Mets Merized Online » Ken Rosenthal Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:14:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Red Sox Agree To One-Year Deal With Stephen Drew Tue, 20 May 2014 19:09:40 +0000 Stephen Drew

The Red Sox have reached an agreement with Stephen Drew, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that Drew is getting the pro-rated version of the qualifying offer of $14.1 million on a one-year deal. That comes to roughly $10 million for the rest of the season.

MLB Trade Rumors points out that because Drew won’t be on Boston’s roster for the entire season, he’ll be ineligible to receive a qualifying offer for next offseason. That should improve his chances of landing a strong multi-year deal next Winter.

Boston made the move because of disappointing returns from Will Middlebrooks (.197/.305/.324) at third base and Xander Bogaerts (.269/.369/.379) at shortstop where his range has been problematic.

Andy Martino posted a good take on this from the Mets perspective:

Drew is a solid player, and the move will probably help the Sox, who are trying to repeat as World Series champions. But he would not have lifted the Mets into contention, and was asking to be paid like a player of that caliber.

He would obviously have been an upgrade over Ruben Tejada (and it is worth noting, and criticizing, that the Mets somehow do not have another shortstop in the system who is anywhere near major-league ready), but ask yourself this: Why did 29 other clubs take a pass, too, until the Red Sox swept in on May 20?

I agree with that reasoning….


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Boras Says Stephen Drew Could Sit Out Until June Mon, 24 Feb 2014 17:17:44 +0000 Stephen Drew

In the latest chapter of the Stephen Drew Chronicles, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, contends that the free agent shortstop could sit out until after the First Year Player Draft in June. He further adds that fellow free agents Ervin Santana and Kendrys Morales could also sit out as well.

Such a move could strike a blow against major league baseball in that their former teams will no longer receive any draft pick compensation according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Additionally, the new teams will not be able to tender either of the players a qualifying offer next offseason because they were not with their team for a full season. It’s a loop hole and a strategy that has already been discussed between the players and their agents.

“A road map for this strategy has been figured out,” said Scott Boras who represents both Drew and Morales.

The draft pick compensation system has drawn a lot of criticism recently, including from Drew, but changes are unlikely to be made until after the current CBA expires after the 2016 season.

Boras and the agent for Santana both believe that they can spark change when it’s time to negotiate a new CBA because neither the Royals, Red Sox or Mariners will be very happy that they each lost the picks they expected back for their free agents who simply walk away without any compensation for their former teams.

On the flip side, players may become more open to accepting qualifying offers in the future rather than risk getting into a situation like Nelson Cruz who is the first player to sign a deal for less than the amount of the qualifying offer since the new CBA kicked in two years ago.

Where the Mets are concerned, if Drew were to sit out until June, would it behoove them to continue to pursue him or simply just wait four more months when a better class of free agents becomes available? Would it be wiser to then see how Ruben Tejada continues to perform while also keeping a close eye on how some of their top shortstop prospects develop?

It’s quite an interesting scenario either way you look at it. But I wonder if this is just a false threat by Boras to try and force an immediate resolution and get a new deal for his clients within the next week or so?

It’s weird right?

Presented By Diehards

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Mets Avoid Arbitration With Ike Davis, Brewers Sign Mark Reynolds Fri, 17 Jan 2014 00:38:59 +0000 ike davis

It looks like the Milwaukee Brewers are on the verge of signing first baseman Mark Reynolds according to Ken Rosenthal, thus ending any chance that they would be a landing spot for Ike Davis.

The Mets and Ike Davis avoided arbitration earlier today, and agreed to a one-year deal, worth $3.5 million dollars according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Davis earned $3.1 million last year, so this deal gives him a little raise over last year’s $3.1 million.

Davis played in just 103 games last season, and batted .205 with a .326 on-base percentage, .334 slugging percentage, nine homers, 33 RBI and 101 strikeouts in 317 at-bats.

Sandy Alderson said Ike will be in camp this Spring after months of engaging teams such as the Brewers, Orioles and Pirates in trade talks to move him. He doesn’t expect any lingering hurt feelings.

“Awkwardness should not exist in Mets camp this spring.”

Alderson had reached out to Davis a couple of weeks ago. ”He was in a good mood,” the Mets GM said. “I don’t think any of this talk over the winter has bothered him. I think he’s anxious to get to Spring Training and show what he can do. I was certainly pleased by that.”

