Mets Merized Online » Buster Olney Fri, 05 Feb 2016 19:23:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mets Unwilling To Give LHP Antonio Bastardo Three-Year Deal Wed, 06 Jan 2016 04:22:40 +0000 bastardo

Reporter Mike Puma of the New York Post has confirmed that the Mets do indeed have interest in free agent reliever Antonio Bastardo. However – and this is a big however – they are unwilling to give him the three-year deal he is seeking and is expected to get.

Puma says that the Mets are prepared to wait out the market for as long as it takes until they can sign a reliever on a one year deal – even if it means watching the remaining proven options come off the board as so many have already.

Original Report – January 5

According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles are among the teams that have been in discussions with free agent LHP Antonio Bastardo.

Bastardo had a great year for the Pirates, going 4-1 with a 2.98 ERA, 1.134 WHIP and a 10.0 K/9 rate. He appeared in 66 games and pitched 57.1 innings, striking out 64 and walking 26. He did an incredible job as the Bucs’ setup man this season for closer Mark Melancon.

The Pirates used Tony Watson as their lefty specialist last season, but mostly because Bastardo was so good as a crossover reliever. But make no mistake that Bastardo is one of the game’s most filthiest relievers against left-handed batters.

Lefties batted .138 (9-65) against Bastardo in 2015, with one home run and three RBIs (righties batted .207). In his career, lefties have batted .176 against him, so this season was not an outlier.

MLB Trade Rumors projects him to sign a three-year $15 million dollar contract.


]]> 0
Nationals, Braves, Dodgers Join Hunt For Darren O’Day Sun, 22 Nov 2015 20:00:59 +0000 Darren, O'Day

A quick update on the Darren O’Day front.

The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers have both expressed strong interest in signing the free-agent right-hander to be their closer, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals have also joined the hunt a source told Jerry Crasnick of

I’m surprised the Dodgers are interested in him as their closer when they already have a solid closer. Must be nice to have a $300 million payroll. Wonder if it backfires on them should they get him, like the Papelbon fiasco in Washington?

Regardless, it looks like the market for O’Day is really beginning to heat up. I see him as the first domino to fall in the reliever market, before the other free agents start latching on with new teams.

I’s love to see the Mets come away with Joakim Soria or Tony Sipp this Winter. We’ll see.

November 21

Free agent reliever Darren O’Day is seeking a four-year deal worth $28-$36 million dollars, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. That comes to about an average annual value of $7-9 million. which puts him on the same salary range as an average MLB closer.

Buster Olney of ESPN, reported that O’Day already has several offers in hand and that the Tigers, Red Sox and Giants are three clubs that have significant interest in the side-armed righty.

Over the last four seasons, O’Day has gone 23-8 with a 1.92 ERA, 214 ERA+ and 0.939 WHIP. In 263.0 innings pitched, he has struck out 283 batters for a 9.7 strikeout rate, while posting a 2.1 walk rate and a 4.56 BB/SO ratio.

This past season was his best season yet, as O’Day went 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA, striking out 82 batters in 65.1 innings, while walking only 14 and allowing just five home runs. He also picked up six saves.

The Mets struggled all year long to find a bridge to Familia, using ten different relievers in a setup role and never actually settling on one.

Their bullpen was completely exposed in the World Series, blowing three late leads and allowing 24 earned runs, 47 hits and 17 walks in 51.1 innings.

O’Day could be the one free agent reliever on the market that could adequately address a significant deficiency for the Mets.

(Updated 11/21)


]]> 0
Mets Acquire Yoenis Cespedes From Tigers Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:51:44 +0000 yoenis Cespedes

The Mets have officially announced that they have acquired Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers for minor league pitching prospects Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.

This is been confirmed by multiple sources but has yet to be announced by the team. However, Sandy Alderson will be holding a press conference at Citi Field within the hour.

I’ve always believed that Cespedes would be more appealing to the New York Mets then Jay Bruce simply because one is owed $4 million and the other $19 million. Turns out I was right about that.

Michael Fulmer is the true centerpiece for the Tigers, a former first rounder who is having a huge breakthrough season for Double-A Binghamton and will be MLB ready by next season. Luis Cessa is a backend starter but could also profile as a future closer.

As I said this morning I didn’t believe that the Tigers would have any interest in Zack Wheeler and that if the Mets were to get Cespedes it was going to cost them at least two premium prospects. And that’s exactly what happened.

