Reese Kaplan -- Baseball-Reference NOT Liking Mets


So a great many folks think I’m overly harsh in my assessment of the team.  Let’s try to use a more reasonable evaluation based upon some people with greater analytical abilities such as BaseballReference.com.

If this is the projected lineup going into 2019, then here are the numbers we can expect:

First Base
Dom Smith – 22/57/.210
Todd Frazier – 22/63/.216
Peter Alonso – no projection, but mine would be .235/30/82

Second Base
Robinson Cano – 16/60/.275

Amed Rosario – 10/46/.258 with 10 SBs

Third Base
Jeff McNeil – 7/30/.289 (but only expected to do that in 291 ABs, so you could roughly double that)

Travis d’Arnaud – 8/28/.241 (but only expected to do that over 224 ABs)

Brandon Nimmo – 14/47/262 with an OBP of .380
Juan Lagares – 5/21/.251 over 235 ABs
Michael Conforto – 25/74/.250

Starting Rotation
Jacob deGrom – 10-9, 2.76
Noah Syndergaard – 10-6, 3.21
Zack Wheeler – 9-8, 3.83
Steven Matz – 6-10, 4.19
Jason Vargas – 9-9, 4.65

Edwin Diaz – 2-4, 3.03 and 30 saves
Jeurys Familia – 5-4, 3.52 and 14 saves
Seth Lugo – 5-4, 3.60
Robert Gsellman – 6-4, 4.29
Drew Smith – 2-2, .3.92
Daniel Zamora – 2-1, 3.90

So it would seem that in comparison to the baseball experts, my outlook for the team is positively rosy.  I think they greatly underestimated what Cano, Rosario and Nimmo will provide.  They’re slightly under on Conforto and McNeil.  They are probably on target with Frazier, Smith, Lagares and d’Arnaud.  On the pitching side of the ledger they appear to be wildly underestimating the results and the wins totals in particular are disturbing. 

Obviously although the Winter Meetings are over, it doesn’t mean the trading season and free agent signing period has ended.  Theoretically groundwork has been laid in person with a great many targets and there’s no reason to assume that if they never spoke to a player such as Luis Avilan it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t.

So we’re back to the question of whether or not this team is ready to compete for the post-season?  Now, with BaseballReference.com’s analysis supporting me, take another look and tell me what you foresee for the 2019 season.  Even if the site’s glass half-empty view is way off base, let’s see what an realistic view might look like:

First Base
Peter Alonso –35/90/.260

Second Base
Robinson Cano – 25/75/.285

Amed Rosario – 20/64/.270 with 30 SBs

Third Base
Jeff McNeil – 18/70/.290

Travis d’Arnaud – 18/65/.260

Brandon Nimmo – 20/70/.275 with an OBP of .400
Juan Lagares – 8/40/.265
Michael Conforto – 30/85/.270

Starting Rotation
Jacob deGrom – 14-9, 2.35
Noah Syndergaard – 13-6, 2.89
Zack Wheeler – 12-10, 3.35
Steven Matz – 10-10, 3.49
Jason Vargas – 9-9, 4.65

Edwin Diaz – 2-4, 2.76 and 40 saves
Jeurys Familia – 5-4, 3.15 and 14 saves
Seth Lugo – 5-4, 3.50
Robert Gsellman – 6-4, 4.00
Drew Smith – 2-2, .3.50
Daniel Zamora – 2-1, 3.90

So these projections of my own are considerably better, but it still seems that there’s work to be done to improve the roster.  No one can guarantee that Juan Lagares and Travis d’Arnaud will actually stay healthy enough to produce at their levels. 

So again, with about $20 million to spend, how would you make it a stronger team more likely to ascend to the post-season?  I’m still serious about playing the tie a bad contract to a desirable resource game to free up some more money to address the needs properly.  Todd Frazier, Jason Vargas and Juan Lagares all fit into this $9 million+ salary dump picture.  If someone comes calling and wants a guy like Andres Gimenez then insist they take along one of this tragic triumvirate.  Then you get back both a player or players in return in the deal AND you gain some extra money for the next deal, be it now or at mid-season if indeed you are close to serious contention. 

