Mets Merized Online » trade deadline http://metsmerizedonline.com Wed, 18 Jan 2017 16:19:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.17 Travis d’Arnaud Is Back http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/08/travis-darnaud-is-back.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/08/travis-darnaud-is-back.html/#comments Fri, 19 Aug 2016 19:00:10 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=220927 travis darnaud

With Travis d’Arnaud missing time with a shoulder injury and struggling at the plate all season, the Mets were all but forced to inquire about Jonathan Lucroy.

The Mets interest in Lucroy was understandable as the team needed another bat in the lineup with Lucas Duda and David Wright being gone for the season, Yoenis Cespedes being hobbled with a quad injury, and Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, and yes, d’Arnaud having down seasons. The Mets needed another bat, and Lucroy seemed to be the answer, hitting .299/.359/.482 with 17 doubles, three triples, 13 homers, and 50 RBI. That was the type of production the Mets were hoping to add at the trade deadline.

For whatever reason, the Mets were not able to swing a trade for Lucroy at the trade deadline. However, they were able to get Lucroy’s production.

Since the trade deadline passed, d’Arnaud is hitting .311/.354/.444 with two homers and three RBI. It is exactly what the Mets were hoping to get from him after a season in which d’Arnaud hit .268/.340/.485 with 14 doubles, one triple, 12 homers, and 41 RBI in 67 games last year. It seems that d’Arnaud has turned his season around and is producing the way many had hoped when he first broke into the majors.

It could be that his shoulder is feeling better. It could be a mechanical adjustment he has made at the plate. It could also be that he is able to just relax and go out there and hit now that the trade deadline has passed. Whatever the case may be, the important thing from the Mets perspective is they seem to have d’Arnaud back.

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Trade Deadline Recap from Around the Majors http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/08/trade-deadline-recap-from-around-the-majors.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/08/trade-deadline-recap-from-around-the-majors.html/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2016 23:05:23 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=219453 Pittsburgh vs Mets

After the dust settled from today’s trade deadline, 16 moves were made involving 44 players.

The Mets made their big move, acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds for second baseman Dilson Herrera and left handed pitching prospect Max Wotell. Through 97 games, the 29-year old outfielder has 25 home runs and a National League leading 80 runs batted in.

The Texas Rangers made arguably the biggest splashes of the trade deadline, agreeing on a deal with the Brewers to receive All Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress.  In exchange, the Brewers got outfielder Lewis Brinson and pitcher Luis Ortiz, the second and third ranked prospects in the Rangers’ system respectively.  Notably absent from the transaction was Joey Gallo, the Rangers’ top prospect who was rumored to be necessary to complete any major deal.

The Rangers also struck a deal with the Yankees to acquire outfielder/DH Carlos Beltran in exchange for pitcher Dillon Tate, the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft in addition to two other pitching prospects.

The San Francisco Giants were busy today as well, completing two deals. Earlier this afternoon, the Giants received reliever Will Smith from the Brewers in exchange for backup catcher Andrew Susac and pitching prospect Phil Bickford.

The Giants also traded for Rays pitcher Matt Moore, sending infielder Matt Duffy, minor league shortstop Lucius Fox and pitcher Michael Santos back to Tampa Bay.

The rest of today’s deadline trades are below -

Boston Red Sox acquire reliever Fernando Abad from the Minnesota Twins for minor league pitcher Pat Light.

Los Angeles Dodgers receive outfielder Josh Reddick and starter Rich Hill from the Oakland Athletics for pitching prospects Grant Holmes, Jharel Cotton, and Frankie Montas.

San Diego Padres return prospect Luis Castillo to the Miami Marlins for pitcher Colin Rea. (Rea was injured in his first start for Miami after being traded on Friday.)

Cleveland Indians pick up outfielder Brandon Guyer from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor leaguers Nathan Lukes and Jhonleider Salinas.

Toronto Blue Jays receive Francisco Liriano from the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Drew Hutchison.

Chicago Cubs bolster their bullpen by picking up Joe Smith from the Los Angeles Angels for minor league pitcher Jesus Castillo.

Baltimore Orioles acquire infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce from the Tampa Bay Rays for catcher Jonah Heim.

Los Angeles Dodgers swap relievers with the Toronto Blue Jays, taking in Jesse Chavez while sending Mike Bolsinger to Toronto.

Houston Astros receive reliever Lupe Chavez from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-hander Scott Feldman.

Pittsburgh Pirates complete Yankees’ firesale, picking up Ivan Nova for players to be named later.

New York Mets acquire lefty Jon Niese in exchange for reliever Antonio Bastardo. (Yes, you may laugh all you want.)

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Reds Could Deal Relievers, Have Shown Interest in Plawecki http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/reds-could-deal-relievers-have-shown-interest-in-plawecki.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/reds-could-deal-relievers-have-shown-interest-in-plawecki.html/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2016 19:01:34 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218965 kevin plawecki

According to Zack Buckanan of the Cincinnati Inquirer, the Reds are looking to move Ross Ohlendorf, Blake Wood, and Tony Cingrani at the trade deadline.  The impetus for moving the three relievers is that they will all be more expensive next year.

Ohlendorf has made 56 apperances going 5-6 with two saves, a 4.27 ERA, a 1.317 WHIP, and a 9.3 K/9.

Wood has made 44 appearances going 5-1 with one save, a 3.42 ERA, a 1.500 WHIP, and an 8.6 K/9.

Cingrani has made 46 appearances going 4-2 with 12 saves, a 3.20 ERA, a 1.267 WHIP, and a 6.4 K/9.

Earlier reports had mentioned the Mets have once again inquired about Jay Bruce.  There have been no indications thus far about whether the Mets have also discussed the aforementioned relievers in a deal including Bruce or in a separate deal all together.

While there have been no reports what if any names the Mets and Reds have exchanged, Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News has stated the Reds have been scouting Kevin Plawecki recently.

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The Amazin’ Metscast: Michael Mayer, Trade Chips, and Mets Road Ahead http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/the-amazin-metscast-michael-mayer-trade-chips-and-the-road-ahead.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/the-amazin-metscast-michael-mayer-trade-chips-and-the-road-ahead.html/#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:00:29 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218781 MetscastMAYER

The Amazin’ Metscast – Episode Three

In this week’s episode we are joined by Michael Mayer. We discuss the current state of the Mets farm system as well as the trade chips they may have down in the minors to use in the upcoming August 1st trading deadline.

We also take a look at the current state of the team and the road ahead as the Mets look to a playoff birth for the second consecutive year.

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Alderson Says Starting Pitcher or Bat Unlikely, Unwilling To Deal Top Prospects http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/alderson-says-starting-pitcher-or-bat-unlikely-unwilling-to-deal-top-prospects.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/alderson-says-starting-pitcher-or-bat-unlikely-unwilling-to-deal-top-prospects.html/#comments Mon, 25 Jul 2016 20:57:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=218622 sandy alderson presser

Mets GM Sandy Alderson spoke to reporters at Citi Field before the game on Monday and said that it’s unlikely that the team will add a starting pitcher or position player and that their focus is on adding a bullpen arm before the trade deadline.

“I think realistically, the bullpen is the area we can get someone,” Alderson said. “I enjoy sizzle as much as anybody. But you have to be realistic.”