Is this a big overpay? Yes, but the Mets needed to do this deal. This is what championship caliber teams do. This is why you build up your farm system. So that when you get to a point where you need a player like this you have the pieces to get the deal done.

Good job Mets. You shocked the shit out of me.

* * * * * * *

Surprse, surprise… The Mets are now in the hotly contested Yoenis Cespedes pursuit along with several other teams.

Ken Rosenthal first tweeted out that Mets trade talks with the Reds for Jay Bruce have lost traction and that they’ve shifted their attention to Cespedes who is a free agent after the season.

I think Cespedes would be great for the Mets, but I wonder what the cost will be for him as he’s having a tremendous campaign in his walk year…

The right-handed slugger is batting .294 with a .506 slugging percentage and 125 OPS+ in 427 plate appearances. He is one of five players who has played started all of his teams games.

His 28 doubles, 18 homeruns, 62 runs scored and 61 RBIs would look amazing in the Mets lineup.

I’ve never heard any buzz that the Tigers wanted Zack Wheeler and the only rumors I could find are that they want a top hitting prospect who’s close to the majors or a MLB starting pitcher of equal value.

Cespedes will certainly come cheaper financially than Bruce, as he’s owed roughly $4 million compared to $19 million. So I know that has a lot of appeal for the team.

For most of the last six weeks the Mets have been this interested in Cespedes up to and including last night when Andy Martino said they had no desire to trade for him.

Only one hour left….

mmo footer

]]> 0
Matt Harvey Is The Vocal Leader This Team Needed Mon, 16 Feb 2015 11:00:11 +0000 Matt+Harvey

Good morning everyone, hope you all had yourselves a great weekend. This offseason has dragged on for what seems like forever, but it finally comes to a merciful end in four days when pitchers and catchers report to Mets camp on Thursday.

As far as key additions and subtractions go, you know the deal, we’re essentially replacing Eric Young Jr. and Chris Young with Michael Cuddyer and John Mayberry Jr. But as Sandy Alderson has often said this Winter, having a healthy David Wright and Matt Harvey is like signing two top free agent stars.

One American League executive predicted to reporter Mike Puma of the NY Post that the success of Mets in 2015 will come down to their offense and not their pitching.

“I don’t see why they can’t be a playoff contender,” he said. “I would think the Mets and Marlins would be very competitive teams going into September as potential wild-card teams. I could see the Mets at 84 or 85 wins for sure.”

Manager Terry Collins believes he has all the guns he needs to go to war.

“I’ve done nothing for the last four years but preach to our fan base to be patient, and I’ve been trying to be patient. Well, I think we’ve got the pieces. It’s time to step up.”

The players are all saying the right things especially Harvey who everyone seems to be rallying around. The Mets’ undisputed ace has become the heart and soul of the team with a fiery confidence that hearkens back to the days of Tug McGraw.

On Saturday, Harvey told the Daily News he wants a World Series ring and he believes the Mets have a chance to get it done with the current group of guys.

“I think it’s very realistic. I think we’re looking forward to it and we’re gonna do everything we can. We’re excited just as much as the fans are. We want to bring a championship to New York.”

After a decade of mild-mannered, soft spoken leadership, Harvey has taken the reins of this team and seems to relish and appreciate his role as the new driving force of the Mets.

And more than that, Bob Raissman of the Daily News may not be too far off the mark when he said Harvey is on his way to becoming one of the few crossover, and potentially transcendent, personalities the Mets have ever produced.

mmo footer

]]> 0
Rockies Acquire RHP David Hale, Market For Dillon Gee Diminishing Sat, 31 Jan 2015 04:44:25 +0000 dillon gee

The Denver Post reports the Colorado Rockies have acquired right-handers David Hale and Gus Schlosser from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor-league catchers Jose Briceno and Chris O’Dowd.

“Hale, 27, is the key to the trade and could compete for a spot in the starting rotation. He spent the 2014 season on the Braves’ roster, posting a 4-5 record with a 3.30 ERA. He struck out 44 and walked 39 in 45 games, including six starts.”

The right-hander from Marietta, Ga. played for Princeton and was selected by Atlanta in the third round of the 2009 draft. Hale was rated the Braves’ seventh-best prospect prior to the 2014 season.

This pretty much eliminates any chance that the Rockies will deal for Dillon Gee. Another potential trade partner – in an offseason that began with a dozen of them – bites the dust.

