Mets Merized Online » Jacoby Ellsbury http://metsmerizedonline.com Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:00:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 2014 Free Agent Review: The Long Term Deals (Part 1 of 3) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/2014-free-agent-review-the-long-term-deals-part-1-of-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/10/2014-free-agent-review-the-long-term-deals-part-1-of-3.html/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:35:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=168251 robinson-cano

Baseball is a game that is constantly evolving and the team’s that successfully navigate the natural growth of the sport are identifying their strengths and maximizing the results.  The traditional format of growing pitching and buying bats is transitioning into an all organic format.  

The majority of playoff quality teams are rounding out their lineups of homegrown talent with one or two well chosen external pieces that hurdle the club to the top. There are exceptions to every rule for spending in the free agent market, but examining the results of last year’s class may provide some insight as to how the Mets should proceed this winter.

The type of signing that brings the most risk to reward ratio is a long term contract, ranging 7-10 years with over $100 million in guaranteed salary. In the first of five installments, let’s take a look at 2014’s long term free agent signings and identify which two contracts represent the best and worst deals inked over the long haul.

Long term signings are becoming a rarity in today’s game.  Most MLB teams hedge on their young talent with front loaded, team friendly deals, in order to maximize the return on their productivity. There are still exceptions, particularly for players in their prime who possess multiple plus tools. Last year’s headliners were Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo.

Cano, formerly of the New York Yankees, was signed to a 10 year, $240 million contract by the Seattle Mariners last offseason.  It’s ironic that there was ever a deal too rich for the Yankees’ blood, but the former Bomber transitioned to the West Coast nicely. His 14 home runs was nearly half his total from the previous season, but there’s little difference in his overall statistics aside from that.

His .314/.382/.836 slash line had a plus-minus margin of 0.00/(.001)/(.063) when compared to last year’s production in the Bronx. Critics may argue that the slugger was paid $24 million to do just that, hit home runs, but the majority of MLB teams would pay his contract if they could guarantee his 2014 numbers that included 187 hits, 82 RBI, 77 runs and a 1.108 OPS with runners in scoring position. Cano also stayed healthy all season and played gold glove caliber defense over a stretch of 157 games. His unique range and strong arm gave the Mariner’s an upgrade in run prevention, but the back end of his contract also holds less risk in the American League since the Mariners can transition him to a DH role later on past his prime.

Seattle made a bold decision when they agreed to pay Cano $24 million a year for 10 years, but the contract is a direct reflection of the impact that aggressive bidding has on the free agent market.  The team that signs a premium candidate is sacrificing payroll on the back end of the deal in order to secure high caliber production on the front end.  The Mariners found themselves in a position to contend with the addition of a top end player and felt that their window of opportunity to make the playoffs coincided with the prime years of Cano’s productivity.  Overall, Seattle missed the post-season, but the team improved their 2013 campaign by 16 wins, finishing at 87-75.  If they can get half that improvement heading into the 2015 season, they’ll be a lock for October baseball.

Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo was regarded for his high OBP and efficiency on the base paths, registering 107 runs scored in 2013 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.  In 2014, with the Texas Rangers, he played in 31 less games, registered 52 less hits, 49 less runs scored and drew 54 less walks.  His slash line had a plus-minus differential of (.043)/(.083)/(.171) compared to last year and his wRC+ dropped by 34% down to an even 100. That metric has a median focal point of 100, where every point above that number is a point above standard production.  So the Rangers were, by definition, paying $14 million for a league average player.

Choo could very well bounce back, but an interesting piece by FanGraphs points out that his .309 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) in 2014, was drastically lower than his .346 career mark that spans over eight years and 4,000 plate appearances.  While .309 is still above league average, he would have to make contact at an unrealistic rate in order to generate the same results he had in 2013.

The deal becomes further complicated since, unlike Cano, Choo’s projected value stemmed entirely from his offensive production. His defense is not strong enough to offset his struggles at the plate, so his contract inherently carries more risk, gambling on a skill set that only contributes to one side of the ball. The Rangers appeared to have signed the albatross contract of 2014, especially when you consider that Choo’s deal increases to $21 million per year in the final two seasons.

Every free agent is signed with the intention of filling a void in a playoff team’s post-season narrative. There’s risk that comes with paying eight figures to an athlete on the wrong side of thirty, but Robinson Cano provided the type of output that kept Seattle in the playoff hunt all season.

Hypothetically, had the Mets signed Cano last offseason, it would have immediately upgraded the lineup. The Amazins’ had their own All-Star second baseman in Daniel Murphy, but Cano is an elite level talent compared to Murphy, whose defense negatively impacts is overall value.

The Mets found themselves on the outside looking in as the teams operating model discourages lengthy deals that are pricey and driven by a player’s past performance, not future.  Cano’s output would still be a welcomed addition to the Mets offense, but in retrospect, his deal now makes even less sense in Flushing since the emergence of Wilmer Flores and Dilson Herrera.  Both of those young players have a long road to travel before they reach a level similar to Cano’s, but their futures are bright and New York has other positions in need of attention.

Choo was considered by many baseball writers and experts as a great fit for the Mets last Winter, but it’s clear that New York dodged a bullet by passing on the former Reds standout.  The stadium in Arlington doesn’t have a suffocating effect on hitters, so it’s reasonable to assume that Choo’s drop off would have been exponentially worse in Citi Field.

jacoby-ellsbury

The Mets will almost certainly avoid any long term deals in the near future.  The only other long term deal (7-10 years) was the Yankees signing of Jacoby Ellsbury at seven years and $153 million. However, at a cost of around $500,000 through the next several years, Juan Lagares is clearly the better option in my opinion.

As a left-handed hitter in Yankee stadium, Ellsbury turned in 16 home runs, 70 RBI’s and 39 stolen bases.  Whether that production is worth $21 million per year is debatable, but unlike the Mets, many teams are willing to pay elite salaries for above average offense.  The orange and blue got to watch their own star grow in center while the biggest deals from 2014 played elsewhere.