If you want to spend what you have right now, I’m not a fan of going after Yasmani Grandal.  After pillaging the minor leagues, giving up another draft pick to sign him (not to mention the AAV of the contract and the term of it) wouldn’t seem terribly prudent.  I am also dead set against squandering $6 million per year or more on a guy with a career batting average in striking distance of Todd Frazier but without the power.  No Maldonado for me.  I’d sooner roll the dice on the no-compensation choice of Wilson Ramos and hope that half a season of him and half a season of d’Arnaud would be livable. 

As far as centerfield goes, you most definitely need a reinforcement there.  Even if Lagares miraculously stays healthy and maintains his new batting approach, they are down to three outfielders.  Adam Jones had an off year offensively and his CF days are pretty much over.  You could trot him out there a’la Curtis Granderson, but unless he’s willing to take a major pay cut on a very short term deal, move along. 

I’d be much more interested in acquiring the lefty Michael Brantley who made only $11.5 last season in Cleveland and is well known to manager Mickey Callaway.  Last year they trotted out Nimmo, Conforto and Bruce.  While the latter didn’t produce as desired, it wasn’t as if his left handedness was the problem.  I want teams to get out of this mindset that lefties can only hit righties and vice versa.  You face far more righties than you do lefties, so it would make sense to tip the scales in your favor with a lefty-heavy lineup.  I would then live with Brandon Nimmo or Michael Conforto in CF.

For the pen, yes, Andrew Miller would seem to be a primary target but then you go into the season with an injury-recovering high-priced player and Daniel Zamora from the southpaw side.  Might it make more sense to go after the healthier and cheaper Oliver Perez, Luis Avilan and/or Tony Sipp?

So now that you have the numbers, both pessimistic and realistic, are you optimistic? 



Boles to Manage Binghamton Rumble Ponies


The Binghamton Rumble Ponies are proud to name Kevin Boles as the team’s manager for the 2019 season. A veteran Minor League instructor with nearly two decades of managing experience, Boles joins the New York Mets organization after spending the last eleven seasons managing in the Boston Red Sox system.

“It is an honor to join the organization and I’m very excited to get started,” said Boles. “We will do our best to develop championship-quality players for the New York Mets.”

Boles, 43, will take the reins of the Rumble Ponies following a five-year stint managing the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA). He guided Boston’s top Minor League team to one International League championship, winning the Governor’s Cup in 2014. BaseballAmerica recognized him in 2018 as the International League’s Best Managerial Prospect.

Prior to his time in Pawtucket, Boles managed in the Eastern League with the Portland Sea Dogs from 2011 through 2013.

Boles becomes the 16th manager in franchise history and the second to steer the ship since the team became the Rumble Ponies. His predecessor, Luis Rojas, was recently added to the New York Mets Major League coaching staff as Quality Control Coach.
The 2019 season will be Boles’ 20th year as a manager or full-time coach in Minor League Baseball. The Chicago native made his managerial debut in 2000 at the age of 25 with the GCL Marlins (R). He also logged time on various Minor League coaching staffs within the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins organizations before joining the Red Sox in 2008.

Boles played at the University of South Florida before the Chicago Cubs selected him in the 42nd round of the 1998 draft. After two seasons as a player, he followed his father’s footsteps into managing. John Boles managed at the Major League level with the Florida Marlins for four seasons (1996, 1999-2001). The elder Boles served as an executive with several teams for over two decades during his career in baseball.
Boles’ tenure with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies is set to start on April 4, 2019 against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Reese Kaplan -- If the Season Started Today, UGH!


In the most recent past the formula for projected success was a powerful starting rotation with an offensive attack just potent enough to score one more run than the opposition.  We all know that the best laid plans of mice and Mets fans oft go astray.  Injuries, poor performances and questionable leadership resulted in unintended failures.

