Mark Mokris asks:
Hi Mack, well it looks like David Wright's contract will be finalized and officially announced at the winter meetings. I think I was right that this was all about Seth Levinson and ACES maximizing the public relations by this being officially announced at the winter meetings. My guess is that the Mets got the nod that they had the parameters of a deal in place a couple of days ago and tried to keep the lid on it until winter meetings. Should be an interesting day with all of the arbitration decisions today. I suspect that the Mets will fill need at catcher from non-tendered catchers and look to trade for at least one outfielder. I know that Matt Den Dekker was supposed to go to the fall instructional league to help him with his strikeouts do you have any updates whether the Mets made any major changes to his swing? Any ideas who else was working on things there? Would you rank the Winter Leagues. Is the Dominican Republic or the Venezualan league the better league and are they the equivalent to AA or AAA? Ok have to get to court. Have a good day.
Mack: Morning counselor.
I think you were right about the Levinson drama. Wright obviously decided well over a week ago that he was going to finish his career as a Met. All that had to be done was to work out the fine tuning. In addition, the Levinson’s really needed something to make the baseball community forget how badly they handled the Melky situation. Wright is a super loyal guy, both to his team and his agent, so I’m sure he allowed this circus to happen the way it did.
I’m writing this while working from Midnight-7am, early Saturday morning. There’s no Internet access here so I can’t follow my Twitter feed and see the ARB names coming down. The Mets continue to take offers for either Jon Niese or RA Dickey for a star outfielder. That is their main goal at these meetings, and, if they don’t get a decent deal done, they will resign Dickey and we’ll still have a great rotation to fall back on.
I expect to see at least one more outfielder, a catcher, and a couple of relief pitchers come out of the meetings, either through minor trades, free agent signs, or the Rule V. Nothing here will knock your socks off, but it will give the Mets immediate depth for the 2013 season.
Regarding the fall instruction leagues, I’m going down to St. Lucie in two weeks so I’ll know more then. Trust me, den Dekker is being worked with somewhere. Both he and Kirk Nieuwenhuis are ‘next up’ and things would work a lot smoother if one of these guys turned out to be for real.
Regarding the Winter Leagues, I consider the Arizona Fall League the premier event followed by the DWL (I really miss the Hawaii League). The Venezuelan, Puerto Rico, and Mexican Leagues are all sub-par, with Mexico pulling up the rear. It’s very hard to compare then to either the AA or AAA level because they are littered with players either long past their prime or others that simply have no major league affiliation at all. We pundits rely very little on the stats here, but really get concerned when we see a poor performance by a key minor leaguer (i.e. Cory Mazzoni).
Hope this helps.