On Monday, a team source told Anthony DiComo that the Mets have nothing in the works and are nowhere close to trading Gee or any of their other excess starters.

I seriously don’t see who else is left out there for Gee or even Niese and Colon for that matter.

January 26

Buster Olney of ESPN says the Padres and Marlins appear to be the best fits for free agent James Shields because they’re both ready to be playoff contenders, and he would be a difference-maker both in leadership and performance. The market for starting pitching appears to be at a standstill until Shields lands somewhere.

While the Mets continue to wait out the market for Dillon Gee, the Milwaukee Brewers may not be a trade partner for much longer. Speaking to fans at the Brewers Fanfest Sunday, team owner Mark Attanasio told fans to expect at least one more significant addition. GM Doug Melvin then told the crowd he’s focused on bolstering the bullpen more so than adding a starter. Reports say Jonathan Papelbon is still in play, and a reunion with Francisco Rodriguez, who saved 44 games for the Brewers last year, remains a strong possibility.

I wonder why the Houston Astros are never mentioned as a potential landing spot for Gee. They are still looking to add a starting pitcher reports Brian McTaggart of, and they almost landed free agent  Ryan Vogelsong before he opted to re-sign with the Giants according to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle.

At this point and with spring training only three weeks away, there’s a good chance Gee reports to camp and works out with the team while the Mets continue to wait for a deal to materialize.

mmo footer

]]> 0
Red Sox To Sign Justin Masterson Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:26:43 +0000 MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Red Sox have agreed to sign free agent right-hander Justin Masterson.

Masterson, 28, spent last season splitting time between the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals. In 28 games (25 starts) he compiled a 7-9 record with a 5.88 ERA.

For his career, Masterson owns a 60-72 record, with a 4.24 ERA, 3.89 FIP and a 1.387 WHIP.

The deal is for one year and $9 million dollars, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

It has certainly been a busy week for the Red Sox

]]> 0
Mets Not Interested In Torii Hunter Sun, 09 Nov 2014 12:42:35 +0000 torii hunter

In a report for ESPN Insider, Buster Olney listed outfielders Torii Hunter and Jonny Gomes among ten of the best bargains in this year’s free agent market.

Jon Heyman reported that there are seven teams that have serious interest in Hunter, but according to Newsday’s Marc Carig, the Mets are not one of them.

Hunter, 39, batted .286/.319/.446 with 17 home runs and 83 RBI and an OPS+ of 111 over 142 games this season.

His first choice is to remain with the Tigers, but if that doesn’t happen, Hunter has said he’d look to sign with a postseason contender. He recently made headlines with his political ads against gay marriage during this past election cycle.


]]> 0
Bowden: Curtis Granderson and Chris Young Will Be Busts? Sat, 11 Jan 2014 14:45:19 +0000 granderson

Jim Bowden of ESPN (Insider Subscription) polled a few general managers about the offseason so far, and when he asked them who they thought would be busts, one American League GM picked Curtis Granderson, while Olney himself picked Chris Young.

Which available free agent likely bombs with his new team and why? 

AL GM: ”I think Ubaldo Jimenez will bomb. I don’t think he’ll ever be able to repeat his delivery well enough to be a consistent winner, and someone will give him a multiyear deal, while sacrificing a draft pick, that they’ll soon regret.”

NL GM: ”I’m still a little skeptical of [Ervin] Santana and Jimenez. I’m not sure they will ‘bomb,’ but there is a reason [other than draft picks] they are still available.”

AL GM: ”I think Curtis Granderson will bomb with the Mets. I think his power will be reduced to 20 home runs in that park and the strikeouts will be a problem with their thin lineup. I also think the player will begin his decline over the next year and a half.”

Bowden’s bottom line: For me, it’s the Mets’ other outfield signing – Chris Young – who will bomb. Young has been in rapid decline over the past four years, as his OBP dropped to a career-low .280 in 2013. He still has 20-home run, 20-stolen base ability, but his low average and high strikeout rate mean he cannot be an effective everyday player. He’s a solid clubhouse contributor but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up as an $7.25 million fourth outfielder by the All-Star break.

MMO’s Bottom Line: Seriously, who cares what Jim Bowden thinks… It’s easy for them to pick Young and Grandy as busts considering the season each player is coming off, the strikeouts, and the age and length of the deal in Grandy’s case. However, I wouldn’t read too much into this. I’m shocked nobody picked Jhonny PeraltaJacoby Ellsbury and Robinson Cano. All three of them have the biggest risk of being a bust for their new teams in my opinion.

