Mack’s Morning Report – 1-25-14 – Stephen Drew, Matt Harvey, Eno-Chat, Talking To Beat Reporters, 2017


Chris ‏@tpgMets - By my count, the Mets rank 4th in MLB in free agent spending so far this offseason, both overall & only on the 2014 roster.

Ruben asked –

Do you share the opinion of others that the Mets recent attempt to sign Grant Balfour means they have the money to sign Stephen Drew?

            MackThis is an easy question to answer.

Of course they do, but it doesn’t look like they offered the same two year deal to Drew.

I don’t happen to think anything has changed at all. The Mets know they could still use an upgrade at both shortstop and in the pen, and there is some money still left in the till.

The Tanaka signing has opened up the floodgates of unsigned starters and the rest of the free agents will eventually fall in place before opening day. I don’t think the Yankees are interesting in Drew and I’m not sure how much the Mets are either anymore. That being said, there’s plenty of time to get done with both these needs.

My guess… you’re looking now at the 2014 team.

Raymond asked –

I saw the post on Matt Harvey and his updated condition. Do you expect him to return the same pitcher he was before the injury?

Mack – Raymond, I don’t think anyone comes back from an injury like that and throws with no concern for the muscle that once was torn. That being said, pitchers that have had this procedure include Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, and A.J. Burnett.

Anyone that has spent any time with this guy says his arm might have been hurt but his head has always been screwed on correctly. Harvey won’t do anything to risk the loss of the long term contract that awaits him someday from the sport he loves.

The Mets will have Harvey on a strict pitch count throughout the 2015 season. The good news is Zack Wheeler will be pitch count free and Noah Syndergaard will be part of the rotation.

Eno Chat

Comment From Joel Ortiz - Are they really going to go with Ruben Tejada at short stop?

Eno Sarris: I think he can be a two-win player based on D and patience in the eight hole.

Comment From Carl - Rockies get off to slow start do Tulo and Cargo become available? If so, as a Mets fan would it require Syndergaard to land either of them?

Eno Sarris: Absolutely would require Thor. AS for it happening… there’s a bit of smoke there.

Comment From John H. - Utley or Granderson a safer bet??

Eno Sarris: Utley’s problem is degenerative, so if you’re only talking health, I’ll take the guy that was just beaned twice last year. On talent, Utley.

Comment From Ceetar - Obligatory Lucas Duda in the outfield question. Will he have learned anything to make him less horrible? Will Granderson/C. Young at the other positions minimize his deficiencies? Is this just a bluff to try to get Juan Lagares to walk a little bit?

Eno Sarris: God he can’t play in the outfield… I think this is just a way to keep him in the bigs while they try to get the most out of Ike.

Comment From Grack Zeinke - Do you think the Mets FO is considered difficult to deal with now? Why have they found it so difficult to deal with the roster redundancy they’ve got and not brought in any players to compete at SS with uber-stud Ruben Tejada? It seems the FO is just so anti-incremental steps forward.

Eno Sarris: I know the Rays’ FO is considered difficult to deal with.

Comment From Kev - How would you rank Grandal, Zunino and d’Arnaud?

Eno Sarris: Grandal, TdA, Zunino. Really worried that Zunino’s K% is here to stay. He can’t hit the curve, yes, but his whiff rates on all breaking pitches are super high.

Comment From Guest - Cubs give up Samardjiza, Castro and Schierholtz for Syndergaard, Wheeler and Duda. Thoughts on fairness and probability?

Eno Sarris: Not the right fit. Shark has two years of eligibility? He needs to go to a contender.

Luis Tirado Jr. said –

The Mets should have kept quiet on all the Davis trade talk and maybe the Brewers would have pulled the trigger on a deal. I think they scared them away when they valued Davis for much....

            Mack – Luis, I can’t agree with you more.

I never was a real beat reporter. I spent three years in the Spring Training clubhouse for three days a year because I covered the Savannah Sand Gnats for Morris News Service. No one welcomed me to the gaggle and I knew to keep to myself.