To hear some tell it, the best approach is to address the anemic offense.  Towards that end the Mets got off to a good start, adding the bat of Robinson Cano but apparently at the expense of the bat of Jeff McNeil who, if you were not paying attention, set the minor league world on fire and followed it up with a 6-week trial at the .329 level.  Yes, there is always a Mike Vail possibility lurking behind that strong start, but with Todd Frazier having been in decline for a few years now, trotting him out there hoping that trend reverses seems a poorer bet.

Then there’s the question of first base.  That position became somewhat clearer when Jay Bruce was sent to the land of Starbucks and legal pot.  It opened up the logjam that threatened to keep slugger Peter Alonso in AAA for a full season.  Now it would appear he’s destined to stay there just long enough to manipulate his service time with the former first round pick Dom Smith likely getting the starting nod on opening day.  That should change a few weeks later, adding the right handed bat of Alonso to the still anemic lineup. 

Amed Rosario made great strides in the last part of the season, exhibiting both power and multi-hit capabilities to go along with his baserunning speed, but he’s not exactly making anyone think he will be the second coming of Francisco Lindor.  He is what is called a work in progress.

I think most folks would pencil in both left handed hitting outfielders into the more-or-less sure thing category with Michael Conforto finishing very strongly after recovering from his shoulder injury, and Brandon Nimmo exhibit heretofore unforeseen power while building on his strong on-base capabilities. 

However, any way you slice it, the offense looks pretty vulnerable with Juan Lagares slated to be the regular centerfielder on the days he can stay in the lineup and some combination of Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki behind the dish. 

What that means to me is you are looking at a lineup with only three hitters pretty much a lock to hit above .250 – Cano, Conforto and Nimmo.  Todd Frazier will be near the Mendoza line, no one knows what to expect from Rosario or Smith/Alonso.  The catchers and Lagares combine to be below that .250 mark for their careers.  What that tells me is that the lineup going into 2019 as it currently stands has the potential to be even worse than what we’ve seen in the recent past.

Assuming the starting rotation remains intact, then you have every reason to believe that a healthy four horseman of the apocalypse of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz have the potential to render opponent lineups impotent.  Hell, if they stayed healthy you could probably even withstand Jason Vargas in the final slot. 

The bullpen is still very much a work in progress with Edwin Diaz replacing last year’s Jeurys Familia to begin the season in the closer’s role.  That’s a notch above for sure, but nothing yet has been done to reinforce the remaining firestarters, er, firemen.  But wait, we added Mr. Familia back into the fold.  An expensive step to address a problem but not enough given the Jacob Rhames, Paul Sewalds and others of that ilk still very much in the conversations.  Consequently that potential to blow a lot of games is very much alive and well.

I went through this analysis to start a dialog about what should change to improve the club’s probability to, borrowing a painful phrase, play meaningful games in September.  What needs to be done to fortify the offense, preserve the starting rotation and bolster the bullpen?

Obviously most everyone here would be on board handing Jeff McNeil the starting assignment at 3B and let him prove whether or not 2018 was a fluke.  The potential for him to succeed certainly trumps the virtual certainty of Todd Frazier to deliver declining power and little else.   That change requires no additional investment, but an open mindedness that salary shouldn’t dictate playing time. 

Recently reports have surfaced that Gary Sanchez might be on the table as a trade possibility, but not at the price of Noah Syndergaard.  Given Sanchez’s injuries, passed ball problem and reputation for questionable attitude, he’s not worth a guy with a career ERA over 87 games under 3.00.  However, I might be tempted to build a deal around Matz or Wheeler.  After all, Mike Piazza didn’t get to the Hall of Fame for his glove nor his arm. 

I don’t think there’s any way you can go into 2019 with Juan Lagares as the designated centerfielder when he has a dubious offensive track record and an inability to stay on the field.  It disheartens me to have seen the Mets talking to this year’s declining players like Adam Jones to address the need.  That approach smacks of the 2nd tier FA acquisitions of the past that helped get the team into this mess (like Jason Vargas and Anthony Swarzak).  As to who I would target to play CF, that’s a very good question.  Criticizing Lagare’s inability to stay healthy and then looking to someone like A.J. Pollock fortify the position is hypocritical. 

