “unwatchable, embarrassing losers”. Today, David Schoenfield of has labeled Flushing’s Finest as “the team to watch these days” in New York.

Behind Harvey and Wheeler in the rotation there is solid Dillon Gee, Jonathon Niese and promising Jenrry Mejia, who was just shut down after five impressive starts. He’ll have surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow. Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero started the Futures Games and are two top pitching prospects who have reached Double-A. The Mets can dream of a 2015 rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Montero and Mejia.

The Yankees, meanwhile, have players just trying to stay awake in the late innings.

Maybe the Yankees hang in this wild-card race — although at 5.5 games behind the A’s and with the Rays and the Orioles and Indians still a game ahead of them it will take exceptional baseball from the Yankees and bad baseball from at least one of the A’s or Rays for a playoff berth to happen. More likely, the Yankees fall short and they’ll have to figure out how to reload for 2014.

Maybe they can figure out a way. Maybe they make peace with Alex Rodriguez, he gets his suspension reduced and hits 20 home runs in the second half. Maybe Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira all return healthy and perform. Maybe they replace Mariano Rivera without a hitch. Maybe.

Just don’t be surprised if it’s the Mets who start getting the back page covers in the New York tabloids next year. They need a shortstop — how about a trade for Starlin Castro? — and they should go hard after free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. The bullpen needs some work but that can be fixed. But Mets fans can see a foundation building instead of crumbling.

-Dave Schoenfield,
Team of the future in N.Y.? It’s the Mets

It is an excellent piece by Schoenfield and I highly recommend reading it in its entirety here.

I can’t wait to see what the immediate years ahead hold for the Amazin’s. The future is here and before we know it, the city is going to be dressed in orange and blue once again.

Hat tip to Jonathan B. for the link

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It’s Widely Accepted That Collins Will Return As Mets Manager Wed, 21 Aug 2013 19:18:15 +0000 terry collins

Updating this post with some new information, this time from Andy Martino of the Daily News who also hears that it is “widely accepted” that Terry Collins will be re-signed to a new deal to manage the Mets in 2014 and beyond.

It certainly seems like nothing will keep this from happening, so get used to it.

One interesting side note to this, was Martino’s view on how the role of a manager has evolved over the years. He credits the recently fired Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel as the new model for the “modern manager” and how other MLB managers have taken a page out of his playbook.

The modern athlete is sensitive, insecure, and performs better when flattered. If a player does not feel that a manager has his back, the skipper will not succeed. Jerry Manuel once joked that injured righthander John Maine could pitch lefthanded, and called the Mets’ offense “pathetic;” he was right on the latter point, but lost the locker room with comments like that.

Terry Collins began his tenure by courting veterans Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Johan Santana, and has been rewarded — in most cases, at least — with a team that listens to him, and plays hard during losing seasons. Fans often want managers to be tougher, but that approach simply does not work.

Even Joe Girardi, not often a compelling figure in public, will almost never criticize a player to the media. He keeps nearly all feelings — even those about the increasingly roguish Alex Rodriguez — in-house, a sign of respect from Charlie Manuel’s playbook.

Today’s players make 10-20 times more money than their managers which makes an already difficult job that much more tough to do. Trying to keep a clubhouse unified and team’s morale high has become almost as important as the play-calling.

One thing that has never changed is that a manager who gripes about players to the media won’t survive in a major league clubhouse environment. Nobody knows that better than Terry Collins who lost the respect of two of his teams for doing just that before arriving to the Mets.

Original Post 8/17

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the Mets are still not tipping their hands on whether Terry Collins will remain the team’s manager beyond the 2013 season, but it is “widely expected” he will be given a new deal after this season.

Last week, a team executive told the NY Post that the front office is very happy with the team’s performance since June 18 and that it bodes well for the Mets manager who has guided the team to a 207-237 record since taking the reins.

“I think they’re doing a good job of sprinting to the finish line,” the official said.

On Monday, another Mets executive said that he would be surprised if Terry Collins were replaced after the season.

My chief gripes with Collin are many, but the three that concern me the most is his misuse of the bullpen, the way he panders to veterans at the expense of playing time for more deserving youngsters, and his very questionable in-game play calling.

The way he handled the Jordany Valdespin incident was completely unprofessional. Letting young players who needed playing time squander on the bench, such as Josh Satin and Juan Lagares during the first half, was very bothersome to me.

That said, it’s looking better and better for Terry these days… Whether you’re satisfied with his performance or not, he’s making lots of friends in the front office who are firmly behind him….

