Mets Merized Online » Josh Johnson http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:14:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Are Mets Still Interested In Bringing Dice-K Back? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/are-mets-still-interested-in-bringing-dice-k-back.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/are-mets-still-interested-in-bringing-dice-k-back.html/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 20:18:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133402 Earlier this week I suggested things could heat up in the Hot Stove and this might be the time for the New York Mets to strike.

And, I didn’t mean Prince Fielder, or Brandon Allen for that matter.

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson agreed the other day things could get warm, but wouldn’t say how close he’d get to the “Stove.’’

“We have to be realistic about the market and not sort of deny the inevitable,’’ Alderson said. “If the market is as robust as it seems to be, I think we have to acknowledge that.’’

OK, he acknowledges it. Then what?

“And, consistent with that acknowledgement, if we’re going to participate, we have to recognize that,’’ Alderson added.

The operative word in all that was “if.’’

daisuke matsuzaka

Well, are the Mets going to participate? A robust market means spending and Alderson’s checkbook is still under wraps.

Alderson said the team has been more active, but that has to mean working the phones because we’re not seeing anything public outside of Allen, the departures of Mike Baxter and LaTroy Hawkins, and, of course, the ones who got away – or are about to.

Because we’re not going to see Matt Harvey outside of a courtside shot of him at the Knicks game Wednesday night, the Mets are in need of pitching first and foremost. I’m aware of the crying for a power outfielder and the need of a shortstop, but the Mets only have three starters. Nothing happens without pitching.

It would have been sweet to get Josh Johnson, but that wasn’t going to happen. Meanwhile, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Aaron Harang could get away. Late season pick-ups last year, both provided quality innings at the back end of the rotation. In a combined 11 starts, only twice – both times by Matsuzaka – did they not get out of the fifth.

Alderson said he wanted veteran innings at the back end, and these two are as veteran as you can get. And, what they gave the Mets is what they are seeking now. Sure, the Mets want to do better. But, better means spending more.

Matsuzaka pitched well in September after pitching coach Dan Warthen tinkered with his mechanics and got him to speed up his delivery. My concern is he pitched well enough for him to catch another team’s eye and might be willing to give him two years. The presumption is the most the Mets will offer is one year plus an option. That would mean the Mets would lose him.

It’s still November, and there’s plenty of time remaining, but that’s not the issue. It’s a matter of who will be remaining when the Mets are ready to do more than talk on the phone.

Phone-Interview

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Keep Dreaming Kernan http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/keep-dreaming-kernan.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/keep-dreaming-kernan.html/#comments Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:06:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133358 robinson-cano3-540x422Robinson Cano is not the answer to the New York Mets problems.

A 31-year old free agent, Cano’s sticker price is somewhere around 10 years/$300 million. In fan speak that’s somewhere in the nosebleed section.

Which Major League Baseball organization is ready to invest in a player who will earn $30 million per season (assuming he earns $30 million per year) at age 38, 39, 40 and 41. The New York Yankees won’t. The Los Angeles Dodgers learned their lesson on trying to buy a championship; they’re not interested in Cano at that price. The Mets? Comical.

The dinner meeting between Jay Z, and Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is nothing more than hype. In fact, baseball insiders suggest the Mets are pawns in an attempt to get the crosstown Yankees to respond. No such luck.

The Mets are in no position to make an offer to Cano and here’s why: According to COT’s, the 2013 New York Mets payroll was $93,684,590. As reported, Cano is asking for $300 million over 10 years, or the equivalent of the Mets entire 25-man payroll over three years.

This is the “dream” that New York Post columnist is Kevin Kernan suggests fans and the organization buy into, both literally and figuratively? If so, recent history suggests such investments can quickly turn into a nightmare.

The Mets have to get into major buy mode … Dream along with me for a little bit more. Could you imagine if the Mets had Cano and Wright in the same lineup and how that would turn this town upside down … The Mets need to find a way to wipe away the face of failure that has been with them every day for years.

Two years ago, at age 31, Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The deal was loaded with incentives above and beyond the $240 million guaranteed deal.

In 2001, Alex Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers. During his three years in Texas the team won 73, 72, and 71 games, finishing in fourth place every season. Rodriguez produced but the Rangers didn’t.

When the contract was signed, there was a lot of concern among not just Major League Baseball, but all sports for the dollars that were involved. In terms of what was going on in the economy and everything else five or six years ago, it really changed the economics across all of sport in a pretty dramatic way. What’s the real value of a player? — Harvey Schiller

The organization realized one player, regardless of his output, does not make a winner. Rodriguez — and his massive contract — were traded to New York.

I am certain the Mets human resources department is familiar with the residual effects of overpaying. Remember Bobby Bonilla? You should. He’s on the Mets payroll until 2035. Mind you, he hasn’t played in a major league game in more than a decade.

How about Prince Fielder? He signed a nine-year, $214 million deal with the Detroit Tigers prior to the 2012 season. Two years, zero rings and a lingering feeling in Detroit that this was a bad deal. As Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports noted in the aftermath of another disappointing post-season:

$46 million he made this year and last, and for the $168 million he will earn over the next seven seasons, and almost always the amount of money a player receives and the level of vitriol toward him for October letdowns are correlated … He is Prince Fielder, he signed the fifth-largest contract in baseball history and he will keep catching hell if he doesn’t start hitting.

Kernan added:

Remember the excitement when Mike Piazza was traded to the Mets from the Marlins. Imagine if the Mets could somehow pull off a deal to acquire someone as talented as Carlos Gonzalez or Giancarlo Stanton. The Mets would be a big-market team again.

Has Stanton made the Marlins a contender? No. In 2012 he was surrounded by Hanley Ramirez, Logan Morrison, Jose Reyes and Carlos Lee. The Marlins were loaded with great starting pitching: Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez. The Marlins finished in last place in the National League East — behind the beleaguered Mets.

Don’t misunderstand. The Mets would be a better team with Gonzalez, Stanton or Cano, but at what price? Let’s face it, it’s highly unlikely the Mets will be playing for a playoff spot in 2014. Will one high-profile player put them over the top? No. The Mets need a handful of young, major league ready talent, not an aging veteran or an overpriced big ticket free agent. Improve the overall team, get competitive — quickly — then add the final pieces, either by free agent or trade.

Robinson Cano would not make the Mets a “big market” team again. The Mets are a big-market team, performing at a minor league level and operating on a small market budget.

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MMO Free Agent Prediction Contest: Win Free Tickets To See The Mets In April! http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mmo-free-agent-prediction-contest-win-free-tickets-to-see-the-mets-in-april.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mmo-free-agent-prediction-contest-win-free-tickets-to-see-the-mets-in-april.html/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 17:45:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131988 jacoby ellsbury

I was taking a look at a month old post from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who enlisted the services of one unbiased agent and one unbiased GM to put together their free agent predictions for this 2013-2014 offseason.

I was curious to see where they had LaTroy Hawkins, Marlon Byrd and Josh Johnson pegged and surprising all three signed for far less than what many expected.

Here is what they came up with:

predictions

Hawkins got literally half of what the consensus had projected, Johnson got 20% less than what they predicted, and Byrd they came closest to, but still less than what they expected on average.