Presented By Diehards


]]> 0
Beltran Has A Three Year, $48 Million Offer On The Table Tue, 03 Dec 2013 20:51:21 +0000 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

]]> 0
Update: Mets Never Had Plans To Meet With Arroyo In Tampa Mon, 02 Dec 2013 14:46:37 +0000 Adam Rubin now reports that the Mets are not super high on Arroyo, and a meeting may never take place, according to a team official.

On Saturday, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told MMO that Arroyo would be willing to meet with the Mets, but that “no such date or plans for a meeting had ever been set with the Mets” despite earlier reports to the contrary.

“There’s no truth to it.”

After I reported that, the nest day, both Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and David Lennon of Newsday, confirmed what I posted and debunked this fictional meet-up that was to happen this week in Tampa.

Arroyo, 37, is looking for a three-year deal, but could accept a two-year deal with a vesting option according to Rubin.

There’s no chance he accepts a two year deal in my opinion. No way. No how. Why should he?

The Minnesota Twins are reportedly very interested in the veteran righthander who has expressed a desire to play on the East Coast.

I’ll continue to update this post as more details become available.

Original Post 

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, reports that the “Mets are in” on signing free agent starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo. However, no mainstream reporters like Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal or Joel Sherman have confirmed the report. The Mets have not confirmed the report directly or anonymously through a team source.

Mike Francesa of WFAN had Arroyo on as a guest and the righthander said he has not been contacted by the Mets even though he would like to stay on the East Coast and play in New York. Arroyo also said that a couple of teams told him, “if any team makes you an offer, don’t say yes until you speak to us and give us a chance to top it.”

Nine days ago, Arroyo also told ESPN’s Buster Olney that the only teams that have contacted him and his agent were the Phillies, Dodgers, Angels, Twins and Orioles. The Twins are reportedly still the favorites according to Olney and several other reports.

Arroyo posted a 3.79 ERA and 124/34 K/BB ratio over 32 starts with the Reds this past season and has pitched 200 innings or more for nine straight years.

(Updated 11/30)

]]> 0
Mets Now Digging Through Third-Tier Options Sat, 30 Nov 2013 18:05:48 +0000 fruit-and-nutsThe Mets are now looking more at second-tier and third-tier free agents according to Buster Olney of ESPN.

Anything can still happen, but the three offseason predictions I made for the Mets before the hot stove season started, seem to all be coming to fruition.

Back in September amid all the high hopes and expectations I said:

1. The Mets would not go after any players who’ll cost more than $10 million annually.

2. The Mets would not pursue any of the players who declined their qualifying offers.

3. The Mets would not spend more than $25 million this offseason.

They were my educated decisions based on many of the vibes I was getting from the team coupled with my belief that this team is still not out of the woods financially no matter what they would have us believe.

When they signed Chris Young I knew in my mind that it would be their biggest splash of this offseason. I’m sure Young will help a little, but not nearly enough to make a significant difference. I don’t believe he’ll come close to the numbers Marlon Byrd produced out of right field last season. Byrd came out of nowhere to generate 34 doubles, 24 home runs, and 88 RBI while batting .291 with a .518 Slugging Pct. and a .847 OPS. Young has never posted an .800 OPS in his eight-year career and the closest he ever came to numbers like Byrd’s was four years ago in the band box known as Chase Field, and even then he batted just .237.

Andy Martino wrote before the holiday, that the Mets were “spooked” by Byrd’s two-year, $16 million deal with Philadelphia. That deal was exactly what MLBTR predicted in early October and less than what Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman predicted he would get. So it’s amazing that they were spooked. But not surprising. I once went into a fancy restaurant with $200 bucks in my pocket and with a date I was trying to impress at the time. I remember being spooked when I opened the menu and there were no prices listed for any of the dishes.

Anyway, the Mets are now looking at third-tier options which is a nice way of saying they are scraping the bottom of the free agent barrel. There’s no such thing as fourth-tier options.

Tomorrow I’ll post some of the scrapheap guys I’d like to see the Mets take a shot on… Feel free to post your own in the meantime.

Presented By Diehards


]]> 0
Some Red Flags On Alfredo Aceves Sun, 17 Nov 2013 19:03:14 +0000 R

Since Buster Olney first reported that the Mets had interest in reliever/starter Alfredo Aceves last week, there have been a couple of updates on him.