Ike has told teammates and friends that he genuinely does want to remain with the Mets, so I suspect all will be well at Camp Mets next month.

The one thing to watch is if the Mets end up cutting Davis before the season begins and just paying him $600K, especially if he shows no improvement during Spring Training. It’s definitely a possibility, but we’ll see…

Presented By Diehards

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Mets Make It Official: Bartolo Colon Agrees To Two-Year, $20 Million Deal Sat, 14 Dec 2013 22:34:31 +0000 BartoloColon

It is now official. The Mets have agreed to sign Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million dollar deal.

Colon is coming off a solid season in which he went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA and 1.16 WHIP n 30 starts spanning 190 innings for the Athletics.

The 40-year old got his two year deal which many thought he wouldn’t get. Surprised it came from Sandy who said he wasn’t looking to hand out a multi-year deal for any pitcher just yesterday. I would have preferred a one-year deal on the veteran right-hander.

Colon does give the Mets the innings eater they were looking for although he last tossed 200 innings in 2005..

Colon will join Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese in the Mets rotation. I still expect the Mets to bring in a couple more pitchers on minor-league deals to compete for the back of the rotation. They’ll likely add a couple more pitchers on minor-league deals to compete with Jenrry Mejia for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Wonder if Colon is the Mets Opening Day starter?

The deal now gives the Mets about $5 million left to spend unless they can move Ike Davis or Daniel Murphy.

Presented By Diehards 

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Brewers Continue To Pursue Hart, Out On Davis Wed, 11 Dec 2013 05:17:31 +0000 ike davisLast night we reported that MMO Senior Editor, John Delcos, spoke with a team executive from the Milwaukee Brewers who said that the “Mets were asking for more than they were willing to give up for Ike Davis.”

“It makes more sense for us to re-sign Corey Hart and we won’t have to lose any assets to get him.”

At the time, we believed that talks for Davis with the Brewers were dead.

There was a rumor late this afternoon that the Brewers and Mets were talking again, but Jim Duquette then reported an hour ago that the Brewers are out, confirming what our source initially told us.

Tyler Thornburg24, had a solid season in 2013 going 3-1 in 18 games (seven starts) with an ERA of 2.03 in 66.2 innings.

The Brewers are getting antsy, reports Adam Rubin, and would like a decision from Hart soon. If that falls through, maybe Milwaukee comes back to the Mets?

We’ll see…

Original Post 12/9

The Mets intend to find a trade partner for either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda during the Winter Meetings this week.

Newsday’s Marc Carig writes that though both have been mentioned as trade candidates, it appears that Davis is more likely to be moved.

David Lennon, also of Newsday, agrees saying that the Mets sound more invested in Duda’s growth than Davis. and that Davis could be dealt this week.

Our own John Delcos said that there seems to be an urgency to want to trade Davis now, even though it could mean getting less.

The Brewers, Pirates, Orioles and Rays have showed varying levels of interest, but it’s Milwaukee who seems to have the most serious interest. Marc Carig of Newsday confirms that the Brewers and Mets did talk today. But one person we spoke to with knowledge of the situation said there is nothing imminent. The Brewers are more interested in re-signing Corey Hart and have made him a priority. The other three teams’ interest ranges from lukewarm to distant.

Neither Davis or Duda alone will be enough to get the Mets the shortstop they need or a starting pitcher who can give them the innings they want. But a source told Carig that the Mets remain confident that there are enough potential trade partners remaining for first basemen with power.

That may be true, but there are other options available. The first-base market is flush with trade possibilities in the Marlins’Logan Morrison, the Rangers’ Mitch Moreland and the Red Sox’s Mike Carp, according to Ken Rosenthal.

Other choices include free agents James LoneyCorey Hart and Kendrys Morales. The Rays, Pirates and Brewers are three teams looking for first basemen.

It certainly looks like Davis’ days with the Mets are numbered and that the front office is resigned to moving him as quickly as possible so they can move on from this first base controversy.

Presented By Diehards

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Curtis Granderson Agrees To Four Year, $60 Million Deal With Mets Fri, 06 Dec 2013 19:00:32 +0000 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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Update: Mets Never Had Plans To Meet With Arroyo In Tampa Mon, 02 Dec 2013 14:46:37 +0000 Adam Rubin now reports that the Mets are not super high on Arroyo, and a meeting may never take place, according to a team official.