I’m a little late on this, but we had a little Free Agent Prediction contest among our staff and wanted to share our predictions with you. We decided to go with what we believed were the top twelve available free agents and predict their ultimate destinations.

Johnson was included in our Top 12 and not one of us had him going to the Padres although many of us saw him going to the West Coast.

Here are the rest of our predictions including DrDooby who included projected deals as well…

DrDooby

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees, 8-years, $200 million

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Mariners, 6-years, $120 million

3. Brian McCann – Rangers, 5-years, $90 million

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Mets, 5-years, $95 million ;-)

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees, $70 million posting fee and 5-year, $55 million contract

6. Carlos Beltran – Red Sox, 2-years, $35 million contract

7. Ervin Santana – Cubs, 4-years, $54 million

8. Matt Garza – Phillies, 5-years, $75 million

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees, 1-year, $16 million

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox, 2-years, $28 million

11. Josh Johnson - Rangers, 2-years, $21 million

12. Nelson Cruz – Phillies, 3-years, $36 million

Clayton

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Yankees

3. Brian McCann – Rangers

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Rangers

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees

6. Carlos Beltran – Red Sox

7. Ervin Santana – Cubs

8. Matt Garza – Yankees

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Japan

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – Padres

12. Nelson Cruz – Mariners

Kirk

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Mariners

3. Brian McCann – Rangers

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Reds

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees

6. Carlos Beltran – Cardinals

7. Ervin Santana – Royals

8. Matt Garza – Mets

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – Nationals

12. Nelson Cruz – Phillies

Rusty

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Red Sox

3. Brian McCann – Yankees

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Phillies

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Dodgers

6. Carlos Beltran – Cardinals

7. Ervin Santana – Pirates

8. Matt Garza – Orioles

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – Blue Jays

12. Nelson Cruz – Phillies

Satish

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Mariners

3. Brian McCann – Angels

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Pirates

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees

6. Carlos Beltran – Royals

7. Ervin Santana – Twins

8. Matt Garza – Giants

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – Dodgers

12. Nelson Cruz – Rangers

William

1. Robinson Cano – Nationals

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Red Sox

3. Brian McCann – Yankees

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Mets

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees

6. Carlos Beltran – Yankees

7. Ervin Santana – Indians

8. Matt Garza – Angels

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – Phillies

12. Nelson Cruz – Phillies

Gerry

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Cubs

3. Brian McCann – Yankees

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Reds

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Dodgers

6. Carlos Beltran – Cardinals

7. Ervin Santana – Royals

8. Matt Garza – Yankees

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – Mets

12. Nelson Cruz – Philiels

Joe D.

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Cubs

3. Brian McCann – Rangers

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Tigers

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees

6. Carlos Beltran – Orioles

7. Ervin Santana – Royals

8. Matt Garza – Giants

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – A’s

12. Nelson Cruz – Phillies

Tommy

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Red Sox

3. Brian McCann – Yankees

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Mariners

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Cubs

6. Carlos Beltran – Cardinals

7. Ervin Santana – White Sox

8. Matt Garza – Reds

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Rangers

11. Josh Johnson – Jays

12. Nelson Cruz – Mets (why not)

Corey

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Rangers

3. Brian McCann – Rangers

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Yankees

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Dodgers

6. Carlos Beltran – Cardinals

7. Ervin Santana – Cubs

8. Matt Garza – Angels

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – A’s

12. Nelson Cruz – Phillies

Joe S.

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Red Sox

3. Brian McCann – Dodgers

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Cardinals

5. Masahiro Tanaka -

6. Carlos Beltran – Red Sox

7. Ervin Santana – Rockies

8. Matt Garza – Rockies

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – Mets

12. Nelson Cruz – Mets

Barry

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Red Sox

3. Brian McCann – Yankees

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Phillies

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees

6. Carlos Beltran – Cardinals

7. Ervin Santana – Cubs

8. Matt Garza – Rangers

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Angels

10. Mike Napoli – Pirates

11. Josh Johnson – White Sox

12. Nelson Cruz – Indians

Peter K.

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Mariners

3. Brian McCann – Yankees

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Mets

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Angels

6. Carlos Beltran – Yankees

7. Ervin Santana – White Sox

8. Matt Garza – Rangers

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Dodgers

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – Mets

12. Nelson Cruz – Rangers

Jim

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Rangers

3. Brian McCann – Yankees

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Mariners

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Cubs

6. Carlos Beltran – Phillies

7. Ervin Santana – Pirates

8. Matt Garza – Giants

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Cubs

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – White Sox

12. Nelson Cruz – Orioles

Xtreem

1. Robinson Cano – Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – Mariners

3. Brian McCann – White Sox

4. Shin-Soo Choo – Rangers

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees

6. Carlos Beltran – Cardinals

7. Ervin Santana – Orioles

8. Matt Garza – Pirates

9. Hiroki Kuroda – Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – Cubs

12. Nelson Cruz – Phillies

I am going to giveaway a free pair of Mets tickets to an April game to the writer who comes the closest. But I also want to engage our readers as well and treat them to a free pair of tickets to see the Mets next season as well.

mets tickets

So leave your predictions for the remaining 11 players below in the contest and the readers who correctly guesses the most destinations will win. In the event of a tie, here is the tie breaker. The one who comes closest to guessing the total guaranteed deal for free agent Robinson Cano. How much will he get? This is for guaranteed money only. Option years don’t count but buyouts do as they are guaranteed.

Met fans who finish in second and third place will get a free Metsmerized T-Shirt!

I need all ballots/responses by Midnight on Friday night.

Good luck to all of you!

GET METSMERIZED 2

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Padres Sign Josh Johnson To One Year Deal For $8 Million http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/padres-sign-josh-johnson-to-one-year-deal-for-8-million.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/padres-sign-josh-johnson-to-one-year-deal-for-8-million.html/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 06:04:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133249 josh johnson

Done deal… The San Diego Padres have agreed on a one-year, $8 million deal with free agent starter Josh Johnson. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN first reported the news:

The deal includes an additional $1.25 million in performance bonuses if Johnson makes 26 starts, the source said. Johnson was in San Diego for a physical exam Tuesday and the contract is expected to be announced by the club Wednesday.

Johnson did not receive a qualifying offer from Toronto, so the Padres will not have to give up a draft pick in exchange for signing him.

The San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals are among the other big league teams that expressed interest in Johnson. The pitcher had targeted the Padres and Giants as his top two choices and turned down bigger one-year offers to sign with San Diego, said a source.

Last week, Sandy Alderson said he had 25 pitchers on his list of pitchers he’s targeting this offseason. While not mentioning any names, I would think that Tim Hudson and Johnson were probably on there.

Original Post 11/19

It looks like free agent right-hander Josh Johnson prefers to take his talents to the West Coast. According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Johnson has let the Padres and Giants know that they are his top two choices and that a decision could come shortly.

Johnson, who lives in nearby Las Vegas, is coming off one of his worst seasons in which he posted a 6.20 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in 81.1 innings pitched for the Blue Jays.

The former Marlin ace, missed nearly half of his season after serving two stints on the disabled list due to a forearm injury. The 29-year old is expected to make a full recovery after arthroscopic surgery and be ready for Spring Training.

