Mets Merized Online » Baltimore Orioles Sat, 21 Jan 2017 02:49:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Orioles, Mark Trumbo Agree On Three-Year Deal Thu, 19 Jan 2017 22:37:31 +0000 mark-trumbo

According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag on Twitter, the Baltimore Orioles and free agent Mark Trumbo have agreed on a deal. The deal is for three years, $37.5 million, pending physical.

Trumbo, 31, was the MLB home run leader in 2016, clubbing 47 long balls and driving in 108 runs, while hitting at a .256/.316/.533 clip, as well as winning a Silver Slugger award and appearing in his second all-star game.

The powerful outfielder/DH broke into the bigs in 2010 with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, made stops in Arizona and Seattle and ended up in Baltimore for the 2016 campaign.

The Rangers and Rockies had said to have interest in Trumbo, but nothing substantial had come to fruition, hence why Baltimore picked up conversations with Trumbo again.

The deal, on the surface, doesn’t seem like much for a slugger who hit 47 homers, but with his low batting average and on-base percentage, combined with his subpar fielding, he is limited in his abilities.


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Could Orioles Rekindle Talks with Mets on Jay Bruce for Brad Brach Swap? Sun, 18 Dec 2016 22:19:47 +0000 brad-brach

With the news that the Baltimore Orioles have pulled their offer to free agent outfielder Mark Trumbo, the O’s could again turn their attention to Jay Bruce and rekindle talks with the New York Mets.

Bruce would give the Orioles a 30-35 home run bat without having to invest big dollars or make a significant four year commitment. The current Mets right fielder is owed just $13 million for the 2017 season after which he becomes a free agent.

Reportedly, the Mets and Orioles had been discussing a deal that potentially included top right-handed setup reliever Brad Brach who posted a 2.04 ERA and a 1.038 WHIP in 79.0 innings last season while striking out 92 batters.

Things could get a little interesting this week so stay tuned.

- – - Joe D.

Original Report – Dec 16

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers are still willing to move some of their bullpen pieces this offseason.

Specifically, the Orioles are willing to trade Brad Brach. Earlier this offseason, there were reports the Mets were willing to trade Jay Bruce in exchange for Brach.

The Orioles were more interested in Curtis Granderson, and the Orioles wanted the Mets to pay part of the contract for either Bruce or Granderson.  Ultimately, the Orioles and Mets shelved these trade discussions.

Earlier this offseason, MMO’s own Logan Barer analyzed which Rangers relievers could be a fit for the Mets bullpen in the event the Rangers were interested in obtaining Bruce including lefties Alex ClaudioJake Diekman and righties Sam Dyson and Jeremy Jeffress.

With the outfield market still unresolved, and there being relievers still available on the trade market, the Mets may still be able to move Bruce for a valuable piece this offseason.

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Orioles Agree On One Year Deal With Catcher Welington Castillo Wed, 14 Dec 2016 20:58:39 +0000 welington-castillo

Jon Heyman reports via Twitter that the Baltimore Orioles have signed free agent catcher Welington Castillo to a one year deal worth $6 million dollars, that includes a player option for 2018 worth $7 million.

Castillo, 29, batted .264/.322/.423 last season with 24 doubles, 16 home runs and 68 RBIs in 457 plate appearances. He gives the Orioles a bat with some power and has pretty solid splits against left-handed pitching, owning a career .840 OPS against them in his career and a .868 OPS in 2016.

The former D’Back will replace longtime Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who remains a free agent and is essentially done as the O’s catcher.

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Orioles Showing Interest in Granderson, Not Bruce Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:27:39 +0000 jay bruce

According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, the Baltimore Orioles have shown an interest in acquiring Curtis Granderson from the New York Mets, but they have not shown much interest in Jay Bruce.

Both Mets outfielders are on expiring deals, and both players are best suited to playing right field. Mark Trumbo was the Orioles primary right fielder last year. The All-Star hit .256/.316/.533 with 47 homers and 108 RBI. The Orioles made him a qualifying offer, which he rejected and it’s believed the Orioles are not interested in a reunion with Trumbo.

Last year, Granderson, 35, hit .237/.335/.464 with 30 homers and 59 RBI. Granderson spent most of his time in right field, but he was forced to move to center due to Yoenis Cespedes‘ quad injury and the acquisition of Bruce. He is due to make $15 million during the 2017 season.

Bruce, 30, is coming off a year where he hit .250/.309/.506 with 33 homers and 99 RBI in this time split between the Reds and the Mets. Bruce mostly struggled in his 50 games as a Met hitting just .219/.294/.391 with eight homers and 19 RBI. Despite these struggles, the Mets picked up Bruce’s $13 million team option.

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Mets Trade Logan Verrett To Orioles For Cash Wed, 30 Nov 2016 18:36:46 +0000 logan verrett

The Mets have traded RHP Logan Verrett, 26, to the Baltimore Orioles for $50,000 in cash.

This move is to free up a roster spot for Yoenis Cespedes.

In 2016, Verrett went 3-8 with a 5.20 ERA. He appeared in 35 games (12 starts), striking out 66 batters in 91.2 innings.

Verrett has been briefly acquainted with the Orioles before. They picked him from the Rule 5 Draft in 2014, but when they couldn’t find a spot for him, they put him on waivers. The Rangers picked him up but he shortly returned to the Mets organization, who had drafted him in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft.

This is not surprising as the Mets have Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman, and Seth Lugo all on track to be healthy by spring training.

This move could mean that the Mets are not planning on offering Lugo or Gsellman in any trades, as if they were, they probably would have kept Verrett.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Koji Uehara, RP Sun, 27 Nov 2016 15:30:36 +0000 koji-uehara-jim-davis-globe-2013-09-03

Koji Uehara
Position: Reliever
Bats: Right – Throws: Right
Born: April 3, 1975 (Age 41)

As the New York Mets continue to scour the market for late inning relievers, one potential target is a right-handed arm that has experience in both closing and setting-up, in 41-year-old Koji Uehara.

The eight-year veteran began his major league career with the Baltimore Orioles in 2009, and was then involved in one of the Orioles’ best trades in franchise history, shipping Uehara to the Texas Rangers for RH Tommy Hunter and a young power first baseman, Chris Davis.

In the winter of 2012, Uehara signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox, where he’s remained ever since, going on to be named the 2013 ALCS MVP and eventual World Series Champions in his first season in Beantown. He even garnered some Cy Young votes that season, coming in seventh with a 5% share.