Alderson also said that other teams have been asking for the team’s top prospects, but he is unwilling to deal them, according to one report from Newsday’s Laura Albanese. 

Without mentioning Jonathan Lucroy by name, Sandy said that a rumored deal for a prominent player was “dead on arrival.”

Still a week to go before the deadline, a lot can still change.

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Mets Activate Lagares, Option Lugo To Las Vegas http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-activate-lagares-option-lugo-to-las-vegas.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/07/mets-activate-lagares-option-lugo-to-las-vegas.html/#comments Sat, 02 Jul 2016 20:00:08 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=216480 yoenis cespedes juan lagares

The New York Mets activated Juan Lagares from the disabled list on Saturday and to make room for him optioned RHP Seth Lugo to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Lagares is expected to be in the starting lineup on Sunday against Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester.

Lugo pitched a scoreless inning during his short stay with the Mets.

Original Report – July 1

General manager Sandy Alderson suggested that rehabbing center fielder Juan Lagares may be activated from the disabled list on Friday.

With a strained right calf continuing to plague right fielder Curtis Granderson and forcing the team to play with a short bench, the Mets are looking to accelerate the return for Lagares who is on rehab assignment at Double-A Binghamton.

Lagares, 27, went on the disabled list two weeks ago with a sprained left thumb and he’s shown himself to be ready, collecting three three hits in his first two rehab games for Binghamton while a sparkling defensive catch in center field in one of those games, and gunning down a player at the plate in the other.

After beginning the season on the Mets bench, Lagares began earning himself increased playing time and was hitting .289 with five doubles, a triple and two homers in 90 at-bats. Two of those doubles and the home run came as pinch hitter and gave the Mets a lead or tied the game.

Additionally, Lagares was showing an all new approach at the plate posting a career high walk rate while cutting down on his strikeouts. He was posting career highs with a .433 slugging and .760 OPS.

juan Lagares

Lagares could see regular playing at least while Granderson remains out for at least the next 2-3 games. After that it remains to be seen what Terry Collins has in store for him.

The 2014 gold glove winner, tore the ligament in his left thumb while making a spectacular diving catch to rob Ichiro Suzuki of an extra-base hit in Miami on June 4.

And for those of you hoping for a significant addition to the Mets offense, Sandy Alderson strongly implied that Lagares along with Jose Reyes and the anticipated return of Lucas Duda may be the only additions the Mets make before the trade deadline.

“What I’ve said before is that there is no single acquisition, at least that I can see, that’s going to change what’s transpired over the last two months,” Alderson said.

“It’s going to have to come from within. There may be things that we can do that can improve the team. We’ve done various things over the last couple of months to try to improve the team. Certainly we’ll be monitoring the market. But I don’t believe right now that an acquisition is going to make a big difference for us.” (ESPN)

“We get Juan Lagares back. Reyes makes a contribution. Who knows where little, marginal improvements — hitting with men in scoring position across the board — those are the kinds of things that are going to make a difference over the next three months.”

So there you go…

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SNY Announces 1 Hour Documentary “Five Days In Flushing” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/sny-announces-1-hour-documentary-five-days-in-flushing.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2016/03/sny-announces-1-hour-documentary-five-days-in-flushing.html/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2016 14:38:46 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=208647 yoenis Cespedes

SNYthe official television home of the New York Mets, recalls the memorable days leading up to the 2015 trade deadline that transformed a struggling Mets team into a World Series contender with Five Days in Flushing.  

image002What started with heart-wrenching tears, ended in elation only four days later as the Mets moved into a tie for first place following a seemingly improbable three-game sweep of its National League East rival Washington Nationals.  From that point forward, led by trade deadline acquisition Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright, and the dominant arms of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard, the Mets wouldn’t look back again.

Premiering Tuesday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m., the one-hour documentary showcases those closely involved including key decision makers, players, and media covering the team to recount the series of events that changed the course of an entire organization.  Five Days in Flushing features interviews with the following individuals:

Please note the following quotes from SNY’s Five Days in Flushing, debuting Tuesday, April 5th at 7:30 p.m.:

KEITH HERNANDEZ: “Let’s face it, in June; no one thought this club was going anywhere.  They were dead in the water.”

ANTHONY DICOMO: “I have never seen anything like the Wilmer Flores night at a ballpark before; I will probably never see it again in my career covering baseball.”

RON DARLING: “When Wilmer got emotional, it showed every Met fan how much he loved being a Met.  That’s what the fans want.  They want, at some point, the players say, ‘It’s bigger than the money, it’s bigger than the cars, it’s bigger than the homes.  It’s the uniform.  The orange and blue is what I want to play for.’”

WILMER FLORES: “Before that at bat, I said, ‘Man, I’ve never hit a walk-off homer. I would be nice to hit one right now.”

TERRY COLLINS: “It brought our team together.  It brought our team rooting for each other.”

MARC CARIG: “If they win a World Series.  If they win two.  If they win three, you’re going to look back and think, ‘where did it all begin?’  You’re going to look at that last week of July.  That was the genesis.  That’s where it changed.”

SNY will re-air the documentary later that evening at 9:30 p.m. and again Sunday, April 10 at 4:30 p.m.  Check your local listings for additional re-airs.

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Add Orioles to Growing List of Suitors for Gerardo Parra http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/add-orioles-to-growing-list-of-suitors-for-gerardo-parra.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/11/add-orioles-to-growing-list-of-suitors-for-gerardo-parra.html/#comments Tue, 24 Nov 2015 21:36:13 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=200888 parra gerardo

The New York Mets have kept in contact with the representatives for free agent outfielder Gerardo Parra whom they met with at the GM Meetings earlier this month. He appears to be one of the top targets on the Mets’ offseason wish list.

While Parra disappointed in the second half with the Baltimore Orioles, he still had one of the best offensive seasons of his career in 2015. In 155 games, Parra batted .291 with 36 doubles, 14 homeruns, 83 runs scored and 14 steals between the O’s and the Brewers. He posted a .780 OPS and his 108 wRC+ was the highest of his seven year career.

A gifted defensive corner outfielder who has already won two Gold Gloves, the Mets believe he can handle center field defensively where he has started 186 times in his career.

The Mets decided to pass on Parra at the trading deadline over the summer, but the 28-year old outfielder could be a perfect fit in New York – or at least that’s the buzz around baseball. They view him as a great candidate to platoon in center with Juan Lagares. Parra has a career .289 average against righties with a .432 slugging percentage.

Lagares, 26, saw drops in both his offensive and defensive production after batting .281/.321/.382 in 2014. He hit just .259/.289/.358 in 143 games this past season. However, Lagares batted .273/.333/.438 against lefties this year and owns a career .279/.325/.427 line against them.

For the always budget-minded Mets, Parra and Lagares would compliment each other nicely and give them a cheaper alternative to some of the other free agent outfielders on the market.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported that the Orioles are very interested in reuniting with Parra this offseason, but he adds that they are looking at a one or two year deal at most. Their hope is that Parra might sign a one-year pillow contract to boost his value and then sign a more lucrative longterm deal next offseason.

While it’s plausible, it’s also very unlikely Parra takes a one-year deal. Recently on MMO we projected him to get a three-year deal worth $24-27 million dollars. There is the added appeal that Parra is not tied to any draft compensation like a Dexter Fowler.

In addition to the Mets and Orioles, the Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals and Kansas City Royals have also expressed interest in Parra.