MLB Trade Rumors reported that the righthander re-hired agent Tom O’Connell to represent him recently, and that Aceves called O’Connell and apologized for firing him in the first place.

Marc Carig of Newsday also added that the Mets’ interest in Aceves appears to be for only a minor-league deal, according to a source.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe pointed out some red flags on Aceves back in July, and referred to him as a mess and an oddball who will never pitch for the Red Sox again.

The Red Sox picked him up and Aceves pitched very well in 2011. It has been a mess since. Aceves bickered with Bobby Valentine last season, to the point of suspension. He also challenged John Farrell’s authority in spring training, earning a lecture. Catchers complained about how he shook off their calls and other teammates look askance at his odd behavior.

Odd as in quirky. Aceves once made a bed out of towels in spring training and tried to sleep on the floor in front of his locker. Stuff like that. The Sox shipped him to the minors then brought him back for a series of spot starts that went well. But Aceves still operated outside the margins. He showed up when he felt like it, even before starts, and was difficult to communicate with.

I strongly doubt that Aceves is being looked at as anything more than a back of the bullpen option and not the late inning reliever they are looking for to replace the departed LaTroy Hawkins.

Original Post 11/14

Buster Olney of ESPN says there’s a “good possibility” free agent reliever Alfredo Aceves signs with the Mets.

The former Yankees prospect posted a 4.86 ERA with a 1.730 WHIP in 37.0 innings pitched.

He struck out 24 and walked 22 while splitting time between the bullpen and rotation.

That strikeout to walk ratio is pretty scary…

Over the last two seasons, the 31-year old Aceves has compiled a 5.19 ERA over 80 appearances for the Red Sox.

My question is, does it still constitute as a bullpen upgrade when the pitcher you’re bringing in has a higher WHIP than Robert Carson (1.421)?

On the plus side, he’ll be dirt cheap so he won’t eat into our 2014 spending pool.

]]> 0
Angels Ready To Deal Trumbo, Bourjos, Kendrick For Pitching Fri, 01 Nov 2013 13:51:44 +0000 Early Tuesday morning, Buster Olney reported that the Los Angeles Angels would be willing to trade Mark Trumbo or Peter Bourjos in exchange for pitching. Angels beat writer Alden Gonzalez also includes infielders Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar as pieces the Halos would deal for pitching.

This is a road that the Mets have been down before and an actively debated one among Mets fans. While I’m not an advocate for trading any of the team’s valuable arms for anything short of a certified impact player, it is an issue worth bringing to the forefront again.

Peter Bourjos is a nice player, especially on defense but he is what he is and that’s a glorified fourth outfielder. The Mets essentially have a younger, more appealing version of Bourjos in Juan Lagares so there is no sense in pursuing that angle.


The player that has been on the Mets radar for some time is Mark Trumbo. Say what you want about his high strikeout rate and low on-base percentage but at the end of the day, Trumbo is a power hitting 1B/OF that would go a long way toward protecting David Wright in the lineup. It’s no secret that Wright’s best numbers were produced with the likes of Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd hitting behind him. It’s a scary thought but their golden boy isn’t getting any younger and the club cannot continue to wait around while David stands alone in the lineup.

Trumbo would fill two voids: a first baseman that provides an adequate glove (think Ike Davis) and a power-hitting clean-up man (think the opposite of Ike Davis). He is set to receive approximately $4.7 million in arbitration but this makes him an affordable option with three years of team control remaining.

The market has been fairly quiet for Trumbo throughout the Angels efforts to trade him. Teams are hesitant to meet the Angels demands for a player who consistently ranks among the leaders in strikeout percentage. Added to that, Trumbo finished behind only Pedro Alvarez with the second lowest BB% among the top-10 qualifiers in K%. As a result, the interest in Trumbo seems to be at an all-time low.

The Angels are far from an advantageous negotiating position with an excess of expensive hitters that haven’t met expectations and the league’s 24th best team ERA. Their roster suggests that they would seek an established MLB pitcher or at worst a pitcher that can contribute in 2014. That points toward Dillon Gee.

If the trade would be Trumbo for Gee straight-up or even Trumbo and Howie Kendrick for Gee and Rafael Montero, I would have to take a good, long look.

The Mets inevitably need to field a more legitimate lineup than the product on the field in recent years. Trumbo is capable of producing .240/.300/.475 with 30 home runs and 95 RBIs, which goes a long way toward shoring things up and protecting Wright in the middle of the order.

