Mets Merized Online » Carl Crawford Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:43:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hits & Misses: Carl Crawford Money, Braves Rebuild, Captain Clutch Mon, 04 Jan 2016 23:06:50 +0000 carl crawford

Remember when Mets owner Fred Wilpon coined the famous phrase “Carl Crawford money” when describing what it would cost to keep then Mets shortstop Jose Reyes from bolting for free agency? I was reminded of that on Sunday when Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wrote:

“In the first five years of his seven-year contract (two with Boston and three with the Dodgers), Carl Crawford has played in 451 of a potential 810 games, and has had 436 hits in 1,582 at-bats (.276 ) with 32 homers, 168 RBIs, and 71 stolen bases. The next two years of his contract will pay him $43.464 million.”


dansby swanson

Keep an eye on the Atlanta Braves rebuild. The top three prospects involved in trades this offseason were all acquired by the Braves according to J.J. Cooper of Baseball America. SS Dansby Swanson, LHP Sean Newcomb and RHP Aaron Blairsit ranked first, second and third on Cooper’s Top 25 Prospects who were dealt this winter.

The Braves acquired Swanson and Blair as part of the Shelby Miller trade with Arizona while Newcomb was came from the Angels in the Andrelton Simmons deal.

The Atlanta Braves already had the No. 2 ranked farm system according to ESPN’s Keith Law last August, and I’m not sure if these additions change anything. But the Braves will soon be one to contend with in the NL East, though I wouldn’t worry about them this year.

david wright

Here’s an interesting stat tweeted out by the Mets on Monday. Darryl Strawberry hit 85 go-ahead homeruns in his career with the Mets, a franchise record. But David Wright is right behind him in 2nd place with 83 and could possibly supplant Strawberry as soon as this season.

That’s a lot of go-ahead home runs for somebody who gets so much flak for being “un-clutch” or whatever you want to call it. Of course there’s never been any truth to that as Wright’s career .853 OPS with men on base and .883 OPS with RISP clearly illustrates.


We’re tossing around an idea that could radically change our current Disqus Commenting System. The truth is that less than 10 percent of our readership leave comments, and that number has dropped to less than 5 percent in December.

The issue is that it’s become too big to control, creates little to no revenue, and the majority of the 90 percent who don’t comment view it as an eye sore of late.  While me and many of my writers personally enjoy interacting in the comments, the fact remains we’re writing less articles and are spending way too much time moderating, addressing email concerns, banning, resolving battles, editing, deleting, policing, etc.

While roughly 25 percent of all sports related sites have gotten rid of comment sections altogether – and that number keeps rising everyday – we’re pretty sure we won’t be doing anything that drastic. We haven’t made any decision yet, but we will keep all of you who do use our comment threads updated.

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Dodgers Are Aggressively Shopping Kemp, Crawford and Ethier Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:19:19 +0000 Matt-Kemp

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported via Twitter on Sunday night, that the Los Angeles Dodgers are aggressively trying to move one of Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, or Matt Kemp. This comes as no surprise since Yasiel Puig has burst onto the scene and with super-prospect Joc Pederson ready to go.

The Dodgers are stuck with three starting caliber outfielders – when healthy – and the big question here is do any of these three fit in with what Sandy Alderson is trying to accomplish with the Mets and can we afford either of them?

Rosenthal pointed out that depending on the return in trade, the Dodgers are very willing to eat a “significant” part of any of their contracts:

  • Kemp: $21 million in 2015; $21.5 million per season in years 2016-2019.
  • Crawford: $20.5 million in 2015; $20.75 million in 2016 and $21 million in 2017.
  • Ethier: $18 million in 2015; $18 million in 2016, $17.5 million in 2017, $17.5 million team option in 2018 with a $2.5 million buyout.

The most attractive player to the Mets out of that bunch would be Matt Kemp. Besides shortstop, a right-handed hitting outfielder with power and the ability to drive in runs is near the top of the Mets wish list this offseason. The biggest knock against Kemp is his lack of time on the field due to injuries. Before 2014, Kemp played 73 and 106 games in 2013 and 2012 respectively. Last season, Kemp batted .287/.346/.506 while hitting 25 home runs and driving in 89 runs in 150 games. That type of production is exactly what the Mets are looking for.

The big question mark is whether or not the Wilpons will be willing to dish out the coin needed to pay Kemp for four more seasons. The Dodgers would be willing to eat part of the contract depending on the value they get in return. The Mets would be smart to make a move for Kemp, giving the Dodgers a decent return centered around one of the Mets top pitching prospects. Obviously, he can probably be had easier if the Mets were willing to pay him most of the money he is due, but we all know that isn’t in the cards.

Some people have argued that Kemp is not the right player to go after, but rather Carl Crawford. The 33-year old Crawford played in 105 games last year for the Dodgers, putting up a .300/.339/.429 slash line while stealing 23 bases. The year before that, he played 116 games while being slightly less productive offensively. In 2012, Crawford only played in 31 games. He is a career .292 hitter. His gold glove caliber defense, as well as his near league leading stolen bases numbers are probably behind him now. But he still projects as a pure leadoff hitter, something the Mets haven’t had since Jose Reyes. While the Mets are more in need of a right-handed hitting outfielder with power, Crawford is an interesting consideration. Alderson will probably look the other way on him though. Why trade for Crawford when one might be able to get similar production from either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker?

Outside of Giancarlo Stanton, there is no ‘perfect fit’. Every potential player is going to have their flaws, whether they’re injury prone, not young enough, overpriced, etc. At some point, the Mets need to bite the bullet and make a move.  I think Kemp is a viable option for us in the right circumstances.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Let’s start with Ethier. As I discussed tonight on Twitter, he’s 32, in decline, and bats left-handed. I would argue that given 500 at-bats, Matt den Dekker would likely outperform him across the board offensively and defensively.

As for Crawford, he’s simply not a good fit. He’s even older at 33 and hasn’t played more than 130 games in a season in four years, and as a leadoff hitter is his .339 on-base percentage really worth breaking the bank for?

Kemp is the one that stands apart and makes the most sense for the Mets. But if the Dodgers are eating a big portion of his salary to get a bigger return, then you’re talking about giving up either Jacob deGrom or Zack Wheeler plus Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki. Still interested?

Of course if money were not an object we’d probably be able to swap Jon Niese, Daniel Murphy and Carlos Torres for Kemp… And how huge would that be?

But with Jeff Wilpon running the show and calling the shots, the only option the Mets will consider is the one that has the Dodgers eating $50 million dollars and that means a huge cost in players.


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Things Are Very Quiet For The Mets Today Tue, 10 Dec 2013 18:41:32 +0000 quiet-world

Since reporting that the Brewers had cooled on the idea of trading for Ike Davis, not much else is happening in Lake Buena Vista, the site of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

There’s some buzz about looking at shortstops and relief pitchers, but nothing is at a scale worth noting. Even the Daniel Murphy buzz has slowed to a crawl.

