Category: Bullpen

Spring is in the air

We’re almost to the start of spring training and I’m excited.

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A dream that was the Mets

The dream:

Mets trade Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, Reuben Tejada and Matt den Dekker to Colorado for Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowiski.

Rotation: Matt Harvey, Zach Wheeler, Bartolo Colon, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero / Noah Syndergaard

Lineup: 1. Curtis Granderson RF, 2. Daniel Murphy 2B, 3. Troy Tulowitski SS, 4. David Wright 3B, 5. Carlos Gonzalez LF, 6. Lucas Duda 1B, 7. Travis d’Arnaud C, 8. Juan Lagares CF, 9. Pitcher

Flip CarGo and Grandy if you want, but in this dream scenario the Mets fill all their biggest needs in one big trade. The problem Mets fans refuse to acknowledge is that the Rockies may not want to trade their stars to the Mets. They may actually want to keep all-star quality players. I know they won’t move them for the package I posited. “But Gee and Niese are quality pitchers and den Dekker would help track down balls that don’t go over the fence.” Even if I added a Brandon Nimmo or Dominic Smith, I still wouldn’t trade both Gonzalez and Tulowitski for that package. I might not even trade one of them for that package. Keep dreaming. Don’t overvalue Niese. Apparently the league don’t see him as a very valuable asset. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/08/curtis-granderson-jon-niese-clear-revocable-waivers.html

The optimistic realist:

Mets trade deGrom, Montero, Tejada, den Dekker and Matt Reynolds for Troy Tulowitski.

Mets sign OF Nick Markakis to a 3-year $45 million deal

Rotation: Harvey, Niese, Wheeler, Colon, Gee / Syndergaard

Lineup: 1. Curtis Granderson RF, 2. Daniel Murphy 2B, 3. Troy Tulowitski SS, 4. David Wright 3B, 5. Markakis LF, 6. Lucas Duda 1B, 7. Travis d’Arnaud C, 8. Juan Lagares CF, 9. Pitcher

In this scenario, the Rockies go after everyone they were purported to have scouted in this report.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/08/east-notes-mets-red-sox-robertson.html They may not want both Tejada and Reynolds (and will ask for another prospect) or they may see one as a second baseman. Either way, I think the Rockies will not be likely to move Tulo. If they wanted Niese they would have claimed him. Markakis has a $17.5 million club option which may be too rich for Baltimore, especially with Chris Davis and Matt Weiters needing contracts soon. And while that deal can also maybe go to Alex Rios instead, Markakis is the best power bat possibly available. We lose upside on our rotation, but it still looks like a contender.

 

The realist realist:

Mets trade Niese, deGrom or Montero, and Kevin Plawecki or an outfield prospect (Somewhere between Nimmo and Cesar Puello) to the Cubs for Starlin Castro (Or maybe CarGo)

Mets sign Rios or Asdrubal Cabrerra to three year deal (depending on who they get for trade)

Rotation: Harvey, Wheeler, Colon, Gee, deGrom or Montero/Syndergaard

Lineup: 1. Castro/Cabrera RF, 2. Daniel Murphy 2B, 3. David Wright 3B, 4. Granderson LF, 5. Rios/Gonzalez LF 6. Lucas Duda 1B, 7. Travis d’Arnaud C, 8. Juan Lagares CF, 9. Pitcher

Flip Rios/CarGo and Duda if you’d like. I feel like Castro and GarGo are the second tier of trade candidates. Thus I feel Niese can be a part of those deals. We’ll still need to give up serious prospects though. Listen we can’t just get Castro for Neise, Gee and Tejada. As Mets fans we have inflated values attached to our players. This isn’t the ideal solution, but I think it’s the one the Mets can most realistically pull off.

The pessimistic realist:

The Mets trade Colon and Reynolds/Plawecki for Andre Ethier and cash.