One lone bright spot during his 2013 season was that Johnson lost none of his velocity, averaging 93 mph, and posting the highest strikeout rate (9.2) of his career.

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, expects Johnson to sign a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $8 million and an additional $5 million in incentive bonuses as he looks to reestablish his value.

With Matt Harvey all but done until the 2015 season, and the Mets in the market for a veteran starter to bolster the rotation, I tabbed Johnson as potential target for Sandy Alderson.

Prior to his trip into the Twilight Zone, Johnson was one of the elite starting pitchers in the National League when he fronted the Marlins’ rotation. During his eight years with the Marlins, the big righthander posted a 56-37 (.602) record with a 3.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and an 8.2 strikeout rate.

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Phillies, Giants, Twins Have Contacted Bronson Arroyo http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/phillies-giants-twins-have-contacted-bronson-arroyo.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/phillies-giants-twins-have-contacted-bronson-arroyo.html/#comments Sun, 10 Nov 2013 19:25:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132538 REDS

Bronson Arroyo reports that the Giants, Phillies, and Twins have contacted his agents, but that no offers have been made.

On Friday we reported that the Minnesota Twins are very interested in signing the free agent righthander and that they have already called and spoken with him according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, but had yet to make a formal offer.

There appears to be mutual interest from both sides in getting something done as Arroyo has a history and good relationship with Twins special assistant Wayne Krivsky. He was the Reds general manager who brought Arroyo to Cincinnati in March 2006, sending outfielder Wily Mo Pena to Boston in a two-player deal that proved to be very one-sided.

The Twins have made it known they are going to be relentless when it comes to acquiring two starting pitchers, according to Nick Cafardo.

Last week, Dan Martin of the New York Post spoke to Arroyo’s agent, who told him that the he would consider signing with the Mets. ”Bronson is an East Coast guy and would definitely consider the Mets,” Terry Bross, said. “But we’re going to take our time with this.”

The San Francisco Giants are also considering Arroyo according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Like the Mets, the Giants are looking for an innings-eater who they can sign to a one or two year deal. jon heyman reported that the Yankees are also in play for him.

Arroyo, 37, is one of the most durable starters in the game, tossing 199 pr more innings for nine straight seasons. He has averaged 13.2 wins and 210 2/3 innings in that span.

The Reds did not make a qualifying offer to Arroyo, who recently completed a three-year, $35 million contract and has a career earned run average of 4.19. He has averaged $12 million in salary over his past five seasons and is coming off a 14-12 season with a 3.79 ERA.

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors believes that Arroyo will get a deal for two years and $24 million, and that the Mets, Twins, Giants, and several other teams will have interest in him as they look to solidify the backend of their rotation.

If Sandy Alderson fails to sign Arroyo, Mike Puma of the New York Post spoke to multiple talent evaluators from outside the organization who believe veteran southpaw Joe Saunders could be a another possibility for the Mets.

The 32-year-old Saunders went 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA for the Mariners in 2013, but has averaged 193 innings over the past four seasons.

Let’s hope those talent evaluators are wrong. :-)

(Updated 11/10)

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MLBTR and MMO Free Agent Predictions http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mlbtr-and-mmo-free-agent-predictions.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mlbtr-and-mmo-free-agent-predictions.html/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 16:51:22 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132180 Curtis+Granderson

As over a dozen of our writers get ready to release our MMO Top 12 Free Agent Predictions on Tuesday, I got this email from XtreemIcon which led to an interesting debate that makes for a great segue into tomorrow.

Xtreem – Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors predicts that the Mets will sign Curtis Granderson, Stephen Drew, Bronson Arroyo and Roy Halladay to free-agent contracts this winter.

Joe D. – Has he been having headaches lately? :-)

Xtreem – I can see Granderson and Doc. Sandy is too smart for Arroyo.

Joe D. – I just don’t see Doc at all… He’s finished in my opinion… Drew and Arroyo seem likely… Granderson I just don’t see because someone is going to overpay big time for him and it won’t be Sandy…

Xtreem – I’d give Doc a deal. One year. He’s too cerebral a pitcher to be finished. If anyone can figure out how to come back, it’s him. Give him a year to re-establish his value. If it doesn’t work out, it’s one year. If it does, he pitches well and leaves after a year when Harvey’s back, Wheeler is a stud and Thor and Montero are ready for the rotation. Arroyo would be a disaster.

Joe D. – The thing about Arroyo is that he’ll give the Mets what they need and want most – innings. I don’t think we can count on Halladay for 200… In all honesty, I just wish they’d bring back Dice-K for one season and let him hold down the fort until Montero is ready or past his Super 2 cutoff…

Joe D. – I don’t see Thor getting called up before September 1st… I just don’t see the team putting themselves in a position where Harvey, Wheeler, Thor and Montero are all up for arbitration and then free agency within 12 months of each other. If this front office are the visionaries they portray themselves to be, they won’t let that happen.

Xtreem – What good is 200 innings if they’re average-at-best innings? Arroyo gives nothing but a rubber arm. His ERA is usually closer to 4 than 3.50. I’d rather gamble on a guy who might throw 130-150 really good innings and if his arm falls off, he’ll be replaced by a returning Hefner or Montero after June 1 or whenever Super 2 passes.

* * * * * * * *

What are your thoughts on MLBTR’s prediction for the Mets? He’s basically suggesting the Mets could spend $40 million or more this offseason and I just don’t see any scenario where that is remotely possible.

Of course, that’s just my opinion, but I’ve seen enough of this team over the last few years to get a good read on their situation and quite frankly I have a hard time believing they will spend $25 million let alone $40 million…

Speaking of predictions, I’m sorting all of our MMO Ballots and one of our writers gave his predictions with the team and potential size of their deals.

Here is what Joe Spector sent me…

1. Robinson Cano – $185/7 Yankees

2. Jacoby Ellsbury – $125/6 Red Sox

3. Brian McCann – $85/5 Dodgers

4. Shin-Soo Choo – $100/6 Cardinals

5. Masahiro Tanaka – Uhh who? lol

6. Carlos Beltran – $50/3 Red Sox

7. Ervin Santana – $12/1 Rockies

8. Matt Garza – $75/5 Rockies

9. Hiroki Kuroda – $25/2 Yankees

10. Mike Napoli – $30/3 Red Sox

11. Josh Johnson – $9/1 Mets

12. Nelson Cruz – $30/2 Mets

You can get your own predictions ready for those twelve players as we’ll be making a contest out of this and giving away a pair of tickets to the Mets 2014 Home Opener…

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Josh Johnson or Scott Kazmir? Who’s The Better Option For The Mets? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/josh-johnson-or-scott-kazmir-whos-the-better-option-for-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/josh-johnson-or-scott-kazmir-whos-the-better-option-for-the-mets.html/#comments Sat, 26 Oct 2013 15:27:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131548 The market for starting pitching is noticeably thin and old. Teams have made it a top priority to lock up their young pitching talent and as a result the only familiar names on the market under the age of 30 are Phil Hughes and John Lannan. The Mets are in the advantageous position to retain the majority of their pitching staff that finished fifth in the league in quality starts. The situation that the Mets will likely address is to find temporary solution that can bridge them between Opening Day 2014 and the return/arrival of Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, etc.