The Mets will eventually need to pull the trigger on some trades/signings because the answers are not all coming internally.

(Updated 11/1)

]]> 0
Royals Put Billy Butler On Trade Block Wed, 23 Oct 2013 01:48:13 +0000 billy butler

Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that the Royals will be listening to offers for designated hitter and first baseman Billy Butler.

Butler, 27, has $8 million owed to him for 2014, with a $12.5 million team option for 2015 with a $1 million buyout.

The right-handed hitting slugger is coming off his worst season batting .289/.374/.412 with 15 home runs, 27 doubles, 82 RBI and 79 walks. He is one of the most durable players in the game appearing in all 162 contests for the Royals this season and averaging 160 games over the last five seasons.

The former 2004 first-rounder (14th overall) had his best season in 2012 when he banged out 29 homers, 32 doubles and 107 RBIs while batting .313/.373/.543.

In Kansas City he’s known as “Country Breakfast” and while their may be some concerns about his defense at first base, even in a down season, Butler posted numbers that surpassed anything Mets first baseman put on the board. And it’s not like Lucas Duda is twinkle toes on defense.

I’m envisioning headlines after a walk-off home run splattered all over the back pages in the New York Post and Daily News saying, “The Butler Did It!”

]]> 0
Mets Will Need To Overpay To Attract Quality Players, But Will They? Fri, 24 May 2013 22:05:32 +0000 alderson wilpon

In response to a question by Matt Cerrone, Buster Olney of ESPN said the Mets are going to have to start spending and even overpaying if they ever want to be in a position to compete.

I think we can look at what the Seattle Mariners are going through, because I think they’re the closest comparison to what the Mets are going through right now. They have a star pitcher who can go out there every five days and dominate any team [in Felix Hernandez], but a real lack of depth among the position players. And how do you convince great players to go there at a time when the team is struggling?

For example, take Shin-Soo Choo, who is a free agent this fall. I think the Mets will have to do what the Mariners had had to do, in recent years with position players, and overpay Choo. He’s a terrific player, but they’ll be competing against other teams that are in a better position to win than the Mets. And the way you overcome that, if you’re the Mets, is to spend a lot of money.

Is that the right thing to do? I don’t think you want to just spend a lot of money on a lot of different players and not know if it fits, just look at the Dodgers. But, at some point, you do have to have that foundation in place so that you can lure other players, veterans, to want to play for your team. And that’s going to be an important step for the Mets.

I’m not sure the Mets will take that important step. I know that they have been pointing to this offseason as the one where they suddenly, and magically, open their wallets and do what is necessary to get them back to the postseason.

I see a team that will 3-4 core players that will likely try to fill in the gaps much like they have been with players recovering from injuries or scrapheap signings.

I don’t believe that overpaying for any player, good or great, is in their DNA.

I’ve said that so many times.

Last offseason proved that. Next offseason wont be that different. I’m certain we’ll have plenty of rumors from “team sources” of the Mets being interested in Choo or Carlos Beltran or Jacoby Ellsbury. But in the end, they will come up a day late and a dollar short like they always do. Then it’s on to the next dog and pony show.

I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying it.

]]> 0
Avenging Angel: Will Botched Call Pave Way For Centralized Review? Thu, 09 May 2013 17:43:56 +0000 Angel Hernandez, Bob MelvinSusan Slusser of the SF Gate reported this morning on a botched call that resulted in Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s being tossed kicking and screaming from a game against Cleveland last night for arguing after a home run review didn’t go his way.

With two outs in the ninth, Adam Rosales hit a drive to left field that seemed to clearly hit a railing above the edge of the wall tying the game, yet somehow, crew chief Angel Hernandez ruled that there was “not enough evidence” to overturn the call. Apparently, actually seeing the ball clear the wall, is not enough.

”Everybody else said it was a home run, including their announcers when I came in here later,” a miffed Melvin said. ”I don’t get it. I don’t know what the explanation would be when everybody else in the ballpark knew it was a home run.”

”Clearly, it hit the railing. I’m at a loss, I’m at a complete loss,” Melvin added.

Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal are both calling for resumption of the game from the point in the ninth inning where Rosales tied it 4 – 4. While the chances of this happening are slim, MLB will likely offer some consolation in the form of an “official statement” … there may even be a “policy review.”

The term that’s being knocked around a lot this morning in light of this astonishingly bad call, is “centralized review.” Central review is similar to what is employed in the NHL, involving a team of officials monitoring a video bank (most likely in N.Y.) with access to all the video feeds of all in-progress games.

