Morning Report – October 3 – A Short Season Recap, Dan-Chat, Curtis Granderson, Run Prevention, Los Angeles Angels


Just got off the phone with my old boss, and current Detroit Tigers fan, Steven Dinetz, Steven was CEO of Chancellor Broadcasting, which became AMFM and Capstar. Iwas his senior VP at Capstar. We all reported to the crazy Hicks Brothers that owned the Texas Rangers.

Steven warned me about the tigers lack of pen buy, wow, I didn't expect this tonight. How do you go a whole season knowing you have this problem and don't do anything about it a month ago?

Heads will roll here.

One of the things I will be branching out this off-season (in the Morning Report) is more info on players in other systems that could be in play. To a great extent, we have written just about every word imaginable on people like Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy.

Watch for paragraphs and links to other town/teams blogs on their players.

So, that was that.

Actually, I had a lot of fun covering and writing about this team in the second half of this season, far more than I did since Carlos Beltran didn’t swing at that strike three. There were a lot of signs that things are getting better for Mets fans and most of that happened since the last All-Star game.

You know me. I’m not going to bore you with stats and Sabr shit. That’s Soto’s job.
I’ve always been all gut feeling and I’m not about to change right now.
Here’s some seasonal observations.

    1.     I’m very proud that I started telling my readers as far back as 2009 that 2014 was going to be the year that began Mets pitching dominance. I had no knowledge of people like Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom, but everything I saw and was told was that this team was going to build a future about people that perform their duties on the bump. We’re at the beginning of a period in which very talented, team controlled, starters are going take this team to levels they haven’t seen in twenty years. Any combination of nine guys (Wheeler, deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Rafael Montero) will carry this team into the next decade. There are very exciting times ahead.

     2.     I’m especially thrilled that CF Juan Lagares didn’t turn out to be beginner’s luck. His rise from, first, obscurity and then, failed anticipation, to become one of the most respected and feared centerfielders in the game remind me so much of Carlos Gomez, an ex-Met I am still mourning the loss of. I never thought there was much here and I’m so happy Juan (I can use his first name because I know him) has made me look like an ass.

     3.     Can you write a positive piece about the 2014 Mets and not mention Jacob deGrom? My only fear here is the same I shared a year ago for Lagares. The assumption is deGrom is for real which means 2-25ths of the 25-man weren’t on any internal projection board.

     4.     A little lost this season was the maturation process SP Zack Wheeler went through. I really like this guy. I’m not sure how much I would love him if he was the ace on a talent limited rotation. Think Mike Pelfrey here. Still, his second half of the season was quite impressive even though he gave up too many pitchers in the early innings. I assume the Mets pitching coaches will be addressing this in the off-season, but slotting him behind Matt Harvey and deGrom as the SP3) is a perfect slot for 2015.

     5.     I think that Jeurys Familia is not only becoming the ace of the Mets pen, but maybe one of the best relievers in baseball. I also think the Mets will give him the closer role in 2015 and the build the rest of the back end of the pen from there (I have Jenrry Mejia being traded in the off-season for a lefty). There’s very little I didn’t like here and the Mets pen may be one man away from the same kind of talent their rotation has.

     6.     I have to assume that all of you are happy with the home run and runs batted in totals for Lucas Duda. The important thing is he erased any memory of the 2012 season that Ike Davis put up. Duda is now our first baseman and will be until someone in the organization takes it away from him. His ARB-2 year in 2015 is going to generate a serious raise in pay for him, but that’s just fine as long as he produces numbers like he did this year. All he has to do is become a little respectable against left handed pitchers and there is a potential all-star first baseman here.

     7.     I remain concerned with the future of Travis d’Arnaud’s health, but he’s convinced me that he has major league talent. He also lined up as one of those future 20+ hone run hitters I’m always writing about. I will say this. His defense sucks and he really needs to work on that if he wants to remain a starter come 2016.

