5 Questions With... Rob Zloto


                       Rob Zloto  is a writer for Kinerskorner.com  and cohost of Kult of Mets Personalities on BlogtalkRadio part of Ivy League productions

1. Judging that there is a new television deal in place and the fact that the New York real estate market has rebounded, can we assume that the Mets can’t deal up the ‘we are broke’ card again in future drafts and off-seasons?

    Before I answer I'd strongly recommend readers to check out Howard Megdal of LoHudMetsBlog and Wall Street Journal, who have more details on Mets financial information than I do. Basically any information I have comes from those sources, whatever gleams I get from local media, and my own common sense/delusions. But I try to keep latter to a minimum in this area.

Short answer is that as far as I am aware the new TV deal really doesnt effect the Mets in next few years positively. Everyone is getting equal amounts from TV deal, so if Mets are behind certain franchises and ahead of others, it wont change those factors. They're also locked into a well below market deal with SNY that they borrowed against, so TV won't be helping them much if at all, especially since programming aside from Mets have been wasted on that network.

As for NY Real Estate market, that is far from what I know about but I will say this: the market doesn't matter if the parts going up are not affecting Sterling Enterprises. And there are still mountains of debt they have coming in 2014 and 2015. Even if TV and real estate help, it likely will go into paying off debt well before the personnel payroll. My suggestion to Mets fans is until they spend assume payroll is going to be in the $60-80 range for the foreseeable future once Santana/Bay are off the books after this year.

2. No one has been more perplexed at the under-slotting and lack of drafting power names early on in the drafts. Do you see any chance in this come June by Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta?

        To be fair it already has. The mets did spend over slot on some picks in the 2012 drafts. Not more than other big market teams, but far more than they did under Omar, who actually had money to burn. But i guess two year deals to julio franco and miguel cairo were more essential. Mets also set a team-record bonus to an international free agent last year to Ahsad Rosario, a dominican Shortstop signed to $1.7m. So there have been signs they are willing to spend on draft. I will say though if mets draft and underslot the 11th pick this year, they better be ready to hear the backlash.          

3. I was lucky to spend a couple of years in the clubhouse during spring training. The team has lost a handful of real nice guys this past off-season. In your opinion, how important is team chemistry off the field and what happens when some wild card (like Kelly Shoppach orJordany Valdespin) shows up?

       It's important, and it makes it easy to root for, but talent comes first. Let me give you an NBA example. Look at the knicks. They had an up and coming team with a lot of really nice guys like David Lee and Danilo Gallinari. But they were struggling to get the 8th seed, and always had issues cause they didnt have a go-to guy. Then they traded for Carmelo Anthony. They signed JR Smith. While everything may not be smooth, these guys who are definitely not as nice as the others, are in position to finish as one of the top seeds in the east. Having niceness and team chemistry is important, but talent comes first. 

That doesnt mean there aren't exceptions for especially bad guys even with talent. But the 86 teams found a balance between nice guys, bad guys and talent. As did others. As long as they are talented it's the coach's job to make it work. You dont need 25 guys to like each other to play together and win.

4. The 2015 rotation looks like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, Noah Syndergaard, and ??? Care to make a guess who the SP5 will be?

     Good Question. Personally I think it's too early to assume on Syndegaard, as I can picture him either fading or being dealt well before then. But let's assume those four are there, which would be awesome. I would say the 5th will most likely be a free agent or traded for pitcher. I can't even guess who that might be as there are too many factors to go through. If Mets feature in 2015 five different pitchers who at one point pitched in their minor league system (can't call wheeler, syndegaard home grown can we?) I'll guess the fifth is Michael Fulmer. Although Rafael Montero, Luis Mateo, and Domingo Tapia all seem like pretty interesting pitching prospects. In many ways, the minors might be more interesting to follow than MLB team this year.

5. Queens wise, in your opinion, when do we see our next Mets playoff game?

I am going to be a bit bold and say 2014. Lost in the complaints about the outfield is the fact the Mets infield is in excellent shape. ike has yet to show what he can do in a full healthy season, but if 2nd half last year is any indication it could be a LOT. You got wright who is a steady great hitter. He may not be the guy you want to be "the man" of the lineup, but he can carry a team through several weeks. Tejada is only 23, so we can expect him to keep growing. The only slight question mark is Murphy, and it's not really for his defense, believe it or not. I thought his defense improved over the year and while he's never going to be a gold glover, he wont be a liability. He needs to develop more power. If he can hit .280 and get to 15 homers out of 2b, that's about what you'd want from the position. And wilmer flores, the mets best position prospect, is right behind him on the depth chart if he falters or hurt.

Obviously there is d'arnaud, who while a prospect there always will be questions till he does it at this level, seems to be as close to a sure thing as mets have had. It is much harder to find infielders than outfielders, and mets are set. If the pitching turns out to be as good as expected, the mets are only 2 position players and a closer away from being a complete team. Plus, with 2 wild cards, there's always hope. Hey, you never know, they may surprise this year. If oakland and baltimore can, why not mets?


Charles said...

The 2015 rotation, to me, simply won't need a free agent pitcher; unless they deal off someone like Niese or more likely Gee.

I'm assuming that Syndergaard will develop considering how well he pitched in high A; which was a lot better then both Harbey and Wheeler. So in my view, the four pitchers you named should easily take up those first four slots.

Now, I find it hard to believe, that from Fulmer, Montero, Tapia, Mateo, and DeGrom, the Mets will be that unlucky to end up with a bunch of crash and burn arms or even a bunch of relievers. Could they end up trading some? Sure, but with the money they'll have available, why trade the young pitching? Better off trading Gee, who I think, after this season will be an excellent sp3/4 starter and even better, he'll be expendable at a time when huge packages are being given for starters who are proven and cheap.

Mack's Mets © 2012