Mets Merized Online » Scott Boras http://metsmerizedonline.com Sat, 03 Dec 2016 12:00:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.16 Scott Boras Expects Matt Harvey of Old in 2017 http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/scott-boras-expects-matt-harvey-of-old-in-2017.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/11/scott-boras-expects-matt-harvey-of-old-in-2017.html/#comments Thu, 10 Nov 2016 13:30:37 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=226250 boras_scott

Super agent, Scott Boras believes that his client, Matt Harvey will be back to his old self entering the 2017 season. A sight many Met fans hope to see.

Boras spoke with reporters on Wednesday at the general manager meetings in Arizona regarding his client’s comeback from thoracic outlet surgery.

“I just saw him in New York,” Boras said. “He’s throwing free and easy. He’s strong. He’s had a great deal of time to work out and focus on his body and strength. We expect him to come back and be the Matt Harvey of old.” (ESPN)

Having the Dark Knight of old return to the rotation that went to the 2015 World Series would be a big key to the success of the 2017 team.

The 2016 season was a very rough year for Matt as he dealt with injury, pitching to a 4-10 record with an ERA of 4.86. Boras attributed the injury as the reason for Harvey’s down year and lack of command on the mound.

“I don’t think there’s any question,” Boras said. “I’m not sure he could identify what the issue was. But as the season went on, he complained that the command of his pitches was not nearly the same. As this got more pronounced, he started feeling a tingling in his fingers and that really gave us the clue to send him to Dr. Thompson.”

The coming season will be a very important one for Harvey as he tries to rebuild his stock. Harvey is arbitration eligible this coming season and is projected to command $5.325 million as per ESPN.

Hopefully for all we get to see a return to the Harvey of old as Boras believes we will. There is no doubt that when at full strength, Harvey is one of the best pitchers in the game.

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Carlos Beltran Belts Home Run #400, Does Hall of Fame Beckon? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/carlos-beltran-belts-home-run-400-does-hall-of-fame-beckon.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/carlos-beltran-belts-home-run-400-does-hall-of-fame-beckon.html/#comments Mon, 16 May 2016 10:41:05 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=211968 carlos beltran

Carlos Beltran joined some rare company on Sunday afternoon, as his sixth inning two-run home run was also the 400th homer of his potential Hall of Fame career.

Beltran, 39, joins a short list of switch-hitters who have 400 home runs in their career. Hall of Famers Eddie Murray, Mickey Mantle, and eventual inductee Chipper Jones are the only other switch-hitters to have accomplished the feat.

He also becomes only the fifth player in Major League history to have 500 doubles, 400 home runs, and 300 stolen bases, joining the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Barry Bonds, and Willie Mays.

The blast came in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium, as the Bronx Bombers were looking to win the series against the first place Chicago White Sox. Left-hander Zach Duke was on the mound for the White Sox, as he was looking to protect their 4-3 lead.

With Jacoby Ellsbury on second and two outs, Duke side-armed a flat 90-mph fastball over the heart of the plate, which Beltran pulled and deposited several rows back in the left field seats. The Yankees took a 5-4 lead, and ended up winning the game and the series against the White Sox.

Fans will remember Beltran signing with the New York Mets in January 2005, to a seven-year $119 million contract. Beltran was coming off his improbable postseason power display as a member of the Houston Astros, where in the NLDS and NLCS he combined to hit eight home runs, drive in 14 runs, score 21 runs, and also steal six bases in 12 games.

His tenure with the Mets was filled with some of the greatest offensive seasons in Met history, injuries, and of course the dreaded 0-2 curve by Adam Wainwright in Game 7 of the NLCS in 2006.

For his Met career, Beltran put up a slash line of .280/.369/.500 for an OPS of .869. He hit 149 home runs as a member of the Mets, while driving in 559 runs. Of the six teams he has played for in his 19-year career, he has the most home runs, runs batted in, doubles, runs scored, and walks as a Metropolitan.

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One of his greatest seasons came in the magical year of 2006, when Beltran set career highs in home runs (41), runs batted in (116), runs scored (127), and OPS (.982). He received 47% share of the vote in that year’s NL MVP voting, finishing fourth behind Lance Berkman, Albert Pujols, and Ryan Howard, the winner of the award that year.

Beltran missed 179 games from 2009-2010, and had the famous arthroscopic knee surgery in January 2010, which resulted in a back and forth between the Mets and Beltran’s agent Scott Boras of whether the Mets had given clearance for Beltran to have the surgery done in the first place.

“We told the agent for the player that we wanted to have the ability to discuss the diagnosis and possibly have a third opinion because, you know, of the nature of this injury,” Assistant general manager John Ricco said during a telephone conference. “We wanted to have the opportunity to digest the information, the diagnosis, and unfortunately we were never afforded the opportunity to do that.”

Then in Beltran’s final year with the Mets, he was traded before the trade deadline to the San Francisco Giants along with $4 million for top pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. This was GM Sandy Alderson’s first year with the Mets, and it set the stage for his rebuilding plan and acquiring young talent to supplant the aging veterans.

Beltran’s time in Queens should be remembered for the gaudy offensive numbers he produced when he was healthy, his smooth and ballet-like defense he provided in center, and some lingering “what could have been” questions. The Mets looked geared to be a perennial postseason force after the 2006 season, yet late season collapses, bullpen ineptitude, and injuries curtailed any chances of that.

But what Beltran did for the offense and bringing the Mets back to respectability after many seasons of dwelling near or at the bottom of the NL East should not be forgotten. Congratulations to Carlos on his achievement, and a fine career that may indeed have him going into Cooperstown one summer day, donning a NY Mets cap.

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How Strasburg Deal Impacts Harvey http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/how-strasburg-deal-impacts-harvey.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/how-strasburg-deal-impacts-harvey.html/#comments Wed, 11 May 2016 14:28:24 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=211538 harvey strasburg

Watching Stephen Strasburg pitch on Monday night, part of the Monday Night Baseball telecast on ESPN, he wasn’t as sharp against the Detroit Tigers as he had been against his previous two opponents, the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals.

But to quote rapper Jay Z, Strasburg has “99 problems” but a new contract ain’t one.

The news of Strasburg’s brand new contract, seven-years for $175 million including two opt-outs, was bandied about on Twitter during the telecast, and was first reported by The Washington Post. It’s curious that the Washington Nationals would have this leak during his start, as news would surely seep across the entire stadium from fans clutching closely to their smart phones.

Maybe that explains why Strasburg wasn’t his normal sharp self Monday night, surrendering four runs on six hits and three walks, giving up a pair of two-run home runs to Nick Castellanos and J.D. Martinez. He might’ve had, oh I don’t know, 175 million things on his mind during his start. However, Strasburg did pitch seven innings, and had his third double-digit strikeout performance of the season, whiffing eleven.

How does this all relate to the New York Mets? After all, this is the Mets fan site where we all come from our daily dose of news and notes of all things orange and blue. The simple answer is Matt Harvey.

Since Game 5 of the 2015 World Series concluded, fans and media alike have pondered whether Harvey would stay with the Mets once he hits free agency after the 2018 season. Some thought that trading Harvey for a haul of talented and young prospects in similar fashion to what the Atlanta Braves did with Shelby Miller would be the best course of action.

For the moment, Harvey is ours, and still working to break out of the early season funk he’s been stuck in, although his last start on May 8th against the San Diego Padres offered some reassurance that he was slowly coming out of whatever was ailing him, be it mechanics or any physical strain that might’ve been left over from the 200 plus innings he threw last year.

Like Strasburg, Harvey is a Scott Boras client, and Boras clients very rarely elude free agency to sign extensions with their current teams. Of course there are exceptions, with the likes of Carlos Gonzalez and Jered Weaver to name a few.

