Mets Merized Online » Robinson Cano Tue, 28 Feb 2017 02:13:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Dilson Herrera: Coming Soon To A Citi Near You Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:55:07 +0000 dilson hererra hr

While fans wait anxiously for Spring Training to begin, it’s always a fun exercise to create some excitement for players that may have an impact in the not so distant future. Part of the fun of watching early Spring games is getting a chance to see some of your favorite top prospects getting a chance to play several innings in a Major League Spring Training game.

While the Mets strength has been developing starting pitching, and the great number of flamethrowers they’ve produced in their system via the draft of through trade, the Mets now have some offensive firepower on the horizon to look forward to. While several of their highly touted prospects are in the lower levels of the Mets system still (Lindsay, Becerra, Carpio, Ramos), some appear much closer to potentially having a role on this team sooner rather than later.

One such name that fans have been familiar with since the trade that brought him to the Mets in 2013 is second baseman Dilson Herrera. Herrera did make a brief appearance in 2014, appearing in 18 games for the Mets at the end of August and into September. Herrera nearly doubled the amount of games played in 2015, appearing in 31 for the Mets at various times during the year to fill in when Daniel Murphy would slide over to third for the injured David Wright.

While Herrera would be sidelined for nearly a month due to fracturing the tip of his middle finger during fielding drills, he would return to Triple A Las Vegas and put up an extremely productive season that should give many Mets fans high hopes for his future.

While playing for a team battling for a postseason berth, Herrera slashed .327/.382/.511 good for a .893 OPS. He flashed some power hitting 11 home runs with 50 RBI in just 81 games played. He also scored 68 runs in that time, a remarkable feat considering the number of games played and a testament to his on base prowess.

Dilson 0 Herrera

His splits from 2015 are also something to highlight. As a right-handed hitter, Herrera mashed lefties to a tune of a 1.072 OPS in 115 plate appearances. Against righties, while Herrera’s robust OPS did drop, it still remained at a respectable .795, and hit 5 of his 11 home runs against them. Not bad for a 21 year-old in Triple A.

And while Vegas is deemed as a hitter’s haven in the minor leagues, the fact that he was 5.7 years younger than the weighted average of Triple A players should speak volumes to the level of his talent.

For fun, I wanted to compare several high profile second baseman and their minor league career stats to that of the young Herrera. I found some interesting numbers along the way:

  • Dilson Herrera: 5 seasons 453 games .304/.369/.470 .839 OPS 45 HRs 237 RBI 332 Runs
  • Robinson Cano: 6 seasons 493 games .278/.331/.425 .756 OPS 41 HRs 281 RBI 271 Runs
  • Dustin Pedroia: 4 seasons 272 games .307/.392/.452 .844 OPS 21 HRs 133 RBI 168 Runs
  • Jason Kipnis: 4 seasons 257 games .296/.376/.485 .861 OPS 30 HRs 151 RBI 181 Runs
  • Jose Altuve: 5 seasons 382 games .327/.386/.481 .867 OPS 30 HRs 208 RBI 276 Runs

The four All Stars mentioned all became regular fixtures in their lineups between the ages of 22-25 years old, which bodes well for Herrera who will be turning 22 in the beginning of March. Thee numbers represented are just a fun projection of what Herrera might turn out to be, as many had very similar numbers to his. Of course, it’s always a hit or miss with prospects and how they adjust to the Major Leagues, but scouts have raved so far about Herrera and his line drive, gap-to-gap hitting abilities.

With Neil Walker signed through only 2016, Herrera seems the logical choice to be his successor come the Opening Day 2017. Mets fans should expect to see Herrera get extended looks this spring, with hopes that we are all watching the next second baseman of the future for our Mets.

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Yasiel Puig: Huge Price Tag, Huge Potential, Huge Risk Mon, 23 Nov 2015 16:36:27 +0000 yasiel puig

“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”

The biggest story in baseball this past weekend may have been the ill-advised comments by ex-Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke, the father of Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke, who took to the airwaves to rip Robinson Cano and then implied that Clayton Kershaw recommended to management that Yasiel Puig be traded. Imagine the awkward position Andy put his own son in, who is said to be close friends with Kershaw?

On Cano:

“Robinson Cano was the single worst, third-place, everyday player I’ve ever seen for the first half of a baseball season. He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t get a hit when it mattered, he played the worst defense I’ve ever seen — I’m talking about the worst defensive second baseman, ever, I’ve ever seen in 24 years in the big leagues.”

“Robinson Cano cost the GM his job. The hitting coach got fired because of Cano. And then the manager and the coaches got fired because of Cano, because that’s how much of an impact he has on the organization. He was the worst player, and it cost people their jobs in the process.”

On Puig:

“This is just between you and I. When the best player – the highest paid player on the Los Angeles Dodgers – goes to the GM and…is asked what are (the needs of the Los Angeles Dodgers), this particular highest-paid player said, ‘The first thing you need to do is get rid of Puig.’ That’s all you need to know.”

Terrible job by the elder Van Slyke, who also said that Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is pitching with a torn ligament in his elbow. Wow…

I was asked a few times about the Mets potentially going after Puig if he is truly available. But first let me say that the chances the Dodgers sell low on Puig are very slim. Andrew Friedman is one of the brightest and most competent GMs in the game, and you can bet he would want max value for his tarnished phenom, and given the team’s stated priorities, he would demand a top young controllable starting pitcher in return.

After two MVP-caliber seasons in 2013 and 2014, Puig let his fame and ego swallow him up and he finished this season batting a disappointing .255 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI in 311 plate appearances. His 1.1 WAR in 2015 compared to a 10.2 WAR over his previous two seasons gives you a glimpse into how precipitous his decline was this season.

Still, at 25, the potential is still incredibly enormous and it’s that vast and immeasurable potential that any team will be trading for. That and the allure of the three years and $24 million remaining on his contract. It could be the steal of the century.

Assuming the Mets are ready to give up  - I’m afraid to even say their names – to acquire Puig, one cannot ignore all the drama, all the baggage, all the bad vibes, the prima donna me-first attitude, and all the whispers of clubhouse acrimony that comes with this exciting young athlete.

Puig would certainly give the Mets the potent bat they sorely need in the lineup, and an elite run producer if only they can get him to screw his head on straight. But it’s still a big super-sized if.

At this point, Puig is a Mega Millions lottery ticket. Only it will cost you a lot more than five or ten bucks to buy in. The talent is obviously there. We’ve all seen it. We’ve all drooled watching him when he first debuted.

But it’s all that other non-baseball and off-the-field stuff that gives one pause. How will he fit in inside a clubhouse packed with young and impressionable players like Michael Conforto, Travis d’Arnaud, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and other Mets around his age? And more importantly, are you prepared to risk trading one of your top young arms to find out?

It’s very tempting, I’ll tell you that. But I’m dying to know what all of you think about going after such a dynamic talent like Yasiel Puig. Let’s talk about in the threads…


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How Kevin Long Helped Unleash Daniel Murphy’s Power Sun, 25 Oct 2015 17:12:03 +0000 MLB: NLCS-New York Mets at Chicago Cubs

Daniel Murphy, who was named MVP of the NLCS, has been absolutely incredible this postseason. In nine games, he’s batting .421 with seven home runs and 11 RBI against both the Dodgers and Cubs,

While he’s never had a stretch quite like this in his career, the Murphy we are seeing now might not be a fluke after all. Hitting coach Kevin Long says that Murphy’s power outburst is the result of the all work they did throughout the season.

“He changed his mechanics,” Long said of Murphy tweaking his approach throughout the season, using his legs more and dropping his hands. “This isn’t like all of a sudden he tried to do something he hasn’t done all year. … Basically, he went from a guy seeking base hits to a guy seeking to do damage — and there’s a big difference“ (Dan Martin, NY Post)

Even though Murphy struggled mightily in April, Long never lost confidence in him and knew the adjustments would pay off in the end.

“April was a lousy April,” Long said. “I always tell guys, ‘You’re probably gonna go backwards before you go forward.’ That’s why you have to trust what we’re doing and kind of sell them on ‘If you stick with it, it will turn.’”

“He does not swing and miss [and] if you take a guy who doesn’t swing and miss and shrink the strike zone, you can do more damage. The only part we didn’t know was if he was gonna be able to incorporate it into his game. That’s a gift. Robinson Cano could get the barrel of the bat to the ball quickly. Not everybody has that.”

It’s been amazing to see Murphy breakout like this during the postseason. While he’s been a solid and consistent member of the team for years, he’s taken his performance to a whole new level during the playoffs.

He looks like a completely different hitter, which is a testament to Long as well as Murphy’s hard work and dedication.

He will certainly get rewarded for it with a big new contract this offseason, and hopefully the Mets do what it takes to keep his dangerous bat in the lineup.