     8.     Dilson Herrera was an interesting promotion, not because he produced that much, but because it just isn’t a Mets thing to promote this way. This was totally dictated by the fact he was on the 40-man and Matt Reynolds wasn’t, but why not take the safe route here and add Wilfredo Tovar for SS and move Ruben Tejada over from short? No, Sandy Alderson gave the Mets fans (and baseball’s scouts) a peek at the future of the Mets at second base.

     9.     Thank God Wilmer Flores finally got a chance to show up what he can do at the major league level. Is he the starting 2015 shortstop? He seems talented enough, but there are better shortstops available out there. Me? Well, if I had the green light, I would go for J.J. Hardy here and then add Flores to excess pitching I have that could be packaged together for a decent 2015 starting corner outfielder. Either way, Flores’ contribution in 2014 was a plus.

     10.                        And lastly, the last 10 appearances by Rafael Montero have proven that he’s a major league pitcher and the Mets have to make room for him somewhere. He also fills up the row of seats that the scouts sit in. Montero may wind up being the young, team controlled, healthy starter that can get you a decent corner outfielder for 2015. If not, put him in the pen as the long man.

     Sully-Chat –

Jeff Sullivan: Curtis Granderson led baseball with 13 3-and-0 swings. Four different players hit two 3-and-0 dingers this season: Seager, Norris, Granderson, Dom Brown. Granderson was 6-for-9 with two doubles and two dingers. That seems like too much

Mack – I’ve suffered from a tremendous amount of baseball tunnel vision over the years. My whole baseball world seems to be the Mets and I don’t even remember seeing Granderson swing at a baseball before becoming a Met. That being said, I HATE his swing, especially against lefties, which looks like something my cousin Linda used to loo with a whiffle bat. They say they’re going to work with him in the off-season, but you know the old saying about old dogs, especially ones with an ego.

Comment From CMG8462 - Do you think the Mets are at the appropriate point in their “rebuild” where they can start adding legitimate pieces through free-agency? Assuming the payroll won’t stay in the mid 80′s for perpetuity..

Jeff Sullivan: I think they’re about ready to be a contender in 2015. I like the run prevention they’re establishing

            ‘Run preventjon’… I like the way he put that. That’s really what we are talking about here. Sure, we all want more runs, but what we really want is the other team to score less than us. The Mets proved that they could stay in just about every game since the All-Star break. They were 42-35 since 10 games prior to the break. That’s in that 90-win range everyone keeps talking about. I know I can easily add up 10 games this team lost, either by blowing a late lead (especially by the pen early on in the season) or by errors or sloppy play. 10 games is an 89-73 record. 10 games is all this team needs.
            So what?  Matt Harvey’s return gets you what, three? A resurgence of David Wright two more? Modified fences for Grandy another two? A full season of positive production by Travis d’Arnaud at least one walk off? We need two more and we haven’t even factored in Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz after the all-star break.

            It really is that close folks.

    Dan-Chat - 
Comment From AndrewY - Lucas Duda is one of three NL players to hit 30 home runs. Is he a productive first basemen for the new couple years, or should the Mets be looking for a free agent?

Dan Szymborski: Even if he wasn’t, I don’t think the Mets are yet in a position in which they should be adding many free agents.

Mack – I hate when the writers drink the Kool-Aid. Why can’t the Wilpons sell an apartment building and raise the cash needed to fix this? And while they’re at it, why not just sell the team to one of those internet gazzillionaires that are buying Hawaii island (Larry Ellison). The world is changing and the Mets need to change with it.

Until then, leave Sandy Alderson alone and let him build from within. Frankly, he’s doing a pretty good job with the little he has, but all of this would be a lot easier with the signing of, oh, let’s say J.J. Hardy and Nelson Cruz.

Comment From Mike - Earlier in the season I asked if you would rather have a healthy Michael Pineda or Zack Wheeler and you said Wheeler. Has your mind changed?

Dan Szymborski: I think so, but not by a huge amount. But I’d still rather have Wheeler overall.         

            Mack – I think Wheeler (very quietly) had a wonderful second half of the season and could turn out someday to be the ace of this staff.
We continue our search for a new shortstop and/or left fielder in the AL-West, with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

According to Cot[i], the A of A has a 2014 payroll of $154,546,500.

