The Morning Report 7.16.2015 | OF not a Target for Sandy, Terry Collins Not Happy/Claims Mets Could be Even Better, d'Arnaud Progressing, Trade Targets (White Sox, Indians, Rangers)


David Hong | Metsmerized Online- Despite some of the worst ranked outfield production in majors, the Mets are not expected to acquire an outfielder before the July 31 trade deadline. [According to team insiders] if the Mets make any move by the Trade Deadline, it will most likely come at either shortstop, or to acquire a versatile starting player or a bench player. The front office views the shortstop position and their bench as their biggest weakness. So the plan is for the Mets to keep their fingers crossed and hope for a big second half rebound from Michael Cuddyer and Juan Lagares, and at least a little more improvement from Curtis Granderson.

(Chris SotoI've been saying this for a few weeks now. Don't expect the Mets to add another OF to the fold for the simple fact that, if they so choose, the club will not want to block a potential Michael Conforto promotion to help with a playoff push. While it makes a ton of sense to platoon Cuddyer and Granderson, such a move would tie up $24.5M in RF. Such a large hit at 1 position would only make sense if the other corner was being manned by a stud prospect making the league minimum [wink, wink], not another $12M body.

Kristie Ackert | NY Daily News- Terry Collins grumbled Sunday that the Mets were not happy to go into the All-Star break just five games above .500 (52-47) and two games behind the Nats in the NL East. The Mets manager felt they should be in better shape, but looking at what he had to work with, his club is not in a bad place to start the second half. Consider, the Mets lost the anchor of their lineup (Wright), their most dangerous bat (d’Arnaud), their most reliable hitter (Murphy), and lefty specialist (Blevins) to injury. Still, they enter the second half with a very good chance to end a run of six straight losing seasons and still have the Nationals and their much talked-about playoff prospects within their sights.

(Chris Soto: Panic City ,Sandy new description of the Mets fan base, doesn't how much worse the 1st half of the season could have been for the Mets. Just look at 2 other team in the NL East for examples of what losing your cornerstone player can do to your season. The Atlanta Braves were actually threatening to drop the Mets to 3rd place at one point in the season but then Freddie Freeman went down and now they find themselves 5 games under .500. The Marlins didn't start the year with Jose Fernandez and the rotation struggled to pick up the slack. Once he finally did comeback, the club lost Giancarlo Stanton and the struggles continued. Now they find themselves 13 games under .500 with no hope in sight.) 

Rich MacLeod | Just Mets- While his return from his current stint on the disabled list isn’t imminent, Travis d’Arnaud is progressing towards rehab games. Sidelined since June 20th with a sprained left elbow, the oft-injured Mets catcher has been making strides, working out at the team’s Port St. Lucie complex.

(Chris Soto: Speaking of injuries, here is more good news for the club. There is no question that the Mets line-up is so much better with d'Arnaud in it and hitting near the top of the order. No one has even come close to sniffing his 2015 OPS of .873 since he has been gone. If he and David Wright can finally come back healthy, and productive, that's like making a blockbuster trade in itself.) 

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.

Cleveland Indians (42-46)- Two Weeks Ago: Prepping to sell NOW: Fighting for Wild Card
  • Here is where we are going to run into problems in regards to trading for pieces to help with a playoff push. Over the past two weeks, the Houston Astros have been in a free-fall having lost 8 of their last 9 games. They lost their big young bat, George Springer, they lost their handle on 1st place in the AL West, and have fallen all the way to the 2nd wild card spot. So now, all 3 of the teams in today's review, are only 5.5 GB the Astros for a playoff spot! For the Cleveland Indians, they are already pretty much maxed out in terms of salary. The only way they will be able to improve their chances this season is to get better production from their current players or trade off one of their bad contracts in Brandon Moss or Michael Bourn and acquire a replacement OF in return. This is a scenario the Mets are unlikely to entertain.

Texas Rangers (42-46)- Fading but still with a chance for Wild Card
  • For the Texas Rangers, as bad as the Houston Astros have been, they have been equally bad losing 8 of their last 10 games. Their normally good offense sputtered quite a bit in July but they still are in the Top 50% of the league in terms of OPS. The same can't be said of their pitching though. The Rangers SP is 20th in baseball in terms of ERA and they have the 3rd worst bullpen in the MLB. The Mets really aren't at liberty to provide bullpen help, but, they can provide some SP assistance. A ground ball heavy pitcher could help stabilize the Rangers rotation and provide some innings to help rest that weary bullpen which is currently among the leaders in total innings pitched.
    • Trade Proposal: Mets send LHP Jon Niese for SS Hanser Alberto and LHP Yohander Mendez
    • Reason: Niese is the perfect groundball type pitcher that can do well in Texas. Unlike the Mets, the Rangers can provide strong defense up the middle in Odor and Andrus that will keep Niese's WHIP down which drives his ERA as well. The Mets aren't going to get MLB help in exchange for Niese, but, what they can get is a SS that they are very familiar with in the PCL in Alberto. Hanser is a guy that K's less than 12% and did hit .250 is a small cup of coffee with Texas this season. Combine that with his .328 AVG in AAA this season and his strong defense at SS and you have yourself someone who is better than Tejada. (which isn't saying much). Mendez is more about projection than present and needs to add a lot of strength to his skinny 6-foot-4 frame, but he has the potential to become a legitimate lefty starter.