For his part, Harvey said in early February that he’d be open to discussing a contract extension with the Mets, if it were to come up with the front office.

“I think whatever comes up is going to come up,” Harvey said. “I think I’ve never shied away from it. I’ve never said I wouldn’t consider it.”

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The question remains whether the Mets are better served trying to hash out an early extension deal now with their 27-year-old right-hander, hoping to take advantage of some early struggles and get him possibly a bit cheaper than if they wait and he’s back to his old form.

If they wait until Harvey hits free agency, one would assume that he’d be back on track and barring any health issues, have performed like the Harvey of old. Factoring in that he’ll be pitching in postseason games and showcasing his talents on the biggest of stages the next few years, it will send his stock soaring as long as he performs, which will earn him even more zeros on his big payday.

And of course the Mets would be leaving themselves out there to compete with 29 other ball-clubs for Harvey’s services. And two clubs that can be counted on to show significant interest in him are the two teams that he was situated in between growing up in Mystic, Connecticut, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

There’s also the thought of trading Harvey, considering that with Strasburg off the table for the 2016-17 free agency, not many big namepitchers are going to be available, unless R.A. Dickey, Brett Anderson, Andrew Cashner, or Mat Latos do it for you. Having Harvey available in the off-season could generate a big haul for the Mets, even with his struggles in April. All he needs is a few good months and strong postseason starts to escalate him back into the conversation as one of the best starting pitchers in the game.

And with the emergence of Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz taking the next steps into becoming bona fide aces in their own right, the Mets have a strong rotation before even mentioning Harvey’s name. Maybe it would behoove the Mets to explore what Harvey could fetch in a deal, especially since the team who would trade for him would still get two years of control before he hits free agency. That would potentially net the Mets even more in a trade.

The Strasburg extension is the largest deal ever given to a post Tommy John surgery player, which bodes well for Harvey. The difference however, is that Strasburg has had success and been relatively healthy since he missed most of 2011. He was an All Star in 2012, and was in the top 10 in Cy Young voting in 2014. Harvey had a fantastic 2015 season, his first year back after the surgery. But teams might want to make sure that Harvey has no year after affect, after eclipsing the 180-inning threshold that he was presumed to have last year.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Strasburg extension plays into potential Harvey talks, or if it even does at all. Maybe the Mets accept the fact that Harvey will walk to the highest bidder in 2018, or that they’ll explore deals in the off-season to replenish their system. Whatever the future holds, as long as Harvey stays healthy, he’ll be seeing a big payday for himself, whether that’s with the team that drafted him in 2010 or not remains to be seen.

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Boras Chimes In On Harvey’s Struggles http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/boras-chimes-in-on-harveys-struggles.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/05/boras-chimes-in-on-harveys-struggles.html/#comments Wed, 04 May 2016 22:48:55 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=211111 matt harvey 2

Another start, and still fans and media alike are startled by the lack of progress Matt Harvey is making in his starts in 2016.

Harvey has been the tale of two pitchers so far this season, as his stats in innings 1-3 stand at a 2.00 ERA, 17 strikeouts, two walks, and holding opponents to a .583 OPS. Which lines up with how he pitched in those first three innings in 2015, where he posted a 2.28 ERA, had close to a 5-1 strikeouts to walk ratio, and held opponents to a .584 OPS.

Counter that to innings 4-6, where Harvey’s ERA nearly quadruples to 7.88, has more walks than strikeouts (nine to eight), and his opponents OPS sits at .998, or to put it another way, about what Michael Conforto is slashing in the OPS department thus far.

After last night’s 3-0 loss to the lowly Atlanta Braves, Terry Collins talked about the struggles Harvey has endured so far, and whether the amount of innings Harvey exerted last season has had some sort of holdover effect.

“I don’t have all the answers, except not everybody is going to be good every night,” Collins said after Harvey worked 5 ²/₃ innings — the third time in six starts he failed to complete six innings.

“As it starts to get nicer and a little bit warmer, maybe then we’ll make a determination if the arm strength is going to come back or if it’s going to be one of those years where, due to all the innings last year, we’re going to see the effects of it.” (New York Post)

As soon as Collins brought up the infamous “innings” word from last season, one had to expect that Harvey’s super-agent Scott Boras would have a thing or two to say about that matter.

Scott Boras

It was Boras who famously chimed in late last year when Harvey was on the verge of hitting his projected innings limit for the season. When the Mets made the strong push into playoff contention, that innings restriction seemed to soften, as the Mets knew they were going to need Harvey to be one of their aces in the postseason.

Boras stuck by the medical opinions by various surgeons, including Dr. James Andrews who performed the Tommy John surgery on Harvey in October 2013. The Mets contended that the initial 180-inning limit was a “soft” number to shoot for, and not necessarily the end all be all.

“Expert opinion by medical practitioners is not a soft number,” Boras countered. “There are no soft numbers. These are medical practitioners providing opinions about when a pitcher is at risk, and when a pitcher isn’t at risk.” (SI.com)

Including the postseason, Harvey would go on to pitch in 216 innings in 2015, a record for a pitcher coming off of Tommy John surgery.

Which made spring training important to see whether Harvey would suffer any setbacks with the increased workload, and whether he’d bounce back with the same tenacity he had for most of the 2015 season.

And as it goes, Harvey had mixed results in spring. Early on his velocity looked good, and the talk was about how his slider was back to near 2013 form, with a sharp bite that drove hitter’s mad. But then Harvey had trouble with his command, and then had to deal with the blood clot near the end of spring. And then transitioned into three tough losses in a row to start the year.

Which brings us back to the talk of Harvey and what seems to be troubling him after the first month of the season. Boras didn’t have much of an answer, other than to say he didn’t feel like Harvey had anything physically wrong.

“There’s something unknown that we’re looking at. There’s an unknown here that’s operating. We’re figuring it out as we go. I’m very confident that Matt is physically healthy and very confident that adjustments will be made.”

Time will tell whether Harvey can return to his old form. Clearly Harvey’s velocity hasn’t been where he normally lives, averaging 94.1 miles-per-hour according to Fangraphs, down almost two miles-per-hour from 2015. And Harvey’s renewed slider that many thought he had rediscovered in spring is also down about 1.5 miles-per-hour less than last season, averaging 87.9 miles-per-hour.

Delving deeper into how often Harvey is getting hit, Fangraphs’ plate disciple stats show Harvey is getting hit more than he ever has both inside and outside the strike zone. On the year, Harvey’s O-Contact%, or percentage of time batter’s make contact on pitches outside the strike zone is currently at 69.1%, his career high before this season was in his rookie campaign where he was at 63.1%.

And the same applies for Harvey’s Z-Contact%, the percentage of times batters make contact at pitches thrown inside the strike zone. Harvey registers at 87.4%, also a career high. Before the season, 2013 was is high, at 84.5%. However, Harvey could get away with that then, because his swinging strike percentage was at its highest registered, at 12.6%. Counter that to his 9.5% this season, and it’s no wonder that Harvey is having trouble-putting hitters away.

For his part, Boras seemed to imply when speaking with The Post’s Ken Davidoff that the extra innings Harvey threw might still be the lingering factor in his rough start this season.

“For the sequencing of a great player, you’d always like it to be ideal,” Boras said. “The playoffs demand a player to be a great teammate, and Matt Harvey’s intentions always were to be a great teammate. The sequencing of his development from his surgery is something that was not ideal. There is a lot of unknowns that come from that interruption.”

