1/12/15

Mack - The Morning Report – 1-12 – Mets Pen, Marlins Pen, Rey Ordonez, Ben Zobrist, Johan Santana, David Wright

62 comments



Good morning.

How bout those Cowboys?

We’re going to continue to compare our relief pen to the other teams in the division. Yesterday, we had the Atlanta Braves. Today, it’s the Marlins.

Here’s how the Mets pen stacks up right now:

Bobby Parnell – 9.00, 3.00, 1.0-IP, 1-K
Jenrry Mejia – 2.72 (as relief pitcher)  56.1-IP
Jeurys Familia –  2.21, 1.18, 77.1-IP, 73-K
Josh Edgin – 1.32, 0.91, 27.1-IP, 28-K
Buddy Carlyle -  1.45, 0.90, 31-IP, 28-K
Vic Black – 2.60, 1.30, 34.2-IP, 32-K
Carlos Torres – 3.06, 1.31, 97-IP, 96-K 

Somebody else will have to step up until Parnell is activated and there always is a chance that they Mets will send seven relievers to the pen.

 Marlins –

 Steve Cisheck – 3.17, 1.21, 65.1-IP, 84-K
Mike Dunn – 3.16, 1.21, 57-IP, 67-K
A.J. Ramos – 2.11, 1.23, 64-IP, 73-K
Bryan Morris – 2.61, 1.27, 134.1-IP, 93-K
Aaron Crow – 4.12, 1.29, 59-IP, 34-K
Sam Dyson – 2.14, 1.33, 42-IP, 33-K, 15-BB
Carter Capps – 3.98, 1.18, 20.1-IP, 25-K
Andre Rienzo – 6.82, 1.78, 64.2-IP, 51-K, 33-BB
Preston Claiborne – 3.00, 1.62, 21-IP, 16-K, 10-BB   


Rey Ordonez[i], 1999 - It’s hard to say that fans and sportswriters didn’t appreciate three-time Gold Glove Award-winner Rey Ordonez’s defense. Still, it’s worth revisiting his 1999 season. In spite of his pedestrian .258/.319/.317 batting line and 62 wRC+, Ordonez was a three-fWAR player due to his 33 total zone runs saved, 220 putouts, 416 assists, 91 double plays turned, and just four errors committed in 1,316.2 innings on the field. According to Baseball Reference, Ordonez’s glovework translated into an incredible four WAR on defense alone (!), a feat that only seven players have accomplished in the ensuing fifteen years. Ordonez’s unique skill set made him a fascinating and difficult player to evaluate. Case in point was the year he had in 1997, when the shortstop hit a paltry .216/.255/.256 with a 33 wRC+, but added a tremendous 20 total zone runs saved, which evened out to a slightly-above-replacement-level 0.6 WAR.

Mack – I always liked Ordonez, not for his offense, but flash in the field. We can go back now, with all these new statistic variations, and revisit what some of these guys did. It’s amazing that he actually almost turned a .216 batting average (1997) into something to be proud of.



One rival executive calls Ben Zobrist[ii] “the Andrew Miller of position players,” explaining that the Rays’ super-utility man makes sense for all 29 other clubs. The fit for the Nationals, in particular, is almost perfect - and the team’s need for Zobrist only increased with the news that right fielder Jayson Werth will undergo surgery on his right shoulder Friday and miss at least 2 to 3 months. Yet, the Nats are not actively pursuing Zobrist, according to major-league sources – not pursuing him even though he would provide a significant upgrade at second base and protection in an outfield that also includes the oft-injured Bryce Harper. If I were Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, I would reconsider. The Nats are one of those teams. They’re deep in young pitching. They’ve got a second-base prospect, Wilmer Defo, who might be only two years away from the majors. They’re in decent shape long-term – but built to win now. If I were Rizzo, I would go get Zobrist and worry about the consequences later. 


Mack – I’ve done a 360 on Zobrist (or is it a 180?) and I can’t see making him a fit for the Mets in 2015. He has only one year left on his contract, is on the wrong side of 30, and I’d have to get rid o starting outfielder to play him. 

No, it may not be perfect, but I’ll go with Granderson, Lagares, and Cuddyer in 2015.


It was interesting to see that P Johan Santana was throwing 87-89 yesterday and pitched in a home-country exhibition. The boy can still throw it.     


Comment From CoolWinnebago - Hi Dave, any insight on David Wright? His peripherals seem to point to some kind of bounce back, but hearing about his shoulder seems to kill any hope of that.