After speaking to John Delcos, I wondered what some of the other beat writers were saying and it’s pretty much the same for them.

Sandy Alderson continues to downplay the possibility of any imminent trades this week, according to Anthony DiComo, and Andy Martino says he doesn’t think the Mets are close on anything, either on trade or signing front.

Latest from MLB Trade Rumors

The Mets are still in the market for a shortstop, and Stephen Drew is still in play, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweets that the Rays are interested in Mitch Moreland of the Rangers and notes that a swap of Moreland and Matt Joyce is a possibility. That scenario hasn’t gained much traction to this point, however, according to Stark.

The Marlins have been surprisingly active this offseason, inking Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Garrett Jones and Rafael Furcal to free agent deals. The team is said to be aggressively shopping first baseman Logan Morrison as well, which has been rumored to be one potential means of addressing Miami’s need at third base.

The Diamondbacks are “determined” to leave the Winter Meetings with Shin-Soo Choo or Mark Trumbo, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. According to Sherman, Choo’s asking price is said to be in the range of Carl Crawford‘s seven-year, $142MM contract, and the Rangers remain in the mix.

Presented By Diehards

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Cafardo: Mets Could Be In Hunt For Kemp Or Ethier Mon, 11 Nov 2013 00:56:40 +0000 matt kemp

The Dodgers were apparently open to dealing any of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier — who are each under contract with some serious money attached to them. However, Jon Heyman wrote “…a Mets person suggested that trio isn’t at the forefront of their internal talks, at least at the moment.”

However, Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe thinks otherwise and wrote on Sunday that the Mets are in search of a big-name player and could be in the hunt for Kemp or Ethier. The Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and Blue Jays could also be interested.

The Mets have been linked to Ethier in the past as part of their pursuit of outfield help, but nothing really came from it. Kemp is owed $128 million over the next six years, Crawford $81.5 million over the next four, Ethier $69 million over the next four.

For what it’s worth, Andy Martino wrote a day or two ago that there was no chance that the Mets would move Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard for Ethier, though Martino speculates that the team could be more open to moving right-handed pitching prospect Rafael Montero.

Of course, the Mets are to have shown their most interest in Shin-Soo Choo, so we’ll see what happens on that front. Here’s the kicker, however — according to the same Heyman piece, the Mets view Robinson Cano as the only player worth $100 MM, but they won’t be in the running for him. Many other sources, including Anthony DiComo, have expressed their belief that the Mets will not be in running for players like Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury that will command large contracts.

For the Mets to even consider one of the trio from Los Angeles, the Dodgers would have to pay a solid chunk of any of those contracts. I’d probably stray away from both Ethier and Crawford for different reasons, and although I’d pursue Matt Kemp, I doubt his contract is one that ownership is willing to take on.

Not much to see here, unfortunately.

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Expect Some Wild Spending This Hot Stove Season Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:04:41 +0000 matt kemp

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that all three Dodger outfielders – Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford – are available, but a rival GM told him that none were desirable.

For comparison’s sake, the three Dodgers outfielders on the trade market combined for a 5.4 WAR (Crawford 2.9, Ethier 2.9, Kemp -0.4) while earning a combined $53.5 million. Kemp, who appeared in only 73 games, recently underwent surgery on his left ankle. His value obviously is down. But some rival officials say the Dodgers are more eager to move him than Ethier or Crawford.

Not that any of it will be easy. Kemp is owed $128 million over the next six years, Crawford $81.5 million over the next four, Ethier $69 million over the next four.

“None of those contracts can be moved without (the Dodgers) taking on salary,” one rival exec announced.

Which player is the most desirable?

“None,” the exec said.

The thing of it is that the Dodgers are swimming in money so this won’t prevent them from doing whatever they want to get back to the postseason in 2014.

By the way, Rosenthal also reports that RHP Ervin Santana is seeking $100 million and RHP Ricky Nolasco is looking for $80 million on the free-agent market.

That’s pure insanity…

This is all pointing to something I wrote about last month…

All MLB teams are getting an infusion of $30-40 million in new National TV money and many teams will look to spend it and invest it in their team’s roster, including the lowly Houston Astros.

I read a report that in 2014 almost two-thirds of all baseball teams will have payrolls that eclipse $100 million.

Think about that for a minute Met fans…

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Beltran Could Be Heading To The Bronx, Was Irked By Puig’s Antics In NLCS Tue, 15 Oct 2013 14:22:56 +0000

Carlos Beltran, who has become one of the most clutch players in postseason history (except for that one night at Shea), could be on the Yankees’ radar this winter, a move the former Met will strongly consider, sources tell Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

According to multiple sources, the Yankees could be in the market for an outfielder this winter as they look to add some pop to a lineup that finished next-to-last in the American League in home runs and 10th in runs scored.

Beltran would fit the bill, having averaged 28 homers during his past two seasons in St. Louis and 24 per year since making his full-time debut in 1999.

A source familiar with Beltran’s thinking said the 36-year-old — he’ll turn 37 in April — would be interested in a potential move to the Bronx, where he could step in as the primary right fielder while getting some turns as the designated hitter to keep his body fresh.

Before signing his original deal with the Mets, Beltran’s first choice was to sign with the Yankees, but they with Bernie Williams still in the fold they took a pass. Feinsand says that Beltran also held out hope to join the Yankees again in 2011 before signing his two-year deal with St. Louis, but they were committed to Nick Swisher at the time.

That said, the planets may be in perfect alignment for Beltran to finally join the Yankees, who have a gaping hole in right field.

The Bronx Bombers currently have Alfonso Soriano and Brett Gardner patrolling left and center, with Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells not suited for everyday roles in right field.

As Feinsand states, Beltran would represent a significant upgrade; his .830 OPS would have ranked third among all AL right fielders with at least 500 plate appearances and his 24 homers would have tied for fourth-best.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was noncommittal, but stressed something I talk about a lot which is to constantly be on the lookout to upgrade various positions on the team.

“It’s hard for me to really say,” Cashman said. “Ultimately, the truth of the matter is, it’s my job to always find better than what we already have.”

Asking Cashman to speak about a player who is still signed with another team, was silly as it could be construed as tampering, that’s why he circled around it.


Last night, Beltran didn’t mince any words about the overly exuberant Yasiel Puig, who celebrated his RBI triple in a very Valdespin-esque way.

“As a player, I just think he doesn’t know how to act,” Beltran said. “That’s what I think. He really doesn’t know. He must think that he’s still playing somewhere else.

“He has a lot of passion, no doubt about that — great ability, great talent. I think with time, he’ll learn that you’ve got to act with a little bit more calm.”

