The Morning Report – 1-2 – Ryan Jackson,Ben Zobrist, Brad Miller, Sean Gilmartin, 2006 Prospects


Why does the baseball world seem to hate SS Ryan Jackson.

First, the 26-year old is traded last year from his original team (St. Louis) to San Diego. Now, so far this season he's went to the Dodgers, then the Royals and now DFA'd again.

That's what, four teams in one season and one off-season?

He was injured and on the DL for most of last season, but hit .278, for AAA-Memphis in 2013 (442 at-bats).

2B-SS-OF Ben Zobrist is on the trade blocks. He has one-year and $7.5mil left on his contract and could easily be the guy that Sandy Alderson has been waiting out for this off-season (I make no recommendation here… lately my boat’s been taking on too much water and I just throw these names out there for of you to discuss. I back them with cola, hard stats that I can’t fuck up) Scout rate his shortstop, second base, and corner defense somewhere from “adequate to exceptional” which should better than anything the 2015 Mets are throwing out there on either middle infield positions..

Zobrish is 33-years old and hit .272/.353/.395/748 for Tampa Bay last year in 570-at bats. Played all his ealy career at short and change over to second in 2009.

No big injuries to report here…

(Mack – one thing to remember here… Alderson is not too keen on trading for ballplayers that only have one year left on the books)

… Comment From Mike - Mets SS: Drew, Flores, Tejada or someone else? Do you think they could match up for Zobrist and play him at SS and shift him all over the place?

Jeff Sullivan: I think the Mets would definitely match up well for Zobrist, but I don’t think they’re interested in paying what it would cost to have Zobrist for one year. They’re trying to be in this for longer. Right now I’m assuming it’s Flores. Tulowitzki is the dream, but I just can’t see a trade getting agreed to before he gets back on a field and proves himself healthy

The trade earlier this week by Seattle that brought outfielder Seth Smith to their team sort of eliminates their previous plans to convert SS Brad Smith to a platooned outfielder which would allow them to also keep SS Chris Taylor in the lineup. Now, these plans seem out the door and Seattle is back to two starting shortstops for one position.

Comment From Howard - Many of my fellow Mets fans are optimistic of a playoff berth in 2015. I think they are insane and that best case, they’re an 84-win non playoff team. Who’s right?

Jeff Sullivan: Well, actual best case, the Mets stay healthy and add Troy Tulowitzki and they hold pretty close to the Nationals. I don’t think the Mets are a playoff team right now, but they’re close enough to the fourth and fifth-best teams in the NL that you might as well dream, right? There’s plenty of talent there…

What’s a Morning Report without a Tulo-mention?

Baseball America[i] -

The Mets have leaned heavily on their lefthanded relievers in recent years, overusing Pedro Feliciano, Tim Byrdak and then Scott Rice. So general manager Sandy Alderson is trying to collect spring-training options in order to find a complement to southpaw Josh Edgin for the 2015 bullpen. That includes Sean Gilmartin, the 28th overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Atlanta Braves out of Florida State. Gilmartin, who had been traded to the Minnesota Twins last offseason for Ryan Doumit, was selected by the Mets in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft on Dec. 11 in San Diego, as the winter meetings concluded…

My 2006 pitching prospect post was not designed to be any kind of Debbie Downer. If it made anyone look like an amateur, it would be me.

We’re way ahead of that curve already. Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Jacob deGrom are not trying to work their way into the starting rotation. Hell, your SP3 is Rookie of the Year. You simply can’t do better than that.

Back then, I didn’t have much to ‘work with’ so I tried to make these guys sound as good as I could. I no longer have to do that. All we have to do is figure out who will start (Niese, Gee, Colon) before the next wave hits around June (Syndergaard, Matz).

I have been a proponent of Mets pitching for so long and I can’t tell you how much fun I’m going to have with this staff beginning next season.

.  .


(Mets trade P Noah Syndergaard, C Kevin Plawecki, P Gabriel Ynoa, and 1B Jayce Boyd to Colorado for SS Troy Tulowitzki) -  


Ernest Dove said...

Well, the Mets lineup is full of injury plagued guys, and the Ace of the pitching staff is attempting to return from TJS. That being said, the mystical 90 win season is not impossible. Solid overall pitching and a little timely hit homers can do wonders for a playoff chase.

Thomas Brennan said...

Happy new year, folks. It is 2015, and last time I checked, we're playing baseball in 2015, so I'm excited.

I'm not familiar with Ryan Jackson, but I hate him too. He can star in a sitcom named Everybody Hates Ryan.

