Mets Merized Online » Beltran http://metsmerizedonline.com Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:06:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 Time To Pull Plug On Chris Young Experiment http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/time-to-pull-plug-on-chris-young-experiment.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/05/time-to-pull-plug-on-chris-young-experiment.html/#comments Thu, 22 May 2014 13:00:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=156332 chris young

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MMO

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Beltran and Wright Defend Tejada Against Team’s Anonymous Jab http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/beltran-and-wright-defend-tejada-against-teams-anonymous-jab.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/beltran-and-wright-defend-tejada-against-teams-anonymous-jab.html/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 05:30:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149131 New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

Andy Martino of the Daily News, wrote on Wednesday that former Met Carlos Beltran spent a few moments in the Yankee clubhouse wondering about the Ruben Tejada drama in Port St. Lucie.

“What’s going on with (Ruben) Tejada?” Beltran asked Martino, referring to the negativity that has been surrounding the Mets shortstop.  

Martino tells him that Mets officials have long criticized Tejada on the record, and most recently anonymously, for his work ethic and conditioning. That struck a chord with Beltran, who has endured similar experiences during his time with the Mets.

“Anonymous?” Beltran said. “Come on. Anonymous? Come forward, brother. If you have something to say, come forward and say it.”

Beltran said that when a young player like Tejada sees negative stories about him and being generated from his team, he is deeply affected and not in a good way.

“Of course, it has to make you feel bad. Horrible. When you see all that coming out, you feel bad about yourself, and feel bad about the whole situation. The best way to solve that is by communicating. Not in the papers. You solve things by talking to the person. Person-to-person.”

Martino states that Beltran was impressed by Tejada when they played together in 2010 and 2011.

“Sometimes when you’re quiet and you don’t say much, and you respond back with a smile, some people misunderstand,” Beltran said.  “Maybe they start putting a stamp on him, that he is that type of guy. But my experience with him is that he is a great kid, and I love him.”

Martino recounts Sandy Alderson’s response to the anonymous comment from someone on his staff. “Look, we have probably 30 front office and coaching staff down here. There’s going to be a stray comment about players from time to time. That’s unfortunately the nature of the media in New York.”

“I’m not surprised,” Beltran humorously shared with Martino. “No, I’m not surprised. By anything anymore.”

All the negativity about Tejada compelled Beltran to come to the defense and moral support of the young shortstop. From Beltran’s perspective, this is a continuing problem that has gone on in the past and it’s unfair.

I have to agree somewhat with Beltran in the sense that if someone in Mets management had something negative to say why did he run to the NY Post?

A young player can be ruined by all the negativity surrounding him and I am not saying that Tejada hasn’t brought some of it upon himself, but how much will he be able to take before it truly breaks him?

If it’s a motivational tactic, to get Tejada to do more or be more, I can see that backfiring. The only way to get a player to perform well is to lift him up, not tear him down.

Mets captain David Wright did not attempt to hide his anger about the anonymous jab on Tejada and also came to his teammate’s defense.

“That’s one of my biggest pet peeves in all of baseball,” Wright said. “If you’re going to criticize the guy, put your name behind it.”

“This is the best shape I have seen him come into spring in,” the third baseman said, “and I can see he is moving around a lot better out there.”

Hopefully all this drama will come to an end soon and we can all concentrate on playing baseball games again.

(Photo by Anthony J. Causi)

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Alderson Discusses His Process On Rebuilding The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/alderson-discusses-his-process-on-rebuilding-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/alderson-discusses-his-process-on-rebuilding-the-mets.html/#comments Sat, 08 Feb 2014 04:55:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147493 sandy alderson

In an interview with ESPN.com’s Keith Law, Mets GM Sandy Alderson discussed the processes he implemented since taking over the club and how it has led to a system with improved depth and several players being looked at as top 100 prospects.

On building through the draft:

“With respect to the draft, we have taken a more aggressive posture with regard to higher ceiling players coming out of the draft. All of our first round picks since I’ve been with the Mets have been high school players. We haven’t done that intentionally, but I think we’ve had a tendency to go with those higher ceiling players.”

“And by the way, we’ve actually had those first round picks because we didn’t sign any free agent players like the Mets have done previously.”

Being More Systematic:

“Paul DePodesta oversees scouting and player development and he’s done a terrific job not just by the selections we’ve made, but approaching it all in a very systematic way. That means using the information, but doing it in a way that gives us some leverage and using less traditional means of player evaluation.”

On building through International arena:

“We’ve had some luck and signed some guys who have been over age for the International market. Rafael Montero who we signed at age 20 has come on rather quickly. So we’ve tried to do some nontraditional things in the International market as well.”

Building Via Trades:

“Talent acquisition has been important to us. We’ve made some trades involving high quality players like Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey and most recently Marlon Byrd, so we picked up some prospects in that way as well. We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made and hopefully those prospects will emerge soon at the major league level.”

On Organizational Patience:

Sandy credited the success of International players to the fact the Mets have not one, but two teams in the Dominican Republic at the Mets Academy. He pointed out how critical it was to have the diversified staff in place to work with these players who are rough around the edges and help them to their ultimate transition to the United States.

“Development today is far more sophisticated than it was 20 or 25 years ago.”

You can listen to Keith Law’s entire interview with Sandy here.

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Around the Diamond: Center Field http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/around-the-diamond-center-field.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/around-the-diamond-center-field.html/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 19:19:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137617 mookie wilson

In the Mets’ 52 seasons, there have been 26 different Center Fielders who could be classified as the “primary” player in any given season.

As we continue this series, who were the ten Mets who have played the most games at each position, we now look at center field. (seasons as the primary in parenthesis)

10. Don Hahn (1973-74) – 268 games in Center (188 starts). In 1974, Don hit .251 with 4 HR and 28 RBI.

9. Cleon Jones (1966-67) – 268 games in Center (235 starts). Cleon played more games in Left Field than any other Met, but he also made the list in Center. In 1966, he hit .275 with 8 HR and 57 RBI.

8. Jim Hickman (1962-64) – 268 games in Center (246 starts). In 1963, Jim hit .29 with 17 HR and 51 RBI.

7. Angel Pagan (2010-11) – 278 games in Center (268 starts). In 2010, he hit .290 with 11 HR, 69 RBI, and 37 stolen bases.

6. Brian McRae (1998-99) – 282 games in Center (257 starts). In 1998, he hit .264 with 21 HR, 79 RBI, and 20 stolen bases.

5. Lenny Dykstra (1986-88) – 493 games in Center (392 starts). In 1986, he hit .295 with 8 HR, 45 RBI, and 31 stolen bases.

4. Lee Mazzilli (1977-79) – 572 games in Center (547 starts). In 1979, he hit .303 with 15 HR, 79 RBI, and 34 stolen bases.

3. Tommie Agee (1968-72) – 591 games in Center (544 starts). In 1969, he hit .271 with 26 HR and 76 RBI.

2. Carlos Beltran (2005-09) – 723 games in Center (719 starts). In 2006, he hit .275 with 41 HR and 116 RBI.

1. Mookie Wilson (1981-85) – 907 games in Center (816 starts). In 1982, he hit .279 with 5 HR, 55 RBI, and 58 stolen bases. And then there was that little ROLLER up along first….

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Mets Historic Second Round Picks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-historic-second-round-picks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-historic-second-round-picks.html/#comments Sun, 05 Jan 2014 18:05:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=136960 While 66% of First Round picks in the June draft chosen by the Mets reached the majors, only 44% of Second Round picks made it to the show (22 of 50 – 2 picks did not sign and made it to the majors after signing elsewhere). Of the 13 picks the Mets have made since 2000 – only one, Kevin Mulvey, has seen time in the Majors.