Uehara has been one of the most dominant relievers in the game, particularly between 2012-15. During that stretch, Uehara was sixth among relievers in fWAR (6.4), sixth in ERA (1.84), sixth in average against (.171), fifth in LOB% (86.2%), and led all relievers in WHIP (0.75) and BB/9 (1.21). Uehara has found great success relying mainly on three pitches, a four-seam fastball, cutter, and split-fingered fastball, according to Brooks Baseball.

For his career, Uehara has predominantly been a fly ball pitcher, averaging 52.3% in his eight-year career. His ground ball percentage peaked in 2013, where he registered a career high of 40.4%, only to see that number decrease down to 21.4% this past season.

His splits have been strong against both right and left-handed hitters, holding right-handed hitters to a .208/.237/.366 line, and lefties to an even better .183/.220/.335 stat line. In 2016, however, his splits were more pronounced, as he continued to dominate lefties (.478 OPS against), but right-handers teed off on Uehara, posting a .505 SLG and .812 OPS, both career worsts.

Despite his age (he turns 42 when the season opens in ’17), Uehara’s peripherals continue to impress. He posted a 10.49 SO/9 in 2015, the lowest it’s been since his rookie season in 2009, but bounced back in ’16 with a 12.06 SO/9, the highest it’s been since 2013. He also posted his seventh straight season of a sub 1.00 WHIP, posting a 0.96 WHIP in ’16.

Acting as the setup man for Craig Kimbrel, Uehara had 18 holds, and did step back into his old familiar role of closer when Kimbrel was placed on the DL due to a left knee medial meniscus tear in early July. Uehara stepped up in his absence, posting a 2.70 ERA in July in eight games, with a perfect four-out-of-four in saves, and holding opponents to a .231 average.

Injuries have taken a toll on Uehara since 2015, where he dealt with a strained left hamstring, a non-displaced distal radius fracture in his right wrist, and a right pectoral strain. In total, Uehara only appeared in 43 and 50 games respectively, being only a few years removed from appearing in 65, 73, and 64 in 2011, ’13, and ’14. His HR/9 numbers also shot up in ’16, jumping from 0.67 in ’15 to 1.53 in ’16. He also registered his highest BB/9 this year at 2.11, the first time in his career where he had back-to-back seasons of over 2.00 BB/9 (2.01 in 2015).

Uehara’s ERA was also a career high in ’16, posting a 3.45 ERA, the last time he posted an ERA above that was his rookie season in Baltimore (4.05 ERA).


Uehara won’t draw the same attention that the elite relievers on the market will, and may not even draw the same attention the second tier pitchers will (Boone Logan, Fernando Salas, etc.). There are plenty of teams looking for back end help in the bullpen, and Uehara fits that description with his experience closing and setting up. His age shouldn’t give teams pause, however, a few of his declining numbers might. Look for Uehara to get one or two-year offers, in the $3-6 million annual range. Expect the Mets, Twins, Padres, Cubs, Mariners, Yankees, White Sox, and Red Sox to show interest.


Sandy Alderson should be looking into many free agent arms to help for 2017, especially since Jeurys Familia is likely to be suspended in the beginning of the season due to his legal battle with domestic violence. The Mets should be looking at relievers that have experience closing, like Uehara does, so that he can be used as an option for the ninth, but also is comfortable appearing in the seventh and eighth innings as well.

Uehara should not be considered a big free agent signing, but as a supplement to whoever else Alderson brings in for bullpen help, along with Addison Reed who will likely handle the closing duties until Famila returns from suspension.

While the days of appearing in 60 plus games are likely over for free agent reliever, he still has stuff left in the tank and could prove a very useful piece late in games, and also in postseason play, where he has multiple year experience and with great success, posting a 0.833 WHIP and 10.5 SO/9 in 19 games.

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MMO Free Agent Profile: Matt Wieters, C Tue, 08 Nov 2016 20:36:46 +0000 matt-wieters

Matt Wieters, C

Position: Catcher/First base
Bats: Switch – Throws: Right
Born: May 21, 1986 (Age 30)
Qualified Offer: No

When Matt Wieters was drafted fifth overall in the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft, there were high expectations and hopes riding on the shoulders of the sizable junior out of Georgia Tech. Listed at six-foot-four and two-hundred twenty-five pounds coming out of college, the Baltimore Orioles couldn’t pass on the dynamic size and talent Wieters possessed, offering plus power from both sides of the plate (he’s a switch-hitter), a plus arm behind the plate (was Georgia Tech’s closer too), and above-average arm accuracy behind the plate.

Wieters spent only 169 games in the minors before getting the call to join the Orioles in 2009. Wieters absolutely raked in his first full season in the minors in ’08, slashing .355/.454/.600, with 27 home runs, 91 RBI, and 82 walks compared to 76 strikeouts between Double A Bowie and Advanced A Frederick. He was rated by Baseball America as the Orioles’ number one prospect in 2008, and was rated as the 12th best prospect in the game by Baseball America before the start of the ’08 season. The Orioles believed they had a franchise player in their midst, and at catcher no less, a position that had been routinely filled by aging veterans and fledgling career minor leaguers.

The four-time All-Star has a career major league slash line of .256/.318/.421, with 117 home runs and 437 RBI in his eight-year career. Wieters has played in at least 124 games in five out of his eight seasons, a number the Mets would love to see d’Arnaud regularly play in.

Defensively, the two-time Gold Glove winner had a strong year behind the plate, throwing out 35% of base stealers (9th best), posting a positive DRS for the first time since 2012 with three, and had a defensive rating of 8.4 according to FanGraphs, his highest rating since 2013.

In terms of pitch framing, Wieters didn’t fare well in 2016, rating negatively in getting additional strike calls with a -55 (14th worst), resulting in a -0.49 calls per game, according to the website StatCorner. The last time Wieters posted positive numbers in those categories was back in 2011. Additionally, d’Arnaud has always rated highly in that category, as the website StatCorner lists d’Arnaud adding 60 additional strike calls (11th best), which equates to an additional 0.90 calls per game.

The Orioles did not offer Wieters a qualifying offer for 2017, as they had done last year, when he became just the second player since the inception of the QO in 2012 to accept it. So at least the Mets would not have to forfeit their draft pick (currently the 22nd pick) if they choose to sign Wieters.

The Orioles’ current catching corps includes Francisco Pena and Caleb Joseph, who combined for a .463 OPS in 63 games in ’16. Their number one prospect, Chance Sisco, should begin ’17 in Triple A Norfolk, and could get the call as early as mid-season. That’s why it’s a bit odd that the Orioles didn’t offer Wieters the QO, giving them potentially one more season to refine Sisco’s skills, while hoping Wieters finally has that breakout season that most scouts thought he would.