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2014 Free Agent Review: The Long Term Deals (Part 1 of 3) Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:35:38 +0000 robinson-cano

Baseball is a game that is constantly evolving and the team’s that successfully navigate the natural growth of the sport are identifying their strengths and maximizing the results.  The traditional format of growing pitching and buying bats is transitioning into an all organic format.  

The majority of playoff quality teams are rounding out their lineups of homegrown talent with one or two well chosen external pieces that hurdle the club to the top. There are exceptions to every rule for spending in the free agent market, but examining the results of last year’s class may provide some insight as to how the Mets should proceed this winter.

The type of signing that brings the most risk to reward ratio is a long term contract, ranging 7-10 years with over $100 million in guaranteed salary. In the first of five installments, let’s take a look at 2014’s long term free agent signings and identify which two contracts represent the best and worst deals inked over the long haul.

Long term signings are becoming a rarity in today’s game.  Most MLB teams hedge on their young talent with front loaded, team friendly deals, in order to maximize the return on their productivity. There are still exceptions, particularly for players in their prime who possess multiple plus tools. Last year’s headliners were Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo.

Cano, formerly of the New York Yankees, was signed to a 10 year, $240 million contract by the Seattle Mariners last offseason.  It’s ironic that there was ever a deal too rich for the Yankees’ blood, but the former Bomber transitioned to the West Coast nicely. His 14 home runs was nearly half his total from the previous season, but there’s little difference in his overall statistics aside from that.

His .314/.382/.836 slash line had a plus-minus margin of 0.00/(.001)/(.063) when compared to last year’s production in the Bronx. Critics may argue that the slugger was paid $24 million to do just that, hit home runs, but the majority of MLB teams would pay his contract if they could guarantee his 2014 numbers that included 187 hits, 82 RBI, 77 runs and a 1.108 OPS with runners in scoring position. Cano also stayed healthy all season and played gold glove caliber defense over a stretch of 157 games. His unique range and strong arm gave the Mariner’s an upgrade in run prevention, but the back end of his contract also holds less risk in the American League since the Mariners can transition him to a DH role later on past his prime.

Seattle made a bold decision when they agreed to pay Cano $24 million a year for 10 years, but the contract is a direct reflection of the impact that aggressive bidding has on the free agent market.  The team that signs a premium candidate is sacrificing payroll on the back end of the deal in order to secure high caliber production on the front end.  The Mariners found themselves in a position to contend with the addition of a top end player and felt that their window of opportunity to make the playoffs coincided with the prime years of Cano’s productivity.  Overall, Seattle missed the post-season, but the team improved their 2013 campaign by 16 wins, finishing at 87-75.  If they can get half that improvement heading into the 2015 season, they’ll be a lock for October baseball.

Shin-Soo Choo

Shin-Soo Choo was regarded for his high OBP and efficiency on the base paths, registering 107 runs scored in 2013 as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.  In 2014, with the Texas Rangers, he played in 31 less games, registered 52 less hits, 49 less runs scored and drew 54 less walks.  His slash line had a plus-minus differential of (.043)/(.083)/(.171) compared to last year and his wRC+ dropped by 34% down to an even 100. That metric has a median focal point of 100, where every point above that number is a point above standard production.  So the Rangers were, by definition, paying $14 million for a league average player.

Choo could very well bounce back, but an interesting piece by FanGraphs points out that his .309 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) in 2014, was drastically lower than his .346 career mark that spans over eight years and 4,000 plate appearances.  While .309 is still above league average, he would have to make contact at an unrealistic rate in order to generate the same results he had in 2013.

The deal becomes further complicated since, unlike Cano, Choo’s projected value stemmed entirely from his offensive production. His defense is not strong enough to offset his struggles at the plate, so his contract inherently carries more risk, gambling on a skill set that only contributes to one side of the ball. The Rangers appeared to have signed the albatross contract of 2014, especially when you consider that Choo’s deal increases to $21 million per year in the final two seasons.

Every free agent is signed with the intention of filling a void in a playoff team’s post-season narrative. There’s risk that comes with paying eight figures to an athlete on the wrong side of thirty, but Robinson Cano provided the type of output that kept Seattle in the playoff hunt all season.

Hypothetically, had the Mets signed Cano last offseason, it would have immediately upgraded the lineup. The Amazins’ had their own All-Star second baseman in Daniel Murphy, but Cano is an elite level talent compared to Murphy, whose defense negatively impacts is overall value.

The Mets found themselves on the outside looking in as the teams operating model discourages lengthy deals that are pricey and driven by a player’s past performance, not future.  Cano’s output would still be a welcomed addition to the Mets offense, but in retrospect, his deal now makes even less sense in Flushing since the emergence of Wilmer Flores and Dilson Herrera.  Both of those young players have a long road to travel before they reach a level similar to Cano’s, but their futures are bright and New York has other positions in need of attention.

Choo was considered by many baseball writers and experts as a great fit for the Mets last Winter, but it’s clear that New York dodged a bullet by passing on the former Reds standout.  The stadium in Arlington doesn’t have a suffocating effect on hitters, so it’s reasonable to assume that Choo’s drop off would have been exponentially worse in Citi Field.


The Mets will almost certainly avoid any long term deals in the near future.  The only other long term deal (7-10 years) was the Yankees signing of Jacoby Ellsbury at seven years and $153 million. However, at a cost of around $500,000 through the next several years, Juan Lagares is clearly the better option in my opinion.

As a left-handed hitter in Yankee stadium, Ellsbury turned in 16 home runs, 70 RBI’s and 39 stolen bases.  Whether that production is worth $21 million per year is debatable, but unlike the Mets, many teams are willing to pay elite salaries for above average offense.  The orange and blue got to watch their own star grow in center while the biggest deals from 2014 played elsewhere.

Given the current needs of the team,  I believe the front office made the right decision by passing on these three players and this offseason, the results should be the same.  None of the free agent position players warrant a deal longer than 7 years, so the focus should be on shorter, more team friendly deals that can improve the team.  .

Up next, mid level contracts ranging anywhere from 4 to 6 years.  There were several names within this group that many believed the Mets should have pursued, so I’m expecting some heated debate on this one.

Lets! Go! Mets!


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Mets To Formally Interview Kevin Long On Wednesday Wed, 22 Oct 2014 01:12:52 +0000 Kevin long cage

According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Mets will formally interview former Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long on Wednesday, for the vacant hitting coach position created when Lamar Johnson was relieved of his duties.

Long was the hitting coach for the Yankees for seven seasons before being fired by Brian Cashman two weeks ago.

In addition to the Mets, he is drawing interest from the Blue Jays, brewers, Pirates, D’Backs  and Braves.

October 15 – Who is Kevin Long

With all the talk about the Mets considering Kevin Long to fill the Mets vacant hitting coach position, I decided to spend an hour researching him and learning what this former Yankee is all about. I learned some things along the way and thought I’d share some of them with you.

Long Is Very Confident

“If you’re going to fix somebody’s swing, you better know what you’re doing because you’re putting your name and reputation on the line. One of the criticisms I heard was how I could teach this caliber of player when I never played at this level. That doesn’t matter. It matters what kind of educator and teacher I am that I can get these guys to compete at an optimal level.”

Long Is A Hard Worker

“There’s always three things that I think are going to put you above anybody else as a coach. First of all, work ethic. No one is going to outwork me. No one is going to put in more time. That’s number one because the players see that.

Number two is knowledge. I’ve got to be very knowledgeable about what I do. Drill work, what adjustments I make with these guys… I have to know what makes good hitters good. I’ve done my homework. I’ve studied. I’ve taken Barry Bonds’ swing and broken it down into the finest details. And that’s how I started with my philosophy.

The third part—and if you don’t have this, you might as well pack it in as a hitting coach— is you’d better be personable. You’d better have people skills.”

About the Home Run Drill

“You never know if it’s going to catch on,” Long said. “You’re trying to help players become as consistent as possible. When you see guys have a lot of success with a certain drill, you keep it around. And it’s just one of those drills where I’ve seen numerous people throughout my career get better and better with it.”

The drill is intended to build muscle memory and teach players to consistently pull the ball for power.

Long Goes Above and Beyond

“I went to the Dominican Republic to work with Robinson Cano. Did the Yankees pay for that? Did Robinson Cano pay for that? You know who paid for that? Kevin Long paid for that….It wasn’t the Yankees saying go. I went in order for me to be a good instructor. You know what Robinson Cano thinks of me? He thinks I’m the greatest guy in the world…And as I do that, and as we go through a season where there’s struggles and this and that, he now feels he can lean on me, and we can lean on each other and that part can get you over the hump.”