Chicago White Sox (41-45)- Still a chance, but prepping to sell and re-tool
  • Like the Rangers and Indians, the White Sox are only 5.5 GB the 2nd wild card spot. They also entering the All-Star break pretty hot winning 7 of their last 10 games. Despite the favorable environment though, the White Sox are prepping themselves to be sellers this season opting to rather compete next year when more of their young superb talent is ready to contribute. Some sellable assets they have include RHP Jeff Samardzija, SS Alexei Ramirez, and UT Emilio Bonifacio. The Mets don't need Samardzija or Bonifacio but Ramirez could be an interesting add. He's had a terrible 2015 season so far, but, one can argue that he's had the worst luck so far and is a prime bounce back candidate.
    • Trade Proposal: Mets send IF Matt Reynolds for SS Alexei Ramirez
    • Reason: The old and rare 1 for 1 swap. Ramirez has no trade value right now, but, his Line Drive Rate, his Hard Hit Contact Ratio, K rate, BB rate, every saber metrical piece of data is in line to his 2014 season when he hit .273 with 15 HR and 21 SB. The Mets could surely afford $4M to give him a chance to bounce back and if he does, they would then hold a team option for him in 2016. As for the White Sox side, adding Reynolds would give them a young IF of Micah Johnson, Reynolds, and Tim Anderson to build around for the next 6 years. Not a bad play on their part.


Ernest Dove said...

A healthy Murph and TDA in the second half can go a long way in determining any playoff chances.
(Im still not expecting to see David Wright unless they add him back after Sept. 1 and see what he can do)
If the Mets do nothing significant other than a new SS and maybe replacements for Soup Mayberry, I guess it could only help at this point.

Mack Ade said...

TC needs to shut his mouth and stay away from an open mike.

I hate old men.

Grumble... grumble...

Hobie said...


re Niese for Alberto/Mendez; would you take (would TX give) a PTBNL (Profar) in such a deal?

Just curious.

Reese Kaplan said...

@Hobie -- it wasn't my hypothetical deal but Chris Soto's...but my answer would be yes, in a heartbeat. Profar was one of the top prospects in all of baseball and if you could land him in exchange for Niese, you'd have to do it. Of course, it doesn't help you this year but without significant upgrades to the offense they're not playoff-bound anyway.

bob gregory said...

The whole outfield view point Alderson is using demonstrates that the front office is still not in it to win.

Reese Kaplan said...

So is the speculation about a single move being made. The team is:

Getting no production out of 2/3 of its outfield
Has no leadoff hitter
Has no shortstop
Has no bench

But one minor move is going to solve all that???

bob gregory said...

Somebody, the other day, pointed toward the Padres this year.
Pointing out that their aggressiveness has not paid off as hoped.
I may have assumed the wrong thing, but my impression from that also seemed to be in support of Alderson's anti-aggressiveness towards winning.

Smart aggression should not be poo-poo'd.
Even the Padres, though it may not work out this year, because it was not blind to the future. Upton can be retained, filling one OF position for years to come, or traded this year to restore prospects. The CF position has also been filled for years to come once Myers is healthy again.

I believe there was also a swipe at commenters that may have been supportive of the new Padres gm aggressiveness. Please remember, those supporters did not necessarily agree that each move he made was spectacular.
It was the spirit, effort, and commitment behind them that was supported.
Similar spirit, effort, and commitment could have easily resulted in the Mets not settling for Cuddyer.
That money and a little more could have been spent on Tomas and Cespedes (and maybe Kang) as easily obtainable examples. I am sure there are multiple other combinations that would have also worked out.

Imagine where the Mets now and future outlook would be.
Would the relatively small amount of additional money spent really have been a hinderance?
How much more $$ would have been made?

Please keep the whole picture in mind when trying to elevate Alderson's standing compared to other gms.
Don't look through only the microscope. There is a much bigger picture.

ZachBoyer said...


"Smart aggression should not be poo-poo'd"—I have reason to believe you don't know what that is.

"Even the Padres, though it may not work out this year, because it was not blind to the future"—it was COMPLETELY blind to the future. That is unequivocal hogwash.