Rotation: Harvey, Niese, Wheeler, Gee, deGrom/Montero/Syndergaard

Lineup: 1. Grandy RF, 2. Daniel Murphy 2B, 3. David Wright 3B, 4. Ethier LF, 5. Lucas Duda 1B, 6. Travis d’Arnaud C, 7. Wilmer Flores SS, 8. Juan Lagares CF, 9. Pitcher

Flip Lagares, Flores or the pitcher if you want. Here’s what the cynic looks at. We rid ourselves of Colon’s money, and move a prospect to keep some of Ethier’s money away (it would have to be a good prospect). Surprise here’s the first Flores sighting. Why hasn’t he shown up before? http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/baseballinsider/notes-ny-mets-syndergaard-montero-flores-herrera-plawecki-blog-entry-1.1900447 Mets people say, “Flores is not a shortstop.” But he is cost effective for the spot and maybe works out like Murphy, a below average fielder who rises to average with time at the position while also adding enough hitting. As for Ethier, he hits harder than den Dekker or Kirk Nieuwenhuis and would be an upgrade power wise. But I am not expressly for Ethier. If it were Matt Kemp I’d take a chance that he returns to MVP quality.

 

The fan’s nightmare:

The Mets trade Daniel Murphy and Bartolo Colon for prospects.

Rotation: Harvey, Niese, Wheeler, Gee, deGrom/Montero/Syndergaard

Lineup: 1. Tejada SS 2. Grandy RF, 3. David Wright 3B, 5. Lucas Duda 1B, 6. Travis d’Arnaud C, 7. Flores 2B, 8. Juan Lagares CF, 9. Pitcher

Fan favorites moved for prospects and Tejada is still the shortstop.

 

The real nightmare:

The Mets sign Nelson Cruz to a four year deal.

The Mets sign Jed Lowrie or Mike Aviles or maybe Stephen Drew. Or worse, JJ Hardy.

Really these guys are not upgrades, but the clamor of fans to just sign people could be placated by some of these signings. These signings will mean negligible improvements with much more salary piled on. I don’t think the Mets will do this, but it really would just doom us to be a team with great pitching and just enough hitting to be a .500 team. We wouldn’t have enough to win a World Series, and we’d finish out of the protected picks.

Bullpen help

The Mets recently signed a pair of bullpen options to minor league deals. Both are past their prime but could potentially be lighting in a bottle snags.
Jose Valverde is the one who was most recently a closer, however, he didn’t find a job at all last year until well after pitchers and catchers reported . He was good for a short string of starts and then unraveled again and was not heard from the rest of the season. The potential quality is more tantalizing than Kyle Farnsworth. Farnsworth is a hard-thrower. He always has been. It makes him very good when he gets the ball past people, but he doesn’t consistently get the ball past people.
Both could make the roster out of camp or both may be cut or assigned to the minors. Both are former closers and could step in is Bobby Parnell isn’t 100 percent heading into the seasons. The bright side is that last year we brought in a guy in LaTroy Hawkins who may have had even less upside than these two. Now Hawkins is closing for Colorado. So you never know. I’s always felt it’s best to bring in a bunch of cheap gambles in the bullpen and mix in farm system guys. You’ll find that last year’s failure can be this year’s stud and vice versa when it come to the bullpen. He’s hoping we have more studs than failures.

Why John Lannan is a great signing

The Mets are done with major signings, but there is still some space to fill out with smaller signings. For instance, the Mets shored up the bench by bringing back Omar Quintanilla. That’s not the piece that will win the World Series for the Mets, but it at lest makes them as good as they were last year. There is also some talk about adding some names to the bullpen mix, such as former Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs.

But the best small ticket item the Mets brought in is John Lannan. Continue reading

A Review of the Mets’ Offseason (So-Far)

Welcome back everyone. I’ve been off working two jobs and then moving to a new job that will pay me the same as when I worked two jobs. Also there was a month of holidays.

But I’m gonna try my darndest to keep this website current as a new year’s resolution. I’ll be working on getting more posts and some video commentary out as well. Joe hopefully will be able to chime in once a week or so. We’ll see.

