Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
The Cleveland Indians have signed P Fernando Nieve to a minor league contract.
The Houston Astros have claimed P Phillip Humber fro CWS
Adam Rubin reports that the Mets are eyeing OF Ryan Ludwick, Cody Ross, Angel Pagan and C Jesus Flores and Martin Maldonado.
-the list could be worse… here are last year’s stat line on each one:
Ludwick – 33/yrs old – 2012: .275/.346/.531/.877, 26-HR, 80-RBI, 422,-AB, 97-K
Ross – 31/yrs old – 2012: .267/.326/.481/.807, 22-HR, 81-RBI, 476-AB, 129-K, 42-BB
Pagan – 30/yrs old - .288/.338/.440/.778, 8-HR, 56-RBI, 605-AB, 97-K, 48-BB
Flores – 27/yrs old - .213/.248/.329/.577, 277-AB, 6-HR, 26-RBI, 59-K, 13-BB
(Remember that great 2006 season in St. Lucie: 21-HR, 70-RBI)
Maldonado – 25-yrs old - .266/.321/.408/.729, 8-HR, 30-RBI, 233-AB, 56-K, 17-BB
-First of all, I can’t see the Mets re-visiting Pagan for a third time. You would have to think by now that the last thing he would want to do is come back to a team that didn’t want him two other times.
-Both Ross and Ludwick offer you Duda-like stats, which are okay, but I don’t see either one of them breaking out and becoming a star hitter, especially at the age they will play next season. Yes, it is better than the Mets have now, but neither project as long term solution.
-The only way the Mets get themselves a star or potential star outfielder, for the 2013 and beyond season, is through a trade for either Jon Niese or RA Dickey. You’re going to have to give up something prime to get something prime in return.
-Regarding Flores, I make it a habit to follow ex-Mets minor leaguers that go on to other teams, and, frankly, Flores has never produced at the major league level. We all thought the loss of him in the Rule V draft was a big Omar Minaya mistake, but it has turned out different. It’s amazing how one broken wrist can change a man’s path in life.
-I know very little about Maldonado. All I want in 2013 is a good defensive catcher that can platoon with Josh Thole. The Mets are not going to solve their long term catching needs during this off-season. Pick the guy that can handle the pitchers.
Matt Cerrone – “This is why I still believe Jon Niese is significantly more likely to get traded next week than anyone else on the roster, which is something I’ve been saying for nearly a year. I think they’ll do it if he can deliver a legit, major-league bat, like a Justin Upton or a Wil Myers. However, the Mets won’t move Niese if the offers continue to be weak.”
-Niese has become a much sort after young man. Like I said, he’s young, cheap, and has already produced major league stats he can be proud of. Every team needs another lefty that throws like this.
I sort of agree with Matt. Neise will get many more inquiries than RA Dickey and I believe he will attract the kind of bat the Mets can build an outfield around (remember, when Sandy Alderson was asked this week what he thought of his outfield, he barked back: “what outfield?”) but I still hang on to that dream rotation (Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Niese, Rafael Montero, Michael Fulmer) I want to see in 2015.
I hope Alderson sticks to his guns and only offers up Dickey for a quality outfielder. I mean, the guy did win 20-games and the Cy Young award. Not every team is going to want a 38-year old pitcher, but Dickey is different and he can be the difference between almost making the playoffs (Red Sox) and going all the way.
Either way you go, it will create an immediate hole in your 2013 rotation, which could be filled with a late signing on Mike Pelfrey, or a continuation of what Jenrry Mejia is doing in winter ball. He is being used as a starter and he’s putting up great numbers.
Please let Cerrone be wrong here. I don’t want to lose Niese
“The New York Mets today announced that they will directly manage the Kingsport Mets (Appalachian League) business and facilities operations at Hunter Wright Stadium. Mets Director of Florida Operations Paul Taglieri, in conjunction with Mets Vice President of Facilities Karl Smolarz, will oversee the operations in Kingsport – including corporate partnerships, ticket sales, and marketing. Taglieri will also continue his responsibilities at the Mets Florida headquarters in Port St. Lucie.”
This is great news. Kingsport has been kind of the forgotten affiliate in the system, though it has been run well by its General Manager. What they haven’t done was ever hire a PR guy and they never send out pre or post-game information to the press (neither did St. Lucie until this past year and the GCL info also doesn’t go out on the Internet).
One of the key words in the press release is ‘facilities’ and that’s where the real problem exists. There simply is no decent drainage on the field and puddles have remained up to 72 hours after a decent rain. Savannah had the same problems a few years ago, but new owners there tore the field up and replaced it on top of a state-of-the-art drainage system. This is what Kingsport needs and, hopefully, the Mets will invest the money needed here.
Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com hears that Dickey will accept a two-year contract that would presumably begin after 2013 (Twitter links). Now, Rubin writes, it’s just a question of agreeing on an appropriate annual salary. Mets people seem confident they’ll complete a deal with Dickey, according to Rubin. (Andy Martino - “A deal is not close between Mets and Dickey at the moment. But as team showed with Wright this week, they can get aggressive quickly”.
It’s nice to see that these guys are on the same page. Look, you can’t sign Dickey until after the Winter Meetings end. You have to find out his value.
I’ve attended many conventions over the years. Deals are done in hallways, over a lunch in the hotel snack bar, and even elevators. I remember that Mel Karmazin, then President of Infinity Broadcasting, would wait and pull off a mega-deal to purchase a radio station during the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention every year. That’s why you have these meetings. A General Manager may land at the airport, thinking he has a deal worked out for an SP, only to find out that the guy signed with another team during the first day of the convention. You (the GM of the Mets) run into him on the second day and he asks about Jon Niese. You say no and you both move on, but by the third day, he’s sort of desperate and the name RA Dickey sounds really good (especially if all you want is two top prospects that haven’t played a lick of major league ball yet).
Remember the famous words of Steve Phillips… “prospects get you fired…”. Think Brad Holt, who was once untouchable. Dickey has the ability to produce for a team 10 more victories than they would have without him being in the rotation. He dominates at least that many games each year. 10 more victories makes most also-rans a playoff team, and the revenue generated by playoff games more than makes up for the investment.
Please don’t sign this guy until the week is over. You have no idea what might be available right now.