The Building Blocks of 2015 – Pt. 1 of 3 - By Mack Ade


The Mack’s Mets season has begun. Most Mets fans and writers can’t wait for the season to start. We live for the ending.

This is my opening day 25-man squad based on who’s available to this team now. It really isn’t different than what the team was in 2014 so I don’t expect much of a different end result; however, I do expect the pitching will create a team with at least a .500 record. It will take management and a creative signing (or two) to make them a playoff contender.

This will be in three parts on Sunday mornings:

            Part 1 – Players 1-10
            Part 2 – Players – 2-20
            Part 3 – Players 21-25, Reductions, Waiting In The Wings

The ‘A’ Team:

     1. 3B David Wright – You have to assume that The Captain learned a big lesson here about keeping his mouth shut through nagging injuries. He did basically nothing to help the team he is supposed to be leading out of this fog. He won’t do this again. Oh… one warning David… your #3 slot in the batting order may not be safe for much longer, especially if Wilmer Flores keeps hitting both hits and outs as hard as he is lately.

    2.     SP Matt Harvey – ‘Harvey Day’ will return on opening day and everything changes immediately. Every Mets rotation pitcher will move down a slot, meaning they will rank higher than the opponent they pitched the year before. To start with, the season will have three special ‘days, led by the once and future ace that is determined to prove to everyone he’s better than ever. Sit back folks. This guy isn’t going to need many runs to win games.

     3.     CF Juan Lagares – My guess is Lagares will represent the Mets in the 2015 all-star game. He’s simply gotten that good. A steady hitter, a premier defender, and now a ++ base runner. I’m so proud of this busted shortstop that used to frustrate Tim Tuefel so much because he couldn’t catch a ground ball hit straight at him. Just put this name down as leadoff hitter in ink until, at least, after the decade ends. And, that’s all team controlled time.

      4.     SP Jacob deGrom – Wow. What a pleasant surprise and boy, does this make the forming of the 2015 rotation so much easier. On ‘my team’, there are three untouchable starters and deGrom is one of them. I’m expecting a little ‘beginner’s luck’ regression, but frankly, with Harvey coming back and taking over the SP1 slot, deGrom may actually slot up better against the other team’s SP2 and SP3 pitchers. It’s going to be so much easier becoming a playoff team because of players like this.

     5.     SP Zack Wheeler – Jacob deGrom might have stolen all the headlines this year, but it was Wheeler that strengthened out his game and became the star pitcher all the scouts said he would become someday. This is the third of my ‘no trade’ members of the rotation and, frankly, the other two (Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz) will pitch the first half of the 2015 season in Las Vegas. There simply is no room for them until trades are made plus the Mets want to keep them there for the first half of the season so they qualify for the Super 2 additional year of arbitration. These things matter to teams on the cheap.

Anyway, back to Wheeler… 60% of the Mets games next spring will be special days… ‘Harvey Day’, ‘deGrom deDay’, and ‘Wheeler Day’.

      6.     2B Daniel Murphy – (Trade Bait) – On my team, Daniel Murphy will not be traded. Why in God’s name would I trade the best hitter on the team when I have so many pitchers I can ship out?

He’s also solidly entrenched as part of my ‘A’ team. I may revisit trading him around the all-star break, depending on team standing and the progress made by Dilson Herrera in AAA, but even if I only play him until the day before he leaves via free agency, I did the right thing here. ‘Murph’ has always bled Met blue in my book.

     7.     1B Lucas Duda – There’s not much more we can ask for from Duda. His only downside (batting average) seems to be made up by his excessive ability to draw a walk (OBP). And, he’s turned out to be one of only a handful of ‘sluggers’ in the National League. I pray that Sandy Alderson can sign someone of equal ability that can be slotted behind Duda in the lineup. This alone, and a little adjustment with the fences, would give him the potential of hitting 40 home runs someday. Wouldn’t that be a hoot.

     8.     RP Rafael Montero – This is going to turn out to be a great move. No, he doesn’t have one great pitch and his velo is mid-90s at best, but I know in my heart that Montero has the stamina and determination to take over the role Carlos Torres has played the past couple of seasons. He also gives you an emergency 6th starter that can be stretched out in case someone on the rotation goes down.

9.     C Travis d’Arnaud – This is the last member of my ‘A’ team, meaning the first nine players listed here are on my ‘do not touch’ list. I don’t think d’Arnaud will ever be the perfect defensive catcher you want these days, but in the Mets world of a limited budget, he is potentially one of the 25 home run hitters of the future. Hell, forget about the future. I expect him to hit around that much in 2015 (I pray that guys like him get off to a good start this time).