The opposite of hate is love, and I love the pitchers we have for 2015, too. And for 2016, 2017, 2018...

Anonymous said...

That's cool......the media consensus seems to be "the Mets are better, but not playoff caliber in 2015".

I have a feeling that they will surprise some folks and be in the Wild Card chase until the end of the season (I still think 88 wins is a logical target, which would give them a great shot at a WC).

Take away the early season swoon and get closer to .500 in one run games........and play the Nationals to a draw, head to head......9 extra wins isn't that far fetched.

It's better to be underestimated........they won't see us coming!

Reese Kaplan said...

Yes, it's important Matt Harvey recovers. Yes, it's important Travis d'Arnaud builds on what he does. Yes, it's important Lucas Duda shows 2014 wasn't a fluke. Yes, it's important David Wright and Michael Cuddyer are both healthy and productive.

However, I think the biggest difference maker between another typical Collins year and contention will be the start Wilmer Flores has with the bat. If he's productive and Captain Hook allows him to play through a couple of consecutive 0-4 days, then the team could progress. But if we see more Tejada then .500 is but a pipe dream.

James Preller said...

The Mets biggest asset this year is a division where two teams are mailing it in, that's 38 games right there. Beat the Marlins 10 times and the overall record will look good.

But the team itself is still shaky, and the GM does not seem to properly value defense.

I think if they are serious about 2015, Zobrist is an interesting option. The trade should not be too onerous; however, I don't think they have any money. The $7.5 becomes too great an obstacle. Cue up the "exploring internal options" speech.

Lew Rhodes said...

Mack -

What do you think it would take to get Zobrist?

Given his age, production and contract being only one year - do you think we can get him for something Mazzoni, Reynolds, and another interesting arm like Fulmer?

I believe the Rays farm system is currently pretty barren, so a guy like Mazzoni could become one of their top arms

I would part with a package like that in a heart beat - Zobrist makes a lot of sense for the Mets.

He can spell Murphy at 2b against lefties, play for Wilmer against tough RHP (he is a switch hitter) and be overall insurance for Wilmer at SS - and I bet Zobrist could play 3B and 1B if needed.

Zobrist over Tejada as a back utility player will add 2-3 wins - well worth $7 million

Lew Rhodes said...

I am not sure how any rational person would think the Mets would be worse next year.

I look at it this way - the Mets vastly under performed their expectations at:


The only "over performance" was from 1b and deGrom.

Even if Duda and deGrom regress some - you are likely going to get improvement from Wright, Granderson, and a massive upgrade in LF

Plug in even an 80% Harvey and you have the recipe for 4-5 extra wins without anything else really breaking great for the Mets.

Mack Ade said...


Not one of the Big Three

Probably Niese and a AA/A+ prospect

Mack Ade said...

James -

I worry about the same thing I worry about every year... injuries and depth.

It is getting better, especially SPs, but overall it's still a little off

Lew Rhodes said...

Mack - You think Niese to get Zobrist?

I think the Rays are building for the next few years - wouldn't they want AA/AAA level prospects?

I don't think I would give up Niese for Zobrist - I think Niese is under valued by Mets' fans

Dallas said...

I was looking at the splits for Flores last year. I know its a small sample size and you can't read too much into any one good month but the guy had an .813 OPS in September when he actually got some consistent at bats. Maybe that's why I'm personally high on Flores, he finished the year strong with the bat and didn't embarrass himself in the field in September either like he did earlier in the year.

However I have to agree if we can get Zobrist without overpaying for like a Niese and AA/A+ prospect like you say, thats a pretty good option to have. Feels like the best one I have seen written about. We dont need Niese anyways (though I would prefer him to Gee and Colon)

With the debacle that was the bullpen in the first third of the year as well as the record in one run games, full seasons Degrom and having Harvey back I feel pretty good about how they will do. The team is so young that improving should be easy.

Christopher Soto said...

I think the asking price for Ben Zobrist will be higher than most expect for a guy with only 1 yr left.

His ability to play multiple positions well is going to attract multiple suitors that are going to increase the cost.

In addition, similar "1 yr left" players have netted some substantial returns so far this off-season.

Howie Kendrick for Andrew Heaney
Jason Heyward for Shelby Miller + jordan Walden
Jimmy Rollins for Zach Elfin + Tom Windle

A Zobrist deal will probably cost closer to the Kendrick deal which was for a "60 grade" caliber prospect. While Kendrick has better offensive numbers, Zobrist plays a higher position of need at SS and a team will pay more for it.

