The Morning Report 7.13.2015 | 2nd Half Mets Questions, Top MLB Futures Game Performances, Conforto Ready for MLB, Trade Proposals


James Newman | Mets 360- What a first half it has been for the New York Mets, as the team stands in contention for a playoff spot entering the All-Star break. At the end of Saturday, the Mets stood 46-42 and only two games behind the Washington Nationals, and one game out of the wild card race. While the Mets have hovered around a .500 winning percentage for most of the season, there are a lot of reasons to be excited for the second half. However, there are some questions that will need to be addressed as the season progresses.

(Chris Soto: James' questions in his article are all very fair ones. Will the Mets continue holding back young talent? Will Sandy make moves to improve the ballclub? When will d'Arnaud, Wright, Matz, and Blevins return? When talking about the current state of the Mets, I think it's very important to point out the following. At the beginning of the month we said that the current stretch of games against the Giants, Dodgers, D-backs, Cardinals, Nationals and then the Dodgers is by far the most difficult stretch the Mets will face all year. So far they are 7-2 against these opponents. If the Mets can continue this momentum and take a few games from the Nationals....they can turn this whole season around very quickly.) 

Ted Berg | For The Win- The U.S. team throttled the World team, 10-1, in the 2015 All-Star Futures Game at Great American Ballpark on Sunday. And though it’s impossible to conclude anything from a single exhibition game, the following prospects stood out from the rest of the pack: #5 Mets OF Michael Conforto. The Mets’ outfield hopeful showed why he was considered one of the most polished hitters in the 2014 draft with line-drive singles to center and right field in his two at-bats. Conforto also made a great throw home from left field to nail a runner trying to score from second on a single.

(Chris Soto: I watched the Futures Game pretty extensively yesterday and boy did Conforto stand out. Not only was he 2 for 2 against the top young pitchers in minor league baseball, but, he also looked....unchallenged or unphased, by the premium stuff that these guys were bringing. In addition, previous pre-draft reports citing that his defense needed significant work in the OF seem to be outdated and need to be thrown away. Not only is Conforto playing well in LF, but he is also displaying what seems to be a plus arm in LF. Conforto threw a runner out at home yesterday on a line and MLB Advanced Media clocked the throw velocity at 93mph.) 

David Lennon | Newsday- To Michael Conforto, the leap from Double-A to the majors is not unreasonable. He's seen it happen this season with the Cubs' Kyle Schwarber, the Rangers' Joey Gallo and a pair of Twins, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. So why not him? "Everyone's going to compare themselves to those guys," the outfielder said before Sunday's Futures Game at Great American Ball Park. "Yeah, I've pictured myself as that person. And I do think I'm ready. But it's not my call." Conforto, 22, wasn't shy about saying he could help the Mets right now. But not in a boastful way. And judging by the numbers, maybe he eventually will change the front office's mind.

(Chris Soto: After yesterday's Futures Game performance, Sandy's mind must be running around in circles about this guy. Conforto certainly "looks" ready to take on the MLB and most of the AA stats back that claim up. However, there is still 1 glaring item in his stat line, his K rate. Currently is sits at an even 20%, which is 5 basis points above in A+ numbers. However, Conforto has shown significant improvement in this department as well. During the 1st 2 weeks in AA the K rate was 28.2%, the following 2 weeks it was 21.7%, and these most recent 2 weeks it has dropped to 17.3%.)

Chris Soto | Trade Targets

Let's start taking a look at realistic trade targets that Sandy could possibly put together. We'll start in reverse standings order and climb the ladder a few teams at a time.

Colorado Rockies (39-49): "Re-tooling" mode 

  • I feel like we say the same thing about the Colorado Rockies every season. They have one of the top offenses in baseball, but, they can't pitch worth a damn. You can blame the Coors Field event all you want, but, when your starting rotation is anchored by Jorge De La Rosa, who is likely no better than a #4 on most teams, you have a problem. However the Rockies solid core of young offense and young incoming pitching talent will prevent any thoughts of a full re-build. Everyone has their eyes on SS Troy Tulowitzki who is showing to not only be healthy, but, productive as well. In addition, the Rockies have been developing a very capable young SS in Trevor Story who has legitimate 5 tool potential and is now in AAA. The Rockies GM is a generally an irrational individual who is loyal to his players to a fault, but, with Story's rapid development, now may be the perfect time to deal Tulowitzki and net himself a massive package.
    • Trade Proposal: Mets send RHSP Noah Syndergaard for SS Troy Tulowitzki + cash
    • Reason: Man...I really DO NOT want to trade Thor.....but....the helium so far created by his performances to date may be enough to pick up Tulowitzki on his own. It's the basic, trade from strength to improve weakness strategy. Tulo instantly jumps the Mets from a bottom 25% offense to above the mid way point. Meanwhile the pitching would go from Top 3 to maybe Top 5 or 6. The net gain in offense would FAR outweigh the net loss in pitching.