Yesterday the Giants set a precedent by signing Tim Lincecum to a 2-year, $35 million contract. Is he worth it? Probably not. But the fact that my answer was “probably not” rather than “no” is enough to warrant a significant amount of money these days.

scott kazmir

Two of the higher-end, more intriguing names on the market are Scott Kazmir and Josh Johnson. Both are appealing for a variety of different reasons including their reputations, past accomplishments and willingness to sign a short-term contract.

The most recent word on Kazmir is that his agent will look to negotiate with Cleveland before exploring the open market. Earlier this month, Johnson had minor elbow surgery to remove bone spurs but will be ready to pitch come spring training. The report is that he would be willing to sign a one-year contract while he attempts to rebuild he value.

The main difference between the two free agents is the current state of their value compared to the value that they have established over the course of their careers.

Returning to professional baseball on a minor league contract, Kazmir posted his best numbers since 2007. His fastball velocity climbed back up to 92.5 mph as opposed to 86.5 mph where it sat during his previous stint in the majors. Despite his recent success, his unpredictable career path indicates that it would be in his best interest to lock up guaranteed money for as many years as he can.

In the case of Johnson, it would benefit him to seek a short-term opportunity to rediscover his form. His first season in Toronto happened to be the worst of his career, posting a 6.20 ERA. Johnson is routinely plagued by injury and has failed to reach the 20-start plateau in three out of the last six seasons. An effective and healthy stint could eventually allow him to maximize his value as a free agent by age 31 or 32.

josh johnson

Historically, Johnson has the edge in terms of raw stuff as he was once a dominant pitcher that notched a 2.64 ERA over 70 starts between 2009 and 2011. Despite pitching to underwhelming numbers the last two seasons, Mets fans know how talented Johnson is based on his 8-2 record and 2.58 career ERA against them.

At a common age of 29, Johnson has experienced an overall decline in velocity over the last five seasons while Kazmir experienced a sudden boost back up toward his career high.

From a superficial standpoint, the appeal of Kazmir surrounds his controversial trade to Tampa Bay at the 2004 trade deadline and what it represents to the Mets organization. Whereas Johnson is a former nemesis of the Mets that brings the stature of an overpowering pitcher.

The fact that Kazmir is a left-handed, fly ball pitcher may be more conducive to what the Mets are looking to add this off-season. With all of their right-handed arms (particularly among their top prospects) the thought of adding another lefty to balance out the rotation could spark their interest.

However, the potential that Johnson offers cannot be ignored. A new approach offered from the Mets coaching staff could give them exactly what they are looking for out of a replacement starter next season.

In the end, the Mets would not be alone in their interest in either pitcher. Both pitchers are certain to be commodities on the open market that is characterized by a deficiency in dependable arms.

The fact Kazmir is a relatively young left-hander and Johnson has a strong track record combined with high demand means that it will likely take a two-year offer or one-year plus an option to lock up either one.

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What is the ONE Thing the Mets Must Do This Offseason http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/what-is-the-one-thing-the-mets-must-do-this-offseason.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/what-is-the-one-thing-the-mets-must-do-this-offseason.html/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:52:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131584 sandy aldersonFor all my fellow Mets fans, opinions have been flying fast in the blogosphere, twitterverse, and any other media I may have forgotten to mention. And all this is occurring before the World Series has even started! No Free Agents can change teams right now, no player has been tendered, yet you would think from some of us Met die-hards that the offseason is already a failure.

Lets all take a deep breath, I mean, Sandy Alderson hasn’t even had time to officially decline Johan Santana‘s 2014 option for $25M, pay the $5M buyout, and move on to Free Agency. There was significant debate about whether the Mets should have chased Cuban slugger Jose Dariel Abreu, who eventually signed with the White Sox for a six year $68M deal. In my opinion, this deal will come back and bite the ChiSox where the sun don’t shine; I mean, giving a guaranteed $11M a year to a guy who has never hit higher that Double A pitching? No Thank You. In fact, I doubt that over the course of the six years that Abreu even hits one Home Run per million dollars he’s paid (for those that can’t do math, that’s 68 HR’s).

Then there was the news last night that the Giants signed Tim Lincecum to a two year $35M deal. Wow! A guy who is clearly in decline, who’s ERA was nearly 5 in 2013, and who’s average fastball speed has decreased two miles an hour gets $17M PER YEAR to continue that mediocrity. Most of the early reaction from Giants fans and media has been that this is a massive overpayment, and not only that, but this deal just drove up the price of every other medium, used to be somewhat useful, starter the Mets might have interest in this offseason (see Josh Johnson and Scott Kazmir).

So, no matter your view of this front office (and count mine on the slightly positive side), they will have their work cut out filling all the holes while staying under what looks to be a team budget of roughly $85M (You can complain about that budget if you want, but it is what it is). So, as you would do in any business, you prioritize. You make the case for which positions on the diamond have the greatest need while accepting those that can be updated next year (or later). If I were Sandy Alderson, my list would look something like this:

  1. Outfield (Right Fielder)
  2. Shortstop
  3. Starting Pitcher
  4. Outfield (Left Fielder/ 4th OF)
  5. First Base
  6. More Pitching

If there is one thing that simply must be done to have even a chance of competing in 2014, its that the Mets obtain a power hitting Outfielder who provides the Mets with an OPS threat that will never be confused with their OBP. This won’t be easy, but there are options out there and this is simply what Sandy Alderson and company must spend the bulk of their dollars on, even at the expense of quality options in other areas. Shortstop is another key area, and there is a possibility that signing someone like Jhonny Peralta could address both concerns, as he played a decent LF for the Tigers in the playoffs. Also, it might be a pipe dream, but perhaps Ruben Tejada rededicates himself to the craft, and becomes the Tejada of 2012, which wasn’t too shabby.

Some readers might be disappointed to see First Base listed so far down the list, but lets think about this for a second. If Sandy obtains a power hitting outfielder, and another one who makes contact and gets on base, we can assume that the budget (again, it is what it is) is near tapped. Then I can live with Lucas/Ike/Josh batting 7th in that lineup.

I am expecting a decent offseason from this front office, I know I am in the minority in that sentiment, but I really believe there will be at least one blockbuster trade that the Mets are a part of.

addicted to mets button

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Who Will Be The Mets’ Biggest Free Agent Splash This Offseason? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/who-will-be-the-mets-biggest-free-agent-splash-this-offseason.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/who-will-be-the-mets-biggest-free-agent-splash-this-offseason.html/#comments Tue, 22 Oct 2013 14:29:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131501 stephen drew

Is shortstop Stephen Drew “that” guy?

The financial handcuffs are finally off and Sandy Alderson apparently now has the wherewithal and flexibility to attack this offseason like he’s never had before.

If there’s a player out there that can help this team and improve the Mets in any particular area, money will not prevent Sandy from pursuing that option like it has in the past. Or so that’s the message the Mets are trying to convey this Fall and Winter… Whether or not you choose to believe it is purely up to you…

I was wondering what some of our writers thought about that, and who they thought would be the biggest splash we make this offseason that would improve the team.