In Collins post game press conference on Monday Tuesday night, he hoped that the warmer weather would help determine if Harvey’s arm strength would return to the same form fans have been accustomed to. Harvey has pitched well in colder months for his career. In April of last year, he was 4-0 with a 3.04 ERA. In 2013, Harvey’s April was also 4-0 with a miniscule 1.56 ERA. Needless to say, Harvey isn’t used to such a slow start to his season.

I also think Harvey shouldn’t have pitched last night if he truly wasn’t feeling well. Why put him out there if he’s under the weather? He had to receive fluids from the team to get him ready to pitch last night. Even against one of the worst offenses in the league in the Braves, why would you put a guy that is already under the microscope this year out in the line of fire? They could’ve turned to Logan Verrett to make yet another spot start for them, who ended up coming into the game yesterday in the ninth.

Thankfully the rest of the rotation has been rounding into form, with Steven Matz pitching phenomenally Wednesday, his fourth straight win on the season. Syndergaard and deGrom have been solid, and Colon has been his usual reliable self. For now, the rest of the rotation has made up for the poor start to Harvey’s season. However, Harvey remains a staple in this rotation, and will need to perform to his standards, or face the ever mounting questions on his once golden arm.

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Keep Harvey In Gotham http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/keep-harvey-in-gotham.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/keep-harvey-in-gotham.html/#comments Sat, 12 Mar 2016 14:21:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=207527 matt harvey

Matt Harvey games have turned into events. Fans flocking to Citi Field and Tradition Field donning their Batman masks, holding up signs referencing The Dark Knight and how Harvey is the hero Gotham deserves. When Harvey pitches, we watch. It’s akin to the 1980s Mets teams, who had another hard throwing right-hander who brought the Shea faithful to their feet. Dwight “Doc” Gooden flashed such brilliance on the mound that even casual fans tuned in just to see how many strikeouts Gooden would compile that night.

While scouts and fans alike feel that Harvey is going to have a monster season this year, due to the fact that he’s two years removed from Tommy John surgery and has reestablished his killer slider. Much has been said about the fact that Harvey couldn’t rely on his slider for a bulk of the 2015 season; failing to find the spin he needed to control it. Even without that pitch, Harvey’s first year back from surgery was a monumental success.

In Friday’s NY Post, Joel Sherman pondered the question of what it would take to lock up Harvey long term, a question fans have been asking for most of the offseason. Would it be wise to trade Harvey, and try to bring back a big package of young, controllable talent? Look at what RHP Shelby Miller netted the Atlanta Braves this offseason. There was talk that Harvey is going to inevitably head to free agency, because he is a Scott Boras client and almost all of his players test free agency. Would it make more sense for the Mets to explore trading Harvey next offseason, giving the Mets a fully healthy year of Harvey to try and make there way back to the World Series?

Sherman posed a five-year, $119 million contract extension for Harvey. Sherman opined that the Mets would overpay for those five years, giving Harvey the records for years two and three of arbitration by a pitcher, and then paying him $30 million annually for the next three seasons. That way he’d become a free agent again at 33, in line for another big payday.

I like Sherman’s hypothetical contract for Harvey. The Mets would essentially be buying out Harvey’s prime years, and keeping the dynamic rotation in place. Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler would be set to become free agents in 2020, followed by Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard in 2021. Harvey’s theoretical contract would keep him with the Mets until after his 2021 season. It would be refreshing to see this group stay together for a few more seasons, this could turn into a historic rotation one thru five that could challenge for the National League Pennant each year. We’ve seen starting rotations that had two or even three dominant pitchers (90’s Braves) before, but to have a rotation as exciting and hard throwing as the Mets do, would only make sense to hold onto as long as possible. Not to mention the attendance figures the Mets should expect to see at Citi Field.

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By signing Harvey to an extension it also gives the Mets some leeway with their other starters. Harvey is the leader of the staff, a symbol if you will, of excellence. The other starters feed off of what Harvey brings to the mound, and try to repeat and one up him when it’s their turn on the mound. If the Mets had Harvey signed for the said five years, they could look into potential trades of their other starters if a Hershel Walker type package became apparent and would help the team in the long run.

The five years the Mets would have Harvey would also buy the team some time to develop other starting pitching that they have in their system, or will draft in the years to come. If the Mets could groom another one or two solid starting pitchers, not necessarily an ace but a solid middle of the rotation type, it could help lessen the blow if the Mets were inclined to trade one of the current crop for a big package of players.

Holding onto Harvey would also signal to the fans that ownership is taking this potentially historic rotation seriously, indicating that they understand the fortunate situation they’ve been placed in by having these guys under team control, which has allowed them to spread their finances elsewhere in the interim.

Sherman described the Mets signing Harvey to a long-term contract before he hits free agency as a “Hail Mary pass”. When he broached the subject with general manager Sandy Alderson, the GM wasn’t quick to dismiss the notion that things couldn’t get done.

“We had one of those this offseason,” Alderson said, referring to the Yoenis Cespedes re-signing that took many by surprise.

It’s all fodder at this point. Let’s enjoy a healthy year of Harvey, who seems to be back to his pre-TJS version of himself. If that’s the case, Mets fans have a lot to look forward to this year. So grab your cape and a cowl, there’s a Dark Knight at Citi Field!

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Matt Harvey Sticking with Scott Boras http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/matt-harvey-sticking-with-scott-boras.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/matt-harvey-sticking-with-scott-boras.html/#comments Tue, 10 Nov 2015 00:01:17 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=199620 matt harvey deals

As the GM Meetings began Monday in Boca Raton, Florida, several agents around baseball have recently speculated that Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is considering leaving his current agent, the infamous Scott Boras. However, on Monday, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported that Harvey is, in fact, not considering an agent change and will remain with Boras. Harvey confirmed his intention to remain with Boras long term, telling Rosenthal, “I will be with him for my entire career.”

Boras, founder and owner of the Newport Beach, California-based agency Boras Corporation, is regarded by many as the most prominent and powerful agent in baseball. Boras represents numerous Major League players, with notable clients including Bryce Harper, Troy Tulowitzki, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Max Scherzer. Boras also represents Mets outfielder Michael Conforto, who impressed in 2015, his first year in the Majors. Boras is known for holding out for and securing the most lucrative possible contracts for his clients, frequently clashing with teams’ ownership groups and front offices to do it.

Boras’ has negotiated some notable and controversial contracts with the Mets in the past. In 2005, Boras negotiated a seven year, $119 million deal for outfielder Carlos Beltran. In 2009, the Mets signed the Boras-represented Oliver Perez to a three year, $36 million contract, after Perez’s inconsistent performances as a Met in the seasons prior.

This year, Boras had two memorable run-ins with the Mets. One involved Harvey, who, in 2015, was pitching in his first season since returning from Tommy John surgery in late 2013. In early September, after Harvey had amassed 166 1/3 innings pitched on the season, Boras told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that he and noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews had agreed that Harvey’s innings would be limited to 180 on the season. Mets’ General Manager Sandy Alderson disputed Boras’ claim and stated that, while they were being mindful of Harvey’s innings, there was never a hard-limit agreed upon between Harvey and the team. Harvey eventually addressed the issue and added to the controversy when he defended Boras and told reporters that he had always considered 180 innings to be his limit.  The timing of Boras’ innings-limit assertion put the Mets in a very difficult spot. At the time, the Mets were attempting to hold off the Nationals to win the National League East and were planning to use Harvey to start potential playoff games. The Mets eventually skipped a couple of Harvey’s remaining regular season starts, and limited his postseason starts to four. Harvey finished this year with 216 innings pitched between the regular season and playoffs.