Kevin Mulvey – Kevin was the 62nd overall pick in the 2006 draft and was one of the players the Mets sent to the Twins as part of the Johan Santana trade prior to the 2008 season. Kevin has appeared in only 10 MLB games in 2009-10 with the Twins and Diamondbacks and has a career record of 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA in 27 1/3 innings.

The most recent Second Round pick with any moderate amount of success at the MLB level was Tyler Walker, who was chosen 58th overall in the 1997 draft. Tyler made 5 appearances in 2002, including a September 7th start against the Phillies for his first MLB win. He played in parts of 8 seasons in the bigs (2002, 2004-2010) with the Mets (2002), Giants, Devil Rays, Phillies, and Nationals. He appeared in 286 games with a career record of 23-18 and an ERA of 4.23 and 34 saves in 299 2/3 innings.

So what other Second Round picks had some level of Major League success?

Matt LeCroy – Matt was a supplemental pick in 1994 for the loss of free agent Charlie O’Brien. He did not sign with the Mets and went on to be signed in the first round of the Minnesota Twins in 1997, appearing in 476 games with the Twins and Nationals over 8 seasons (2000-2007).

Bill Pulsipher – Bill was one of the famed “Generation K” that never lived up to his promise. He was drafted in 1991 and made it to the Show in 1995 with the Mets before injuring his elbow and missed 1996 and 1997. Over 6 major league seasons (1995, 1998-2001, 2005) with the Mets (1995, 1998, 2000), Brewers, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals, he appeared in 106 games (46 starts) with a career record of 13-19 and an ERA of 5.15 in 327 MLB innings.

Aaron Ledesma – Aaron was picked in the 1990 draft and played 5 seasons in the Majors (1995, 1997-2000) with the Mets (1995), Orioles, Devil Rays, and Rockies. He appeared in 284 games, batting .296 with 2 HR and 76 RBI.

todd hundley mets

Todd Hundley – We have to go all the way back to the 1987 draft before we have a Second Round draft pick that has had an impact. He was a compensation pick from the Orioles for the loss of Ray Knight. Todd had a 14 year MLB career (1990-2003) with the Mets (1990-98), Cubs, and Dodgers. He played in 1,225 games and hit .234 with 202 HR, 599 RBI, and 883 career hits. Todd was a two time All-Star with the Mets (1996, 1997) and is tied with Carlos Beltran for the Mets single season Home Run record (41 – 1996). He is among the Mets franchise leaders in the following categories: games played (18th – 829), runs (18th – 340), hits (25th – 612), doubles (19th – 118), home runs (7th – 124), and RBI (13th – 397).

Pete Schourek – Pete was also taken in the 1987 draft and went onto an 11 year MLB career (1991-2001) with the Mets (1991-93), Reds, Astros, Red Sox, and Pirates. He appeared in 288 games (176 starts) and had a record of 66-77 with an ERA of 4.59 and 2 saves in 1,149 innings.

Scott Servais – Scott was chosen by the Mets in the 1985 draft, but did not sign. He was later chosen in the 3rd round of the 1988 draft by the Houston Astros and went onto an 11 year MLB career (1991-2001) and appeared in 820 games with the Astros, Cubs, Giants and Rockies.

Dave Magadan – Dave was taken in the 1983 draft and went onto a 16 year MLB career (1986-2001) with the Mets, Marlins, Mariners, Astros, Cubs, A’s, and Padres. He played in 1,582 games and hit .288 with 42 HR, 495 RBI and 1,197 hits. Dave has the 5th highest career batting average in Mets franchise history (.292) and the 2nd highest OBP (.391).

Floyd Youmans – Floyd was taken in the 1982 draft and was one of the players sent to the Montreal Expos as part of the December 10, 1984 trade that brought Gary Carter to the Mets. He had a 5 year MLB career (1985-89) with the Expos where he went 30-34 with a 3.79 ERA in 94 games (90 starts) and 539 hits.

Jay Tibbs – Jay was selected in the 1980 draft and was part of the 1984 trade that brought Bruce Berenyi to the Mets. In 7 MLB seasons (1984-90) with the Reds, Expos, Orioles, and Pirates. He appeared in 158 games (133 starts) and had a record of 39-54 with a 4.20 ERA in 862 2/3 innings.

Mookie Wilson was chosen in the 1977 draft. The Mets Hall of Famer played 12 MLB seasons (1980-91) with the Mets (1980-89) and Blue Jays, appearing in 1,403 games, batting .274 with 1,397 hits, 227 doubles, 71 triples, 67 HR, 438 RBI, and 327 stolen bases. Mookie is among the Mets all time leaders in games (7th – 1,116), runs (6th – 592), hits (6th – 1,112), doubles (10th – 170), triples (2nd – 62), RBI (19th – 342), stolen bases (2nd – 281), and batting average (21st – ..276).

Mike Scott – Mike was selected in the 1976 draft and played 13 seasons in the majors (1979-91) with the Mets (1979-82) and Astros. He was the 1986 NL Cy Young Award winner when he went 18-10 with a 2.22 ERA while leading the league in shutouts (5), innings pitched (275 1/3) strikeouts (306) and WHIP (0.92). He was a three time All-Star with the Astros (1986, 1987, 1989) and pitched 200+ innings 6 straight years (1985-90). He appeared in 347 games (319 starts) with a career record of 124-108 and an ERA of 3.54 and 3 saves in 2,068 2/3 innings with 1,469 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.20.

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The Long And The Short On Carlos Beltran http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/the-long-and-the-short-on-carlos-beltran.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/the-long-and-the-short-on-carlos-beltran.html/#comments Wed, 01 Jan 2014 22:33:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=136202 endy_chavez_catch

The Baseball Gods smiled down on Flushing all season. It seemed more than just a coincidence that as the Mets paid homage to the ‘86 Championship, 20 years later we were destined to again make the dream come true. The ’06 Mets played with confidence and swagger. David Wright was a clean-cut leader, an athlete your kids could look up to, a la Gary Carter. Speedy and much-loved Jose Reyes batted lead-off as did speedy and much loved Mookie Wilson. Paul Lo Duca had  a fiery intensity that conjured up images of Ray Knight. Yes, 2006, just like 1986, was a mere formality.

Shockingly, as the 86 club had found itself struggling against an inferior Houston team, the ’06 Mets were also fighting for survival against the pesky St. Louis Cardinals. When Endy Chavez robbed Scott Rolen of a HR to keep the score tied at 1-1, it was clear this one iconic image would live forever in Mets folklore: Tommie Agee in 69, Jesse Orosco on his knees in 86, Endy against the wall in 06. It would be the one play that would shift momentum back in our favor and carry us to Detroit in the World Series. Endy’s catch, however, was nothing more than premature celebration.

One hour later, Shea was deathly quiet. Fans stared in shock as the unimaginable happened. Carlos Beltran –post-season legend, our highest paid player, the guy you’d want at-bat with the game on the line — was paralyzed by a knee-buckling curveball. The bat never left his shoulder. As I watched the Cardinals rejoice I stared in disbelief. Seeing is believing—but not in this case. At that moment, I wanted to leap through my TV and choke the daylights out of Beltran.

20061020beltran

We were confident there’d be other chances, other post-seasons, other opportunities. But seven years later and the Mets have failed to come as close as they had that October night.

With the exception of perhaps only Gregg Jefferies no other player brings out more passionate opinions.

Beltran is back in NY. But he’ll be wearing pinstripes this time. During his press conference, when asked about the Mets, Beltran voiced his own strong opinion:  ”I can deal with 0-for-4s and three strikeouts and talking to you guys. I can deal with that,” Beltran said. “When somebody is trying to hurt you in a personal way, trying to put things out there that are not me, we have trouble.”