On Saturday, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told MMO that Arroyo would be willing to meet with the Mets, but that “no such date or plans for a meeting had ever been set with the Mets” despite earlier reports to the contrary.

“There’s no truth to it.”

After I reported that, the nest day, both Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and David Lennon of Newsday, confirmed what I posted and debunked this fictional meet-up that was to happen this week in Tampa.

Arroyo, 37, is looking for a three-year deal, but could accept a two-year deal with a vesting option according to Rubin.

There’s no chance he accepts a two year deal in my opinion. No way. No how. Why should he?

The Minnesota Twins are reportedly very interested in the veteran righthander who has expressed a desire to play on the East Coast.

I’ll continue to update this post as more details become available.

Original Post 

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, reports that the “Mets are in” on signing free agent starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo. However, no mainstream reporters like Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal or Joel Sherman have confirmed the report. The Mets have not confirmed the report directly or anonymously through a team source.

Mike Francesa of WFAN had Arroyo on as a guest and the righthander said he has not been contacted by the Mets even though he would like to stay on the East Coast and play in New York. Arroyo also said that a couple of teams told him, “if any team makes you an offer, don’t say yes until you speak to us and give us a chance to top it.”

Nine days ago, Arroyo also told ESPN’s Buster Olney that the only teams that have contacted him and his agent were the Phillies, Dodgers, Angels, Twins and Orioles. The Twins are reportedly still the favorites according to Olney and several other reports.

Arroyo posted a 3.79 ERA and 124/34 K/BB ratio over 32 starts with the Reds this past season and has pitched 200 innings or more for nine straight years.

(Updated 11/30)

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What’s Up With Braun? Click. Tue, 26 Nov 2013 19:10:32 +0000 MJS MJS brewers15, nws, sears, 6

When asked by Jon Heyman if he had checked in with the Brewers to discuss Ryan Braun, Mets GM Sandy Alderson joked and said, “If you could count a four-word sentence as checking.”

When Heyman pressed for more details, Sandy replied that the entire extent of his discussion with the Brewers slugger was, ”What’s up with Braun?”


That’s it, that’s the entirety of all the hubbub.

There was no discussion, no negotiation, and certainly no talk of swapping Ike Davis.

Braun is not available. Neither is Tulowitzki. Neither is Stanton.

Can we please suspend all this nonsensical chatter about players who are not available and that we can’t afford and discuss realistic options and possibilities instead? Can we?

Original Post 11/21

Since my interview yesterday with Brew Crew Ball’s Noah Jarosh who weighed in on the now famous (or infamous) Ryan Braun for Ike Davis trade rumor generated by SNY MetsBlog’s Matt Cerrone, things have reached a fever pitch.

Cerrone stated matter of factly that “there is a better chance the Brewers trade Ryan Braun for Ike Davis than deal Norichika Aoki, according to people familiar with the team’s thinking.”

He then added, “Braun is guaranteed $113 million over the next seven seasons, and buzz from Milwaukee suggests they’ll pay a good chunk of it to force a change of scenery.”

The problem here is that after a day of reaching out to several writers in Milwaukee, there is no such buzz. Everyone we asked all responded the same and called the rumor many things but mostly “laughable” and “weak.”

Let me share Noah’s original quote from my interview with him yesterday:

If anybody reported that seriously, they should probably be required to give off at least 10 credible sources. There’s no way the Brewers trade Ryan Braun this offseason. He is way, way too valuable at this point still and there is no chance the team would receive fair value for him.

Even if the Brewers wanted to trade him (they don’t), GM Doug Melvin is smart enough that he wouldn’t take a deal for below-average value.

Braun for Ike Davis is laughable, unless the Brewers are getting something like Wheeler and another top prospect or a healthy Harvey thrown in. If Mets fans think that’s way too much, that just shows why Braun won’t be moved.

Of course Noah is spot on. Can you imagine the Brewers not only trading “Braun for Davis,” but also asking them to “eat a sizable chunk of his contract?”

Preposterous. I would expect more from SNY. I would expect more from Matt Cerrone.

I reached out to Matt yesterday afternoon and asked him if he was now a news source and journalist, but he declined to comment. Too bad, I really wanted to get his backstory on this.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

The danger of having as large a soapbox as Matthew Cerrone is that you also run the risk of the “Pied Piper Effect”.

