'The War Room' - Stuff

I asked a couple of our writers to come up with some questions today for 'The War Room' and here's what they came up with:

Michael Scannell asks -

What do the recent moves really mean?  Did the Mets go from "fucking terrible" to "almost mediocre" or is there reason to hope for improvement?  What else do people think Sandy has up his sleeve?
Reese Kaplan asks -
Given the current roster, who would you have leading off and why?

Erik Hudson -

How about who grabs the SP5 slot?  Mejia?  de Grom?  Montero?

How do we get a shortstop that can lead off?  Didn't we have one of them a few years ago?

Herb G said -

How about a Sandy Alderson report card? We could say:
To the surprise of many fans, the Mets have been quite active thus far in this off season. What was your assessment of Sandy Alderson's performance prior to the start of this off season? Now that the winter meetings are over, has he done anything in this off season that has changed your opinion of him, and what do you think of him now? What has he done right, and what has he done wrong?



Mack Ade said...

Michael – So, I see you’re back on decaf again…

I’m not sure if Sandy has any sleeves left. He obviously hasn’t found a market for either/or Duda/Davis or Murphy/Flores. The time spent with Milwaukee seems to be a three-way that just never happened. Frankly, IMHO, there’s a good chance we’ve seen the end of the wheelin-dealin portion of the off-season, and we might be moving into the ‘minor league contract’ phase of filling in the cracks.

IMHO, right now, opening day seems set with:

SP: (4) - Wheeler, Niese, Gee, Colon

RP: - (6) - Edgin, Rice, Black, Torres, Germen, Familia

IF: - (7) - d’Arnaud, Recker, Duda, Satin, Murphy, Tejada, Wright

OF: - (4) - EYJ, Young, Granderson, Lagares

That’s 21… odds are Mejia (22) will be the SP5… you need another relief pitcher (Parnell will not be ready), a backup outfielder, and a utility infielder.

My guess what money that’s left goes to the pen.

Mack Ade said...

Reese –

Based on the current roster, there is only one leadoff hitter on this team and that’s EYJ. He’s also the only player that can jump start this team in the first inning like Jose Reyes used to. I think the Mets’ two recent additions to the outfield aren’t going to make Juan Lagares very happy, unless Sandy can find a decent home (and return) for Daniel Murphy. My guess is Young Jr. will spend very little time on second base, Murphy will play literally every day, Flores will play Vegas and try and establish some trade value while playing a field position, and EYJ will force Lagares out of the lineup and maybe even back to Vegas.

Mack Ade said...

Erik –

It’s my guess that Mejia and Montero will compete for the SP5 slot in spring training. The Mets are not going to hold Montero back if they need him.

The best scenario here is both pitch well and both go north, one as a member of the pen.

Sadly, spilled milk is just that. IMO, EYJ will leadoff the 2014 Mets, playing LF.

Mack Ade said...

Herb –

Well, I was always proud to be under budget and, though I hate the budget that the Mets are working under, I give Alderson an ‘A’ for securing his four additions (fourth being Black in the Buck/Byrd deal) to the Queens team this spring. Add d’Arnaud and Wheeler, and that’s almost 25% of the team.

No, the budget reeks and we are bottom fishing, but I give him a tip of the hat… but… it’s at best a 10% improvement over the Harvey-Byrd-Buck version and the ceiling is probably 81-81.

steve said...

I still think its early.
Lets wait and see what Sandy does?
He has done a great job at waiting teams out,to get what he wants! So if he is waiting to get something out of Milwaukee ,he still might get his player?
About the budget,it doesn't bother me right now while the team is rebuilding. But when the team turns the corner and the Met players become more expensive,they better have monies to keep the key players.

Mack Ade said...

Steve -

I understand how you feel, but some of these were some pretty direct questions and we're just trying to create a little Sunday dialogue here :)

steve said...

