Mets Merized Online » Winter Meetings Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:29:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Talkin’ Mets: Our 90 Minute Holiday Call-In Show Starts At 7:00 PM Sun, 18 Dec 2016 21:53:31 +0000 santa-syndergaard

The response to my Winter Meetings call-in show was tremendous so we decided to wrap up 2016 with another live show.

On Sunday December 18th, I will be taking your calls from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Ninety-minutes of Mets Baseball to keep you warm through the holidays.

I will open the lines at 7:15 pm after a brief monologue. Hear my state of the union on the Mets offseason, thoughts on Bud Selig’s election into the Hall of Fame, and my Mets “Man of the Year.”

In the past, I have elected a New York Baseball “Man of the Year” in the same spirit as Time Magazine. This is not the MVP, but rather the individual that made the most news – good or bad – in 2016. There are a lot of candidates to choose from. Don’t just think of the obvious as this award is more about “news” and “impact” than just pure numbers.

Let me hear who your Mets “Man of the Year” is. What would you like to see Sandy Alderson give you under your Mets X-Mas tree? Give me whatever is on your mind pertaining to the New York Mets.

Finally, to keep us all warm during this snowy weekend show, I will play some of the highlights from 2016.

The call-in number is:





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What’s Next For The New York Mets? Fri, 09 Dec 2016 13:09:49 +0000 sandy alderson

At least as far as Sandy Alderson and the New York Mets are concerned, the Winter Meetings ended without so much as a whimper. Yes, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. But fret not my friends,  because unlike the Colorado Rockies, the Washington Nationals, the New York Yankees, and a few other teams, our Metropolitans didn’t make any god awful trades or horrific signings. Alas, no nightmares before Christmas for the Boys in Orange and Blue.

So “what happens next,” seems to be the question on everyone’s mind as we head into what’s shaping up to be a cold and blustery weekend. Look, we all know what the team’s offseason goals are, in fact I’m a little surprised at how transparent the usual stealthy Mets GM has been this month. But I guess they need him to provide some relevancy during his nightly appearances on SNY… I mean would anyone watch Mets Hot Stove if they knew Sandy wasn’t coming on as a guest? Exactly…

Nobody knows the day or the hour, but what we do know is as follows:

Mets Will Trade Bruce

As I’ve said since the last out of the wild card game, Jay Bruce is as good as gone. The Mets aren’t even fielding calls on Curtis Granderson anymore… or Michael Conforto for that matter. It’s a slow developing market for Bruce and other power hitters that still remain in ample supply.

If Alderson wanted to just give Bruce away he had at least three opportunities to do so for some irrelevant low minors prospect – or suspect as I like to call them.

Playing the waiting game and maximizing his return has always been Sandy’s calling card. So he’ll just wait it out and at some point over the next 4-6 weeks, a team craving a 30 homer bat will come down the chimney with care, and with a twinkle in his eyes, Sandy Alderson will be there.

Mets Looking For Relief

It’s a certifiable fact that the Mets will add a top-shelf reliever who will lockdown the 7th inning role and even get a few save opportunities as well in 2017. There’s a lot of great arms available in the free agent market and a few solid options that are on the trade block. This is one of the most robust markets for quality relievers that we’ve seen in quite some time.

But here’s the rub… Due to payroll constraints the Mets will need to unload Bruce and his $13 million dollar contract before adding and new players on major league deals. According to Alderson, payroll is at $150 million currently and the goal is to get that number down to roughly $135 million before they invest in a quality reliever. As Sandy put it, “You don’t buy a new house until you sell your old one first.”

One arm I was hoping to see the Mets get was Koji Uehara, but it looks like the Chicago Cubs just snatched him up on the cheap. That is one heck of a bullpen Theo has assembled over there.

The Mets have been connected to David Robertson of the White Sox, Brad Brach of the Orioles, and free agents Brad Ziegler, Fernando Salas, Greg Holland and Jerry Blevins. However, Alderson has made his aversion to multi-year deals for relievers very apparent, and I don’t see any of those relievers settling on a one year deal. Other relievers who could help the Mets are Joe Blanton, J.P. Howell, Joe Smith, Tommy Hunter, Neftali Feliz and Matt Belisle.

Anything Else?

The Mets seem to be set in the infield so I don’t foresee any changes there. Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and David Wright will man their positions around the diamond, and the team is set with Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes filling the two utility spots.

Wth a renewed commitment to Travis d’Arnaud, and Rene Rivera signed to a $1.7 million dollar deal, last season’s catching tandem will return anew in 2017. Hopefully, this time the Mets will get better offensive production from the catching position.

Without Jay Bruce in the family photo, the outfield is also set with Yoenis Cespedes in left, Granderson and Juan Lagares in center, and Conforto taking over in right field. The fifth outfielder figures to be Brandon Nimmo for now, but that could change by the end of spring training.

The rotation has some questions to be sure as Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler are all coming back from varying degrees of surgery. Harvey is probably the biggest question mark and everyone is anxious to see how he returns from his Thoracic Outlet surgery. Wheeler is also another one to keep an eye on as he’s two years removed from Tommy John surgery, but has endured several setbacks since then. Noah Syndergaard is now the undisputed ace and primed for a huge season. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo give the team some quality depth.

The bullpen is the one area that remains unsettled, but once the Mets add an arm or two, much of the makeup will be sorted out in spring training. For now, Addison Reed and Hansel Robles are the only locks and the team expects that Jeurys Familia will be serving out a suspension to begin the season.

In Closing…

The 2017 Mets will not look that different from the team we saw last season. And to hear Sandy Alderson address that at the Winter Meetings is worth considering.