Contract: With no qualifying offer attached to Wieters, teams shouldn’t feel as reserved about signing him had the loss of a draft pick been in play. I also can’t envision Wieters obtaining an AAV of what the QO is going for, $17.2 million this season. My best guess is that Wieters could fetch a four-year deal in the $60-65 million range from a team, especially now that he’s the number one catcher on the market due to Wilson Ramos tearing his ACL in the last week of the season. Interested suitors for Wieters could include the Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, the Mets, and Orioles.

RecommendationWhile Wieters would offer an immediate upgrade offensively at the catching position, his game does have holes and he hasn’t always been the model of health himself in recent years. My recommendation would be to pass on Wieters, and give d’Arnaud one more chance. The Mets are already getting set to engage in trying to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, their first priority on the open market, who will likely take $100 million plus to bring back into the fold.

Having d’Arnaud start the season as the everyday catcher is not the worst plan; as long as he’s healthy, he should be in line for a bounce back season. I would also encourage the front office to bring in a reliable veteran catcher, just as the Seattle Mariners did in recent days trading for Carlos Ruiz from the Los Angeles Dodgers, to act as a mentor of sorts . And with d’Arnaud set to make under $2 million this season in his first year of arbitration, as projected by MLB Trade Rumors and Pace Law School, it’s a bargain compared to the multiple millions it would take to secure Wieters.

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Jerry Koosman’s Connection to Both Mets World Series Titles Tue, 25 Oct 2016 15:00:35 +0000  

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With the Cubs facing the daunting task of heading back home down 0-2 in the World Series, Jake Arrieta stepped up and pitched the most important game of his life. Arrieta pitched 5.1 no-hit innings to help the Cubs even the series at 1-1. Arrieta was the first pitcher to carry a no-hitter that deep into the World Series since Jerry Koosman pitched six no-hit innings against the Baltimore Orioles in Game 2 of the 1969 World Series.

Koosman’s performance was much more dominating and important than Arrieta’s. Whereas the Cubs are favored in this year’s World Series, the 1969 were about as big of underdogs as you get. The Orioles lineup featured two Hall of Famers in Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson. They had a rotation featuring Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, and future Hall of Famer Jim Palmer. This was about as tough a team you could face. This was a team so tough, they beat Tom Seaver 4-1 in Game 1 of the World Series.

With the Game 1 victory, the Orioles appeared as if they were going to steamroll through the Mets much in the same fashion they had done to the Los Angeles Dodgers three years before and would do the following year to the Cincinnati Reds. Koosman’s 8.2 inning. two-hit masterpiece changed all of that. It completely changed the tone of the World Series and the momentum.

While Koosman was not named the MVP of the series, that honor would go to Donn Clendenon, his performance was the most important factor in the Mets changing the script and winning the World Series in five games. In that World Series, Koosman not only established himself as a great Met, he also established himself as the first big game pitcher in the franchise’s history. Without him the Mets never win the 1969 World Series.

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Coincidentally, without Koosman, the Mets also don’t win the 1986 World Series.

On December 8, 1978, the Mets traded Koosman to his hometown Minnesota Twins in exchange for Greg Field and a player to be named later that turned out to be left-handed pitcher Jesse Orosco.

Today is the 30th Anniversary of the Mets winning their second World Series. The Mets would not have been able to win that World Series without Orosco’s three wins in the NLCS. They would not have won without his standing on the mound to close out Game 7.

Neither the 1969 or the 1986 World Series would have been possible without Koosman. With it being the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 World Series victory and with Arrieta’s peformance, we were again reminded of that.

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Jay Bruce Offers the Mets Trade Options Thu, 13 Oct 2016 13:30:16 +0000 jay bruce 2

With the offseason underway early for the New York Mets, decisions loom for the team as they look to get healthy and back into the postseason for the third year in a row, something the club has never done in their 55-year history.

One such decision is whether or not to pick up Jay Bruce’s option for $13 million for next year, which was one of the intriguing factors in the front office’s decision to trade for the 29-year-old slugger at this year’s deadline. Looked upon as insurance in case Yoenis Cespedes opts out and signs on with a new team, Bruce is considered a backup plan to make up for the lost power and contributions that Cespedes would take with him to his new squad.

I believe the Mets should pick up Bruce’s option, rather than declining it and paying him a $1 million buyout. Bruce, despite his faults and rough beginning with the Mets, still offers 30 home run power and the ability to drive in 90 plus runs, all for a relatively cheap cost heading into 2017. Fans can also point to the fact the Bruce was heating up at the plate, going 12-for-25 with four homers and eight RBI from September 24 to the end of the season, as a sign that perhaps Bruce was starting to break out of his month and a half long slump.

The Mets also have another option at hand: picking up his option and exploring trade possibilities with other clubs. Teams are always in the hunt for power and obtaining it as cheaply as possible. On the free agent market, names like Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Mark Trumbo, and Yoenis Cespedes (assuming he opts out) offer said power, but will all earn more than $13 million either by the qualifying offer ($16.7 million) or signing a long-term deal. The free agent market is also pretty bare this year, with few impactful bats available. Obtaining a legitimate slugger on the cheap, who also is entering his walk year, could be a shrewd move for many teams, and surely the hot stove rumors will start to make their rounds once the World Series concludes.

One such team that looks to be in need of a power bat in their lineup is the Baltimore Orioles, who stand to lose Matt Wieters, Mark Trumbo, and Pedro Alvarez to free agency. Those three-combined hit 86 homers and drove in 223 runs in 2016, a ton of production to replace. The club could look to bring back Trumbo, who hits 47 of those 86 homers and drove in 108 RBI. However, Trumbo might find suitors who are willing to give him multiple years, something the Orioles might be reluctant to do. The Orioles have gotten lucky in the past few seasons, getting contributions from Nelson Cruz, Trumbo, and Alvarez, all while paying them under $25 million combined.


Which brings us back to Bruce. He falls in line with Orioles looking to replace production while not overpaying for it. It’s worth noting that in a small sample size of four games played at Camden Yards, Bruce has gone 5-for-18 (.278), with a homer, four RBI, and an .871 OPS, nice success but in a very limited amount.

With the Mets looking to add bullpen arms in the off-season, could a trade be in the mix for one of the Orioles’ young arms? The Orioles featured a fearsome bullpen in 2016, and for the season the Orioles ranked third in bullpen ERA (3.40), second in LOB% (78.2), and fifth in WAR (5.5).

