Mets Merized Online » Ricky Nolasco Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:18:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hot Stove: Mets Are Not In On Bronson Arroyo Tue, 10 Dec 2013 23:30:26 +0000 REDS

Mets Are Not In On Arroyo, Twins Closing In

It didn’t take long for Jon Heyman and Marc Caring to confirm our report when we tweeted the following:

The Mets have said they are interested, they also said yesterday that they are not looking to sign any pitcher to multiple year deals. But MMO was told that the Mets have yet to even meet with Arroyo.

Talks between the Minnesota Twins and the agent for Bronson Arroyo are intensifying. The Twins were bent on revamping their rotation this offseason and have already signed free agents Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. They are definitely still in, writes LaVelle E. Neal.

Walt Jocketty of the Reds told reporters that he also met with Arroyo’s agent, Terry Bross, today. Arroyo is reportedly looking for a three-year deal.

Arroyo, 37, is one of the most consistent pitchers in the game and wasn’t given a one-year qualifying offer by the Cincinnati Reds, which adds to his appeal. He has tossed 200 or more innings for eight straight seasons and last year he posted a 3.79 ERA in hitter friendly Great American.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox

Brett Anderson to the Rockies

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Rockies are acquiring Anderson from the A’s in return for left-hander Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Chris Jensen. The A’s had a glut of starting pitchers and it was clear Anderson would be the one to go.

I always though the A’s would get more for Anderson. Not too sure they accomplished anything more than moving some salary. ($8 million)

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

D’Backs Get Trumbo, Angels Get Steal

The Diamondbacks have acquired slugger Mark Trumbo from the Angels in a three-team deal with the White Sox, first reported by Jon Heyman.

The Angels would send Trumbo and two players to be named later to Arizona, while centerfielder Adam Eaton goes to Chicago, and pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago land in Anaheim.

I’ve got to say that I love this from the Angels’ perspective.

Trumbo, 27, is coming off a .234/.294/.453 season and while he did hit 34 home runs in 2013, his other metrics point to a decline and defensively he’s below average no matter where he plays.

Skaggs is very highly regarded prospect. The 22-year-old lefty has produced a 3.34 ERA in 87 minor league starts and was a 40th-overall pick of the 2009 draft. Coming into this season, he was ranked as the 9th best prospect by Jonathan Mayo.

Santiago, 25, is a nice catch too. In parts of three big-league seasons, he a 3.41 ERA in 27 starts and a 51 relief appearances.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Mets Won’t Go More Than Two Years On Drew

According to multiple major league sources, the Red Sox are planning to wait the market out to see what develops for Stephen Drew before considering a definitive offer for the shortstop, reports WEEI. There is some thought throughout baseball that Drew’s market might be limited due to the fact that any team — other than the Red Sox — would be required to surrender a draft pick.

The Mets have long been tied to the 31-year-old shortstop, but for now will stay on the sidelines unless they are able to clear more payroll flexibility by unloading Ike Davis or Daniel Murphy or both. Sandy ratcheted down expectations that the team would make another big splash like Granderson. But MMO’s John Delcos reports that if the price is right Sandy will pounce.Apparently that right price would be no more than a two year deal according to Mets beat writers.

corey hart

Brewers Say They Gotta have Hart

Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel spoke with Corey Hart’s agent, Jeff Berry, who told him that the Brewers have made Hart “a priority” in terms of trying to re-sign the slugging first baseman. At the same time, Berry made it clear there is interest from many teams.

“There’s a tremendous relationship between Corey and the Milwaukee Brewers,” said Berry, who is attending baseball’s winter meetings. “He was their longest-tenured player. It’s a tremendous organization with tremendous people that Corey and his family have grown up with.”

“That said, there has to be a fit for both sides. We’re certainly open to doing that. The Brewers, as always have been very communicative. They have made Corey a priority. We’ll see how it all plays out. We will meet with all the (interested) teams. There’s interest in Corey from many teams.”

It’s well documented that Hart’s preference is to stay with the Brewers and he offered to take less money for a deal with them.

Though Hart missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing surgeries on both knees, Berry said he is healthy now and ready to play. How much concern there is from the Brewers or other teams about his knees going forward will determine what kinds of deals are offered.

Last week, a source told MMO that the New York Mets had not contacted Hart or made any offer to the former Brewers first baseman after several rumors surfaced hat the Mets were very interested.

“There’s been a few teams, but the Mets are not one of them.”

The 31-year old slugger also admitted that he has lost 20 pounds while rehabbing his knees and believes that bodes well for a return to the outfield.

Over his previous three seasons entering his lost 2013 campaign, Hart has hit .280 with an .857 OPS and has averaged 30 homers. Hart’s versatility will certainly be a big part of his appeal in addition to his righthanded power.


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Hot Stove News: Nationals Acquire RHP Doug Fister From Tigers Tue, 03 Dec 2013 02:32:29 +0000 doug fister

Nats Get Doug Fister From Tigers

The Washington Nationals have acquired starting pitcher Doug Fister in a trade with the Detroit Tigers for infielder Steve Lombardozzi, left-hander Ian Krol and minor league lefty Robbie Ray.

Fister, 29, went 14-9 with a 3.67 ERA in 33 games last year in his third season with the Tigers. Fister was tied for the American League lead in getting batters to ground into double plays. He allowed 0.6 home runs per nine innings, second best in the AL.

“This is an exciting day for the Washington Nationals,” said Washington GM Mike Rizzo in a statement. “We feel we’ve added a talented, young veteran to our starting pitching corps. Doug is battle-tested through playoff experiences, and the depth he brings to our staff is exceptional. We are thrilled to welcome him aboard.”

Great deal for the Nats and what a way to bolster the rotation as he promised fans after the season. The Tigers will replace go with Drew Smyly in the rotation in place of Fister.

scott kazmir

Beane Signs Former Mets Top Prospect

The A’s and Scott Kazmir have reached an agreement on a two-year, $22 million contract, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.