“You cannot believe the organization that signed you for seven years is trying to put you down. In that aspect, I felt hurt. I’m a player but they don’t only hurt me, they hurt my family, they hurt people around me. It wasn’t right, put it that way.”

Cue the Beltran bashing.

Here on MMO as well social media, Mets “fans” have resorted to insulting him, blaming him and using language that’s not family friendly. Yes, Carlos Beltran was our highest paid star. And yes, he was brought here to bring us a championship. However, he is not the first, nor will he be the last, to earn big bucks and not win it all. Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Ken Griffey Jr, Ralph Kiner, Rod Carew, Willie McCovey, Tony Gwynn, Harmon Killebrew, Nap Lajoie, Craig Biggio and Don Sutton all earned huge amounts of money while hoping to lead their team to a Series victory. Yet, none of them did. However, these men are idolized as heroes. But not Beltran. Even though, in the next 10 years, he will join all of them in Cooperstown.

Ralph-Kiner

During his stint here, Beltran put up impressive numbers, compiling some of the best stats in Mets history. From 05-08, he hit 117 HR’s while plating 418 RBI’s and maintaining a respectable .275 BA. Only Keith Hernandez has won more Gold Gloves as a Met. His 41 round-trippers tied him with Todd Hundley for most in a season. His 127 runs scored is a team record. He declared one spring “The Mets are the team to beat.” And although his prediction did not pan out, wouldn’t it be nice to again hear that kind of confidence? From 05-08, Beltran’s most productive seasons, the Mets averaged 89 wins. In 2009, when he missed half the season due to injuries, the Mets won just 70. Coincidence?

True, it was Beltran’s stationary AB in Game 7 that closed the curtain on 2006. However, without his 41 HRs, 116 RBI’s, 38 doubles and 18 steals in 21 attempts, we don’t even get to Game 7, much less the post-season.

In the 2006 LCS, Beltran hit .296 with 3 HR’s and 4 RBI’s. By comparison, David Wright batted .160 with a .276 OBP and 2 RBI’s.

However, it’s Beltran that’s caught the ire of fans, He’s the whipping boy, the poster child of failure simply because he didn’t connect on a pitch that Stan Musial couldn’t have hit, a pitch thrown by a guy who would go on to be one of the top pitchers in the NL. But because he had the misfortune of being #3 in our batting order, he sucks!

By that logic, he’s in good company. Here are some others players who “suck.”

Has anyone ever sucked more than Mike Piazza? He made the final out not in the LCS, but in the WORLD SERIES!!! And to the Yankees??? He really sucks, doesn’t he? Let’s not forget the guy with the mustache. Yes, that guy. Keith Hernandez hit a paltry 231 in the ’86 series and after making the second out in the bottom of the 10th in Game 6, he promptly walked into the clubhouse, removed his jersey and was gulping a beer as teammate Gary Carter walked to the plate. I guess Keith couldn’t wait to do some crossword puzzles, right? And would any discussion about Mets who suck be complete without including Doc Gooden? Gooden lost 2 of the 3 games to Boston, posting an ERA of 8.00 and allowing 17 hits in 9IP. That’s an ace? He REALLY must suck.

Baseball history is filled with players who suck. Beltran is just the latest one.

In 1952, the Dodgers lost to, who else, the Yankees, in 7 games. Gil Hodges went an unheard of 0-21. One measly hit, one little Texas leaguer anytime during the course of a week and Dem Bums defeat the hated Yankees. Boy, that Hodges guy sucks.

But sucking goes back further. In the 9th inning of game 7 of the 1926 World Series, with his team losing 3-2, Babe Ruth was thrown out trying to steal 2b. It’s the only time a Fall Classic ended that way. And Ruth’s caught stealing took the bat out of the hands of Lou Gehrig! Wow, no wonder he’s known as The Sultan of Suck.

babe-20ruth_jpg

Piazza, Hodges, Hernandez, Ruth, Beltran. I’d say that’s pretty good company.

Carlos Beltran now joins many former Mets who spent their later career in the Bronx. Gooden, Strawberry and David Cone all played for the Yankees after establishing themselves in Flushing. Gooden, Strawberry and Cone all went on to get a ring while playing in the Bronx.

It’s obvious Carlos felt disrespected by the Mets front office. Join the group, Carlos. We’re fans and get disrespected by that same front office.

He was vilified for skipping a visit to Walter Reed Medical Center due to a scheduling conflict, even though he’d already agreed to appear at a charity event in his native Puerto Rico. Despite the fact Reyes and Wright also were no-shows, it was Beltran who caught the brunt of ownership’s wrath.

Can anyone blame Carlos for feeling unappreciated by management? In 2011, Mets owner Fred Wilpon called his own team “shi**y.” About Jose Reyes, Wilpon said, “(Reyes) ain’t worth Carl Crawford money because he’s always injured.” He called David Wright, “a nice guy and very good but not a superstar.”

And in regards to signing Beltran for 7 years/$119 Wilpon called himself “a schmuck” for doing it.

A schmuck. Finally! For the first time in years, I find myself agreeing with Fred Wilpon on something.

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Reviewing the Beltran-for-Wheeler Trade http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/reviewing-the-beltran-for-wheeler-trade.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/reviewing-the-beltran-for-wheeler-trade.html/#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2013 13:38:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137135 MLB: SEP 22 Mets v MarlinsTwo and a half years have passed since Sandy Alderson traded Carlos Beltran to the Giants for top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. At the time, the move was widely praised. In fact, most considered it a steal, particularly since Beltran went on to sign with the Cardinals that offseason making the deal a clear loser for the Giants. But were the Mets winners here? Maybe not.

At the time, the team viewed Beltran as expendable because he was in the last season of his seven-year deal with the Mets and, at 34, most likely on the backside of a distinguished career. They also worried that a new contract for Beltran would be too much money while the team was looking to rebuild and looking to do it with a treasury depleted by the disastrous effects of the Madoff episode.

By contrast, Wheeler represented the future, a top pitching prospect with plus velocity and, significantly, he came cheap. But Beltran’s performance did not go south. Indeed, after signing a two-year deal with the Cardinals for $26 million, he hit 56 home runs and collected 181 RBIs over that span, far greater than the totals for any Met over the same two seasons. He was healthy both years – with over 600 plate appearances each season – and was critical to the Cardinals success in getting to the World Series in 2013. This winter he signed with the Yankees for three more years and $45 million. Some decline.

Now, let’s assume for the moment that Beltran remains similarly productive for two of the next three years. (A big if, I realize, but maybe not when you consider that as a switch-hitter Beltran will be able to take advantage of Yankee Stadium’s short right field fence.) That means that he will have had four and a half productive seasons after leaving the Mets. If he remains productive for his entire Yankee contract, he will have had five and a half.

WheelerMeanwhile, what has Wheeler done? Sure, he moved into the rotation last year and put up solid numbers. The team is now hoping that he will have a break out season in 2014 the way that Matt Harvey did in 2013. But nearly three years after he was traded to the Mets Wheeler is still essentially unrealized potential while Beltran has been fact. The Mets, as it turns out, have plenty of young pitchers with potential, but what have they most needed over the past two years? A solid bat to hit behind Wright. A power hitter who responds in the clutch. They’ve needed, well, Beltran.

Of course, this winter the team signed Curtis Granderson to be that bat. They spent $60 million for four years, which averages out to $15 million a year, two million dollars more than the Cardinals paid him in 2012 and 2013 and the same salary the Yankees will now be paying Beltran for three years. Grandy does not hit much for average, but at his best, he has shown more power than Beltran. Still, in the last full season by which to make a comparison, 2012 (Grandy missed most of 2013 due to injury), the lefty Granderson hit all but three of his 42 home runs to right field and 28 of those were to the short porch in the Bronx. Meanwhile, Beltran’s 32 homers were evenly divided between left and right. Most telling, eight of Grandy’s homers would have been outs in Citi Field while all of Beltran’s would have cleared the fences in Queens.

