The Morning Report – November 29 – Outfielders, Sammy Solis, Wendell Kim, Daniel Murphy


Last year, Sandy Alderson jumped early in the free agency market and signed OF Chris Young. We all know how that turned out.

This year could look like another premature signing of Michael Cuddyer, which once again is early and far ahead of how the market was going to work out.
Take Boston.

Cot baseball[i] already lists Hanley Ramirez as a left fielder. Boston also had Shane Victorino, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Allan Craig, Daniel Nava, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts to fill the other two slots in the starting outfield.

My guess is Castillo and Betts are the ceilings while Victorino is the foundation. The rest (that are left) all seem to be expendable.

Even if Cespedes winds up in Cincinnati (as rumored) one must ask if trading a back end starter for either Craig or Nava would have been a better deal than 2-years for Cuddyer and the loss of the 15th pick in the draft.

Another 5th OF candidate could be ex-Met Ezequiel Carrera, who elected free agency after turning down a triple-A assignment by Detroit. Carrera hit .261/.301/.343, 73-PA last season and has a lifetime .253-BA. He has good speed and has played all three outfield positions.

Would divisional rivals, the Washington Nations, consider filling the Mets need for a second lefty in the pen this season?

Fangraphs [ii] had a Thanksgiving feature on the Nats top 5 prospects, which included LHP Sammy Solis at number five:

5. Sammy Solis, LHP: This former second round draft pick (2010) has a lot of potential but injuries have derailed his promising career and he’s missed much of the past two seasons due elbow injuries (both before and after Tommy John surgery). The burly southpaw also missed time last year with a back injury. If he’s healthy, Solis could help the Nationals in 2015 but it might come from the bullpen in an effort to keep him out of the infirmary.

Seems to me a Gee for Solis deal would be one talented pitcher with an injury history for another.

Wendell Kim, 64, a long-time major and minor league coach should be spending his days playing golf near his home in Arizona, like many others in his profession. He had a long career with the San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and several minor league clubs. Instead he is in a silent world of his own--all by himself. The world of Alzheimer’s Disease. And--according to a friend of his-- he's not coming back. [iii]

And lastly…

Sandy Alderson has now told reporters that 2B Daniel Murphy will be back for the 2015 season and he expects big things from him. The good news here is the fact that, at least, there seems to be some closure here. I always was a big fan for an extended contract here, which doesn’t seem to be an option anymore. I’ll just be happy he will be around for a pennant race in 2015.


Thomas Brennan said...

Morning, Mack

You present an interesting case as to whether Sandy jumped too soon. Gonna think about that some more.

Mack Ade said...

I guess we won't know until we see the results of all the trades and a year's productivity from each person involved, but I'm sure going to be pissed if Mookie Betts goes someplace else.

Thomas Brennan said...

I agree with you on Betts. He is the kind of guy you plug in and make the playoffs for an extended period of time

Reese Kaplan said...

I wrote last week that they spent all their money prematurely and set themselves up to get skunked in the salary dump moves they would have to make in order to free up additional moolah.

Ernest Dove said...

I prefer to believe simply that the Mets 'got their man' in cuddyer....... it doesn't matter what kind of hot outfield prospect may be available, because the Mets have already stated over and over again that they don't plan on trading their top young arms.
Besides, the organization already has Nimmo and Conforto, and maybe they think highly of them.

Thomas Brennan said...

Very interesting to see the A's trade Donaldson to Jays for Lawrie.

A's also got some great prospects, and Jays have a sluggernaut offense now.

A trade like that is too rich for the Mets' blood?

Adam Smith said...

I agree with Ernest, or, at least, I'll "choose to believe" with him. Unlike last year, when it seemed obvious that Alderson saw the early free agent prices and panicked, I kind of think that they went into this offseason specifically targeting Cuddyer. Perhaps the word was even out about this, leading Colorado to make a QO that they had a resonable expectation would net them the Mets' pick.

It still may turn out to have been a mistake. But while last season I went in hoping that Chris Young would get far fewer at bats than he ended up getting, I go into this season hoping that Cuddyer can manage to stay on the field long enough to get as many at bats as Young (inexpicably) got last year.

