Mets Merized Online » extension Sun, 01 Feb 2015 01:16:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Low-Down On Ian Desmond Sat, 17 Jan 2015 13:46:22 +0000 Ian+Desmond+Colorado+Rockies+v+Washington+TEJL3z-_klul

Ian Desmond is probably available for the right package, but the Mets won’t be signing him. If the Nationals were willing to discount him given he is a one year rental there might be a possibility, however, they’re not, in fact they appear more likely to stick with him through 2015 rather than offer him at a discount.

They will at the very least recoup a first round compensatory draft pick in the event of his departure, so whoever wishes to start discussions on Ian Desmond better be willing to offer not only what Desmond would represent in WAR for his 2015 season, but at least one top prospect given he will at least be bringing back a top pick for the Nats. That’s a steep price right off the bat … now if you add an extension contingency, then you are talking possibly a major leaguer and multiple prospects. Ideally this would work out best for both the Nats and the receiving team, but this hinges to some extent on whether Desmond is willing to talk.

So lets consider the first contingency. Desmond isn’t willing to negotiate an extension and / or the Mets are incapable (or unwilling) to offer a multi-year contract. Under this scenario his value is greatly diminished and you are looking at trading for a year’s worth of Desmond in addition to the prospect he’d bring back by means of qualifying offer.

Desmond (per steamer) is projected to hit 18 HR, 73 RBI with a .258 AVG and 2.9 WAR. His defense has dipped of late, with a drop from a 6.0 UZR/150 in 2012 to a 0.1 in 2014. He is notoriously inconsistent in the field and appears to already be in some decline defensively. If you are looking for replacement value, Daniel Murphy put up 2.8 WAR in 2014 and would be a good start, you’d also probably need to throw in a top prospect and maybe a lesser prospect as well. So you’re looking at maybe Murphy or Gee, a top 15 guy like Matz or Conforto, and a top 30ish guy, someone like Robert Whalen. I doubt the Nationals would go for that but given you are essentially renting Desmond for 6 months it just isn’t worth giving up more.

Now if Desmond agrees to an extension, then you are conceivably looking at a major leaguer and a couple of top prospects and maybe a throw in. So something like Murphy, Montero, Herrera (or Plawecki), and maybe someone like Jack Leathersich or Wilfredo Tovar. You might be able to avoid sending Herrera or Plawecki with Murphy in the deal depending (on how they value Murphy) but either way the price in prospects would be considerable. I just don’t see this happening … not only would a deal like this take a significant chunk out of the Mets’ prospect stockpile, the likelihood of the Mets signing a $150 million dollar extension with Desmond is virtually nil given current financial parameters.

Is Desmond even worth an outlay like this? The Nationals offered him $100 million last April and he turned it down. Do they see him as a $150 million dollar player? Probably not. Is he a $150 million dollar player? Well, if he’s the 5 WAR player he was in 2012 and 2013 than you could argue yes, but he’ll be turning 30 this year and his defense has already declined with 44 errors over the last two seasons. More likely he’ll be a good 2 to 3 WAR player for the majority of his contract.

For the record, steamer projects Wilmer Flores to hit 15 HR with 56 RBI and a .248 AVG … no one is saying Flores will outperform Desmond, but when you realize the upgrade per steamer amounts to 3 HR, 16 RBI and 10 BA points you have to ask yourself, is that worth giving up Montero, Plawecki, Murphy (or Gee) and a throw in? Probably not. Sure, Flores is a big question mark at shortstop, but it’s no secret that the Nationals weren’t pleased with the performance of their infield defense in last year’s NLDS. It’s not like Desmond is going to win a Gold Glove, and Flores may very well be passable at short with a bat could evolve into something special.

Given all of the above I think it extremely unlikely that the Mets somehow work out a deal for Ian Desmond, I actually think it’s next to impossible.

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Giants Checked In On Daniel Murphy, But Mets Inclined To Keep Him Tue, 09 Dec 2014 01:02:43 +0000 daniel murphy

December 8

Unless the Mets acquire an offensive minded shortstop this offseason, the Mets do not intend to shop or trade second baseman Daniel Murphy, according to Adam Rubin.

Considering that the Mets will have to deal at least one of their top three young pitchers to acquire a shortstop of that caliber, it’s very likely that Murphy will begin the 2015 season with the Mets.

The Giants asked again about Murphy today, according Andy Martino, but were told “the Mets are inclined to keep their second baseman.”


December 4

While trying to assess the market for Daniel Murphy, Joel Sherman of the NY Post checked in with three different teams that are known to be shopping for a lefty bat who could play second or third base. All three team executives he spoke to essentially said the same thing – the Mets currently appear to be uninterested in dealing Murphy.

Sandy Alderson may simply hang onto Murphy because he is more valuable to the Mets than he is to other teams which are reluctant to give up much for him.

“Even in a market hungry for offense — and with some teams willing to forgo defense to get it — the Mets have not heard much to entice them.”

The Mets may just keep him and see how the market looks next July. In the meantime they’ll try to trim payroll by trading one or two of Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese. They’ll also be able to get a better read on Dilson Herrera and Matt Reynolds who will both start the season in Triple-A Las Vegas.

Last week, Alderson told ESPN New York that he is not particularly interested in working on a contract extension with Murphy, so this latest news shouldn’t be viewed as a sign that the Mets are considering him beyond the 2015 season. The way I see it, the Mets aren’t interested in selling low on Murphy and their gambling interest will pick up by the next trade deadline.

Alderson recently spoke highly of Murphy before the weekend, telling Andy Martino of the Daily News “he’s a good player who will be an important part of our team next year.”

This all could change of course, if a team were to make the Mets a solid offer this Winter, but for now there’s little to no buzz at all surrounding Daniel Murphy.

By the way… One of our writers, Ed Leyro, pointed out an interesting fact about No. 28. In his last 5 seasons, Murphy has averaged 36 doubles a year. If he gets 36 for the Mets in 2015, he’ll rank No. 2 on the team’s all-time list.

