Mets Merized Online » Twins Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:13:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Johan Santana Will Be Eligible for the Hall Next Year Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:00:26 +0000 johan santana no-hitter

The 2017 Hall of Fame class was one for the ages. Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, and Ivan Rodriguez will all be getting well-deserved plaques in Cooperstown after a star-studded MLB career.

As stacked as this year’s class was, the 2018 class may have even more stars than the last ballot– or any, for that matter. First-time nominees include Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Jim Thome, Scott Rolen and Johan Santana. Combine this with holdovers from this year’s ballot like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez and Curt Schilling and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a writer who doesn’t use up all ten of his votes. Except for maybe Murray Chass.

Chipper and Thome are bar-none first-ballot guys. They’ll get in. Andruw should definitely get in at some point too, as might Rolen. But of these five first-time nominees, the one that probably has the biggest uphill battle to climb is Santana. In his prime, Santana was more statistically dominant than any other pitcher in his era. But his prime was short-lived, as shoulder injuries ended his days as an ace after the 2010 season.

Despite this, Santana’s dominance during his prime was unquestionably a Hall of Fame talent. There was a five-year stretch where he was bar-none the best pitcher in baseball, and put up stats that few could even dream of putting up in the hitter-heavy 00s. According to Fangraphs, here’s how he stacked up with all starting pitchers with at least 1,000 innings in the 00s:

- Second in ERA (3.03). Pedro Martinez was first with a 3.01 ERA.
- Second-best WHIP (1.07). Again, Pedro is No. 1 by just a hair (1.04)
- 15th in wins with 118, despite not becoming a full-time starter until 2003.
- Fourth in strikeouts per nine innings (9.13).
- Sixth in FIP (3.37)
- 11th in fWAR (37.6). Again, Santana wasn’t a full-time starter until midway through 2003.
- Third-highest strikeout rate (25.2 percent)
- Second-best batting average against (.219)
- Second-best ERA- (69). Fangraphs considers anything below 70 to be “excellent.”

And from 2004-2008, he leads all pitchers with at least 700 innings in just about every major statistical category. In fact, his stats during that period are some of the most eye-popping you’ll ever see for a pitcher.

He went 86-39 with a 2.82 ERA and 64 ERA-, struck out 9.3 batters per nine innings and boasted a 4.56 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He led his league in ERA and strikeouts three times during that five-year span, and led in WHIP four times.

It’s hard to deny someone who was that dominant for a five-year stretch a plaque in Cooperstown.

johan santana

A comparable player currently in the Hall of Fame, although Santana wasn’t as dominant as this legend was, would be Sandy Koufax.

Koufax had a short career, but he had a five-year stretch where he was perhaps the most dominant in baseball history. His advanced stats from 1962-1966 are not dissimilar from Santana’s from 2004-2008:

- Strikeout Percentage: Koufax struck out 26.8 percent of the batters he faced. Santana struck out 26.1 percent.

- Strikeouts per Nine Innings: Koufax struck out 9.4 batters per nine innings. Santana struck out 9.3.

- ERA-: Koufax’s ERA- during that span was -60. Santana’s was -64.

- Left on Base Percentage: 81.3 percent of Koufax’s baserunners did not score. The same goes for 79.6 percent of Santana’s.

So the Koufax-Santana comparison is more valid than you might think. Can’t wait to see the hate I get in the comments section for saying that.

Had Santana stayed healthy and pitched well for another couple of years, he’d be a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. But that didn’t happen, and thus he will face an uphill battle to get into Cooperstown — and almost definitely won’t get in in 2018. But a few years down the road, hopefully he gets in, because he truly has HOF-worthy numbers.

Oh, and he brought the Mets a no-hitter. Not even Tom Seaver could do that.

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MMO Game Thread: Twins vs Mets, 7:10 PM Sat, 17 Sep 2016 16:59:57 +0000 seth lugo

Saturday, September 17, 2016 • 7:10 p.m.
Citi Field • Flushing, N.Y.
RHP Ervin Santana (7-10, 3.53) vs. RHP Seth Lugo (4-2, 2.40)
PIX11 • WOR 710 AM • ESPN 1050 AM

The Mets beat the Twins last night behind an amazing start from Bartolo Colon and back to back jacks by Reyes and Cabrera. Meanwhile, the two teams on the Mets radar for the Wild Card, the Giants and Cardinals, are playing each other. Tonight the Mets look to keep it going behind Seth Lugo.

Mets Lineup

  1. Jose Reyes – 3B
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera – SS
  3. Yoenis Cespedes – LF
  4. Curtis Granderson – CF
  5. Jay Bruce – RF
  6. T.J. Rivera – 2B
  7. James Loney – 1B
  8. Rene Rivera – C
  9. Seth Lugo – RHP

Twins Lineup

  1. Brian Dozier – 2B
  2. Joe Mauer – 1B
  3. Jorge Polanco – SS
  4. Max Kepler – RF
  5. Eduardo Escobar – 3B
  6. Eddie Rosario – LF
  7. Byron Buxton – CF
  8. Juan Centeno – C
  9. Ervin Santana – RHP

Seth Lugo is 4-2 over 14 games and 5 starts and 48.2 innings with a 2.40 ERA. In his last four starts he has tossed 25.0 innings with a 4-0 record and a 1.80 ERA. The Mets need another, now typical, Lugo start tonight as they look to capitalize on the Giants playing the Cardinals. As a rookie in the National League East, it is not surprising that he has not faced the Twins yet in his major league career or anyone on the Twins roster in a major league game.