“I think the team last year was pretty good,” Alderson said. “If we get the pitching back we lost over the course of the season we should be very competitive. That’s not to say we’re not looking to improve. Obviously there were some flaws, we didn’t score that many runs, we didn’t hit with men in scoring position, those kind of things. Some of that may be random.”

“We’re not trying to duplicate last year, we’re trying to improve it, but I do think a lot of the improvement is going to come internally from growth from some players and the return from injury of some others.”

The two players Sandy is counting on the most for some significant improvement next season, are Michael Conforto and Travis d’Arnaud. The team is hoping Conforto can be their number three hitter for years to come, and thy are keeping their fingers crossed that d’Arnaud could become a fixture as a number five hitter.

This is a very talent laden team with a great mix of proven and productive veterans as well as good young players that are oozing with potential. It’s going to be an exciting season and I’m looking forward to an epic battle for a division title.

So Sandy Alderson and his staff are back in New York, having left the Winter Meetings empty-handed. But I believe they laid the groundwork for some potential trades and that they reached out to a number of quality relievers they have targeted.

And I heard Sandy exclaim, as he flew out of sight – “We have more moves to make so hang on and sit tight.”


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Talkin’ Mets: Live Winter Meetings Call-In Show Thu, 08 Dec 2016 23:36:03 +0000 screenshot-1

On Thursday December 8th between 9-10pm, I will be doing our first Talkin’ Mets Live Podcast.

I will recap the Mets week at the Winter Meetings in National Harbor, MD and hear what is on your mind.

The show is unfiltered, unscripted and no comments are unwelcome.

Call-in Number is


You will be able to listen to the show and wait for me to say your area code and last 4-digits of your phone #.  At that point you will be live on the Talkin’ Mets podcast!

After a brief monologue to open the program the floor is yours. I want to hear what your thoughts are about the Mets, me or the show.

Thursday at 9:00 PM

If you can’t make the call-in, email your questions or thoughts about the Mets to Joe D at MMO and I will read most of them on the show to discuss.



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Alderson Laid Groundwork For Future Deals At Winter Meetings Thu, 08 Dec 2016 16:00:43 +0000 sandy-alderson

Before departing the Winter Meetings, Sandy Alderson met with reporters to discuss what has been seen as a relative week of inactivity for the Mets.

Alderson assured everyone the Mets have been in discussions with teams to try to make a couple of moves. However, he noted that the team has a crowded outfield that the team needs to address before moving onto other deals. Alderson did note some difficulty in resolving the situation as, “Clubs are trying to sort out priorities. When there is that type of supply, things are slower initially until someone makes an initial move.”

There has been some movement on that front during the Winter Meetings. The Houston Astros signed OF/DH Carlos Beltran, the Colorado Rockies signed IF/OF Ian Desmond, the Washington Nationals traded for OF Adam Eaton, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have recently announced Andrew McCutchen is off the trading block.

Still, a lot more movement is needed on that front as Jose Bautista, Dexter Fowler, Mark Trumbo, and even Edwin Encarnacion remain free agents. Once those situations are resolved, it is likely Alderson will be able to get to work on the deals he has laid the groundwork.

The closer market awaits just one more shoe to drop as Kenley Jansen is last elite reliever standing. Once he is signed, the movement on secondary pieces like Brad Ziegler, Joe Smith and Koji Uehara is sure to pick up.

While the Winter Meetings are coming to an end, the offseason is far from over, and the Mets roster has yet to be finalized. It should be an entertaining couple of months as the Mets continue to try to build another World Series contender.


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Talkin’ Mets: Winter Meetings Preview and New CBA Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:54:08 +0000 jay bruce

Tonight I discuss all the details of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and its impact on the league with Maury Brown of Forbes.

Tim Donner of Metsmerized Online joins me to preview the Winter Meetings. We react to the signing of Yoenis Cespedes and look towards how Sandy Alderson can round out the roster. Should the Mets trade both Bruce and Granderson?

Will they surprise everyone and make a play for a catcher to replace Travis d’Arnaud? What relievers should they be interested in? Hear our thoughts about what we would like to see happen at the 2016 Winter Meetings in Maryland.

Special Note: We will be doing a Live Call-In Show on Thursday at 9:00 PM to wrap up the Winter Meetings and talk about what the Mets got accomplished. Mark it down!




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Sifting Through All The Bruce and Granderson Noise Sun, 04 Dec 2016 03:56:59 +0000 jay-bruce-2

Greetings, it’s me Captain Howdy, coming to you from the bowels of the Mets blogosphere where nothing is ever as it seems and every beat writer’s sources contradict each other at every turn. But that’s the fun part for me, trying to decipher the logical from the utterly improbable and staying ahead of the game. I’m fairly certain the great majority of you do the same exact thing, using your common sense to sift through all the BS which tends to pile up pretty high at this time of the year.

Last week we had three different beat writers cite a team source that said the Mets will trade Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce, another reported that the Mets could trade both of them, and yet another even reported keeping both of them. Pretty funny, huh? I had my own source tell me that unless they are blown away, that the Mets will not trade Granderson and that Bruce was as good as gone.

Now even if that weren’t conveyed to me, I kind of figured that’s the likelihood of how things are going to go down next week at the Winter Meetings. It’s the only one of the three options that makes the most sense.

Right off the bat, keeping both Bruce and Granderson is about as ridiculous a strategy as one could concoct, so sorry Mr. Martino I’m not buying that one for a minute.

I have it on pretty good authority that the front office is 100 percent committed to giving Michael Conforto a full shot next season, playing against both RHP and LHP. Sorry, Terry. Additionally, keeping both and still trying to add two quality bullpen pieces will put payroll way over $150 million and pushing $160 million. No way do I see that happening.

