The Morning Report – October 31 – Comments, Fixtures, Matt Harvey, Dayan Viciedo, 5 Wishes


Excited for my first winter league start! Shout out to and

Tom asked –

Mack, I noticed that you haven’t been leaving comments on your posts until later on in the day. What gives?

            Mack – Hey Tom.

Yeah, I’ve had a major change in my sleep pattern for a bunch of reasons not worth going into and boring you. My pattern now is write up until I go to sleep around 12am-1am, which is when my pain and sleep medication kicks in.

            The downside is I usually don’t get up now until around 11am.

Luckily, Blogger allows me to schedule in advance what I write, but I do miss out on timely issues that happen overnight.

One more thing about my Morning Reports…

I thank those of you that are emailing me individual questions. First, I will only identify you with your first name in the reports.

Secondly, this process allows me to give you my opinions in a more professional manner that can be addressed by all of you the next day via comments.

This is supposed to be a fun place to visit and all I’m trying to do is generate some intelligent subjects to yak about the next day.

Okay… let’s move on…

Derek asked -

Mack, For three years in a row we have witnessed a good prospect become great (Harvey) and 2 supposedly AAAA players become fixtures (Lagares, deGrom). What if we have a fourth in Reynolds, or den Decker? What do you do then? I know terrible problem. 

            Hey Derek.

Reynolds seems to not be missing in any opportunity he is being given. Now, the nest question is the most important… will he get that opportunity with the Mets? It seems to me that it will first be Wilmer Flores turn at short which, if it goes well, he could be that ‘fixture’ you are looking for.

            Me? At this point I just want another fixture J

As for den Dekker, he has always been used as a platoon outfielder so it seems that is the best you’re going to get here. If you truly are a fan of this guy than wish the Mets would leave him back in AAA for one more season and let him bat every day against all pitching… then again, that will be Nimmo time… no, I’m not sure there’s a chance left for him other than to platoon with someone else for a productive 2015 until Mr. Nimmo comes along.       

Here is another question/scenario: You ask Harvey whether he wants to be the opening day starter or get the ball in the first game of the playoffs due to innings limit this year (this would tell me the mindset on being a long time Met) Hopefully is option 2 so you can go with Colon and trade when Harvey is ready to come back up. If ego and his agent say he wants the ball opening day knowing he won’t make it to September, do you trade him instead of Wheeler or Thor for a top flight outfielder? Especially of the reports of "miscommunication" between player and front office (We seem to have options at SS now) The rotation could be Thor, Wheeler, deGrom, Gee and Neise. He is the most expensive, will get to ARB first and will bring back someone good?

You bring up a very interesting scenario here that would first get you burned at the Mets-Twitter stake. That being said, only Harvey and David Wright could bring you the kind of outfielder you want long term.

A lot of this depends on just how much the Mets feel that Brandon Nimmo is one of their future long term starting outfielders. You have to respect the length of the Curtis Granderson contract and we can assume that Lagares is going nowhere. So you then have to ask if you are really looking for a long term outfielder or just someone to be productive in 2015.

Me?  Sorry, but my vote is for Harvey, Wheeler, and deGrom from the get-go with Harvey being limited to six innings tops each start. I want to see the dream rotation I’ve been writing about for years.


It’s very hard to determine what Harvey’s value is right now. Is he a starter coming off TJS or is the  ex-starter of the All-Star game? What would ask for from, let’s say, Boston? Mookie Betts seems too little, too untested… Allan Craig not talented enough.

Marty asked –
Hi Mack, There has been a lot of talk about Michael Cuddyer, but he seems too expensive for the Mets unless he takes less to play with the Captain. As cheaper alternatives, what do you think about signing Michael Morse or trading for Ryan Ludwick, who is coming off a down season and only played in 112 games? Another trade possibility could be Dayan Viciedo, who is 25, but also coming off a down year.

                        Mack – Hey Marty.

This is sort of an extension of the question above this about the need of a long term outfielder signing in 2015. I’m going to continue to operate under the plan that the Mets have Brandon Nimmo inked into a starting outfield position, latest opening day 2016. This would place him out there with Lageres and Granderson, creating a need in 2015 for only a one-year deal for ‘somebody’.

Cuddyer is going to demand a 2-year deal. I would be wiling to pay a little extra for a one-year plus a team option, but at his advanced age, and taking in the park dimension factors, that’s the best I could do.

After this playoff series, Morse will be offered at least 2-years from a multiple amount of teams.

