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


****Winter Stats****

Julian Hilario AWL - Scottsdale 4 0 0.75 3 1
Cory Mazzoni AWL - Scottsdale
Paul Seward AWL - Scottsdale 2 13.5 4.5 4 2
Rob Whalen AWL - Scottsdale 3 9 3 2
Miquel Socolovich VWL - Leones
Ryan Reed VWL - Tiburones
Dario Alvarez AWL - Scottsdale 3 9 2 2 2
LJ Mazzilli AWL - Scottsdale 6 0.167 0.286 0.167 452
Matt Reynolds AWL - Scottsdale 14 0.286 0.375 0.714 1089
Brandon Nimmo AWL - Scottsdale 18 0.333 0.333 0.5 833
Wilfredo Tovar VWL - Bravos 3 0.333 0.333 0.667 1000
Albert Cordero VWL - Leones
Xorge Carrillo  MWL - Aguilas 4 0.25 0.25 0.5 750
Ismael Tijerina MWL - Aguilas
Cory Vaughn MWL - Jalisco 3 0.667 0.75 1.667 2417
Leon Canelon VWL - Lara 0 0 0 0 0
Vincente Lupo VWL - Lara
Jairo Perez VWL - Lara 6 0.167 0.286 0.167 452
Brandon Allen   VWL - Caribes 6 0.167 0.286 0.167 452
Oswaldo Caraballo VWL - Navegantes

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

 21.   UT (SS-2B) Ruben Tejada – No, Tejada will never be a starter on my team again, but he’s a pretty dam good utility player that can play more than adequate defense at both short and second, turn the DP from either position, and consistently hit around .220-.230. This doesn’t mean I’m not going to take a long look at Matt Reynolds in spring camp before I decide if I’m paying Tejada ARB-2 money or I go with minimum with Reynolds.

 22,       UT (C) Juan Centeno – In my book, Plawecki is a goner, so I want to keep him in Vegas and pad his numbers for the trade that eventually will happen. It’s time for Centeno to make the fulltime jump to Queens as the backup catcher. He’s a better defensive catcher than any of them and also has the best arm, something this team could use once in a while. He also has learned not to embarrass himself with a bat in his hands.

 23.      UT (LF) Matt den Dekker- It’s so hard to write about den Dekker. We probably are never going to know what this kid could have produced for us in centerfield. His injury cost him his shot and Lagares will never give that job back. Now, den Dekker is left with slop time and nobody plays well under those conditions. For his and his family’s sake (his father lives here and used to be one of the Mack’s Mets writers), I’d probably like to see him move on to a new start with a team that will give him the chance to start. Until then, we’ll try to keep him busy. He's had a sizzling September which probably earned him the 4th outfield job come opening day. At least it did on my team.

  24.      UT (OF) Cesar Puello – I’m not even sure why I wrote his name down here. He sure as hell didn’t earn it last year, but I need another outfielder to pull off the possible platooning I may have to do in the corner outfielders. I also need a power pinch hitter to replace Bobby Abreu who turns 100 this year. My guess is Puello has lost the chance to be a star in the Mets system and will quickly be passed by Nimmo, but he could still be more productive than either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or den Dekker.


25.     UT (LF) Kirk Nieuwenhuis – Just by the hair of his chinny chin chin and only because he swings left. It’s a shame Matt Reynolds doesn’t also play the outfield.

Reductions –

              UT Eric Young Jr. – $1.85mil
              LF Chris Young - $7.5mil
              P Daisuke Matsuzaka - $1.5mil
              OF Bobby Abreu - $1mil
              RP Scott Rice - $542,5K
              RP Carlos Torres - $561,875K
              RP Buddy Carlyle - $500K
              RP Dana Everland - $500K    - 

                               Total:  $ 13,954,375          - not every one of these guys played badly in 2014… Carlyle actually was excellent… it’s just on ‘my team’ I have no room for players that have no future. I also have this opportunity to scrape up enough money for a pretty decent left fielder (or, at least, pay for the arbitration increases that come into effect.

There are 10, but they include Eric Young Jr., Carlyle, Dana Everland, and Taylor Teagarden, who I also have no intention of resigning.

The others are Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell, Dillon Gee, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, and Jenrry Mejia. A considerable amount of the above mentioned $13mil+ could be eaten up here.

Waiting In The Wings –

C Kevin Plawecki – You can trade this guy now, or you can trade him later, but eventually, you’re going to realize that you just can’t carry two talented starting catchers in this game. There simply aren’t enough of them in the game and their return via a trade is too great. Some of you are calling for him to go away during the winter and learn how to play left field. I just don’t see it happening. He’s worth more to the Mets as a marketable first string catcher than a Lucas Duda-like left fielder. Don’t worry. The Mets will get a good return for this guy, the latest being the 2015 mid-season trading period.

SP Noah Syndergaard – Simply put, I’m not letting this guy go. I love Jon Niese and Dillon Gee, and I have already moved a very pissed off Bartolo Colon to the pen, but one of these guys have to make room for Thor either via a trade or becoming a relief pitcher. The good news for them is the fact that the ‘Super 2’ bullshit will put this off until after the 2015 AAA All-Star game. Still, I have to get my best pitchers out of this God forsaken town and have them regain their confidence pitching in the normal air of Flushing.

SP Steven Matz – Same thing goes for Matz, who also will be held back for the ‘Super 2’ exemption. Frankly, Matz will probably be really before Thor due to his age and maturity level. Harvey… Wheeler…deGrom… Syndergaard… Matz… it’s really here.