Satish – Wow… do I let my pessimism run free here? My gut says LaTroy Hawkins, but I think we’ll go out and get Stephen Drew or Jhonny Peralta.

Kirk – I think in the end the biggest splash you may see from the Mets is the signing of a mid-rotation pitcher to hold us over while Matt Harvey makes his way back. Maybe a guy like Josh Johnson who is looking to prove his health and is willing to accept a one-year, incentive laden deal in order to do so. Another option would be someone like Matt Garza on a multi-year deal. He offers solid upside despite his late-season trouble in Texas which unlike Citi Field becomes a launching pad in the late stages of the summer.

Xtreem – That depends on the market, but I think they’d make the biggest play for Shin-Soo Choo.

DrDooby – I do believe the Mets have a real shot at Choo, Carlos Beltran or Jacoby Ellsbury – but could be involved in a heavy bidding war with a handful of more short term oriented teams. I do believe that the front office does see both the fit with one of these three players aligning with a need to show the public that the Mets will be serious players again, even below the “all-in” status of past years. As for who “WILL” be, I believe and have repeatedly stated that Bronson Arroyo would be a perfect fit in the current situation. 2-year-contract of about $25 million (comparable to what Ryan Dempster signed for last winter) – and provide a veteran stabilizer who takes the ball every 5th day for the otherwise young & fragile Mets staff.

Tommy – I think the biggest signing the Mets will make will be a mid-level bat with power, such as Jhonny Peralta or Nelson Cruz. In terms of signing a big name, Tim Lincecum could be on the way, although his popularity has exceeded his production the last 2 years.

Joe D. – As for me, a month ago I would have said Jose Abreu, fresh off of Sandy’s comments saying that his goal this offseason was to add a power bat and a first baseman. Obviously, that ship has sailed. I think the Choo, Ellsbury and Beltran ships will drift away from the Mets as well. I imagine that bringing back Marlon Byrd and hoping for him to duplicate his 2013 season would be right up the Mets’ alley for a number of reasons, the least of which would be the PR value and all the fluffy feel good stories that would accompany his signing. This is how the Men in Black operate these days. On the pitching front, I’d like to see them pursue a better class than they have in the last three seasons, but I wouldn’t rule out a simple one-year fix with Daisuke Matsuzaka or Aaron Harang. Shortstop is where they’ll likely exert their greatest effort and Stephen Drew could be that guy who becomes their biggest splash. Drew hasn’t played more than 125 games since 2010, but he’s coming off a somewhat solid season in which he batted .253/.333/.443 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI. I wonder how those numbers will play out at Citi Field? Nevertheless, Drew’s my pick for the biggest splash you’ll see the Mets make this offseason.

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Josh Johnson Could Be A Solid One-Year Option For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/josh-johnson-could-be-a-solid-one-year-option-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/josh-johnson-could-be-a-solid-one-year-option-for-mets.html/#comments Tue, 22 Oct 2013 12:00:07 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131504 josh johnson

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, expects that free-agent starting pitcher Josh Johnson will eventually sign a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $8 million and an additional $5 million in incentive bonuses.

With Matt Harvey all but done until the 2015 season, and the Mets in the market for a veteran starter to bolster the rotation, why not bring Johnson in for one year as he looks to reestablish his value while giving the Mets a pitcher with a solid track record in place of their lost ace?

Johnson, 29, is coming off a disappointing 2013 season for the Toronto Blue Jays in which he finished with a 2-8 record and an unsightly 6.20 ERA in 16 starts, after missing half of his season serving two stints on the disabled list with a forearm injury. His second trip wiped out the rest of his season, but he’s expected to make a full recovery after arthroscopic surgery and be ready for Spring Training.

One lone bright spot during his dismal season was that Johnson lost none of his velocity, averaging 93 mph, and posting the highest strikeout rate (9.2) of his career.

Prior to his trip into the Twilight Zone, Johnson was one of the elite starting pitchers in the National League when he fronted the Marlins’ rotation. During his eight years with the Marlins, the big righthander posted a 56-37 (.602) record with a 3.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and an 8.2 strikeout rate.

There’s a chance that Josh Johnson could accept a qualifying offer from the Blue Jays, but Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos may just decide to let Johnson go rather than risk paying him in upwards of $14.1 million in guaranteed dead presidents.

Given the Mets’ need and Johnson’s past performance, he could apprise the role of similar Mets reclamation projects like Chris Capuano, Chris Young and Shaun Marcum. Only Johnson has an infinitely higher upside and may even net the Mets a nice bounty should he come back strong and the Mets find themselves 15 games back in late July.

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Reacting To The Thrashing: What’s Wrong With Pelf? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/07/reacting-to-the-thrashing-whats-wrong-with-pelf.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/07/reacting-to-the-thrashing-whats-wrong-with-pelf.html/#comments Sat, 24 Jul 2010 16:24:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=31711 By the end of May fans everywhere were ready to call Mike Pelfrey the ‘ace’ of this New York Mets staff and rightfully so.  He was 7-1 (11 starts) with a 2.54 ERA and over that span fans were witness to ‘An Ace in the Making’.

Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog.com, received slack from Mike Francesa (which he explains HERE) for stating that he was “proud of Pelfrey”. At Metszilla we agreed with Matt and dubbed Pelf  “The Pride of New York.”

Well here we are in mid July and it looks as if Pelf has resorted back to his old ways.  After the shortest start of his career (1 1/3 IP, 6 ER) all that was missing was the constant hand licking that inspired “I lick Myself” by WFAN’s Al Dukes (if you have never heard this song before I highly recommend you click on this link).

This isn’t the first time Pelfrey has shown glimpses of dominance only to return to mediocrity.  In 2008, Mike had a stretch of 17 starts (June-August) which he allowed 38 ER over 110 2/3 IP (3.09 ERA) while posting an 11-2 record.

In September of  ’08 he was 0-3 (5 starts) with a 4.06 ERA (14 ER, 31 IP).  Pelf is starting to show similar inconsistent results once again in 2010.  After starting the season 8-1 (13 starts) with a 2.23 ERA, he has since gone 2-4 (7 starts) with a 6.96 ERA.  His ERA has risen from a Cy Young like 2.23 to a pedestrian 4.01 over the last couple of months and his K/9 rate has consistently dropped each month.

As Jay Robotham mentioned in his Z-Cap (click HERE to read) it was very noticeable to see the Diamondback hitters lay off Pelfrey’s splitter with two strikes.  They repeatedly worked from behind in the count and eventually capitalized on very hittable fastballs:

1st Inning

  • Kelly Johnson: 0-2 count, KJ eventually doubles off the bottom of the right field wall and drives in Arizona’s first run
  • Justin Upton: 0-2 count, Upton eventually walks
  • Gerardo Parra: 1-2 count, Parra eventually singles to center to drive in a run

2nd Inning

  • Chris Young: 0-2 count, CY singles to leadoff the inning
  • Justin Upton: 1-2 count, Upton doubles to right to drive in Young

It’s almost to the point where opposing batters seem to have Pelfrey right where they want him when he works in a ‘pitchers count’.  So why can’t Pelfrey finish guys off?  Why are they now laying off his split finger?  Rod Barajas weighed in after last night’s debacle:

Any position that you play when your doing well the confidence is off the charts, you feel good about yourself you feel confident about every outing that your gonna go out there and do what you can do to be successful.  When you struggle doubt comes into the back of your mind now your not to sure of your ability and your chances to go out there and make good quality pitches. I’m not in Mike’s head but can definitely be a factor.”