Dave Brown: His shoulder is the thing. He didn’t even admit to being hurt, which is a mistake many athletes have made. I think he will bounce back if he’s healthy, and he reportedly is getting healthy. It’s still a tough stadium to expect big numbers, even if they’re moving the fences. I’d buy low.

Mack – And the underlined portion of Brown’s statement is the problem here. Wright is the Captain of the team and is supposed to lead it with some kind of honesty and integrity. Keeping injuries quiet from both the manager and the trainer are for rookies trying to keep their spot on the 25-man squad.







Kudos to Brian Joura[i] for being the first Mets bloggers to prospect rank someone first other than Noah Syndergaard -

                        1. Rafael Montero, RHP, - Once again, Montero pitched better than Syndergaard in the same league and also experienced time at a more advanced level. Syndergaard’s troubles at Las Vegas are correctly written off due to the pitching environment. Montero’s struggles in the majors – in a much smaller sample – are viewed as some definitive proof of inferiority, even though he finished the year with the Mets on an up note.

Due to a combination of nerves, opponent and questionable pitch calling, Montero allowed 8 HR in his first 25 IP in the majors. He did not allow a homer in his final 19.1 frames. In his last three starts of the year, Montero allowed 2 ER in 18 IP and struck out 19 batters. While the opposition in those three games were all teams with records under .500, it’s still better to dominate bad teams in the majors than to get knocked around in Las Vegas.

62 comments:

James Preller said...

Hate to disagree with you Mack, but I think everyone with eyes knew that Wright was hurt long before it was publicly admitted.

They decided it was best for him to try to play through it, for a variety of reasons. I don't think he fooled anyone in the clubhouse. I think you play hard until they stop writing your name on the lineup card.

Any blame for it lasting so long, after he clearly was unable to play effectively, goes to the Collins and Alderson -- and possibly the Wilpons.

JP

Thomas Brennan said...

Morning, Mack.

I see you've punched in. I'll start with the last first. Montero. What you read is why he is not on my top 30 prospect list. He's already graduated and should be starting for this team in 2015.

I hate when athletes hide injuries, and do long term damage to teams. Please, no more of that, David. It is noble, but dumb and unfair to fans.

I prefer Flores to Rey Ordonez. I did an article some months ago on this franchise's history of substandard hitting. I'll sacrifice fielding for hitting. We'll lose some, hopefully win some more.

I'd rather have a young Dekker backing up that Zobrist, and having to go out and celebrate his 34th birthday around Memorial Day. If Mets get him, he'll immediately decline like Robbie Alomar did. It's a Mets thing.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hi James, everyone knew he was injured. Not sure any fans really knew he might be impairing future production by "manning up" and playing. When you are seriously hurt, and it could help make it chronic, stop playing.

I wonder if it were a contract year if he'd have kept playing.

James Preller said...

David didn't "hide" anything. How could you not know he was hurt?

It's the first question you ask when an established performed fails to meet his average numbers. You see this with pitchers all the time -- and btw, they go out there all the time at less than optimal health.

Ojeda did a great NYT article on this last year or two, and a terrific interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air, I think. There's no "hiding" injuries, unless everybody in the clubhouse and management is blind.

James Preller said...

Thomas, we're overlapping a little, but my trust is that an evaluation was made that he would not further damage his shoulder by attempting to play through it. Maybe they were wrong about that, maybe they were right. I don't know.

Lew Rhodes said...

Ok - what's the opinion on the Mets dropping out of the trade for Desmond? Sounded like the right move - not worth 2 top prospects for one season

James Preller said...

Lastly:

The Desmond rumors are interesting, though I don't see Sandy kicking the tires as anything close to real "interest."

The reality is the Mets can't afford to extend this guy, who already turned down a $107 million contract extension with the Nats. Too rich for our blood; regardless of how we might feel about the specific player, we can't retain that kind of talent. Surrendering top prospects for a one-year rental just doesn't make a lot of sense for a 79-win team. And for a team with no money, hey, those prospects work cheap!

To me, that's the true underlying aspect to the Mets love affair with prospects these days. It's more an economic than a production-based evaluation.

Thomas Brennan said...

I hope you're right, James. Power hitters need all the parts functioning. Or they can turn into a pariah Philly 1B like Howard has.

Thomas Brennan said...

Lew, we already have one of the game's finest offensive SS in Flores! I'm a happy man.

One year of Desmond for 2 top pitch prospects? Not if they are not willing to spend a lot more $$, consistently, in the future. No sign they'll do that.

Anonymous said...