Whatever he says is swallowed whole by tens of thousands who hang on every word he says. You know the old saying, “If you repeat a lie often enough it begins to sound like the truth.”

And wouldn’t you know it – about a dozen other Mets sites and a half-dozen more mainstream sites ran with the Braun/Davis rumor and either took to their keyboards to post on it or left about 600 comments mostly saying “the Mets gotta do this trade!”

I’m sure they all believed in the veracity of it, even though they ignored everything about that rumor that made it patently false and wholly unrealistic. It came from Matt Cerrone so it must be true.

It says a lot when Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors makes no mention of it on his great site. No doubt that he did his due diligence, made some calls, and saw there was nothing real or tangible there.

Even Adam Rubin who was asked his thoughts on this trade last night by our own Ed Marcus, responded by laughing and then saying,

“Sorry, I’d rather not comment on some internet sourced rumor.”

This morning, Noah Jarosh gave some more in depth thoughts to his readers at Brew Crew Ball.

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear dear dear. Poor, sweet, Matthew Cerrone. I understand page views are important. I do. We, the viewers, are the product being marketed to those advertisers. I love page views! But oh my god you aren’t going to get more page views by making stupid articles like this.

Stop making fans who read your site stupider by writing about inane things like this. Whoever these people familiar with the Brewers thinking are, next time they come up to you, just pretend you’re listening while writing about something that might actually have a grain of truth to it.

You can read his full post here and I’m quite sure that once you’re done you’ll get this Braun for Davis nonsense out of your heads.

I think we have a responsibility to our readers to be up front and straightforward.

If you’re going to post that the Brewers would trade for Ike Davis and eat a sizable portion of Braun’s contract as well, back it up with some quotes or names or links.

You can’t just fling a peanut butter sandwich on the wall and hope it sticks. There are many who do this and get away with it all the time – usually small mom and pop blogs that are trying to get some attention. But MetsBlog should be above this sort of behavior.

Blogs like ours should be held to higher standard. We have a responsibility to our readers who expect a lot more from us. They entrust us with providing them accurate reporting as well as strong and passionate opinions about our team.

This heavy handed response by me and others is not a knock on your opinion, God knows I tick my own readership off all the time with my own opinions. But when it comes to the “reporting news part of our jobs”, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Yesterday, you did it the wrong way, and many Met fans and bloggers ran with a rumor about Braun that was not credible according to everyone I spoke to who who covers the Brewers on a daily basis.

Our readers deserve better than that.

And so today we have this:

  • The Brewers say they do not intend to trade OF Ryan Braun, according to multiple reports. However, “Keep an eye on him in the future,” writes Andy Martino.
  • The Brewers do not intend to trade Braun, who has a partial no-trade clause, according to the team’s GM writes Ken Rosenthal.
  • A team source discounted the idea of the Mets trading for Braun, who would likely cost Noah Syndergaard writes Mike Puma.

And so it goes…

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Phillies Deal With Marlon Byrd Includes Vesting Option For Third Year Wed, 13 Nov 2013 13:31:19 +0000 Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds

The Phillies have reached an agreement on a two-year, $16 million deal with free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

However, late last night it was learned that the deal includes a vesting option for a third year. ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported that the $8 million club option for 2016 vests if he gets 600 plate appearances in 2015, or if he totals 1,100 plate appearances over 2014-15 and has at least 550 PA in ’15.

This seems like a huge overpay to me, or a sign that the market for corner outfielders have skyrocketed to parts unknown.

That said, the Phillies wasted no time in working to improve one of the worst offenses in the league last season. Byrd will bring them some needed punch if he can stay on the field and somewhat duplicate what he did last season when he was one of the most productive players in the NL.

Byrd batted .291/.336/.531 with a career-high 24 home runs, 35 doubles, 79 runs scored and and 88 RBI for the Mets and Pirates.

“Marlon adds a significant upgrade both offensively and defensively to our outfield,” Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement released by the team.

“He has been particularly productive against left-handed pitching which was a serious challenge for us this past season. He is an experienced middle-of-the-order hitter who creates some balance to our lineup. With his talent and clubhouse presence, we believe Marlon will be a solid addition to our club as we address our needs and plan to contend in 2014 and beyond.”

