The Morning Report – 1-19 – Matz/Thor, Ian Desmond, Charlie Blackmon, Sell-Off, Sandy Alderson


Comment From Is Matz better than Thor? - Is Matz better than Thor

Eno Sarris: More people are coming around to this, but I’ll still keep Thor ahead. My reasoning is that Thor’s curve suffered in Vegas altitude, but his change improved. That’s three possibly plus pitches, while Matz is more two and let’s see about the third.

Mack –Sarris is talking about the two pitchers that will replace Jonathan Niese and Bartolo Colon in the 2016 rotation (possibly sooner for Thor).

The thing to remember here is no pitcher tends to improve on anything in the Pacific Coast League. Syndergaard’s improved change-up is big news (forget PCL ERAs) for the Mets and now gives him the three pitches needed for him to excel as a starter in the majors.

My guess is that Matz needs some more time to develop a + third pitch The good news might be that fellow lefty Niese’s contract runs through the 2016 season, giving Matz amply time to develop.

(opinion… this is why Sandy Alderson doesn’t sell off a young prospect pitcher and cave to the reporter/fan base that wants him to make a deal for the sake of just making a deal. This team is going to the dance behind a developing league top rotation)

Top 10 2016 Free Agents –

1.     SP David Price
2.     SP Jordan Zimmerman
3.     SP Johnny Cueto
4.     RF Jayson Heyward
5.     LF Justin Upton
6.     SS Ian Desmond
7.     SP Jeff Samardzija
8.     LF Yoenis Cespedes
9.     SP Rick Porcello
10.            CF Austin Jackson

Mack – Nothing changes in my plan here.

Desmond will be 30 years old. I would offer him three years at $15/$20/$25mil/year with a fourth team option at $15mil

I also would throw every penny I had left at Jackson (another soon to be 30-year old... agreed to $7.7mil/ARB on Friday for 2015), but only if he had a decent 2015 and his agent (Boras) would be realistic. He doesn’t get hurt, has wonderful speed, and would make a great leadoff hitter for the Mets. He can’t hit as bad as he did last season.

I know nobody signs everybody they go after, but these would be my choices to pursue.

Colorado is dangling outfielder Charlie Blackmon in trade talks with multiple teams, reports FOX Sports' Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal.

Blackmon, a first-time All-Star in 2014, hit .288 with 19 home runs and 72 RBIs in 154 games, and team officials believe Blackmon could fetch a solid starting pitcher in return.

The Atlanta BravesTexas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles are the teams rumored to be interested in the 28-year-old's services. -  http://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/682524 

This came from one of the comments last Friday on my Morning Report:

                             Since this ownership group is not putting the necessary funds into this team and has set us back a year, I feel we should try and sell off some of these high salaries so we can reinvest it next year. On players like a Jason Heyward or Ian Desmond.

Murphy is as good as gone at the end of the year.

Grandys contract should never have been given to him by us last year.

Duda might hit at least 25 homers this year with a full year but I still am not 100% confident that he is made for NY and has the mental toughness to stick it out.

Last I looked last year's World Series winners didn't have a 30 homer guy on there team, and it might true of the 2 previous winners as well (haven't checked if that is true or not).

I think Cuddyer will hit consistently at first base and put up 15 homers but providing a better average. It will also be better on his body to not play the outfield.

I think Puello/ MDD combo is a better fit in right field.

I would then trade some of these prospects we get for Elvis Andrus.

I love defense to go with my pitching.

Mack – I don’t want to go line by line here, but I do have a general thought about this kind of process at less than 90 days before the 2015 season starts.

Everybody has their own spin on Mets ownership, Mets management (both in the front office and on the field), and player personal. The thing is… you’re looking at the team you’re going to be rooting for, plus or minus some very small parts.

I do not think a ‘panic sale’ at this point is in the interest of the team. It also isn’t in the makeup of our General Manager. The departure of Daniel Murphy and Bartolo Colon after this season will give the Mets ample money to go out and sign someone (if they choose to) in the Ian Desmond category. The arbitration process will push the 2016 salaries to the $115mil range, meaning the team will continue to grow, in talent, from within the organization.

Will it ever change? Will this snail’s pace return to a ‘big market team’ ever get us there? No, I don’t think so, but, if we become a consistent playoff team because we added one key element each year (2014: Granderson, 2015: Cuddyer, 2016: Desmond), added in key developed players from within the chain (2014: Lagares, 2015: d’Arnaud, 2016: Herrera), and stirred in Wright and Duda… well, that’s a pretty decent stew for a young staff of pitchers to join in on, none of which were lost during the tree years I discussed above.

I only ask for one adjustment here... sign ballplayers that don't cost us the number one draft pick.

This does lead to the last subject of the day. What challenges are left for Sandy Alderson in 2015 so this team continues to become more competitive?

As mentioned above, there will be money saved through the free agent process. The combined figure for Daniel Murphy, Bartolo Colon, and John Mayberry should put around $20mil back in the Mets pockets to spend in the off-season.

