Morning Report – September 19 – Brian Burgamy, Kevin Plawecki, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Washington Nationals


A nice story on Binghamton MVP, OF Brian Burgamy

This baseball odyssey of Burgamy's started at age 21 as a fresh-faced infielder out of Wichita State. His love of baseball took the kid from Oklahoma to Eugene, Oregon; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Lake Elsinore, Calif.; Mobile, Ala.; Clearwater, Fla.; Reading, Pa., Clearwater, Fla. (again); Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Newark, N.J; Camden, N.J.; St. Paul, Minn,; Sugar Land, Texas; Campache, Mexico; and Binghamton. He has hit every level of baseball there is except the big leagues. In 2007, Burgamy struggled in the Eastern League with Reading, but ended up getting sent down to Single-A Clearwater where he was part of a championship team in the Florida State League. http://www.pressconnects.com/story/sports/baseball/minors/2014/09/16/mets-title-burgamy-meaning/15735093/

Mack – I know age is a big factor here, but I always found it strange that people like Alan Dykstra and Burgamy, who do nothing  but hit, are never considered a solution for problems the parent team has in Queens. All Burgamy did this year was lead his team in home runs (23), doubles (32),  RBIs (76), walks (71), extra-base hit (56) and runs scored (80). What a slacker!

If the Mets are looking for a one-year solution for left field, why not… oh, never mind. I’m making too much sense again.

Kevin Plawecki - The catcher has impressed many in the organization with both his offense and defense, creating a potential logjam at a position that Travis d’Arnaud already occupies. “If their potential starts to converge at the major league level, and it warrants major league time, then we’ll have to make a decision,” Alderson said, adding that he didn’t see either Plawecki or d’Arnaud in a backup role. “But in the meantime, we’re happy to have both of them. But Kevin has made a lot of progress, and obviously Travis has done well the second half of this season." Added Plawecki: “That’s a business decision. Thank God I don’t have to make it. Travis is a great friend, and he’s a great player. I can go to him if I have any questions.” 

Mack – There are at least six teams looking for a catcher this off-season. There obviously would be a big question whether Plawecki would be ready for a major league assignment that early, so you would expect that d’Arnaud wopuld be the first target other teams would come after. I wouldn’t react to this. D’Arnaud is your current catcher and he is proving more every day that you made the right decision to build a trade around him. Keep dangling Plawecki on the hook and let him build up his stats the first half of the season in Vegas. Eventually, someone will bite.

How will Noah Syndergaard do? His surface stats in AAA this year are ugly: 4.6ERA and 1.48WHIP, but let’s not forget the PCL effect. Below, I outlined his skills (FIP & K/BB) and “luck” (LOB% & BABIP) stats relative to Wheeler’s, deGrom’s and Harvey’s: (see link) - Syndergaard was more commanding than any of them from a K-rate and K/BB perspective, but was clearly affected the most by the environment according to his luck and surface stats. He’s got a Fastball-Curve combo with what should be a better Changeup than Wheeler’s, but he will also pitch to contact at times for some ground-ball induction with a 2-seamer/Sinker. He also has a cutter/slider and if it all comes together, with thought and command, as ballsy as this might sound, he could be the Mets’ closest thing to Corey Kluber. http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/2015-new-york-mets-commanding-attention/

              Mack - This was a very interesting story on Fangraphs, which was complimentary to the future of Mets pitching, in general, and Thor, in particular. God, do I hate the PCL Everybody keeps writing that Syndergaard is suck a great pitcher and all I see is his ERA and WHIP.

I've said this a number of times. My assumption is Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Zack Wheeler are safe. I'd also like to assume that Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Steven Matz are the future of this team, but I can't guarantee that.

My assumption is Sandy Alderson will be patient and wait until his phone rings with someone that wants to talk about any combination of Dillon Gee, Jonathan Niese, or Bartolo Colon.

What happens if no one calls?

Well, someone will. Gee, Niese, and Colon are proven winners and have a value. It may not be the value that Alderson wants, but he will be able to turn the three of these guys into, at least 4-5 prime prospects.

But, if the season starts and the phone still hasn't rang, you return Niese and Gee to the rotation, send Colon and Montero to the pen, and stack up Syndergaard and Matz in Vegas until you get this good problem solved.

You want to come out of this with Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Syndergaard, and Matz intact.