Given the current needs of the team,  I believe the front office made the right decision by passing on these three players and this offseason, the results should be the same.  None of the free agent position players warrant a deal longer than 7 years, so the focus should be on shorter, more team friendly deals that can improve the team.  .

Up next, mid level contracts ranging anywhere from 4 to 6 years.  There were several names within this group that many believed the Mets should have pursued, so I’m expecting some heated debate on this one.

Lets! Go! Mets!

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Featured Post: I’d Rather Have Syndergaard http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/featured-post-id-rather-have-syndergaard.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/featured-post-id-rather-have-syndergaard.html/#comments Sun, 12 Jan 2014 15:26:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139006 pineda

Speculation is the fuel that stokes the Hot Stove fires. As the fires of speculation simmer in Met land, sometimes during the off-season it’s easy for Met fans to forget there’s another major league baseball team sharing NYC with pinstriped baseball fans surmising what baseball in 2014 will look like in the Bronx.

Recently, those predictions have seen the name of Yankee prospect Michael Pineda reemerge on the pages of the NYC dailies or on baseball blogs. With the Yankees shedding big bucks to bring in position playing upgrades that include Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran, attention has turned to Yankee pitching. That’s when Pineda’s name resurfaced.

In a conversation with the Star Ledger, Yankee minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson indicated Pineda should be ready to make a case for a spot in the Yankees 2014 starting rotation. Paterson feels Pineda has completed his recovery from the torn labrum he suffered in 2012 and the former American League all-star can pitch again in the majors. “I was very happy with everything he did, so I certainly see him being able to do that,” Paterson told the Star Ledger.

After returning to the mound last summer, Pineda threw 10 games in the minors posting a 3.32 earned run average while striking out a batter in each of the 40.2 innings he threw. That output caught the attention of Yankee GM Brian Cashman who says Pineda will be given the opportunity to compete for a rotation spot in the spring.

All that Michael Pineda speculation leaves me smiling. You see, on a sunny day on the first day of July last summer, I sat behind home plate to watch Pineda pitch. The recovering Yankee was pitching for Trenton’s Double-A Thunder. The game was Pineda’s second starting assignment for the Thunder with optimism running high for Yankee fans after the big righthander threw six shutout innings in his first start for Trenton.

On the mound for the Binghamton Mets was none other than Noah Syndergaard making this pitching showdown between the top starting prospects of each of New York’s major league franchises a must see Sunday afternoon baseball treat.

Things got off to a shaky start for B-Met fans when Trenton left fielder Ramon Flores lifted a Syndergaard fastball over the left field wall for a lead-off homerun. But, the unflappable Syndergaard settled in nicely to turn in a dazzling effort on the hill.

The B-Mets more than made up the difference of the Flores shot in their half of the first. With one man out and a runner on base, Cesar Puello stepped to the plate waving his bat in the air. Puello muscled a long homerun to put Binghamton on top, 2-1.

But, it was the pitcher’s I had really come to see. Both young hurlers make imposing figures on the pitching mound. Pineda is a giant standing 6’7” tall and weighing a beefy 260 pounds. And, Syndergaard is no slouch giving up only one inch and 20 pounds to the Yankee prospect. Sitting directly behind home plate I got the full effect of what it feels like to have these baseball giants falling forward off the mound and firing bullets.

Pineda, with a fastball a few ticks lower on the radar than the mid to high range 90’s he fired before his injury, struggled with command. The Trenton behemoth was all over the lot. He simply couldn’t find the strike zone. A frustrated Pineda lasted only three innings, surrendering a second gopher ball to B-Met Richard Lucas and surrendering 4 hits and 4 earned runs.

But, it was Pineda’s lack of control that had to be disheartening to Yankee fans. The big righty walked four batters and hit one. Pineda faced 17 hitters in his 3 innings of work throwing 67 pitches with more balls (35) than strikes (32).

In contrast, after the Flores lead-off homer, Syndergaard shined. Thor was overpowering over five innings chalking up nine strikeouts, a season high at that point of Thor’s 2013 campaign.

Syndergaard walked only 2 of the 22 batters he faced and allowed four hits, two of the infield variety. In fact, back-to-back infield singles, compounded by a Syndergaard throwing error left Trenton runners on second and third with no one out in the visitor’s third. Thor worked out of the jam without surrendering a run.

The future Met fireballer threw 93 pitches, his final pitch a 98 m.p.h. fastball for his ninth K. Syndergaard threw 67 strikes with only 26 offerings out of the zone.

Syndergaard left the game with a 4-1 lead, but Trenton rallied to tie the game with three runs in the top of the sixth off the B-Met bullpen. Binghamton would eventually secure a 5-4 victory.

I treated my brother, a huge Yankee fan to the game, and he came away shaking his head in awe at Syndergaard. The previous season, we saw a Zack Wheeler start against Trenton on me, a game where Wheeler, like Syndergaard, yielded a first inning long ball, and was then, pretty much, not hittable. Needless to say, my Yankee loving brother thinks the Mets have the making of a pretty decent rotation in the years to come. On that point, two baseball loving brothers can agree.

(Photo MiLB)

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Bowden: Curtis Granderson and Chris Young Will Be Busts? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/granderson-and-young-will-be-busts.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/granderson-and-young-will-be-busts.html/#comments Sat, 11 Jan 2014 14:45:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139393 granderson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When Is A Good OBP Not So Good http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/when-is-a-good-obp-not-so-good.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/when-is-a-good-obp-not-so-good.html/#comments Sun, 29 Dec 2013 23:11:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137126 luis castillo

Egads… What’s that picture of Luis Castillo doing up there? I bet you didn’t think you’d see him again, right? While I was reading through some comments, I came across an interesting exchange I serendipitously started when I wrote that signing Stephen Drew could end up being as bad as the Luis Castillo signing.

Then our own Connor O’Brien really kicked things off when he wrote, “Castillo had about the emptiest on-base percentage possible. Absolutely no power.”