The other Boras-related incident occurred a little more than a month before near the trade deadline when the Mets attempted to acquire one of Boras’ clients, outfielder Carlos Gomez, from the Milwaukee Brewers. During a game against the San Diego Padres, numerous outlets had reported that the Brewers and Mets were finalizing a deal that would send Gomez to New York and Wilmer Flores and Zack Wheeler to Milwaukee. This was the infamous game in which Flores, after learning of the reported deal, cried on the field in one of the signature moments of this past season. The deal eventually fell through, with Alderson expressing concerns over Gomez’s hip when the team reviewed Gomez’s medical records, a common procedure done prior to finalizing trades. Boras insisted that Gomez was healthy and laid the blame entirely on the Mets.

Getting back to Harvey, he is eligible for free agency in 2019. This year, he will enter his first season as an arbitration-eligible player and should get a significant raise from the approximately $600,000 he earned in 2015. Harvey’s future with the Mets has been hotly debated, partially because of his affiliation with Boras. To retain Harvey past 2019, Boras will likely command a very lucrative contract for his client. The Mets will eventually need to choose whether it will be paying what it would take to lock up Harvey or possibly explore trading him before he reaches free agency. For now, they have the luxury of time, and Sandy Alderson shot down any talk of trading Harvey or his other three young starters.

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Goosebumps. So Many Goosebumps. http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/goosebumps-so-many-goosebumps.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/goosebumps-so-many-goosebumps.html/#comments Wed, 09 Sep 2015 16:31:43 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=192973 USATSI_8789528_154511658_lowres

“This Mets team right now, it doesn’t matter who comes off the bench. Everyone contributes.” – Ron Darling.

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.

It is quite possible that, a year from now, I won’t be able to remember a specific, standout home run hit by Lucas Duda, Travis d’Arnaud, or Curtis Granderson this season. Kirk Nieuwenhuis has just four homers in 2015, yet they’ve been four of the most memorable, and unexpected home runs hit by a Met this year.

In case you did in fact spend September 8, 2015 under a rock, Captain Kirk’s 8th inning solo shot was the final run scored in an 8-7 New York victory over Washington, one that was a 7-1 Nationals lead with one on and two out in the top of the 7th inning before 8 consecutive Mets batters reached base safely.

It really does take (at least) 40 guys to compete for a championship. Through 137 games, the Mets have had 48 different players make an appearance for them, from David Wright, Daniel Murphy, and Jacob deGrom, all the way to Alex Torres, Danny Muno, and even Akeel Morris. Somewhere in that mix (probably closer to the Akeel Morris end of the spectrum) is Kirk Nieuwenhuis, a player that truly personifies the club’s season-long roller coaster ride and exemplifies how far these 2015 New York Mets have come.

Just like the Mets endured months of, to put it lightly, offensive struggles, Nieuwenhuis struggled through adversity of his own; namely, being designated for assignment by the Mets, getting traded for cash, being released by the Angels, and hitting at a rate that only Mario Mendoza himself would be impressed with.

But like the Mets, this isn’t the same Kirk from the first half of the year. Obviously, he is still a marginal bench player at best. But April or May’s Kirk Nieuwenhuis finds a way to ground into a double play with no one on base, not hit a home run in the 8th inning off of Jonathan Papelbon to clinch the Mets’ biggest win of 2015.

And like the Mets, he has become the best form of himself. He competes and doesn’t give up. How many times do you see someone that played as poorly as he has this season come through in a situation like that? About as often as you see a team transform itself from the league’s worst offense to the league’s best. He fought his way back into a position that allowed him the opportunity to make an impact like the one he made tonight, while the Mets have battled and scrapped through both rough patches in the season and through so many individual games.

These Mets are special. I can’t count how many times the words, “way to fight back!” have audibly left my mouth this season. It’s not like I don’t hear the ghost of Mets fans past whispering, warning, “don’t fall for it.” But something about this team just feels different. They may fall short of winning a championship this year, but it won’t be because they let a 7 game lead with 17 games remaining slip through their fingers. If they don’t come away from 2015 with World Series rings, it will be because they were beaten by a superior opponent, and you can bet they went down kicking and screaming (and maybe crying just a bit).

Regardless of what happens over the next one to two months–no matter how many times Murph “murphs,” Jon Niese gives up five runs in an inning to Philadelphia, or Scott Boras tells Matt Harvey to stop pitching–the 2015 New York Mets will go down as one of my favorites. This is the most enjoyment I’ve gotten out of a baseball season in my lifetime (2006 included), and that can be credited largely to the passion, heart, and fight this team displays on a nightly basis.

In the face of this franchise’s history that has left so many fans burned badly before–I’m all in. And whether you like it or not, if you got chills as you watched Nieuwenhuis’ ball land beyond the right field fence of Nationals Park, you are too.

homer the dog

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Featured Post: The Great Boras vs. Alderson Divide http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/featured-post-the-great-boras-vs-alderson-divide.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/featured-post-the-great-boras-vs-alderson-divide.html/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2015 13:21:32 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=192601 scott-boras-sandy-aldersonI’m a fan of some things and not others, for instance, I’m a big fan of smoothies. They are nutritious and they keep things moving along as they say. On the other hand, Grape Nuts, not a fan… I mean there’s crunchy and then there’s the sawdust bin at Home Depot, doesn’t matter how much milk you soak it in.

Now I’m a fan of the New York Mets. I believe the Mets should win every single frigging game, 162 – 0. Not everyone feels that way. It has occurred to me that other people may not even like the Mets… I know I know, unfathomable, but hear me out – these are often fans of other baseball teams.

Some people may be incapable of being fans at all because they are too busy with the pursuit of money and power — but this deliberation is about how sometimes these other non-Mets fans end up in positions of influence over the Mets.

Scott Boras is not a fan of the Mets, and that puts him in an awkward spot given his relationship with the ace of the Mets pitching staff. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Lets define our premise. How do we know that Boras is not a fan of the Mets?

Well, for one we are already familiar with how difficult it is for Scott Boras to be a fan of anything that does not involve … Scott Boras … But beyond his physical parameters, Scott Boras is a card carrying member of the money and power club. I don’t think you can be Scott Boras without being that.

Lets look at the context of this Matt Harvey fiasco if only to gain some perspective. Scott Boras and Sandy Alderson have had a sometimes snarky, sometimes hostile, tit-for-tat thing going on for years now. Stuff about NASA rockets, shopping in the frozen food aisle, and feeding on  bargain bin cantaloupe. I don’t quite recall the sordid specifics, but it’s clear the two don’t like each other.

We need to remember that Alderson, between GM stints, was an MLB guy, while Boras is of course a Player Agent. On the Serengeti they’d be like a lion and a hyena fighting over a carcass. If it effects his bottom line Boras becomes a very unhappy camper — Boras is decidedly not a fan of things that effect his bottom line.

Here’s the kicker … Sandy Alderson’s downsized farm-leaning cheapo Mets affect Boras’ bottom line, and so … not a fan. The small-marketization of a big-city franchise poses a unique threat to a tried and true dollars paradigm — that you can succeed with less, particularly if you rely on a stocked to the rafters farm system with young controllable assets.

borgThe scary part? Boras is kind of like the Borg. He won’t attack unless he sees you as a threat. So you can walk by him in the  hallway on the way to the water cooler and he won’t even notice you with his laser eye and his robot arm. But then say there was a nickel on the floor between you and Scott-Borg and you were silly enough to try and scoop it up, you’d probably be eyeball drilled and assimilated before you could say “hey, what the …” Resistance is futile!

As Mets fans we need to understand there are some alarming developments here. Boras was fine with these new bottom-third-in-payroll Mets as long as they were also bottom dwellers, but now that they appear to be on the brink of the Playoffs suddenly they are a threat.