If it requires giving up a Thor type pitcher, I would prefer to use that trade inventory for one of the up and coming SS like Russell, Profar or Lindor. I am actually kind of leaning towards Lindor because of a 70 glove, switch hitting leadoff guy that can swipe some bags. It would start with Thor and another solid piece would have to go with him, like Nimmo or Herrara, but he would fit in so many ways. Replace Thor with Montero and solve SS once and for all. That would leave Conforto for the OF and Rosario available for trade to upgrade the other OF spot, which will be taken up by Grandy/Cuddyer for the next two years.
Anon Joe F

IBfromWhitePlains said...

It was pretty clear Wright wasn’t himself. I could see him wanting to play throught it. But, what got me was Collins’ refusal to change his spot in the lineup. You can’t keep putting a slumping, hurting ballplayer in the 3 hole every night. No great shame in dropping him down and the idea is to win games last I heard.

BTW, did I thought I read Zobrist was traded to the A's.

Thomas Brennan said...

You're right, IB.

Joe F, as always, your ideas are intriguing and make a lot of sense. I could go with that approach.

Christopher Soto said...

In reference to Desmond.....

From the sounds of it.....Alderson was WILLING to give up Syndergaard as part of the 3 team trade that would have netted us Ian Desmond. I would assume that this also means he was confident in his abilities to get him to sign an extension.

However he was unwilling to add a second top prospect that Tampa Bay wanted.

I fully back Alderson in his value determination.

In the event that Desmond would not have signed an extension.....losing Syndergaard would have hurt significantly more....but the club could survive it due to its heavy pitching depth.

However losing 2 top prospects (probably Herrera or Plawecki.) could have put the organization in a bit of a top level bind if Desmond refuse to extend with us.

Kudos to Sandy.....if anything this proves to Bob Gregory and other "down" Met fans that Sandy isn't just sitting on his hands here folks.

bob gregory said...

"Can't afford to extend a player" like Desmond.
Ridiculous.
The Wilpon's real estate business has improved substantially.
SNY is making a good profit.
The only reason the Mets are not making more of a profit is because the roster has not been better.
This organization would have been swimming in money over the past 4 years if they just assembled a playoff caliber roster. Especially given the Yankees slide over these past 4 years.
Imagine how many "front running" NY Yankee fans would have converted. Imagine how many hibernating Met fans would have emerged from their slumber. Add in 4 years worth of young fans just being introduced to baseball that would have been swayed toward the Mets as "their team".
Alderson may have strengthened a farm system by refusing to trade away prospects and exchanging All-Star players for minor league talent.
The Wilpon's and Alderson however are guilty of narrow mindedness in refusing to recognize the opportunity that existed in building a strong Organization, brand, and fan base by placing equal importance on reaching the playoffs during these past 4 years.
Any additional money it may have cost would have been more than covered by increased revenue.
If Desmond would have improved the Mets then he should be a Met with a contract agreed to now. Use what prospects are in the organization now or what could have already been obtained by trading Murphy, Gee, Neese, Colon if Alderson was more active and not applying his usual strategy of setting a price and then acting like "the prettiest girl at the dance" sitting back and waiting for other teams to fall all over themselves in hopes he might show them attention.

bob gregory said...

Imagine for a moment the different narrative entering this season if Alderson acquired just 2 of the following instead of Cuddyer:
Heyward, Upton, Cespedes, Tomas, Myers, Kemp, & Desmond
Imagine Heyward leading off and running down balls in the outfield.
Imagine Upton or Cespedes walking to the plate in a big spot.

Anonymous said...

First, Desmond has to agree to an extension, which is far from certain because he already turned down 100 million from the Nats, which gives some indication that he is inclined to go the full distance to FA; second, if it is simply a matter of paying him, they can wait until next year and not give up valuable trade chips that can improve other areas, though I don't think they are willing to shell out that sort of money for him; and third, if assembling a playoff caliber clubs was simply a function of spending, the Yankees would have not missed the past two years. I agree that more money needs to be spent, but there are other factors that go into building a contending roster. There are also different opinions on how to get there and while you may not agree with the approach, it does not mean that they are not being sensible in deciding not to trade their top pitching prospect for what would be a one year rental if he was not willing to extend.
Anon Joe F

Anonymous said...

4 of the 7 are one year rentals; Tomas is a complete unknown, whose value collapsed across the board prior to signing; Myers is coming off an injury plagued down year and Kemp is coming off several injury plagued years with a huge contract. if the cost were nothing for this team, I would bite, but the cost would have expended all trade inventory and they have decided to pursue long term solutions with their trade value and not go all in after a 79 win season. Is it the correct path? maybe, maybe not, but it is not an unreasonable path in my opinion
Anon Joe F

Anonymous said...

