Mets Merized Online » offseason http://metsmerizedonline.com Thu, 12 Jan 2017 01:57:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Orioles Pessimistic On Trumbo, Interested In Bourn http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/orioles-pessimistic-on-trumbo-interested-in-bourn.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/orioles-pessimistic-on-trumbo-interested-in-bourn.html/#comments Tue, 10 Jan 2017 20:27:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=229121 mark-trumbo

According to Roch Kubato of MASN, the Orioles and Mark Trumbo have not made any progress in their contract discussions.  While it was noted the Orioles remain interested in re-signing Trumbo, it is believed the two sides are not going to be able to reach a deal.

In a separate report from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Orioles are interested in signing free agent outfielder Michael Bourn to address the team’s outfield defense.

The Orioles signing either player could have an impact on the Jay Bruce market.  Earlier in the offseason, it was reported the Mets were interested in trading Bruce for Orioles reliever Brad Brach.  According to reports, the Orioles were more interested in Curtis Granderson, and they wanted the Mets to pay part of the salary of either outfielder that would have been traded in a potential deal.

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Winter Ball Update: Familia With Second Straight Perfect Outing http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/winter-ball-update-familia-with-second-straight-perfect-outing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/winter-ball-update-familia-with-second-straight-perfect-outing.html/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2017 13:00:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228960 jeurys familia

Jeurys Familia made his fourth appearance of the Dominican winter league playoffs on Sunday night and pitched a perfect eighth inning for the Gigantes del Cibao. He got a pop out by Hanley Ramirez followed by ground outs from Jason Rogers and Diory Hernandez.

The Tigres del Licey defeated the Gigantes del Cibao by a 2-1 score in twelves innings. With the loss, Gigantes fell to 3-6 in the first round of round robin Dominican playoffs.

For Familia, it was his second straight perfect outing and he hasn’t given up a hit or run over his last three appearances that spans three innings.

Previous Report – Jan. 6

On Friday night, New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia made his third Dominican winter league appearance during the playoffs for the Gigantes del Cibao.

Familia entered the eighth inning with the Gigantes trailing the Aguilas Cibaenas 2-1 and held that score with a perfect inning. He struck out one, Brewers infielder Jonathan Villar to begin the inning.

It was the second straight scoreless appearance for Familia who struck out two in one inning on Monday night. He now has a 6.75 ERA in 2.2 innings in winter ball action this offseason.

Familia is expected to be limited to ten winter league innings as he prepares himself to pitch for the Dominican Republic team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

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Mets Still Need A Lefty Reliever http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-still-need-a-lefty-reliever.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2017/01/mets-still-need-a-lefty-reliever.html/#comments Sat, 07 Jan 2017 16:58:39 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228979 jerry blevins

In an article posted by Jon Heyman on FanRagSports.com, the journalist documents the winners and losers of the winter meetings.

As many of us are already aware, the Mets made a big splash by resigning Yoenis Cespedes, but still haven’t signed a lefty reliever and need to trade one of their corner outfielders.

While they could eventually score a lefty in exchange for someone like Jay Bruce, there are still several quality lefties available on the open market, including Jerry Blevins, who has spent the last two seasons with the Amazin’s.

Apart from Blevins, who is surprisingly still available, other names that could be appealing to the Mets are Travis Wood, J.P. Howell, Javier Lopez and Boone Logan.

Sandy Alderson likely hasn’t signed a lefty due to the fact that he doesn’t want to get locked into a long-term pact, but with it getting further and further into the offseason, a reliever could settle for a one-year deal.

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Steven Matz Wants To Make 30 Starts In 2017 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/steven-matz-wants-to-make-30-starts-in-2017.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/steven-matz-wants-to-make-30-starts-in-2017.html/#comments Fri, 30 Dec 2016 21:00:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227400 steven-matz

New York Mets starter Steven Matz was at his alma mater Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, New York today. He was hosting a “Meet the Matz” all-day baseball clinic.

During the clinic, Matz told Jamie Stuart of Newsday, that his goal for the 2017 season was to make 30 starts. He recently resumed throwing and is expected to be ready by spring training.

“I feel on track. I’m really raring to go. I’m starting to get that itch for spring training coming around and I think a lot of the guys are. That seems to be the trend.”

Matz threw 132.2 innings in 2016 over 22 big league starts. His career high for starts and innings came in 2014 when he made 24 starts and threw 140 innings between the St. Lucie and Binghamton Mets.

Mets 2016 first rounder and former Ward Melville pitcher Anthony Kay was also an instructor at the clinic.

Original Report – Dec 2

New York Mets left-handed pitcher Steven Matz was a guest on WOR radio last night and said he had been cleared by the team doctors to proceed with his normal offseason routine.

The doctors said, ‘You’re good to go, progress with your normal offseason,’” Matz told WOR.

Matz, 25, had surgery in early October to remove what was labeled as a “massive” bone spur in his pitching elbow. Matz was diagnosed with the bone spur earlier in the season, but decided to pitch through the pain.

Matz made his last start of the season on Aug. 14 before he was diagnosed with rotator cuff impingement that would officially get him shutdown for the year.

The young lefty went 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA, 1.209 WHIP, and posted a 2.7 bWAR over 22 starts in 2016. He struck out 129 batters compared to only 31 walks in 132.2 innings and finished sixth in the Rookie of the Year voting.

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Can The Mets Replace Jerry Blevins Internally? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/can-mets-replace-jerry-blevins-internally.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/can-mets-replace-jerry-blevins-internally.html/#comments Wed, 28 Dec 2016 14:00:49 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228495 josh smoker

Jerry Blevins was very effective for the Mets in 2016. While that helped get the Mets to the Wild Card game, it also might have set his price out of the Mets’ range this offseason. With other lefty relievers like Brett Cecil getting big contracts, the 33 year-old free agent has set his sights on a three year deal and it looks like he might get it.

Other options on the free agent market are subpar, and after the failed signing of Antonio Bastardo last offseason, Sandy Alderson might be wary of bringing in anyone else especially for more than one year. So, the question remains, how will Blevins’ role be filled if he can’t be resigned?

The Mets have two lefties right now that could possibly replace him, those being Josh Edgin and Josh Smoker. Blevins pitched to a 2.79 ERA in 73 games last season, so they will have big shoes to fill.

Edgin, 30, appeared in 16 games at the end of 2016 after returning from Tommy John surgery. In those games he allowed six earned runs in 10.1 innings. In a very small sample size, though, he fared better against lefties who hit .235 against him in 17 at bats compared to righties’ .300 average in 20 at bats.

Smoker, 28, has a larger yet still small sample size, featuring opposite splits. He fared much better against righties who hit .200 against him in 35 at bats while lefties mashed him, hitting .360 in 25 at bats. However, in 165 minor league games, lefties have hit .258 against him which is lower but still far too high for a LOOGY.