Why? Because baseball, is one of the most cut-throat imitative, downright theft of intellectual property (see Cards-Astros information breach) businesses out there. And if Alderson shows that you can succeed with less even in a big market … well, that’s an awful lot of pocketed cash for ownership.

That would almost be too tempting for any profit driven organization. If the Mets make it to the postseason you can bet your bottom dollar other teams will be looking at their approach, and that’s not good for Mr. Boras and his money-searching Borg-eye. His business, after all, is built on lucrative free agent contract fees.

So, while not a full blown conflict of interest, there is certainly motive here for Boras to, well, stick it to a Mets team that’s bucking his right to suckle on MLB’s free agent money teat … and with more than just a clever tweet.

This never had to go public. Boras has masterfully played the clock and the media pitting Doctors against Ownership while he sits back and claims to be doing his job just looking out for his player. Lets not forget he has a horse in this race … In “the year of the prospect” when farm hands have had a bigger impact on the game than at any other time in recent memory, you wonder whether this is this really about Matt Harvey’s arm or the long term viability of his future big free agent contract.

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The Gotham Dark Slight http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/the-gotham-dark-slight.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/the-gotham-dark-slight.html/#comments Mon, 07 Sep 2015 02:44:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=192668 matt harvey

So if you had to guess what grand, world changing event that would bring me out of my self-induced absence from the world of blogging, you’d have a veritable topic du jour laid upon your table to choose from. Let’s see would it be the slow burning scandal that is Hillary Clinton’s email habits while serving as Secretary of State? Maybe it’s the allure surrounding Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump and what consequences his candidacy could have for this country if not the world?

For some reason those topics, while I find them fascinating, haven’t done enough for me to shed my Obi-Wan Kenobi-esque writing exile. I guess we all find our muse’s in our own special ways and for me, it wasn’t something I was expecting in the least.

One of my escapes from the weightiness of the world has always been baseball, especially New York Mets baseball. When I heard that Matt Harvey, the Mets staff ace, said that he would stop pitching once he hit 180 innings pitched, I have to admit I thought it was a joke. Granted Harvey missed all of 2014, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery which replaced his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.

However hearing Harvey, at the apparent behest and counsel of his agent, the infamous Scott Boras, suddenly come out and tell the press of all people, that he’s essentially done, took the wind out of every Met fan’s sails in a matter of seconds as I’m sure it didn’t earn him any favor from his teammates. Harvey has already clocked 166 innings this year and has been a huge reason the team is finally making a run at the postseason for the first time since 2006.

This is coming from the same guy who a few weeks ago was bemoaning the fact that the team was instituting a 6 man rotation, designed to lessen HIS workload. Not to mention the team planned skipping a few of his starts, causing Harvey to yet again throw a media conniption, with every start after his extended rest where he would complain that he was quote, “rusty” due to the rest. What I don’t understand is, if this was the plan all along, that his total would be 180 innings, then why not just start his season in late May? Silly me.

matt harvey dark knight Batman

The Dark Knight, as he’s been dubbed by fans and media, has a credibility issue, created by his own hand with a nudge by his agent Scott Boras. Boras is the uber-agent to the sports world. He’s reviled by many, especially those who write really, really big checks to pro athletes. Then you have those who love his tough as nails and bloodthirsty desire to get the maximum dollar amount for his clients

He’s the lawyer we all hear about and hate and wish never existed but would want to have on our side if we needed him. He’s the Johnny Cochrane of sports agents. I think he’s a cancer but just like cancer cells that reside in us all, there’s a part in each of us that would want Boras negotiating our next raise.

I can’t help but feel like Michael Corleone when he discovered that his brother Fredo had sold the family out to Johnny Ola and Hyman Roth. I can understand if Harvey is concerned about his future and his health. Let’s face it, the Mets don’t exactly have a stellar medical history with their players. But the only thing Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins haven’t done is personally carry Harvey out to the mound like Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, fanning and feeding him grapes.

Everything Harvey said flies in the face of what he’s obviously “portraying” on the field. That’s the definition of a fraud and it kills me to say it All of a sudden the bloody nosed Dark Knight who “looks” menacing on the mound, is coming across more as a show off, bitching that he could’ve pitched last September knowing fully well that that would’ve never happened. A man full of not just himself but full of bravado. Not a good mix in the locker room.

Speaking of the locker room, as I was watching the Mets today take on the Florida Marlins the cameras paid close attention to Harvey in the dugout. And for what seemed like the majority of the game, no one was giving Matt the time of day with the exception of David Wright. The camera cut to both the captain and Harvey having quite a discussion, with Wright doing most of the talking and Harvey just nodding.

As Gary Cohen intimated, the conversation was probably not about the club scene in Miami, but probably the events that were unfolding. It speaks volumes that Harvey was an island onto himself in that dugout. I can’t blame them. If a nobody fan like me feels slighted imagine those guys?

Well needless to say just like a politician in need of corralling and controlling the message, Matt Harvey took to Derek Jeter’s The Players Tribune website to pen a brief but pointed statement essentially telling fans to forget everything that came out of his mouth over the past 24 hours, that he’ll pitch in the postseason.

That may be true but at this point the damage is done. The seeds have been sowed. I have no expectations that Matt Harvey will pitch this postseason if the Mets are lucky enough to get there, nor do I expect him to suit up and some point next next as well.

The world will not come to an end Mets fans if Matt Harvey ends up in another dugout next year. Just go ask Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinal fans who felt like they lost an organ when Albert bolted for the left coast. How’s that working out for the redbirds by the way? Like I told a friend on Facebook, I’d rather have a team of Wilmer Flores’ than one faux Dark Knight anyday.

(Graphic by Joe Maracic @GrafixJoker)

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Mets Interested In Japanese SS Takashi Toritani http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-interested-in-japanese-ss-takashi-toritani.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/12/mets-interested-in-japanese-ss-takashi-toritani.html/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 21:11:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=171427 Getty_Takashi_Toritani_1280_q2wt36l7_8xwy2k4x

Mets manager Terry Collins said today that the Mets are interested in Japanese SS Takashi Toritani.

Toritani, 33, has played the past 11 seasons for the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball. In that time, he has hit at a .285/.372/.412 clip, and has appeared in 1,444 consecutive games, and thus being known as “The Ironman of Japan.”

Toritani is now being represented by Scott Boras, who says that Toritani is capable of playing any infield position, but is good enough to stick as a regular at shortstop in the MLB.

The Mets have done little in the high-end international market over Sandy Alderson’s tenure, but that could soon change.

“We haven’t been in that category. I expect we will be in that category, soon,” he said.

The Mets are also interested in Korean shortstop Jung-ho Kang who is expected to be posted later this month.

 

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Harvey Will Start Season In Rotation, But Is His Relationship With Team Taking A Hit? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/harvey-will-start-season-in-rotation-but-is-his-relationship-with-team-taking-a-hit.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/harvey-will-start-season-in-rotation-but-is-his-relationship-with-team-taking-a-hit.html/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 18:25:18 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169982 matt-harvey-3

Speaking to reporters at Citi Field, Sandy Alderson said that Matt Harvey will be in the rotation “from the get-go,” and not start the season late to try and conserve innings.

According to Adam Rubin, Alderson says the goal is to have Matt Harvey “pitching through entire postseason,” so any innings that will be conserved would be shaved during the season.

Meanwhile, over at MetsBlog, Matt Cerrone raises the alarm.

This morning, Cerrone reported that according to several people in the organization, “prominent Mets players, coaches and people in the front office were not happy,” when Harvey was at Yankee Stadium for Jeter’s last game, despite what they said in public.

“I wouldn’t say they were angry” Cerrone writes. “But they didn’t like that it happened.”