Cincinnati Reds (39-47)"Re-tooling" mode 
  • Just like the Rockies, the Reds have a solid group of young offensive talent and a young solid incoming class of pitching. Unfortunately, the Reds no longer have contract control over most of their current pitching staff so they need to re-tool the rotation in order to compete in future years. The club's biggest trade chip is of course Johnny Cueto, but, the Mets would have no interest in him with an already Top 3 SP rotation. Jay Bruce would also be another interesting name for the Mets to look at, but, with an already crowded OF and Michael Conforto potentially forcing his way to the MLB roster. I'm not sure Sandy would be interested in another piece blocking Conforto's path to the MLB LF spot.

Oakland Athletics (41-50)"Re-tooling" mode
  • Let this sink in for a moment. The Oakland Athletics have only 2 players that are under guaranteed contracts past this season; Coco Crisp and Billy Butler. 5 of their top 7 contracts are coming off the books this season giving the club almost $40M to spend in Free Agency next season. Since the A's already have a strong core of SP's and GM Billy Beane always has a future vision, look for them to be really active this off-season to try an compete in 2016. Rather than letting Free Agents go for nothing, Beane is going to try and get something out of SP Scott Kazmir, UT Ben Zobrist, RP Tyler Clippard, and RP Eric O'Flaherty. Mets would certainly be interested in the versatile Zobrist as well as Clippard. Pending Jerry Blevins condition, they could also made a play for the lefty specialist Eric O'Flaherty as well.
    • Trade Proposal: Mets send IF Matt Reynolds, SP Michael Fulmer for UTIL Ben Zobrist and RP Eric O'Flaherty.
    • Reason: The A's farm system is completely barren after the failed Samardzija trade last season and needs significant help. Beane also loves his moneyball style utility players and Matt Reynolds certainly fits that bill. The Mets don't really need a late inning RP as much as they need a lefty specialist to replace Jerry Blevins who's fractured wrist is not healing well. 


Thomas Brennan said...

I'd hate to see Thor go in any trade. Tulo has done well this year, but Queens NY seems to be curse to incoming offensive players (see Cuddyer). I could see the Zobrist deal.

Adding to the Conforto praise you noted, the Post wrote that Nimmo said Conforto has light tower power and can hit the ball 500 feet in BP. ALSO said he really drills balls. Maybe he will hit like...Mike Piazza?

Kirk has basically played a full season in total IN The majors: .229, 60 walks, 559 at bats, 34 doubles, 3 triples, 16 homers, 77 runs, 65 RBI, 197 K, 12 of 17 steals. His problem is when he goes bad, he is really bad. He was 7 for 66 this season before yesterday. What a difference a day makes.

Michi L. said...

I like the idea of trading for Bruce. My plan: Deal for Bruce and call up Reynolds. Your OF: Grandy, Lagares, Bruce (Cuddyer can play against lefthanders for either Grandy Bruce or Duda. Not a bad situation!) Play Conforto a few more weeks in AA and then promote him to Vegas. He should be good to go about mid 2016. At that time either Cuddyer Grandy Lagares or Bruce will be injured...just because its the Mets.

Your IF: Murph, Reynolds , Flores, Duda.
Reynolds is no Simmons or Tulo but at least a moderate upgrade over Tejada and his not so great defense and .200 BA.

Future OF: Conforto Lagares Bruce (Not bad)
Future IF: Flores(Wright) Reynolds(Free Agent/Cechinni) Hererra Duda DArnaud(Plawecki)

Think its ok

Ernest Dove said...

That 7-2 spurt possibly changes everything. Almost guarantees Mets will be in striking distance still on august 1which is past the trade deadline.
Against those teams they could have easily gone 2-7 and then all of Mets universe would probably demand trades of niese colon murph and call up Conforto

ZachBoyer said...

Since when does Tejada have "not so great defense?" 0 errors since moving to SS. 1 all season.

Also this is a link to his .238 BA: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/t/tejadru01.shtml

Notice this recent hot stretch has coincided with Flores being moved off of SS? Well, there's another 1/2 to that! Somebody had to be moved TO shortstop!

If you're going to be biased can we at least not have it be so blatant? The stereotype of the Mets fan is negative and irrational. Do you really feel like embodying that today? It's early in the morning. At least give it a few hours?