Carlos Pena on Kevin Long

“You can know it all, but if you don’t know how to share it with your players, then the knowledge is lost. His strength is not actually all he knows, but how he teaches, how he can relate to a single player and make the player comfortable and confident and make the player trust him. Regardless of the stage or the level of the hitter, they start to feel they are the best in the world without ever even realizing it.”

Hope you enjoyed this and that you learned a little bit more about Kevin Long that you didn’t know already. These quotes were courtesy of ESPN, the New York Times, Hardball Magazine and Fox Sports.


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Mets Still Have Hope Heading Into Seattle Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:09:14 +0000 wright murphy

The Mets had a great chance to capitalize on a struggling San Diego squad coming out of the All-Star break, but fell short, losing 2 out of 3.  The Padres were tied for the third worst record in MLB coming into the series and only had a .375 win percentage at their home field, Petco Park.  Yet somehow, the Mets bats fell asleep, while the Padres managed to outscore their opponent 12-7 overall throughout the series.  Maybe there was a little bit of rust following the rest, but the Mets have little ground to squander in the NL East if they wish to remain relevant heading into August.

The upcoming series against Seattle is crucial, but the Mariners are a squad the Mets can take advantage of if they’re able to put runs on the board.  In the month of July, Seattle is batting .259 as a team with an OPS of .651 and they are limping into tonight’s opener.

The Mariners just closed out a tough series with the Angels in which they also lost 2 out of the 3 games, going 16 innings in a loss Friday night and 12 innings in a victory Saturday night.  Robinson Cano sat out during a 6-5 series finale loss o Sunday due to soreness in his hamstrings and left fielder Dustin Ackley and reliever Danny Farquhar are fighting through nagging injuries of their own.

Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon also appears to be taking his chances with the Mets, aiming to push Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, the 1-2 punch at the top of his rotation, to the series opener against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday.  This will position rookie southpaw Roenis Elias (7-8 with a 4.54 ERA) against Jon Neise with the remaining two slots TBD.  MLB probables points to Erasmo Ramirez as getting the nod Tuesday night for Seattle, which would give the Mets two good chances to beat up on some sub-par starting pitching backed by an already struggling offense.  Ramirez last pitched for the big league club on June 24th against the Boston Red Sox, but he only went 4.1 innings giving up 5 hits and 2 earned runs.  Over the course of this season in the majors, he has started 11 games, going only 1-4 with a 4.58 ERA.  Most notably, he’s 0-2 at Seattle’s home park, Safeco Field.  My assumption is that if the Mets take the first two games against Elias and Ramirez, Iwakuma will not get the extra days rest, but at that point the Mets will have taken the series and that is the ultimate goal heading into Seattle anyhow.

This is an important time for Amazins, they don’t need to sweep every team they play, but they need to win almost every series.  The 8-2 home stand going into the All-Star break gave the organization a new charge of life, but the most recent one series against the Padres did nothing to build on the momentum and only built a steeper grade on the hill they have to climb.  Sure, San Diego got stellar pitching performances from Tyson Ross and Odrisamer Despaigne, but excuses are no longer valid when the season is on the line, a season that in a lot of ways, must count for this organizations future to remain intact.  Revenue and attendance are down compared to previous seasons and there’s no more loans to add to existing list of debt being paid down.  The sits need to get filled to bolster the cash-flow and the cash-flow is need to bolster the lineup, in the present and immediate future.  

The jury is still out on whether Sandy Alderson will go out and add another piece to the lineup to help in the second half, but in order to put the ball in the court of the Front Office, this current Mets roster must prove that they’re worthy of the club spending the money- if said money even exists at all.  Tonight’s game will speak volumes on whether or not this squad can rise to the occasion and look like the team of the future we’ve been waiting for.  The only way the organization turns around is if they find a way to win within.



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Talkin’ Baseball: A Brilliant Infield Duo That Never Was Sun, 23 Feb 2014 14:51:57 +0000 Scores of Met fans may have missed it. The New York Post ran a Sunday piece by Joel Sherman called “A Decade of A-Rod.” Most baseball fans have had more than their fill of Alex Rodriguez, especially Met fans tired of A-Rod’s front and back page coverage in the New York Dailies.

alex rodriguez a-rod

In the piece, Sherman spends a lot of time dissecting all the events that played into A-Rod becoming a Yankee. The Red Sox came within a whisker of signing Rodriguez. It wasn’t until Yankee third baseman and post season star Aaron Boone tore his ACL playing off-season baseball that the Yankees were in on bringing A-Rod to the Bronx. As is their habit, the Bronx Bombers were all in.

Rodriguez, a Met fan when he was growing up, hoped his people could swing a deal where he would land in Flushing. As things turned out, A-Rod would be coming to New York only to the other part of town.

As a Met fan, the piece that interested me the most indirectly involved the Mets. First, as part of the deal between the Yankees and Rangers, the Yanks gave up Alfonso Soriano and a pinstripe prospect from a list of five. That list included pitcher Ramon Ramirez, outfielders Rudy Guillen and Bronson Sardinha, shortstop Joaquin Arias and second baseman Robinson Cano. The Rangers chose Arias.

Stop and think what may have happened in Texas had they chosen Cano. The reports the Rangers had on a young Cano were that the future Yankee second baseman was talented but moody, so the club decided to move in another direction.

Arias has played in parts of six major league seasons, three with the Rangers, one split between the Rangers with a cup of coffee with the Mets and the last two with the San Francisco Giants. In just over 800 at bats Arias has a major league batting average of

With the deal complete, Sherman reports the Rangers and the Mets engaged in serious discussions about moving Soriano. The Mets wanted Soriano and were willing to part with their shortstop, Jose Reyes, to get him. Texas owner Tom Hicks vetoed the proposed deal fearing a fan revolt in Texas should he move Soriano immediately after relinquishing Rodriguez.

If the Rangers had selected Cano rather than Arias, and had Hicks not nixed the trade with the Mets, the Rangers would have fielded a double play combination of Jose Reyes at shortstop and Robinson Cano at second base. Now that’s enough to make your head spin.


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Bowden: Curtis Granderson and Chris Young Will Be Busts? Sat, 11 Jan 2014 14:45:19 +0000 granderson

Jim Bowden of ESPN (Insider Subscription) polled a few general managers about the offseason so far, and when he asked them who they thought would be busts, one American League GM picked Curtis Granderson, while Olney himself picked Chris Young.

Which available free agent likely bombs with his new team and why? 

AL GM: ”I think Ubaldo Jimenez will bomb. I don’t think he’ll ever be able to repeat his delivery well enough to be a consistent winner, and someone will give him a multiyear deal, while sacrificing a draft pick, that they’ll soon regret.”

NL GM: ”I’m still a little skeptical of [Ervin] Santana and Jimenez. I’m not sure they will ‘bomb,’ but there is a reason [other than draft picks] they are still available.”

AL GM: ”I think Curtis Granderson will bomb with the Mets. I think his power will be reduced to 20 home runs in that park and the strikeouts will be a problem with their thin lineup. I also think the player will begin his decline over the next year and a half.”

Bowden’s bottom line: For me, it’s the Mets’ other outfield signing – Chris Young – who will bomb. Young has been in rapid decline over the past four years, as his OBP dropped to a career-low .280 in 2013. He still has 20-home run, 20-stolen base ability, but his low average and high strikeout rate mean he cannot be an effective everyday player. He’s a solid clubhouse contributor but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up as an $7.25 million fourth outfielder by the All-Star break.

MMO’s Bottom Line: Seriously, who cares what Jim Bowden thinks… It’s easy for them to pick Young and Grandy as busts considering the season each player is coming off, the strikeouts, and the age and length of the deal in Grandy’s case. However, I wouldn’t read too much into this. I’m shocked nobody picked Jhonny PeraltaJacoby Ellsbury and Robinson Cano. All three of them have the biggest risk of being a bust for their new teams in my opinion.

Presented By Diehards


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Drew Is Not One Step Closer To Being A Met Fri, 27 Dec 2013 15:27:45 +0000 MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Sometimes I still don’t get how some Met fans will ignore one hundred years of baseball history to hang onto a faint hope that something positive will fall the Mets way. That is if you want to call signing a declining skills, injury-prone player like Stephen Drew something positive. I don’t.

Bu lets examine this notion that the Yankees will go into poverty-mode even if they were to sign Masahiro Tanaka like a few Met bloggers expect. There’s now a push by some to have Met fans believe it will open the door for the Sandy Alderson to swoop in and sign the 31-year old shortstop unencumbered.

Presumably the Mets would top any one-year deal the Red Sox will offer, a premise that is pure speculation in and of itself. Most Red Sox people and fans I’ve spoken to, unanimously say the Sox are still interested and would offer Drew two years. That would put the Mets at a three-year offer, something I said back in September would never happen for a variety of reasons, chief among them being Drew can’t seem to stay on the field. In the last three years the free agent has only averaged 95 games while posting a .247 batting average. Wow, how exciting.