(Updated 12/3)


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Mariners Lockup One Of Their Own, Will Mets Be Ready To Do Likewise When Time Comes? Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:25:12 +0000 kyle seager

Kyle Seager signed a $100 million dollar 7-year extension with the Mariners on Monday. The deal absorbs his final two years of salary arbitration and tacks on five more years and a team option, keeping him in a Mariners uniform until 2022 (his 34th birthday).

Seager is something of an oddity. He was drafted out of the University of North Carolina in 2009 at 22 and was never a highly ranked prospect. He has nevertheless established himself as a power threat at the hot corner, albeit a modest one — dampened by Safeco Field. He is also the first player to sign a nine-figure deal without at least one .800 OPS season.

Younger exceptional players like Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, Evan Longoria, and (yes) Ryan Braun, and even somewhat less exceptional players like Seager are increasingly signing extensions that swallow up their prime years, while on the other end of the “team control” spectrum you have older but still productive players getting qualifying offers. The combined effect of this pinching severely attenuates the free agency talent pool at its margins.

In the past, players like Seager were more likely to hold out until their six year team commitment expired, entering free agency with their prime still in the offing … these days that doesn’t happen. From the player’s standpoint the incentive is twofold, they’d prefer to have the money now rather than later (a bird in hand), and they’re lured by the promise of long term security, mitigating the risk of injury or decline. Most players like Seager would be foolish not to sign these extensions. If you look at dollars per WAR it is also precisely in these types (and even pre-arbitration) players that teams are relying on for wins.

Seager is sort of a template on how to maximize team control over a player’s prime – eerily reminiscent of reserve clause “fruits of development” labor arguments. You draft a promising older player out of college, delay his start time, let him play out his first couple of pre-arbitration years at the major league level, and then, provided he performs at a high level, you sign him to a “fan friendly” extension absorbing his prime production seasons.

One benefit of these retention tactics is that teams get to keep homegrown stars — which is good for the fans, but a disemboweled free agent talent pool will eventually bring salaries down — which is good for MLB. Now it’s usually at this point in the discussion when I get some push-back. In spite of all the wasted sunken dollars, free agent compensation has not decreased. Matt Swartz in The Hardball Times, looked at Dollars/WAR in 2013 and it increased slightly.

I find this almost as mind boggling as the Pablo Sandoval contract. I mean I know pandas are endangered but five years and $95 million?

So what gives? Shin-Soo Choo got $18 million last year for .2 WAR, then there’s B.J. Upton, Brian McCann, Josh Hamilton … the “unmitigated contract disaster” list gets longer every year. Why do teams continue to spend lavishly on free agents? Why would the Red Sox spend $183 million on two free agents a year removed from a purge that saw them unload a slew of cumbersome contracts? MLB’s unprecedented media cash flow may have something to do with it, but still.

It could also be that teams still believe in having a strong mix of veterans and youth and that the Red Sox simply feel they had the wrong veteran presence before (Hanley in left? Really?). Perhaps, like the Mets and Michael Cuddyer, they feel having the right veteran influence can mean all the difference. Even so, I seriously doubt a savvy organization like the Red Sox doesn’t understand the inherent risks in giving out long FA contracts given the data. It’s almost like some teams impulsively throw money around just for the heck of it … perhaps it’s a “use it or lose it” dynamic with spending allocations. Sadly the Mets are not in a position to take these kinds of risks, by necessity they are betting on their own generation of young controllable stars, and that’s really where the smart money is.

Players like Michael Conforto could (contractually) take a very similar path to Kyle Seager. Like Seager, Conforto was drafted as a college player and will probably not see his major league clock start for another couple of years. Conforto would then be around 27 or 28 before the Mets are pressed into deciding whether to offer him a pre-arbitration extension which would give them control over him until around his 33rd birthday … right around the average point of decline. If he is still playing at a high level? You Q.O. him, bam, done.

brandon nimmo

The earliest Brandon Nimmo will see the major leagues is late in 2015 by which time he’ll be 22. If he proves to be all-star caliber then an extension would take him through his 30th birthday … not quite optimal but between an option year and the Q.O. the Mets would still get him for most of his prime. People keep praising the Mets for being patient, but I wonder how much of this patience is an economic consideration orchestrated to ensure control of players through their most valuable seasons.

Now Dilson Herrera was brought up at the age of 20, and, like Reyes, could see his clock run out during his prime … why? Your guess is as good as mine on that one. Maybe it was organizational need, or maybe they see Herrera as the sort of complimentary impact player who is worth the gamble. The Mets seem to be taking “a little of everything” approach. They have the long developing High School draftees as well as the fast track college players, they have players who have stepped on all the rungs as well as players who have skipped levels, they have phenoms and dark horses alike in their pitching ranks. The Mets minor leagues are an exercise in overkill … which is as it should be when you consider failure rates.

One thing is clear, there will be a point in the next few seasons when the Mets will be faced with some tough decisions on whether to extend a growing list of high performing youngsters. Between Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Travis d’Arnaud, followed by Syndergaard, Nimmo and Conforto, it amounts to a $100 million (or more) extension being doled out every year or two starting at around 2016 … that’s an awful lot of spending from an organization that appears to have completely forgotten how that works.

It’s worrisome from a fan’s perspective … especially when you consider that the only thing worse than this recent stretch of losing would be to let all the fruits of our suffering walk away one by one. All we can do is hope Sandy Alderson has his $100 million dollar extension checkbook at the ready.


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MMO Fan Shot: A Case For Pursuing Cubs SS Addison Russell Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:48:42 +0000 addison russell

An MMO Fan Shot by Marc M. (Not4)

There has been much discussion and debate about whether the Cubs and Mets will match up for a deal this winter.  Many say it would be a natural fit as each team’s strength is the other team’s weakness, which seems to make for a good match.