Also this is a link to a great self-help article: http://macksmets.blogspot.com/2015/07/stephen-guilbert-mets-fans-are-idiots.html?showComment=1436282731965

eraff said...

The Cincinnatti players have very strong road/home splits...but I believe Bruce is a legitimate LH bat. I never worry about "blocking" players. Bruce is ready for a pennant race, and his contract is tradeable....2016 12.5 with team option on 13 million 2017.

I'd be more concerned with the price.

Mack Ade said...

Morning all, Tom.

First and foremost, I talked with Herb G. last night. He's well though he has had some serious family matters to attend to that have kept him away from the blog. He said to say hello to everyone here and he'll try to come back for some comments soon.

Moving on, you know know much I would love to have Tulo on my team, I don't think the Mets are in a position to trade what is left of the Fab Five. This team continues to win more than they have been losing by superb pitching and timely hitting.

First it was Campbell... than Duda... yesterday Stardate 7-12-15

Matt Cerrone had a great line yesterday... " it was a great trade when we traded Kirk Nieuwenhuis to the Angels for Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

Mack Ade said...

Buddy3 -

Unsigned Mets draft picks -

#15 - RHP - Thomas Hackimer

#19 - RHP Nik Enright - committed to VT

#22 - RHP Nick Blackburn

#24 3B Jordan Verson -

#25 - RHP Dylan KIng = committed to Belmont

Zozo said...

These are the different scenarios I would prefer them to pursue.
I would go for a player like Braun, that if you take on the contract you won't have to give up so much in our young guys.
Also if the Rangers fall off the pace a bit I would do the same with Elvis Andrus. He would be perfect for leadoff if our organization would let him steal bases.
Last trade offer I would go for is take on all of brandon Phillips contract and Todd Frazier for Flores, Nimmo, Plawecki, Herrera, Montero and Fulmer.
This organization has to spend some money if they want to win and it is way overdue for them to go into their coffers and spend.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, send my best to Herb

I like your trade ideas - time for boldness while keeping the studs. I think back to the Phils of Halladay and earlier Hamels. You almost felt like you could not overcome them. Mets could have 4 or 5 such guys going forward. Keep the studs.

Overall, they did very well signing their 2015 draftees.

eraff said...

Zozo.... that trade for Phillips and Frazer is a Sick giveaway!!!

Phillips is shot.....Frazer is a Gorilla at The Cinci Band Box.... 249/743 in his career in all other places---I don't need to TRADE Big Prospects for a RH Dan Murphy

ZachBoyer said...


I don't agree with the trade, either. But neither Phillips nor Frazier is a RH Murphy.

eraff said...

Frazier's career "AWAY" #'s.... 249/743... present year 1117 at home---756 away... Away="Dan Murphy Stat LIne"---that said...EVERYONE is a better, more winnable player than Dan Murphy!!!!!!

Nice ball Player... but FULLMER< HERRERA< PLAWECKI< MONTERO< NIMMO>> a shot, aging Diva with 32 million of salary remaining???..

Wow---no Thanks!!!

Mack Ade said...

The team is 2 games out of the division lead and one game behind a wild card slot.

This is not the time to trade one of the last 5 starters

Zozo said...

I am willing to overpay for Phillips because he can bring it on both ends of the diamond. That's what our team needs two way players. Our pitching needs defense to back them and his experienced bat is why this lineup needs.
The Todd Father is New Jersey boy and I believe he would fit in perfect with this team. He is very guy and controllable for awhile. So over paying for him would be worth it as well.
My trade offer doesn't give away any of our pitching or Conforto. So if you want something you gotta give something up.

ZachBoyer said...

I hate to state the obvious … but what about the differentiation in HRs (away or otherwise)? Awful comparision. Just awful.

"-that said...EVERYONE is a better, more winnable player than Dan Murphy!!!!!!"—Idk whether you're serious or not on this so I'll decline comment.

But like I said, I wouldn't do that trade either. (The Reds have also said/claimed Frazier is off limits.)

ZachBoyer said...


Another point: You'll have to wait until Montero comes off the DL, I would think?

The Molina/Montero injuries have significantly hurt trade chips.

Christopher Soto said...


I do not believe that the Reds will be willing to part with Todd Frazier for the simple reason that I think they feel they can compete next year. Their offense when healthy is one of the best in the National League.

CF- Billy Hamilton
1B- Joey Votto
3B- Todd Frazier
C- Devin Mesoraco
RF- Jay Bruce
2B- Bradon Phillips
SS- Zack Cozart

This front 7 packs a lot of offensive firepower. The only reason they are not competing this year is due to a lack of depth. Losing Mesoraco and Cozart (who was having a breakout year) combined with a weak rotation after Cueto and Leake is killing this team's chances.

