Mets Merized Online » Matt Kemp http://metsmerizedonline.com Mon, 08 Feb 2016 12:00:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.13 MMO Game Recap: Mets 4, Padres 0 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-padres-0.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mmo-game-recap-mets-4-padres-0.html/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 02:45:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188561 noah syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard flirted with history in a masterful performance Tuesday as the Mets (52-48) cruised to a 4-0 victory over the San Diego Padres (47-53) at Citi Field.

Tonight was by far the best performance of Thor’s young career; he had everything working for them and the Padres couldn’t get anything going. Syndergaard took a perfect game into the seventh inning in the victory; the bid ending on a leadoff single by future Met Will Venable. Yangervis Solarte would follow with a single as well, setting up a first-and-third situation with nobody out. After Matt Kemp popped up to second, Syndergaard got Justin Upton to ground into the 6-4-3 double play to end the threat. Syndergaard would complete eight shutout innings, surrendering just three hits while walking none and striking out nine, earning his fifth win of the season.

Lucas Duda put the Mets ahead for good in the top of the first inning with a deep, two-run shot to dead center to make it a 2-0 ballgame. Duda’s home run, his 15th of the season, was measured at 462 feet; the longest homer ever by a Mets player at Citi Field according to ESPN Stats & Info. For Duda, it was his third home run in as many games, leading many to believe the Mets cleanup hitter may finally be getting his stride back.

lucas duda home run daniel Murphy

In the eighth, Curtis Granderson also ripped a two-run homer, also for his 15th on the season, adding some insurance headed into the ninth. It was just the second home run for Granderson in the month of July.

Newly acquired Met Tyler Clippard came on to pitch the ninth to make his debut in Flushing. Clippard surrendering a leadoff double to Abraham Almonte but pitched a scoreless frame to close the door on the Padres and secure their 52nd victory on the season.

With the win and the Nationals falling to the Marlins 4-1, the Mets move within one game of first place in the National League East.

Bartolo Colon will get the ball Wednesday, squaring off against Tyson Ross in the second game of the Padres series, looking to secure a series victory. First pitch at Citi Field is scheduled at 7:10pm.

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FanGraphs: Worst Transactions of the Offseason http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/fangraphs-worst-transactions-of-the-offseason.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/02/fangraphs-worst-transactions-of-the-offseason.html/#comments Sun, 15 Feb 2015 18:12:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=174719 cuddyer-card-tricks

In what’s become an annual feature for them, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs reviews the 2014-2015 Offseason and ranks the 10 Best and Worst transactions of the Winter. The Mets only made the Worst List.

10. Royals sign Alex Rios, Cost: One year, $11 million

9. A’s sign Billy Butler, Cost: Three years, $30 million

8. Twins sign Ervin Santana, Cost: Four years, $55 million

7. Royals sign Edinson Volquez, Cost: Two years, $20 million

6. Marlins acquire Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, and Miguel Rojas, Cost: Andrew Heaney, Enrique Hernandez, Austin Barnes, and Chris Hatcher

5. Mets sign Michael Cuddyer, Cost: Two years, $21 million

When the Mets struck early, surrendering the 15th pick in the draft to sign an aging outfielder who might not really be able to play the outfield anymore, there seemed to be one obvious explanation; they were definitely going to sign another compensation-attached free agent, so the pick surrendered to add Cuddyer would be their less valuable second rounder instead. Under that scenario, 2/$21M for Cuddyer isn’t all that bad, especially if the other addition pushed the Mets into Wild Card territory. Instead, the only other free agent the Mets signed this winter was John Mayberry, and now it really looks like they punted a valuable draft choice for the right to pay $10 million a year to a guy whose best position is occupied by Lucas Duda. There are scenarios where Cuddyer at this price would have been reasonable; the Mets making him their only off-season acquisition is not one of those scenarios.

4. Mariners sign Nelson Cruz, Cost: Four years, $58 million

3. Nationals sign Max Scherzer, Cost: Seven years, $210 million

2. Braves sign Nick Markakis, Cost: Four years, $44 million

1. Padres acquire Matt Kemp and Tim Federowicz, Cost: Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland, Matt Kemp’s contract

It seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry has ripped the Cuddyer signing this offseason. I think it stems mostly from forfeiting the 15th overall pick in the draft. I saw one ESPN analyst ask, “Would the Mets have traded Brandon Nimmo or Michael Conforto for two years of Michel Cuddyer? Absolutely not, but essentially that’s exactly what they did and it wasn’t even for a starting shortstop.”

On the bright side, last year FanGraphs called the Mets’ Chris Young signing the best move of the Winter and we all know how that turned out. You know what they say about opinions, don’t you? Yeah, that’s right, everybody’s got one.

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Padres En Fuego This Offseason: Acquire Justin Upton http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/padres-en-fuego-this-offseason-acquire-justin-upton.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/padres-en-fuego-this-offseason-acquire-justin-upton.html/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:50:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=172066 justin-upton

The typical cast of lame-duck offseason characters has morphed this offseason.  The San Diego Padres haven’t won more than 77 games over the last four seasons, but this year, they’ve decided the losing stops.

The Padres have just executed a deal with the Atlanta Braves that will send outfielder Justin Upton to the west coast for the final year of his current contract.

Looks like LHP Max Fried, 2B Jace Peterson, 3B Dustin Peterson and OF Mallex Smith are headed to the Braves, while the Padres will receive a low-level prospect in addition to Upton.

The acquisition of Upton is the latest of several hot moves made by San Diego’s GM A.J. Preller.  The Padres also traded this offseason for Matt Kemp, 2013 AL ROY Wil Myers and All-Star catcher Derek Norris.

The outlook for this team’s 2015 season has changed entirely in what Joe D accurately described as ‘overnight’, or at least it feels that way from the perspective of a Mets fan who is enduring yet another offseason of rumored promises and potential hope.

In fairness to the Mets and GM Sandy Alderson, there haven’t been any clear choices to make this offseason.  In fairness to the fans,(you know- the group of downtrodden optimists who pay good money to see a good team play great baseball in the greatest city in the world) when is there ever a clear choice in this business?

After seeing all that the Padres have done this offseason, yes the Padres, I can understand why so many fans are getting increasingly impatient. Unless pitching becomes the only component of this game that matters going forward, it does appear that Alderson still has a lot of work to do.

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Dodgers Send Matt Kemp To Padres http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/dodgers-send-matt-kemp-to-padres.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/dodgers-send-matt-kemp-to-padres.html/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 14:03:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171596 matt kemp

The Dodgers continue to throw gasoline on the Winter Meetings hot stove.

This time, LA has sent two-time all-star Matt Kemp along with catcher Tim Federowicz to the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Yasmani Grandal, RHP Joe Wieland, and a third player who is believed to be RHP Zach Eflin, this according to a report from Dennis Lin and Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The Dodgers will also send $30 million to San Diego to assist in covering the $107 million remaining on Kemp’s contract through 2019.

The deal is the fourth trade in an eventful 24 hours for the Dodgers. The day started with a seven-player swap that sent Dee Gordon and Dan Haren, Miguel Rojas and a player to be named later to Miami for a slew of prospects headlined by Andrew Heaney, who was subsequently dealt to the Angels for second baseman Howie Kendrick later that night. The Dodgers started their middle-infield makeover yesterday by trading for Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins. That deal is still pending and potentially could include some of the prospects included in the Marlins deal.

On the free agent market, the Dodgers also signed starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy to a four-year deal valued at $48 million.

A nutty day in LA has given the Dodgers a brand-new infield in Rollins and Kendrick following the departure of Hanley Ramirez–who signed with Boston last month–as well as a young catcher in Grandal to pair with A.J. Ellis. The Padres get the big-name bat they’ve longed for in Kemp, at a semi-reasonable cost. The Angels pick up a stud left-handed pitching prospect with Heaney, the Marlins get some valuable pieces in Gordon and Haren and we will see what the Phillies will bring in once the deal becomes official.

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Dodgers Are Aggressively Shopping Kemp, Crawford and Ethier http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/dodgers-willing-to-eat-significant-dollars-to-move-kemp-crawford-or-ethier.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/dodgers-willing-to-eat-significant-dollars-to-move-kemp-crawford-or-ethier.html/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:19:19 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169701 Matt-Kemp

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported via Twitter on Sunday night, that the Los Angeles Dodgers are aggressively trying to move one of Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, or Matt Kemp. This comes as no surprise since Yasiel Puig has burst onto the scene and with super-prospect Joc Pederson ready to go.

The Dodgers are stuck with three starting caliber outfielders – when healthy – and the big question here is do any of these three fit in with what Sandy Alderson is trying to accomplish with the Mets and can we afford either of them?

Rosenthal pointed out that depending on the return in trade, the Dodgers are very willing to eat a “significant” part of any of their contracts:

  • Kemp: $21 million in 2015; $21.5 million per season in years 2016-2019.
  • Crawford: $20.5 million in 2015; $20.75 million in 2016 and $21 million in 2017.
  • Ethier: $18 million in 2015; $18 million in 2016, $17.5 million in 2017, $17.5 million team option in 2018 with a $2.5 million buyout.

The most attractive player to the Mets out of that bunch would be Matt Kemp. Besides shortstop, a right-handed hitting outfielder with power and the ability to drive in runs is near the top of the Mets wish list this offseason. The biggest knock against Kemp is his lack of time on the field due to injuries. Before 2014, Kemp played 73 and 106 games in 2013 and 2012 respectively. Last season, Kemp batted .287/.346/.506 while hitting 25 home runs and driving in 89 runs in 150 games. That type of production is exactly what the Mets are looking for.