Kazmir, 29, pitched for the Indians last year, going 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA. He was particularly impressive in the second half with Cleveland, going 5-5 while lowering his ERA from its first-half level of 4.60 to 3.38. Along the way, Kazmir brought his strikeouts up while lowering his walks. Kazmir won’t require the A’s to sacrifice their first-round pick.

The $22 million deal is $1 million shy of Tim Hudson‘s two-year, $23 million deal with the Giants. Beane set out to add a starter to the rotation and he completed his mission before the start of the Winter Meetings.

*Aug 08 - 00:05*

Twins Sign Hughes To Three-Year Deal

The Twins have agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal with Phil Hughes according to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune who cites an anonymous source. A source with knowledge of the talks tells Neal that the Twins are expected to announce the deal after Hughes passes his physical.

When the free-agent meat market opened, Phil Hughes was a pitcher the Mets were very interested in, however, a month into the Hot Stove season and they bowed out on the former Yankees starter. The 27-year old was young and his flyball rate made him a perfect fit for Citi Field. Poor Metsies, those big 2013 spenders, they’re on the outside looking in again… Predictably… Well… Predictably for some… (11/30)


Cano and Yankees Still $100 Million Apart

According to a report by Ken Davidoff of the NY Post, during last week’s meeting with the Yankees, free agent Robinson Cano was seeking a nine-year contract for between $250 and $260 million. The source told the Post the Yankees countered with a seven-year deal for between $160 million and $175 million, putting the two sides nearly $100 million apart. The two sides are scheduled to speak again on Monday.

Davidoff says that the Yankees have been adamant they won’t sit and wait for Cano to fully navigate free agency, with so many other holes to fill. The Yankees have already held discussions with free-agent outfielders Carlos BeltranShin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury and infielder Stephen Drew. (11/30)

"<strongHanley Ramirez” src=”×218.jpg” width=”350″ height=”218″ />

Hanley Dodging Free Agency?

The Dodgers are discussing an extension with Hanley Ramirez reports Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes. Ramirez, 29, is under contract for next year, but he has had ongoing extension talks with the Dodgers,

“We are negotiating something, but we are going step by step,” Ramirez said while declining to discuss the salary and length of a potential deal. The shortstop/third baseman is currently completing a six-year, $70 million deal he signed while with the Marlins.

Last season, Ramirez slashed at .345/.402/.638 with twenty home runs and ten stolen bases in 336 plate appearances. Despite missing time with injuries he posted an incredible 5.1 WAR ranking 25th among field players according to MLBTR. (11/30)


O’s To Deal Johnson?

The Orioles are willing to listen to trade offers for closer Jim Johnson, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. One of the top closers in the league, Johnson is expected to earn as much as $10.8 million in arbitration. That’s more than the entire Mets bullpen combined.

The Baltimore Sun reports that after talking to people within the organization, the trade talk for Johnson definitely has more legs than previous reports that the Orioles were open to dealing shortstop J.J. Hardy or catcher Matt Wieters this offseason.

Johnson, 30, led the American League in saves with 50, and tied Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for the Major League lead. In 2012, Johnson had 51 saves giving him 101 over the last two years – the best mark in the Majors. (11/29)


Way To Go Joe

The Angels made it official and announced that they have signed free-agent reliever Joe Smith to a three-year deal worth $15.75 million.

Smith, 29, had a 2.29 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 54 strikeouts in 63 innings last season. Over the past three seasons, the former Met sidewinder has compiled a 2.42 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 197 innings in the 2011-13 seasons. He’s also been very good at stranding inherited baserunners the past two seasons, allowing only 15 of his 70 inherited runners to score. (11/29)


Oh Ricky You’re So Fine

According to Chris Cotillo of the MLB Daily Dish, the Minnesota Twins have reached an agreement with free agent right-hander Ricky Nolasco. The deal is for four years and $48 million, with a 5th year option for $13 million with a $1 million buyout.

While pitching for the Marlins and Dodgers, Nolasco posted a solid 3.70 ERA, 1.21 WHIP in 199.1 innings with 165 strikeouts and 45 walks allowed.

The Twins have been on the hunt for two pitchers and in the 30-year old Nolasco they get one with a solid track record. That said, he could be very pricey and some project a four-year deal in excess of $50 million dollars.

When this offseason started, Sandy said he had about 25 pitchers on his wish list. I would have to think that list is down to 17-18 now. (11/28)

justin morneau

Morneau To The Rockies?

Troy Renck of the Denver Post is reporting that Colorado Rockies are ever so close to landing first baseman Justin Morneau. Morneau, a former MVP, had a disappointing season after slashing at .259/.323/.411 in 635 plate appearances. But the new trend is to target players like him who are coming off a bad season. That was why the Mets went hard after Chris Young. Morneau has missed a lot of time to injuries over the last three seasons.

The Mets lose a potential trading partner in Colorado who may have been a good landing spot for Ike Davis. There’s not that many teams in search of a first baseman this season, so this one may sting a little bit for Sandy. But I’m sure there’s at least 3-4 teams who will be intrigued by his power potential. (11/28)


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Keep Dreaming Kernan Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:06:58 +0000 robinson-cano3-540x422Robinson Cano is not the answer to the New York Mets problems.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kernan added:

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

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

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

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

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Talks Between Twins and Bronson Arroyo Heating Up Wed, 13 Nov 2013 05:20:46 +0000 Talks are heating up between the Twins and veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo according to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. The Twins are now going over Arroyo’s medical records and they have already discussed guarantee language with his representatives.

On Monday, Arroyo told reporters that the Giants, Phillies, and Twins had contacted his agents, but that no offers have been made.

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

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

The Twins continue to monitor the market for a handful of other free agent starters, having previously expressed interest in right-handers Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco and lefty Jason Vargas.

Reports have also linked them to right-handers Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez along with lefty Scott Kazmir, among others, as they attempt to bolster the game’s worst starting rotation.

The Mets were reportedly interested in Arroyo.