Early reports have been that a deal between the teams is unlikely because of substantially differing views of the value of each team’s prospects and most likely trade candidates.  That begs the question of whether those reports are accurate, or if they are just part of the negotiating dance.

I have no inside knowledge one way or the other, but as someone that feels that with the right moves (albeit risky), this Mets team could compete for a title this year, I thought it was worthwhile to delve a little deeper into whether the Cubs and Mets will indeed make solid trade partners.

Most on this site, focus more on the Mets side of things.  While I am far from an expert on the Cubs, I will try my best to see things from their point of view.  One overarching, big-picture, point that gives me hope that a deal could be had between the teams is that over the past few weeks, Theo Epstein  has publicly acknowledged two critical things:

  • First, he stated that the Cubs are looking for veterans this winter to complement the young players to take the Cubs to the next level.  This is not surprising as having a good mixture of youth and veterans is an outstanding way to win championships.  “We sort of need some more gray hair around here. Guys that have been around the league that know how to play understand the grind of the season, know how to withstand the emotional roller-coaster, get through the losing streaks and not get too high on the winning streaks. There is something to be said for veterans who know the ropes.”
  • Second, Epstein made it clear that while the Cubs plan to be in the mix for one of the elite starting pitchers, they won’t do mega deals with two pitchers. “It’s hard to acquire pitching. Period,” Epstein said Wednesday. “It’s hard to acquire top-of-the-rotation pitching. I’ve seen us linked. People predict that we’re going to sign two top-of-the-rotation starters who both require nine-figure contracts. That’s not happening.”  “Look at the history of nine-figure starting-pitching contracts and it’s a huge risk. So to put an organization in the position to have two such deals immediately in the course of the same offseason, I couldn’t imagine something like that occurring.” ()

Starting Pitchers.  So, just how good or how needy are the Cubs for starting pitching.  They have a host of youngish arms who showed varying degrees of promise last year, but a deeper look shows a team that desperately needs to add a young potential Ace to the mix, even assuming that they sign one of the big three SP free agents.

I am basing this not just on an analysis of the Cubs current roster of SPs, but also based upon a recently rumored deal between the Nats and the Cubs, which now appears dead, but apparently got to the point that names were exchanged.  The key takeaway from that deal is that it involved Jordan Zimmerman for at least one of the Cubs top young middle infielders likely to be part of the package; with Cubs needing to ink Zimmerman to an extension for any deal to go forward.  (As a further point of interest, Zimmerman rejected a five year, $85mm extension last year and his value has only risen).

As noted, the deal looks unlikely now, but clearly for the right top of the rotation pitcher, whom the Cubs can control for a meaningfully number of years, Theo is wiling to include one of his prized middle infielders.

So lets look at the Cubs current starting pitchers:

  • Jake Arrieta.  After 4 years of mediocre results, the 28 year old Arrieta seemed to have a breakthrough year last year, albeit it, he only pitched 170 innings and will play next season as a 29 year old.  He will be a free agent in 2018 and is represented by Boras, so still a big question mark surrounding what to expect from him this year and how long he will be with the team even assuming 2014 is a harbinger of things to come.  As for a comp, think Niese (who is actually 6 months younger than Arrieta), except Niese has had far more success over his career.  So realistically, if all falls right, he’s probably a mid-rotation starter who can pitch like a No. 2 for parts of a season.
  • Kyle Hendricks had a good ½ year, but is thought of as more of a back of the rotation starter at best.  Travis Wood is another back of the rotation starter who could even be non-tendered.  Edwin Jackson has been a train wreck in Chicago and is on his way out one way or another, likely swapped for another bad contract.  The Cubs have a handful of other arms that could fill out a rotation, but nothing special on the immediate horizon.
  • Even adding a guy like Lester, Scherzer or Shields, they still have an immediate need for a stud, young and controlled pitcher if they are truly going to contend.

It is not hard to see a swap where the two key pieces are Addison Russell and Noah Syndergaard.  There will most likely be some extraneous pieces added to the mix (maybe a Cory Mazzoni), but Russell and Syndergaard are the headliners here. This is a swap of two mega-prospects.

Russell came over to the Cubs in the Jeff Samardzija deal with the Oakland A’s on July 4 and hit .294 with 12 homers and 36 RBI in 50 games at Double-A Tennessee. He was ranked the No. 7 prospect in the game before the 2014 season by Baseball Prospectus. Syndergaard was right behind him at No. 11.

Sure, I hate seeing Syndergaard go, but for a talent like Russell, I’m more than willing to take that chance. Like Thor, Russell will start the year in Triple-A, but could be forcing his way onto the big league team by mid-season. Not the immediate impact we were hoping for, but talk about adding a potential cornerstone player to the team, who plays plus defense and is a plus offensive player.

The point here is, if you’re going to trade the number one prospect in your system, Russell is the player you go after, not the Alexei Ramirezes and Brad Millers of the world.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Marc M. (Not4). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Met fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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Alderson Expects Middle Infield To Remain In Flux Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:41:12 +0000 daniel murphy

Sandy Alderson told MMO’s John Bernhardt this morning that he expects his middle-infield situation to be in flux over the next couple of years while discussing potential playing opportunity for Dilson Herrera.

With second baseman Daniel Murphy expected to earn roughly $8 million next season in arbitration, it sure sounded like an extension is not forthcoming and validates speculation that , that he could be traded this offseason. The Blue Jays, Orioles, Nationals and Giants could all be interested.

Sandy told John that, he was very happy with the progress of Herrera.

“It was phenomenal last year really coming from Port St. Lucie through Binghamton and up to the major league club. …Herrera has surprising power for his size. He runs well. He’s very athletic. Turns the double play. I think he’s going to get more consistent defensively. He’s got pretty good hands and moves laterally well. We were impressed with him during his time with us. He had very good at-bats.”

Wilmer Flores also plays into the second base situation where he’s better defensively than at shortstop, and Sandy spoke very highly about him as well..