There are numerous bullpen pieces available on the FA market, but it was an amazing story to read the Mets were considering a deal to the Texas Rangers that would bring Jose LeClerc to the Mets for some minor league starting pitchers.  For those of you unfamiliar with LeClerc’s 2018 campaign, he appeared in 59 games with a 1.56 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 57 IP with a WHIP of an unbelievable 0.85.  Although he racked up 12 saves, think of him joining Familia and Diaz.  All of the sudden that porous pen is looking like it will be carrying fire extinguishers instead of kerosene. Compare that to one-year-wonder Adam Ottavino for probably $9 million or more per year?  If not that, how would you feel with guys like Tony Sipp or Oliver Perez inheriting Jerry Blevins' role?  What about Blevins himself?

Finally, the catcher position is another black hole and you have another DL quandary with Wilson Ramos on paper being a good fit given his bat but his durability combined with that of Travis d’Arnaud is like that whole Lagares/Pollock hypocrisy.  Some advocate going after a Francisco Cervelli who has one year at $11.5 million remaining on his deal or eating the future draft pick and ink a very expensive Yasmani Grandal for 3-5 years. 

Without a lot more action than we’ve seen, the current club is again relying on perfect health and lots of unproven people.  That’s not been a formula for success and is unlikely to be one in 2019.  BVW seemingly has many pots on the stove but nothing imminently close to helping the club advance in the standings.  Mack recently said that BVW has close to Sandy Alderson salary restrictions.  If so, then he's maybe got $20 million left to spend.  If you earmark it primarily towards a FA catcher, that's not too much left in the checkbook for anything else.  I think some additional trades that include both salary dumps and prospects will have to happen to get the quality needed within the bugetary constraints.  






Building a thriving and successful bullpen is a lot like stocking shelves of a successful store for the holidays.  You need really good stuff, complementary stuff, plenty of it, and enough so that you don’t run out and have to restock with inferior products.

Last year's Mets bullpen, to be tactful, sucked, by and large.  

Close to baseball's bottom.  

In a Saks Fifth Avenue 2019, it needs to be close to baseball's top.

It therefore is truly excellent that we acquired the great Edwin Diaz to close, and now will have a reunion with the very solid Jeurys Familia. The Mets still have Seth Lugo and Rob Gsellman too. So far, so very good.

But the average major league pen (excluding experimental, pen-crazy Tampa Bay) tossed 575 relief innings last year, with the Mets close to that median at 546 innings.

So, let's figure a normal season of 550 to 575 relief innings for 2019.  How do we make it Saks Fifth Avenue product and not Dollar Tree stuff?

The 4 Mets mentioned above are a great start – they threw between 72 and 80 relief innings last year, for a total of 303 innings, so let's figure the Mets have another 250 to 275 bullpen innings to fill in 2019.  

That's a lot left to fill.

So, who should throw those innings? Let's look first at our incumbents, then look at who we'd need to add from the outside.

We want successful guys only - after all, we want to win a World Series.  

And the 15 pen guys who had a pen ERA of over 5.00 last year for the Mets last year allowed roughly 180 runs in 225 innings, an atrocious amalgamation of meltdown that would keep any MLB team out of the playoffs. 

Simply, that putridity(is that a word?) cannot be repeated.

So...who else we got, bro'?

Pretty definite dudes to throw Mets pen innings in 2019 in my opinion are Drew Smith, Daniel Zamora, Tyler Bashlor, and Bobby Wahl. I could picture those 4 giving the Mets a combined 125 to 150 innings in 2019.   In 2018, all 4 split time between the minors and majors, threw 74 innings, and allowed 36 runs.  

Not bad.  All 4 were getting their major league feet wet in 2018. I hope for modest improvement in 2019 from this foursome.

But more is needed...at least 100 innings more. More like 125-150 innings. 