During the off-season MLB also agreed to test two advanced replay systems live during games, a radar-based system and a camera-based system, similar to the ones used in tennis for down-the-line fair-or-foul calls. Yankee Stadium and our very own Citi Field were chosen as guinea-pig parks for these systems, which have apparently already been installed.

So my question is, where were these systems during the botched call in the ninth inning the other night? In fact, where are these systems period? I don’t see them, are they so advanced they have “stealth” capabilities? Is the box that Buck crashed into last week that prevented him from making a play in foul territory part of these systems? Are they supposed to interfere with players that way? How are they testing these systems? Is there a team of officials umpiring certain games in a video room and comparing their results with the rulings on the field? A digital domain, if you will, where the alternate umps officiate in real time only instead of wearing black outfits they’re dressed in blue spandex dotted with blinking LED lights … Maybe instead of popcorn and hotdogs they snack on couscous and baby carrots …

In 2012, Ken Rosenthal, in the midst of his little conniption over Santana’s no-hitter, reported that commissioner Bud Selig remains wary of slowing down games for fear of a “robotization” that may eventually extend to balls and strikes. Robotization, yep, that’s the word he used … Bud Selig is afraid of a robot takeover. Can you imagine? A terminator-series cybernetic umpire? Hasta la vista Bob Melvin.

One thing is clear, in an age where video review is everywhere, where anything out of the ordinary can end up on Youtube in a nanosecond, MLB is well behind the curve.

The purists will tell you the game doesn’t need to be changed, but there is a growing consensus that technology has improved to such a degree that the game would be improved dramatically with the addition of these technological assets.

I’m all for it … in fact I don’t see what would be so difficult about equipping umpires with some high resolution 12 inch tablets with direct links to all the video feeds. Umpires could watch the game as it happens … shucks, they wouldn’t even have to be at the game, they could officiate from the comfort of their living rooms thereby also avoiding any potential bodily harm from fan riots.

Thoughts from John Delcos

There’s arrogance. There’s blind arrogance. And, there is Angel Hernandez arrogance, which by the way, incorporates a little bit of the blind.

bob melvin angel hernandez

Another night, another blown call, but Hernandez’s last night in Cleveland was compounded by his bullish behavior afterward, which should be met with swift and forceful action by Commissioner Bud Selig.

“Probably the only four people in the ballpark,’’ Oakland manager Bob Melvin said about the umpire’s non-reversal.

Replays clearly showed the ball struck a metal railing over the padded outfield wall. More to the point, after striking the railing, the ball ricocheted as you know it would when it strikes metal. Umpire supervisor Jim McKean told ESPN.

Hernandez, using the umpire’s stock get-out-of-jail-free card, said: “It wasn’t evident on the TV we had and it was a home run. I don’t know what kind of replay you had, but you can’t reverse a call unless there is 100 percent evidence and there wasn’t 100 percent evidence.”

Hernandez clearly didn’t want the interview recorded because he could come back and claim he was misquoted. The quote the reporter acquired the old fashioned way was damning enough.

The umpires use the same camera angle used in the broadcasts and have additional cameras. To suggest the reporters had different camera angles is absurd, not to mention a fabrication.

Hernandez was trying to cover up his own ineptitude with an outlandish story. Clearly, he blew the call, threw dirt on the system used to correct mistakes, and compounded his failure by refusing the interview to be recorded and his arrogant answer.

The ball now is in Selig’s court, and with his powers “to act in the best interest of baseball,’’ his reaction should be swift.

The call should be reversed – to hell with it being in the umpire’s judgment – with the game resumed after the home run. Any fines for Melvin and Rosales should be rescinded.

As for Hernandez, he must be fined and suspended for his actions. Selig needs to come down hard on Hernandez. Really hard. And, in the future, any attempt by an umpire to bully reporters by preventing interviews to be recorded should be met with similar punishment.

]]> 0
Signs Indicating R.A. Dickey Will Be Dealt Fri, 14 Dec 2012 17:00:18 +0000 According to Ken Rosenthal, signs are pointing towards R.A. Dickey being traded, he reports via twitter. The Mets and Dickey’s inability to come to an agreement on a contract extension and that 1-year, $5 million deal for 2013 is beginning to look a lot more attractive to teams who missed out on the likes of Zack Greinke, James Shields and now Anibal Sanchez.

