7/25/15

Reese Kaplan -- The Spin Doctor Will See You Now

34 comments

The trading season opened with a few conspicuous moves – Scott Kazmir going to the Astros for a few not-top prospects and Aramis Ramirez going back to where he started in Pittsburgh for $3 million of salary and a warm body going to Milwaukee.

Of course, there we as no news on the Mets front save for some suspiciously timed injury reports. Call me cynical, but it seems very interesting to hear that Travis d'Arnaud and David Wright are beginning baseball activity right around the trading deadline when they were previously in the witness protection program and declared presumed missing for the rest of the season.

Even more laughable was the Thursday press conference in which Sandy Alderson proclaimed he has the authority to bring on significant salary on the very same day the press carried stories that Ben Zobrist's remaining modest pay for 2015 was too rich for their blood.

Of course, as soon as he said it the backpedaling began...”for the right player” and “if we can reach agreement with another club”.

Can you see where he's going? There will be an August 1st press conference to discuss the 2015 version of the trading deadline inertia that's all too familiar to Mets fans. I can predict the script now:

“We just got Travis d'Arnaud back to give us a middle-of-the order bat. He'll offer some protection to Lucas Duda. Before the end of August we'll have All-Star David Wright back as well. In effect we added two bats without sacrificing any of our resources and while maintaining payroll flexibility for the future.”

Don't get me wrong. I can foresee a minor acquisition or two to strengthen the bench. That will be part of the press conference as well:

“We added a few veteran bats to come off the bench to give us a boost when it's needed. They know how to play the game the right way and should be a good influence to mentor our kids.”

Even the Michael Conforto promotion was met with cynicism as it was positioned as a short term visit to the majors until the, ahem, bat of Michael Cuddyer returns to the lineup.  Once again instead of acting like the Cubs who promoted top prospect Kyle Schwarber after 519 ABs in the minors.  Conforto has had 520, so the "hasn't had enough experience in the minors yet" excuse wasn't going to hold water.  Everyone knew it was all about the Benjamins and service time that was holding him back until they realized that nothing was likely to change significantly on the trade front, so this desperate ploy to placate the fans and media finally took place.

The natives are more than restless. The same old, same old isn't going to cut it this time.  

34 comments:

Reese Kaplan said...

Apologies for the typo I missed...

However, the second part of the prediction has already come true with last night's acquisition of the veteran bench pieces. That's all, folks. Don't expect anything else to happen.

Zozo said...

I totally agree that's all that's going to happen.

Mack Ade said...

There is some talk this morning that the Mets may be going after Cespedes...

Ernest Dove said...

Mack

Maybe that also has something to do with Logan Verrett situation.
Not saying he would go to tigers but he was removed last night for some reason.

Michael S. said...

If the Rox want Wheeler and Conforto for Tulo that's obviously not going to work but it is a place to start. I'd offer Wheeler and 2-3 other pieces to try and get a deal done.

Ernest Dove said...

Michael if u think that ownership is gonna take on that Tulo ccontract then ur as delusional as I was yesterday in regards to quality of prospects it would take to acquire a Zobrist type player ;)

Ernest Dove said...

Would probably take wheeler, conforto and rosario for rockies to even consider paying most of that tulo contract.

Reese Kaplan said...

I read a Gerardo Parra trade bkew up at the 11th hour. I also read Wheeler is in play. How would that work - as a PTBNL? I thought you couldn't trade a guy on the DL.

Reese Kaplan said...

Also, I'd be totally shocked if they went after Cespedes (or Puig). They are not the boring, low-key kind of players they covet. Jenrry Mejia was crucified for showing some emotion on the field. Imagine how they'd react to a Cespedes bat flip.

Mack Ade said...

the actual trade rumor was Wheeler for Cespedes

Stephen Guilbert said...

I don't know why you would give up a major piece like Wheeler for Cespedes. He is a two month rental.

Stubby said...

Reese, in all the time since I've been coming here, I can't recall you ever having anything nice to say about the Mets. I pray for the day when you've finally had enough and move on to be miserable following somebody else.

