Morning Report – 3-27-14 – $$$ Rant, Gammons, SP Rank, Owings

1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings

Coming Up –

        10 am –  Soto – Q and A with ESPN’s Adam Rubin

        12 noon – D Whit - Yet Another Look At The Upcoming Season

        2 pm –  Reese Kaplan - A Taste of the Mets Comes to El Paso, TX

        4 pm –  MLB Draft Insider - Mock

        6 pm –  Kodi Medeiros, Isiah Gilliam, Luke Weaver, Joey Pankake, Travis Jones

        8 pm –  SS - Milton Ramos - American Heritage (FL)

Baltimore released P Eric Beaulac. The 27-year-old Beaulac was drafted in the ninth round by the New York Mets in 2008. He went 2-0 with an ERA of 1.96 over 18 1/3 innings last season between Frederick and Double-A Bowie. The Orioles signed him as a minor league free agent in May 2012.

The St. Louis Cardinals signed RP David Aardsma to a minor league contract.

Elite Squad @EliteSquad  -  Nice article about Elite Squad's own and now Mets prospect @lguillorme13 #Proud  http://macksmets.blogspot.com/2014/03/rising-met-prospect-luis-guillorme-more.html …

Ben Badler @BenBadler  -  An 80-game suspension for a first-time offense would wipe out a player's entire DSL season. Trainers giving kids steroids won't care.

I read tonight that the Dodgers ended the Yankees 15-year reign as the highest payroll in baseball (you may remember that I told you earlier this month that we have a new writer who is a Yankee fan… well, for some reason we haven’t heard from him yet…). About this payroll thing (actual Mets payroll now estimated at $89mil, 23rd in league)… this isn’t something Mets fans are ever going to have to worry about as long as the team is owned by the Wilpon family.

I also read a story that the whole Madoff mess is down to two more $40mil payments and it eventually all goes away. You add this to the fact that we already know that the entire Wilpon family is debt free and one has to wonder if this will ever get better.

We know that Sandy Alderson has done a pretty decent job of stocking the minor system with talent that will rise to the surface around 2017-2018, but isn’t that also the time when some of our current guys will become free agents.

In 2009, Matt Harvey, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, and Carlos Torres become free agents.  There are more, but these are the big guys. How does this work? Will Jose Medina and Ali Sancez, hold the door open for the departing before replacing them in the clubhouse?

Didn’t someone say the Mets lost around $27mil last year? I find that so hard to believe, what with a payroll under $90mil. Does this include the profit from SNY? 

Forbes Magazine values the Mets/SNY package at $2,000,000,000.00. What am I missing here?

I would love to get my hands on three years of profit and loss statements. I used to do this for a living and I’m telling you, a baseball team in a city with a metro population base of over 20 million people couldn’t possibly lose money when they are only spending $90 million on their team, especially when they also own a big piece of the monster network they broadcast on.

This financial fallacy has nothing to do with the General Manager. This is all ownership mumbo jumbo and someone needs to look deeper into this.
As you can tell, I’m in one of those moods tonight.

I’m going to turn off the computer and go watch Justified.

Gammons –

All of which leads to the poll on what young pitchers this spring  people’s eyes as future rotation stars?

The results:

Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets. Physical, hard, power sink. “Absolute potential star,” says one pro scouting director. “Has the power pitcher mentality.” Just wish Alex Anthopoulos hadn’t been pushed to win in 2013 and had to trade Syndergaard, Anthony DeSclafani, Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick and Travis d’Arnaud, not to mention Yan Gomes.

        Fangraphs Positional Rankings - SP

Rank: 29th - If the Mets were contenders and made their rotation decision based solely on 2014 expected performance without regard to long term development or service time interests, they might actually have a pretty solid starting five. Noah Syndergaard is projected as a league average starting pitcher right now. Jenrry Mejia is a solid arm and a huge upgrade over Daisuke Matazuaka. Toss those two in with Colon, Niese, and Wheeler and the Mets would have a staff that is both not terrible and pretty interesting.
But the Mets aren’t contenders, and they should be making rotation decisions based on long term expectations, not trying to maximize their 2014 win potential. So Syndergaard goes to the minors, and Mejia might join him. Dice-K gets to stick around, at least for now, and punish the world with death-through-pausing approach to pitching. What the Mets rotation is and what it could be are two very different things. Maybe just don’t want the games when Matsuzaka pitches, and buy an MILB.tv subscription to watch Syndergaard instead. He’ll be in Queens soon enough http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2014-positional-power-rankings-starting-pitchers-16-30/

