Mack’s Morning Report - 6-26-15 - 2016 and Beyond


Good morning.

I guess I’m sort of moving on this season.

The more I try to figure out what to do this season, the less I come to any conclusion.

This is a team that was built behind young, team controlled pitching, backed by an offense led by David Wright and Daniel Murphy. Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson were added over two off-seasons and, along with Travis d’Arnaud, Michael Cuddyer, and Lucas Duda, this was supposed to be enough offense to get the majority of games won.

Everything was hunky-dory when all of these guys were in the early games together.
Fans have to realize that extended contracts just don’t disappear if a ballplayer doesn’t live up to your expectations. Just ask Jason Bay’s wife and how much she’s had to spend from checks sent to her by the Mets.

Trust me, the Mets aren’t the only team that suffers from bad contracts. There is none worse right now than the Boston Red Sox. Hanley Ramirez ($88mil through 2018), Pablo Sandoval ($95mil through 2019), Dustin Pedroia ($110mil through 2021), Rick Porcello ($82.5mil through 2019), and Rusney Castillo ($72.5mil through 2020) are all either injured or under-preforming. We have it bad. They might be terminal for their front office.

I haven’t changed my stance on the pitchers on this team. Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, and Steven Matz are the future of this team through 2018. Harvey, Mejia, and Familia will become a free agent in 2019 and we’re going to have to wait and see if the Mets attempt to sign any of them up to a long term deal.

As for ‘field players’, very few matter to me over the long run. I’d like to keep Lucas Duda, but the last minute breakdown in contract extension talks just before the start of this season may have created bad blood between the player, his agent, and the team. 

Dilson Herrera looks like a keeper at second, but I do still need to see much more here, both offensively and defensively. 

I love Travis d’Arnaud behind the plate… now all he has to do is stop getting hurt and needing so many days off. 

And Michael Conforto will definitely be a starter in my outfield, as early as next season.

But that’s really it.

David Wright looks shot and, if I was the Mets, I’d strongly consider going the insurance route here.

Daniel Murphy isn’t worthy of discussion because he will be gone next year.

Regarding Wilmer Flores, are we really supposed to be happy with a middle infieder that hits .240 and can’t get to a ground ball in time (or turn a double play) just because he can hit 10 home runs before the all-star break?

I’ve never been a fan of the Curtis Granderson signing and Michael Cuddyer at best represents a bargain basement approach to solving a team problem in the outfield.

And this brings me to Juan Lagares who overnight seems to have turned into a bad defensive centerfielder. There’s obviously something wrong here, but is it more than an injury? I don’t think it is, but I know how much emotion he plays with and I just don’t see it coming out of him right now.

The rest of 2015 may be a tough time for Mets fans. The 11 game winning streak only represented a team that had most of their starters in the dugout and their names written daily on the lineup. That went away quickly.

None of us can make any of these contracts go away and no team in baseball is going to actively help the Mets reach their goals. The decline from first place was delayed due to the miserable way other teams played in the division, but Washington seems to have now got their act back together.

Equally important is the distance being made by teams like Pittsburgh, Chicago, and San Francisco. It’s becoming quite evident that the only road to the playoffs for the Mets will be to beat the Nationals as division champions. Tell that to Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper.

Dillon Gee ($5.3mil), Bartolo Colon ($11mil), Daniel Murphy ($8mil), John Mayberry ($1.45mil) and Buddy Carlyle ($725K) represent $26.475mil worth of projected savings from the 2015 to 2016 payroll.

No loss of any of these players leave a gaping hole in the 25-man squad, thus, all of this money can be used for arbitration raises and at least one quality blue chip either via a trade or free agency.

Bobby Parnell ($3.7mil) and Jerry Blevens ($2.4mil) are also scheduled for free agency, but my guess is the Mets will try and re-sign both.

I still feel the primary need for this team is a defensive-minded shortstop that also brings a decent bat to the table. The team has to address the horrendous defense being played this year on all three infield positions.

I light a candle every night that Dilson Herrera will continue to improve on second base. I think we have a winner here but it’s going to take another year to probably find out.