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Mets and Ricciardi Could Have Extension Completed Within A Week Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:13:07 +0000 ricciardi

Andy Martino of the Daily News reports that the Mets and J.P. Ricciardi could have a new extension wrapped up within a week.

The Mets, who extended Sandy Alderson in September, could wrap up a new deal for assistant GM J.P. Ricciardi within week, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation. Ricciardi, a respected baseball man who oversees the pro scouting department and advises Alderson, arrived with the GM in late 2010.

That’s the first confirmation of what Nick Cafardo originally reported.

Ricciardi is under contract until the end of the 2015 season, so that they would seek to extend him now as opposed to later is quite telling to me.

First of all, Ricciardi and Sandy Alderson have been joined at the hip for three decades, and any GM should be able to choose his own assistants. But adding to that, I see Ricciardi as the heir apparent to Alderson once Sandy steps down or retires at the end of his newly signed contract.

I’ve been told that Ricciardi has worked very hard on polishing his image that was heavily tarnished during his tenure as the GM of the Toronto Blue Jays. He dealt with many trust issues with management, the players and the fans.

Ricciardi received heavy criticism for the mega deals he gave to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. Sports Illustrated tabbed the Wells deal as one of the worst contracts in MLB history. 

People change and I’m sure that in retrospect Ricciardi wishes he could have handled some things much better than he did, especially the B.J. Ryan and Adam Dunn incidents. Nobody’s offered Ricciardi a GM position since then and he seems better suited to being a second wheel rather than a head honcho. 

October 19

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Mets are working on an extension deal to keep J.P. Ricciardi as a special assistant to general manager Sandy Alderson. The two worked together for 12 years with the Oakland Athletics.

Prior to joining the Mets, Ricciardi previously served as Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays from 2001 until he was fired in 2009 and replaced by Alex Anthopoulos.

Ricciardi is considered by most to be the heir apparent to Alderson once he retires or steps down.


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(Updated) Red Sox Likely Trading Yoenis Cespedes Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:23:19 +0000 yoenis cespedes

Updated at 1:00 PM

MLBTR reports that  Yoenis Cespedes has switched agencies and is now being represented by Roc Nation Sports.  Cespedes had previously been represented by Adam Katz of WMG.

As I said, there’s little chance that Cespedes signs an extension with any team and rest assured he’ll be a free agent after the 2015 season.

Original Post 10:00 AM

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears that the Red Sox will likely make Yoenis Cespedes available this offseason.

Cespedes is in the final year of his deal and will earn $10.2 million in 2015. He appears intent on becoming a free agent and was standoffish on engaging in long-term talks with the Red Sox.

Cafardo adds that Cespedes has no desire to play right field or work on his defense, which is likely fueling Boston’s desire to deal him, especially with a glut of outfielders and Mookie Betts close to an everyday outfield job.

cespedes stats

Hey, I don’t have a problem with Cespedes, but I live in the real world. I’m not buying the buzz that there’s any Mets interest here, especially when you consider the prospects we’d have to give up for what’s essentially a one-year rental.

And in the extremely remote possibility that Cespedes would sign an extension, in what alternate universe will the Mets have the resources to add another $100 million dollar player when they already have David Wright and Curtis Granderson set to earn $36 million combined annually for the next three years?

I just don’t see it.




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The Splendor and Folly of Yoenis Cespedes Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:00:34 +0000 yoenis cespedes

cespedes stats

What’s not to like? Especially when you compare that production to the last three years of Mets left fielders? Sure, Yoenis Cespedes is an intriguing name, but like those that came before him – Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzales to name just two – it’s just more wishful thinking about something that has very little chance of happening.

I don’t want to rain on your off-season parade, but as good as he is, Cespedes will be far too costly for the Mets, both in terms of potential salary and perhaps more importantly, the prospects they must surrender to get him.

Let’s look at salary first.

Cespedes, 28, will make $10.5 million this season, after which he will become a free agent. The Mets can afford the $10.5 million for one year, but why would they give up talent for a one-year rental? That makes no sense.

As they did with Johan Santana, the Mets will have to agree to terms with Cespedes on a multi-year extension before completing a trade. That’s the way these things work. No extension; no trade.

Cespedes’ demands – and I’m guessing here – could be in the area of five-plus years and close to $90 million, if not more.

When you consider a five-year contract for Cespedes, you must also take into consideration the money they’ll be paying David Wright, Curtis Granderson, and in the future, possible long-term deals with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler among others.

As far as what it would cost in terms of talent to acquire Cespedes, remember the Red Sox gave up Jon Lester (even if it was only 14 weeks) to acquire him, who is better than anybody in the Mets’ rotation.

Personally, how far-fetched is it to think Boston might not just re-sign Lester, which would give the Sox both Lester and Cespedes.

Yes, Jon Niese is just one name who has some value, but it will also have to take some of the young pitching among Harvey, Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom. One of those four plus Niese is the price – or maybe it’s just a starting point. The Red Sox are in the hunt for controllable top of the rotation arms.

Sure, I like Cespedes and he’d look good in a Mets’ uniform, but I’ve been watching these new Mets long enough to know there’s little chance of this happening.


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Orioles, J.J. Hardy Agree To Contract Extension Thu, 09 Oct 2014 17:05:06 +0000 jj hardy

Update (Friday, October 10th, 2014)

According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, J.J. Hardy will earn $11.5 million in 2015, $12.5 million in 2016, $14 million in 2017 and will have a $14 million club option in 2018 with a $2 million buyout.

Original Story (Thursday, October 9th, 2014)

The Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a three-year contract extension with shortstop J.J. Hardy worth at least $40 million according to FOX’s Ken Rosenthal.

Hardy was considered a possible free-agent target for the Mets this off season as they look to add a bat at shortstop.

This season with Baltimore, Hardy hit .268/.309/.372/.682 with nine home runs and 52 RBI’s. It will be interesting to see how his contract impacts other free agent shortstops such as Hanley Ramirez and Jed Lowrie.


