Mack’s Morning Report Report – 12-13 – Bartolo Colon, Stephen Drew, Fred Wilpon, John Axford, Kevin Gregg


I’m starting to get very frustrated at the process going on in the Mets camp right now. It seems to me that this whole adhering to the budget thing is just a little over the top. There is no reason you should be prevented from signing Stephen Drew before moving either Ike Davis or Daniel Murphy. I know that it will take the projected arbitration money assigned in the budget to both Murphy and Davis to make this work, but, the bottom line is both could be DFA’d and, at worst, Davis could be released and Murphy be traded for a team controlled player. It’s not the best deal, but remember, you did also add either Drew and Colon to your squad.

Everything I hear is the current Mets philosophy is to NOT trade any of their young, talented pitching, so their long range plan is the same as mine… come to camp with three solid starters (Wheeler, Niese, Gee), add an innings-eater in the winter meetings (Colon), reserve a slot for Syndergaard in July and Harvey next spring, and let a gaggle of starters (Montero, deGrom, one-year signees) fight it out for what’s left in 2014.

(And trust me… Colon will not be around for the 2-years he has signed for. This is the classic Alderson kind of deal where he will offer up Colon in a trade for a stud psospect (a la Beltran for Wheeler) as soon as Syndergaard is comfortably in the rotation)

You’re close, but you simply don’t have enough on this team to compete in 2014.

You still need Granderson, both Youngs, and whoever plays first base to hit far past their 2013 production level to even get to that point. This is not a team with an excess amount of hitting talent.

The sad part is the fact that, if this team was owned and operated by a person or corporation that wasn’t tied into their other assets, or, depending upon what you believe you read, just doesn’t have the focus to understand the philosophy of ‘you have to spend to produce’… all you need is around a $130-140mil budget to get things done properly here, which is still far below what most large marget teams operate at.

I’m not going to put together some fantasy team… you can do yours… but both of ours would have stud first basemen, shortstops, second basemen, an outfielder named Choo, and at least one more SP-2/3 level starter. Now you would have a team to compete with the rest of the league.

For now, I stand by my request for an 1) upgrade at shortstop, 2) an MLB-tested SP3-4, and a 3) back-end reliever.

I got my request #2 Wednesday night (Colon).

It’s not nirvana, but, for the Mets, this year… Young, Colon, and Granderson are only close to a good off-season.


Possible Met – RP John Axford

            John Axford - John Berton Axford  (twitter: @JohnAxford)

Position: Pitcher  Bats: Right, Throws: Right Height: 6' 5", Weight: 220 lb. Born: April 1, 1983 in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada (Age 30)  High Schools: Assumption College (Brantford, ON), Assumption College School (Port Dover, ON)  Schools: Canisius College (Buffalo, NY), University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN)  Signed by the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent in 2006. (All Transactions) Debut: September 15, 2009 (Age 26)  Teams (by GP): Brewers/Cardinals 2009-2013 2014 Contract Status: 1st-Year Arb Eligible (details) [*] Service Time (01/2014): 3.170, Arb Eligible: 2014, Free Agent: 2017 [*], Agents: Beverly Hills Sports Council [*][i]

2012 season[edit] = Axford began the season with six straight saves, extending a streak to 49 consecutive save opportunities converted. This was the fourth-longest streak in MLB history. This impressive streak ended on May 11, 2012, in a game against the Chicago Cubs. As it turned out, Axford's wife began going into labor with the birth of his second child that night, and he was unavailable to comment after the game on his blown save. Instead, he left a handwritten note for journalists in his locker.[15] On July 16, Axford gave up three runs in the top of the 9th to blow a 2-0 lead. Axford, however, was able to regain his control and was reinstated as the Brewers closer in the second half of the season. He managed to rebound enough to finish the 2012 season with 35 saves, which was still good enough for 6th in the National League, with a 4.67 ERA, plus a new career high in strikeouts in a season, striking out 93 batters in 69 innings pitched, averaging an astonishing 12 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched.

