The Morning Report – November 8 – Juan Lagares, Eno-Chat, Daniel Murphy, Michael Saunders


Buster Olney - @Buster_ESPN- "The Mets will be aggressive this offseason, with at least one free agent signing and one via trade."

Story telling time – all this attention at CF Juan Lagares reminds me of the time I attended the kick-off luncheon for the 2010 Savannah Sand Gnats. This takes place on the day before their season opens and includes an opportunity to meet the players, take photos, etc.

Well, I got to the restaurant where the lunch was thrown and all the players came in and sat down. I looked ahead and saw Lagares sitting there. Lagares had just spent the last two seasons in Savannah (2007 and 2008) and I said out loud as he caught me looking at him “what the hell are you doing back here?”

Lagares shook his head in agreement and turned to manager Pedro Lopez and said “see? … even Mack agrees with me…”

SABR Defensive Index: Final 2014 rankings –

            NL overall leaders

Player                                     Team             Position         SDI
Jason Heyward                   ATL                 RF                   26.5
Juan Lagares                       NYM               CF                   16.4
Zack Cozart                          CIN                 SS                    14.1
Billy Hamilton                      CIN                 CF                   13.7
Andrelton Simmons           ATL                 SS                    13.1

Eno-Chat –

Comment From Mark - Cargo to the Mets ?

Eno Sarris: I don’t see it. They’re building a full roster the slow way and the only interesting piece I want to let go is Niese, and you’re not getting Cargo built on Niese.

Comment From john - Eno! The mets dodged a bullet when the rox offered cuddyer a QO… However, now I hear they are in on Morse! At what point will you admit that sandy alderson has no clue when it comes to evaluating major league talent properly?

Eno Sarris: He’s rummaging around in the bargain bin. den Dekker is projected to be below replacement, so even a one-win Morse would be a big upgrade. It’s not the worst bat, just the worst glove and worst base running. And I love the dude.

Comment From Jon - Your plan for the Mets makes sense to me but doesn’t seem to consider trading pitching and/or Murphy to the Red Sox for Allan Craig. Is that because you don’t expect him to be available? He seems like at least as good a fit as Cuddyer would be, no? And he’s inexpensive enough not to foreclose other opportunities to improve as well.

Eno Sarris: Sure, I think Craig is interesting. Put him in the Aoki mix. If you can get a 1+ win guy back in trade for less money than Colon or Colon+Murphy, then it’s great. Do the sox want Murphy and Colon? I’m not sure. So I think the most likely thing is that they dump Colon for salary relief and not much more. And no, I don’t think the Colon signing was dumb, it’s just that the young pitchers have begun to accumulate and look ready. deGrom, for instance, wasn’t supposed to be this good.

Comment From Jake deBomb - propose a Daniel Murphy trade?

Eno Sarris: I did. By projections, he represents a one-year, $5m surplus, below-average solution for someone at third or second. Looking around the league, I don’t see an obvious partner, nor does Murphy bring back much.

Comment From Ricardo - Can Wilmer be an average SS for the Muts in ’15? Your plan looks like it throws him out there all season and lives with it

Eno Sarris: This was the weakest part of my plan in my opinion. I never thought Flores could play short and am still looking at his defense all jenky-eyed. But I don’t think they want to use the money to sign Lowrie, and throwing the farm at Tulo is unrealistic too. LF is the biggest need, so I focused there.

Mack – Note to readers: Eno wrote a recent feature on how to fix the Mets in 2015 using ‘spare parts’. He’s a big fan of the Mets but a realistic one and knows that the Mets are not going to spend much money here. There were questions the next day during his chat from Mets fans.
His statement about Murphy does ring true. What exactly is his market alone? At least 10 teams have great second basemen and have no need for someone like Murphy. And then there are the remaining 19 teams where 90% of them have young, team controlled players that are long away from starting their arbitration years and are already flashing his kind of stat lines (with better defense) in the high minors.

Isn’t second base a position that has been mostly home grown and shouldn’t the Mets rally around their all-star until he becomes eligible for free agency? The worst case scenario would then be a draft pick which, at the same time, handing the job over to Dilson Hererra. The next-to-worst case scenario would be a mid-season trade to a pennant contender for a top blue chip, team controlled prospect.

Seattle has announced that they are going to shop OF Michael Saunders at next week’s General Manager’s meetings. There’s been a falling out between team officials and Saunders.