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MMO Exclusive: Sandy Alderson Explains How Cespedes Deal Went Down http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-exclusive-sandy-alderson-explains-how-cespedes-deal-went-down.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/09/mmo-exclusive-sandy-alderson-explains-how-cespedes-deal-went-down.html/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2015 01:34:44 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=193648 sandy alderson

I just read Dave Dombrowski explain in an article by Gordon Edes of ESPN, his version of events on how the Yoenis Cespedes deal between the Tigers and the Mets went down.

I was very curious to see what Dombrowski had to say, mainly because Sandy Alderson was gracious enough to give MMO’s John Bernhardt an exclusive interview a week after he made the deal to explain how it all fell into place and how Cespedes became a Met.

Here is how Sandy explained the deal to us:

John: At the trade deadline you decided to go big and make several moves to bolster the New York Mets roster for the home stretch of what’s turning out to be an incredibly exciting pennant race. Those moves have been symbolic and strategic and have really charged up the players and the fans alike. Explain for us how all of that happened.

Sandy: You’re right, John. I think those moves were both symbolic and strategic. I think at that point of the season we acknowledged that we had some great pitching, that we were in a race, and that we clearly had some deficiencies and parts of our roster that we needed to improve. You can’t do that without having access to players outside of the organization, especially when you approach the trade deadline.

We acquired Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe a week or so before the deadline and that was really intended to upgrade the overall offense and give Terry Collins some more options and a little more depth on the bench.

We felt it was very important to add some veteran experience and both those players have been very good and have made an immediate impact. And a nice thing especially is that Kelly Johnson can play so many different positions and Juan Uribe has always been a very clutch player and is terrific in the clubhouse. We’ve seen that in the last few games.

We also felt we needed to improve the bullpen, especially with the loss of Jenrry Mejia. We thought we needed to provide some additional experience for the bullpen and we added Tyler Clippard who has been an excellent setup man. We knew that he could play in this environment and that he could exceed in that role as he did when he was with the Washington Nationals. Interestingly, he’s the only bullpen arm we have with any playoff experience, and I think that Bartolo Colon is the only other pitcher we have who’s been in the postseason. We felt that that was also important.

It’s still left us with a need to provide the team with some quality offense. We spent a lot of time for the three days leading up to the trade deadline and exploring many different possibilities. Everybody is now aware of the ill-fated Carlos Gomez trade, but we are very happy that we ended up with Cespedes and that Wilmer Flores is still with us. So all in all everything worked out pretty well.

So far all of those guys have really done well, and they’ve been a big boost for us. It also freed the rest of the roster to do what they do. Rather than having only three or four guys who we could count on to produce in the lineup we now have tremendous depth and solid options up and down the lineup.

We shouldn’t overlook the fact that we also called up Michael Conforto as well and traded for Eric O’Flaherty to give us another left-handed reliever. We’ve made a lot of different and significant roster changes over the last couple of weeks that we are very pleased with.

John: And the energy level surrounding this team has just been so astounding since those moves. The dramatic change and positive energy, not just with the players and the team but also the fans and the city, has been so incredible to see. People all over the town are now wearing Mets stuff and talking about Mets stuff it’s pretty amazing.

Sandy: That’s been very exciting and rewarding. We had a rough 4-5 days there where we lost a pitcher to a full year suspension, and then we had that Gomez thing which was very public and negative. Then we lost a very tough game on the Thursday following that aborted trade, so by the time we got to the trade deadline, things had gotten a little exhausting. So you make the trades hoping that things will improve but you never really know.

At the point we made the Cespedes trade we were three games out for the division lead and even more than that for the wild-card spot. But you do what you have to do and hope that things will improve and luckily they have. It ended up costing us some young players that we liked and one of them has been pitching very well and was very prominent in Michael Fulmer. But sometimes you have to do what you gotta do.

John: I’m a gigantic Michael Fulmer fan, I’ve watched him pitch six times this season. I have to ask you, please tell me just how difficult it is to trade a guy like that? It seems to me like you were holding off until the last possible second of the trade deadline before you actually pulled the trigger on that deal.

Sandy: It’s very true, we spent the whole day Friday trying to keep Michael Fulmer out of the deal. Then we looked at the clock and we only had 15 minutes left until the deadline and we realized that the Tigers were not going to budge. We even offered them more players just so we could hang on to him.

But at the end of the day, they just sat firm the whole time and they basically got exactly what they wanted. In retrospect we’re very happy that we did it, and we know Michael is going to be an outstanding pitcher.

John: Sounds like both teams got what they wanted. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Yoenis Cespedes.

Sandy: We’ve been very fortunate that he’s been able to play some centerfield for us. Originally one of the reasons we went after Carlos Gomez was because he could play centerfield and give us some flexibility at the corners.

But Cespedes has allowed us to do the same thing. Plus I think Juan Lagares has responded positively in what’s now a part-time role. He has been able to focus and work on some things without worrying about his results on a day to day basis. It looks like some of those things he’s applied immediately and it has already paid some dividends. So having Cespedes available to play centerfield has been a real plus for us.

Cespedes Yoenis

What’s really amazing to me about how Dombrowski explained his version of events was how strikingly similar everything was down to the last detail of what Sandy told us.

I expected to see some variations but there really weren’t any, it was almost an exact recounting of the Mets’ version of events.

“We were talking with other clubs, but the Mets, we always felt they were the best fit because they had good pitching and we felt they might give up a guy like Fulmer, who we really liked,” Dombrowski said. “They had so many starting pitchers, he was the one guy we identified from other clubs we liked the most.”

That’s pretty much what Sandy said to us, “They liked Fulmer a lot and they weren’t budging from him.”

One thing I learned that I didn’t know was that Jim Leyland, the former Tigers manager now a special assistant with the team, made a call to Mets manager Terry Collins, a good friend. “Jim said, ‘Terry, get him — he’s going to help you guys,’” Dombrowski said.

Both general managers explained how it went down to the wire. Dombrowski had advised Alderson that if they were going to make a deal, it had to be struck 10 minutes before the deadline, because there was a loan provision in Cespedes’ contract that would require approval by the commissioner’s office.

“Sandy said he would call back with an answer by quarter of four,” Dombrowski said. “And he did.”

“If we hadn’t gotten what we wanted,” Dombrowski said, “we would have kept him.” Again, exactly how Sandy portrayed it to us.

It’s fascinating.

The rest as they say is history. Pay the man. :-)

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MMO Exclusive: Sandy Discusses Cespedes and Tigers Unwillingness To Budge (Part 2) http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/exclusive-sandy-discusses-cespedes-and-tigers-unwillingness-to-budge-part-2.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/exclusive-sandy-discusses-cespedes-and-tigers-unwillingness-to-budge-part-2.html/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:01:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=190354 Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta visited MCU Park Wednesday night, likely to check out first-round pick Michael Conforto. (Photo by Jim Mancari)

Here is the second part of my interview this morning with Mets general manager Sandy Alderson on me weekly Tip-Off Show. You can read part one of Sandy’s interview by clicking here.

John: I’m a gigantic Michael Fulmer fan, I’ve watched him pitch six times this season. I have to ask you, please tell me just how difficult it is to trade a guy like that? It seems to me like you were holding off until the last possible second of the trade deadline before you actually pulled the trigger on that deal.