You may be wondering how Sandy Alderson would have found the $13 million a year necessary to sign Beltran for 2012 and 2013, but just note that between them Frank Francisco, Ramon Ramirez and Jon Rauch made $12 million in 2012 for what turned out to be a collectively undistinguished performance. Let’s hope that Wheeler turns into a stud pitcher for the Mets and that Granderson finds the few extra feet of power that will make him a valuable bat behind Wright. But it is no longer so clear that sending Beltran out of town for Wheeler was such a slam dunk, and now we have to watch him finish his career in close proximity, across town with the Yankees.

Presented By Diehards

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Rangers Agree To Seven Year, $130 Million Deal With Choo http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/rangers-agree-to-seven-year-130-million-deal-with-choo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/rangers-agree-to-seven-year-130-million-deal-with-choo.html/#comments Sat, 21 Dec 2013 17:48:33 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=136063 Shin-Soo Choo

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports, that the Texas Rangers have agreed to a seven-year deal with free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo worth a reported $130 million dollars.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Choo turned down a seven-year, $140 million offer from the Yankees before they signed Carlos Beltran, so this is not in the least bit surprising.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels reportedly offered Choo a seven-year deal at the Winter Meetings, but no dollar amount was specified.

The former Reds center fielder will take his career .389 on-base percentage to Texas where he’ll provide plenty of RBI opportunities for newly acquired first baseman, Prince Fielder.

Choo, 31, batted .285/.423/.462 last season with 21 home runs, 54 RBI and 20 stolen bases.

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Beltran Felt Hurt And Disrespected By Mets (Owners) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/beltran-felt-hurt-and-disrespected-by-mets-owners.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/beltran-felt-hurt-and-disrespected-by-mets-owners.html/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 18:37:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135945 beltrana122013

Speaking to reporters after the press conference at Yankee Stadium on Friday, Carlos Beltran was still upset with the Mets and for the first time he spoke publicly about his time with them.

“All the controversy about the Walter Reed,” Beltran said. “The knee — the organization trying to put me as a player that I was a ‘bad apple.’ I was this. I was that. I can deal with 0-for-4 and three strikeouts and talk to you guys. But when someone is trying to hurt you in a very personal way, trying to put things out there, that I know me. Then we got trouble. Now, it’s personal. When they say all that about myself, I was hurt. You cannot believe the organization that signed you for seven years is trying to put you down. In that aspect, I felt hurt.”

Well, I’m surprised it took this long for him to speak out. The Mets screwed him over and always took advantage of any opportunity to make him look bad almost from day one in 2005 when someone leaked that he was soft. So Beltran played hurt and the numbers showed it.

Anyway, I’m glad he cleared his chest.

It wasn’t a knock on the Mets, his teammates or the fans whom he loved… It was a knock on the Mets’ owners… And I’m glad Beltran did it.

tron

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MMO Exclusive: David Wright Can Deal With The Pressure http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-exclusive-david-wright-can-deal-with-the-pressure.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-exclusive-david-wright-can-deal-with-the-pressure.html/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 13:57:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135355 david wright

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – David Wright told me yesterday how much Curtis Granderson will mean to the New York Mets on the field and in the clubhouse.

One thing Wright will never admit is, as team captain, whether he ever felt he was drained by being “the man’’ and if Granderson would alleviate pressure. Doing so would admit feeling the pressure. That’s something he’s never done, and won’t ever. It isn’t in his professional DNA.

Manager Terry Collins can read a player by looking into his eyes and watching body language. He was asked if he ever sees a sign of mental fatigue from Wright.

“The answer is no, I don’t,’’ Collins said.  “David Wright is the consummate pro.  He knows exactly what’s expected, deals with it, and he deals with it with a smile.’’

There are times when he tries to carry the Mets on his shoulders. He’s done that for years, but team leaders always fall into that trap. That’s what team leaders do.

“Does he once in a while try to be the guy?  Yes,’’ Collins said.  “But he’s supposed to because he is the guy.  That’s why I think he’s a great player.’’

When the Mets need a key hit, Wright often delivers. He has a .375 average and 1.123 OPS when the Mets win and .243 average and .700 OPS when they lose. He hits .295 with men on base and .284 with runners in scoring position. His .407 on-base percentage with runners in scoring position is indicative of teams pitching around him.

Since Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado left, Wright has been the go-to guy for the Mets in critical situations. He’s always said he relishes those situations.

“You know, when the game is on the line, you look and guys are turning to David Wright to be the guy that comes through,’’ Collins said.  “I think he handles it great.’’

Granderson, despite his propensity for striking out, hit over 80 homers in 2011-2012. When he hit 41 homers in 2011, his home-road breakdown was 21-20, so he can hit outside of Yankee Stadium. Granderson is not an easy out, so pitchers might be less reluctant to pitch around Wright, at least in theory.

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The Curtis Granderson Story: Have We Seen This Movie Before? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/the-curtis-granderson-story-have-we-seen-this-movie-before.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/the-curtis-granderson-story-have-we-seen-this-movie-before.html/#comments Sat, 07 Dec 2013 16:32:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134706 We’ve been waiting all winter for our team to do something. Yesterday, our inactive front office became active by signing Curtis Granderson for 4 years/$60 million. But is the waiting over? Will this be our only major move or will it be the first of several? Is this the first baby step in bringing a winner back to Flushing or purely window-dressing?

I’ve been a vocal outspoken critic of Sandy Alderson since his arrival. However, when Alderson does something positive, such as re-signing David Wright — something I never thought he’d pull off — I tip my hat to him.

With the Granderson signing, however, it’s different. I applaud Alderson and the Wilpon’s for bringing him over. No matter what, we’re a better team now than we were 48 hours ago. However, Granderson alone will not turn us into instant champions. But I still have concerns, many concerns.

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Back in 1985, Paramount Pictures turned the board game Clue into a motion picture. When they distributed it to theatres, there were three different endings. I feel that the acquisition of Granderson is a movie I’ve already seen. I’m just unsure of the ending. Will it be a Pedro Martinez ending or a Jason Bay ending?

In 2005, the Mets signed Pedro Martinez. It was a “statement.” Omar Minaya laid down the gauntlet to the NL that the Mets were serious. One month later, he added Carlos Beltran, awarding him the most lucrative contract in team history.

Martinez was our ace that first year. He was the team leader in wins (15), IP (217), K’s (208) and ERA (2.82.) Yet, most fans look back and view this signing as a bust. Over the remaining three years of his contract, Pedro would only win 17 more games, average 90 IP while compiling a 4.22 ERA. Minaya’s “statement” was, for all intents and purposes, window-dressing. We generally regard the Martinez-Mets relationship as a failure.

Five years later our fan base and the NY media was itching for Minaya to do something else, something big. The 2009 Mets stumbled and stumbled badly. It was the first time in half a decade we finished below .500 (70-92). And while the Mets christened their new stadium, fans in the Bronx were treated to yet another Championship. The pressure mounted, Minaya caved and made a move because he felt he needed to do something. That something was named Jason Bay.

Jason+Bay+New+York+Mets+Announce+Jason+Bay+aky-B7YqwDOl

I’m not really going out on a limb here when I say Bay won’t ever join Keith or Rusty or Piazza as one of the most beloved Mets of all time. Almost immediately he caught the ire of the fans and became the poster boy for everything wrong with the Minaya regime. Seemingly from day one, we were biding our time to be free of his salary.