The big question mark is whether or not the Wilpons will be willing to dish out the coin needed to pay Kemp for four more seasons. The Dodgers would be willing to eat part of the contract depending on the value they get in return. The Mets would be smart to make a move for Kemp, giving the Dodgers a decent return centered around one of the Mets top pitching prospects. Obviously, he can probably be had easier if the Mets were willing to pay him most of the money he is due, but we all know that isn’t in the cards.

Some people have argued that Kemp is not the right player to go after, but rather Carl Crawford. The 33-year old Crawford played in 105 games last year for the Dodgers, putting up a .300/.339/.429 slash line while stealing 23 bases. The year before that, he played 116 games while being slightly less productive offensively. In 2012, Crawford only played in 31 games. He is a career .292 hitter. His gold glove caliber defense, as well as his near league leading stolen bases numbers are probably behind him now. But he still projects as a pure leadoff hitter, something the Mets haven’t had since Jose Reyes. While the Mets are more in need of a right-handed hitting outfielder with power, Crawford is an interesting consideration. Alderson will probably look the other way on him though. Why trade for Crawford when one might be able to get similar production from either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker?

Outside of Giancarlo Stanton, there is no ‘perfect fit’. Every potential player is going to have their flaws, whether they’re injury prone, not young enough, overpriced, etc. At some point, the Mets need to bite the bullet and make a move.  I think Kemp is a viable option for us in the right circumstances.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Let’s start with Ethier. As I discussed tonight on Twitter, he’s 32, in decline, and bats left-handed. I would argue that given 500 at-bats, Matt den Dekker would likely outperform him across the board offensively and defensively.

As for Crawford, he’s simply not a good fit. He’s even older at 33 and hasn’t played more than 130 games in a season in four years, and as a leadoff hitter is his .339 on-base percentage really worth breaking the bank for?

Kemp is the one that stands apart and makes the most sense for the Mets. But if the Dodgers are eating a big portion of his salary to get a bigger return, then you’re talking about giving up either Jacob deGrom or Zack Wheeler plus Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki. Still interested?

Of course if money were not an object we’d probably be able to swap Jon Niese, Daniel Murphy and Carlos Torres for Kemp… And how huge would that be?

But with Jeff Wilpon running the show and calling the shots, the only option the Mets will consider is the one that has the Dodgers eating $50 million dollars and that means a huge cost in players.

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Mets Offseason Hitting Trade Targets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mets-offseason-hitting-trade-targets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/mets-offseason-hitting-trade-targets.html/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 00:00:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=162536 The days of power hitters are over. Those that do remain are in such high demand that the thought of acquiring one will cost you an arm or a leg. If the Mets want a realistic shot to upgrade on offense, they will have to explore all options and alternatives available in the market.

Here are four types of hitters the Mets can consider trading for this offseason.

  • Top Tier Stars
  • Buy Low Former Stars
  • Elite Prospects
  • Under The Radar Players

But before we dive into available players from each category, let’s look at the trade chips the Mets have available, broken down into three groups. For this discussion, we will define “prospects” as players with under two years of major league service time.

Group A – Cost controlled starters with experience

Group B – Major league ready top prospects

Group C – Other top prospects

The Mets have no shortage of pieces to work with. This organization has arguably the best combination of young players and prospects to intrigue other teams. We should also note that it is reasonable to assume that the Mets will be a better team without making any significant moves at all. There is no rule of thumb that dictates that we have to make a big trade this offseason but it is certainly worth our time to review all of our options.

Group 1 – Top Tier Stars

San Francisco Giants v Miami MarlinsThe two biggest names that are rumored to be available are Giancarlo Stanton and Troy Tulowitzki. Stanton is said to be available due to the Marlins non competitive nature at the moment and Loria’s unwillingness to invest his own money into the team. Tulowitzki is rumored to be unhappy with Colorado’s inability to compete and the club’s lack of direction. So what will it cost to attain each one and would they be worth the hefty haul?

Here are a few points to note on Stanton vs Tulowitzki.

  • Stanton is younger and hitting his prime
  • Tulowitzki is the better defender, an elite one at a premium position
  • Tulowitzki has missed about 25% of games due to injury since his rookie year and will miss the rest of 2015.
  • Tulowitzki has 6 years/$118 mil guaranteed on his contract spanning to his age 35 season
  • Trading for Stanton will likely mean an extension starting at age 26. This could be a 10 year/$250-$300 mil deal or a short term 4 year/$120 mil deal with player opt outs.

Let’s pretend for a minute that we are in an alternate universe where the Mets are capable of taking on a large contract. From the list above, I believe the Mets would be willing to part with two players from group A, B and C as well as another one or two non top prospects for an elite player.

Before Tulowitzki’s season ending surgery, I could see the Mets willing to part with DeGrom (Colorado must be salivating at his ability to keep the ball down) and Nimmo for the elite shortstop. But with Tulo showing us another way to get on the disabled list, this thought can be classified in the “what if” section.

As for Stanton, I believe a fair return would be along the lines of Wheeler, Plawecki and Herrera. However, I expect Miami to ask for one player from group A and three or four prospects from groups B and/or C. Additionally, if Stanton gets dealt, it will not be to a team within the division. Add this thought to the “what if” section as well.

Trading for a big time slugger is one option and the Mets have more than enough trade chips to get it done. But considering all the factors necessary to make this blockbuster deal, I see next to no chance of either trade happening.

Group 2 – Buy Low Former Stars

matt kempThe second type of hitter that can be acquired is a former all-star that has struggled and/or dealt with injuries in recent years but still have potential to regain their previous forms. The Dodgers have two outfielders that fit this mold, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Despite the posing that GM Ned Colletti has done, we know that LA would be quick to move either or both. The Dodger outfield will be quite crowded in 2015 with Joc Pederson (more on him later) and Yasiel Puig slated in center and right field. Even if they go with a four man outfield rotation as they did this year, it will leave them with Crawford, Kemp, Ethier and Van Slyke (more on him later as well) fighting for two spots.

An acquisition for either Kemp or Ethier will require the Dodgers to eat at least half of their salaries. Kemp could probably fetch one player from groups A, B or C as well as a couple of lesser prospects. Ethier is probably not worth any of the players listed at this point but for a couple of lower level prospects, I would gladly take a risk with him if his cost will only be 3 years/$15 million.

A less damaged option (update* Cargo may miss the rest of the season as well) is the much talked about Carlos Gonzalez. As Connor O’Brien has pointed out already, Cargo appears to be a league average hitter away from Coors Field. His contract is not long, at 3 years/$53 million ending at his age 31 season so the package for Cargo would likely be in the range of Degrom or Montero plus a few lesser prospects. Any demand higher than this should signal Alderson to hang up the phone.

We know the risks that come with this group of players and they are available for a reason. All three can end up being nothing but a live body with a large contract. Yet, with a dearth of impact bats in the market, it is intriguing to consider picking up a .275 – 20 – 75 player for a single top prospect.

Group 3 – Elite Prospects

javier-baez-mlb-all-star-game-futures-game-850x560This is the group that is most financially realistic for the Mets to explore but for some inexplicable reason, general managers have always hesitated to exchange prospects. Hopefully, the chances of striking a deal are slightly improved when working with a new school GM such as the Chicago Cub’s Theo Epstein.

The Cubs have two major league ready shortstops in Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara. Baez is the can’t miss prospect with projected plus power and hit tools and he will be ranked higher than any prospect on the Mets list. It would likely cost Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard plus another lower level top prospect to heat up conversations.

While Baez is the big prize, I would actually prefer to acquire the lead off hitter Alcantara. You can start him at short or second and reevaluate during the 2015 season as Matt Reynolds and Dilson Herrera progresses in triple A or you can use him to compete with Tejada or Flores for a position. Scouting reports indicate he has a plus arm, plus footwork and a decent glove so he has the tools to stick at short but is prone to rushing and committing errors. He has also logged time in center field and has looked solid in limited action out there. Would there be interest in Alcantara for either Murphy, Flores or Montero?

The Cubs and Mets are perfect trade partners. There are dozens of scenarios and names that can be discussed. Do the Cubs want to compete in 2015 and acquire Murphy? Would they be interested in established starters such as Niese and Gee or prospects such as Syndergaard and Montero? At the same time, I can see Theo Epstein taking a big chunk of the winter to gauge the market before deciding to trade or keep Baez. With time being a factor, it may be wiser to strike a quick deal for Alcantara as opposed to the presumed back and forth it would take to acquire Baez.

In the outfield market, there are two major league ready OF prospects that would make an impact on the Mets next season. They are Joc Pederson of the Dodgers and Oscar Taveras of the Cardinals. Both are ranked in the same elite class as Baez and unfortunately, neither of them are likely to be available. Pederson, a California native, slots right in as the true center fielder that LA has been missing while Taveras should also find himself starting everyday for the Cardinals now that Allen Craig has been traded to Boston.

Group 4 – Under The Radar Players

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles DodgersThese are the group of players that are overlooked by most teams and turn out extremely valuable for the one that give them a chance. I only have one name to offer in this group so allow me to re-introduce a favorite of mine, first baseman/outfielder Scott Van Slyke of the LA Dodgers. The son of former Pittsburgh all-star Andy Van Slyke, Scott is a solid defender in the outfield and at first base. At 6’5″, 220 lbs, he comes with plus power and even splits against both righties and lefties.

In three seasons with the Dodgers, he has been limited to part time duty due to a crowded outfield and Adrian Gonzalez at first base. This won’t change as long as he is in LA but I believe he is as deserving of a shot to start as any player in the league. Van Slyke projects to be a .250/.350/.500 type of hitter, capable of 25 HRs a year.