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Mets Make It Official: Alderson Gets 3-Year Extension, Collins Will Remain Manager Wed, 24 Sep 2014 04:01:16 +0000 sandy alderson terry collins

The New York Mets today announced the club has signed General Manager Sandy Alderson to a contract extension that will run through 2017.

“We are excited about the direction the team is headed and look forward to Sandy continuing his efforts to build the Mets into a postseason contender,” said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon.

“Sandy and his staff have built our minor league system into one of the best in baseball, and will continue to balance player development along with making key additions that will help us reach our goals.”

“I deeply appreciate the opportunity to continue what we have started,” said Alderson.  “There have been positives this season, but there is still a lot of work to do.”

Alderson, who joined the Mets on October 29, 2010, announced that Manager Terry Collins will return for the 2015 season.

“Terry Collins has done an excellent job for us this season,” said Alderson.  “The team has played hard throughout the year and this is a reflection of Terry’s energy and his passion for the game and for the Mets.  We look forward to his leadership again next season.”

Prior to joining the Mets, Alderson served as a special consultant to Baseball’s Commissioner for Latin America. He worked as the CEO with the San Diego Padres from April, 2005-March, 2009, leading the team to back-to-back playoff appearances (2005-2006). From 1998-2005, he was Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations. Alderson was the architect of the Oakland Athletics that won three consecutive American League pennants from 1988-1990 and the 1989 World Series.

Collins was named the 20th manager in franchise history on November 23, 2010. Under his leadership the Mets have won 76 games with six games remaining this year, the most since 2011 when they won 77. The Mets are 301-341 under Collins. He managed previously in Houston (1994-1996) and Anaheim (1997-1999).

Some other minor news from the press conference included Tim Teufel remaining the third base coach and not becoming the hitting coach. In addition, Sandy dodged questions about Wally Backman possibly joining the big league coaching staff.

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Sandy Alderson Gets Three-Year Deal To Remain Mets GM Tue, 23 Sep 2014 05:27:18 +0000 New York Mets Sandy Alderson at Citi Field

Multiple sources are reporting that Sandy Alderson has reached a deal with the New York Mets on a 3-year contract extension to remain as general manager. The new deal will override his 2015 option and span the 2015-17 seasons according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Mike Puma of the New York Post confirms that it will be a 3-year extension and adds that the deal is believed to contain a club option that keeps him under team control through 2018.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York hears that the Mets will wait until the season’s end to make an official announcement.

It was Andy Martino of the Daily News who first reported that the Mets and Alderson were working on an extension deal.

Alderson, 66, was hired on Oct. 29, 2010 and is completing the final guaranteed season of an original four-year deal that included a team option for 2015.

The Mets are 301-341 (.469) in four seasons under Alderson and the team will need to win five of their remaining six games in order to produce their first winning record since 2008.

His signature moves as Mets GM include improving the farm system, trading for prospects Zack Wheeler, Dilson HerreraTravis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard, signing David Wright to an eight-year, $138 million extension, and bringing in free agent Curtis Granderson on a four-year, $60 million deal.

It would make sense that he should stay on to continue building what he began and seeing it through. I would have been fine if the team simply picked up the option and waited to see how 2015 evolved before giving him an extension, but I’m perfectly okay with this.

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Mets Granted Extension To Respond To Sexual Discrimination Law Suit Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:33:13 +0000 uptown-Leigh-Castergine

Not surprisingly, the New York Mets have asked for and been granted an extension to respond to the the sexual discrimination lawsuit that was filed by fired Senior VP of Ticket Sales Leigh Castergine.

The extension filed by attorneys for the Mets now gives them until October 31 to respond to the federally filed complaint, according to Eric Fisher.

Apparently it’s going to require some additional time to say, “I didn’t do any of those things.”

Attorneys for Ms. Castergine filed a lawsuit last week in Brooklyn Federal Court against the New York Mets.

Castergine claims she was fired by the team because COO Jeff Wilpon objected to her becoming pregnant and single.

Additionally, the filing stated:

  • “He frequently humiliated Castergine in front of others by, among other things, pretending to see if she had an engagement ring on her finger and openly stating in a meeting of the Team’s all-male senior executives that he is ‘morally opposed’ to Castergine ‘having this baby without being married,’” the suit states.
  • “Wilpon told her that, when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus,” the suit states.
  • Wilpon told Castergine that “something had changed” in Castergine after the birth of her child — “with still no ring on her finger,” the suit states. “Wilpon told her that she was no longer as ‘aggressive” as she used to be.”
  • When the first female senior vice president in the team’s 52-year history complained about Wilpon’s behavior to the team’s human resources department, she was abruptly terminated, according to the suit.
  • “In particular, the Team’s front office has failed to field a winning team in six years, including 2014, and has made a series of public relations blunders that too frequently led to the franchise being ridiculed in the sports pages,” the suit states.
  • “The team’s ownership and front office have only made things worse,” the suit states, noting that the Mets alienated their fan base by denying obvious financial difficulties while failing to sign big-name stars.
  • “Some fans had become so disenchanted that they pledged not to attend any games until there was a change in ownership,” the suit states. “Others compared Castergine’s job to selling ‘deck chairs on the Titanic’ or ‘tickets to a funeral.’”

You can read the full complaint here.

On Tuesday, outgoing commissioner Bud Selig stopped by Citi Field as part of his farewell tour and dodged questions about the matter.

I know Selig will never do it, but I continue to call for new commissioner Rob Manfred to launch an independent investigation while fuly cooperating with federal authorities to get to the bottom of these allegations. A real commissioner would have already done this and even secured affidavits from all those who were present at many of these meetings where the allegations took place.

MMO will continue to update this story as further details come in.

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Likely Collins Returns, But One or More Coaches Could Go Mon, 08 Sep 2014 16:10:55 +0000 terry collins

In case you missed it this weekend, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports had some interesting things to say about where the Mets stand with Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson.