And a lefty presence is needed with Jerry Blevins gone; Blevins gave the Mets 40 innings last year, but the dude was an asset during his tenure here,  with a tip of the hat to him for going 14-4 as a Met.

My vote for lefty to replace Jerry B? 

Andrew Miller, to give the Mets 50-60 innings of hopefully superior lefty relief.

Which beings us to the filler and cushion segment of our pen. 

The final 50 or so bullpen innings that the pen will need, if all goes reasonably well. 

I would consider Eric Hanhold, Tim Peterson, Corey Oswalt, and possibly Jacob Rhame for that. Maybe even Drew Gagnon. Hopefully, however many innings this group would be used for, their collective pen ERA would be 5.00 or less.  And they would all be inexpensive when Mr. Brodie is wheeling and dealing elsewhere.

This latter group would be acceptable for 10% of the pen's innings, and most likely represent a much higher performance floor than last year's back end of the bullpen.

And be ready to add another functional pen arm not listed above as needed. 

Because the last thing the Mets need is any substandard pen innings from someone really in over their head at the major league level. 

Too many guys like that last season.  

Using guys like that is how you lose pennants.

Using real bona fide bullpen talent is the way you win pennants.


OPEN THREAD - OF - Braxton Lee


The Mets have selected outfielder Braxton Lee from the Marlins in the Rule V Draft.

He's a 25-year old speedster with basically no power. Best year was 2017 where he hit .309/20-SB in AA.

Like Dilson Herrera, a good minor league player to fill an open slot. Going into the draft, the Mets had only three outfielders on their AAA board: Tim Tebow, Keven Kaczmarski, Kevin Taylor

OPEN THREAD - P - Kyle Dowdy


The Mets chose 25-year old flamethrower, RHSP Kyle Dowdy (from Cleveland) in the Rule V draft.

He was a 12th round draft pick with the Tigers and was traded mid-season last year to the Indians.

Throws in the high 90s but always has been a high ERA/WHIP guy.

3 season total:  3.99/1.33

Mike Freire - Blast From The Past....With a Twist


You may or may not remember that I put together a series of articles earlier this year that were titled "Blast From The Past".  They were basically a review of a series of former Mets' players that included their statistics so the reader could properly appreciate what the specific player contributed to baseball when they were active players.

Past installments in this series included players like Hubie Brooks, Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry.  Some of the players were "stars" while others were valuable role players.  The passage of time tends to distort one's view of what the past was really like, so it is interesting to take a look back once in a while.

Since we are knee deep in the Mets' off season, our focus has turned to the roster and how things will potentially change for the 2019 season and beyond.  It was a similar situation during the early stages of the 1998 season when the Mets turbo charged their roster with the acquisition of catcher Mike Piazza (more on that in a minute).

Piazza was born on 09/04/68 in Morristown, PA and had a pretty normal upbringing by all accounts.  Where things got interesting from a baseball perspective was his now "well known draft story" (62nd round pick in the 1988 draft) which was rumored to be more of a favor by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Piazza family.  Safe to say that it turned out pretty well.  We should all be so lucky, right?

Mike steadily rose through the Dodgers farm system before making a token appearance late during the 1992 season.  However, the following year was the beginning of an incredible, Hall of Fame run for the big guy (see his statistics below).  For a variety of reasons, the Dodgers exercised some questionable decision making skills and traded "in his prime" MP (along with future Met Todd Zeile) to the Marlins for a collection of players, of whom Gary Sheffield was the biggest name on May 14, 1998.

Eight days later, the Marlins flipped MP to the Mets for Goeff Goetz, Preston Wilson and Ed Yarnall in what could only be described as a salary dump.  As we now know, MP when on to play seven and a half years for the orange and blue, establishing himself as one of the best offensive catchers in the history of the game.  Despite finishing up his career with the Padres and the A's, Mike felt strongly enough about the Mets that he wore "our cap" into Cooperstown, which is pretty cool.

So, what type of offense did vintage Piazza provide?  In addition to his Hall of Fame resume, let's take a look at an “average” season for Mike.

