Monday, May 30, 2011

Meet the B-Mets

I'm not a professional scout in any way, but I got to watch the B-Mets up close and personal from behind their dugout and can still give my opinions. Jose Coronado provided my wife's favorite part of the game with the bubble on the hat of Jean Luc Blaquierre. However the biggest hits of the game belonged to Valdespin, Brahiam Maldonado and Salomon Manriquez. I will quickly say that Maldonado is far too home run happy in his approach, (The 5'11" OF has an upper-cut swing and is not the fastest man in the field) and Manriquez is a solid defender who looked good at the plate. I wasn't paying tons of attention to them. Who WAS I paying attention to? #22, Brandon Moore, SP: Moore's fastball topped out at 90 MPH and sat close to 88 for most of the game. His slider was his go-to pitch and accounted for all but one of his K's. He threw the slider between 76 and 85 MPH and would have it sneaking into or diving out of the zone. He was hit pretty well a few times but kept the hitters using the biggest part of the ball-park. In the later part of the game he had a BIG at-bat vs. Latimore where he managed to get him to strike out on a good slow change up. Moore had good control for MOST of the night but is VERY uncomfortable when he is behind and WILL walk people rather than give up on the breaking pitches. #7, Jordany Valdespin, SS: Valdespin had a two-out RBI single that was nearly more, if not for some good throws by Altoona. Jordany at the plate displayed great strength in his upper body but is not as calm and confident as I'd want a lead off hitter to be. His feet and legs have a lot of idle movement. In the field he looks smooth and confident but his arm is not Jose Reyes'. #5, Josh Satin, 3B: Josh Satin has a very good eye and an advanced approach at the plate. He has a big step in his swing but it doesn't seem to be a negative. On the bases he is not a guy I'd expect to run. He actually looked pretty fast but he just seemed tentative taking a lead from first. In the field he nearly made a fine bare-handed play from 3rd but got a slightly late jump on the ball against a faster runner.

#4, Reese Havens, 2B: Reese Havens swing is practically perfect. It's even and smooth and strong. He looked in control of each at-bat and seemed capable of always hitting the ball for line-drives. He had a nice play with a tough bouncing ball that split he and Dykstra and nearly made a spectacular diving stop earlier in the game.

#10, Ricky Brooks, RP: Brooks is not a household name by any means but he was pretty dominant yesterday. Coming in for the 8th he struck out three before finishing the game in the 9th with a 4th K. Brooks topped out at 94 MPH with a 77 MPH change and a 84 MPH slider. He looked "in the zone."

My wife and I remarked at the overall camaraderie of the team. They seemed to genuinely like each other and enjoy the game. After the B-Mets took an early 3-run lead my wife quipped, "I think this team is better than the real Mets." In some ways I suppose they were.

As a side note I got a ball from Brad Holt who seemed like a pitching coach as he watched the game from the railing.

Up This Week:


Friday, May 27, 2011

Minor Troubles

If you want some good news on the Met farm you should look at one of these players: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Chris Schwinden, Joshua Satin, Jordany Valdespin, Pedro Zapata, Matt Den Dekker, Juan Lagares, Darin Gorski, Cory Vaughn, Robbie Shields, Gregory Peavey, Erik Goeddel or Chase Huchingson. Today's report is not about all the good or even the pretty good or okay. I'm feeling negative vibes and want to focus on some of the negative story lines.

Nobody is really left in AAA and the two that are, are playing well (Schwinden and Nieuwenhuis). The real negative is the injuries. One to Zach Lutz and one to Lucas Duda. Both talented hitters with a future on a big league bench, this season has not been kind.

Binghamton has hit a bump in the road for pretty much ALL of their pitchers. Cohoon has been hittable, Moore has been crush-able, Familia has been human and Carson too. The biggest blip was for Brad Holt who had re-discovered his control this season. The glitch is that he lost it BIG TIME. His most recent outing was a return to good but I no longer see his promotion to AAA being a sure thing for 2011. Hitting-wise, the best hitters are not in AA but Eric Campbell is much better than he's shown this season. Some good news, Havens should be back soon... though with his arrival Satin SHOULD be moving to AAA.

Caesar Puello and Wilmer Flores have both looked like stars this season. Then there are times when they don't. Both are K-ing too much and walking to little. Puello not running enough and Flores' poor power start both don't set my heart a-twitter. Even Jefry Marte has cooled substantially. Note, he's never been close to this good, so anything more would be gravy. A big blip are the once GAUDY stats for Matt Harvey. Since April 28th he's been VERY human and no longer looks like a fast-track player. That's the way things go.


I look at this team's players and see a team who should be killing the opponents. Darrell Cecilliani, Cory Vaugn, Aderlin Rodriguez, Robbie Shields, Wilfredo Tovar and Javier Rodriguez, this team should hit. Sadly only Cory and Robbie got that memo. Ceciliani was hurt but has not bee sharp since coming back, Aderlin has power but lacks contact, Tovar and Rodriguez just seem lost.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

For Richer or Poorer

Let us pretend for a moment that we were losing $70 Million a year because of a business venture we started. We'd all be pretty upset and... justifiably so. I mean, it isn't our fault that the team doesn't get more stadium revenue. Although... in the case of the Wilpons, it sorta IS their fault.