I know that, if you were the Mets GM, we'd have nothing but All-Stars on the field--25 guys named Babe Ruth, no doubt--and you'd get them all for players like Recker and Buddy Carlyle, but the real world doesn't work like that.

bob gregory said...

Stubby.
You tend to exaggerate a bit.

Please remember, although Alderson has done some things well and some things very well, there have also been some things he has not done well and some things he has done verypoorly.

If it helps, the negativity you characterize our friend Reese with, is well matched by your unquestioning positivity.

Michael S. said...

Pass

Michael S. said...

Wright's finished and insurance will pay the contract. That opens up money. In the offseason get rid of Granderson and Cuddyer.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Why would you get rid of Granderson?

Anonymous said...

I don't think it would be easy to get rid of Granderson and Cuddyer but if they could I would be on board. Sign Parra and you would have an outfield of Conforto, Lageras, and Parra.
Richard Jones

Mack Ade said...

I'm fine with Grandy.

The Mets seem stuck with the Cuddyer deal and they still need to find someone to either replace him next season or, at least, platoon with him

Reese Kaplan said...

I invite Stubby to list the ways in which Alderson in FIVE YEARS improved the offense.

Reese Kaplan said...

I invite Stubby to list the ways in which Alderson in FIVE YEARS improved the offense.

Mack Ade said...

Jon Heyman says the Padres wanted Ahmed Rosario or Michael Conforto from the Mets for Upton.

Steve from Norfolk said...

Reese,

The only he helped the offense was by getting Byrd for half a season. Conforto may be a second, but it's too soon to tell.

The list of ways he or the Wilpon's - it's hard to tell the difference) hurt it is much longer.

eraff said...

Granderson Plays hard...has pop....761 OPS..... I struggle to undersstand the rush to get rid of him.

For all of the focus on "Money instead of Baseball" with this ownership and management, why are fans then jumping on that same theme????

Grandy is a good professional player--an asset...NOT a Problem.

eraff said...

ps..... I love the Trade!!!! Far better thn a Zobrist DEal

bob gregory said...

Rosario for Upton?
Hmmmm...
That is a reasonable ask. Not really more than Wheeler for Beltran.

I would say go ahead, pull the trigger. Bring in Upton.
But that would be with me being reasonable and being willing to pay a reasonable market value contract to keep him.
If Upton indicated he was unwilling to sign reasonably and wanted to be the highest paid or set records, well that's a different story.

Then it would just come to seeing what could be done to get Gomez.

LukasKubicek said...

Upton:

June: 19-97, .196, 2 HR.

July: 5-45, .111, 1 HR.

Those numbers are Duda-like. Oblique problems; 2-month rental; he's a dog in the field (and apparently it's hereditary?).

I wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot pole. And hopefully neither will Sandy.

Mack Ade said...

eraff -

I never understood the fan obsession with contract values... ain't my money

Stubby said...

Reese,

Your query contains the supposition--untrue as it happens--that baseball is only about offense. Its not even mostly about offense. Of the three elements of the game--pitching, fielding and hitting--hitting ranks a distant third in importance to a winning team. Pitching comes first. Sandy focused on building the team around pitching and did so brilliantly. We have a starting staff that is the envy of every team in baseball. We have such pitching depth that we were able to send two very good prospects to the Braves for two pieces who will help this club to be better this year. Although those prospects were very good, they were never going to be part of our team's future. We have 3 major league relievers right now who have been effective closers and the oldest of them is just 30. We can easily make another deal before the deadline that will help the Mets now because teams are always in the market for closers. Of the three, Familia's the one you want to keep, but I wouldn't even rank him as untouchable. Acquiring Blevins was a master stroke. You can't blame Sandy for the freak injury that shelved him. And, yes, Torres has been a disappointment, but the whole point of Torres was to ensure that at least one of the lefties--Blevins, Torres, Gilmartin--would pan out; he just didn't get one Loogy to plug a hole, he got three. That was aggressive maneuvering.

But still I can point to moves where Sandy improved the offense. Who were our catchers in 2010? Barajas, Thole and Nickeas. You can't honestly tell me that d'Arnaud isn't an offensive upgrade behind the plate. And dumping Jason Bay and Luis Castillo was addition by subtraction, no matter how bad their replacements fare.

