The Morning Report – 1-28 – The Future with Fiscal Restraints, Hector Olivera, AAA Pitchers


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.

And lastly…

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.


eraff said...

"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."

Mack, I don't come here for "Prospect Shots"...not exclusively.

As for "home grown teams"--- you cannot identify a such a team that has won a championship, or even become a meaningful competitor, ANYWHERE in at least the past 25 years of MLB.

Drafting and developing is a crapshoot---it's impossible to develop full, on field squads in-house.

It's also unsuccessful to field a team of players ALL on the same developmental ARC. Someone needs to provide steadiness....someone needs to be "Not a Star"...etc, etc..

There is no construct or excuse, and there isn't a legitimate Premise to "GROW YOUR OWN, 100%"...it's a deception...a lie.

I Don't buy it.

Thomas Brennan said...

Nimmo was #18 on MLB prospect list, I read this AM. Put a smile on my face, as I often have had doubts about him.

Mazzoni and Pill are still not overstaying their minor league time...Pill not yet in AAA and Mazzoni needing to pitch more there and show he can stay healthy. I think if they have not moved at least one of Gee/Niese/Colon by opening day, a mistake, and 2 of them (if not all 3) by July.

Once Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Thor and Matz are planted in the rotation, hopefully by mid-2016, folks will be able to look at the rest of the prospects and deals will (have to) happen...if for no other reason than too many guys behind them, whose real value on a big league level will be clearer in 3 months' time.

I still think Matz will force his way in by mid-year. Just a gut.

Rene Riquelme said...

I think the team was forced to be cheap and Sandy mad it work but the fans are the ones that have sufferred for many years and most big markets don't do that to their fans.Now when we are in the door of making the playoff and be a contender we can make one or two moves but again the cheapskates budget is holding us back,Let's hope we can overcome that agin.But in reality we need new owners.

Anonymous said...

Morning Mack:

I agree with you. Going forward this team is in a great position.
They are only a couple of months, from everyone in baseball, clamouring for there other pitching prospects.
By the all-star break players like Syndergaard Matz Plawecki and Herrera will be ready for the show. The others behind them will have more innings and at-bats under them, to be showcased?
Plus will give Sandy and company time to evaluate if Tulo is indeed healthy?
All is needed is more time, Rome was built in a day.
But in 6 months ,there will be a lot of changes I believe


Mack Ade said...

Steve - Tom


bob gregory said...

Maybe instead of televising the major league Mets team,over the past few years, SNY should have just broadcasted all of the minor league games from the Mets organization.

After all, if that was the entire focus of the organization, why waste the fans time with the farce presented over those years on the major league level?

Heck, maybe the Wilpons/Alderson should have petitioned the league for the Mets major league team to take a Leave of Absence during those years. That way they could have devoted more of their resources to the minor leagues with out having to put on the pretense of "competing" against the Nationals, Cardinals, etc.....

Thomas Brennan said...

Nothing like a good 90 win season for the Mets to wipe away the pains of seasons past. I still think we can get there in 2015 if folks stay reasonably healthy - but I doubt Sandy will voice any predictions this year.

Maybe it's my 90 IQ that is leading me to hint at that # - I dunno. I'm taking a Remedial Mets course this summer - 90 is the passing grade.

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