I never really heard anyone say that before about a player with a .380+ on-base, but here is how the rest of the exchange that ensued unfolded. I thought it was pretty interesting…

BadBadLeroyBrown – He was a table setter his job wasn’t POWER it was to get ON BASE. Period. Nothing empty about that.

Connor O’Brien – But you want to – leadoff hitter or not – get on base in high quantities and with quality, meaning more extra-base hits as well. Would the team not have been better off had Castillo been on second instead of first ten more times?

There is really a certain balance that needs to be struck between the two, and Castillo didn’t necessarily have that balance. Having guys on second instead of first makes your team more likely to score, meaning you have done your job more effectively than someone who just hit a single.

For this reason, while Castillo was a good leadoff hitter, he wasn’t as good as someone like Jose Reyes or Jacoby Ellsbury. You want players that get quality hits everywhere in the lineup, not just in the middle of the order.

Not Alex68 – Can you explain and show evidence of empty OBP? Is Empty OBP an actual stat (eOBP)? Pray tell.

Kabeetz – You’re either on base or you’re not. There is no such thing as a “full” or “empty” OBP.

Connor O’Brien – Sorry, I have to disagree with you on that.

If two players get on base 40% of the time (.400 OBP), one can be much more effective than another.

Take a look at these two players from this year in batting average and OBP.

Player 1: .298 BA .374 OBP
Player 2: .286 BA .370 OBP

If all On-Base Percentages were created equal, each of these two players would be of roughly the same skill level, right? Well, see who they are.

Player 1: Billy Butler – .298/.374/.412 15 HR .345 wOBA

Player 2: Chris Davis – .286/.370/.634 53 HR .421 wOBA

While Billy Butler is a nice player (and I believe even an All-Star), he was nowhere close to Chris Davis this season, despite getting on base at roughly the same rate. Davis did more on average each time he got on base, making Butler’s OBP “emptier” (just an expression) than that of Davis.

Sean-Connery-The-Untouchables-Norfolk-Jacket

“Here Endeth The Lesson”

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Ricciardi: Tejada Is Going To Be A Better Player http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/ricciardi-tejada-is-going-to-be-a-better-player.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/ricciardi-tejada-is-going-to-be-a-better-player.html/#comments Sat, 28 Dec 2013 02:38:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=137128 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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Thanks to Sandy Alderson I Now Have Respect For the Yankee Way http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/thanks-to-sandy-alderson-i-now-have-respect-for-the-yankee-way.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/thanks-to-sandy-alderson-i-now-have-respect-for-the-yankee-way.html/#comments Sat, 21 Dec 2013 14:53:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=136003 Rusty-Staub

When my dad taught me about something called Baseball in 1973 and introduced me to a team called the Mets, it was life-altering for this 7-year old. I’d learn to write cursive, get out of second grade, and eventually, when I grew a little taller, I’d replace Rusty Staub in RF. My whole life was planned out.

As I fell in love with the Mets, I developed an unbridled hatred for the Yankees. When visiting one of my grandmothers in the Bronx, we had to drive right past their stadium. In the back seat of my parents’ Plymouth, I shielded my eyes. I wouldn’t even give them the courtesy of acknowledging their existence.

The Yankees were colorless, uninteresting. They were even more icky than girls! Roy White, Chris Chambliss, Elliot Maddox, Graig Nettles. BORING! (And who the hell spells their name G-R-A-I-G anyway?) The Mets had friendly names: Tug, Rusty, Buddy, Kooz, Felix the Cat.

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By the 80’s the Yankees were irrelevant. New York was a Mets town and like I’d done as a little kid, I didn’t even bother acknowledging their existence. They were unimportant.

By the mid ‘90s, I was older and realized ‘hate’ is a strong word. It wasn’t really their players I ‘hated.’ It was their fans sense of entitlement, the way they acted as if they deserved to play into late October and the way George Steinbrenner attempted to buy a pennant year after year. While I was no fan of Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neill or Scott Brosius, how can you not love Derek Jeter? Who amongst us won’t miss Mariano Rivera?

I’ll continue to root against the Yankees, something that’s entrenched in me since childhood. However, I no longer hate their players. Nor do I detest the management style in which their front office operates.

After seeing the Wilpon’s and Sandy Alderson in action, they’ve done the impossible: They’ve made me gain respect–yes, respect–for the Yankees.

Is it wrong to try and buy a pennant? Yes…I guess…maybe. On the other hand, why not? Baseball is a sport and the purpose is to win, to reward your fans with a championship. If it takes outspending other teams, then so be it.

Late October every year, the same scene plays out. Commissioner Bud Selig presents the World Series trophy to the manager, GM and owner of the World Championship club. I don’t ever recall a celebration where the commissioner presents a trophy of any sort to a team with financial endurance, the team that accomplished the most with the least. The reason is simple: That doesn’t matter.

Question: Which 2 years did our Mets win the World Series?. Now, a follow-up: What was our payroll those 2 seasons? Yea, I have no idea either.

When I think back to 1986, I recall Mookie hitting a slow roller along the bag. I remember Jesse Orosco down on his knees smiling broadly. I can still see Ray Knight knocking Eric Davis on his ass, Gary Carter making a curtain call after going deep and the majestic beautiful swing of Darryl Strawberry. I don’t have any memory of what our payroll was.

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In the end what matters is winning. Winning at, no pun intended, any cost.

Granted, both NY clubs have spent billions of dollars over the past two decades. And granted, the Yankees have spent far more than us. But ask yourself which fans have had a more enjoyable run since the mid ‘90s? Which team’s fans are optimistic about a championship and which team’s fans are biding their time? While one fanbase spends October cheering their team in the post-season, the other fanbase is counting down until April.

In the last 19 years, the Mets have won zero Championships while the Yankees have captured five. The Mets have made the post-season 3 times in 19 years. The Yankees have made the post-season 17 times in 19 years. It’s evident one organization wants to win and one wants to…well, I’m not really sure.

