The Morning Report – November 13 – Shortstop, Alex Castellanos, Nats, Brandon Nimmo, Corey Seager


The Mets world has moved on to the pursuit of their next shortstop. Every blog and beat reporter are churning out the usual suspects we have discussed here that could be wearing Mets blue and gold next year.

The Mets seem to have turned their backs to finding one via free agency. Ther eis considerable depth on the Mets in starters, second basemen and catchers, and there seems to be plenty to choose from to put together a deal for a decent replacement for Wilmer Flores.

The problem seems to be the desires of the teams that have these excess shortstops. Yes, they need pitching, but they want nothing to do with players either under long term contracts or are already going up the escalating scales of arbitration.

Simply put, you better be much more talented than Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, or Jonathan Niese if you want to be traded for a decent player these days. Baseball has changed. Grade schools have filled the game with highly talented pitchers that dominate the top 15 prospects of every team. Everybody is looking for players with service time. Colon, Niese, and Gee don’t have any left.

In a perfect world, the Mets would like to move one of these guys now, one at mid-season, and one in September. All three could then be replaced (two rotation slots) with any combination of Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz.

Teams like Arizona are not going to deal one of their young prospects unless they receive one back in return. My guess is this makes Montero most vulnerable; however, it still doesn’t solve the excess of pitching the Mets will have with Gee, Colon, and Niese.

My suggestion is simple:
-         Make it well known that Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jake deGrom, Syndergaard, and Matz are currently untradeable. Take these names off the table, even if it means that your phone stops ringing. You do not want to either mortgage the farm here or break up this future rotation.

-         Aggressively market Montero. He’s your last available team controlled chip in this scenario.

-         Continue to market Colon, Gee, and Niese with the minimal goal of only two of them starting the 2015 season in the rotation with Harvey, Wheeler, and deGrom. You will have to decide what to do with one of these guys if nothing happens before the opening day. Frankly, all three are no longer a part of the future of this team.

-         Calm down about shortstop. The Michael Cuddyer addition has filled a major crack and the worst thing that might happen here is you’ll have a 7th or 8th hitter in your lineup going .250, 12/15-HR, 50/65-RBI.

Either way, securing a new shortstop in this off-season may take a while. I assume Sandy Alderson is working on this.

The Mets signed an ex-Los Angeles Dodger outfielder yesterday, but it wasn’t one of the guy s we’ve all been discussing lately.

Two years ago, Alex Castellanos was one of the top prospects in the Dodger organization. He hit 17-HRs and 52-RBIs in 94-games for the AAA-Albuquerque Isotopes and wound up filling in for the injured Matt Kemp by the end of the season.

Then, everything went to shit for Castellanos.

On October 23, 2013, Castellanos was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker. On December 12, 2013, he was designated for assignment in order to make room for Mike Napoli on the roster. On December 23, 2013, he was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers. The Rangers designated him for assignment on March 5 to make room for Joe Saunders. On March 7, 2014, he was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres. He was designated for assignment on April 25, 2014. Castellanos cleared waivers this time and was ultimately outrighted to Triple-A El Paso.[i]

His eventual 2014 AAA stat line was 360-AB, .275, .351, .439, 790, 8-HR, 42-RBI.

This is a minor league invite to Las Vegas and a chance to compete for a utility job during spring training. In the past, Castellanos has played all outfield positions, 1B, 2B, and 3B.

I liked Castellanos three years ago, but that was before he either flopped or has been kicked around too much. Also, we need to build in a factor for those PCL generated numbers.

A right hand hitter that could eventually replace either Cesar Puello or Eric Young Jr., in my opinion this is a AAA strength move that will give the Mets a decent emergency 5th outfielder, if needed, in Queens.