One intriguing arm is RHP Mychal Givens, the Orioles’ number five prospect heading into 2016. Givens, 26, is a hard tossing (averaging almost 95-mph with his four-seam fastball), side-armer, who is a converted middle infielder, after being drafted by the Orioles in 2009 as a shortstop in the second round of the draft. His offensive struggles in his first few minor league seasons prompted the Orioles to begin the conversion to bullpen arm in 2013. Givens was a two-way prospect from the beginning, who had a mid-90s fastball as a pitcher, which gave the Orioles hope that he’d have a better chance of succeeding as a pitcher. By 2015, Givens would be in Double A Bowie, going 4-2 in 35 games, with a sparkljng 1.73 ERA, and 0.94 WHIP in 57.1 innings.

Givens had a fantastic rookie season out of the pen this season for Buck Showalter, appearing in 66 games with a 3.13 ERA, and an 8-2 record. In 74.2 innings, Givens struck out 96 batters, ninth in baseball among relievers. Givens absolutely owned right-handed hitters, holding them to a .154 average and 2.26 ERA in 55.2 innings. On the flip side, Givens’ kryptonite during the season was facing lefty hitters though, as they crushed him to a slash line of .361/.464/.561 with 15 walks in 19 innings.

Givens started the season off strong, posting a 2.32 ERA while striking out 33 batters in 23 innings between April and May. A rough stretch ensued in June, where his ERA ballooned to an even 6.00, while giving up eight earned runs in 12 innings of work. However, after the All-Star break, Givens tossed 34.1 innings, holding batters to a .188 average, with a 2.88 ERA.

Givens pitched in the American League Wild Card game against the Toronto Blue Jays, relieving Chris Tillman in the fifth, tossing 2.1 innings while striking out three, not allowing a batter to reach base. He was the first man up for Showalter, an impressive display of trust and reliance on the rookie right-hander.

Bruce alone won’t bring back Givens, as the Orioles wouldn’t give up a rising bullpen arm for a year rental of Bruce. Perhaps if the Mets entice the O’s with one or two upper level prospects, a deal could be reached. Or if the Mets were to take back Ubaldo Jimenez in the deal, who’s making $13.5 million in his final year with Baltimore after signing a four-year $50 million deal in 2014, that could help sweeten the pot for a deal to be made between the two clubs.

Of course that’s just one suggestion, as there will be plenty of suitors looking for outfield help, so the Mets can engage with a number of teams looking to add a slugging left-handed hitter to their team. Teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, and San Francisco Giants could all be looking for a power bat in the outfield in the offseason. Needless to say, there will be plenty of hot stove rumors permeating throughout the offseason, some far-fetched, others rooted in a sense of realistic possibilities.

For the Mets, picking up Bruce’s option for $13 million should be a no-brainer, as he offers them a fall back option but also an intriguing trade candidate, who could help bolster their roster heading into 2017 and beyond.

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In Stunning Twist, Dexter Fowler Re-Signs With Cubs Thu, 25 Feb 2016 19:25:09 +0000 dexter fowler

In a move that has taken everyone in the baseball world by surprise, the Chicago Cubs have re-signed free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler to a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2017.

Fowler will receive $8 million in 2016 and the mutual option is for $9 million with a $5 million buyout. In other words, he gets $13 million for 2016 which is less than the $15.8 million qualifying offer he declined.

The way this went down was stunning, here is how David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune explains it:

“At the end of a Cubs workout Thursday morning, outfielder Dexter Fowler surprised everybody by walking onto the field with Epstein to a warm welcome from his old teammates — who also qualify as his new teammates. The Cubs officially announced they had signed Fowler to a one-year contract with a mutual option and $13 million guaranteed, stunning the baseball world and even people in their own clubhouse.”

Only yesterday, it was reported that Fowler had agreed to a three-year, $33 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles, so imagine their shock.

The move now allows Jason Heyward to return to his natural position in right field where he won a gold glove.

“This is where my heart is,’’ Fowler told reporters outside Sloan Park at Cubs spring training camp.

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Maybe The Mets Were Being The Adults In The Room Sat, 02 Jan 2016 00:25:38 +0000 Yoenis , Cespedes

When last we checked, free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes not only had appeared on the radar of the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles according to Jesse Sanchez of, but both teams had emerged as the frontrunners to sign the former New York Met juggernaut. That was three days ago.

However, we have a little more clarity on the Cespedes front as the calendar flips to 2016, and none of it is particularly good news for the free agent who bellowed his demands for a six-year deal three months ago.

To begin, it turns out that the Orioles – while interested – never had any intentions of coming close to the $150 million Cespedes and his representatives at Roc Nation had set their sights on. The two sides are reportedly not even in the same zip code.

And as for the other frontrunner on the south side of Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported today that their interest in Cespedes is limited to a deal for no more than three years.

Sound familiar? It should. Three years was the most Sandy Alderson and the Mets were willing to offer Cespedes according to what team sources told Jon Heyman, and that firm stance ultimately led to the end of any negotiations with Roc Nation. In fact, the conversation between the two sides never even advanced to the point of discussing dollars.

Now, I’m never one to defend the Mets’ frugal ways, however last week I raised the possibility that perhaps this was not a case of the Mets being cheap, but simply a smart baseball decision by a general manager who has never taken kindly to handing out second generation contracts to players on the wrong side of thirty. It’s possible isn’t it?

Those of you who have followed this site since its inception 12 years ago, know all too well that I am not the least bit squeamish about hammering the Wilpons every chance I get. But this feels different to me.

Oh. I’m sure there’s no doubt Fred and Jeff were doing Ralph Kramden’s version of the Watusi when they heard about Sandy’s stance on Cespedes. I’m just saying that this wasn’t a case of them pressuring their GM to back off, or applying those well-polished fiscal handcuffs. Maybe giving Cespedes a six year deal is just a terrible baseball decision for the Mets or any other MLB team.

Still, our poor Mets took a lot of flak upon the news of their three-year or nothing posture, with most of the incoming fire coming from their own fan base itself. Perhaps the Mets front office was being judged a little too harshly based on today’s rumblings on the Cespedes front. Perhaps the Mets may have even been a little ahead of the curve?

In an offseason fraught with spending madness and vast ungodly sums of dollars being thrown about with such reckless abandon, maybe on this one occasion Sandy Alderson and John Ricco were being the adults in the room? It’s possible, isn’t it?

Anyway, there it is… My first article of 2016 is in the books and whether you agree or not, I hope I gave you something to think about. Happy New Year, my friends.

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Orioles To Acquire Mark Trumbo Wed, 02 Dec 2015 03:56:05 +0000 1449028268338

December 2

Dutton reports on Twitter that pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser is the second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.