Take the case of Bobby Bonilla. The Mets could have paid off the rest of his contract, $5.9 Million dollars in 2000. Instead they differed the payment. They took a 10 year hiatus and then would pay Bonilla $1 Million dollars for 25 years. They did this because they were getting such large returns from Bernie Madoff that they stood to profit from having that $5.9 Million for the first 10 years... to cover that $25 Million dollar/25 year contract that kicked in this year AND THEN SOME. (Mind you, Bonilla is not the only case)

Now... let us believe in their innocence and that they simply thought that they were actually getting 8-12% returns from their magical friend of finance. If the Wilpons opened the books to the public, I wonder how much of the Met financial situation is caused by the ownership's investments and how much is the teams actual revenue.

Sandy Alderson announced yesterday that the Met payroll in 2012 would be between $100-140 Million dollars. That isn't bad... if it's closer to the 140 end of things, but in New York I shudder to think of the genuinely hateful response to the Wilpons crying pauper.

Should the Mets come close to spending in the 140 range you had better believe that the only name that the Mets should be spending that kind of money on is already on the team. (Do we really think Pujols will play RF?)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pass The Buck

We have all heard the saying that the "Buck Stops Here." Some president built a campaign around that slogan and it was pretty successful. It meant that HE would be taking ownership for the problems the country would be faced with. Not blaming crooked businessmen or insulting his employees.

What we as fans sometimes forget is that the Buck... starts here...

Fred Wilpon pays for the players salaries, the operations costs for the stadiums and training facilities. He even pays the bills for SNY. He does all of this with the knowledge that the buck will be passed and as it does... it should make friends.

The Wilpons pay for the team and all the costs that surround them. They pay for advertising and promotion of players who... they apparently don't even like. Who pays them?
  • Television: Proceeds from sales of commercials during Met games is profitable. It's even more profitable when you own the network the game is televised on. When another network broadcasts a Met game... guess what, the Wilpons make money there too.
  • Merchandise: Those Reyes jerseys that will soon be hitting the discount rack as well as those Beltran bobble heads and David Wright posters all make the Wilpons money.
  • Stadium: Let's talk about that stadium...
The Mets must be in trouble... right? The stadium looks barren with so few people attending the games. Let us say you did go to that game. How much money did you pay for your beer and those nachos and the souvenir sundae for your kid? The team makes money whether or not the team has fans in the seats. SURE, the more people come to the games, the better, but the Wilpons money comes FIRST from television, SECOND from merchandising and THIRD from people actually going to games.

So... the Wilpons can complain all they want about the team's struggles and the players being "over-payed". The buck might start with them, but they aren't running a charity. The buck ends with them and I'm willing to bet that with all the struggles, the Mets are not the reason the Wilpon's are tight for cash.

Let Fred and Jeffy know that you love the team and the players DESPITE them and not BECAUSE of them. Join the SAVE REYES campaign and help save the final scraps of dignity for the franchise. Don't do it for me... do it to spite Mike Francessa.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Public Enemy #1

The early voting for league LVP is in and by a resounding margin the Met ownership has entered into a 2-way tie with the McCourts atop the rankings. The MLB has already freed the Dodgers of the divorcing couple which means that the Wilpons are most likely going to move well ahead in the voting by the all-star break. If you haven't heard, I'll post a link:

Basically, Wilpon, in an effort to restore his (potentially wrongfully/rightfully) defamed name decided to torpedo the only part of his empire that the average citizen cares about. Let's tally the damage:

"He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money. He’s had everything wrong with him. He won’t get it."

So now if the Mets want to TRADE Reyes, they no longer have the trading power of even feigning a desire to retain their talented SS.

"We had some schmuck in New York who paid him based on that one series [his 2004 postseason with the Astros]. He’s sixty-five to seventy per cent of what he was."
Another player we were HOPING to trade this season who we can now expect 30-35% less for. Thanks Fred, I can see how you became a business tycoon. Play the cards as far from your chest as possible right?

"He’s pressing. A really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar."

Come to the Mets, ownership can't wait to throw you under the bus. You think that any top talent wants to take a deal with this TOXIC ownership duo? Sure, the Mets can still pay for talent... oh wait... we don't have money anymore either? Well I guess perhaps treating your best players better might have been financial advice that Fred needed his buddy Madoff for.

Add to this the message to the fans. Hey kids! We don't have any superstars... go watch the Yankees. I suppose, in his defense, not many kids read the New Yorker.

The Mets (By way of Ike Davis):
"Good hitter. Shitty team—good hitter."

Awesome, hey... I just wanted to conclude my diatribe by saying that everyone not named Ike is a scum sucking loser with no right to play baseball. Way to rally the troops.