No worries Mack:
I am coming around to whatever Sandy is doing. Still not happy about some of the draft picks? But if ownership doesn't have money you cant sign the player anyways. Saying that I don't mind having a low budget NOW. But there better be money available,when the fans are in the seats,and the team is competing? Because they way they are doing things,in each season they will run into losing Harvey then Wheeler then Syndergaard.

jshapps77 said...

I feel like Sandy knows the only way that he's going to acquire a SS that will make a difference is by trading a pitcher. He's desperately trying to trade for someone young, controllable starter that he feels comfortable slotting into the SP5 slot until Montero/Thor emerge. I think the best chance will be to try and find a partner in a Murph/DeGrom type deal. I'm not looking for a world-beater here, just a Hefner-replacement type Then he can flip Gee, who I'd hate to see go, but his value will likely never be higher and he's right-handed. For Gee we can get us a legit young SS. I'd then trade Ike for a 7th/8th inning relief pitcher and call it an off-season. Unless the incoming SS is capable, we are likely left without a lead-off hitter. This likely means EYJ is playing most of the time. I'd let Legares' bat catch up to his fielding in AAA, or even consider packaging him on of the the deals if it brings back something worthwhile. We are also saving a few million, so we should be able to add another veteran starter and/or a few bullpen pieces. Maybe a veteran arm as Parnell insurance.

C: d'Arnaud
1B: Duda
2B: Wilmer
SS: (Owens/Miller/etc)
3B: Wright
CF: Young
RF: Grandy

There's some legit defense, speed, power and OBP in this team. There are a crapload of strikeouts also. So be it. It's better than watching last years AAAA lineup.

SP1: Niese
SP2: Colon
SP3: Wheeler
SP4: (Mejia/Veteran)
SP5: (Montero/Thornberg/Delgado/Cahill)

2015 we come back with Thor/Mejia/Montero further developed and a healthy Harvey. We have enough $$ to sign, or enough arms to trade for, an impact bat in the OF/1B. And we have a team with a real shot.

A million moving parts and variables in this scenario. It'll likely never happen, but a man can dream.

steve said...

Still look at Toronto,they want a 2nd baseman and starting pitching! What about a Murphy Degrom and Lagares for Bautista??

jshapps77 said...


Done. Ship it.

jshapps77 said...

I do think that Legares' value is prob way higher to us than anyone else at this point. Hitting-wize, he'd likely be one of the worst regulars in baseball. I think his D helps balance that out and I think he's shown the ability to improve. But I also feel like most teams prob have a guy in AA/AAA just like him.

steve said...

Lagares is interesting in that he could play Right field aswell as center. Just not sure about the power? He strikes out a lot for someone with limited power. If he could steal 30 bags that would help his value,but he cant. That's why EYj will be starting. Unless they believe Tejada is there leadoff hitter? I see Lagares as trade bait. A team like Toronto has Rasmus for 1more year,then he's a FA. So they could look at him as a future Centerfielder?

Herb G said...

Michael - I think this off season moved the Mets well beyond "almost Mediocre". Colon is an adequate replacement for Harvey in this year's rotation, Grandy should give us more than Byrd (lthough Byrd was a wonderful surprise) and there is still plenty of time for Sandy to do more. I do believe Sandy has a few significant possibilities up his sleeve, but that doesn't mean he will be able to pull them off.

Reese - With what we now have, EYJ leads off, no question. He has a good enough OBP as a leadoff hitter, and he is the only one with the base stealing ability to get himself into scoring position.

Eric - Right now, Mejia should be our #5. If Sandy is successful in getting Thornburg, and then doesn't flip him or another current starter, Thornburg would slot in #5 and mejia goes to the pen, probably as the interim closer.

Myself - I've been satisfied with Alderson all along, because I think he has successfully rebuilt our farm system and made decent draft choices, while his hands were tied by financial restrictions from making any significant FA acquisitions. It is of note that his draft picks and trade acquisitions now populate our top 10 prospects.