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Surprise, Surprise. A-Rod Gets Plunked In Return To Fenway Mon, 19 Aug 2013 15:12:12 +0000 ArodX

I rarely post anything that isn’t Mets related, but I hope people had a chance to watch yesterday’s game between the Yankees and Red Sox in Fenway Park. Another chapter was written into one of the most storied rivalries in sports.

In the second inning, Alex Rodriguez walked to the plate engulfed in a tidal wave of boos to face Ryan Dempster. Fans started chanting “You’re-a, chea-ter.” Dempster set the tone by throwing the first ball behind Rodriguez’s legs, causing the Yankees slugger to fall to the ground. Three pitches later, Dempster pegged Rodriguez in the elbow. Umpire Brian O’Nora then issued warnings to Dempster and both benches. Manager Joe Girardi was then ejected for justly arguing about why Dempster wasn’t thrown out and why his team was issued a warning.

But revenge is a dish best served in center field. Later in the sixth inning, Rodriguez took Dempster deep to centerfield for a solo home run. It was A-Rod’s 649th career home run, but it had to feel a bit more significant given the circumstances. Rodriguez took a second or two to celebrate on top of home plate. The Yankees went on to win 9-6.

I didn’t understand why Dempster wasn’t warned after the first pitch. His intent was crystal clear. It also put the Yankees at a disadvantage because any retaliation would have gotten C.C. Sabathia ejected immediately. That wound up being moot. It also seemed ill-advised given how close the race in the AL East is. Dempster could have been tossed and the bullpen might have been taxed for their West Coast road trip.

It seemed like this was just a personal vendetta from Dempster, but it’s a microcosm of how most players feel about Rodriguez in general. For the Yankees, the beaning seemed to fire them up. It may be a rallying point for a seemingly indefensible situation.

At any rate, A-Rod should get used to it. Getting drilled is the least of his worries these days.

What are your thoughts?

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Good Riddance Jordany Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:53:42 +0000 While everybody in the sports world is focused on Alex Rodriguez today, the Mets universe just imploded with news that not one but TWO New York Mets will be suspended by MLB for 50 games.

Look, we all knew that Cesar Puello was involved. It was just a matter of time, and I still contend to this day that since the Mets knew that he was involved they didn’t feel rushed to promote Puello. With Puello, it is what it is.

But what’s this? Jordany Valdespin, suspended for 50 games? Say it ain’t so. The most polarizing bench player in all of baseball, using…PED’s? I guess you could say that Jordany Had A Bad Day?

You know, I am sick and tired of hearing Valdespin’s name even associated with the New York Mets. I’m all for giving a guy a second chance – I’ll give Byrd a second chance, I’ll give Puello a second chance, heck I even gave Ryan Braun a second chance. Valdespin has had more chances than any .219 career hitter deserves.

From the day he posed wearing a Miami Marlins caps, I was done with him. (Hey now we know where he got that hat right?)jordany valdespin

He is the poster child for everything that is wrong with professional athletes today. He’s a young, arrogant player with minimal talent who thinks he deserves it all.

With regards to PED’s, I do not believe they will ever leave the game until the players themselves police it. Peer acceptance is critical for athletes. It’s up to the leaders in the clubhouse to show these players that their involvement with PED’s is unacceptable. Perhaps the Mets found out about Valdespin sooner than we think, which could explain some recent happenings? If that is the case, then bravo to the Mets.

I hope this is the last I ever hear of Jordany Valdespin in a Mets uniform. He’s a subpar player who apparently needs PED’s just to achieve that label. He has been nothing but trouble for this franchise, and today was the final nail in the coffin.

He’s brought nothing but problems to this franchise, and created such a divide among players and even fans. I’m tired of the countless excuses in favor of Jordany, and conspiracy theories surrounding how the Mets treat him.

I hope the Mets respond by cutting Valdespin, and forcing him to go find another team with his shiny MLB resume. Be sure to use the whole “I never got a chance,” story – GM’s will love that.

Following the Pirates/Plunking incident Valdespin tweeted (in translation) “They criticize me to lower my self-esteem but I’m going straight to the top. I was not born to lose.”

Valdespin you’re right, you weren’t born to lose – you became a loser with years of practice. Good riddance.

Author Note: In January of 2013, I wrote about the Biogenesis scandal here at MMO. The original list that was first reported included Nelson Cruz, Bartolo Colon, Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal, Gio Gonzalez and Alex Rodriguez.

When this new broke, I honestly was only surprised about one name – Gio Gonzalez. I didn’t accuse Gonzalez of anything, I responded to the report and while I still believe Gonzalez used poor judgment, MLB has cleared him which means I owe Gonzalez an apology, so I was wrong and am sorry (now Gio can sleep at night I am sure).