Let's see... lower the trade value of the two best trade chips Alderson has to work with, alienate the face of your franchise and insult the team. What's next, getting rid of all the team's training equipment? When does Terry Collins whip out the nude cardboard cut-out and start removing pieces with every win?

Mr. Springer, a knowledgeable Met fan put his rose glasses on and sees positives to the situation. He thinks that the ownership is long over-due for telling the players publicly that they don't value them. He sees this as potentially inspiring. So I'll take his inspiration and look at the positives.

The Dodgers don't have an Owner, perhaps we can just TRADE the Wilpons away.

In Short:


Friday, May 20, 2011


Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Or... in this case... HIM. Jose Reyes has been on the Mets for the last 9 years and what better way to say, "Danke Schoen," to him then to keep him here for the next bunch? Maybe I'm over-reacting... but I feel a little like Jennifer Grey.

Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe Reyes isn't such a good guy. After all, I get to blog, he gets a big fat pay check. But still, why should he get to go wherever he wants after the season? Why should everything work out for him? What makes him so goddamn special? Screw him!

I'm a Met fan and if I have to suffer through bad teams... shouldn't my favorite players? Maybe I went a bit too far for the sake of justifying quote manipulation. I'm just a little upset by the prospect of letting Jose slip through our fingers.

There is a point to be made, though. Why would he want to stay? Since 2006 have the Mets really given Reyes a great reason to stay? I mean... he loves his home in Long Island but there's another stadium that's commutable and not only have they won more frequently but they even have a growing wound at SS. Face facts, we haven't shown Reyes anything good.

Nothing - wha - what do you mean nothing good? We've seen everything good. We've seen the whole city! We went to a museum, we saw priceless works of art! We ate pancreas! Well.. I ate pancreas and pretended he was with me. People did look at me a little strangely as I spent the day hanging out with a cardboard cut-out. STILL! Doesn't our love mean anything?

Perhaps my love should. I'm not one of the fans who turned on Reyes for clapping and smiling and getting pumped. I think I'm not alone in loving Reyes in good times and bad. So... Faithful Met Fans... Are you with me?

If Reyes is traded Mr. Rooney wins.SAVE REYES

Up This Week:

Public Enemy #1 - Time to start the offensive.

Taking Ownership - Those with the bucks should not be passing them.

Alms - Do we deserve pity?

Minor Complications - Little right... LOTTA wrong.

The Future of Met Hitting

I focus on the positives with the minor leagues. So... you can take this post as an indication that not all our young pitching is flourishing, but rest assured that Harvey, Familia, Goeddel, Peavey and Schwinden are all doing fine. I've simply focused on farm pitchers already and it's time to focus on some bats.

AAA, Buffalo Bisons:

Fernando Martinez, Nick Evans, Justin Turner and Ruben Tejada are all in Flushing so that leaves the Met prospect list in AAA a little under manned. There is still ONE familiar face and Toby Hyde would like us fans to stop demanding that the Mets promote him. Just because he blogs about the minors for SNY doesn't mean he has the authority to promote anyone.

Kirk Niewenhuis, OF - Kirk went through a bit of a dry-spell for the first part of may but is back to his hitting ways. Why is he still in AAA? Well... that has a lot to do with Angel Pagan not being long from returning to the MLB. He's really shown a pretty solid bat through his first 125 ABs and he's displaying a good amount of power with 14 doubles, 2 triples and 6 Hrs. If Kirk can play MLB CF, then he's an A+ prospect if he's a corner outfielder that power becomes more necessary and I'm not sold on him hitting more than 20 dingers a year... particularly in Citi-Field.

AA, Binghamton B-Mets:

Maybe I'll catch a game when my wife and I visit her family in the area. With their inconsistent play, I'm not sure how wild I am to do it though. The fact is, that with all the offensive stars in the Met system... Binghamton is the lightest equipped. Not their fault Reese Havens is an injury waiting to happen.

Joshua Satin, 2B/Util - Josh is going to move on up to AAA at some point... I'd wager soon. Or at least as soon as Havens can actually play. With AAA so heavily mined it makes sense. Now... I'm not sold on Satin being a major league starter. I don't think MANY people are. I do think he could be a major league utility guy. What's the issue? Well... we already have Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans and the list goes on. A big feather in Satin's favor is an advanced eye that means to me that he'll be a good PH candidate.

Jordany Valdespin, SS/2B - After a rough start to the year, the guy some peg to "replace" Jose Reyes (Next week: The Save Reyes Campaign Begins), Valdespin is rounding into form. He's got some power... 10 doubles, 2 triples and 2 Hrs and some speed... 10 SBs. What he doesn't have is command of the strike zone. He's walked 9 times and K'd 29. Now... that isn't awful but it's a long way from what we'd need. Should Reyes leave town, he's still the likely incumbent but I don't see Jordany as a long-term replacement unless he can get that ratio to 1:2.
A+, Port St. Lucie Mets:

High A is one of the better teams the Mets have, though recently it seems the bullpen is struggling. The fact is the team has 4 or even 5 very good OFs and for that reason I believe a few will be Northward bound in the very near future. I am not going to list them all because I want to focus on players I see as true impact players right now.

