Morning Report – October 2 – Jon Niese, John Holdskom, Ben Revere, Winter Leagues, Houston Astros

You didn't just watch an 8-0 loss by the Pirates. It could have been 1-0. This was a pitching domination in a one game series after a 162-game season. Absolutely stupid that baseball couldn't work out the best of five for this series.

Russell Martin could begin the breakup of a team that, two years ago, just seemed to be forming.

Boy, I'm sure happy I'm a Mets fan tonight. It's so much better not making it at all than going out this way.

Victor Black ‏@Vic_Black_2 - Thank you New York....from the bottom of my heart. So grateful to everyone for a great season of support. Be ready for 2015

Marc Carig ‏@MarcCarig  -  Wilmer Flores wants to play winter ball in Venezuela. He’d like to play as much shortstop as possible to prepare for next season

Neutral talent evaluators believe that lefty Jon Niese is the Mets‘ best trade chip among the club’s veteran starters, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday. Niese, 27, threw to a 3.40 ERA over 187 2/3 frames in 2014. He is owed $16MM over the next two seasons and has a pair of options ($10MM and $11MM, with respective $500K buyouts) thereafter. - http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/09/nl-notes-burnett-hamels-niese-mets-padres-johnson.html

Mack – See… they go back and forth on Niese. First, he’s too sick to trade…now, he has a great contract. His contract is very attractive in today’s market, especially for a lefty that can throw 3.40 over 187.2-IP. He’s be a perfect replacement for the loss of A.J. Burnett. Keep reading…

I still find it absolutely fascinating that P John Holdskom came back and made it in the majors. He was absolutely the biggest flake that ever past through both Grayson Stadium and St  Lucie. What you won’t have to worry here is another Mets-Prates trade with this guy involved. It will never happen.

Phillies starter A.J. Burnett seems more likely to retire (and forego his $12.75MM player option) than many people believe, observes Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com in an offseason preview piece. Meanwhile, the club will listen on Cole Hamels but continue to demand a ransom in return, while Philadelphia could be more open to dealing not only veteran Marlon Byrd but also arb-eligible outfielders Domonic Brown and Ben Revere. As Salisbury notes, the rotation has plenty of question marks and openings. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/09/nl-notes-burnett-hamels-niese-mets-padres-johnson.html

  Mack – No, we done Byrd one. I want BOTH Brown and Revere for Niese. Let my staff work them out and walk away with who’s my new starter next to Juan Lagares.

Or tell me hell no and I’m buckle in for Revere only. 26-yr. old centerfielder who can play either corner outfield positions… hit .306/.325/.361/.686 in 2014. No pop. I mean, no pop whatsoever. 49 stolen bases. Big time upgrade to EYJ. And sorry dD… he bats left.

This would be your 2015 leadoff hitter.

Julian Hilario AWL - Scottsdale
Cory Mazzoni AWL - Scottsdale
Paul Seward AWL - Scottsdale
Rob Whalen AWL - Scottsdale
LJ Mazzilli AWL - Scottsdale
Matt Reynolds AWL - Scottsdale
Brandon Nimmo AWL - Scottsdale

 Ald lastly, we move on to the AL-West in our quest to find next year’s left-fielder or shortstop.

First stop… the Houston Astros.

According to Cot[i], the Astros’ 2014 salaries are $50,485,800.

There are only three players under more than a one-year contract[ii], (RHP Scott Feldman, 2B Jose Altuve, RHP Chad Qualls). The rest are either working their way up to, or through, the arbitration process.

In the outfield, Dexter Fowler is being paid this season $7.85mil in his ABR-3 year, George Springer is pre-ARB (DL), Jake Marisnick is pre-ARB, and Robbie Grossman is pre-ARB. Alex Presley (.252) is also pre-ARB.

Shortstop wise, Marwin Gonzalez will enter his first arbitration year in 2015. His backup, Gregorio Petit (.284), is also pre-ARB. Carlos Correa (ETA: 2016) is the future.

A good target for the Mets could be #3 prospect, OF Domingo Santana, who just finished PCL-AAA ball with a stat line of 443-AB, .296/.384/.474/.858, 16-HR, 81-RBI.
Another could be SS Nolan Fontana, who has a 2015 ETA after hitting .262 in AA ball. He’s also a ++ defender.

Mack Observation – Houston isn’t a very good team and the only players they would be interested in obtaining would have to be team controlled. They are looking to improve on their bullpen and this could a good place to ship Jenrry Mejia.

My problem is I just can’t seem to find anyone here to trade for.


Thomas Brennan said...

What, Mack, you don't like a best of one series? I think 5 is too much for that round - maybe 3 games. But 1 game is nuts after a whole year of work.

How would they get to 3 games and not delay other rounds too much? How about the first game Monday and then a day/night (if necessary) on Tuesday. If the winner is worn out for the next round, too bad. Get a better record.

Niese has to have value unless someone were convinced he was on the verge of falling apart at year end. He was not. He's lefty. Some team will be generous.

I'd like Betts (righty) vs. Revere (lefty), as it would keep Dekker in the mix for some playing time as a 4th OF. Of course, Betts would have to be more costly. He has the power Revere doesn't.

Go for it, Wilmer, in winter ball, and just stay healthy. Hey Vic Black, if you read this, back at you for a fine season.

Thomas Brennan said...

One more thought: Julian Hilario in fall ball?