    Goal number one should be to find a strong replacement for either shortstop or one of the outfield positions, at a salary level that will not cost the Mets another first round draft pick.

Goal number two actually has already begun. The Mets, simply put, have too much quality pitching and some has to go. Case in point is the first…  Dillon Gee. Alderson knows that the rest of the baseball world knows he can’t keep all of these guys on their rosters, so what you’re seeing now is an unbalanced market, even to the point that Alderson has to begin to consider selling off Gee just for cash.

            Reese Kaplan broke out some interesting information regarding Gee:

I read today that they settled Jeff Samardzija's arbitration case a $9.8 million.  I thought to myself, I wonder how that compares to what the club is paying Bartolo Colon.  However, as I delved into the numbers, the White Sox' number two starter actually very closely mirrors Dillon Gee.
Samardzija - Age 29 - Record 36-48 - ERA 3.85 - WHIP 1.273 - K/BB 2.66
Salary $9.8 million

Gee - Age 28 - Record 40-34 - ERA 3.91 - WHIP 1.288 - K/BB 2.26
Salary $5.3 million

It would seem to me that the difference other than strikeouts is fairly negligible yet Samardzija is going to earn nearly double what Gee will.  Positioned this way, I would think finding a taker for Gee shouldn't be as difficult as it has seemed. 

My assumption is there is someone in the Mets home office that is capable of positioning their excess pitching talent with research like this. If not, they should hire Kaplan.


Ernest Dove said...

I assume that because max sherzer was signed by a team that already has 5 starters (stupid Nats) this will also in some way lower Gee value. ..... if the Zimmerman rumors are true, that means teams will offer Nats the better prospects to get em. And whatever team is left out can offer less for Gee...........thoughts????

Thomas Brennan said...

We'll probably have to pay Gee's entire salary and throw in a few top 10 prospects for anyone to take him off on our hands.

I favor Matz, just because we're both lefties. Hard to decide if Thor or Matz will be a better #1 starter.

I still feel Matz will be here mid 2015.

I'd hire Resse Kaplan as GM ina heartbeat.

Ernest Dove said...

I remember when everyone said Wheeler is better then Harvey ;)
Mets should keep BOTH Matz and Syndergaard and let them decide their own path to success rather then pick one over the other and/or trade either one in a blockbuster package........
I'd hate to burn/waste innings off Matz in Vegas because of his injury history, but maybe stay the course with (a healthy) Niese for 2015.

Zozo said...

Whoever wrote that Friday message in your column is spot on, I can't disagree with him 1 bit. Lol...since I wrote that in, I must state I DON'T Feel like we are going to make the playoffs this year. I really do feel that the way this organization has been run has set us back a year.
I also don't want to lose Puello and Murphy for nothing

Christopher Soto said...


Early reports from the Nationals camp indicate that they intend on keeping Zimmerman and rolling out a super rotation in 2015.

This signing probably does nothing for Gee's value since Scherzer was in the upper class of available SP.

Christopher Soto said...

Those 1st games of the season are going to be an interesting ones.

4/6 Matt Harvey vs. Stephen Strasburg
4/8 Zack Wheeler vs. Max Scherzer
4/9 Jacob deGrom vs. Jordan Zimmerman

Ernest Dove said...


I was hoping u wouldn't say that lol
I know the projected SP5 on Nats pre Max signing was average at best.....now. .......stupid Nats.

eraff said...

Nats Had Pitching and brought in more...they had a SS and brought in another.

They're probably tired of coming up short.

Funny thought...they make a good match for a Tulo Trade!

Zozo said...

I think they trade one of fister, Zimmerman or even Strasbourg before season starts.
They will be the team to beat for at least the next 5 years

eraff said...

The idea of "breaking up" a team that has FINALLY arrived as a meaningful competitor is absolutely REPUGNANT to Me!!!

A NORMAL year of production from some good professional ballplayers---Wright, Grandy, Cuddyer puts you squarely in a Playoff Race!

This is not a time to merely SELL OFF or address 2016 and 2017 and 2018 "projections"---Screw That!!!! That's embracing the bullshit of the past 5 years.

There's a Move or two to be made.... they can do some "wait and see" at SS... I don't like it, but they can. As for mass sells on Colon/Murph/Grandy/Niese/Gee----- that's an ABSOLUTE LOSER!!!!!

You don't replace a major part of your core with QUESTION MARKS and PROJECTIONS!!!!...not when you should be competing!!!! You choose your spots!!!...address specific needs.

NEVER embrace the idea that this NY Team needs to "sell off high priced talent"---not to get to a lower third payroll!!!!!!!!!!....and NOT when you're ready to compete!

greg b said...

With a healthy Harvey, Mets could equal the Nats pitching.

Hobie said...