Last season, I suggested Van Slyke, Dee Gordon, Jordany Valdespin and Josh Satin as names the Mets and Dodgers could discuss. While Gordon and Valdespin are no longer relevant to this year’s conversation and Van Slyke and Satin’s stocks have traveled in opposite directions, I think a package of Vic Black and Juan Centeno would get the two sides pretty close. If the Dodgers choose not to re-sign Hanley Ramirez, could they possibly entertain Van Slyke for Tejada and Centeno? This allows them to start last year’s Cuban signing, Alex Guerrero at shortstop with Tejada backing up both Guerrero and Dee Gordon.

The Mets don’t have to hand Van Slyke a starting spot but he would be a perfect option to fill in as a fourth outfielder and platoon first baseman who can earn his way to more playing time. This is one unheralded name that I believe can be a game changer for the Mets.

Baseball fans have been treated to longballs and gaudy home run totals for two decades while general managers dreamed of landing that big slugger in the middle of their lineups. But as the game changes, strategy in acquiring and maintaining players must change too. We have already seen early adopters such as the Braves adjusting to the new CBA rules by extending their younger players much earlier than past years.

I believe the next shift will be in teams replacing power with other skill sets, whether it is the ability to draw walks, hit line drives, play defense or the very underrated skill of flexibility. This is the ability to play multiple positions, to hit in different spots in the lineup and reduce the impact of the loss of a starter to injury.

The Mets are finally in a position where their foundation is set. In the past, trading for a star would have meant the need to fill in other positions or risk not having adequate depth. Our circumstances are different now, we have the personnel to absorb the loss of 4-5 players and have those slots fill right in without missing a beat. Personally, I don’t believe the Mets have to acquire a power bat and that we would be better served with a high potential lead off hitter. While I would love to see the name Tulowitzki or Stanton in our lineup, I believe the Mets are going in the right direction and will be a better team regardless whether a star is acquired.

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MMO Fair or Foul: When Do Mets Stop Stockpiling and Start Winning? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-fair-or-foul-time-to-stop-stockpiling-and-time-to-start-winning.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/mmo-fair-or-foul-time-to-stop-stockpiling-and-time-to-start-winning.html/#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2014 17:10:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149676 fairorfoul

Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that it’s time for Sandy Alderson and the Mets to stop stockpiling and start winning.

Sherman says that when a top player becomes available, we need to have the wherewithal in prospects, capital and aggression to get him.

Many of the great phases in Mets history have elite pitching as a backbone — notably 1969, 1973 and 1986. But all of the best Mets teams were finished off by a willingness to trade for a significant hitter, often at the cost of big prospects and/or big money:

1969 — Donn Clendenon

1973 — Rusty Staub

1986 — Keith Hernandez/Gary Carter

2000 — Mike Piazza

2006 — Carlos Delgado

He goes onto saying that Alderson has shown that he could flip star caliber talent for minor leaguers, but hasn’t shown he can go the other way like other Met GMs have done. He sees that as a potential problem for the Mets.

The solutions are harder than ever to find in free agency, with teams proactively locking up their best players, particularly for prime years. I believe this will stimulate the trade market, specifically in the hunt for position players. In fact, I think the new free agency will see more teams than ever trading players under long-term contracts.

Here is why: A flush baseball economy combined with the enticement of a second wild card have moved many teams to boldly stretch budgets. I can’t remember a time when more front offices were convinced their teams could make the playoffs.

Jeff Wilpon says that bringing a big chip like that is all on Sandy and that he hasn’t been held back by ownership. “When it is prudent, I am sure Sandy will bring it up,” Wilpon said. “We usually say yes to what the baseball department says it wants.”

But we have yet to see Alderson’s tolerance for dealing from his youthful stockpile, Sherman writes. 

If, for example, the Blue Jays continue not to contend, will they want the three years at $70 million still owed Reyes after 2014? The Mets didn’t want to do a six-year deal with Reyes, but would they go after him in his 30s should they still need a leadoff man/shortstop? How about Troy Tulowitzki or Matt Kemp? How about if Giancarlo Stanton doesn’t want to go long-term and Miami makes him available (the Mets did get Piazza and Delgado in deals with the Marlins). How about if the Orioles don’t believe they can do a long-term deal with the Scott Boras-repped Chris Davis?

Are we there yet? Is Sherman right? I’d have to say yes. Wright isn’t getting any younger. If not now, when?

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Featured Post: Could Kemp Be The Finishing Touch To Powerful Mets Lineup? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/featured-post-could-kemp-be-the-finishing-touch-to-powerful-mets-lineup.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/featured-post-could-kemp-be-the-finishing-touch-to-powerful-mets-lineup.html/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 17:48:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=134986 matt kemp

An MMO Fan Shot by Adam Choit

With the Dodgers likely looking to unload an outfielder (possibly during this week’s Winter Meetings), if I were Sandy, I’d definitely look into going after Matt Kemp via trade. Hear me out…

Kemp is only 29 and while he won’t come cheap, despite a down season and injuries, I’d think he’ll cost a lot less now than he would have two or three years ago.

When completely healthy, Kemp is capable of being one of the top sluggers in the league. In 2011, he finished second in the MVP voting  when he hit .324/.399/.586 (172 OPS+) with 39 homers, 126 RBI and 40 steals. In 2012, he missed two months and still .303/.367/.538 (149 OPS+) with 22 doubles, 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 102 games. Last season, though, Kemp hit just .270/.328/.395 (105 OPS+) with six homers and nine steals.

We all know signing Curtis Granderson was a nice start to upgrading the offense, but it’s far from enough. In fact, it questionable at this point whether or not the Mets lineup is that much more improved from last season. Lets assume Granderson replaces Byrd’s offense, the Mets’ offense still ranked at the bottom with Byrd’s surprising and excellent production. The Mets still need another solid-to-great bat to take this team to the next level.

In my opinion, if you want to be a serious team you need a legit 3-4-5. The Mets once had that in David Wright, Carlos Delgado, and Carlos Beltran, bit have since floundered offensively since that strong middle of the order. I’d say Wright, Granderson, and Kemp would change that and give the Mets a formidable 3-4-5 that would strike some fear into opposing pitchers.

The Mets are obviously not going to sign Shin-Soo Choo, nor are the showing any interest in Nelson Cruz who seems headed back to the rangers anyway. The available options for a power hitter are limited via free agency. Besides, I’d bet that Mets brass view Granderson as their lone big splash free agent signing.

With limited resources, I would think the Mets would likely pursue a veteran starter via free agency, as well as pursue a couple of low cost arms for the bullpen. If the price comes down for Stephen Drew, that could be intriguing, but I don’t expect him in a Mets uniform come
2014.

I wouldn’t object to Sandy prioritizing upgrading SS (via trade or free agency) over pursuing a Kemp-status player, but to some degree I think obtaining someone like Kemp would placate the fans enough where we could be okay with giving (a skinnier) Ruben Tejada another shot.

In terms of the details of a potential deal, the Dodgers are said to be interested in paying a some of Kemp’s significant $124 million salary over the next six seasons, giving the Mets some relief there. As to what players it would take to acquire him, would expect it could take a combination of the following:

  1. Juan Lagares
  2. Rafael Montero or Dillon Gee or Jon Niese
  3. Daniel Murphy OR Wilmer Flores

It may take another prospect or player not named David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Zack Wheeler, or Noah Syndergaard.

The point is we should engage them and find out. He may cost less than we think and it’s clear the Dodgers want to move him or teammate Andre Ethier.

Is there any support among MMO readers for the Mets to pursue slugger Matt Kemp?

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, Adam Choit. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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MMO Exclusive Interview With Outfield Prospect Cory Vaughn http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-exclusive-interview-with-outfield-prospect-cory-vaughn.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/mmo-exclusive-interview-with-outfield-prospect-cory-vaughn.html/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:00:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=135007 vaughn

The Mets signed Cory Vaughn in the 4th Round of the 2010 June Amateur Draft from San Diego State University. In 2007, he was initially drafted out of high school in the 43rd Round by the Philadelphia Phillies, but chose to attend college instead. At San Diego State, he played for Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, who has also been a big influence in his life, “Tony Gwynn helped me a lot, and to be able to work with him and his son Anthony has been a blessing,” says Vaughn.

That same summer, he started his pro career in Brooklyn and in 72 games, he batted, .307/.396/.557, with 14 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs, 56 RBI, and 12 stolen bases in 313 plate appearances. He shared his experience playing in Brooklyn, “Leaving the dorms that we stayed at in an academy in Brooklyn and taking the subway all the way to Coney Island to the stadium, was honestly the best experience I had. With the culture out there; it’s fast paced, the tempo is different and just hopping on the subway, and going to Coney Island in front of all those fans, was great. Plus you have a lot more fun when you’re playing well and that was a great year I had also. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world and I had a blast,” says the standout prospect.

In 2011, he was promoted to Savannah and then moved on to St. Lucie and in 131 combined games, he batted, .255/.362/.402, with 22 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 10 stolen bases in 538 plate appearances. In 2012, he played a full season with St. Lucie and in 126 games, he batted, .243/.351/.463, with 73 runs, 25 doubles, three triples, 23 home runs, 69 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.

In 2013, he was sent to Binghamton and in June he injured his right elbow and was forced to miss about a month of baseball, “I was real nervous as soon as I got injured, it was cold, and I knew exactly what I hurt in my elbow, that Tommy John ligament,” says Vaughn. “I just had to take it for what it was, I couldn’t panic, and I couldn’t change anything about it. I had to go down to Florida to rehab, trying to get the elbow right, I didn’t want to rush it. I wasn’t going to go back out there and hurt it again, and miss the whole entire year. I had the mindset to take it day by day and just try and get my elbow better. During that time I could throw and swing a bat without pain, so when I was coming back, I just had to trust the guys who were helping me recover, and thank God it worked out. It was pretty stressful.”