Matt Den Dekker, CF - More than a few people are excited about Matt. He's got a great glove... so... no worries about needing to shift to a corner and he's showed a good amount of power (for a CF). 15 doubles, 7 triples and 2 HRs. His speed is pretty normal and I'd put him in the 15-20 SB range in the majors but I'll take the healthy mix he DOES provide any day. One thing he DOES do it hit... a lot. He's hitting .331 and that is pretty solid by anyone's measure. The issue is that common BB:K problem. 8 walks and 35 K's is a big reason why he has not made the jump to AA.

Juan Lagares, OF - Lagares beats out Pedro Zapata and Caesar Puello because of his RECENT hitting. On the double header of May 15th, Juan belted 3 HRs between the two games. He's seemed a little slower to develop than some other prospects. He caught up to the SAL last year and looked over-matched in the FSL. Now he's caught up to FSL so I think that next year he should be ready to try AA. He's got some power but will need to develop a bunch more to be a major league starter.

Wilmer Flores, SS - I couldn't resist. With all the great starts young players have had, Flores has been lost in the flow a bit. Chalk up part of that to stupid minor league reporters for Baseball Prospectus who thing they're being original when they re-hash the, Wilmer can't play SS story. No... he can't... but I am pretty sure 3B, LF, RF and 1B are still places he could shine. Has he hit for power? Not to the extent people want to see... no. HOWEVER, he's hitting for some power and he's picked up the power numbers more now that he's settled into the season. Take a cue from Douglas Adams and "Don't Panic!"

A, Savannah Sand Gnats:

Some of the players I'm particularly excited about have not proved me right as of yet so I'll focus on two guys who aren't disappointing.

Cory Vaughn, OF - Greg Vaughn's kid is... AWESOME. He may not be hitting for prolific power like he did in the NYP but he's doing almost everything you could want a prospect to do. Is he hitting? You bet! He's hitting .331 and slugging .478 (He's hit 2 of his three HRs recently so it might be a sign of things to come). How's his plate discipline? TOPS! He's got a 27:37 BB/K ratio and is a leader in OBP. How's his defense? Pretty good. He's played all three outfield positions. He projects to have the hitting chops to play anywhere anyway. If I had to find a flaw it would be the 4 CS in 10 attempts. It doesn't look like he's a prolific base stealer. Though... 6 SBs does point to the ability to nab at least a few.

Robbie Shields, SS - Can Shields stick at SS? I don't know. He's got more of a shot than Wilmer Flores. Shields is a hitting infielder and that isn't something to scoff at. He's got a few TRULY gaudy stats. His K/BB ratio? 21:21. That's sick! Most of his hitting has come in May and that should tell you that he's potentially a big star who just took a month to REALLY get going. My biggest worry is that Shields is also not destined to stick at SS and that hurts his value.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quit D!cking Around!

What is wrong with R.A. Dickey? Is his knuckle not knuckling? Is his beard not mannishly awesome? He's certainly not the same guy he was last season. What could have happened to New York's journeyman golden boy? I mean... in the off season he was everyone's favorite Met.

2010 vs. 2011:
Statistically the biggest issues for Dickey are a ballooning in his H/9 and rise in his BB/9. It's not a secret that the biggest adversary to a knuckleballer is going to be control. However... his walks have only gone from 2.2 to 3.2 (BB/9). Walking a little over 3 guys every 9 innings is not terrible. The big culprit is that he's giving up 3 extra hits per outing, going from 8.5 to 11.2 (H/9).

Beyond that... there's also luck. Last season Dickey had a fairly normal .280 BABIP. In 2011 he's 53 points higher. Part of the reason for this is the Gods and part of the reason is that people are hitting him HARDER. Opp SLG has gone up significantly. A 100 point rise is bound to coincide with him being hit harder and contributes to an inflated BABIP (but this time it's HIS fault).

So... what do we do? Rub an ointment on it? Change up the facial hair? Sacrifice a chicken to Jobu? I'm not Dan Warthen or an expert on pitching but it seems to me that the problem is either control, pitch selection or that hitters made an adjustment. The first two... we can deal with. If it's the third one, Dickey is on his own to make adjustments.

In the end I know from Wakefield that knuckleballers make dynamic relievers. So... perhaps it's Dickey who will move to the pen and not Capuano or Gee.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

At Least You Have Your Health

The Mets have had years with more and more serious injuries. However, 2011 is quickly becoming another glimpse at how abysmal the NY Met training staff seem to be. Bay... Pagan... Davis... Wright... I won't list Young or Mejia, those things will happen but it seems that we just can't get all our ducks in a row.

Now... the Mets have been close to healthy but if they actually could get ALL of the above players healthy at the same time it becomes a different team. Firstly, the pitching staff + Sanatana is much improved. Second, The teams speed combination of Reyes, Pagan and Wright is solid and scary. Murphy hitting in the 7th hole where he should be, Turner and Paulino providing bench support, Pridie there for defensive replacement work... the list goes on. The Mets with all their current injuries are not a .500 baseball team but if everyone could stick together and get healthy, this team is better than a lot of people think.