This off-season they will have approximately $33M to work with and will likely go out and acquire either two mid rotation arms or 1 front end and 1 back end. They should also have top prospect Robert Stephenson ready to go next season and he's packing two 70 grade pitches (fastball/slider) with premium 97+ velocity.

ZachBoyer said...

C. Soto,

Yes, the fact that the Reds are delusionally optomistic does not help your chances of landing Frazier.

Again, not that I would do that trade anyway.

Mack Ade said...

Zach -

Cincy seems like a perfect trade match up with the Mets... plenty of hitter needing pitchers.

The problem is, as Chris has pointed out, there is no reason to break up this team because 4 of their pitchers hit FA at the end of the season. They will rebuild then.

Christopher Soto said...

Let's not forget that the Reds will probably already be getting a king's ransom from whoever they trade Cueto to.

They may be able to grab another young bat or arm (probably both) for him.

ZachBoyer said...


I'm not the one who wanted the trade.

And I wish the Reds all the best in their inevitable rebuilding effort (whenever that may be).

eraff said...

Zach--- HR's are very nice...but 750 ops is 750 OPS, for the Most Part...... Frazier's "away" line is 743 career----756 this year.... those ARE Dan Murphy Numbers!!! More power and I'm sure a skull that is at least half as thick as Murphs---I like Frazier MUCH Better.... but he's "a guy" away from the Band Box.

Oh...and he is a better ballplayer than Murphy--- Murphy is a decent hitter...NOT a winning player. He is bad in every situation that doesn't involve him swinging a bat at a pitch he likes----defense, baserunning...... chock full of boneheaded, LOSING Plays. I started as a big fan, but he's lost me.

Kevin S said...

Charlie Blackmon from Colorado is the guy I want. I'd offer Fulmer/Meisner & Akeel Morris for him. The guy can play CF, hit leadoff and steal bases. Sign me up please.

Mack Ade said...

Kevin S -

Interesting thought, but only Fulmer might be trade ready. Meisner definitely isn't and the Mets did much damage to Morris

Right now, my 2016 rotation is deGrom, Harvey, Thor, Matz, Niese... followed by Wheeler in July.

Fulmer would fit in well as the emergency SP7 (you know we'll need at least one)

ZachBoyer said...

Idk. You could be right. His numbers would probably take a hit if he left Cinn. But how much of a hit, Idk? Some players have stark home/road splits no matter where they play (e.g. Cuddyer's remaining stark even after leaving Coors). Frazier's also getting better with every year. I think it's pretty safe to say Murph's reached his potential (although I've always stubbornly thought Murph could hit .300).

As far as Murph being a losing player, I am admittedly biased. I like Murph. So again I'll decline comment.

Christopher Soto said...

@Kevin S.

Blackmon is not going to be made available by the Rockies. He's still under team control through the 2018 season.

Rockies aren't going to let him go anywhere.

thunder12k said...


I disagree. Colorado needs to retool. They can't trade CarGo or Morneau. Are they really going to move Tulo? Blackmon is a solid player who has value. But will he still be around when this team is contending? I don't think so. He's entering arbitration for the first time next year and will start to become expensive. Offense is never the issue in Colorado and I could see them moving him for a starter and bullpen arm. Maybe it's Fulmer and Robles. Or maybe Gilmartin. They have some interesting arms in Butler, Gray & Freeland in the system but they aren't here yet.

I kind of see Blackmon as a better version of Murphy 3 years ago. He was someone we liked, didn't want to deal, but would if a solid offer came across.

I've checked in on the SB Nation Rockies site and the general consensus is that everyone besides Arenado should be available. I'm not saying that the stellar GM in Colorado will make everyone available but Blackmon has value and most likely won't be around when this team is contending.

thunder12k said...

I'd also be a fan of adding either Will Venable or David Murphy to be our LF vs RHP. I see them as similar players but Murphy is making significantly more money. I'd prefer Venebale but I'd take Murphy if he came cheaper because of the contract. Both have hit RHP very well this year which is an area where this team struggles. You're not going to break the bank or ruin the farm to acquire these guys but they could provide an additional win or two down the stretch that could be important.

bob gregory said...

Blackmon, Venable, Murphy..... are any of these guys really going to be something to build around next year?

What position players are there on the team to build around going forward?

If there were already core position players on the team to build around any one of those players could be worthwhile.
In the Mets.current position however, the assets used in those types of trades might be better off as additional pieces added into a bigger trade or as organizational depth after trading more valuable pieces.

