Mack’s Morning Report – 12-21 – 2030 Willets Point, Mike Trout, Eno Chat


Willets Point: $3 Billion -

Another example of a project that would come under fire from Bill De Blasio. Though locals argue their neighborhood isn't as blighted as the city claims it is, this 62-acre development—including 2,490 units of housing, a shopping center and an entrainment complex—was approved by City Council October. Last week, the city approved a $43 million tax break for its developers. Michael Bloomberg might be sneaking these projects into the world like a teenager tiptoeing through the backdoor after curfew, but that's not to say that De Blasio is anti-development. As Gothamist points out, he received thousands of dollars of campaign donations from the very developers mentioned in this article. He's more likely to be a "development pragmatist," in the words of Capital NY, driving harder bargains but not giving developers the complete (and very tall) cold shoulder. http://gizmodo.com/the-billion-dollar-megaprojects-that-will-transform-nyc-1484387579

Mack – I don’t know how much of all these projects will ever get done, but there sure are a lot of pretty drawings on this web site. Give a look at the proposed 2030 Queens will look like. Wonder what the ticket prices will be then.


The baseball world is trying to figure out what the Angeles Angels are going to do about CF Mike Trout. He will go ARB-1 before the 2015 season and it’s anyone’s guess what his salary will be that year. He’s also scheduled to become a free agent before the 2018 season which I’m sure the Angels will try and do what they can afford to do to avoid. His agent already balks daily at his current pre-ARB $510K salary, and experts in this matter say it will be a sure bet that be gets $10+mil next season. Bleacher Report (which is always nuts) is predicting he’ll be the first $400mil player.

The Angels have never had problems spending money and their current 2013 salaries come in at $134.5mil.  Barring injury, what would be the incentive of Trout signing a pre-ARB contract with the Angels? It’s not like his agent is going to go for some discounted rate for the best ballplayer in baseball. And what about the team? They already are under contract to pay $97.4mil to four ballplayers in 2016. Did you read that correctly. Around $12mil more than the entire Mets payroll for… four ballplayers.

The safe road? Let him play on your team for four more seasons and wish him well in free agency. Hopefully, you’ll win a world series or two during that period.


Don’t look for the Philadelphia Phillies to be making any big signings for the rest of the Hot Stove season. Ruben Amara said he will try and get through the 2014 season with his aging core of stars (Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Carlos Ruiz) along with this year’s new players, Marlon Byrd, Roberto Hernandez, and Brad Lincoln. The farm is not one of the better ones in baseball The best of what they had there (Domonic Brown, Darin Ruf, Jonathan Pettibone, Cody Asche) have already been called up in 2013 and no one else projects to be ready. Frankly, 2014 looks like a very long year for the Phillies and they could challenge the Marlins for last place in the division.


Brian Joura –

Rafael Montero, RHP, 2.43 ERA, 72 Ks in 66.2 IP in Double-A, 3.05 ERA, 78 Ks in 88.2 IP in Triple-A -  In somewhat similar IP at Binghamton as Syndergaard, Montero was the better pitcher. He had a lower ERA, a lower WHIP, a better K/BB ratio, a better HR rate and a better BB rate. Everyone is quick to point out that Syndergaard was hurt by his last start of the year on irregular rest. That’s true enough. It’s also true that he put up a good chunk of his stats in Binghamton on both an innings and pitch count limit. His best run of pitching was a four-start stretch where he did not exceed 71 pitches.

Contrast that with Montero, whose best stretch in Binghamton was his final three starts, where he threw 20 shutout innings, with 311 pitches.

But Montero also had great success in one of the toughest environments for a pitcher. After eight solid starts in the Pacific Coast League, Montero closed the season with seven dominating performances. In that stretch he had a 1.61 ERA, he limited opposing batters to a .557 OPS and he allowed 9 BB and had 44 Ks in 44.2 IP. And four of those seven games were in Las Vegas. http://mets360.com/?p=20070

Mack – Montero doesn’t get the press that Thor does, so it’s nice to see that Brian has tagged him with the number one prospect. We’re going to see him first and, depending upon the health and success of Jenrry Mejia, he will either be the SP5 early on or a member of the pen.

I’ve always hoped the Mets were healthy enough in the rotation to set up a potential pen of Montero, Mejia, Jeurys Familia, and (eventually) Marcos Camerena. This would represent some serious speed and sickness coming out of the pen.


Eno Sarris –

Comment From Mark - What do you see as potential returns to Mets for Ike, Duda, Murphy. Do you think Wilmer can Replace/Handle 2nd or 1st?  

Eno Sarris: I’d love for the Mets to option Duda, play Ike to rehabilitate value, then trade him mid-season with Flores maybe for something real. I do not think Flores can handle anything other than third or first. Murphy’s headed to third too.