Rosenthal says that one of the first decisions facing the Mets after the season will be whether to exercise the option on Alderson’s contract for 2015. Sources have told Rosenthal that the Mets GM is very open to an extension.

Andy Martino of the Daily News also reported last week, that their is certainly something brewing between Alderson and the Mets regarding an extension deal. However he still believes that there is a slight lean toward the status quo.

The team is very split on bringing back Terry Collins as manager, and his detractors are very concerned with how Collins pushes his young pitchers too hard.

Zack Wheeler (24) ranks 4th in the league in pitches per start while Jacob deGrom (26) ranks 8th in his rookie season.

Additionally, 24-year old Jeurys Familia has racked up 68.3 relief innings pitched, third in the NL, and he’s only 14 months removed from elbow surgery. Jenrry Mejia, 24, has also been pushed hard and is pitching with a back issue and a sports hernia.

Rosenthal says that Mets ownership still seems to support Collins and that will carry the most weight in whether Collins stays or goes.

One possible compromise, he says, will be to change one or more of Collins’ coaches which could include replacing Tom Goodwin, Tim Teufel or Bob Geren.

If Collins does return, he’ll be a lame duck and in the final year of his current deal.

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Giancarlo Stanton: Five Months Doesn’t Change Five Years Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:56:42 +0000 Giancarlo-Stanton-Marlins1

Last week when I floated that Giancarlo Stanton is not a sure bet to sign an extension with the Miami Marlins and could still become available, I got an earful from a contingent who said, “he’s not going anywhere.”

Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, shared an exchange with Stanton, who was asked if the recent uptrend of the team made him more apt to signing an extension.

He raised his eyes and said, “Five months doesn’t change five years.”

Stanton, 24, who can be a free agent in two years, is looking like the odds on favorite to become the National League’s MVP. He is batting .299/.407/.564 with 28 doubles, 33 home runs and 97 RBI with 84 runs scored and ten stolen bases.

There has been buzz that the Marlins would pull all the stops to sign Stanton to a long-term contract, but Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports remains steadfast that the Marlins will not be able to afford him.

“I’m not taking it back — I still don’t think Stanton will sign long term with the Marlins, and I don’t think owner Jeffrey Loria will cough up the necessary $200 million-plus to make such a deal happen.”

Stanton loves Miami, but doesn’t trust the Marlins ownership. He does not want to make a longterm commitment to a team he believes could make him waste the best years of his career for an ownership who is not committed to winning.

“We’re definitely in a positive direction. But we have a month to go to make the playoffs. There’s still a long ways to go to be in the same conversation with the best of the best,” he said. “I’m hungry for that.”

I think the Marlins are wasting their time trying to sign Stanton to an extension. As much as money he wants to be a part of a winning culture and a perennial playoff contender.

The Marlins will ultimately trade Stanton, if not this offseason then certainly by the next one.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the Mets could jump in and land him. Stanton has seen the Mets up close and personal these last five years and like all players knows full well that the Mets have their own set of financial issues.

Additionally, who actually believes the Mets are capable of committing $60-65 million a year to three players? They are hard-pressed to even afford Daniel Murphy at $8 million and are now desperate to move Bartolo Colon just to get some financial breathing room from an already bottom-five payroll.

The Mets definitely have the prospects to get Stanton, but unfortunately they lack the commitment, the creativity, and the dollars to make it happen.

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Hefner Tosses A Perfect Inning, Harvey Accepts He Won’t Pitch In 2014 Sun, 13 Jul 2014 14:03:37 +0000 jeremy hefner

A couple of health updates on Jeremy Hefner and Matt Harvey this weekend, as both right-handers continue their rehab after undergoing Tommy John surgery on their elbows.

Hefner, who is much further along in his recovery, tossed a perfect 1-2-3 inning for the Gulf Coast League Mets on Saturday.

It’s a big step forward for Hefner who saw his first game action on a mound since his surgery last Aug. 28.

The 28-year old is expecting to pitch in the majors at some point before the end of this season.

Meanwhile, Matt Harvey is now resigned to the fact that he will not pitch for the Mets this season.

matt harveyOn Saturday, his agent Scott Boras agreed with the Mets who would prefer that Harvey doesn’t return this season and that he waits 14 to 16 months until he’s pitching in the majors again.

“Look, a competitive athlete is never comfortable with the timeline,” Boras said. “I just watched Matt throw. He looks great — his extension, the ball’s coming out of his hand. It really is exciting to see him at this stage. I’m really encouraged about what can happen next year.”

“The doctors are always telling us 14 to 16 months they’re having the higher success rates than they are the 10- to 12-month period,” Boras told ESPN.

Harvey was supposed to pitch from a mound right after the All-Star break, but yesterday said that is no longer the case.

He does not have a timetable for throwing off the mound and would only say that it will be farther down the road.

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A’s Acquire Samardzija from Cubs in Six-Player Blockbuster Sat, 05 Jul 2014 13:17:24 +0000 Jeff Samardzija

The Chicago Cubs have traded starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for a package of four prospects.

The trade will be announced Saturday and reports say the Cubs will receive the A’s top two prospects in shortstop Addison Russell, 20, and outfielder Billy McKinney, 19. The Cubs also will receive Triple-A Sacramento pitcher Dan Straily and a player to be named later.

Russell was ranked as the No. 14 prospect in baseball entering 2014 by Baseball America. He was batting .333 in 13 games at Double-A Midland after missing most of the season because of a hamstring injury.

McKinney was the A’s first-round pick in 2013 and was batting .241 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs at Class A Stockton. Straily was 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts for the A’s last season and was 4-3 with a 4.71 ERA at Sacramento.

The 29-year old Samardzija, who had a 2.83 ERA, can become a free agent after 2015 and became a trade chip after he and the Cubs couldn’t agree on an extension.

Billy Beane and Theo Epstein strike the first blow of the trading season. The A’s, who have the majors best record (53-33), were seeking to upgrade their starting pitching, while the Cubs keep stocking their farm with high profile prospects.

