The Morning Report – November 12 – 2015 Rookies, Michael Cuddyer, Sully-Chat, Draft To The Show


So, one must ask as an extension of the ROY, what will 2015 to the Mets when it comes to rookies that will make the team. This is all IMO and based on so trades/signings in the off-season…

I don’t see anyone breaking camp with the parent team this year. The 2015 batch of rookies will elevate during the season.

SP Noah Syndergaard looks like an easy pick. According to everyone associated with minor league scouting, there is nothing more this guy has to do in a town like Las Vegas. Who he replaces is still a question, but he will be in the rotation after the all-star break.

My guess is LHRP Dario Alvarez will be the first to elevate to Queens. He pitched late in the season for the Mets, but he does still need some seasoning, probably Vegas. The Mets have only one opening in the pen and that’s for a lefty. They can only go for so long with Josh Elgin being the only one in the pen. Whether Alvarez is a success isn’t the point here. He will get another shot.

It’s only a matter of time that 2B Dilson Herrera takes over the job currently held down by All-Star Daniel Murphy. My guess is Murphy will be traded during the 2015 season and the Mets will begin the Herrera era for years to come.

Here’s the thing about C Kevin Plawecki. He’s going to be ready to be a major league catcher by the 2015 all-star break and, if the Mets don’t find a proper home for him, they might as well call him up and let him back up Travis d’Arnaud during the first year of his major league career. You are never going to find a better way to market this guy than to play him.

I’m pretty conservative here on SP Steven Matz. The Mets have so many starters to find homes for that I’d still rather ‘mentally’ slot him in as the future lefty to replace Jon Niese. We know there are always injuries in baseball, especially to pitchers. The Mets need to first move some guys or you might not see Matz until opening day 2016.

And lastly, it also seems to only be a matter of time that the Mets replace Ruben Tejada with IF Matt Reynolds as the utility middle infielder. That being said, this could be the first move out of the camp… in fact, the Mets might choose not to offer Tejada arbitration and we could see the whole makeup of this list changing in a heartbeat.

This would be six 2015 rookies.

The team keeps getting younger and more talented

The Mets are once again bringing the fences to the relatively neutral RCF and RF sectors, which had fly ball park factors of 84.1 and 102.1, respectively, in 2014. And for those of you clamoring for multi-year data, the Mets’ LCF fly ball park factor for 2013 was 170.8, utilizing the same method. This is not a one-year phenomenon. When you get down to it, given the emergence of some of their young pitchers, the Mets just might have a surprisingly quick road to contention – get David Wright healthy, and lock in a couple of competent righty bats to join him. In this light, Monday’s two-year, $21M signing of Michael Cuddyer – which also costs the Mets the 15th overall pick in next June’s draft – makes just a little more sense, provided they can keep him physically intact.[i]

Sully-Chat –

            Comment From Winpons? - Did we do good? We buy player good?

Jeff Sullivan: Not good, but not worth freaking out about. It’s almost never worth freaking out about. Cuddyer will probably hit fine

Comment From David - This Cuddyer deal doesn’t make sense to me for either side. For Cuddyer he’s buying up what, $6M for that second year? Unless he completely craters you’ve got to figure he’d get better than that next off season. Now his next contract is going to be without the benefit of Coors-inflated stats as well. For the Mets. Sheesh. Rasmus, Morse, Rios, Hunter are all comparable for a similar or lower cost, and don’t have the draft pick attached. WHY?!?

Jeff Sullivan: Maybe there won’t be a next contract. Maybe he really wanted to play in New York. Maybe he wanted two guaranteed years of at least perceived stability. Maybe he thinks the Mets are in a better position than the Rockies are to compete. Coors-inflated stats this time around didn’t help him do better than 2/$21m. As for the Mets, they don’t seem to attach a super high value to the 15th pick, and they value having Cuddyer done already. The other guys haven’t hit as well as he has lately, on top of that Again, I don’t like it much, but given what Cuddyer has done over his past 750 PA or so, you can see how it isn’t nonsensical. Morse is an even worse defender. Hunter’s going to take a while to make a decision. Rasmus frustrates everybody. Rios hit four home runs.

