Mack Ade's Morning Report – November 11 – Michael Cuddyer, BP, Matt Kemp, Nori Aoki, Jacob deGrom,


The Mets signed a bat.

The Mets world sort of went topsy turvy yesterday afternoon when it was announced that the Mets had signed Colorado outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a 2-year deal. 

The amount of money had not been released by the time I am writing this, but it was confirmed that the Mets would forfeit their 1st round pick in the 2015 draft (the deal turned out to be 2-years, $21mil).

This changes everything for the Mets immediate future.

First, they instantly become relevant without dealing off any of their young pitchers.

If healthy, the starting Mets outfield (Cuddyer, Gold Glove CF Juan Lagares, Curtis Granderson)
are, on paper, one of the more talented trio in the National League.

Matt den Dekker will either become the 4th outfielder off the bench, or instant trade bait.

The progress of Brandon Nimmo can be slowed down and timed more to the end of the Cuddyer contract.

Lastly, there is no way the Mets can keep their 2015 payroll under $100mil now unless they sell Daniel Murphy and DFA Ruben Tejada. Or, maybe this whole 'keep the payroll under $100mil' thing has been thrown out the window.

We all know how Sandy Alderson likes to set the plate with left field during the Hot Stove season. He did it with Chris Young and he did it again here.

I think it's a great move and a statement that the 2015 Mets will be a team to deal with. Yes, he had injuries in 2014, but over 2013-2014, he had 679-AB, hitting a combined .331. (30-HR, 115-RBI)

My guess... Lagares, Murphy, Wright, Duda, d'Arnaud, Cuddyer, Granderson, Flores, pitcher.

Michael Cuddyer deal means instant credibility for Mets

In Cuddyer, the Mets addressed multiple needs. First and foremost, they’ve settled the matter of their third outfielder. Curtis Granderson will likely move to left field, where he’s played capably in the past, so Cuddyer can take over right field. Gold Glove winner Juan Lagares will start 2015 with the everyday job in center field, where he looks like he’s preparing to be a fixture. On offense, where the Mets have struggled to find lineup consistency, Cuddyer provides a righty who hits for both average and power. Last but not least, Cuddyer is a veteran who can help Granderson and David Wright lead a youth-heavy clubhouse - http://throughthefencebaseball.com/michael-cuddyer-deal/44547#0MGplfw0IpZkp2kL.99

So, what’s the history on the 15th pick of the draft?

Let’s go back 15 years and check out the 1o consecutive 15th round picks, all of which now would have sufficient time to have made their mark in pro baseball:

2000 – Philadelphia – Chase Utley – 228-HR, 886-RBI, 858-OBP

2001 – Toronto – Gabe Gross – OOB-2011

2002 – NY Mets – Scott Kazmir – 2014: 15-9, 3.55

2003 – CWS – Brian Anderson – OOB-2012

2004 – Toronto – David Purcey – 5-yrs: 7-13, 4.98

2005 – CWS – Lance Broadway – OOB-2010

2006 – Washington – Chris Marrero – MLB: 2-yrs, .232

2007 – Reds – Devin Mesoraco – MLB: 4-yrs, 922-AB, .245

2008 – LAD – Ethan Martin – MLB: 2-yrs, 17-G, 2-5, 5.93

2009 – Cleveland – Alex White – MLB: 2-yrs – 33-G, 5-13, 6.04 

Baseball Prospectus’ Top 10 Mets Prospects –
1.     RHP Noah Syndergaard
2.     LHP Steven Matz
3.     OF Brandon Nimmo
4.     SS Amed Rosario
5.     C Kevin Plawecki
6.     2B Dilson Herrera
7.     RHP Marcos Molina
8.     1B Dominic Smith
9.     OF Michael Conforto
10.            3B Jhoan Urena

Mack –

The details are available only to subscribers.

I was at first surprised to see Matz this high, but then I realized that the Mets are actually running out of top level prospects. Guys like Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Jeurys Famila, Jenrry Mejia, and Wilmer Flores have graduated while past prospects like Cesar Puello and Rafael Montero have fallen off the top ten list.

Never react to lists like these. They are just done by human beings who are more often wrong than right. It really doesn’t matter if Montero is ranked in the top ten or not. What matters is if he’s a successful pitcher for the team.