The Cubs now have three of the top 14 players in Baseball America’s top-100 prospect list and six of the top 41.

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Will Terry Collins Survive The Year? Odds-Makers Say No… Thu, 03 Apr 2014 13:19:50 +0000 terry collins

Although I already posted on the Mets and their new modern MLB record of 31 strikeouts through the team’s first two games, it was late last night when I wrote that and I didn’t get a chance to throw in some of my own thoughts on the matter.

About three weeks ago I was at a friend’s engagement party. At one point most of the guys made their way to the bar area just outside the hall and we had some beers while watching the Dodgers play the D’Backs in a spring training game. As it so happened, the D’Backs had four or five straight hits in a big inning and I remember the announcer saying that Arizona was in attack mode and swinging at first pitch strikes.

This led to an interesting conversation where we discussed the Mets and Yankees and their own philosophies on plate approach. One of them joked that if any pitcher wanted to beat the Mets all they needed to do was throw strikes and put them in a hole. Coming from a Yankee fan, that wasn’t easy to listen to, but a part of me felt that he may be right.

I remember listening to a Daniel Murphy interview in February where he talked about the pressure of complying with the Mets organizational philosophy at the plate. He remarked at how difficult it was to resist swinging at a pitch he felt he could drive. Nevertheless he said his goal was to walk more this season.

I’m not a hitting coach so I won’t say whether the Mets approach is to blame for last year’s MLB leading strikeout total, or the awful start we’ve gotten off to after just two games. But I’m wondering if this whole hitting approach thing is messing with our hitter’s heads as Keith Hernandez speculated last night.

They seemed so tense last year and all through spring training, rather than loose and relaxed at the plate. Why?

Also, I haven’t researched this so don’t hold me to it, but it feels like whenever the middle of the order is up our sluggers are quickly immersed in 0-2 and 1-2 counts, giving a distinct advantage to the pitcher.

Now getting back to my story at the bar, I wondered if the Mets had it in them to go into “attack mode”. If a pitcher like Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez are fearlessly throwing first pitch strikes, why aren’t we up their looking fastball and swinging on the first pitch?

Anyway, it’s something that bothered me during the last two games.

Meanwhile, Terry Collins has been quick to downplay the strikeouts saying that the team faced two great strikeout pitchers. Really? Is that all you got? I would have expected him to be more concerned than he appeared to be. After all, it’s his neck on the line, not mine.

Las Vegas odds-maker Bovada placed Terry Collins third on their list of MLB managers most likely to be fired this season.

I would say that’s fair despite just signing a new two-year contract extension this past winter.

After two straight 74-win seasons and five consecutive losing seasons, Sandy Alderson has challenged Collins to win 90 games this season.

I thought that was simply a nice way of saying, “Hey Terry, you better win 82 or more games this season or else you’re fired.”

I think Collins could easily account for an extra 3-4 losses during the year just based on his in-game decisions. Collins is a great guy and his players love him, but that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the long run.

If the Mets don’t have a winning season in 2014, I predict he’ll be fired at the end of the season. Someone is going to pay the price for a sixth consecutive losing season, and in most cases it’s usually the manager.

So my advice to Terry is, Just win, baby…

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Ryan Braun Holds A Press Conference, Says Nothing Wed, 27 Nov 2013 05:51:03 +0000 braun

I just finished reading the full transcript of what Ryan Braun said in his press conference with reporters this morning. A media session that lasted 30 minutes and yielded anything of substance. You can read the full Q&A here, but don’t expect much in the way of answers to the questions that were posed to him.

Why did you lie?

“Obviously I’ve been through a lot and as I expressed in my statement that I felt was pretty lengthy and specific, I got into a lot of details at that point. I’m not really going to go into any further details. I’m deeply remorseful about what happened. I wish I had the ability to go back and change things and do things a lot differently, but unfortunately I can’t do that. All I can do is move on and try to do everything in my power to earn back peoples’ trust and respect and support. I don’t anticipate being able to earn back everybody’s support, but I certainly intend to do everything in my power to do that and I won’t stop trying.”

What was worse in your opinion, using PEDs or lying about it after the fact?

“As I’ve stated, the goal for me is just being able to move forward. I’m not going to get into too many specifics about what happened other than saying I’m extremely remorseful. I wish that I could go back and change things but I don’t have that opportunity to do that, so I’m just going to do everything in my power to move forward.”

Have you apologized to Dino Laurenzi, Jr., or made any payments to him?

“I have not made any payments to him. I’ve had some really productive and positive conversations with him. The Laurenzi family was actually gracious and kind enough to have my fiancée Larisa and I over to their house for dinner last night, and we had some really good conversation. We’ve made amends and I think we’re both excited to be able to move forward and put this behind us.”

Knowing you got away with a positive test, why did you have that news conference in Maryvale where you lied and essentially threw Laurenzi under the bus?

“I’m not really, again, going to get into too many specifics. I wish that I hadn’t done the press conference. It was a big mistake. I deeply regret having done it, and a lot of the things that I said that day. But again, all I can do is move forward, and in an effort to do that I’m not going to get into too many specifics. I really don’t think that it does anything too positive or productive for me, the team, the game of baseball or anybody else. And in an effort to move forward, I’m not going to discuss that subject.”

Why have you waited so long to come forward and talk?

“I’ve actually been in town a few times. I don’t do the Twitter or Facebook or any of that stuff to alert anybody that I’m here. I think today was just kind of an opportunity that we understood there would be some media here, so I wanted the opportunity to speak to you guys. It wasn’t about waiting or anything like that. Like I said, I’ve been here a few times. I think this is the first time that everybody’s been aware that I’m here.”

That’s understood. But when suspensions were handed out, other players spoke and had news conferences. You didn’t. Why did it take you this long to come forward?

“I think because it was an ongoing investigation I wasn’t allowed to say very much at that time. Basically based on what I had learned from both Major League Baseball and the Players Association it wasn’t in anybody’s best interest for me to make any statements at that time.”