Ludwick will play 2015 as a 36-year old and, frankly, I’d rather platoon den Dekker with Cesar Puello than commit decent money here.

But I love the Viciedo idea if I could get him for one year. He’s young and hitting 21 home runs in a bad year is a good place to start.

‘Tank’ reminds me, body wise, of Puello.

Conrad asked –

              Mack- In a leisurely Pub conversation last night, the hypothetical question was aired, “If you owned the Mets & had infinitely deep pockets, WWYD?”

Much of the supposition centered around expensive FA’s and trading high-ceiling prospects for high-priced stars (replacing the losses eventually with more high-priced FA’s).  This from a number of my companions who are SABR geeks.

My only contribution was that I’d buy an IL franchise (Charlotte?), and maybe Savannah too, to control & stastabilize the pipeline.  That seemed off-the-wall to my colleagues.

Would like to hear your thoughts on this and on the general fantasy of “if $$$ had no bearing?”

            Mack – Good question. Things I would or wouldn’t do:

1.     Buy minor league teams to accommodate all four ‘full season’ seasons. Enough of worrying if the owners of Buffalo are happy or if someone should be held back for the Savannah playoffs. I want team owned minor league teams.

2.      Double the amount of money that is currently invested in International scouting. This is where there still is some unmined gold in this game and you need to spend well above the levels given you before a penalty comes into play. Eat the penalty. America is turning everybody over 6-2 into a pitcher and Latin America is where the big bats still exist.

3.     Never, I repeat, NEVER, trade a prospect that is going in the right direction, unless you have an amount of depth that would prevent that player from having a decent career. If that happens, go out and find yourself a positional replacement that exists in the market. Kevin Plawecki may wind up to be the best example here.

4.     Look for your leftfielder problem in the FA pool (see point 3)… call up the agents for Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis, Colby Rasmus, and Alex Rios. Tell them you are making an offer to the other four outfielders and you would like him to bring to your table the top offer he receives by other clubs. Then tell him you will match +10% that offer for 2-years plus a 4th year team option. First one that calls gets the deal. Put this position behind you so you can move on someday to who plays in the 2016 outfield, Nimmo or Granderson.

5.     As crazy as it sounds, stay in the FA pool and go out and get one of the top starters that’s available out there this off season. Make this run for a playoff and desire for increased attendance a lot easier… how about a rotation of (in no particular order) Harvey, Wheeler, de-Grom, Syndergaard, and Jon Lester?

Perfect Game –

           Highest Peak Fastball Velocities

Rk.     Pitcher           Top MPH      Avg MPH

1        Donny Everett         96.3   93.8
2        Austin Bergner        95.0   93.0
3        Beau Burrows          94.9   93.0
4        Nick Neidert            94.8    92.5
5        Dakota Chalmers   94.2   92.2
6        Marrick Crouse        94.1   91.3
7        Wesley Rodriguez  93.9   91.0
8        Jiovanni Orozco      93.9   91.2
9        Jordan Hicks            93.6   91.4
10      Pablo Salizar                      93.5    91.0


Tom Brennan said...

Hey Mack

I'd consider Viciedo, but still wonder if Dekker and Puello would be better. Home run power, Viciedo hands down. But he had a .281 on base % last year, trends high on Ks, did not hit lefties well, and has a career 40% steal rate (2 steals in 5 attempts) so I am guessing zero speed and likely sub-par defense.

Dekker and Puello both have well above average speed and D, and hit well vs. pitchers of the opposite persuasion.

At the risk of over-repetition on the point, Dekker from his return to AAA in June on through year end, including his major league time, was 97 for 271 (.357), 30 doubles, 5 triples, 4 homers, 42 walks, and just 47 Ks, plus 12 steals. About 60% of that in AAA, 40% Mets.

And with his history of always seeming to find a way to be better the next time around, I think 2015 will prove he is a real player and not a 4th outfielder.

And as disappointing as Puello has been, he always hits lefties.

Now, if you get Nellie Cruz for 2 years, I'd acquiesce there.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

How is there ever a downside to sleeping to 11? I would pay big bucks to be able to sleep that late just once!
Anon Joe F

Ernest Dove said...

Im ok with Harvey going day 1, and 6 innings. Start. ...Because mets seem to finally have the bullpen for it.........Actually might be another reason for Mack to get his wish of Montero in the pen. He could be the 'piggy back' starter in those games.

Kevin S said...

So let's break the rotation down.

Harvey (6 inning limit)

w/ Montero in the pen, Thor in AAA and Matz in AA to start the years.