Christopher, you seem to be tied in to the minor leagues, so I ask you:
If you were the Tribe and I started with Thor and Gee, who else would it take to get Lindor?
Anon Joe F

bob gregory said...

Anon Joe F

You are correct spending is not the only way to obtain talent.
But Alderson also refuses to trade his young talent.
Alderson has refused to take risks in the international free agent area.
Alderson has made questionable Draft decisions skipping talented options that could have reached the major leagues sooner.
Alderson has chosen none of these paths to build a strong Major League team over the past 4 years.
Missed opportunity.

bob gregory said...

Anon Joe F
If every possible acquisition I mention is met by you with only pessimism, are you looking at the current roster's players with the same pessimism?
If so....that would mean this team will have Wright, Cuddyer, D'Arnaud, Harvey , Gee, & Niese either hurt or under performing because of injuries.
Murphy and Flores will commit a league leading amount of errors.
Duda will regress.
Parnell won't make it back to contribute much.
How would this team look then?

Reese Kaplan said...

@Bob Gregory -- you left out "Alderson refuses to make trades of major league talent for major league talent after getting burned so badly in the Angel Pagan deal."

Christopher Soto said...

@Joe F.

If I'm the Indians...I'm actually not shopping Lindor at all.

Jose Ramirez's emergence last season was indeed a pleasant surprise....but he only OPS'd .646 last season with little to no power. He is a #8 or #9 hitter and his value is derived from his excellent defensive skills.

When you put Ramirez and Lindor side by side, Lindor matches or bests him in every category except speed.

Hit tool: R: 50 L: 60
Power: R: 30 L: 40
Speed: R: 60 L: 60
Defense: R: 60 L: 70
Arm: R:60 L: 60

If I'm a front Office Indians guy I'm holding onto Lindor in case Ramirez falters in April (which I think he will). If Ramirez does in fact do well in the majors then Lindor's value in July will still be as high as it is right now.

Anonymous said...

I agree on several of our points: not great draft picks, but there is still some hope to get something out of them, especially Conforto, Nimmo and Smith, but did not draft quick movers until the last pick; didn't kill the international market; has not YET traded away young talent, BUT
He traded vets away to acquire: top shelf C prospect, two top end starters, a rising young player at 2B and a very useful reliever in Black.

If (and it is a big IF) he can acquire a Russell, Lindor or Profar for Thor +, trade off Gee, Colon, Niese and Murphy's salary for solid upper end prospects and sign Heyward next year, I think this team could be a beast for five years, not just one. My wish list?
Lindor SS
Heyward RF
Wright 3B
Duda 1B
TDA C
Conforto LF
Herrara 2B
Lagares CF

Staff
Harvey
deGrom
Wheeler
Matz
Montero
Bench: Carillo C; Cuddyer, MDD OF; Reynolds MI; Flores Corner IF

That would cost Thor, Nimmo, Plawecki and Grandy with half his salary. Even munching half of Grandy's salary, the payroll would be about what it is now and Cuddyer coming off after the next year, so there will be headroom to start paying some of the young arms. Does it require additional patience? Yes, but I don't believe that it sinks the 2015 season altogether. I know you don't want to hear this, but I view 2015 like 1985, which could mean a wild card if things break, but the team listed above I believe is a solid competitor and one that can stay together for several years. It has been 6 years of pain and I don't want to wash away the effort for a one year run, so I would prefer to stay out of the one year rental market until the team is ready for the final push. Just my opinion, so I am not that down on Sandy holding tight until the best options become available that will stay with the team
Anon Joe F

TP said...

@ Chris and @ Bob,
I agree with both of you. I have knocked Alderson this winter, and to date he deserves it, but it's like knocking a team that is behind in the 5th inning as there is a lot of time left to get the job done. I agree that two top prospects for Desmond is too much, and I also have confidence in Alderson's evaluation of worth.

That said, I absolutely agree 100% with Bob regarding the financial aspect. At this point, with the Madoff clawback settlement, dramatically increased valuations of sports and TV networks, the Wilpon's choice of a payroll hard cap in the bottom 25% of all MLB teams is a choice, not a necessity. Now, we all know that money alone and huge payrolls don't buy championships, but there is clear proof that not allowing a GM to spend to make necessary improvements greatly hampers a team's ability to get from the 80-85 to the 90+ wins range. The Wilpons, with Alderson as an accomplice, deserve to be lambasted for this. Yes, the team in on the improve, the minors are loaded, and there is cause for optimism. However, given the recent history, it is an insult to the fans to be speaking like 2015 is a playoff year until they bring in more talent and get closer to the Nats talent base. Then I'll listen. So, big deal Sandy talked to Tampa. It's about results, not conversations.