He was only in St Lucie, 24, 5.79, 95 hits and walks in 51 innings, just 41 K's, so very few K's per batter faced. Why him and not someone else? Is it just that they did not have any other Whelan types who have excelled in the minors but did not pitch much in 2014, so the innings limit was not an issue?

I'd almost have preferred Tapia going. He's been flat on his innings the past 3 years (109, 101, 109) - flat AND low - why not push him a bit?

Christopher Soto said...


The Arizona Fall League is generally a heavy hitting league. Teams are hesitant to allow their top prospect arms to pitch for a team that is not under full organizational control.

Remember these Fall teams are shared by 4-5 MLB teams.

Thomas Brennan said...

Good insight on AFL. Thanks, Chris.

John Zozo said...

I agree with being able to trade from our surplus of bullpen pitchers. I believe Mejia could get us a Domingo type player.

Mack Ade said...

Hilario made no sense for any winter assignment no less that one

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

Actually, I meant a three game series... I typed that wrong.

You could fit it in if you wanted to

Christopher Soto said...


And yet....that's exactly why they are sending him. The club's top lower level arms got plenty of work in this year.

Let Hilario go throw 40 more innings in the AFL, no one will care how back he does cause he's just organizational filler.

Rather risk him to injury than Marcos Molina.

Thomas Brennan said...

@ Chris
Hearing what you are saying about not sending prized arms, maybe they feel Dario Alvarez got enough work in, or maybe once you make the majors, you can't go to AFL.

But Dario was in just 33 games (incl. 6 starts) and 75 innings. Wonder if a little more pitching in 2014 might've helped him for 2015.

Maybe not, and maybe Mets management feel he could be on the Mets in 2015 and would feel he could be misused in AFL. But even if he were a 2015 reliever in AAA and on Mets, they'd want 50 or more games out of him I'd imagine. So he'd need to have his workload increased.

Mack Ade said...

There are other factors...

some of these guys are sent with innings/at-bats/game restrictions from their respective winter league teams... think of them as designated substitutes... it is already determined that they won't play much

thunder12k said...

Houston is one of my favorite teams to look at for some trade options.

If you look at it from Houston's standpoint, in 2 years, the team could look like this.

OF Springer, Marsinik & Santana
1B Singleton
2B Altuve
SS Correra
3B Colin Moran
DH Chris Carter

C Jason Castro was an all star last year but was terrible this year. Plawecki should interest them since they have big time sluggers in Springer, Singleton, Carter and hopefully Santana.

Looks like they could use a young reliever like Black, Mejia or Familia.

They could also use a starter with upside like Montero or a stop gap until some of their younger prospects are ready like Niese or Gee.

Fowler would be an interesting guy to bring in to play on his last arbitration year before hitting free agency.

Teoscar Hernandez is another interesting OF who is at about the same level as Nimmo progress wise. The guy hit .292/.362/.535 with 21 HRs and 33 SBs reaching AA this year.

Could you move Plawecki (#59) for Santana (#50)?

Montero for Hernandez?

Gee for Fowler?

my left arm for Springer?

I think Houston is a very interesting team. I think their biggest need is going to be a lack of an ace. I'm sure they would love Syndergaard. Would Santana, McCullers (#76) & Fontana be enough to pry him lose?

Either way there are a bunch of options here in my opinion.

thunder12k said...

I think I also used "interesting" way too much above

Mack Ade said...

Thunder -

You can use the word 'interesting' as often as you want.

Thank you for your comments on Hoston. I expected to receive much more comments about this series, but it hasn't worked out that way. Call it Mets burn-out.

thunder12k said...

They have a ton of guys who I like. Preston Tucker just got done hitting .282/.352./.481 with 24 HRs across AA & AAA this season and he is their #20 prospect.

Excluding Springer, what would Houston have to offer for Syndergaard to make Sandy really sit down and contemplate moving him?

Mack Ade said...

Normally, you would pass on any offer for Harvey, Wheeler, deGrom, or Syndergaard... you offer Montero, or Niese, but you do everything you can to hold on to Thor


In the long run, the Mets have no one that has risen to AAA let with this kind of potential talent

Tucker for Syndergaard?

Yeah, I'd reluctantly make the deal.

Steve from Norfolk said...


I think the reason you haven't gotten many comments on your current series is that you've been spot on in your analysis.It would have taken me a day or two of research to even start coming up with intelligent questions.

thunder12k said...


Tucker for Thor? Really? I would move Montero for Tucker, but definately not for Thor straight up.

For me to move Thor, Houston would have to send me Santana, McCullers & Fontana.

Mack Ade said...

Thunder -

Yeah, I know... could be giving up too much but the Mets have no guarantee that either Nimmo or Conforto will fill these shoes either. They have to roll the dice for a top line OF prospect (or two) with their excess prospects pitchers

Michael S. said...

Mejia to Houston? I'd ask for McCullers and another prospect, likely a position player.

thunder12k said...

The Indians were able to get James Ramsey from the Cardinals for Masterson. Masterson had a good 2011 & 2013 but was poor in 2010, 2012 & 2014. Ramsey has similar numbers to Tucker. I would think we'd be able to get Tucker for Gee + a young bullpen arm but I don't see Gee having too much value to Houston. Montero for Tucker seems like a decent swap for both teams. Both guys are in that Top 80-120 prospect range. Montero gives Houston a young arm to add to an already young rotation and can be slid into the pen when top prospects like Appel & McCullers graduate.

Tucker gives the Mets a major league ready LF.

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