MiLB: JUL 14 - St. Lucie Mets at Tampa Yankees

Upon his return, he was sent to the Gulf Coast Mets for a few weeks and then to St. Lucie, before making his way back to Binghamton in early August. With having to miss time and then making his way back, he played in 92 combined games, and batted, .252/.348/.400 with 11 doubles, four triples, 10 home runs, 54 RBI and 16 stolen bases in 383 plate appearances.  Clearly the injury caused him to miss significant opportunities to continue on his journey, but it didn’t keep him from following his dream.

After the season was over, he took some time off, and then participated in the Arizona Fall League. It took him a bit to get his timing back, “As soon as the season ended, I hadn’t seen live pitching and I only took some batting cage sessions; no excuses, but taking some time off and then going out there and the pitchers are throwing 95-96 mph with good secondary stuff, and my timing being off, I was starting to panic and press a bit,” shares Vaughn.

“I finally had to just take a step back and just go out there and have fun. I knew it would come back to me, and it was a blessing to just be able to play there. When I was able to look at it that way, I started to enjoy it and not panic or press, then it all started to happen for me.  During the end of the AFL season I started to hit the ball hard and play better and also meeting some guys that I played against but never met on a first hand basis, made it a blast.”

In Arizona, he played in 22 games, and batted .250/.320/.375, HR, 9 RBI, eight stolen bases and was tied for first with three triples, in 88 at bats.

Vaughn, the son of Greg Vaughn, who is a 15 year MLB vet, also shared how his parents were very important in his development and growth to becoming the baseball player he is today, “My mom was huge, and even though my dad was away playing baseball, I’d talk to him on the phone and I’d see him in the summer time, but my mom was really the one in the trenches,” says the outfield prospect. “She would help me, by taking me to practice, and when I pitched as a kid, she would get the gear on and catch me. When I started getting older, and threw too hard for her she would set up a paper bag on the fence and I’d try to hit that. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my mom. She raised me and my sister while my dad was playing ball. Later on in my career, especially now, my dad has been a huge help, but it was my mom early on.”

c vaughn

Even though the elder Vaughn was on the road 7-8 months out of the year, he was a proud father to a boy that was growing up quickly, and when the Mets signed his son to a professional contract, the younger Vaughn shared how important the day truly was for the family, “I remember this vividly, I was at home, and I was nervous, I was getting phone calls from people, like the Phillies, who called and said that I would go in their next pick in the 4th round, and I was cool and didn’t tell anybody. But then I was contacted by the Mets and was told I was going in their next pick, which was prior to the Phillies. So we were in the house watching the TV, and I didn’t say anything to my parents and family, and when the screen said, The Mets Take Cory Vaughn, my family just went nuts. My dad was excited, he was crying, and even though growing up he was pretty macho, and always the general on the teams he played for, there was never really an emotional side that I saw in him. That was the first time I had ever seen him cry. It was pretty special.”

When you read his story you get a glimpse that this is truly a special athlete, one that was born to play baseball and along the way was given the tools to succeed. The one thing that most fans do not know about the outfield prospect, and something not many could possibly figure out, but it’s what he wants everyone to know, “I feel that a lot of people don’t know that I am Type 1 Diabetic. That’s always something that catches people by surprise; they look at me and say that I’m in good shape and not overweight, but with Type 1 Diabetes that’s not always the case. It can happen to anybody. I like to put that out there, because there are a lot of kids that have juvenile diabetes, and to know that they can accomplish anything if they set their mind to it.”

Vaughn also shares that he has a pouch in his back left pocket, that people get confused about, “I take a pump, and I wear it in my left back pocket and people think that I have a cell phone or something in there, and to protect it, I slide on my right side.”

He talks about of how a certain element can cause a slight delay with his medication, “It does malfunction at least once a year; I remember when I had a game winning home run in Brooklyn, and my buddy Darrell Ceciliani dumped a water cooler on me and it went all in the pump, and it got fried up, and they over-nighted me one.” The fact that Vaughn understands the magnitude of his illness, but willing to go out there everyday and prove that anyone can follow after their dreams is priceless.

Growing up in a baseball home, most people would think that taking on the family business is almost absolute, so I asked Vaughn, if playing baseball has always been a dream, ” It’s in my blood, ever since I came out of my mother’s womb, I have pictures of me with the baseball bat, wearing Brewers stuff when we used to live in Milwaukee. The funny thing is when I was younger I didn’t realize what it was like to be running around major league fields, it was just a way of life for me, that’s all I really knew. I never took it for granted, but I was just a kid out there in the club house, eating the candy, talking with all the teammates, and running out there and having a blast. It was something really special. I’ve seen my dad play and it’s always what I wanted to do my whole entire life.”

While speaking with Vaughn I was very impressed with him and how he truly understands the game and what it will take to not only make it to the majors, but to be a very successful ball player.  He shared with me what words of wisdom his dad bestows on him: ”I was talking with my dad, and he said that I got back from the AFL, I took a week off and now we were getting back into it; the swing won’t feel the way I want it to feel, but it’s a process, we have to think big picture here, we are not thinking short term,” shares the younger Vaughn. “If I just go out there with the mindset to try and get better every single day, I think all the goals will take care of themselves.”

Cory truly has been blessed with not only the right tools to be able to play the game he loves at such a high level, but also to have the many mentors, and people who truly want to watch him succeed and attain his dream of playing major league baseball.

I am thankful for the opportunity to share his journey, and even with the Rule 5 Draft looming in a few days, I feel confident that he will be with the organization for the 2014 season and beyond, but if for some reason, he is not, whatever team he may land on, will be lucky to have a player that knows how to play the game the way it ought to be played and has been taught by the best.

cory vaughn

I asked Cory a few more questions and you can read his answers below:

David – What part of your game do you feel is your greatest asset?

Cory - I like to feel that I could do it all, but I would probably say my power/speed combo. I’m sneaky on the bases even though people look at me like I’m a bigger guy that probably moves alright, but I can cruise on the bases and I really like to go out and just run. You know just do it all, as my dad would tell me, if I’m a business owner am I going to hire someone that can do one thing and nothing else or am I going to hire someone that can do it all. That’s why I try to go out there and show off some speed, steal some bags, and I have a pretty good arm, and I can throw some people out.

David – Other than maybe your father, was there another player that you modeled your game after?

Cory - Growing up in high school I wanted to be like Matt Kemp, because he could fly, had some pop, and hit for average. So I really tried and people tried to compare me to him, and they also compared me to Derek Lee as well. But growing up I wanted to be like my dad, he hit 50 bombs in the big leagues, which is hard to do, and did it pretty much hit with power consistently. It’s tough to accomplish what my dad did.

David – On August 17, the Dave Clark and Disability Dream and Do visited the B-Mets and held the first-ever baseball camp with the team, what was your experience with the campers and did it impact your life in anyway?

Cory - That was one of the greatest experiences that I had, to see all these kids and how happy they were to be out there on the field, and playing games with us, it really put life into perspective. There were kids that didn’t have arms or hands, and they’re out there throwing the ball with their feet, and I am just sitting there amazed. You didn’t hear them complain about one thing; sometimes, as human beings naturally we are going to complain about stuff here and there, but these kids were just happy and excited to be out on the field and play catch with us. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. It was a great experience and all of us we all loved it. We all took pictures with the kids and right after we all put them up in our lockers, because that is how great the experience was.

David – What teammate has impressed you the most this season, and who should Mets fans be most excited about seeing in the future?

Cory - Definitely Cesar Puello, one of the greatest teammates that you would ever meet. Just a nice guy, he is not about himself, really cares about other people, has a lot of tools, and is really good. He is a big physical guy, goes out there and gives everything he has. I’d be really excited about him, he has it all.

David – Is there a Met manager or coach who has made an impact in your approach to the game and helped elevate your performance?

Cory - I would have to say Wally Backman. He was my first coach in pro ball, who was a hard-nosed player in his playing days, and that is how he coached, even if it meant going hard to home plate and getting the run in. He grew up playing the game with a bit of contact, even though now a days you see people shy away from contact, but that is how I grew up watching the game so that’s what is instilled in me. Also Benny Distefano, who was my hitting coach for a bunch of years, and every single coach I have had, made an effect on me here and there.

David – With the success you have had in your time in the minors; do you feel like you are on track with the goals you set for yourself? If so, what are you expecting for 2014?

Cory - My goals have always been to get to the big leagues, and be an everyday player. Regardless of what happens, I am going to have no regrets, go in and I put my work in, play the game hard, and have fun. I’m a good teammate and the goals are to just try and get better every single day.

David – Thank you Cory for taking the time to chat with me and share your journey with the fans.  Wish you well and look forward to keeping up with you and following your career.

Presented By Diehards

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Featured Post: Omar Infante Could Be A Smart Pickup For The Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/featured-post-omar-infante-could-be-a-smart-pickup-for-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/featured-post-omar-infante-could-be-a-smart-pickup-for-the-mets.html/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:46:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133667 Jhonny Peralta has signed a four-year, $52 million contract to play shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals.  Stephen Drew is still out there, but is surprisingly not getting much attention. (Injury history, anyone?)  Ben Zobrist could be traded for, but Tampa Bay really loves him and would more than likely ask for a king’s ransom in exchange for Zobrist.

But there is one veteran middle infielder out there who isn’t getting much attention, but he should be getting lots of attention from the Mets.  That infielder is Omar Infante.  And despite the fact that he’s played only 225 games at shortstop in his career (he’s played over 700 games at second base), he might be the guy to target for the vacant shortstop position at Citi Field.

It would certainly not be considered baby steps for the Mets if they chose to sign Omar  Infante.

It would surely not be considered baby steps for the Mets if they chose to sign Omar Infante.