The Mets are currently at a standstill with R.A. Dickey on contract talks. Dickey is looking for two-years and $26 million while the Mets camp seems to be fixed on two years at $10 million per year.

Buster Olney of ESPN reported earlier today that a general manager told him that if the Mets could extend Dickey’s contract, his trade value would increase.

We’ll keep you posted as more news comes in on this new development….

]]> 0
Mets Were “Unimpressed” With Scott Kazmir Sat, 25 Feb 2012 17:46:22 +0000

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets were “unimpressed” with Scott Kazmir’s showcase yesterday and that a reunion with Kazmir is “unlikely.”

Last week,’s Buster Olney, reported the Mets are one of six teams that Scott Kazmir is considering signing with and that he could make a decision in the next few days.

Sandy Alderson confirmed that and said via Twitter that the team would be scouting one of his workouts.

Original Post 2/20: Scott Kazmir Throwing For Scouts, Would You Be Interested?

Now I understand this is one of those pie in the sky posts that not everyone likes, but I can’t help but to mention Scott Kazmir for the obvious reasons.

It is no secret that Kazmir has not been the same pitcher for the last few years. Ever since 2008 his K rates have dropped and as a result he has not been able to make up for his shoddy command.

For example, 2009 was actually the second best walk rate of his career, however, he struckout two guys less per nine innings than the year before and thus he struggled. Things got worse in 2010 when his strikeout rate dropped to 5.58 K/9 and he had the highest ERA among all pitchers with 140+ innings pitched.

With that bad stuff said, there is nothing I want to see more than Scott Kazmir throw just one inning in a Mets uniform. Sure, it would not be the same Scott Kazmir we traded away in 2004, but it would just feel so good to finally get to see that happening. Everything would come full circle.

Could the Kazmir project to become a lefty reliever turn out the same way the Oliver Perez project turned out? Yes, it definitely could. The only difference is Kazmir won’t be making $12 million per year. If he is inviting scouts to his hometown to watch him pitch, the odds are he is willing to settle for an incentive laden, possibly minor league, deal.

There haven’t been any reports yet of any interest in Kazmir, but my question to you is would you welcome Kazmir back on the team on a minor league deal?

He had a dramatic drop off in velocity last year, but it has yet to be seen if almost a year off has changed that at all. The odds of Kazmir being successful at the major league level again has to less than 25 percent and yet I can’t help, but want to give him one more chance to pitch for the Mets.

]]> 21
A.J. Burnett Close To Being Traded To Pirates Sun, 12 Feb 2012 15:11:58 +0000

It looks like A.J. Burnett is on his way to the Pirates. According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Pirates and Yankees have a framework for a possible A.J. Burnett deal in place.

The deal is not done but the two teams have a lot of common ground and Pittsburgh is still the frontrunner.

Yesterday, ESPN’s Wallace Matthews reported that their were negotiations between the Yankees and the Pirates to move A.J. Burnett and his hefty contract between now and the start of the season.

According to a source, the hangup is “money and players,” namely, how much of the $33 million remaining on Burnett’s contract the Yankees are willing to eat and which player(s) the Pirates are willing to part with.

Rightfielder Garrett Jones, a left-handed bat whom the Yankees coveted, is definitely off the table. Still, the source said “This thing has legs and it is real. There’s a chance something will happen there, although not today.”

]]> 0
Hey Fred, This Buds For You – Selig To Get Two Year Extension Tue, 10 Jan 2012 18:24:08 +0000

And the beat goes on…

Uncle Bud, or Commissioner Bud Selig as most of you know him, will be extended for at least two more years according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.

But of course he is…

The dirty deed will be consummated later this week at the owners’ meetings.

Selig became MLBs acting commissioner in 1992 thanks to some late night hi-jinks by his pal Fred Wilpon who coaxed many of the dissenting owners to let Bud reign supreme.

This is great news for Fred and Saul and Jeff who are now assured of a chief ally who will not let their grasp of the team wither away like a dead leaf on a tree. Selig will continue to twist some arms, look the other way and even bend the rules to keep his pal Fred on the throne in Flushing

Maybe this time, the Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler will invest in a new suit that didn’t come off the rack at JC Penneys.

If this happens, I wonder if Sandy Alderson stays on for the entire duration of his contract or resigns before that?

I wonder if Paul DePodesta waits it out to become the future Mets GM or takes the first job that’s offered to him?

Remember, you heard it here first.

]]> 0