“I’m in the outfield,” Beltran said. “I mean, it’s not great. To me, I don’t like it. But what can I say? I don’t play for them. I just play over here. I just need to do my job. It is what it is.”

Puig has been criticized throughout his rookie season for his emotional style of play, but last night he celebrated at the plate believing he had homered, and then again at third base after he safely beat Beltran’s strong throw.

“It’s Puig, man,” Carl Crawford said. “He’s been doing it all year. I mean, I know it’s one of those things where a rookie probably shouldn’t be doing that kind of stuff. But they love it around here. So I guess it’s OK.”

A few times during the Summer I shared my concerns that many of the problems the team had with Jordany Valdespin and even Ruben Tejada, could have been avoided if there was a veteran Latino presence like Beltran around to keep these kids grounded and guide them in the right direction… Someone they could respect and understand without the communication gaps we’ve seen and heard about.

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Boras Targeting $100 Million For Choo This Winter Thu, 26 Sep 2013 13:07:43 +0000 shin-soo choo

MLB Trade Rumors posted some new information regarding pending free agent Shin-Soo Choo who has been connected to the Mets by various MLB executives in recent weeks.

On of those baseball executives told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Choo could fetch as much as $90-$100 million on the open market this winter. Shockingly, Choo’s agent, Scott Boras, believes that figure to be too low.

“As a custom of the industry, prognostications by executives this time of year are dramatically divergent from the real market,” Boras told Heyman. “I don’t think anyone correctly predicted what Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford got.”

MLBTR also reports that Heyman checked in with three other execs who were asked to guesstimate what Choo will likely sign for this offseason. Two of them said $75 Million while the other surmised a four-year deal worth $56 million.

If Choo’s next deal is worth $100MM or more, says MLBTR, it would be more than just surprising, it would be historical.

“Of the 43 players that have received nine-figure deals, only six - Werth, Zack GreinkeRyan ZimmermanMike HamptonMark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran - had just one All-Star selection before putting pen to paper.  Choo, meanwhile, has never made an All-Star team.”

Last week, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer ventured that Choo’s strong season should put agent Scott Boras in a position to ask for at least a four-year, $60 million contract. Many thought that was a starting point and not an ending point.

Heyman has linked Choo to the New York Mets on several occasions believing that the outfielder “fits the bill” for what the team need this winter.

That said, many of Choo’s teammates have been lobbying Choo to re-sign with the Reds and GM Walt Jocketty said he’s committed to retaining him and plans to engage Boras in negotiations after the season. Choo has also expressed a desire to stay and has become a fan favorite in Cincy.

(Hat tip to Vin for the link)

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Mets vs Padres: Wheeler Takes The Hill In Series Opener, Davis Batting Cleanup Thu, 15 Aug 2013 04:45:50 +0000 zack wheeler fires

Mets at Padres • 10:10 PM • Petco Park

Zack Wheeler (5-2, 2.63) vs Tyson Ross (3-5, 2.75)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  3. Marlon Byrd – RF
  4. Ike Davis – 1B
  5. Josh Satin – 3B
  6. Juan Lagares – CF
  7. John Buck – C
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Zack Wheeler – RHP

Game Notes 

  • Jeremy Hefner was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his elbow. He won’t require surgery, and the Mets are optimistic he can pitch for them again before the end of the season. Hefner was optioned to the minors Sunday, but that transaction was negated by the DL move. In 24 appearances (23 starts) this season, Hefner is 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 130 2/3 innings.
  • Wilmer Flores was out of the lineup again Wednesday due to a sprained right ankle he sustained in Monday’s loss to the Dodgers. He made a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning and singled to center. The 22-year-old rookie is listed as day-to-day.
  • Zack Wheeler takes a 5-2 record and 3.63 ERA in his start Thursday against the Padres in San Diego. Wheeler is the second pitcher in Mets history to earn five wins in his first 10 games. Jason Isringhausen won six times in his first 10 games. Wheeler has not pitched against the Padres this year and is coming off a win against the Diamondbacks in which he allowed one run on six hits over 6 1/3 innings.
  • Dillon Gee held the Dodgers hitless through three innings before giving up a leadoff single to Carl Crawford in the fourth. He wound up working six innings of two-run ball in a no-decision. Gee has made quality starts in five of his last six outings, going 3-1 with a 1.74 ERA since July 14. The 27-year-old also helped himself with the bat, hitting the first triple of his career in the fourth inning.
  • Marlon Byrd finished a triple short of the cycle, and he blasted a 3-0 pitch into the left field pavilion for his 18th home run of the year, a three-run shot in the third inning against the Mets. Byrd, who entered the night batting .320 against left-handed pitchers, went 3-for-6 to raise his average in 36 career games against Los Angeles to .369 (48-for-130).

Game Preview

The Mets roll into San Diego for a four game set after being swept by the Dodgers in rather close fashion. Last night the Dodgers came back, pushed the game into extras and were able to take it in the 12th as the Mets racked up more extra innings this season. Zack Wheeler looks to stop the slide tonight as he takes on Tyson Ross.

Zack Wheeler is 5-2 over 10 games with a 3.63 ERA over 57.0 innings. Wheeler made a good rebound start his last time out posting only 1 ER over 6.1 innings, the time before he allowed 4 ER over 5 innings. Zack was not up with the major league organization earlier this year when the Padres came to New York and he has not faced any specific batters on the Padres’s roster in a major league game before (so no batting stats).

Tyson Ross is 3-5 with a 2.75 ERA making 7 starts and pitching in 26 games overall this season totaling 72.0 innings with 62 strikeouts. He has made a string of four starts recently and he’s been very good in that stretch posting a 1.33 ERA over 27.0 innings. He has never faced the Mets before but two Mets have faced him, and are both 0-1 (Byrd and Young).

Lets Go Mets!

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Hits & Misses: Murphy’s Future Role, When Defense Matters Most, Capping Innings Is A Good Thing Tue, 13 Aug 2013 21:11:43 +0000 daniel - murphy 2

Someone asked me today if we should just go ahead and send Daniel Murphy to the bench in a super utility type role. “Of course”. I responded. Looking at how far his defense has been regressing and how inconsistent his bat has been, it’s no big secret how this movie is going to end. Once Wilmer Flores gets this so called shot at second base, and if he can prove to be adequate, that will be the game plan going into 2014.

Here’s the thing thing about defense, the better you hit, the less it matters. Murphy’s back to having a bullseye on his head because his defense led to the Mets loss last night. With the Mets up 2-0 in the sixth and Jenrry Mejia cruising, Murphy mishandled a grounder by Carl Crawford that was scored a hit. Mark Ellis, the next batter, lined a ball that deflected off of Murphy’s outstretched glove and dropped into right field. The rest as they say, was history.