On September 16, Axford made his 100th career save, closing a game against the New York Mets. On January 18, 2013, the Brewers announced they had avoided arbitration with Axford, signing him to a one-year contract worth $5 million.[16] St. Louis Cardinals[edit] On August 30, 2013, the Brewers traded Axford to the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later.[17] After the season, Axford was non-tendered by the Cardinals on December 2, making him a free agent.[18][ii]


Possible Mets – Kevin Gregg - Status: Active Full Name: Kevin Marschall Gregg   Born: 6/20/1978 in Corvallis, OR   Bats/Throws: R/R  HT: 6'6''  WT: 245 > Debut: 8/9/2003  College: N/A [iii]

Baltimore Orioles (2011-2012)[edit] - On January 5, 2011, Gregg agreed to a 2 year, $10 million deal with the Baltimore Orioles with team options for future years.[6] = On July 8, 2011, when trailing the Boston Red Sox by seven runs in the eighth inning, Gregg threw three consecutive inside pitches to designated hitter David Ortiz. Ortiz took exception after the third pitch, accusing Gregg of trying to hit him with a pitch, leading to home plate umpire Mike Estabrook warning both benches. On the next pitch, Ortiz swung at a fastball strike, sending a shallow fly into left-center field. As the ball was in the air, Gregg shouted at Ortiz, and was ejected by Estabrook. Ortiz then charged Gregg, who had taken a couple steps off the mound towards home plate. The two began to fight and, after Adam Jones caught the ball in play, both benches cleared. Gregg and Ortiz were ejected. [7] Gregg was unapologetic about the incident, saying that the Red Sox "think they're better than everyone else."[8] On July 14, Major League Baseball suspended Gregg and Ortiz for four games each for their roles in inciting the brawl.[9]

Late in 2011, Gregg's closer role was gradually taken over by Jim Johnson.

On September 11, 2012, the Orioles designated Gregg for assignment saying that he wasn't pitching enough to be effective when he did.[10] On September 14, he was released.[11]

Los Angeles Dodgers (2013)[edit] On February 10, 2013, he signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that included an invitation to spring training. He did not make the Major League roster and the Dodgers granted him his release on April 3. Second stint with the Chicago Cubs (2013)[edit] Gregg signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs on April 14, 2013. [12] Gregg was called up to the majors in late April and has gone 16/18 in save opportunities and posted a 2-1 record since then and was named closer by Cubs manager Dale Sveum.[iv]


Anonymous said...

Hey Mack - always great stuff. Thx.
I'm reading a lot of people still think of Lagares as a 4th OF. Knowing you were a baseball afficiando from 50's, 60's, and 70's, I have a thought for you:

Some people see Mets as making Lagares a 4th OF. He could be – or instead perhaps the next Roberto Clemente? Or better?

As great as Roberto was in the OF, what I saw of Juan last year defensively might (gasp) put him on, or almost on, a par with Clemente.

Offensively, Roberto’s first 5 years averaged as follows:

125 games, 484 at bats, 22 doubles, 8 triples, 5 HR, 47 RBI, .282, .310 on base, .393 slug.

Lagares could easily do as well or better.

Clemente greatly soared after those first 5 years, but in this day and age, the early Clemente might have been a 4th OF with those sort of “first 5 year” #’s.

And Lagares hit .350 in A and AA in 2011, so it is not as if he never showed he can hit.

So: lagares the next Clemente?

Bob Sugar said...

Hey Mack. We're selling real low on Ike but yet Sandy has been holding out for a better return than what has been offered. Maybe it turns the right way- we'll see. Hope Colon performs well enough to make us competitive and to your point bring back a nice return in a trade.

Anonymous said...


Thats an extremely far fetched comparison so I'll leave it to Mack.

However in my opinion the best comp I have for Lagares is Michael Bourn.