The Mets bats will get a look at Ervin Santana who is 7-10 over 27 games and 163.1 innings with an ERA of 3.53. He’s had a mostly solid month of September allowing 6 ER over 16.0 innings with an ERA of 3.38. He faced the Mets 4 times in 2014 as a member of the Braves where he allowed 10 ER and 21 hits over 27.0 innings (3.33 ERA). The Mets have the following numbers against Santana:

  • Granderson 13-51, 2 2B, 5 HR
  • Cabrera 9-41, 2 2B, 2 3B, HR
  • Loney 7-18, 3 2B
  • K Johnson 1-13, HR
  • De Aza 4-16, 2B, HR
  • Cespedes 4-14, 3 HR
  • d’Arnaud 2-9, HR

Let’s Go Mets!

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Mets Offense Stifled in 1-0 Loss to Nats Wed, 14 Sep 2016 22:48:59 +0000 asdrubal cabrera

The New York Mets (77-69) lost to the Washington Nationals (87-57) by a score of 1-0 Wednesday in Washington. The Giants and Cardinals both lost today, so the Mets remain a half game behind the Giants for the first Wild Card spot, and a half game ahead of the Cardinals for the second.


Reyes started the game off by lining Tanner Roark‘s third pitch down the right field line for a base hit. Asdrubal Cabrera then continued his hot hitting with a hot shot up the middle to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Yoenis Cespedes got jammed and popped out to the first baseman before some sort of cross-up between Roark and the catcher Wilson Ramos led to a passed ball, moving the runners to second and third with one out and Curtis Granderson at the dish.

With Reyes getting a comically large lead from third with the infield shifted to the right, Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases. Jay Bruce then struck out on three pitches for the second out of the inning, bringing last night’s hero T.J. Rivera to the box. He hit one in the air down the right field line, on which Bryce Harper made a nice sliding grab on the line to end the inning.

The Mets were kept quiet all day. With the exception of some walks here and there, the only other hit before the 9th inning was a Jay Bruce single.

Mark Melancon came in for the save, his 5th time pitching in the last 6 days. Curtis Granderson greeted him and lined one down the first base line. It would have been an easy double, but Ryan Zimmerman was quite literally playing right on the line and picked it out of the air for the first out. Up came Jay Bruce who coming into today was 6-11 (.545) career against Melancon. He hit one just short of the warning track in center which was run down for the second out of the inning.

Up came T.J. Rivera, a rematch from last night. Melancon got ahead of him 0-2, just as he did last night, however this time he got Rivera to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

robert gsellman


Robert Gsellman was phenomenal today, pitching 5.2 scoreless innings allowing only 5 hits and one walk while striking out 4. He was removed from the game in the 6th inning after throwing 77 pitches.

Josh Smoker came in with a runner on second base to face Daniel Murphy, who he walked intentionally. Bryce Harper then came up with runners on first and second with two outs, and Smoker struck him out looking at a 96 mph fastball on the outside corner to end the inning.

Fernando Salas was tasked with the 7th inning and allowed only one hit. Unfortunately, that one hit was a solo home run off the bat of notorious Met-killer Wilson Ramos who gave the Nationals a late 1-0 lead. He stayed in and pitched a perfect 8th inning.


Verizon Trivia Question: Who had the game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 1924 World Series for the Washington Senators?

Daniel Murphy had at least one hit in every single game against the Mets this season.

Verizon Trivia Answer: Earl McNeely (12th inning)

On Deck:

The Mets head home, sending Bartolo Colon (13-7, 3.27 ERA) to the Citi Field mound to face off against Jose Berrios (2-6, 9.27 ERA) and the Twins at 7:10 PM.

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Michael Cuddyer Just Wants To Win Thu, 08 Oct 2015 12:30:55 +0000 michael Cuddyer

Despite losing his starting job during the middle of the year, Michael Cuddyer still has a positive outlook on the season. He says that winning is the most important factor of all, and he does not regret his decision to come to New York.

During the offseason, Cuddyer rejected a one year $15 million dollar qualifying offer from the Rockies in order to sign a 2 year $ 21 million dollar deal with the Mets.

“I know people roll their eyes when they hear this sometimes,” he says. “But winning is more important than money. And when I saw where this team was headed, seeing what was in the forecast, it reminded me of where we were in 2001 with Minnesota: a team building, not quite there yet, that was ready to move.” (Mike Vaccaro, NY Post)

“When it comes to winning, I think all of us feels the same way,” says Cuddyer, who is likely to see a good chunk of time against the Dodgers and their preponderance of lefty starters. “I don’t care how it happens or what has to happen for that to happen. We just want to win.”

Cuddyer battled through a knee injury for most of the summer, and was eventually placed on the DL in late July. While he returned to the lineup on August 11th, he only received limited playing time the rest of the way due to the acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes and the Mets’ improved outfield.

“Playing time is great,” he says. “I want to go out there and help the team as much as anything, but the root of it all is winning. And let me tell you: I went from winning six division titles in nine years with the Twins to playing four years in a row where I never lost less than 93. You get used to winning. And learn to appreciate it an awful lot when it stops happening.

It’s easy to see why the Mets thought so highly of Cuddyer during the offseason. He’s a professional and a great veteran to have on the field and in the clubhouse.

Unfortunately, Cuddyer’s production declined rapidly in 2015 and he has not played at a high level like the Mets hoped. In 117 games, he batted only .259 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI. His .699 OPS ties his career worst mark that was set in 2008.

Hopefully, Cuddyer will be able to come through in the clutch in the postseason and make the most of whatever opportunities he’s given.


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Twins Would Swap SS Eduardo Escobar For Gee, Mets Not Interested Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:41:50 +0000 Eduardo Escobar

According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Twins have interest in Dillon Gee or Bartolo Colon, but the Mets don’t like shortstop Eduardo Escobar who they were looking to swap. Sherman says the Twins will move on and a trade is now unlikely.

