The Morning Report 6.30.2015 | Mets Playoff Chances, Infield Defense Shuffle, Niese's Trade Value, Dodgers Interested in Niese


Ken Davidoff | New York Post- What a difference a week makes. What a difference a year makes. Now that their internal outlook has improved, the Mets’ external challenge remains sizable. In the National League competition for five postseason bids, they trail six teams, none of the six appears to be a pushover and all of them remain on the Mets’ schedule, including their next nine contests. The Mets stand at 40-37, on pace for an 84-78 record. The website Fangraphs currently gives the Mets a 44.5 percent chance at qualifying for the playoffs, ahead of the Giants’ 40.3 percent and behind the other five top contenders.

(Chris Soto: The team as constructed right now is still better than at least half of the teams in the National League solely because their pitching is among the best in baseball. However, as constructed, it's not enough to get past the serious playoff contenders. As we draw closer to the trade market truly developing, Sandy is going to have to add least 1 significant piece to help this lineup start producing again. All we need is 3 runs a night....is that so hard to ask for?) 

J.P. Pelzman | NJ Advance Media- The team plans to activate Daniel Murphy (strained left quadriceps) from the disabled list before the beginning of a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. Murphy, who has played second base for most of his tenure with the Mets, will move to third. He could be there for awhile, considering it’s still unclear if and when third baseman David Wright will return. “I’ve said from the start,” Collins said when asked about Flores’ defense, “this kid played fine at shortstop. He made a couple of errors that cost us a couple of runs at times. But I’ve looked at the [rest of the] league and he caught the baseball” for the most part.

(Chris Soto: I'm not sure what took the team so long to switch to this configuration in the first place. Flores has cost the team as many runs defensively as he has gained them offensively, maybe more. Sliding Murphy into 3B, shifting Tejada to SS, and Flores to 2B improves the team defense significantly. Tejada and Flores have also shown that they could be a solid double play combo with Tejada's quick feeds and Flores' quick turns. Lets not forget that Murphy displacing Herrera in the batting order should also significant improve the team's offensive output too.)

John Delcos | NY Mets Report- With the emergence of Steven Matz, expect the Mets to ratchet up their intent to trade from their pitching depth to bolster their anemic offense. Of the the four the Mets most want to trade, Niese has the greatest upside to bring in a bat. Niese, is left-handed, seemingly healthy, signed to a reasonable contract and has had some degree of success. Niese’s career record is 55-58, but with a respectable 3.89 ERA and average 1.368 WHIP. Niese will make $7 million this year, which means roughly a $3.5 million investment for the remainder of this year. Niese will earn $9 million in 2016; $10 million for 2017; and $11 million in 2018. Those are palatable salaries, and making it more attractive is the final two years have team options.

(Chris Soto: From a money standpoint, Niese's contract is not a going to be a significant hold up point. A team is really only going to be reasonable for the $3.5M rest of 2015 salary and the $9M in 2016 as they can just not elect to take the TEAM options in 2017 and 2018. When you consider that Niese has similar numbers to the Red Sox Rick Porcello who is making $20M per season now....it turns out to be a pretty solid contract. The true question is what kind of a bat can Niese bring? Over the past 4 years he has been worth +2.6, +2.6, +2.0, +2.3 WAR so you can reasonable say he's worth 2.5 wins per season. So when your looking at potential bats targets....use this barometer as a guidepost.)

D.J. Short | Hardball Talk- It was reported over the weekend that the Dodgers and Cubs were among the teams with interest in a trade for Mets left-hander Jon Niese. While the southpaw is a logical target for both teams, a match with the Dodgers isn’t considered imminent. Nothing too surprising here, as teams are likely still in the early stages of evaluating the starting pitcher market. Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir are among the big names that could be dealt, so Niese falls into the secondary category with the likes of Mike Leake, Matt Garza, Kyle Lohse, Mat Latos, and Dan Haren. With questions in the back-end of their rotation, the Dodgers will be active.

