The Morning Report – December 4 – Non-Tendered Players, Jurickson Profar, Everth Cabrera, Matt Harvey



The Atlanta Braves signing of OF Nick Markakis caught me off guard yesterday and just goes to prove that most of what you read about this time of year is the speculation of sports writers and bloggers, not team officials.

All of us have been led down the road that Atlanta was rebuilding and would be selling off some of their assets, here they go and spend $44mil on a player with both limited pop and defensive skills.

The Hot Stove season is not over until it is over and, frankly, I have no idea what Atlanta is doing at this point.

Wait it out.

I expected a little more comment chatter on the web site yesterday after the tender period went by. This has usually been the time in the past that Mets fans overact and name a bunch of players that the Mets should sign, even though their old team didn’t’ want to do the same thing. Maybe we’re all just getting more comfortable with the team that is being built for us.

There are a lot names floating out thereEverth Cebrera, Kyle Blanks, John Mayberry Jr., Francisley Bueno, David Huff, Michael Kirkman, and Wesley Wright… there’s also Gaby Sanchez (.863-OPS vs. LHP) who offers the Mets a pure first base platoon partner for Lucas Duda instead of moving Michael Cuddyer there. I don’t happen to expect Cuddyer to be playing 150+ games and Sanchez could be a good insurance policy if something happened to Duda. He’s only 30-years old and has delivered some pop in the past.

After Dark Chat[i]

Comment From Rough Odor - With all this talk of the Mets attempting to get a young SS, why hasn’t Jurickson Profar been mentioned? He seems to not fit in the Rangers infield anymore and the Mets could send a combo of Niese, Gee, and Montero to shore up the Rangers rotation.

Paul Swydan: Probably because the Rangers aren’t going to trade Profar when his value is at an all-time low. If they make a trade, it’ll be Andrus or Odor. Also, Niese, Gee and Montero? Come on.

Mack – Would it actually take three Mets pitchers to get a shortstop that hits .234? Don’t we have one of them already?

In my opinion, we may need to leave this whole shortstop situation behind us for the remainder of the off-season. The more I did into the stats of the players out there, and compare them to Wilmer Flores, I realize that the best case scenario out there right now is to give Flores his 600-PA in 2015 and see what you have.

The only name ‘out there’ that I might separate from the rest of the marginal prospects being hashed around would be Starlin Castro. Castro is the real deal, close to the Tulo-class, and a deal for three Mets pitchers/prospects would be fine for me here (though it would be debatable which ones would be part of the transaction).

For those of you that have a desire for the Mets to sign SS Everth Cabrera, read this first[ii]:

Cabrera was a 2013 All-Star before missing 50 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal. In 2012, the Nicaraguan stole 44 bases and was also facing domestic violence assault charge after a spring training incident with his wife. Those charges were eventually dismissed, but in 2014, as he was on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, Cabrera found himself in trouble with the law again. In September, Cabrera was charged with driving under the influence of marijuana, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest.

Matt Harvey: "The way the ball's coming out, the way everything feels, it's completely normal. Maybe even better."

Mack – As important, Harvey admitted during his Q and A with Mets beat reporters yesterday that it probably was best that he didn’t pitch last year plus he doesn’t expect (and understands why) to pitch 200 innings in 2015. It sounds like he’s mellowing a little while, at the same time, you can’t help but get excited when he starts saying that he may be a better pitcher now.
Write about anyone you want but this guy is the key to success for this team.

Years of control remaining… Matt Harvey – 4… Zack Wheeler – 5… Jacob deGrom – 6… Noah Syndergaard - 7

Fangraphs[i] wrote that the baseball world is basically short on right hand hitters and there is a premium right now out there if you do your job from that side of the plate:

Every day, we wake up to news of another team throwing big money at a free agent because he has some history of strong offensive performances and he bats from the right side of the plate. $88 million for Hanley Ramirez. $58 million for Nelson Cruz. $30 million for Billy Butler. $21 million for Michael Cuddyer, who played in 49 games last year. $10 million for Torii Hunter, who Detroit didn’t even want to retain.

Read the complete, short story and check out the graph. There has been quite the increase in left hand hitters since 2009.

[i] http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/fg-on-fox-is-there-a-shortage-of-right-handed-power/


Thomas Brennan said...

I think Gabby is a good fit for a year.

Hopfully, Atlanta self-destructs for 10 years, after 2 decades of toturing the Mets.

Wilmer is my shortstop. Just have a strong defensive replacement.

Kevin S said...

Cabrera has a higher ceiling than Tejada and he bring an element of speed that this team will be lacking after non-tendering EYJ. His downside is several off the field concerns. So in my opinion, that's pretty much a wash for my back MIF. If they non-tendered Ruben, then I'd say make a run at Cabrera, but they didn't so let's move on.

