The Morning Report – December 2 – Moving Your Prospects, Back End Starters, Nelson Cruz, Wilmer Flores
Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
‘Hobie’ and I were discussing Cesar Puello and exactly who the Mets should play in the Las Vegas outfield in 2015.
This brings up a subject that always rubs me wrong.
Why do the Mets always seem to play their minor league players in order of accent by which level they played for the season before and not based on potential talent in the future?
Oh, there are exceptions… Dilson Herrera would have been one last year but that was based on the fact that Matt Reynolds wasn’t on the 40-man… also, Dario Alvarez made his way to Queens but that was based on the lack of lefties in the organization.
What I’m talking about is everyone knows that you really have only around two hands full of real prospect talent in an organization so why are you holding them back because there are a bunch of intermediate or lower level talent above them in the pecking order?
Example… if the only reason LHSP Steven Matz might start the season in AA is that there are too many pitchers in the system listed ahead of him, stop ranking by time in service and use talent as the determining factor.
In fact, if you don’t want to use Rafael Montero in the pen, let him, Matz, and Noah Syndergaard be the top three starters in Vegas and let the rest of pieces fill in from there.
As for relief pitchers, make sure Jack Leathersich, Paul Seward, and Hansel Robles start the season in Vegas. There is no reason for either Seward or Robles to return to AA ball again.
I’m currently fine with where most of the other top players project to start the season… Kevin Plawecki (Vegas), Dominic Smith (St. Lucie), Dilson Herrera (Vegas), Amed Rosario (Savannah), Jhoan Urena (Savannah), Brandon Nimmo (Vegas), and Michael Conforto (St. Lucie).
I would like to see LJ Mazzilli play for Binghamton moving T.J. Rivera to the SS/DH role, and I want OF Wuilmer Beccera playing in Savannah ahead of players that currently project out with less talent.
Frankly, this has been worse in the past and Alderson and Company seems to be making an effort to increase the growth of their prospect talent without moving them too fast. Still. In my book, there is still room for improvement here.
Jonny Gomes –
There are multiple reports in the Media that Mets might be adding Gomes as a platoon partner in their outfield this year.
Gomes has, as they say, been around. He’ll play 2015 as a 34-year old and has played 12 seasons in the majors (.244). A former 18th round draft pick by Tampa Bay, he also played for Cincinnati, Washington, Boston, and Oakland.
The idea here would be for Gomes to play right field when Michael Cuddyer would be moved to first place against left hand pitching
From NBC Sports[i] -
Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that they’re “actively” looking to trade one of Bartolo Colon, Jon Niese, and Dillon Gee and “have already engaged clubs” on possible deals. According to Davidoff they’re not expecting big returns, but instead want to free up some payroll space to invest elsewhere and are confident enough in younger rotation options to move on without a veteran.
Mack – This is no big secret but the good news is that the Mets might be becoming more realistic to the fact that all three of these guys would bring a limited amount of return.
They need to move one before the season starts.
They need to move two if they want Rafael Montero in the opening day rotation.
Nothing against any of these guys, but I’d be thrilled with a return of a lefty reliever at best.
Last Word On Sports[ii] -
According to reports, The Seattle Mariners have signed free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz to a four-year contract worth $57 million. Enrique Rojas of ESPN Desportes was one of the first with the story.
The Mariners, who need more power in their offence are hoping to get that from Cruz, who played for the Baltimore Orioles last season. With a .271/.333/.525 slash line, and 40 home runs and 108 RBIs last season, Cruz was seen by some as a possible MVP candidate as the Orioles ran away from the AL East. Cruz was good for a 4.2 offensive WAR last season. It was a bounce back for Cruz who missed 50 games in 2013 following his involvement with Biogenesis and Performance Enhancing Drugs.
Cruz’s deal is worth an average of $14.25 million per season, which is less than the one-year qualifying offer the Orioles made. As a result of that offer, the Orioles will receive draft pick compensation from the Mariners with this signing. However, signing the now 34-year-old to a four-year deal may be a little bit of a risk on the Mariners part. Cruz’s defense is already below replacement level, and it may make sense for him to transition into the DH position full-time with the Mariners.
Mack – The important thing here is another big name is off the table. He’s not one of the big pitchers, but the more big money that is spent will make the small moves more important as the off-season moves along.
Anthony DiComo on shortstop options[iii]
Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox) - Bogaerts is young enough (22) and talented enough (an .862 career Minor League OPS) that the Mets could consider parting with Noah Syndergaard or another top young starting pitcher to acquire him. The only snag is that the Red Sox actually have to make him available; more likely, Bogaerts will remain in Boston with Hanley Ramirez headed to left field
Mack – Boy, I hope they keep the newspapers away from Flores as he continues to try and improve in the winter league this off season.
I agree with Reese Kaplan… I want to see the results of 600-PA in 2015 so we can see what this kid really has both on the field and in the batters box.
It would seem to me that, with the addition of Cuddyer, a probably new reliever, the return of a healthy Wright, and a full productive year from Granderson and d’Arnaud, there might be enough to table this possible change here until the next off season.
Michael Salfino @MichaelSalfino - So the #Mets are paying two league average starters an obscenely low $5 million/year and have to trade them to clear payroll? Sigh.
Mack – Michael writes for the Meadowland Media Group and this is one way to look at it, but I disagree. The Mets aren’t trying to ‘clear payroll’ here, though, secondarily, it will. What they want to do is move one to two back end starters to make room for their projected, high-ceiling prospects. It’s called progress.
Buster Olney - @Buster_ESPN - Other teams say the Padres have gotten more aggressive in marketing catcher Yasmani Grandal in trade discussions.
Mack – Remember when I wanted this guy badly to be drafted by the Mets?
This guy’s career is far from over. He’s 25-years old and, in 657 major at bats he has 24 home runs and 94 runs batted in (with a combined .245 average). Yes he has had injuries, but far less than Travis d’Arnaud.
The question remains though would this have been a better choice than who the Mets did draft… Matt Harvey.
(I always like to ask this question a different way… rather than picking Harvey at #7, what about Chris Sale who went to the White Sox at #13?)
Jon Heyman on the Marlins[i] –
Fresh off their record $325-million, 13-year extension with superstar outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins have made a six-year guaranteed offer said to be worth close to $40 million to ace pitcher Jose Fernandez. There's still believed to be a lot of work to do, if in fact there's any realistic chance at all, to lock up Fernandez. In their effort to keep their better young players, the Marlins also have made long-term offers to outfielder Christian Yelich and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, and they're due to make an offer early this week to outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Perhaps their chances to extend one or more of those fine players is somewhat better than it is with Fernandez, who thus far hasn't suggested any inclination to do such a long deal so early in his career.
Mack – How’d you like to be a fan of this team? They build a team, then break it down, then build it again, than trade it away, and now the fans are supposed to believe they are building it again?
All this might be is an attempted to lock up the best talent they have in their system to manageable long term contracts that could be moved in the future.
Check out the existing payroll situation[ii]… Stanton only being paid $6,5mil in 2015 and the team, before arbitration, with a team payroll of $22.1mil.
So… you lock up your additional three to four best players to back end loaded contracts… make a run for a playoff spot…
The perfect sale of the team scenario.
I hope the fans don’t fall for this shit from this creep.