“They had a similar reaction when he requested time off from his rehab, then turned up in New England hanging out with friends. The same can be said about how they’ve reacted to his rogue magazine features, his endorsements, use of social media and how he’s expressed dissatisfaction in public about his rehab.”

If Cerrone’s sources are accurate, it’s clear that the relationship between the Mets and Matt Harvey is definitely in some serious need of repair.

November 17

Sandy Alderson was a guest of WNBC’s Bruce Beck on Sunday night and briefly discussed how the team will manage innings limits for Matt Harvey in 2015 as he makes his way back from Tommy John Surgery.

“The key for us is figuring out a way to manage his innings this season so that he’s available to us if or when we get to the postseason.”

Alderson is looking to avoid a repeat of the Stephen Strasburg fiasco in 2012, when the Nationals opted to shutdown their young star in early September and made him unavailable for their first post season since rebooting the franchise in Washington. The Nats were eliminated in the NLDS, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets could find themselves in a similar predicament and I imagine that it’d be near impossible to convince Harvey to miss the playoffs.

Adam Rubin reported last week, that Alderson is engaged in talks with Harvey and his agent Scott Boras to create a plan for next season to keep that from happening.

Alderson acknowledged there has to be “some restrictions on Harvey” with Alderson himself stating that the real deal’s “capacity over the season might be more limited than it would have been otherwise”.

Among the options the Mets are tossing around are holding Harvey back a couple of weeks in extended Spring Training, limiting his innings per start early on, and a mid-season two week break.

Rest assured that whatever they decide, all parties are on the same page as far as making sure Harvey is available to pitch in October if the Mets make it that far.

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Sandy Alderson Fires Back At Scott Boras http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/sandy-alderson-fires-back-at-scott-boras.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/sandy-alderson-fires-back-at-scott-boras.html/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 15:53:16 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=170005 sandy alderson

After agent Scott Boras continued his annual mocking of the new York Mets by saying these days the Mets are doing a little better and shopping in the “ready-foods section” a clear swipe at the Michael Cuddyer signing.

Boras has been very critical of the Mets as being the big market team with small market appetite, and often uses supermarket analogies to make his points. He has previously said the Mets were shopping in the “freezer section” in 2012 and the “fruits and nuts section” in 2013.

Having had enough, Sandy Alderson fired back today by wrapping up his final press conference of the GM Meetings with a zinger of his own.

“Boras has been shopping near the meat section. That’s where he gets his bullshit.”

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Mets Head To GM Meetings With Plenty Of Work To Do http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-head-to-gm-meetings-with-plenty-of-work-to-do.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/mets-head-to-gm-meetings-with-plenty-of-work-to-do.html/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 13:58:20 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169657 sandy alderson

The annual General Managers Meetings officially begins on Monday night in Phoenix, AZ where everyone will meet for dinner and learn who was named the 2014 MLB Executive of the Year. But of course that is merely the backdrop.

The GM Meetings have evolved into a staging ground for all of the wheeling and dealing that is to come this winter. It’s the official start of the Hot Stove season and more and more trades and signings come out of it with each passing year.

Coincidentally – or perhaps not – Monday is also the deadline for free agents who received a $15.3 million qualifying offer to either reject or accept. And for players like Max Scherzer, Victor Martinez, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval – who are certain to reject their QO – you can expect to see them or their agents roaming the lobbies and rubbing shoulders with team executives over the next three days.

Looking back a year ago, the Mets began the GM Meetings with a joke when Sandy Alderson told reporters he was late because he was upstairs counting big stacks of five-dollar bills in his hotel room.

Not to be outdone, Scott Boras smirked and responded, “The Mets are like NASA. They have big rockets, a lot of platforms but very few astronauts.”

The next day, after learning that Sandy Alderson had no interest in any $100 million dollar players, Boras quipped: “The hardest thing about limits is that it doesn’t limit others. It limits you.”

Mets co-owner Jeff Wilpon showed up on day two and upon arriving he told reporters that the Mets had something big cooking and that Sandy would be making an announcement later that evening.

But an hour later, when Sandy was informed about his boss’s comments he exclaimed, “No, no, no” and told reporters that “nothing was imminent.” And with that, the 2013 GM Meetings came to a close.

That was then and this is now.

This will be Sandy Alderson’s fifth offseason with the Mets and most agree that it will be his most important. With a fan base that has grown very weary and apathetic, he can’t afford to show up to Spring Training with a team that appears to be less than a bonafide pennant contender.

My guess is that this year’s GM Meetings will be more substantive and that the Mets will be spending a great deal of their time trying to gauge interest in Daniel Murphy, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Jon Niese.

Of course, they’ll also try to ascertain what they would have to give up for players like Alex Gordon, Yoenis Cespedes, Alexei Ramirez, and even Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki whom Sandy coveted before they got hurt.

There will be plenty of questions and story lines…

Do we go with Matt den Dekker in right field and get a right-handed bat to platoon with him?

Should we just hand shortstop to Wilmer Flores? Or does he replace Murphy at second?

Should Mets trade one of their young arms for an impact bat?

Can we unload Bartolo Colon’s contract this offseason?

We’re looking forward to covering all the action from Phoenix, and as always, MMO promises not to run with any blog sourced rumors. Our bullshit detectors will be armed and ready.

This should be a fun three days and we look forward to debating everything with all of you in our comment threads.

Lets Go Mets!

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First-Rounder Michael Conforto Signs Contract At Citi Field http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/first-rounder-michael-conforto-signs-contract-at-citi-field.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/first-rounder-michael-conforto-signs-contract-at-citi-field.html/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 19:37:31 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=158914 michael conforto

Michael Conforto was at Citi Field today to sign his new contract with the Mets. Also on hand were Scott Boras and fellow client Matt Harvey.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported that the Mets reached an agreement with their first round pick and that the official announcement is pending a physical.

Conforto, a 21-year-old outfielder from Oregon State, was selected by the Mets with the No. 10 overall pick during the first round of this year’s Amateur Draft.

They initially agreed to a bonus two weeks ago, but were still working out the details to a basic agreement.

Conforto is considered to be very polished and is expected to move quickly through the system with some projecting a major league debut as soon as 2016. If there’s any truth to that, expect Conforto to be at Savannah when this season comes to an end.

(Joe D.)

July 3

Here’s the latest on the negotiations between the Mets and their top draft selection Michael Conforto.

The No. 10 overall pick agreed to a signing bonus at precisely $2.97 million slot value about two weeks ago, but they are still negotiating the terms of the deal according to what GM Sandy Alderson told Jon Heyman on Wednesday.

“There are three or four [mostly] non-financial clauses that we are talking about,” Alderson said, explaining the delay. ”I certainly expect this deal to get done.”

The deadline for signing players selected in this Friday, July 18.

(Joe D.)

June 19

Jim Callis of Baseball America has reported the Mets have agreed to terms with first-round pick, Oregon State outfielder Michael Conforto, to a deal with a bonus of $2,970,800, the exact slot value assigned to that pick.

However Conforto immediately denied the report on Twitter saying:

Getting a lot of texts and phone calls asking if I have signed. I have not signed. Still in Redmond with my family and friends.

We will keep you updated…

Although he is a college bat with less leverage than a high school player, it was thought that Conforto and agent Scott Boras could get more than the slot value, but that did not happen.

In his junior season with Oregon State, Conforto hit .345/.504/.547 with seven home runs in 59 games. In 182 total college games, Conforto has a batting line of .340/.463/.557 with 31 home runs, 44 doubles, and four triples. He was considered by many experts to be the best college hitter in this year’s draft.