Let’s get back to the Yankees who have scrapped their thoughts of a $189 million payroll about a month after they first floated the possibility. The Bombers need to replace at least part of Robinson Cano‘s offense in the middle of the infield as well as desperately needing to add a top shelf starter. They view Tanaka and Drew as the best options available to them, and nothing seems to stand in their way of getting both if that’s what they want. The luxury tax be damned.

Before the Christmas break, Peter Gammons reported that Scott Boras and Drew were waiting for some clarity from the Yankees and the Mets. Of course, those with rose-colored glasses took that to mean that Gammons was referring to affordability as it most certainly is with the Mets.

But what everyone seemed to ignore, and what was obvious to many who were not just focused in the ruminations from Flushing, was that in the Yankees’ case the clarity was not money related at all. In their circumstances, it boiled down to whether Drew would play shortstop or third base as was reported by most Yankee beat reporters. The hangup was also that Drew would be more willing to agree to a deal with the Yankees if they assured him of what kind of playing time they can offer him. The Yankees are very much still in the game and not out as some are speculating.

During the Winter Meetings, one rival American League executive told us that Drew prefers to stay with Boston, but would love to play for the Yankees instead if he were to leave Beantown.

Getting back to the Mets, my thoughts on Drew are simple. I don’t want another Luis Castillo situation. Signing Drew would be just that. At the time, Castillo was just as bad a risk as Drew is now, and it didn’t cost the Mets a draft pick like Drew would – making this signing potentially worse.

But that’s besides the point of this post. The fact is that the Mets are not suddenly the frontrunners to land Drew, despite what you might be reading elsewhere today. And the Yankees chances of signing Drew most certainly did not go out the window when Tanaka was posted. And that’s good news.



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Thanks to Sandy Alderson I Now Have Respect For the Yankee Way Sat, 21 Dec 2013 14:53:08 +0000 Rusty-Staub

When my dad taught me about something called Baseball in 1973 and introduced me to a team called the Mets, it was life-altering for this 7-year old. I’d learn to write cursive, get out of second grade, and eventually, when I grew a little taller, I’d replace Rusty Staub in RF. My whole life was planned out.

As I fell in love with the Mets, I developed an unbridled hatred for the Yankees. When visiting one of my grandmothers in the Bronx, we had to drive right past their stadium. In the back seat of my parents’ Plymouth, I shielded my eyes. I wouldn’t even give them the courtesy of acknowledging their existence.

The Yankees were colorless, uninteresting. They were even more icky than girls! Roy White, Chris Chambliss, Elliot Maddox, Graig Nettles. BORING! (And who the hell spells their name G-R-A-I-G anyway?) The Mets had friendly names: Tug, Rusty, Buddy, Kooz, Felix the Cat.

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By the 80’s the Yankees were irrelevant. New York was a Mets town and like I’d done as a little kid, I didn’t even bother acknowledging their existence. They were unimportant.

By the mid ‘90s, I was older and realized ‘hate’ is a strong word. It wasn’t really their players I ‘hated.’ It was their fans sense of entitlement, the way they acted as if they deserved to play into late October and the way George Steinbrenner attempted to buy a pennant year after year. While I was no fan of Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neill or Scott Brosius, how can you not love Derek Jeter? Who amongst us won’t miss Mariano Rivera?

I’ll continue to root against the Yankees, something that’s entrenched in me since childhood. However, I no longer hate their players. Nor do I detest the management style in which their front office operates.

After seeing the Wilpon’s and Sandy Alderson in action, they’ve done the impossible: They’ve made me gain respect–yes, respect–for the Yankees.

Is it wrong to try and buy a pennant? Yes…I guess…maybe. On the other hand, why not? Baseball is a sport and the purpose is to win, to reward your fans with a championship. If it takes outspending other teams, then so be it.

Late October every year, the same scene plays out. Commissioner Bud Selig presents the World Series trophy to the manager, GM and owner of the World Championship club. I don’t ever recall a celebration where the commissioner presents a trophy of any sort to a team with financial endurance, the team that accomplished the most with the least. The reason is simple: That doesn’t matter.

Question: Which 2 years did our Mets win the World Series?. Now, a follow-up: What was our payroll those 2 seasons? Yea, I have no idea either.

When I think back to 1986, I recall Mookie hitting a slow roller along the bag. I remember Jesse Orosco down on his knees smiling broadly. I can still see Ray Knight knocking Eric Davis on his ass, Gary Carter making a curtain call after going deep and the majestic beautiful swing of Darryl Strawberry. I don’t have any memory of what our payroll was.


In the end what matters is winning. Winning at, no pun intended, any cost.

Granted, both NY clubs have spent billions of dollars over the past two decades. And granted, the Yankees have spent far more than us. But ask yourself which fans have had a more enjoyable run since the mid ‘90s? Which team’s fans are optimistic about a championship and which team’s fans are biding their time? While one fanbase spends October cheering their team in the post-season, the other fanbase is counting down until April.

In the last 19 years, the Mets have won zero Championships while the Yankees have captured five. The Mets have made the post-season 3 times in 19 years. The Yankees have made the post-season 17 times in 19 years. It’s evident one organization wants to win and one wants to…well, I’m not really sure.

Baseball is a game, But it’s also a business. This is accepted in The Bronx but not in Flushing. There’s an old business adage that says, “If you want to make money, you must spend money.” The Steinbrenner’s realize this. The Wilpon’s don’t. It’s a very simple concept. The Yankees spend money to improve their product. Fans support the product by going to games and buying merchandise. This, in turn, puts more money in the owner’s pockets so they can turn around and further improve their product. The Yankees acknowledge that to keep their customers coming back for more, they must offer a good product. In Flushing, the Wilpon’s continue to ask us to support a sub-par product. It’s apparently okay for them not to spend their money—as long as we spend ours.

A couple weeks ago, the Yankees allowed their most productive hitter, Robinson Cano, to walk. Literally, within hours, realizing the need to keep their product relevant, the Yankees signed Jacoby Ellsbury. Talk about a ballsy move. And if that wasn’t enough, added Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, too.


Many Mets fans blame our woes and financial struggles on Bernie Madoff and the frugal Wilpon’s. While the Steinbrenner/Cashman team is determined to run a profitable and successful business, provide their customers with a solid product, the Wilpon/Alderson team runs their business about as efficiently as Countrywide Mortgage.

When Alderson took over the GM role, he asked for patience. He had a plan. He had no money, but he did have a plan. He would rebuild this team from the ground up. We’d need to develop the rookies, restock the farm system. Sandy’s plan would make the Mets relevant again.

The Mets have no money. The Mets have no money. The Mets have no money. But suddenly, the Wilpons found $138 million for David Wright. Hmm…that’s convenient.

Alderson has insisted that he is looking long term, looking at the big picture and wanting to keep the Mets significant for many years, not just one or two. That’s thought-provoking considering this winter’s transactions.

I applaud the moves our GM made. The 2014 Mets appear to be slightly better (on paper anyway) than the 2013 Mets. But the transactions of this winter completely contradict what Alderson’s been selling us.

For an organization that is focused on the future, that is determined to be relevant for the long haul, the Mets handed over $60 million for a 33-year old outfielder and $20 million for a 270 pound 41-year old pitcher. For a team that is crying poverty and focusing on “the future,” how does management justify handing over $80 million for 6 years to 2 players whose average age is 37? That doesn’t sound like a long-term goal.bartolo-copy

The future? Two years from now, Colon will be gone and Granderson will be patrolling Citi Field’s cavernous outfield on 35 year-old legs—probably looking to return to the AL so he can DH.

The ineptness and incompetence of this front office is mind-boggling. They tell us one thing, then do something else. Their actions contradict their words. They cry poverty and talk about the future, then hand over $80 million for 2 players past their prime. They allow Jose Reyes, citing they have no money, only to then find the money when it comes to keeping David Wright 10 months later. This front office is inconsistent. This is a business that has no direction, no goal. And no plan. Is this any way to run a baseball team? To run a business? Is this the way you attract customers?

The acquisition of Beltran, McCann and Ellsbury may not turn the Yankees into champions. But it might. Meanwhile, Mets fans would be ecstatic to get back to 500.

After seeing the Wilpon/Alderson team operate for years now, I’ve gained respect for the Yankees approach—their approach to winning, to staying competitive, to keeping their customers happy by providing a good product.

I’m no longer a little kid hiding my eyes in the backseat of my dad’s Plymouth. I no longer hate Yankee players or loathe Yankee management. If anything, I long for my team to take that same approach to winning. I’ve realized, too, that girls are no longer icky…but the Mets front office sure is.


