The Morning Report – December 20 – Cuba, Mike Piazza, Justin Upton, Tulo, Mets Front Office


The United States changes in moving closer to full normalization with the island of Cuba could be a blessing for major league baseball. Cuban baseball players could be signed and assigned to club DSL and/or VSL teams at a comparable age their Domincan and Venezuelan are signed.

The minimal age for these counties as well as all foreign players sent there to play, is their 16th birthday. Leagues don’t have to be this specific in the beginning and no one is trying to destroy the neighborhood league in the home country.

Believe me, top players from Mexico (Oliver Perez), Nicaragua (Everth Cabrera), Columbia (Julio Teheran), Curacao (Jurickson Profar), and Panama (Ruben Tejada) have found their way to the major league through the DSL/VSL system and so should the Cubans.

This way, teams could stop having to guess where a current star on a local team projects, but more importantly, it will eventually line up all the youth of baseball to be evaluated in the same leagues.

What you don’t want here is a similar situation that Korea and Japan has where teams have to first pay posting fees to the league.

My guess something will be in place for the 2016 season.

A SABR[i] pitch for Mike Piazza for the HOF –

– Piazza’s nine years of 30 or more home runs is more than double any other catcher. Johnny Bench, Roy Campanella, and Mickey Tettleton only managed it four times each. Where did Piazza get his swing and power? He was the second of five sons of Vince and Veronica Piazza. His father built a backyard batting cage at the family home in Valley Forge that was used all year long: Mike used to shovel snow out of the cage so that he could practice. One summer when Piazza was just 15 years old, Ted Williams was at a Pennsylvania card show and Vince invited him to look at his son batting. Williams watched Mike’s swing and remarked, “If this kid is swinging this well now and he’s only 15, I guarantee you that he will hit in the major leagues.” Williams told Mike that good mechanics were just 50 percent of hitting and advised him about blocking out distractions and concentrating only on hitting

The Justin Upton trade is interesting.

The Padres seem to be signing or trading for every person they can get their hands on. They obviously have decided that 2015 is their year to compete for a championship.

The Braves; however, immediately replenish a minor league system that needed replenishing.

Dustin Peterson and Max Fried has only reached the high-A level while Mallex Smith has only played A+.

What I can’t figure out is what they are going to do with SS Jace Peterson. He’s basically finished with the minors (2014 – AAA: 248-AB, .306) and did get in 53 at bats last year for the parent Padres.

I can’t see a division rival like the Braves putting a deal together with the Mets for the services of Peterson, but you never know.

Do we want him though?

It must be a slow press day… another Mets/Tulo story came out yesterday.
John Heyman[ii] came up with a report that the Mets were still talking to the Cubs about the services of the best shortstop in baseball.

 Adam Rubin shut it down just as quickly, saying that one Mets official said that the fans would go ‘batshit’ if they saw the demands the Cubs want in a deal for Tulo.

 I actually still see a chance of a deal getting done, but not until midway through the 2015 season. This would give both teams the time needed to see if Wilmer Flores worked out, and which Mets pitchers have stepped up.

Use the Justin Upton trade as a good example of what a deal like this would need.  Four team controlled players which, in the case of the Mets, would include at least two quality pitchers.

 Comment From L. Scott - Please explain the Mets. They have solid SP, but adding Cuddyer to Murphy, Wright, Granderson, Duda, and d’Arnaud only makes them slightly better. Juan Lagares is not a leadoff hitter. Do you see them taking a flyer on Everth Cabrera to fill the SS/leadoff hitter need?

Eno Sarris:[iii] They keep talking about Cabrera’s off-field stuff, so I doubt it. I’m souring a bit on the front office. I do think the Reyes non-trade and the Wright extension smell terribly of Wilpon, so I don’t necessarily blame that on them. And their deals have been short. But they didn’t draft these pitchers and they need to hit on something, or be a little more aggressive I think.

Mack – Once again, I want to remind everyone that the Mets are still in a ‘financial rebounding’ situation and, considering where they have come from, creating a $100mil payroll is a step in the right direction. I don’t think we will ever see this team operate like the way San Diego is doing this week, as long as the Wilpons own it and have a General Manager like Sandy Alderson.


Brian Joura said...

I don't see how Cuba allows it's top young players to leave without being heavily compensated.

There's either going to be an age limit 10 years or higher above where the Dominicans have it or there's going to be a way where the money goes to the country rather than the kid.