Baseball is a game, But it’s also a business. This is accepted in The Bronx but not in Flushing. There’s an old business adage that says, “If you want to make money, you must spend money.” The Steinbrenner’s realize this. The Wilpon’s don’t. It’s a very simple concept. The Yankees spend money to improve their product. Fans support the product by going to games and buying merchandise. This, in turn, puts more money in the owner’s pockets so they can turn around and further improve their product. The Yankees acknowledge that to keep their customers coming back for more, they must offer a good product. In Flushing, the Wilpon’s continue to ask us to support a sub-par product. It’s apparently okay for them not to spend their money—as long as we spend ours.

A couple weeks ago, the Yankees allowed their most productive hitter, Robinson Cano, to walk. Literally, within hours, realizing the need to keep their product relevant, the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury. Talk about a ballsy move. And if that wasn’t enough, added Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, too.

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Many Mets fans blame our woes and financial struggles on Bernie Madoff and the frugal Wilpon’s. While the Steinbrenner/Cashman team is determined to run a profitable and successful business, provide their customers with a solid product, the Wilpon/Alderson team runs their business about as efficiently as Countrywide Mortgage.

When Alderson took over the GM role, he asked for patience. He had a plan. He had no money, but he did have a plan. He would rebuild this team from the ground up. We’d need to develop the rookies, restock the farm system. Sandy’s plan would make the Mets relevant again.

The Mets have no money. The Mets have no money. The Mets have no money. But suddenly, the Wilpons found $138 million for David Wright. Hmm…that’s convenient.

Alderson has insisted that he is looking long term, looking at the big picture and wanting to keep the Mets significant for many years, not just one or two. That’s thought-provoking considering this winter’s transactions.

I applaud the moves our GM made. The 2014 Mets appear to be slightly better (on paper anyway) than the 2013 Mets. But the transactions of this winter completely contradict what Alderson’s been selling us.

For an organization that is focused on the future, that is determined to be relevant for the long haul, the Mets handed over $60 million for a 33-year old outfielder and $20 million for a 270 pound 41-year old pitcher. For a team that is crying poverty and focusing on “the future,” how does management justify handing over $80 million for 6 years to 2 players whose average age is 37? That doesn’t sound like a long-term goal.bartolo-copy

The future? Two years from now, Colon will be gone and Granderson will be patrolling Citi Field’s cavernous outfield on 35 year-old legs—probably looking to return to the AL so he can DH.

The ineptness and incompetence of this front office is mind-boggling. They tell us one thing, then do something else. Their actions contradict their words. They cry poverty and talk about the future, then hand over $80 million for 2 players past their prime. They allow Jose Reyes, citing they have no money, only to then find the money when it comes to keeping David Wright 10 months later. This front office is inconsistent. This is a business that has no direction, no goal. And no plan. Is this any way to run a baseball team? To run a business? Is this the way you attract customers?

The acquisition of Beltran, McCann and Ellsbury may not turn the Yankees into champions. But it might. Meanwhile, Mets fans would be ecstatic to get back to 500.

After seeing the Wilpon/Alderson team operate for years now, I’ve gained respect for the Yankees approach—their approach to winning, to staying competitive, to keeping their customers happy by providing a good product.

I’m no longer a little kid hiding my eyes in the backseat of my dad’s Plymouth. I no longer hate Yankee players or loathe Yankee management. If anything, I long for my team to take that same approach to winning. I’ve realized, too, that girls are no longer icky…but the Mets front office sure is.

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Robinson Cano: With All Due “Respect” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/robinson-cano-with-all-due-respect.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/robinson-cano-with-all-due-respect.html/#comments Sat, 14 Dec 2013 17:51:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135560 Seattle-is-targeting-Robinson-Cano.-300x207Robinson Cano and Jay Z’’s orchestrated dinner with the New York Mets was clearly transparent, made even more so after his introductory press conference in Seattle. It was only an indicator of things to come from this childish man.

Bottom Line: Cano wanted to stay in New York, but at his price, and in the end his price is all that mattered to him. It is impossible to do business when you give nothing back in the negotiations. If you don’t give back they cease being negotiations.

Cano is a marvelously talented baseball player, but a flawed individual. He might be a five-tool player, but on the human level, none of his tools include discretion, loyalty, common sense or rational thinking. We do know Cano has streaks of arrogance, delusional thinking and greed in his persona. He also has an annoying sense of entitlement.“I didn’t feel respect. I didn’t get respect from them and I didn’t see any effort,’’ Cano said with a straight face when asked about the Yankees.

Being offered $175 million over seven years was plenty of respect countered Yankees president Randy Levine. Look, Levine and the Yankees don’t need anybody to fight their battles, but Cano was shown respect and his hissy fit needs to be addressed, because if nothing else it is a display of all that is wrong with today’s professional athlete.

From the outset, $300 million over ten years, was over the top, but it never hurts to ask because somebody might bite. However, when it became apparent Cano didn’t want to budge, you knew he wouldn’t stay in New York and the Yankees would be better off without him.

With Derek Jeter at the end of this career, and Alex Rodriguez in PED limbo, Jacoby Ellsbury will not be the difference. They need pitching and to shed some of its unproductive payroll – Mark Teixeira for one – and start rebuilding. The money earmarked Cano will be better invested elsewhere.

It was a business decision for Cano to state his negotiating objectives of money and years. It is also a business decision for the Yankees to say they no longer want to give ten-year contracts to players over 30 years old. Cano wants us to respect his business decision, yet he can’t respect the Yankees’ right to do the same. Just delusional and out of touch with reality is Cano.

I don’t begrudge Cano the right to have money as his motivation, but distasteful is his attitude. The only party showing a lack of respect in this issue is Cano, towards the Yankees, to the fans, and to his profession.

You made a choice, now live with it and don’t bash the Yankees on the way out. They didn’t criticize your choice; don’t criticize theirs.

