Mets Merized Online » Hot Stove Mon, 05 Dec 2016 01:32:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Trade Bruce For The Right Reasons Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:55:52 +0000 jay bruce

Jon Heyman recently reported that a rival executive thinks the Mets might consider trading Jay Bruce once they pick up his 13 million dollar contract option after the season. This news really isn’t all that shocking. Mets fans have been speculating for months that this might be a possibility depending on the outcome of the Yoenis Cespedes contract situation.

I want to make one thing clear though. A trade of Bruce for a pitcher or position player that improves the major league roster is completely acceptable. A trade of Bruce for a prospect that improves the overall depth in our farm system is also acceptable provided that the Mets make corresponding moves to enhance the quality of the major league roster in significant ways. But the Mets cannot trade Bruce if they are purely being motivated by financial reasons and plan to just hand the job to Michael Conforto.

I refuse to accept the narrative that many fans are citing which is “the Mets can use the Jay Bruce money to pay for Yoenis Cespedes“. The focus of the offseason should be on improving the overall roster relative to last season in an effort to win a championship. I realize every team has payroll limits, but I don’t want those limits to be the running theme that dominates the Mets offseason headlines. And so far, it has already been headline news in the form of the Cespedes opt-out discussion and the Neil Walker qualifying offer debate.

The NLCS matchup should be an eye opener for the Mets. The Cubs and Dodgers have incredibly talented farm systems and had arguably the deepest preseason major league rosters. But it’s no coincidence that they were the highest spending teams in the NL at the end of the season.

MLB: Chicago Cubs-Spring Training Media Day

The Cubs “won” the 2015/16 offseason when they signed Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward, and John Lackey and now they have a great chance to win the World Series. When the Cubs retained Dexter Fowler their organization didn’t worry about finding enough playing time for Kyle Schwarber, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, and Jorge Soler. And the Mets shouldn’t worry either if they wind up retaining Bruce and Conforto.

The Dodgers brought in a plethora of starting pitchers Scott Kazmir (3 years $48 million), Kenta Maeda (8 years $25 million), Brett Anderson (accepted $15.8 million qualifying offer) before the season started to replace Zack Greinke, and they certainly made use of their starting pitching depth over the course of the year. They re-signed second basemen Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley and turned the former into a utility player. Despite having the most regular season injuries in recorded baseball history, the Dodgers were able to survive, win the NL West, and make a deep playoff run because of their unrivaled depth.

Spending big money on payroll doesn’t always equate to success in baseball. But in 2016, the NL teams that flexed their financial muscle in the offseason and assembled deep rosters made it to the NLCS. That can’t be ignored.

Please don’t read this post and confuse me for a member of the Jay Bruce fan club. I don’t think Bruce has to be on the 2017 team for the Mets to have success. And I certainly don’t want the Mets to spend money for the sake of spending money or to “make a splash”. But the days of the Mets making a purely financially motivated roster decision should be over.

They appeared to be over last offseason when the Mets raised payroll and retained Cespedes. But the Mets must continue on that track if they want to win it all. Otherwise they will be at a real disadvantage when trying to overtake the Dodgers and Cubs going forward. Because those teams certainly aren’t going to stop spending like big market clubs any time soon.

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Is a Dickey Reunion Possible? Sat, 15 Oct 2016 17:05:09 +0000 dickey tips cap

Let me say this right off the bat. I’m not writing this to sell people on the notion that R.A. Dickey has another Cy Young caliber season left in his right arm. I’m not writing this to try and convince people that Dickey the knuckleballer is a better rotation option than our five young aces, our newly emerging Triple-A starting depth, or our other 43 year old Big Sexy starting pitcher. But I am writing this to say that it may be worth bringing in some cheap veteran rotation insurance this offseason considering all the injuries we witnessed this year.

Matt Harvey (thoracic outlet syndrome), Jacob deGrom (ulnar nerve), and Steven Matz (elbow bone spur) all had season-ending surgery to repair their pitching arm issues. Noah Syndergaard was pitching this season with a bone spur, but the team decided against surgery to repair the issue. Robert Gsellman had his labrum surgically repaired in his non-pitching shoulder. Zack Wheeler has missed two straight seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery (he’s probably still listed as day-to-day).

From now on every single conversation about one of the Mets’ young starters will include the caveat “if he can stay healthy”.

Bartolo Colon will eventually be a free agent at 43 years old, and there’s no guarantee he returns to the Mets. The young aces are all supposedly going to be recovered and ready to pitch come spring training. But on the off chance that one of the young starters experiences a slightly delayed recovery timeline (very unlikely because as we all know an injury recovery setback has never happened to a single Mets player in history) it might make sense to have a veteran innings eater like R.A. Dickey as an option.

USA Today

USA Today

Dickey will be 42 years old this month and wasn’t that effective last year for the Blue Jays (10-15, 4.46 ERA). His walk rate was up (3.3 BB/9) relative to his career norm (2.8) and his strikeout rate (6.7 K/9) was down relative to his best seasons where he averaged over 7 Ks per 9 innings. But prior to last year, he had pitched 200+ innings for five straight seasons. In 2014 and 2015 he posted an ERA under 4.

He said he’s considering retirement after the season, but if he does continue to play he’s openly said he wants to play for a team that gives him a chance to win it all. The Mets certainly fit that description. If the interest in Dickey is limited league-wide, and he would sign a one-year deal at a minimal cost (significantly less than the 12 million he made in 2016), I think he’d be a fine rotation insurance policy for the Mets.

The Mets have plenty of major issues to tackle this offseason before they even begin to think about starting pitching depth. And despite all the question marks surrounding their young starters, it’s unlikely the Mets will spend big money in free agency on a starter or trade for a big time arm.

This team is built on the backs of our five young aces. If we are ever going to make it to the promised land in October, the young arms will be the ones that lead us there. But Bartolo Colon emerging as the most durable pitcher in the Mets rotation in 2016 has served as a very real reminder of how fragile the young rotation can be.

Plus, imagine how amazing the 2017 storyline would be if we paired Bartolo and Dickey in the same rotation even for a short stretch. If the stars align and the cost is minimal, I would have no problem watching two 40-year old fan favorites serving as insurance for the Mets young studs. After all, whether they are among the youngest arms in the league or the oldest, you can never have enough pitching.

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Keep Harvey In Gotham Sat, 12 Mar 2016 14:21:36 +0000 matt harvey

Matt Harvey games have turned into events. Fans flocking to Citi Field and Tradition Field donning their Batman masks, holding up signs referencing The Dark Knight and how Harvey is the hero Gotham deserves. When Harvey pitches, we watch. It’s akin to the 1980s Mets teams, who had another hard throwing right-hander who brought the Shea faithful to their feet. Dwight “Doc” Gooden flashed such brilliance on the mound that even casual fans tuned in just to see how many strikeouts Gooden would compile that night.

While scouts and fans alike feel that Harvey is going to have a monster season this year, due to the fact that he’s two years removed from Tommy John surgery and has reestablished his killer slider. Much has been said about the fact that Harvey couldn’t rely on his slider for a bulk of the 2015 season; failing to find the spin he needed to control it. Even without that pitch, Harvey’s first year back from surgery was a monumental success.