If you think I’m wrong, go back a year and see where these same ‘expects’ ranked Jacob deGrom.

My buddy Steve Keane wants the Mets to purchase Matt Kemp again[i] He said on his blog –

With about $107 mil owed to Kemp over the next 5 years, the Dodgers would eat some salary which I guess would be calculated to the quality of player the Mets would send back. The more money the Mets take the less in personnel they’d have to give up. We’ve heard the Wilpon’s yell from the owner’s box bully pulpit that they have the cash to spend, well here is the chance to step up and prove that not everything that comes out of Jeff and Fred’s mouth is an untruth.

The money part is usually a drawback with the Mets but the GM has to take a bit of heat as well for not being the most aggressive mangers in the game. Alderson at times is too precautionary when it comes to personnel moves which come from his background as an intellectual. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and say “Fuck it, let’s go for it” if there were ever a time for the Mets to embrace that philosophy it’s this off season as Mets fans are waiting to see if moves will be made to turn a team with tons of pitching talent into a contender. If not, the Mets fans will be saying “Fuck it, let’s go to the shore” this summer.

Mack – One last time… the Mets are NOT going to take on some five year contract on someone turning 30-years old.

Jon Heyman reports that OF Nori Aoki is looking for a 3-year deal[ii]. Aoki will be 33-years old and hit .285/.349/.360 for the 2014 KC Royals.[iii] He’s a great defensive left fielder that could be a great two year addition for the Mets, but three is a push.

Team have to stop giving long term contracts to people that play this game over the age of 32-33. They never seem to work out.

Last night, Jacob deGrom joined Tom Seaver, John Matlack, Darryl Strawberry, and Dwight Gooden as the BBWAA Rookie of the Year players in the National League. We all seem to agree here on Mack’s Mets that the team found themselves a hidden gem with deGrom and he will be member of the rotation for years to come.

We also all agree that the future of this team is through their pitching and 2015 should be the year that both the rotation and pen get this team to (at least) the first playoff level… and… and Kansas City and San Francisco proved this year, that might be good enough.

Having three rookies being considered for this award in the same year (deGrom, RP Jeurys Familia, C Travis d’Arnaud) is about as excited as things can get for a young team. This is three members of your 25 members squad that you can tuck away for years.


Christopher Soto said...

Good Morning All,

Sorry for not chiming in last night as Monday and Tuesday nights are my competitive billiards nights.

Cuddyer on a 2 yr/$21m contract is an excellent deal in my opinion. Amongst sabermeticians, each +1.0 of WAR is viewed as worth $5m. So for Cuddyer to make this contract worth while....all he has to do is put up +4.0 WAR across 2 seasons.

A healthy Cuddyer, playing 130 games, has averaged a +2.5 WAR per season. Even the injury riddled Cuddyer from last year was able to crank out a +1.5 WAR.

I forsee Cuddyer very easily meeting that +4.0 WAR threshold across his 2 seasons.

The only knock against Cuddyer is his defense....particularly his range. Sabermetrics have been severely unkind to him in terms of range during his time in Colorado.

Coors Field has more room to cover in RF than Citi Field. Plus the Rockies have never had the pleasure of having a Gold Glove super rangy CF during Cuddyer's time. They also never had the pleasure of having pitchers who induce weak contact during his time.

The combination of these things lead me to believe that Cuddyer will be just fine defensively in RF and should post a stat line somewhere close to his career 130 Game norms:

.280 AVG
.347 OBP
.466 SLG
17 HR
70 RBI

Hopefully having his buddy on the team will also re-energize Wright to return to the numbers he was producing during his MVP caliber 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Anonymous said...

I like the deal as well and having a solid 1B who will play the majority of the games and an above average 4th OF in MDD takes some of the pressure of MC to play a full season. Not many bats out there, so to get one relatively cheap (only giving up 15th pick) is a nice step forward and I do believe there is some value in the grizzled Vet element.
Cant complain and is very much along the conservative approach I was hoping to see. If Sandy can get Alexi without a crown jewel and sign the Cuban SS, he will have had an incredible off season. The Mets Farm is stocked at the lower levels, so cannot imagine that the 15th pick would have changed the landscape, unless they got lucky with an Utley or Kazmir type. MC seems to be a better bet to contribute overall than anyone they would have gotten that late in the draft
Anon Joe F

TP said...