Zozo said...

Good non trade for Desmond. I would rather wait til next offseason and just lose our #1 pick for him. We aren't going anywhere this year, so we might as well wait.
I would prefer to trade some prospects for a Cole Hamels/ Ryan Howard trade. I would trade Duda, Plawecki, Nimmo, Mejia and Montero for them. They would have to pay about $10 mil per year of Howard's deal. I think Howard will come back strong and provide us with 30 HRs and 90 RBI'S. imagine Hamels in our rotation, dan that would be nice

Christopher Soto said...

Switching topics..

Kudos to Joura for having the gaul to rank Montero in front of Syndergaard.

Each talent evaluators has different opinions on players so Joura's analysis indicates that he is extremely high on Montero.

I on the other hand would not have made such a ranking. In my opinion Syndergaard bests Montero from several standpoints.

FB Velocity
Secondary pitch movement
Both Ceiling and Floor

By ranking Montero ahead of Syndergaard Joura is basically saying that he can see Montero as an MLB #2 SP which I just can't agree with.

At his highest ceiling I can only see Montero as a solid #3 guy which right now in my opinion is Syndergaard's floor.

Anonymous said...

I am not against acquisitions by any means, in fact, I am in total agreement that new players have to be brought in to compete at the highest level, I just don't agree with one year acquisitions at this point that would cost valuable trade chips. I would prefer to use them for longer term solutions, like mentioned below (I thought that would be the answer Christopher would give on Lindor) and look to finally solve SS with one of the young players coming up and sign Heyward next year. I don't think this team as currently constituted is ready for a major run, but also believe that they are one OF and a SS away from fielding a really solid team and my preference would be to acquire players that will contribute beyond 2015.
BTW, I actually don't think that Duda will regress, he flashed last year what he has been for most of his minor league career and I believe is a quality hitter with power. The middle infield is currently a mess, but I think the plan is to have Herrara (or others) replace Murphy and solve SS from outside the org
Anon Joe F

Christopher Soto said...

Oh Zozo......

please tell me you don't seriously want Ryan Howard?

There is nothing in his peripherals that tell me he's due for a bounceback.

His .223 AVG was on a "normal" .288 BABIP so no upside there.

His 23 HRs came on a 16% of FB = HR ratio which is the MLB norm.

His barometer of hard hit balls (aka Line Drive %) has been in decline over the past 3 seasons from 25.6% to 22.1% last year.

And for good measure Howard costed his team -10 runs defensively at 1B last season which amounts to a "30" defense grade.

Today's Lucas Duda both offensively AND defensively is miles better than today's Ryan Howard.

Anonymous said...

I think durability has to be considered as well, even though it is impossible to project injury. I could easily live with Montero as the #5 and move Thor for the SS solution. Thor is a great front end piece for a trade and the Mets have several players they could add to overpay for a top SS prospect: Nimmo, Conforto, Herrara, Plawecki and even Rosario would present an attractive option to a potential suitor

Mack Ade said...

James -

Don't worry about disagreeing with me... everybody seems to be doing a little of that lately.

James, I disagree with you.

My hip hurts and I have scar tissue in my shoulder. There are days that I look like I can't make it across the street, but only I know the extent of that injury inside my body.

Wright knew he wasn't 1000%, which is fine, but once he reached around 80%, he needed to walk into TC's office and have a conversation about it.

Mack Ade said...

Lew -

I worked overnight on tomorrow's post which included a lot on Desmond... oh well.

One thing...

I can't see Alderson trading for someone with only one season left on a contract

bob gregory said...

Mack
I can't see Alderson trading for anyone of any consequence on the established major league level

Anonymous said...

Mack,

Back in my blogging days, we talked about David looking hurt long before there was any conversation between TC and David publicly acknowledged.

My belief is that they've got $138 million invested in him, he's the face of the franchise, and they watch him closely. They knew; they had to know.

Just as I'd bet an alert, informed observer could watch you cross the street and think: looks like a hip problem.

He's the team's marquee player. They are trying to sell tickets (probably of a higher interest to the Wilpons than winning games). So they rolled him out there -- and David, for his part, commendably, wanted to play.

James Preller

Lew Rhodes said...

Sorry Mack!

And frankly - Desmond will not be worth the money he is going to be paid as a FA - he will be 29 this year and is already a below average to poor fielder - he won't get better with age.

If he has to move off short to 3b or LF, his bat is much, much less valuable.