Escobar batted .275 with 35 doubles, six home runs and 52 runs scored last season for the Twins in 465 plate appearances. He struck out 93 times and drew only 24 walks while posting a .315 on-base and a 102 OPS+.

A switch-hitter, Escobar posted a .654 OPS as a left-handed hitter and a .877 OPS as a right-handed hitter. The 25 year old infielder is a solid defender at shortstop and can also play second and third base though not very well.


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Hot Stove Report: Braves Sign Markakis, Hunter Returns To Minnesota Wed, 03 Dec 2014 23:41:44 +0000 torii hunter

Free agent outfielder Torii Hunter signed a one year contract with the Twins worth $10.5 million dollars. Hunter was a star centerfielder in Minnesota for almost a decade before leaving as a free agent back in 2007. He crushed 192 career home runs with the Twins, while also playing gold glove caliber defense. He spent the last two seasons with the Tigers, and he was a key component to their lineup with a .283 average and 17 home runs.

Some believed that Hunter would be targeted by the Mets this offseason prior to the Cuddyer signing, but the Mets never showed interest.


Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that talks between the Braves and  Nick Markakis, are intensifying. The terms of the contract could reach up to $45 million over four years. Markakis batted .276 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in 155 games with the Orioles this year, and owns a career .290 average and .793 OPS.

Update: It’s official. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports is now reporting that Markakis has signed with the Braves. It is a four year, $44 million dollar deal according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

The  Braves also announced earlier today that they have signed former Orioles closer, Jim Johnson. Johnson led the MLB in saves in back to back seasons in 2012 and 2013, but he struggled mightily with Oakland this past season. He had a 7.14 ERA with the A’s before getting released mid-season. According to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation, Johnson’s base salary will be $1.6 million dollars. 

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Don’t Sell Michael Cuddyer’s Impact Short Thu, 13 Nov 2014 22:30:17 +0000 Michael-Cuddyer-Colorado-Rockies

Before we go any further let’s be clear, I like the Michael Cuddyer signing. Some of you may raise an eyebrow because I recently wrote a piece about the correlation between spending, value and performance, however, we need to consider this particular signing in the context of the 2015 Mets.

I’ve been following Cuddyer since he came up with the Twins. He’s always been one of these more than the sum of his parts type guys. He struck me initially as being very well coached and his approach at the plate was refined. He was another in a long line of young productive players churned out by an outstanding Twins player development program.

He was sort of a third baseman back then but he ended up splitting his time all over the place — 3B, 2B, 1B, OF and DH. Over the course of his career, he has spent the most time in the outfield where he sports a .986 fielding percentage. He also has a -15.6 defensive WAR, not the greatest. He seems to get decent jumps and he can handle what he gets to but his range is an issue. Over the past five seasons Cuddyer is next to last in UZR for right fielders.

You also have to factor in the value of the number 15 pick in next year’s draft which is probably somewhere between 10 and 15 million. That pushes the real cost of the Cuddyer contract north of $30 million (a conservative estimate). Cuddy will be 36 before opening day and he only played 49 games last year … there’s that as well. Wait, did I say I liked the Cuddyer signing? I did didn’t I … hmm.

The thing about Cuddyer is he always seems to be in the middle of things offensively.  He has a lifetime .813 OPS, a .347 OBP and a 114 OPS+.

He also has six seasons of 235 or more total bases and five years of 80 or more RBI. Those are some pretty decent figures folks, so there is definitely an argument for this guy … but wait, there’s more.

Since signing Cuddyer, there’s been a lot of talk about park factors and home/away splits, well, consider that from 2005 to 2011, Cuddyer batted .292 at home (at the Metrodome mind you, which most consider a pitcher’s park in it’s later years) and .250 on the road before he arrived to Coors. He has always performed much better at home, and lets face it, couldn’t the Mets use someone like that?

Not counting 2014, Cuddyer averaged 32 doubles a season from 2009 to 2013 — that’s five straight seasons of 30+ doubles (three of them in Minnesota). Since the beginning of 2013 he also has a wRC+ of 142.  He’s got 1,366 hits over his last 10 seasons, and 732 hits over that same recent five year stretch.

He’s getting better as he gets older. You may scoff and point out he spent two thirds of his season on the DL last year, but lets look at the one third he did play. In 49 games he had 63 hits, 32 runs, 15 doubles, 10 home runs, a .579 SLG, and a .955 OPS. Extrapolated over a whole season those are MVP numbers. He’s the kind of player that can carry a team. During one game last September, he had a three hit, one homer, two double, seven RBI game.

If you ask me, there is no argument … Cuddyer is in the midst of a phenomenal six year stretch and over the past year and a half he has been putting up MVP numbers. It reminds me a little of Chipper Jones the way he seemed to get better and better as he got older, eventually wearing down from injuries that in no way seemed to impact his hyper-refined ability to hit. When he played, he was incredibly dangerous.

Most would say we overpaid for Cuddy, especially if you look at his career stats and tack on any kind of dollar value to the draft pick … but when you look at his last six seasons it’s not quite the overpay you’d think. Cuddyer right now (and by right now I mean as recently as last September) is playing at an extremely high level. He’s one of these guys whose intellect and experience appear to be enhancing his approach and making him remarkably productive in spite of his age

If, and it is a HUGE, tremendous, gargantuan if, he can stay on the field. Is it worth the risk? No doubt about it. We have a shot in 2015 if we can muster even a minimal uptick in offense … If Cuddyer can keep himself relatively healthy he will almost single-handedly give us that.