Over his last 4 starts (0-3) Mike has been unable to escape the 4th inning, allowing 15 ER in 13 1/3 IP (10.15 ERA).  As manager Jerry Manuel stated last night, mentioning his name alongside other dominate young starters like Phil Hughes, Josh Johnson, and Ubaldo Jimenez, is no longer the case:

Mike Pelfrey is a power pitcher that at times we could say Johnson, Jimenez, Pelfrey and we can’t say that right now.  That’s what he’s got to get back to and he can do it.”

So what is wrong with Pelfrey? What has happened to the mature starter who was starting to fulfill the teams expectations they had upon drafting him in the first round of the 2005 MLB draft. Manuel and Pelfrey both seem to think its the lack of establishing his fastball that has plagued him as of late.

Manuel:

Well I think what Mike is going through a little tough period right now. As far as what he needs to do is to get back to establishing his fastball.  That’s not what we are seeing. We need to see a high percentage of fastballs thrown as compared to sliders, split fingers anything such as that. I think that’s what we will have to see out of him next outing.”

Pelfrey:

I’ve gotten away from establishing fastballs I feel like I’m trying to establish 3 or 4 pitches at once all early in the game. That’s not who I am. I have to get back to using the fastball establishing that and it will make the other pitches better.”

I wanted to believe this stretch of bad starts was due to a case of dead arm and that a couple of days off from the All-Star break would have him well rested and ready to return to dominance in the second half.  Obviously, the problem at hand is much deeper than that.  Ron Darling of SNY seems to think Pelfrey is dragging his back foot and not pushing off the mound, thereby getting no drive or movement.  Darling also believes he has lost confidence and is aiming the ball so it’s like pushing and not throwing. He’s been through this before and can draw on his past experience.  The maturation of the 26-year old shows, to an extent, in that he recognizes his mistakes and does not deny or hide from them.  One thing is for sure, is if this team has aspirations of making the playoffs they will need Pelf to right the ship and return to the dominate starter we saw through April and May.  I believe it will happen but it will take more than Pelfrey just owning up to his mistakes, he will need to go that extra step to correct them.

To read more of my thoughts on the Mets, head to Metszilla.com

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The pressure is kind of off http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/the-pressure-is-kind-of-off.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/04/the-pressure-is-kind-of-off.html/#comments Wed, 07 Apr 2010 16:54:09 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=24026 Sure, we’re all thrilled that the Mets continued their Opening Day dominance on Monday with a win over the Marlins to start the 2010 season.  It was a very complete performance with Johan Santana, Fernando Nieve and K-Rod holding the Marlins to one run; and our hitters, starting with David Wright belting a first-inning two-run homer against our nemesis Josh Johnson, delivering enough runs to make it a rout.  Newcomers Jason Bay, Gary Matthews Jr. and Rod Barajas each had two hits as well.

Now the other shoe or four will start to drop, as we’ll see if John Maine, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez can keep the Mets in games this season.  It also remains to be seen if the lineup can consistently drive in runs like they did on Monday.

But I will say this.  With all of the pundits (myself included) picking the Mets to finish third or fourth in the division and having absolutely no chance to make the postseason, there seems to be an air of “whatever” about this team.  It’s not that they don’t care or don’t want to play hard, but that the expectations have been lowered to the point that they really can only exceed them.  And sometimes you never know if players will have career years or at least play to their capabilities.  So if they all do that, it’s not exactly a pipe dream to think that this team CAN succeed and reach the postseason in 2010.  It’ll be a big surprise to us all, and maybe even to them, but surely, stranger things have happened.

So will tonight be the start of reality setting in, or will it be continued good fortune as well as good baseball that began earlier this week?  Let’s Go Maine, and Let’s Go Mets!

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Strasburg Making Me Nervous http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/03/strasburg-making-me-nervous.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/03/strasburg-making-me-nervous.html/#comments Wed, 10 Mar 2010 18:33:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=22374 Seeing highlights of Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg from yesterday’s game against Detroit bummed me out just a little.  I love watching great pitchers do their thing, and it’s especially exciting to see young pitchers like Strasburg break into the bigs and blow hitters away.  But I’m just a bit bummed out, because he’s in the Mets’ division and will most likely be facing our team a lot over the next few years.  I’m bummed out because when I start to think about it, there are going to be three aces in the division that will be considered as good as or better than our ace, Johan Santana.

You’ve got Strasburg, who is projected to reach the big leagues as early as July of this coming season.  Then you have Florida’s Josh Johnson, the Met Killer.  And Philly, despite trading away Cliff Lee, replaced him with the perennial all-world Roy Halladay.  The Braves are the only NL East team without a so-called “ace” (or in Washington’s case, potential ace) at the top of their rotation.

Sure, the Nationals and their fans have earned the right to have the type of dominant pitcher that comes along a few times every decade.  Strasburg is being compared to a young Pedro Martinez, and that’s really saying something.  But Johan had another elbow surgery, he’s a year older, and the Mets’ rotation behind him has more question marks than ever.  So every time we see a guy like Strasburg or Johnson or Halladay join a rival team or get called up, it’s effectively and by association making the Mets a little worse.

I’m curious what you all think, so feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions on this matter below.

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Who Is The The Beast Of The East? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/02/who-is-the-the-beast-of-the-east.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2010/02/who-is-the-the-beast-of-the-east.html/#comments Thu, 25 Feb 2010 15:03:57 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=21396 Last week, when Johan Santana was asked by a reporter who the best pitcher in the NL East was, without hesitation he replied, “Santana”. A couple of days later after the Phillies Jimmy Rollins caught wind of it, he disagreed and said the number one pitcher in the NL East is Roy Halladay.

Take off your Mets blinders momentarily, and tell us who you think is the best pitcher in the NL East.

I decided to add some other worthy candidates just to make it a little more interesting.

The stats I used are from the 2009 season and are meant to provide some additional depth. Remember that some pitchers may have spent time on the DL or in the minors, so do consider their overall body of work as well as reputation and whether they are on the downside, upside or prime of their careers.

I eliminated wins because it’s not really an indication of how good a pitcher really is. I added strikeouts per nine innings ratio and strikeouts to walks ratio as it makes it easier to compare pitchers who may not have had similar innings pitched.

If you could have just one of these pitchers on your team right now, which one would you choose?

Who is the real Beast of the NL East?

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Fifth Place is Not Out of the Realm http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/fifth-place-is-not-out-of-the-realm.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/12/fifth-place-is-not-out-of-the-realm.html/#comments Wed, 09 Dec 2009 17:07:54 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=17141 As we all sit back and wait for Omar Minaya to make that blockbuster trade or signing, only to see him sign more mediocre players, reality is starting to set in.  If this hot stove pattern continues — and I’m sorry, Minaya has given us no reason to believe otherwise – the Mets in 2010 could easily be a fourth place team, and maybe even fifth.