This leaves my buddy Dillon Gee out. I bet 3/4 of the teams out there could use him in their rotation. Solid SP4 not making big money. Get the best return you can for him.

I think Gee to Boston for Craig would be a nice trade for both teams. Craig would pair w/ MDD in RF with Puello/Kirk as the 5th OF.

Reynolds is winning me over right now. I'd DFA Tejada and offer Stephen Drew Tejada's $ to be my backup MIF. If he turns me down, I bring up Reynolds.

I'm ready for the Hot Stove to begin!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think they do keep Harvey down South, so they can apply inning limits at the beginning, not end. When he comes up around May 15, move either Colon or Gee to a team that had someone (or two) go down in April. Happens every year that some team needs pitching early and Colon/Gee provide attractive low cost/short term solutions. Get the best upper level minor prospect you can get, pitcher or position. Rather, Rinse, Repeat with the remaining Gee/Colon (unless a stud goes down) Niese and Murphy. Get as many upper level prospects as possible. None of these assets are bringing back ML studs, so it is best to look for return in solid prospects who can then become part of trade inventory or internal replacement. Call me crazy, but I am ready to run out the MDD/Puello platoon in RF blind before signing aging FA

Ernest Dove said...

Do we even know if Puello will be with the organization come April? He wasnt playing everyday in Vegas. They never bothered to call him up in September even though he was already on 40man, and he can't even seemingly get on the field in winter league ball...........just sayin.

Anonymous said...


The reason I do not leave Harvey behind in Port St. Lucie is 2 fold.

A) Both Harvey AND the Fans will go nuts if Harvey is not the opening day. Harvey draws sales and it is difficult to get fans to the ballpark in April. Having Happy Harvey day every 5th to start the season will help sales immensely.

B) To prevent Harvey from reaching his innings limit.....Noah Syndergaard can be easily called up in June/July to create a 6 man rotation of Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, deGrom, Colon, and Syndergaard without negatively impacting the rotation production.

Anonymous said...


If the club doesn't take Puello to New York with them....he's as good as gone.

Other organizations will not let him pass through waivers since he is out of options.

Anonymous said...

I disagree; fans and Harvey would REALLY go nuts if he were shutdown in Sept and I don't think they will go with a 6 man rotation, too much disruption for all other pitchers to accommodate one and leaves the Pen one short. Also, the April weather in NY is not especially a great place to start pitching again after 1 1/2 yrs. I would not go nuts if they left him down there and I really don't listen to anything Harvey has to say anymore, he is a narcissistic blowhard more interested in his own profile than the team concept.

Tom Brennan said...

Chris - 6 man rotation sounds like it might be the plan, as unusual as that might be. If there is a real chance at the playoffs, we don't need to be dealing with innings limit questions.

Since Puello would go if not protected, I'd put him on roster unless he bombs in the spring. I can just see if he goes to another team and figures it all out in a year.

Tom Brennan said...

Hey, Anon

I think it would be in the best interest of all if it were 5 man and Harvey did join the team in mid-May - all except the guys who benefit from ticket sales.

This is a truly unique season, timing-wise, coming up. Starts late, and first 2 series on the road. First home game is April 13, so if Harvey's first start were on April 13, that would be less likely to be frigid (think we started last year on Mar 30?)

Here are first 3 series:
6, 8, 9 at Nationals
10, 11, 12 at Braves
13, 14, 15 vs. Phillies

Mack Ade said...

Anon 1 -

11:03 - yawn... lol

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

there you go

Anonymous said...

I do find it very troubling that Cesar Puello is not starting for the Toros del Este. Its not like their OF is stacked.

The primary starters so far have been Houston's Teoscar Hernandez and Milwaukee's Eugenio Velez

The best thing about these winters teams is that they are NOT developmental leagues like the Arizona Fall League.

These clubs are in the business of WINNING and getting to the Carribean World Series.

So if Puello isnt't playing....its cause they dont think he's that good

Mack Ade said...

There has to be more to this Cesar Puello mystery.

No one in the baseball world has seemed to pay him any respect since he returned from his suspension... and... you don't read a thing about him.

Very strange.

Kevin S said...

Time to shake things up. Trade Niese for Cespedes. Sign Lester!!!!!!

Harvey, Lester, Wheeler, deGrom & Thor for the foreseeable future.

It's time to be relevant again.

Mack Ade said...

Kevin -

You're starting to sound like me now :)

We frankly are that close to being relevant...