Since early June, that’s who it’s gone for Murphy only this time he’s batting .274 with an OBP dangerously close to falling under .300. All of a sudden, defense matters. I like Murphy and there are times when he can have a two week stretch where he’s the best hitter on the team. But there have been fewer of those moments this season compared to last.

wilmer flores

Wilmer Flores only serves to complicate matters for him. Everyone wants to see what he can do at second base and Murphy know’s it. It’s the one question the Mets need to settle before this season runs out of games – can Wilmer Flores handle second base adequately enough for us to move forward in that direction?

They will never know for sure until they try, and try they will, and try they must. If he can’t hack it, then the attention shifts to Ike Davis and first base. But that’s a post for another day.

Did you hear the latest on the Mets shortstop situation? The Mets are sticking with Q… Oh wait, I already covered that two days ago and nothing’s changed.

matt harvey

Lets talk about innings limits instead…. But first let me ask you a few questions…

1. Do you like Matt Harvey and hope he’ll have a long a prosperous career with the Mets?

2. Do you feel the same way about Zack Wheeler and are you excited to see him dominate hitters for years to come?

3. Finally, what about Noah Syndergaard? Are you drooling as you wait for him to begin his Mets career in 2014?

If you answered yes to any or all of those questions then you should be heavily in favor of innings limits. You see my friends, the whole purpose of them is to keep a young pitcher as healthy as possible without overloading them to the point of SNAP – OUCH MY &%$#ING ELBOW…

So with that in mind, the Mets will do the right thing and limit Matt Harvey to about 200 innings pitched. Given the fact he’s at 159.2 innings pitched already, expect another 40 innings or about seven six inning starts.

You can expect about another seven starts from Wheeler too, but perhaps with a stricter pitch limit. And Syndergaard has already been ramped down and is not allowed to pitch more than five innings even if he’s pitching a two-hit shutout as he has in last two starts.

So you see, folks… All is going according to plan…

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Umpires, Dodgers Take Down The Mets In Frustrating 4-2 Loss Tue, 13 Aug 2013 05:14:21 +0000 Capture

I don’t even want to write this up, honestly. The umpiring crew…or rather Chad Fairchild played a hand in really screwing the Mets over in this game, which was a tough loss to follow. Let’s start with the good — Wilmer Flores looked pretty damn good out there again. Flores scored in the second inning when John Buck and Omar Quintanilla strung together back-to-back RBI singles to drive home Flores and Ike Davis, respectively. That would be all the scoring the Mets could muster on the evening, but it wasn’t particularly their fault.

Mejia retired the first eight hitters without any problems and cruised through the first five without any real issues, keeping the game as 2-0. The bottom of the sixth and top of seventh innings spelt hell for the New York Mets — and I am a little disappointed that Terry Collins didn’t jump out to argue for his team, but arguing balls and strikes is a futile effort.

In the bottom of the sixth, Murphy struggled on consecutive plays, first bobbling a slow grounder to allow a runner on first and then mistiming a jump to deflect a ball off his glove into right field. Marlon Byrd didn’t field it correctly, either, and failed to pick up the force out on a surprised Carl Crawford. On the next play, a base hit towards Lagares left him ready to throw — but he went to third instead of home and the ball bounced off Flores, finally landing out of play and bringing home yet another run while advancing Adrian Gonzalez to third. He would later score on a Puig sacrifice fly, which capped off a horrendously unlucky inning for Jenrry Mejia. Mejia should have backed up Flores on the errant throw play, however, so I will admit that fault on his part. For those of you that didn’t watch, Jenrry Mejia was very, very good today — don’t let those numbers fool you. He has looked incredible so far as a starter with the Mets.

The top of the seventh saw the Mets load the bases with one out…and then the Umpires from Planet Hollywood struck. The 1B Ump, Jeff Kellogg, called an obvious check-swing as a strike, creating a 2-1 count instead of 3-0. Chad Fairchild finished up the screw-job by calling Lagares out via strikes on a pitch well outside the plate, which caused displeasure among…well, everyone but Dodgers fans. Murphy flew out to end the inning. Nick Punto homered off Carlos Torres later in the game to set up the 4-2 final score.

At least Matt Harvey is starting tomorrow…and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Flores’ sparkling diving play at third base to save a base hit. Eat your heart out, David Wright. :)

If anything else, the kids are alright…

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MMO Exclusive: High Praise For Dodger Sensation Yasiel Puig Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:35:19 +0000 20130319_lbm_ar5_102-404a6ce9f3eadd8127d1a098ffc155b5

He is the seven-day sensation that is sweeping the nation. Yasiel Puig has been a major league ballplayer for barely a week and is already making national headlines with a historically hot start to his career.

On Friday night, Puig blasted his fourth home run in just his fifth career game, the second player to do that since 1900, the first being Mike Jacobs in 2005. The 22-year old Cuban native has hit the ground running, batting .464/.483/.964 in his first week in the majors, leading to a great deal of well-deserved attention. In particular, he has grabbed the attention of legendary Dodger and Hall-of-Famer Tommy Lasorda.

“He’s been great, I saw him in Spring Training and he looked really good in Spring Training,” said Lasorda. “We’re hoping he can give something to the club.”

With both Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp going down with their respective ailing hamstrings and Andre Ethier being anything but productive, the Dodgers have been in desperate need of production from their outfield. Enter Puig; who in seven games has already belted twice as many home runs as Kemp had all season.

“With our leftfielder and centerfielder out, we need some power and he can give us that power,” said Lasorda. “He can hit the ball far.”

That he can, and that he has. PuigMania is in full force in Dodgertown as their young spark plug has breathed life into a once slumping L.A. ballclub again.

When asked about a single player past or present that reminded him of Puig, Lasorda had an interesting response.

“I had [Raul] Mondesi play for me, and I think he’s the same type of player as Mondesi,” said Lasorda, after giving it some thought. “He’s big, he’s powerful, he can run, he can throw; he’s an outstanding outfielder. I’d say he’s another Mondesi.”

Mondesi averaged 26 homers and 82 RBIs while also stealing an average 22 stolen bases from 1994-2003; certainly high praise from Lasorda. The Dodgers would be happy to have themselves “another Mondesi” in their offensively-challenged lineup.

However, they have something with the potential to be even better; they’ve got Yasiel Puig.

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Fantasy Baseball Alert: Injury News To Know Before Your Draft Sat, 23 Mar 2013 16:00:42 +0000 automotivator(2)

March is fantasy baseball draft month, and with only a week left, leagues are beginning to finalize and finish their drafts. The fantasy baseball season officially kicks off on Opening Day, which is a little over a week away. Over the past week or two, a number of high caliber players have gone down. Here is some injury news to be aware of as you head into the final week of drafting, as some of the injured players may start the season on the disabled list.