I like Gaby Sanchez but I prefer a player like Allen Craig with more upside and at least some positional flexibility. Craig could start against every LHP spelling Duda and Grandy. If Puello makes the team, you could play Cuddyer, Craig & Puello against lefties if you wanted.

I know Craig has some money owed to him so there is more risk involved. He's coming off a terrible season but had 3 terrific seasons prior. I like him a lot and Boston has to move him (and 2 other OFs).

If they are looking at Jonny Gomes, then Kyle Blanks should probably interest them as well. I'd be interested to see his lefty splits.

But most importantly, HARVEY IS BACK!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

No point trading valuable assets for a marginal upgrade at SS. And management will not take on salary to make a meaningful improvement.

So . . . go with Flores.

We can always sign Mike Bordick mid-season if that doesn't work.


Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

I hope we solve the remainder of out needs internally with some step ups by guys like Puello and Flores.

We're about to let the horses (pitchers) out of the barn.

Watch out.

Mack Ade said...

Kevin -

If I HAVE to make moves for utility players, the best in the past are for seasoned players that are still happy to be around making this kind of moeny

My vote would be Gomes

Mack Ade said...

JP -

I have room for one more trade THIS off season -

Gee Colon or Niese for a decent LHRP

Zozo said...

Lol, or just keep Melvin Mora?

Zozo said...

I would trade Colons contract for Alan Craig's. I still wish Andrew Miller was under our Xmas tree, because he would do so much for us in moving forward.
He can pitch to both lefties and righties, so it would give the rest of our bullpen more rest
Can become the closer if needed
Could give our starters more confidence because he holds their leads so they get more wins
Could be even better in national league as opposed to the AL
And last would make a Mejia type more available for a trade

Thomas Brennan said...

My brother Steve keeps nagging me about getting Miller. He may have a point.

Zozo said...

Especially with a very young rotation, to help build their confidence levels up even more. This is the one signing I would want all offseason. It would pay the biggest dividends for the price. 4yr 32-36 million. Please be a dark horse in this

Lew Rhodes said...

Forget Miller - never will happen; Sandy comes from the Oakland school that says relief pitching is over valued - plus, every FA reliever he went out and got has sucked!

I want no part of Cabrera on my team - he would be worse than Vince Coleman - I have no desire to cheer for low life criminals - if we know about 3 off fields incidents, there are many more we don't know about.

I think this team needs to go high dollar for quality bench players - with decent position player talent, you need a strong bench to augment it.

Tejada is a very good BACKUP infielder, MDD will be a great 4th OFer; we need a strong RH bat for the bench and a 5th OF with speed

Then we are a real solid all around team

Mack Ade said...

Zozo and Tom -

I too would have loved to have Miller but I'm well past spending this kind of money for a non-closer reliever.

Thomas, any truth to the rumor that your brother is really Stephen Guilbert?

eraff said...

I don't believe the Mets have a Major League Starting Shortstop on the Roster.

Flores is all about Projecting his Bat and Ignoring his Glove, and the weakness in the Middle of the diamond SS/2B/C. 260/14/60---- that would be a nice "debut", but I'm not sure it can ever offset the Defense, Base Running, and (again) the COMBINED impact of so many "non-playmakers" 2b/ss/c/1b on the Infield. For those of you who see a glove in Flores, I just cannot agree....and I hope I'm wrong because that would be wonderful!!!

Tejada?...not a Starter.... otoh, Profar, Boagarts, Andrus---theb bat stats are marginal upgrades, but the Talent Level is acknowledge as much higher---worth a shot for a chance. As fans, we cannot ignore Facts--- the 750-850 OPS SS's are mostly Non-existent. Patching and compensating and making the rest of the club solid has always been the patch over "non-star" SS's.

Mack Ade said...

Interesting sidebar...

The consensus of opinion on MLB-TV just now has the Mets DEFINITELY having a new shortstop this year and 3 out of 4 of them said it would be Jed Lowrie

Lew Rhodes said...

Mack - I could definitely see that - I think Lowrie signs in January and at a fair price.

Question then - Does Wilmer become a good trade chip or a back-up infielder who plays 2b/SS/3b?

Can he get enough AB's to drive up his trade value in that circumstance?

Mack Ade said...

Lew -

Obviously, Flores would then become available, but, once there is an upgrade, I really don't care how they fit into the secondary plan.

Also, you destroy the mental confidence of Flores the second an announcement like this is made.

You know how much of this game is mental.

But... boittom like... Metsiac can play short right now if it makes the team win.

I'm turning 69 years old.

I just want the team to win.

TP said...