.308/.377/.545  (.942 OPS)

36 HR/113 RBI/1 SB and 89 RS

4.8 WAR (neutral dWAR)

Those are insane numbers for any player, let alone a guy who has play the most physically demanding position on the field.  Granted, he was primarily a "bat first" type of player, but his defense wasn't completely horrible (.990 Fielding Percentage, 23% Caught Stealing).  Oh and he was pretty durable for his career, routinely playing in 125+ games per season which is "iron man" territory for his position.

I think Mike is one of those guys that you don't fully appreciate until his playing days are over.  In a weird way, he is almost underrated despite his accolades and his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.

So, where's the twist I promised?

Well, it is 2018 going on 2019 and the Mets find themselves in need of an upgrade behind the plate.  Could the Marlins be our salvation, once again, in the form of catcher JT Realmuto?

JTR is a bit younger then Mike was at the time of the last big trade (27 versus 29) and he isn't quite the offensive force in the batter's box (see below).  But, he is much better defensively and he has several years of team control, whereas Mike was a pending free agent after the season in which he was traded. What this means is that despite a shorter track record of success, JTR will very likely demand MORE in a trade then Mike did in 1998, which is crazy but true.

Here is an "average" JTR's statistical season, for comparison purposes;

.279/.327/.442  (.768 OPS)

18 HR/73 RBI/9 SB and 77 RS

3.2 WAR (0.6 dWAR)

.993 Fielding Percentage and 28% Caught Stealing

I am not a fan of emptying the farm system under any circumstances unless it is for a generational talent in his prime (nowadays, think of someone like Mike Trout).

I like JTR and he would be an upgrade, but is he worth mortgaging the farm system?  He is currently the best offensive catcher in the game (like Mike was at the time), but he is simply not the same caliber of player behind the plate.  But, then again, who is right?

In closing, I still think the prudent course of action is to invest in an available free agent catcher in 2019 like Wilson Ramos and hold onto the assets that a JTR trade would require for the future of the organization.


OPEN THREAD - RP Jeurys Famila


The Mets surprised Mets fans on the last night of the meetings with the return signing of relief pitcher Jeurys Familia.

The deal, pending physicals, calls for 3-years, $30mil.


Tom Brennan - Team Hitting, Starting Pitching, Relieving, and Success


Tom Brennan - Team Hitting, Starting Pitching, Relieving, and Success

Six major league teams (the "Elite Six") won 95 or more games last year, averaging 99.5 wins. Boston (108), Houston (103), Yanks (100), Oakland (97), Brewers (96), and Cubs (95).

The Mets?  Not so much.  They won just 77.

Team success typically all comes down to the quality of your hitting, starting pitching, and relieving.


The six 95+ win squads scored between 754 and 876 runs, an average of 808 runs scored.  They hit between .249 and .268. (Note: that team from Bronx hit .249, but that team from Bronx also hit 267 homers, and were barely 2nd in slugging %, so that average was not the key offensive indicator for them.)

The Mets scored just 676 runs and hit .234. Yuck.


It sure helps to have a solid bullpen if you want to win.  

The Elite Six teams had bullpen ERAs ranging from 3.03 to 3.72, with an average ERA of 3.59.  Five of the 6 teams had pen ERAs below 3.50.  Those teams averaged 588 pen innings and allowed 240 runs.  

The Mets?  A disastrous 4.96 pen ERA.  Ouch.

The Mets' pen threw 40 less innings than that Elite Six innings average and allowed 80 more runs.  

Equalize the innings and the Mets' pen was 100 runs worse.


Here the Mets were VERY competitive.  The six elite teams had ERAs ranging from 3.16 to 4.17, averaging 3.82. Five of the 6 were 3.77 or higher.

The Mets? A tremendous 3.54 ERA. 

Elite level starter results. Sweet.

What does all that tell us?  

That scoring 132 runs less than the Elite Six, and having a pen ERA that is nearly 1.4 runs per game higher than the average of the Elite Six, will result in 20 or so less season wins than the Elite Six.