BP – Top 10 Washington Prospects –

1.     RHP Lucas Giolito, 2. RHP A.J. Cole, 3. CF Michael Taylor, 4. RHP Reynaldo Lopez, 5. RHP Erick Fedde, 6. OF Steven Souza, 7. C Jakson Reetz, 8. RHP Jake Johansen, 9. CF Rafael Bautista, 10. SS/2B Wilmer Difo

Brandon Nimmo, who will turn 22 in March, has become worldlier as he has climbed up the Mets’ farm system. And he still has more to learn. The Mets’ first draft pick under Sandy Alderson in 2011 (he went 13th overall), he tallied a .278/.394/.426 slash line in a combined 127 games last season with Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. He has struggled in his first AFL campaign, putting up a dreadful .210/.312/.247 slash line in his first 20 games, totaling 81 plate appearances.[i]

The second top position prospect is shortstop Corey Seager. Seager is like a painting in that if you ask ten people their opinions on the topic, you could very well get ten different answers. It is widely agreed that Seager is a top prospect, but where one would ‘rank’ him varies greatly. At midseason, I had Seager as the fourteenth best prospect in baseball, which, honestly, might have been a tad bit low. Perhaps Seager’s biggest issue is the same as Correa’s and that is their future defensively. At 6’4” and 215lbs, Corey Seager is big despite being just twenty years of age. Can he stick at shortstop in the long-term? It seems really unlikely, which is interesting as those that call for him to move to third eventually are quiet on Carlos Correa’s defensive future. Even if he switches to third base, which does not appear to be the case in 2015, he will likely to be able to play the position at average defensively, which is fine for the type of prospect Seager is, an offense-first prospect.[ii]


Thomas Brennan said...

I like your suggestion to move Montero. Gee, Niese and Colon will take skillful Sandy legerdemain (aww, you know, sleight of hand, or a display of skill or adroitness) to move as quickly as possible. Maybe that is mid-season. Matz and Thor will be ready real, real soon. Let's not make them wait.

I was puzzled by the Castellanos signing the other day, but if it lessens the chance of EY Jr in 2015, I'm glad they signed him.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I wouldn't read much into the Castellanos thing. It's just a minor league invite

Christopher Soto said...


Just a point of clarification. Castellanos is signed to a Minor League contract with an invite to the Major League Spring Training camp.

Hobie said...

I agree, Mack, on keeping the Fab 5 off the table unless bowled over (that would take a Seager or Correa). I tend to look at the "delta," the difference between what we have and what we're acquiring as what we're really paying for.

What we have is Flores, and that, though it sounds better than it actually is, is a fields-like-Jeter, hits-like-Ripken shortstop. What are you willing to pay for any upgrade delta? Me? I sign Moncada and live with Jet-kin.

Anonymous said...

There has been much said about signing a Tulo type to ramp attendance, but what about running out a Fab 5 everyday? I really believe that Harvey will be back, Wheeler will improve, DeGrom is for real and both Matz and Thor will ascend like the previous three, so look forward to a beast being run out there every start, followed up by a shutdown bullpen. Still holes to be filled, but look forward to a buzz every game.
Anon Joe F

Mack Ade said...

Hobie -

I'm just curious what will happen if nothing happens and the Mets come to camp with all this pitching

Mack Ade said...

Joe F -

will it bother you not having a LHSP?

Anonymous said...

Anon Joe F

John Zozo said...

I hope they would go all in for Moncada as well, but I read somewhere he migh get $30-$40 million for his services, then we would have pay a 100% tax on that. I would rather spend $15 mil on next years international draft and get a bunch of top guys instead of 1. After losing there first pick in the regular draft, a smart team would spend extra $$$ on the international draft? I am hope our teams smarts up a bit.
I would also go after a James Shields type this offseason, so we can offer up a DeGrom or Wheeler in a trade and not miss a beat. We would only lose our 2nd round pick and the Cubs or Rangers would probably pickup some of the money coming back on one of their shortstops coming back our way.

Hobie said...

Mack (All that pitching...),

Well April is Harvey-Wheeler-deGrom and 2 of Niese/Gee/Colon. (rhymes almost)

So my question is: if one of those guys goes to the pen, which? Is Neise that LHRP some keeo talking about? Pen: Mejia, Familia, Parnell (possibly XST), Black, Edgin, MONTERO, NIESE?