Comment From Jon - Do you like Ike Davis as a platoon guy for the Pirates? They seem to be running out of 1B options unless they go completely off the board for someone like Jonathan Singleton or Brandon Belt

Eno Sarris: Why not bite the bullet and get Morales. Gaby can spell him for defense. Worse defenders have played on the field in the NL. Maybe if the price drops far enough.   


Comment From Marty - T/F: Mets overpaid for Granderson and could’ve better spend that money elsewhere.

Eno Sarris: False. They needed an outfielder, and paying 80-100 million more for the top level guys didn’t make sense, and the rest of the crew is not an upgrade over MiLB invites and Rule 5 guys. I know I just trashed Nelson Cruz, but look at his WAR totals for the last three years. Do I love the fourth year? No.   


Comment From 5-cent head - If you look at what the A’s did here in the hot stove league, why do the METS, who I desperately want to support, seem to be lacking? The management at the Mets re coming from the same intellectual background, but should have more $ to spend. Are my expectations too high?

Eno Sarris: I think your expectations about money to spend are too high. I think the team is rotten at the very top, like the Knicks. Not the GM, higher up.   


Comment From Kings Lead Hat - Think the Mets go into 2014 with Ike/Duda at 1B, Murphy at 2B, and Tejada at SS, or does Sandy have a Christmas miracle in store for us?

Eno Sarris: Picked for the handle. since Duda has an option and most of the media and fans have bought into the idea that 2015 is more important than 2014 because of Harvey, I think Alderson stands pat if he doesn’t get a real prospect for Ike.

Comment From john - Im sorry, but Sandy Alderson said the other day that Eric Young’s speed doesn’t do them any good on the bench. 1) Sabermetrics doesn’t value stolen bases; 2) You still have to get on base to use the speed, and 3) wasn’t speed being his positive skill why Sandy didn’t even discuss extension with Reyes? Come on Eno, you can’t still be supporting this guy. EYJr doesn’t belong on a baseball team, let alone an every day line up LEADING OFF!  

Eno Sarris: I’m as stymied as you are by this. We’ll see what actually happens. Saber does value stolen bases if they come at a 66+% clip, though. And speed is valuable, just not a good only reason to give a guy like Reyes all that money.    


Anonymous said...

Why do Met fans are so eager to trade a young player like Flores? He just had back to back 800+ OPS seasons while being one of the youngest player in the league. Hear the same attitude towards Puello (the only 5-tool prospect in the system, btw). May be its because of failures of guys like Milledge and F-Mart? But we have to remember every player was once a prospect and if we keep trading our prospects for 'established" MLBers of average caliber, we won't have nothing but average players.

Granted, Flores most likely is not going to play second. But just because he's not a 30-hr guy, he can't play first? I'd take a .300 hitter with 40 doubles and 15 hrs to play first. Obviously no guarantee, but I think Flores has that potential. Plus, his defense at first could be above average ... his knock is speed, but has good hands and arm. If it were up to me, I'd play Davis at full time at 1B first has of the season with Flores playing 1B in Vegas. Hopefully, Ike does marginally better he can flipped at the trade deadline and bring up Flores. Mack, would love to hear your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mack what do you think about the young lhp the from the giants who had to make room for morse?
A little competition in spring training!?
Michi L

Herb G said...

I don't want to see Montero in the pen, and I hope the FO doesn't either. He has too much potential as a starter. A long term rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Niese/Gee, Thot, and Montero could easily be the best in the majors.

Comment to Eno:

Here's why you don't bite the bullet and sign Kendrys.

Career Split AVG OBP SLG OPS YR ABs Proj HR
Sanchez vs. LHP@RHB 0.300 0.399 0.496 0.895 145 6
Davis vs. RHP@LHB 0.256 0.356 0.471 0.827 435 22
Platoon Both vs. All 0.267 0.367 0.477 0.844 580 28
Morales vs. ALL@SWB 0.280 0.333 0.480 0.813 580 27

(I hope the above table prints correctly in the comments.) It shows that, based on their career numbers, the Piratess would get equal or better production from a platoon of Davis and Sanchez than the would from Morales, even taking into account Davis' disasterous starts in 2012 & 2013. Combined, they produce a .367 OBP vs. Morales' .333 and an OPS of .844 vs. his .813 with about the same SLG and HR totals. That for about $5.8 million as opposed to paying Kendrys more than double that, and losing a draft pick.

Rrgarding the leadoff spot, while it is true that E. Young's .325 OBP is not ideal for a leadoff hitter, his speed and skill on the basepaths means he will get himself into scoring position frequently. Because of that, he is a far better leadoff option than anyone else we have on the team at present. Until Sandy acquires someone with a much better OBP and similar speed capabilities to EYJ, he gets the designation and we should stop debating it.

Mack Ade said...