Mets GM Sandy Alderson weighed in on the deal last night saying:

“Given what we’ve seen so far, I wasn’t surprised,” Alderson said. “Had you asked me the question three or four months ago, I might have been surprised. But not in light of what’s happened since the end of the season. There haven’t been that many signings, but this one is consistent with the others.”

Alderson said the Mets had not had serious dialogue about bringing Byrd back to Queens, despite the Mets’ need to add two corner outfielders and Byrd’s positive performance before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“We didn’t have extensive discussions with Marlon,” Alderson said. “It wasn’t a place where we were prepared to be aggressive. And if it turned out that the market was as it turned out to be, then I’m happy for him.”

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D’Arnaud Rips A Double For First Major League Hit Wed, 21 Aug 2013 12:58:22 +0000 In case you missed it, here is Travis d’Arnaud ripping a double into the gap for his first major league hit.

“Finally got it out of the way,” d’Arnaud said, according to ESPN New York. “Thankful my teammates were all there every time I kept coming to the dugout without a hit and they were all backing me up and what a wonderful feeling.”

I love how fluid and level his swing is, which you can get a good look at in the slow-motion segment in the video.

The hit came in final at-bat and 11th overall since being called up. D’Arnaud went 1-for-4 on Tuesday night and struck out twice.

Original Post

With the decision having already been made that Travis d’Arnaud will not only remain with the Mets when John Buck is activated from paternity leave before today’s game, but also that the young catcher will assume the lion’s share of playing time, the Mets have certainly made the right decision.

“One of the things we wanted to see over the three days is, was he within an acceptable range of performance,” Sandy Alderson told the NY Post. “Certainly, he demonstrated that, way beyond the threshold.”

Alderson cited the additional exposure d’Arnaud will receive to the Mets pitching staff over the next few weeks and the tutelage he can receive from catching instructor Bob Geren as secondary reasons for keeping him in the major leagues.

The most important bond on a major league team is that relationship between a catcher and his pitchers. A good catcher knows each of his pitcher’s capabilities and knows how to get the best out of them in every start. Together they work on a game-plan for success.

Additionally, d’Arnaud will become acquainted with some of the weaknesses and strengths of the opposing batters which will aid in improving his game-calling skills.

I’m not too worried that he’s gone hitless in his first three games. Even Miguel Cabrera would find any hits batting in front of Omar Quintanilla. The take-away here is that he’s taken the walks rather than swinging at air.

As foe Buck, he has served us well as the Mets’ starting catcher this season (sometimes), but now it’s time for him to step aside and let the team move forward with their new catching prodigy as they look to the future.

One small step for the 2013 Mets season, but one giant leap for Mets-kind.

one small step apollo 11

Original Post

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that Travis d’Arnaud will remain with the Mets when John Buck returns from his paternity leave on Tuesday.

They key piece from the R.A. Dickey trade last offseason, collected two more walks today and is 0-4 in in his eight plate appearances, but none of that matters as the Mets have seen enough to decide that the future is now for their new starting catcher.

D’Arnaud was batting .304/.487/.554 in 78 at-bats for Triple-A Las Vegas this season before his promotion on Saturday, and despite some jitters he is happy to be here. “I am just trying to take it day by day and trying to have as  much fun as I can,” d’Arnaud said.

Describing his debut on Saturday with his parents on hand to watch, the 24-year old catcher said he was awestruck. “It was one of those feelings everyone dreams they can have,” d’Arnaud said. “I can’t even describe it.”

The young backstop has been spending time off the field working with and getting to know his pitchers, while also working closely with pitching coach Dan Warthen and catching coach Bob Geren.

Matt Harvey spoke about throwing to his new battery mate after the game.

“I got to work with him in spring training, so it wasn’t like a completely new person,” said Harvey. ”We were not quite on the same page… but I knew that going in… overall I thought he did a great job.”

This is the right move for the Mets and the experience will serve D’Arnaud well when he arrives to camp in the Spring.

And while it may mean a demotion to Las Vegas for Anthony Recker, he’ll be back in two weeks when roster’s expand. The biggest impact will be on Buck, who now eases into a backup role after starting 99 games for the Mets. But he must have known this day coming long ago. He’s a seasoned vet and knows it’s just baseball. Buck won’t be back next season, but Recker could return to resume a backup role again in 2014.