Kevin S said...

This team really needs to operate somewhere in between the Minaya Era & Alderson Era.

Don't need to get up to a $150M in 1 offseason but if they signed Lester and traded for Cespedes, then locked up some of the young talent, they would start filling that stadium.

Gotta spend money to make money.

Hobie said...

I second Tom’s motion (den D & P in RF), in fact, I want them to get as many AB’s as possible (spot starts in LF & CF) to see what we have pre-Nimmo.

Den Dekker was a late starter at every level and then caught on. That paradigm seemed to hold though less abrupt at the ML level.
Puello got off to miserable AAA start, coming off a PED suspension. Could have been pressing to prove something, could have been drying out, idk, but his Post ASB slash was .286/.394/.464/.858 and for the entire year Vs LHP: 312/.409/.532/.942; and W RISP: .321/.447/.512/.959. Not shabby at all and we use him or loose him. I say delay any DFA thought until July and use him.

If a Cuddyer would be willing to pH/DH/spot start in LF for Granderson and 1B, fine. Expensive spot player though. Of course if Nimmo rises & shines along with den D & P, Granderson becomes a VERY expensive spot player

Tom Brennan said...

Great to see Gorski mended and back on the mound - missed that earlier.

Hey Hobie One Kenobe: we're on the same page on Puello, except as others note, something odd there...he needs to break out this winter.

Dekker did in fact start his usual adjustment surge in Sept, going .328/.436 on base in about 80 at bats. I don't expect that for a full season, clearly, but believe he has now largely adjusted to the bright lights of Queens, in his usual struggle-then-excel pattern. Some point out his no homers with Mets. I still believe it was all to show Mets he could get on base - he DOES have moderate power, and the shorter fence in right center will benefit him too - he'll open up a bit more in terms of his power game.

We'll see if Sandy pulls a deal this winter that significantly cuts his playing time or not.

Tom Brennan said...

I glanced at Nimmo in Arizona so far...it reaffirms my thought we won't see him before late 2015 at the earliest: .231, 3 doubles, no HRs in 52 at bats, a strikeout once every 3 times up. Struggled in AA in 2014, now struggling in AFL. My guess is he needs another full season in minors. He is pretty good with on base % - just needs more time to tighten things up and generate more power.

Dekker far ahead of him still.

Richard Jones said...

I wouldn't go with option 5.
I am in favor of a 6 man rotation, not just to accommodate but to possibly save Wheeler, Syndergaard, deGrom, Matz and yes Harvey from going through TJS or 2nd TJS. The Mets have the depth. I would go with Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Syndergaard, and 2 of Montero, Gee, Niese, Colon right from the get go.
Matz doesn't need any more time at AA but he likely will need a full year of AAA.
There has been evidence that shows an arm doesn't fully recover from a start with 4 days of rest. The extra day makes a huge difference. If it saves a star pitcher TJS it is well worth it. MLB has to expand rosters to 26 men.
I doubt the Mets will do this in 2015. I have no doubt that TJS will continue to increase and 6 men rotations will be the norm. I just don't know how long it will take for them to figure this out. Losing Harvey and Fernandez's cost money.

Tom Brennan said...

Richard Jones, that is interesting. If 6 starters would cut way down on TJS, they ought to expand rosters to 26 and do it.

Anonymous said...

I still think it is a five man throughout the year, looking like this:

To May 15 or so
Manage Harvey innings on front end, leaving him open to complete the season maybe missing one or two starts. Trade Gee or Colon for best available prospects. In the meantime up at AAA, curtail Syndegaard and Matz innings on front end, leaving them available through Sept

In late July
Trade Jon Niese and remainder of Colon/Gee for the best available prospects in the upper minors, focusing on increased trade inventory (help save Crown Jewels)


end the year with this rotation, expiring any and all future inning limits. If the innings are properly managed, all of these pitchers will be available in late Sept, barring injury, even if they all have to skip a start somewhere along the line. Although I still think Montero has ability to start, I would keep him in the pen to get use of his stuff and be available for spots starts to give the Fab Five necessary breathers.

Trade Murphy in July for best available prospects and replace with whomever earns it internally. I don't think our trade bait will bring back meaningful ML talent, so I prefer to go quality upper level volume to practically start bursting the Farm. There is one final year of development/management for the rising talent and I believe a very nice window starts to open in 2016, after having a very nice and encouraging year in 2015 in the majors and on the Farm. Patience my Pet....Patience
Anon Joe F

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