Owings –

        Although it’s still March 26, it’s looking as if the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings has won the race to be the every day shortstop over Didi Gregorius. Owings played in both games against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia as the season opened for the Diamondbacks and contributed with the bat, going one for four with a walk while Gregorius went 0-4, also playing in both games. Owings, the consensus #3 prospect for the Diamondbacks (although the race is close), has been, along with Archie Bradley, the talk of Diamondbacks prospect watchers this winter. http://gradingonthecurve.com/2014/03/26/prospects-verge-chris-owings/

Mets-Yankees Fan Poll –

But the Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, and the fan base in New York has slowly slid toward the pinstripes. The 22 percentage-point gap in the most recent Quinnipiac survey was the second largest found. The Yankees held their largest lead in the Quinnipiac poll taken about midway through the 1998 season, when it had been 10 years since the Mets made the playoffs. For each additional year removed from a playoff appearance, the Mets fall by an average of about two more points behind the Yankees in a hypothetical Subway Series. http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/yankees/post/_/id/70764/popular-mets-losing-ground-to-yankees


Anonymous said...

Dillon Gee with 6 no hit innings last night....dude's ready to go.

A scout via Adam Rubin said "That was as sharp as I have ever seen Gee."

Tom Brennan said...

"Cheap," which is the Wilpon approach, hopes for lightning in a bottle, for everything to align (above average years, winning momentum, breaks). The Yank approach assumes a coterie of stars will both win and draw large #'s of fans. Including a heavy proportion of new-to-the-game fans who tend to choose for life. Wilpons better be ready to start spending when the pitching wave really rolls in this summer.

Boy, I felt good about the pen a week ago - then Black stays bad, and we surrender 9 runs in 2 relief innings last night. Where's the rolaids?

For the "Will Lagares hit?" crew, I think those 3 hits last night are a strong vote in the affirmative. Cut off his early met start and his late season swoon (fatigue of first long season?) and he had 3 great months of offense in between. I believe he will do .280+ and 40 extra base hits plus - and 15 steals. And defend like Willie Mays. i'll take it.

Recker looking like good insurance if d'Arnaud struggles, and a very solid tandem if Travis does hit.

TP said...

Morning Mack,
Don't know about you, but despite the GM assembling another flawed roster with holes at SS, 8th inning, and two LH 1B, I'm ready for real games.

We have all talked about it ad nausem, but little by little more people are realizing that the Wilpons are very very richbillionnaires, and while they came close to losing the team had Picard's $1 billion lawsuit not been settled, that is ancient history. With assets conservatively valued at $2 million, having debt of $1 billion is no big deal, since we can all do the math on that and realize they have a ton of net equity, and that doesn't even include their real estate holdings. No, this payroll limit under $90 million is simply about greed and philosophy. I'm sure they lost a ton of money over the last 4 years, but I agree with you that since they "reset" they payroll at $90 mil last year, had the valuation of the team and TV station skyrocket due to the Dodger sale and FOX investment in YES, and gotten the new TV deals, they are essentially financially "fixed" and very very rich. They have to get over the sting of the Bay and Santana contracts and get back in the game. Not on the Cano or Pujols contract levels, but simply to the degree that they patch the glaring holes. I understand the Drew situation, while he fits, Boras and Drew are nuts what they are asking for since Drew has some major deficits in his game (health, hitting lefties, hitting on the road), but still, Omar Q is on the 2014 opening day 25 man, that is a sign of GM failure. Case closed.

Anonymous said...


Not necessarily.....the Wilpons may still have a ton of net worth but their family value is primarily via real estate and investments. Both of these sources are not generators of Cash Flow.

Their main source of cash flow is from the MLB collective bargaining agreement and stadium revenues which sadly have been lacking (down almost 40% over the past 3 years) thus the reason the club lost $27M last year.

Tom Brennan said...

And to add to Chris' point, I think (as frustrating as it is) ownership is waiting for the wind at their back - when Thor and Montero (and Harvey and Mejia) join the Met staff, with the likes of Matz, Ynoa, and Fulmer following a year behind - I think then they will spend a lot as needed, and go for it all in 2015.

I think they know that with Harvey, wheeler, Thor and others, there will likely be intense upward pressure on payroll within a few years and are trying to avoid throwing sandbags of salary onto the Met ship now to avoid overload in the future.

Mets Dreams said...