 Comment From Steve - Even if the Mets sign another player who was offered a QO, that doesn’t make the Cuddyer signing good, right? Who’s a fit for them? Hanley as a SS?

Jeff Sullivan: They’re going to sniff around all the available shortstops, like Ramirez, Castro, potentially Tulo, Miller, Gregorius, and so on. They’ll get somebody and they’ll look like the favorites to finish second in the East

Comment From Kevin - Let’s get down to brass tacks. The Mets just signed an injury-prone OF, whose offensive numbers were inflated by Coors AND they have to give up a draft pick. It’s a bad move, with potentially disastrous consequences if, as many other Mets signings, he gets hurt.

Jeff Sullivan: The whole point of wRC+ is to strip away park effects. Dexter Fowler just posted a career-best wRC+ after leaving Colorado for Houston. Cuddyer *is* getting older and he *does* get hurt and the Mets *did* lose a draft pick, but Cuddyer’s been a well above-average hitter for years, so it’s not like it’s completely bonkers. I don’t think a guy like Michael Cuddyer has the potential to be disastrous. Disastrous is a very strong word.

Comment From Sirras One - So the Mets are fairly clearly planning to make a run for the second wildcard in ’15. How many more pieces do they really need to contend? I’m thinking a shortstop would be nice and one or two bullpen arms are needed.

Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, pretty much. The thing about contending for the second wild card is you don’t need to actually be very good to do it

Comment From Bill - But really… Sandy Alderson isn’t dumb, right? What does he see that no one else seems to see?

Jeff Sullivan: Cuddyer’s a good hitter and the Mets needed one more outfielder. And, he could get Cuddyer yesterday, whereas other guys would take longer. There’s value in settling a question this early in the offseason, so you don’t get strung along

Comment From Bill - What do we know less about: The Mets internal evaluations of Cuddyer/Granderson or the market as they see it? There has to be some gap that made a seemingly intelligent front office commit to Granderson and Cuddyer.

Jeff Sullivan: Well, the contracts give us a clue as to the Mets’ internal evaluations of the players. Maybe they just don’t see all that many outfielders who are interested in signing with New York, and maybe they prefer to overpay in terms of money instead of prospects

Mack – I expected a lot of Cuddyer questions on the next Sully-chat and this should put to rest what he feels about this move.

Spoke to former Rox GM Dan O'Dowd. Raved about Cuddyer as leader: "He's the real deal. He has a profound impact on the clubhouse culture.''            

Draft To The Show[ii]  - 

            Top 15 in 15 – The New York Mets

09   Gabriel Ynoa    RHP    L/R      03-27-1992 - One of the strengths of the Mets system is pitchers who can attack the strike zone, and though his stuff pales in comparison to arms like Montero and Syndergaard, no one in the system does it better than Ynoa.

Like Montero, Ynoa doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, but he can touch 95 mph with his heater, and it sits comfortably in the low 90’s. None of his off speed pitches are plus — nor are they particularly close, but both his slider and change have a chance to be average offerings, and he’ll also show a below-average curve that can at least give right-handed hitters something else to look at.
Why I list Ynoa as a top ten prospect — and I should say that I’m higher on him than the industry — is his command. Ynoa walked just 25 hitters as a 21 year old in his 150 innings of work. He’s not just a guy who keeps it in the strike zone, though, as consistently within the margin of error with his pitches, and does a great job of changing his eye level.

It’d be surprising if he ended up much more than a backend starter, but because his control is advanced and his secondary offerings have improved, Ynoa has a chance to help a rotation, with swing man bullpen arm as a floor.

Mack – This is a much stranger list than the BP one that came out earlier this week. 