I have watched Flores first hand for two years and, yes, he has the best young bat in the system... but...

he's slow and he can't field

this is professional baseball, not a game you chose up with your friends in the park down the block

all that's left for him is a dH or 1B and, if it is 1B, the major league level is not the place to experiment.

First, they should have made sure he's playing first in winter ball (he isn't)

Secone, return him to Vegas for the 2014 season and let him play first for the entire season

(oh, BTW... Dom Smith will finish the year in Lucy...)

Herb G said...

Anon #1 - I don't think all Met fans are that eager, but there had been alot of talk about trading him because he wasn't thought to have a position when Davis was supposed to be the 1B of the future. Now that Davis' future is clouded, there is more talk about Flores playing 1B. I am guessing that you will see Flores spending time at 1B in Las Vegas this year, perhaps exclusively if Dykstra is not healed and ready to play.

Anon #2 (Are you the same Anon?) - Eric Surkamp is an interesting thought. Although he hasn't shown anything in two tiny cups of coffee for the Giants, he has excellent minot league stats, especially in 11 starts for Fresno in the PCL this year, where he went 7-1, 2.78, 1.065. He has very good command. I'd definitely claim him if we get the chance.

Another guy worth a look is Alex Castellanos, an OF who was DFA'd by the Red Sox. He also didn't do anything in two tiny cups of coffee with the Dodgers, but he has solid minor league stats. Although he doesn't excel in the field, he is extremely versatile, with some pop and some speed.

Herb G said...

Add another player to the guys that MLBTradeRomors says are in DFA Limbo, who deserves a close look - Jerry Sands. He has serious pop, is a good glove in the outfield. He has a career minor league slash line of .276/.366/.526/.892. He's a guy I'd claim, even if it was to tear up PCL pitching for Vegas.

David L. Whitman said...

Mack-Is Flores really that slow? You don't think he can improve defensively at all? He's still only 22, you don't see him evolving defensively at all?

All-I see 2014 as a year of experimentation. Put Lagares at the top of the order to start the year, see what he does in 100+ AB if he fails, go with Young Jr. or even Murph. I just feel you need to see what you have with kid. CF is such an important position and if he can handle hitting lead off that's two problems solved.

David L. Whitman said...

Herb-I agree on Sands.

Mack-I see the Angels going for it the next two seasons and then shedding payroll to lock up Trout long-term. I think the trades for Santiago and Skaggs is their first steps in that direction. They are going to start getting younger pieces via trade and promotion as they transition to being built around Trout. If they tank in 2014, I see the Angels tearing that team apart-Wilson, Kendricks, Hamilton, Pujols will all go. Scioscia too.

The Phils could be an absolute train wreck this season. They're old and fragile, If the wheels completely fall off you're looking at 100 loss team.

Hobie said...

Herb & Anon,

I agree on Surkamp. My faulty crystal ball had him & Hector Sanchez coming back for Beltran when Sandy managed to pluck Wheeler. Love lefties.

Herb G said...

For some reason, Sandy seems paralyzed when it comes to claiming or signing solid minor leaguers and inviting them to Spring Training. Could it be the hotel bill? lol

Mack Ade said...

D Whit

Re: Flores - yes, he is (was) that slow when I saw him for parts of 2 years in A ball.

You can not be slow playing SS and most of his errors there (league leading)were caused because he didn't get to the ball quick enough.

Another fact about him... he went an entire season never once running safely from first to third on a single by the next batter

I'm sure he is better now but his extended play in the majors will only expose his slowness

Mack Ade said...

Herb -

One of the reason might be the glut of players currently projected for Las Vegas:

starters: 11
pen: 12
IF: 7
catcher: 3
OF - 6

Herb G said...


I hate to pass on a quality young ballplayer because we have too many good prospects already in the organization. Is there any limit on roster size in the minors? Perhaps a few of the borderline pitchers and position players could be held back in Binghamton until Vegas players are called up. Guys like Eric Surkamp and Jerry Sands could help at the major league level this year. Can we just pass on them?

Mack Ade said...

Herb -

Roster sizes in the minors are the same 25 man as the majors

Herb G said...


Hobie said...

The question should be: is Surkamp (as an example) better than at least one pitcher on our 40-man? If so we improve by claiming him. No?

Actually I count 37 on the 40 now.

Herb G said...


How would you compare Surkamp with Goeddel? Both 25 yrs old, Goeddel hasn't pitched higher than AA while Surkamp had 11 starts at AAA this year. Career wise:

Goeddel: 3.79, 1.353, 8.2 K/9, 3.5 BB/9
Surkamp: 2.84, 1.120, 7.4 K/0, 2.4 BB/9

If you look at 2013 stats, the difference is more stark, despite the fact that 3.4 of Surkamp's time was pitching in the hitters paradise PCL while Goeddel was in the EL with Binghamton. I think I like Surkamp.

Herb G said...

That should be 3/4 of Surkamp's time...actuallu 80%.

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