Riefenhauser, 26 in January, spent this past season with the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching to a 5.52 ERA in 17 games.

Riefenhauser was just traded to the Mariners last month along with Nate Karns and Boog Powell for Logan Morrison, Danny Farquhar and Brad Miller, but will now be on the move yet again.

December 1

According to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, the Seattle Mariners have a deal in place that would send first baseman Mark Trumbo and a second player to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for veteran catcher Steve Clevenger

Trumbo, 30, split last season between the Mariners and Diamonbacks, and combined to hit .262/.310/.449 with 22 home runs and 64 runs batted in.

Trumbo averaged 32 home runs a season in his time with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from 2011-2013, but after an injury plagued 2014, Trumbo was not able to match that total in 2015.

However, with Chris Davis potentially leaving the Orioles via free agency, Trumbo’s potential alone makes him appealing to Baltimore.

Dutton adds that Baltimore is also getting a second player in the deal, which we’ll report as soon as it is announced.

The aforementioned Clevenger, 29, hit .287/.314/.426 in 30 games for the Orioles in 2015 in a reserve role. He projects to backup newly acquired catcher Chris Ianetta in Seattle.

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Nationals Suspend Papelbon For Remainder Of Season Mon, 28 Sep 2015 19:25:24 +0000 harper papelbon

Updating this report to include the following:

The Washington Nationals have suspended Jonathan Papelbon for four games or essentially the remainder of the season.

Papelbon dropped the appeal of his three-game suspension for hitting Baltimore’s Manny Machado, so he’ll be out for the seven remaining games of Washington’s season.

“The behavior exhibited by Papelbon yesterday is not acceptable,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. “That is not at all in line with the way our players are expected to conduct themselves and the Nationals organization will not tolerate it in any way.”

* * * * * * * * * *

After the Washington Nationals were eliminated from the postseason on Saturday when the New York Mets clinched the NL East title, things have deteriorated rapidly in DC culminating in an all-out brawl between MVP candidate Bryce Harper and Nats closer Jonathan Papelbon.

After Harper hit a soft pop up and jogged to first, he was greeted by Papelbon who was barking at him about not running harder. Not one to back down, Harper went off on Papelbon who the responded by grabbing his throat and trying to punch him in the face as teammates rushed to pull the two players apart.

Wow, that was ugly…

There were rumblings that Harper was not happy about Papelbon twice throwing to Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles last week and he was letting everyone on the team know about it. This could have fueled Papelbon’s fire today, who appealed his suspension.

Harper was immediately removed from the game, while Papelbon pitched the ninth and blew the save after getting tagged for a game tying two-run homer.

This morning, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post reported that Nationals manager Matt Williams has completely lost his clubhouse, which is why he believes they lost the division lead in the NL East to the Mets.

“Now, several Nationals players believe Williams won’t be able to grow even if the club brings him back for 2016. And this isn’t just one or two malcontents. These opinions span positions and experience. “It’s a terrible environment,” one player said. “And the amazing part is everybody feels that way.”

Thing have devolved into total chaos over there…

Good for us!

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Pitching Analysis of Noah Syndergaard vs Baltimore Orioles Thu, 20 Aug 2015 15:30:14 +0000 noah syndergaard

“I feel like with the exception of the first inning it was a pretty solid performance. A lot of people have been concerned about my performances on the road. I feel like this was a step in the right direction, as far as being more comfortable out there.” – Noah Syndergaard

Stat Line:  (ND 7-6) 5 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 6 SO, 2 BB

Battling past erratic command, Noah Syndergaard’s sharp movement on his two-seam fastball and curveball coupled with a solid mix in pitch selection helped him evade complete disaster.  This outing is a great example of being wild but not effectively wild as noted in previous Matt Harvey articles.

Harvey was wild within the strike zone, still maintaining a high strike rate.  Conversely, Syndergaard continually threw pitches out of the strike zone leading to less swings and less weak contact.

Thankfully, Syndergaard’s curveball is an absolute hammer, exhibiting sharp 12 to 6 movement which produced a 34.4% miss/whiff rate.  Otherwise, the Orioles would have started the carrousel around the bases.

Getting Behind, Staying Behind

Contrary to Jacob deGrom’s outing last night, Syndergaard consistently fell behind in the count.

As noted in yesterday’s article, the Orioles hit .297 with a .517 slugging percentage when ahead in the count this season.  Conversely, the Orioles batting average is .202 with a slugging percentage of .324 when behind in the count.

Syndergaard fell behind in the count against 11 of the 24 Orioles faced (45%).  He threw a first pitch strike to 14 of the 24 Orioles faced (58%).  To understand those subpar percentages, in deGrom’s successful outing last night, he feel behind against 35% of Orioles faced and managed 78% first pitch strikes.

Another difference is deGrom throwing 70% total strikes versus Syndergaard’s 64% total strike rate.  Major League strike rates below 65% are considered average to below average as opposed to an above average strike rate at or above 70%.

Additionally, less strikes early in an at-bat equate to less balls put in ball early in the at-bat leading to higher pitch counts.  This lowers Syndergaard’s chances to gain a six inning quality start and pushes more innings on a bullpen that has faltered of late.

Control Running Game

As Keith Hernandez eluded to in the broadcast, Syndergaard’s high leg kick and slow rhythm in his pitching motion from the stretch translates to the ball taking too long to get to home plate.

Even worse, Syndergaard struggles mightily with holding runners on base.  Too often he comes set, waits one second and begins his pitching motion.

This hit rock bottom last night after Chris Davis, who now has two stolen bases this season, took a walking lead off second base to steal third base.  Gerardo Parra took advantage of this in the first inning, easily stealing second base.

Simply, Syndergaard needs to vary his time holding the baseball when he comes set in the stretch.  Another way to vary his timing is attempting more pickoffs to first base even if he knows he won’t pickoff the runner.

He must improve on holding runners to minimize stolen bases before a potential playoff run.  The importance of 90 feet is the difference between a double play ground ball and the opposing team advancing a runner from second to third with one out.  This is how playoff games are won and lost.

Looking Forward

Syndergaard’s next start will come next week against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.  On May 27th, he dominated the Phillies striking out six over 7.1 innings.  Here is the pitching breakdown article from that game.

Stat of the Night

Last night, Syndergaard didn’t induce any soft contact registering a 0.0% soft contact percentage.

Statistics thanks to @BrooksBaseball PitchF/X Tool.

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Follow Chris Zaccherio on Twitter @ziography for more Mets pitching insight that goes beyond statistics.