1. Jose Reyes, SS (One of the best lead-off hitters in baseball)
2. Angel Pagan, CF (Switch hitter with speed and some power)
3. David Wright, 3B (Power hitter with great speed)
4. Carlos Beltran, RF (Great hitter with great instincts)
5. Jason Bay, LF (Powerful righty bat)
6. Ike Davis, 1B (Powerful lefty bat and best 1B glove in baseball)
7. Daniel Murphy, 2B (Solid hitter and hard worker)
8. Josh Thole, C (Contact Oriented Catcher)

1. Johan Santana (Lefty with good stuff and great control)
2. Mike Pelfrey (A solid #3 pitcher)
3. Jonathon Niese (A good young pitcher who has potential for more)
4. R.A. Dickey (A knuckleballer who is gritty)
5. Dillon Gee (A solid inning eater who has earned a spot)

CL - Francisco Rodriguez (Workhorse closer)
SU - Taylor Buchholz (GREAT setup guy)
SU - Jason Isringhausen (Veteran with control and a diverse arsenal)
MR - Pedro Beato (Hard throwing young reliever)
MR - Bobby Parnell (Harder throwing young reliever)
MR - Tim Byrdak (Capable left specialist)
MR - Mike O'Connor (Another LOOGY arm)
LR - Chris Capuano (Solid long man and great vs. lefties)

C, Ronny Paulino (Power righty bat and solid catcher)
1B/2B/SS/3B, Justin Turner (Solid hitter who can play many positions)
OF, Jason Pridie (Good 4th OF)
OF, Scott Hairston (Veteran OF with power)
IF, Luis Hernandez (Defensive replacement)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ask The Fans

I run a fantasy league with far too many players and far too many teams. At any one time at least 500 players are floating around the 20 teams in the league and for non-paying owners we're all pretty involved, enthusiastic and aggressive. We're like a bunch of children arguing over the merits and flaws of various X-Men. However, I'd say that 16 out of 20 of the owners know their baseball and make sound arguments for things.

I asked them:

If the Mets are sellers at the deadline, and everyone was available, who would your trade for and what would you offer?
I closed commenting from Met fans (the majority of the league) and let the fans of various other teams give their opinions on what they'd give for who.


Mr. Carter is a Brave fan who I've known for some years (purely online communication) and we've had mature and interesting debate on the NL East. This began on the Met message boards of ESPN and has continued largely into our fantasy league. Like most Brave fans, Mr. Carter loves himself some Bravo prospects. However for Jose Reyes... here is what he's come up with:

Atlanta Gets:
SS - Jose Reyes

NY Mets Get:
SP - Arodys Vizcaino
SP - Chris Masters
SP - Dimaster Delgado
Sorry I just can’t find any way to rationalize to myself giving up Teheran, Minor, Delgado, Salcedo, Perez, or Lipka for a rental player. Depending on needs Christian Bethancourt could be a target for the Mets. He hasn’t done much so far in the minors but is still really young and has monster upside as a catcher. Ive seen reports that said he’d probably have the best arm in baseball if he came up now but wouldn’t be able to hit.Frankly, the Mets would be stupid to take this deal and I think Mr. Carter knows it.

The largest issue is that all of the players he's offered are in A+ baseball. This, in turn, means that none of them can contribute in 2011 or 2012. While none of the players he's listed are worthless I think that Brave fans would delude themselves if they thought that they could get Reyes without giving up one of the: Teheran bunch. Add to this that the Mets trading Reyes within the NL East would be near impossible and that price-tag goes up.


I met Mr. Oom as he came into the league in the middle of year 1. He wasn't super baseball savvy at first but thanks to the insanity of the league I like to think this Tiger fan has rekindled his love of baseball minutia.

Detroit Gets:
SS - Jose Reyes

NY Mets Get:
SP - Andrew Olliver
SP - Charlie Furbush
OF - Daniel Fields
3B - Nick Castellanos
Third base is basically a black hole of death now that Brandon Inge has proved to be an average/below average fielder (which was once his only saving grace). Batting near the mendoza line, a rough K/BB, and with more limited range and erratic throws, there's not much to like barring yesterday's game winning triple over Minnesota. Every dog has his day. Jhonny Peralta has been surprisingly great for the Tigers, and a move to third would make him even better!

This package makes a lot more sense for the Mets. Olliver and Furbush are good AAA pitchers with solid upside. Fields and Castellanos make little sense for the Mets as they play positions the Met farm has depth at, but that isn't the end of the world. Mr. Oom who made this package goes on to say that he'd go after Wright as well but would balk at giving up Jacob Turner. The rest of the league agreed that Turner would need to be part of the deal if Wright were on the table.

New York, AL:

I've known Mr. Reitman for years and years. We met when we were in Elementary school... or maybe even earlier. He's probably the guilty party when it comes to my insane following of baseball. Sure, he's a grubby Yankee fan. Sure, he cheats at All-Star Baseball 2001. Sure, he will never admit that Scott Brosius was inferior to Robin Ventura, but he isn't as bad as MOST Yankee fans.