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Expect Some Wild Spending This Hot Stove Season Fri, 08 Nov 2013 15:04:41 +0000 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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This Off-Season, Expect The Mets To Do The Expected Sun, 06 Oct 2013 17:39:56 +0000 stephen drewThe future is “now” – but won´t come in exchange for mortgaging the “future” in a future sense.

This off-season, the Mets will probably add a proven veteran SS – be it most likely Stephen Drew or Jhonny Peralta via free agency, or Yunel Escobar or Alexei Ramirez via trade. Each would represent a significant upgrade from the unproductive Omar Quintanilla / Ruben Tejada combo of 2013. With Wilfredo Tovar, Gavin Cecchini and Amed Rosario in the system, I doubt that the Mets commit to more than a 2-year deal with anyone. In any case, the 2014 shortstop doesn´t figure to earn significantly more than $10 million or cost us any of the Top 10 prospects in our system in a trade.

I also expect the Mets to add two corner outfielders, probably one LH and one RH bat. Shin-Soo Choo appears to be the lone “star” caliber player who seems like a fit, while Carlos Beltran seems like an unlikely, but very solid fit too on a shorter term deal. A “trade” for the somewhat questionable contracts of Andre Ethier or Nick Swisher could be options just like a “lower budget” signing of Coco Crisp or David DeJesus.

In any case, expect an outfielder who bats lefthanded, is solid defensively, and can reasonably be expected to get on base at a .350+ clip. Plus a righthanded corner outfielder with some power. With Cesar Puello being a front-office favorite apparently, I´d expect a short term contract for one or a max of two seasons. Targets could include Nelson Cruz, Marlon Byrd or Corey Hart. None would figure to exceed two years and there´s a chance that even a 1-year deal is enough. I doubt the Mets feel it´s the right time for a really bold move – such as trading for Carlos Gonzalez or Giancarlo Stanton if they become available.

Bronson+ArroyoI expect the Mets to target a dependable veteran starter who seems like a good bet to take the ball every 5th day and keep the team in games for 6 to 7 innings. One of the deep pool of “second tier” free agents like Bronson Arroyo seems like an ideal fit – but Scott Feldman or Ricky Nolasco could become targets too. Don´t expect more than a 2-year guaranteed deal to anyone though. In any case, the Mets will probably add at least one veteran insurance policy like Dice-K or Harang to compete with Jenrry Mejia and Rafael Montero for the # 5 spot out of spring training and/or serve as veteran AAA insurance.

I don´t expect a lot of movement in the bullpen, especially if Latroy Hawkins is indeed re-signed. Maybe one more veteran arm will be added, but I suppose the Mets will keep at least two roster spots open for Vic Black, Jeurys Familia and Gonzalez Germen. They will bring back Scott Rice & Josh Edgin as the main lefties and Carlos Torres as a long reliever and spot starter. If Bobby Parnell is healthy and Hawkins is back, that´s a full bullpen already. Maybe the Mets will take a couple of flyers on veterans with past success, coming off a down year in 2013 who can be stashed away in Vegas for the time being if no opening arises.

All in all, expect an Opening Day payroll in the $85 to $95 million range and a team that will be expected to win about 85 games in a normal season, without being considered playoff bound in all likelihood. The key will remain growing the talent pool in the farm system and using an improved 2014 team that remains in playoff contention deep into the season as a spring board for 2015 when making the playoffs will be an absolute must.

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MMO Fan Shot: Early Look At Free Agent WAR Rankings Thu, 19 Sep 2013 14:19:06 +0000 Shin-Soo Choo

Will Mets target Shin-Soo Choo this Winter?

On Fangraphs, they keep a running count of the standings for free agents based on WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

Now, I am not interested in debating the validity of WAR, and if it can be used as a factor in ranking players, but these are the updated standings which will serve as a basis for considering the top free agent hitters and pitchers for the upcoming offseason.

I decided to include the top thirty position players and top thirty starting pitchers, and I added for reference the average WAR for the top position players over the last three years to see how they have done lately as opposed to their contract year.  Each point of WAR is usually valued to about $5MM in real life contracts.

Remember, the Mets must finish among the top ten worst records to avoid losing a first round pick if they sign a free agent refusing a qualifying offer from their current teams.

2014 draft order copy

Right now, the Mets have the #7 pick, but trail the #5 pick by just three losses.  You can follow the “race” here.

Positional Players


Starting Pitchers

pitching 2


  • Shin-Soo Choo’s fielding is as a centerfielder this year. However, as a right fielder with the Indians, from 2010–2012 his fielding rating was 6.3, 2.1, and -16.7, respectively.
  • Any player traded during the season, like Marlon Byrd and Ricky Nolasco, cannot be given a qualifying offer.  Thus, no compensation is lost by signing him.
  • Juan Uribe had the biggest spreads in WAR, as he was 0.4, 0.2, and 4.1, for the years 2011 – 2013, respectively.
  • Players suspended like, Peralta and Cruz, cannot gain any WAR in the last month.  On average, most players seem to have gained about a half point WAR since August 31st (I did this exercise then also).  Pence has gained 1.6 points of WAR in these three weeks.
  • Nate McLouth has WAR of 0.1, 0.6, and 2.6 from 2011 – 2013, respectively.
  • Adam Lind only had two year of WAR greater than zero, 1.7 in 2013 and 3.4 in 2009.
  • Kendrys Morales only had 2012 and 2013 calculated in his average, as he missed all of 2011.
  • Jon Lester has a $14MM option for 2014 that is expected to be exercised by the Red Sox.

* * * * * * * *

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 Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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The Umpire Strikes Back… At Juan Lagares Tue, 13 Aug 2013 13:10:27 +0000

It was clearly a turning point in last night’s game. Juan Lagares was at the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the Met’s seventh inning and the tying run only 90 feet away. First, with the count at 2-0, Lagares was charged with a strike when the first base umpire ruled he had not adequately checked his swing on an inside fastball.

The young Met centerfielder battled fouling off several pitchers before drawing ball three to run the count full. Dodger reliever Ronald Belisario  then delivered a pitch clearly outside the strike zone and also arguably high. The home plate umpire failed to move a muscle as the ball smacked the catcher’s glove.