According to MLBTR:

Formerly ranked by Baseball America as the No. 30 prospect in the game, Saunders has batted a healthy .248/.320/.423 with 39 homers and 38 steals over those three injury-prone seasons. Context-neutral stats such as OPS+ and wRC+ (which adjust for his pitcher-friendly home ballpark) suggest that he’s been nine to 11 percent better than a league-average hitter in that time. His 2014, in particular, was impressive. In 78 games, Saunders hit .273/.341/.450 — good for a 126 wRC+ and a 128 OPS+.[i]

The bad news here is the fact that he averaged just 166 games per season for the last three years, but he’s only entering his second year of arbitration and isn’t eligible for free agency until 2017.

He’ll play 2015 as a 28-year old.

Any interest here?


John Zozo said...

I don't think you can give Murphy a qualifying offer, he would be in the same boat as Michael Cuddyer, he would have to accept. At $15 mil plus I don't want to get stuck with him.

Ernest Dove said...

I personally have no interest in Saunders. The Mets should be looking for a solid veteran to put up solid numbers specifically for 2015. After that, id take my chances with Nimmo and Conforto panning out.

Brian Joura said...

I was going to say the exact same things as the first two posters.

Put the Lagares story in the e-book.

Mack Ade said...

So what do you guys do with Murphy?

TP said...

Murphy on the arb deal is fine for 2015. He should be shopped this winter, but for the sole purpose of improving the team, not purging salary. They can get some salary relief from dealing Gee, Niese, or Colon. No way Murphy gets a QO for 2016 unless he is an NL MVP candidate in 2015, which is highly unlikely. Yes, he may walk for no comp, but that's life in the bigs. Personally, I wouldn't invest long term in him, given his age, cost, and the Met prospects, but that could change based on what transpires in 2015. All in all, he has a spot on my 2015 squad unless parting with him is required to bring back a stud RF or SS.

Ernest Dove said...

I say keep Murphy on one year deal. Trade colon for prospect, and leave Dilson in Vegas till September.

Mack Ade said...

Guys -

Yea, you're right about any chance of a QO for Murphy... I was dreaming

jd said...

One trade partner that doesn't get mentioned is the LA Dodgers. They have needs in the BP, C, 3B, and SP. We have Mejia, Plawecki, Murphy, and Gee, Montero, Niese, Colon. They have an outfield surplus. So...how about we package 4 from that group for Puig? He alone makes us a playoff team. If they won't give him up... Crawford is my next choice for a lesser package. Thoughts?

Mack Ade said...

JD -

I have written about the Dodgers a number of times who line up perfectly with the Mets.

I think who gets Russell Martin will determine the value of Plawecki to teams like the Bums.

Sadly, he's probably not ready yet to step up for the big lights

Bill Metsiac said...

What to do with Murphy? I'd try to extend him for 3 years if we can do it at reasonable cost (say, $10 mil per). If we decide to trade him at any point, he'd be worth much more than as a rental.

As foe Saunders, am I the only one who noticed that he supposedly AVERAGED 166 games a year for the past 3 seasons? Better than Ripken?

Steve from Norfolk said...

When it comes to Crawford and his present health and playing ability, I much prefer Den Dekker.

Hobie said...

Since trade speculations are to baseball what the history channel is to history, I;ll throw out:

Wright, Pawlecki & Neise/Gee for Kemp & Julio Urias

Bill Metsiac said...

Why is there talk about a QO for Murphy, who isn't even eligible for one, since he's not a FA?

IMO he should be offered a 3-year extension if he'll agree to one at reasonable (3-year/$30 mil?)price.

If we keep him, we've got a good deal for the next 3 years without any Arbi worries. If we decide to trade him, he'll be far more valuable to the trade partner than he'd be as a rental.

As for Saunders, is it a "problem" that he "AVERAGES 166 games per year"? Hell, even Ripken didn't do that.

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

I made the mistake of mentioning that the Mets could get a draft pick when Murphy is signed as a free agent... not at the end of 2015, but 2016

Lew Rhodes said...

I think Murph may have more trade value as. 3b - I believe his defense is better there

Mack Ade said...

Lew -


Murphy's trade value is through his bat...

which will become more valuable halfway through next season to someone trying to make the playoffs...

My guess... and American League team

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Mack, glad you pulled some strings. Without your expert intervention, Lagares would still be in Savannah! LOL

Have a great evening, everybody.

Mack's Mets © 2012