In Friday’s NY Post, Joel Sherman pondered the question of what it would take to lock up Harvey long term, a question fans have been asking for most of the offseason. Would it be wise to trade Harvey, and try to bring back a big package of young, controllable talent? Look at what RHP Shelby Miller netted the Atlanta Braves this offseason. There was talk that Harvey is going to inevitably head to free agency, because he is a Scott Boras client and almost all of his players test free agency. Would it make more sense for the Mets to explore trading Harvey next offseason, giving the Mets a fully healthy year of Harvey to try and make there way back to the World Series?

Sherman posed a five-year, $119 million contract extension for Harvey. Sherman opined that the Mets would overpay for those five years, giving Harvey the records for years two and three of arbitration by a pitcher, and then paying him $30 million annually for the next three seasons. That way he’d become a free agent again at 33, in line for another big payday.

I like Sherman’s hypothetical contract for Harvey. The Mets would essentially be buying out Harvey’s prime years, and keeping the dynamic rotation in place. Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler would be set to become free agents in 2020, followed by Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard in 2021. Harvey’s theoretical contract would keep him with the Mets until after his 2021 season. It would be refreshing to see this group stay together for a few more seasons, this could turn into a historic rotation one thru five that could challenge for the National League Pennant each year. We’ve seen starting rotations that had two or even three dominant pitchers (90’s Braves) before, but to have a rotation as exciting and hard throwing as the Mets do, would only make sense to hold onto as long as possible. Not to mention the attendance figures the Mets should expect to see at Citi Field.

matt harvey nlcs roar

By signing Harvey to an extension it also gives the Mets some leeway with their other starters. Harvey is the leader of the staff, a symbol if you will, of excellence. The other starters feed off of what Harvey brings to the mound, and try to repeat and one up him when it’s their turn on the mound. If the Mets had Harvey signed for the said five years, they could look into potential trades of their other starters if a Hershel Walker type package became apparent and would help the team in the long run.

The five years the Mets would have Harvey would also buy the team some time to develop other starting pitching that they have in their system, or will draft in the years to come. If the Mets could groom another one or two solid starting pitchers, not necessarily an ace but a solid middle of the rotation type, it could help lessen the blow if the Mets were inclined to trade one of the current crop for a big package of players.

Holding onto Harvey would also signal to the fans that ownership is taking this potentially historic rotation seriously, indicating that they understand the fortunate situation they’ve been placed in by having these guys under team control, which has allowed them to spread their finances elsewhere in the interim.

Sherman described the Mets signing Harvey to a long-term contract before he hits free agency as a “Hail Mary pass”. When he broached the subject with general manager Sandy Alderson, the GM wasn’t quick to dismiss the notion that things couldn’t get done.

“We had one of those this offseason,” Alderson said, referring to the Yoenis Cespedes re-signing that took many by surprise.

It’s all fodder at this point. Let’s enjoy a healthy year of Harvey, who seems to be back to his pre-TJS version of himself. If that’s the case, Mets fans have a lot to look forward to this year. So grab your cape and a cowl, there’s a Dark Knight at Citi Field!

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Marlins Reel In Martin Prado In 5-Player Swap With Yankees Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:19:28 +0000 Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies

The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps to the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, first baseman Garrett Jones and prospect Domingo German. The Marlins will also receive about $6 million in cash in the deal.

Miami continues to add more major league pieces after already adding Mat Latos, Dee Gordon and Michael Morse in other moves this offseason.

Prado, 31, can play all four infield positions and in the outfield. He hit .282/.321/.412 last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Yankees, and the former All-Star is a .291 lifetime hitter. He’s lauded as a team leader and great clubhouse presence.

Phelps, 28, threw 113 innings, split between starting and relieving, and recorded a 4.38 ERA and 1.42 WHIP for the Yankees. He struck out 92.

Jones, 33, hit .246/.309/.411 in 496 at-bats last season, predominantly playing first base.

Eovaldi, who turns 25 in February, went 6-14 with a 4.37 ERA last season for the Marlins.

Wow, the Hot Stove is really cooking today…

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Ricciardi: Tejada Is Going To Be A Better Player Sat, 28 Dec 2013 02:38:26 +0000 jp ricciardi

Appearing on the ‘€˜Hot Stove Show’€™ with Rob Bradford and John McDonald on Thursday night, Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi said his team is happy with heading into the 2014 with Ruben Tejada as their shortstop.

œHe’€™s a young player…a lot of them don’€™t realize what it takes to play every day. I think in Ruben’€™s case…he’€™s starting to realize that he has to work a lot harder than he has in the past, and he has. To his credit, he really has.

But as a young player, they get to the big leagues, some things happen for them and they forget how tough it is to stay there. I think he’€™s at that stage in his career. I think next year he’€™s going to be a better player than he was this previous year.

It’s good to see Ricciardi come out and join Sandy Alderson in explaining why the team is confident going into the season with Tejada as their shortstop. Too many are ready to move on from players like Tejada and Juan Lagares during their formative years, much as we did with Heath Bell and Carlos Gomez.

Ricciardi also weighed in on on how supply and demand is impacting the free agent market for shortstops, namely Stephen Drew where the Mets are concerned.

I think right now there’€™s just not a lot of demand for shortstops.  €œIt’€™s funny how it works. Sometimes there’€™s a lot of opportunities for free agents, but sometimes the market is a little bit of a stonewall. I think in this case there’€™s a lot of shortstops that are already in place.

Of course, when Scott Boras is your agent, standard rules never apply as the Jacoby Ellsbury deal clearly illustrated.

Perhaps the most interesting thing Ricciardi said during his interview was in regards to Curtis Granderson, sacrificing a draft pick, and building a team through the draft:

One of the things that is happening in baseball right now, that I scratch my head, is€“ young players are so overvalued right now, and I think it falls in with the draft picks, too.

No one builds through the draft. You add through the draft. €œYou can’€™t build a team through the draft because they just don’€™t all work out.

But you can supplement your system, and I get all that. But if you’€™re telling me I have a chance to get Curtis Granderson over a second round pick I think I’€™m going to take my chances with a proven major league player as opposed to maybe a high school or college kid that may or may not become Curtis Granderson.

Hindsight is 20-20 and we can all go back and look at guys where they were drafted and what happened to them, but in the end, the major league players, the proven major league player, has a lot more value to me than the Double A kid, the Triple A kid or even the kid who is drafted.

Ricciardi echoes my feelings on that exactly. But of course you already knew that. Too many fans have become prospect drunk these days. And yes, hindsight is 20/20 as Ricciardi says. It’s easy to look back 5-10 years and psychoanalyze and say “we should have done this or that.” However it’s apropos of nothing.

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Hot Stove: Mets Are Not In On Bronson Arroyo Tue, 10 Dec 2013 23:30:26 +0000 REDS

Mets Are Not In On Arroyo, Twins Closing In

It didn’t take long for Jon Heyman and Marc Caring to confirm our report when we tweeted the following:

The Mets have said they are interested, they also said yesterday that they are not looking to sign any pitcher to multiple year deals. But MMO was told that the Mets have yet to even meet with Arroyo.

Talks between the Minnesota Twins and the agent for Bronson Arroyo are intensifying. The Twins were bent on revamping their rotation this offseason and have already signed free agents Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. They are definitely still in, writes LaVelle E. Neal.

Walt Jocketty of the Reds told reporters that he also met with Arroyo’s agent, Terry Bross, today. Arroyo is reportedly looking for a three-year deal.