Hanley Ramirez
Ramirez needs surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and will be out for eight weeks. He injured himself in the World Baseball Classic championship game against Puerto Rico. The eight week timetable puts him at a possible mid-to-late May return, but more likely early June.

Advice: Hanley’s fantasy value obviously takes a massive hit. Luis Cruz appears to be the leading candidate at shortstop, with Dee Gordon still a possibility as well.

Chase Headley
The Padres’ third baseman is out with a small fracture on the tip of his left thumb. The estimated time for his return to action is 4-6 weeks, which could mean a possible, early May return.

Advice: Headley will likely slip in drafts, and if he is still sitting there in round five you may want to consider scooping him up. Headley finally hit on his potential in 2012; I would grab him and stash him on your DL until he is ready.

Mark Teixeira
The first baseman has an to the tendon sheath in his right wrist, which is the same ailment Jose Bautista dealt with last year, which required surgery.  GM Brian Cashman recently estimated that Teixeira has about a 70 percent chance of avoiding surgery. If he has an operation, it would end his season.

Advice: Teixeira will likely not return until June at the earliest.  Keep in mind if you draft him, you are taking a chance, because if he ends up needing surgery, he will likely be done for the season. Kevin Youkilis has seen time at first base this spring, as well as Juan Rivera.

Zack Greinke
The righty threw 43 pitches over four scoreless innings in a minor league game Wednesday, and following the outing stated that his arm “felt really good… It felt strong.” With only two more exhibition outings scheduled, on March 25 and 30, he could potentially line up to make his Dodgers’ regular season debut on April 5.

Advice: I would draft Greinke as you had originally planned. He is on a powerhouse team, and appears to be healthy enough to start the season. Worst-case scenario is that the Dodgers take a cautious approach with their hefty investment, and he misses a couple starts to begin the season.

Albert Pujols
Prince Albert is recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee, as well as dealing with plantar fasciitis. He said he felt “great” during his first spring start at first base on Tuesday, and at this point it appears he should be firing on all cylinders come Opening Day.

Advice: The Angels would rest Pujols for the remainder of the spring, if it meant he would be ready to go on Opening Day. Right now, he is easing back into action, which is a good sign. As long as the knee is healthy, he will be good to go. He has dealt with the plantar fasciitis for the last 6-7 years.

David Ortiz
The lefty slugger is still dealing with a heel issue and is slated to begin the season on the disabled list. Right now, there is no clear timetable on when he will be ready to go.

Advice: Big Papi cancelled a scheduled batting practice on Wednesday, and it appears that once he comes off the disabled list, he will need a rehab stint. Anticipate him coming off the DL by mid-April, at the earliest, followed by a week or two rehab, which puts Ortiz at a possible late April, or early May return.

Derek Jeter
The Yankees captain will not appear in another Grapefruit League game this spring due to his balky ankle. The Bronx Bombers want to have the ability to backdate a disabled list stint if he is not ready to go on Opening Day. In the meantime, Jeter is expected to play in games on the minor league side of camp at some point next week. Not playing in major league games gives the Yankees the ability to backdate his DL stint if need be.

Advice: Anticipate a 15-day DL stint to start the season. The Yankees will not rush their captain, and risk losing him for a longer period, especially with all the injuries they currently have to key players.

Carl Crawford
Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said earlier in the week that he believes Carl Crawford will be ready for Opening Day. The speedy outfielder has finally progressed to live game action, and picked up a pair of hits and an RBI in Monday’s tilt with the Diamondbacks.

Advice: At this point, he has yet to play in the field, which is a hurdle that will need to be climbed before he’s cleared for Opening Day. I’m not so sure I share the same optimism as Colletti. I believe this is a rushed attempt to return for Opening Day, and I expect some DL time for Crawford this season.

Post any questions you may have regarding injuries or possible replacement players, and I will respond throughout the day. Check back on Monday as I will be posting about possible sleepers, closer battles, and some prospects to keep an eye on.

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Saturday Mailbag: Jason Bay For Carl Crawford? Sat, 01 Oct 2011 13:00:54 +0000 Crawford is getting hammered by Red Sox nation. Bay had his best season there. What about a deal straight up (with cash coming back to the Mets).Crawford is 30 and has 6 years left on his deal. Bay is 33 with 3 years left (including vesting option). Fresh start for both players and huge off season buzz for both teams. – K. Muller

I think over the course of Bay’s contract, yes, it’s a good idea. Conventional wisdom says Crawford would probably have slotted second this season in the Mets batting order. The second spot in the order for the Mets this season was dreadful, hitting .245/.325/.320, and was the only position in the batting order to slug their way under their on base percentage. Yes folks, that includes the pitchers spot. And the top of the order will need even more help if Jose Reyes leaves for greener pastures (see what I did there? Money is gree…….forget it).

Crawford is a much better fielder than Bay is and brings a speed aspect to the Mets that no one but Reyes possesses. While both Bay and Crawford tanked completely, Crawford’s fold was for only one season, while Bay hasn’t hit since 2009. Crawford (at least as far as I’m concerned) is still protected under that “small market to big market move” one-year grace period, much like Bay was at the end of last season and Carlos Beltran was after 2005. And just to get picky and over-simplify, power is what the Mets lack the most offensively, and Crawford had a higher SLG% than Bay this season. The home park is a non-factor in this case, as Bay hit exactly six home runs each home and away and actually slugged 114 points higher at Citi Field this season.

That’s a lot to like about a swap, but the contract situations are vastly different, and that’s where I have to think twice. Ok, K Muller. let’s assume the Sox give some money to the Mets. How much? That’s really the most important part of the equation. If the Red Sox were to give the Mets $4 million to offset the next three seasons, then I’d buy into it for three years. Three years are committed anyway for the cost, may as well have the better player. But it’s not just a three-year commitment, is it?

Crawford would still be owed in the neighborhood of $60 million for the next three seasons, and that’s a tremendous risk. Would the Red Sox offset some of THAT cost? Maybe. The Texas Rangers were still paying almost 40% of A-Rod’s salary long after Alfonso Soriano was telling Frank Robinson how to manage his ball club. Would the Red Sox still pay $6-$8 million per year for Crawford even after Bay’s contract expired? If they would, maybe it would make sense for the Mets to pay $12-$14 million in that case. The part of the question “with cash coming back to the Mets“ is too vague for a concrete yes or no, because paying many millions for a speedster in his age 34-36 season is a very slippery slope.

I considered two more things that bear thinking about. Bay’s option is no longer a guarantee after two terrible seasons. The union would have a very weak case if Bay began platooning and they filed a grievance. The Mets may only have two more seasons of Bay, not three. The other thing is that I’m not very confident the Red Sox will shop Crawford. It’s only the first year, and he’s still in his prime (the back end of it, but prime nonetheless). I seriously doubt they’d dangle Crawford in a headache-for-headache swap this early into his contract, nor do I think they’d want to pay very much to do so.

