The Morning Report 7.15.2015 | Conforto Supporters Grow, deGrom Dominates All-Star Game, Braves/Red Sox Targets


Stephen Conway | Empire Writes Back- After going 2-2 and throwing out a runner at the plate in the MLB Futures Game, New York Mets star prospect Michael Conforto is opening up a lot of eyes around the league. The Seattle native looks poised to become an All-Star outfielder, but will New York bring him up this year? It is no secret that New York is in need of offensive help. If Sandy Alderson isn’t going to spend money before the trade deadline to acquire a bat, bringing up Conforto is the next best thing. He’s batting .330 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 37 games at Double-A Binghamton. Alderson has said that Conforto is the “best hitter in the organization,” and its about time the rest of the league knows that. 

(Chris Soto: Empire Writes Back is a full New York sports blog on the FanSided platform so while it's not unusual to see Mets material on it front page, it's certainly a noteworthy one. As for the potential for a Conforto promotion, the supporters for the move are starting to scream louder and louder as he continues to do nothing but produce at A+ ball, AA ball, Futures Game ball, pretty much everywhere. Conforto himself is now even chiming in, making small, jabbing remarks expressing his desire to finally come to New York. Whether you agree with it or not....I have a strong feeling that Conforto could be in the MLB in a few weeks to help with the playoff push.

Anthony DiComo | MLB Mets- Jason Kipnis described his introduction to Jacob deGrom as blunt-force trauma -- "heater, heater, heater, heater." But these were not ordinary heaters from the National League's reigning Rookie of the Year, who has somehow managed to improve as a sophomore. These were 97- and 98-mph fastballs in the NL's 6-3 All-Star Game loss to the American League. It wasn't all adrenaline, despite the nerves that creeped into deGrom's skull. This was premeditated -- a desire, with only one inning to give, to stride atop Great American Ball Park's pitcher's mound and "let it fly." "It was good morning, good afternoon, ball outside, goodnight," Kipnis said of his at-bat, the only one to last more than three pitches. "He's a power pitcher, a strong pitcher and a [darn] good one, and I got to see it tonight."

(Chris Soto: Man....deGrom ran rough shot through 3 of the best American League hitters in baseball. 10 pitches, 1 ball, 3 strikeouts. It doesn't get any better than that. deGrom has truly emerged as one of the Top 5 SP in the National League this season and could make a very strong case for a Cy Young award should Grienke and Scherzer falter at all during the second half of the season.) 

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.

Atlanta Braves (42-47): In Re-build Mode, but at the end of it. 
  • The Atlanta Braves are near the end of what has to be the quickest rebuild mode ever conceived in baseball. After going 96 - 66 in 2013, the Braves fell apart in 2014 finishing under .500 at 79-83. This prompted GM John Hart to trade away valuable pieces such as Evan Gattis, Craig Kimbrel, David Hale, Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, and Jordan Walden. However, these players were not traded for regular prospects, Hart specifically targeted young MLB ready or near MLB ready talent that could make impacts in 2015 and 2016. Only a few months into their "rebuild" and the Braves already seem like they have a solid core of SP to try and compete next season. The offense still needs a little help, but with ~$50M to spend in Free Agency next year they can easily make upgrades. That said, the Braves may still look to grab a young bat to help speed that process along. However, the Mets will not be one of those sellers.
No Fit

Boston Red Sox (42-47)Still an outside chance at AL East, could be Buyers
  • The Red Sox had a very distinct strategy coming into 2015. Go after big bats that can produce a ton of runs to support a rotation that can grow in Boston. Only problem is that the rotation hasn't grown....in fact it has regressed. Statistically, the Red Sox rotation is the 3rd worst in the MLB this season in front of only the Phillies and the Coors affected Rockies rotations. However, despite the poor pitching, Boston only finds themselves 6.5 games out of 1st in the AL East where no one seems to be running away with the division. If they are serious about making a 2nd half surge, they are going to have to improve the rotation significantly. Alderson would love to get his hands on a guy like Brock Holt, but the Sox front office LOVES having his versatility on the team and are unlikely to trade him. Unless the Sox are willing to give up Bogaerts....which they won't....I don't see a fit here either.
No Fit


Thomas Brennan said...