NY Yankees Get:
SP - Mike Pelfrey

NY Mets Get:
SP - Nik Turley
RP - Fernando Hernandez


NY Yankees Get:
SP - R.A. Dickey

NY Mets Get:
RP - Fernando Hernandez
SP - Zachary Nuding


NY Yankees Get:
OF/DH - Carlos Beltran

NY Mets Get:
SP - David Phelps
3B - Robert Lyerly


NY Yankees Get:
SS - Jose Reyes

NY Mets Get:
SP - David Phelps
SP - Nik Turley
SP - Chase Whitley
R.A. Dickey is probably only worth a couple C-Level fillers or maybe a decent RP... meaning not a top prospect but an RP doing well. Beltran is worth a couple middle B prospects but no more than two. I'd give up a decent B and a C for Pelfrey and probably a trio of Bs for Reyes. Reyes is worth more but we have no opening.

Mr. Reitman... NO opening? I'm sorry but I wouldn't be thrilled to have the Captain holding SS for the next few years and players like Reyes don't come along frequently. Less frequently do they get traded by big-market clubs. The key to most of these deals is that the Yankees aren't giving up "A" level prospects but they are giving up players who could impact the club in the somewhat near-ish future. The Beltran trade is the only one that looks remotely acceptable to me.

In conclusion, the Mets want to make some trades but getting top prospects back is not a sure thing. Also... UNDERSTAND... that other fans don't value our players as highly as we do. Likely if we were asked about acquiring THEIR players we'd balk at sending Wilmer Flores, Matt Harvey or Jeurys Familia. It's reality.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Before the season started a certain blogger (ME) might have mentioned that he wanted a certain player (MURPHY) to platoon with a righty but basically get 85% of the playing time. This blogger said this because despite Brad Emaus' supposed hitting ability and Chin-Lung Hu's defense, the Met pitching would never be enough to win games on their own. So... the solution was that we needed more hitting. More hitting = Daniel Murphy.

Defensively, Murphy has his faults. He's a bit too aggressive and tends to look less than balletic out in the field. Turner himself is also not exactly the reincarnation of Ozzie Smith. The fact is... You don't need to have an all-star defensive whiz at second. You don't need to be super stong up the middle. No Keith Hernandez... You don't. What you do need, is players that can hit. You think too many Met fans miss Rey Ordonez and his wimpy bat? Maybe a few, but you get my point... at least I hope you do. Murphy/Turner give the Mets a combo at second of a righty and a lefty who can handle a bat and not completely butcher the field. I only wish that the Mets/Terry Collins/Santa/ or... Whoever is making the calls could have come up with this a few weeks sooner.

Since starting this post, last week, Ike Davis was hurt and the Mets now have Murphy at first and Turner at second in full-time roles. I won't read too much into Turner's big night with the bat yesterday but I will say that it's pretty telling that the Mets are using these players to recover from losing their best offensive weapon from the early going. Now... Murphy and Turner do not a Davis make, but they've been solid.

Now... a new and strangely happy question: Does this mean we can get rid of Chin-Lung Hu or Willie Harris?

Probably not, but I want it bad.

Fernando Martinez: Should I say that his promotion bothers me? Well, it does. Not because I want Kirk Nieuwenhuis up (Frankly Pridie deserves the playing time he's getting) but because other players in AAA make much more sense. Lucas Duda for one... Nick Evans for another. Carrying a 3rd Bench OF does not make sense. Martinez should be playing every day in AAA and not serving as a PH in the majors. Come on!

Up This Week:

From The Horse's Mouth - I Poll Fans on Trade Possibilities.

Full Strength - What Can a Full Met Lineup Provide?

Quit Dicking Around - What is Wrong With R.A. Dickey?

Young Guns - A Look Into the Minors.

P.S. Sorry for the break in posts I was splitting time working from home and being a nurse.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spending $60 Million

With $68.3 Mil plus probably $10-15 Mil in smaller contracts and arbitration the Mets have between $36.7-41.7 Mil to spend. The goal is to keep their payroll beneath $120 Mil. That couldn't be that hard. What would that look like?

Free Agent Targets:

Jose Reyes, SS (29) - Jose is already popular with Met fans. Likes where he's living and is the best player available to fill the vacancy at SS. Matt Cerrone has said before that beyond Reyes, who else would the Mets be able to go after? The key will be Length and salary. I'm not going to ask for a Home Team discount from Reyes for size but I'm going to hold my offer to 5 years. (5 Years, $70 Mil: $10M, $12M, $15M, $16M, $17M)

C.J. Wilson, SP (31) - Wilson may not be the most exciting name out their but he'd be gifted the benefit of Citi Field and be joining a rotation that would include Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey and Jonathan Niese. He's not going to need to be an Ace, just a #3 pitcher. With the weaker pitching class hitting free agency I know that his price will be inflated but pitching is NEEDED. (3 Years, $27 Mil: $9M, $9M, $9M)