Perhaps the greatest complaints people have about athletes is their disconnect from reality, their disregard about others, and when they don’t hustle. Cano violates our sensibilities by doing all three.

I believe a player is worth what his employer is willing to pay him. In that vein, Cano is worth $240 million to the Mariners. He’s just not worth $240 million to the Yankees, which is their right to determine.

Nobody has the right to say $240 million is too much, because who among you would turn it down?

But, we have the right to be irritated at Cano’s lack of touch with reality, which is insulting to those struggling to make ends meet or have been out of work.

“I was looking for a contract where I would just be able play and focus on the game and wouldn’t wonder when I’m 37, 38 would I have a job one day,’’ was what he tried to pass off as logic for his decision.

Seriously?

If at the end of the $175 million he would have gotten from the Yankees, if healthy and had he not worn out his welcome, he would have had another deal. Please don’t tell us after $175 million you’d be that insecure as to worry about your future. It is insulting to all those who buy tickets to watch you play or purchase your jersey.

Also insulting is your agent, Jay Z, who operating on your behalf, after accepting $240 million from Seattle went back to the Yankees with the request of $235 million over ten years.

It says you really don’t want to be in Seattle. How should they feel about that?

The Yankees are better off without him, which is something Seattle will find out eventually. At 3,000 miles away, it isn’t far away far enough.

In New York, there are too many apologists for your style and attitude. They say you’re entitled to take plays off, to jog down to first base because you’re usually in the line-up and you’re a good player. But, you don’t have that right. Cano has been given a gift of talent, but when you half-ass it to first base, you insult the fan and your profession. Not hustling is never justified.

They let you get away with it, and in the end it had to figure in the Yankees’ thinking. Deep down, they don’t want a dog to be the face of their franchise. You got a pass on that in New York, but they know how to boo in Seattle, and you’ll hear them soon enough.

mmo

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Granderson Makes Good First Impression, Loves The Direction Of The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/granderson-makes-good-first-impression-loves-the-direction-of-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/granderson-makes-good-first-impression-loves-the-direction-of-the-mets.html/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 19:22:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135116 granderson

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – On his unveiling as a member of the New York Mets, outfielder Curtis Granderson said all the right things, including: “A lot of people I’ve met in New York have always said true New Yorkers are Mets fans.’’

Now, how can you not like that enthusiasm?

Both GM Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon praised Granderson’s professionalism and clubhouse presence, and said it was a major consideration in bringing him to the Mets.

Granderson is expected to ease the burden for David Wright, both as a run producer and in the clubhouse.

“He brings, No. 1, professionalism,’’ Alderson said. “He brings a personality. He brings credibility. He brings talent … all things that are important.’’

Granderson said the Yankees were upfront with him in their rebuilding plans, and while he talked to other teams – including Boston after Jacoby Ellsbury left – the Mets were by far the most aggressive in recruiting him.

“A lot of homework went into it,’’ Granderson said. “[The Mets] were the best fit possible.’’

Even without Matt Harvey available this season, the Mets sold Granderson on better days – years – in the future. With the Yankees, Granderson knew they would be competitive. The Mets had to convince him.

“They have a plan that’s getting in place,’’ Granderson said. “It’s going to take 25 guys. They have an opportunity to go out there and do some things.’’

Regarding Granderson’s contract, both the player and Alderson said a fourth year was important. Alderson said there were no bells and whistles in the contract, such as a no-trade clause.

“It was your typical, boilerplate, $60-million contract,’’ said Alderson.

Presented By Diehards

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Thoughts On The Improbable Gardner For Murphy Swap http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/thoughts-on-the-improbable-gardner-for-murphy-swap.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/thoughts-on-the-improbable-gardner-for-murphy-swap.html/#comments Mon, 09 Dec 2013 05:57:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134894 The Daniel Murphy for Brett Gardner trade talk is continuing to pick up steam despite the Mets and Yankees appearing to be strange bedfellows.

Lets start with Andy Martino of the Daily News who says the Mets have already told an official from at least one other club that they are willing to move Daniel Murphy during the winter meetings.

brett gardner

The Yankees have a glut of outfielders after adding Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury to a group that already included Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano and Gardner. And while the Mets don’t have a glut at second base they seem to thing Eric Young Jr. is an everyday player and are aiming to give him Murphy’s old job. I think that’s a terrible idea, but what do I know?

Most Met fans would jump at the idea of a Murphy for Gardner swap and so would I. But my question is why would the Yankees trade someone who has posted a 8.1 bWAR in his last two full seasons to their crosstown rivals for a defensively challenged player who has just a 3.2 bWAR over his last two full seasons?

In what universe would Brian Cashman do that? Throw in Dillon Gee and the maybe they’ll listen, but otherwise I can’t see it. it makes no sense.

Martino says the right move this week for the Yankees is to listen to all offers for Gardner, and take the best one. He’s right. The Yankees should easily be able to get a lot more for their centerfielder than a Daniel Murphy from a number of teams who lost out on Jacoby Ellsbury last week and are desperate for an outfielder and a leadoff hitter with plus-speed.

From another angle, if the Mets were to somehow convince the Yankees to do this deal, it would mean Juan Lagares loses his job in center field and heads straight to the bench or possibly even Las Vegas. Why? Is this an improvement? Lagares by the way, had a 3.7 WAR in 2013, and over a full season he would have outproduced both Gardner and Murphy. Chew on that for a minute. Never mind the fact he’s the only one of the three who at 24 will most likely improve his performance and only get better.

Finally, both Murphy and Gardner are arbitration eligible and are likely to earn about the same $5 million next season. So the deal wouldn’t even give the Mets any salary relief at all.

The only way this makes any sense is if Chris Young wasn’t in the equation. Unfortunately for the Mets he is and to the tune of $7.25 million dollars.

If we’re going to trade our second most productive hitter in Murphy, would you want to trade him for something we actually could use? Like a shortstop.