Oh, one other thing, Cuddy has a .338 batting average over the course of six series in the playoffs, including a .348 batting average in the ALCS.


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4th of July Game Thread: Rangers vs Mets, 7:10 PM Fri, 04 Jul 2014 21:26:53 +0000 citi field fireworks

Happy Independence Day! The Mets begin the homestand with a three game series against the Texas Rangers. Jon Niese (5-4, 2.88) will oppose Yu Darvish (8-4, 2.42) in the Fourth of July series opener at 7:10 PM.

Niese earned a win in the Mets’ 5-3 victory over the Pirates on June 28 at PNC Park in his last start. He tossed 6.0 innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs, striking out five with three walks. Niese has gone 20 consecutive starts allowing three earned runs or less, the longest current streak in the majors.

Jeremy Hefner threw 20 batting-practice pitches Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. It’s the first time he faced batters since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Aug. 28. Hefner aims to return to the majors this season.

Third baseman David Wright was expected to return to the lineup, after missing six games with the bruised shoulder, but Eric Campbell is playing third base tonight. No word yet, but beat writers think he could be going to the DL. Wright has not attempted any baseball activities since injuring his shoulder on June 26. Instead, he’s been undergoing daily physical therapy at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Starting Lineup

  1. Eric Young, Jr. – LF
  2. Curtis Granderson – CF
  3. Daniel Murphy – 2B
  4. Bobby Abreu – RF
  5. Lucas Duda – 1B
  6. Eric Campbell – 3B
  7. Travis d’Arnaud – C
  8. Ruben Tejada – SS
  9. Jon Niese – LHP

The Mets look to move past their disappointing road trip by starting a series with ailing, and I mean ailing, Texas Rangers. The injury bug for the Rangers has been so bad it makes the 2009 Mets look like a joke. Anyway Jon Niese takes the mound tonight. He is 5-4 on the year over 16 games and 103.0 innings with a 2.88 ERA. In his last three starts he has pitched 6.0 innings and allowed 3 ER in each of them striking 3 then 4 then 5 batters (while walking 1 then 2 then 3 batters, numbers are strange). He has made one career start against the Rangers allowing 2 ER over 5.2 innings. The Rangers have the following numbers against the Mets:

  • Choo 2-7
  • Beltre 1-3, HR
  • Murphy 0-2
  • Pena 0-3
  • Baker 0-2

The Mets get a look at ace Yu Darvish tonight who is 8-4 over 15 starts and 104.1 innings this year with a 2.42 ERA. After two “poor” starts (By Yu’s standards) allowing 4 ER over 5 and 4 ER over 6, he came back in his latest start shutting out Twins over 8.0 innings. He has never faced the Mets before but Granderson, Recker and Chris Young are each 0-3 against Darvish in his career.

Lets Go Mets!

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Alderson Says Mets Unlikely To Sign Stephen Drew Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:13:27 +0000 Anthony DiComo is reporting that stephen drewin a telephone interview Tuesday evening, general manager Sandy Alderson reiterated that his team is “unlikely” to sign Stephen Drew, despite the shortstop’s perceived lack of suitors on the free-agent market.

“We haven’t ruled it out, but I think doing anything is unlikely,” Alderson said.

“I think that Stephen will always have other opportunities. We continue to monitor his situation. We’re looking at other free agents that are still available and trying to judge their status, and how they might fit with us. I know there’s been a lot of speculation about Drew and the Mets, but at this point, that’s what it remains — speculation.”

Original; Post 1/28

Andy Martino reports that the Yankees could use an infielder like Stephen Drew, but are highly unlikely to bid for him, according to major league officials who have been in contact with Yankee brass.

Team officials refused to comment one way or another about Drew, but league sources familiar with the Yanks’ plans have picked up a strong sense that the club won’t pursue the free agent and it appears that, despite holes in the infield and bullpen, the Yanks really have completed most of their winter work.

Drew remains a possibility for the Mets, but the team has shown little urgency there, preferring to sign the 30-year-old to a one-year deal, writes Martino. The Red Sox have some interest in a reunion, but would also limit the length of any deal to a year or two. Oakland and Minnesota have surfaced as other possibilities writes Martino.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports appeared on MLB Network last night, and Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors caught this update on Drew:

The Blue Jays are “in the mix” for shortstop Stephen Drew, presumably viewing him as a second base option.

Nevertheless, the Red Sox remain the favorites to land him, as they prefer to play Xander Bogaerts at third and appear willing to give Drew multiple years. Boston could dangle an opt-out clause of some kind to sweeten things for Drew.

It looks like this may be drawing to a close….

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Johan Santana: Any Chance He’ll Return To Mets Is Now Over Mon, 27 Jan 2014 21:59:15 +0000 johan santana no-hitter

The future of Johan Santana returning with the Mets was a question many people had after the 2013 season ended. Two weeks ago, there was still a better-than-none chance of Santana signing a minor league deal with the Mets. However, this past week put a huge dent in the chances of Johan re-signing with the team he spent the past six years with.

A week ago, the Mets signed 29-year old LHP John Lannan to a minor league contract, with an invite to spring training. On Friday of last week, The Mets re-signed 33-year old RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka; also to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. Lannan and Matsuzaka are both expected to be competing for the final spot in the starting rotation, along with RHP Jenrry Mejia.

The signings of Lannan and Matsuzaka have most likely eliminated any chance of Johan coming back to Flushing.

There are multiple teams interested in signing the two-time Cy-Young Award winner, including the Twins; his former team. Santana is looked at by many people as “finished”. His tenure with the Mets was an inured filled one, having missed two out of the six years with the team. He underwent surgery on his left shoulder twice, which is a big factor to teams interested in him now. There isn’t even a guarantee that he can still pitch, and doing so in the majors is another question.