Trading both of them, while not as preposterous as keeping both, still makes no sense unless the Mets were planning to then make a strong push for Andrew McCutchen or some other proven, high caliber player for center field. Possible, yes, but still very unlikely. Also unlikely is the front office going full throttle on a Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares platoon in center field, especially when your team is in win-now mode and your window for retaining your Fab 5 pitching staff is getting smaller and smaller.

So when you’re done applying all your logic and a dash of common sense, it leaves you with the only likely outcome that makes the most sense; the Mets will trade Jay Bruce for a quality reliever or a pretty damn good prospect. And guess what, my friends? You don’t really need any sources to figure that one out.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, while we get ready to bring you all the Winter Meetings coverage straight from Washington D.C. – it should be a lot of fun this year. LGM

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A Blockbuster Trade That Could Help the Mets Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:00:22 +0000 zack wheeler whiff

It is officially trade season, the Winter Meetings begin this Sunday, December 4 and with a new collective bargaining agreement in hand, business is about to pick up on the hot stove.

Now that Yoenis Cespedes is back in a Metropolitans uniform, General Manager, Sandy Alderson will begin to shape his roster and ready his team for 2017. Joel Sherman of the NY Post takes a look at a potential blockbuster deal that could help the boys from Queens.

Sherman suggests that the Mets send Zack Wheeler and Jay Bruce to the Houston Astros in exchange for right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson and catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis.

It is an interesting trade on many aspects as Gregerson would give the Mets some much needed relief at the back end of the bullpen, especially with the uncertainties surrounding Jeurys Familia entering next season. Gregerson has been quite the steady reliever over the last few years.

In 2016, Gregerson pitched to a 3.28 ERA with a WHIP of 0.97 while picking up 15 saves for the Astros. He appeared in 59 games while throwing 57.2 innings. The trade could help the Mets get to that three-headed monster to close out games with a combo of Gregerson, Familia and Addison Reed.

The other part of this deal would bring the Mets some catching help in Evan Gattis. With the Astros recently dealing for Brian McCann, Gattis becomes expendable.

Gattis is not known for being a defensive whiz by any means but does pack a solid bat. In 2016, Gattis hit to a .251/.319/.508 batting line to go along with 32 homers and 72 RBI. Since making his MLB debut in 2013, he has hit 20+ homers in each season.

The Mets of course would be giving up Wheeler though in this deal, a pill that may be just too hard to swallow for this team. At the same time though, we have yet to see Wheeler now in two seasons and this is a win-now team. There is no telling what Wheeler may or may not be at this point.

It is an interesting deal, one that would bring the team a couple of pieces they could really use. As we approach the upcoming Winter Meetings, rumors are about to become plentiful. It is sure to be a fun and interesting time in baseball as the hot stove heats up.

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Tommy Tanous Will Likely Replace DePodesta Wed, 06 Jan 2016 16:28:47 +0000 tommy-tanous-2013

Following Paul DePodesta’s departure, John Harper of the NY Post says that Tommy Tanous will likely take over his role as the head of player development. Tanous originally joined the organization as a professional scout in 2010, and he was named the Director of Amateur Scouting the following year.

This decision seems to make the most sense as he was heavily involved in the draft the past several seasons with DePodesta. He has done a great job helping build the Mets minors, and should be able to adjust to the new role just fine.

“Whatever Sandy decides, I think it will be a seamless transition,” J.P. Ricciardi said yesterday. “We have enough people in place. Even though Sandy wasn’t at the Winter Meetings, this has been business as usual for us this winter. It’s always a team effort, with Sandy listening to everyone’s opinions and making decisions from there.”

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A Disappointed John Ricco Says Mets Will Move Forward Wed, 09 Dec 2015 02:17:42 +0000 john ricco

A very dejected John Ricco spoke with reporters at the Winter Meetings and admitted he was disappointed at how the Ben Zobrist situation unraveled.

Ricco said Zobrist called him with his decision and said ultimately it was not about the money, but it was his desire to be closer to home and his connection to Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

“It’s disappointing. I’m going to be honest,” Ricco said. “He’s a guy that we thought fit very well for us, so I will say that. But again, we’ve been through many situations where you have to adjust and adapt, and that’s why you have a plan and have multiple options and don’t go all-in on any one of them.”

“We knew this was a possibility all along. It’s not a complete shock. I don’t think this was about money. It was about him finding a place that fit.”

The Mets will now focus their attention to Daniel Murphy who they view as Plan B. “We’ve been in contact with them and continue to stay in contact with them and we’ll see where that goes.”

The Mets also have some interest in Neil Walker of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but Ricco said he’s skeptical that a deal can come together.

The bottom line says Ricco, “We’ll move on and we’ll be alright. We have a plan to move forward from this.”

In an odd twist, the Cubs and Zobrist already had a deal done on Monday night, and were waiting on the physical which Zobrist completed today.

So over the last 24 hours while the Mets were gushing very publicly that Zobrist was as good as done – and Terry Collins held a press conference saying Zobrist would bat second – and Jeff Wilpon flew down to make the Zobrist announcement – the Cubs already knew Zobrist was coming to them the entire time. If that’s true, egg meet face.


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MMO Free Agent Profile: Gerardo Parra, OF Tue, 08 Dec 2015 14:07:52 +0000 gerardo parra

Gerardo Parra
Position: Outfielder
Bats: Left – Throws: Left
Born: May 6, 1987 (Age 28)

With the winter meetings well underway, the New York Mets are in the market for an outfielder, and as assistant GM said Monday, “not an everyday outfielder.” The team is looking for a player who can share time with Juan Lagares in center field, preferably a lefty-swinging platoon mate.