IMO, if the Mets want Zobrist they will have to accept one of the possible deals below:

Zobrist for Kevin Plawecki
Zobrist for Dilson Herrera
Zobrist for Rafael Montero and Cory Mazzoni

IBfromWhitePlains said...

Neise for Zobrist? I can't see trading a quality lefty starter for a 33 year old with a 1 year contract whose best years certainly look like they're behind him. I think he’d make a very nice bench piece if the Mets had payroll flexibility, which they don’t.

Lew Rhodes said...

Chris - Happy New Year!

When the Rays signed Cabrerra I mentioned Pawlecki for Zobrist

That's wouldn't be my starting point, but I could live with that as I think Zobrist could be a guy who adds the right value to the 2015 team to give them a shot at the post season.

33 isn't ancient, and Zobrist has never had injury issues, so there shouldn't be a massive drop off from last year where he was a 5.0 WAR player.

Mack Ade said...

Lew -

you asked me what I thought it would take...

that's what I think it will take

(anyway, it looks like he's going to the Giants anyway)

Christopher Soto said...


Ever since becoming a full time starter in 2009, Zobrist has been worth 4.5 wins or better every season. This includes MVP caliber seasons of 8+ wins.

He's a pretty sure bet to post another 4+ WAR season maybe even 5 with a better lineup around him.

Mack Ade said...

What's important here is that we all have opinions.

Trades at this time of the year usually are based on market value.

Let's see what happens to him.

Thomas Brennan said...

I'd select the Mazzoni/Montero option for Zobrist. Keep Plawecki to CYA in case of a d'Arnaud injury at an injury-prone position.

I think Herrera could be a future star, so I keep him.

But even though he is good, not sure I trade for Zobrist and start giving up pieces.

IBfromWhitePlains said...

@Chris Soto

I confess I'm a baseball card kid and never put much thought into Sabermetrics. I see a steady decline and I would agree with T. Brennan - Mazzoni and Montero or something in that caliber. No top prospects or quality starters.Like I said, he'd be a terrific addition if the Mets were willing to pay.

I also worry when TB trades away a solid pieces. It would be interesting to track those trades.

Christopher Soto said...


Me personally I would only trade Plawecki if I could also get a controllable bullpen arm along with him.

Ben Zobrist + Jake McGee for Kevin Plawecki + Cory Mazzoni

jshapps77 said...

I think everyone is underrating what it would take to get Zobrist, forget about McGee. I think it's gonna start w/ Thor or Matz, which is a no go. Maybe a package w/ 2 of Plawecki, Montero, and Herrara? Regardless, I don't think Zobrist makes us a legit title contended, so I don't do it. I'm saving the bullets for Tulo.

James Preller said...

. . . and I think all these trade scenarios ignore the two elephants in the room, 1) Sandy doesn't make trades; and 2) Mets not taking on salary, owners still robbing from the fans, refuse to invest in product, won't spend.


Imagine if you ran this team as a real business. Today, 2015, the Mets face a real opportunity to take NY back from the Yankees, whose fans are bored & disenchanted. A gigantic marketplace, ripe for the taking, and a team that's thisclose to being very good.

Instead the Wilpons try to get by on the cheap, shooting for 84 wins. Sad, bad business.

IBfromWhitePlains said...

JP - Greetings from a big fan!!

My comments definitely did not ignore the 2nd elephant in the room. Totally agree


eraff said...

Trading for Zobrist---I believe you need to consider the Ray's needs, if you're gonna make a real deal. It can;t be ONLY about guys yiu';re ok with losing.

My hope for 2015 is that they would begin the season ready to compete FIRST...managing "player status"/super 2 as a secondary thing.

Last season began with an inept bullpen and 3 first basemen---and a team unready to win games as much because of personnel as anything else.

SS should be a solid answer---let Flores move around and gain/prove himself for more ab's. Get a First Position SS and be ready to compete day 1/ Wilmer will get 300 plus ab's.

This season is about solving SS and "return to norm" for Wright and Grandy----that's 85-88 plus wins and a WC Chase.

Steve from Norfolk said...

I think Matt Reynolds deserves a shot. Both he and Flores can play multiple positions, so you could use them to spell Wright, Murph, and each other. I can't remember if Reynolds has any OF experience or not. At first, you split SS between them, with the other one spelling one of the other infielders, or available for pinch hitting, double switches, and whatever else they are needed for. Plus, we could release Tejada. He's become a man without a job and needs to go to another team. He may do fine in a smaller market.

Mack's Mets © 2012