The Morning Report – November 6 – Free Agents, Luken Baker, Seattle, LAA-SS, Roberto Baloquin, Robin Ventura


From the ‘Can’t Hurt’ department…
Mets OF Curtis Granderson is very happy to be reunited with new batting coach Kevin Long.

This is the time of the year that most baseball writers come out with a post or article about the ‘top 20 free agents out there unsigned in the market and where the writer thinks they are going.

Once again, most of these lists do not have a single player projected to become a Met in 2015.

I’m really getting sick of this and wonder out loud how much of this is because of past contracts like Jason Bay, Frank Francisco, David Wright, and Curtis Granderson. Did you notice how fast a 4-year, $60-mil deal become a 3-year black shroud on top of the Mets head?

Cot[i] updated their Mets page and it’s pretty clean. It lists a pre-Arbitration total payroll of $54.05mil, which many project out to a $90mil+ payroll without signing another single player.

Teams like the Cubs and White Sox don’t seem to have an operating limit. They just want to win.

I wish I could find a list of the total monies spent each year, in the last five free agent seasons, verses where that team finished in the standings at the end of the next season and how much all those signings helped their team.

Top 15 Pitchers in 2015 Draft –

5. Luken Baker, RHP, Oak Ridge HS (Tex.) — Baker is one of the few true two-way prospects in this draft, and is a candidate to go in the first-round both with his bat (which we’ll discuss in a couple of weeks) and as a hurler with excellent size plus huge arm strength. Most that I’ve spoken with believe he likely ends up in the field, but his ability — and the lack of depth in the class — earns him a spot on this prestigious list. http://www.drafttotheshow.com/top-15-in-15-high-school-pitchers/

Mack – I’ll be throwing in some more draft information and names now that we moving closer to the 2015 draft.

Hot Stove Conclusion – Seattle –

           In the end, the M’s need a lot of help. Most of their needs are in the everyday lineup where there boast merely two solid to very good hitters joined by a bunch of ‘we hope he hits’ options. Outfield, perhaps times two, and either first base or designated hitter are the obvious spots in the field to add such offense. Whether it’s free agency or the trade market, the Mariners have a number of roster spots to upgrade which may include adding a premium starting pitcher. There are few untouchables in the organization from the big leagues all the way to their top prospects and they have no business worrying much about protecting their first-round draft pick. Expect a lot of rumors, but a lack of action by the Seattle Mariners would surprise the entire league. The M’s are motivated from top to bottom, ownership to field staff, and they aren’t all that far away, particularly if they’re lucky enough to get marked improvements from a few of the young players in addition to a few key winter acquisitions. http://prospectinsider.com/where-the-mariners-need-help

Let’s update the SS situation in Anaheim –

           Erick Aybar - $8.75mil/yr, 2015, 2016

           Roberto Baloquin – Cuban 20-yr-old - $8mil signing bonus

How crazy is all this getting? Well, the 20-year old Baloquin hasn’t played an inning of baseball in a Cuban professional baseball league for… FIVE YEARS. That’s right, since he was 15-years old.

Robin Ventura

                       Ventura’s best days were with the White Sox. But he was still pretty good when he signed with the Mets prior to the 1999 season. With apologies to Wright, the Mets have not had as good a glove at the hot corner in their history as they had with Ventura from 1999 to 2001. “Ventura made everything look easy,” said former Mets first baseman John Olerud a few years ago. “You'd see a ball hit in the hole and think, boy, that's gonna be a tough play, or you'd see a fast guy bunt -- but when Ventura was at third, not only would he get to the ball quick, he'd get it to you quick." http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/96041/top-10-best-mets-defenders-part-i

The complicated LA Dodgers outfield - 

2014 stats2015
NamePAHRAVGOBPSLGwRC+WARSteamer wRC+AgeRemaining Contract
Yasiel Puig64016.296.382.4801475.1145244/$24m*
Scott Van Slyke24611297.386.5241602.811028pre-arb
Carl Crawford3708.300.339.4291192.5107333/$62.25m
Matt Kemp59925.287.346.5061401.8128305/$107m
Andre Ethier3804.249.322.370980.7109333/$56m
Joc Pederson (MLB)380.143.351.143680.110523pre-arb
Joc Pederson (AAA)55333.303.435.582164n/a

The signing of C Johnny Monell Jr. to a minor league contract does (assuming he sticks) settle down the catcher position a little in the organization. He has had some considerable AAA experience and his 20-HR, 64-RBI stat line in 2013 for AAA-Fresno is probably something the Las Vegas 51 players remember vividly.

My guess is you can slot him immediately into the locker left empty by the departure of Juan Centeno and he will compete with Anthony Recker for the backup job in Queens behind Travis d’Arnaud.


Anonymous said...

I got a little more info on both Baldoquin and Moncada.

Scouts believe that Moncada has the higher ceiling but that Baldoquin is more MLB ready.

One scout went as far as to say that if Erik Aybar were to sustain an injury, Baldoquin could step an be the starter immediately.

On Moncada, the same scout said that if he were a part of the normal MLB draft.....he would be the #1 pick this season.