Frankly, the whole David Wright fiasco is preventing this team from moving ahead both during this season and 2016. A decent addition at short could move Wilmer Flores and give him new life at third, but you can’t do this with your Captain still a member of the team.

It’s a horrible, horrible set of circumstances. 



Mac, do u think if they tried to go the insurance route with Wright , he would go along with it?

Thomas Brennan said...

I truly hope if David Wright is not close to 100%, he retires. We'll need clarity to move forward effectively.

Leathersich has pitched enough so far to show what he can contribute, Mack. Do you think he can be part of the Mets' core pen in years to come?

I like your post about 99 MPH Fulmer this morning in the minor league update (that everyone should read daily, BTW:). He has similarities to Matz...missed a lot of of time due to injury, looking very promising post-injury, still 22 for this entire season.

Nice to know he is still viable and valuable.

One more question: when all that $$ comes off the Mets' books at end of 2015, who would you target as a big bucks FA?

Mack Ade said...

Gary -

I truly believe he would do what is in the best interest of the team.

I don't; however, have the details of that insurance policy... I understand it doesn't begin to pay out until an 'x' amount of consecutive games are missed, but I don't know where it goes from there. Can Wright then come back at a later time and get his salary start paying again?

But yes, I believe Wright wouldn't stand in the way here.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

First on who I would target in the off-season, I'd hate to lose another first round draft pick but my choices would to approach both Jason Heywood and Justin Upton with the hopes of signing one.

As for Leathersich, I think it's a matter of numbers and health.

Familia, Mejia, Parnell (I assume the Mets will work out the arbitration thing here), Black all seem safe, if healthy.

I think the lefty roles are wide open, especially for a guy like Leathersich. He needs to be placed in more prominent situations this season first.

I have never heard of an ETA from the Edgin surgery, have you?

Also, what about Niese and his contract?

Kevin S said...

I hate looking ahead to next year already but it is what it is. I thought this team would win a ton of games 3-2 but they can't score 3 runs.

Heywood would bring strong defensive and power potential, albeit not a cleanup hitter. Upton would offer more of the offense that this team needs but will sacrifice some of the defensive upgrade. I'd take either one. You would then end up with a Cuddyer/Conforto platoon. I'd imagine that if Granderson finishes with 20+ HR and an OBP of .350+, then you could find a taker for him. But that kind of production would probably be our 2nd best bat this year.

Lagares needs elbow surgery tomorrow. It's clear. His lack of arm is effecting him mentally.

The bottom line is that the needs next season will match the needs this season. They need the guys in uniform to hit and play defense. I like Wilmer but he should be playing 3B. They need to find a true shortstop but those are harder to find that power hitters.

bob gregory said...


This really stinks.
All of the things you point out, very easily lead toward a disappointing 2016 as well.

Unfortunately, just one acquisition will not be enough. Even if it is an Upton - like player.

Alderson's "plan" has failed.

Time for a new plan that takes into account Citifield and focuses on the now as well as the future.

Mack Ade said...

Kevin -

There is going to be some major press conference before Monday which might include Lagares, though I don't expect it to.

I really wish they would take care of this NOW.

I think the Mets will bring Murphy back this weekend, play him at 3B, move Flores to 2B, play Tejada at SS and pitch Matz on Sunday.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -


If you don't wan't to sacrifice a young arm, the speed of any transformation in the field will be slow.

Ernest Dove said...

I would LOVE to see an outfield of conforto, lagares and heyward in 2016.....no idea how that would be possible but................

Hey speaking of outfield can i start conspiracy theory that Mets are quietly expecting Nimmo to be back up plan in 2016 if Lagares elbow causes him to not be around?

bob gregory said...


I'm all for trading pitching for hitting.

Citifield demands it.

The old "plan" failed.
Time for a new plan.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, on Leathersich, I agree he needs to be used in more challenging spots. I was annoyed the other day when, after he struck out the side in the 5th, was pulled after a lead off double the next inning and the game slipped away. He is 5 for 19 vs. righties and around .190 vs. minor league righties in 2013-15, with a ton of Ks. Let him pitch to righties in those situations.