First of all, the Phillies are not exactly going to be worse…they have won the division three straight seasons and have been to the World Series twice.  They will more than likely have Cliff Lee for a full season and most of the other starters returning.

The Marlins are no slouches.  They are an exciting young team led by a trio of very good pitchers in Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez.  The Marlins won almost 90 games in 2009.

The Braves, who were right there behind the Marlins with 86 wins this past season, also appear to have bolstered their team with the addition of ex-Met Billy Wagner and also of former Dodgers’ closer Takashi Saito.

Then there are the Nationals.  Yeah, I know, these guys lost 103 games in 2009.  They had a decent lineup with good pop, but a putrid pitching staff that could never hold a lead when the Nationals got one.  Still, there is hope here, starting with top draft pick Stephen Strasburg.  You know, the guy who throws 100 mph.

The Mets finished 70-92 this past season, 16 games back of the third-place Braves and only (gasp) 11 games ahead of the Nationals.  If Minaya intends to fix this team with band-aids as it appears he will, a .500 season would be about the best we could hope for.  Another 70-win season is more likely, and don’t think the Nationals won’t be in that same range in 2010.

Can Omar do something to give us more optimism?  Time will tell, but I’m not holding out much hope.

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A Tweet Is Mightier Than The Sword http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/a-tweet-is-mightier-than-the-sword.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/11/a-tweet-is-mightier-than-the-sword.html/#comments Thu, 26 Nov 2009 11:11:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=16555 Yesterday, as I messed around with my Twitter account, John Perrotto of the great website Baseball Prospectus, tweeted the following:

Keep hearing #Marlins are very willing to trade Josh Johnson right now for the right package.

It immediately evolves into a blog from MLBTR that reads: “Marlins Looking To Deal Josh Johnson”

I immediately responded with a tweet of my own.

Marlins Looking To Deal Josh Johnson? Ya gotta love Twitter. It beats the Joke of the Day calender I got last Xmas. Sorry Perrotto, not buying it.

Less than 3 minutes after my tweet, long time Marlins beat writer and MLB reporter for the Marlins website, Joe Frisaro, quickly responded:

#Marlins There is going to be plenty of speculation about Josh Johnson being trade bait. From what I’m hearing, don’t buy into it.

Thank you Mr. Frisaro.

(Sorry for the cheesy Photoshop image, it was a rush job.)

I love Twitter, but if I had to pick just one fault, it’s that it has evolved into a source of many outlandish claims and unsubstantiated rumors.

Legitimate rumors that were once backed with at least a small sampling of investigative reporting, have now been reduced to a one-sentence blurb.

Mostly it’s just bits of a conversation someone had at the local sports bar with some of their inebriated friends who are suddenly now referred to as “sources”. Luckily, it doesn’t require that much skill in separating the wheat from the chaff; all it takes is a little common sense.

Why would the Florida Marlins trade one of baseball’s best young righthanded starters when he is still under team control for two more years? The truth is that they are actually negotiating on a long term deal, a fact that was confirmed by a team source not long ago.

As I said in an earlier post at the start of the Hot Stove season, I’m taking on the role of policing the rumor mill and calling out those whose rumors fail to pass the sniff test.

What gets me is how so many fans can easily believe a rumor that a pitcher like Josh Johnson is trade bait, all while considering that their own team’s infinitely less talented prospects are untouchable and shouldn’t be traded.

It ain’t rocket science.

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Bad Fifth Inning Dooms Mets; Marlins Win 9-6 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/bad-fifth-inning-dooms-mets-marlins-win-9-6.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/09/bad-fifth-inning-dooms-mets-marlins-win-9-6.html/#comments Sun, 27 Sep 2009 04:01:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=13680 The air is getting cooler and the days are getting shorter as the horsehide is being replaced by the pigskin.  It sure felt like football was in the air at Land Shark Stadium in Miami Saturday night.  The Dolphins’ end zone was visible near the right field warning track (prompting Gary Cohen to exclaim “he hits it to the end zone…Touchdown, Francoeur!”).  The Mets also gave up a touchdown to the Marlins in the fifth inning to turn a lead into a deficit.  In the end, the Mets fell short by a field goal, losing to the Marlins by the final score of 9-6.

For anyone who hasn’t been watching the Mets this season, the recap of the fifth inning is all you need to know how this team has been doing.  That inning was a microcosm of the 2009 baseball season.

After David Wright gave the Mets a 3-2 lead with his latest “just short of a home run” double, he failed to hustle on Jeff Francoeur’s base hit.  When Francoeur was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double, Wright had not yet scored the potential fourth run.  Despite the fact that there were two outs at the time and David should have been running hard as soon as Francoeur made contact, Wright assumed he would score easily on the play and trotted home from second base.  Still, the Mets had the lead as John Maine took the mound for the bottom of the fifth inning.  That lead was very short-lived.

John Maine labored through the first four innings.  After the first inning, he appeared to have some kind of discomfort but continued to pitch and kept the Mets in the game.  Then he decided to play butler to the Marlins in the fifth inning by serving up fat pitches on a silver platter.

Maine gave up four hits and a walk in the fifth inning.  The final blow came off the bat of Cameron Maybin, a three-run homer to left field that gave the Marlins a 7-3 lead.  Interestingly enough, Maybin would not have been in the game had Maine not hit Cody Ross with a pitch in the fourth inning (the first of two consecutive hit batsmen by Maine in the inning).  When Ross was forced to come out of the game, Maybin came in as his pinch-runner.  Somewhere in the Marlins clubhouse, Cody Ross must have been smiling.

Elmer Dessens didn’t fare much better when he replaced Maine after the Maybin homer.  After walking Brett Carroll on four pitches, Dessens finally found the plate.  Unfortunately, he found too much of it.  He followed the walk by giving up back-to-back doubles to Brett Hayes and Chris Coghlan.  The latter two-bagger produced the last of the seven runs scored by the Marlins in the fifth inning.

The Mets tried to rally late in the game against the Marlins as they did in Friday night’s victory.  It started with Carlos Beltran’s long home run in the eighth inning and was followed by a two-run error on a ball hit by Luis Castillo.  Those plays cut the Marlins’ lead to 9-6.  However, David Wright and Carlos Beltran struck out to end the rally and the game.

One run taken off the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning was followed by seven runs put on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth.  That one inning summed up the Mets season.  Bad baserunning, bad pitching, bad results.  Are you ready for some football?

Before we completely switch over to football, there’s still a week of the season left.  Tomorrow’s pitchers for the 1:10 PM start will be Pat Misch, he of the one career victory as a starter.  He will be faced by Josh Johnson (15-5, 3.12 ERA), who owns a 7-0 career record against the Mets with a 2.30 ERA.  Good luck, Pat.

Update on Sunday’s starters: Josh Johnson will not be facing the Mets as I originally stated.  He has been scratched from his start because he has the flu.  Methinks he just wants to catch some football on the tube.  Chris Volstad will take his start.  In three career starts against the Mets, Volstad is 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA.  My original sentiments remain the same.  Good luck, Pat.