But this is all about the future… With D’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores now both with the team and playing regularly, we get to see both of our top hitting prospects begin what we hope will be long and successful careers with the Mets. It’s almost reminiscent of when David Wright and Jose Reyes both began their major league careers and came into their own together. And just as it was back then, it’s all so very exciting.

bleed orange & blue  button

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Official Statements From Valdespin and Puello On Accepting Their 50 Game Bans Mon, 05 Aug 2013 22:02:50 +0000 jordany-valdespin

Both suspended Mets players issued statements a short while ago:

Cesar Puello:

Today, I was notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. Out of respect for the Mets’ organization, my teammates, and my family, I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made certain mistakes during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for those mistakes. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Mets’ organization, Mets’ fans and my family, and ultimately helping the club win a championship.

Jordany Valdespin:

I have been notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement. I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. I made certain errors in judgment during the 2012 season and I accept full responsibility for those errors. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Mets’ organization, Mets’ fans and my family, and look forward to contributing to the Mets in 2014.

Original Post

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Mets minor leaguers Jordany Valdespin and Cesar Puello have each agreed to a 50 game suspension in connection with the Biogenesis scandal.

Wow, the Valdespin suspension comes as a huge and unexpected surprise…

The only positive I take from this is that Puello will show up to camp with this behind him and a whole season of clean testing under his belt. As for Valdespin, I don’t know what to think…

Valdespin is in Triple-A and currently batting .466/.5337/.759 with three home runs and 24 RBI in 67 plate appearances, while Puello is batting .328/.405/.550 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI for the Double-A Binghamton.

Both players are on the Mets 40-man roster.

Also former Mets touted prospect and current Yankees minor leaguer, Fernando Martinez is getting 50 game ban.

The official verdict on all these suspensions will come at 3:00 PM.

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Avenging Angel: Will Botched Call Pave Way For Centralized Review? Thu, 09 May 2013 17:43:56 +0000 Angel Hernandez, Bob MelvinSusan Slusser of the SF Gate reported this morning on a botched call that resulted in Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s being tossed kicking and screaming from a game against Cleveland last night for arguing after a home run review didn’t go his way.

With two outs in the ninth, Adam Rosales hit a drive to left field that seemed to clearly hit a railing above the edge of the wall tying the game, yet somehow, crew chief Angel Hernandez ruled that there was “not enough evidence” to overturn the call. Apparently, actually seeing the ball clear the wall, is not enough.

”Everybody else said it was a home run, including their announcers when I came in here later,” a miffed Melvin said. ”I don’t get it. I don’t know what the explanation would be when everybody else in the ballpark knew it was a home run.”

”Clearly, it hit the railing. I’m at a loss, I’m at a complete loss,” Melvin added.

Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal are both calling for resumption of the game from the point in the ninth inning where Rosales tied it 4 – 4. While the chances of this happening are slim, MLB will likely offer some consolation in the form of an “official statement” … there may even be a “policy review.”

The term that’s being knocked around a lot this morning in light of this astonishingly bad call, is “centralized review.” Central review is similar to what is employed in the NHL, involving a team of officials monitoring a video bank (most likely in N.Y.) with access to all the video feeds of all in-progress games.

During the off-season MLB also agreed to test two advanced replay systems live during games, a radar-based system and a camera-based system, similar to the ones used in tennis for down-the-line fair-or-foul calls. Yankee Stadium and our very own Citi Field were chosen as guinea-pig parks for these systems, which have apparently already been installed.

So my question is, where were these systems during the botched call in the ninth inning the other night? In fact, where are these systems period? I don’t see them, are they so advanced they have “stealth” capabilities? Is the box that Buck crashed into last week that prevented him from making a play in foul territory part of these systems? Are they supposed to interfere with players that way? How are they testing these systems? Is there a team of officials umpiring certain games in a video room and comparing their results with the rulings on the field? A digital domain, if you will, where the alternate umps officiate in real time only instead of wearing black outfits they’re dressed in blue spandex dotted with blinking LED lights … Maybe instead of popcorn and hotdogs they snack on couscous and baby carrots …

In 2012, Ken Rosenthal, in the midst of his little conniption over Santana’s no-hitter, reported that commissioner Bud Selig remains wary of slowing down games for fear of a “robotization” that may eventually extend to balls and strikes. Robotization, yep, that’s the word he used … Bud Selig is afraid of a robot takeover. Can you imagine? A terminator-series cybernetic umpire? Hasta la vista Bob Melvin.