Even if the Mets signed Santana, he might not even be healthy enough to compete for the last spot in the starting rotation. He has assuredly thrown the last ever pitch of his Mets career, so let’s look back some highlights.

Johan Santana may be remembered by some Mets fans as the oft-injured southpaw who didn’t live up to the full value of his contract. But in fact, Santana will always be remembered for something else, one particular game on June 1st, 2012. That was when Santana pitched the 1st no-hitter in franchise history in the Mets’ 51st season. The score was 8-0, against the Cardinals; who had the best offense in the league at the time.

What was so agonizing before Santana pitched the no-hitter, was that the Mets have had some of the greatest pitchers in the history of the game log time with the team. As SNY Mets in-game announcer Gary Cohen said after the no-hitter, “This has been a franchise known for its pitching… From Seaver, to Koosman, and Darling to Cone. But it has taken to this day, June the 1st, twenty-twelve, for the Mets, to have a pitcher throw a no-hitter.” These words from Gary will be remembered by Mets fans for years to come.

Another factor that made the no-hitter special was that Santana had just undergone shoulder surgery only a year prior.

Many would say that the no-hitter caused Santana’s career to fall apart, and the stats back it up. Before his date with destiny, Santana had an ERA close to 2.75. After the no-no, Santana’s ERA was around 12. That is around a difference of 9 points, which would be unexplainable if he hadn’t pitched a career high 134 pitches during the no-hitter; Terry Collins set the bar at around 105 before the game.

All In all Johan Santana has had one-heck-of a career. Whether he signs with a team, or calls it quits, Johan Santana will be remembered as a legend by Mets fans.


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Talkin’ Mets With Patrick Reusse: Ron and Ike Davis, Tom and Matt Seaver? Fri, 24 Jan 2014 15:57:32 +0000 Sometimes things happen, sometimes they happen in such a way you figure you’ll make sense of them later. Sometimes you become a part of a story you just can’t wait to share, waiting for just the right moment. Sometimes you find yourself relegated the status of a drooling dweeb, which is more or less how I felt during my conversation with Patrick Reusse — a local sports-media legend in the Twin Cities who has his own talk show on one of the local TV channels. Somehow, probably because of his outgoing and disarming manner, he was appointed ambassador to my awkward presence (itself a novelty) in the pressbox before a Mets Twins game. I felt like I’d won a behind the scenes tour to the circus with Reusse as the chatty ringmaster.

I couldn’t get into the pre-game “presser” so I was the first Mets person present in the second (visiting) row. Naturally I was grilled about, of course, Matt Harvey … is he for real? Can he pitch or is he just velocity? How is he compared like to a Verlander?

Then, I made the mistake of bringing up how Harvey actually reminded me a little of Tom Seaver without the big leg push, boy did I step in it. As Gil Hodges is my witness there showered a maelstrom of profanity that raised no one’s eyebrows but mine (they’d all heard this rant before apparently) … It was hilarious. Of course Reusse brought up Seaver’s recalcitrance to which my reply was “who cares, he was so great on the field.” A fact that Reusse acknowledged reluctantly, adding that Seaver’s abrasive personality more than likely helped him dominate on the mound … and I thought, yeah, “duh,” (didn’t say that of course).

Anyway, his next question involved how we “Mets fans” liked “our new first baseman?” I thought, what an odd question. There were several other more interesting stories at the time. including Shaun Marcum insisting on John Buck as his personal catcher, but Reusse apparently had a particular interest in Ike. I said “Davis somehow forgot how to go the other way,” but my answer was brushed aside. Patrick was amused, yes folks he was genuinely interested in Ike because he knew his dad.

ron davisRon Davis is of course an ex-major leaguer who had a couple of outstanding seasons as a middle reliever with the Yankees, including an excellent 2.95 era season in 1980.

Same guy who got traded to the Twins where he was asked to close games, which apparently didn’t end well.

Davis torpedoed two consecutive pennant races with a withering assortment of gruesome meltdowns … And after these cataclysmic unravellings?

Davis, the very next day, would jog onto the field singing “Jimmy Cracked Corn” … every … single … time. A fact confirmed by a smattering of nods in the press arena. “Thing is” continued Reusse, “By the time Davis was shipped to the Cubs, the fans and the team were fed up with him. There’s even a story about how after he was traded Kirby Pucket performed a raucous rendition of Jimmy Cracked Corn on the plane ride.” Ouch.

So, naturally the busybody local press would wonder about Ron’s kid. Now Davis Sr. wasn’t all bad as a player. He racked up a bunch of saves with the Twins and would have been regarded differently were it not for his tendency to cough it up in huge spots, still, he was quite the character.

His son? I didn’t know what to say, “What do we think of our new first baseman?” What kind of question is that? He was hitting .165 for crying out loud! I said his power was legit, but Reusse countered by reminding me that the minors are littered with guys like Ike who can’t hit a breaking pitch. Tough to argue with, especially since Ike seemed to be compelled to swing at every kind of curve ball in the dirt ever invented. I felt schooled, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The lesson was that the Ike situation was one to keep an eye on.

Recalcitrance can be a good thing or a bad thing. Seaver’s stubbornness may have very well been a vestige of his assertiveness on the mound, it was probably a good thing. Ike on the other hand doesn’t have much to show beyond his 32 homer 2012 season. “It’s hard to believe anyone could hit 32 homers in the majors and not be pretty darned good.” I said …

But the Jury is still out on Ike.  There’ve been stories about a tirade that didn’t stay in Vegas after he didn’t get a call-up, whispers about questionable “coachability,” petty rumors about keeping poor hours, and more recently he was the endless subject of trade rumors. In the end Ike’s success with the Mets will largely be contingent on his ability to rediscover a way to punch that outside breaking ball the other way.