Hindsight, however, is 20/20. Bay arrived in Flushing a top run producer in the game. He was one of the most sought after Free Agents that winter. Yet, he quickly learned that Citi Field is the place where power hitters go to die. Just look at the decreased power production of David Wright since ‘09.

What’s worrisome is the fact that Bay’s numbers in the 4 years prior to coming to New York are far better than Granderson’s over his previous 4 years. It’s doubly worrisome due to the fact Granderson played those 4 years in the launching pad known as Yankee Stadium.

stats

Bay was 31 when he donned a Mets jersey for the first time. Granderson will be 33.

I can’t help but feel that Alderson made this move due to the pressure to do something. I hope I’m wrong. I hope there will be a few more transactions to make this club relevant again. But I don’t see it. What I do see, however, is a double standard.

In 2011, Jose Reyes stated he wanted to stay in NY, the team he came up with. Negotiations dragged on and on. In spite of Reyes being one of the most beloved players in team history and already being near or at the top of numerous offensive categories, after eight seasons Alderson wanted to see more. Reyes went out and became the first Mets player to win a batting title. His .337 BA is third highest since 1962. Yet, Alderson made jokes about sending chocolates while Reyes packed up his batting title and headed south. Here we are two years later, still without a suitable replacement.

JOSE REYES EN LO MARLINS 2012

I alluded to it being a double standard. One concern that Alderson expressed (and understandably so) was Reyes’ history of injuries. However, with the acquisition of Granderson, that is apparently no longer a concern. In the 7 year span from 2005-2011, Reyes played in 928 games. In the 7 year period of 2007-2013 Granderson played in 972 games—a difference of only 44 games over 7 seasons. If Alderson had concerns about Reyes’ health, Granderson isn’t exactly Cal Ripken. Although Granderson averaged only six more games per year than Reyes, suddenly Alderson is NOT concerned about health.

Sarah Palin

When Jose Reyes batted .337 with 181 hits, an OBP of .384 and slugging percentage of .493 in 126 games, Alderson morphed into Sarah Palin: Thanks, but no thanks. When Granderson plays in 61 games, batting .229 with 49 hits, an OBP of .317 and a slugging percentage of .407, Alderson has no qualms about handing over $60 million. Alderson refused to sign a 28 year-old Reyes for 5-6 years. Yet, he signs a 33-year old Granderson for four years and coming off a season where he missed 100 games.

robert_plant-led_zeppelin

I can’t help but think of Robert Plant: Ooh, and it makes me wonder.

I applaud Alderson for doing… something.

The Mets are a better team than we were just a couple of days ago. And even though we’ve been waiting all winter… even though we’ve been waiting nearly 30 years for a championship…  even though we’re going on a decade since our last post-season… we’ll still have to wait some more to see how the Granderson signing plays out.

Hopefully this movie will have a good ending.

mmo

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MMO Flashback: Beltran Will Go Into The Hall Of Fame As A… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-flashback-beltran-will-go-into-the-hall-of-fame-as-a.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-flashback-beltran-will-go-into-the-hall-of-fame-as-a.html/#comments Sat, 07 Dec 2013 03:50:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134693 I’m sure you all remember the fantastic job Jacob Resnick did when while in the SNY booth with Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling, he famously called a dramatic first-pitch, solo home run hit by Jose Reyes.

Jacob was the Mets Kidcaster in 2011 when he made his memorable, emphatic call, “It’s gone!”

These days, Jacob is one the many featured writers on MMO. In honor of Carlos Beltran returning to New York, albeit our crosstown rivals, here’s a piece he wrote last Summer on which hat Beltran will wear when he’s eventually enshrined in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. Enjoy this MMO Flashback from July 29, 2013.

beltran

I find it impossible to read an article about Carlos Beltran without there being some mention of “the curveball” or Adam Wainwright. That of course refers to Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS where, with the bases loaded and the winning run on first base with two outs in the ninth, Beltran stared a curveball from Adam Wainwright all the way into the glove of Yadier Molina, thus ending the series.

I also find it appalling that many choose this one playoff at-bat to define Beltran’s career. Do they forget that Beltran owns the highest career OPS in Major League Baseball post season history? Or that he is a career 11/11 in stolen base attempts during games in October?

Enough about the post season. Beltran’s career batting average at .283 is higher than that of Hall of Famers Willie Stargell and Larry Doby. His career OPS surpasses that of George Brett and Al Kaline. If his eight All Star nominations (equivalent to the number reached by Andre Dawson, Darryl Strawberry, and Chipper Jones) and his eight 100 RBI seasons aren’t Hall of Fame worthy, well, he’s sixth in WAR among active players, and he’s only 36.

He still has maybe three more decent years before he decides to hang up the spikes. And according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that’s exactly how many more years Beltran actually wants to play. So let’s say Beltran gets into the Hall of Fame. What team’s cap should he wear? Which team deserves it? Let’s find out.

Beltran has played for five teams. The Royals, the Astros, the Mets, the Giants, and he currently wears the uniform of the Cardinals. We can eliminate two of those right away. Beltran played in Houston for all of three months, so bye bye ‘Stros. Beltran was traded to the Giants at the deadline in 2011 for Zack Wheeler and ended up playing in San Francisco for 44 games so no love in the Bay Area when the Hall of Fame comes knocking.

That leaves us with Kansas City, New York, and St. Louis. Beltran played for the Royals and Mets for six and a half seasons each, and he’s currently in his second year with the Cardinals. So let’s say Beltran plays his three more years with the Cardinals, and makes two more All Star teams. 10 selections sure isn’t bad. With that being said, the Cardinals do have to go, only because five years loses to six and a half in the end. Why do years matter? Well, look at history. Gary Carter went in to the Hall of Fame as an Expo because he played more years there than he did in New York despite having some of his greatest seasons in the Big Apple.

So we’re down to two. The Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets. Let’s take a look at what Beltran did in a Royals uniform. Despite only receiving one All Star spot in his tenure, the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year hit .287 with 123 HR while he was there. He lost his starting center field job in 2000 to Johnny Damon but got his job, and his Rookie of the Year form, back in 2001 when he hit .306 and recorded 101 RBI. Beltran went on to hit over .300 once more during his time in Kansas City. All in all, a solid career in the state of Missouri.

And now for an analysis of his Mets career. In his six and a half years in New York, Beltran hit .280 with 559 RBI and 149 HR. Not to mention his two years with ten or more assists. He was named to the NL All Star squad six times and racked up three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers for his mantle. His time with the Mets was shortened by injury, hitting only 17 HR from 2009-2010, but despite this still managed to play at least 60 games in every year. Beltran recorded 100 stolen bases and managed to get caught only 16 times. He finished with an above average OPS at .869 and his SLG was an even .500. A brilliant career in New York that is unfortunately overshadowed by one pitch.

So now the decision. Beltran stole 164 bases and hit .287 with the Royals, but hit 149 HR and drove in 559 runs with the Mets. He posted a 129 OPS+ with the Amazins and a 111+ OPS with KC. Beltran also posted a 31.1 WAR with the Mets, and 24.6 with the Royals. He can’t go into the Hall with two hats, so….

mets cap hat blue

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Carlos Beltran Agrees To Three-Year, $45 Million Deal With Yankees http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/carlos-beltran-agrees-to-three-year-45-million-deal-with-yankees.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/carlos-beltran-agrees-to-three-year-45-million-deal-with-yankees.html/#comments Sat, 07 Dec 2013 03:13:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134675 carlos beltran

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Carlos Beltran has agreed to a three-year deal with the New York Yankees. The contract is worth $45 million according to what a source told Feinsand.

A rival executive told Andy Martino that if the numbers are accurate, this might be the best signing of the offseason. If you’re trying to do the math, that’s Beltran, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury for $283 million so far for the Yankees. Beltran is expected to play right field while Alfonso Soriano moves to DH.