Great column as usual and nice to have what is perceived as positive new to lead with. As we discussed yesterday, who care how much the Mets spend on players, but the can still get under $100 mil without dealing Murphy. Likely Gee or Colon will go to get to 5 starters (plus Syndy, Montero, and Matz). Alderson is in great position to upgrade SS or at least bring another good player into the mix with Flores and Reynolds. That means Tejada and the $2 million projected for his salary will be cleared. In the OF, I agree with Tom above in that MDD should be the 4th OF and see quite a bit of playing time. The question then becomes whether to keep EYjr or Captain Kirk. Non-tendering EYjr clears about $3 million n projected salary. I would lean towards Kirk, who can provide pop from the left side, can play all 3 OF positions, and performed quite well off the bench last season. Campbell can provide the RH pop off the bench. The roster is coming together quite nicely, only needing a SS and quality LH arm added to the pen. That is very doable, and for those keeping score with payroll, it is doable in an affordable manner, and most importantly, doable without parting with too much from the prospect pool. Tulo could change that but I jut don't see it...while he is a stud, it's just too risky and costly in player personnel for my tastes.

Mack Ade said...

Stephen Guilbert has a post at noon which will highlight what he DOESN'T like about this deal

Anonymous said...

I have not heard Sandy of FO state that the payroll has to be under $100M, he has just stated what he thinks the payroll will be, but never outright said he has constraints. I am warming up to the idea of Alexi at SS and moving Flores to 2B until Herrara is ready. The question I have is what would it take to get Alexi without giving up one of the young Arms? It would have to be a volume deal to CHI, such as Gee or Niese + Plawecki and maybe even MDD. MDD is a 4th OF on this team because JLag has CF locked down, but he could easily start in CF on other teams. Cecchini might even have some value, but CHI is going to want at least one big league player. Gee+Plawecki+Cecchini? I am ok with overpaying on volume.


Murphy should return at least what was given up with the 15th pick, shedding him and Gee would neutralize Alexi pay AND you still have Colon and Niese to deal. If Sandy can get Alexi without giving up a Fab Five, this team is ready to compete next year and still has a stocked farm.

what would it take to get Alexi without a Fab Five arm?
Anon Joe F

John Zozo said...

I would prefer a pre injury Tulo over a Hanley Ramirez, but considering that injury, I would go after Hanley on a 5yr $90 mil contract to fill my Shortstop hole, while just losing another draft pick.
Still trade Murpy, Gee and Colon for whatever prospects you can get and consider those your 2015 draft picks.
I would still try and get Kemp in our lineup, maybe a 3 team trade with the White Soxs. We pay the full freight for Kemp and Dodgers kick in some $$$ for Granderson to White Soxs and we give up some pieces going to the Dodgers like Plawecki and Mejia. White Soxs give up a couple pieces to LA as well.
I would prefer this lineup going into 2015

Thomas Brennan said...

The possibilities are fascinating. We could be on our way to a great team in 2015. Just don't play Cuddyer TOO much and get him hurt. 100 starts, maybe more, and he could be terrific. Lineup is looking a WHOLE lot better than pre-2014 already.

Herb G said...

To me, the Cuddyer signing is fantastic on many fronts. Not only does he fill the much needed outfield hole, but by locking him up early and forfieting the draft pick, it is a sign that the Mets are "all in" for 2015. $100 million ceiling be damned.

We can stop talking about other outfield options. When I was sure they would not sign Cuddyer, I was very big on Kemp, assuming the Dodgers wwould eat a substantial portion of his contract. Now that is unnecessary. Geting kemp or Aoki would mean squeezing Grandy out of the lineup, and you ain't going to sit 60 million bucks.

Surprised not seeing Montero in the top 10, but as you said, Mack, look at deGrom last year.