More likely somebody will be desperate for a SP come March. I'd take high ceiling A+/level prospects for any of the N/G/C

Hobie said...

Mack, Chris, anyone...

I had been under the impression that Kirk N. had an option year left since he only had 5G in the Minors in 2012. But I found out yesterday that his DL stint (foot) was on the MinL DL. Do those days count in burning up an option year?


Christopher Soto said...


I actually have a story coming up today on Moncada.

Christopher Soto said...


Yes I think I actually addressed this to you last time it was brought up...Kirk spent 30 days on the minor league DL which does count towards the 20 days needed in the minors to burn an option year.

In short....Yes he is out of options.

Mack Ade said...

Joe F

Matz is not ready

Kevin S said...

I agree that the goal should be to move one of Gee, Colon and Niese this offseason (pref. Gee). Move another over the summer (Colon) and another next offseason (Niese).

Thor takes Colon's spot over the summer. Matz takes Niese's spot next season.

That still leaves Mr. Montero without a home. I personally think he's more valuable as a SP on another team as opposed to a RP in Queens but at the end of the day, I don't really worry.

If none of these guys get traded this offseason, I think Colon would be the guy to get bumped since he doesn't have too much long term value to this team. Gee could still fetch you something potentially useful.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree having seen him in person last summer. Does he need refinement? Perhaps, but he could pitch in the majors tomorrow. Rushing him? Perhaps a bit, but I disagree with your assessment of not ready. He overmatched the competition last year and his secondary pitches took leaps forward. His fastball was ready before last year. What are you basing your opinion on? Hearsay?

Mack Ade said...

Kevin S -

I agree.

If no one is moved... I see the Mets dumping Colon and his contract before the season starts

Mack Ade said...

Anonymous at 12:48pm

I assume you are addressing me and we are discussing Matz.

First, everything I say at this point is just my opinion. I still sometimes talk with insiders but when I do I say so.

In the case of Matz, the Mets are simply not going to promote a pitcher to the major league level after only 12 starts at the AA level.

My guess (because of the log jam) is he still may return to Binghamton to start the season.

Again... not hearsay... just an opinion or educated guess.

Anonymous said...

If Niese gets moved, don't be surprised if Matz gets the call out of ST to replace. just my opinion and I hear you on limited starts, but I gotta tell you Mack, this kid might be a ROY candidate next year; he is that good and is that advanced. He just mowed down the hitters and looked like a major leaguer pitching to minor leaguers. He has had superior numbers to the others at similar levels and only found himself in AA because of long TJ recovery. He is a thing of beauty to watch and let us not forget that he was absolutely dominant the last two years in the playoffs. IMO, no way back to Bingo and a decent shot to make the club out of Spring. He may have some rough edges, but so do most rookies not named deGrom. I honestly think he is a better pitcher that Niese right now and with the FO definitely putting out the message that Niese is on his way out, I think they will slot Matz to replace. Aggressive? yes, but I saw first hand last year, sitting next to scouts who all said he was ready to not only play in the ML, but wont miss a stride. Easy mid 90s gas, a sharp curve that he located for strikes and even the few CUs were deceptive and had nice fade. I think at a minimum he starts at Vegas and they hope he follows deGrom timeline. I think he is up before Thor

Mack Ade said...

Anon -

I agree that Matz is special.

I sat behind home plate when he pitched in Savannah. He was far past that level.

I'm not questioning whether he's ready or not. I'm just saying that the Mets don't tend to operate that way.

He's very special

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree with Anon about ROY - if Matz can get on this team by mid-May, we could have back-to-back rookies of the year.

He's given up 8 homers in 276 non-playoff innings. That is crazy good. 8 homers off a lefty in 276 innings. Wow.

Bob Sugar said...

Wow I'm pretty juiced about Matz after reading this back and forth. Mets are fucking coming. I've waited years

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