The Mets have often been linked to Gerardo Parra by many outlets this offseason, and on Monday they met with the representatives for the veteran player. Not to mention the team was hot on Parra at the trade deadline before he was eventually dealt to the Baltimore Orioles.

The interesting thing about Parra is that he actually would be able to provide the Mets with a little bit of everything they need. He is able to man all three outfield positions, something not too many free agents out there are able to do, while providing solid defense. Parra is very capable at the plate, he offers some power and speed, and he certainly fits a platoon role with Lagares like a glove.

Parra put up respectable numbers last year, splitting time between the Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore. He posted a combined .291/.328/.452 line in his 2015 campaign with 14 home runs, 51 RBI, 83 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

He only walked 28 times this past season and had a 4.8 walk rate, but that may have been an outlier as in his previous four seasons Parra averaged 7.3. Plus, his 15.6 K/9 was the best mark of his career.

Defensively, Parra is quite a defender who can handle himself nicely in the field. He’s won two Gold Gloves in right field, but has played a fair share of games in left field and center as well where he’s logged 186 games. He committed just two errors last year, both while playing in center for Milwaukee. Parra also picked up 9 outfield assists in 2015.

It is worth noting that Parra was not eligible for a qualifying offer from Baltimore, making him even more attractive to the Mets as they wouldn’t have to forfeit a draft pick.

Parra, 28, could be a perfect fit in New York. He has good splits versus right-handed pitching, which makes him an optimal candidate to platoon in center field with Juan Lagares. He has a career .289 average against righties with a .432 slugging percentage.

Contract: Parra could land a three-year deal worth about $27 million. This would pay him through his age 31 season. In addition to the Mets, the Royals, Giants and Mariners have been connected to Parra.

Recommendation: Parra could fit into this line-up well at the top of the order while platooning in center field. He can also spell  Curtis Granderson or Michael Conforto when they need a day off. I believe this is a good opportunity for the Mets to pick up a solid outfielder on an affordable deal.


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Bullpen Notes: Mets Haven’t Ruled Out Re-Signing Tyler Clippard Mon, 07 Dec 2015 23:19:49 +0000 tyler Clippard

Latest Update

Assistant GM John Ricco said on Monday in Nashville that the club has not ruled out bringing back RHP Tyler Clippard as he seeks to sign a setup type reliever.

“There’s a lengthy group,” Ricco said about relievers Mets are considering. “We are still kind of going through and meeting and trying to gather information on that list of right-handed relievers.”

The Mets acquired Clippard from the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline for right-handed pitching prospect Casey Meisner.

Clippard, 31, went 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA and 1.052 WHIP in 32 relief appearances for the Mets last season with a 7.2 K/9. He was nearly light’s out his first month with the Mets, but things fell apart in September/October when he posted a 6.14 ERA and an opposing OPS of .858, causing him to lose the setup role to Addison Reed.  He allowed 4 home runs in his final 14.2 innings pitched.

Previous Report, 8:00 AM

Assistant GM John Ricco spoke to reporters during a media session at the Winter Meetings and pretty much confirmed all the reports that relievers Darren O’Day and Joakim Soria were not being considered by the Mets because they were deemed too expensive.

While the Mets do want to add a setup man to bridge the gap to closer Jeurys Familia, team officials confirmed that they were not looking to spend the kind of dollars it would take to sign any of the top tier options on the market.

On Sunday, Darren O’Day agreed to a four-year, $31 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles, and Ryan Madson signed a three-year, $22 million deal with the Oakland Athletics.

“We didn’t see ourselves playing in that top end where O’Day was,” Ricco said. “But I think that next tier, we’re going to be keeping an eye on. And if it looks like some of those guys are moving fast, then it would affect us.” (ESPN New York)

“We’re going to meet with a lot of the representatives for the relievers here over the next couple of days. If they start to go away, that could affect us.”

It’s presumed but not confirmed that perhaps the Mets are looking at left-handers Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo, which we’ve discussed quite frequently on MMO. And on Friday we suggested they take a look at former Marlins closer Steve Cishek, who was then linked to the Mets on Saturday by Newsday.

Ricco believes the Mets have the luxury of time.

“The conversations I’ve had with the agents for the guys who we’ve had interest in led me to believe they weren’t that close. They wanted to give themselves a chance to come here and talk with some of the teams. I’m not really that worried about that right now.”

Additionally, Ricco said they are hoping to re-sign lefty reliever Jerry Blevins, who pitched just 5.0 innings before having his season wiped out by a fractured arm and complications. He is expected to be fully healed by Spring Training and it’s believed he’s also open to a reunion.

One more note…

Veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon is still an option to return as a potential long reliever for the Mets bullpen. “I think the door is still open with him,’ Ricco said on Sunday. “And I think we’ll meet with his guys out here. I can see a fit there.”

Ricco added that the team has had conversations with Colon about a relief role with the Mets, and the “Big Sexy” was open to the idea. However, he first wants to see if he can land a starting pitching role first.

There you have it… A complete Winter Meetings wrap on the Mets and their quest to bolster their bullpen this offseason.

If it were my decision, I’d go with Tony Sipp and Jerry Blevins and call it Mission Accomplished.

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Latest Mets Buzz: Talked To Reps For Ben Zobrist, Gerardo Parra, Asdrubal Cabrera Mon, 07 Dec 2015 21:00:37 +0000 zobrist ben

Afternoon Updates

1. The Mets met with the reps for Ben Zobrist this afternoon, but as Assistant GM pointed out on Sunday, they represent other clients the team is interested in including Gerardo Parra and Asdrubal Cabrera. That said, Mets had nothing new to add on the Zobrist front after the meeting.