The lineup you posed looks pretty formidable already, but I would now tryly like to see Sandy make a major push for Tulo. His addition would make a solid lineup truly formidable. I don't think his injury will be an impediment to his return to top fform and maintaining his stature as the premier SS in all baseball. Does your mouth water when you look at a lineup of Lagares, Murphy, Wright, Tulo, Duda, Cuddyer, Grandy, d'Arnaud? Or maybe switch Grandy with Murph? WOW! Awesome. I wouldn't mind if we had to give up Thor along with Gee and a position prospect to get Tulo, although I would probably try to hold out for Montero and Flores, or another high level position prospect instead of Thor.

Mack Ade said...

I think the Mets are going to come out of this with a new shortstop... I really do

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree on a new SS, Mack. I have advocated for Flores long and hard, but this move signals they want to win in 2015, so a bona fide SS would help.

Perhaps Murphy out and Flores at 2nd until Dilson is 100% ready.

Herb, maybe Montero left off Top 10 due to # innings he already pitched in the bigs?

Christopher Soto said...

If the Mets come out of this off-season with a new SS....that means Flores is on a new team as part of a trade.

Mack Ade said...

Chris -

The Hot Stove show on MLB-TV had some interesting stuff on Cuddyer... they feel that the reason he passed on the QO and signed with the Mets for 2 years was primarily due to the fact he really wanted to play for the Mets.

This could be big. Granderson loves the team... now Cuddyer...and everyone loves the young pitching...

this is the main way you get players to join you... wanting to play for you

Herb G said...


Would you give Montero, Gee, Flores, Puello and Mazzoni for Tulo? And do you think the Rockies would spit the bait and hold out for Thor?

Steve from Norfolk said...


Are you forgetting just how bad a sdortstop Hanley Ramirez is? Compared to him, Flores is a Gold Glover.

Christopher Soto said...

Would I?


Would the Rockies?

Absolutely not.

The Rockies are not going to part with Tulo unless they get both Syndergaard AND Plawecki as a starting point.

A deal including Syndergaard, Plawecki, Flores, and Mazzoni would get it done in my opinion. However I don't think the Mets can afford it unless the Rockies kicked in $5m per season for the remaining life of the contract.

Mack Ade said...

The Mets have moved on re: Tulo

There will NOT be any deal to obtain him

Christopher Soto said...


There's still many months left in this off-season. For all we know this could be a play by the Mets to try and get the Rockies to bend a little bit on their asking price.

Anonymous said...

Herb G
I agree with you go get Tulo now!
Great lineup 1-8.
But I would like to keep Flores,aswell as Murph!
Reasoning I would really hope TC and Sandy will sit down with David Tulo and murph and tell them they are only playing 5-6 games per week? To keep them fresh,giving Flores a start at 3RD-SHORT-2ND everyweek,also against a tough lefty Give Duda the day off.
That way Wright-Tulo-Murph-Duda can still start 140 games plus be available to pinch hit later? Flores will get 80 starts 300 AtBats. But I like were things are going,even if its just Alexi Ramirez who the Mets pick up?


Anonymous said...

Tulo has to get back on the field before a trade can be made for him. it is no sure thing that he will be ready for opening day and he needs to stay on the field without setbacks before he regains his value. If the Mets trade for him now and he is not ready for opening day or suffers a set back in April or May, it would be disastrous. Sandy, or any other GM, is not going to take that risk. My guess is that CO made him available, but are rethinking since they found out that teams are going to substantially discount his trade value and ask for money to come back. CO will wait until he returns, stays on the field for a month and dump him as soon as humanly possible.
Joe F

Anonymous said...

I think Sandy wants Alexi Ramirez,and he likes having only a 2 year commitment?
Same as Cuddyer 2 years then minor leaguers are ready to replace,on the cheap.
Att that time Sandy will be starting to pay his rotation big time.
I see Tulo or Castro contracts as a problem,they are too long, for Sandys liking


Christopher Soto said...

Its being reported that White Sox would be interested in Rafael Montero as a starting piece in a deal for Alexi Ramirez.

I would think this avenue has the most potential to possibly get done.

Bill Metsiac said...

I'm in on Alexei,too.He's locked in only for '15, but there's an option for '16. Gives us time to watch the progress of Reynolds, Ceccini and Rosario.

If we don't deal, tho, I can live with a year of Flores.Any lineup with Flores at#8 is solid, even if it means reading Reese's rants about Terry hating Wilmer.;)

Mack's Mets © 2012