His FA signings so far this off season are first rate, and he still has a ways to go. I have a strong hunch that he will wind up signing Drew, although I would much prefer for him to trade Lagares for Miller. I don't believe he is as restricted by the "budget" as most people think. If he gets Thornburg, it would be another major coup. His philosophy of waiting out the other teams until the trade market comes to him pays off. I think he will end up getting a good return for Davis and Murphy, or he won't trade them. I loved his statement that "We are not in the business of giving away ball players." Bottom line is that I think, by March he will have made the Mets into a team that could contend for a playoff spot in 2014. But you all know by now, that I am the eternal optimist.

Mack Ade said...

To: Steve, Shapps, Herb (I had hoped for more respondents than three so far...)

The problem Sandy has right now is a limited budget fighting unlimited media attention to the fact that his team wants to secure the services of a new shortstop.

Things get a lot tougher when everyone knows you won't eat the mashed potatoes without gravy.

Unknown said...

I don't see the team as being better than last year. Everyone is hoping for Colon to have a year like last, but I expect a .500 pitcher at best. You have to take into calculations his two previous years as well. So I don't think he has a chance to fill Harvey's shoes. Those are some big shoes to fill, that's probably why he has that hot girlfriend? Lol...
Chris Young you hope he has a year like he did 3 years ago, but remember that was 3 years ago. What has he done lately? I am not to impressed with his stats, I feel MDD could have brought in the same numbers on the cheap. Will he better than EY jr from last year that led the league in stolen bases in a part time roll?
And Granderson we are hoping to return to his normal self from before his injuries last year? But we must also keep in mind yes he handled the pressure of NY very well, but he was surrounded by many more top shelf players around him. He didn't have to be the man every night like we need him to be, and to protect our only other top shelf guy. Also he never really batted cleanup that I can remember, there is so much more pressure to do that in this lineup compared to his last years lineup.
So I don't mean to sound like Debbie Downer, but to me we are hoping for a lot of things to happen and fall into place, just like the Wilpons are hoping for us to buy tickets (at their outrageous price tags).
So I am not to impressed with what they did, if that's all we are getting. So here we go again to 4th place once again.

So since we can't take on any more salary, I think they should trade Darnnaud to either Seattle ( so they can package him in a Price trade) or Arizona for one of their extra Shortstops.
And when we finely trade one of Murphy, Duda, or Ike sign john buck again.

Unknown said...

Also if this is our final roster I would go with this lineup

I am really confident in Murphy in the 3 hole and Darnaud with some protection behind him.
I would also try and sign Tommy Hanson on the cheap and bring him to our pitchers paradise and see if he can resurrect his career.

Anonymous said...

The real "problem" here is that most of us have unrealistic expectations.

The Mets were in a BAD place, talent wise and financially after the Omar regime and the Madoff related mess.

We are only now emerging from that shadow and it will take another season or two before we completely recover, IMO.

Sadly, I don't see a way to spend our way back to prominence, so it will need to be a combination of young players getting better and "SAVVY" acquisitions.

In this age of "fantasy sports" and the "I want everything NOW", folks think it is simple to just add and subtract players at their whim and anyone can be a contender!

Keep in mind, there are 29 other teams trying to get better (fighting over the same free agents) and it takes two to tango (regarding trades).

PATIENCE would be nice (but I know that won't happen), so most of us should let Sandy do his thing and evaluate the roster when he is done.

I, for one, trust him to make the best deal possible with our excess at 1B and our void at SS.

Sandy is old school and extremely patient (which flies in the face of today's caffeine-addled, A.D.D. afflicted fan base).

Mack Ade said...



Unknown said...

I have been waiting 4 years for them to play "MEANINGFUL " September baseball, and no I don't think you can just spend your way to a championship. But I don't think it's fair for THEM to charge us top ticket prices in baseball and not be able to spend a whole lot more than THEY are. Are money is going to payoff THEIR debt, not ours!!! THEY have a bad system in place and we shouldn't have to deal with THEIR mess. I would be happier if THEY lowered ticket prices and then THEY are justified in spending this amount on payroll, but THEY can't and shouldn't have it THEIR WAY any more. I just feel that every piece of material I read is praising THEM for such a great offseason, when they just spent within THEIR so called budget. They should be praised when they spend( be it wisely) close enough to what WE DESERVE. This is my version of it takes two to tango.