If Boston needs to rebuild their staff, let's trade them Fulmer, Meisner, and Sewald for Mookie Betts. Am I nuts? (Hint: my wife thinks so)

Jake is lethal - no one better.

Conforto is not hitting what the writer wrote (.330) - he is hitting .312 in Bingo, which still is darned good.

Ernest Dove said...

The story remains the same. This organization simply MUST find a way to win BIG with this team controlled stud rotation. They can probably sustain success over next 5-7 years and beyond, but this particular group of starting pitchers needs chance to help this team win division titles and perhaps a world series before 'the band breaks up'.

James Preller said...

Bringing up Conforto requires . . . a phone call.

Obtaining Parra, a useful talent, requires . . . young talent. A Fulmer, perhaps?

Obtaining Upton requires money . . . and even more talent.

So obviously -- to me, anyway -- you begin with Conforto. I believe he should have been up already so the Mets could figure out if he'd actually help or not. If he struggled, they'd know that it was time to trade away some players. If he hit, well, that solves a lot of problems. Not SS, of course.

BTW, Marlon Byrd is also out there as a RH bat that shouldn't come at a crazy price. I prefer Parra, I think, because he can play an adequate CF (Gold Glover in the corners).

Dallas said...

I said this in the other thread, but boy was DeGrom fun to watch last night. The announcers couldnt stop gushing about him for the next 20 min. I like his chances of catching Greinke/Scherzer for CY Young.

Mack Ade said...

Good morning -

I agree with James... fill one of your major holes with the promotion of Conforto. Could he possibly hit less than Eric Campbell?

The biggest problem with this however is Conforto is basically a LF now, so what do we do with Cuddyer? Could he platoon with Granderson in RF (I don't think so).

Keep the pitching


James Booth said...

It seems to me, if they're going to bring up Conforto, that now is the time to do it and not when doom and gloom have struck in the midst of some 5 game losing streak. There is always some level of doom and gloom, we are the mets, but we are playing well and could use a boast.

James Booth said...

Boost or boast- either way lpl

James Booth said...

Fat fingers...small keys

ZachBoyer said...


Why wouldn't he be able to platoon with Grandy? Granderson's batting .119! vs. LHP. Isn't that the perfect guy who needs a platoon partner? Only problem I can think of is that RF is now worth $28M.

Mack Ade said...

Guys, I'm really not that pissed off at the results of the reason so far, especially since the team is collectively hitting so bad and still is only 2 games out of first place.

In fact, I wish we could end the suspense and just shelve both Wright and Lagares for the season. Bring up Conforto and play him in left... play Granderson in right... make a small deal for Byrd... and let Kirk platoon with Cuddyer in center.

NOt perfect, but a plan.

ZachBoyer said...


There's no way Cuddyer can play CF.

Mack Ade said...

Zach -

then return Conforto to CF

eraff said...

AHEM...Grandy in CF, at times?

Christopher Soto said...

Neither Cuddy nor Conforto can man CF.

Granderson would be the logical choice for CF considering his defensive value is probably equal to Juan "broken arm" Lagares right now.

ZachBoyer said...

C. Soto,

That's completely untrue. Granderson's arm healthy is no better than Juan's hurt. So you're completely leaving out this whole entire part of defense besides throwing: IT"S CALLED FIELDING THE POSITION/CATCHING THE BASEBALL.

Juan is +6 defensive runs saved this year (with the throwing troubles!).

Why isn't this the smartest possible option out there:

"Why wouldn't he [Cuddyer] be able to platoon with Grandy? Granderson's batting .119! vs. LHP. Isn't that the perfect guy who needs a platoon partner? Only problem I can think of is that RF is now worth $28M."

Mack Ade said...

Zach -

There should be no concern with the cost of a platoon THIS YEAR using current members of this organization. It's a pennant race.

ZachBoyer said...

It's not my concern. I'm saying it might be their concern.

And then, if not the money, why couldn't Cuddyer platoon with Grandy in RF? Because you're the one who said he couldn't:

"… so what do we do with Cuddyer? Could he platoon with Granderson in RF (I don't think so)."