Arroyo, 37, is one of the most consistent pitchers in the game and wasn’t given a one-year qualifying offer by the Cincinnati Reds, which adds to his appeal. He has tossed 200 or more innings for eight straight seasons and last year he posted a 3.79 ERA in hitter friendly Great American.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox

Brett Anderson to the Rockies

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Rockies are acquiring Anderson from the A’s in return for left-hander Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Chris Jensen. The A’s had a glut of starting pitchers and it was clear Anderson would be the one to go.

I always though the A’s would get more for Anderson. Not too sure they accomplished anything more than moving some salary. ($8 million)

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

D’Backs Get Trumbo, Angels Get Steal

The Diamondbacks have acquired slugger Mark Trumbo from the Angels in a three-team deal with the White Sox, first reported by Jon Heyman.

The Angels would send Trumbo and two players to be named later to Arizona, while centerfielder Adam Eaton goes to Chicago, and pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago land in Anaheim.

I’ve got to say that I love this from the Angels’ perspective.

Trumbo, 27, is coming off a .234/.294/.453 season and while he did hit 34 home runs in 2013, his other metrics point to a decline and defensively he’s below average no matter where he plays.

Skaggs is very highly regarded prospect. The 22-year-old lefty has produced a 3.34 ERA in 87 minor league starts and was a 40th-overall pick of the 2009 draft. Coming into this season, he was ranked as the 9th best prospect by Jonathan Mayo.

Santiago, 25, is a nice catch too. In parts of three big-league seasons, he a 3.41 ERA in 27 starts and a 51 relief appearances.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Mets Won’t Go More Than Two Years On Drew

According to multiple major league sources, the Red Sox are planning to wait the market out to see what develops for Stephen Drew before considering a definitive offer for the shortstop, reports WEEI. There is some thought throughout baseball that Drew’s market might be limited due to the fact that any team — other than the Red Sox — would be required to surrender a draft pick.

The Mets have long been tied to the 31-year-old shortstop, but for now will stay on the sidelines unless they are able to clear more payroll flexibility by unloading Ike Davis or Daniel Murphy or both. Sandy ratcheted down expectations that the team would make another big splash like Granderson. But MMO’s John Delcos reports that if the price is right Sandy will pounce.Apparently that right price would be no more than a two year deal according to Mets beat writers.

corey hart

Brewers Say They Gotta have Hart

Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel spoke with Corey Hart’s agent, Jeff Berry, who told him that the Brewers have made Hart “a priority” in terms of trying to re-sign the slugging first baseman. At the same time, Berry made it clear there is interest from many teams.

“There’s a tremendous relationship between Corey and the Milwaukee Brewers,” said Berry, who is attending baseball’s winter meetings. “He was their longest-tenured player. It’s a tremendous organization with tremendous people that Corey and his family have grown up with.”

“That said, there has to be a fit for both sides. We’re certainly open to doing that. The Brewers, as always have been very communicative. They have made Corey a priority. We’ll see how it all plays out. We will meet with all the (interested) teams. There’s interest in Corey from many teams.”

It’s well documented that Hart’s preference is to stay with the Brewers and he offered to take less money for a deal with them.

Though Hart missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing surgeries on both knees, Berry said he is healthy now and ready to play. How much concern there is from the Brewers or other teams about his knees going forward will determine what kinds of deals are offered.

Last week, a source told MMO that the New York Mets had not contacted Hart or made any offer to the former Brewers first baseman after several rumors surfaced hat the Mets were very interested.

“There’s been a few teams, but the Mets are not one of them.”

The 31-year old slugger also admitted that he has lost 20 pounds while rehabbing his knees and believes that bodes well for a return to the outfield.

Over his previous three seasons entering his lost 2013 campaign, Hart has hit .280 with an .857 OPS and has averaged 30 homers. Hart’s versatility will certainly be a big part of his appeal in addition to his righthanded power.


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Hot Stove News: Napoli Returns To Boston Sat, 07 Dec 2013 03:45:53 +0000 The defending champions are bringing back one of their most notables beards in the form of Mike Napoli after agreeing on a two year deal worth $32 million which was first reported by Rob Bradford of WEEI.

You might remember that after he originally signed in December, a hip issue altered the deal from a three year contract to a one year deal in January. So, after it is all said and done – Napoli winds up with the Red Sox for three total years.

Napoli played first base and hit .259 with 23 HR and 92 runs driven in for the champions.This signing comes just five days after Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino was quoted as saying,

mike napoli

“One of the lessons I learned a long time ago was that you can’t fall in love with your veterans; you can’t do that, that’s not the way to run the railroad. We are not going to be a stand-pat team. That’s just not the way we run the railroad here.”

“That’s probably a losing proposition every year. Every year has to have its own personality. Every year will have a different personality, composition as well as personality.”

With Ellsbury on the move, many people thought this was a sign that Napoli could be on his way out after reports surfaced that he was looking for a three year contract. He did however embody the personality that many credit with bringing the clubhouse together on their way toward the championship.

However, their options at 1B were very limited – so Napoli likely does give them the best production possible at 1B moving forward.

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Hot Stove News: Nationals Sign Nate McLouth To Two-Year Deal Fri, 06 Dec 2013 23:36:25 +0000 mclouth_0

Nats Sign Nate McLouth

The Nationals agreed to terms on a two-year deal with free agent outfielder and left-handed hitter Nate McLouth, according to the Washington Post. McLouth spent most of the past two seasons serving as Baltimore’s primary left fielder last season.

McLouth, 32, played 146 games for the Orioles and posted a .258/.329/.400 slash with a .729 OPS. McLouth boasts a career .334 on-base percentage and won a Gold Glove for his center field play for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008. He hit 12 home runs in 2013, and hit 46 between 2008 and 2009 when he played everyday. He’ll likely fill a 4th outfielder role with the Nats behind Harper, Span and Werth.


Garrett Jones To The Marlins

The Marlins have agreed to terms on a two-year, $7.5 million deal with free agent first baseman Garrett Jones, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

MLB Trade Rumors reports the terms of the deal as $2.5 million for 2014 and $5 million for the 2015 season.

Jones, 32, batted .233/.289/.419 with 15 home runs in 144 games for the Pirates last season. The outfielder/first baseman slugged 27 homers the previous season.

Report suggest that this signing could be a precursor to a trade involving Logan Morrison, the Marlins’ incumbent first baseman and the subject of many trade rumors.

JP Arencibia

Arencibia Inks Deal With Rangers

The Rangers and catcher J.P. Arencibia have agreed to a one year deal worth about $1.8 million dollars with an additional $300K in incentives, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Arencibia, 27, had an awful season in 2013 batting .194/.227/.365  with a 59 OPS+ and a .592 OPS. He did wallop 21 home runs but did more damage than good offensively.

CBS Sports says that his on-base percentage was the lowest in baseball history among players to hit 20+ homers in a season.

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Mariners Seal The Deal With 10-Year, $240 Million For Cano Fri, 06 Dec 2013 16:41:28 +0000 Orioles at Yankees

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: Paul J. Bereswill


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

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


MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

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

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


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

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

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

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

MLB: ALDS-Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

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

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


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

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

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

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Hot Stove News: Nationals Acquire RHP Doug Fister From Tigers Tue, 03 Dec 2013 02:32:29 +0000 doug fister

Nats Get Doug Fister From Tigers

The Washington Nationals have acquired starting pitcher Doug Fister in a trade with the Detroit Tigers for infielder Steve Lombardozzi, left-hander Ian Krol and minor league lefty Robbie Ray.