Jacob deGrom - The 6’4, 25-year-old Jacob deGrom has been turning heads for the Mets this season. Despite making his first start on May 15, deGrom did not record his first big league win until June 21st. He would go 8-2 with a 1.93 ERA the rest of the way. On the season, deGrom has put together a 8-6 record with a 2.68 ERA in 21 starts, for a team that ranks 29th in offensive production. It is tough to say if he can actually win this award, especially considering the captivation that the player below has been able to bring. Regardless, the Mets are certainly looking forward to the bright future this young arm may be able to secure.  http://www.gammonsdaily.com/nl-rookie-of-the-year-outlook/

          Mack - this is the guy that's probably going to generate the most attention in the off-season. He also would probably be able to solve either your shortstop or left field problem in one phone call,

I want to point one thing out here that I haven't done so in the past.

When the Mets drafted deGrom his top velo on his fastball was 94. He went under for Tommy John Surgery and no one was expecting the end result to be that his velo would rise to the 95-97 range.

He shocked the hell out of the entire Savannah staff when he arrived there and he was the first one to be promoted to St. Lucie. 

Does this mean that Matt Harvey could return this spring with a higher velo than he had when he went down with his injury. That's a scary thought.

We continue our hunt for a 2015 SS and LF replacement in the NL East. Next up is the Washington Nationals.

According to Cot[i], the Nationals 2014 salaries are $136,856,579.

There really isn’t a tremendous amount of long term contracts here. 3B Ryan Zimmerman goes through a team option of 2020, RF Jayson Werth is being paid $21.57mil/yr. through 2017, and SP Gio Gonzalez is scheduled to be paid $12.1mil through 2016.

Shortstop wise, the starter is Ian Desmond (.248) and he has one more year ($11mil-2015) on his deal. A recent upgrade via was Asdrubal Cabrera (115-AB, .252); however, his last year under contract is 2014 ($10mil).

Additionally in the outfield, Bryce Harper (292-AB, .271) will enter his first arbitration year being paid $2.25mil, and the oft injured Nate McLouth (139-AB, .173 – shoulder surgery) has $5mil left on his 2015 deal. Denard Span was paid $6.5mil in 2014 (.301) but should be brought back in 2005 at a reasonable $9mil… and Kevin Frandsen (.255) filled in as the 4th outfielder.
Prospect wise, OF Michael Taylor will most probably start 2015 at the AAA level, but Steven Souza is coming off a tremendous AAA season (346-AB, .345/.427/.577/1.044, 18-HR, 77-RBI).
Mack Observation – The most important thing to realize here is that the Nationals would not do anything to help the Mets unless they were desperate to secure someone they thought they had to have, so don’t look for a trade here.
I know it’s been awhile since Cabrera had a decent season (2009: Cleveland, .308), but he did hit 25 home runs in 2011. I would call his agent for the hell of it and see what the ticket is.


Thomas Brennan said...

I think Burgamy had a real nice year, but if Dekker or Kirk were in AA, their #'s would have far exceeded Brian's IMO. If he hit 50 points higher...

I missed Jake's last outing, but watched highlights of his K's on Mets website. He clearly has #1 starter stuff, brains, and location. A keeper, unless the White Sox want him for Adrian Abreu.

I want the Mets to roll with Jake, Harvey, Wheeler, Matz and Thor next year. Montero if not traded in reserve. Can't get any more exciting than that. Trade Gee, Niese and Colon for high prospects, and make a package for an All Star caliber LF or SS. I would not mind at all waiting and seeing how Reynolds, Flores, and Herrera do first.

Reynolds seems slotted for a utility role in the minds of many. Any guy who in his second full year can improve by that much year to year deserves our withholding that sort of judgment to see whether he has one more quantum leap in performance left up his sleeve in 2015 - kind of like what deGrom has done.

Maybe he becomes a 30 double, 15 homer, .300 hitting major leaguer by 2016. His 2014 really caught my attention.

I'll throw out a name that gets skated over a lot for 2015....Leathersich...yes he still struggled at times, but if he has normal improvement over his crazy 93 Ks in 54 innings in AA and AAA of 2014 performance, he could be ready for real major league impact in 2015.

Ernest Dove said...

I think jayce Boyd is gonna send dykstra right out of this organization, unless he stays with vegas as a dh..........
As I've said before on here, I also have no problem with mets simply sticking Plawecki back in vegas next year, and see how it goes. If he succeeds and d'Arnoud stays healthy, then sandy do his magic and get an amazin return in a trade for whichever.
We all know many prospects don't pan out, but im still cool with mets taking their chancez by keeping degrom, wheeler, Thor, montero and matz, even if either one could net a solid ss or LF.