In looking for a lefty specialist, however, the Mets could have one in Josh Edgin. He has good stuff, but hasn’t pitched consistently in a long time as he is coming off Tommy John surgery. The Mets could see how he does in spring training and bank on him being the lefty specialist going forward, and though that seems a distinct possibility now, there is a lot of offseason left; Sandy Alderson could have a few tricks up his sleeve.

Despite his reputation, Blevins was not a lefty specialist by any means in 2016. While righties batted only .182/.266/.345, lefties managed a .255/.313/.324 line against him. Edgin and Smoker would be asked to be the LOOGYs in the Mets 2017 bullpen even though Blevins did not perform as that in 2016.

When talking about replacing Blevins, the conversation should go back to what we have all been talking about this offseason: Getting a 7th inning man in front of Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia.

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MMO Mailbag: A Frosty Christmas Brew With Some Mets Thoughts Too http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mmo-mailbag-a-frosty-christmas-brew-with-some-mets-thoughts-too.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mmo-mailbag-a-frosty-christmas-brew-with-some-mets-thoughts-too.html/#comments Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:59:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228211 adam-eaton

Here are some questions straight out of our comment threads or that were supposed to be responded to during our Talkin’ Mets Live podcast but never got to them.

1. The Nationals have made a significant upgrade to last season’s division winning team, while the Mets are essentially the same team minus Bartolo and Blevins. Is this shaping up to be another wild card chase for the Mets?

To begin, last I checked there was still almost two months left to the offseason so I’ll hold off on any declarative statements. As it stands now, the Mets still have work to do, and while the Nationals whiffed on Andrew McCutchen, Chris Sale and Kenley Jansen, they still got themselves a solid player in Adam Eaton who was actually much better than Cutch last season.

I’m pretty sure Sandy Alderson still has some tricks up his sleeve and likewise Mike Rizzo, the GM of the Nats. Let’s see how both these rosters look when pitchers and catchers report in mid February.

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2. Do you really think all four starting pitchers returning from offseason surgery are going to simply make the opening day roster without any setbacks? It seems very far fetched.

It is very far fetched. While Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler are returning after significant surgeries, left-hander Steven Matz underwent a simple procedure to remove a bone spur so I’m very confident that he’ll return without any setbacks.

The one pitcher I worry the most about is Wheeler because of the numerous setbacks he’s had already and he’ll always be an injury concern because of his delivery. Although I heard he’s made some modifications to his release point and foot plant, I’ll believe it when I see it and of course we’ll have to see how any tweaks will affect his effectiveness on the mound.

In the last two weeks, all four Mets pitchers have said they feel great and their confidence is high. But we heard those same things from Bobby Parnell and Zack Wheeler in 2014 and we saw how that worked out in spring training. So I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best when Mets camp opens.

3. Joe your best guess. 0-100 we acquire a CF of any significance? I say -27.

I have about a 15% confidence level that we will get a center fielder of significance. I could see the Mets targeting a left-handed platoon center fielder to pair with Lagares. But that won’t happen unless they decide to trade Granderson as well as Bruce. And if that happens, I can see them adding a RH right fielder to pair with Conforto too when the Mets face a tough left-hander.

This is just my best guess. And it’s based on the unlikely event the Mets trade both Bruce and Granderson. And remember that the Mets are very reluctant to move Granderson because of how integral a part he plays on the field and in the clubhouse. I’d be shocked if they move Granderson.

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4. Who is the Mets second baseman of the future? And now that Dilson Herrera was traded for two moths of awful baseball and we’re paying someone with a long history of back issues $17.2 million dollars, can we all admit not re-signing Daniel Murphy was a huge mistake?

I’m going to ignore the Daniel Murphy part of your question because it’s been beaten to death by me and my staff. Now, as to who is the Mets second baseman of the future, that prospect has yet to rear his head. We simply don’t have a second baseman of the future right now. We can slide Gavin Cecchini over to second and say it’s him, we can play T.J. Rivera exclusively at second and say he’s the future guy at second, but honestly I don’t have a name for you. We have some internal bandaid solutions but that’s all.

Interesting thought here, but did you know that before Walker accepted his qualifying offer the Mets were mulling a three-year offer to him? And here’s a scary thought, Sandy Alderson alluded to shortstop prospect Amed Rosario potentially getting exposure at other positions next season, namely second base. That pretty much tells you what the Mets are thinking about the second baseman of the future. At present they don’t have one.

Send your questions to me at JoeD@MetsmerizedOnline.com, or you can try your luck and post them in the comment threads, maybe I’ll see it.

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Asdrubal Cabrera Playing 2B In Winter Ball, Expected To Play In WBC http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/asdrubal-cabrera-playing-2b-in-winter-ball-expected-to-play-in-wbc.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/asdrubal-cabrera-playing-2b-in-winter-ball-expected-to-play-in-wbc.html/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2016 16:27:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228236 asdrubal-cabrera-grand-slam

Asdrubal Cabrera, 31, has been playing Winter Ball in Venezuela. So far, he has gone 0-11 with one walk while playing second base and DH. He also plans to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic in a few months.

Sandy Alderson was initially hesitant about him playing this winter, citing his strained patellar tendon he endured last season, however he changed his mind recently.

Last season, some of which was played through the injury, Cabrera slashed .280/.336/.474 with 23 home runs, 62 RBIs, 30 doubles, and 5 stolen bases in 141 games.

It is very important to keep in mind one thing: Us writers, you readers, even the Mets’ front office can not feel what the players are feeling. Nobody knows their bodies better than they do. Speaking from years of playing experience (as well as two ACL tears) team trainers usually make decisions on playing time based on what the player says. If Asdrubal Cabrera says he is healthy and wants to play Winter Ball to get better, all the more power to him.

If he gets hurt, certainly don’t go blaming him for it. He is an athlete playing a sport, injuries happen. Considering he had the second best season of his career, he should do whatever he did last offseason. Which, by the way, was play winter ball in Venezuela.

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Could Orioles Rekindle Talks with Mets on Jay Bruce for Brad Brach Swap? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/could-orioles-rekindle-talks-with-mets-on-jay-bruce-for-brad-brach-swap.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/could-orioles-rekindle-talks-with-mets-on-jay-bruce-for-brad-brach-swap.html/#comments Sun, 18 Dec 2016 22:19:47 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228132 brad-brach

With the news that the Baltimore Orioles have pulled their offer to free agent outfielder Mark Trumbo, the O’s could again turn their attention to Jay Bruce and rekindle talks with the New York Mets.

Bruce would give the Orioles a 30-35 home run bat without having to invest big dollars or make a significant four year commitment. The current Mets right fielder is owed just $13 million for the 2017 season after which he becomes a free agent.

Reportedly, the Mets and Orioles had been discussing a deal that potentially included top right-handed setup reliever Brad Brach who posted a 2.04 ERA and a 1.038 WHIP in 79.0 innings last season while striking out 92 batters.