Let's not forget the revenue from SNY. The other major market regional sports networks throw off huge amounts of cash to the MLB teams. The Wilpons seem to use fuzzy math to make it look like they don't derive any cash from that vehicle but that just isn't true. Between the revenue from SNY and MLB revenue the Wilpons should have enough for a 100 mil payroll without selling a single ticket.
I don't think they should spend money on payroll just to spend it. We saw that with Bay and Santana, both additions I was in favor of. However, it would seem that there is enough spare change to pay Drew, even if only a 1 year contract. Is it really that crazy to give him 13-14 mil for one year? It would send a strong message to the fan base that the team is serious about winning. The payroll would climb to a little over 100 mil and then that money would be off the books for next year.
I don't mind the team building from within and being prudent. However, there are times when the fan base needs to be given hope. I just moved to the Boston area and I plunked down the money to buy the MLB package so I can watch the Mets. I'm showing my faith, passion, and loyalty; time for the Wilpons to show theirs.

Anonymous said...

@Mets Dreams

And the expenses as well.....Plus the fact that the team owns 65% of SNY not a full outright portion.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -
I just have this strange vibe that Lagares is going to start this season in Vegas...

Mack Ade said...

Guys -

morning to all...

it's obvious that we all agree that he Wilpon family can afford to go out to dinner once in awhile...

what' also obvious is they have a fixed and firm direction on how to operate one of their 'financial investments' i.e. The New York Mets.

Past hiccups (economy, Bernie, Omar) have led them to decide (with the council of Saul Katz) to hire a conservative sheriff to bring law and order to the town...

The sheriff came with the blessing of the owner's close confidant, the Commish.

Alderson's resume screamed of building from within over a 3-5 year plan, which fit the fiscal desires of the troika of Wilpon, Wlpon, and Katz.

Thus, were born the 78 win Mets

Mets Dreams said...

I hoping the sheriff is not satisfied to hang his hat on sub-500 teams forever. And for as much spin as he puts on the team, deep down mediocrity has to eat at him the the way it bothers all of us. At the end of the day, this Mets tenure will be part of Alderson's legacy and I want to hope that he will not be satisfied saying he presided over half of a 10 year playoff drought.

Mack Ade said...

Arthur Pesner · University of Michigan

Please remember that the Mets and SNY are separate financial entities. The Mets as a franchise lose money because SNY is not paying a market rate. The value of the corporate umbrella is with SNY as cash flow is being retained there. I believe the $2 billion valuation for the Mets including SNY is probably accurate.

Mack Ade said...

Dreams -

I'm sure Alderson believes what he is doing is the best he can do under the financial limitations given him.

BTW... food for thought... scouts are raving about the 2014 potential of... wait for it... the Miami Marlins.

It may get a lot wore before it gets better.

Anonymous said...


Don't worry the Marlins will figure out a way to screw it up like they always do.

Unknown said...

Don't get me started, lol. SNY as a seperate entity should be paying to the Mets fair market. Have we ever heard what they are paying towards them? We can go back to what Cablevision was paying some 6 or so years ago, and I believe it should be higher.

Anthony Carnacchio said...

I really like Cory mazzoni it's a shame he just got hurt hopefully it's not serious

Mack Ade said...

I've been offline - what happened to Mazzoni?

Stubby said...

The Wilpons are developers. Developers money is always tied up in the last deal and the next one; there is never any free cash floating around for developers. The Mets deal with SNY isn't all that great (compared to other such team networks) and the Mets share is only about 60%. SNY is still carrying and paying off debt and the Wilpons are still paying off a loan they took out on SNY when things were especially bleak. There's still debt on CitiField to be paid. And the loan to MLB. What's your net worth? Do you have that much in cash hanging around? Obviously not. What matters, in the end, is will the money be there when it needs to be there. I believe it will. Spending 10 or 14 million on Stephen Drew today is throwing money down the garbage disposal. Drew brings you no closer to a pennant this year and takes you farther away from it next year. Doing so would only be placating fans who are personally embarrassed by Ruben Tejada; that's not a baseball decision and I could care less about your personal embarrassment. I have no doubt that Ruben is 100 times the shortstop of any of those whining about him. But investing in the key piece or two to push you over the top when you are truly competitive--that's the money that counts. I do think the Mets are improved this year and will finish over .500. I think you'll see a major trade that will bring someone of impact to New York this season (Kemp, Tulo, someone major). And I think you'll see the Mets active next off-season. A little more patience. We're not doing any worse in our timeline than Frank Cashen did when he was GM (and I think most people would agree that Cashen was a pretty good GM). How did the Mets look in 1983, Cashen's fourth year? Pretty awful. This is Sandy's 4th year. Lighten up. Just my two cents. I see a plan in place, even if most of you do not. Deviating from that plan takes you farther away; it doesn't get you closer. I notice the Stephen Drew fund below is still at $10. Not so easy when its really your money, is it?