Fister, 29, went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA in 33 games last year in his third season with the Tigers. Fister was tied for the American League lead in getting batters to ground into double plays. He allowed 0.6 home runs per nine innings, second best in the AL.

“This is an exciting day for the Washington Nationals,” said Washington GM Mike Rizzo in a statement. “We feel we’ve added a talented, young veteran to our starting pitching corps. Doug is battle-tested through playoff experiences, and the depth he brings to our staff is exceptional. We are thrilled to welcome him aboard.”

Great deal for the Nats and what a way to bolster the rotation as he promised fans after the season. The Tigers will replace go with Drew Smyly in the rotation in place of Fister.

scott kazmir

Beane Signs Former Mets Top Prospect

The A’s and Scott Kazmir have reached an agreement on a two-year, $22 million contract, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.

Kazmir, 29, pitched for the Indians last year, going 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA. He was particularly impressive in the second half with Cleveland, going 5-5 while lowering his ERA from its first-half level of 4.60 to 3.38. Along the way, Kazmir brought his strikeouts up while lowering his walks. Kazmir won’t require the A’s to sacrifice their first-round pick.

The $22 million deal is $1 million shy of Tim Hudson‘s two-year, $23 million deal with the Giants. Beane set out to add a starter to the rotation and he completed his mission before the start of the Winter Meetings.

*Aug 08 - 00:05*

Twins Sign Hughes To Three-Year Deal

The Twins have agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with Phil Hughes according to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune who cites an anonymous source. A source with knowledge of the talks tells Neal that the Twins are expected to announce the deal after Hughes passes his physical.

When the free-agent meat market opened, Phil Hughes was a pitcher the Mets were very interested in, however, a month into the Hot Stove season and they bowed out on the former Yankees starter. The 27-year old was young and his flyball rate made him a perfect fit for Citi Field. Poor Metsies, those big 2013 spenders, they’re on the outside looking in again… Predictably… Well… Predictably for some… (11/30)


Cano and Yankees Still $100 Million Apart

According to a report by Ken Davidoff of the NY Post, during last week’s meeting with the Yankees, free agent Robinson Cano was seeking a nine-year contract for between $250 and $260 million. The source told the Post the Yankees countered with a seven-year deal for between $160 million and $175 million, putting the two sides nearly $100 million apart. The two sides are scheduled to speak again on Monday.

Davidoff says that the Yankees have been adamant they won’t sit and wait for Cano to fully navigate free agency, with so many other holes to fill. The Yankees have already held discussions with free-agent outfielders Carlos BeltranShin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury and infielder Stephen Drew. (11/30)

"<strongHanley Ramirez” src=”×218.jpg” width=”350″ height=”218″ />

Hanley Dodging Free Agency?

The Dodgers are discussing an extension with Hanley Ramirez reports Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes. Ramirez, 29, is under contract for next year, but he has had ongoing extension talks with the Dodgers,

“We are negotiating something, but we are going step by step,” Ramirez said while declining to discuss the salary and length of a potential deal. The shortstop/third baseman is currently completing a six-year, $70 million deal he signed while with the Marlins.

Last season, Ramirez slashed at .345/.402/.638 with twenty home runs and ten stolen bases in 336 plate appearances. Despite missing time with injuries he posted an incredible 5.1 WAR ranking 25th among field players according to MLBTR. (11/30)


O’s To Deal Johnson?

The Orioles are willing to listen to trade offers for closer Jim Johnson, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. One of the top closers in the league, Johnson is expected to earn as much as $10.8 million in arbitration. That’s more than the entire Mets bullpen combined.

The Baltimore Sun reports that after talking to people within the organization, the trade talk for Johnson definitely has more legs than previous reports that the Orioles were open to dealing shortstop J.J. Hardy or catcher Matt Wieters this offseason.

Johnson, 30, led the American League in saves with 50, and tied Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for the Major League lead. In 2012, Johnson had 51 saves giving him 101 over the last two years – the best mark in the Majors. (11/29)


Way To Go Joe

The Angels made it official and announced that they have signed free-agent reliever Joe Smith to a three-year deal worth $15.75 million.

Smith, 29, had a 2.29 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 54 strikeouts in 63 innings last season. Over the past three seasons, the former Met sidewinder has compiled a 2.42 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 197 innings in the 2011-13 seasons. He’s also been very good at stranding inherited baserunners the past two seasons, allowing only 15 of his 70 inherited runners to score. (11/29)


Oh Ricky You’re So Fine

According to Chris Cotillo of the MLB Daily Dish, the Minnesota Twins have reached an agreement with free agent right-hander Ricky Nolasco. The deal is for four years and $48 million, with a 5th year option for $13 million with a $1 million buyout.

While pitching for the Marlins and Dodgers, Nolasco posted a solid 3.70 ERA, 1.21 WHIP in 199.1 innings with 165 strikeouts and 45 walks allowed.

The Twins have been on the hunt for two pitchers and in the 30-year old Nolasco they get one with a solid track record. That said, he could be very pricey and some project a four-year deal in excess of $50 million dollars.

When this offseason started, Sandy said he had about 25 pitchers on his wish list. I would have to think that list is down to 17-18 now. (11/28)

justin morneau

Morneau To The Rockies?

Troy Renck of the Denver Post is reporting that Colorado Rockies are ever so close to landing first baseman Justin Morneau. Morneau, a former MVP, had a disappointing season after slashing at .259/.323/.411 in 635 plate appearances. But the new trend is to target players like him who are coming off a bad season. That was why the Mets went hard after Chris Young. Morneau has missed a lot of time to injuries over the last three seasons.

The Mets lose a potential trading partner in Colorado who may have been a good landing spot for Ike Davis. There’s not that many teams in search of a first baseman this season, so this one may sting a little bit for Sandy. But I’m sure there’s at least 3-4 teams who will be intrigued by his power potential. (11/28)


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Mets Non-Tender Turner, Valdespin, Hefner, Quintanilla, Atchison Tue, 03 Dec 2013 01:54:08 +0000 jordany valdespin

The Mets announced they have non-tendered Omar Quintanilla, Jordany Valdespin, Justin Turner, Jeremy Hefner, and Scott Atchison.

Interesting purge by the Mets on non-tender day…

The 40 man roster is now at 35 players.

Original Post

Today is the non-tender deadline and all teams have until 11:59 tonight to decide which arbitration eligible players they will or will not offer contracts to.

For the Mets, they have ten decisions to make, but the way I see it only two players are on the bubble; Scott Atchison and Omar Quintanilla. I suspect both will be non-tendered though Quintanilla could survive the ax given how the shortstop search has completely backfired on the Mets and caught them off-guard.

Daniel Murphy stands to be the biggest winner nearly doubling his 2013 salary to $5.8 million dollars according to MLBTR.

Arbitration 1

Dillon Gee - $527,375 (2013) $3.4 million

Ruben Tejada - $514,701 (2013), $1.0 million

Justin Turner - $504,547 (2013), $800,000

Eric Young Jr. – $492,000 (2013), $1.9 million

Lucas Duda - $504,000 (2013), $1.8 million

Arbitration 2

Ike Davis - $3.125M (2013), $3.5 million

Daniel Murphy - $2.925M (2013), $5.8 million

Bobby Parnell - $1.7M (2013), $3.2 million

Omar Quintanilla - $527,375 (2013), $900,000

Arbitration 3

Scott Atchison - $700,000 (2013), $1.3 million

The Mets have a long history of avoiding arbitration hearings with players, so I’m sure they’ll spend the next few weeks negotiating and reaching agreements with the players they’ll keep.