Things could get a little interesting this week so stay tuned.

- – - Joe D.

Original Report – Dec 16

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers are still willing to move some of their bullpen pieces this offseason.

Specifically, the Orioles are willing to trade Brad Brach. Earlier this offseason, there were reports the Mets were willing to trade Jay Bruce in exchange for Brach.

The Orioles were more interested in Curtis Granderson, and the Orioles wanted the Mets to pay part of the contract for either Bruce or Granderson.  Ultimately, the Orioles and Mets shelved these trade discussions.

Earlier this offseason, MMO’s own Logan Barer analyzed which Rangers relievers could be a fit for the Mets bullpen in the event the Rangers were interested in obtaining Bruce including lefties Alex ClaudioJake Diekman and righties Sam Dyson and Jeremy Jeffress.

With the outfield market still unresolved, and there being relievers still available on the trade market, the Mets may still be able to move Bruce for a valuable piece this offseason.

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Familia Could Still Face At Least 30 Game Suspension http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/familia-could-still-face-at-least-30-game-suspension.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/familia-could-still-face-at-least-30-game-suspension.html/#comments Fri, 16 Dec 2016 13:55:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=228066 jeurys-familia

New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia is expected to be suspended at least 30 games despite having charges dropped against him according to Kristie Ackert of New York Daily News.

The simple assault charge against Familia was dropped yesterday in Fort Lee Municipal Court, and the judge ordered that the incident be expunged from his record.

Familia now waits on the result of Major League Baseball’s own investigation into the matter with no timetable reportedly set for a decision.

Previous Report – Dec 15

The simple assault charge against Mets closer Jeurys Familia has been dismissed according to Jim Baumbach of Newsday.

The prosecutor Arthur Balsamo met with Familia’s wife Bianca Rivas for five minutes before going in front of the judge. Bianca didn’t want the case to proceed against her husband.

Baumbach said in a tweet “Judge interviewed Familia’s wife and afterward said he didn’t want to refer to her as a victim, but rather a witness”.

The case will be expunged from Familia’s record which could bode well when MLB conducts their own investigation into the allegations.

Familia still faces a possible suspension from Major League Baseball.

Original Report – 7:30 am

New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia will be in Fort Lee Municipal Court in New Jersey today at 9 am, stemming from the simple assault charge that allegedly happened on October 31. In his previous court date, Familia pleaded not guilty and the restraining order against him was lifted.

Familia‘s wife Bianca Rivas, has asked the authorities that the simple assault charges against her husband be dropped, the prosecutor told Jim Baumbach of Newsday. However, judge has stated that the prosecutors can still proceed with the case even if the victim wants to drop the charges.

According to a November report in the New York Post, Familia was “going crazy” and “drunk” the night he was arrested in New Jersey on a domestic violence charge, according to his wife.

According to what Familia’s wife Bianca told the police and also in a 911 call, Familia caused her “bodily injury” which was in the police report. The report also cited a scratch on the chest and a bruise on the right cheek of Bianca, whose name was originally redacted.

Familia is being represented by Jay Reisinger, who represented Aroldis Chapman last offseason on his domestic violence charges. Chapman ultimately ended up serving a 30 game suspension despite the charges in being dropped in his case.

Familia, 27, led major league baseball with 51 saves this past season which also set a new single season franchise record. He has led MLB with 154 regular season appearances over the past two seasons.

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Michael Conforto Will Not Play Winter Ball http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/michael-conforto-will-not-play-winter-ball.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/michael-conforto-will-not-play-winter-ball.html/#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2016 11:00:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227940 michael-conforto

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto has not and will not play any winter ball this offseason.

Despite Terry Collins‘ (and probably most people’s) recommendation for him to play winter ball and get as many reps as possible, Conforto’s representatives are not allowing it because it poses a ‘financial risk,’ according to Adam Rubin on Twitter.

Juan Lagares is allowed by his agents to play in the winter because he is guaranteed money over the next few seasons, and is not in the position Conforto is in. While Lagares is guaranteed money through 2019 (with a team option for 2020), Conforto is going year to year with a low salary almost entirely dictated on his level of play. If he were to get injured in the offseason and lose playing time in 2017, for example, his 2018 salary would take a hit.

In 33 Triple-A games this past season, Conforto absolutely mashed at a .422/.483/.727 (1.209 OPS) clip with nine home runs, eight doubles, and two triples. According to Adam Rubin on Twitter, another reason he did not participate was that the level of play in winter ball is lower than the level of AAA.

Conforto hasn’t just been sitting around doing nothing, though. He has been conditioning all offseason and plans on entering spring training in the best shape of his life. He is hoping that his strides made at the end of last season regarding going the opposite way, as well as some extra muscle, will translate into more home run power. I am hoping for that as well.

The best thing for Michael Conforto is to get as many at-bats as possible against any pitcher not named Madison Bumgarner. We can expect him to get plenty of work during Spring Training, including some innings at first base, as the Mets look for Conforto to significantly bounce back in 2017.

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NL East Report: Nationals Are Pursuing McCutchen, Sale, Melancon http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/nl-east-report-nationals-are-pursuing-mccutchen-sale-melancon.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/nl-east-report-nationals-are-pursuing-mccutchen-sale-melancon.html/#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:30:02 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227528 andrew-mccutchen

There is a lot of chatter about the Mets going into the Winter Meetings, but if you zoom out a bit, there has been more chatter about the National League East than any other division.

The Mets are on track to be healthy going into 2017, and if they are, they will be in a phenomenal position to win a lot of games. Us Mets fans all know that, and it seems the other east coast NL teams are starting to catch on too.

This article will sum up what the other teams in the Mets’ division are up to going into the Winter Meetings. Be prepared, some pretty big names are about to be brought up that would make the Mets’ lives more difficult.

Washington Nationals

The runner-up for 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Trea Turner was dynamite for the Nationals last season, with one caveat. The Nationals did not have any good center field options, so the 23 year-old moved from shortstop, his natural position, to fill the void. He played a good center field, but now the Nationals want him back at shortstop.

Again left without a center fielder, the Nationals have turned their attention to Pirates’ center fielder Andrew McCutchen. The 30 year-old former MVP is being pushed hard by the Pirates this offseason and is expected to be traded in the very near future. With that being said, the Pirates will not trade him if they aren’t satisfied with the return. They are still a tad miffed by how little they got for Neil Walker last offseason (getting only Jonathan Niese), so they must capitalize with Cutch.

The Nationals aren’t planning on stopping there, unfortunately. Despite already having Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, and Joe Ross, the Nationals are trying to make a big move to further improve their starting rotation. Sources have connected the Nationals to White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale.

Bob Nightengale tweeted that the Nats are trying to go for both Sale and McCutchen and believe they have the resources to do so. That would be in addition to acquiring a closer, who many believe to be Mark Melancon who would be returning to Washington after playing the second half of 2016 with them.