2. Apparently, Ben Zobrist is not interested in being a utility player and prefers to stay put at one position or at the very least a semi-regular position. That would mean second base for the Mets and a good chance Dilson Herrera heads back to Triple-A. Also, he’s not a fan of playing left field, so Giants could have a strike against them. That leaves Mets and Nats as the final two.

3. Rumors running around that Jeff Wilpon is heading to the Winter Meetings and that it could mean the Mets have something major to announce. But if there is any truth to that, it won’t be to announce a Zobrist deal because he has yet to meet with the Nationals on Tuesday. Additionally, his reps say no decision until Thursday. Maybe Jeff just wanted a good pulled pork sandwich.

4. In case you needed to hear it, John Ricco told reporters that they were never in on Joakim Soria for the same reasons as Darren O’Day and Ryan Madson – too expensive. Also it means a few Mets beat writers need to find better sources. By the way, the Mets are telling prospective relief targets there will be late game opportunities as an enticement.

It’s all about Zobrist, folks…. More updates this evening…

Morning Updates

1. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, teams that have inquired on LHP Tony Sipp say he’s looking for a Zach Duke-Boone Logan type contract. Three years, $5-6 million per year. Sipp was 3-4 last season with a 1.99 ERA and 1.010 WHIP. He exhibited an improved K/9 (10.3) and a much improved BB/9 (2.5) in 54.1 innings, sporting a 2.93 FIP. Mets have him on their radar.

2. Jim Duquette of MLB Network spoke to Mets assistant GM John Ricco this morning who told him: that signing Ben Zobrist is not an either or proposition. If they sign do sign Zobrist, they still fully intend to fill their other stated needs to acquire a setup reliever and lefty swinging center fielder to platoon with Juan Lagares. Ricco expects to make at least one deal before leaving the Winter Meetings.

3. John Ricco also told Duquette that with the price of pitching on the market escalating, it makes Mets pitchers even more valuable, but the team would consider trading Jon Niese if something beneficial to the Mets materialized.

4. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports that the Kansas City Royals are interested in signing Gerardo Parra who is also considered a top target for the Mets. Parra slashed .291/.328/.452 with a 108 wRC+ in 589 plate appearances for the Brewers and Orioles this season. He also hit well against right handed pitching, sporting a .345 wOBA, which makes him a great option to platoon with Juan Lagares.

5. Jon Heyman appeared on MLB Network and said he’s confirmed from various sources that Ben Zobrist has narrowed down his decision to three teams: the New York Mets, Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants. Decision expected before Thursday. Nats slated to meet with Zobrist tomorrow.

More updates to come…

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Pondering The Future Of Juan Lagares Sun, 06 Dec 2015 13:00:41 +0000 juan lagares

Is it too soon to call Juan Lagares a bust? As of now, that appears to be the call on the 5-year, $23-million the Mets gave to the flashy center fielder after his 2014 Gold Glove Award winning season.

He might get a pass because of a bad elbow that allowed base runners to take liberties on him. However, after a summer in which he regressed at the plate and balls were consistently hit over his head, he lost his starting job after the Yoenis Cespedes trade. Now the Mets go to the Winter Meetings with a plan of obtaining a center fielder to platoon with Lagares. What does that say?

We know the Mets won’t re-sign Cespedes or move Curtis Granderson to center. And, we also know Lagares has a lot of room for improvement at the plate and must stop his defensive regression if he’s to remain in the organization’s plans.

Working in Lagares’ favor is his age and the contract that will pay him $2.5 million in 2016. But then he will get $4.5 million in 2017, $6.5 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019. While that might not be a lot of money for a full time center fielder, it is far too much for a platoon player, and definitely a lot for late-inning defense.

The primary free-agent targets to platoon with the .259-hitting Lagares are Denard Span and Dexter Fowler, both of whom will command large salaries, and most likely would not accept a platoon situation. That leaves Gerardo Parra who is a corner outfielder, but the Mets already have Michael Conforto, Michael Cuddyer and Granderson. And, if you go further down the options to David Murphy and Will Venable, the Mets might as well stick with Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Lagares, 27, has the Mets in a very awkward position. He has not played to the level they expected when they handed him that 5-year extension. A year ago Lagares was looked upon as the center fielder of the present as well as the future.

But much has changed in ten months and all the team can do at this point is hope for the best – even in his projected platoon role. The limitations of the market don’t give the Mets that ideal left-handed center fielder they really need to platoon with Lagares.

They’ll keep their fingers crossed and hope that Parra can capably handle center and be that guy, but nobody knows for sure. Still, it’s a risk worth taking because after Parra the other choices are not very ideal at all. Span and Fowler don’t see themselves as platoon guys and will want to get paid as starting center fielders rendering Lagares to a bench role and defensive replacement.

The Mets head to Nashville on Sunday for the start of the Winter Meetings. And while all eyes will be centered on Ben Zobrist and if the Mets did enough to convince him to come to Flushing for four years, solving center field is no less important. I wouldn’t be surprised if they fly back to New York on Thursday with Gerardo Parra signed, sealed and delivered. But getting back to Juan Lagares, nobody could have predicted a year ago that center field would be one of the top priorities for the Mets this offseason. It’s a disappointing turn of events.


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Alderson Says No Active Trade Talks With Rangers About Gee Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:45:05 +0000 jurickson-profar-landov2

Sandy Alderson denied there were any active trade discussions with the Texas Rangers about trading a starter.

He added that it’s “fair to say” the Mets have had little to no recent talk about trading Dillon Gee or any other starting pitcher in recent weeks.