Some weekend thoughts:

1. I never understood the Granderson signing. I even foolishly swallowed the CY signing though I wanted to re-sign Byrd in a genius move that had rented him out a month for Dislon & Black. But Byrd wanted 2 and CY signed for one, maybe another flip was in the offing—my bad. Then they sign Grandy for FOUR… Still think we have a better chance of winning any given game with den Dekker/Puello patrolling RF

2. I enjoy Reese’s take on things and share his angst the The Captain will never regain the elite status that binds him to us. I wish we had extended Murph because (a) I liked what I saw in that Murph-Wilmer-Dilson-Lucas-TdA strerch in the IF (the OF was the problem), and (b) Murph’s trade value wound increase IMO with 2+ years of control. I did roll my eyes when Reese suggested that the Padre’s catch could have been bettered if only SA had tried to find “takers for Bartolo Colon, Daniel Murphy and Dillon Gee.”

3. Snails last longer than fruit flies and Aesop had something to say about tortoises & hares. I of course have no idea what’s on SA’s “big board” but I would like to think a Harvey-Thor-Wheeler-Matz-deGrom stable is included in some future “big market” budget by the end of the decade. I hope that ramp up includes Moncada and not some pricey Desmond or an Andrus which costs chunks of the Fab 5.

Christopher Soto said...

At this point, I think we need to not worry ourselves about the Nationals too much... There is more than 1 way to the playoffs.

Reese Kaplan said...

Eye rolls or not, if Colon is a goner, Murphy is a goner and Gee is superfluous (Montero and Harvey taking their spot in the rotation and Syndergaard/Matz/Bowman/Gorski in AAA as backups...what could Sandy Alderson have done with $25 million to spend? We'll never know because he continues to do what he does best -- sit on his hands.

Hobie said...

I agree that they likely will be traded, that Colon & Gee should, and if they had SA might have spent...

I don't think that task is easy unless giving them away. I find it hard to believe he is not trying to do just that and that Feb-April is more likely to bring fruit than Nov-Dec.

Reese Kaplan said...

Take the item in here about Blackmon of the Rockies being shopped for pitching. Who has pitching to spare? Who could use a good bat in the lineup? Cuddyer could still spell Granderson or Duda or even give Wright occasional rest. It was a foolish signing in the first place. Now don't compound it by trying to prove that putting a hands-of-stone outfielder at 36 years old out there every day who hasn't been able to stay healthy is the right move.

Christopher Soto said...


Blackmon is SEVERELY overrated and is more of a byproduct of the Coors effect then anyone on that team. Just look at his stats by month.

April: .374 AVG, 1.034 OPS, .364 BABIP
May: .257 Avg, .711 OPS, .256 BABIP
June: .261 AVG, .683 OPS, .290 BABIP
July: .315 AVG, .806 OPS, .388 BABIP
August: .245 AVG, .654 OPS, .268 BABIP
September: .286 AVG, .776 OPS, .338 BABIP

Also look at his Home/Away Splits.
@Coors Field: .331 AVG, .915 OPS, .353 BABIP
@Away Games: .241 AVG, .617 OPS, .272 BABIP

His June numbers are probably his most likely production outside of Coors Field on a full year basis which aren't very sexy.

Pass on him, Mets can get better for Gee.

Lew Rhodes said...

Nope - they structured Scherzer's deal to be able to keep their team this year for one year to go all in

They will have to let Zimmerman walk this year

I think this means that they don't trade Desmond either

Besides, Schererville isn't that much better than Zimmerman - so subtracting Zimmerman would only make that signing so-so

Lew Rhodes said...

To say that 2 pitc hers are the same except for strikeouts is like saying 2 hitters are the same except for HRs

Gee is a sold pitcher, but his FIP is higher than Samardzija

Lew Rhodes said...

Regarding next year, I would prefer we go all in for Heyward if we need to go all in for anyone - if we add his bat, we can go with Tovar at SS

Richard Jones said...

The Nats signing Sherzer does not lower Gee's value even if the Nats are putting Zimmerman on the market. They took Sherzer from someone. He would have signed with another team seeking a pitcher had he not signed with the Nats.
Syndergaard has Cy Young type stuff. Will he learn to use his stuff to that degree. I don't know.
Pelfrey had great stuff but never became a good pitcher even before injuries. deGrom doesn't have the Syndergaard's stuff but he learned to command what he does have, which by the way is pretty good.
Matz may end up being the better of the two only if Syndergaard doesn't reach his potential.
I also think the PCL made deGrom what he is today. When your in the PCL you can gripe about the conditions that take some bite off of your breaking pitches or you can learn to be successful by locating your pitches and changing speeds. That is what both Syndergaard and Matz need to do this year. Improve the change ups and use the whole plate.

jshapps77 said...

Lew pretty much said it, but the K's are a huge deal. Gee is an okay SP4 and a good SP5, but you don't really want him starting playoff games. I don't think you have the same concerns with Samardzija. Also, Samardzija is still improving, where as Gee seems to have found his level.

I refuse to give up a top prospect for someone we can have for $$ alone at the end of the season. I think we have a pretty solid team this year, and if things break right, we should be in the Wild Card hunt. I think that's a nice natural progression for this club. Being realistic, and understanding the payroll is what it is, the only option is to improve incrementally, bring more fans in, generate more revenue, maybe even with some games in October, and add pieces to build a sustained winner. At the moment it's the best, and only, option.

Mack's Mets © 2012