Last year's #1 pick had a slot value of $7.9M dollars so I would expect Moncada to command roughly that amount of money to sign.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Mack.
I just posted re: Monell article last night but, to reiterate, he really hits righties well. So, unless he is far deficient to Recker in fielding, if I were an owner, I'd be a lot more excited about d'Arnaud and Monell than Recker. Sit d'Arnaud against tough righties and play Monell.

My guess is we'd get an offensive boost, and Monell can cozy up to our new right center field fences.

All assumes Plawecki starts in AAA

John Zozo said...

I want Kemp but when ups be very happy with Van Slyke as well. Wouldn't mind if we lost Puello if he is platooning with MDD in rightfield. How is Scott at defending in the outfield? His father(our arch nemesis) was awesome in centerfield. Plus Scott plays first base as well.

Anonymous said...


Van Slyke is an average defender in RF. He has an average arm, with above average range, but sometimes takes questionable routes.

Based on Career Norms, if Van Slyke were to get 600 Plate Appearances in 2015, STEAMER projections has him producing the following #'s

.239 AVG
.730 OPS
19 HR
65 RBI
10.5% BB rate
24.8% K rate
+2.1 Wins Above Replacement

It's worth noting that his OPS is forecasted to be higher than any of our current OF'ers.

Granderson .715 OPS
Nieuwenheis .670 OPS
den Dekker .668 OPS
Lagares .658 OPS
Puello .658 OPS
Young Jr. .621 OPS

Mack Ade said...

I'm not sure the Dodgers will deal off an OFer to the Mets, but I thought you all would find these stats interesting

Bill Metsiac said...

Re: the 4-5year contract situation, I'd love to see a list of all those signed in the last 10 years and whether the teams are happy with the results.

Kevin S said...

Didn't realize that Van Slyke had that strong of a season last year.

Plus he has a sick beard.

Reese Kaplan said...

Did anyone notice that Van Slyke at close to major league minimum is projected to produce roughly the same as Alex Gordon who makes $25 million over 2015/2016?

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about with the Cubs wanting to win and spending money? Only the Astros and Marlins spent less money than the Cubs last year and spent $15M LESS than the Mets in 2014. In fact, they have cut payroll deeper and faster than the Mets over the past 3 years, so really picked the wrong team as an example. Theo is doing the exact same thing as Sandy when it comes to payroll, but he gets called a genius for harvesting young talent and shedding payroll, while all we hear about is how cheap the Wilpons are. When will people realize that the Mets have engaged in strategic payroll management (just like the Cubs) in preparation to pay its young talent and not a function of Fred wanting to buy a yacht or something. I always love how Met fans say that the Wilpons are not interested in winning, only making money. ummm. winning in MLB makes the most money, so it is a contradiction in terms.

the whole "Mets are cheap" thing is getting pretty tiring, they spent a ton of money from 2006-2010 and had practically nothing to show for it, they are taking a prudent approach given market conditions. By the way, which big FA are they NOT signing this year because they are CHEAP? the FA crop sucks this year. Period

Anon Joe F

Mack Ade said...

Joe F -

and... we already have Monell

John Zozo said...

And the Cubs are about blow the front door open and spend boatloads of money this free agency

Anonymous said...

for starters, they had a committed payroll of $73M last year and it is estimated to be about $65M after Arb raises and secondly, they actually haven't spent anything yet, but they would have to add $35M in annual salaries to equal current Mets payroll. I do expect them to spend, but I also expect the Mets to be down in the $75M range next year (even after Arb raises) so I would fully expect next year to be the year for the Mets to spend, especially given the weak FA class. and don't be too sure about how much the Cubbies are going to spend because Theo knows as well as Sandy that he will have his payroll grow organically because of Arb raises. Back to the original point, WHO do you want them to shell out money for this year? We don't even know who might accept the QO, but please tell me which FA player you would like to commit 3/$45 for and give up a draft pick? I am in favor of getting the best secondary OF available on short term and look to either Heyward or Upton next year, preferably Heyward. Even if the Mets are willing to give a Jewel, I don't see which top end OF they will get to start in RF next year. AND the Cubs are only in a position to spend because they followed the same model as the Mets (or vice versa). if they had not, they would not be spending tons of money...that they have not yet spent. They need pitching and there is pitching available, the Mets need hitting and there is no real offensive players available. More a function of the market that anything else.

I hope the Mets sign the Cuban SS just to quiet down fans who think more about payroll number than win total. The Cubs sucked last year too
Anon Joe F

John Zozo said...

You are right not too much to choose from this free agency. But knowing in the past sandy likes to get one free agent and over spend on them when no one else is bidding, like cgrand, frank Francisco, and CY. But that's a different story for a different day of spending money on the wrong guys.
Ok back to our question, the only free agent I really want this year is andrew miller. So hopefully they don't spend on this market. I do hope if a ryan Braun or Matt kemp becomes available they don't shy away cause of money.
I wanted to spend $$$$ on cano, marlin Byrd and tanaka last year. But that slipped away.
Maybe even spend some money on a promising Cuban player like Abreau?
That's my 2 cents

Bill Metsiac said...

With or without "much to choose from", how many of the long-term (3-years +) FA deals in the last 10 years have actually been worth it to the signing teams?

I wish I had a complete list, but I'd guess the Jason Bays, BJ Uptons, Ollie Perezes and similar busts far outnumber the "Boy, am I glad we got 'em" types.

Mack's Mets © 2012