10.                RP Josh Edgin – For now, Edgin is my only lefty coming out of the pen (I’m returning Dario Alvarez to AAA for additional grooming and I’ve moved on regarding Scott Rice and Dana Eveland). My hopes is that a trade of one of my excessive starters can bring me a blue-chipper to add to my, at best, respectable pen. Edgin has done a great job for the Mets, but he can’t do it alone from the left side.


Michael S. said...

I know a lot of people love to bash this team, but there is a lot of talent here. They're really not that far away.

Too bad Granderson will be eating up about a 5th of the payroll next year.

Michael S. said...

PS - If d'Arnaud can hit .280 and 25 HR, I'd definitely try him out in LF as was mentioned a week or two ago. We get more out of Travis and keep Plawecki as well.

Thomas Brennan said...

Can't argue with Michael S there. I am sure team is contemplating shifting a guy to LF, but aware that prior suchexperiments went poorly (Hundley, Murphy). Of course, some do work (Lagares from SS to CF).

Edgin has the lefty reliever role lead and the seniority, but let's see what Jack Leathersich brings to spring training this coming year as his competition.

Michael S. said...

I'm tentative about moving d'Arnaud because of the past failures you mentioned. However, I think Travis is more athletic than the others. I think he's closer to Craig Biggio than Daniel Murphy.

TP said...

I am not a fan of moving TDA for 2015. Plawecki needs more seasoning. Tda hasn't shown he can hit over a full season, nor has he shown he can stay heathy over a full season. Plus he is coming off elbow surgery. Granderson is the LF and Alderson needs to find an RF with pop that hits RH. If not he can settle for a Morse or Cuddyer on a short deal and consider TDA in LF for 2016.

Thomas Brennan said...

Lot of talent. Wright health is critical

Anonymous said...

The one thing I disagree about is Harvey starting opening day. I think given the rotation surplus and the likelihood that his innings will be curtailed next year, I would leave him down south for the first month, to avoid exposing him to April temps in NY, allow time to see which team needs pitching (they always do) burn 2 of the $11M owed to Colon and most importantly, have Harvey without limitations thru October. Yes, I said October.

Anon Joe F

Anonymous said...

Morning Mack:
Steve here, you mentioned a couple pick ups? Here are the 2 I would like!
Andrew Miller as your 2nd lefty.
Michael Cuddyer, David's buddy.
Those 2 added to what they already have make a strong 25 man roster.
I also agree with not having Harvey on the opening day roster?
I don't want what happened 2 years ago to happen again? With Harvey and Niese pitching in the snow of Minnesota-New York or anywhere? Lets keep him in Florida till May. Also ensuring he pitches till the end of October, with a long playoff run.
Look forward to the following comments take care pal

Christopher Soto said...


We already discussed this week about the possibly that Miller will be offered a closers role with another team. His market price could be 3yrs $7m per season.

I highly doubt that Alderson is going to tie that kind of money up in the bullpen.

Mack Ade said...

Hey Steve -

Yeah, this 3 part series (other 2 parts will be on the next 2 Sunday mornings) just breaks out the 25 players I would keep from the current squad going into the off-season.

Naturally, I would make changes if people were brought in.

Boy, I'd love to be in the meeting when Alderson tells Harvey he's not flying north with the team

Mack Ade said...

Michael/TP -

I'm not that sure how 'physical' I consider d'Arnaud being lately. too would leave him behind the plate.

Thomas Brennan said...

I am in the Harvey-in-warm-weather camp. If that means May, he ought to agree. It is for his own good. Does he think the Mets would not want him all April? Good for both parties.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

You can easily start this season with Wheeler, deGrom, Colon, Niese, and Gee...

move one into the pen when Harvey arrives

then you can move another into the pen after the Super 2 commitment is solves for Thor and Matz... and still move at least one starter by then

Steve from Norfolk said...

Michael S.,

If anybody gets moved to LF, I think it will be Wright. He has the speed to cover ground in the OF, and (I think) it will be easier on his arm. If Chipper could do it, so can the Captain. I was an advocate of moving him to first, but nobody's displacing Duda.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Sorry. I keep closing out my comments and remembering something else I want to say.

Also, moving Wright to LF gives Murphy or Flores another place to play. Flores if they trade Murph for a SS who fields better than Flores, or Murph if they want to play both him and Herrera (my choice).

Mack Ade said...

I think Wright's current inflammation problems will insure his remaining on third, at least through the 2015 season.