Sandy: It’s very true, we spent the whole day Friday trying to keep Michael Fulmer out of the deal. Then we looked at the clock and we only had 15 minutes left until the deadline and we realized that the Tigers were not going to budge. We even offered them more players just so we could hang on to him.

But at the end of the day, they just sat firm the whole time and they basically got exactly what they wanted. In retrospect we’re very happy that we did it, and we know Michael is going to be an outstanding pitcher.

John: Sounds like both teams got what they wanted. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Yoenis Cespedes.

Sandy: We’ve been very fortunate that he’s been able to play some centerfield for us. Originally one of the reasons we went after Carlos Gomez was because he could play centerfield and give us some flexibility at the corners.

But Cespedes has allowed us to do the same thing. Plus I think Juan Lagares has responded positively in what’s now a part-time role. He has been able to focus and work on some things without worrying about his results on a day to day basis. It looks like some of those things he’s applied immediately and it has already paid some dividends. So having Cespedes available to play centerfield has been a real plus for us.

John: You have received a lot of high praise and acclaim for how you were able to retool and replenish the Mets farm system. Because of that, you were able to make those pre-trade deadline deals that seemed to have made a real impact on the major-league roster. What kind of organizational emphasis and initiatives are involved in shaping our minor-league system?

Sandy: Every organization says that they’re going to build their team through their minor-league system, but it really comes down to execution. You start by retaining all of your draft picks, and this year we knew this season was going to be different for us when we gave up a draft pick to sign Michael Cuddyer. That’s something that I don’t foresee us doing again in the future. I think that was the first indicator that we expected this season to be a little bit different.

Retaining your full capacity of drafted players as well as signing them from the international market is just part of it as having a top development team is also a big part of that. Eventually you have to turn that highly regarded talent into professional baseball players.

I’m a big believer in organization and having a systematic approach to things. You know Paul DePodesta and Dick Scott run our minor-league system and they’ve done such a tremendous job of keeping things well-organized from a training standpoint as well as from a performance standpoint.

We have organizational philosophies on hitting and pitching and we try to be consistent in applying those philosophies throughout the system.

The goal of our player development system is to improve the players, but it’s always critical as well to get good talent into our system. We focused on being systematic and well-organized and having coaches who can teach as well as just running games. Those things have been very important.

* * * * * * * * * *

Stay tuned for our final installment of our three-part exclusive interview with Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, which we will post very shortly.

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An MMO Original: A Mets Well-Armed Attack Is Looming http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/an-mmo-original-a-mets-well-armed-attack-is-looming.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/08/an-mmo-original-a-mets-well-armed-attack-is-looming.html/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:25:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=189438 noah syndergaard

Wanna know how to make a statement? Reclaim the division lead in four short days via the long ball, defense, excellent starting pitching, and perhaps the wildest 11th hour trade deadline activity since the last time the Mets made it to the Series in 2000.

What moves. What talent. What precision. I know it’s not premature for that proverbial “attaboy” because what better timing to make a divisional statement than on the heels of the trade deadline?

Jordan Zimmermann is the Nats best hope outside of Max Scherzer at present, and it took four Mets batters to surface the jeer “Who else you got?” Well, unless Scherzer is ready to be 2015′s Madison Bumgarner, Washington may have a little cause for worry.

jacob deGromI say give me those two long haired youngsters, whose last names nobody can ever pronounce right, every day of the week and a doubleheader on Sunday.

And talk about hitting. Do you know what Duda means in Spanish? Doubt. Can you say “paradox?” I’d say there’s little Duda the Mets are getting it done on both sides of the mound.

Sure, the panic button may have been grazed a couple of times in the past couple of months, but there’s no time like everyone else’s dog days to bring a winner to the field.

matt harveyNow that the division lead has been reclaimed, it’s time to cast aside the “pretender” moniker and clamp down. We’re too busy trying to re-set our dropped jaws at Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey. And while Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon haven’t been at their best consistently over this fruitful period, there’s not too many teams that can boast a 4 and 5 like those two. And the chances look promising that young Steven Matz will be on hand as well. Can you hear the sizzle?

Ah, the playoffs… Imagine our top four starters in one of the pitcher friendliest parks in the majors all overmatching impatient and fence-aiming hitters in the postseason?

Imagine you’re in Game 5 of a seven game series tied 2-2. The next win puts you at the precipice. How many teams would want to face our Mets pitch in a  Game 5, or better yet, a Game 7? I think we all know the answer to that.

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Jerry Blevins Cleared To Throw http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/jerry-blevins-cleared-to-throw.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/jerry-blevins-cleared-to-throw.html/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 23:18:06 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188879 Travis d'Arnaud, Terry Collins, Sean Barber, Jerry Blevins

The Mets announced that left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins, has been cleared by team doctors to begin throwing.

Blevins sustained a broken left wrist on April 19 after taking a comebacker to the mound against the Marlins.

There is no timetable for his return yet but clearly this is a step in the right direction. The Mets could certainly use his arm in the bullpen right now.

Blevins has retired all 15 batters he faced this season.

By the way, Sandy Alderson told reporters on Wednesday night that he has no intentions of pursuing a reliever before the trade deadline in response to the Jenry Mejia suspension.

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Mets Promote Top Prospect Michael Conforto, Place Michael Cuddyer On DL http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mets-promote-top-prospect-michael-conforto-michael-cuddyer-placed-on-dl.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/mets-promote-top-prospect-michael-conforto-michael-cuddyer-placed-on-dl.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 15:26:48 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188051 michael Conforto

The news that Mets fans have been waiting for: Sandy’s big trade deadline move.

The New York Mets announced via Twitter on Friday morning, that highly regarded outfield prospect Michael Conforto is getting called up today as Michael Cuddyer is placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Conforto was the Mets top draft pick in 2014 and has skyrocketed through the minors and to the majors in just 12 months.

Conforto will wear uniform No. 30 for the Mets.

Thoughts from Joe D.

Straight from Double-A and into the fire. We spoke to beat reporter Lynn Worthy, who has observed Conforto during his month-long stint in Double-A Binghamton.

“I think he’s got a great chance to be a very good player. I also think he’d benefit from more time in the minors, particularly in the upper levels. I wrote a column a few weeks back sort of explaining my thoughts, but it basically boils down to a few things for me.”

“One, this is his first full season of professional baseball, and he has played less than 50 games at Double-A. Two, he’s just now getting to where he is playing teams for the second or third series – his first 30 games they did not play a second series against a team – and he needs to face the challenge of making adjustments to pitching staffs that have adjusted to him.”

“Three, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect him to be a savior of the offense on the major-league level. If he goes up now, that’s what folks will expect. While some rookies have immediate success, that’s never a given.”

It will be interesting to see how Conforto will perform as he’s thrust into the heat of a pennant race and joins a team that will look to him to provide the jolt the offense needs.

It’s a tall task, but Conforto seems like a well grounded kid who shouldn’t be too fazed by all the Wilpon-induced hoopla that is soon to follow.

I love Conforto’s makeup and plate approach, and I hope his less than 50 games above Single-A will be enough to succeed at this level.

My one concern is that I hope this promotion is not in lieu of a trade deadline move to bring in another proven outfielder who can play everyday and add some punch.

I hope the Mets did this for all the right reasons and not to distract the media from all the heat they are getting this morning. Or worse yet, I hope Andy Martino and Bob Klapisch are wrong and that this was not done to appease the fans.