If a trade were to materialize, he expects it would happen much later in spring training if it were to happen at all.

March 2

Sources have told Chris Cotillo that the Texas Rangers are still interested in trading for Mets starter Dillon Gee.

It is unclear if the sides are in active discussions about a deal for Gee, says Cotillo, though Texas has been interested in the right-hander dating back to the Winter Meetings.

One possibility that is being bandied about is a deal that would send Gee and a few other pieces to the Rangers for shortstop Jurickson Profar, who is out for the year after shoulder surgery. The Mets could see Profar as a buy low target.

We’ll keep an eye on this and see if it picks up any steam.


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Mets Not Necessarily Looking For A Major Leaguer In Return For Gee Sun, 18 Jan 2015 17:01:09 +0000 dillon gee

Here’s a new wrinkle on the Dillon Gee trade front from Mike Puma of the Post.

The Giants, Padres and Rockies continue to be potential landing spots for Gee, but an industry source indicates that at least one AL team has now shown interest in the veteran right-hander.

Additionally, the source added that the Mets no longer consider it necessary to receive a major league player in return for Gee.

While that was always a possibility, the message has mostly been they’d deal a starter to improve the active roster when the offseason began.

It was believed Gee would be dealt for either a proven lefty reliever or as part of package to acquire a solid everyday shortstop.

January 14

Joel Sherman of the NY Post hears that the Mets expect to trade a starting pitcher, most likely Dillon Gee, within the next 7-10 days.

However, it might not happen until free agent pitcher James Shields signs with a team first. The Mets are hoping Gee could be some team’s Plan B if they fail to sign Shields.

Sandy Alderson initially felt that the market would open up for Gee once Jon Lester signed but that never really happened after he agreed on a deal with the Cubs six weeks ago.

The Mets were hoping to move Gee when they were dealing with the Nationals and Rays to try and land shortstop Ian Desmond. However, they balked after the Rays insisted on Noah Syndergaard plus an additional prospect.

There have been several teams connected to Gee this offseason, with the Rockies, Giants and Twins among the teams who reportedly had the most interest in the veteran righthander.

The Mets reportedly discussed a deal for Gee with the Rockies back during the Winter Meetings, but nothing ever materialized and there’s been no buzz from either side since.

The Twins reportedly offered the Mets shortstop Eduardo Escobar for Dillon Gee, but were turned down. The Rangers also showed early interest in Gee, but suddenly backed off and talks broke down.

The Mets have repeatedly said they had no preference as to which starting pitcher they move, but it’s been pretty clear they prefer to hang onto their lone left-hander in Niese, and are unwilling to sell low on Colon.

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Matt Harvey Could Be Held Back Until Home Opener At Citi Wed, 17 Dec 2014 13:05:38 +0000 matt harvey

Mets manager Terry Collins told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post that he is looking at Matt Harvey like Bruce Bochy looks at Madison Bumgarner.

“He’s got the competitiveness of a stinkin’ bear. Matt and I just met a couple of days ago in New York and talked about how important it is for him to understand that we’ve got to be careful.”

Collins said the Mets are now considering a plan in which Harvey is held back at the start of the season, perhaps until the home opener at Citi Field on April 13.

He expects Harvey to be shut down for a few weeks in the summer as GM Sandy Alderson also mentioned as well during the Winter Meetings.


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Summarizing and Grading the Mets’ Winter Meetings Fri, 12 Dec 2014 02:19:36 +0000 sandy alderson

Sandy Alderson said on Wednesday that while there’s been no trades made at the Winter Meetings, he and his staff have had many conversations with various teams about a number of different opportunities. He reiterated that this afternoon before he and his staff departed the Winter Meetings and headed back to New York.

Alderson maintains that his primary focus continues to be acquiring a shortstop but admitted that finding a good fit could last well into January, and even then the Mets could just as well decide to roll with Wilmer Flores.

The trade market for shortstops has completely dried up and it’s difficult to argue that the reaming few free agents are as good offensively as Flores.

“At shortstop we have to be realistic,” Alderson said. “There just aren’t a lot of options or attractive options. So the idea of waiting is nice, but I think you have to be realistic about what we’re waiting for. Options are limited. ”

Alderson regretted taking such a huge hit in the Rule 5 Draft. “We’re a little leaner as an organization than we were a few minutes ago,” he said.

The biggest losses were Logan Verrett and New York native Cam Maron who was a big MMO favorite. But the alternative would have been losing Akeel Morris whom the Mets wisely protected as I predicted they would despite being in Single-A. That would have been a greater loss in my opinion.

The Mets came into San Diego looking for a left-handed reliever and go home with Sean Gilmartin who we highlighted on MMO as one of our most wanted players, and they signed Scott Rice back to a minor league deal as a fallback option. Consider Gilmartin your second lefty and trust us, he’s an excellent crossover reliever. On this front, mission accomplished.

Then there’s the search for a right-handed bat for the bench.Pencil in John Mayberry Jr. who the Mets signed to a $1.45 million deal. If the goal was acquiring a hitter who can mash left-handed pitching, the Mets got one in Mayberry. He’s a fine addition to the bench.

“The reason we’ve been looking for a right-handed bat is to try to be more effective against left-handed pitching,” Alderson said. “It would give us another option, if we had a solid right-handed bat, and a guy who could come off the bench as well.”

Trading a starting pitcher has been a real grind for Alderson. Despite lots of conversations over the last few days, nothing ever materialized. “We’ll see what develops over the next few days, couple of weeks,” Alderson said as he left.