Most of their stars are signed up on long term contracts.

CF Mike Trout isn’t going anywhere… 6-yr. $144mil through 2020.

LF Josh Hamilton gets paid through 2017 at $32.4mil in that year.

SS Erick Aybar will get paid $8.75 mil through 2016.

Additional outfielders include Kole Calhoun (pre-ARB) and Collin Cowgill (going ARB-1 in 2015).

3B John McDonald serves as backup shortstop.

There really aren’t any standout prospects at shortstop or in the outfield that will rise in either 2015 or 2016.

Mack Observation – The Angels are not a team that is shy of spending money on talented ballplayers. They also aren’t afraid to bring new players into their system to make them an even better team. I really don’t see the Mets finding anyone on this team they could talk the Angels out of (Calhoun) or afford.

I would move on here.

[i] http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/al-west/los-angeles-angels-of-anaheim/


Thomas Brennan said...

Hardy and Cruz would be nice, but I recall people saying Cruz would not want Citi due to difficulty to go deep there. Fences, fences.

My brother Steve has yet to post here (I'm trying!), but he is big on fences coming in a lot, too, and wants Wilpons to break out of cheap mode - OR TO SELL.

He wants Andrew Miller, David Robertson, and big hitters at SS and LF (HARDY AND CRUZ WOULD WORK). To TOTALLY RIP the town away from the Yankees. THOUGHTS, READERS?

I think Duda has room to grow further - article in about 2 weeks on that topic.

If Tigers' heads would roll due to lack of pitching, Mets got some for sale at the right price :)

Anonymous said...


Cruz is not even a remote possibility.

After hitting 40 HRs this year he's going to get 5yrs/$100m+ from someone (aka Yankees)

Personally, I have no interest in spending money on a bullpen that's already considered one of the best in the National League. We already have Parnell coming back and that's plenty enough of an upgrade.

I am still in the "leave Flores alone" at SS camp. As for LF, I am still in the Cuddyer corner. If they are available at the right price....I would also be happy with Nick Markakis, Alex Rios, or Yasmany Tomas

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts:

* On trading Mejia, I'd certainly entertain it. I worry that he loves the spotlight of the closer role, and might not transition well to a more modest role in the pen. If he's not a closer, he might not be happy (or as effective). OTOH, it is nice to see a pitcher who craves the big situation.

* I know I'm a minority, but what ever happened to excellence? I know the Wilpons have never had that aspiration, but it's disappointing that so many fans seem to think, hey, 87 wins, maybe we can be one-and-done in the playoffs next season! Why reach for the stars when you can reach for the clouds. The Mets should be trying to get better than the Nationals. But it always comes back to "meaningful games in September." They just don't aspire to greatness.

JP (former "2 Guys")

thunder12k said...

I'm all in on signing Cuddyer to a 2-year deal and trading Gee to Boston for Craig.

Cuddyer is my LF with MDD getting some games in. Craig would be my OF vs lefties taking Granderson out.

Duda plays everyday but we would have the option to occasionally sit him with the option of Craig or Campbell playing 1B.

Mack Ade said...

James -

What happened to "2 Guys' ?

Mack Ade said...

JP -

how about joining over here at Mack's Mets for an occasional post or two each month?

Ernest Dove said...

........well........we've waited this long.......maybe Mets should simply keep doin what they doin........
They can trade/sign for whoever they want in LF, but what happens if Nimmo is the real deal in 2015. God knows we all don't want Mets to then treat him like Flores and play him once a week come July/August. ....
And its not as simple as flipping whatever outfielder is signed, once Nimmo is ready. Besides, who would the mets trade a cuddyer or craig for at that point when they would seemingly have all they want for the time being? They won't bring top prospects in return.

Anonymous said...

1. I think the 2015 payroll is more about 2016-2020 than it is 2015
2. As much as I want the Ace staff on the horizon, I might settle for 4 and Montero or other 5th starter if it means filling SS by trading Wheeler
3. I am ok on going light in 2015 because pitchers will still be on leash and one more year of clarity will show on what prospects can fill needs
4. As much as everyone talks about Cubbies needing pitching, they also need LH bats and a C
5. I hope MDD gets time next year to show a competent ML bat; he would make a juicy trade chip for a team that wants him in CF, where he profiles much better offensively than a corner

Anon Joe F

Charles said...