One more thing, except the 22-year old slugger to see a healthy diet of major league breaking balls. Lots of plus-curves and plus-sliders as well as major league changeups. Basically a huge assortment of quality pitches he hasn’t seen yet, having played just 45 games over Single-A. So give him some time to adjust.

That said, we wish him a great debut… Good luck Michael!

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A Day In The Life Of Sandy and Terry http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/a-day-in-the-life-of-sandy-and-terry.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/a-day-in-the-life-of-sandy-and-terry.html/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 10:00:41 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=188022 terry-collins-and-sandy-alderson-watch-bp

Sandy Alderson had a lot to say on Thursday before the Mets were defeated by the Dodgers 3-0 at Citi Field. It was the MLB-leading 11th shutout loss of the season for the Mets. Terry Collins on the other hand, was a man of few words.

You kind of had a sense it was going to be a rough night for the Mets as soon as they posted their lineup which had John Mayberry (.165 Avg.) batting cleanup and Eric Campbell (.176 Avg.) batting fifth. In fact you could say all Hell broke loose.

Andy Martino of the Daily News said one Mets player, after looking at the lineup card blurted, “he’s hitting one fucking seventy.” A reference to Mayberry.

The team was ripped on MLB Network, torn asunder by Keith Law and Buster Olney on ESPN, shredded on WFAN, and that was nothing compared to the rage from Mets fans on Twitter.

Then the Elias Sports Bureau tweeted that the Mets had just become the 2nd team since 1920 to start a No. 4 and No.5 hitter that had batting averages under .180.

Boom!

Reporters lined up like wolves on a kill waiting for Terry Collins to enter the media room, and before they could blurt out any questions, the meek and mousey manager says, “I am not embarrassed by tonight’s lineup.”

It was beginning to feel like the plot of an old Alfred Hitchcock thriller. All that was missing was the gorgeous dead blonde covered in red corn syrup.

Sandy Alderson wasn’t embarrassed either. In fact he told Kevin Kernan of The Post to look past Campbell’s batting average and consider his “peripheral data.” And as for Mayberry, “you have to play your bench players.”

After that, reporters say Alderson got real agitated, snapping back at each question. But Kernan, the veteran in the group, kept pressing.

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Asked if ownership had given him permission to make a trade and bring on a major contract, Alderson answered, “I’ve said before that we have the ability to take on money.”

Pressed for a rough estimate, Alderson bristled and said, “C’mon.”

Can you take on a major contract?

“I think the answer to that is yes. OK, now none of you will believe me. So I’m not sure why you asked the question and insisted on the answer.”

The questions kept coming, why aren’t you doing anything?

“We’re cognizant of our strengths and our weaknesses. We are looking hard to improve those weaknesses. But we’re realistic too.”

“It doesn’t mean we are not going to do anything, it doesn’t mean we are not trying to make a deal. We are certainly aware of the team we have and the imbalance we have now with pitching and offense.”

What exactly are you looking for? What with all the leaks and rumors, do you have an actual plan?

“We’re not just looking at rentals. It could be a role player it could be somebody more significant.”

When Sandy was asked if would it be an unsuccessful deadline if the Mets did not make a trade, he responded:

“Not as long as we’ve worked as hard as I think we need to and have worked the process as hard as we possibly can.”

In other words, if nothing transpires, give the Maverick an “A” for effort.

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Meanwhile, after the team managed just three singles and no walks against Clayton Kershaw, the game finally came to a merciful end.

Seconds later, a ghostly shadow of an eerie figure could be seen, creeping ever so slowly out of the dugout and through the darkened tunnel. Step by step the shadowy presence made its way to the podium at the front of the room…

Good God, it was a battered and beaten Terry Collins. He just stood there at first, gazing at all the reporters in front of him with a faraway look in his eyes. But then in a state of profound resignation, the Met manager who had been so full of life only hours earlier, broke the silence and quietly uttered three words… “We were overmatched.”

Come on, Terry… It wasn’t all that bad… Look at the bright side, buddy… You just need to focus on all the “peripheral data.”

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The Mets Should Just Say No To Justin Upton http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/the-mets-should-just-say-no-to-justin-upton.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2015/07/the-mets-should-just-say-no-to-justin-upton.html/#comments Sat, 18 Jul 2015 18:59:45 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=187480 Stop making eye contact, you guys.  You might make us think something's brewing here.

Stop making eye contact, you guys. You might make us think something’s brewing here.

With less than two weeks to go until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Mets are in sore need of a bat or three.  Well, duh.  That’s all anyone is talking about these days.  And one team that keeps popping up as a potential trade partner for the Mets is the underachieving San Diego Padres.  The Padres supposedly upgraded their entire outfield this past off-season, adding Matt Kemp, Wil Myers and Justin Upton in an attempt to give a quick adrenaline boost to their offense.  The only problem was that the rapid shot of energy faded before the season began.

San Diego ranks 20th in the majors in runs scored and only the Mets (.233) and Seattle Mariners (.235) have a lower team batting average than the Padres (.238).  And no one – not even the Mets – can claim a lower team on-base percentage than the .294 OBP being produced by the Padres.  Because of their putrid offense and middle-of-the-pack pitching (3.91 ERA, 3.85 FIP, 1.30 WHIP), the Padres enter the day with a 42-49 record, just two games ahead of the last-place Colorado Rockies in the NL West and 3½ games in front of the Miami Marlins for the second-worst record in the entire league.

Without question, the Padres will be sellers at the trade deadline, just months after first-year general manager A.J. Preller bought the farm, the cows and both Upton brothers.  One player who might appeal to the Mets is the younger (and better) Upton sibling, Justin, whose 15 homers and 49 RBI are more than any current Met has recorded this season.  And although his .254 batting average is just okay, it would be only be surpassed by Daniel Murphy’s .272 mark out of all the everyday players on the team.

On the surface, this seems like a no-brainer, even though Upton would just be a rental player, as he is in the final year of a six-year contract he originally signed with Arizona back in 2010.  The Mets wouldn’t be committed to paying him beyond this season, just as outfield prospect Michael Conforto inches his way closer and closer to the big league squad.

But there are many reasons why the Mets should just say no to Justin Upton.  Here are a few of them.

Do you remember Richard Hidalgo?  He was traded to the Mets in mid-June 2004 and became an overnight sensation.  New York won its first four games with Hidalgo in the lineup, pushing the team above .500 for the season.  A week later, Hidalgo embarked upon a one-month home run tear.  From June 27 to July 29, Hidalgo batted .308 with 12 HR and 24 RBI.  He hit home runs in five consecutive games to begin the month of July, making him the first and only Met to homer in five straight contests.

Hidalgo sounded like a good buy, but before long, it was the Mets saying goodbye to him.  Take away his hot month and Hidalgo batted .189 with nine homers and 28 RBI during the rest of his short Mets career.  Hidalgo was the epitome of the streaky hitter, much like Justin Upton is today, and Hidalgo’s cold streaks – like Upton’s – tend to last longer than his hot ones.

During his first two months as a Padre, Upton was one of the best hitters in the league, batting .307 with 12 HR and 37 RBI.  Upton also posted a .545 slugging percentage, a .913 OPS and collected hits in 38 of his first 51 games, which included 15 multi-hit games.  But since the calendar turned to June, Justin has hit more like his brother Melvin, batting .179 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 37 games.  In the same time period, Upton (Justin, not Melvin) has nearly twice as many strikeouts (45) as he has hits (24).