Lagares, sure the pitch was way outside (it was), stepped across the plate and took his first two steps toward first base. It was then the home plate umpire lifted his fist and punched out the young Met outfielder.

“I got a full count, bases loaded, and am looking for something I can make a good swing on,” Lagares said. “No chance at that pitch. That’s what I said plate umpire Chad Fairchild. I just said, ‘No chance.’”

lagares simon

What did Fairchild reply?

“I didn’t hear anything,” Lagares said postgame. “I just walked to the dugout. In that situation, that’s the at-bat right there. I just saw the replay right now. For me, it’s outside. But there’s nothing you can do about that. It’s something that’s going to happen.”

I’m not sure if it’s umpire insecurity or arrogance but more often than not a home plate umpire will call out batters with delayed third strike calls when a batter begins his route to first base on a 3-2 pitch that is clearly out of the strike zone before the umpire has called ball four. The younger and less experienced a batter the more likelihood the punch out will be assessed.

This phenomenon is common in a Double-A Eastern League game. B-Met first baseman Allan Dykstra has an excellent eye at the plate. Dykstra has drawn more base-on-balls than any other player in the Eastern League, 92, ten walks ahead of Jamie Johnson, a centerfielder from Erie.

Several times this year I have watched Dykstra take a three ball pitch that appeared off the plate. Dykstra sort of leans in with a pitch toward the outside part of the plate, then, certain the pitch is a ball, stoops down and begins to unstrap an ankle guard he wears on his lead foot. Every time this scenario is repeated, the umpire calls a delayed strike.

Right or wrong a home plate umpire’s ball/strike call always stands. It would be prudent to instruct young players to take an extra second until the umpire makes the call. With an additional second or two, a home plate umpire should never feel upstaged. Ball four is a free pass to first base, so there should be no rush to get there.

Sometimes the smallest things in a baseball game can make a huge difference.

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Mets vs Dodgers: Mejia Goes Up Against Nolasco In Series Opener Mon, 12 Aug 2013 09:51:13 +0000 jenrry mejia 2

Mets at Dodgers • 10:10 PM • Dodger Stadium

Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 1.96) vs Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 3.65)

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Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Juan Lagares – CF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Marlon Byrd – RF
  5. Ike Davis – 1B
  6. Wilmer Flores – 3B
  7. John Buck – C
  8. Omar Quintanilla – SS
  9. Jenrry Mejia – RHP

Game Notes

  • OF Andrew Brown took advantage of a rare opportunity to swing the bat on Sunday and took advantage. Brown hit a pinch-hit three-run homer off Will Harris, his second pinch-hit home run and fourth overall. After starting both ends of a July 26 double-header against Washington, Brown has had seven plate appearances.
  • LHP Jonathon Niese was activated from the 15-day disabled list earlier Sunday in order to make his start against the Diamondbacks. Niese, on the DL since June 21 with a partial tear of his left rotator cuff, allowed three earned runs in 11 innings across three starts with four walks and 11 strikeouts. Against the Diamondbacks, Niese gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings with one walk and five strikeouts, needing only 83 pitches. “I made what I felt were some pretty good pitches but they got some good swings on them,” Niese said. “I felt good. It’s big league speed now, which is different than the rehab. It felt good leaving my hand today.”
  • RHP Jeremy Hefner was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas before Sunday’s game. Hefner also could end up on the disabled list. He was flying back to New York on Sunday to meet with team doctors because of pain in his right elbow, soreness that Hefner said he believes relates to a line drive he took off the joint in spring training. Hefner is 4-8 with a 4.34 ERA in 23 starts and 24 appearances for the Mets. Optioning Hefner also means the Mets will not be using a six-man rotation, general manager Sandy Alderson said Sunday. Manager Terry Collins had said early last week he expected to return to a six-man rotation once Jon Niese returned.
  • 1B Ike Davis continued moving north of the .200 mark on Sunday, going 1-for-2, walking three times and scoring two runs in the Mets’ 9-5 victory. Davis was hitting under the so-called Mendoza line the entire season until Saturday, a club-record span of 264 at-bats to start the year. Davis dubiously held the prior record of 233 at-bats set a year ago. “I’m just trying to see the ball as long as I can, being ready to hit and if it’s not in the zone just taking it,” Davis said. “Some at-bats I get lax, like the last one where I took a fastball down the middle. But that’s because I haven’t seen a fastball down the middle all series.”
  • LHP Pedro Feliciano recorded his first hold since 2010 on Saturday night and, while only the most dedicated of statheads may take note of holds, it was a milestone for a 36-year-old who has spent three years battling a variety of ailments. Feliciano appeared in 92 games for the Mets and signed with the Yankees but never played for them. What started as triceps soreness in 2011 turned into shoulder surgery. A heart ailment sidelined Feliciano in 2012 and he lost a month in the minors this April with a severe case of food poisoning. Yet there was Feliciano, striking out Gerardo Parra with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to preserve a 4-1 Mets lead and eventual win. “He went down, and a guy with his background, his experience, he did a lot of things a lot of guys wouldn’t do,” said Mets manager Terry Collins. “He went to extended spring, he was down (in Port St. Lucie) during all the hot months. He played A-ball, he played rookie ball. He stood his ground, because he knew he was gonna get back.”

Game Preview

The Mets continue their West Coast Road swing by going into Dodger Town tonight to try their recent hot streak against one of the leagues best teams right now. Yesterday the Mets bats came alive as they trounced the Diamondbacks 9-4 in the rubber game featuring the first homer by Wilmer Flores. Tonight Jenrry Mejia takes the mound for the Mets as he takes on an old foe in Ricky Nolasco.