The Kansas City Royals were also in on Beltran, but it doesn’t look like they’ll have that reunion after all. Hey, on the bright side, it still looks like he’ll go to the Hall of Fame in a Mets hat…

I was talking with Ed (Rusty) earlier tonight, and neither of us could remember another offseason that had so much action before the Winter Meetings. This is kind of unprecedented.

You may remember me saying this would be a wild one because of every team being flush with cash from the new TV deal, but I wasn’t expecting anything like this.

mmo

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Curtis Granderson Agrees To Four Year, $60 Million Deal With Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/curtis-granderson-agrees-to-four-year-60-million-deal-with-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/curtis-granderson-agrees-to-four-year-60-million-deal-with-mets.html/#comments Fri, 06 Dec 2013 19:00:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134576 Curtis+Granderson

The Mets have agreed to sign free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson to a four-year deal according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the deal is worth $60 million dollars or a $15 million annual average.

Andy Martino of the Daily News added that the deal is a straight 4-year deal, per source. No option of any sort for 5th, vesting, team or otherwise.

The Mets will lose their second round pick, but that’s no big deal if Granderson delivers 25-30 homers a season for the Mets as they believe he will.

Sandy Alderson apparently relented and gave into Granderson’s fourth year demand which came as a surprise to me. However, Sandy did what he needed to do and gave the 32 year old Granderson what he wanted to get a deal done. If he had let him go to Orlando unsigned, I doubt he would have been a Met.

Granderson suffered a couple of freak injuries last season and was limited to just 61 games with the Yankees, batting .229/.319/.407 with seven home runs and 15 RBI in 245 plate appearances while striking out 69 times.

In 2012, Granderson played in 160 games and another 156 games in 2011. Over those two seasons he compiled 84 home runs, the most in the majors.

The newest Met is expected to play left field I would suspect, pushing Eric Young Jr. out of a starting outfield job. If the Mets move him to second base, it could signal a Daniel Murphy trade which would free up about $5 million for the Mets.

Regardless of what happens, the Mets made some real noise in the free agent market for the first time in a very long time. For that I applaud them.

Original Post 9:00 AM

Nothing new to report this morning and all remains quiet between Granderson and the Mets.

The latest update came yesterday afternoon from Mike Puma of the New York Post who wrote that the Mets believe they have a “decent” chance of landing Granderson. This begs the question, how is that a “decent chance?”

Both sides seem at a standstill with Sandy Alderson holding firm at three years, while Granderson still wants four.

Usually when a team and a free agent get locked into a game of chicken, the free agent usually wins.

With the Winter Meetings starting in 48 hours, the Granderson camp will hold court in Orlando and bring 2-3 more teams into the negotiations.

After all, that’s what agents do and you could make a strong case that Granderson is the second best outfielder available. That’s not a bad spot to be in when you have at least 15 teams on record for needing an outfielder.

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Mariners Seal The Deal With 10-Year, $240 Million For Cano http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mariners-seal-the-deal-with-10-year-240-million-deal-for-cano.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mariners-seal-the-deal-with-10-year-240-million-deal-for-cano.html/#comments Fri, 06 Dec 2013 16:41:28 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134426 Orioles at Yankees

Enrique Rojas of ESPN is reporting that Cano and Mariners agreed to a 10 year deal worth $240 million dollars. That is an ungodly amount of money.

Earlier this morning, it was reported that talks had broken down after Seattle made an offer of nine years and $225 million, according to Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden of the Daily News. Reportedly, Cano’s agent Jay-Z was pushing for a deal closer to $252 million, but the M’s didn’t budge – and rightfully so.

And with that, Cano’s career with the Yankees comes to an abrupt end – at least for now. I can envision the Mariners eating 25% of the contract in a year or two and giving him away to the Bombers. Admit it… You can see that happening too…

By the way… I heard early this morning on WFAN, that if the Yankees get shutout on Cano, they would go hard after Brandon Phillips in a trade with the Reds, according to Mark Malusis.

Photo credit: Paul J. Bereswill

Rafael+Furcal+New+York+Mets+v+St+Louis+Cardinals+d3Es_UBF9nel

The Miami Marlins have agreed on a one-year deal with free agent Rafael Furcal reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports,

The Mets were considering the veteran shortstop according to many reports but were wary of his health. Furcal, 36, last played 121 games with St. Louis in 2012, but missed the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery. He’s a lifetime .281 hitter in 13 major league seasons.

 

MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

12/5 – Reliever Edward Mujica and the Boston Red Sox have agreed on a two-year, $9.5 million deal, sources told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. The deal is pending a physical, which Mujica is taking Thursday.

Mujica spent almost all of last season as closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, writes Passan, before losing his job to Trevor Rosenthal in September. The 29-year-old right-hander saved 37 games with a 2.78 ERA for the Cardinals.

Norichika+Aoki

12/5 – The Milwaukee Brewers announced that they have traded outfielder Norichika Aoki to Kansas City Royals in return for LHP Will Smith.

The Mets were rumored to have had discussions with the Brewers for Aoki in exchange for Ike Davis, but those talks never went anywhere and it all went out the window anyway once the Mets settled on signing Chris Young instead.

Aoki, 32, batted .286/.356/.370 with eight homers and 20 stolen bases last season.

Jon Heyman says that the Royals like Aoki as a leadoff option and believe he can play center field for them. Also, they are not done dealing and are still very much interested in Carlos Beltran.

MLB: ALDS-Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

12/4 – Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that the  Mariners, Dodgers, Angels, Pirates, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays are among the teams with serious interest in dealing for David Price. He believes that Seattle is in the strongest position to acquire Price, given their impressive core of young and presumably tradeable talent.

The former AL Cy Young winner and three-time All-Star is still just 28 years of age, and he’s not eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season. He’s coming off a 2013 season in which he pitched to a 3.33 ERA (114 ERA+) and a 1.10 WHIP in 186.2 innings.

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12/3 – The Rockies have agreed on a two-year deal worth $13 million with Justin Morneau, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Morneau, a former MVP, batted .259/.323/.411 this season with 36 doubles, 17 homers and 77 RBI while playing for for the Pirates and Twins. He’s no longer the slugger he once was, but the 32-year old should give the Rockies some adequate offense at first base in place of Todd Helton.

And with that, the Mets lose a trading partner for Ike Davis.

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Beltran Has A Three Year, $48 Million Offer On The Table http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/beltran-has-a-three-year-48-million-offer-on-the-table.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/beltran-has-a-three-year-48-million-offer-on-the-table.html/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 20:51:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134388 carlos beltranFree agent outfielder Carlos Beltran has a three-year, $48 million offer currently in hand, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Most reports have the mystery team as the Seattle Mariners who have been one of Beltran’s most aggressive suitors according to MLBTR.

The Kansas City Royals met with the former Mets All Star today, and are also willing to give Beltran a three year deal.

One team that shouldn’t be discounted is the New York Yankees who just last week said they were making Beltran their number one priority and it’s well known that Beltran has a strong desire to play in New York.

“The Yankees prefer the eight-time All-Star to fellow free-agent outfielders Shin-Soo ChooNelson Cruz and Jacoby Ellsbury, the source said, believing he’s the perfect fit to bolster their lineup. Likewise, Beltran has let it be known to those around him that the Yankees are his top choice.”

Beltran batted .296/.339/.491 with 24 home runs this past season.