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Robinson Cano: With All Due “Respect” Sat, 14 Dec 2013 17:51:12 +0000 Seattle-is-targeting-Robinson-Cano.-300x207Robinson Cano and Jay Z’’s orchestrated dinner with the New York Mets was clearly transparent, made even more so after his introductory press conference in Seattle. It was only an indicator of things to come from this childish man.

Bottom Line: Cano wanted to stay in New York, but at his price, and in the end his price is all that mattered to him. It is impossible to do business when you give nothing back in the negotiations. If you don’t give back they cease being negotiations.

Cano is a marvelously talented baseball player, but a flawed individual. He might be a five-tool player, but on the human level, none of his tools include discretion, loyalty, common sense or rational thinking. We do know Cano has streaks of arrogance, delusional thinking and greed in his persona. He also has an annoying sense of entitlement.“I didn’t feel respect. I didn’t get respect from them and I didn’t see any effort,’’ Cano said with a straight face when asked about the Yankees.

Being offered $175 million over seven years was plenty of respect countered Yankees president Randy Levine. Look, Levine and the Yankees don’t need anybody to fight their battles, but Cano was shown respect and his hissy fit needs to be addressed, because if nothing else it is a display of all that is wrong with today’s professional athlete.

From the outset, $300 million over ten years, was over the top, but it never hurts to ask because somebody might bite. However, when it became apparent Cano didn’t want to budge, you knew he wouldn’t stay in New York and the Yankees would be better off without him.

With Derek Jeter at the end of this career, and Alex Rodriguez in PED limbo, Jacoby Ellsbury will not be the difference. They need pitching and to shed some of its unproductive payroll – Mark Teixeira for one – and start rebuilding. The money earmarked Cano will be better invested elsewhere.

It was a business decision for Cano to state his negotiating objectives of money and years. It is also a business decision for the Yankees to say they no longer want to give ten-year contracts to players over 30 years old. Cano wants us to respect his business decision, yet he can’t respect the Yankees’ right to do the same. Just delusional and out of touch with reality is Cano.

I don’t begrudge Cano the right to have money as his motivation, but distasteful is his attitude. The only party showing a lack of respect in this issue is Cano, towards the Yankees, to the fans, and to his profession.

You made a choice, now live with it and don’t bash the Yankees on the way out. They didn’t criticize your choice; don’t criticize theirs.

Perhaps the greatest complaints people have about athletes is their disconnect from reality, their disregard about others, and when they don’t hustle. Cano violates our sensibilities by doing all three.

I believe a player is worth what his employer is willing to pay him. In that vein, Cano is worth $240 million to the Mariners. He’s just not worth $240 million to the Yankees, which is their right to determine.

Nobody has the right to say $240 million is too much, because who among you would turn it down?

But, we have the right to be irritated at Cano’s lack of touch with reality, which is insulting to those struggling to make ends meet or have been out of work.

“I was looking for a contract where I would just be able play and focus on the game and wouldn’t wonder when I’m 37, 38 would I have a job one day,’’ was what he tried to pass off as logic for his decision.


If at the end of the $175 million he would have gotten from the Yankees, if healthy and had he not worn out his welcome, he would have had another deal. Please don’t tell us after $175 million you’d be that insecure as to worry about your future. It is insulting to all those who buy tickets to watch you play or purchase your jersey.

Also insulting is your agent, Jay Z, who operating on your behalf, after accepting $240 million from Seattle went back to the Yankees with the request of $235 million over ten years.

It says you really don’t want to be in Seattle. How should they feel about that?

The Yankees are better off without him, which is something Seattle will find out eventually. At 3,000 miles away, it isn’t far away far enough.

In New York, there are too many apologists for your style and attitude. They say you’re entitled to take plays off, to jog down to first base because you’re usually in the line-up and you’re a good player. But, you don’t have that right. Cano has been given a gift of talent, but when you half-ass it to first base, you insult the fan and your profession. Not hustling is never justified.

They let you get away with it, and in the end it had to figure in the Yankees’ thinking. Deep down, they don’t want a dog to be the face of their franchise. You got a pass on that in New York, but they know how to boo in Seattle, and you’ll hear them soon enough.


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Mets Back Off On Bartolo Colon Due To Demands Mon, 09 Dec 2013 20:55:57 +0000 BartoloColon

Updated 12/9

The Mets had a meeting today with the agent for veteran free-agent righthander Bartolo Colon according to Sweeny Murti of WFAN.

But thankfully, they were scared off by his contracts demands. We are hearing that there might be a two-year deal floating from at least one team, and we think it’s the Mariners.

Also, not as much to say by Sandy today compared to yesterday, but he did say it’s unlikely he’d give a multi-year offer to any starting pitcher.

Original Post 12/8

In a column for the Daily News, Bill Madden suggests that the Mets should consider signing free agent RHP Bartolo Colon this winter even if it means a two-year deal, to satisfy the fanbase.

My tweet yesterday, pretty much sums up my take on a two-year deal for the veteran righthander who seems to have been around since the Reagan administration.

I’m quite certain that the fanbase is not looking to be satisfied by Colon. After running a fan site for nine years, I have a pretty good sense of what Met fans are thinking and I’d say the vast majority of them would be up in arms over a two-year deal for this fat-cat.

The 40-year-old Colon is coming off a surprisingly excellent season in which he posted a record of 18-6 over 30 starts for the Oakland A’s and finishing sixth in the American League Cy Young voting with 12 percent of the votes. His 2.65 ERA was the lowest mark for a pitcher over 40 since Roger Clemens posted a 1.87 ERA with the Astros in 2005.

The Mariners, fresh over their Robinson Cano signing, are still willing to spend aggressively courtesy of their new TV deal. They are getting set to offer Colon a two-year deal according to various reports.

If I’m the Mets I am not messing around with this one.

Colon turns 41 next season and I don’t want to be the one holding the bag when his big regression comes crashing down on some poor unsuspecting team. Quite frankly, I also have big concerns about his weight, and lets not forget his PED suspension.

Colon will be looking for a deal in the two-year $25-30 million range. No thanks.


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My Mock Interview With Sandy Alderson Thu, 05 Dec 2013 12:19:19 +0000 sandy aldersonRW: Hi Sandy. I want to thank you for taking time from your very busy schedule to speak with me.

SA: No problem. Glad to do it.

RW: Let’s get right to it, okay?

SA: You have fifteen minutes. How you use those fifteen minutes is entirely up to you.

RW: How’s the off season going so far?

SA: Fine. Its developing. We’re laying the groundwork.

RW: In June of this year, to a group of season ticket holders, you said, presumably to get them to re-up for 2014, the following: “I do believe that over the next six months or so we will be in position to make some significant acquisitions, whether it’s through free agency or trade. We’re certainly looking forward to that possibility.” It’s already December, which is six months later. In light of that, what exactly does it mean … you’re laying the groundwork?

SA: Suffice it is to say, we are actively trying to improve the club. You or anyone else wouldn’t understand the process, so lets not waste valuable time.

RW: Try me.

SA: Listen, would it do any good? Obviously you have your mind already made up. We’re not even out of December yet, for crying out loud, and already everyone is giving up and acting like spoiled little brats.

RW: Here’s the issue. You told us you had $30 million to spend this off season, and so far all we get is another Moneyball reclamation project, a rather expensive one at that, and a lot of excuses.

SA: Sometimes the medicine doesn’t taste good going down. I can’t help that.

RW: You were recently quoted as saying … “We have to be realistic about the market and not sort of deny the inevitable.” By inevitable, do you mean endure another lousy season of baseball?

SA: We plan on being a competitive team in 2014.

RW: For the record, you said that in 2011, 2012, & 2013, too. Here’s a quote by you from a recent ESPN interview, “If the market is as robust as it seems to be, then we have to acknowledge that. It may not be manifest yet to the average fan, the average person, but I think we are more active than we were last year.”

SA: Yes, I said that. I think it speaks for itself. Am I on the stand?

RW: You’re the lawyer, tell me. You did nothing last year except waste $5 million on a pitcher who won one game, and a reliever who couldn’t get anybody out. So the bar couldn’t be any lower on ‘being more active than last year’. Is this more of the semantic shell game you seem to get such a diabolical kick out of?

SA: I’m not going to answer that nonsense.

RW: Would you be surprised if I told you that there is, in fact, a direct statistical correlation to the amount of money spent on payroll, and winning, or not winning, championships?

SA: Really? Fascinating. Can’t wait to hear this. Fire away.