The Nationals are gearing up to have an enormous offseason. They will be acquiring a big ticket closer, and most likely will be acquiring the services of Andrew McCutchen. Getting both those two guys and Chris Sale seems to be a long shot, especially considering their rotation is already pretty good. If they really insist on improving their rotation, they could shift their attention to Rays ace Chris Archer who would be slightly cheaper.

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Miami Marlins

Following the untimely death of Jose Fernandez, the Marlins find themselves scrambling to reaffirm themselves as contenders. They have already signed Edinson Volquez to bolster their rotation, but instead of acquiring another starter, they seem to have shifted their attention to acquiring one of the three big free agent closers.

Sources have said that the Marlins would be happy with any of Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman, or Kenley Jansen. If the Marlins were to sign Kenley Jansen they would forfeit their 14th overall pick in the 2017 draft. Despite this, Ken Rosenthal reports that they are possibly willing to offer him five years and $80 million. However, Aroldis Chapman makes more sense for them because, other than them not having to forfeit a first round pick, the Cuban community in Miami could be an attractive prospect for him and vice versa.

The Marlins already have A.J. Ramos who has served well as their closer, however he hasn’t been on the elite level of Melancon, Jansen, or Chapman. Many have reported that they are committed to signing one of those men, and they definitely have the funds to do so.

Atlanta Braves

The Braves have already made a lot of noise this offseason, signing free agent veterans Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey and trading for Jaime Garcia. With those three and Julio Teheran, they have 4/5 of a strong rotation. To complete it, like the Nationals, they have been very vocal about wanting to acquire Chris Sale.

The difference between the Braves and Nationals, which I believe gives them the edge, is that they are not also trying to trade for an MVP caliber player like Andrew McCutchen. They have a stronger farm system than the Nationals and because they don’t have to divide their top prospects into two trades, I believe this gives them a better shot at acquiring the lefty Sale.

Other teams are in on Sale, such as the Astros, Rangers, Red Sox and Dodgers, however out of all those teams, the Braves seem to have the best shot at landing him due to their strong farm system.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Pillies have already acquired veteran reliever Pat Neshek to provide experience in the 8th inning in front of closer Jeanmar Gomez. Now to bolster their bullpen even more, they are nearing a deal with 39 year-old Joaquin Benoit.

It was also reported that the Phillies and Tigers talked about J.D. Martinez, however nothing materialized. It is possible the negotiations will start up again during the meetings, but there have been no reports on that subject since Friday December 2nd.

Stay tuned for more news about the NL East and the rest of the Bigs as this is shaping up  to be an exciting Winter Meetings! LGM!

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Mets Front Office and Ownership Deserve Some Praise http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-front-office-and-ownership-deserve-some-praise.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-front-office-and-ownership-deserve-some-praise.html/#comments Sun, 04 Dec 2016 15:00:01 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227471 sandy-alderson

When the New York Mets entered the offseason after a disappointing Wild Card Game loss to the San Francisco Giants, fans and media alike pondered what type of moves and money the Mets’ front office would make and spend this winter. After all, the team has held a stigma of being “cheap” over the last several years, even though the claim is just not true. The Mets have seen some steady and significant payroll increases over the last three seasons since coming out of their rebuild.

While the Mets have spent the a few seasons ridding themselves of onerous contracts held over from the previous regime and develop talent from within, they started to form a chemistry and cohesion, resulting in back-to-back postseason trips in 2015-16, only the second time that’s occurred in franchise history (1999-00). With the team relying on an inexpensive group of young, top of the rotation starters, that gives them some wiggle room when it comes to doling out contracts in other areas of specific need.

And so far, GM Sandy Alderson and the front office have responded. Fans and beat reporters thought there was a chance that Neil Walker wouldn’t be tendered a qualifying offer, as the price tag of $17.2 million along with Walker’s season-ending back surgery gave some pause as to whether allocating that type of money would make the most financial sense. However, the Mets made the QO to Walker, who accepted minutes before the 5 PM deadline on November 14.

As fans remember, Walker had a career year of sorts in 2016, matching a career high in home runs (23), setting a career high in SLG (.476), OPS (.823), BB% (9.2), and fWAR (3.7). The switch-hitting second baseman also set a career high in his splits against left-handed pitchers in 2016, slashing .330/.391/.610 in 100 at-bats against southpaws, compared to his career line of .269/.327/.373.

rene rivera

The Mets were also unlikely to tender a contract to backup catcher Rene Rivera, according to multiple media reports. The thought process was the $2.2 million price tag Rivera was projected to earn was too pricey for a backup catcher, as the team still has underachieving Kevin Plawecki to back up Travis d’Arnaud at the league minimum.

However, the team came to a one-year $1.75 million deal with Rivera on Friday, keeping Noah Syndergaard‘s personal catcher in the fold for 2017. It appears the front office realized the impact he had on Syndergaard and controlling the running game, as he threw out 30% of would be base stealers last season.

Also keeping a veteran backstop on a team with youthful catchers is a smart choice, as Rivera can act as a second coach to Glenn Sherlock, who was hired as the new third base coach and catching instructor in November. That too, was a shrewd move, as the front office realized that former third base coach Tim Teufel made some questionable decisions with runners on the base paths, while also operating last season without a full time catching instructor on the roster. The hope is Sherlock can work with d’Arnaud and Plawecki, and get them back on track after rocky 2016 seasons for both catchers.

And of course, there’s the matter of Yoenis Cespedes. As soon as Cespedes inked his three-year, $75 million deal last winter with the opt-out after the first season, fans wondered what it would take to retain La Potencia, and if he would just sell himself to the highest bidder on the open market this offseason.

Varying reports about Cespedes’ intentions were spread across the internet: would the Nationals be interested again as they were last season? Could the Dodgers join the fray and add him to an already expensive roster? Would the crosstown rival Yankees swoop in, after shedding payroll with their trades of Carlos Beltran, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Ivan Nova, and Brian McCann?

cespedes press conference

Our editor in chief Joe D. offered his take throughout the month of November, calmly reminding fans that Cespedes’ first choice was always in Queens and that something was brewing between both sides. Sure enough, the Mets announced on Wednesday that they had come to an agreement with the 31-year-old Cuban slugger, agreeing to a four-year, $110 million deal with a full no-trade clause, making him the highest paid outfielder in the game.

The front office and ownership should be applauded for their hard work and dedication moving forward. They too realize the window for winning is now, with all their young arms controlled for the next few years before they have some serious decisions to make on extensions. Retaining the players that made them successful the past two seasons illustrates the level of seriousness they’re taking into each year, and not just standing pat and waiting for the scrapheap free agents to sift through in January and February.