Presented By Diehards

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

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

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

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

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

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

mmo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Original Post 9:00 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Despite Stark Differences Between Yankees and Mets, Alderson Needs To Save Face http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/despite-stark-differences-between-yankees-and-mets-alderson-needs-to-save-face.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/despite-stark-differences-between-yankees-and-mets-alderson-needs-to-save-face.html/#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 21:28:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134494 Curtis+Granderson

As if the New York Mets and their frustrated fan base needed another reminder of their status in town, they got a punch-in-the-gut this morning with the news Jacoby Ellsbury had agreed to a seven-year, $153-million contract with the Yankees.

Yes, the Yankees, the team that said they wanted to go below a $189 million payroll while Mets GM Sandy Alderson, despite saying he has the resources, isn’t likely to go over $90 million.

Alderson will say the Mets aren’t competing with the Yankees, and he’s right to a four-game, interleague degree, but he’s wrong everywhere else. There’s competition for the back pages, for free-agents, for attention from the on-the-fence New York fan, for TV ratings and time on the radio talk-shows.

Today, the callers will take a break from bashing the Nets and Knicks – and deservedly so – to hailing the Yankees, and yes, ripping the Mets for their inaction. Also, deservedly so.

It’s a great deal for the Yankees as they obtain a dynamic outfielder – which was Alderson’s prime objective this winter – that will more homers in Yankee Stadium hitting from the leadoff position, while at the same time, weakening their rival Red Sox.

This came after giving $85 million to catcher Brian McCann. And, they are hot after Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, which will entail a hefty posting fee to go along with a huge salary.

Then, there’s the matter of Robinson Cano.

Meanwhile, the Mets’ biggest splash this winter, if you don’t include Chris Young, is having dinner with Jay Z, Cano’s flamboyant agent.

That meeting garnered attention for one day, but these signings by the Yankees to go along with their courtship of Cano, have them in the headlines nearly every day this offseason.

The free-agent outfield market had four premium names: Ellsbury, Shin-Soo ChooNelson Cruz and Curtis Granderson. Ellsbury’s deal set the bar, meaning if history is an indicator, the prices for the others should increase.

This means if the Mets are serious about Granderson they had better act quickly because the meter is running. Who knows? It might already have clicked past Alderson’s price range.

The Mets weren’t going to overpay for Ellsbury or Choo, but they might have to for Granderson for nothing else, to save some face this winter.

But, Granderson would fit the Mets for several reasons:

* He would give them left-handed power. Yes, his numbers were elevated in Yankee Stadium, but of his 43 homers hit in 2012, 26 were at home and 17 on the road. Granderson hit 41 in 20111, with 21 at home and 20 on the road.

* He could play anywhere in the outfield, and has the speed to play center.

* All indications are he’s a good clubhouse presence, plus, he knows what it takes to play in New York.

While the Ellsbury signing screams the Yankees are back, it doesn’t mean the Mets have to limp away. There’s still time for them to do something, but it is running out.

Note: I’ll be heading to Orlando in three days to cover the Winter Meetings for MetsmerizedOnline.com. I’m getting in one day early to set myself up and get a good lay of the land. Joe has some nice things setup as far as chats and podcasts. It sounds like fun.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Fan Shot: Time For Mets To Be Bold And Sign Robinson Cano http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-fan-shot-time-for-mets-to-be-bold-and-sign-robinson-cano.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-fan-shot-time-for-mets-to-be-bold-and-sign-robinson-cano.html/#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 16:26:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134430 Yankees Spring Training

A Fan Shot By Austin Smith

With all the huge offseason moves thus far, most notably, Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the Yankees for 7 years and more than $150 million, should the Mets make a huge splash and sign the best free agent on the market in Robinson Cano?

With the offseason in full swing before the Winter Meetings have even begun, the whole league has realized the market is flourishing, and free agents are signing for astonishing numbers. With that said, and the Mets signing of Chris Young for $7 million, you’re going to have to overpay to get who you want, whether its in years or dollars, so why not just overpay for the best guy out there?

Since the Yankees have signed Brian McCann and Ellsbury, and them still having other holes to fill, I’d count them out on the Cano sweepstakes, which opens up some opportunities for other teams. Also, the Yankees were unwilling to go past $175 million for the slugger, so I don’t think anybody else will go past $200-$225 million. If the Mets could trade Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy, they’d free up about $10 million to bring our budget back up near $30-35MM, and we could try and get Cano for $200 million for eight years. I don’t see any other team going past seven years, so since the Mets can’t afford to overpay cash, why not give him the extra year to guarantee more cash, which is what he really wants.

He would be a huge upgrade to our lineup, giving us the cleanup hitter we need, and I don’t think any of the other holes are as huge of an issue if we have Cano in our lineup. With Cano taking $25 million, or possibly less for this year if you back-load the contract, you’d have another $10-15MM left, which  you could then throw on minor additions to compete with some of our other players this Spring.

Having an outfield of Eric Young, Juan Lagares and Chris Young doesn’t look too good at first, but if that’s the situation we have to deal with in order to get Cano, then so be it, it’s worth it in my eyes. We could even fill up so many other holes via trades afterwards.

I think signing Cano would be a bold and smart move on Sandy’s part, which could open many other opportunities for the team and also make the Mets relevant again. Since we’ve been told to throw out 2014, and count on 2015 now, the suffrage to deal with this season as long as we sign Cano long term, is worth it.

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, Austin Smith. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 22,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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This Day In Mets Infamy: “When Is The Right Time To Panic” Edition http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-when-is-the-right-time-to-panic-edition.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/this-day-in-mets-infamy-when-is-the-right-time-to-panic-edition.html/#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 11:57:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134445 bacon 2

Well I don’t know about you but all that hot stove action yesterday gave me a serious case of whiplash as well as extreme nausea . It is not out of the ordinary for many deals – whether it is trades or free agent signings to get done before the winter meetings, but so many big names came off the board last night – capped by the cross town Yankees completely blowing up the free agent market. So it’s understandable why I felt so queasy – especially when word from Mets sources admitted that there aren’t any pending deals in the hopper.