RW: According to a February, 2013 Washington Times article entitled Does money really buy World Series titles?, teams in the top five of payroll have won the World Series eight times in the last 18 years, while twelve times teams ranked in the top 10 have been the winners of the World Series over the same 18 years. Seventeen of the last 18 World Series winners have had a payroll in the top 15. Of the losing teams in the World Series, six teams were ranked in the top five. Eleven of the last 18 losers have been ranked in the top 10 for player payroll. Fifteen of the losing teams were ranked in the top 15 in baseball. Only three teams ranked outside of the top 15 in player salary have managed to make it to the World Series, only to lose. To sum up, out of the 36 teams that played in the last 18 World Series, only one team won with a payroll lower than the top 15. If you add in the Red Sox World Series win in 2013, that’s 38 teams, 19 years, and only one team winning the World Series that did not have a payroll in the top 15.

SA: You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

RW: You’re the one that says the math never lies, and these metrics seem to indicate that Moneyball has become an extinct dinosaur, that its time and place have long passed, and that how much a team commits to payroll certainly has a huge statistical impact on the potential success of that team. The Mets payroll this year, which you now tell us will not be lower than $87 million, will put the Mets roughly at about 20th lowest in all of baseball, and certainly not in the top 15, based on last year’s payrolls. As you put so much stock into numbers, do you think you will somehow outsmart the statistical probability established over 19 seasons?

SA: Let me get this straight. You think merely by spending $100 million on payroll this year gives us a statistically better chance at getting to the World Series?

RW: Don’t take my word for it. The data is indisputable that the probability of success increases dramatically above a top 15 threshold, which right now would be approximately $100 million in payroll or higher.

SA: Besides, any fan who thinks the goal of the plan is to compete to win the World Series this year is, well, not paying attention.

RW: I get the feeling that you don’t have much respect for the average Mets fan. Why is that?

SA: (laughs) I love fans. They pay the bills. But they don’t run baseball teams. Not my baseball teams. None of this surprises me. The fact of the matter is, you can’t fully appreciate the subtle intricacies of my plan, and you never will.

RW: What I can appreciate, however, is you’re statistically one of the worst GM’s record-wise in baseball history.

SA: You know what, smart ass, I don’t listen to fans. If I listened to fans whine and cry it wouldn’t get us anywhere.

RW: You are entering year 4 of your regime with the Mets. Most GM’s get 5 years to figure it out, if that. Players from the last three drafts are already arriving into the majors, and yet no one is even close from the Mets. While you have some Mets fans believing that you have 5-7 future Hall of Fame pitchers in the minors, and all Mets fans need to do is wait for your grand plan to unfold, it is instructive to know that in the past 30 years, 97% of the pitchers the Mets have drafted have never pitched a game in the major leagues, and only one has been an All-star, and we all know his name. Here’s an excerpt from a recent SI article by Tom Verducci: Matt Harvey has won seven games in his young Mets career. This should tell you how bad New York has been at drafting and developing pitchers: Harvey already ranks 12th in wins for the Mets among the 766 pitchers they drafted in the past 30 years. Since the Mets hit on Dwight Gooden in 1982 … New York ranks with Kansas City and Baltimore among the teams that have been consistently lousy at drafting and developing starting pitchers over more than a quarter of a century. Verducci also went on to say that of the 766 pitchers drafted by the Mets since 1982, only one pitcher has made the All-Star team as a Met. So while I share the optimism towards the young pitching being developed in the Mets farm system, it also might be cautionary to point out that none of them are impervious to injuries, and that your grand plan is much too heavily reliant on yet another statistical anomaly.

SA: I missed the question.

RW: You’re smiling. Rather smugly.

SA: I have a plan to put this franchise on the right path. That’s all you really need to know.

RW: You were quoted this way when you took over the Mets: “Am I going to recommend that we sit here in New York City and function like the Oakland Athletics for the next 10 years? No I’m not. … I’m not asking you to believe me until you see some manifestation of that, which I hope is sooner rather than later.” Well, frankly, I’ve seen no manifestation of that yet, and, you’re right, I don’t believe you.

SA: You really are starting to get on my nerves.

RW: Here’s another quote of yours, from an ESPN interview. “No fan is probably ever going to be satisfied with what his or her team is spending on players. It’s kind of too bad that the measure of commitment, the measure of loyalty to the fan base, is measured in dollar signs. That be as it may, we’re going to spend more money this year than we’ve spent in recent years, just in terms of what we have to spend. You know, last year we only spent about $5 million on free agents. So this is going to be a new day. We have it to spend. We have to spend it wisely. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

SA: What’s the question?

RW: Those same fans will boycott Citi Field if the losing continues, unless something tangible isn’t done this off season to improve the team. Does that worry you at all?

SA: Boycott, is that what they are doing?

RW: Well, they’re certainly not coming to the stadium. Attendance is down each year you’ve been here, and it will go under 2 million this season. Sooner or later the house of cards will collapse.

SA: Typical fantasy league logic. Clock’s ticking.

RW: You also said this on ESPN. “Nobody can guarantee anything. I start with the premise that during the last 100 games of last season we were pretty good. We were .500. That’s not great, but it’s not real bad. It was a nice starting point. We haven’t really lost much from the group that went .500 the last 100 games. We get some players back. So the starting point isn’t as dire as some people like to imagine, I don’t believe.”

SA: Yes. I still feel that we didn’t play so bad last year. Part of my job is realistically managing expectations.

RW: “Success of big-market teams is not just money, but a successful farm system. We have a renewed effort in the draft.” When you said this, you must have known that most teams historically do very poorly in the draft. That’s one of the reasons why lousy teams stay lousy for so long even though they get top picks. It takes being actively involved in fee agency at the top levels, like the Yankees model, the extreme example, admittedly.

SA: I’ve let you make a number of statements that are ludicrous, but enough is enough. Don’t compare us to the Yankees. They spend and spend and spend like drunken sailors and where does it get them in the long run? They spent a billion dollars on one single World Championship. You’ve made my argument for me.

RW: 27 World Championships, with essentially the same philosophy for a hundred years – do whatever it takes to win. The promise from management that they will do anything, spend any sum of money, to win the next championship. 4 million attendance. A model of club building that seems to work quite well.

SA: Don’t be a wiseguy.

RW: Conceding that I don’t have any idea what I am talking about, you do realize that Matt Harvey will be missing from your ‘we didn’t do so bad last 100 game’ equation in 2014?

SA: Of course I do.

RW: You would also agree that’s a pretty big piece of the puzzle, and that he might have almost been single-handedly responsible for the Mets resurgence last year? How can you possibly make the statement that this is virtually the same team that went .500 for the last 100 games last season? Marlon Byrd is gone, John Buck is gone. Ike Davis might shortly be gone. The Mets might lose 90 games even if Chris Young hits 100 home runs, after which he gets signed by the Yankees in 2015.

SA: Wa, wa, wa. Pass the tissues. Harvey’s not here, and neither are the other two. We move on.

RW: Quid pro quo, have you been promised the commissioners job?

SA: Of course not.

RW: Are you saying you won’t be the commissioner when your buddy Selig retires?

SA: I didn’t say that; you did.

RW: If you googled the prospective free agents last year, you would have seen for yourself that the market was thin. Now you tell us the free agent market spooked you, whatever the hell that means.

SA: Whine like babies all you want, but Robinson Cano is not coming here.

RW: Did you bring your three sidekicks with you to the dinner with Cano’s agents?

SA: How is that relevant?

RW: Cano is a once in a lifetime free agent opportunity, going into his prime. The price of other lessor free agents might be inflated, but not Cano. There is nothing thin about Cano, and certainly everyone who can spell baseball knows he will get a very substantial contract. Most of the big spending teams seem to be out of it, the Yankees are playing chicken, and there appears to be a very real circumstantial opportunity to get him on the Mets. Do you, or do you not, have $30 million to spend on Cano?

SA: Not after Young.

RW: You can figure that out. Trade Davis and Duda, now you have $30 million back.

SA: You know, I can’t win either way with you people. Cano, really? Have you been paying attention? Have I ever signed a player like Cano?

RW: No, you haven’t, and that’s what really scares Mets fans. You seem intrinsically incapable of signing players that oppose your tired philosophy. Were you given a budget by the Wilpons? And did that budget include $30 million to sign free agents?

SA: See, this is what I’m talking about. I said we “need to get better, and not incrementally”, and I stand by that.

RW: We apparently also disagree on what incrementally means. For instance, your drafts in the past three years are mediocre at best, according to all the polls.

SA: Better than what I inherited. I certainly don’t give a rat’s ass about polls.

RW: Harvey was down there, in that barren farm system that Minaya turned over to you. Harvey may go down as one of the greatest draft picks ever in the history of baseball. Hardly barren, as you like to spin it. Any team you put together will have him as the anchor for a decade. Not for nothing, it took him only 3 years to get to the majors. I guarantee you that Harvey, unlike Wright, escapes from this madhouse first opportunity he gets if things don’t change. He’ll be pitching for the Yankees.