A big part of ownership’s willingness to go out and spend money is the increased gate attendance the team has seen over the past three seasons. In 2014, the Mets totaled 2,148,808, good for 21st in baseball. The following season the Mets were sitting at 12th in attendance, with 2,569,753 fans going through the turnstiles. And in 2016, the Mets made it into the top 10, the first time since 2009, as they were 9th with 2,789,602 in attendance. Alderson did say at a season ticket holder’s event back in 2014 that ownership will spend more money if they’re supported at the gates by fans. So far it seems as if Alderson and ownership have kept their word.

Of course, there is more work to be done, as the team is in need of adding a left-handed reliever and a late inning arm to pair with Addison Reed, as it appears Jeurys Familia might face a suspension for his domestic violence arrest in October. The Mets also need to decide on moving one (or both) of Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce, depending on who fetches them the greatest return. If the Mets continue working dutifully as they have when it comes to their own free agents, I have faith that Alderson and Co. have a game plan for who they will target at this week’s Winter Meetings in Maryland. Stay tuned…

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Still Work Left To Be Done in Mets Offseason http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/still-work-left-to-be-done-in-mets-offseason.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/still-work-left-to-be-done-in-mets-offseason.html/#comments Sat, 03 Dec 2016 14:30:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227250 jay-bruce

Last offseason, the Mets re-signing Yoenis Cespedes put the final touches on the team everyone hoped would compete for a World Series. This year, the re-signing of Cespedes is really just a start for a team that still needs to make a number of moves this offseason.

Here is a look at the moves the Mets still need to make:

TRADE JAY BRUCE

With Cespedes back, Jay Bruce likely becomes the outfielder the Mets will trade this offseason. In his nine year career, Bruce has been a .248/.318/.467 hitter who has averaged 27 homers and 82 RBI. At $13 million next season, that production is arguably a bargain. That is probably a reason why teams have been in contact with the Mets trying to inquire what the team will want in exchange for Bruce. While it is hard to believe the Mets will be able to bring in a prospect like Dilson Herrera or a player that will have a similar impact that Bruce will have in 2017, it should not be ruled out that the Mets will be able to acquire a player of consequence that will help the team next season.

DETERMINE MICHAEL CONFORTO’S POSITION

If the Mets are going to trade Bruce, it is another sign that the Mets see Michael Conforto as an everyday player. Where he will be an everyday player remains to be seen. With Cespedes returning for four years with a no trade clause, the only thing we know is that Conforto will not be the teams everyday left fielder anytime soon. That leaves center and right field.

During Conforto’s time in AAA last year, he began learning both positions. In his limited time in the majors at both positions, he showed he may very well be able to handle either position on an everyday basis. However, given the presence of Juan Lagares on this team, the best thing for Conforto and the Mets is to transition him to right field. Let him get fully acclimated there and focus on getting back to where he was April of last year. This will also let Lagares and Curtis Granderson handle center field duties next season, which was a platoon that may work very well for the Mets next year.

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OBTAIN A LOOGY

Last year, Jerry Blevins had a terrific year out of the bullpen for the Mets as a LOOGY. In fact, he proved to be a bit more as he had a career best year pitching against right-handed batters. However, he is a free agent now, and the Mets do not appear as if they are able or inclined to give him the multi-year deal that he may command in free agency.

The internal left-handed options are Josh Edgin and Josh Smoker. Edgin did have some success against left-handed batters in limited duty in the majors last year, but with his velocity still not having fully returned after his Tommy John surgery, it is hard to rely upon him in any capacity next year. Smoker had outstanding strikeout rates in the minors and the majors last year, but he has reverse splits. Therefore, the Mets are going to have to look outside the organization to figure out who will be the first lefty out of the pen next season.

OBTAIN ONE OR MORE LATE INNING RELIEVERS

The Mets bullpen really is in a state of flux at the moment due to the Jeurys Familia domestic violence arrest. Pending an investigation by MLB, it’s possible that Familia will miss a significant number of games next season. If that is the case, Addison Reed should prove more than capable of closing games in Familia’s absence. This begs the question of who will step up and take over Reed’s role in the short term.

It was a question the Mets faced most of 2016, and they did not find a good answer until they obtained Fernando Salas on the eve of the waiver trade deadline. Given his late inning and closing experience, Salas would be a good option to pitch in the seventh, eighth, or ninth inning next year. However, he is a free agent at the moment meaning the Mets are going to have to presumably sign or trade for someone to take over this role. In fact, the Mets may very well need two late inning relievers to address the bullpen.

SIGN A VETERAN STARTER

The one lesson learned from the 2016 season should be that once again you can never have too much pitching. With the return of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz, the Mets rotation is almost complete. The question is who will become the team’s fifth starter.

The first name that will be mentioned is Zack Wheeler. However, after missing all of 2015 and 2016, no one can be quite certain he is ready and able to assume the fifth starter’s role. The next names that will be mentioned are Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. Both pitched quite well for the Mets in the stretch run last year, but the Mets may prefer to have a veteran arm who is able to eat up innings and/or can go deeper into the season than any of the aforementioned pitchers. Preferably, the pitcher they do sign would be willing to move to the bullpen in the event Wheeler, Lugo, or Gsellman wins the job in Spring Training or is ready to take over at some point during the season.

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FIGURE OUT THE BACK-UP CATCHER SITUATION

There are some reports out there the Mets are inclined to non-tender Rene Rivera despite his excellent work with Noah Syndergaard and the young Mets pitchers last year. Whatever the Mets decide to do, they first have to realize that Kevin Plawecki has twice proven he should not be relied upon to be the team’s primary back-up catcher. Next, the Mets have to realize they need a viable backup who can handle playing a number of games due to Travis d’Arnaud‘s injury history.

There are some other matters that need to be figured out as well. For example, do you want Ty Kelly and T.J. Rivera competing for the last spot on the bench, or do you want to re-sign Kelly Johnson? The answer to this and many other questions will largely depend on how much money the Mets have to spend the offseason and/or what the Mets are able to obtain in exchange for Bruce.

Cespedes was a great start to the offseason, but the Mets work is far from over.

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Mets Would Like to Add Two Lefty Relievers http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-would-like-to-add-two-lefty-relievers.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/12/mets-would-like-to-add-two-lefty-relievers.html/#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2016 15:57:00 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227410 jerry-blevins-mets-win

The New York Mets biggest need left this offseason is improving the bullpen and according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports, they intend to add at least two left-handed relievers.

One of those lefties could be simply re-signing Jerry Blevins who pitched for the Mets the past two seasons. Blevins had a 2.49 ERA, 1.085 WHIP, and struck out 10.7 batters per nine innings over two seasons with the Mets.

The left-handed reliever market has seen some action already this offseason with Brett Cecil (4 years, $30.5MM) signing and Marc Rzepczynski (2 years) on the verge of a deal.

Other names still available on the LOOGY market include Boone Logan, Travis Wood, J.P. Howell, and Mike Dunn.

The in-house options for the Mets that are on the 40-man roster are Josh Smoker (reverse splits), Josh Edgin (diminished velo), and Sean Gilmartin (bad 2016).