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MMO Game Recap: Orioles 5, Mets 4 Thu, 20 Aug 2015 02:44:49 +0000 noah syndergaard

The Mets (64-56) were defeated by the Baltimore Orioles (62-57) by a score of 5-4 tonight at Camden Yards.


Noah Syndergaard got the start for the Mets, and got himself into immediate danger in the first inning. The rookie right-hander let up a lead-off double to Manny Machado, which was followed by a single from Gerardo Parra.

Parra then stole second base, and Adam Jones walked to load the bases with nobody out. Syndergaard regrouped, and was able to strike out Chris Davis, and get Jonathan Schoop to ground into an inning ending double play.

In the fourth inning, Adam Jones hit a ground rule double to start the frame, which was followed by a walk to Chris Davis. Two batters later, Steve Clevenger hit a single to score Jones and get the Orioles on the board.

Thor pitched into the sixth inning, when the Orioles were able to knot the game up at three at the time, by allowing a two-run shot to Jonathan Schoop.

After allowing a hit to the next batter Steve Clevenger, Syndergaard was removed from the game. He gets a no-decision, and ties a franchise record for going nine straight road starts without a win.

In the seventh inning, Adam Jones hit a home run off of Hansel Robles, who had seemed to turn a corner, to tie up the game yet again.

In the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Torres came in and promptly served up a game-winning home run to Henry Urrutia. Torres falls to 4-5 on the season.

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In the first inning, Daniel Murphy hit a solo home run to give the Mets an early advantage. The home run was Murph’s ninth of the year.

In the fourth inning, Ubaldo Jimenez walked Lucas Duda to start off the frame. Duda was caught stealing on a failed hit-and-run play, and Juan Uribe struck out.

But with two out, Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto walked and Wilmer Flores hit a single to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.

Daniel Murphy was able to tack on another run for the Mets in the fifth, with a single to score Curtis Granderson.

In the seventh inning, with the game tied, Wilmer Flores launched his 12th homer of the year to tie up the game at the time. Unfortunately, it would be the last Mets run as they failed to rally and win the game.

On deck:

The Mets are off tomorrow, but start a three game series in Colorado this weekend. Bartolo Colon (10-11, 4.58 ERA) gets the ball for the Mets for the opener. First pitch is scheduled for 8:40 PM.

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Pitching Analysis of Jacob deGrom vs Baltimore Orioles Wed, 19 Aug 2015 15:43:27 +0000 New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

Stat Line: (W 12-6) 7.2 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 6 SO, 1 BB

Jacob deGrom proved he doesn’t need his best command to be deGrominant.  Similar to Matt Harvey against the Colorado Rockies last week, deGrom struggled commanding his pitches knee high and low in the strike zone.  In order to adapt, deGrom attacked the strike zone throwing 70% of his pitches for strikes.  Specifically, deGrom threw 76% strike rate with his fastball.

DeGrom also put heavier reliance on his curveball and changeup.  This helped him stay unpredictable, helping keep opposing Baltimore Orioles off-balance translating to a low 10% line drive rate and high 60% ground ball rate.

Get Ahead, Stay Ahead

It is essential getting ahead and staying ahead of Orioles hitters this season.  In 2015, the Orioles are batting .297 with a .517 slugging percentage when ahead in the count.  Conversely, when hitting behind in the count the Orioles batting average is .202 with a slugging percentage of .324.

DeGrom controlled nearly every at-bat, throw 78% first pitch strikes.  Additionally, he stayed ahead of hitters, only falling behind in the count in 10 of the 28 Oriole at-bats.  Even in the 10 at-bats he fell behind, deGrom battled back even or induced a ball in play for an out in eight of those 10 at-bats.

Mixing Pitches

The first time through the Orioles batting order, deGrom attacked primarily with fastballs accounting for 71% of his total pitches.  After the third inning, deGrom altered his approach, throwing 57% fastballs to 43% off speed pitches.  This resulted in off speed pitches producing eight of the 14 outs during that span as opposed to only one of the first nine outs during the first three innings.

After throwing first pitch fastballs to all of the first eight batters he faced, deGrom flipped the script, starting 12 of the following 20 Orioles with off speed pitches.

This unpredictability in pitch selection caused hesitant swings and weak contact from the fourth through eighth innings excluding Gerardo Parra’s sixth inning homerun.

Looking Forward

DeGrom’s next start will likely come against the Philadelphia Phillies early next week.  He has been deGrominant against the Phillies this season allowing 1 earned run, striking out 12 and holding them to a .315 slugging percentage over 13.2 innings.

Stat of the Night

@ESPNStatsInfo provides a look into deGrom’s place in Mets single season pitching history here.

Statistics thanks to and @BrooksBaseball.

Follow Chris Zaccherio on Twitter @ziography for more Mets pitching insight that goes beyond statistics.

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Ron Swoboda Makes The Catch Sat, 15 Aug 2015 15:07:54 +0000 1969 moon landing apollo 11

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy challenged America. He insisted that by the end of the decade, we put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth. Kennedy’s idea was outlandish and considered completely and utterly impossible. However, on July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong set foot on the surface of the moon.

Almost equally as impossible was the Mets winning a World Series. In 1962, the Mets set the modern day record for baseball futility by losing 120 games. The thought of this team winning it all by the end of the decade was also considered completely and utterly impossible.

On July 21, as Apollo astronauts Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin surveyed the lunar landscape, the Mets were 53-39, just 5 games back. The ’69 season was filled with strange plays, unlikely stars and a black cat. As the underdog Mets shocked the baseball world and ran down the Cubs to win the division, fans wondered how long would our luck last.

After out-slugging the Braves in the first ever League Championship Series, the Mets faced a much more daunting task – the mighty Baltimore Orioles. Although many fans hoped the Amazins’ season would continue, the experts were skeptical and saying a best case scenario would be the Mets holding their own and not being too embarrassed by the much more superior Orioles.

Baltimore had won 109 times during the season and captured the AL East by 19 games. The Mets were quickly brought back to reality. On just the second pitch of Game One the Mets were trailing 1-0 after Don Buford took Tom Seaver yard, and they would go on to lose the opening game 4-1. However, the Mets captured Game 2 by a score of 2-1 and now the two teams would head to Shea Stadium  – the house of miracles – tied one game apiece.

The Mets won Game 3, 5-0, highlighted by Tommie Agee’s catches and baby-faced Gary Gentry out-pitching Jim Palmer and shutting down the O’s vaunted offense.