It's not like Alderson will go out and get core positional players during the winter.
There really are none on the current roster.
And as good as Conforto may or may not be, he will not be enough to raise the offensive out put of the entire team.

Kevin S said...


Blackmon was a 2.1 WAR player last year while playing an above average CF and stealing almost 30 bases. This year at the midway point, hes at 2.4 WAR with 23 SBs, 11 HRs and an OPS of .823. Yeah I think he's a solid player to build around. Who knows if Lagares will ever come around with his bat. Blackmon is a solid ballplayer.

Venable posted 4 straight 2+ WAR seasons from 2010-2013 but battled some injuries last year. He's back on par this year and with a strong second half, he could reach 2 WAR again this year. Murphy is having a better year overall compared to Venable but has a less consistent track record. Both of these guys are upgrades over the garbage production we've got from LF this year. Blackmon and Venable/Murphy would be significant additions to the offensive production this season.

This team can make noise this year. They have the pitching staff to compete with anyone. Add 2 bats to this lineup and this is a potentially scary team.

bob gregory said...

You can look at WAR or ops or whatever metrics are fashionable at the time.
Yes those players can make some difference.
My point is that there is a much bigger issue.

Who are the Mets? Who do you think of? Given Wright's situation, moving forward I believe the first 5 players people think about when it comes to the Mets are pitchers.
That is great. It really is. But pitchers at best can only keep you from losing a game. And that is only while they are on the mound. Eventually they come out.

In order to win games, offense is required.
There are no position players on the Mets that have to be held on to moving forward. Every successful team has at least a couple position players that are counted on. Relied upon offensively. Considered the heart of their team.
The Mets do not have this.

The players mentioned will not form the heart this team needs in order to win games in a sustainable manner going forward the next couple of years.

Kevin S said...

I'm looking at helping the 2015 Mets, while not hurting to future. These guys can be acquired to satisfy both those requirements.

Are you saying you are looking for a face of the franchise? To get one of those, you will need to trade one of these arms or draft him.

This team can win, as currently constructed, with the addition of rental players to provide league average offensive production to the positions which have plagued the Mets all year. Add 1 more run per game and watch the results.

Steve from Norfolk said...

I'd like us to go for Justin Upton - either as a rental or with a 72 hr window to negotiate. He has the bat we need, and he's a good defender. As they don't try to give us his brother.

Kevin S said...

I like Upton too. For a comparison, the deal would have to be like the Beltran/Wheeler deal. We don't have an arm in A/AA with the pedigree that Wheeler did but we could use Fulmer & say Nimmo so make that deal.

I really don't think Nimmo will be more than a role player so I wouldn't mind that deal if they can sign Upton long term. The guys is still only 27.

Dallas said...

Mets have failed pretty badly at trades in the recent years outside of Beltran/Dickey/Byrd.

I hate the push to overpay....where I want to see the Mets overpay is in $$$$. We are a NY team and should be able to take on big contracts people are moving (to reduce prospect cost) or in free agency. I want sustained success by not dealing away top prospects. Look at the Jays now...if they hadnt made the trades with Marlins and Mets they would be running away with the East, thats where overpaying in prospects can get you. I'm ok with moving prospects but it seems like everyone wants overpaid guys with unimpressive home/road or L/R splits. Thats cool if we give up secondary prospects for those guys or get a young enough player we sign long term after the trade. I don't have to win it all this year but I want to see it continue to go in the right direction in a smart way. Its fun as hell to watch any of the 4 studs pitch, they just have to hit their own homeruns and they win! I dont want to trade another Kazmir or Melvin Mora type player unless we get much better returns than Mike Bordick..

Steve from Norfolk said...

I'd like to keep Nimmo - he's a good CF and the Mets are soing their best to ruin Lagares' arm. Ceceiliani has potential - he was waking up when he was sent down for Cap'n K. Maybe him and Fulmer. Doesn't hurt to talk.

ZachBoyer said...


2 for his last 27 is "waking up?" That sounds more like an extended nap to me. What? Did you see some nearly imperceptible glimmer in his eye? I must've missed it.

Michael S. said...

- Nimmo will be the future CF of this team. Lagares can't hit enough and who knows what this injury is doing to him long term. Plus, Nimmo just played CF on a roster with the best prospects in baseball...he'll be able to handle the position in the majors. No gold glove but he'll be fine and we need a more well-rounded player.

- Cecilliani/Kirk and Taijeron will be our L/R backup outfielders. They can hit and play all 3 positions.

- RYAN BRAUN is who Alderson should be targeting

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