Thomas Brennan said...

Agree, Ernest. Boyd will supplant Dykstra, because he does what Flores and Plawecki do - higher average and low K rate. To Dykstra's credit, he made some notable progress in 2014 in lowering his high strikeout rate and put up solid #'s - but not solid enough considering he was in Vegas. Lutz-like.

He may be better off following Zach Lutz to Japan. Oddly, just looked and Lutz played only 15 Japan games after leaving AAA in June. Did well in that short stint - guess he was injured again.

Thomas Brennan said...

Another Burgamy type who is about 8 years younger and showed progress is Travis Taijeron. He played sporadically early in 2014 due to a logjam of OF guys. From June 7 on, in 60+ games, he slashed at .286/.382/.546 in about 235 plate appearances.

If he can fix his strikeout issues, he could be a potent bat around the 2016 timeframe, even if mostly vs. lefties. His strength, like Burgamy, is he specializes in extra base hits.

I'd like to see Travis play every day in Vegas next year. Sluggers are hard to find.

Brian Joura said...

I find it interesting that you think in the scenario where we again don't trade a SP that Colon would be the one to go to the bullpen. My money would be on Gee.

James Preller said...

A small market team like the Mets must keep the younger, cheaper pitchers and shed the more expensive ones at the right time.

Obviously, the Colon deal is the outlier and, I think, the clear mistake.

While trading Wheeler or deGrom would earn a high return, I think Sandy keeps those guys until they start getting paid. He'll flip then in 2-3 years.

Harvey needs to prove he's healthy, the Mets should squeeze what they can from him, and at a certain point they are going to have to admit that they can't possibly afford to pay him. Sandy's past indicates that he simply lets that kind of talent walk and takes the draft picks; a bolder move would be to make the trade . . . down the line.

To all the folks who like to say that budget doesn't matter: How in the world are the Mets going to keep Matt Harvey when it's time to pay the bills?

Anonymous said...

I think all 3 vets start the year in the rotation to keep Harvey down South in the warmth to start and have his innings curtailed at the beginning of the season and to allow Matz and Thor to pass Super 2. Each of them will have greater value in the middle of the season next year because teams will have defined needs for SP and each of their commitments are easier to swallow, especially Tolo. The way that Plawecki is developing a reputation, his trade value might begin to resemble TDA when he was acquired for a CY Young winner. I agree that the Vets (and Murphy) will not return ML talent, especially in the middle of a season, but all four combined should return a quality catch that will boost the upper minors. With Plawecki, the trade return, Nimmo and some of the second tier pitching prospects, the Mets will have a high quality trade inventory without having to break up the Fab Five. All of that and over $30M cleared in payroll. I think the Mets do have the money to sign Tomas, even if payroll isn't cleared until next July and once the Vets are moved, there is enough money to sign Tomas and another player, even with the raises in Arb on the way. I have done the math on the projected Arbs and it really does not begin to get really expensive until 2018 and that is when Grandy's contract comes off, not to mention that success in 2015-2017 will see higher attendance and more dollars to spend. It has been painful to go through, but the process Sandy has gone through to rebuild and be properly positioned with payroll leaves a strong possibility that they keep the Fab Five and only start losing them when FA starts in 2019 or trade with one year left.

Mack Ade said...

Brian -

The only reason I didn't move Gee to the pen over Colon was a marketing decision.

I would want to keep the chance of marketing Gee as a starter

Mack Ade said...

James -

The Mets will not keep Harvey in the long run. He's open up with aorund 10mil in his first arbitration year

Anonymous said...

I think that you are a bit high for Harvey 1st Arb year; Kershaw got just a shade under $10 for his 2nd Arb year and they definitely take into account missing a year due to injury. I would think that each of the studs are looking at $7-10M to start Arb (remember, largest Arb award ever given was $10M to Howard-although Sabean lost his noodle and gave Lincecum almost $20M, but not awarded.
Schedule of Arb for Fab Five:
Harvey Arb 1 2016
Wheeler Arb 1 2017
deGrom Arb 1 2018
Matz/Thor Arb 1 2019

it does get a little pricey in the later years as Arb raises increase and compound, but that is why it is important to manage long term payroll commitments now and also adhere to Super 2 to stagger the raises. Grandy comes of in 2017 and Wright in 2020, which is just one year after Harvey is eligible for FA. I think they will trade him after 2017 because he wont be bought out for first few FA years, he would bring a big return, they have others who could step into SP1 and frankly because his is a total narcissist that wants to get away from the Mets as soon as he can. With the strength of staff, any subtraction would only need to be a solid 4/5 starter

bob gregory said...