One thing is clear, in an age where video review is everywhere, where anything out of the ordinary can end up on Youtube in a nanosecond, MLB is well behind the curve.

The purists will tell you the game doesn’t need to be changed, but there is a growing consensus that technology has improved to such a degree that the game would be improved dramatically with the addition of these technological assets.

I’m all for it … in fact I don’t see what would be so difficult about equipping umpires with some high resolution 12 inch tablets with direct links to all the video feeds. Umpires could watch the game as it happens … shucks, they wouldn’t even have to be at the game, they could officiate from the comfort of their living rooms thereby also avoiding any potential bodily harm from fan riots.

Thoughts from John Delcos

There’s arrogance. There’s blind arrogance. And, there is Angel Hernandez arrogance, which by the way, incorporates a little bit of the blind.

bob melvin angel hernandez

Another night, another blown call, but Hernandez’s last night in Cleveland was compounded by his bullish behavior afterward, which should be met with swift and forceful action by Commissioner Bud Selig.

“Probably the only four people in the ballpark,’’ Oakland manager Bob Melvin said about the umpire’s non-reversal.

Replays clearly showed the ball struck a metal railing over the padded outfield wall. More to the point, after striking the railing, the ball ricocheted as you know it would when it strikes metal. Umpire supervisor Jim McKean told ESPN.

Hernandez, using the umpire’s stock get-out-of-jail-free card, said: “It wasn’t evident on the TV we had and it was a home run. I don’t know what kind of replay you had, but you can’t reverse a call unless there is 100 percent evidence and there wasn’t 100 percent evidence.”

Hernandez clearly didn’t want the interview recorded because he could come back and claim he was misquoted. The quote the reporter acquired the old fashioned way was damning enough.

The umpires use the same camera angle used in the broadcasts and have additional cameras. To suggest the reporters had different camera angles is absurd, not to mention a fabrication.

Hernandez was trying to cover up his own ineptitude with an outlandish story. Clearly, he blew the call, threw dirt on the system used to correct mistakes, and compounded his failure by refusing the interview to be recorded and his arrogant answer.

The ball now is in Selig’s court, and with his powers “to act in the best interest of baseball,’’ his reaction should be swift.

The call should be reversed – to hell with it being in the umpire’s judgment – with the game resumed after the home run. Any fines for Melvin and Rosales should be rescinded.

As for Hernandez, he must be fined and suspended for his actions. Selig needs to come down hard on Hernandez. Really hard. And, in the future, any attempt by an umpire to bully reporters by preventing interviews to be recorded should be met with similar punishment.

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MMO Fan Shot: The World Baseball Classic Is Not A Nuisance Sat, 02 Mar 2013 12:16:27 +0000 wang wbc

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, righthander Chien-Ming Wang tossed six shutout innings to lead Chinese Taipei to a 4-1 victory over Australia. The 2013 World Baseball Classic is officially underway.

As the tournament kicks off, the sentiment from most fans I run into is that they view the WBC as a “big pain in the ass”. Some fans resent the fact that their team’s top players have bolted their Spring Training camps in Arizona and Florida just so that they can begin training and competing in the WBC. “What a damned nuisance.”

I beg to differ.

I believe the WBC should be embraced by MLB fans and players alike. It’s in the game’s best interest to promote our national pastime throughout the world and open it up to new markets for a variety of reasons. The least of which is uncovering new and brighter stars from an ever-increasing talent pool. We’ve seen this happen before.

In the history of baseball, breaking the color barrier in the late 1940′s and expanding the game to Latin America in the 1960′s did more to popularize the game and produce more stars than anything else MLB has ever done. The WBC can be another watershed moment for baseball.

In an interesting article about the this subject by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, he mentioned that the WBC Championship Game in 2009, was the sixth most watched sporting event that year, drawing more than 82 million viewers world-wide. And yet fewer MLB stars will participate in 2013 than in 2009. Many of the stars who were invited to participate decided to opt out. Too bad.

wright usa wbc

Many Mets fans moaned yesterday when it was reported that David Wright had left Port St. Lucie to represent Team USA. Not me. I applauded him.