The swap looks very nice on paper for the Mets, but there’s more than the players involved. There’s contract length, money and the willingness of the Red Sox to participate. My Magic 8-Ball says “too soon to tell.”

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Is Reyes’ Injury A Good Thing? Sun, 03 Jul 2011 03:21:22 +0000 Okay before all you Mets fans bash me and say what is this kid smoking, take a second to think. Is this Reyes hamstring injury really all so bad?

Yes I know Reyes has been the brightest light in an otherwise dark season for the New York Metropolitans. In what will end up being yet any wasted season in Flushing, Reyes has been unarguably the most exciting player in baseball. On pace to shatter the Mets triples record and also hitting .354. Why would anyone in their right mind want him injured?

Oh yeah he is on pace to get paid 100+ million dollars after seasons end. And oh yeah the team trying to re-sign him has as much money as MC Hammer. Some team is very likely to offer Reyes 150+ million if he continues having the Hall of Fame like season he’s been having. I mean hell Jayson Werth got 120 million dollars and he’s not half the player Reyes is.

Reyes has done everything he possibly can to make sure his value is at an all-time high. Having unquestionably the most productive season in his career. And the key part of it all is he has stayed healthy. More than his production, health is the true factor teams are looking at as Jose Reyes continues his 2011 season. I mean who is going to give an often injured player (which Reyes has been his whole career) a 100+ million dollar contract?

Enter Hamstring injury. Does everyone remember why Fred Wilpon said Reyes “Won’t get Carl Crawford money”?

It was because he believed no team would be willing to commit that type of money to a player with Reyes injury history. So what does Reyes do? He plays an uninterrupted 2011 season without injury. Until Saturday that is. This hamstring injury furthers Fred Wilpon’s thinking. Reyes just can’t stay fully healthy for a whole season. And as good as his numbers have been all season, this injury will be the first thing to decrease his value. And as a Mets fan who desperately wants Reyes back (and thinks he will be back), this is the first time I’ve seen Reyes go down where I truthfully wasn’t disappointed. In the big picture, it may be a good thing.

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Don’t Underestimate Reyes’ Bond With Teammates, Manager, And His Loyal Fans Sat, 18 Jun 2011 13:52:54 +0000 Terry Collins Manager Terry Collins #10 of the New York Mets greets Jose Reyes #7 during player introducitons against the Washington Nationals during the Mets' Home Opener at Citi Field on April 8, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens in New York City.

It looks like Mets fans are already beginning to emotionally disconnect themselves from Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. Those fans who were still holding out hope that the Mets could retain Reyes, are sure to re-think their position after the sobering news that Scott Boras may be setting up camp outside Citi Field to be closer to his newest superstar client.

I feel sorry for Jose Reyes – all the talent in the world and no one to guide him off the field.

Oh yes, the agent vultures are gathering, but there is no golden path for him to follow to the next level. Somehow he’s managed to reach this level almost on his own – until Terry Collins arrived on the scene. Terry has been invaluable for Jose which is why the Mets should move heaven and earth to do right by this player – keeping him with the only family he knows outside his own – the Mets.

I can still remember the times the Mets sent Jose to Port St. Lucie to practice on some things that were just images – like the way he ran.

He came to the Mets fresh from his home, with no major league baseball experience and a language barrier. Scott Boras is salivating over this – a fresh player with all this talent. Do you imagine Scott as a fatherly type who will look out after Reyes’ best interests? Of course not. For him, Reyes is simply a cash cow and nothing more.

Even MetsBlog, where so many fans go for their Mets news, sounds like they’ve emotionally divested themselves from Reyes and are now cushioning the blow. Regarding Reyes getting that Carl Crawford sized contract Fred Wilpon spoke of, they write:

I think it’s foolish to commit such resources to a guy who could potentially be playing as well as he will ever play, all while having a recent history of durability problems that precedes a potentially career year.

Why is it foolish to pay a Carl Crawford type player, a Carl Crawford type salary? It seems the new Mets only want to pay their Carl Crawford type players, Brett Gardner type money. Other teams don’t and won’t operate that way, opting instead to pay a player at market value. Most of those teams all operate in the northeast with the Mets where many of the big markets exist.

Soon more and more will comfort themselves and say things like: We don’t need Reyes to win… He’s not really this good… He’ll be a very old 34 at the end of a seven year deal… He’s injury prone and you could find leadoff hitters anywhere…

It’s the perfect scenario for Mets ownership and the front office. The more fans they can get to disconnect, the less blow-back and PR hits the team will have to deal with once Reyes is officially gone.

I choose to hang onto the thin glimmer of hope that Reyes may genuinely like it here. He and manager Terry Collins have made a big connection and they each talk about it quite often. Yesterday, Reyes said he loves playing for Terry Collins. He never said that about Jerry Manuel or Willie Randolph with whom he had many less than optimal moments. 

Reyes and David Wright are like brothers who grew up together in the Mets family. Wright has spoke up for signing Reyes more than few times already since the end of last season. He said he doesn’t want to imagine looking to his left and not seeing Reyes at shortstop when he’s on the field.

Carlos Beltran has been a mentor and father figure for Reyes from the moment they first met.

Maybe Jose’s relationships and connections with his teammates, his manager and of course all those loyal fans that are still holding out hope and want to see Reyes signed no matter what, will be a big factor in his final decision.

I want to thank Terry for his part in helping and guiding Jose. Let’s hope and pray that Jose stays here at home and that everything he needs to keep on being ‘his own self’ on the field is provided.

Players like Jose Reyes come along once every decade or two. Sadly, zero effort has been made by this front office to try and retain Jose Reyes, not even a friendly phone call. Actions speak louder than words.  

All we can do now as fans, is wish Jose all the best and hope that he is with us forever. Hope may not be much to go on, but it seems that’s all we have.

Written by Annie Savoy and Joe D.

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Memo To Fred Wilpon: Keep Your Mouth Shut! Mon, 23 May 2011 19:21:42 +0000

Dear Fred Wilpon,

When you were a child, didn’t your mother ever teach you that when you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?

In all seriousness this was a mistake on Mr. Wilpon’s part. The Mets are currently 2 games below .500 and by no means out of it this season. Sandy Alderson has been on record saying he believes this team can win now. Mid-season trades are looking less and less likely to happen everyday this team stays in contention. But in the event the team begins to fall farther out of contention, now what?

Wilpon just openly ripped his 3 best offensive players in the media. If you are trying to trade any of these guys come July 31st, now your bargaining position could be faltering.