I wanted to talk about the moves made by the Mets this offseason each time a new one went down, but, alas and alack, I never found time to sit down and pound out some content.

So without further ado, a long overdue view of the New York Mets second season signings. Continue reading

Power Rankings-2014 Mets

Last week Joe took his shot at who would be the top 10 Mets for next year who are on a Mets roster today.
Today I’ll take my shot at the same set of ranks, starting with 10 and moving down to the top 2014 Met.

10- Marlon Byrd. He’s the second best player on the Mets roster right now, and that says a lot about Byrd’s season and too much about the Mets right now. Without David Wright, the Mets either have developing players or are mostly punchless without Byrd. However, I’ve placed Byrd so low because I think he’ll go the way of Scott Hairston. He’ll use a season he isn’t likely to repeat to get more than he’s worth next year. Sandy Alderson has a track record of paying that kind of player what he’s worth an no more. So I doubt Byrd will be back.
9- Eric Young, Jr. EY came in and was the lead off hitter we needed. Nowadays, not so much. He’s fast and a threat to steal bases or take an extra when he’s on, but all if late he’s reverted to form and been on base less than when he first put on the orange and blue. I’ve never liked his outfield defense, which relies too much on speed and not enough on good placement and routes. However, it is better than using Lucas Duda. I think Young’s time as a starter will be over next season, as the two best free agent outfielders are lead off types.
8- Ike Davis. I like Ike. But he’s been mostly bad over the last few seasons. The Mets will not tolerate a slow start next season, and if he doesn’t start hitting the long ball, you may see Lucas Duda or Josh Satin here instead.
7- Juan Lagares. It’s all part of the plan. This was the 1a for one of the outfield spots when Alderson made his roster, but it was still part of the plan. As you may have recalled from my posts on the issue at the beginning of the season, I thought Alderson was looking for 2-3 players for two of the outfield slots to come out of a group of six people auditioning in Spring Training. Then he’d hope he could land a good free agent or that they could hold pat until the farm could help. And the farm gave us Lagares, who has hit decently and played pretty good defense. He’s the outfielder least in need of upgrade.
6-Bobby Parnell. Joe put the whole bullpen, but, while it’s working well now, I don’t see many of the current names coming back. The guy we can count on coming back is Parnell. We can also now count on him to get big outs late in the game. The Mets intend to contend in 2014, and for that we need a guy who can get those outs.
5- Travis d’Arnaud. Fresh off his first major league home run today, the future looks bright for the Mets catcher. However, the future is still a bit further out there. d’Awesome still needs time to get used to major league pitcher both at the plate and behind before he can be truly successful. Had he not gotten injured, he could be at that spot and at least a spot above in this ranking.
4- Daniel Murphy. The Mets’ unsung hero. Murph has played slightly above average defense at second and hit slightly better than the average second baseman. He’s the kind of guy that needs to be in a line up to score the runs, and he has some line drive power to score them as well. Having him slot in behind a Jacoby Elsbury or a Shin Shoo Choo could be a potent 1-2 combo for the 2014 Mets.
3- Zach Wheeler. You need two aces to be a playoff team, let alone a playoff series winner. From what we’ve seen so far, Wheeler should have much of a sophomore slump, if he even has one. He may not make it to ace status next year, but he will be one of the best number two starters in the game next season.
2- David Wright. Over the last two seasons, David Wright has had MVP calibre first halves, followed by disappointing, injury shortened second halves. With more offensive weapons around him, I’d be happy if he split the difference. What we should take away is that the Captain will be an impact bat for at least a few more years.
1- Matt Harvey. It has to be Harvey. Each start is a marketing point. “It’s Harvey Day!” And for good reason, he’s been as good as anyone this season. He’s a certified ace in his second year of pitching and shows no signs of stopping. As opening day starter next season, I can think of no one better to head a list of Top 2014 New York Mets.