If you’re a Mets fan this news doesn’t make you happy – I know it doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy. But as the obvious names keep being erased off of front office whiteboards when is the right time for us Mets fans to start panicking? Well in my opinion if you haven’t put your head in the oven, or started to tying the noose to your ceiling, I would wait until at least next Friday after the Winter Meetings conclude and Sandy Alderson has not filled any of the glaring voids on our roster – that is if you don’t have the wherewithal to wait until Spring Training starts in February.

I admit with the events of yesterday I am getting very antsy, I am sure the front office is almost about to go after and make an admirable run at  Curtis Granderson and Nelson Cruz – but with the Ellsbury contract you have to wonder if the Mets will have the stomach to strike a deal with either two players since obviously their stock has skyrocketed.

The Met front office as well as ownership seriously and woefully underestimated the market, and if there isn’t major changes by Opening Day on March 31st they will be panicking more than us over all the empty seats at Citi Field!

And with that said ,,,,, HERE COMES THE INFAMY!!!!!

Mets alumni celebrating a birthday today includes:

Utility infielder from the ’83 season, Tucker Ashford is 59 (1954).

Reserve outfielder from the ’86 season, Stan Jefferson is 51 (1962).

One time up and coming Mets outfielder, Carlos Gomez is 28 (1985). He is currently a star with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Other notable transactions include:

The New York Mets traded middle reliever, Jack DiLauro to the Detroit Tigers for minor leaguer, Hector Valle on December 4, 1968.

The Kansas City Royals signed middle reliever, Dan Schatzeder of the New York Mets as a free agent on December 4, 1990.

The Boston Red Sox drafted middle reliever, Joe Crawford from the Mets  on December 4, 1995.

The New York Mets traded outfielder,  Butch Huskey to the Seattle Mariners for pitching prospect, Lesli Brea on December 4, 1998.

The New York Mets traded reliever, Willie Blair to the Detroit Tigers for  outfielder/ first baseman, Joe Randa on December 4, 1998. Randa never played one game for the Mets.

The New York Mets signed free agent reserve catcher, Gustavo Molina of the Baltimore Orioles on December 4, 2007. And of course the Mets sign the wrong Molina – Stupid Mets !!!

The New York Mets signed free agent reserve catcher,  Raul Casanova on December 4, 2007.

The New York Mets signed free reserve catcher, Henry Blanco of the San Diego Padres on December 4, 2009.

Mo Vaughn  gets extremely violent cases of explosive diarrhea whenever he starts to panic!!!

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Damn Yankees: Ellsbury Agrees To 7-Year, $153 Million Deal With Bombers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/damn-yankees-ellsbury-agrees-to-7-year-153-million-deal-with-bombers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/damn-yankees-ellsbury-agrees-to-7-year-153-million-deal-with-bombers.html/#comments Wed, 04 Dec 2013 05:55:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134409 jacoby ellsbury

DAMN YANKEES!

The New York Yankees and free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury have agreed on a seven-year contract valued at $153 million dollars, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. There is also an eighth year option that could raise the total value to $169 million. Ellsbury will also cost the Yankees a first round draft pick.

Ellsbury batted .298/.355/.436 with 31 doubles, 8 triples, 9 home runs and a league-leading 52 stolen bases this year with 92 runs scored.

Wow, that’s some big-time money… But these are the Yankees who play in one of largest sports markets in the world…

However, this probably means the end of any Robinson Cano and Yankees reunion, and Curtis Granderson too for that matter.

The other five teams in on Ellsbury, now move over to Curtis Granderson…

Presented By Diehards

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Presented By Diehards

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Granderson Won’t Solve All Mets Problems, But He’s A Step In Right Direction http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/granderson-wont-solve-all-mets-problems-but-hes-a-step-in-right-direction.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/granderson-wont-solve-all-mets-problems-but-hes-a-step-in-right-direction.html/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:00:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134336 curtis-granderson-op4e-6644With the Winter Meetings approaching, the time is now for the Mets to make a big splash. While building through the system is vital to the organization, completely ignoring the Mets present day needs is unacceptable. The Mets cannot stand pat again and let their fans suffer through another painful season. Mets fans are the best fans and baseball, and we deserve better than that.

One free agent who instantly improves the Mets is outfielder Curtis Granderson, and there is a report that Sandy Alderson has met with him. Granderson’s bat adds depth to the lineup, and he gives the Mets the cleanup hitter they desperately need. In two out of the past three seasons, Granderson has crushed over 40 home runs and collected over 100 RBI. He also adds the dimensions of speed and defense. He is a fast runner, and has stolen over 20 bases three times during his career. Defensively, he is regarded as a solid defender in centerfield.

Since Granderson is coming off a down season, he is a tremendous buy low candidate. Granderson did not produce his usual numbers because he suffered two fluke injuries. He was hit by two pitches, which caused him to miss significant time. This has made his price compared to other free agents like Shin Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury significantly less. With all the Mets recent finical issues, an opportunity to land a potential star at a relative discount is a chance the Mets have to pounce on.

While many people will diminish Granderson’s production because he played half his games at Yankee Stadium, I don’t believe this is much of an issue. Granderson doesn’t have to hit 40+ home runs to be an asset to the Mets. Even if you cut out half of his home runs in 2012 and 2011, that total is still higher than any current Met hit last year. Granderson is also a complete player, so his value is not totally dependent on the long ball.

Granderson fills a need and improves the Mets offensively, defensively and on the base paths. While Granderson will not solve all the Mets problems, he is a step in the right direction. To passively wait for 2015 before 2014 even starts is not a viable option. The Mets need to be aggressive and must make an attempt to improve the major league team this offseason.

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Was Nate McLouth The Better Choice? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/was-nate-mclouth-the-better-choice.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/was-nate-mclouth-the-better-choice.html/#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2013 13:00:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133803 The New York Mets might get lucky with Chris Young the same way they did with Marlon Byrd last season. It could happen. However, are you betting on it?