SA: You keep forgetting about Wheeler and Syndergaard.

RW: Excellent trades but, in truth, the jewels of other farm systems. You didn’t draft either player, and both were recognized as top tier minor leagues before you traded for them, nor have either of them had success yet in the majors.

SA: Is that a lefthanded compliment?

RW: Nobody wants you to succeed more than Mets fans do, because if you don’t succeed, we have to watch another lousy team for 162 games next year.

SA: Signing Cano would be reckless.

RW: Why did you have dinner with him, then, in the first place?

SA: Who?

RW: Cano.

SA: They asked. And Cano wasn’t there. Do your homework.

RW: Was it a dog and pony show, and nothing more? Perhaps for all parties, for different reasons?

SA: Draw your own conclusions. But you are sounding just a tad paranoid.

RW: Otherwise it might appear to the average fan that your only intention was to artificially pump up the Mets fan base, and for them to artificially pump up the market for their guy.

SA: Asked and answered.

RW: Not really. Asked and deflected. Trying to get Mets fans excited about the possibilities of having Robinson Cano hitting behind Wright for the next 6 years so you can sell more tickets when you had absolutely no intention of ever signing him could be considered a kind of fraud. Its certainly manipulative and dishonest. You have said many times before that the Wilpon’s finances have nothing to do with how you run the team. Are they broke?

SA: Let me put it this way. How insolvent could they be if they’re easily getting financing for the $3 billion Willet Point project surrounding Citi Field?

RW: Then its just you and your antiquated, intractable Moneyball philosophy that’s running this team into the ground? Is that what you’re telling me?

SA: My advice to you — get a life. This interview is over.

RW: When it doesn’t work, and you leave the Mets in an organizational shambles as you did San Diego, who still hasn’t recovered from the damage you did to them, will you do so to become the commissioner of baseball? Sandy?


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Despite Stark Differences Between Yankees and Mets, Alderson Needs To Save Face Wed, 04 Dec 2013 21:28:21 +0000 Curtis+Granderson

As if the New York Mets and their frustrated fan base needed another reminder of their status in town, they got a punch-in-the-gut this morning with the news Jacoby Ellsbury had agreed to a seven-year, $153-million contract with the Yankees.

Yes, the Yankees, the team that said they wanted to go below a $189 million payroll while Mets GM Sandy Alderson, despite saying he has the resources, isn’t likely to go over $90 million.

Alderson will say the Mets aren’t competing with the Yankees, and he’s right to a four-game, interleague degree, but he’s wrong everywhere else. There’s competition for the back pages, for free-agents, for attention from the on-the-fence New York fan, for TV ratings and time on the radio talk-shows.

Today, the callers will take a break from bashing the Nets and Knicks – and deservedly so – to hailing the Yankees, and yes, ripping the Mets for their inaction. Also, deservedly so.

It’s a great deal for the Yankees as they obtain a dynamic outfielder – which was Alderson’s prime objective this winter – that will more homers in Yankee Stadium hitting from the leadoff position, while at the same time, weakening their rival Red Sox.

This came after giving $85 million to catcher Brian McCann. And, they are hot after Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, which will entail a hefty posting fee to go along with a huge salary.

Then, there’s the matter of Robinson Cano.

Meanwhile, the Mets’ biggest splash this winter, if you don’t include Chris Young, is having dinner with Jay Z, Cano’s flamboyant agent.

That meeting garnered attention for one day, but these signings by the Yankees to go along with their courtship of Cano, have them in the headlines nearly every day this offseason.

The free-agent outfield market had four premium names: Ellsbury, Shin-Soo ChooNelson Cruz and Curtis Granderson. Ellsbury’s deal set the bar, meaning if history is an indicator, the prices for the others should increase.

This means if the Mets are serious about Granderson they had better act quickly because the meter is running. Who knows? It might already have clicked past Alderson’s price range.

The Mets weren’t going to overpay for Ellsbury or Choo, but they might have to for Granderson for nothing else, to save some face this winter.

But, Granderson would fit the Mets for several reasons:

* He would give them left-handed power. Yes, his numbers were elevated in Yankee Stadium, but of his 43 homers hit in 2012, 26 were at home and 17 on the road. Granderson hit 41 in 20111, with 21 at home and 20 on the road.

* He could play anywhere in the outfield, and has the speed to play center.

* All indications are he’s a good clubhouse presence, plus, he knows what it takes to play in New York.

While the Ellsbury signing screams the Yankees are back, it doesn’t mean the Mets have to limp away. There’s still time for them to do something, but it is running out.

Note: I’ll be heading to Orlando in three days to cover the Winter Meetings for I’m getting in one day early to set myself up and get a good lay of the land. Joe has some nice things setup as far as chats and podcasts. It sounds like fun.

Presented By Diehards

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Are The Mets Moving Back Into The Steak Section? Wed, 04 Dec 2013 17:32:09 +0000 alderson sandy wilpon

In the winter of 2011, super-agent Scott Boras stated that the Mets typically shop in the “steak section” however they have been residing in the “fruits and nuts category” as of late.

Finally today we have seen reports of some high-rolling as the team has “intensified discussions” on the idea of splurging on a high-profile free agent in Curtis Granderson.

Does this mean they are they back in the steak section though? Not exactly.

Alderson and company did sit down for steaks with Robinson Cano, however that was more of a meeting to meet with Jay-Z rather than the Yankee second baseman. Their meeting with Granderson however, consisted of a “Q-and-A kind of thing” while the respective parties dined over a few slabs of salmon; a grand bit of symbolism.

The Mets aren’t quite back in the steak section, they probably never will be under the frugal Sandy Alderson. They do however, have money to spend; they aren’t picking through pistachios anymore.

This offseason is significantly different than years prior; we hope that these fishy negotiations with Granderson are an indication of that. We hope that this is more than the pursuance of Jose Reyes, the ‘What Outfield?’ fix of 2012 or the talks with Michael Bourn, for those were not but smoke without a fire.

It remains to be seen if these are some true, bonafide orange-and-blue embers on the Hot Stove fire or not. Either way, it appears the Mets are at least kicking around the thought of reeling in their first big fish under Alderson rather than watching the school go by.

Salmon beats a box of chocolates any day in my book.


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MMO Fan Shot: Time For Mets To Be Bold And Sign Robinson Cano Wed, 04 Dec 2013 16:26:42 +0000 Yankees Spring Training

A Fan Shot By Austin Smith

With all the huge offseason moves thus far, most notably, Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the Yankees for 7 years and more than $150 million, should the Mets make a huge splash and sign the best free agent on the market in Robinson Cano?

With the offseason in full swing before the Winter Meetings have even begun, the whole league has realized the market is flourishing, and free agents are signing for astonishing numbers. With that said, and the Mets signing of Chris Young for $7 million, you’re going to have to overpay to get who you want, whether its in years or dollars, so why not just overpay for the best guy out there?

Since the Yankees have signed Brian McCann and Ellsbury, and them still having other holes to fill, I’d count them out on the Cano sweepstakes, which opens up some opportunities for other teams. Also, the Yankees were unwilling to go past $175 million for the slugger, so I don’t think anybody else will go past $200-$225 million. If the Mets could trade Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy, they’d free up about $10 million to bring our budget back up near $30-35MM, and we could try and get Cano for $200 million for eight years. I don’t see any other team going past seven years, so since the Mets can’t afford to overpay cash, why not give him the extra year to guarantee more cash, which is what he really wants.

He would be a huge upgrade to our lineup, giving us the cleanup hitter we need, and I don’t think any of the other holes are as huge of an issue if we have Cano in our lineup. With Cano taking $25 million, or possibly less for this year if you back-load the contract, you’d have another $10-15MM left, which  you could then throw on minor additions to compete with some of our other players this Spring.

Having an outfield of Eric Young, Juan Lagares and Chris Young doesn’t look too good at first, but if that’s the situation we have to deal with in order to get Cano, then so be it, it’s worth it in my eyes. We could even fill up so many other holes via trades afterwards.

I think signing Cano would be a bold and smart move on Sandy’s part, which could open many other opportunities for the team and also make the Mets relevant again. Since we’ve been told to throw out 2014, and count on 2015 now, the suffrage to deal with this season as long as we sign Cano long term, is worth it.

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This Fan Shot was contributed by MMO reader, Austin Smith. 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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Damn Yankees: Ellsbury Agrees To 7-Year, $153 Million Deal With Bombers Wed, 04 Dec 2013 05:55:40 +0000 jacoby ellsbury


The New York Yankees and free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury have agreed on a seven-year contract valued at $153 million dollars, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. There is also an eighth year option that could raise the total value to $169 million. Ellsbury will also cost the Yankees a first round draft pick.