(Photo: NCAA.com)

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Chances Of Mets Signing Drew “Very Slim” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/chances-of-mets-signing-drew-very-slim.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/03/chances-of-mets-signing-drew-very-slim.html/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 02:41:36 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=149731 Stephen Drew

A friend of Stephen Drew called the Mets’ chances of getting Drew “very slim” as it becomes more obvious agent Scott Boras is willing to wait until after the season begins to sign his client, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

This is the first thing I’ve read that actually makes any sense regarding this situation.

While earlier reports had Scott Boras threatening to have Drew sit out until after the draft in June, all he has to do is wait until the season starts and then have Drew take a one-year deal instead.

Once Drew signs a deal after the new season begins, he can not be given a qualifying offer next offseason, which gives him a new shot at a multi-year deal without costing teams a pick in the draft. 

The draft pick compensation undoubtedly had an adverse affect on Drew and eliminating that should help him get the kind of deal he’s been looking for.

Over the weekend, Sandy Alderson indicated that he will not add significantly to their 2014 payroll, so I don’t know if this would change anything for the Mets.

But given his 90-win mantra, it would be difficult for this front office to stand pat in the eyes of the fans especially if it’s just a one-year deal. Do you agree?

Meanwhile, Ruben Tejada remains sidelined with tightness in his left hamstring, so he’s yet to get enough at-bats to show management signs that he can have a productive season.

Also, despite Terry Collins insisting that he would give Wilmer Flores.

a long look at shortstop, that hasn’t happened. With Tejada out and the Mets playing a pair of split-squad games on Tuesday, Flores was penciled in at second base. It’s so difficult to read this team right now…

mmo

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Source: Stephen Drew Wants One Year Plus An Option Year http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/source-stephen-drew-wants-one-year-plus-an-option-year.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/02/source-stephen-drew-wants-one-year-plus-an-option-year.html/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 00:25:42 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=147225 stephen-drew

February 12

Boston Herald sports reporter John Tomase says that free agent shortstop Stephen Drew has not received a contract offer from the Red Sox for more than one season as had been previously reported.

A source told Tomase that Drew is looking for at least a one-year deal with an option for a second year.

Yesterday, Sandy Alderson did say he could sign Drew, but only under the right circumstances, and that he would not sign any player for $15 million at this stage of the game.

Wow, this story just keeps getting wackier and wackier.

February 11

Sandy Alderson was a guest of Mike Francesa on Tuesday and was asked if he had the wherewithal to sign Stephen Drew.

Alderson responded by saying, “if you are asking me if we could sign another player for $15 million a season, the answer is no.”

He added that he could sign Drew on his terms, but the fact is that any deal would have to be on mutual terms.

I guess that was his way of saying that Drew is looking for at least a two-year, $30 million deal or a three-year, $45 million contract.

It certainly didn’t sound like the team was still counting on signing Drew and that Ruben Tejada will be the starting shortstop, but that’s just my read on the situation based on what I heard.

Funny thing, Francesa never bought up his breaking news that the Mets had agreed on dollars with Drew last week…

February 10

A Mets official said Sunday there was “nothing” indicating progress on the Drew front. Just like the Red Sox, the Mets are amenable to signing Drew for a short-term deal. Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, who possesses a rich history of extending his clients’ employment searches into spring training, naturally wants more years guaranteed.

There were a couple of other rumors on Friday and Saturday about the Mets being the best fit and how they were still negotiating and getting close, but those accounts predate this report from Puma and comes directly from a Mets source.

Also, this from Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington:

“Stephen did an excellent job for us last year. He was a really solid player. He was a big part of our team. And so out of respect to him, we’ve kept a dialogue going, But at this point, we’re really focused on the guys we have on the roster. … I wouldn’t expect anything major to happen between now and when we report, at this point.”

I would imagine every GM would probably say the same thing at this point in deference to their current players, many who have already showed up to camp early.

It’s like Sandy Alderson saying that “we are very happy with Ruben Tejada and Ike Davis and look forward to seeing them have a solid camp.”

You see what I did there?

February 8

Stephen Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, is seeking an opt-out clause after the first year of a deal, reports ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin.

Rubin says that though the Mets are willing to consider guaranteeing two or even three years to the free agent shortstop, they view the opt-out as a “deal-breaker.”

And the plot thickens.

Of course the opt-out clause would diminish his trade value should that eventuality present itself…

February 7

According to Sandy Alderson, the Mets are now willing to offer three years to free agent Stephen Drew.

It’s a departure from what we’ve been hearing from Alderson all Winter long and it may signal that the Mets might be willing to blink and give Drew what he wants.

On Tuesday, Mike Francesa said the Mets made an offer to Drew, but that was strongly refuted by the team.

“It’s the number of years. They’re fighting over the number of years. I know they have made him an offer … It’s not the money. It doesn’t matter if they did a refinance or not. They already offered him the money. It’s a questions of years. They already made him an offer.”

Maybe it is the years…

Drew clearly is on the Mets’ radar but team executives continued to say that it was a “long shot” as recently as 48 hours ago, so that makes Alderson’s comments quite surprising to say the least.

Of course he was addressing a group of season ticket holders and that may have something to do with it as well.

Boras is believed to be seeking a deal of at least three years for Drew and the Red Sox reportedly have extended a two-year offer to Drew, but with no guarantee he would be their starting shortstop.

Is that the opening the Mets need to jump in and grab him?

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Mets Simply Don’t Love Drew As A Player http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-simply-dont-love-drew-as-a-player.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/mets-simply-dont-love-drew-as-a-player.html/#comments Mon, 20 Jan 2014 16:15:03 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=140221 MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

2:00 PM

In a mailbag post on Mets.com, beat writer Anthony DiComo answered the following question:

Why is general manager Sandy Alderson so against signing Stephen Drew to a two- or three-year contract?

The only explanation I can give you is one I’ve heard multiple times this winter: the Mets simply don’t love Drew as a player.

Maybe some part of that is posturing, but I suspect there’s more than a morsel of truth to it. Drew is going to be 31 on Opening Day, he hasn’t had a full, healthy season in four years and his career on-base percentage is .329.

While he’s obviously an upgrade over Ruben Tejada if healthy, the Mets don’t see him as enough of one to justify the risk or the salary.

I think I just said that in a comment today…. But DiComo is right and he is as closely connected to Mets buzz than anyone else, so…

Read his full response and more here.

11:30 AM

I guess after three emails with a link to a blurb about Stephen Drew this morning, the consensus is that I’m expected to give an update on the free agent shortstop? :-)

Okay then, so, here it is… Anthony Rieber writes:

“The Mets have not ruled out a short-term contract for free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew; they are patiently waiting for Drew and agent Scott Boras to find a long-term deal if they can.”

Interesting…

Prior to that, the last thing we heard about Stephen Drew, was that the Mets were still mildly engaged but that a deal with the Scott Boras client was more possible than probable.

The Mets, in fact, are prepared to begin the 2014 season with Ruben Tejada as their starter at shortstop.

Sandy Alderson recently said that what he hoped to accomplish before spring training opens in a few weeks, was to sign a veteran reliever on a major league deal and a starter to a minor league deal. You can cross the latter off of your checklists.

Boras will ultimately get Drew his multi-year deal, and while mum’s the word in Flushing unless Drew takes a one-year deal, that’s not the case in Boston where there’s now whispers that they may welcome him back on a two-year deal.

Nothing has really changed on the Drew front, and just like they have been back in November, the Mets are still interested in Drew in mid-January.

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Drew Willing To Play Other Positions To Widen His Market http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/stephen-drew-willing-to-play-other-positions-to-increase-interest.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/stephen-drew-willing-to-play-other-positions-to-increase-interest.html/#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2014 20:32:40 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=139519 drew

Agent Scott Boras is not giving up on finding a deal for Stephen Drew and denies that his market is virtually non-existent.