“Of course, I’ll miss being here and I’m sure I’ll have to catch up a little bit once I get back,” Wright said. “But for me, the chance to represent Team USA, to go play for your country, was something that I just couldn’t pass up. I had so much fun the last time. I wanted to do it again.”

By the way, before Wright left, he took care of business and lined a two-out single to plate Justin Turner with the go-ahead run in the Mets 6-2 win over the Tigers.

One more thing. Rosenthal makes a great point in his article when he said the U.S. loses on every level when its stars decline to participate.

“The reluctance of aces such as Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and David Price is understandable, given the fragile nature of pitching. But position players such as Buster Posey and Prince Fielder? And youngsters such as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper? C’mon.”

The WBC isn’t a nuisance. It’s an opportunity.

I’d like to express my thanks to Joe D. for posting this article for me on such short notice. It’s an honor to contribute to such a prestigious site for Mets baseball.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by Robert J. Loewen.

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

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

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

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

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

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Boomer Esiason Calls Out Mets Basher, Ken Rosenthal Fri, 12 Feb 2010 16:35:36 +0000

Great job by WFAN’s Boomer Esiason who called out Ken Rosenthal on his morning show today for Rosenthal’s latest column in which he continues to perpetuate the allegation that the Mets are broke.

Boomer asks Rosenthal about his claim that “people in the industry” confirmed that the Mets are short on cash pointing to the team’s desire to hold down payroll for the 2010 season.

“The Yankees are doing the same thing, does this mean they are short on cash too?” Rosenthal concludes, “You’re right, the Mets are not the only team doing this and they will still have a top five payroll in 2010″.

Boomer really starts to tear apart Rosenthal’s column when he asks,

“Why do you use terms such as ”some in the industry” which I consider to be a throw-away line and it’s only purpose is to alarm readers into saying OMG the Mets are having some major financial problems. You use words like that and it drives Mets fans crazy, but seriously is using a phrase like “some in the industry” evidence that it’s from a valuable or legitimate source?” (nice job by Boomer)

Rosenthal completely skirts the question and says,

“What the phrase says, with regard to the catching situation, what I’ve been hearing from some in the industry, and that’s how we report in baseball and other sports, that hey, the Mets are not in a position to spend anymore money. Look at Jon Garland and Joel Pineiro and how they signed for less than what some expected and yet the Mets did not get involved. Obviously they don’t want to raise payroll anymore, that’s why I wrote what I did.”

Carton chimes in and says that “the Mets have made it well known that aside from Lackey who had no interest in coming to NY, none of the other pitchers out there were any better than the pitchers the Mets already have”. (Solid point)

Boomer says,

“I still don’t get you… You are aware that the Mets have the highest paid starter, highest paid left fielder, highest paid closer, highest paid centerfielder…”

Rosenthal counters,

“I go back to my original point, the Mets are going to have a top five payroll, and I guess they’re not really totally broke. But to have the rotation that they have and not to make one addition, that to me is a shocking development.” (shocking development?)

Boomer, “Isn’t this the same rotation that exactly one year ago was predicted to go all the way and win the World Series?”

Rosenthal, “The single most baffling news of the 2010 off season was that Joel Pineiro wanted to come to the Mets, it doesn’t happen, he and ends up going to the Angels for a deal that was lower than expected.”

Carton, “But didn’t the Mets make him an offer?”

Rosenthal, “Yeah… they made him an offer… but my original point was about their  decision making.” (umm, whatever dude)

Rosenthal goes into his Mets “paint by numbers” approach to the off season and is then cut off as Boomer completely hammers him and says,

“I don’t have a problem if you believe that Wilpon is too hands on and Omar isn’t a real general manager, that’s your opinion, but my problem with you is when you say “industry sources say the Mets are short on cash”. It could be someone with an ax to grind against the Mets for all I know, or maybe it’s even the Yankees saying it. I just think it’s a cheap shot Kenny.” (Go Boomer!)

Rosenthal goes into hyper-defense mode,

“You’re assuming my sources have an ax to grind, you have no idea who my sources are. I’m not buying this cheap shot stuff! Their payroll is going to be down this year”


“So is the Yankees!”

It’s hammer time… This is great listening if you happen to be a Mets fan who is sick and tired of how the media has portrayed the Mets all offseason. Awesome job by Boomer…

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