#1 Noah Syndergaard, #2 Brandon Nimmo, #3 Michael Conforto, #4 Dominic Smith, #5 Kevin Plawecki, #6 Rafael Montero, #7 Dilson Herrera, #8 Amed Rosario, #9 Gabriel Ynoa, #10 Milton Ramos, #11 Gavin Cecchini, #12 Steven Matz, #13 Blake Taylor, #14 Casey Meisner, #15 Cesar Puello

Check out the complete piece for explanations.


Thomas Brennan said...

As always, I have to put in my Leathersich plug as a lefty pen arm who, while not great vs. lefties, was really strong the past 2 years vs. righties, so Terry wouldn't need to pull him after one batter (he likes to walk to the mound and wave his arm, so he probably would anyway). Let's see if Dario beats him out with such light experience. And Jack is a little younger.

I read the critiques - I'm still OK with Cuddyer. Coors or no, the guy hit .332 in almost 75o plate appearances the last 2 years. If he averages .280 in the next 2, I'm OK with that. With Dekker as a very capable 4th OF, if he gets injured, we'll survive.

Man, I would HATE to see Matz's arm wasted in the minors past June. Former Tommy John guy should be ready by early June...don't waste the bullets where they don't count.

Anonymous said...

It's worth noting that Matz threw 140 IP last season so his 2015 forecasted limit should be a full season of minor league ball at 170 IP.

I can see two scenarios here.

A) The Mets trade Jon Niese: If this happens, Matz will start 2015 in Vegas with the intention of being ready sometime in July.

B) The Mets keep Niese: If this happens, Matz starts in AA and receives a promotion to AAA in early July. Based on strong results, team pushes to trade Niese during off-season and gives the job to Matz.

Thomas Brennan said...

After Matz dominated AA with a sparkling 2.27 ERA in 12 starts, I would not return him there. It would waste his arm.

Also, with his playoff innings, he got to 153 total, so he's got a little bit more stretch on the 2015 top end total innings.

An interesting Matz note - just 8 homers in 276 minor league innings. THAT is an impressive indicator of future success.

John Zozo said...

Here is my list in order of shortstops I would trade/ sign this winter

1) Owings- speed for top of the order and wouldn't cost that many prospects. Maybe a Montero and Mejia for him and another prospect.
2) Reyes- I think only 3 years left on that contract? If you pay the whole contract it shouldn't cost too much. Maybe a Niese and Plawecki trade would get it done.
3) Elvis Andrus- a lot of money left on his contract, but plays great defense and has plus speed. This shouldn't cost much at all in a trade.
4) Castro- great young hitter but will cost you in $$$ and prospects.
5) alexi Ramirez- would fit in nicely for 2 years, but I wouldn't give up the prospects that have been thrown around for him. I would rather give them up for Elvis and Castro.
6) Hanley would only cost us a pick and $$$, but probably not a good shortstop option defensively.
7) Tulo his injury scares me, plus the $$$ and prospects. So a big NO to him.
Anyone else I miss?

Thomas Brennan said...

Good list, Zozo.

Hey Mack, I looked back and saw the Ynoa write up - the guy lists him above Matz, but then projects Ynoa as a back end rotation guy? So Matz is worse than a back end pitcher? No sense.

And include Blake Taylor, who showed his favorite '60's song is Wild Thing, but leave off top performers Molina and Morris? No need to read the article for the logic there - there is none.

Anonymous said...

I think Matz is ready mid year, unless he has some sort of step back. Havent looked at the schedule, but how cool would it be to bring both Matz and Thor up at the same time to pitch in a double header. I have not seen Thor in person, but I did see Matz and frankly, he looked like he could pitch in the majors right now. His stuff comes easy and he has that poise on the mound, which just oozes confidence. Even after they graduate a few guys, the Mets Farm is still going to be stocked and will likely improve even further when Colon, Gee, Niese and Murphy get moved. I would be shocked to see it, but if the Mets are willing to make a splash with big bucks, sign the Cuban SS. MC is a stop gap and so will whomever they run out at SS, but they are down to a few holes to fill and look as thought they are going to be producing ML talent each and every year over the next 4, so Sandy is very close to realizing his vision. I think they contend for a WC next year and become odds on favorites opening day 2016
Anon Joe F

Anonymous said...