Jenrry Mejia is 1-1 over 3 games and 18.1 innings with a 1.96 ERA. After his first start (7 scoreless) he allowed 3 ER over 6 in his second outing. Last time out he allowed 2 runs, 1 earned over 5.1. He’s logged one inning against the Dodgers where he has allowed no hits, no runs, no strikeouts and one walk. The Dodgers have the following numbers against Jenrry:

Ramirez 1-3
Hairston 0-1
Nolasco 0-2Ellis 0-1
Uribe 0-1

For those who don’t remember, Ricky was one of the few players that survived the fire sale of the Marlins back in the offseason. He was also one of the players that a lot of people predicted would be moved at some point this season (which was not at all a bold prediction). Nolasco was traded back on July 6. On the season he is 8-9 with a 3.65 ERA over 145.1 innings. His ERA with the Marlins was 3.85 and has been reduced to 3.00 with the Dodgers. His second start of the season was against the Mets where he allowed 3 ER over 5.1 innings. The Mets have the following numbers against Nolasco:

Murphy 8-28, 3 2B
Davis 5-23, 2 2B
Byrd 2-11, 2B
Baxter 1-2
Young 1-3

Lets Go Mets!

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Making The Case For Trading Marlon Byrd Sat, 20 Jul 2013 02:45:16 +0000 I want to welcome our newest writer to the MMO family; Jacob Resnick. Jacob was the 2011 SNY Mets Kidcaster and in 2012 was a correspondent for the show Kid’s Clubhouse on SNY and has now brought his talents to the Mets blogosphere here on MMO. Be sure to say hello and give him a MetsMerized welcome as well as a follow at @Jacob_Resnick. Without further ado, here is Jacob’s post on the case for trading Marlon Byrd, which you can also find on his personal blog, Mets Mumblings. – Clayton Collier

byrd  hr 2

On July 31st, 2012, Sandy Alderson made the decision to keep outfielder Scott Hairston in New York. The pros were obvious. Hairston was a monster against left handers, with a BABIP around .300 and an OPS just near .870. When he wasn’t starting (in fact he started 32 more games against southpaws than righties), Hairston emerged as one of the more reliable bats off the bench, hitting .255 with the same amount of pinch-hit home runs (5) as Jordany Valdespin. It was obvious that Hairston was a part of Alderson’s future due to the fact he wasn’t moved, even though the Amazins found themselves 12 games out and all their playoff hopes all but washed away.

Hairston ended up with eight homers in the second half compared to 12 in the first. He also managed 11 less RBI though he did see his AVG rise from .249 to .276. The Mets ultimately let Hairston walk after the year as Hairston took two years and $5 million from the Chicago Cubs.

byrd catch

The Mets inked veteran Marlon Byrd to a one year, $400K contract on the 1st of February to possibly be Hairston’s replacement. If Byrd happened to make the team, he would play his first games since June 8th with Boston. He had been suspended on June 25, 2012 because of testing positive for a banned substance. Byrd’s best days arguably came with the Texas Rangers where he hit 40 home runs and drove in 212 runs over three seasons.

Not only did Marlon make the Opening Day roster, but he found himself roaming right field during game number one. Byrd got off to an average start in April but has since kicked it up hitting six homers in June while driving in 16 runs. He’s also hitting .319 in just 47 at-bats in July. Byrd has been one of the top offensive Mets this season but is also getting it done in the field with six outfield assists on the campaign.

byrd hr

Marlon has been talked about as a potential candidate to be moved by the end of the month and I find that a completely logistical move that the Mets can make, and here are 5 reasons why:

1.  The Mets currently find themselves 10.5 games out of 1st place, so playoff chances don’t look too great. This means the Mets can pretty much qualify as a team who can trade away expiring talent and come away with young talent

2.   Only two current division leaders have right fielders who are hitting above .300 and only one of them have over 10 home runs. An example of a team with dismal right field production are the Atlanta Braves whose Jason Heyward is struggling to stay above .220 and is getting by with 21 RBI and 7 HR. The Dodgers are another contender whose Andre Ethier only has 5 HR at the midpoint.

3.   The Braves have the 18th best farm system in baseball which is as low as it is due to call ups from  2012. The Dodgers are not hesitant to move minor leaguers as they acquired Ricky Nolasco for three prospects this past week.

4.    Byrd is open. Marlon in a recent interview with Mets Merized Online said he would love to stay with the Mets but is going to go with whatever Sandy Alderson thinks is right.

5.   Sandy obviously learned that Scott Hairston should have been moved at the deadline and I think he will jump at the opportunity this time around.

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Marlins Prepping Huge Offseason Extension For Stanton, Wont Trade Him Unless He Declines Tue, 09 Jul 2013 20:51:16 +0000 Giancarlo-Stanton-Marlins1

Maybe this news from Marlins beat writer Joe Frisaro will put to bed any further Giancarlo Stanton to the Mets rumblings, but don’t count on it.

On Saturday, the Marlins dealt Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers for three pitching prospects, and according to Frisaro the move was expected because he is eligible for free agency after the season and he wasn’t part of Miami’s future plans.

It wasn’t the beginning of another fire sale and Frisaro says the Marlins have no intentions of shedding any of their core players.

Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest made it clear the organization remains open for business on the trade front, but that they also aren’t necessarily to unload any of their core players.

The most prominent name in the organization is Giancarlo Stanton, the 23-year-old slugger. But Stanton isn’t on the market, and he isn’t expected to be dealt this season. There is a chance he could be moved in the offseason, if he declines a multi-year offer. Even if he does, it isn’t automatic he will be traded.

Financially, Frisaro adds, the Marlins are well positioned to take on Stanton’s first-year salary in arbitration.

I just don’t see any circumstances barring a complete blow-them-away offer that would bring Stanton to the Mets.

And by that I mean Wheeler, Syndergaard and Flores…

Even that might not get it done…

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Dodgers Obtain Ricky Nolasco From The Marlins Sun, 07 Jul 2013 13:34:43 +0000 ricky nolascoThe Dodgers have obtained right-hander Ricky Nolasco from the Miami Marlins for three minor-league pitchers – Steve Ames, Josh Wall and Angel Sanchez. L.A. also picked up an international signing bonus worth $197,000 in the deal.

“Nolasco is somebody that can help us out,” Colletti said. “Obviously he’s an accomplished big league starter. We felt we needed to add a starter at this point in the season and we had conversations with the Marlins going back about a week or so now. I think it’s a benefit to acquire somebody before you get to the 31st. That was part of it as well.”