This is nothing new for Upton, as he batted .301 with 13 homers in his first 53 games last year with Atlanta, then proceeded to bat .252 with 15 homers over his next 100 games.  The year before that, in his first season as a Brave, Upton tore the cover off the ball in his first 25 games, batting .304 with 12 HR and 19 RBI.  He then faded over the next four months, batting .244 with 12 HR and 45 RBI over his next 109 games.

Upton was a product of his ballpark when he played in Arizona.  From his first full season with the Diamondbacks in 2008 until his final year in the desert in 2012, Upton batted .311 in his home ballpark.  He managed just a .244 batting average on the road in those five seasons.  He also had just 41 homers in nearly 1,300 at-bats on the road from 2008 to 2012, while taking advantage of his home park in Arizona to hit 65 home runs in 63 fewer at-bats.

Ever since he left Chase Field, his strikeout totals have gone through the roof.  In his six seasons as a Diamondback, Upton surpassed 140 strikeouts just once, fanning 152 times in 2010.  Once he left Arizona, Upton became a human whiff machine, striking out 161 times in 2013 and topping that with 171 Ks in 2014.  So far in 2015 with the Padres, Upton has fanned 96 times, putting him on pace to strike out a career-high 173 times this season.  To put that in perspective, half of the Mets’ everyday players are on pace to reach triple digits in strikeouts, but none of those players are whiffing at an Uptonian pace, as Lucas Duda leads the team with 92 punchouts.

Finally, check out this stat provided to us by Michael Baron on Twitter.

One of the reasons the Mets are winless when they trail late in ballgames is the fact that as bad as they’ve been at the plate throughout the entire season, they’re even worse in the late innings.  In the first six innings of games, the Mets are collectively batting .242 with a .391 slugging percentage.  That’s not very good, but it gets progressively worse from innings seven through nine.

In the seventh inning, the Mets have a .215 batting average and a .310 slugging percentage.  That goes down slightly to .214/.307 in the eighth inning.  And in the ninth inning, those numbers go down to .197 and .281, respectively.  We’re not talking about just the ninth innings when the Mets are facing the opposing team’s hard-to-hit closer.  We’re talking about every ninth inning situation – when the Mets have the lead, when they’re tied and not facing the closer, when they’re being blown out.  In every possible situation, the Mets just can’t hit in the late innings of games.  And adding Justin Upton wouldn’t change that very much.

Upton was a very good late-inning hitter in Arizona, batting .282 and posting a .460 slugging percentage in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings from 2008 to 2012.  Since 2013 – his first year away from the desert – Upton has batted .240 in late inning situations and has seen his slugging percentage in those spots drop from .460 in 2013 to .404 in 2014 to just .389 this year.  While it is true that a .240 batting average and .389 slugging percentage are better than what the average Met has done this year in the late innings of games, it’s still not an acceptable mark for a player making over $14 million this year.  (Upton’s .240/.389 marks in innings seven through nine are also slightly lower than what the Mets have produced in innings one through six.)  More importantly, it’s not nearly enough production for a player who would be brought in to recharge the batting order’s batteries, costing the Mets several good minor league prospects to acquire a player of his caliber.

Justin Upton is an above-average major league player.  But he’s just not good enough to give the Mets what they need to overcome the season-long doldrums they’ve had at the plate.  He’s not the same hitter he was in Arizona, he’s too streaky and he’s no longer a good hitter when the game is potentially on the line.

What the Mets need is a player who hits in any park, is consistent at the plate and does not wilt under the late-inning pressure.  The onus to find that player or players will fall on Sandy Alderson’s shoulders.  The player who should not be at the top of his shopping list is Justin Upton.  The team would be better served to shop at a different store as the trade deadline approaches.

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ESPN Predicts Mets Trade For Seattle’s Brad Miller or Chris Taylor http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/espn-predicts-mets-trade-for-seattles-brad-miller-or-chris-taylor.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/espn-predicts-mets-trade-for-seattles-brad-miller-or-chris-taylor.html/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:56:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169882 chris talor bat

Jim Bowden of ESPN.com predicts that the Mets and Mariners will eventually get together on a trade this offseason that will send one of infielders Brad Miller or Chris Taylor to New York in exchange for one of their back-end starters – namely Dillon Gee, Jon Niese or Bartolo Colon.

Last week, an MLB executive told Adam Rubin that the two teams matched up well for a trade. And while Sandy Alderson has spoken very positively about Wilmer Flores at shortstop, there’s still a sense that he’d prefer a better defender at the position.

Rubin also noted that the Mets would have no problem sacrificing another draft pick and signing another free agent if the price is right. That would mean waiting the market out through January and seeing which players have been shutout. I don’t see the Mets taking this route, but others do.

November 12

Adam Rubin tweeted that the Mets and Mariners matched up well for a trade, according to a front office person and an agent. These two teams have reportedly been a good match for some time now, and we’ve reportedly scouted them a few times and they’ve scouted us. So this is not entirely new.

But who do they have that we would want?

We can throw away the earlier Michael Saunders rumors from last week now that the Mets opted for Michael Cuddyer. And we can also forget Nick Franklin, who was traded to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline.

Shortstop Brad Miller has often been mentioned, but he regressed in 2014, batting just .228 with a .289 OBP while striking out 95 times in 367 at-bats. One player that is seldom mentioned is the other M’s shortstop Chris Taylor.

chris-taylor-Taylor has always been considered a better overall defensive shortstop than Brad Miller and Nick Franklin, and after he was promoted he dazzled in the field showing superior range, soft hands and an above average arm. Scouts initially tabbed Taylor as glove-only utility infielder because he had no plus tools on offense aside from some speed.

However, Taylor confounded the experts and hit his way to a major league debut last July, and eventually he wrestled the everyday shortstop job away from Miller.

A 5th round pick from the 2012 draft, he batted .287/.347/.346 in his first 151 plate appearances in the big leagues. He has no power to speak of, but the 23-year old is a grinder who gets good wood on the ball according to observers.

The latest buzz from the Mariners is that they will make a big push for free agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez and that could make both Taylor and Miller expendable. The Mariners are desperate for a power bat and we can’t help them there, but they could be interested in a Niese or a Gee for the back of their rotation which is also a concern for them. It’s certainly worth looking into it.

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No Extension Talks With Murphy, Trade Contingent On Shortstop Situation http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/no-extension-talks-with-murphy-trade-contingent-on-shortstop-situation.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/11/no-extension-talks-with-murphy-trade-contingent-on-shortstop-situation.html/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 22:25:52 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=169696 MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets

In a report by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Sandy Alderson acknowledged Thursday that the Mets are not particularly interested in working on a contract extension this offseason with second baseman Daniel Murphy who becomes a free agent after the 2015 season.

“Anytime soon? Probably not,” Alderson said about contract-extension dialogue.

Alderson also added that the team is inclined to retain Murphy for 2015. “Right now we would be reluctant to trade Murphy,” Alderson said.

However, sources told Rubin that if the Mets can get a high-powered bat at shortstop, their inclination to trade Murphy would dramatically increase.

Asked if adding another quality bat could change the desire to trade Murphy, Alderson said: “Perhaps.”