It’s really all about Dillon Gee. Just when it appeared the Mets were closing in on a deal with the Rangers they suddenly pulled back and went in another direction.

“We’ve been having conversations that I think have been independent of Lester,” general manager Sandy Alderson said. “I don’t really think Lester has impacted any of our discussions.”

“We’ll see what develops over the next few days, couple of weeks. It’s a long time between now and spring training. We anticipated a crowded market.”

The Mets have made it known that Gee is available, while Niese and Colon were to a much lesser degree. Noah Syndergaard was off limits and teams got that message loud and clear.

So all in all, the Mets got to check a couple of items off their to-do list. “It’s nice to get one or two scratched off the list. I think we’re comfortable that we’ll be doing something else in the future.”

Winter Meetings Grade: I give Alderson and company a solid B- for what they were able to accomplish. Of course, keep in mind that my expectations are different than yours. As I said going into San Diego, the Mets already made their big move when they signed Cuddyer, and that I also predicted Flores would be at shortstop come Opening Day.

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Mets Offseason Has Been A Long And Winding Road Thus Far Wed, 10 Dec 2014 17:03:09 +0000 sandy alderson

There is one essential rule in order to survive the Major League Baseball offseason, don’t believe anything you hear. Especially this week during the Winter Meetings in San Diego, about 90 percent of the rumors you will hear are just that, rumors.

A perfect example of how out-of-control the MLB offseason can get is the twists and turns of free agent starting pitcher Jon Lester. At one point there were eight teams close to signing him then it was down to four with a mystery team that could steal him away from everyone. The Chicago Cubs finally inked him late Tuesday night. Complete and utter madness, it definitely does not help that every person on Twitter has a “reliable source” who has confirmed the signing.

Now to get to our beloved New York Mets. At this point I think it is pretty clear General Manager Sandy Alderson loves to keep the media guessing and always has a new way of saying “It could happen. Probably won’t, but don’t be surprised if it does”. This used to be frustrating but now it is just what we have come to expect from Alderson and it’s rather comical.

What makes matters worse is that every Mets fan knows this is the offseason they have been waiting for. The pitching staff is primed to be one of the best in the National League with the emergence of Jacob deGrom and the return of the Dark Knight aka Matt Harvey.

The Michael Cuddyer signing at the beginning of the offseason gave Mets fans hope that they were really going to get after it this offseason and spend money, well that will not be happening. It is not necessarily a bad thing the Mets will not be spending money considering the price tags that some players come with. For example Nelson Cruz, 34 years old, will be making $14.25 million per year for the next 4 years. He did hit 40 home runs last year but in the American League East where the stadiums cater to hitters, he is also one failed drug test from being suspended for a year.

Alderson, as well as 29 other MLB teams, knows that if the Mets plan on being competitive they have to upgrade the shortstop position. Wilmer Flores is a nice player to have and his defensive shortcomings are over exaggerated but he is not a starting shortstop for a team that has aspirations to win 90 games and that’s coming from someone who believes in Flores. It has proven to be difficult to find a team that is willing to give up a shortstop in a league where above-average players at the position are scarce.

Patience is a virtue in the MLB offseason and if no trade is done at the Winter Meetings it by no means nothing will eventually happen. R.A. Dickey was dealt almost two full weeks after the Winter Meetings had concluded. The asking price for mediocre players is immensely high at the start to see if any team is really desperate, those prices almost always come back down.

This offseason has a very different vibe to it in accordance to the Mets, it seems they have been working on multiple deals while in the process of trying to land the superstar trade no one saw coming. Of course, Alderson or the mostly clueless Terry Collins, whom it seems never talks to front office officials, will never admit that.

Expect at least two of Dillon Gee, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon to be traded within the next month. Some fans may not like the trades but it is a necessity due to the surplus of young starting pitching the Mets possess. Understanding the value of fan favorites such as these three are harder to gauge because of the sentimental attachment. Most likely none of them are bringing back a top prospect unless Alderson is a magician. The players the Mets get back will be solid and have some type of potential, Alderson is not the type of person to give away players this was exemplified by not trading Colon at the deadline last year.

The moves are coming, they may not be tremendously exciting deals but they will be in an effort to improve the Mets for the upcoming 2015 season, that is one thing we do know.

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Collins Says Flores Doesn’t Have Shortstop Job Yet, Expects Big Season From Tejada Tue, 09 Dec 2014 13:59:28 +0000 terry collins

Talking to reporters at the Winter Meetings in San Diego on Monday, manager Terry Collins said that Ruben Tejada will be a candidate for the starting shortstop job if the team doesn’t get a new one and it’s just a choice between him and Wilmer Flores.

“As I sit here today, I’m not going to name Wilmer Flores just yet,” Collins said. “Ruben promised me he’d be at the fitness facility in January to get ready for spring training which I think would be a huge benefit for him.”

Since I live there I’ll be the first guy out there that morning waiting for Ruben to walk through the doors and if he walks through them his name is going to be right there with Wilmer’s and that job is up for grabs.”

Collins believes that Tejada is going to have a big rebound next season and that he’s now entering his prime.

ruben tejada“He’s 25,” Collins said. “It would be one thing if he was 31 or 32 and maybe on the downside of his career, but he’s right in prime time. What we saw at the end of last season is the Ruben Tejada we know he can be, tremendous defender, great arm. He hit for more power than we expected, but he’s doing that by design.”

“As I told him at the end of the year, ‘how mad do you have to be at yourself before you go prove to everybody else that hey look, you’re still the guy?’” Collins said.

“I said ‘by no means, until I get to spring training, unless you decide you’re not going to put the work in, to be as good as you can be, you’re going to be in the mix.’”

