Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
After the Nationals are done paying Max Scherzer, the Mets will still owe Bobby Bonilla about $8 million
An interesting Detroit sidebar[i] -
Throughout the offseason, many baseball observers expected Max Scherzer to return to the Detroit Tigers because of owner Mike Ilitch's history of signing Scott Boras clients -- particularly late in the offseason. The notable January and February news conferences: Ivan Rodriguez (2004), Magglio Ordonez (2005), Johnny Damon (2010) and Prince Fielder (2012). But Scherzer never came close to joining that list. Here is a major reason: None of the aforementioned players turned down a $144 million contract offer from Ilitch the previous spring, as Scherzer did in March 2014. And it's very likely that Scherzer's $144 million tender was the largest final offer rejected by an Ilitch employee in more than 50 combined seasons of Tigers and Red Wings ownership. After Scherzer said no to that sum, sources say Ilitch never became fully re-engaged in trying to retain him -- financially and perhaps emotionally, as well.
Mack – Well, I guess in the long run walking away was the good move made by Ilitch since the final deal struck was 47% higher than the one the Tigers offered 10 months ago.
You have to give Scott Boras all the credit in the world. He’s the Johnny Cochran of the baseball agent business.
I never like it when I read that one of the New York Mets starters is already being written about becoming a ‘bust’. Fangraphs[ii] had this to say about Jacob deGrom –
Despite starting just 22 games and only throwing 140 innings, deGrom finished as the 35th best fantasy starter last year. Among the 107 starters with 140+ IP, deGrom’s 2.69 ERA ranked 16th and his 25.5% K% ranked 10th. He’s going 27th among starters, so it seems like drafters are expecting a similar level of performance, maybe slightly worse, with a higher inning total. But Steamer is expecting quite a bit of a decline as he comes in 60th in the projection rankings.
Like Ventura, Steamer is projecting a very similar regression in strand rate for deGrom, which might lead us to expect Steamer to project deGrom’s ERA to be what his SIERA was last year (3.19). But Steamer is also projecting a big decline in strikeout rate, all the way to 21%, which is probably why his ERA projection is 3.93. Why? I’m not exactly sure. I ran deGrom’s numbers through Podhorzer’s expected K% formula, and his xK% of 25.1% last year was very much in line with his actual K%. His strikeout rate did not taper as the months went on last year, and his strikeout rate in the second half was quite a bit higher than it was in the first half. I don’t see the reason for the significant drop in K%, and thus, I’m with the drafters on this one.
Mack – Steamer… SIERA… Podhorzer… how come all these dudes can predict things and their projections are never questions pre-season, yet old war horses like me that have seen this kid pitch can tell you one thing… he knows how to get batters out.
Comment From DerpyDan - Could you see Strasburg going to the mets for syndergaard and a complimentary player?
Jeff Sullivan: I think there’s the skeleton of something that could be reasonable, but the Nats are going to look to move Strasburg for a surer bet who can help right away. Someone *like* Bogaerts or Betts, but available and maybe a tiny bit worse
Mack – Hmm… if Syndergaard could actually open the trading doors this wide, then why are waisting so much time NOT trading someone who has still produced nothing for this parent team?
Are you trying to tell me that a Strasburg deal for Syndergaard would be in the worst interest of this team?
Another thing about Syndergaard.
I have the upmost respect for Las Vegas pitching coach Frank Viola, who I had the pleasure of meeting, interviewing, and watching him work in Savannah. I can’t imagine a pitching coach having more success than he has had over the past couple of years.
Dan Martin over at the NY Post[iii] wrote about how Viola got to Las Vegas late this past year due to his own health problems and, the first thing he noticed about what Syndergaard was doing was relying too much on his fastball. You’re not going to be a successful starter in major league baseball without three decent pitches and throwing a 92-95mph fastball all the time in the PCL League is no big deal.
Lastly, let’s try to remember this is a high school kid and last season would have been his freshman year in college.
A question has been bothering me lately that I want to throw out to you in a two-part.
For starts, I know that the 2015 Mets are in a transition period when it comes to trying to secure seasoned, established players/regulars/stars of the game or high ceiling prospects, which has been the direction the team has chosen in the recent, Sandy Alderson past (I know… there’s Granderson and Cuddyer, but you know what I mean).
My question is –
1. Does this team continue to grow talent wise by, first, securing high ceiling prospect either through trades (Wheeler), the International market (Molina), or the draft (Nimmo, Conforto, Plawecki).
2. And, what is your opinion on someone with the talent, experience, stats, and age of, let’s say, a player like Ian Desmond, or a top prospect with all the tools that has done nothing yet at the major league level… let’s say Noah Syndergaard. Don’t let money influence your opinion here and the names Desmond and Synergaard are just being used as examples of established starts and high ceiling prospects.