Mack Ade said...

John -

You are now touching on the one thing you can do as a fan.

You can stop supporting the team with your money.

No tickets, thus no peanuts, popcorn, or crackerjacks. No official merchandise anywhere.

Don't worry about the ticket prices. If you stop going at all and the stadium is like the Marlins home games, baseball will eventually step in and force this family to sell in the sports number one broadcast franchise.

But, you really have to give it up and stay away until everything is in line

Unknown said...

Mack that's what I try and do. I went to 4 games last year and only paid for 1 ticket to the futures game. Paid for parking twice and eat before I get to the stadium. I went to more away games then home last year and will hopefully do the same this year. I have Seattle in my plans if anyone wants to go as well. I only go to games at home if I get them for free. I also shop on the 7line for my Mets fix. I do pay my cable bill with SNY channel on it, but that's all I give to them. Screw em they are screwing us!!!

Anonymous said...

If EYjr is a starter on this team, then something is wrong. I think the Mets need to give Lagaras every chance to hit and wait until at least June before making any decisions on replacing him.

It's obvious that the other Young and Grandy will start, but I'm not convinced about Lagarus. I think the FO values his speed. I value having the best defensive CF IN THE MAJORS!!!

I also think that they should go into spring thinking that Mejia has every chance to be the fifth starter if healthily. He showed last year that talent wise, he's a legit SP 2. If he's in the rotation, he could easily have the team's best season.

This year should be better, but 2015 is the year they actually make the playoffs. With the current rotation and an added Harvey,Thor, and Montero, the sky is the limit for Sandy in terms of wheeling and dealing. He could make another Docket type trade or two. Instantly catapulting the system into a top 5 in mlb.


Herb G said...

John -

I have to tell you that it ticks me off to hear all the talk about withholding your financial support of the team because they have been unable to spend big the past several years. You think that they screwed you by losing that money to Madoff, that you are the victim of those bad decisions, and you should get even with them. I guess that is in keeping with the prevailing ultra-conservative, tea party philosophy that the poor and underprivileged are that way because they don't try to improve themselves, and therefore don't deserve to get any help.

I'm not going to try to convince you otherwise, but I disagree with you. IMHO, the Wilpons and Alderson have tried to put the best teaam they could on the field each year with the limited financial resources at their disposal.

I went to 5 games last year - 9 tickets to each game (for my wife, kids and grandkids) at a total cost of $246 per game. That is $246 for all 9 family members, and that included hot dogs, fries and drinks for all, plus senior fare on the #7 train and bus fare from New Jersey for me and my wife. (I didn't include tolls and parking for my son, who brought the rest of the family in from northern New Jersey. We had great seats in the first row of the left field pavillion (just above the Party City Deck) one section from the foul pole, and in the July game we came away with Marlon Byrd's home run ball. The Mets have a deal called Family Plan which cost $23 per ticket, including a hot dog (or hamburger or slice of pizza) plus fries and a soda.

Maybe by the time this off season plays out, the Mets will have convinced you that thyey are worthy of your support.

Bill Metsiac said...

Herb is right on (again!).

The Wilpons have historically spent very freely when they had the money to spend, and so far this Winter they're picking up that pattern.

You can only spend what you have (or borrow), and a boycott does nothing more than start a vicious cycle---the team spends a limited amount, so they don't win games; the fans stay home, further reducing the income; the team has limited income again, so the spending decreases. And on and on.

If we want the best players, reducing the attendance/income has the oposite effect. I'm not advocating turning ownership inyo a charity, and spending extra money to enrich them.

MLB will never tell an owner, here or anywhere else, that he "must" sell the team, and the Wilpons are not going to walk away if they can avoid it. Yes, if stands are empty for the next ten years, MAYBE they'll sell. And MAYBE the new owners will spend freely and MAYBE the spending will bring better results on-field than the Jays, Angels and Yankees got for their money in '13.

Or maybe not...

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