Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
I was quite impressed that the Mets had a top 10 prospect in the first five categories listed by MLB.com (LHP, RHP, C, 1B, 2B). Surveys like these tend to include players that are close to the major league level, so it’s good to see how they stack up with the experts and our peers.
I wonder sometimes, when I see the Bud Selig name Fred Wilpon to the head of the finance committee, if the criteria of being named is based on the raw talent in the system vs. the amount of money currently being paid them.
I happen to agree with my fellow Mack’s Mets writer, Reese Kaplan. Sandy Alderson is below the acceptable level in both major trades and free agent acquisitions. I’ll defend what he has done with the ‘add ons’ (i.e. Wuilmer Becerra, Amed Rosario) and both his drafts and international free agent signings have been… well, kind of impressive, but major trades and established free agents are not his strong suit. Maybe that’s why he signs these guys so quickly. Find someone that says yes… give him a pen.
There was some discussion early this week about the projection of the Mets rotation past its current six (Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, Jonathan Niese) listed as the favorites going to camp. The next ‘wave’ include Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, and Steven Matz.
Of the six pitchers I have highlighted above in red that are the ‘prospects’ on this team, only Harvey will become a free agent sometime in this decade (2019). Can we honestly look past these guys and start worrying about who is going to start in 2021 when we the team hasn’t even made the playoffs yet?
And, it may get both better and cheaper. Both Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto could easily replace both Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer (and their contracts) leaving really only David Wright with the big bucks on this team.
Let me ask you something. Forget the amount of the total salaries spent on this team, what they used to spend before the Madoff mess, and the amount of money that is being spent out there to secure untested talent coming out of countries like Cuba.
Would you have it any other way? Isn’t this the reason we all come here to Mack’s Mets… to root for the kiddies and guppies to rise to the top of the tank and eventually become our heroes in Queens.
And what happens if this team becomes a solid winner in, oh, let’s say, 2017 and they’re playing 24 guys that are still either going through the arbitration process or waiting their turn for it to come up. Is this a bad thing? Was this a piss poor operating plan? And wasn’t the eventual goal always supposed to be winning not what you paid someone to play?
I’m just saying…
I guess we’re down to scouting the old men coming out of Cuba now. Baseball America[i] is reporting that the Giants, Braves, and a few other teams, attended a special showcase for 29-year-old Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera. Olivera was a Cuban star until a blood disorder benched him for the 2012-2013 season. What does BA say now?
“As for what happened on the field, scouts said Olivera looked good, perhaps a little tired on the second day, but he appeared to be in good physical condition, with more weight (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) than he had during his prime years on the national team, but carrying it in a good way. He ran the 60-yard dash in around 6.7 to 6.8 seconds, depending on the stopwatch, showing slightly above-average speed. He’s not flashy at second base, but scouts said he looked like a steady defender. Olivera also took groundballs at third base, and while he’s shown a plus arm in the past, he didn’t seem to be airing it out quite as much at the showcase.”
I guess technically everybody that starts for the Cuban national team is worth a look-see, but, to me, we seem to be stretching it a little here.
There also has been some considerable chatter on Mack’s Mets about the ‘secondary starters’ (i.e. Cory Mazzoni, Tyler Pill, etc.) and the inability for the Mets to move some of these guys via a trade.
Here’s my two cents…
First, it takes two to tango.
Secondly, other teams come after your top prospects. In the case of the Mets, that has consistently been Noah Syndergaard and Sandy Alderson has made it very clear that he is untouchable.
Thirdly, this doesn’t mean teams drop next to your next prospect pitcher. They hang up the phone and start calling around to other teams that have top pitching prospects that might be available via a trade. And, based on what I have seen so far this off-season, these teams were able to fill in their future rotation with pitchers that were on their ‘A’ list, rather than ours.
I truly wonder sometimes what’s the future for guys like Mazzoni, Pill, Matt Bowman, Rainy Lara, and Gabriel Ynoa. Is it fair to turn these guys into perennial AAA pitchers stuck in a gambling town? And, that doesn’t work either. They eventually have to make room for the next group banging on the doors from Binghamton.
It’s a tough game. Nine teams with an average of 30 players per team (five guys per team are always being shuffled around on some DL list) that eventually have to be whittled down to only 25 total players on the parent club’s roster.
Number don’t work here.