All Collins would say about Flores is that in no way has he earned the job yet. One beat reporter added that Collins later referred to Flores as a bench player and serving in a utility role.

One should note that Tejada was very close to being non-tendered last week according to team sources.

Also, I’m pretty sure that Sandy Alderson will have a big say as to who plays if it comes down to Flores and Tejada. Only two days ago, Sandy affirmed that Flores has proven to be quite capable defensively and that it’s more likely than not that he’ll be the Mets Opening Day shortstop.

“He did a nice job for us last year. Can he do that on a whole season basis? Offensively he got much better as time went on. I hope it works. I like Wilmer.”

There’s also the real possibility that Alderson does pull off a trade for a shortstop. “Things can happen quickly here just because of the proximity of everyone in the same hotel and the availability of everybody’s staff. So things can happen quickly.”

Asked specifically if something might occur at this week’s winter meetings as far as a free-agent shortstop, Alderson said: “I’d say further down the line, probably.”

(Updated 12/9)

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Winter Meetings Day 1: And Away We Go… Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:24:52 +0000 WinterMeetings_Entrance

Today marks the start of the 2014 MLB Winter Meetings in San Diego, California. The Mets have already made their big move early in the offseason when they signed Michael Cuddyer to a two year, $21 million contract, but there’s still plenty of work that lies ahead.

According to Sandy Alderson, there may not be anything significant happening in the next four days. He and his staff plan to take a patient approach and see how various markets develop. However, Sandy is as stealthy as they come and he often has something cooking that catches everyone by surprise. In fact, Andy Martino of the Daily News already got the sense that Sandy already has something up his sleeve after speaking to a Mets official.

By now you should all know what the Mets hope to accomplish here in San Diego. Their mission is to canvass and gauge the market for a potential upgrade at shortstop, while trying to add a second lefty for the bullpen and a right-handed bench bat.

Some of the players the Mets could trade include RHP Bartolo Colon, LHP Jon Niese, RHP Dillon Gee, and 2B Daniel Murphy. However, anything can happen and the rumors will be fast and furious. Don’t be surprised if you hear names like Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Kevin Plawecki being talked about, those are the players most teams want to get their hands on.

I love this time of the year and I’m fascinated by watching how all 30 teams navigate through their offseason. It’s interesting to see how each team’s roster evolves and takes shape for the upcoming season.

We’ll keep a day by day thread here on MMO that will be updated as rumors and transactions keep coming in. Feel free to share any interesting links and rumors you may come across in the comments, after all, we’re in this together. Thanks for being a part of the MMO community and enjoy these next few days as it should be a lot of fun. Let’s Go Mets!

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Citi Field is Not for Craig Breslow Sun, 07 Dec 2014 13:00:53 +0000 craig breslow

As the Winter Meetings approach, we know that the Mets are interested in left-handed smart guy, Craig Breslow. The Yale alum pitched to a staggering 5.96 ERA in Boston last season over 54.1 innings of relief work. Of course, this followed a much more impressive campaign in 2013 when his ERA was a microscopic 1.81 on the season.

The difference between his successful 2013 season, in terms of ERA, and his much more disappointing 2014 performance can be found in the long ball. Using xFIP, which adjusts for a league-average home run rate, we can see that Breslow was pretty much the same pitcher in each of the past two seasons.

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Having pitched most of his career in Oakland and Boston, as a southpaw, Breslow has found the majority of his games in homer-friendly ballparks, particularly against left-handed sluggers, which helps explain his career 6.9% HR/FB rate.

We can look at park factors to see how his home ballparks have helped him. Between 2010-2011, while in Oakland, his xFIP was 4.16 and 4.38, respectively, with his unadjusted ERA (3.01 / 3.29 in 2010 / 2011) improved favorably by those low Oakland HR factors. In 2014, we can see what we already know by picturing Fenway Park with the triangle in center field and the deeper gap in right-center versus the short wall in left.

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It is harder for a lefty to hit a home run than a righty in Fenway. And in 2014, Breslow surrendered only two of his eight home runs allowed to lefties at home. He served up no such homers in 2013. This from a pitcher who faces lefty and righty hitters, equally. Thus, it’s not hard to imagine that he would have allowed more home runs over the past few seasons had he not pitched half of his games in Fenway.

If Breslow were to sign with the Mets, his protection of a deeper right field would be gone thanks to the new Citi Field dimensions.

New Citi DimensionsWe can imagine that Citi Field’s park factor for HR as L will increase in 2015.

What this means is that while the Mets are looking for a lefty reliever who can pitch to hitters who stand on both sides of the plate, which Breslow does, they would be putting their faith in the assumption that Breslow’s 2013 performance is more realistic than his 2014 disaster based on an “inflated” HR/FB rate.

This is a difficult assumption to make given that Breslow’s HR/FB rate ballooned in a ballpark where left-handed hitters have difficulty finding power. Put Breslow in Citi Field next season, and the likelihood of him falling victim to the long ball only increases given the new dimensions.

Craig Breslow is essentially a replacement-level reliever (-0.6 fWAR in 2014). His ERA was impressive in 2013, and one could look at his increased HR/FB rate in 2014 to decide that it was an anomaly given his career totals. But we know better than that. We know that he pitched for much of his career in Oakland where home runs go to die, and then Fenway, where match-ups against lefties gained advantage due to the deeper parts of right field.

Again, Breslow was essentially the same mediocre pitcher in 2013 as he was in 2014, if we look at his numbers using a league-average home run rate.

If Breslow’s peripherals maintain in 2015 (career 7.22 K/9, 3.65 BB/9) and his HR/FB rate remains high, he is surely a pitcher the Mets can live without.

*Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.


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