With all this talk about the premium on RH hitters due to the scarcity, I am not sure why there is more focus on LH hitters. Last time I checked, 75% of pitching is RH. So, teams actually need more LH hitting than RH hitting. I keep Murphy, MDD and Captain Kirk. I'm good with Grandy and expect a better year despite him being one year younger - closer RF porch and he hits lower in lineup. We have Cuddyer to offer some DW protection, TDA should be better, and Flores will have some role, so there is enough from the RH side unless they find a legit upgrade from Soup that is better with the glove. Sign Drew for another LH bat, go get a big LH arm for the pen, and they're good to go.

Thomas Brennan said...

Well, if i missed a birthday for you, Mack, hope your 69 is a repeat of 1969.

No truth to that rumor. Steve Brennan is real flesh and blood and was quite a budding lefty in high school (once K'd 17 in a 7 inning 1 hitter) but the only rest he gave his arm was while he slept, and his shoulder strongly disagreed with that daily pitching approach. Al Hrabosky was timid compared to Steve, too.

Jed Lawrie, huh? Time will tell and i hope Wilmer gets a fair shake with the Mets in 2015. 600 at bats worth of fair shake.

eraff said...

Wilmer as a young "infield Swing Player) would get 300-400 or so ab's, depending on the approach. He plays all 4 IF Positions...spot starts...PH...double switches.

Certainly enough ab;s to take advantage of his talent...develop him...and allow him to show waht he can do and grow.

I'm not an advocate of doing more than allowing opportunity, and providing for him to play his way deeper to the lineup...no need to plow an open spot for him

Mack Ade said...

TP -

Good point.

One thing on Nieuwenhuis... he has played parts of three seasons for the Mets and has had 405 at bats against righties for a .249 combined 3-year BA.

Yes, he did better last year (103-AB, .262/.333/.505/.838), but I'm still past this guy at this point in the growth of the team.

Mack Ade said...

Thomas -

I was born in February of 1947, so that makes me... whatever... old :)

Zozo said...

I agree as well, I would drop him and keep Puello if those are my 2 options. I would definitely not put MDD in the minors, he has earned that 4th outfield spot.

Kevin S said...

Toronto is obviously making a run this year with the Russell Martin signing and Josh Donaldson trade. How about sending them Murphy to compliment their right heavy Batista, Donaldson & Encarnacion along with Niese to fill a hole left by trading J.A. Happ to a PTBNL (Jeff Hoffman) and another piece.

Lew Rhodes said...

Mack - Age is a state of mind - think young!

I don't worry about Flores' confidence and mental state - if the Mets' FO folks are telling him he is the guy - ignore the media, that should enough - maybe all the doubters will fire him up to prove them wrong!

Anonymous said...

that is a pretty nice slash line for a LH bat off the bench, especially one that can play all three positions in the OF, with a bit of speed. Kirk fans more than a Geisha girl, but I am not quite willing to count him out just yet as a serviceable 4th/5th OF. The reason I prefer to start MDD in Vegas is because I think he will pick up where he left off last year and prove to be a tradable CF, but he needs to get ABs and he might not get enough as a ML backup to get it going like he did in Vegas. I agree that he is a better overall player than Kirk, but he still has a chance to bring decent value in return and has less pop than the Capt. I will tell you a team that he would look very nice on...The Cubs. They have Almora, but he is a ways off and say what you will about the Cubbie bats, they only have Rizzo hitting from the left side. MDD could hit 15-20 HRs in Chicago and be a top notch defender. He might be the add on that goes with a Gee, Colon or Niese to increase the yield on return.
Anon Joe F

Hobie said...

Still talking SS? I was ready to nap until ST.

Lowrre/Cabrera? Instead of Tejeda as INF insurance, I can see it (Lowrie my choice there). But I STILL want Wilmer to get a fair shot and not sure if he would with either of those aboard.

Thought about Bogie for a while (drooled over him at one time) and would be interested for the right price (the usual suspects).and as legit competition for Wilmer.

Profar? For all the high ceiling hype, he hasn’t done much. Offensively inferior to Wilmer (slightly higher OBA, though). More speed I guess, but not a big SB threat and his FLD% and RT are lower than Flores’. Andrus? No thanks. Drew? Geez.

Anonymous said...

Don't think you can touch Profar until he gets back on the field and shows some skills. He had a rough start to his ML career, but more because of erratic use by the Rangers. The biggest concern is the injury that just never seemed to heal and he had set back after set back, so if you are going to give up something big to get him, you have to make sure he is beyond the injury and it does not affect his performance. I think that there will be SS still available early next year equal to the Lowrie/Cabrera, so go with Flores to start and if he flops, Tejada can fill short term until a trade can be made

Steve from Norfolk said...

Born in 1947, that makes you - 39, by my mother's math.

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