Reese Kaplan said...

Regarding the Donaldson trade, I immediately evaluate other teams' moves in the context of how it might affect the Mets. I doubt if they didn't want to pay Donaldson that they'll pay for a Daniel Murphy in arbitration.

bob gregory said...

Tomas is the measuring stick Cuddyer should be compared to. About the same $/ yr.
Compare these two at the end of the year as proof of Alderson's good/bad ability.

At this point I am inclined to believe he made the wrong choice.

Ernest Dove said...

I respectfully disagree regarding there being any kind of legit comparison between Tomas and Cuddyer. Kid in his 20's (so they say lol) vs a mid 30's major league veteran. No reason to watch who does better in 2015 because the Mets all along did not seem to be looking for a long term solution in the outfield.
Besides, we already know that currently there is only ONE player on the mets signed to a long term deal right now like the one Tomas and his agent wanted.... (unless u count bobby bonilla, but that joke is forever getting old)

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

The Donaldson trade is weird... third baseman for third baseman... the salary/arb figures must have come into play along with the prospects

TP said...

I agree with Adam's comments above regarding the Cuddyer move. It is way too early to judge that move, as it is necessary to see what else Alderson does this offseason to finish the product.

Thomas Brennan said...

One thing about Sandy, he comes across as cool, calm and collected, and not worried. Let's hope that results in good decisions.

Mack Ade said...

Go Clemson

Bill Metsiac said...

There's absolutely NO reason to compare the CY and Cuddyer signings. The former was coming off a very bad season, available at any time, and the only gain from the early signing was to avoid the possibility that someone else would join the bidding.

Cuddyer was coming off successive .300+ seasons and had a firm deadline. He had to notify the Rockies about accepting/rejecting the QO. He was not interested in playing anywhere else but Queens, and if the Mets had not signed him then and there he would've accepted the offer. Had he done that, he would've been available only via trade, and we'd have to pay him $15 mil for ONE season instead of $21 for TWO.

It was "now or never" for Cuddy vs "plenty of time" for CY.

bob gregory said...

The contract Tomas wanted means nothing.
The contract he got is all that matters.

And the age/injury history differences ARE IMPORTANT.
They are exactly the type of insights a GM should be looking at as determining factors.

If Cuddyer stays healthy and produces better or comparable, Alderson made the right choice.

If Cuddyer is an injury problem or Tomas produces better, then Alderson made the wrong choice.

Personally, I would consider the $ and years an acceptable range to have acquired both players
IF Alderson was serious about this being the year for the Mets to "go for it"

Thomas Brennan said...

We are so used to our minor league hitters with pop developing not at all (Vaughn) or slowfully and with glitches (Nimmo) that maybe Conforto is on a much more rapid pace than we'd come to expect and. Tomas signing would create a soon-coming logjam in OF. It would be nice to have him be an All Star caliber hitter by opening day 2016.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

I'm going to stay conservative on Conforto.

He was pretty old for low-A and I want to see what he does at A+ before I sign on...

Hobie said...

I think David Wright figures into the Cuddyer signing in some way beyond just giving a shout-out to his friend. And I'm not sure exactly what I mean by that (LOL).

As for CY, I wasn't as negative at the time as some, though I really wanted a return of Bird for a year. Thought Puello would be knocking on the door mid season and either could be flipped. Since Bird 2 yrs & CY settled for 1 with no Draft Choice loss (Fangraphs thought it was a steal BTW), I shrugged. Palm-to-forehead at the (4-yeqr) Granderson signing though.

Lew Rhodes said...

You can't compare Cuddy and Tomas because they bring different things to the team - a big reason the organization wanted Cuddy was also his veteran presence in the locker room and his long friendship with Wright - people who have never competed on high level sports usually under estimate the soft skills needed in the locker room

Thomas Brennan said...

Hopefully, we see Conforto smoke A+ ball in Apr/May, a promo to AA for June and July, and AAA for the rest of 2015, with a Sept call up. Aggressive, but let's hope.

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