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MLB Owners and Players Union Agree On New CBA http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mlb-owners-and-players-union-agree-on-new-cba.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/mlb-owners-and-players-union-agree-on-new-cba.html/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2016 01:54:38 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227197 manfred-rob

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, MLB Owners and the MLB Players Association have agreed on a new collective-bargaining agreement that will run for five years.

This is great news as they were able to avoid any work stoppage, lockout or disruption of the Winter Meetings.

We’ll have all the details once the new CBA is posted.

#MoarTraids!

Original Report – Nov. 29

MLB Owners and the MLB Players Association continue to negotiate around the clock in Dallas, TX as the current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on Thursday, December 1.

However, if sufficient progress on the new CBA is not made in the next few days, MLB Owners will not send any of their front office contingencies to participate in the upcoming Baseball Winter Meetings, according to a report from Buster Olney of ESPN.com.

The MLB Winter Meetings are scheduled to begin on Dec. 5 in Washington D.C. and run through Dec. 8.

While the Players Union say they are willing to continue operating under the old agreement until a new one is worked out, Team Owners have already threatened a lockout which would not only shutdown the hot stove season, but potentially interrupt Spring Training and the start of the regular season as well.

The lag in trades and signings this offseason can be attributed to most teams being unwilling to vigorously attack their offseason goals until they know what the new Luxury Tax threshold will be.

Other things at stake are the possibility of an International Draft and eliminating the current Qualifying Offer System. But the biggest issue as always is dividing up the record revenues as the players want a bigger piece of that pie.

Meanwhile, until something can be worked out, the biggest free agents on the market may have to wait before they can start agreeing to their new multi-year deals. That includes Yoenis Cespedes who is expected to re-sign with the Mets once this CBA is finally worked out according to one person I spoke to with knowledge of the situation… If not sooner. (woo hoo!)

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Jay Bruce’s Days Are Numbered, Where Will He End Up? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/jay-bruces-days-are-numbered-where-will-he-end-up.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/jay-bruces-days-are-numbered-where-will-he-end-up.html/#comments Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:30:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227249 jay-bruce

The Mets have re-signed Yoenis Cespedes, so all can rejoice. All, that is, with the exception of right fielder Jay Bruce. The return of Cespedes has all but guaranteed that Bruce will be on the move in the near future, so lets’ talk about what the Mets can expect to get for him and where he might go.

The fact of the matter is that Bruce, 29, is a good player who just plain does not have a place on the Mets. He will make $13 million wherever he ends up, and that will be a bargain if he hits 30 home runs with 95 RBIs as he is certainly capable of, as he has done four times already.

The three-time All Star and two-time Silver Slugger did not seem to enjoy his time in orange and blue, hitting only .219 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs after his midseason acquisition. However, he still finished the year with 33 home runs, 99 RBIs, and six triples making him as big a threat at the plate as ever. He should end up being a hot commodity this offseason, and here are Metsmerized’s predictions of where he will end up:

Toronto Blue Jays

After having 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion and RF Jose Bautista elect free agency, the Blue Jays have over 80 home runs to replace. They already brought in DH Kendrys Morales on a 3-year $33 million contract, and with Justin Smoak and Chris Colabello available to play first base, it seems like they will shift their attention to right field.

Jay Bruce would be a great fit in the middle of their lineup with Josh Donaldson, Kendrys Morales, and Troy Tulowitzki, and they know that. Chris Cotillo reports that the Blue Jays are “making a push” for Bruce, as he would be a lot cheaper (and younger) than bringing back Bautista.

In return, the Mets could ask for reliever Danny Barnes. The 27 year-old pitched 13.2 innings for the Blue Jays in 2016, striking out 14 batters and recording a 3.95 ERA. However, in a minor league career spanning six seasons, he pitched to a 2.39 ERA, striking out an impressive 422 batters in 320.1 innings. He relies primarily on a fastball and slider combination, sounds like some Warthen could help get even better.

He could immediately bolster the Mets bullpen, and if the Jays were to add a high-level prospect to the deal, it could be a good haul for the Mets. Another player to keep an eye on his right-handed pitcher Joe Biagini who can start and relieve. Biagini dials his fastball up to 96 MPH, throws a hard slider at 90, while also throwing a curveball and changeup.

The Jays have also been linked to free agent Dexter Fowler, but as they already have the Gold Glove-caliber Kevin Pillar in center field, signing a corner guy like Bruce makes much more sense.

The last time the Mets and Blue Jays dealt with each other, it ended up working out pretty well for the Mets. They sent R.A. Dickey and Josh Thole to Toronto for Noah Syndergaard, Wuilmer Becerra and Travis d’Arnaud.

Baltimore Orioles 

Jay Bruce going to the Orioles would be contingent on whether or not they bring back slugger Mark Trumbo, as currently they do not have a right fielder.

In return for Bruce, the Mets would love to get either a late inning reliever or some prospects to replenish the farm system. The Orioles could offer someone who can fill the 7th inning in front of Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia, and that’s little-known RHP Mychal Givens.

After posting a 2.75 ERA and 9.6 K/9 rate in the minor leagues, Givens was called up in 2015 and pitched 30 innings for the Orioles, striking out 38 batters and posting a 1.80 ERA. He earned his spot on the 2016 roster and didn’t disappoint, going 8-2 with a 3.13 ERA. In 74.2 innings he struck out 96 batters, good for an 11.6 K/9 rate, up from the 11.4 he posted in 2015.

As the Mets have nothing to lose by trading Bruce and plenty to gain, bringing in a guy like Givens would be a great haul. He is only 26 years old and has five more years under team control.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners currently have Seth Smith patrolling right field. While he is very consistent, as you can bet you’ll get about 15 HRs and 50 RBIs out of him every year, he is an average corner outfielder at best. In left field they have 24 year-old rookie Ben Gamel who has yet to see any ABs in the Show, and has a .288/.345/.404 batting line spanning seven Minor League seasons. 

The Mariners, though, plan on being contenders, so those two just aren’t going to cut it. Having dealt for infielder Danny Valencia late last season and shortstop Jean Segura more recently, they have been racking up some good players to make a push in the AL West. A player like Bruce would certainly help solidify them as a contender.

They have a few relievers that the Mets would find very appealing. They have acting closer Edwin Diaz who saved 18 games last seasons. The righty had a 2.79 ERA, striking out 88 batters In 51.2 innings, good for an impressive 15.3 K/9.

They also have former Marlins closer Steve Cishek. While he is a bit more expensive, owed $6 million in 2017, he has proven himself as an effective late-inning reliever. He saved 25 games for the Mariners in 2016, posting a 2.81 ERA in 64 innings while striking out 76.

The righty has 120 saves in his career, so adding him into the mix with Addison Reed (106 career saves) and Jeurys Familia (100 career saves) gives the Mets a lot of experience in high-pressure situations. They would make for a solid 7-8-9 punch at the end of games.

jay bruce

Included in Jay Bruce’s contract is a limited no-trade clause, meaning he can veto any trades to the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks. I don’t see that as an issue, though, as most of those teams are either in selling mode or do not need a right fielder.