Presented By Diehards

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Enter Sandman: The Mets’ Three Year Journey to Irrelevance http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/enter-sandman-the-mets-three-year-journey-to-irrelevance.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/enter-sandman-the-mets-three-year-journey-to-irrelevance.html/#comments Mon, 02 Dec 2013 15:59:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134187 The GM Meetings in Orlando, home of Disneyworld, came and went and while none of us honestly expected the Mets to make a lot of noise, let’s take a trip to FantasyLand for a moment. Imagine if the Mets DID grab headlines. Visualize Sandy wheeling and dealing and returning to New York with Jose Reyes. And Carlos Beltran. Let’s say Alderson outwitted Brian Sabean (go with me on this) and convinced the Giants GM to give us back Angel Pagan. And just for the hell of it, Alderson also reacquired R A Dickey as well. We’d sure be feeling confident about 2014. Yet, all of these players were already on the Mets roster when Alderson took over as GM.

Carlos+Beltran+Washington+Nationals+v+New+VgPE3ydVODOl - Copy

Enter Sandman:

When he filled the shoes once worn by good ol’ M. Donald Grant, Alderson told us he needed to rebuild the team. He advised us it would take several years. Personally, if you’re going to rebuild something, Beltran, Reyes, Pagan and Dickey would be a pretty decent foundation to build upon, definitely better than what we have now—basically David Wright, plus a 24-year old ace who will miss a year with elbow surgery, and unproven rookies who are always a crapshoot. Especially with the Mets.

Since Sandman entered, our fanbase has been divided into warring factions. Some urge patience, though those numbers are dwindling after suffering many casualties. Others, like myself, want to win quickly. (Granted, I’ve never had patience.) My question is this: Alderson has asked us to wait several years for his magical mystery plan to take hold. My question is WHY?

sign man miracles

Baseball is a different game now than it was in 1962. When the Mets came into existence along with the Houston Colt 45’s, expansion teams were filled with the worst of the worst. Has-been’s and never will-be’s. When Jerry Koosman induced Davey Johnson to fly out to Cleon Jones in LF on October 16, 1969, that sealed what has become known as a ‘Miracle.’ The Mets had been a laughing stock for seven seasons. Now in their eighth year, they shocked the baseball establishment. It was partially considered a miracle due to the fact that an expansion team had risen from the depths of futility to the summit of the mountaintop in just 8 years. No team had ever accomplished so much in so little time.

Darryl Strawberry (L) with Mets General Manager Frank Cashen.

Those were the days, my friends…

Baseball was also different in 1980. Frank Cashen took the GM reins and promised within five seasons the Mets would be winners. It took seven, but by that fifth year, the Mets were in a pennant race for the first time in a decade. And although there was no immediate improvement in our won-loss record, one could sense the darkness lifting. The optimism in 1982 was far greater than it was in 1978, though our win total was similar. Free Agency was in its infancy when Cashen took over. Yet, in his third season, he signed one of the premier hitters in the league, George Foster, and teamed him with the return of Dave Kingman. Suddenly, two of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball were in Flushing. In Cashen’s fourth year, 1983, he brought back Tom Seaver, mostly for publicity and to boost attendance every fifth day. He acquired a proven winner in Keith Hernandez. And Darryl Strawberry, Cashen’s first pick in the 1980 draft, made his debut.

Can you picture Alderson acquiring an impact player like Keith in 2014, his fourth year? Do we have someone equal to Darryl coming up next year, followed by another Dwight Gooden the year after?

In 1962, it took a while because the nature of the game dictated that. Same goes for 1980. In today’s environment it does NOT take several years to win. If a team wants to win—and win quickly—it is attainable. Yet, Sandman is applying 1980 rules to the 21st century.

In 2012, Boston won 69 games and finished 26 GB. The following year their win total increased by 40% and they became World Champions.

Cleveland won only 68 times in 2012. In 2013, they were victorious 92 times and found themselves in the post-season.

2010 saw the Dodgers, whose front office was a dysfunctional mess, finish below 500, 12 games back. In just three years, the Dodgers had the defending World Champion Giants buried by the All-Star Break on their way to the post-season.

The 2010 Pirates lost over 100 games. In three years, after hiring a new manager with a proven track record of success, the Pirates increased their win total–57 to 72 to 79 to then 94, good enough to play in October. In three short seasons, the Pirates have transformed their team from a joke to where they are now poised to challenge STL for many years to come.

These teams can turn things around quickly. But the Mets cant?

The Marlins, in just their fifth season, became Champions. They’ve won the same number of championships in 21 years as we’ve won in 52 years.

Tampa Bay made their debut in 1998 and floundered for their first decade. Yet, in Baseball’s toughest division—with no fan support and playing in a small market–they’ve made it to the post-season four times in the last six years. The Rays have appeared in as many post-seasons in six years as the Mets have appeared in the last 28.

The Diamondbacks came into existence in 1998. The very next year they were division champions. And two years after that, in just their fourth season, they captured the World Series. The D-backs have won five division titles in 16 years while the Mets have won the same amount of division titles in 52 years. The D-backs started with NOTHING and won it all in four years. Alderson started with Reyes, Beltran, Dickey, K-Rod and Pagan. Yet, three years later, we are worse off.

alderson sandy wilpon

“Don’t worry, son. Sandy has a plan that will ensure you’ll keep the Mets.”

Enter Sandman in 2011. The Mets needed to only fill a two maybe three holes. Three years into the Alderson regime, we don’t have a closer, are still trying to find a shortstop, still searching for two starters (they have no plans to replace Harvey, any two rags will do), have an unsettled situation at first base, and our outfield is a bigger mess than my bedroom when I was seven years old.

Could any of you have imagined that after three years, that Chris Young, Ruben Tejada and Eric Young will all be everyday players?

So again I ask, “Why? Why do we need to wait for ‘the plan’ whereas fans in Boston, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Phoenix do not?

Unlike Pittsburgh, where things improved dramatically in three seasons, in Flushing things have gotten worse over that same time. In 2010, the Mets won 79 games. Since Alderson’s arrival, our wins have dropped to 77, 74 and 74. And lets face facts. If it wasn’t for Matt Harvey in 2013, we would have lost close to 100 games. With three seasons in the books, Alderson’s Mets have averaged 75 wins, 24 games out of first, and own the longest string  of consecutive losing seasons in baseball.

For five straight seasons, of which the three most recent Sandy (AKA The Fixer) has been at the helm, the Mets have finished under 500. The last time the Mets have had such a dubious stretch was 1962-1968. We did post six consecutive sub-500 seasons from ’91 to ’96 and seven from ’77 to ’83. However, those stretches included strike-shortened seasons and no one can guarantee the Mets would have finished below 500 in 1981 and 1994 for a full 162 games. (The Mets concluded the abbreviated 94 campaign just 3 games under.)

And honestly, does anyone think 2014 will end our streak of irrelevancy?

empty seats citi field turner

Where did all the Mets fans go? Where’s Mets Twitter?

Another telling sign of the Alderson regime is not only the decreased TV ratings but also the declining attendance. In five seasons, Mets attendance has shrunk by 33%, dropping from nearly 3.2 million in 2009 to just over 2.1 million this past season. This is the first time in team history attendance has decreased five straight seasons. But that’s what happens when you get rid of ‘The most exciting player in baseball’, Jose Reyes, and expect to pack in the fans with the human windmill, Ike Davis and the King of Grittiness, Justin Turner.

If Alderson wants to save money AND get fans back to Flushing, why not bring Ron and Keith down from the booth? Sure, Ron may be 53 but since only Dillon Gee won more than 9 games, I’m sure Darling would be a good #3 at least. Ronnie—put down the microphone and start loosening up! And after you walk through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda to your seat, who would you be more excited to see playing 1B: A 60 year old Keith or a 27 year old Ike Davis? 60 or not, I guarantee Mex would strike out less than Ike Davis. (Just joking…kinda.)