I eventually kind of ran out of stuff to say and just started nodding as if I was still part of a conversation that was no longer there … Reusse no doubt got tired of my amateurisms and became engrossed in what appeared to be 4 or 5 conversations at once — a palpable chorus of bubbling commentary under the hum of computer clicks and keyboards. Trying to eavesdrop was all but impossible, and It didn’t help one bit that Jay Horwitz seemed to have an uncanny knack for hitting me with a scoring question every time I missed a play.

So there you have it, that was my Ike Davis conversation with Patrick Reuse. Relevant today not because Ron Davis recently accused the Mets of botching his son’s development (never mind Ike’s incessant proclivity to try and pull everything over the right field wall), but because first base for the N.Y. Mets is, somehow, a year later, still unresolved.

Presented By Diehards

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Padres and Twins Like Free Agent Justin Turner Thu, 26 Dec 2013 15:59:38 +0000 justin turner

A San Diego Padres team source told me that Justin Turner is a player they like. “He’s the kind of player that could elevate our bench and we like his makeup.”

it was leaked, after the Mets non-tendered Turner in early December, that the front office decided to let him go because of his apparent lack of hustle.

One other team who has expressed interest in the former Met, is the Minnesota Twins.

Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reported that the Twins have checked in on the free agent utility infielder. Also, Bill Baer of NBC Sports wrote that while the Twins’ starting infield is more or less set, “Turner would make a lot of sense for them as a depth addition.”

“Since becoming a regular contributor to the Mets in 2011, Turner has hit at about the league average, contributing his penchant for hitting doubles and an ability to play multiple positions,” writes Baer.

Over his career, he has spent 816.1 defensive innings at second base, 498.2 defensive innings at third base, 188.2 defensive innings at shortstop, and 158.2 defensive innings at first base.

Presented By Diehards

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This Day In Mets Infamy With Rusty: Random Thoughts On Bartolo Colon Thu, 12 Dec 2013 17:04:21 +0000 bartolo colon

Last night as I was getting comfortable on my couch, I was scanning the twitterverse and lo and behold what breaking news did I see but the unofficial announcement that the Mets had signed veteran starting pitcher, Bartolo Colon to a 2-year/$20 million dollar contract pending a physical. Obviously this set Mets Twitter on the verge of nuclear meltdown, the likes that no one has seen since Jason Bay agreed to that fateful 3-year/$66 million dollar contract.

Then I got to thinking: What does this mean to the average Mets fan and how does this affect the Mets over the course of the next 2 years? So here are some random thoughts on the signing of Bartolo – or as the newly signed outfielder, Chris Young refers to him as – ToeLo.

Bartolo’s uniform number should be the same as his waist size (50).

Part of Colon’s contract is that he gets his own show on SNY called Bartolo vs Food.

I wonder who would win in a Sumo wrestling match in a ring filled with Jell-O, him or Mo Vaughn ?

With Bartolo on the mound there is no need for infielders – because he is the infield.

Bartolo makes me look svelte.

He gets his own personal “Shake Shack!”

I bet he doesn’t find salmon tasty.

And lastly, and in all seriousness, this is a good signing that hopefully will help the Mets compete in 2014.

And with that said…. HERE COMES THE INFAMY !!!!!

Sadly on this date in 1992, Rube Walker – the Mets pitching coach/guru from ’68-’81 – passed away.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Jim Gosger and utility infielder, Bob Heise to the San Francisco Giants for middle reliever, Ray Sadecki and reserve outfielder, Dave Marshall on December 12, 1969.

In what can and should be considered one of the worst trades in Mets history, the New York Mets traded outfielder, Rusty Staub and minor league pitcher, Bill Laxton to the Detroit Tigers for starting pitcher,  Mickey Lolich and reserve outfielder,  Billy Baldwin on December 12, 1975.

Lolich was supposed to help strengthen the Mets pitching rotation but finished his lone season with a record of 8-13. He retired after the season ended so that he could open a doughnut shop, but then he unretired in ’78 to pitch for the San Diego Padres !!!

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder, Gene Clines to the Texas Rangers for outfielder, Joe Lovitto on December 12, 1975.

Lovitto ended up being released by the Mets during spring training.

The New York Mets traded middle reliever,  Roy Lee Jackson to the Toronto Blue Jays for utility infielder,  Bob Bailor on December 12, 1980.

The New York Mets signed free agent back up catcher,  Orlando Mercado of the Minnesota Twins on December 12, 1989.

The New York Mets traded reserve outfielder,  Alex Ochoa to the Minnesota Twins for reserve outfielder, Rich Becker on December 12, 1997.

The New York Mets signed free agent José Valentin of the Los Angeles Dodgers on December 12, 2005. This was one of then General Manager ,Omar Minaya’s best under the radar signings

The New York Mets traded middle reliever,  Scott Schoeneweis to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league pitcher, Connor Robertson on December 12, 2008. After the way Scho pitched that last game of the season everybody knew he wouldn’t ever return to the Mets.

The New York Mets granted  reliever and alleged murderer, Ambiorix Burgos granted free agency on December 12, 2008.

The New York Mets claimed starting pitcher, Jeremy Hefner on waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on December 12, 2011.

Hefner pitched admirably if not uneven the last two seasons for the Mets in a limited role. Lets hope his surgically repaired pitching arm is ready for the ’15 season .

Mo Vaughn is looking forward to chewing the fat with Bartolo Colon!!!