Nolasco, a Southern California native who can become a free agent after the season, went 5-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 18 starts for the Marlins and has a career mark of 81-72 with a 4.44 ERA.

His acquisition bolsters a hot Dodgers team that has won 11 of their last 12 games. With recent injuries to Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett and Ted Lilly, Nolasco makes perfect sense for the Dodgers and it also keeps him away from their division rival, the San Francisco Giants, who are openly on the market for starting pitching help. No, not Shaun Marcum, Mets fans, real pitching help.

Nolasco, 30, is the Marlins all-time winningest pitcher and strikeout leader and will likely replace former Met Chris Capuano in the Dodger rotation.

With Cy Young Award winners Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke already at the top of the rotation, and impressive rookie lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu behind them, Nolasco gives the Dodgers one of the best top-four in the game.

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Series Preview: Miami Marlins Mon, 29 Apr 2013 22:04:16 +0000 Somehow, the Miami Marlins are playing worse than they were expected to. As it stands right now, the Martlins are 6-19. That’s a .240 winning percentage, which is even worse than the Astros, who are at .280 this season. On offense, the Marlins are dead last in baseball in runs scored, OPS, and home runs, among other categories. They are scoring only about 2.7 runs per game, and their pitching staff hasn’t been much better. After gutting their rotation of all but some youngsters and Ricky Nolasco in the massive trade with the Blue Jays, their starters now have a 4.26 ERA, 20th in baseball. Their bullpen, although not as bad as the Mets’, is 27th in the majors in ERA at 4.57. Steve Cishek and Chad Qualls aren’t exactly the kind of pitchers who make you fear trailing late  in a game.

The only decent player on Miami’s roster is Giancarlo Stanton, of course, but even he has been on-and-off this season. He didn’t hit his first home run until his 18th game of the season two nights ago against the Cubs. He went on to hit two on Sunday, but his power numbers still have left much to be desired. His walk numbers and BABIP are at normal levels for Stanton, so perhaps it’s the shoulder contusion that Stanton suffered a few weeks ago which has been bringing down his production.

Overall, the Marlins are a team the Mets should handily beat. Although some cynics predicted the Mets to compete with the Marlins for last place, that seems unlikely with the way the Marlins have started the season. Hopefully the Mets will be able to use this series to get back on track.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Matt Harvey, RHP (35 IP, 233 ERA+, 3.90 K/BB) vs. Jose Fernandez, RHP (20 IP, 84 ERA+, 2.38 K/BB)

The Mets saw Fernandez make his big league debut against them on April 7, when he allowed one run on three hits in five innings while striking out eight. He has had one good start and two iffy ones since then. In his last start, which came against Minnesota, he gave up four runs on six hits in five innings. In his start before that, he gave up five earned in four innings against the Reds. One thing to take note of in game one of this series will be Fernandez’s pitch count. The Marlins have coddled him thus far, keeping him around 8- pitches in each of his starts.

Game 2: Jeremy Hefner, RHP (21 IP, 70 ERA+, 1.09 K/BB) vs. Kevin Slowey, RHP (29.2 IP, 155 ERA+, 3.50 K/BB)

After spending an injury-riddled 2012 season with Cleveland’s Triple-A affiliate, the once top prospect Slowey got another shot with the Marlins. Slowey has been their best pitcher so far, putting up a team-best 2.43 ERA. It’s hard to say long-term whether Slowey can hold up, but he has been very good so far and keeping his walk numbers down, which he has always been known for. In his last start against the Cubs, Slowey gave up three runs in six innings while striking out six and not walking a batter.

Game 3: Dillon Gee, RHP (25.2 IP, 61 ERA+, 2.00 K/BB) vs. Wade LeBlanc, LHP (24.2 IP, 61 ERA+, 2.00 K/BB)

LeBlanc was traded to Miami for John Baker in November 2011 after four years with the Padres. LeBlanc spent last season as a starter and reliever for the Marlins, posting a 3.67 ERA in 25 games, nine of them starts. He hasn’t been as terrible as his numbers might say. His ERA is inflated from his April 15 start in which he let up seven runs in 3.2 innings against the Nationals. He has otherwise been decent. In his last start against Chicago, he gave up four runs on eight hits in six innings.

Series News & Notes

  • Adeiny Hechavarria, who you might remember from the last series these two teams played, suffered a bruised elbow on April 16 and was placed on the disabled list the next day. Hechavattia went 4-for-10 in the last series against the Mets in early April.
  • New York embarks on its second road trip of the year with three games in Miami and then three contests in Atlanta…The Mets will play 13 of their next 19 away from Citi Field…New York went 3-5 on its first road trip of the season…The Mets were 38-43 on the road in 2012.
  • David Wright is tied for second in the majors with 19 walks and Lucas Duda is tied for fourth in the majors with 18…The Mets have drawn 87 walks, tied for the fifth-most in the majors.
  • David Wright is day-to-day with a stiff neck. He will miss the first game of the series.
  • The Mets have hit at least one home run in 17 of their 23 games and 25 on the year, tied for the sixth-most in the National League…The Mets have hit three grand slams to lead the majors.
  • John Buck’s eight home runs tie him for the third-most by a Met during the month of April with Dave Kingman (1982), Jeff Kent (1994), Todd Hundley (1996) and Mike Piazza(2001)…Carlos Delgado (2006) and Dave Kingman (1976) hold the club record with nine home runs in the month of April.
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Series Preview: Miami Marlins vs New York Mets Fri, 05 Apr 2013 14:30:21 +0000

Jose Fernandez will make the jump from A-Ball to the majors when he makes his MLB debut against the Mets on Sunday afternoon.

The Mets begin their second series of the season against the new-look Miami Marlins today, in the first game of what will be a three-game set.