I am glad to see that Anderson was in on the discussion and was willing to give up one top prospect for Desmond (after all, we would a first round draft pick as compensation), but I am equally glad he drew a line.

Hobie said...

Sure sparked a great set of comments today. Mack.

On DW: I think he is a bigger question mark in terms of the possible range of performance) than a Harvey return, a Duda regression, a Granderson revival, a Flores revelation or anything else.

Everyone wants to trade Murphy, but if David cannot perform, Murphy at 3B and Herrera at 2B is a better fall-back than any other in-house combo I can think of.

Lew Rhodes said...

@ Bob Gregory

You need to be realistic on the cost of trading intra-division -- no way the Braves trade Heyward or Upton to the Mets for what they got - they would have demanded more from us, which would greatly devalue those trades.

Also, everyone you mention has drawbacks to their value (which is why they are traded) either a one year deal or injury history.

There is as much (or more) risk with acquiring a guy like Kemp then there is going with what we have - Cuddyer has an injury history, but he didn't cost us any top prospects to get

Also, if you go on Fan Graphs and some other sites, they think San Diego got the worse end of most of those deals - so sometimes, not making the trade is the best option

Lew Rhodes said...

Hobie - That makes sense.

I could actually see a scenario where Herrera becomes the starting 2b and Murphy stays as a super-utility guy

If we are in the post season hunt, I would rather keep Murphy's bat on the team - unless someone wants to grossly overpay for him

Mack Ade said...

James P.

I sure wish you would write occasionally for Mack's Mets

(start a campaign folks...)

Mack Ade said...

I'm willing to go to war with the team on paper, but I need my Captain leading the way and 100%.

I think he will be and I don't think the Mets will make the same mistakes about him this year.

Zozo said...

I think his Achilles will have had enough time to heal and feel he is more of a presence in the lineup than Duda is. I would 100% take a flier on him. If you can get me Hamels in that deal, I am all for it. I don't have that much confidence in Duda and would have no problem parting with him in a deal. Maybe in a trade for Elvis Andrus? Trade him while he is at his highest, he could DH in Texas. We could put Cuddyer at 1st in that scenario.

Zozo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bob gregory said...

Guys
We have had the same same conversation for the past few years.
Each year the end result has been a sub .500 team.
You can't keep dismissing upgrading the roster and expect different results.
And to address "over paying for Upton and Heyward?
Absolutely I would and commit to resigning them.
Both would help the Mets for years. They also address exactly what the team needs in defense and the lineup

Zozo said...

Anyone interested in going to this? Seems interesting.

http://m.ticketmaster.com/pitch-talks-on-baseball-new-york-new-york-01-14-2015/event/00004D66BD694BF9?artistid=2059363&majorcatid=10005&minorcatid=104&tm_link=artist_msg-0_00004D66BD694BF9

bob gregory said...

Mack
Unfortunately Wright has been hurt each of the past few years.
Why would there be an expectation it will be different this year?
Wright can not be expected to be the lynch pin in the offense.
If the team enters the season that way, the odds will already be stacked against them.

Reese Kaplan said...

@Hobie -- thanks for joining the good fight I've been having since the ill-fate contract was bestowed upon David Wright. He didn't make sense THEN when they had even less money available and he's done nothing to earn it since. Unfortunately there are no teams stupid enough to take it on without the Mets kicking in a huge portion of it when instead they could have dealt him back then for a boatload of prospects and saved $140 million in the process. Somehow I don't think they sold THAT MANY "Wright" jerseys.

bob gregory said...

Reese
I really believe Wright has been devastated by the organization's insistence on making him the "star" of the offense.
Look at his performance in the international tournament.
As a cog in the machine he outperformed most of his All-Star team mates.
Imagine him hitting 2nd on the Cardinals the past 10? Years.
I fully believe as a supporting bat he would be referred to in "Derek Jeter-like" reverence.
The Wilpons and Alderson sabotaged Wright's potential by making him into something he wasn't.

Christopher Soto said...

For those of you who are interested....

ZIPS just released their projections on the 2015 Mets. A disclaimer that Zips is generally conservative on their analysis files.

They have the Mets slated to finish 81-81.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2015-zips-projections-new-york-mets/

Some quick hits from my end....

-They have Murphy producing only a 2.2 WAR despite back to back 3.0 seasons....I'll take the over on that (+1 Win)

- They only give +2.0 wins on 399 PA's to D'arnaud. He'll get more than that as long as he doesn't get hurt (+1 win)

- They value Cuddyer at only 1 win for 372 PA. Just like d'Arnaud as long as he is healthy he'll get more PA's than that. (+1 win)

- They have Lagares pegged for regression from 4 wins last season to 3. I disagree, he's on the upswing not down. (+1 win)

So in my opinion this team I would safely say this team could 85 games....Not enough for a playoff berth but over .500 and competitive games in September.