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This Day In Mets Infamy with Rusty: 5 Songs That Describes Mets Hot Stove So Far Sun, 24 Nov 2013 13:24:35 +0000 infamy

Ah it’s that time of year again…  A time for new beginnings, a time for change, and for most it is a time for optimism. Yes, it’s time for that kooky year end ritual otherwise known as the Hot Stove Season – or as many Mets fans in the past five years like to say - PURGATORY!!!

Once again, many Met fans have bought in to ownership’s promises of the team spending more money than it did last season and guess what, they have. With the signing of our new left fielder Chris Young they have surpassed their $5 million dollar spending spree from a year ago.

All I know is that at this juncture I don’t have the warm and fuzzy feelings I used to get around this time of the year – but I’ll hold the right to reserve my total venom until I see how this Mets roster shakes out by the start of Spring Training.

But anyway, here are my five songs that best describe the Mets Hot Stove so far:

5. State of Shock by the Jackson’s  - Because we now know when Jeff Wilpon saw how much money even the middle-tiered free agents were asking for, they all needed smelling salts to revive them!

4. Bringing On The Heartache by Def Leppard – Pass me the Rolaids.

3. Money Changes Everything by Cindi Lauper – Because when it comes to this teams finances it seems like Sandy Alderson always has to do more with less.

2: Slip Slidin’ Away by Simon and Garfunkel – Because if this team doesn’t even remotely try to improve itself the fan base will keep slipping away until Citi Field has less life in it than the city morgue.

1. Death On Two Legs by Queen - Because if the Mets ownership doesn’t show that it has the willingness or discretionary spending to try to field a competitive team this upcoming season, fans’ sentiments will mirror the lyrics to this song.

So do you agree with my choices ? Are there songs that you feel summarize the Mets Hot Stove better than the ones I listed? Feel free to post your lists in the comment section.

And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

One time Mets minority owner, G. Herbert Walker would have been 108 today (1905). Walker was not only the grandfather of president George W Bush, but he was also the Mets Executive Vice President from 1962 until his death in 1977.

Spot Starter/middle reliever from the ’66 season, Bob Friend is 83 (1930).

Starting pitcher from ’94-’95, Jason Jacome turns 43 (1970). In his 2 seasons with the Mets, Jacome started 13 games, going 4-7 with an E.R.A of 4.80.

Some other notables include:

Sadly on this date the Mets lost two members of their extended family. Hall of Fame (not as a Met) left-handed pitcher Warren Spahn in 2003, and third base coach from the ’77 season, Tom Burgess  in 2008.

The New York Mets traded reserve first baseman, Dave Gallagher to the Atlanta Braves for starting pitcher, Pete Smith on November 24, 1993.

The New York Mets traded  first baseman/catcher, Mike Jacobs, along with pitching prospects Yusmiero Petit and Grant Psomas to the Florida Marlins for power hitting first baseman, Carlos Delgado in 2005. This in my opinion was one of the best trades from the Omar Minaya era.

Mo Vaughn has been so distraught by the Mets hot stove so far that he lost his appetite….. That lasted all of a half hour!!!

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Hot Stove Report: Phillies Have Made Some Offers, Mets Have Made Some Phonecalls Fri, 08 Nov 2013 13:39:41 +0000 nelson-cruz-texas-rangers

“We’ve already made offers on several players,” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said from Arizona, where he is watching some of the organization’s top young talent participate in the Arizona Fall League.

Todd Knowing that there is a lack of power hitters available, Amaro is perhaps making a push to sign one, as the team needs right-handed hitters, reports Todd Zolecki of

Some of the names being linked to the Phillies include Nelson CruzCarlos Beltran and Michael Morse. Top tier free agents Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo have also been mentioned, but both are expected to sign elsewhere.

Re-signing catcher Carlos Ruiz is a top priority, but Amaro won’t wait for him to stall the Phillies’ offseason plans.

“We’re fortunate now that the free-agent market has kind of opened up,” Amaro said. “There are several candidates that could be our catcher next year. We’ll see what happens. We’re in the open season.”

While the Phillies also are trying to upgrade their pitching staff, the main focus will be on upgrading what was a very disappointing offense.

Meanwhile, a team source told Mike Puma of the New York Post that the Mets have made a few phone calls. One such call was to inquire about Shin-Soo Choo, but no “parameters” were discussed.

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Hot Stove: Should The New York Mets Pursue Phil Hughes? Tue, 05 Nov 2013 16:14:41 +0000 Phil HughesI’m not big on making free agent predictions during the MLB Hot Stove season, but I usually have one or two guys that I like to recommend the Mets pursue. Last year, I suggested the Mets pursue Jair Jurrjens, which in hindsight looks awful now, but on a minor league deal it made sense to take a flier on him.

For a number of reasons, the Mets should consider offering Phil Hughes an one or two-year deal.

It seems like just yesterday that Hughes was a highly regarded pitching prospect for the New York Yankees. Since his debut in 2007, he has had some great performances, but his career thus far has been marred with inconsistency.

The question is, how much of this inconsistency was a result in pitching in the American League East, and a home stadium that transforms pop-flies to homeruns on a consistent basis?

A switch to the National League could be exactly what the doctor ordered for Hughes, who is still only 28 years-old, and the youngest non-international free agent pitcher available this season. agrees that the switch to the NL could benefit Hughes, and has him ranked as their No. 38 free agent available (predicted to sign with the San Diego Padres).

Hughes has been killed by the homerun ball throughout his career, but 76 of his 112 homeruns were given up in Yankee Stadium. Pitching at Citi Field would make a big difference.

Here is a quick summary of why the Mets should pursue Hughes:

  1. He’s still young—only 28 years old.
  2. Not receiving a qualifying offer, it doesn’t cost the Mets any draft picks to sign Hughes.
  3. He would benefit from pitching in a NL environment.
  4. He can be had relatively cheap—$8 million per year should get it done.
  5. He could fill a backend starter role for the Mets and potentially be flipped at the trade deadline.
  6. He has postseason experience.
  7. He has experience pitching out of the bullpen.
  8. He has experience pitching under the big city lights in New York.

At worst, Hughes would be a solid back of the end starter for the Mets—at best, a switch to the NL helps him find his All-Star form from 2010. Either way, Hughes could be low-risk and high-reward signing for the Mets in 2014.



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Eric Young Jr. Is Not A Good Reason To Trade Daniel Murphy Mon, 04 Nov 2013 12:00:30 +0000 MLB: New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

An MMO Fan Shot By Andrew Doris

In recent days, rumors have heated up that the Mets are considering trading Daniel Murphy so they can install Eric Young Jr. as their everyday second baseman.

As I see it, there are two significant problems with this idea. The first is that Daniel Murphy is one of the few things about the Mets that isn’t completely broken, and getting rid of him would add another entry to the list of holes which need addressing on a limited budget. The second is that Eric Young Jr. is not a particularly good baseball player, particularly as in being an everyday starter.