Omar Infante has played 12 seasons in the major leagues, but is still relatively young (he’ll be 32 in December).  He became a regular in the big leagues in his third season, when he hit .264 with 27 doubles, 16 homers, 55 RBI and 13 stolen bases for the Tigers.  But his first go-round in Detroit didn’t end well, and he was traded to the Cubs, who traded him to the Braves prior to the 2008 season.

In Atlanta, Infante became an All-Star.  He also quietly became one of the best contact hitters in the game.  From 2008 to 2010, Infante hit .309 for the Braves, striking out just 134 times in over 1,000 plate appearances.  But he didn’t hit for much power or steal many bases for the Braves, so Atlanta decided to move him to the Marlins for power-hitting second baseman Dan Uggla.

Infante hit with more power and stole more bases in 2012, splitting the season between Miami and Detroit.  Although his average dipped to .274, he hit 12 home runs, drove in 53 runs and stole a career-high 17 bases for the Marlins and Tigers.  He also legged out seven triples and produced his first 30-double campaign.

In 2013, Infante overcame a mid-season injury that kept him out of the lineup for six weeks.  Had he not been hurt, he might have had his best season yet.  Infante played in 118 games for the AL Central division champion Tigers, batting .318 with 24 doubles, 10 HR and 51 RBI.  Had he not been hurt, he probably would have surpassed his 30-double, 12-HR, 53-RBI totals from 2012.  He also would’ve finished fourth in the American League batting race had he qualified for it, as his 476 plate appearances kept him 26 short of being considered among the leaders in batting average.

So why am I making such a big deal about a soon-to-be 32-year-old middle infielder being a smart pickup for the Mets to take over at short?  One reason is economical.  The other is all about the ballpark.

Omar Infante made just $4 million as a member of the Tigers in 2013.  The two-year, $8 million contract he signed with the Marlins after the 2011 campaign was the richest he had ever agreed to.  That means he’d be a cheap signing for the Mets, as they could give him two years for less money than the Cardinals are committing to Jhonny Peralta per season.  Signing Infante would also leave approximately $15-$20 million for Sandy Alderson to spend on a starting pitcher and another outfielder.  Had they signed Peralta or continued to be in the mix for Stephen Drew, that dollar amount would be far smaller, as would the talent level of the players Alderson would have to settle for.

It wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to think Omar Infante could be a fine player at Citi Field.

The main reason why Infante would be a wise choice for the Mets is because of the ballpark he would call home for 81 games a year.  Do you know which opposing player has the highest batting average at Citi Field for all players who have played at least 15 games there?  Would you believe the answer is Omar Infante?  And we’re not even talking about a small sample size, as the players with the second and third highest batting averages for visiting players at Citi Field (Matt Kemp, Reed Johnson) combined have 14 fewer at-bats at the park than Infante has by himself.

In 117 career at-bats at Citi Field, Infante is a .402 hitter, picking up 47 hits in 30 games (27 starts).  Infante has 11 extra-base hits, 13 RBI and 17 runs scored at the Mets’ home ballpark.  His batting average is nearly 100 points higher than the Met with the highest average at Citi Field (Jose Reyes hit .319 at the park before joining the Marlins in 2012).

Infante also has the second-most number of hits of any opposing player at Citi Field, four behind Jimmy Rollins, who has 47 more at-bats than Infante has at the ballpark.  And for a player who is not a slugger and isn’t among the league leaders in walks, Infante’s .995 OPS at Citi Field has been bested by just two players, Joey Votto and Matt Kemp, both of whom are considered to be among the best players in the game.  The Met with the highest OPS at Citi Field is David Wright, but his .842 mark is nowhere near Infante’s OPS.

Mets fans have been waiting for years for Sandy Alderson to make a splash in the free agent market.  But it’s not always the free agent with the highest price tag that has the biggest positive impact on the team.  Sometimes, it’s the smart move that pushes a team in the right direction (see Red Sox, Boston, circa 2013).  Omar Infante isn’t a sexy signing.  But he’d sure be a smart one.  And he may just be the right guy at short and the player who would give the Mets the most bang for their buck in 2014.

Presented By Diehards

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MMO Fan Shot: Sandy Takes a Necessary Risk http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mmo-fan-shot-sandy-takes-a-necessary-risk.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mmo-fan-shot-sandy-takes-a-necessary-risk.html/#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 15:00:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133552 Editor’s Note: As a true Orange and Blue Mets Fan Site that has posted differing opinions from the fanbase for over nine years, we now get well over 50 Fan Shots a month and 500 a year. And they are all so passionate and brilliant, reflecting a rich and diverse fan base who loves their team and is as knowledgeable as any other fanbase in baseball. We love you guys! On MMO it has always been “one for all and all for one” when it comes to the New York Mets.

So that all of you get the opportunity to be heard, and as we enter our 10th Anniversary Season in 2014, we’ll be setting up a separate area on MMO where all these Fan Shots can be posted and read. We will continue to post the top 5-6 of them every week on our main page as always. But now all of them will be visible in our dedicated MMO Fan Shot Section. We are also setting up a MMO Fan Photo Gallery to display all your Amazin’s Pics as well. So keep sending in those incredible MMO Fan Shots and keep believing. Metsmerized – Presented by Die-Hard Met Fans!

sandy alderson spring 2

Sandy Takes a Necessary Risk

In typical Mets fan fashion, I panicked once I saw the contract extended to Chris Young. I was initially down on the move, but after a day full of internal struggle, I saw the light; this is exactly the kind of move Sandy and his gang needed to make.

Allow me to set the scene: 2014 has long been dubbed the year we return to grace. The Mets would leap into the realm of legitimacy on the backs of their young arms and the supposed upcoming payroll flexibility. For the optimistic Mets fan, it was not hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then, like a slap to the face, came the Harvey nightmare, and for a moment, everything in my Mets world went dark. When I finally moved passed that bump in the road, it was time to look ahead towards 2014 and beyond.

I try not to get too emotional during the offseason. With all of the rumors floating around from unnamed team sources and media members, the offseason is filled with highs and lows.

The budget for player acquisitions is supposedly locked somewhere in the 25-35 million dollar range, so the Mets have to be careful when allocating their funds.

Recent rumors floating names like Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, and Carlos Gonzalez make the signing of Chris Young even more sobering. Initially I was shocked to see Sandy allot a decent portion of his budget to a career .235 hitter coming off a dismal campaign in Oakland, but after reading up on the move, I accepted it for what it was: a necessary risk.

The Mets may be on the cusp of turning their fortunes around, but as they are currently constructed, they are in a different class than teams like the Cardinals, Dodgers, Tigers, Rangers, Giants, and so on. So with their current roster, a somewhat limited budget, and a healing Matt Harvey, how can the Mets make noise in 2014, while also positioning themselves for a sustainable run starting with a healthy Harvey in 2015?

For starters, they must take a leap on low risk, high upside guys just like Chris Young. Because they seem to be a handful of players away, Sandy must make the absolute most out of the resources he has to work with.

Sandy emphasizes payroll flexibility. A big part of that idea is to stagger the larger contracts. By doing this Sandy assures himself he is never locked into the same group of players, and he knows that a decent chunk of change expires at the end of each year. If Sandy were to go out and sign Curtis Granderson, Nelson Cruz, and a Jhonny Peralta, the Mets would be stuck with these players going forward, through the good and the bad. Ideally, Sandy will add players with the hope that they will contribute to the next Mets contender.

The tricky part of this is that the current Free Agent marketplace is loaded with guys on the wrong side of 30. Players can be productive through their 30s, but historically, players start to decline at that stage of their career. Younger players are obviously more expensive than the aging players, and for this reason the Mets might not be able to add a young-ish, impact player that makes big league dough under the current budget.

To get back to the Chris Young move, the Mets needed to take this risk to even the playing field with the aforementioned ball clubs. By signing Chris Young to a low risk, high reward deal, Sandy may have freed more money to allocate on a player that he believes will help this club for the next few years.

This idea follows the notion of quality over quantity. Instead of signing two decent players to play the corner outfield spots, Sandy signed a “cheap” upside guy to man one corner, and he will hopefully use his remaining resources to bring in a legitimate player that he can rely on going forward for the other corner. If Chris Young falls on his face and fails to return to his former All-Star level, we move on with the other slugger, and Young’s contract expires. But if the stars align and Chris Young is reborn under the bright city lights, CY and the legitimate bat Sandy adds will go a long way towards closing the gap between the Mets and the elite clubs this season.

To rebuild a baseball roster, a general manager must play the odds and take a few measurable risks. A GM has to be realistic about the current state of his franchise. If the Mets were to add Granderson, Cruz, and Peralta Mets fans everywhere would rejoice… until they start complaining in 2016 about how old these players are and the wasted window for contention. Could the Mets make the playoffs if Sandy added these players to our current core of Mets? Sure. But if you ask me, I would much rather maintain flexibility.

If the Mets are able to add a legitimate piece in the outfield and a reliable player at shortstop to the club this offseason, signing Chris Young is exactly the type of upside move to maintain a balance between 2014 upside and future payroll flexibility for 2015 when the Mets will have Harvey. Once again, signing Chris Young may allow the Mets to add to their core going forward without locking them into the same aging club. This will be a perfect move IF Sandy can add a legitimate piece for the future with the money he saved on taking a risk.

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

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Cafardo: Mets Could Be In Hunt For Kemp Or Ethier http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/cafardo-mets-could-be-in-hunt-for-kemp-or-ethier.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/cafardo-mets-could-be-in-hunt-for-kemp-or-ethier.html/#comments Mon, 11 Nov 2013 00:56:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132549 matt kemp

The Dodgers were apparently open to dealing any of Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier — who are each under contract with some serious money attached to them. However, Jon Heyman wrote “…a Mets person suggested that trio isn’t at the forefront of their internal talks, at least at the moment.”

However, Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe thinks otherwise and wrote on Sunday that the Mets are in search of a big-name player and could be in the hunt for Kemp or Ethier. The Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and Blue Jays could also be interested.

The Mets have been linked to Ethier in the past as part of their pursuit of outfield help, but nothing really came from it. Kemp is owed $128 million over the next six years, Crawford $81.5 million over the next four, Ethier $69 million over the next four.

For what it’s worth, Andy Martino wrote a day or two ago that there was no chance that the Mets would move Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard for Ethier, though Martino speculates that the team could be more open to moving right-handed pitching prospect Rafael Montero.

Of course, the Mets are to have shown their most interest in Shin-Soo Choo, so we’ll see what happens on that front. Here’s the kicker, however — according to the same Heyman piece, the Mets view Robinson Cano as the only player worth $100 MM, but they won’t be in the running for him. Many other sources, including Anthony DiComo, have expressed their belief that the Mets will not be in running for players like Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury that will command large contracts.

For the Mets to even consider one of the trio from Los Angeles, the Dodgers would have to pay a solid chunk of any of those contracts. I’d probably stray away from both Ethier and Crawford for different reasons, and although I’d pursue Matt Kemp, I doubt his contract is one that ownership is willing to take on.

Not much to see here, unfortunately.

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Mets Shouldn’t Overpay For Middling Talent http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-shouldnt-overpay-for-middling-talent.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-shouldnt-overpay-for-middling-talent.html/#comments Sat, 09 Nov 2013 13:45:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132412 The Mets are at a crossroads right now, and we know what the giant elephant in the room is: Matt Harvey is out for the entirety of 2014.

With that being the case, the Mets’ brass really needs to be smart this offseason. It begs the question: Do we go all-in right now or wait until next offseason to really make a big splash?

Look who’s available in free agency. Do any of these names really get you super excited?

We really don't need another Jason Bay-type contract!

We really don’t need another Jason Bay-type contract!

Maybe a name like Robinson Cano, but we know that’s not happening. And now that it seems the Mets won’t commit $100 million to a player, that eliminates the likes of Jacoby Ellsbury and potentially Shin-Soo Choo. (In other news, it’s absolutely crazy to think that Choo is poised to earn a $100 million deal, but that’s a completely different story.)

There are a few intriguing names out there right now, but it seems each has a drawback.

Curtis Granderson would be a nice addition, maybe even to play right field if the team is committed to keeping Juan Lagares in center for his defense. Granderson was once a Gold Glove caliber center fielder – and probably still is – but imagine that outfield defense with he Lagares roaming out there.

But Granderson strikes out so much, and we already have guys who strike out a ton. Let’s move on.

Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta have some baggage, but both have proven to be solid offensive performers. Would the fanbase accept these guys? Probably yes, simply based on need.

But do we cant to commit multiple years and millions of dollars to these two aging players coming off suspensions? It’s a good question to consider.

Believe me, I want the Mets to add a few pieces. If they somehow work out the finances to be able to sign Granderson (for right field), Cruz (for left field) and Peralta (for shortstop), as well as a back-end rotation starter and a few bullpen arms, that would be a very good offseason.

But I really don’t want to see them overspend, or even worse bid against themselves, in order to bring these guys in.

Granderson will undoubtedly receive interest elsewhere and likely as a center fielder. So if the Mets are committed to Lagares – which we don’t know right now – then Grandy is out.

All reports indicate that the Mets have money to spend, but they need to spend it wisely.

Think about it, would you rather see the team spend frivolously this offseason just to say they did something by bringing in guys like Granderson and Cruz?

Or do you want the team to be patient, bring in some filler type players like Rafael Furcal and Corey Hart that would only command one-year deals, wait for Harvey to return for 2015, and start with a clean slate then?

It’s such a tough dilemma, because we’ve been waiting for 2014 ever since Sandy Alderson took over. Now it’s here and we have the money to spend, so why not spend it?

Trades for Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki or Giancarlo Stanton really were the key to this team’s improvement, but all those ideas have been quelled. So unless Alderson can pry Andre Ethier or Matt Kemp from the Dodgers, it’s looking like free agency will be the route to add players.

Like we’ve established, the free-agent class right now does not blow anyone away. We really can’t afford to have another Jason Bay-type crippling contract.

With all the pitching talent, this team is eventually going to be good. The old saying goes, “Develop pitching and buy hitting.”

Developing the pitching seems to be going well, and the team finally has the money to buy the hitting, but it’s unfortunate that now that the team finally has money, the available offensive weapons don’t get us too excited.

So the takeaway from all of this: If you can get Granderson to agree to a manageable deal and Cruz and Peralta will take one-year (maybe two-year) contracts, then let’s do it.

But please Sandy, do not overpay for middling talent, as has become synonymous with the Mets for too long.

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Why The Mets Won’t Invest $100 Million On Any Player… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/why-the-mets-wont-invest-100-million-on-any-player.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/why-the-mets-wont-invest-100-million-on-any-player.html/#comments Fri, 08 Nov 2013 19:03:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132232 wilpon alderson sandy

Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog weighed in on the $100 million dollar player issue and explains why the Mets won’t go there.

There are revenue reasons, I’m sure, no question. But, also, regardless of budget size and your team’s financial situation, I just don’t think Sandy Alderson believes in those sort of commitments when building a baseball team. What’s more, thanks to some of Omar Minaya‘s handy work, ownership sounds skeptical of getting bogged down in those sort of deals again. So, I think when you add these three things together (less revenue, Alderson’s principals and ownership’s fear), it makes sense.

So there you have it… Blame 3M – Money, Methodology, Minaya

Class dismissed…

Original Post 11/7

Rather than draw up another post on something I already touched on yesterday, I wanted to update this with something that Mets beat writer Anthony DiComo reported.

Hitting on something I’ve been saying for nearly two months now, I don’t believe the Mets are in a position to offer any player a $100 million contract – even if it was “hypothetically” for players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper or Giancarlo Stanton.

Here is what DiComo said:

Speaking this month with a number of people both inside and outside the Mets organization, I came away with the impression that no one really expects general manager Sandy Alderson to commit a $100 million contract to any one player.

Looking at the current free agent crop, that would eliminate players like Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, and if the bidding gets out of hand, Brian McCann and Curtis Granderson too.

It would also take potential trade targets like Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and others out of the equation too…

You can read my reply to a mailbag question below…

Andrew asks…

Well now that the Mets say they will be willing to give up a draft pick to sign a free agent who received a qualifying offer, do you feel more confident that we will have a good offseason and play meaningful games next September?

Joe D. replies…

The fact that Sandy Alderson said a draft pick wouldn’t prevent him from signing one of those free agents doesn’t sway my opinion of this upcoming offseason one bit. It was said in a vacuum and he was appealing to those fans who needed to hear him say that. I operate at a different level.

The real question is will the Mets be able to win a bidding war for any of those top tier free agents that will require big dollars in addition to the loss of a draft pick?

Remember that all of those players who will become free agents are walking away from a guaranteed $14.1 annual salary. Consider that the starting point for most of those players and then multiply that by the 3-7 year deals they will all get. That is the starting point in any bidding.

Also consider the flood of revenue all the teams will be getting from the new National TV deal. To most teams that is found money and they will spend it. Even the lowly Astros have said as much. The Mets on the other hand, will be using that money to pay down mounting debt.

The way I figure it, the Mets will likely spend $25 million of the $40 million coming off the books. Assuming that’s correct, do you think they will spend more than half of that budget on just one free agent? I don’t.

I’d expect them to spread that $25 million around to sign or acquire 4-5 players. The Mets have stated needs at shortstop, two outfield spots, at least one starter if not two, two bullpen pieces, and a backup catcher. This is what general manager Sandy Alderson outlined in an interview with WFAN after the season ended.

Realistically, with all those needs and so little money to fill them all, how can Sandy target and sign any top tier free agent this offseason?

The answer is he can’t.

So of course it’s safe to say he won’t let a draft pick stop him from signing any free agent. That’s because it will never come to that.

This is still about money and financial flexibility… Or a lack of it…

monopoly-mccain

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Expect Some Wild Spending This Hot Stove Season http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/expect-some-wild-spending-this-hot-stove-season.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/expect-some-wild-spending-this-hot-stove-season.html/#comments Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:04:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132437 matt kemp

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that all three Dodger outfielders – Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford – are available, but a rival GM told him that none were desirable.

For comparison’s sake, the three Dodgers outfielders on the trade market combined for a 5.4 WAR (Crawford 2.9, Ethier 2.9, Kemp -0.4) while earning a combined $53.5 million. Kemp, who appeared in only 73 games, recently underwent surgery on his left ankle. His value obviously is down. But some rival officials say the Dodgers are more eager to move him than Ethier or Crawford.

Not that any of it will be easy. Kemp is owed $128 million over the next six years, Crawford $81.5 million over the next four, Ethier $69 million over the next four.

“None of those contracts can be moved without (the Dodgers) taking on salary,” one rival exec announced.

Which player is the most desirable?

“None,” the exec said.

The thing of it is that the Dodgers are swimming in money so this won’t prevent them from doing whatever they want to get back to the postseason in 2014.

By the way, Rosenthal also reports that RHP Ervin Santana is seeking $100 million and RHP Ricky Nolasco is looking for $80 million on the free-agent market.

That’s pure insanity…

This is all pointing to something I wrote about last month…

All MLB teams are getting an infusion of $30-40 million in new National TV money and many teams will look to spend it and invest it in their team’s roster, including the lowly Houston Astros.

I read a report that in 2014 almost two-thirds of all baseball teams will have payrolls that eclipse $100 million.