In other words, if Wilmer Flores is your opening day shortstop, Murphy will be at second base. If lets say Alexei Ramirez is your shortstop, most likely Flores is at second and Murphy is gone.

November 11

Mike Puma of the New York Post looks at three burning issues for the Mets this offseason and among them is determining the fate of their lone All Star in 2014, Daniel Murphy.

The Mets tried last offseason to trade Murphy, but were unimpressed with the offers. Murphy is under club control for one more season, and the Mets have shown no inclination to offer him a long-term contract. As it stands, Murphy will get a bump to the $8-9 million range for 2015. He made $5.7 million last season.

One possibility is the Mets will begin the season with Murphy as their second baseman and then deal him before the July 31 trade deadline. But if the Mets were to trade him this winter, it would allow the club to head into spring training with Flores as the likely starter at the position.

The Blue Jays and Giants were among the previous teams that had some level of interest in Murphy. The Giants can be subtracted after the emergence of former St. John’s standout Joe Panik.

Murphy, 29, batted .289/.332/.403 with a 110 wRC+ and a 2.8 WAR. Among all NL second basemen, Murphy ranked first in doubles, second in batting average, hits and runs scored, and third in OPS.

But of course, no discussion about Murphy is complete without pointing out his defense at the keystone position – or should I say his lack of it.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, recently argued that the time has come to trade Murphy.

“So, basically, it is time for the Mets to decide to retain Murphy via a contract extension or look to get some return before he walks as a free agent in a year. And although Murphy has expressed a willingness to talk contract, Mets officials have shown no inclination to engage him. Apparently they do not view him as $10 million a year player going forward. So it’s time to deal.”

Murphy will likely earn about $8 million in arbitration, a significant bump from the $5.7 million he was paid in 2014. But Rubin is right, if the Mets are not inclined to extend his contract, then you have to deal him. But is that something you do now or at next season’s trade deadline when teams are usually willing to overpay for a specific need?

With Dilson Herrera, Wilmer Flores and Matt Reynolds all waiting in the wings, Murphy has become somewhat expendable. However the Mets know what they’ll get out of Murphy if they were to keep him and the same can’t be said about the other three. It’s a very precarious situation that can backfire just as easily as it could work out for the team. But that’s why the GM gets the big bucks.

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Deal or No Deal? http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/deal-or-no-deal.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/08/deal-or-no-deal.html/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 11:24:26 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=163451 There’s an old saying in baseball, “Pitching wins championships”. As far as I can remember, that quote always rang true even if it was often overused. If you looked at the history of the game, you’d be hard pressed to find championship winning teams that were lacking in the pitching department. You don’t even have to look back that far.

David-PriceJust take the Detroit Tigers this year. They have a pitching staff already fortified with two Cy Young winners in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. Most teams would be happy with that and call it a day but what did the Tigers do? They traded for another Cy Young winner in David Price by working out a three team trade involving the Rays and the Mariners, with the Tigers giving up centerfielder Austin Jackson and pitcher Drew Smyly.

Now granted, getting a Cy Young winner for outfielder Austin Jackson and pitcher Drew Smyly, is easily the coup of the year if you ask me but it does beg the question, does losing your best defensive outfielder and leadoff hitter really matter if you’re making your rotation the finest in the league? Apparently losing offense matters little to Dave Dombrowski, and dare I say rightfully so.

But Dombrowski’s not the only GM in baseball willing to sacrifice some offense for top notch pitching. Billy Beane, GM of the Oakland Athletics, traded outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for stud ace Jon Lester and backup outfielder Jonny Gomes. Am I the only one who see’s the pattern here?

All of this is leading me back home, to the New York Mets fan base, eager and rightfully wanting their team to be relevant again, who began demanding that Sandy Alderson trade their top prospect, pitcher Noah Syndergaard and just about every other significant farmhand for Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

First off let me be clear, Tulo is a stud and the best offensive shortstop in the game today and arguably ever. Unfortunately, he’s also made of Balsa wood and the Mets already have had a lot of experience with expensive, fragile yet immensely talented shortstops. Even Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the movie Unbreakable cringes when Tulo slides into second on a double as does Rockies owner Dick Monfort.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado RockiesNow here we are post trade deadline and the Mets are still under .500 and lo and behold guess what we find out, Troy Tulowitzki will have season ending surgery on a torn labrum in his hip. Somehow all the voices wanting Tulo soo bad have been quieted as if their Alderaan was just destroyed by the dreaded Death Star known as the Disabled List. Now if you didn’t know any better you’d think that Tulo actually had the (mis?)fortune of becoming a Met since this injury would be the typical initiation into the orange and blue, but no.

You see Tulo has a history of leg issues dating back to 2008 when he tore his left quadriceps tendon. That along with the fact that he’s on the wrong side of 30, has a mammoth contract which pays him guaranteed money (157 million) until 2020, and you could say that those factors pretty much made Alderson’s decision for him. Oh yeah and Alderson would have had to mortgage the farm for him too.

So here’s the quandary (for SOME Mets fans). Do we trade a potential future Cy Young winner, because you know they grow on trees, or do you bite the bullet and build around the promise of an amazing pitching staff, supplanting your offense by developing players from within (Wilmer Flores, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Dominic Smith) and perhaps a free agent on a short term basis? Sure, Sandy could package Syndergaard and Montero and a few others and make a run at a bat but then again, so did Fred Claire.

You see Fred traded Pedro Martinez when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers, an organization well known for their pitching excellence, for – wait for it – Delino DeShields. Yeah, the Dodgers needed a second baseman and a leadoff hitter and they got three incredibly unproductive years from DeShields whereas Pedro went on to be, well, Pedro. You think Claire wishes he had a do-over with that one?

Not all deals involving trading pitchers turn out that dramatically lopsided but can you seriously imagine Noah Syndergaard ending up in Colorado or Miami or wherever and becoming the next “Pedro”? That would be quite the legacy for Sandy to leave wouldn’t it? I guess Mets fans shouldn’t worry it’s not like this team has ever done anything like that before. I mean it’s not like they traded Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi. Ok, that was a low blow.

Sometimes you just have to go with the hand you have and right now, the Mets are holding potential aces. You don’t find arms like the Mets have that easily. Great offensive players, especially outfielders, are scarce in MLB right now (PED testing anyone?) so it’s not just the Mets who are looking for offense. But to have the potential pitching studs and to just trade them for a “name” is just dumb. Especially if the player everyone wants – while great when healthy – makes peanut brittle look like Kevlar.

Sorry, no deal.

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Alderson Says Blockbuster Deal Possible, But Wouldn’t Bet On It http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/alderson-says-blockbuster-deal-possible-but-wouldnt-bet-on-it.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/alderson-says-blockbuster-deal-possible-but-wouldnt-bet-on-it.html/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:04:11 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161869 sandy alderson 2

Sandy Alderson told reporters at Citi Field that it’s unlikely the Mets make a deal before the Trade Deadline – sort of.

“If I had to make a guess, I would say nothing will happen,” Alderson said. “But you never know what’s going to transpire in the next three days or so. Clubs that may be having conversations elsewhere circle back based on what they think their options might be. So I’d say we have an opportunity to do a thing or two, but we’re not inclined to at this point. It’s speculation, but I wouldn’t bet on something happening before the Deadline.”