2B Dilson Herrera – First thing first. I want to thank Herrera for a heroic effort for filling in for the best hitter on the Mets. For a few minutes there (that game he homered and tripled), I thought we had quite a story brewing, but things settled down and Herrera fell back like the vast majority do. It’s very hard to make a transition to the major league, especially if you’re batting 8th surrounded by two .200 hitters. I still believe this is our long term second baseman in the future and I’m going to send him back to Vegas until the string runs out on Murphy, be it free agency or amid-season trade, but I can’t justifying replacing a .300 hitter straight out of spring training with an untested bat. Murphy deserves more respect than that.


Thomas Brennan said...

Great to get the fuller winter league sched. Great to see Jairo, Lupo and Vaughn in there.

Dekker is going to sneak into the teens, and I still think Puello will figure out a way also. For now, the 20s is a good range for them but not for long.

Rob said...

Love this post and it does accentuate that the minors are full of prospects in the middle infield. While Flores, Reynolds and Herrera all look like future MLB players it is at 2B not SS. My take is that Tejada should make way for the next wave. He shouldn't stand in the way of the aforementioned.

Just my take on the roster.

Anonymous said...

couple of thoughts:
1. MDD may not be our solution for a corner OF, but I think he may have real value to other teams looking for an exceptional glove and competent bat. Giving him meaningful playing time to start next year could significantly improve his trade value. He may not be the primary piece for a deal with the Cubs, but he could provide real value to them because at the moment, they really don't have a natural CF and they are short on LH bats.
2. Puello may have stepped back, but I don't believe he is out and finished yet. They have to start him in Queens next year or pass him through waivers, which I believe he will be picked up, so I think the plan is to give him one final chance by making him the 5th OF to start the season. He mashed LH pitching, is an above average defensive player at all OF spots, has valuable speed and pop off the bench. He is my Lagares type dark horse next year, who I believe will demonstrate value as a backup OF and may make some noise to get a more prominent role in next year's OF.
3. The Super 2 thing is NOT BS, it is a meaningful way to keep young talent under control. Staggering the Arb raises for the Fab Five is the best opportunity to keep them as long as they can. So far, they have been able to stagger the raises for Harvey, Wheeler and deGrom, but both Thor and Matz will likely come up mid year, so their raises will run concurrently.
4. Plawecki has increased his value and hopefully will continue his development, which will only increase his trade value
5. Kirk has reestablished some value this year with better offensive number (despite not cutting down on K rate) and may be attractive to keep internally as a LH bat off the bench and a guy who can play all three OF positions.
6. MDD, Kirk and Puello may not have star profile, but players who can flash a nice glove at all three OF positions, have some pop and speed are not a dime a dozen, so two of the three may help this team in a backup role and one may be a valuable piece for trade bait along with Plawecki
7. Small sample sizes, but both Carlyle and Eveland contributed to the bullpen this year and since the late innings are covered with Meija, Familia, Black, Edgin and hopefully Parnell (if not DFAed), one or both of them could provide low cost value
8. Since no one wants to give up a Fab Five piece, what sort of value could be returned by trading: Colon (with cash considerations) Niese, Gee, Murphy, MDD, Montero, Plawecki and even secondary guys like Mazzoni, Verrett or Gnoa? All of these pieces will eventually become redundant, but I have to believe that there would be valuable return if properly packaged. If some combination of the above might bring back a solid ML pitcher, then one of the Fab Five might be expendable.
Anon Joe F

Thomas Brennan said...

Good stuff, Joe F...I largely agree with you. Dekker in my opinion will have a long term role on this team, but you may have him pegged. Somebody should find him very valuable as a combo of talent and cheap.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

I was very impressed with what Reynolds did yesterday.

Reese Kaplan said...

@Joe F

Would you gamble that den Dekker could become YOUR centerfielder and make Juan Lagares + a pitcher in a deal for Addison Russell?

Anonymous said...

For Russell? Yes, I would. MDD does not fit the corners, but he is flashing enough offense to make him a very attractive CF. I love Juan and following him thru the minors I always liked his bat and had no idea about his glove, but if he could return Russell, I would go for it. I keep saying though that the Cubbies need some LH bats in addition to a natural CF, so I think MDD might have near equal value to them and definitely more pop.
Anon Joe F

Thomas Brennan said...

Reynolds' game winning HR was really something, to go with 2 other hits. People look at him as no power - they may be wrong - he may have moderate pop in his game long term

Anonymous said...

I understand that you don't like Puello but, how can the Mets give up on a player that had a monster year at AA in 2013?

Yes, there is the biogenisis history but he was being actively tested through out 2013 while he was having his break out year.

Sometimes it takes a player a year to adjust to the new level. Maybe that is all that Puello needs. Not giving him that chance would be a mistake by the Mets.

If I remember correctly, didn't you used to say the same thing about Flores?

Sometimes all that is needed is a second chance which is something you are hoping that den Dekker gets with the Mets or another team right?

Why the double standard?

Christopher Soto said...


I still think Puello has a chance to be a MLB contributor.

Despite his down he did the following good things.

A) He hit .312 with an .942 OPS against left handed pitchers.

B) He improved his K rate from 21.8% to 19.4%

C) He improved his BB rate from 7.4% to 8.1%

D) He stole 13 SB in 14 attempts.

Mack's Mets © 2012