Jonathan Papelbon, RP (31) - Mets will need a closer and are the only "Big Market" team who is likely to pay for one. Even so, I don't think the Mets throw K-Rod money at a closer again no matter what. Still, the Mets need to throw a good amount of money for a better closer like Jonathan. (3 Years, $30 Mil: $8M, $10M, $12M)

George Sherrill, RP (35) - Nothing fancy, but nothing fancy is necessary. The Mets need a lefty and Sherrill is probably the best lefty reliever available for 2012. He could probably slot in as a third setup man on the staff but I'll leave him in the ranks of the middle relievers. The question is how big a contract can you give an aging lefty reliever? (2 Years, $6 Mil: $3M, $3M)

Javier Lopez, RP (34) - Here is another big move. I'm looking at signing TWO lefty relievers. Why? Well, because the Mets have been handicapped for too long by not having enough lefties in their bullpen. Most teams have 2-3 lefties to spot through a game to make the matchups favor them. The Mets need to run Tim Byrdak out there for 3 batters because they only have the one lefty. (I know O'Connor is on the team now, but do you count him? I don't.) (3 Years, $7 Mil: $3M, $2M, $2M)

From The Minors:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CL (L) - Captain Kirk is tearing up AAA and looking like he might replace Angel Pagan sooner than later. He's got SOME power and SOME speed but he's not Reyes or Davis. He looks like a 15 HR, 20 SB player who is a good fielder and solid all-around player. He projects as more of a corner OF with his speed but between he and Fernando Martinez both being fringe CF guys I think the OF defense won't suffer. Plus Angel moves back to the bench as the 4th OF guy.

Fernando Martinez, RF (L) - The forever prospect gets his legit shot at making the team. Because I'm the one writing this I'm going to say that he does succeed and in the spring both he and Nieuwenhuis push Angel Pagan into a reserve role. Fernando's power and production may not be the 30 HR range that I used to see... but... it could easily be above 20 and who knows how high from there.

Matt Harvey, SP (R) - Matt Harvey is still pitching in Port St. Lucie. Why am I projecting him into the starting rotation? With Mejia's injury and the extremely weak starting pitching market for 2012 Harvey has a shot to make the rotation next spring. It will be a fair competition between he, Cohoon and a few others to win the 5th spot in the rotation. Notice that I've cut ties with Mike Pelfrey before the season.

Mark Cohoon, SP (L) - Cohoon loses the battle with Harvey for a spot in the rotation but the finesse lefty is reliable enough to give a long relief job and a third lefty arm to the bullpen. Cohoon's style is well suited to long-relief as he should never be walking the ballpark and letting the game get out of hand (like Ollie Perez might. Cohoon could look to replace Dickey in 2013, though I give that nod to Jenrry Mejia.

Lineup: 8
1. Jose Reyes, SS (S)
2. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF (L)
3. David Wright, 3B (R)
4. Ike Davis, 1B (L)
5. Jason Bay, LF (R)
6. Fernando Martinez, RF (L)
7. Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
8. Josh Thole, C (L)

Rotation: 5
1. Johan Santana, SP (L)
2. R.A. Dickey, SP (R)
3. C.J. Wilson, SP (L)
4. Jonathan Niese, SP (L)
5. Matt Harvey, SP (R)
Bullpen: 7
CL - Jonathan Papelbon, RP (R)
SU - Taylor Buchholz, RP (R)
SU - Pedro Beato, RP (R)
MR - Bobby Parnell, RP (R)
MR - Javier Lopez, RP (L) MR - George Sherrill, RP (L)
LR - Mark Cohoon, SP (L)

Bench: 5
Ronny Paulino, C (R)
Angel Pagan, OF (S)
Lucas Duda, OF/1B (L)
Justin Turner, IF (R)
Nick Evans, OF/1B/3B (R)

2012 Payroll: $113.7 Mil


For the sake of this analogy Gruel is Jose Reyes and Oliver Twist is the Met fans. Also in this case the fat man with the pot of gruel and the loud voice is Met management crying poverty. Actually... they aren't crying poverty, that's simply what everyone else is saying. What is being said?

"The Mets don't have the MONEY to re-sign Jose Reyes."
Let me be the first to call B.S. on this. If the Mets are going to have a $120 Million dollar payroll they'll have just under $60 Million to spend before the re-sign arbitrate etc... With all arbitration assumed I'd estimate $45 Million still free. Is there no room for Reyes in that money? Wait... maybe they'll be too busy getting pitching.

  • Chris Carpenter, 37
  • Roy Oswalt, 34
  • Ryan Dempster, 35
  • C.J. Wilson, 31
  • Edwin Jackson, 28
  • Mark Buerhle, 33

Above is a small list of some of the BETTER starters available in free agency. All I can help seeing is that the Mets might as well save that $45 Million for 2013 if they want only pitchers... but while they're doing that, maybe they should spend part of it on one of the most popular players on the club.