I'm tired of how Met fans have been conditioned to acquiesce to accepting such a low payroll.

Top of the league payroll numbers are not needed. And spending money just to spend money is not necessary.
when an obvious answer to address a team issue, hitting OF, is available (Tomas)..... it should not be necessary to flip over couch cushions looking for money.

The Mets should not have to worry about keeping their proven talent when they become more expensive.

darn it.
build this team making baseball decisions!
NOT coupon clipping decisions.

If the Wilpons can not do that.....then sell the team.

Thomas Brennan said...

That's how I got started watching Mets games at Shea - clipping coupons - Bordens coupons!!

But I agree, Bob, that when those opportunities come along to spend well (e.g., Abreu - and I don't mean Bobby), that "cheap" is not the first thought to come to mind.

This team needs to start winning - and drawing crowds - to bring in boatloads of cash and take away the urge to be misers.

thunder12k said...

Call me crazy but if the Mets were to move Colon, Gee & Murphy, that would shed more than enough current payroll to be able to sign Yasmani Tomas to a big contract (min. 7 years / 100M). I think he is likely to surpass this but the Mets could definitely be aggressive and sign him while staying under $100M payroll next season.

Plug him into LF and keep Wilmer at SS. Herrera takes over at 2B. You have league minimum 2B, SS, C & CF and a ton of cheap pitching.

That team, while being under $100M would start filling that stadium up and start bringing in the revenue that the owners so desperately want and need. But unless this team makes a splash and starts winning, people aren't just going to throw their money away watching a 0.500.

Adding an exciting young player like Tomas, for the same money they are paying Granderson, seems like the jump start this team is looking for.

This team would be a contender.

Call me crazy but we're close.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

The Mets payroll is going to remain low under the Wilpons and the Wilpons have no plans on selling the team.

My suggestion is we all 'move on' here and talk about the future

bob gregory said...

grrrrr... my apologies but I just can't accept it.

I can not accept the team I am and have been a fan of not making "baseball decisions"

I also HATE being lied to.
remember...way back to January when Alderson himself "promised" payroll would be higher this year than it was last year?
Well, here we are about to finish the year with 5% LESS in payroll.

How about chipping in that savings to keep Murphy and still go out and get Tomas?

rassin' frassin' no good Wilpons

Michael S. said...

So have we resigned ourselves to small market status forever now?

Anonymous said...

So much talk about payroll.. Understandably, but should we be disappointed that we didn't spend big recently? I think something can certainly be said for moving forward with a strong core AND financial flexibility. Is Tomas really an obvious choice? What if he's given 100mil and is a total bust? How would it look next year and in 2016 if we had an albatross contract?

I even think it would be silly to make a huge splash in this off-season. If Tomas turns into Abreu, sure that might be the difference maker, but is that a good bet? Who else is available this off-season that could really make a difference? Guys like Hardy simply don't make sense when you consider the marginal upgrade, multiple year commitment, and significant cost.

Let's hope that at this stage in the rebuilding process we open the wallets when a good opportunity presents itself.

Anonymous said...

It also seems premature and a bit near-sighted to guess on the possibility of the Mets offering a contract to Harvey. The Mets have proven they were willing to sign expensive homegrown talent (DW) and let others walk (Reyes) when the cost does not justify the contract.

I can't imagine a scenario where the Mets aren't full-in on contract negotiations with Harvey if his cost is reasonable. Walk away from a significant overpay. I don't care who or how good the player is.

bob gregory said...

THAT'S my. Point!
Right now the Mets SHOULD have $20 million in flexibility.
"Baseball decisions" please
not coupon clipping decisions.
If reliable "baseball people" deem. Tomas as an above average hitter, then the Mets should make every reasonable effort to acquire him.

Michael S. said...

I think the story has yet to be written on how these young players will be handled down the road. If the team starts winning next year, I think ownership will be more likely to at least work on team-friendly extensions. And, as tone deaf as they seem sometimes I don't think they'll just let marquee players leave.

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