If you want to hear the rebroadcast of last night’s “Shouts From Shea” podcast featuring myself as well as Steven Keane from “The Kranepool Society” please click here. Our guests include Joe D of this fine blog as well as Danny Abriano from the “Rising Apple” blog.


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Hot Stove: Mets Are Not In On Bronson Arroyo Tue, 10 Dec 2013 23:30:26 +0000 REDS

Mets Are Not In On Arroyo, Twins Closing In

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

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

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

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

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

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Boston Red Sox

Brett Anderson to the Rockies

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

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

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels

D’Backs Get Trumbo, Angels Get Steal

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

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

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

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

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

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

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Mets Won’t Go More Than Two Years On Drew

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

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

corey hart

Brewers Say They Gotta have Hart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Mariners Seal The Deal With 10-Year, $240 Million For Cano Fri, 06 Dec 2013 16:41:28 +0000 Orioles at Yankees

Enrique Rojas of ESPN is reporting that Cano and Mariners agreed to a 10 year deal worth $240 million dollars. That is an ungodly amount of money.

Earlier this morning, it was reported that talks had broken down after Seattle made an offer of nine years and $225 million, according to Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden of the Daily News. Reportedly, Cano’s agent Jay-Z was pushing for a deal closer to $252 million, but the M’s didn’t budge – and rightfully so.

And with that, Cano’s career with the Yankees comes to an abrupt end – at least for now. I can envision the Mariners eating 25% of the contract in a year or two and giving him away to the Bombers. Admit it… You can see that happening too…

By the way… I heard early this morning on WFAN, that if the Yankees get shutout on Cano, they would go hard after Brandon Phillips in a trade with the Reds, according to Mark Malusis.

Photo credit: Paul J. Bereswill


The Miami Marlins have agreed on a one-year deal with free agent Rafael Furcal reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports,

The Mets were considering the veteran shortstop according to many reports but were wary of his health. Furcal, 36, last played 121 games with St. Louis in 2012, but missed the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery. He’s a lifetime .281 hitter in 13 major league seasons.


MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals

12/5 – Reliever Edward Mujica and the Boston Red Sox have agreed on a two-year, $9.5 million deal, sources told Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. The deal is pending a physical, which Mujica is taking Thursday.

Mujica spent almost all of last season as closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, writes Passan, before losing his job to Trevor Rosenthal in September. The 29-year-old right-hander saved 37 games with a 2.78 ERA for the Cardinals.


12/5 – The Milwaukee Brewers announced that they have traded outfielder Norichika Aoki to Kansas City Royals in return for LHP Will Smith.

The Mets were rumored to have had discussions with the Brewers for Aoki in exchange for Ike Davis, but those talks never went anywhere and it all went out the window anyway once the Mets settled on signing Chris Young instead.

Aoki, 32, batted .286/.356/.370 with eight homers and 20 stolen bases last season.

Jon Heyman says that the Royals like Aoki as a leadoff option and believe he can play center field for them. Also, they are not done dealing and are still very much interested in Carlos Beltran.

MLB: ALDS-Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox

12/4 – Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that the  Mariners, Dodgers, Angels, Pirates, Rangers, Diamondbacks and Blue Jays are among the teams with serious interest in dealing for David Price. He believes that Seattle is in the strongest position to acquire Price, given their impressive core of young and presumably tradeable talent.

The former AL Cy Young winner and three-time All-Star is still just 28 years of age, and he’s not eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season. He’s coming off a 2013 season in which he pitched to a 3.33 ERA (114 ERA+) and a 1.10 WHIP in 186.2 innings.


12/3 – The Rockies have agreed on a two-year deal worth $13 million with Justin Morneau, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Morneau, a former MVP, batted .259/.323/.411 this season with 36 doubles, 17 homers and 77 RBI while playing for for the Pirates and Twins. He’s no longer the slugger he once was, but the 32-year old should give the Rockies some adequate offense at first base in place of Todd Helton.

And with that, the Mets lose a trading partner for Ike Davis.

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

Nats Get Doug Fister From Tigers

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

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

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

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

scott kazmir

Beane Signs Former Mets Top Prospect

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

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

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

*Aug 08 - 00:05*

Twins Sign Hughes To Three-Year Deal

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

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


Cano and Yankees Still $100 Million Apart

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

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

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

Hanley Dodging Free Agency?

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

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

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


O’s To Deal Johnson?

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

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

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


Way To Go Joe

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

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


Oh Ricky You’re So Fine

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

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

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

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

justin morneau

Morneau To The Rockies?

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

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


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Mets Non-Tender Turner, Valdespin, Hefner, Quintanilla, Atchison Tue, 03 Dec 2013 01:54:08 +0000 jordany valdespin

The Mets announced they have non-tendered Omar Quintanilla, Jordany Valdespin, Justin Turner, Jeremy Hefner, and Scott Atchison.

Interesting purge by the Mets on non-tender day…

The 40 man roster is now at 35 players.

Original Post

Today is the non-tender deadline and all teams have until 11:59 tonight to decide which arbitration eligible players they will or will not offer contracts to.

For the Mets, they have ten decisions to make, but the way I see it only two players are on the bubble; Scott Atchison and Omar Quintanilla. I suspect both will be non-tendered though Quintanilla could survive the ax given how the shortstop search has completely backfired on the Mets and caught them off-guard.

Daniel Murphy stands to be the biggest winner nearly doubling his 2013 salary to $5.8 million dollars according to MLBTR.