The Yankees could want Bruce, but judging by his apprehension about going to New York at the deadline, I doubt he would waive his NTC.

It is possible the Mets keep Jay Bruce. The Mets have the option to trade either him, Curtis Granderson, or even Michael Conforto if they wanted. However, if they were to trade Bruce, it is most likely that he will go to one of the above teams.

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Dodgers Deep In Debt, Time To Trade For Yasiel Puig? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/dodgers-deep-in-debt-time-to-trade-for-yasiel-puig.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/dodgers-deep-in-debt-time-to-trade-for-yasiel-puig.html/#comments Tue, 29 Nov 2016 15:00:21 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227181 Yasiel-Puig

The Los Angeles Dodgers are deep in debt. While this offseason they are scrambling to find a second baseman, third baseman, and a closer, they don’t have the ability to spend as much money as they want. After spending over one billion dollars on players alone from 2013-2016, their exemption from MLB debt rules expires in 2017.

The Dodgers are left with a conundrum. How do they shed enough payroll while still filling their needs? They have been linked to free agent closers Kenley Jansen, and if they can’t resign him, Aroldis Chapman. They have also said they want to bring back former Met Justin Turner, but he will be signing a serious contract this offseason. If they want to bring back these players, they need to trade away some of their big contracts.

Their biggest contract, Clayton Kershaw, isn’t going anywhere. Scott Kazmir, who is owed $32 million over the next two years, could certainly be on the move, but he doesn’t perk the Mets interest at all because the Mets should be pretty set with starting pitching barring injuries. Adrian Gonzalez is owed $43 million over the next two seasons, but again, the Mets wouldn’t want him as they have Lucas Duda for 2017, then potentially Dominic Smith for years to come.

Andre Ethier is owed $35 million over the next two seasons, so he could certainly be on the move as well. However, there is another Dodger outfielder that has not only been mentioned in many trade rumors, but I think is right up the Mets’ alley.

Yasiel puig

Why Trade For Him?

Yasiel Puig, 25, is owed about $17.5 million over the next two seasons, and is arbitration eligible in 2019 making for three years under team control. Now, I know what you’re thinking, so I’ll address the elephant in the room right up front. He has been described as many things, including dramatic, a punk, a prima donna, etc. It is easy for us to look in from the outside and make our own judgments, but I’d like to remind you all of something:

Those are exactly the kinds of words people were using to describe Yoenis Cespedes before he became a Met. However, since he came to Flushing, he has been one of the most beloved players by not only the fans, but his teammates and coaches as well. Of course, I do not know if this is the case with Puig, but judging by his frequent Tweets and interactions with the press, reports about his negative attitude could be greatly exaggerated.

Putting aside talks about his attitude, Puig is exactly the kind of player the Mets should be pursuing currently. They say they want a powerful right-handed outfielder, well, here he is. Not only can he hit, he is a great right fielder with a video game arm, earning the 2(-5) rating on his Strat-O-Matic card. He can also play a very good left or center field if needed, which certainly should perk Sandy Alderson’s interest a bit more.

Picture this for a second: In left field you have Yoenis Cespedes, in center field is Juan Lagares, and in right field is Yasiel Puig. Cespedes and Puig have two of the best arms in the Show, if not the best, and Lagares’ arm is well above average as well. Each of those three outfielders have recorded 15 assists in a season at least once. In addition to their arms, they all have great speed.

An outfield consisting of those three men would severely curtail the amount of extra base hits and sacrifice flies the Mets allow. With the Mets’ starting rotation supposedly healthy going into 2017, a strong defensive outfield would make them even better, and Cespedes/Lagares/Puig is as strong as it gets.

Puig hasn’t played a full season since 2014 due to injuries. He played in only 79 games in 2015 and 104 games in 2016. Last year, he hit .263/.323/.416 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs. While those numbers can be interpreted as under-producing, we must all remember that he is still only 25 years old and still developing as a player. He has a lot more potential in his bat, and everyone knows that, because they’ve seen it.

After finishing 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting in 2013 behind Jose Fernandez, he played in 148 games in 2014, slashing .296/.382/.480 with 16 home runs, 69 RBIs, 165 hits, nine triples, and 11 stolen bases. He made his first All Star team en route to finishing 19th in MVP voting (his teammate Clayton Kershaw would win it that season).

His potential is undeniable, and a move to New York City could benefit him the same way it did Yoenis Cespedes. After being traded to NY, Cespedes has seen an increase in almost all of his offensive statistics. He loves it here, and judging by how Puig interacts with the media, it seems he would too. If Cespedes were to return, he could take the young Puig under his wing.

The Mets also have something the Dodgers don’t: A plethora of real veteran leaders. They’ve got captain David WrightRoberto Clemente Award-winning outfielder Curtis Granderson, as well as veterans Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes. The Dodgers had some veterans, including Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, and Chase Utley, but they didn’t seem to be the right mentors for Puig, while the Mets have veterans that could be.

wilmer flores cc

What Would It Take?

Not that much at all, actually. As I mentioned earlier, the Dodgers quite literally do not have a second or third baseman. Furthermore, they quite literally have to shed contract obligations.

As much as I love him, the Dodgers would jump at an opportunity to acquire a player like Wilmer Flores, who can play both second and third base while being a solid presence in the lineup. He is projected to make $2-3 million through arbitration in 2017, and would be a much cheaper option for the Dodgers than trying to retain FA Justin Turner when they truly can not take on more big contracts.

Flores put up solid numbers in 2016, setting new career highs in batting average (.267), on-base percentage (.319), and slugging percentage while matching his career high in home runs (16) in 103 games. He was on track to easily beat more of his career highs before his season ended with a wrist injury.

His trade value is high right now, partly because of his progression as a hitter but also because of his prowess crushing left-handed pitchers. The Mets can afford to trade him because of their extensive infield depth. If the Mets trade Wilmer, they would have Lucas Duda at first, Neil Walker at second, Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop, David Wright at third, with Jose Reyes and T.J. Rivera as backup infielders.

The Dodgers could also be interested in acquiring Rivera or possibly Matt Reynolds, but I think they would mostly be interested in Flores.

The Dodgers outfield would be just fine without Puig, with Andrew Toles in left field, Joc Pederson in center, and Andre Ethier in right with Enrique Hernandez as their fourth outfielder. While the Dodgers would probably to prefer to trade Ethier, his age (34) and his remaining contract (2 years, $35 million) would make that difficult. Trading Puig just makes sense for them.

Long story short, after the Mets trade Jay Bruce, which they probably will, at least looking into acquiring Yasiel Puig might be a good idea.