When asked if he viewed his team as being sellers or buyers, Alderson responded, “When I say it’s unlikely that we’ll do anything, we’re not anxious to be sellers and we’re cautious about being buyers.”

Asked if he could envision dipping into his farm system to make a blockbuster deal (CarGo/Tulowitzki) happen in the future.

“That’s a possibility,” Alderson said of a significant deal to add offense. “In fact, to me that sounds more desirable than inching your way there, giving up prospects in more cautious transactions. So I wouldn’t rule that out. But it’s got to be the right time for the right player under the right circumstances.”

The Mets have been shopping Bartolo Colon and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that even the team’s top prospect Noah Syndergaard is being dangled. There has been little interest in Colon, but that could change if the team is willing to eat some cash.

Alderson has already downplayed the possibility of trading second baseman Daniel Murphy, the team’s lone All-Star. Of course they’ll to listen to offers.

“We like the team as it’s developing,” Alderson said. “So I think that, in and of itself, would make us reluctant to move players at the Deadline.”

Thoughts from Joe D.

It’s obvious that Sandy believes his team is closer now than ever before to being relevant again. In the past he would brush off questions about trading for players like Stanton or Tulowitzki, but this time he says “it’s possible.” That’s a big step forward for him, but it’s still all talk until he makes something happen.

Alderson also keeps denying that any player is being shopped or available, but that’s what they all do now, it’s simply GM-speak. You can bet he was gleaming after Colon’s performance last night and that his only hope was fielding a dozen calls about him this morning.

As for Murphy, a different situation entirely. Sandy knows if he moves Murphy and doesn’t receive MLB-ready talent that can help the team immediately, it will be viewed as another setback and waving the white flag on this season. I don’t think Murphy’s going anywhere.

(Updated 7/29 with quotes from Anthony DiComo)

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Mets Haven’t Had Any Significant Trade Talks http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-havent-had-any-significant-trade-talks.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2014/07/mets-havent-had-any-significant-trade-talks.html/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:02:53 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=161185 MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets

Sandy Alderson shed some more light on the trade front before Friday night’s game in San Diego, telling beat writers that he has yet to have any significant talks with other GMs .

“It’s hard to say exactly what will happen on the trade market,” the Mets GM said. “Honestly, I haven’t had a lot of conversations. So it’s not clear to me what the opportunities will be. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

“My hope is things pick up a little bit as we get into the schedule after the All-Star break, and maybe even after this weekend. But right now we’re just kind of canvassing the possibilities.”

The more the Mets keep playing as they are, the more I believe the Mets will do nothing at the trade deadline.

While trading a veteran like Bartolo Colon isn’t necessarily a case of the Mets selling because it would be a logical move for the team, the perception that the Mets are waving the white towel and giving up will be a public relations nightmare.

I believe this is where the Wilpons step in and sort of handcuff Alderson from doing anything that can be viewed as a sell-off at a time that they’re trying to convey that the organization has turned a corner.

This bodes well for Daniel Murphy who likely isn’t going anywhere, at least not now. The offseason is a different story…

July 18

Mets GM Sandy Alderson spoke with Mike Puma of the New York Post and reiterated that he has no intention of trading for any rental players at the deadline, that is players who are in the final year of their contracts.

“I don’t think we would deal significant prospects or significant value for somebody who is going to help us for a couple of months,” Alderson told the newspaper.

“We spent too much time improving our minor-league system and setting ourselves up for the future to commit significant resources to somebody in a deal that is only going to help us for a short period of time. In that sense we would probably be looking for somebody who can help us longer term as well.”

As to what the plan is and if the 8-2 record over the last ten days has changed anything, not really.

“I think the last 10 games were important because they make the next 10 games relevant to what happens at the trade deadline,” Alderson said. “We’ll see what happens over the next 10 days or so. But certainly the last 10 games have to make us a little more optimistic.”

I expect no matter what happens the Mets will not be buyers regardless.

Even when the Mets were 11 games under .500, Sandy kept up the pretense the Mets could be buyers, but as soon as they climbed into third place, he quickly back-tracked and continues to do so.

That’s not to say I want them to be buyers, I don’t. I simply want you not to believe everything you hear. Sandy is very good at what he does and he has that whole GM-speak part of his job down pat.

As for Daniel Murphy, I still believe he’s a goner and that the Mets cannot afford to keep him with a significant raise coming after the season.

Don’t believe a word they say about the team’s financial problems being behind them. Instead, you should learn to adjust to the fact that the Mets will maintain a payroll of around $85 million for the next 4-6 years until a good portion of debt is paid down. That’s the unfortunate very likely reality of the situation.

The official word on Murphy from Sandy is this:

“We’re not actively looking to trade Daniel Murphy by any means,” Alderson said. “That situation will resolve itself over time.”

Yes, it will resolve itself. Someone will pick him up and like Angel Pagan before him, Murphy will likely get a World Series ring out of the deal. Good for him.

As for what we’ll get out of the deal? More prospects I assume that can help us in a couple of years or so.

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Sandy Alderson Insists Nothing Is Close, “No, No, No” http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/sandy-alderson-insists-nothing-is-close-no-no-no.html/ http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/11/sandy-alderson-insists-nothing-is-close-no-no-no.html/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 18:57:50 +0000 http://metsmerizedonline.com/?p=132879 Mets Madoff Baseball

You can’t make this stuff up…

Sandy Alderson completely contradicted everything Jeff Wilpon said earlier today about “something cooking” and a move to come later after meeting with a player last night…

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Here’s a glimmer of hope for all you optimists out there, and it comes from your Mets COO, Jeff Wilpon.

David Lennon reports that Wilpon said the Mets were busy and they could have something working later this afternoon. Although he did say free agent prices in this market could be “scary”.

“We’re open for business,” Wilpon said. “I’d say there’s three, four, five different balls in the air. We’ll see which one lands first.”

In addition to meeting with clubs and agents, Wilpon said Alderson and his staff met with “a player” last night.

“There’s something cooking,” the Mets owner said.

Andy McCullough posted most of Jeff Wilpon’s statements to the press this afternoon. Here’s a few of them, but you can read the rest here.

With your payroll flexibility, do you feel the need to make a move to create buzz for the team to drive ticket sales?

“I mean, obviously, that would be good. But you also have to look at what’s best coming from the baseball department, saying that this is a good move, not just for this year, but for the long term. I don’t think anybody has told Sandy and the guys to go make a deal just to create a buzz.

“If that’s the outcome of it? That’s great. But the best outcome is that they make the right deals, and we have a better baseball team, and we win more games. That all sort of adds up.”

Do you feel to do something sooner rather later would be beneficial for the organization?

“It would be great to do it. But, you know, go talk to the agent that’s representing the player. Go talk to the other GM that’s representing the trade stuff. If it works out, great. It works out.

“We’re open for business. They’re trying to do something. OK? I’d say there’s three, four, five different balls in the air, and we’ll see which one lands first.”

Regarding 2014 budget and spending.

“Yeah, and Sandy’s philosophy is always to leave a little bit of something in his back pocket to go for something during the trade deadline. But then again, I leave something in our pocket as well to do something at the trade deadline, as needed.”

Hmm… I thought that last one was interesting because he makes it seem as though this team has spent money in mid-season when in fact they haven’t in nearly five years. So any money saved has been money in Fred and Jeff’s pockets…

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