Think about that for a minute Met fans…

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Does 2015 Free Agent Market Influence Mets 2014 Offseason Strategy? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/does-2015-free-agent-market-influence-mets-2014-offseason-strategy.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/does-2015-free-agent-market-influence-mets-2014-offseason-strategy.html/#comments Tue, 29 Oct 2013 02:16:59 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131802 sandy alderson

An MMO Fan Shot By Andrew Doris

The two-year plan

The past two seasons, the Mets have finished 74-88. Over that time, they’ve dumped all their albatross contracts (except Bobby Bonilla…) and resolved the Bernie Madoff lawsuit, such that management finally appears capable of investing in the team. Whether they will or not remains to be seen, but Sandy Alderson has said the team has about $30 million to spend this off-season if he chooses. This post assumes they are serious, and aims to shed light on the wisest way to invest that money.

It’s reasonable to assume that without any major off-season additions, the Mets might finish 74-88 again in 2014. That might even be optimistic, because they’ve lost two key producers from last season already: Matt Harvey and Marlon Byrd. Perhaps young players will develop and improve enough to replace those losses, but even if that’s the case, they would still just be treading water to match last year’s output. It’s safe to say the current roster is no better than a 74 win team.

With that in mind, it is highly unlikely the Mets will win the World Series next season – there are just too many holes to fill in one off-season with the money and trade chips at Alderson’s disposal. A more realistic approach is to view the next two off-seasons as stepping stones to serious contention – a sort of “two-year plan” to get this team among the league’s elite.

Phase one of this plan should be to improve the team by enough that the fans take notice and tune in for 2014. The piqued interest would increase ticket sales and TV revenue, and ideally enable additional payroll expansions (read: player acquisitions) in phase two – next off-season and beyond.

However, doing this will require a team that, as Fred Wilpon famously put it back in 2004, is “playing meaningful games in September”, and a 74 win team does not match that criteria. How much does Alderson need to improve the roster to make that team a reality?

In a division with the Braves and Nationals, I suspect the Mets will need to win at least 85 games to even compete for the playoffs. Last year the Nationals won 86 and still finished 4 games out of the wildcard race. To actually make the playoffs, they may need to win 90, but I think Mets fans would be satisfied with 85 if it meant they stayed in the hunt until late in the season.

The question Alderson must answer, therefore, is this: how can he improve the team by 10 wins or more this off-season, without impeding his flexibility to make even more acquisitions next year? If the Mets are to navigate this question successfully, it behooves them to consider what options might be at their disposal next off-season. This foresight is particularly necessary at their positions of need, because those are the spots at which the greatest improvement can be made.

As I see it, the Mets’ greatest positions of need are OF, SS, 1B and SP, in that order. I put SP last because it is the only one of those holes that exists only in the short term. With the return of Harvey and the ascent of Syndergaard, Mejia, Montero, DeGrom and even Robles all expected by 2015, pitching shouldn’t be a problem over the long term (unless some of those names get traded filling one of the other three holes). By the time we’re seriously contending for a world series, that hole will ideally have filled itself. Neither OF, SS, nor 1B, however, have any promising minor leaguers nearing an MLB arrival date, so it makes the most sense to target external additions at those positions.

The options at shortstop:

Let’s start at SS. As Mets fans know, this was one of our biggest areas of need last year, with Ruben Tejada and Omar Quintanilla combining for a woeful -1.7 WAR on the season. The 2014 free agent class has two primary options at SS: Stephen Drew, and Jhonny Peralta. Although these are good players, both are on the wrong side of 30 with health concerns, and both may cost around $12 million a year on a multi-year contract. The 2015 class, by contrast, features a whole host of interesting names: Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hardy, Hanley Ramirez, and Jed Lowrie. Furthermore, each of those players play on teams that are often open to trading players in contract years, such that Sandy might be able to land them in a deadline deal this upcoming summer depending on where everyone is in the standings.

For this reason, I recommend the Mets hold off on signing a big-name SS this winter, when the market is thin and prices are high. This has the added benefit of giving Ruben Tejada a few more months to turn things around. Even if the Mets don’t view Tejada as their SS of the future, it is unwise to sell low, and Tejada’s value has never been lower. A solid start to 2014 might improve his trade value and net them something better in return than they could get right now.

The options in the outfield:

Next up is OF. Even if we assume that light-hitting Juan Lagares is the answer in CF, the Mets have only one MLB caliber starting outfielder on their roster, with no help from the minors in sight (short of Cesar Puello, who has some questions to answer). If they are to get away with Lagares in CF, they desperately need some offense from the corner OF spots. Thankfully, the 2014 free agent class has several big name outfielders that could serve as the power-hitting cleanup hitter Terry Collins needs. Shin-Soo Choo, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Beltran, and Nelson Cruz could all fit that mold, while Jacoby Ellsbury could busy our competition on the market and make those other names more affordable (higher supply of marquee OF’s = lower price for each one). Additionally, there are several big name outfielders rumored to be on the trading block this winter, from Jose Bautista to Giancarlo Stanton to Matt Kemp to Andre Ethier. 2015, by contrast, has very few exciting names under 35 years old. Colby Rasmus is pretty good, but after that it goes downhill fast: Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner, Jonny Gomes, Emilio Bonifacio, Nate Schierholtz, Norichika Aoki, Chris Denorfia…you get the picture.

Curtis+GrandersonFor these reasons, it’s imperative that the Mets land at least one marquee, power-hitting outfielder this offseason, even if they have to sign him to a long term deal. Ellsbury and Choo may be outside our price range, but I think Curtis Granderson could be an excellent fit. He’s certainly comfortable in New York; in his first three years with the Yankees, Granderson was a superstar, averaging 36 homers per season with an 11% walk rate. Before you argue that was inflated by Yankee stadium, realize that Granderson averaged 18.5 road home runs from 2011-2012, which is more than any current Mets OF could provide in an entire season.

The 2013 season was lost to fluke injuries stemming from two stray fastballs, but before that Granderson was extremely durable, averaging 153 games a season from 2010-2012. His speed and defense will decline with age, but keep in mind what it’s declining from: a speedy, gold-glove caliber centerfielder. If the Mets shift him to LF to accommodate Lagares, he’d still offer plus defense and base-running in the short term, without being anything close to a liability in the long run. Granderson also has a reputation for being one of the most amiable players in the game, making him a fan favorite and a great locker room presence. He does strike out a lot, but that’s nitpicking, especially when you consider the much larger flaws of any 2015 option. In a deep market, Granderson could probably be had on a 3-4 year deal at $14-15 million per year, which still leaves Alderson enough flexibility to sign a SP and some role players for 2014. If they miss out on Granderson, I’d suggest Carlos Beltran or Nelson Cruz as high-ceiling fallbacks. If we felt like signing two outfielders, Nate McLouth might warrant consideration.

The options at first base:

Finally, we have 1B. With Jose Abreu gone to the White Sox, this year’s free agent class features interesting options like Mike Napoli, Kendrys Morales, and Corey Hart. 2015, by contrast, has very few good options under the age of 35 (assuming the Royals use their club option to pick up Billy Butler’s contract). Using the above logic, this would seem to imply that if the Mets are to get an external option to man 1B, this is the offseason to do it. If Sandy chooses to go that route, I’d support the decision.

However, I don’t think first base is such a dire necessity as is the outfield, for the simple reason that the Mets have better in-house options to man the former than they do the latter. Between Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Satin, Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy, the Mets have five candidates for one position. With the exception of Flores, none of those candidates have a career OPS below .746. Even if only one or two of those options work out, Terry Collins could probably cobble together moderate levels of production by riding the hot hand. The options in the OF, by contrast, inspire much less confidence: Eric Young Jr., Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordany Valdespin, and Matt den Dekker. None of those guys have a career OPS over .672 – none have a track record to prove they are major league caliber hitters. Until Cesar Puello (who has his own question marks) gets called up, these four AAAA guys would be competing for two vacancies, and the result would be woeful even if nobody got hurt.

TL;DR:

The bottom line is this: if the Mets are serious on improving the team in 2014 while maintaining the flexibility to make additional improvements next winter, they should devote this off-season to acquiring at least one marquee OF, either via a trade or via free agency. Then, they should sign a high-upside veteran starting pitcher to a short, cheap, incentive laden deal, as well as a backup catcher and some affordable bullpen arms. However, they should hold off on acquiring a SS upgrade until the market thickens, and if money’s tight, they should also hold off on committing to an external 1B until they have more information on the viability of their internal options.

By following this blueprint and getting a little lucky, the Mets should be able to plug all their holes with capable and exciting players in a cost efficient way before the 2015 season, while still improving enough in the short term to make 2014 exciting. Only time will tell if Sandy Alderson agrees.

bleed orange & blue  button

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Cuddyer Among Some Good Outfield Options For Mets http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/cuddyer-among-some-good-outfield-options-for-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/cuddyer-among-some-good-outfield-options-for-mets.html/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 15:55:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131457 michael-cuddyer-rockies

Could Michael Cuddyer join his best friend David Wright in Flushing?

As we continue our quest for a winning team, we look at acquiring an outfielder.  To begin with, it sounds easier than it really is.  In July, teams traded their players – Alex Rios, Michael Morse, Justin Maxwell – because their chances of competing were slim.  So, you trade today for a shot at tomorrow, theoretically.

However, trading a star player is not easy.  Remember the Keith Hernandez trade?  People were shocked that St. Louis would trade away a player of that caliber.  Teams have difficulty not only in matching up, but most teams take the fan base reaction into account when subtracting from the major league product.

While looking for a trade, it was taken into consideration that a team would not trade unless they:

  1. Improved their overall product
  2. Had quality depth to replace what was subtracted
  3. Want to improve one area more than they are weakening another

What teams have excess outfielders, and who are they?