(Chris Soto: The trade market is beginning to finally let off some smoke as we get closer to July. It should eventually spark and catch fire in about 2 more weeks as we get closer to the All-Star break. When looking at the Dodgers, you don't really see a natural fit for a trade. The Mets need a 3B or a SS of which the Dodgers have Alex Guerrero and Jimmy Rollins available. Neither of those guys are really attractive options. Rollins has been terrible offensively and has lost a step defensively costing the team -4 Defensive Runs. Meanwhile while Alex Guerrero's bat is nice, he is a terrible defender at any position and has an opt out clause if he is traded by the Dodgers.)


Thomas Brennan said...

Murphy's bat should help. What, Chris, if you happen to know, is the latest word on d'Arnaud's return?

Ernest Dove said...

Yeah im not really sure there's been any difference in the past week. Team still can't hit. Theyve won with two hits, an error, and an offensive explosion by their pitcher in his debut in past three games.
Anyway, I hope murph doesnt need another adjustment to mlb fastballs during his return.
And I hope Mets can lean on their pitching (as usual) to at least play .500 baseball till the all star break, and see who else comes back.

Christopher Soto said...


TO my knowledge, d'Arnaud is still slated to return July 6th with Jhennry Mejia returning the day after.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that a playoff contender is going to make a play for Niese, say, and give up a productive major leaguer in the process. I'm saying: Dumping any pitcher could help with salary relief (flexibility) and prospects.

My take is this: Cuddyer is the 4th outfielder that the Mets desperately need. He is that guy. He just needs to play less. Bring up Conforto & work him into the rotation. The guy is a bat. If it doesn't work, okay, it doesn't work. No harm trying and potentially a lot of good.

The other bat is Flores, who becomes Eric Campbell after Wright's return.

The Wright issue is huge, and as fans we just don't have the information. If Wright is unlikely to come back, they must add a Prado type. If Wright is likely to return -- perhaps for a final burst before retirement -- then Flores becomes Prado.

Tejada sucks, sucks, sucks. I hate him. But he's all we've got, due to SA's inactivity. I'd stick him at SS and live with it.

Also, d'Arnaud comes back, which is a huge help.

On a sour note: It's only a matter of time until we see Kirkkkkk in CF.

James Preller

Reese Kaplan said...

They must REALLY not like Matt Reynolds at SS or he'd be here already. He does't have much power but he is both driving in and scoring runs in AAA. An interesting question...if Tejada got injured would they call up Reynolds, Tovar or dip down for Cecchini?

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, it seems that way with Reynolds disfavor, but over the past 4 days, he has only last nite's walk in. PH appearance, so I am not sure if he is a little banged off, or just being given a few days to rest.

I wonder, James, if Tovar could replace Tejada. Same anemic offense, more speed (20 steals and has not started a bunch of games), probably a touch better D.

Conforto could be lightning in a bottle if called up. You never know. If he hit l250, it would be an offensive explosion on this team.

Kirk will likely disappoint a lot if recalled, despite anything he does in AAA. And Nimmo - who knows if he will be better than Kirk? Think so, but he's not yet.

Mack Ade said...

The arrival of Matz now give the Mets 4 'A' starters that potential victories can be built around.

I know everyone on this site wants more bats at the trade deadline, but frankly I'd like one more great reliever go we can win the majority of games left on the schedule from the mound rather than the batter's box.

Maybe it will be Mejia.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'm hoping Nieuwenhuis' and Recker's recent success make them attractive as throw-in pieces for trade bundles they might offer for REAL bats.

Thomas Brennan said...

the Mets do need offense badly. they are 27th in runs and 29th in batting average despite their pitchers being a close third in hitting at .177 (top team is at .180) and leading all pitchers in RBIs with 12. the offense clearly needs major help.

Anonymous said...

Reese, seriously? Kirkkkkk's value has clearly been determined by the marketplace. He passed through waivers. Nobody wanted him. A few hits in Vegas is not going to fool the GMs. He has zero trade value.

James Preller

Steve from Norfolk said...

If we dould put together a trade with the Dodgers for Niese, I'd try for Scott Van Slyke and Justin Turner and settle for whichever one we could get.

Mack's Mets © 2012