Frank Cashen had a “plan” also. And when his plan was put in place, he was the architect behind the most successful decade in team history. Sandy Alderson has a plan…though I’m not sure what it is. He wants to rebuild the team. I guess the way things are looking we should be ecstatic if the Mets finish 500. That may very well end up being Alderson’s claim to fame. If the Mets are lucky, Alderson’s legacy will be getting the Mets back to complete mediocrity. Even as of now, that seems like a major accomplishment.

Presented By Diehards

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The Top 10 Mets Offensive Seasons Since 1980 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/the-top-10-mets-offensive-seasons-since-1980.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/the-top-10-mets-offensive-seasons-since-1980.html/#comments Thu, 28 Nov 2013 05:19:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133664 piazza

It’s hard to believe that we’re only a few seasons removed from some of the best offensive seasons in Mets history (hard to argue they haven’t been offensive lately, just in a different sense).

So what are the 10 best Mets seasons in terms of offensive production over the last 34 seasons? (I’m using 1980 because I’ve been following the team since the 80s)

Runs Scored Per Game

1.  1999 – 853 scored – 5.23

2.  2006 – 834 scored – 5.15

3.  1987 – 823 scored – 5.08

4.  2000 – 807 scored – 4.98

5.  2007 – 804 scored – 4.96

6.  2008 – 799 scored – 4.93

7.  1986 – 783 scored – 4.83

8.  1997 – 777 scored – 4.80

9.  1990 – 775 scored  – 4.72

10. 1996 – 746 scored – 4.60

We can see that from 2006-2008, the Mets produced some of their best offensive clubs since the 80s.  Yes, they collapsed in 2007 and 2008, but they had some of their best run producing seasons those three years.  From 1996-2000, we saw 4 of the top 10 best offensive seasons (with the exception of 1998, which did not make the list).  1986-1987 also produced another two top 10 seasons.   The only season that isn’t clumped together was 1990 – which was at the tail end of their dominance and followed the 1988 and 1989 seasons which included some of their top pitching clubs.

So who made up these typical lineups during these seasons of offensive plenty?

2006-2008

C – Paul Lo Duca / Brian Schneider

1B – Carlos Delgado

2B – Jose Valentin / Luis Castillo

SS – Jose Reyes

3B – David Wright

OF – Cliff Floyd / Moises Alou / Fernando Tatis

OF – Carlos Beltran

OF – Xavier Nady / Shawn Green / Ryan Church

Where was there continuity over those three seasons?  Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran.  Four pretty good names.

1996*-1997

C – Todd Hundley

1B – Butch Huskey / John Olerud

2B – Jose Vizcaino / Carlos Baerga

SS – Rey Ordonez

3B – Jeff Kent / Edgardo Alfonzo

OF – Bernard Gilkey

OF – Lance Johnson

OF – Alex Ochoa / Butch Huskey

Edgardo Alfonzo made 85 starts in 1996 at 2B/3B/SS

1999-2000

C – Mike Piazza

1B – John Olerud / Todd Zeile

2B – Edgardo Alfonzo

SS – Rey Ordonez / Mike Bordick

3B – Robin Ventura

OF – Rickey Henderson / Benny Agbayani

OF – Brian McRae / Jay Payton

OF – Roger Cedeno / Derek Bell

1986-1987*

C – Gary Carter

1B – Keith Hernandez

2B – Wally Backman

SS – Rafael Santana

3B – Ray Knight / Howard Johnson

OF – Mookie Wilson / Kevin McReynolds

OF – Lenny Dykstra

OF – Darryl Strawberry

Tim Teufel made 70 starts in 1986 and 72 starts in 1987 as part of a platoon with Backman, Mookie Wilson made 76 starts in 1987

1990

C – Mackey Sasser

1B – Dave Magadan

2B – Gregg Jefferies

SS – Kevin Elster

3B – Howard Johnson

OF – Kevin McReynolds

OF – Daryl Boston

OF – Darryl Strawberry

edgardo alfonzo

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Yankees Make Carlos Beltran Their No. 1 Target http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/yankees-make-carlos-beltran-their-no-1-target.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/yankees-make-carlos-beltran-their-no-1-target.html/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:57:15 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133750 beltran

Fresh off this weekend’s signing of top catching free agent Brian McCann, the New York Yankees have shifted to Phase 2 of their master plan to win the American League East.

While the Mets prefer to wait the market out (or not), Brian Cashman came out of the GM Meetings with the express goal of doing the exact opposite – choosing instead to set the market rather than wait for it.

According to sources, the Yankees have determined that former Mets All Star Carlos Beltran is their No. 1 target while they wait to reignite talks with Robinson Cano, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

“The Yankees prefer the eight-time All-Star to fellow free-agent outfielders Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz and Jacoby Ellsbury, the source said, believing he’s the perfect fit to bolster their lineup. Likewise, Beltran has let it be known to those around him that the Yankees are his top choice.”

It looks like it’s gearing up to be one of those mutual matchups where both parties are interested and striving to work things out.

Beltran is reportedly looking for a three-year deal, but I say he’ll take two if that’s what the Yankees offer. The 36-year old future Hall of Famer loves New York, and if not the Mets, the Yankees will do just as well for him. Plus there’s always the added bonus of a likely trip to the post season.

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Phillies’ Power Play May Have Fueled Market For Granderson, Beltran, Cruz http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/phillies-power-play-may-have-fueled-market-for-granderson-beltran-cruz.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/phillies-power-play-may-have-fueled-market-for-granderson-beltran-cruz.html/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 14:09:14 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132860 marlon byrdIt may have already begun before the hot stove season got underway, when the San Francisco Giants quietly re-signed right fielder Hunter Pence to a five-year, $90 million dollars. The Giants’ all star cashed in at a cool $18 million per season. Had he gone to free agency, the 30-year old Pence would have been one of the youngest power outfielders on the market. Perhaps general manager Brian Sabean was onto something.

Yesterday, soon after the Phillies announced they had signed Marlon Byrd to a two-year, $16 million deal that included a a vesting option for 2016, I was taken aback. You see, I figured Byrd would probably get no more than two years and $10 million total… Boy, was I wrong.

The Mets have chosen the worst possible time to be shopping for power bats – especially sluggers who can play the corner outfield.

“These guys are all going to get paid,” said one National League general manager to the Daily News.  “There’s a lot of money right now, and it seems like everyone is looking for offense.”

Pirates GM had hoped to re-sign Byrd during his exclusive 5-day negotiating window, but quickly realized that both sides were on completely different pages after discussing dollars and cents. “We feared he was out of our price range immediately,” Huntington said.

Curtis+GrandersonYou would think that with Byrd now off the table, that there would be a greater urgency for Sandy Alderson to pursue other options like Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and Curtis Granderson. But they all have interest from many teams and it will not be as easy as some are making it out to be.

The Red Sox, Rangers and Yankees are all very interested in Beltran, and a reunion with the Mets doesn’t seem likely.

After the Mets reached out to Granderson’s agent on Monday, the very next morning the former Yankee outfielder appeared on a radio interview and vowed his next deal would be with a winning team that will give him a chance to go to the post season for the fourth time in five years. Once you get a taste of the post season, you always want to go back he asserted.

Nelson Cruz may have the taint of a recent Biogenesis suspension, but that hasn’t stopped teams like the Seattle Mariners from making a serious play for him.

If nothing else, the Byrd deal has set the bar astronomically high for all teams in pursuit of home run hitters. It was the ultimate power play by the Phillies and if you thought $8 million a year for a player like Byrd was high, you ain’t seen anything yet.

One of the talking heads on MLB Network quipped that Choo, Granderson and Beltran must be smiling tonight. “Their next new contracts just shot up about 25 percent in value.”

What will unfold over the next two months will definitely not be suitable for the squeamish.

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