Ron+swoboda+(25)Game 4 was next and that would be one for the ages. The right fielder for New York that day was Ron Swoboda. Five seasons earlier, on April 12, 1965, 20-year old Swoboda made his major league debut. He hit two home runs in his first four at-bats and would go on to hit 19 for the year, a Mets record for rookies at the time. Overly optimistic Mets fans quickly pointed out that was more homers than Mickey Mantle had hit in his rookie season. People also began drawing comparisons between Swoboda and Babe Ruth. After all, BOTH were born in Baltimore.

Although well loved, Swoboda would never be destined for greatness. There would be no all-star games in his future and no induction in Cooperstown. He was a mediocre hitter at best. But he played with heart. He was not blessed with blinding speed or natural ability. He had no special gift. But his all out play and the fact that he gave it his all and made the most of his limited talent endeared him to fans. It was once said of Ron, “He’s got the heart of a lion.”

Ironically, his greatest weakness was his inept fielding. He would frequently circle under routine fly balls seeming unsure and confused. A popup to right field was always an adventure and resulted in fans holding their collective breath. Teammates nicknamed him ‘Rocky’ as a tongue in cheek way of chiding him for his lack of defensive prowess.

However, Swoboda played his part in that miracle season. In September, Cardinals ace Steve Carlton set the MLB record by striking out 19 batters, but still lost the game, 4-3, thanks to a pair of 2-run homers by Swoboda.

Pivotal Game 4 featured Tom Seaver (25-7, 2.21 ERA) opposing Mike Cuellar (23-11, 2.38 ERA). Both would go on to win the Cy Young Award that year. In everything that World Series pitching match-ups should be, but seldom are, Seaver out-pitched Cuellar. With the expression ‘pitch count’ not in anyone’s vocabulary, Seaver went to the top of the 9th clinging to a 1-0 lead.

With their backs to the wall, Baltimore battled back. With one out, Frank Robinson and Boog Powell both singled. Baltimore had the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first. Future Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson stepped to the plate. He hit Seaver’s first delivery to right-center. The white baseball began sinking against the bright green grass. There was no player in sight. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the poor-fielding Swoboda appeared. Using all of his limited speed, he dove and stuck out his glove. Completely parallel to the grass and fully extended, just inches from the ground, he snared the sinking liner. The initial response was one of disappointment. After all, Frank Robinson scored easily from 3B on the Sac Fly and Baltimore tied the game.

However, seconds later, the reality of Swoboda’s catch began to sink in. Had the ball gotten by him it would have easily rolled to the wall and given the Orioles a 2-1 lead, most likely a victory and guaranteed a return trip to Baltimore. Swoboda’s catch kept the game tied at 1-1 and the Mets would win the game in 10 innings. The next day Jerry Koosman would take the mound for Game 5. Game, set, match. The Mets had shocked the world.

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Swoboda’s catch is an iconic image, not only in Mets history but in World Series history. At the time, it was considered by many to be one of the best catches, if not the best, in the history of October baseball.

On March 31, 1971, 26-year old Swoboda was sent to Montreal in exchange for Don Hahn. Later that year, he returned to NY but was wearing pinstripes. In 1973, however, as the Mets battled toward their second World Series, the Yankees released Swoboda. He attended spring training in 1974 with the Braves but did not make the team.

Although he attempted a brief comeback with the Mets in 1976 (he attended spring training but didn’t make the cut), Rocky decided to hang ‘em up and retire from the game.

His career stats are unimpressive. In six seasons with the Mets, he batted just .242 and collected 536 hits, 304 RBI, and ironically, 69 Home Runs. However, when Met fans remember Swoboda, his career stats are meaningless to us. Home runs and RBIs can be measured, but intangibles like heart, can not. And that is one area where Swoboda is unsurpassed.

When one looks back at the history of the turbulent 1960’s, there are certain unforgettable images that come to mind. You will remember those old photos of John Kennedy in the Oval Office, or his brother Bobby tousling his hair. You can see Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

You will recall photos of The Beatles and their screaming throngs of fans. And Jimmy Hendrix playing a guitar like no one ever had at Woodstock. You can count on seeing helicopters dropping bombs in the jungles of Vietnam and the image of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon. And in addition to all that iconic imagery, Met fans will always have that unforgettable memory of Ron Swoboda sliding across the green grass of Shea and saving the day.

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MMO Game Recap: Mets 5, Orioles 1 Thu, 07 May 2015 02:21:28 +0000 Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 10.23.36 PMThe Mets (18-10) defeated the Baltimore Orioles (12-13) tonight at Citi Field 5-1, wrapping up a brief two-game sweep of Baltimore.

The Mets saw a little bump in the offense tonight, scoring five runs for the first time in ten games. They got it started when, in the second, Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez walked Michael Cuddyer and then Kevin Plawecki. Dilson Herrera then singled to center, driving Cuddyer in and giving the Mets the first run of the game.

Leading off the third, Curtis Granderson socked a 2-0 pitch over the right field wall, his second home run of the year. Granderson hasn’t hit for much power this season, slugging .359 on the year. However, he has been picking it up with the bat a bit lately, hitting safely in nine of his last 11 games.

Granderson came through again in the fourth when the Mets loaded the bases (including a deGrom single!) against Jimenez. Granderson lofted one to left-center that was just deep enough to score Plawecki from third, making it 3-0. Jimenez would finish the fourth, but that would be all from him. He really labored through his four innings.

On the mound for the Mets, Jacob deGrom bounced back from two bad starts in a row. As Gary and Ron pointed out in the booth, deGrom got 17 swings and misses tonight, more than twice as many as he got in his last start. He definitely looked more like himself, striking out nine batters while only walking one over seven innings. The only run deGrom allowed was a fifth inning RBI-single to Jimmy Paredes, the only run the Orioles got on the night.

The Mets’ night was capped off when Dilson Herrera hit a long fly ball that bounced off the railing over the left field fence. The hit was originally called a double, but a quick review of the replay by the umpires showed it clearly hit the railing, giving the Mets a 5-1 lead.

From there on, Carlos Torres tossed a scoreless eighth and Terry Collins brought in Alex Torres for the ninth.  After Torres allowed a runner on, Collins opted to bring in Jeurys Familia in a non-save situation with the dangerous Steve Pearce coming up to the plate. Collins had reason to worry about Pearce, who hit 21 homers and slugged .556 in 383 plate appearances last season. The call worked out, as Familia struck out Pearce and closed out the 5-1 win for the Mets.

Win probability breakdown

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On Deck

The Mets have an off day tomorrow before heading to Philadelphia on Friday night to begin a three-game series with the Phillies. It’ll be a battle of the aces as Matt Harvey (5-0, 2.41ERA, 2.79 FIP, 2.87 xFIP) takes on Cole Hamels (1-3, 4.14 ERA, 5.41 FIP, 3.83 xFIP).