Like most Mets fans, I admire Murphy as a person – he’s a humble, hard-working, homegrown professional with a great approach to the game. Ignoring all the stats, he’s just a fun guy to root for. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be opposed to moving Murphy if the Mets had a really good reason. The wisdom of any trade can only be assessed considering what we get in return. If Murphy were the key piece that helped us land Jose Bautista, I’m sure I could get over my sadness at seeing him go.

But if the Mets are pursuing a blockbuster, they have plenty of other pieces that trading partners would probably find more desirable. Our abundance of pitching prospects are likely much more attractive than Murphy. And even if the other team did insist on him, I’d rather see Wilmer Flores replace him than Young. At least Flores has offensive upside and growth potential, and could shift to 3B in the event of another Wright injury.

eric young

The following is a list of the things Eric Young Jr. could do well as an everyday second baseman:

1. Run.

That is all… End of list…

Young neither hits for power, nor hits for contact, nor takes many walks. Some tout him as a leadoff hitter, but both his career OBP and batting average are below the league average. At 28 years old, he’s not going to develop any further than he already has, and he certainly won’t get any faster as he ages.

In the field he is average at best. Some commentators are framing this situation as if it’s a pressing necessity that the Mets clear room for Young’s bat in the lineup, lest they waste some franchise altering talent.

I can’t for the life of me understand why they’re so infatuated. Sure, Young is the closest thing to an exciting leadoff hitter we’ve had since Jose Reyes… but considering the other leadoff hitters we’ve had since Jose Reyes, that’s not saying much.

Lest anyone doubt Young is a downgrade, the following statistics should put that to rest:

Young Jr.’s offensive stat line:

  • 2013: .249/.310/.336 (.645 OPS), 0.9 WAR
  • Career:  .258/.325/.338 (.663 OPS) 0.5 WAR

Murphy’s offensive stat line:

  • 2013: .286/.319/.415 (.733 OPS), 1.8 WAR
  • Career: .290/.333/.424 (.747 OPS), 9.0 WAR

Since that performance is completely in line with their career averages, it’s reasonable to anticipate similar production moving forward. Murphy’s defense was passable, and Young’s may not be much better. Both are the same age. The only edge Young has is baserunning; is that really enough to outweigh a difference of almost 100 OPS points?

I have nothing against Young, so long as we recognize his skill-set fits best as a bench contributor. His defensive versatility makes him a useful substitute who can play four positions in case of injury. His speed makes him a useful pinch runner. His switch hitting capabilities make him a useful pinch hitter in the late innings. But he’s simply not good enough to be an everyday starting player.

Were Murphy constantly causing headaches with off the field antics, was exceedingly expensive, or a poor clubhouse influence, I could understand the desire to trade him. But neither of those things is true. On the contrary, he’s a favorite of both the fans and his teammates.

If we have to trade him to land a superstar talent, so be it. But the fact remains that Murphy was our most dependable and productive offensive player last year, and the imposing presence of Eric Young Jr. is not a good enough reason to get rid of him.

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11/29 MMO Hot Stove Report: Broxton and Wilson and Capps, Oh My… Tue, 29 Nov 2011 18:27:41 +0000

“Hot Stove?” More like “not stove” this week, as General Managers and teams are currently in a holding pattern before the Winter Meetings begin on Dec. 5. For now, it seems as if teams biding their time in an effort to make big splashes next week. In any event, here is everything you need to know about the baseball world:


Free Agent pitcher Aaron Cook is getting a look at by the Pirates, as well as a half-dozen other teams.

The Red Sox could explore a possible trade of SS Jed Lowrie. Some Mets fans feel that Lowrie might be worth investigating, such as Jon Scippa of

The White Sox have been trying to move reliever Matt Thornton since July, and are continuing to shop him.

The Cubs have their sights set on Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols.

One of the top free agent starting pitchers, C.J. Wilson, visited Miami earlier this week. Apparently he is a key component of the Marlins’ off-season plan.

Former Met reliever Octavio Dotel is receiving interest from the Cardnials, Reds and Tigers.

The Nationals are looking at super-utility player Mark DeRosa as a possible option, should they not be able to sign a big ticket first basemen, such as Prince Fielder.

There is a “decent sized” market for Wandy Rodriguez. What would you give up for the left-hander?

Free Agent DH David Ortiz is seeking a three-year deal. Good luck with that, I see the slugger getting two-years by the end of the winter.

3B Aramis Ramirez is garnering interest across the league, including from the Angels.

Mark Buehrle is one of the Detroit Tigers top-targets this off-season, but they should take a number, as they are not alone in their pursuit of the free agnet starter.


Jonathan Broxton signed a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals for $4 million. The deal also includes another $1 million the former closer could obtain through incentives.

The Rays signed Jose Molina to a $1.8 million one-year deal with a club option.

The Astros have obtained permission to interview Rays executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman about their now vacant GM position.

Either Bobby Valentine or Gene Lamont should be announced as the next Boston Red Sox manager today, Joel Sherman tweets.

Willy Mo Pena has signed a two-year-deal with the Softbank Hawks for $5 million.

The Pirates released Xavier Paul.

The Yankees decided Freddy Garcia was worth coming back, and signed him to a one-year-deal that will guarantee him $4 million. The team also signed Jason Nix to a minor league deal.

The Blue Jays acquired Luis Valbuena from the Indians in exhchange for cash considerations.

The Phillies had a different idea of who should be closing games for them next year, as they called Billy Wagner early this offseason in hopes of coaxing him out of retirement. They also signed former Mets reliever Pat Misch to a minor league deal. First Raul Valdes, now Misch, the Phillies are on a Mets run.

The Mariners swapped controversial right-hander Josh Lueke in exchange for Rays’ catcher John Jaso.


Before he signed with the Royals, the Mets reportedly pursued Jonathan Broxton.

Speaking of closers, the Mets haven’t called Matt Caps since the GM Meetings, his agent says.

Apparently, some in the Mets front office are not the biggest fan of backup catcher Ronny Paulino, as he “only hit singles.” Who on the Mets did anything more? In any case, the Mets are exploring new options to backup Josh Thole.

For whatever reason, Jack Wilson is still connected with the Mets.

Francisco Cordero is now a Type-B Free Agent, making him look more likely for a Mets signing.

The Mets offered Jose Reyes arbitration, now they will receive draft picks should he depart.

Some silver lining in the Jose Reyes situation: word on the street is that Hanley Ramierz isn’t all that keen on shifting positions for Jose Reyes, should he decide to sign with Miami.

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Hot Stove: Angel Pagan Being Shopped? Fri, 25 Nov 2011 23:10:14 +0000

A couple of days ago Metsblog’s Matt Cerrone shared what he has heard regarding the teams plans for Angel Pagan. As many of you already know Pagan is a non-tender candidate this off-season. However many NY Beat Writers have already put out stories that the team plans to tender Pagan a contract for 2012. Cerrone reports that the talk around the team is that the Mets would like to tender him a contract, then trade him to a team with pitching to dangle.

Cerrone did not specify whether the team would look for starting pitching or bullpen help in a trade for Pagan, however he did imply that it may be a starter. The team would then use the money they saved on Pagan to sign a CF replacement. Names like David DeJesus, Nate McLouth and Rick Ankiel are all possibilities. However do not count out a trade for a CF either.

It’s also fun to speculate on what Pagan could fetch in trade. Obviously his value is down after a poor 2011 campaign. The Mets probably could have landed a much better pitcher in exchange for Pagan after last season when his value was at an all-time high.