Anonymous said...


Left the game with upper Tricep pain

Mack Ade said...

that's a bummer... Cory was expected to be the SP5 out of camp for Vegas

I assume he'll go on the 7-day DL because the team is still pitcher heavy at that level

Maybe an opportunity for Alvarado, Mitch Talbot, or even, Darin Gorski

Mack Ade said...

Stubby, et al -

I shouldn't have brought up this dead horse again...


Mets Dreams said...

Interesting rant from you. If I was in a position to be an owner of a NY franchise then I would look to spend the money on Drew that would at least take the franchise to a level even with the Brewers. You seem to be a big supporter of Tejada, explain what his upside is other than a good utility player. If Drew adds 3 wins and that takes the Mets to 84 or 85 and they remain in the race a little beyond the All Star game then I could give a rat's behind that the money comes from the Wilpons. If they want to own a team in NYC then they should be able to pay the freight. I don't care if they develop Willets Point or have debt, they own the Mets and I expect an owner that can spend at a level that is commensurate with the ticket prices they are charging.

Mack Ade said...

From Bill Metsiac -

Sorry, Mack.I can't agree with your assessment of the owners wanting to keep the payroll low. In the pre-Madoff years, they had the highest payroll outside the Bronx for many years.

Cut 'em some slack. :)

Mack Ade said...

Metsiac -

I don't believe I said that

Stubby said...

@Mets Dreams
I'm no big supporter of Ruben Tejada, though I'm not as down on him as everyone else seems to be. I do happen to think that Stephen Drew is mediocrity personified. In fact, check your dictionary; I bet you'll see his face right there next to the word. He's week old ground beef, but you have to pay filet mignon prices to get him. I don't care if I were rich, I wouldn't do that. If Drew is worth three wins (which I seriously doubt), that's about $4 million per win. What a stinkin' waste of resources. Are we 3 wins away from a pennant right now? No, we're probably 15 games shy of a pennant right now. Drew isn't going to get you there. He's not going to get you any closer to the goal. Ever.

Big picture. Stop looking at the trees and see the forest. We are building a better ball club. That doesn't happen over night. It takes 5 years. Here's your comparison of Frank Cashen and Sandy Alderson as Mets GMs:

1980: 67-95 5th place (next to last)
2011: 77-85 4th place (next to last)

1981: 41-62 5th place (next to last) --strike year
2012: 74-88 4th place (next to last)

1982: 65-97 6th place (last)
2013: 74-88 3rd place

1983: 68-94 6th place (last)
2014: TBD

1984: 90-72 2nd place
2015: TBD

And Cashen didn't sign a whole lot of free agent's either.

Ruben Tejada is likely not going to be your shortstop when you're legitimately competing. Drew most certainly isn't going to be. In 1983, your opening day first baseman was Dave Kingman, your opening day shortstop was Bob Bailor, and your opening day catcher was Ron Hodges. Murderer's Row right there. In fact, I think the only opening day starter in '83 who was still around to taste the champagne was Mookie. By the end of the year, Oquendo was at short and the Mets had acquired Keith Hernandez. We didn't have Gary Carter on board until 1985. Last year's opening day outfield was Byrd, Cowgill & Duda. The outfield was the biggest "hole" imaginable. We addressed that this off season. Not all holes are going to be filled at once. You'd rather spend the money today to play "meaningful games" in July this year. I hear you loud and clear. Me, I'd rather save that money and have it to spend later (like perhaps the coming off-season) to bring us a pennant in 2016.

And, if you were in a position to buy the Mets, I sincerely doubt you'd pass on the opportunity if your finances dictated you couldn't run a payroll higher than 90 million. Not saying that's the case with the Wilpons. Just saying you'd buy the team, if you could, even if you couldn't "pay the freight" that you think a New York team ought.

The question isn't where the payroll stands today. You can spend a gazillion dollars and get no closer to your goal (ask Omar). The question is whether or not the money will be there when it actually makes a difference. I believe it will be.

Mack's Mets © 2012