Trade Mejia for a lefty....

A lefty reliever? A starter? I don't think they need a lefty starter and I don't think a lefty reliever is a huge priority right now. Edgin did fabulous and a lot of their pen is dominant and can gets outs against lefties.

Also, Mejia wasn't flat out dominant, but he definitely showed he could be a closer for even a playoff team. If not for Familia, I think he'd certainly remain the Mets' closer until Parnell proves healthy enough to take it away.

I think if you are trading Mejia away, you'd have to get something damn good in return. Not simply " a lefty". To me, he's an extremely attractive piece in a bigger deal for a legit LF'er or SS. Although, I wouldn't mind one bit if Flores remains the SS for now.

I think the budget alone will keep Flores at short and the Mets will bank on him reaching his ceiling with his bat. Sandy likely will spend much of the off season shopping numerous pitchers, along with Murphy, to try to get a major league ready outfielder, like Joc P, or a Jose Baustista type of slugger. Other that that, this team is pretty close to being relevant again.

They're in much better shape than the Yankees, who have a horrible system with zero prospects close to ml ready and a budget that simply can't fix the old roster they've built.

thunder12k said...

Having too many players is never a bad thing. What happens if Nimmo starts the year poorly? What happens if he gets hurt. I wouldn't bank on any ETA from a guy who has only played half a season in AA. I'm signing Cuddyer to hopefully anchor this team and bring them to the playoffs next season. If Nimmo kills it next year, Let him fight Cuddyer/Granderson for the 2016 OF opening. If you trade for Craig and he sucks, cut him. If he comes back to his Cardinal days, then let him lead you to the playoff.

Best case scenario is that Cuddyer, Craig and Nimmo have great years and you have a surplus. Worst case is they all suck and MDD becomes your 3rd OF. Most likely something in between. If put the chips in having Nimmo take over at the all star break, you could really leave yourself hanging.

thunder12k said...


What I'm trying to say is what if Nimmo isn't the real deal in 2015? Do you want to jeopardize the season where this team should be a legit contender on the hope that our 21 year old prospect, with half a "decent" AA season under his belt, is the answer?

I don't.

Reese Kaplan said...

While Mejia is a "sell high" candidate coming off 28 unexpected saves, his peripherals were not that good (something other clubs would care about) and his enthusiasm (something only the Mets seem to care about) is pushing him out the door. It would be foolhardy though not reckless to sell him before you really know the state of Bobby Parnell's health, though Familia or even Black could step into the closer's role if necessary.

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree with Thunder on Nimmo. I am not counting on him for more than a cup of coffee in 2015. He did not, unlike Herrera, light up AA while there. I think he needs another full year in minors.

As all the dialogue on this site shows, Sandy's got his hands full this off season - more than any other year, there are many crucial decisions to be made. "Stand pat" is feasible, but likely not the right course. He'll have to pick the course.

Thomas Brennan said...

"Lefty" was brought up. Let's not forget Jack Leathersich. He has real value in a trade or as a member of the 2015 pen. I'd think, anyway. That high K rate ought to translate at the big league level, even if he has some flaws.

Anonymous said...


Although Leather Rocket is a "lefty"....he's not very good against lefties.

Career splits

vs. RHB
2014: .217 AVG, .599 OPS, 59 K, 15 BB
2013: .181 AVG, .600 OPS, 71 K, 26 BB
2012: .162 AVG, .513 OPS, 83 K, 23 BB

vs. LHB
2014: .235 AVG, .733 OPS, 34 K, 13 BB
2013: .329 AVG, .883 OPS, 31 K, 19 BB
2012: .267 AVG, .707 OPS, 30 K, 9 BB

thunder12k said...