Ellsbury batted .298/.355/.436 with 31 doubles, 8 triples, 9 home runs and a league-leading 52 stolen bases this year with 92 runs scored.

Wow, that’s some big-time money… But these are the Yankees who play in one of largest sports markets in the world…

However, this probably means the end of any Robinson Cano and Yankees reunion, and Curtis Granderson too for that matter.

The other five teams in on Ellsbury, now move over to Curtis Granderson…

Presented By Diehards


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Yankees Make Carlos Beltran Their No. 1 Target Mon, 25 Nov 2013 16:57:15 +0000 beltran

Fresh off this weekend’s signing of top catching free agent Brian McCann, the New York Yankees have shifted to Phase 2 of their master plan to win the American League East.

While the Mets prefer to wait the market out (or not), Brian Cashman came out of the GM Meetings with the express goal of doing the exact opposite – choosing instead to set the market rather than wait for it.

According to sources, the Yankees have determined that former Mets All Star Carlos Beltran is their No. 1 target while they wait to reignite talks with Robinson Cano, reports Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

“The Yankees prefer the eight-time All-Star to fellow free-agent outfielders Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz and Jacoby Ellsbury, the source said, believing he’s the perfect fit to bolster their lineup. Likewise, Beltran has let it be known to those around him that the Yankees are his top choice.”

It looks like it’s gearing up to be one of those mutual matchups where both parties are interested and striving to work things out.

Beltran is reportedly looking for a three-year deal, but I say he’ll take two if that’s what the Yankees offer. The 36-year old future Hall of Famer loves New York, and if not the Mets, the Yankees will do just as well for him. Plus there’s always the added bonus of a likely trip to the post season.

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Yankees Sign Free Agent Brian McCann To Five-Year Deal Sun, 24 Nov 2013 00:08:15 +0000 Ken Rosenthal of  FOX Sports is reporting that the New York Yankees and free agent catcher Brian McCann have reached an agreement on a five year deal worth $85 million.

The deal also includes a vesting option for a sixth year and is pending a physical.

McCann cashes in on what has been a solid career and will net about $17 million a year if these numbers are official.

I wondered if this deal impacts their negotiations for free agent Robinson Cano, but these are the Yankees and they had about $60 million to spend and likely even more if Alex Rodriguez gets suspended as many believe he will.

The Texas Rangers were also said to be going hard after McCann which certainly figured in driving his value up.

This is a huge upgrade for the Yankees who have had terrible production from the catching spot last season with a .589 OPS.

Even with one arm, McCann batted .256/.336/.461 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI over 102 games this past season, and he’ll go into 2014 recovered and year removed from shoulder surgery. The 29 year old All Star catcher has accumulated a 12.6 bWAR over the last five seasons.


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Could Rangers and Tigers Blockbuster Deal Impact Mets? Fri, 22 Nov 2013 13:39:46 +0000 I’ve seen a few blog posts out there in which a team analyzes how the recent Tigers-Rangers blockbuster deal impacts their individual team.

For example, how does this deal affect the Boston Red Sox? Or the White Sox? Or the Rockies?

So here’s the Mets’ view of the situation.


Let’s look at the facts: The Mets need a shortstop, and even after the blockbuster deal, the Texas Rangers have t

With Ian Kinsler heading to Detroit, all signs point to Profar moving to second base and Andrus – and his huge contract – remaining at shortstop.wo good ones (Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar).

But I’ve been hearing interesting rumors that could affect the Mets in some way. Even after acquiring a big bat in Fielder, the Rangers could be a potential destination to land this offseason’s top free agent: Robinson Cano.

Of course, a few things would have to fall into place for the Rangers to land Cano, the first of which would be a willingness to trade either Profar or Andrus.

Andrus has become a proven commodity at shortstop, but in order to commit at least $200 million to Cano, the team would have to move the bulk of the money due to Andrus, who signed an eight-year, $120 million contract early last April.

If Texas signed Cano, Profar would remain at shortstop, and the Rangers would easily have one of the best infields in the game with Fielder, Cano, Profar and Adrian Beltre.

Enter the Mets, who again need a shortstop. I’d much rather see this team acquire Andrus and take on the bulk of that contract than overpay for Jhonny Peralta or Stephen Drew.

In fact, the Tigers are looking at the possibility of bringing back Peralta to play third base, even though prospect Nick Castellanos is waiting in the wings.

Andrus is only 25 and has put together a good start to his pro career. He’s a two-time All-Star, a consistent base stealer and better offensively than any shortstop the Mets have run out there since Jose Reyes.

Defensively, Andrus has incredible range and one of the best throwing arms in the game. Sure, he’ll make some errors, but he’ll make up for them with turning infield hits into outs.

Andrus looks like a great fit for the Mets, right? Unfortunately, it’s not going to be easy to pry him away from Texas.

First, it’s not a given that Cano signs with the Rangers, especially with the Yankees still heavily involved.

But more importantly, the Mets and Rangers would have to agree to a trade. The only thing the Mets have to trade right now is a few promising pitching prospects.

Back when the Rangers had dominant teams of the mid-1990s, those teams were made up of all hitting and no pitching. But lately, the Rangers have had decent pitching staffs and appear set heading into next season.

Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, Martin Perez and Matt Harrison (return from back surgery) should form the starting five. The team also has promising youngsters Nick Tepesch and Robbie Ross as insurance. Neftali Feliz is also an option as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery, though he might slide back into the closer role with Joe Nathan being a free agent.

So the Rangers’ pitching staff looks good. But catcher and at least one of the corner outfield spots would need to be filled. I doubt the Mets would trade Travis d’Arnaud to get Andrus, and the Mets have their own outfield problems to be worried about.

That’s why, as good as Andrus would look in a Mets’ uniform, let’s not get our hopes up too much.

The most likely scenario is that the Rangers keep Andrus at shortstop and try to sign one or even both of Brian McCann as the catcher and Jacoby Ellsbury as an outfielder.

But if you start hearing rumors that the Rangers’ interest in Cano is intensifying, that would at least mean there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Mets potentially making a deal for Andrus.

It’s OK to dream right?

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Mets Owners Say Sandy Alderson Has $25-30 Million To Spend And No More Fri, 22 Nov 2013 04:05:11 +0000 Mets Madoff Baseball

Updated Post 8:00 PM

John Harper of the Daily News reports the following:

“Heard tonight that Mets’ owners will not stretch the budget due to high cost of free agents. Sandy Alderson has $25-30 million to spend and no more. Good luck with that.”

So much for that $35-40 million…

I don’t mean to laugh here, but this offseason just keeps getting funnier and funnier…

Original Post 12:00 PM

After two weeks, the Mets, like many teams, are still trying to get a feel on a “fluid,” free agent market, writes Kristie Ackert of the Daily News.

“The Mets have found the asking prices for some free agents quite surprising, according to two team sources.”

Ackert reports that the Mets remain interested in free agent Jhonny Peralta, even though they’ve admitted that there’s been no contact since that one short meeting in Orlando. ”That may be in part because of what Peralta asked for in that initial meeting.”

One industry source said that Peralta is asking for a deal longer than three years, and according to other reports, he is seeking  $45 million or more. Sandy Alderson admitted that he found the asking prices among free agents “steep.”

This backs up what Mike Puma of the New York Post reported on Tuesday when he that the Mets are dealing with “sticker shock” on free agents.

Last night on the Shot From Shea podcast, Adam Rubin was the featured guest and he found it laughable at how the Mets are conducting themselves “Players like Robinson Cano are exactly the kind of players they should be targeting as a big market team.”  I agree. The Mets should have had a genuine interest in talking numbers with Cano, and not meet with his agents just to schmooze over a free steak dinner. Kick the tires, light some fires, act like buyers…

“I won’t say that the Mets were wrong to pass on LaTroy Hawkins,” Rubin also said. “But to say it was because he wanted $2.5 million dollars is also laughable. A team like the Mets should have a bunch of $2.5 million players on their team especially players like Hawkins who were actually productive for the team.”

He’s right. It is laughable. But it also supports my contention that things are not all as the Mets would have you believe on the financial side of things.

Waiting for the market to develop, steep prices, payroll concentration, holding off until late in the offseason, sticker shock… These are not exactly things you worry about if you’re really swimming in $40 million dead presidents.

Regardless, the Hot Stove Season is cooking baseball fans….

All Stars are being scooped up, former MVPs are being traded, Cy Young award winners are inking deals, and as one MLB Network analyst said tonight, “This is shaping up to be one of the hottest hot stove seasons we’ve seen in years. With baseball’s winter meetings nearly a month away, we’ve already had well over a dozen significant moves.”

This is exactly what I expected. Teams have money to splurge like never before as over $1 billion dollars from the new National TV deal pours into the coffers of all 30 teams this Winter. Although, you wouldn’t know it by following the Mets.


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