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Jay Bruce’s Mets Future Tied to Yoenis Cespedes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/jay-bruces-mets-future-tied-to-yoenis-cespedes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/jay-bruces-mets-future-tied-to-yoenis-cespedes.html/#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2016 18:11:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=227164 yoenis-cespedes-jay-bruce

According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets have been receiving inquiries on Jay Bruce all offseason. However, the Mets are not inclined to move Bruce until the Yoenis Cespedes situation has been resolved.

At the moment, the market appears to be heating up as Cespedes shares the same goal as the Mets do in signing a deal by the completion of the Winter Meetings, whether it be a four or five year deal with the Mets or otherwise. The Winter Meetings are scheduled for December 4th – 8th.

The Mets and Bruce haven’t had a stellar relationship, as it was reported before the 2016 trade deadline, Bruce allegedly asked to be traded “anywhere but New York.” That, as well as the Mets’ plethora of outfielders and his less than stellar performance in a Mets uniform, makes him an obvious trade chip.

As it is far from certain whether or not Cespedes will return, the Mets will continue to monitor the Bruce trade market. In fact, it could very well be the Mets do not move Bruce as the loss of Cespedes would create a power void in the lineup. Given the Mets and Cespedes’ timeline, we should know more about both players in a little more than a week.

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Encarnacion Rejects Four Year, $80 Million Offer From Blue Jays http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/encarnacion-rejects-four-year-80-million-offer-from-blue-jays.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/encarnacion-rejects-four-year-80-million-offer-from-blue-jays.html/#comments Mon, 21 Nov 2016 22:51:58 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226925 edwin-encarnacion

According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays offered Edwin Encarnacion a four-year contract worth $80 million dollars earlier this offseason, but were turned down. Still, Heyman says that Toronto is still open to re-signing him despite signing Kendrys Morales a week ago.

“The Jays didn’t entice Encarnacion to make a quick decision to return with their offer, but their continuing interest suggests the deal they offered is likely still on the table, at the least.”

A three time All Star, Encarnacion has been one of the premier power hitters in the game for a while now. Since 2012, he hasn’t hit less than 34 home runs, and that year he only played in 128 games.

In those five seasons, he has hit .272/.367/.544 with 193 home runs, 553 RBI, and 27 stolen bases. The former Cincinnati Reds third baseman played 160 games for the Blue Jays in 2016, belting 42 home runs and leading the American League with 127 RBIs.

The question is does the Encarnacion want more dollars or a fifth year? There are only three premier right-handed power hitters in this free agent market, so in a market that is so often driven by scarcity and demand, perhaps there’s a fifth year out there for Encarnacion despite the fact he’ll be 34 next spring.

However, I’m guessing he’s looking for an average annual salary of $25 million which isn’t exactly out of the question for his production. The other thing could be that Yoenis Cespedes is the linchpin to this offseason for power hitters and they are waiting to see what he signs for.

The Red Sox, Yankees and the suddenly free spending Astros have all been connected to Encarnacion who mostly DH’ed last season.

Of course this news is going to bring on an onslaught of posts saying that Cespedes is as good as gone as far as the New York Mets are concerned. It’s horse shit of course and just a nice way to get a bump in traffic for 15 minutes.

I am still hearing from more than one baseball insider that Sandy Alderson and his front office are in close negotiations with Cespedes and his agents, as they look to get something done before the Winter Meetings.

And one person I spoke with says that talks have advanced to a level he described as “serious.” I still believe an announcement is very close.

Encarnacion turning down his offer from the Blue Jays will have little to no bearing on what the Mets and Cespedes will ultimately do.

And as for that Cespedes to the Yankees rumor that one site keeps perpetuating every single day, you can use it to wipe your ass with in case you run out of Charmin. There is no real buzz on that other than an obligatory check-in almost a month ago.

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Yankees Could Show Interest In Cespedes http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/yankees-could-show-interest-in-cespedes.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/yankees-could-show-interest-in-cespedes.html/#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2016 15:00:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226740 yoenis-cespedes-2-550

If the New York Yankees weren’t serious suitors for Yoenis Cespedes this offseason, they may very well be now.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has said the recent Brian McCann trade has made the Cespedes pursuit more plausible. It’s possible the talks that have already taken place may intensify with Cashman saying, “I’m sure [the agents and I] will talk again. Now that we have more flexibility, it gives us more chances.” (James Wagner, New York Times).

The Yankees retained $5.5 million of McCann’s salary in 2017 and 2018. Ultimately, the trade opens up an additional $23 million in payroll for the Yankees.

Previous reports indicated Cespedes wants to sign a free agent deal with one of four possible teams by the beginning of December. The Mets have been listed as one possibility. It may turn out the Yankees are another.

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Heyman Predicts Cespedes Will Get 4 Years, $110 Million http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/heyman-predicts-cespedes-will-get-4-years-110-million.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/heyman-predicts-cespedes-will-get-4-years-110-million.html/#comments Thu, 17 Nov 2016 18:30:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226698 yoenis cespedes

Jon Heyman recently released his free agent contract predictions on Fan Rag, writing about the top-56 players on the market. This list includes 2016 Mets Yoenis Cespedes, Jerry Blevins, and Fernando Salas.

Heyman predicts that Cespedes, the best offensive free agent this offseason, will get a four-year deal worth $110 million. The $27.5 million annual salary is consistent with MMO’s predictions as well.

Cespedes hit .280/.354/.530 with 31 home runs and 86 RBIs in 2016, solidifying himself as the Mets’ best hitter. He also provides excellent defense in left field, having won the Gold Glove Award in 2015. He is prone to the occasional unacceptable, lackadaisical gaffe, however he always seems to make up for it.

jerry blevins

Heyman describes Jerry Blevins as a “nice lefty specialist” and “good for a clubhouse,” and I couldn’t agree more. Blevins was phenomenal for the Mets out of the bullpen in 2016, going 4-2 with a 2.79 ERA. He appeared in 73 games, striking out 52 batters in 42 innings while also recording two saves.

His contract is predicted to be around two-years and $12 million, which the Mets seem to be able to afford. While the Mets currently have lefties Josh Smoker and Josh Edgin, it would not be the least bit surprising to see Blevins in the 2017 Mets bullpen.

fernando salas

Fernando Salas was great for the Mets down the stretch and represents yet another fantastic low-cost signing by Sandy Alderson. He appeared in 17 games, striking out 19 batters in 17.1 innings while pitching to a stellar 2.08 ERA and 0.635 WHIP.

Heyman predicts that Salas will receive a two-year, $8 million deal. The Mets, who already have Jeurys Familia, Addison Reed, Hansel Robles, and others, seem to be in the market for a reliever a tier higher than Salas.

Not on Heyman’s list was Kelly Johnson, who will be sought after this offseason for his versatility in the field as well as his clutch bat. I find it unlikely that the Mets will be pursuing him because they already have Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, and T.J. Rivera as infield depth.

This is already turning out to be an exciting and eventful offseason, but the fun is just beginning!

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