A .270 hitter with 5-8 HR power, premium defense, strong armed, low BB rates, above average K rates. Most of their value (WAR) is contributed on defense. Only thing that doesn't comp well is that Bourn has more pure speed.

Willis said...

Sandy has it set up perfectly to get the shortstop in a trade. He filled the OF holes and fourth starter spot without having used any of his young pitchers, he can sign one or two veteran relievers to round out the pen. So now he can use the assets (young pitchers) to get a solid young shortstop, especially if he can deal Ike for another young arm.

I don't want Drew. This is about building it for a long run, as you've been saying for years. So lets get our shortstop for the next five years.

Unknown said...

This is what pissed me off the most about the Colon signing as well as chris young. To me they wasted the rest of their budget on them, we need as much of a sure thing as possible with that money. I would of went for 1 offensive player that is worth that 17 million, that is a legit cleanup hitter. I Would have preferred Kemp over young, DenDekker as well( cause he would probably have had same numbers as c young for the same price). Wouldn't a 3,4,5 of wright, Kemp, and Granderson been a whole lot better?
Also it seems everything I read from newspaper to blogs that they are praising the Wilpons, what for, they are at their budget that they set. Put them on a pedestal when they get to at least $110-120 million. For the price they ask for ticket prices, the budget should be a whole a lot more.
Now they are going into penny pinching mode. To me this team isn't any better than last years team.

Mack Ade said...

Anon -

Very good comparison to Clemente.

To be honest, Lagares caught me off guard. I never thought he would make it as a backup major league outfielder, no less the second coming of Willie Mays.

My string is still out here. I want to see another year from him. His defensive gems keep me off guard and he should come off even better with the guys playing next him.

Now he needs to hit.

Remember, the Mets now have three guys that can play excellent defensive CF

Mack Ade said...

Zozo -

I'm impressed with the amount of money the Mets have spent and I'm impressed with the fact that the team now has two new outfielders and one more starters.

What upsets me is we still are bottom feeding in our approach to improve this team.

And I wouldn't expect much coming in at shortstop folks.

There's 5mil left in that God-awful budget (which could swell to $9mil if Ike Davis is traded for a team controlled minimal salary dude)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mack on my Lagares/Clemente comparison.

Of course, as you recall, Clemente played then in Forbes Field, which had dimensions about the size of Wyoming. I saw him line a triple once off the right center 436 sign - ouch. That park's huge dimensions reminds me of an amazin' Sept 1969 1-0 game, just as Mets were surging into the lead...McGraw vs. Stargell with 2 outs in 9th, and Agee caught the ball at the 458 sign in dead center...also Swoboda's grand slam in another game that month to left center to win a game 4-3 as I recall - cleared the 440 sign...a miracle year.

Reese Kaplan said...

I think a comparable for Juan Lagares might be Elliott Maddox who for two consecutive years in pinstripes posted arguably the emptiest .300 averages ever seen.

Mack Ade said...

Bob Sugar:

I give Sandy all the credit in the world on the Colon signing. He's the perfect 'bridge' pitcher needed in 2014-2015.

It will not be Sandy's fault if he flops. It was a good deal (a little expensive) for a team that is 'pitcher based'.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

I think Lagares' job is safe for the first half of 2014, but, if he doesn't hit, there's a good chance Puello is slotted in and Grandy moves over to center

Herb G said...

@anon & @Mack -

Comparing Lagares to Clemente after less than 400 MLB ABs is akin to saying that Mike Jacobs was the next Babe Ruth after the fantastic start he had in his first 100 ABs. Clemente was a natural, who made his MLB debut at 20. He had played the first 5 seasons that Anon referred to by the time he was Lagares' present age.

If you want to compare Lagares to Clemente, at least wait until he has won his 6th gold glove, appeared in his 7th All Star game and won an MVP, all of which Roberto accomplished by the age of 31. Lagares still has 7 years to match Clemente.

Mack Ade said...

Herb -

I didn't compare anyone with Roberto Clemente

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