In no particular order, I think there are a few more that warrant consideration:
Jose Ramirez CLE (unless they lose their minds and move Lindor)
Jose Iglesias DET
Xander Bogaarts BOS
Jurickson Profar TEX
Anon Joe F

Mack Ade said...

Zozo -

I happen to agree with you that Owinbgs would be my target.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

IMO, it was a strange list

Mack Ade said...

Chris -

It seems sometimes that the only kind of pitcher anyone wants to trade for anymore is someone that still exists well before arbitration starts... or, your job i to remain on your original team and pitch until you hit free agency

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree with Joe F on Matz, both observationally and statistically.

Joe observes that his stats of 2.20 ERA in 2014 were no fluke.

Remember, Jake deGrom by comparison had a 4.70 ERA in AA and AAA in 2013, then made 7 AAA starts in 2014 and won ROY. He was somewhat further along (having pitched a bit in 2013 in AAA) than the 2014 version of Matz, but to a much worse ERA. And Jake surrendered more than twice as many homers. The fact that Matz is so low-homer as a lefty is super impressive, since he'll face mostly righties.

I just feel that Matz is already essentially ready, and like Jake, might benefit from half a dozen to a dozen AAA starts, and then bring him up.

Let me add one more note about Matz: Lefties hit .264 against him in 2014, while the oft-maligned Leathersich was .235 vs. lefties in 2014. So we need to not be so quick to say, ahh, Jack stinks vs. lefties. he is much improved. Matz did worse, and he is (rightfully) everyone's favored son.

Anonymous said...


I'm going to have a ton of fun when I update the prospect list again in February/March.

jd said...

My personal favorite at shortstop would be Chris Taylor of Seattle. OPS in the high 800s consistently throughout his minor league career and had a nice MLB debut. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

For all of the talk of SS shortage, there are a remarkably large number to choose from. Certainly, they will not all pan out, but there is a pretty heavy inventory and with the Cuban SS coming on the market, some of the lower tiered prospects just got cheaper. If you think about it, Cubs, Red Sox, DET, AZ, CLE, TEX, and SEA all have more than 1 SS eligible for trade. There may be a shortage of Big Bats, but there are a pretty healthy amount of SS coming into the league
Anon Joe F

Mack Ade said...

I'm writing about the shortstop situation tomorrow

Hobie said...


A week to go before the 40-man is to be iced. Are you planning a follow up?

Or did I miss it?

Anonymous said...

I think you missed it....

Are you looking for who I think we should be protected from the Rule 5 draft?

Hobie said...

Yes, missed the one on adding those who would otherwise be exposed. Saw the expendables one.

I'll check the archive. (Should have done that first)

John Zozo said...

I feel Owings could be our jose Reyes lite? Young enough with speed and before he has hammy problems. Reyes is a lot better defensively though.

Anonymous said...

I agree and it really shows that Sandy and Co had a pretty solid plan for rebuild. Using your criteria Mack, is there a team better positioned with this sort of talent than the Mets? They have two cheap Vets under control for a couple of years, a large Vet with one year left, five potential top line pitchers at league min, about 3-4 second tier starters at league min and another handful of prospects in lower minors. Add to that several positional prospects like Nimmo, Conforto, Herrara, Rosario, Smith, Cecchini, Reynolds, with a few others and this team is really positioned well. On top of that, there are substantially fewer holes to fill on the ML squad. Sandy has taken his lumps, but I believe that his patience is about to bear meaningful fruit.
Anon Joe F

Anonymous said...


Here you go. To save you the trouble of shuffling through the archives.


Mack Ade said...

Adam Rubin is reporting that the Mets and Seattle are 'in discussion' about a shortstop.

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