In terms of our relievers, I think we have 4 closers in Parnell, Mejia, Familia & Black. I would agree 100% if they moved Mejia. I do not think he would respond well if moved out of the closer's role. Familia is just flat out nasty and typically pitched better in more pressure situations - he's nearly untouchable to me.

I don't necessarily think they need to trade Mejia if they plan on keeping him as the closer. But Parnell makes some decent $ so they will need to showcase him if they want to trade him.

However, if Sandy is concerned with his starters going deep into games, like Wheeler, I couldn't think of a better 6-9 inning tandem than Black, Parnell, Familia & Mejia.

bob gregory said...

Thank you.
it is so nice to read someone else that does not want the Mets to settle.
Especially with the team being so close.

Now is the time to wisely target young, talented, middle-of-the-order, difference making hitters to pair with the talented pitching staff.

1 or 2 could lead to not just a dominating season, but a dynasty

Hobie said...

Yes, Bob (“Now is the time to wisely target young, talented, middle-of-the-order, difference making hitters…”}. That has to be the philosophy.

The key word here is “target” vs. that sentiment expressed in often in “trade Murphy (Mejia, Neise, etc.) for a SS or LF”

You want Sterling Castro? Fine, I think A.Russel will eventually eclipse anything Castro can offer, but OK set your sights on a target and see what it takes tor reel in. Thor? Straight up I might reluctantly pull the trigger. Montero +Mejia +Pawlecki? If that’s too rich, ID another target.

Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

If Parnell returns effective, a trade of a package of Plawecki-Mejia-Montero does not hurt the Mets.

It's also a lot of talent for one player so it better be a hell of a SS or LF prospect/talent

only problem seems to be that you would have to trade Mejia before the rehabbing of Parnell would be complete

God, I wish we could get this Hot Stove season heated up

thunder12k said...

HEAT IT UP!!!! We have 9 Starters and 4 Closers. Work those phones Sandy.

Thomas Brennan said...

Good point on Leathersich, Chris. But the good news is many lefties stink up the joint vs. righty hitters. Jack does really well vs them - and his lefty #s in 2 of the 3 years were decent. He needs to get better there, no doubt, but then you'd have not a LOOGY, but a guy who could give you an inning or two regardless of who is coming up.

Hobie said...


Maybe we’re saying the same thing. My point was that rather than “shopping” (say) a Montero-Mejia-Pawlecki package, we target a return, THEN make a price value judgment on what it would take.

I used Castro as an example. I wasn’t that high on him initially—worried that he carried some Valdespin genes—but I’ve come around to the point where I can envision a Duda-Flores-Castro-Murphy(3B) IF and a Wright-Legares-Granderson (dD would be my RF preference) OF with the excitement of having landed a hot Jr. Prom date. :-)

The Hot Stove is stoked!

Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

I think we are, but letting the other GM know what you want initially could come back and bite you... or, at least cost you an additional player in the package.

I reccomend to everyone here to rent the movie 'Draft Day' with Kevin Cosner... yes, it's football, but it gives the viewer a good look at the process these GMs go through.

Hobie, Chicago has made it known that Castro is available if you take on the entire contract... that usualy means three player can get this done... but... one is going to have to be Syndergaard.

You can't expect a team to take three sort-of-prospects for an All-Star

Syndergaard, Plawecki, and Montero would do the deal (IMO)

bob gregory said...

truthfugly I would aim higher for my target(s).

Cespedes would certainly be one target.

I would actually approach the Braves as I aimed at Heyward. Yes the Mets might have to over-pay, but the benefit to the team as a whole would be well worth it.

And again, if Tomas is determined to be an "Abreu" or "Cespedes" type talent. .....
then the Mets should be willing to make a serious competitive offer. .. (bonus that no top prospects need to be spent)

Can anyone think of more wise targets that build a division championship team for next year and years to come?

Yes I am mentioning 2 outfielders. Granderson would not prevent me from building the best team possible if given the opportunity. He did not earn that this past season.

Michael S. said...

They can keep him.

Michael S. said...

I agree, Mejia is good for a young prospect or could be part of a trade package for a serious bat. He should have serious value.

Michael S. said...

Russell is the guy to get from Chicago.

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