That said, All it will take is 2 of the following 3 in order to get those final 4 wins and get a playoff spot.

A Cy Young type season from any one of the SP's

A resurgence from Granderson to a 3+ or WAR season

Or a return to a 7+ WAR MVP type season for Wright.

Sounds like wishful thinking BUT it's not outside of the realm of possibility.

bob gregory said...

Unfortunately Chris
Just as many of the outcomes could go as you mention producing an 85 win season,
Many of those outcomes could end up worse than the projections producing a 60 win team.
Cuddyer, Wright, & Harvey could realistically miss significant time or have performances much below projections

Charles said...

Alderson hasn't missed a opportunity. He's been handicapped by an ownership in NEW YORK that has taken all the revenues and diverted them to pay off their debt.

That leaves him with less then a mid market payroll, playing in the biggest market.

SNY pays the Mets 65 million a year to air mets games.

CITIBANK pays the Mets 25 million a year in naming rights

MLB pays the Mets 50 million a year, like they do evey other team, for nationally televised games.

A general fund for all MLB memorabilia(jerseys, hats, shirts, etc.) gets divided up and split evenly amongst all clubs and that's another 10-12 million a year.

They get 10-12 million a year for their radio broadcasts.

Basically, that's about 95 million without any added revenue in tickets sales, parking, food, etc. it doesn't count the millions and millions in profits that SNY makes while paying the Mets a below market yearly figure of just 65 million.

The Angels get 150 million a year.
The Dodgers get over 200 million a year.

There's a lot of money coming in. Not much is going towards the actual Mets payroll.

bob gregory said...

Charles
Your argument would be more valid if the Wilpon's have not consistently insisted they are not holding Alderson back from spending.
AND... Alderson has not insisted he isn't being held back.
ADDITIONALLY.....what about trading? Alderson has missed opportunities.

Herb G said...

I love Rafael Montero. I believe he Will have an excellent major league career. Last winter, I did a piece on him, comparing him favorably to Masahiro Tanaka. That said, I believe he is more expendable than Thor in a trade, and I believe he will be gone before next season is over. With Zobrist off the market, and a one to one trade with Washington for Desmond unlikely, I am more and more in Mack's camp, believing that a Tulo trade is likely at mid season. Montero could be an important chip in that trade.

Regarding Zobrist, it seems that I am in the minority in thinking trading for him would have made sense for us. As a one year rental, it would give us the opportunity to truly assess Flores's potential to be a superior hitter and an adequate fielder. Flores could have gotten significant ABs, splitting time with Zobrist at short, while Zobrist was letting our left handed batters, like Granderson and Murphy, rest against tough lefties on the mound. Then, at the end of the season, we would have made Zobrist a qualifying offer, getting a high draft pick for his departure. What could be bad?

James Preller said...

Two comments:

* On Desmond: Kind of indicates that Sandy still craves HRs while he consistently devalues speed and defense (and I think that's dumb);

* On Wright: My worry is that the shoulder was very bad last year, and that they didn't operate -- because it wasn't operable. The "rest and recover" approach is always scary to me.

* On Writing: Thanks for the offer, Mack. I'm enjoying reading your blog and participating in the conversation. Enjoying it.

Thomas Brennan said...

I disagree with you that everyone disagrees with you Mack....I never do...except when we disagree on Matt Reynolds Hall of Fame pedigree (Without PEDs, of course).

Prellar is Stellar and should give this writing thing a shot. See, Mack, agree again.

Charles said...

Screw up that math. It's well over 140-150 million the Mets get before even selling a ticket.

TP said...

What fun would it be if everyone agreed?

@ Chris - 80% of the teams can list a bunch of ifs that could propel them +5 wins as well as -5 wins. All things considered, I agree with Zips 81. Especially when you look at the injury ifs...if TDA stays healthy (he hasn't) and if DW stays healthy (he hasn't) and if Cuddyer stays healthy (he hasn't) and if Harvey and Parnell return to their former performance level (most haven't in the 1st year back) and if DeGrom, Lagares, and Duda don't regress (one or two will). Too many ifs without enough firepower/backup plans on the position player side. Maybe more backup than anyone on the pitching side, except for a big lefty arm in the pen, but currently too light on the position side to say that Zips is too conservative. Well, that's my unprofessional and semi-informed take anyhow.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Charles,
Add up the income you listed and you come out at $160 million to $165 million. To field a team at our payroll is not just stupid, it stealing from the fans. Alderson ( or Mutt and Jeff - excuse me, Fred and Jeff) are either just scared to invest in the market for major league players, or Fred is taking the extra money to finance his bid Hunter's Point real estate project.