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Puello’s Biogenesis Fate To Be Decided Any Day Fri, 02 Aug 2013 17:53:53 +0000 Jon Heyman provided his opinion and interpretation on the latest happenings with Biogenesis, and Mets outfield prospect, Cesar Puello, is included. Obviously, this article is mostly focused on Alex Rodriguez because he’s likely going to get the biggest suspension, but here’s what Heyman said in his latest article:

The nine or so Biogenesis-linked players who may take deals in the next day or two: Mariners catcher Jesus Montero; Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta; Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz; Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli; Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera; minor leaguers Jordan NorbertoFernando Martinez, Fautino de los Santos and Cesar Puello.

One can only imagine what these deals would be. If I had to guess, it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 games.

This would be an unfortunate turn of events for Puello, who is having a breakout season with Double-A Binghamton. His success with the B-Mets has been well-documented on, as he’s hitting .328/.405/.550 with 16 home runs, 73 RBIs, 21 doubles, 24 stolen bases, and 63 runs scored.

We can only hope for the best at this point, but the waiting game appears to be over. The fate of Puello’s immediate future is now on the horizon.

Thoughts from Joe D.

If there’s a 50 game suspension, serve it, go play some Winter Ball, and show up to Spring Training ready to battle for a corner outfield starting job. Chances are, Puello will start the season in Las Vegas anyway, but his stay there will be short and I’m thinking pretty damn sweet.

I’m thinking it will be less than 50 games because there’s no failed test results and if he were to appeal I can’t see how MLB would win. But lets see what happens…

The good news is that he’s been getting tested regularly for the last 15 months and has come up clean everytime. His hitting coach and manager both refuted the notion that his numbers were not legit when we asked. And sorry coach, but we had to ask…

To get complete coverage of the Mets Minor League system, check!

(photo credit: Gordon Donovan)

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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.

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Could Braun Be A Fit For Mets Outfield In ’14? Tue, 30 Jul 2013 16:26:31 +0000 braunKudos to Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio for his immediate gesture to Brewers fans in the wake of the 65-game suspension of Ryan Braun. But, will it end there? Could the Brewers want to clean up their mess by trading Braun? And if so, could the Mets be a fit?

Yes, Braun got off on a technicality the first time and Major League Baseball has had it in for him since. It was only a matter of time before they nailed him. Could it also be a matter of time before the Brewers decide to cut ties with Braun?

The Brewers’ best player lied to his teammates, management, fans and anybody he spoke to about performance-enhancing drugs. The quotes from players and supporters – including Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers – have been venomous.

With Braun gone for the season and the Brewers stagnant on the field, the team will give each fan who shows up at Milwaukee’s 12 home games in August a $10 voucher good for food, merchandise and future tickets.

“This is an investment in our fans and an investment in our brand, to do what we can do to mitigate a trying summer,’’ Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “We were finalizing something like this to give back to our loyal fans just as news of Ryan’s suspension hit. Mark decided he wanted to make a dramatic impact that would cost more money.’’

Based on their current attendance figures, it is estimated the Brewers will give their fans roughly $3.6 million in vouchers, or effectively a good chunk of the remaining $8.5 million they were to pay Braun this year. Instead of pocketing the money, the Brewers are giving it to their fans.

This is no cheap gesture.

What happens when Braun returns is anybody’s guess. He might be booed or Brewers’ fans could forgive and forget. It remains to be seen how strained his relationship with ownership and management might be. His presence could also create a clubhouse divide. There are not a lot of people happy with Braun now, including those players mentioned in the Biogenesis case. By taking a punishment without appeal, it gives credibility to Tony Bosch, which could hurt the defenses of other players.

Schlesinger spoke of the Brewers’ brand. Currently, that brand is mostly Braun, and the wonder is if they want to continue with that considering the potential of stress and negativity.

Could that strain lead to an eventual trade, and would the Mets be interested? Braun is a talented player, but with a positive test – albeit tainted – there’s the question of his true talents. It must be that way with any player linked to steroids.

Braun to the Mets is intriguing on many levels. He would be a huge upgrade, but what is his value? The asking price can’t be as high if Braun were clean. What would it require to get him in terms of talent, and would the Mets risk it based on his PED history? Would the Mets, or any team that wanted Braun, know what they are getting? The Brewers must be asking the same question if they opt to keep him.

Braun signed a five-year, $105-million contract extension from 2016-2020, and an option for 2021. That’s reasonable money for what Braun has produced, but it must be asked whether that production is he or the juice.

It would be a significant gamble by the Mets because of the length of Braun’s deal and the chance of paying for damaged goods. The Mets don’t have to look any further than across town to see what the Yankees are going through with Alex Rodriguez.

Going after Braun could generate a negative buzz around the Mets, but that’s better than no buzz.

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