It will be many, many years away but my hope is that they return to having an MLB farm club there. That would be tremendous.

bob gregory said...


Regarding the Tulowitzki rumors:

They seem to pop up whenever the newspapers begin to focus on a certain free agent the Mets should make a move for.
Coincidentally this time lines up with the day Kang's posting fee was due.

Thomas Brennan said...

Any team that signs a Cuban player will require that team to sell cigars alongside its hot dogs and fries. Sorry, woke up late.

I have implicit faith in the Wilpons...but I can't be more explicit. Then you'd know I'm lying.

That Piazza story is tremendous. Real baseball lore.

Have a great day, Mack and everyone

Ernest Dove said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernest Dove said...

Im still tired of the Tulo talk. Im no medical Dr., but if i see an athlete, in baseball, whose 9 year career has resulted in THREE seasons playing over 140 games, I don't see how that player turns 30 and miraculously gets healthy.

eraff said...

The guys the Mets want to trade(Gee, Colon) have more immeditae value to the team than their Market values provide in swap...that could change as the season progresses.

I'm in favor of na one year chance on S. Drew---even an "overpriced" offer of up to 10 million dollars. The suggestion was out their this week on Kang---a guy who would be of speculative MLB value with both bat and Glove. IF Kang or anyone else ended up as a Legit MLB SS with a 750 plus OPS, you'd need to consider that a great success--- Those are Drew's lifetime stats!

It's a highly speculatiove bet on a guy recovering to his "norm"....as a one year bet, you don't lose much...yeah...other than money.

You release Tejada (save 2-3 million...or trade him)...you gain a nice righty backup, bench, utility bat in FGlores---300-400 ab's as a REH Platoon/infield Swing.... you retain talent that can be traded later in the season as ANY needs/opportunities develop---injuries, etc.

It's a big one year bet..yes!...But it leaves you largely unexposed---you retain your full present squad and all of your pitching...for now.

Thomas Brennan said...

I could live with that, eraff. I can see Reese thinking, "release Tejada? I'm listening! Tell me more!"

Mack Ade said...

Brian -

I expect that the league will move fast on the Cuban situation. There simply are too many good players over there to keep them out of the system.

TP said...

I know it's a broken record, but the Madoff situation is in the distant past. This ownership is no longer rebounding from it. Why? They lost $500 million in paper money that they thought they had in Madoff accounts. They had to pay back some tens of millions in clawback. But, since that time, the value of their baseball assets - the team and SNY - has appreciated over $500 million based on the sale of the Dodgers, LA Clippers, and 49% of YES to FOX and the new billion dollar national TV contracts. These clowns are better off then they were 5 years ago. The $100 million limit on payroll is set by choice, not need, and any losses attributed to the baseball operations are due to bad management, not Madoff. I am not calling for a $200 million or even $150 million product, just spending wisely to create a winning team, which is essential to cover the debt of the new stadium and TV network.

Herb G said...

I am intrigued by the persistent Tulo rumors. I think that if a deal is going to get done, they (Alderson & Co.) would be smart to do it this winter rather than wait until mid season. Acquiring a player of Tulo's caliber would energize the fan base and put tushies in the empty seats at Citifield.

I hate that Syndergaard is mentioned as the centerpiece of a Tulo trade, although if that was what it took to make the deal, I'd accept it, so long as we didn't give much more. I am wary of Tulo's health issues, but even in 125-140 games a season, he could be a big difference maker. I like Mack's idea of patterning any trade for Tulo on the Upton deal . . 4 quality young, controllable players. Is Gee still considered young and controllable, since he doesn't hit free agency until 2017. I'd like to see them offer Gee, Montero, Flores (or Nimmo) and one of Reynolds, Cecchini or Rosario for Tulo and see what comes back.

Mack Ade said...

Herb -

I honestly think the Mets will revisit the tulo situation at the 2015 all-star break

Mack Ade said...

TP -

Everything you said was correct, but this was the plan... get it to $100mil in 2015.

The players are in place... what do you do now?

bob gregory said...


Well stated

Anonymous said...

Puello hit another HR yesterday.
Just sayin
Anon Joe F

Thomas Brennan said...

Puello is clearly a 5 Tulo player, Joe F

chad said...

so much for “america’s pastime”

the cuba policy is absurd and disgusting. but not surprising because we know obama feels comfortable cozying up to marxist communist police states run by genocidal dictator tyrants h*llbent on destroying freedoms.

birds of a feather

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