"Per Baseball America, the Padres traded away their no. 1 (Wisler), no. 2 (Turner), no. 4 (Ross), no. 6 (Fried), no. 9 (Eflin), no. 10 (Jace Peterson), no. 15 (Bauers), no. 16 (Mallex Smith), no. 21 (Dustin Peterson), no. 23 (Burch Smith), and no. 30 (Barbato) prospects, along with the 41st pick in the draft"—isn't that the definition of microscopically viewing a baseball team, the very thing you're imploring us not to do as fans?

"… the Kemp trade, in which they took on a contract the Dodgers were DESPERATE to unload and gave up arguably their most valuable commodity in Grandal [an AS]."

Or try this one on for size: "For the privilege of acquiring Wil Myers, the Padres surrendered five players, among them Joe Ross (Tyson’s brother) and the “player to be named later” — whose name everyone knew at the time: shortstop Trea Turner, the Padres’ first-round pick last year …"

Also for the record: They have Upton for a one-year rental—that's it. If they're smart—which they're not!—they'll trade him before the deadline—but it will be for a lot less than they gave up for him in the summer. And for those around here who want Sandy to make that deal, he has a slashline of .176/.281/.244 since 6/1. Just remember that. Oh, didn't know that? Well, that's why you're not GMs. I'd LOVE to go back into the archives of this site and see all your pro-Padres comments from the summer. Fortunately for you I have neither the time nor the motivation to do so. "Fortunately for you" because I am pretty sure it would kill all your credibility.
It's REALLY EASY to just pick the two guys—Tomas and Cespedes—who are succeeding and leave out e.g. Kemp whose contract I'm sure you would've been ecstatic to take on. I have a sneaking suspicion that's in the archives too. You don't have the financial constraints under which Sandy has to work. You just live in GM Fantasy Land, which borders the equally populous metropolis of Panic City.

Comparatively, the Mets are 47-42 (with probably the most DL casualties in the sport!). There's bad luck there—not bad planning.

I'll give you a hypothetical: The Mets don't do anything (or do something small to improve the bench) and make the playoffs. What does it matter? They won! THEY WON! What does it matter the "spirit" in which it's done? I'm sure Preller will be SPIRITFULLY waiting in the front of an unemployment line soon enough.

Bob, you have NO argument.

bob gregory said...

My apologies sir, but you are wrong.
Once again the spirit, effort, and commitment were what was supported.
Once again, you are conveniently ignoring and writing off the successes of other targets that were easily obtainable.
Please look at the whole picture.
And yes, there were a few commenters on this board that specifically focused on Tomas, Cespedes, and Kang. That is why I mentioned them in particular.

ZachBoyer said...

You're the mayor of GM FANTASY WORLD and PANIC CITY—it's a place filled with hypocrisy and convenient hindsight. Congratulations on your inaugural mayoral term.

There's no reasoning with you. You also just as conveniently failed to answer my question: What if they make the playoffs? Will you be happy? Or will the "spirit" in which it was done somehow sour the experience for you?

(And I'm not writing off the success of Tomas and Cespedes—they're having good seasons!)

bob gregory said...

How is it hindsight if it these ideas were expressed months ago during the off season?
Now when evidence has come in through game play those ideas were proven to be correct.
Pointing out that those ideas were in fact correct and that real evidence supports it is NOT hind sight in any definition of the phrase.

What kind of question is that? Of course making the playoffs would be wonderful.
But, How confident are you that will happen without a major offensive change?
How about, even if the playoffs were reached how sustainable would it be considering the lack of position players offensively?

Your assertion of hindsight is unreasonable... not supported by facts and realism

bob gregory said...

Let me ask everyone:

Who was for/ against Cuddyer before the season?
Who was for/ against Tomas?
Who was for/ against Cespedes?
Any others anyone want to point out they were for or against in Fore-sight that the season has proven them to correct or wrong about?

Christopher Soto said...


I was for Cuddyer
I was against Tomas (and still am....he's nothing special)
I was for Cespedes

Adding some SS from the past two years....
I was for Stephen Drew
I was for Jhonny Peralta
I was against trading for any Arizona prospect SS.

Kevin S said...

I think the majority liked Cuddyer but didn't like losing the pick to sign him. Obviously no one expected him to struggle this badly.

I think the majority were shocked that Tomas didn't sign for more and would've signed up for him at the price he signed for. With An OPS of .799 during his first season in the bigs at age 24 sounds like a building block.

Cespedes was traded for Porcello. The closest thing we had to that was Niese and that's not enough. If we could've gotten him for Niese and another mid level prosect. I think most of us would've agreed to that.

The shortstops on the otherhand have been all over the place. I don't think anyone thought Peralta would get the deal he did. Still some people didn't want him.

I liked Alexei Ramirez, and still do (he's gotta bounce back and is still better than Ruben).

Don't wanna get started on Drew.

Mack's Mets © 2012