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Rangers Claim Logan Verrett Off Waivers From Orioles Fri, 03 Apr 2015 02:35:24 +0000 logan verrett

The Texas Rangers have claimed right-hander Logan Verrett off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles and added him to their 25 man roster.

Verrett, 24, had been selected by the Orioles from the Mets in December’€™s Rule 5 Draft. The Rangers will have to carry Verrett all season long or expose him to waivers again. If he clears waivers, Verrett will be offered back to the Mets for $25K.

The former Mets top prospect had a solid big-league camp posting a 1.93 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 14 innings with 12 strikeouts and just two walks.


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MMO Fan Shot: A Hardy Handshake Mon, 06 Oct 2014 12:00:18 +0000 hardy

An MMO Fan Shot by Logan Barer

This offseason is, as countless writers have pointed out, absolutely critical for the Mets and one of the most important in recent memory. Because that has been beaten to death by many in such great detail, I will not delve into why it is so important. However, I do want to put my two cents in as to what I believe the Mets must do this offseason. Hmm, two cents, that’s just about how much the Wilpons are seemingly allowing Alderson to spend.

Many Mets fans have talked about trading for Yoenis Cespedes, which I completely agree with. Others have talked about trading for Jose Bautista, which also would be nice, but I believe the price would probably be a bit prohibitive. When it comes down to it, the Mets need another power hitter, whether it be at shortstop or corner outfield.

There is someone entering the free agent market this offseason that, when healthy, is good for 25 home runs. He is also a two-time All-Star and has won two gold gloves. Still don’t know who I’m talking about? I’ll give you another hint; he’s currently helping the Baltimore Orioles knock off the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. I’m talking about none other than shortstop J.J. Hardy.

It is imperative that the Mets sign Hardy this offseason. Of course that is easier said than done. The Mets have the 15th pick in the 2015 draft, and because it’s not in the top 10, the pick is unprotected. That means if the Mets sign a Type-A free agent, meaning someone who was tendered a qualifying offer and turned it down, they will have to forfeit their first round draft pick.

The Orioles are in a tricky spot. Last season, qualifying offers were worth $14.1 million dollars. Most likely, they will be higher this offseason, by how much we don’t know quite yet, but let’s assume it’s $14.5 million. If the Orioles want to be compensated with a draft pick for losing Hardy to free agency, they will need to tender that offer. Here’s the catch: He has never earned more than $7 million per season in his career. After a season in which his power numbers were down (9 HR) due to a back injury, Hardy would be sure to accept the offer for more than twice what he’s earning. The Orioles know that if they do end up wanting to re-sign him, they could probably sign him to a longer-term deal worth less annually off the free agent market. All this being noted, my guess is that the Orioles don’t tender a qualifying offer.

If this is the case, that is good news for the Amazins. Right now, our shortstop is Wilmer Flores. However, Ruben Tejada is due a raise, probably via arbitration, that has been estimated to be around $2-3.5 million for next season. That is too much money to pay for a back-up shortstop, so all arrows point to the Mets non-tendering him this offseason. Wilmer Flores can play second base, so in a scenario where we trade Daniel Murphy he could shift back to second and leave shortstop open for Hardy to swoop in and do his gold glove thing.

The Mets organization has been quite ambiguous as to how much money the Mets will spend this offseason. Signing JJ Hardy to a deal, which sources estimate at 2-3 years worth $8M per year, would require the Mets to free up some money if they intend on keeping the same payroll. With the plethora of starting pitching, it seems it would be wise to trade either Jonathan Niese or Bartolo Colon. Niese is younger and owed less money, and Colon is older and owed almost twice as much. It would be much easier to trade Niese, but the Mets will probably shop Colon more aggressively. If either of those pitchers were traded, however, it would free up money to sign Hardy.

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Hardy is hardly the full solution. He is a power bat that we need, but we still need a corner outfielder. However, he would bolster our lineup immensely, not to mention how much improved the Mets defense would be by a two-time gold-glover. With Lagares out there in center field doing his best Willie Mays impression every game and David Wright with his two gold gloves at third, the Mets could start to field an extremely good defensive team. Sign a big name corner outfielder who plays good defense, say, Yoenis Cespedes’ arm, the Mets would be in business.

The Mets are in position to win some games. With what could become the best 1-5 starting rotation in the Show, the Mets need to make the necessary moves this offseason to win those 10-12 more games Sandy says he’d like to see. Of course, signing Hardy is easier said than done, but it is a huge step towards the Mets achieving their goals.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Logan Barer. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Teagarden Has “Grand” Mets Debut Wed, 11 Jun 2014 14:00:16 +0000 Teagarden

Living up to expectations as an organizations top-10 prospect is a daunting task.  There have been hundreds of prospects that showed promise early on that never made it to the major leagues, let alone stay at that level.  Taylor Teagarden has had to battle with that since being drafted in the 3rd round by the Texas Rangers.

Teagarden was originally drafted back in 2002 by the Chicago Cubs in the 22nd round but never signed and played his collegiate career for the Texas Longhorns.  Fast-forward three years to see him drafted once again, this time by the Texas Rangers in the third round in 2005.  He was immediately listed as a top-10 prospect for the Rangers as soon as he signed.

After going through the Rangers system relatively fast, Teagarden made his major league debut in July of 2008.  He showed promise early on hitting .309 in 16 games.  Some setbacks and injuries later, Teagarden would be up and down between the minors leagues and the major leagues before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles at the end of 2011.  The story was similar in Baltimore.  He would play in 45 games with the Orioles over two season before being released at the end of last season.

In comes the Mets.  Teagarden was signed to a deal in January and was slated to play in Las Vegas and probably not thought of to be behind the plate in New York because of Travis d’Arnaud.  Well as we have learned that didn’t quite work the way the Mets had hoped.

After 34 games in Las Vegas, Teagarden earned a promotion once again to the big leagues.  At the time of his call-up, Teagarden was hitting .279 for the 51′s with eight home runs and 19 RBI.  Playing well in the minors was not always the problem during his career.  Staying healthy and producing in the majors on a consistent basis was held him back.

On Tuesday, Teagarden wasn’t off to a good start in the game striking out in his first two at-bats.  He would have the chance to leave his mark in the sixth inning with the bases loaded.  Teagarden would deliver hitting a grand-slam making the game 6-1, furthering the Mets chance at ending their losing streak.  They would hold off the Brewers snapping the skid at six games with a 6-2 win.

It has come out that the catching duties would be split without a clear starter.  Teagarden produced at a critical time and will hopefully get more opportunities to do so the rest of the way.

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