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Mets Get Reeled In By The Marlins 5-3 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/08/surprise-mets-lose-5-3.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/08/surprise-mets-lose-5-3.html/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2009 02:31:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=12007

The Mets lost to the Florida Marlins Wednesday night by a score of 5-3. Mike Pelfrey took the loss going 5.2 innings giving up 5 runs on 11 hits. Josh Johnson got the win for the Fish going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs on 9 hits.

Pelfrey has always had trouble with the Marlins in his career and tonight he continued to have difficulties. I am in the camp that believes Pelfrey threw too many innings last year and is still getting used to the work load of a major league season. Either way, Pelfrey needs to become more consistent to become the pitcher he is capable of being.

The Mets took an early lead in the ball game on a double by Fernando Tatis scoring Cory Sullivan. Anderson Hernandez followed Tatis’ double with a single to put the Mets ahead 2-0.However, the lead didn’t last long when Pelfrey’s nemisis Cody Ross tripled in two runs to tie the game. The Mets would not regain the lead the rest of the way.

Tatis improved his career stats against Josh Johnson to 9 of 12 against the big righty. However, Pelfrey continued to struggle against Cody Ross who seems to get a big hit every time he faces Pelfrey.

The Mets finish their series against the Marlins tomorrow afternoon when Tim Redding (1-4, 6.10) takes on Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 4.97) at 1:10 EST.

Editors Note: Drew Costello originally wrote this for Mets Fans Forever

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No Johan, No Win; Marlins Defeat Mets 2-1 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/08/no-johan-no-win-marlins-defeat-mets-2-1.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/08/no-johan-no-win-marlins-defeat-mets-2-1.html/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2009 03:50:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=11905 On a night when Johan Santana was supposed to take the mound, Nelson Figueroa stepped into his shoes.  The rest of the team paid tribute to Johan by doing what they do best in his starts; not scoring.  They played a close game, but ultimately fell a run short, dropping the opener of the nine-game road trip by the final score of 2-1.

The game was scoreless until the Mets came to bat in the fourth inning.  Jeff Francoeur made his return to the lineup after missing one game with a thumb injury to his non-throwing hand.  He took advantage of Jeremy Hermida misplaying his fly ball to right and turned it into a one-out double.  Fernando Tatis followed that up with an RBI single, giving the Mets an early 1-0 lead.  That would be the only run the Mets would give Nelson Figueroa on the evening.  Figgy was stingy with the Marlins, but his defense was feeling a bit charitable.

Hanley Ramirez led off the Marlins’ half of the fourth inning by getting hit with a pitch.  After a Jorge Cantu out, John Baker came up to bat and Daniel Murphy decided to play Santa Claus.  Murphy’s fielding error allowed Baker to reach first base safely and his second error of the play, this time on an errant throw, allowed Ramirez to reach third base.  The Marlins now had runners on first and third with one out.  Figueroa needed a ground ball double play to get out of the inning and was able to induce the grounder from Dan Uggla.  However, a slow turn around the horn enabled Uggla to beat the relay throw to first.  Ramirez scored on the play to tie the score at 1 on the unearned run.

In the next inning, the Marlins were able to take the lead.  Jeremy Hermida led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice by pitcher Sean West.  After recording the second out, Figueroa was unable to retire Ross Gload, as Gload lined an RBI single to center field, scoring Hermida with the go-ahead run.

The only good opportunity the Mets had to score came before the Marlins took the lead.  The Mets had loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fifth inning for their best remaining hitter, Jeff Francoeur.  However, West got Francoeur to foul out to first baseman Gload who made a fine catch leaning into the stands, followed by a three-pitch strikeout of Fernando Tatis.  The Mets never threatened again.

Sean West was brilliant for the Marlins, holding the Mets to one run on six hits in his six innings of work.  Nelson Figueroa was Santana-like in his five innings of work, giving up two runs (one earned) on only four hits, while walking no one.  He was the hard-luck loser, as his defense failed him.

The day couldn’t be considered complete if there wasn’t another on-field injury.  Gary Sheffield was forced to leave the game after injuring his back while walking down to first base after drawing a base on balls.  That’s right.  He got hurt while drawing a walk.  Nothing should surprise us anymore.  Sheffield did say after the game that he should be okay to play tomorrow night, but Jerry Manuel might hold him back unless he realizes that he has to play him because he doesn’t have anyone else on the bench to play in right field.  (Dang injuries!)

Billy Wagner is gone.  So is Johan (for the season).  However, the Mets can’t throw up the white flag just yet.  Major League Baseball does not have a mercy rule, so the Mets are forced to play their remaining 36 games.  The first of those games will be played Wednesday night at Land Shark Stadium when Mike Pelfrey takes the hill against Josh Johnson.  Pelfrey must bring his A-game if his D-teammates are going to have a chance to defeat Josh Johnson.  Johnson is 12-3 this season, which includes a 2-0 record against the Mets in three starts.  The Mets’ team batting average against him is .238, but some of that was accomplished by the A-squad.  They’ll need the D-team to be a little more productive if they’re going to have a chance to defeat Johnson.  They’ll get their chance tomorrow night at 7:10 PM.

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OMIR-ACLE!!! Mets Win 2-1 In Extras http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/omir-acle-mets-win-2-1-in-extras.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2009/05/omir-acle-mets-win-2-1-in-extras.html/#comments Sat, 30 May 2009 02:47:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=5845

Game Summary

Mets win with a walk off! Game started off a pitching dual, very unlikely I know, but there was no hits for either team till the third, and no runs till the fourth. Mets were able to get the game tied and keep the game tied at 1-1 into extra innings. Omir Santos got the game winning base hit to win the game 2-1. Four wins in a row. 

Pitching

Mike Pelfrey started the game off great, got a no hitter through two innings. Gave up some extra base hits in the fourth but only gave up one run. Settled down nicely as he set down eleven batters in a row at one point. He went 7 1/3 innings, gave up 1 run on 5 hits, walked 1 and, uncharacteristically, struck out 6 in the game. He walked away with a no decision. Parnell got his one guy out to end the inning. Frankie Rodriguez pitched the ninth inning, striking out two not allowing any runs. Putz went 1 2/3 innings, striking out one. Feliciano comes into the game and finishes the inning and gets the win.

Batting

Mets offense really didn’t get much going until the fifth inning as Santos hit his third homerun of the season. He’s SO not leaving! Mets were able to get the bases loaded for David Wright in the eight with one out, he struck out and Tatis flew out. Best chance for runs in the game. Mets were not able to anything in the ninth, to extra innings we go. Sheffield got a base hit in the eleventh, stole second and was able to get to third base on the throwing error. Tatis gets hit, Santos with a walk off base hit!

Additional Info

Gary Sheffield hit streak: 7 games.
Luis Castillo has gotten on base 44 of his 45 games.
Hanley Ramirez didn’t start the game for the Marlins because of a groin injury.
Alex Cora had a rehab game in Buffalo today. (1-5, double)
Mets activated Brian Schneider from the DL.

Game Ball

Mike Pelfrey, and Omir Santos

Up Next

Tim Redding (0-1, 6.75) will go up against Marlins pitching ace Josh Johnson (3-1, 2.67)

I was informed that some people didn’t like my old game recaps. Let me know which you preferred.

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