- Kansas City Royals: Lorenzo Cain and Justin Maxwell

- Colorado Rockies: Michael Cuddyer

- Cleveland Indians: Drew Stubbs

- Milwaukee Brewers: Norichika Aoki

- Oakland A’s:  Steve Smith

- Los Angeles Dodgers:  Andre Ethier

- Los Angeles Angels: Peter Bourjos or Mark Trumbo

Notice, no Carlos Gonzalez, no Matt Kemp, no Ryan Braun. The reason is that those players aren’t easy to replace.

Here’s the problem:  the Mets, and every other team, want to hold onto their best players and only trade from excess.  That’s how the James Shields trade was made last year, that’s how the R.A. Dickey trade was made as well.

We want Kemp, but so does L.A, and they “can” afford his contract.  So, to the fans that think they want to dump the contract, for the Dodgers and their $225 million payroll, $21 million isn’t a problem.

We want CarGo.  OK, but how would Colorado replace him?  They would ask for Harvey/Wheeler and then some; proven player for proven player.  No thanks.

We, um I, want Braun.  Milwaukee would have to be very overwhelmed.  For those people that say the fans of Wisconsin want him out: time heals all wounds, and a nice hot streak can help quiet some of those disgruntled fans.

Before suggesting scenarios, the definition of a fair deal is one that neither side is in love with, but both are willing to do.

Also, the Mets want to hold onto their young pitching.  Therefore, what is left to use?  Daniel Murphy or Wilmer Flores?  Lucas Duda, Josh Satin, or Ike Davis? How many teams are breaking down the doors asking about them? Unless we want to give up some of our little quality, what can we expect to get?

* * * * * * * *

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

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Pie In The Sky Mets Rumors: Lincecum, Napoli, Kemp, Ellsbury… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/pie-in-the-sky-mets-rumors-lincecum-napoli-kemp-ellsbury.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/10/pie-in-the-sky-mets-rumors-lincecum-napoli-kemp-ellsbury.html/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 15:05:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=131106 As the post season crawls to a close, thus ushering in the hot stove season, there seems to be a growing tide of great and unrealistic expectations for players the Mets could or should target.

Over at MetsBlog, they’ve spent this weekend writing multiple times about Tim Lincecum as well as other potential free agents or players presumed to be on the block like Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp.

Readers here should already be conditioned to understand that these are all mostly pie in the sky Met rumors with no basis in any fundamental belief that any deal is forthcoming.

Let me spend this beautiful Columbus Day morning by running down these players and giving you my quick take on their situations as it pertains to the Mets.

Jacoby Ellsbury – There’s no doubt that Ellsbury would fill a void for the Mets, but seriously, do you believe the Mets are in a position to make him the team’s new $100 million dollar man? I seriously doubt the Mets would entertain paying the oft-injured Ellsbury through his age 35 or 36 season especially when the team seems committed to the further development of Juan Lagares in center field.

Mike Napoli – This might be one of the worst possibilities for the Mets on this list. Already 32, and seeking a 3-year deal that will pay him more annually than the $13 million he earned this season, Napoli would only add to the logjam that already exists at first base for the Mets. And there’s good reason to believe that he may not even represent an upgrade. Essentially we’re talking about a career .259 hitter who is entering his declining years. Jose Abreu would be cheaper and six years younger with more power and upside to go with it. Oh, and Abreu won’t cost the Mets their second round pick like Napoli would.

Tim Lincecum – After earning $22 million in 2013, Lincecum went 10-14 with a 4.37 ERA in 197.2 innings for the Giants in spacious AT&T Park. It was the second straight season of pedestrian results for the 29-year old righty, but the Giants want to keep him and he wants to stay. They are at the negotiating table as we speak and are reportedly making progress. It’s been two years since he last touched 95 mph on the radar gun, and he makes zero sense for the Mets anyway.

Matt Kemp – Kemp just had shoulder surgery on Wednesday in addition to the career-threatening, micro-fractured ankle he still suffers from. It’s ridiculous to entertain the notion that the Mets would take on the $130 million he still has remaining on his contract with all of that risk. They wouldn’t do it even if he were 100% healthy – which he’s not. And if the Dodgers agreed to eat any portion of that contract, they’ll want the Mets to kick in Noah Syndergaard on top of the big package it will take to acquire him. Let’s get real…

Andre Ethier – He’ll be 32 and is owed an average of $17.5 million through 2017 with one of those Bay-esque vesting options for 2018. He’s averaged 14 home runs per season over the last three years and he peaked seven years ago. Ethier has no speed, never scored 100 runs in a season, and only had one 100 RBI season back in 2009 and has never come close to duplicating that. In fact, he’s averaged 67 RBI’s over the last three seasons. Do you really want to pay him superstar money for that kind of production?

Many of the names on this list represent a reckless spending era that we’ve been trying to distance ourselves from. Don’t buy into everything you read. The Mets want you to think they are interested, it’s great for season ticket sales. Or at the very least it can’t hurt, but really they’re not targeting players like this.

If the front office were going to spend this offseason, something that has yet to be proven, it would be for someone younger and with more upside, and not for players whose best seasons are clearly behind them.

This isn’t a Moneyball thing or the Wilpons being cheap… This is just a common sense approach…

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Kemp Wants The MVP Award That Braun Cheated Him Out Of http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/kemp-wants-the-mvp-award-that-braun-cheated-him-out-of.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/07/kemp-wants-the-mvp-award-that-braun-cheated-him-out-of.html/#comments Wed, 24 Jul 2013 17:20:12 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=125705 matt kemp

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who finished runner-up to Ryan Braun in voting for the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player award, thinks the suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger should be stripped of the honor.

Braun finished with 388 points and 20 first-place votes, to 332 and 10 for Kemp. Major League Baseball attempted to suspend Braun following a positive test that October for elevated testosterone, but the penalty was overturned by an arbitrator who ruled Braun’s urine sample was handled improperly.

Braun agreed Monday to a 65-game suspension for unspecified violations of baseball’s drug rules and labor contract.

According to an AP report, asked Tuesday whether the award should be taken away from Braun, Kemp responded: “I mean, yeah, I do,” pausing and adding, “I feel like it should be, but that’s not for me to decide, you know?”

Kemp said people feel “betrayed” by Braun.

“I’m disappointed,” Kemp said. “I talked to Braun before any of this happened, we had conversations and I considered him a friend. I don’t think anybody likes to be lied to and I feel like a lot of people have felt betrayed. That’s not just me, that’s the whole Brewers organization, a lot of his teammates. I think a lot of people feel that way.”

Jack O’Connell, secretary-treasurer of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, said the award vote was final.

“The decision was already made. He won it,” O’Connell said in an email Monday.

Kemp got screwed over by Braun. The fact that Braun accepted that award “after” he manipulated his way out of a suspension on a technicality shows the contempt he had for the game he professes to love.

What Braun loves is money. Lots of money. He’s A-Rod in a Brewers uniform.

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Lack Of Wright’s All Star Game Support Is Not On The Fans, It’s On The Mets… http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/lack-of-wrights-all-star-game-support-is-not-on-the-fans-its-on-the-mets.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/06/lack-of-wrights-all-star-game-support-is-not-on-the-fans-its-on-the-mets.html/#comments Fri, 14 Jun 2013 14:53:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=121915 david wrightDavid Wright spoke out about the overzealous campaign by the Mets to get him voted to the All Star Game.

“It’s nice when the organization is trying so hard to do something for one of their players and I can’t thank them enough for that,” Wright said.

“But at the same time, I’ve asked them to kind of back it down a little bit, especially with the stuff between innings. You appreciate what they’re trying to do, and they’re very good-hearted, but at the same time, this is a team game.”

Interestingly enough, Wright told reporters that it wasn’t the Mets reaching out to Cougar Life that bothered him the most, although I’m sure it had to play some part.

Yesterday, Deadspin leaked a series of email exchanges between the Mets and Cougar Life who was asking them to get their clientele, comprised of older women, to vote for David Wright after they named him “The Hottest Cub.”

I’m glad Wright spoke up. I think it’s better when fan sites like this one and others do what they can to drum up voting and I thought the Cougar Life thing was way off putting for my tastes.

Am I surprised that Wright reached out to someone in the Mets’ marketing department and asked them to turn down the volume? Not at all… This speaks to the type of person Wright is; one who takes integrity and honor very seriously.

Honestly, Wright deserves to be starting over Pablo Sandoval. He blows him and most third baseman in the league out of the water across many statistical categories.

The lack of voting support is not a reflection of the Mets fan base which is three times larger than the San Francisco Giants fan base.

I blame the fact that Wright is not leading in the vote to the product on the field and five straight losing seasons which has seen many Met fans tuning out.

The fan base has become disconnected, divided, frustrated and unwilling to pay good money to watch the team. You have some that are more patient who grin and bare it, while others are just so sick of the losing and are unwilling to tolerate it anymore.

My advice to the Mets is to fix the team and I will assure you that the All Star voting will fix itself…

There will be no more need for gimmicks and stunts like Cougar Life.

The problems isn’t the fan base, it’s you.

Don’t blame us… Blame yourselves…

Now go and cast 35 votes for David Wright if you haven’t already by voting here

WRIGHT VOTE NOW!

Original Post 6/13

Deadspin writes:

When the first vote totals for the MLB All-Star Game were released last week, David Wright was in second. A desperate Mets marketing department didn’t want Wright to lose to Pablo Sandoval for the second year in a row, especially not with the game being held at Citi Field. So one employee decided to turn to an untapped voting base, one that would support Wright in droves: tens of thousands of older women who want to **** him.

You have to read the entire email interaction here….

Last month, Cougar Life—”the cougar dating site for younger hot men to meet sexy older professional women”—surveyed its female members. David Wright beat out Cole Hamels and Matt Kemp to take the title of “hottest cub.”

Ummm… I like my way better… Just #VoteWright… Go here

WRIGHT VOTE NOW!

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