Justin or Jason might be worth pursuing. Let's see what Nimmo and Conforto do the rest of the year. While Conforto has gotten all the attention this year, Nimmo is a very impressive .321/.382/.440 in over 40 games in AA this year. Both might be busting down the door by season's end. Maybe we won't need what we think we need now.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

One more thing about Michael Fulmer.

It's very strange to look at my minor league excel chart right now. I don't have one starter highlighted in 'red', meaning top prospect.

Fulmoer could currently be as close as the team would have to one... more of an SP4/5 guy.

Next up after that... Casey Meisner.

bob gregory said...

I would love for someone to be able to finally get straight answers from the Wilpons and Alderson.
No more suppositions, educated guesses, connect the dots trying to rationalize moves or nonmoves.
Just once I would love for a reporter to be able to interview Alderson and the Wilpons and get truthful,straightforward answers in their own words.
No more covering, half truths, misdirections, lies.

It would be refreshing after the past few years to have Met leadership come clean and own up to the mess they have made and just how badly it has failed.

I woke up.....

Mack Ade said...

Ernest -

My guess is that rushing guys like Herrera and Plawecki this season has done nothing for any plans to speed up guys like Nimmo.

He still seems to be a little fragile. I would lead him off next year in Vegas.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Let's remember when you talk of players putting up numbers in AAA, this is a lot different than the major league level.

Nothing Conforto or Nimmo does in AA or AAA guarantee anything.

Just look at what Kirk is hitting now in Vegas.

Mack Ade said...

Bob -

You're not going to get SA to stop his talk-speak, nor will you get TC to stop all his scenarios he throws out there in press conferences. Most of this shit is probably just to bust the asses of the beat press.

bob gregory said...

From the looks of things, the Mets really need 2 or 3 Upton - like players.
How they get them.....
Where they play ....
Is up to leadership to figure out. (Gulp.....eye roll..)

Anything less..... will result in marginal improvement.

Reese Kaplan said...

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Mets receive 75% of David Wright's pay once he misses 60 games. So instead of paying him $20 million to under perform they will pay him $5 million for each season to go away.

Interestingly, they could turn this debacle into an event, not quite of the Lou Gehrig variety, but a (for once) well organized appreciation day for what he's accomplished and at least get one guaranteed sell-out at CitiField.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

My Captain, my Captain...

Mack Ade said...

Sandy/Terry joint press conference today at 3:30pm

Reese Kaplan said...

I'm not saying they WILL ask him to retire...just citing the contractual obligation and financial ramifications if he did.

Mack Ade said...

Reese -

Maybe the team begins with baby steps today at 3:30pm.

Four out of the five top pitchers (Wheeler) are now in the rotation. It really isn't going to matter whether it is a 5 or 6 man rotation... these four guys and Familia represent a chance to win the vast majority of games that are left this season.

Yes, they will need some offensive help and the next baby step (for the rest of this season) will be Murphy.

This isn't a bad weekend for the Mets

Dallas said...

The most important thing for me is to not see another Kazmir trade. The Mets were a few games back but obviously not close to the Braves and they traded away their best young arm in a long time for what amounted to junk then immediately fell completely out of contention. I think the Mets will be better this year than last year but I dont see how they become a contender unless Wright comes back and Cuddyer starts to play like how he is paid or at least stops grounding into double plays every other game and doesnt kick the ball into the corner. We have waited too long to make any hasty mistakes in the trade market. If Sandy can pull a deal that is fair that doesnt hamstring us for the future I'm all for it. I still think taking on the full contract of Colon,Niese or Gee should be able to net us some player to help but they probably wont do such a move.

Mack Ade said...

Good point, Dallas

bob gregory said...

I really really think it is time to move on from Sandy.

His plan has failed. Miserably.

Let some one new create the new plan.

Mack Ade said...

waste of time press conference

Reese Kaplan said...

But it sets up the next one so perfectly..."I'm willing to overpay for the right player."

Fast forward 30 days

"The right player wasn't available."

bob gregory said...

It's funny how Alderson completely ignores the fact that other general managers were able to make trades trades already this season.

bob gregory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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