Wilpon basically calls Reyes an oft-injured player with zero chance to land Carl Crawford money. He says he has had “everything wrong with him.” While I agree he won’t get 142 million dollars, he will very likely break 100 million if his career year continues on current pace. Then what? Jose Reyes leaves and we get a 1st round draft pick and a sandwich round pick? All because you are too incompetent to resign him because of his injury riddled past? That’s silly in my opinion. He’s a fan favorite. Wilpon and Co. should be doing everything in their power to bring Reyes back after 2011. You think Citi Field is empty now? Wait until you let Jose Reyes sign with the Angels. However I still think Reyes is a Met in 2012. Not changing my long withstanding opinion over this media stupidity.

It also makes no sense to rip Carlos Beltran. If the Mets fall out of contention he may very well be your best trade chip. As owner of the team your job is to increase his value, not decrease it. Our rebuilding process may very well be helped by dealing Beltran for a prospect or two. We need to sell him as the player he has showed us he can be in 2011. The last thing owners should be doing is his hurting his value in the media.

And last but not least we come to David Wright. I’m going to keep this short and sweet. HOW DO YOU RIP THE FACE OF YOUR FRANCHISE?!?!? “David Wright is NOT a Superstar”…Umm I’m pretty sure he is. He’s been a top 3 player at his position for the best 5-6 years. That qualifies as a Superstar in my book. Not to mention the fact he’s the face of our franchise. Without a doubt he’s the Mets Derek Jeter. It’s just plain stupidity no matter how you look at it.

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Yankees Sign Soriano To A “Putz” Of A Deal Sun, 16 Jan 2011 01:15:44 +0000 Have you ever read or heard something that was so out of left field that it made you pause and do a double take? When I read Wallace Matthews’ article on the Yankees signing of Rafael Soriano, I all but mimicked my 4 month old daughter, spitting my morning oatmeal practically through my nose.

It seems our step brothers over at Evil Empire Inc., who were spurned by Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford this winter, have settled on the idea that what they REALLY needed all along was a 12 million dollar set-up man for Mariano Rivera.

Matthews begins his article with the assumption that the Yankees have pretty much sewn up the American League East with Soriano’s signing. He also goes on to say that we could score this off-season in favor of the Yankees.

I’m not sure what vacuum Wallace Matthews is living in but I’m pretty sure when he ventures beyond its protective dome he has to spend at least 8 hours in a decompression chamber.  Ok, we’re going to allow Matthews his winter in Wonderland just as long as he gives Alice her space.

I tried my best to not give his article that much credence considering it’s rooted in fantasy but it was just too ripe with nonsense to turn away from. He equates that with Crawford and Soriano now formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays, they will no longer haunt the Yankees and somehow that in and of itself translates into a division title for the Bombers. I guess when Matthews fell through the cosmic bunny hole and bumped his head he forgot the current state of the Yankees starting rotation in the coming season.

Not to mention how the Red Sox did an extreme makeover Basthun style with the additions of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Bobby Jenks. Also you can consider the Yankees have to rely on Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre and the consistently inconsistent A.J. Burnett in the rotation; it pretty much makes the Soriano acquisition a bit moot, no?

Now I know as a Met fan I must have a lot of nerve considering Sandy Alderson is trying to refit his rotation with silly putty and Elmer’s glue. The thing is neither Alderson nor I or most sane thinking Met fans happen to live in the same ethereal magic world the Yankees have a set footing in.

Wallace mentioned the Yankee situation as a “roster problem”; you think?  So I assume he believes the importance of having Soriano outweighs having a reliable starter, especially if Andy Pettite retires. 

Don’t get me wrong, Soriano is a solid pitcher. He’s had success in the AL and the NL, both as a closer and set-up man but the only thing that keeps running through my mind is J.J. Putz. Soriano is clearly a better pitcher than Putz, I give him that without question. But Matthews believes that the Yankee pitchers need only go 6 innings now and somehow magically Soriano and the aging Mariano Rivera will front the load after that.  Good luck with that slick.

Didn’t Omar Minaya go down this road when he helped to orchestrate the three team deal that created the Wonder Twins of Flushing in J.J. Putz with Frankie Rodriguez?  That worked out perfectly.  Maybe I’m getting old and my memory is shot but didn’t the Mets also have rotation issues that SHOULD have been addressed that year, in spite of the bullpen issues that also existed?

I guess I’m a bit old school because I’m not one of those who believe having a great bullpen makes up for the lack of a starting rotation. It may alleviate some issues but in the end I’d rather have 7 strong innings from a good starter than burn through four or five arms game in game out. 

Why do I keep getting the feeling that signing Soriano, a type-A free agent which will cost the Yankees their first round pick this coming year, was predicated as compensation for losing out on the slew of other premium names this winter? Sure Soriano COULD eventually become Rivera’s heir to the closers throne in two years, making Soriano around 34 years old. He’s not exactly a spring chicken and the last I knew, he doesn’t share in Rivera’s DNA which must have been formed from the waters of the Fountain of Youth.

Once again the Yankees have set precedence in MLB, forever altering the way teams have to pay set-up men. This is just the type of overpaying Minaya was notorious for but is easily absorbed and hidden by the behemoth that is the New York Yankees payroll. While it’s admirable that Cashman wants to improve his bullpen, one questions at what cost to his rotation, financially and to his organization’s future?  As a Met fan we can all say, so who cares, and I agree, who cares?  But the same people who would say who cares I guarantee you are the ones who would say Sandy should’ve spent 15 million to sign Soriano.  It’s insane. 

Hopefully for Brian Cashman’s sake the signing of Rafael Soriano won’t end up nearly as bad as Omar Minaya’s J.J. Putz deal. It certainly doesn’t seem he’s learned from Minaya’s mistakes. If not, there may be no mountain tall enough for Cashman to avoid his fanbase and repel from.

]]> 0 Will Standing Still Hurt The Mets In The Trade Market? Tue, 28 Dec 2010 12:00:25 +0000 As Sandy Alderson and the Mets continue to wait and see how cheaply they can sign free agents, other teams are signing players at a brisk pace. I understand they couldn’t realistically be buyers for Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford, and without a doubt the Mets were right not to even come close to offering Jason Werth the kind of contract he signed with the Nationals. I also understand that the Wilpons refuse to pay a luxury tax and that Alderson does not like to spend a lot of money on free agents or give them long term deals that will expire just when they are out of their primes. He’s the General Manager and that’s his call. However there have been some cheap signings for serviceable players this off season.

Last week the Nationals signed outfielder Rick Ankiel for just $1.5 million.  He can earn another $1.25 million in performance bonuses.  Not a bad contract in a rebuilding year for a team. Of course, signing Ankiel is not going to win any championships that’s for sure, but it would have given us some depth in the outfield which the Mets do need as Ankiel does play all three outfield positions.  Of course, he also has trouble staying healthy, but you can say the same thing about Beltran and Pagan. Besides providing depth in the outfield, signing Ankiel could help the Mets make a trade.