Teams That Could Be Interested In Pagan

Athletics -

Brandon McCarthy and Joey Devine could be discussed.

Rays -

Jeff Niemann could be discussed.

Nationals -

Tom Gorzelanny and Collin Balester could be discussed.

Rangers -

Scott Feldman, Michael Kirkman and possibly Colby Lewis could be discussed.

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MMO Hot Stove Report – Nov. 21 Tue, 22 Nov 2011 04:47:58 +0000

Another week has come and gone and although no turkey has been eaten yet, teams are gobbling up free agents on the open market. Rumors are beginning to swirl and trades are starting to be discussed as the framework for deals are starting to form. Here is everything you need to know in the baseball world:


The Pirates will have a new shortstop next season. The team announced the signing of Clint Barmes to a two-year $10.5 million deal today.

Justin Verlander’s fireplace mantel will be quite decorated come the holidays, as he was announced as the American League MVP by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He was also named the 2011 AL Cy Young award winner. The last pitcher to win the MVP award was hall-of-famer Dennis Eckersley in 1992.

In some truly unfortunate news, Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was found stabbed to death in his home by Dutch police and his brother has been arrested as a suspect. The 24-year-old was found in a home of the Dutch port city of Rotterdam.

Gerald Laird will return to Detroit next season, signing a $1 million deal over one year.

We will “getting Wiggy with it” much more often, as former-Met Ty Wiggington was acquired by the Philidelphia Phillies for a player to be named later, or cash. Makes you wonder why the Mets didn’t take a flyer for that price. With the rate our infielders get hurt, he could have been a decent pickup.

Will the A’s finally be able to relocate to San Jose? Bud Selig is trying to speed the possibility up, FoxSports reports.  Selig will be meeting with the San Francisco Giants within two weeks, sources say.

The Indians and Grady Sizemore are “tying up loose ends” on a possible deal, Jon Heyman tweets.

Dale Sveum was named the Chicago Cubs new manager, after being interviewed for both the Red Sox and the Cubs’ vacancies. After losing out on Sveum, the Sox appear poised to make a run at Bobby Valentine (see below).

The Twins continue to shore up their roster, this time adding catcher Ryan Doumit on a one year deal.

Jim Crane’s $610 million purchase of the Astros from former owner Drayton McLane was unanimously approved by Major League Baseball’s owners  on Thursday. The deal was contingent on the owner agreeing the move the team to the AL, which should occur sometime around 2013.

With the addition of the Astros to the AL West, MLB will add extra Wild Card team to each league. While no choice was made on how this new Wild Card will be chosen, Bud Selig’s committee is said to like the idea of a “one-game playoff” format.


The Braves have inquired about the availability of Eduardo Nunez, The Daily News reports. The Yanks have expressed interest in Jair Jurrjens and are exploring a deal that would be built around the shortstop.

Multiple teams have kicked the tires of A’s reliever Andrew Bailey. Ad of right now, the Mariners, Phillies and Reds have popped up in conversation, and ESPN’s Buster Olney believes the A’s will “definitely” move the closer this offseason.

Speaking of the A’s, someone seems to be listening to me, as the Marlins have targeted Gio Gonzalez.

The Nationals are hot on Mark Buerhle and have made him the top free agent target. A contingent, led by GM Mike Rizzo, visited the left-hander at his home in St. Louis today. Adding Buerhle’s veteran presence to stabilize the team’s young roation seems to be the logic behind the move.

Omar Minaya is fielding job offers from “several” clubs, including the Padres – who are considering him from an advisor’s role. I’m sure Minaya is hoping Adam Rubin doesn’t hear about these jobs…

The Angels, who have been mostly quiet this offseason, are said to have interest in one of the top free agent starting pitchers on the marker – C.J. Wilson. While the pitcher “doesn’t appear to…sign very soon,” there are eight or nine teams interested in the left-hander.

The Cubs and their new front office are not holding back. The new regime is telling teams they will listen to trade offers for “everyone” this winter. Should the Mets look into the price for someone like Matt Garza?

The Red Sox are looking for the magic of the ‘stache to right their ship in 2012 and have interviewed Bobby Valentine for a second time regarding their managerial opening. I’m jealous the team might have convinced Bobby to get in the dugout once again.


Earlier this week, the Mets and Rockies were said to have been discussing a possible Mike Pelfrey for Huston Street swap. Apparently, Street’s name has caught on as the Orioles and Blue Jays have inquired about the closer’s availability.

Many fans have speculated that the Mets might be interested in free-agent closer Jonathan Broxton. Well, if they are, they will not be alone as 10 teams have shown interest in the closer.

Jon Heyman has predicted that in the end, Jose Reyes will land a $120 million deal over six-years. Does anyone else think that’s a little high? Even so, if the number even comes close to that, we can kiss Jose goodbye.

The Padres have expressed interest in dealing infielders Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson this offseason. Hudson, who is perpetually-linked to the Mets every offseason, could finally have his chance to play in Queens.

The Mets have been linked to Endy Chavez this offseason, and many fans seem to be excited with the idea of bringing back the 2006-hero. We all know the team could use a good fourth-outfielder.

Maybe the Mets will be able to hit homeruns soon…

The Diamondbacks have discussed the possibility of non-tendering starting pitcher Joe Saunders this winter. Now there is a name the Mets should truly look into.

The Mets are one of many teams who have interest in free agent shortstop Jack Wilson. Other than his defensive ability, I can’t figure out why.

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MMO Hot Stove Report – Nov. 14 Tue, 15 Nov 2011 03:11:52 +0000

The Hot Stove is heating up and after a whirlwind week of signings and rumors in the last week, and the heat will only continue to rise when General Managers meet this week for the annual GM Meetings tomorrow.

The World Series only ended a few weeks ago, but already an all-star closer has signed a long-term contract and rumors are beginning to spread regarding the eventual landing spot of a certain shortstop. Here is everything you need to know in the baseball world:


- Good news first – after being kidnapped from his home in Venezuela, Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has been found. He was unharmed in the ensuing gun fight that led to his rescue.

- Today, the Dodgers have been busy as they have agreed to a two-year deal with Mark Ellis and agreed with star center fielder Matt Kemp on a blockbuster contract. Earlier this offseason the team agreed to a somewhat questionable contract with Juan Rivera and have also made a contract offer to catcher Ryan Doumit.

- Our friends down the turnpike have signed former Red Sox’s closer Jonathan Papelbon to a four-year $50 million dollar deal with an easily attainable option for a fifth-year that would give the former all-star an additional $13 million. This kind of number has some game officials, such as Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos “shocked.” We’ll see if the Phillies’ aggressive free agent pursuit works out towards the end of this contract…

- Jeffrey Loria and his new-lookin’ Marlins have ditched their normal penny pinching was and have been making waves early this offseason. The team has offered contracts to Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Albert Pujols. They have also been said to have interest in free agent closer Ryan Madson.

- Aaron Hill and the Diamondbacks have agreed to a two-year deal worth $11 million.

- One of the remaining managerial openings has closed up – former big league catcher Mike Matheny has been named the manger who will succeed Tony La Russa.

- The Royals acquired Jonathan Sanchez and a minor leaguer in exchange for outfielder Melky Cabrera. The two had seasons that saw opposite results, as Cabrera had a career year and Sanchez was a potential non-tender candidate for the Giants.