What was the injury that you referred to in the statement?
“Again, I’m not going to get into the specifics and continue to go backward. I’m moving forward and I’m not going to get into too many specifics on that.”

Don’t you think you owe everybody to talk about the specifics?

“Yeah, I completely understand where you guys are coming from and a part of your job is to ask those questions, but I hope that you guys can understand and respect that in an effort to move forward that I’m just not going to continue to discuss that stuff.”

What about the 2011 NL MVP award? Does this revelation invalidate that award?

“Like I said, I’m continuing to move forward. I think that’s all I can do. I’m not going to go back and discuss the things that have happened in the past. In an effort to do that, I’m not going to discuss that.”

The Brewers gave you that huge contract extension in 2011. Will you now take a pay cut?

“The Brewers have been incredibly supportive, the entire organization. My teammates, everyone has been incredibly supportive. I can’t thank Mark Attanasio enough for his support. I fully intend to do everything in my power to be the best player and person that I can be moving forward.”

Two years ago you said you thought the drug testing policy was fatally flawed. Do you still feel that way now?

“Like I said, I greatly regret having done that press conference at all. My opinion on a lot of those things has definitely changed.”

What would you say to Robin Yount?

“Robin and I have had a great relationship. I enjoy my conversations with him and I don’t think that our relationship would change much.”

Did you apologize to him?

“I look forward to seeing him. I think I’ll definitely see him in spring training, I think he’s out in Arizona quite often. I look forward to having some conversations with him.”

… Thank goodness those Braun to the Mets trade rumors were BS…. Don’t think I could handle another drama queen in Queens… Especially a liar and a cheat…

Read all of it here.

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Carlos Ruiz Deal Is Not As Bad As You Think Thu, 21 Nov 2013 13:00:09 +0000 carlos ruiz

If you thought the Phillies were nuts for re-signing catcher Carlos Ruiz for three years and $26 million, I would disagree. At first I thought it was a bad deal too, but the more I thought about it, the more I warmed up to it.

Ruiz, who turns 35 in January, has spent his entire career with the Phillies. He played a key role in helping them win five straight NL East titles from 2007-11 and the 2008 World Series title. The deal will pay him trough his age 37 season, but that’s hardly a reason for concern for a catcher with his defensive and offensive makeup.

Last season, one in which a banned substance suspension for amphetamines limited him to just 94 games, Ruiz hit .288 with a .343 on-base and has become a consistent part of the Phillies’ offense.

An All-Star in 2012, Ruiz batted .325 with a .394 on-base and a .935 OPS. Over the last four seasons Ruiz has compiled a 13.6 fWAR - an average of 3.4 per season – and the 34-year old backstop has shown no signs of slowing down.

Always a solid contact hitter, in his eight seasons with the Phillies, Ruiz struck out more than 50 times only one time in 2010 when he whiffed just 54 times in 433 plate appearances while drawing 55 walks.

Even with a little regression over the next three years, the deal will likely be the least of the Phillies problems. And at least he’s not Miguel Montero who still has four years and $50 million coming to him from the Arizona Diamondbacks. You want bad, I give you bad.

So I’ll have to disagree with Keith Law on this one.

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The New York Mets And Their Mysterious Arizona Fall League Strategy Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:48:13 +0000 AFL13

I always thought that the Arizona Fall League was a place where teams sent their top prospects to play against the top prospects of other teams. The reasoning behind this is to get them playing against the best competition available, which would be beneficial to their development. In fact, on the AFL official website, it states “given the top prospects who play here, every game in the AFL is like a future All-Star Game. It’s a definite destination for baseball fans and families who want to see great action on the diamond.”

Most teams send a wide range of prospects, but the majority of them rank in the top 20 of their organizations. The stands are packed with scouts who are all their to see and evaluate. This season, the AFL features Byron Buxton, who many consider the top prospect in all of baseball. In previous years, we have seen Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Albert Pujols, David Wright, and many other top players in the game grace the AFL fields in October.

The question is why do the Mets continue to use this league as an extension of the regular season for players that missed time, rather than send their top prospects?

Hansel Robles is the highest ranked prospect that was sent to the AFL this season. Robles is currently ranked as the Mets’ No. 20 prospect on, but depending on who you ask, that ranking could be lower. Don’t get me wrong, the five players they sent are nice players, but they aren’t considered the cream of the crop.

I had a brief discussion with Metsblog’s Michael Baron on Twitter yesterday, and we both have differing views on what the AFL is about. He argued that it was a way for the Mets to get the players they sent extra at-bats since they missed time due to injuries, and to further evaluate players. I argued that while it is about evaluating players, the AFL is supposed to be reserved for the top talent in the minor leagues.

The Mets obviously side with Baron’s idea of what the AFL is all about, while the majority of other teams in baseball seem to side with my view.

cory vaughn

If it were up to me, I would be sending guys like Kevin Plawecki, Jayce Boyd, and T.J. Rivera to see what they can do against upper-echelon prospects of other teams. I would also had sent Cesar Puello.

Having these guys play against other top players would be incredibly beneficial to their development, and a way for the Mets to showcase some of their top talent.

Unfortunately, a lot of the Mets top talent is still in the lower levels of the minors, and you can only send one player that is below Double-A to participate in the AFL.

I scratched my head when I saw the players that the Mets sent this year. I understand that with strict innings limitations, they are limited with the pitchers they can send. I understand sending Cory Vaughn, but if they are trying to get players that were injured during the season more time, then why not send guys like Travis d’Arnaud, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael Fulmer? Those guys could all use the extra work and they fit the bill of being top prospects in the organization.

While fans of other teams in baseball get to watch their teams’ top prospects playing AFL games on MLB Network, Mets fans get to watch players that the Mets send to get more at-bats. The Mets must’ve missed the memo that “every game in the AFL is like a future All-Star Game.” The AFL is a showcase league, and the Mets can’t even get that right.

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