The rumor for months have been that the Tampa Bay Rays will be looking to trade starting pitcher Matt Garza this off season.  Starting pitching is something the Mets really need right now.  The Rays outfield lost a great player in Carl Crawford when he signed with Boston. They’re going to need to fill that hole. If the Mets trade for Garza you have to believe that the Rays are going to want Pagan as part of the deal.  While Crawford is a better player than Pagan, he would certainly fit in rather nicely there and the price is right. I have been a Pagan fan for awhile, but realistically we’d have to part with something of value to complete a deal for Garza. I doubt the Rays are going to want Beltran with his big contract and his bad knees. They certainly are not going to want to trade for Jason Bay and that bad contract either. Pagan is the obvious choice.  Sad to say because I really do like Pagan, but if he nets the Mets Garza then he has to go to Tampa.

Unfortunately, Ankiel is gone the Mets outfield depth is still limited.  Duda is not ready to be an everyday outfielder, and his defense is still somewhat questionable. F-Mart cannot stay healthy and has not produced anyway when he was promoted to the majors suggesting even more time in the minors.

I understand this is a rebuilding year, but couldn’t they have made some attempt to sign a player like Ankiel for one year and under $2 million guaranteed?

It could have enabled the team to have more depth and give them more options in trying to acquire a starting pitcher via a trade.

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Red Sox Sign Carl Crawford To 7-Year, $142 Million Deal Thu, 09 Dec 2010 05:00:31 +0000

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe was the first to report that the Red Sox have signed free agent Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $142 million dollar mega deal.

It has since been confirmed by Jon Heymand and Ken Rosenthal.

Crawford must pass his physical, but the deal is as good as done. No doubt, Jayson Werth is now Crawford’s BFF.

Obviously, this ends any further Carlos Beltran to the Red Sox speculation. Oh, and If I were the Yankees, I’d start worrying now.

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Mets Have Some Interesting Stories To Follow In 2011 Tue, 07 Dec 2010 12:00:33 +0000 As we know the Mets don’t have much money to spend this off season.  Whether it’s only five million dollars or a little more Alderson is allowed to spend there will not be any top free agent signings this year.  No Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford next season. With signing 2nd or possibly 3rd tier free agents it might not be fun watching the Mets every day next year.  There will be plenty of stories to follow and watch next season. While the Mets might not make much of divisional or playoff run these stories could be entertaining or at least interesting to watch.  Some stories I’m looking forward to are:

How will Jose Reyes perform in his walk year? This is a very important year for Jose Reyes and his future with the Mets.  Reyes is one of my favorite players, I was hoping that Alderson and the Mets would have signed him to an extension after picking up his option.  Unfortunately it looks like at least right now that Reyes will be a free agent in 2012.  I’m hoping that Reyes can stay healthy and produce the way he has in the past.  I really think that he is one of the best players in the game and one of the best players to ever play for the Mets.

Also I’ll be interested to see how Jason Bay rebounds after a horrible season that was made worse by suffering a season ending concussion.  Jason Bay signed a big contract last year and I don’t think I’m wrong to say that last year was a huge disappointment for him and for us.  He was supposed to be the power that the Mets needed, but before getting injured he had only hit six home runs.  The Mets have a lot of time and money invested in Bay.  I’ll be interested to see if his power comes back, if Citi Field is still in his head, and how he’ll be able to play after suffering that concussion.

Carlos Beltran will be a very interesting story to watch.  Will he or won’t he be moved to Right Field? Will his knees hold up a full season? If Beltran has a good first half will he be with the Mets the second half?

Another story to watch in 2011 will be Josh Thole and how well he plays now that he’s the everyday catcher.  Thole impressed me a lot last season.  Of course he only played in 73 games, so it will be interesting to see how his bat and his body holds up playing the demanding position of catcher in 120-130 or more games.

Also we’ll be watching to see how Ike Davis does in his sophomore year.  Hopefully this off season Ike has worked on correcting that flaw in his swing.  If Ike does correct it, he could very well have a breakout season and become a nightmare for opposing pitchers.

There’s also Jon Niese and how well will  he follow up on a very impressive season.  He didn’t finish 2010 off very well, but that could have been due to fatigue, and not a drop-off in skills.

Let’s also not forget we have a new manager and it will be interesting to see how he manages this team next season.  Will the team respond to Collins?  Will Collins be able to handle the pressures of New York?

I’m sure there are some other pretty good story lines to keep an eye on next season. There might even be some that won’t be written until the season begins to unfold beginning in April.

Hopefully, we’ll have more happy endings than bad ones, but we’ll know the answer to that by next September. Either way, the 2011 season will be anything but boring.

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Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez Ready To Bolt? Fri, 26 Feb 2010 03:04:01 +0000          

It looks like two of baseball’s biggest stars could possibly be heading toward free agency as both Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez have ceased negotiations with their respective teams.

According to a report by Marc Topkin of the St.Petersburg Times, Carl Crawford and the Tampa Bay Rays have decided to postpone all contract extension negotiations until after the season. His agent, Brian Peters, said:

“We had an opportunity to exchange ideas with the club about a contract extension for Carl and it was clear to all of us that an immediate agreement was not going to materialize.  Thus, we all agreed to table discussions until the end of the year.  We’d like to minimize distractions for Carl and the club and keep the focus on baseball, so we don’t plan to comment upon Carl’s contract status again until after the season.”

The three time All Star is just 28 years old and last season he tied a modern era record by stealing six bases in a game against the Boston Red Sox. He is considered to be the best defensive left fielder in the game and won the 2009 All Star Game MVP after scaling an 8′ wall to rob Brad Hawpe of a game winning homerun. The speedy outfielder has led the league in stolen bases four times and sports a .295 career batting average. I always wanted to see Crawford on the Mets, but with the Mets current outfield situation as it is, it doesn’t seem very likely.

Meanwhile at the other side of the nation, San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez sounds like he is resigned to moving on after his contract expires with the Padres after the 2011 season.

“This next contract is going to be the one where I look for what I deserve. If the Padres want to keep me around, they’ll find a way to keep me around.”

His agent John Boggs told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he believes the Padres will have to trade him.

“The feeling we’re getting is more than likely they are going to have to trade Adrian Gonzalez because they can’t afford him.”

Padres CEO Jeff Moorad pretty much confirmed as much when he replied,

“The early signals indicate his cost will be greater than our ability to pay.”

Gonzalez, 27, is owed a $4.75 million in 2010 with a $5.5 million club option for 2011. He hit .277 with 40 home runs and 99 RBIs last season to go with a .407 OBP and .958 OPS.

Gonzo is another guy I would have loved to see on the Mets, but with how the Mets feel about Daniel Murphy and the up and coming Ike Davis, like Crawford, there’s little chance of Gonzalez ending up in Flushing anytime soon.

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