According to Peter Gammons, last winter, the Yankees wanted to sign Stephen Drew, but were told he would only play shortstop. So he ended up with Boston.

But this week Scott Boras dropped several hints that Drew would be willing to play other positions and in fact, Drew’s value may be greater if he will play several positions.

Not a bad maneuver by Drew and Boras here…

On Sunday, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe said that Boras scoffed at the notion that there’s no market for his client.

“There are five or six teams who I have actively talked to concerning Stephen,” Boras said. “Ben Cherington, the Red Sox GM and I have continued our dialogue and will continue to talk.”

“I tell my clients all the time that free agency is a long process,” said Boras. “It just doesn’t end at Christmas. It’s a January, February, and even a March process. Teams assess their needs, explore their trade options, and when things finally settle there’s still a free agent market for them to turn to. Ask the Red Sox what Stephen meant to their team.”

Cafardo states that there’s no doubt the Red Sox want Drew back and they have publicly stated as much. They’d prefer a one-year contract, but Boras is pushing for a two-year deal.

Last week, a source told Adam Rubin, that the Mets remain engaged with Boras about Drew, but continue to portray him as more of a “possibility” than a “probability.”

Team officials are split about how valuable Drew would be to the Mets. Some would rather give Ruben Tejada one more shot as the everyday shortstop.

I think Boras is blowing smoke and I doubt he’s currently talking to 5-6 teams about Drew. My guess is that he’s only talking to the Red Sox – mostly because they want Drew back and also because Drew wants to be back.

In the end there will be an agreement between the two. If the Mets want in, they will have to overpay in years and dollars. I also question the speculation that the Yankees are in on Drew because of the A-Rod suspension.

Updated 1/15/2014

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Source: “Drew Perfectly Healthy, Has No Physical Issues” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/source-drew-perfectly-healthy-has-no-physical-issues.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/01/source-drew-perfectly-healthy-has-no-physical-issues.html/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 00:42:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=138897 drew

Updated 7:30 PM

Andy Martino of the Daily News reported this morning that according to an official with one team who expressed early interest in Stephen Drew, “his medicals are raising some concerns.”

However, Rob Bradford of WEEI Radio is debunking Martino’s report saying that a source with knowledge of situation says Stephen Drew is perfectly healthy. “No physical issues.”

What a surprise, huh?

Thanks to Bad Bad Leroy Brown for the link.

Original Post 9:30 AM

On Sunday, a source told Adam Rubin, that the Mets remain engaged with agent Scott Boras about Drew, but continue to portray Drew as more of a “possibility” than a “probability.”

Team officials are split on about how valuable Drew would be to the Mets. Some would rather give Ruben Tejada one more shot as the everyday shortstop.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that a number of rival executives are baffled as to why the Mets  haven’t signed Stephen  Drew yet.

The Mets gave a four-year deal to Granderson, who turns 33 in March, Rosenthal explains, but. Drew is two years younger, and 2½ years removed from right-ankle surgery.

“The loss of a draft pick and accompanying pool money should barely be a consideration: The Mets’ first-rounder is protected, they already have lost their second-rounder for Granderson and the pick they would sacrifice for Drew would be the 82nd overall.”

I could be wrong, but I still think the main thing holding things up is that Drew want’s a three-year deal and the Mets prefer a one-year deal and for a lot less than what Scott Boras is looking for annually.

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Mets Injury Updates: Harvey Ahead Of Schedule, Tejada Has Started Rehabbing Leg http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-injury-updates-harvey-ahead-of-schedule-tejada-has-started-rehabbing-leg.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-injury-updates-harvey-ahead-of-schedule-tejada-has-started-rehabbing-leg.html/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:00:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=133020 tejada

On Thursday night, Terry Collins offered up an injury update on shortstop Ruben Tejada, saying that he’s already working out and rehabbing his leg.

“Right now, I’ve got to get Ruben Tejada going. He’s at a fitness place right now, trying to get himself in good shape.”

Tejada broke his right leg on September 19 in a collision with left fielder Andrew Brown. He was expected be sidelined six to eight weeks before he can begin rehabilitation, so this news suggests he is right on schedule.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Mets

Scott Boras said that Matt Harvey will begin rehabbing his surgically-repaired elbow in a few weeks. The prized Mets righthander will be undergoing a supervised rehab regimen at Boras’ Southern California training facility.

Last week, Harvey announced that he was ahead of schedule and doing range of motion exercises. While visiting the the Hospital for Special Surgery, they removed the bandages and cleared him to begin rehab.

Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery in October and is expected to miss the entire 2014 season. However, there’s a slight chance that he could return in September and you can bet Harvey’s motivated to make that happen.

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Mets Offseason ’13-’14: Anything Beats The Bargain Bin http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-offseason-13-14-anything-beats-the-bargain-bin.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/mets-offseason-13-14-anything-beats-the-bargain-bin.html/#comments Wed, 06 Nov 2013 17:46:51 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132304 Citi Filed and Homerun Apple Beautiful Citi Field - Photo by Clayton Collier

Photo By Clayton Collier

The Mets can spend this offseason.

That has been the overall message conveyed for the past several months, however will they spend and to what degree remains the begging question.

The “Red Sox Model” has been mentioned a great deal, meaning the Amazin’s would avoid the top-tier free agents, instead finding the Shane Victorinos and Mike Napolis on the market and signing them to lesser deals. Staying true to the theme of this mid-level shopping method, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors listed Curtis Granderson, Stephen Drew, Bronson Arroyo and Roy Halladay among those headed to Flushing in his pre-winter predictions; all possibilities.

Those of a more optimistic and perhaps unrealistic nature float names such as Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo around. New York has been reported to have significant interest in the latter of those two, although as has been a consistent theme for the Aldersonian era of Mets baseball, the price tag is likely too rich for their orange-and-blue blood.

nate-mclouth-540x359

Then there are those in the mindset of MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, who in responding to a question for his regular Mets Inbox segment, lists David Murphy, Nate McLouth or even Carlos Beltran as the type of players that fans should come to expect to see considered this offseason, although Beltran would command a substantially larger contract.

But whether it’s Ellsbury or McLouth, Adam Wainwright or Jason Hammel; anything is better than the bargain-bin raiding we have witnessed out of Sandy Alderson and the Mets over the past three winters.

The plan called for severe cutting of payroll while replenishing the farm system. That is understandable; rebuild, reload and in the meantime get by with the most cost-effective free agents until the Zack Wheelers and Wilmer Flores‘ are ready to make an impact.

Now that the youth movement is in full swing, the time has come for the acquisition of some real, substantial talent; not a D.J. Carrasco, Ronny Cedeno, or Collin Cowgill, but actual major league players with the capability of being difference-makers.

latroy hawkins 2

The front office did a nice job bringing in LaTroy Hawkins and catching lightning in a bottle with Marlon Byrd last season, but if this team is legitimately looking to contend, there needs to be more than one or two solid pick-ups.

In the winter of 2011, super-agent Scott Boras stated that the Mets are typically in the “steak section” however are now found in the “fruits and nuts category” in reference to their offseason spending habits. The Amazin’s remain far from the ‘steak section’, but that doesn’t mean they are picking through pistachios either.

The Mets have the money to spend significantly, and if they are looking to put their long-followed plan into action, the time to spend is now. Whether that means a top-flight free agent or a lesser-known name; anything beats the stopgap, bargain bin, fruits-and-nuts acquisitions that have entered the mix since the rebuilding process began on October 29th, 2010.

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