Jeff Wilpon and company have legal woes and all of that, but they are not exactly going to send out a baseball team with a payroll beneath $100 Million in New York City. The next time you hear Evan Roberts talk about it on WFAN. Call up and call him out on his B.S. Then wait for Steve Somers to come onto the air, he's the only one I like.

Save Reyes!!!

Up This Week:

Let's Be Silly - I'm Gonna Spend Those $60 Million... and Have Some Fun.

Platoon - Visiting Turner and Murphy and Giving the New Platoon a Grade.

Re-Alignment - Like Any Good Mechanic I Have to Check the Rotation.

Minor Qualms - Let's Take the Rose Colored Specs Off, Shall We?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Uh... did you say 'yutes'?

Jenrry Mejia, 22: Today's Minor League report starts with the mention of the injury to Jenrry Mejia. You already know about what happened and that he needs Tommy John surgery. You've even heard moronic speculation that he'll now be magically relegated to the bullpen. I can only tell you that the Mets could ill afford to have their top pitching prospect hit this type of road block. Today's post will instead focus on the pitchers who are HEALTHY in the Met minors.

Chris Schwinden, 25: Schwinden is the only starting pitcher still in AAA who has pitched remotely well. There is little to nothing to fault him on his first 3 starts but his fourth outing was shaky and it may be that AAA is adjusting to Schwinden. Shcwinden is a control pitcher who relies on using the strike zone to make up for a low 90's fastball. His secondary offerings include a slider and a changeup. He's likely not more than a reserve starter or long reliever.

Mark Cohoon, 24: Again, three GREAT starts and then things start to un-ravel. Cohoon will look to rebound after his 5 ER outing on May 1st. Again... Cohoon has nothing to over-power anyone. His fastball sitting in the high 80s. His secondary pitches (curveball and changeup) are both usable pitches and he projects as a useful back of the rotation starter with the added bonus of being a lefty. He's probably going to be going up to AAA as it seems the organization is going to be conservative. He should be in the majors in 2011 if he's needed.

Brandon Moore, 25: I talked about Moore a lot last year. He was VERY good in Savanah, okay in Port St. Lucie and TERRIBLE in AA. Again in AA he's proving to be up to the challenge there. The term "Junk-Baller" might be used for Moore who throws a middle 80s fastball, with a variety of off-speed pitches that include a slurve. He's not a top prospect or someone who people imagine will make a large impact in the majors but he could come in and be a good reliever against fastball hitters.

Bradley Holt, 25: Brad's 2008 was GREAT. His 2009... feh. His 2010 was JUST bad. His 2011... well it's actually pretty nice all things being equal. He's got his velocity back up and he's keeping people off base. His 4th start (notice a trend?) was poor and the opponents hit .462 against him that game. OVERALL... he's held the enemy to a .192 AVG. That is pretty sweet. It was once thought that Holt could be a front of the rotation guy. I think he could still be a #3 or #4 pitcher in the MLB. I tend to wear rose color glasses though.

Robert Carson, 22: Because of his age and build I think Carson might be the best guy currently in AA. He's a lefty and at 6'3" he's right around the area that coaches look for in players. He's another victim of the 4th outing blues. He's another Fastball/Slider/Changeup guy but being a lefty with a low 90's fastball he could develop into something pretty useful at the major league level. At the very least a useful lefty bullpen arm. Because he's only 22 he's likely to not get the call to the majors no matter what in 2011.

Jeurys Familia, 22: Familia lasted until his 5th start before having his bump in the road. Thankfully... he already rebounded nicely. He is striking out a player an inning and that is swell but what I love is his sub 1.00 WHIP. He just doesn't let people on base. His fastball is in the mid 90s and has developed a change and a slurve to compliment the pitch that so impressed scouts back in 2010's Spring Training. Familia hasn't really shown any flaws in A+ so far and a call to AA is only a matter of time.

Matthew Harvey, 22: So far Familia is the highest ceiling pitcher I listed. Familia looks like front-end starter but I don't think I'd call him an Ace. You know who I would call a future Ace? Matt Harvey. He's got a high 90s fastball and a few solid breaking pitches that are the reason he's striking out so many. The biggest issue he had before being drafted was his command and thus far it's been pretty solid. He's walking about 3 men per 9 innings which isn't excessive and he's looked like he's already too good for the hitters at A+.

Gregory Peavey, 23: Greg has been pretty solid in Savanah but he's not dominating the league that is known to be easier on pitchers. His start last night was his best so far. 6 innings, 3 hits, 0 BBs and 6 K's. He's got a fastball that reaches the middle 90s and a hard slider. Peavey is still to far from the majors for me to even venture a prediction of where he'll wind up but he's looking like he'll move up to the FSL either this year or to start next.

Erik Goeddel, 23: Another guy who shows promise that I can't rightly project too well. A hard throwing righty Goeddel has a shot to be a starter or a reliever depending on his development. Right now I can't say which is more likely. To go along with a fastball that I've seen described as a true + pitch, he has a solid curve ball that keeps hitters off balance. The Mets went over slot to get Erik and the expectations for him are reasonably high.