Past that, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I'm not moving either Wright it TDA to LF, if the long term solution (Nimmo or Conforto) is 1-1/2 years away. Why take such a gamble of moving players into the unknown and then block two of your best prospects in the process. Let's stop with the square peg into round hole before we start suggesting Lagares behind the plate because he has a strong and accurate arm. They are not going to fill LF internally at the expense of weakening another spot.

Anon Joe F

Mack Ade said...

I agree Joe F...

I have no idea who is going to play LF and RF in 2015. My guess is Granderson will love over from right and den Dekker will be a good candidate to platoon with somebody in right.

That being said, let's give Alderson the off-season to find someone for our excess pitching, Hopefully, we can find someone for a one year + team option deal awaiting Nimmo.

Michael S. said...

I wouldn't have a problem w/ Wright in LF, I just wonder about making a switch at his age.

Anthony said...

How can Montero be the 8th most valuable guy / building block when we are talking about him taking over the 6th starter / long man out of the bullpen role?

Doesn't seem to make sense that a 6th starter / long man out of the bullpen can be the 8th most important building block?

Anthony said...

And how is Edgin more of a "building block" than Mejia, Familia, or Vic Black?

Edgin is a situational lefty and - maybe this second point is just my imagination and does not hold up to factual scrutiny - but he seems to have a propensity to give up long balls?

Starvinghystericalnaked said...

I don't get it … you're going to move Wright—David Wright!—to left just so you can squeeze in some more of Flores hitting .240? Why is everybody so enamored w/ Flores? He actually did end up getting his little trial run and finished with a BA of .240. Does he project to be a 20 home run hitter? If so, please tell me. I'd like my opinion of him to change. And I'm not saying one way or the other—I don't know—but how is Wright making longer throws from left field than he would be from 3rd somehow easier on his arm/shoulder? How does that make sense? I also don't agree w/ the writer that we have an "… at best, respectable pen." I think it could be a lot better than that.

Starvinghystericalnaked said...

This is my starting rotation for 2015:

1. Harvey
2. deGrom
3. Wheeler
4. Niese
5. Syndergaard

Trading chips: Colon, Montero, Gee. And I know you're not going to get as much for those three as you would for some of the others, but I'm just not willing to part with anyone of the others. I don't know how you trade Syndergaard before you see him the majors. You never know. What if he's better than Harvey? The bad part is … if you're unable to trade any of those 3 I can't see any of them coming out of the pen? So I don't know what to do with them. Maybe keep 1/3 in case Syndergaard isn't ready to start year (which he very well might not be)? I'm also willing to trade Niese once Matz is ready. So hopefully dream-rotation 2016-20?? =

1. Harvey
2. deGrom
3. Wheeler
4. Syndergaard
5. Matz

S. FInch said...


Trading prospects before reaching the majors..you do it because that is the gamble of trades? You trade prospects when you are ready to contend (or when you have surplus) and you hold when you are rebuilding.

Trading Syndergaard is perfectly logical if the return is high. He might be better than Harvey, but he also may flame..

And please..Wilmer Flores hit pretty darn well once given the job full-time. 1) He is 23 2) His bat has always projected as plus 3) If he can play a decent SS, he doesn't need to hit 20+ homeruns (though i think he can and will).

Jimmy Rollins was the 6th best offensive SS. his line: 243/339/438. To be top ten in the league as a SS: 241/307/387

Flores' line as a 23 y/o: 251/286/378...A minor improvement and he is top 10 in the MLB

Mack Ade said...

Starv - welcome to Mack's Mets

Flores isn't the end all but he did impress us in September after finally given the green light to play every day... 4-HR and 13-RBI that month prorates to 24=HR and 78-RBI which is how many of us think and pray around here...

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Starv, Finch, Mack

When it comes to Flores, we need to keep in mind that if the fences were just a tad shorter, he'd have had 2 more homers in Sept minimum, and maybe 4+ more this year - and we'd be raving about him. If we don't do a Castro deal, Flores can start for me in 2015, and I know right and center are the focal points of the Mets' possible fence move-in, but I'd shave the cut-outs in left if nothing else was done in left...but I hope they move LF in a bit too.

Then I'm betting Flores has a big offensive year. He may anyway, but not as much.

I would really think of trading Niese this off-season if they think Matz is ready. Sure another year would help - but it is also more mileage on an arm that had TJ surgery - I'd rather see as many future innings as possible on the big league level and not act like he's got infinite durability.

Niese, on the other hand, pitched well in 2014, but could go from functionally healthy to disabled pretty easily, and then be untradeable. So if Matz is ready, get him up here and move Niese to another team while it is clear he just was healthy enough to go 30 starts and put up a 3.40 ERA, IMO, for what it is worth.

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