- Two former General Managers are back in the ring after Dan Duquette and Terry Ryan were announced as the new GM’s of the Orioles and Twins, respectively.

- Former Mets catcher Rod Barajas struck gold when he signed a one-year deal with a team option for a second with the Pirates. Barajas will earn $4 million in 2012, but the option would give him another $3.5 million should it be picked up. Seems like forever ago when the Mets were scrapping him off the bottom of the Free Agent scrap heap.

- The Twins are making Jamey Carroll their everyday shortstop moving forward after signing him to a two-year contract with an option for 2014.

- The Astros, and their proposed move to the American League after being sold, are on the agenda for the owners meetings next week.


- Everyone calm down, the Marlins are NOT close to signing Jose Reyes, despite early reports to the contrary.

- The Yankees, Angels, Blue Jays, Marlins, Nationals and Rangers are some of the teams who have expressed varying levels of interest in free agent starting pitcher C.J. Wilson.l /

- Despite the rest of the division’s interest, Braves GM Frank Wren has said his team will NOT be searching for Reyes’ services this offseason. At least he won’t be tomahawk chopping instead of doing the claw.

- Get any ideas of Matt Cain or Tim Lincecum wearing orange and blue in the future out of your head, as there is “no point in asking” the Giants about the availability of their star pitchers.

- Speaking of top-of-the-line pitchers, Jon Heyman tweeted that there is “some concern” Japanese phenom Yu Darvish will not post this offseason.

- While the Phillies have interest in both Jimmy Rollins and Micheal Cuddyer, recent reports indicate that their asking prices might be too high for Philadelphia to match.


- The New York Post suggests that Reyes is looking for at least a $100 million deal. Though, this is Joel Sherman we’re talking about, so take it with a grain of salt.

- Chris Capuano, who finished with a 11-12 record and a 4.55 ERA for the Mets this season, will not be coming back to Queens next season if he is searching for a two-year contract.

- Mike Puma of the New York Post said an organizational source has said that Daniel Murphy will become the team’s full time second basemen should Jose Reyes leave for greener (or in the Marlins’ case blue, green, yellow and orange) pastures.

Ike Davis should be manning first base come Spring Training, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork says.

- Both Nick Evans and Jason Pridie cleared waivers and were out righted to AAA Buffalo. Due to this, they now both have the option to become free agents and sign with any interested team.

- Citi Feild’s new dimensions should begin to take shape in the next couple of days.

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Video: Alderson On SNY Mets Hot Stove Fri, 11 Nov 2011 02:28:47 +0000

Tonight, Sandy Alderson was a guest of Kevin Burkhardt on SNY’s Mets Hot Stove show. Here is Parts 1 and 2 of the interview courtesy of

Part One

On Reyes – “We’ve had a couple of face to face meetings, but I wouldn’t call them substantive in terms of a contract negotiation…Once the exclusive period ends, and other offers roll in, then I think things become more substantive and perhaps even more frequent than they were before.”

Part Two

On Wright – “Nobody is untouchable…but I would go back into the speel about those core players…In our case, David is one of those players (who identify with the fans), so we need to be careful there…But we want to build a winning team, and sometimes you have to make some difficult choices in order to do that…In those cases, you have to be cognizant of those players and the potential players coming in, but there’s nobody on the team who is untouchable.”

Nothing new really… A lot of hedging and a lot of what we’ve already heard before, but still some interesting and lighthearted moments.

Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog transcribed the interview so you can read the full transcript there.

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MLB Diamond Notes: October 31st, 2011 Mon, 31 Oct 2011 13:30:10 +0000

Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp Win Hank Aaron Award.

Both Kemp and Bautista were honored this past week with the Hank Aaron Award. This award was first given to players in 1999 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Ruth’s career home run mark and is intended for the player in each league with the most impressive offensive performance. The MLB-sanctioned award is voted on by the fans and select Hall of Famers. Bautista was awarded with this honor for the second year in a row. He had an impressive year with a career-best .302 average, 43 home runs, and 103 RBI. He is the first American Leaguer since Babe Ruth in 1930 to hit 40 home runs, walk 130 times, and steal nine bags. Matt Kemp had a career year for the Dodgers, hitting .324 with 39 home runs, and 126 RBI. Kemp competed for the Triple Crown, finishing third in the batting race, and leading the league in home runs, RBI, runs scored, and total bases. He also finished in the top-ten in seven other offensive categories.

Oswalt and Lidge Get 2012 Options Declined By Philadelphia.

The two former teammates for the Houston Astros both had their 2012 options declined by the Philadelphia Phillies, but GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has stated that the organization will think about resigning both of the pitchers. Instead of paying a combined $28.5 million for their services next season, the front office spent $3.5 million total on their buyout clauses. Since being acquired from the Astros on July 29, 2010, Oswalt has racked up 16 wins and a 2.96 ERA with the Phillies, but he had an uneven year at best, going 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA in 23 starts. Lidge has been struggling since he was perfect during Philadelphia’s run to the 2008 World Series, going 0-2 with one save and a 1.40 ERA in only 25 appearances this year. I will be interested to see what Philly does with these two players as they try and bounce back from their early exit in the playoffs this year. For Mets fans, there has been a nice trend since the Phillies have taken ownership of the NL East; as the organization spends more money, their exit in the playoffs become sooner and sooner. So, we’ll see what happens in 2012.

Scott Boras Makes the Yankees Sweat.

Already with GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees wanting to make sure that they will be able to keep CC Sabathia as the ace of their rotation for years to come, they had to deal with Scott Boras making “jokes” about getting a contract extension for 2nd baseman Robinson Cano. By far the best hitter in the New York line-up, Cano has two options left in his contract, next year’s for $14 million and a $15 million option in 2013. With Boras trying to see if New York would be willing to drop the options in favor of an extension, it just proves once again that he is greedy and why MLB organizations hate dealing with him every off-season. Brian Cashman is making the smart move right now to keep Cano’s contract the way it is because he’s starting to see that handing out big money and a lot of years doesn’t pay off in the end (i.e. Alex Rodriguez).

Cardinals Come Back From 3-2 Series Deficit To Win 11th Title.

Well, the team of destiny now has their championship. Going back to St. Louis down 3-2 to the Rangers, the Cardinals stared adversity right in the eyes and won their 11th World Championship, second in the last five years. After one of the most exciting games ever played in Game 6, the first Game 7 since 2002 was back and forth for the first half, but Chris Carpenter gave a gutsy performance on three days’ rest and St. Louis pulled away to celebrate their championship at home. The series clincher was the most watched MLB game since the Red Sox ended their curse against the Cardinals in 2004. St. Louis 3rd baseman David Freese received MVP honors, hitting .348, with one home run, seven RBI, and some of the biggest hits in World Series history. Congratulations to the Cardinals, and bring on the Hot Stove!

Free Agent Frenzy To Commence.

Now that the World Series has come to a close and the offseason is officially upon us, the frenzy to sign free agents for 2012 and beyond will soon begin. Some analysts have said that the market is thin this year in certain positions, but it doesn’t lack big names; with names like CJ Wilson, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Francisco Rodriguez, Joe Nathan, Jose Reyes, maybe CC Sabathia, and others, it proves to be an interesting winter. Here’s to hoping that it goes quickly and Valentine’s Day comes so pitchers and catchers can report!

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