Stephen Guilbert said...

I've been doing a lotttt of thinking about the Mets and payroll and I've come to realize a few things:

- There was a perfect storm that occurred around the Madoff period and we're still feeling the effects from it: Madoff scandal which seems to have actually cost the Wilpons money from Sterling, the stadium being built which the Mets/Wilpons have to pay for, and founding SNY which the Mets mostly own and pay for.

- While SNY is ridiculously profitable, the Wilpons have leveraged two loans against it already to pay back other loans. They've also leveraged the team to get another loan.

- Back when Sterling was healthy and the Mets were operating a high payroll, player contracts were often paid from Sterling--not the Mets. A lot of the money from team profits went into Madoff where the money grew--this is why contracts like Santana's were so ludicrously backloaded. Once Sterling suffered, so did the ability to pay players.

- The Mets have a lot of debt. I mean a ton of it. The MLB brought in 9 billion last year. In a big market, I think that means something like 300 to 400 million for the Mets. Payroll and operating costs and the likes is probably about half that--150-200 range. So while the Mets ARE making profit, it's merely a dent in the insane debt they still have.

- A lot of loans are due in the future. I want to say the loan against the team (no idea who that's through..my guess is BOA) is due this year. In 2017, the 250 million minority loans are due (it was 200 total from each partner, 50 more for interest). Balloon payments on the stadium start this year.

- My guess is, assuming the above, and assuming the rumored 50 million annually that these epic loans are costing in interest, that the payroll cut and keeping it this low are twofold: Convince future loaners that the Mets are do everything to contend on a budget. High revenue + low operating costs makes lenders happy. Secondly, the Wilpons are saving up from the vast amount of money they'll need to start repaying this year.

- SO, if you've made it this far, look out for the following: If the Mets refinance their loan against the team that's due this year, they're toast. My guess is that the billion or so they've saved up (I'm thinking they've made 200-250ish million net each year since the payroll was cut) is going to go directly to repaying all of these loans. If anything gets restructured again, or if they take out another loan, look for the wheels to start turning for a forced sale of the team.

Sorry for the long post. Just wanted to share what I've found.

bob gregory said...

Stephen
If everything is just as you paint it and the Wilpons do not have $ for an increased payroll then Selig never should have allowed the Wilpons to remain the owners.
Selig should have made them sell like McCourt had to with the Dodgers.
Inexcusable to have treated them differently.

Irregardless, even if all of what you found is true factoring in the increased profit from making the playoffs over the past few years would have more than covered increased payroll and helped to pay off the debts mentioned.
As real estate developers the Wilpons should know money has to be spent in order to make more money.

Stephen Guilbert said...

I'm with you.

TP said...

Stephen,
The Madoff debacle cost the Mets somewhere around $500 to $600 million. Almost all of that was a paper loss in that it was a phoney balance in an account that appeared to be growing due bogus returns. With these monies as collateral, the Wilpons felt comfortable taking on the debt for SNY, the stadium, and the team. More importantly, the lenders felt good enough to lend the large sums of money. Shortly after the "loss" of the Madoff balances, FOX purchased a large share of YES for billions, BILLIONS of dollars. Additionally, the Dodgers were sold for billions (with an S). These two transactions increased the value of SNY and the Mets by significantly more than the $500 million that evaporated when Madoff went down. The Wilpons have MORE equity now than they did in 2009. Additionally, those equity shares that they sold two years ago were mostly purchased by SNY and Jeffy himself. Yes, they had big P & L losses and some cash flow issues when their payroll was at its peak and the team stunk, but that has been fixed. Additionally, there is more TV money flowing in. Those big loans are no problem, and the proof is in the behavior of the lending community. Last year, there were banks lining up to take on the several hundred million loan refinance. There is plenty of equity and collateral in the Wilpon empire. These folks are billionaires, and are far far from broke. I wish I was as broke. Their hard payroll cap is a choice, not a necessity.

Mack Ade said...

TP - I ironically have a litte numbers on the Madoff mess tomorrow morning

bob gregory said...

Hey
I have a good question.
Why as fans do we have to figure out the Mets finances?
Either build a team that has a significant chance to be in the playoffs every year or get rid of the team so one of the many potential buyers that would be glad to can have their chance.

Mack's Mets © 2012