The point is I really don’t know how all this works, but, those three years, and the years I spend covering the Gnats managed to get me to develop some ‘sources’ of my own over the years. None had a VP stripe on their New York Mets business card, but what they told me usually was spot on.

But I’m talking about stuff like opinions of players, injury status, and stuff like that. What I never understood is how all the important stuff always seems to hit one of the major rags before anything gets accomplished.

Is there a leak in Flushing? Is there more than one leak? Or, are things like this given to the reporters to write about? What positive could they possibly create?

I’ve asked a number of people this question and everyone dumbs up when I approach them. Luis, I truly believe Ike Davis would be wearing another uniform right now if everyone would have just shut up. What I can’t seem to figure out if the end goal here was to keep him on the roster and just motivate him in this negative way.

Toby Hyde

The next group of potential starting pitchers or average or better regulars are relatively far away. For example, C Kevin Plawecki will start the season in double-A.  CF Brandon Nimmo, LHP Steven Matz and 2B Dilson Herrera will be ticketed for Advanced-A where they will be joined by RHP Michael Fulmer, RHP Gabriel Ynoa and RHP Luis Cessa. Recent first rounders like SS Gavin Cecchini (almost definitely) and 1B Dom Smith (maybe) will just begin their first season in Savannah in 2014. These are the guys who might next represent the Mets on future Top 100 lists. Their development in a-ball in 2014 will shape the perception of the Mets’ farm system moving forward. http://metsminorleagueblog.com/analysis/three-mets-make-mlb-com-top-100-prospects-and-what-it-says-about-the-system/

Mack – Mr. Hyde is spot on here. The majority of the better players in the system won’t graduate until 2017 and beyond. The 2015 Mets rotation should get them to the playoffs, but additional free agent signings are needed if they want to go further before 2017.


Herb G said...

Mack -

I don't think we looking now at the 2014 team. I believe Alderson is dead set on adding a veteran presence to the bull pen. I only hope it is not Fernando Rodney. I see Frank Francisco written all over Rodney. Hanrahan, if he will be ready to go by April 1, would be a much better choice. But there is probably too much uncertainty with Hanrahan. Actually, Jerome Williams would be an ideal choice, if he will accept a minot league contract. Williams hasn't been all that effective as a starter, but he has been great in relief, especially over the last few years.

I do not believe the Davis trade scenario would have worked out any differently if it were conducted under wraps all through the off season. Alderson still would have held firm in his demand for quality return, and the potential partners would have balked at giving it due to their uncertainty about Ike's true worth. The big difference might have been on the effect it had on Ike's morale. It could either be a motivator (as you suggested, Mack) or a depressant. Time will tell.

If there is a leak in Flushing, there are leaks in every other major league franchise too, since you continually have a stream of rumors surfacing throughout the off season regarding what various teams are doing, thinking of, mulling, in discussions with, etc. etc. I think the beat writers pry, ask, eaves drop, etc. but mostly are given the tidbits that GMs want to give them for whatever reason.

That Adam Smith said...

I have to think that Pawlecki us either in Queens or traded by mid-season 2015.

Herb G said...

d'Arnaud has alot higher ceiling, both at the plate and behind it. Unless he falters badly in 2014, I don't think you see much of Plawecki in Citi in 2015. But I don't think they'd let him go too quickly either. It was my guess that Plawecki would return to St. Lucie to start the season, and then get an early promotion to Bingo in late May or early June, if warranted. They should take their time with Plawecki and let him develop, so that he could be ready to step in, if needed, at the start of the 2016 season, or be traded in advance of it.

Anonymous said...

Plawecki's future with the Mets depends on d'Arnaud his health. And his play on the field.

When d'Arnaud stays healty no need to promote Centeno from Vegas. So also no need to promote Plawecki from Binghamton.

I could see the following to happen. D'Arnaud stays healty and Recker does ok as back up. Teagarden and Centeno in Vegas with Teagarden opting out at June 15. This will allow Plawecki a promotion to Vegas (if ready ofcourse). Centeno and Plawecki finish in Vegas. D'Arnaud and Centeno open the 2015 season as Mets and Plawecki as the main catcher in Vegas(??)

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