Once the pitching core of the team was set, Sandy then placed an emphasis on offensive players in the draft. Its still too soon to say how that's going to pan out for us. I never judge a catcher in his first major league season because his number one job is handling the pitchers, but I'm optimistic that Plawecki is going to be a lot better offensively than what we've seen so far. Though its too soon to evaluate the offensive portion of the plan, I feel a lot better about having Conforto, Nimmo, Smith, Bucerra (I know, acquired, not drafted), Boyd, Rosario, et. al. in the pipeline than I ever was about Fernando Martinez, Juan Centeno, Jonathan Malo, Aderlin Rodriguez or whatever crud passed for prospects under Omar.

Here's the thing, Reese. You wrote this piece before the trade deadline. You threw in a little escape hatch by saying, "Oh he might trade for a bench piece" and then pat yourself on the back for having the foresight of a weather man who predicts "partly cloudy, chance of rain". I was right about my prediction as well. I said Sandy would make at least one deal (possibly two) before the deadline and, whatever it was, Mets fans would still complain about it. And what Sandy did or didn't do in years past is meaningless because its 2015 and the Mets are in the hunt--something they haven't realistically been since, oh, 2008 maybe.

And I'll say again. There's another week before the deadline. You do not know, today, that Sandy will not acquire an impact bat before then.

So I played your game. How bout playing mine? You be Mets GM and I'll be whomever you want to trade with. Tell me who you want and what you're offering and I'll tell you whether there's a deal that can be made there. Maybe I'll make a counter-offer. I'll even abide by what Sandy says and won't consider the size of the contract. Let's see if you and I can do what, according to you, Sandy won't. I'll save you some time, though. Cory Seager and Addison Russell are untouchables. But I will feel free to ask for Thor, Matz, Conforto or whomever as a counter-offer if that's what I think it would take to make a deal. You think this thing is easy? Let's see if you can do better than Sandy.

bob gregory said...

Stubby

Have to cry foul on your example of Alderson improving the offense.
Addition by subtraction should not qualify.

So, I see D'Arnaud us your only example in all of the Alderson years. Grading that on potential though because of all the missed games due to injury.

I'll throw in Byrd, however that is debatable because it was only one season of performance.

Stubby said...

Bob, I'll continue to say this because its true, even though some are just never going to get it. Pitching wins championships. Offense matters very little. Sandy spent the earlier part of his tenure building a world class pitching staff. Once there was incredible pitching depth throughout the organization, then he moved on to drafting offensive players. Its too soon to grade him on offense, but they've begun reaching the majors and we'll see soon enough whether or not Sandy has improved the offense. But truly, I could care less because OFFENSE DOESN'T MATTER! Fans like offense, but pitching wins championships. Personally, I wish he'd spent more time working of the defense than the offense.

Call foul all you want. Jason Bay and Luis Castillo were cancers and had to be removed. And their removal improved this team tremendously. And Travis d'Arnaud is an offensive improvement over the 2010 catching crew if he only manages to play 2 or 3 games a year--that's how offensively bad our catching crew was.

bob gregory said...

Stubby

You're funny.

Stubby said...

I might be funny, but I'm also correct.

bob gregory said...

Stubby
Look up the individual game scores for each of the World Series Championship series games since 2000.
You will notice that the overwhelming majority winning teams needed to score at least 4 runs.
You will be surprised to see just how many games were won by the team that scored more than 6 runs.

Balance is the key. Not being lopsided in offense, Defense, or pitching.

S. Finch said...

Stubby,

Your “pitching wins championships” is a nice catch phrase, but it’s simply not the case. Offense matters. A lot. More so than pitching in today’s game.

2014 – Giants: 7th best offense, 21st in Pitching
2013 – Red Sox: 1st in offense, 12th in pitching
2012 – Giants: 4th in offense, 19th in pitching
2011 – Cardinals: 7th in offense, 16th in pitching
2010 – Giants: 6th in offense, 4th in pitching
And so on… Your narrative is simply incorrect.

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