The Marlins, for the second offseason in a row, blew up what they had and started over. Last winter was a little different, as the Marlins were the team adding expensive talent. Now, it’s as if they’re begging teams to take any major league caliber player off their roster. The club that had eight players with salaries of at least $5 million now has just one. Their payroll has been sliced in half, from over a hundred million to just fifty, and that’s including the money they paid to other teams to take on highly-paid players. Take that away and their payroll is under $40 million.

The only player of much worth on the Marlins roster is Giancarlo Stanton, who may end up being traded at the deadline as well this year. The 23 year-old put up unbelievable numbers, hitting 37 home runs and putting up a 5.7 WAR rating in only 123 games. He is the one and only threat left in the lineup.

Overall, if some of the newly-acquired prospects don’t pan out immediately, the Marlins could challenge the Astros for the worst record in baseball.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Jeremy Hefner (93.2 IP, 76 ERA+, 3.44 K/BB) vs. Alex Sanabia (career: 83.1 IP, 113 ERA+, 2.89 K/BB)

Sanabia was pushed out of the rotation last year, pitching in the minors for the entire year. In 18 Triple-A starts, he posted a 3.93 ERA in 91.2 innings. The 24 year-old only pitched 11 innings in the majors in 2011, and made 12 starts in 2010. He had decent success in 2010, putting up a 3.73 ERA (112 ERA+), 5.8 K/9 rate, and a 2.0 BB.9 rate. His mediocre peripherals, however, tell us that he probably isn’t anything special. Just another future journeyman.

Game 2: Jonathon Niese (2012: 190.1 IP, 113 ERA+, 3.16 K/BB) vs. Ricky Nolasco (2012: 191 IP, 88 ERA+, 2.66 K/BB)

Nolasco is currently the highest-paid player on the Miami roster at over $11 million, but nothing he has done over the past few years indicate that he has earned that salary. Nolasco signed a three-year, $26.5 million extension after the 2010 season, but has been dreadful since. In his first start against the Nationals this week, he gave up two runs on three hits while striking out five in six innings of work.

Game 3: Aaron Laffey (100.2 IP, 94 ERA+, 1.30 K/BB) vs. Jose Fernandez (2012 A/High-A: 134 IP, 1.75 ERA, 4.51 K/BB)

The Marlins are taking a huge risk with Fernandez bringing him up this early. The 20 year-old has no experience in either Double-A or Triple-A and while he had an excellent season in the minors last year, is nowhere near ready for the majors. This has David Clyde written all over it. Fernandez, a righty, was listed as the fifth best prospect in baseball by Baseball America and 7th by

Series News & Notes

  • Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison is recovering from knee surgery and was put on the 60-day DL on March 22. He hit .230/.308/.399 with 11 home runs and 15 doubles in 93 games last season.
  • Nathan Eovaldi, acquired in the Hanley Ramirez trade last season, is on the DL with shoulder inflammation. He was a top 100 prospect before last season, when he posted a 4.30 ERA with dismal walk and strikeout rates.
  • Casey Kotchman is on the disabled list as well with a hamstring injury. He batted .229/.280/.333 in 142 games with Cleveland last season.
  • Just looking at fWAR, the players the Marlins lost this winter were worth 18.5 wins last year while their additions totaled just 3.6 wins. Keep in mind this was a 69-win team with those players on the roster for most of the season.
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Taking A Deeper Look Into Pelfrey’s Contract Wed, 18 Jan 2012 20:08:18 +0000 When things are going bad with a franchise, there are times when fans will look at every decision made and search for the negatives.

Recently, it seemed as though some hysteria erupted at the fact that Mike Pelfrey signed a 1 year deal worth $5.7 million to avoid arbitration.

Sometimes I find that people comment on things they either do not understand or refuse to understand. For me, if I don’t understand a process, I ask questions or research the answers.

Rather than get further into that. I said to myself, “Self…maybe these angry fans need an education on arbitration.”

Now let me be clear, I am not an expert on the system, however, I didn’t just discover its existence yesterday because Pelfrey got a contract like some seem to have done. If you wanted Pelfrey totally gone, well that ship has sailed. They already entered the process, so complaining that they gave him a contract is something you’ve had over a month to do.

First let’s start with the actual arbitration process. (Not related to the old Free Agent compensation methods)

  • Players with at least 3 but less than 6 years of service time in the big leagues are eligible
  • The top 17% of players with at least 2 but less than 3 years of service time are known as “Super 2” players. To qualify this player must have at least 86 days of service time in the previous year.
  • The club’s salary offer to a player may NOT be less than 80% of his total salary from the prior year, and may NOT be 70% less than his salary from the year prior to that.


  • The player (agent) submit a salary figure to a 3 person panel of professional arbitrators. Just as an FYI, they probably aren’t Mets fans.
  • The team does the same thing as the player.
  • If both sides can not reach an agreement, then hearings are scheduled in February.


  • At the hearing, each group has 1 hour to present their case to the 3-person panel. Then they get an extra 30 minutes to respond/refute anything said by the opposing party.
  • The player MUST be in attendance for the hearing, but the Agent does the talking usually.
  • A team executive or attorney usually represents the team.

Then, the panel looks at both offers and considers the following:

  • Player contribution on the field and in clubhouse (“leadership”)
  • The club’s record and attendance
  • Any and all of the player’s individual accomplishments. Including Awards, All-Star appearances, and playoff performance.
  • The salaries of comparable players in the player’s service-time class. For players with LESS than 5 years, the class one year ahead of him is also considered.

Both sides can NOT reference the following:

- Team finances
- Previous offers made during negotiations
- Comments from press or salaries in other sports/occupations

So now that you have the nuts and bolts, let’s take a look at Mike Pelfrey. Please keep in mind, 2011 isn’t the only year that Pelfrey has pitched. It’s not the only thing that is looked at when determining his future salary.

The arbitrators are not “saber-heads,” or anything like that. So you need to remember that when making a case for or against a player. A team attorney isn’t going to reference a pitcher’s xFIP in order to win a case because it will likely go over their heads.

The most basic stat and easiest to argue for a pitcher is his Win totals. There are only 15 pitchers with 4-5 years of MLB service time with EQUAL or MORE wins than Mike Pelfrey.