I am not buying for a second they’ll make a play for Nelson Cruz, but there are others I would have liked to see them get over Young.

McLouthWe know that Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury were also out of their price range, and supposedly they liked Corey Hart. But how about Nate McLouth?

McLouth, 32, hit .258 with a .329 on-base percentage – both superior to Young – and drew 53 walks in 593 plate appearances. He also homered 12 times, equal to Young’s production, but the difference is more stark when you throw in his 31 to 18 edge in doubles. And, he did it for $2 million. Plus, he stole 30 bases, plays good defense and always hustles.

You can’t convince me for a second Young was a better choice. They got Young, who is two years younger, for $7.25 million. Don’t you think they could have gotten McLouth for two years at $8 million?

There aren’t a lot of great choices out there, but Young was a bad one. They gave a lot of money for somebody they hope will rebound from a season that ranked 49 out of 50 among American League outfielders with 300 or more plate appearances last season.

Sandy Alderson says he values on-base percentage, and clearly he had a better option in McLouth. Too bad he didn’t make a harder run at him.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Defensively, McLouth posted a 4.0 UZR and 5.5 UZR/150 trumping Young who finished last season with a 0.2 UZR and 0.3 UZR/150.

According to John Dewan’s Defensive Runs Saved, Young cost the A’s six runs with a -6 DRS. It appears that Young’s bad season wasn’t limited to just the plate.

Offensively. it’s not even close no matter how you look at it and it goes far beyond the vast differences in their slash lines and OPS (.729 vs .659). However, what really jumps out at you between the two are the strikeouts.

McLouth had 86 K’s in 531 AB for a 14.5 K% compared to Young 93 K’s in 335 AB for a 24.8 K% last season. Both players performed very closely to their career norms, so there’s no blips on the radar screen here.

Young’s platoon splits against rightys is something to be concerned about.

It’s clear that the Mets paid Young $7.25 million to play everyday. Even if you were to ignore his 2013 season, Young is still batting .225 with a .295 on-base in 2,895 PA against righthanded pitching in his career. That’s a huge problem.

McLouth is seeking a two-year deal and has a few teams interested in him including the Yankees. It will be interesting to see how much he signs for. We can reprise this discussion again after that happens. In the meantime you may recall seeing this highlight last August.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Could Rangers and Tigers Blockbuster Deal Impact Mets? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/could-rangers-and-tigers-blockbuster-deal-impact-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/could-rangers-and-tigers-blockbuster-deal-impact-mets.html/#comments Fri, 22 Nov 2013 13:39:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133394 I’ve seen a few blog posts out there in which a team analyzes how the recent Tigers-Rangers blockbuster deal impacts their individual team.

For example, how does this deal affect the Boston Red Sox? Or the White Sox? Or the Rockies?

So here’s the Mets’ view of the situation.

andrus

Let’s look at the facts: The Mets need a shortstop, and even after the blockbuster deal, the Texas Rangers have t

With Ian Kinsler heading to Detroit, all signs point to Profar moving to second base and Andrus – and his huge contract – remaining at shortstop.wo good ones (Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar).

But I’ve been hearing interesting rumors that could affect the Mets in some way. Even after acquiring a big bat in Fielder, the Rangers could be a potential destination to land this offseason’s top free agent: Robinson Cano.

Of course, a few things would have to fall into place for the Rangers to land Cano, the first of which would be a willingness to trade either Profar or Andrus.

Andrus has become a proven commodity at shortstop, but in order to commit at least $200 million to Cano, the team would have to move the bulk of the money due to Andrus, who signed an eight-year, $120 million contract early last April.

If Texas signed Cano, Profar would remain at shortstop, and the Rangers would easily have one of the best infields in the game with Fielder, Cano, Profar and Adrian Beltre.

Enter the Mets, who again need a shortstop. I’d much rather see this team acquire Andrus and take on the bulk of that contract than overpay for Jhonny Peralta or Stephen Drew.

In fact, the Tigers are looking at the possibility of bringing back Peralta to play third base, even though prospect Nick Castellanos is waiting in the wings.

Andrus is only 25 and has put together a good start to his pro career. He’s a two-time All-Star, a consistent base stealer and better offensively than any shortstop the Mets have run out there since Jose Reyes.

Defensively, Andrus has incredible range and one of the best throwing arms in the game. Sure, he’ll make some errors, but he’ll make up for them with turning infield hits into outs.

Andrus looks like a great fit for the Mets, right? Unfortunately, it’s not going to be easy to pry him away from Texas.

First, it’s not a given that Cano signs with the Rangers, especially with the Yankees still heavily involved.

But more importantly, the Mets and Rangers would have to agree to a trade. The only thing the Mets have to trade right now is a few promising pitching prospects.

Back when the Rangers had dominant teams of the mid-1990s, those teams were made up of all hitting and no pitching. But lately, the Rangers have had decent pitching staffs and appear set heading into next season.

Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, Martin Perez and Matt Harrison (return from back surgery) should form the starting five. The team also has promising youngsters Nick Tepesch and Robbie Ross as insurance. Neftali Feliz is also an option as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery, though he might slide back into the closer role with Joe Nathan being a free agent.

So the Rangers’ pitching staff looks good. But catcher and at least one of the corner outfield spots would need to be filled. I doubt the Mets would trade Travis d’Arnaud to get Andrus, and the Mets have their own outfield problems to be worried about.

That’s why, as good as Andrus would look in a Mets’ uniform, let’s not get our hopes up too much.

The most likely scenario is that the Rangers keep Andrus at shortstop and try to sign one or even both of Brian McCann as the catcher and Jacoby Ellsbury as an outfielder.

But if you start hearing rumors that the Rangers’ interest in Cano is intensifying, that would at least mean there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Mets potentially making a deal for Andrus.

It’s OK to dream right?

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