Solution? Add 132 runs offensively, and have a pen that allows 100 fewer runs, and voila! 

A 100 win Mets squad! 


Not at all...

The superior Edgar Diaz, though, is a great start to the pen's increased success level for 2019...but just a start.

Robbie Cano will help add some scoring... but the offense needs more.

Adding a catcher that can hit, along with intrinsic offensive growth from Conforto, Nimmo, Rosario, and McNeil (assuming that core four is not traded), could bring the offense up 3/4 of a run to a full run per game.  So far, so good.

The pen?  Different story.  Significant improvement is needed, even after Diaz has been added, to eliminate that huge 100 run bullpen gap between the Mets and the Elite Six. 

At least two more strong pen arms are clearly necessary.

Oh...and keep the World Series caliber starting rotation intact.

So...fix it, Brodie...Mets fans want a 100 win squad in 2019.  

Not in 2119.

The days of wishful thinking must end.

It is not too much to ask.  It's been way too long.

Reese Kaplan -- Yankees & Mets Rarely Trade Stars


With the Internet going absolutely crazy with the idea of a trade between the Mets, Marlins and Yankees that might include J.T. Realmuto, assorted Yankee prospects and Noah Syndergaard, I was quick to scoff at the notion due to the history between the clubs.  There is always a need to own the back page of the newspapers and no one wants to risk being on the losing end of a high profile trade. 

If you go back through the limited 16 trade history between the clubs since 1966, the players in question were not on the Cooperstown path (no with rare exception even an All Star pedigree).  The most recent deal sent the son for former Met and Yankee Lee Mazzilli, L.J. Mazzilli, to the Yankees for Kendall Coleman.  The younger Mazzilli turned 27 last season and owns a .265 career batting average.  Kendall Coleman’s career numbers are even worse.  He’s younger, but a .205 minor league batting average with neither speed nor power suggests it may be time for the man to consider another line of work.  Unfortunately, it’s these types of trades that have typified the transactions between the crosstown rivals.

For people still reeling from the big Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade that sent prospects Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista to the Mariners (along with salary dumps of Anthony Swarzak and Jay Bruce), take heart in that trading proven talent for prospects is not a roll of the dice that’s guaranteed to come up with 7s.  The Mets once sent usually credible but certified meltdown specialist Amando Benitez to the Bronx Bombers for three prospects – Ryan Bicondoa, Jason Anderson and Anderson Garcia.  None of these youngsters ever amounted to anything combining to spend less than 15 IP in the majors. 

By far the highest profile deal ever executed was sending the popular Robin Ventura from the Mets to obtain Mr. Halle Berry (David Justice) .  Both had All Star credentials on their resumes but both were very much near the end of their careers.  Justice didn’t even get to unpack as he was flipped to Oakland for reliever Mark Guthries and Tyler Yates.  Guthrie turned in a strong season out of the bullpen, finishing with a 5-3 record and a 2.44 ERA over 68 games.  Justice finished up one lackluster year for the A’s.  Ventura fared pretty well in his year and a half in the Bronx, hitting about .250 with 35 HRs before he was flipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor.  Crosby spent parts of three seasons with the Yankees, only compiling 4 HRs and 19 RBIs with a .223 AVG over 257 ABs.  Proctor was terrible as a rookie but in year two in the Bronx he appeared in a league leading 83 games and finished with a respectable 3.52 ERA.  Considering it took 1.5 years for Ventura to compile noteworthy numbers, at best this trade was a push with Oakland winding up the big loser. 

Back in 1972 the Mets and Yankees were involved in a 3-way trade with the Montreal Expos but none of the players involved are going to get into Cooperstown unless they buy a ticket.  It’s hardly a blueprint for success.  For the Mets and Yankees now to be considering such high profile people as the flamboyant would-be superhero Thor and the All Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, it would indeed break new ground and cause even more controversy than the recently completed Mariners deal. 

Mack's Mets © 2012