They are: Shaun Marcum, Jair Jurrjens, Matt Garza, Yovani Gallardo, Fausto Carmona, John Danks, Ubaldo Jiminez, Ricky Nolasco, Tim Lincecum, Chad Billingsley, James Shields, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester and Jered Weaver.

So let’s take a look at the basics here. I’ll give you there 2012 salary (or arbitration demands), plus their W-L, IP, ERA, Awards Won etc.

Just to keep it clear, Pelfrey earned $3.92million last year and is making $5.675 million this year and has 4+ years of service time (but less than 5). He is 50-54 for his career with a 4.40 ERA and 876.2 innings pitched in 150 games.

Shaun Marcum
Salary: 2011 $3.95, awaiting contract for 2012 through arbitration.
Service Time: 5 years
Stats: 50-32 3.77 ERA 792.2 innings pitched in 153 games.

Jair Jurrjens
Salary: $5.5 million avoided arbitration in 2012.
Service Time: 4 years
Stats: 50-33 3.40 ERA 702.1 innings pitched in 115 Games.

Matt Garza
Salary: In 2011 it was $5.95 million, according to Jon Heyman he is requesting $10.225 million to Cubs offer of $7.95 million
Service Time: 4 years
Stats: 52-54 3.83 ERA 923.1 innings pitched in 152 games.

Yovani Gallardo
Salary: $5.5 million in 2012.
Service Time: 4 years
Stats: 53-34 3.63 ERA 712.1 innings pitched in 118 games.

Fausto Carmona
Salary: $7 million in 2012.
Service Time: 5 years
Stats: 53-66 4.59 ERA 934.2 innings pitched in 181 games.

John Danks
Salary: $500,000 in 2012 (Insanely back loaded deal, bumps to $14 million in 2013)
Service Time: 5 years
Stats: 54-56 4.03 ERA 917.2 innings pitched in 150 games.

Ubaldo Jiminez
Salary: $4.2 million in 2012
Service Time: 4 years
Stats: 60-49 3.76 ERA 916.1 innings pitched in 149 games.

Ricky Nolasco
Salary: $9 million in 2012
Service Time: 5 years
Stats: 64-51 4.50 ERA 922.1 innings pitched in 164 games

Tim Lincecum
Salary: Requested $21 million this year, Giants offering $17 million
Service Time: 4 years
Stats: 69-41 2.98 ERA 1,028 innings pitched in 156 games.

Chad Billingsley
Salary: $9 million in 2012
Service Time: 5 years
Stats: 70-52 3.68 ERA 1,013 innings pitched in 192 games.

James Shields
Salary: $7 million in 2012
Service Time: 5 years
Stats: 72-63 3.96 ERA 1,227 innings pitched in 185 games.

Cole Hamels
Salary: $15 million in 2012
Service Time: 5 years
Stats: 74-54 3.39 ERA 1,161 innings pitched in 181 games

Jon Lester
Salary: $7.62 million in 2012
Service Time: 5 years
Stats: 76-34 3.53 ERA 957.2 innings pitched in 155 games.

Jered Weaver
Salary: $14 million in 2012
Service Time: 5 years
Stats: 82-47 3.31 ERA 1,131 innings pitched in 177 games.

Keep in mind these are the ONLY pitchers with 0-5 years of MLB service time with as many or more wins than Pelfrey. Take their salaries, plus a middle of the ground arbitration for Lincecum/Garza and you have an average salary of $8.305 million (this is without any raise for Marcum as of now).

So Mike Pelfrey who is “worse” than all of these guys is making roughly $2.5-$3.0 million LESS than the average salary of the only pitchers with more wins than him in his service class.

When you consider the fact that Pelfrey has averaged 32 starts a year over the last 4 years, been asked to be the “ace” of his team due to injury to Santana, won 15 games for a bad team in 2010, who has played through injuries and pitched 15 games in 2011 that he could have won despite his poor record.

I’m not going to weep if Pelfrey is ever traded, but to sit here and flip out about the fact he got $5.7 million to avoid arbitration is really just baffling to me,

The reason the Mets avoided arbitration with him is not because of Sandy Alderson, it’s because the Mets (and Pelfrey) do NOT want a 3 panel group dictating how much they have to spend (or earn) in 2012.

They asses the financial market, and do the arbitrator’s job for them and try to come up with a figure that best suits both parties so that they don’t have to stand in a room and tell Mike Pelfrey to his face why he’s not worth a $6 million deal.

Every team does this. Not just the ones GM’d by Sandy Alderson. Every team.

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These Marlins Have Become Our Nemesis Wed, 30 Jun 2010 17:44:27 +0000 Remember a few years back when the Braves were rolling to 14 straight division titles, and the Mets seemingly lost 80% of their games against Atlanta?  Thankfully time and Atlanta’s mediocrity for a few years has evened that back out, but now the Mets have a new regular nemesis–the Florida Marlins.

The Mets, who lost 11 of 18 games against Florida last season, are so far 4-8 against them this season, including losses in Puerto Rico the past two nights.  In the standings, the Mets are 1.5 games back of Atlanta and leading the NL wild card race, and they are 6 games ahead of the Marlins, who are 37-40 on the season.  But for some reason, we just don’t match up well against these guys.

There is talent on the Florida roster, but not the kind of talent that should be dominating our Mets.  Cody Ross, who is batting .295 this year, is batting .413 against the Mets with a .652 slugging percentage.  Against the Phillies, Ross is batting .143.  Jorge Cantu, who is hitting a mediocre .265, has feasted on Mets’ pitching for a few years now, and is batting .304 against them this year.  By comparison he’s hitting .219 against the Phillies.  Ricky Nolasco is 7-6 with a 4.84 ERA this season, but 2-0 with a 3.96 against the Mets.

I haven’t exactly dove in to figure the rest of the teams’ stats against the Mets, but it’s not pretty, at least from our side of the ledger.  And this ineptitude against the Marlins can’t keep happening if the Mets want to reach the postseason this year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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