Arbitration 1

Dillon Gee - $527,375 (2013) $3.4 million

Ruben Tejada - $514,701 (2013), $1.0 million

Justin Turner - $504,547 (2013), $800,000

Eric Young Jr. – $492,000 (2013), $1.9 million

Lucas Duda - $504,000 (2013), $1.8 million

Arbitration 2

Ike Davis - $3.125M (2013), $3.5 million

Daniel Murphy - $2.925M (2013), $5.8 million

Bobby Parnell - $1.7M (2013), $3.2 million

Omar Quintanilla - $527,375 (2013), $900,000

Arbitration 3

Scott Atchison - $700,000 (2013), $1.3 million

The Mets have a long history of avoiding arbitration hearings with players, so I’m sure they’ll spend the next few weeks negotiating and reaching agreements with the players they’ll keep.

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Update: Mets Never Had Plans To Meet With Arroyo In Tampa Mon, 02 Dec 2013 14:46:37 +0000 Adam Rubin now reports that the Mets are not super high on Arroyo, and a meeting may never take place, according to a team official.

On Saturday, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told MMO that Arroyo would be willing to meet with the Mets, but that “no such date or plans for a meeting had ever been set with the Mets” despite earlier reports to the contrary.

“There’s no truth to it.”

After I reported that, the nest day, both Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe and David Lennon of Newsday, confirmed what I posted and debunked this fictional meet-up that was to happen this week in Tampa.

Arroyo, 37, is looking for a three-year deal, but could accept a two-year deal with a vesting option according to Rubin.

There’s no chance he accepts a two year deal in my opinion. No way. No how. Why should he?

The Minnesota Twins are reportedly very interested in the veteran righthander who has expressed a desire to play on the East Coast.

I’ll continue to update this post as more details become available.

Original Post 

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, reports that the “Mets are in” on signing free agent starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo. However, no mainstream reporters like Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal or Joel Sherman have confirmed the report. The Mets have not confirmed the report directly or anonymously through a team source.

Mike Francesa of WFAN had Arroyo on as a guest and the righthander said he has not been contacted by the Mets even though he would like to stay on the East Coast and play in New York. Arroyo also said that a couple of teams told him, “if any team makes you an offer, don’t say yes until you speak to us and give us a chance to top it.”

Nine days ago, Arroyo also told ESPN’s Buster Olney that the only teams that have contacted him and his agent were the Phillies, Dodgers, Angels, Twins and Orioles. The Twins are reportedly still the favorites according to Olney and several other reports.

Arroyo posted a 3.79 ERA and 124/34 K/BB ratio over 32 starts with the Reds this past season and has pitched 200 innings or more for nine straight years.

(Updated 11/30)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mets were reportedly interested in Arroyo.

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Phillies, Giants, Twins Have Contacted Bronson Arroyo Sun, 10 Nov 2013 19:25:39 +0000 REDS

Bronson Arroyo reports that the Giants, Phillies, and Twins have contacted his agents, but that no offers have been made.

On Friday we reported that the Minnesota Twins are very interested in signing the free agent righthander and that they have already called and spoken with him according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, but had yet to make a formal offer.

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

The Twins have made it known they are going to be relentless when it comes to acquiring two starting pitchers, according to Nick Cafardo.

Last week, Dan Martin of the New York Post spoke to Arroyo’s agent, who told him that the he would consider signing with the Mets. ”Bronson is an East Coast guy and would definitely consider the Mets,” Terry Bross, said. “But we’re going to take our time with this.”

The San Francisco Giants are also considering Arroyo according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. Like the Mets, the Giants are looking for an innings-eater who they can sign to a one or two year deal. jon heyman reported that the Yankees are also in play for him.

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

The Reds did not make a qualifying offer to Arroyo, who recently completed a three-year, $35 million contract and has a career earned run average of 4.19. He has averaged $12 million in salary over his past five seasons and is coming off a 14-12 season with a 3.79 ERA.

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors believes that Arroyo will get a deal for two years and $24 million, and that the Mets, Twins, Giants, and several other teams will have interest in him as they look to solidify the backend of their rotation.

If Sandy Alderson fails to sign Arroyo, Mike Puma of the New York Post spoke to multiple talent evaluators from outside the organization who believe veteran southpaw Joe Saunders could be a another possibility for the Mets.

The 32-year-old Saunders went 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA for the Mariners in 2013, but has averaged 193 innings over the past four seasons.

Let’s hope those talent evaluators are wrong. :-)

(Updated 11/10)

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Is It Time For A Mike Pelfrey Encore? Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:36:05 +0000 Washington Nationals v New York MetsCould the New York Mets’ desperate need for starting pitching lead them back to Mike Pelfrey?

Seriously. Should GM Sandy Alderson decided there’s not much in the free-agent market, and with the Twins moving faster than the Mets regarding Bronson Arroyo, there are probably worse ideas than re-signing Pelfrey.

Pelfrey, released by the Twins, made $4 million last year, so whatever the price it isn’t outlandish for a fifth starter. Pelfrey might also fit in the bullpen, where the Mets contemplated using him in 2007.

The numbers said Pelfrey had a miserable 2013 season, going 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA and 1.552 WHIP. On the plus side, the elbow injury that sidelined him for all but three starts in 2012 appears to be fine as he did make 29 starts and worked 152.2 innings, would is an acceptable workload for a No. 5 starter.There can be numerous reasons for his poor record, including: 1) getting acclimated to a new league, 2) pitching against the designated hitter, 3) pitching in a park with friendlier dimensions than Citi Field, 4) rebounding from the injury, 5) being away from Dan Warthen, a pitching coach he trusts and one who appeared to straighten him out prior to the injury.

There’s also the potential that at age 29 he’s already washed up and is just bad. You have to consider all the possibilities.

Even so, the market doesn’t appear to be hot for Pelfrey, but at 29 he’s young enough to where he can turn it around.

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