Steve from Norfolk said...

If you want to call up a center fielder, and you're not happy with the AAA choices, call up Nimmo. He's the CF, not Conforto. Personally, I'd give Ceciliani a better chance than coming off the bench. Let him play every day, he might surprise you Lagares has GOT to be pulled, or keep taking a chance on really hurting his career. You think if we make the post-season, and the game winning run is running for home, he's not going to let one go and probably tear his arm up the rest of the way?

ZachBoyer said...


I don't agree with everything you said. But your comment actually makes sense. The rest of this thread does not.

Cuddyer/Conforto to CF is the equivalent of, or worse than, having Flores play SS. And Granderson CAN play CF—it doesn't mean he's any good at it.

Kevin S said...

If they decide to shut Lagares down, they must acquire a CF. Kirk & Ceciliani have no business manning CF for a playoff team. They shouldn't even be bench guys. You know I like Charlie Blackmon from Colorado but you could bring in Parra to play CF instead and get Venable from SD to go with Graderson and Cuddyer for form a respectable outfield rotation. I wouldn't mind the Byrd reunion. Maybe they could schedule an actual Byrd t-shirt day this year.

Christopher Soto said...

I must put my foot into mouth about a comment that was made a few days ago.

Someone asked me if Blackmon was a logical trade target for the Mets and I responded with, "Blackmon is still under team control for another 4 years...I don't see why the Rockies would trade that away."

Well today it's been reported that the Rockies could look to trade Blackmon.

***Inserts foot into mouth***


I fully agree with you that the Cuddyer/Granderson platoon would be the best course of action.

However, it is painfully clear that Lagares' elbow is killing his defensive value as well as his ability to drive the ball into the gaps.

When you consider the value add of his remaining defensive abilities...(That +6 DRS) and combine it with the negative offensive value he is contributing right now.....I truly do not believe it is greater than what Granderson would provide in CF.

ZachBoyer said...

C. Soto,

I disagree. But thank you for the response.

Granderson is a serviceable RF—which will make him a substandard CF. His 5 errors lead all OFs, not that that in itself is a true indicator. But I've also seen him play CF—HE CAN"T DO IT.

What are the 3 most important defensive positions on the field: C, SS, and CF. You're undervaluing CF and its defensive importance, much the same way Sandy had the arrogance to undervalue the importance of having a competent SS for the first 3 months of the season.

You want a Blackmon? That's a different story. He can hit AND field.

Kevin S said...

I'll talk about Blackmon all day. He's kind of a late bloomer like Todd Frazier but the guy can play. Gets overshadowed in Colorado because of CarGo, Tulo & Arenado but he's put up consistent numbers each of the past 3 seasons.

He will be arb eligible for the first time this offseason so he's going to start costing Colorado some $. I think you could offer them Fulmer and a major league ready, high upside bullpen arm (like Robles) and be able to get him. Maybe they like Montero more. You know they've scouted our system well this year with all the Tulo speculation.

Blackmon could play CF the rest of this year. Start the year next year until Lagares is ready to return then slide to the corner. If Lagares' bat never progresses, then Blackmon can be our CF for the next 3 seasons.

Just imagine an OF of Conforto, Blackmon and Upton on opening day next year. Granderson could be moved or be the hovering 4th OF and insurance in case Conforto struggles. Cuddyer could be released or be the 5th OF / backup 1B. Put together a strong bench of vets.

This team has the tools. Time to open the wallet. Bring the fans back to the park. April was crazy at Citi Field. You could hear it on TV. The fans want to root for this team but ownership needs to invest in the onfield product.

Steve from Norfolk said...

I like the idea of picking up Byrd again. We're not looking for a hot stud to keep for a career. W want a role player that can help us climb over the Nats back(of course digging in the spikes!) Plus, he can play in NYC. That's important. The pressure of the media has a lot to do with the players we bring in always seeming to fail. Plus, he's cheap.

Kevin S said...

Byrd is having a strong season so they aren't going to give him away for Carlos or Alex Torres (aka nothing). I can see Byrd making sense for a lot of clubs. Maybe it's a prospect in the 15-20 range. Per Mack's updated list, maybe Rob Whalen.

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